Tag Archives: Articles

5 Free Ways to Increase Your Website Traffic

I don’t know about you, but when I first entered the world of internet marketing I thought I could just submit my newly finished website to a few search engines, then sit back as the visitors flocked to my site. I imagined that people would arrive on my website, as if by magic, purchase goods, and perhaps come back again for more.

A week or so later I came down to earth with a big bump.

I realized that it would take a bit of time and effort to see the results that I was dreaming about!

Since my reality check, I have learned all about the weird and wonderful ways of internet marketing.

In this article I will tell you about my top 5 free ways of increasing website traffic.

All these methods are completely free and if you spend some time on them you will find that they work consistently.

(1)Writing Articles

Writing an article on a subject related to your website and getting that article published has two major benefits:

– People who are interested in your article will read it and often click on the URL in your resource box find out more. This gets you another free targeted visitor. Targeted, because that reader wants to find out more on the subject of your article, which is hopefully related to the subject of your website.

– Every publisher of your article must also publish your “resource box”. Adding a resource box with your URL to all of your articles will increase the number of links leading back to your website, which in turn helps to increase your search engine position

(2)Forum Networking

There are many discussion forums on the internet, on every topic you could possibly imagine.

Most discussion boards allow posters to attach a “Signature” with their post containing additional information about themselves, such as their name, URL and sometimes even an advertisement.

By visiting a few forums regularly and participating in the discussions, asking and answering questions, you can build up trust with other forum members, whilst at the same time getting free exposure for your website.

Just try to make a useful contribution to the forum – be sure to read the forum rules and don’t spam!

(3)Reciprocal Linking

Reciprocal linking has two main benefits for you.

Firstly, the more links that you exchange, the more chance there is that someone will follow a link from another site and land on your website.

Secondly, your website will be perceived more importantly by search engines.

The more links you have from other sites, the greater your chance of getter ranked more highly by all the search engines.

Here are some Dos and Don’ts to help you get more out of your link exchanges.

– Do link with sites that will be of interest to your visitors.

– Don’t link with pages that have unorganised link directories with hundreds of links on each page. This won’t benefit you with increased traffic or search engine rankings.

– Do link with sites that have a clearly labelled “Link Directory” from their main page. You aren’t likely to get much traffic from a hidden or hard to find link directory.

– Don’t use link farms or FFA pages. You are unlikely to get extra traffic using these methods and the search engines may penalise you.

– Do use link directories to help you find link partners.

– Do stay organised. Use link exchange software, or a spreadsheet to keep track of the link exchanges you have requested and the contact details of the webmasters.

(4) Email Signatures

This is a very simple, but often forgotten way of increasing your website visitors.

Most of us are sending lots of emails a day, but many of us just sign them with just our name, or perhaps nothing at all.

Instead, why not end your emails with a short signature containing your name, a bit about your website along with the URL?

Keep the signature short (4 lines), to the point and avoid hype or SHOUTING.

You may be surprised at the extra visitors you receive through doing this. It’s amazing how curiosity will lead the recipients of your email to click on your link!

(5)Using Traffic Exchanges

Finally, this is one easy way to guarantee instant hits to your website. You can build up credits for free by surfing or building up a downline to surf for you.

The downside of this method is that the visitors you receive from traffic exchanges are not as targeted as the visitors that you will receive via the other methods that I have described.

The reason for this is that people surf traffic exchanges for one reason – to earn as many credits as possible in as short a space of time as possible!

This gives you a challenge – how do you attract the attention of someone who is looking at your web page for 20 seconds or less?

Here are two tips –

– Know your market – spend some time surfing on the exchange that you are advertising on and pay attention to the types of web pages being advertised. Make sure that the pages you advertise are going to interest your target market.

– Use a short, simple attention grabbing page that can be read in a few seconds – there is no point advertising a huge page of text that takes 5 minutes to read. The chances are, your visitor will get bored and click on the “next” button without giving your page a fair chance.

Regularly invest some time in each of these 5 traffic generating methods and you will see your web statistics moving in the upwards direction before you know it.

Website visitors for your business – Building strong website traffic.

It is worth looking at some values and strengths of a few technical and promotional elements of your website that will help you to lay a foundation in building profitable online success. Once you have decided on your market and have chosen a relevant domain name for your online business, you need simple and effective tools and methods to put and keep your business on a profitable track. Ideally you will want to make use of easy-to-use methods that keeps visitors coming to your website. Lets look at a few practical ideas.

When a visitor comes to your website you have to get their follow-up information by collecting their email address. It is important to ‘enable’ your web site to automatically deliver quality content such as a newsletter to visitors and allow you to follow up with extra information when necessary. Top marketers agree that this forms a large percentage of their online success. How do you do this? You create forms on your web pages, giving visitors the chance to subscribe to your opt-in list, newsletter or report. This allows you to introduce your service and offer something valuable in order to build relationship. Email follow-up through auto responders is totally free and an absolute necessity for implementing. All you need to do is integrate the auto responder into your web site via a form so that you can pre-load it with your newsletters. You may say that you’re not a writer, but what do you know about your industry? Write it down and put it into an informative newsletter. Subscribers can now begin to see you as an expert on the subject and look to you for the solutions that your business is already offering.

Once your newsletter is up and running, you can use these very same tips and ideas you share with your subscribers and also write a weekly article about your product or service, and then submit it to ezines online. This is very easy to do and will have great response for your business. There are tens of thousands of ezine publishers online that needs good content, and will give you valuable exposure for your business. You will have many sites linking to your site and people will be able to read what your business is about and visit your website. Then they will also be able to subscribe to your newsletter which provides even more information about your product or service. Each article has got a resource box at the bottom which allows visitors to visit your web site. Write your 4 to 6 line resource box by viewing some samples online and making up your own. Finding details of ezine publishers can quite easily be done through looking up in search engines.

Let’s go a step further and look at newspaper classifieds. By using little snippets of ideas from your newsletters and articles, you can come up with short eye catching promotional messages to use in newspaper classifieds. There are newspaper companies that offer state wide and nation wide advertising in their papers, often covering readership in excess of 2 to 3 million. By placing 10-15 word tiny classified ads all over the globe can dramatically increase your website traffic. A big mistake people make when doing this is to try and make sales directly from their ads instead of just generating leads for later follow-up. You would want to get your leads to your web site first from where they can subscribe to your automated content.

Lastly lets consider the eye opener an affiliate program can have for your business. With the right product or service it is by far the hottest way of building your business and customer base. Submit your program to affiliate directories across the web. You’ll have affiliates making sales for you and not paying a cent in advertising until you’ve made the sale! Your advertising will be covered by your affiliates, and you can concentrate on providing customer service and continue follow-up with your increasing customer base through newsletter delivery and other product offers. By becoming familiar with how important it is to stay relevant in implementing these factors will benefit your business and you will find that you’ll be achieving better results.

Links From Articles

Links building is a primary job for developing link popularity. Link popularity is one of the vital measures taken in consideration by the search engines to rank your web pages. The number and the quality of links on your website would also play an important role for raising your page ranking. You can use various strategies such as article writing, software and tools to raise your link popularity.

But before you use any of these strategies for link building, it is a must for you to know your existing status. So you should, first of all, find out the link popularity of your website. And it is really a simple process. You can go to any search engine and type “Links: domain name of the website”. Complete information regarding the links of the website will be presented to you by the search engines.

Now you can work to build up your links’ popularity. A number of people are making persistent efforts for building links from various resources. Articles are a good source of displaying the quality of information on your website. Indeed links from articles are greatly helpful in finding a better place in the search engine ranking.

Articles are actually the real attention grabbers on the web. They provide knowledge and information to the users and thus the users keep seeking for these articles regularly.

Unless you have a really good content on your website, you are not going to get the desired links. The basic rule for getting links from articles is to write them on a particular theme. Your articles must be focused and give relevant information to a subject related to your website. Keywords also play a significant role in generating links for you.

You can generate inbound or one way links as well as reciprocal links via these articles. Always make a thorough research of the most used keywords on the internet. The keywords suggest you a topic that people usually seek for information, on the internet. The articles you write must be rich in the keywords. You have to produce the relevant information keeping the good keyword density in your articles. For, this will make your article search engine friendly.

Every one is not skillful to develop such articles. Get some professional writers to do it for you. You can have your own team of writers or can get the articles written by freelance writers as well. Articles written by professional writers will help you in getting the targeted links. You can also keep these articles in a separate section in your website.

One more way to get links from articles is to get them published on the other sites, i.e., other than your site. Internet is full of flourishing websites that offer to publish your articles for free. These sites are a good platform to get noticed in the cyber world. The ezines, ebooks and online news sources are there to help you popularize your website as well.

You can also find some forums to publish your articles for free. Generally the forums do not allow you to put a link at the end of your articles. But the regular members can post their links under their articles. And this turns out to be really profitable for link building.

The primary advantage of getting your articles published is that the internet traffic you get from the article links is targeted. The articles of a particular theme will be only read by the people having interest in that particular subject. This surely, is going to improve your search engine ratings.

7 Secrets To Top Search Engine Rankings For SEO Dummies

There’s hope for the ‘little guys’ in the  search engine ranking game, even if they  can’t tell the difference between the title  and keyword meta tag!  You can achieve high rankings for important  keywords simply by applying certain rules  that stand the test of time and even technology…and the number one rule is really to…

…Help the search engines provide relevant search results!

How do you do this? I’ll reveal the  ‘secrets’ soon.

While I’m far from being an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) expert and am just sharing experiences here, I’ve achieved some phenomenal results by following these basic rules and without resorting to ‘tricks’. Importantly, these are rankings that last.

I’m not suggesting you shouldn’t learn about SEO or use genuine software that helps, in fact you should.

To learn about SEO, some sites you can check out:

http://www.selfpromotion.com : shows you how to construct your webpages and submit them to hundreds of search engines and directories absolutely FREE.

http://www.searchenginewatch.com :  everything you need to know related to search engines.

Recall the number one rule? It’s to help the search engines provide relevant search results.

Now I honestly believe there are only two MAIN things which support this rule and in the process, reward your website with the high rankings you desire.

These two things are Keyword Rich Content and Targeted Back Links which we’ll talk about later…

Here then are 7 powerful secrets you can use to model your website after to explode your high search engine rankings!

Step 1: Determine Highly Searched Keywords

Determine highly searched and targeted keywords/keyword phrases related to your site and put them into a list. Here’re the tools to use:

https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal

http://freekeywords.wordtracker.com/

Step 2: Register Keyword Rich Domain Names

While there’ve been contrasting arguments about whether having keywords in your domain helps, I strongly feel it does. The same goes for dashes between words in the domain.

Use this to source for domain name ideas:

http://www.theserving.com

Step 3: Use Your Targeted Keywords In Your Copy

Use the list of keywords in step 1 within your website copy, especially in the title, headline and first paragraph. The important thing is to make them flow smoothly within the context of the copy so prospects will not find it weird.

Step 4: Insert Keyword Rich Relevant Content

Next, build up your site’s content with relevant topics containing your keywords. Don’t worry, here are some ways to get instant content:

– Posting suitable articles that contain your keywords. These can either be your own or from article directories like
http://www.ezinearticle.com
http://www.goarticles.com or
http://webpronews.com

– Posting newsletter issues in an archive online if you write any

– Do reviews and commentaries on related products and services in your market as content

Step 5: Aggressively Acquire Targeted Back Links

This is the second most important (some say it’s the first) factor to note after targeted and relevant content.

Get as many good quality incoming links from other sites as you can, believe me, this will really make a huge difference to your rankings. These links should come from sites in your market and preferably those with high PageRanks of 5 and above.

An excellent resource to check PageRank can also be found at http://rankwhere.com.

Alternatively, you can download Alexa toolbar from http://www.alexa.com as it also shows Alexa traffic ranking for any site. This is very useful for seeking high traffic link partners.

Step 6: Hand Submit Your Site To The Top Directories and Search Engines

There’s no point in using those ‘submit to millions’ services as only a few search engines really matter.

Using those services may actually cause your site to be penalized by these major engines.

In fact if you’ve done enough important reciprocal linkings, you don’t even need to submit your sites as spiders which crawl your link partner sites (already indexed) will pick up your link easily.

However, if you must submit, do it by hand  at these directories and search engines here:

Ask Jeeves: http://www.ineedhits.com/paid-inclusion/ask-jeeves-search-engine.aspx
Open Directory: http://www.dmoz.org/add.html
Google: http://www.google.com/addurl/?continue=/addurl
All The Web:
http://www.alltheweb.com/help/webmaster/submit_site

Step 7: Tune Your Site For Maximum Optimization

The final step would be to constantly monitor and analyze your website traffic against rankings. This is so you can review and tweak for further improvement in your rankings.

I hope this article will prove highly useful to you. Do not be scare away by SEO, it’s simple once you follow the above
system. While these steps are not everything you can do, it’ll be enough to get your site ranked very well for the targeted keywords you chose.

Again, remember the number one rule of  giving relevant content and establishing good back links. Help the search engines provide relevant results for their customers and your rankings will automatically skyrocket to the top!

Link Popularity: Distribute content, Not Just Links.

You’ve spent many hours trying to increase your online traffic with your linking campaign. You’ve sent out 200 e-mails pleading with other web sites to trade links with your site. Many of your e-mails bounce back.

The requests that find thier targets get rejected for numerous reasons. For example, your Google pagerank is too low or your links pages are dynamic and not static, etc., blah, blah, etc., ad museum. Out of those 200 requests, you wind up getting 25 reciprocal links, if you are lucky.

So, you say to yourself, “Great, now i have 25 more links!”. But are these links really worth it? Do they generate any traffic?

There are many reasons why your links won’t even get counted or indexed by the search engines. If your link is on a page among 100 other links, or the page is irrelevant to your subject matter, the page probably won’t hold much weight with most search engines. It’s also rumored that Google is changing it’s algorithm to discount reciprocal links altogether.

So, what can you do to get your links indexed and noticed? Write your own content, distribute it to article directories or trade it with other related websites!

Here are 8 tips on increasing your online traffic with distributed content.

1. Try to write about popular content. The more popular it is, the more people will download it and want to include it on their websites and the more links you’ll have pointing back to your site.

2. Try not to use any promotional jargon or sales pitches in your articles. If you do, many webmasters will not want to include your article on thier site.

3. Use plain English. Don’t try to get too technical. Read it back to yourself and make sure you don’t get tongue-tied while reading it.

4. If possible, work in your site’s main keyword phrases into your articles. If your site is about online marketing, write articles about online marketing.

5. Make sure you include an “About the Author” section at the bottom. Make it somewhat short and always include a link back to your site in an anchor tag. And once again, include your keywords in the link text.

6. Proofread your article carefully. I see so many articles out there with misspellings. It just makes you look bad. After you spell check, have a friend or co-worker read it to double check for errors.

7. When you’re finished with your article, submit it to popular article directories like goarticles.com, articlefactory.com, amazines.com and imparticles.com. For a fee, there are even services out there that will submit your articles to the top directories for you.

8. Make sure you publish your articles on your own website too, more content equals more traffic. Don’t worry about getting penalized by search engines for having duplicate content. You only get penalized if the content is duplicated on your own domain, not if it’s duplicated on other websites.

So there you have it. Distributed content allows you to make every link count, by creating targeted links that directly contribute to your search engine rankings, and by delivering targeted traffic on it’s own. And besides, it might even make you famous!

An SEO Glossary – Common SEO Terms Defined

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become an essential weapon in the arsenal of every online business. Unfortunately, for most business owners and marketing managers (and even many webmasters), it’s also somewhat of an enigma. This is partly due to the fact that it’s such a new and rapidly changing field, and partly due to the fact that SEO practitioners tend to speak in a language all of their own which, without translation, is virtually impenetrable to the layperson. This glossary seeks to remedy that situation, explaining specialist SEO terms in plain English…

AdWords

See ‘Sponsored Links’.

algorithm

A complex mathematical formula used by search engines to assess the relevance and importance of websites and rank them accordingly in their search results. These algorithms are kept tightly under wraps as they are the key to the objectivity of search engines (i.e. the algorithm ensures relevant results, and relevant results bring more users, which in turn brings more advertising revenue).

article PR

The submitting of free reprint articles to many article submission sites and article distribution lists in order to increase your website’s search engine ranking and Google PageRank. (In this sense, the “PR” stands for PageRank.) Like traditional public relations, article PR also conveys a sense of authority because your articles are widely published. And because you’re proving your expertise and freely dispensing knowledge, your readers will trust you and will be more likely to remain loyal to you. (In this sense, the “PR” stands for Public Relations.)

article distribution lists

User groups (e.g. Yahoo, MSN, Google, Smartgroups, and Topica groups) which accept email submissions of articles in text format, and then distribute these articles via email to all of the members of the group. See also ‘article PR’.

article submission sites

Websites which act as repositories of free reprint articles. Authors visit these sites to submit their articles free of charge, and webmasters visit to find articles to use on their websites free of charge. Article submission sites generate revenue by selling advertising space on their websites. See also ‘article PR’.

backlink

A text link to your website from another website. See also ‘link’.

copy

The words used on your website.

copywriter

A professional writer who specializes in the writing of advertising copy (compelling, engaging words promoting a particular product or service). See also ‘SEO copywriter’ and ‘web copywriter’.

crawl

Google finds pages on the World Wide Web and records their details in its index by sending out ‘spiders’ or ‘robots’. These spiders make their way from page to page and site to site by following text links. To a spider, a text link is like a door.

domain name

The virtual address of your website (normally in the form www.yourbusinessname.com). This is what people will type when they want to visit your site. It is also what you will use as the address in any text links back to your site.

ezine

An electronic magazine. Most publishers of ezines are desperate for content and gladly publish well written, helpful articles and give you full credit as author, including a link to your website.

Flash

A technology used to create animated web pages (and page elements).

free reprint article

An article written by you and made freely available to other webmasters to publish on their websites. See also ‘article PR’.

Google

The search engine with the greatest coverage of the World Wide Web, and which is responsible for most search engine-referred traffic. Of approximately 11.5 billion pages on the World Wide Web, it is estimated that Google has indexed around 8.8 billion. This is one reason why it takes so long to increase your ranking!

Google AdWords


See ‘Sponsored Links’.

Google PageRank

How Google scores a website’s importance. It gives all sites a mark out of 10. By downloading the Google Toolbar (from http://toolbar.google.com), you can view the PR of any site you visit.

Google Toolbar

A free tool you can download. It becomes part of your browser toolbar. It’s most useful features are it’s PageRank display (which allows you to view the PR of any site you visit) and it’s AutoFill function (when you’re filling out an online form, you can click AutoFill, and it enters all the standard information automatically, including Name, Address, Zip code/Postcode, Phone Number, Email Address, Business Name, Credit Card Number (password protected), etc.) Once you’ve downloaded and installed the toolbar, you may need to set up how you’d like it to look and work by clicking Options (setup is very easy). NOTE: Google does record some information (mostly regarding sites visited).

HTML

HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is the coding language used to create much of the information on the World Wide Web. Web browsers read the HTML code and display the page that code describes.

Internet

An interconnected network of computers around the world.

JavaScript

A programming language used to create dynamic website pages (e.g. interactivity).

keyword

A word which your customers search for and which you use frequently on your site in order to be relevant to those searches. This use known as targeting a keyword. Most websites actually target ‘keyword phrases’ because single keywords are too generic and it is very difficult to rank highly for them.

keyword density

A measure of the frequency of your keyword in relation to the total wordcount of the page. So if your page has 200 words, and your keyword phrase appears 10 times, its density is 5%.

keyword phrase

A phrase which your customers search for and which you use frequently on your site in order to be relevant to those searches.

link

A word or image on a web page which the reader can click to visit another page. There are normally visual cues to indicate to the reader that the word or image is a link.

link path

Using text links to connect a series of page (i.e. page 1 connects to page 2, page 2 connects to page 3, page 3 connects to page 4, and so on). Search engine ‘spiders’ and ‘robots’ use text links to jump from page to page as they gather information about it, so it’s a good idea to allow them traverse your entire site via text links. (See ‘Link paths’ on p.21. for further information.)

link partner

A webmaster who is willing to put a link to your website on their website. Quite often link partners engage in reciprocal linking.

link popularity

The number of links to your website. Link popularity is the single most important factor in a high search engine ranking. Webmasters use a number of methods to increase their site’s link popularity including article PR, link exchange (link partners / reciprocal linking), link buying, and link directories.

link text

The part of a text link that is visible to the reader. When generating links to your own site, they are most effective (in terms of ranking) if they include your keyword.

meta tag

A short note within the header of the HTML of your web page which describes some aspect of that page. These meta tags are read by the search engines and used to help assess the relevance of a site to a particular search.

natural search results

The ‘real’ search results. The results that most users are looking for and which take up most of the window. For most searches, the search engine displays a long list of links to sites with content which is related to the word you searched for. These results are ranked according to how relevant and important they are.

organic search results

See ‘natural search results’.

PPC (Pay-Per-Click advertising)

See ‘Sponsored Links’.

PageRank

See ‘Google PageRank’.

rank

Your position in the search results that display when someone searches for a particular word at a search engine.

reciprocal link

A mutual agreement between two webmasters to exchange links (i.e. they both add a link to the other’s website on their own website). Most search engines (certainly Google) are sophisticated enough to detect reciprocal linking and they don’t view it very favorably because it is clearly a manufactured method of generating links. Websites with reciprocal links risk being penalized.

robot

See ‘Spider’.

robots.txt file

A file which is used to inform the search engine spider which pages on a site should not be indexed. This file sits in your site’s root directory on the web server. (Alternatively, you can do a similar thing by placing tags in the header section of your HTML for search engine robots/spiders to read. See ‘Optimizing your web ’ on p.22. for more information.)

Sandbox

Many SEO experts believe that Google ‘sandboxes’ new websites. Whenever it detects a new website, it withholds its rightful ranking for a period while it determines whether your site is a genuine, credible, long term site. It does this to discourage the creation of SPAM websites (sites which serve no useful purpose other than to boost the ranking of some other site). Likewise, if Google detects a sudden increase (i.e. many hundreds or thousands) in the number of links back to your site, it may sandbox them for a period (or in fact penalize you by lowering your ranking or blacklisting your site altogether).

SEO

Search Engine Optimization. The art of making your website relevant and important so that it ranks high in the search results for a particular word.

SEO copywriter

A ‘copywriter’ who is not only proficient at web copy, but also experienced in writing copy which is optimized for search engines (and will therefore help you achieve a better search engine ranking for your website).

search engine

A search engine is an online tool which allows you to search for websites which contain a particular word or phrase. The most well known search engines are Google, Yahoo, and MSN.

site map

A single page which contains a list of text links to every page in the site (and every page contains a text link back to the site map). Think of your site map as being at the center of a spider-web.

SPAM

Generally refers to unwanted and unrequested email sent en-masse to private email addresses. Also used to refer to websites which appear high in search results without having any useful content. The creators of these sites set them up simply to cash in on their high ranking by selling advertising space, links to other sites, or by linking to other sites of their own and thereby increasing the ranking of those sites. The search engines are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and already have very efficient ways to detect SPAM websites and penalize them.

spider

Google finds pages on the World Wide Web and records their details in its index by sending out ‘spiders’ or ‘robots’. These spiders make their way from page to page and site to site by following text links.

Sponsored Links

Paid advertising which displays next to the natural search results. Customers can click on the ad to visit the advertiser’s website. This is how the search engines make their money. Advertisers set their ads up to display whenever someone searches for a word which is related to their product or service. These ads look similar to the natural search results, but are normally labeled “Sponsored Links”, and normally take up a smaller portion of the window. These ads work on a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) basis (i.e. the advertiser only pays when someone clicks on their ad).

submit

You can submit your domain name to the search engines so that their ‘spiders’ or ‘robots’ will crawl your site. You can also submit articles to ‘article submission sites’ in order to have them published on the Internet.

text link

A word on a web page which the reader can click to visit another page. Text links are normally blue and underlined. Text links are what ‘spiders’ or ‘robots’ use to jump from page to page and website to website.

URL

Uniform Resource Locator. The address of a particular page published on the Internet. Normally in the form http://www.yourbusinessname.com/AWebPage.htm.

web copy

See ‘copy’.

web copywriter

A ‘copywriter’ who understands the unique requirements of writing for an online medium.

webmaster

A person responsible for the management of a particular website.

wordcount

The number of words on a particular web page.

World Wide Web (WWW)

The vast array of documents published on the Internet. It is estimated that the World Wide Web now consists of approximately 11.5 billion pages.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become an essential weapon in the arsenal of every online business. Unfortunately, for most business owners and marketing managers (and even many webmasters), it’s also somewhat of an enigma. This is partly due to the fact that it’s such a new and rapidly changing field, and partly due to the fact that SEO practitioners tend to speak in a language all of their own which, without translation, is virtually impenetrable to the layperson. This glossary seeks to remedy that situation, explaining specialist SEO terms in plain English…

AdWords

See ‘Sponsored Links’.

algorithm

A complex mathematical formula used by search engines to assess the relevance and importance of websites and rank them accordingly in their search results. These algorithms are kept tightly under wraps as they are the key to the objectivity of search engines (i.e. the algorithm ensures relevant results, and relevant results bring more users, which in turn brings more advertising revenue).

article PR

The submitting of free reprint articles to many article submission sites and article distribution lists in order to increase your website’s search engine ranking and Google PageRank. (In this sense, the “PR” stands for PageRank.) Like traditional public relations, article PR also conveys a sense of authority because your articles are widely published. And because you’re proving your expertise and freely dispensing knowledge, your readers will trust you and will be more likely to remain loyal to you. (In this sense, the “PR” stands for Public Relations.)

article distribution lists

User groups (e.g. Yahoo, MSN, Google, Smartgroups, and Topica groups) which accept email submissions of articles in text format, and then distribute these articles via email to all of the members of the group. See also ‘article PR’.

article submission sites

Websites which act as repositories of free reprint articles. Authors visit these sites to submit their articles free of charge, and webmasters visit to find articles to use on their websites free of charge. Article submission sites generate revenue by selling advertising space on their websites. See also ‘article PR’.

backlink

A text link to your website from another website. See also ‘link’.

copy

The words used on your website.

copywriter

A professional writer who specializes in the writing of advertising copy (compelling, engaging words promoting a particular product or service). See also ‘SEO copywriter’ and ‘web copywriter’.

crawl

Google finds pages on the World Wide Web and records their details in its index by sending out ‘spiders’ or ‘robots’. These spiders make their way from page to page and site to site by following text links. To a spider, a text link is like a door.

domain name

The virtual address of your website (normally in the form www.yourbusinessname.com). This is what people will type when they want to visit your site. It is also what you will use as the address in any text links back to your site.

ezine

An electronic magazine. Most publishers of ezines are desperate for content and gladly publish well written, helpful articles and give you full credit as author, including a link to your website.

Flash

A technology used to create animated web pages (and page elements).

free reprint article

An article written by you and made freely available to other webmasters to publish on their websites. See also ‘article PR’.

Google

The search engine with the greatest coverage of the World Wide Web, and which is responsible for most search engine-referred traffic. Of approximately 11.5 billion pages on the World Wide Web, it is estimated that Google has indexed around 8.8 billion. This is one reason why it takes so long to increase your ranking!

Google AdWords

See ‘Sponsored Links’.

Google PageRank

How Google scores a website’s importance. It gives all sites a mark out of 10. By downloading the Google Toolbar (from http://toolbar.google.com), you can view the PR of any site you visit.

Google Toolbar

A free tool you can download. It becomes part of your browser toolbar. It’s most useful features are it’s PageRank display (which allows you to view the PR of any site you visit) and it’s AutoFill function (when you’re filling out an online form, you can click AutoFill, and it enters all the standard information automatically, including Name, Address, Zip code/Postcode, Phone Number, Email Address, Business Name, Credit Card Number (password protected), etc.) Once you’ve downloaded and installed the toolbar, you may need to set up how you’d like it to look and work by clicking Options (setup is very easy). NOTE: Google does record some information (mostly regarding sites visited).

HTML

HTML (HyperText Markup Language) is the coding language used to create much of the information on the World Wide Web. Web browsers read the HTML code and display the page that code describes.

Internet

An interconnected network of computers around the world.

JavaScript

A programming language used to create dynamic website pages (e.g. interactivity).

keyword

A word which your customers search for and which you use frequently on your site in order to be relevant to those searches. This use known as targeting a keyword. Most websites actually target ‘keyword phrases’ because single keywords are too generic and it is very difficult to rank highly for them.

keyword density

A measure of the frequency of your keyword in relation to the total wordcount of the page. So if your page has 200 words, and your keyword phrase appears 10 times, its density is 5%.

keyword phrase

A phrase which your customers search for and which you use frequently on your site in order to be relevant to those searches.

link

A word or image on a web page which the reader can click to visit another page. There are normally visual cues to indicate to the reader that the word or image is a link.

link path

Using text links to connect a series of page (i.e. page 1 connects to page 2, page 2 connects to page 3, page 3 connects to page 4, and so on). Search engine ‘spiders’ and ‘robots’ use text links to jump from page to page as they gather information about it, so it’s a good idea to allow them traverse your entire site via text links. (See ‘Link paths’ on p.21. for further information.)

link partner

A webmaster who is willing to put a link to your website on their website. Quite often link partners engage in reciprocal linking.

link popularity

The number of links to your website. Link popularity is the single most important factor in a high search engine ranking. Webmasters use a number of methods to increase their site’s link popularity including article PR, link exchange (link partners / reciprocal linking), link buying, and link directories.

link text

The part of a text link that is visible to the reader. When generating links to your own site, they are most effective (in terms of ranking) if they include your keyword.

meta tag

A short note within the header of the HTML of your web page which describes some aspect of that page. These meta tags are read by the search engines and used to help assess the relevance of a site to a particular search.

natural search results

The ‘real’ search results. The results that most users are looking for and which take up most of the window. For most searches, the search engine displays a long list of links to sites with content which is related to the word you searched for. These results are ranked according to how relevant and important they are.

organic search results

See ‘natural search results’.

PPC (Pay-Per-Click advertising)

See ‘Sponsored Links’.

PageRank

See ‘Google PageRank’.

rank

Your position in the search results that display when someone searches for a particular word at a search engine.

reciprocal link

A mutual agreement between two webmasters to exchange links (i.e. they both add a link to the other’s website on their own website). Most search engines (certainly Google) are sophisticated enough to detect reciprocal linking and they don’t view it very favorably because it is clearly a manufactured method of generating links. Websites with reciprocal links risk being penalized.

robot

See ‘Spider’.

robots.txt file

A file which is used to inform the search engine spider which pages on a site should not be indexed. This file sits in your site’s root directory on the web server. (Alternatively, you can do a similar thing by placing tags in the header section of your HTML for search engine robots/spiders to read. See ‘Optimizing your web ’ on p.22. for more information.)

Sandbox

Many SEO experts believe that Google ‘sandboxes’ new websites. Whenever it detects a new website, it withholds its rightful ranking for a period while it determines whether your site is a genuine, credible, long term site. It does this to discourage the creation of SPAM websites (sites which serve no useful purpose other than to boost the ranking of some other site). Likewise, if Google detects a sudden increase (i.e. many hundreds or thousands) in the number of links back to your site, it may sandbox them for a period (or in fact penalize you by lowering your ranking or blacklisting your site altogether).

SEO

Search Engine Optimization. The art of making your website relevant and important so that it ranks high in the search results for a particular word.

SEO copywriter

A ‘copywriter’ who is not only proficient at web copy, but also experienced in writing copy which is optimized for search engines (and will therefore help you achieve a better search engine ranking for your website).

search engine

A search engine is an online tool which allows you to search for websites which contain a particular word or phrase. The most well known search engines are Google, Yahoo, and MSN.

site map

A single page which contains a list of text links to every page in the site (and every page contains a text link back to the site map). Think of your site map as being at the center of a spider-web.

SPAM

Generally refers to unwanted and unrequested email sent en-masse to private email addresses. Also used to refer to websites which appear high in search results without having any useful content. The creators of these sites set them up simply to cash in on their high ranking by selling advertising space, links to other sites, or by linking to other sites of their own and thereby increasing the ranking of those sites. The search engines are becoming increasingly sophisticated, and already have very efficient ways to detect SPAM websites and penalize them.

spider

Google finds pages on the World Wide Web and records their details in its index by sending out ‘spiders’ or ‘robots’. These spiders make their way from page to page and site to site by following text links.

Sponsored Links

Paid advertising which displays next to the natural search results. Customers can click on the ad to visit the advertiser’s website. This is how the search engines make their money. Advertisers set their ads up to display whenever someone searches for a word which is related to their product or service. These ads look similar to the natural search results, but are normally labeled “Sponsored Links”, and normally take up a smaller portion of the window. These ads work on a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) basis (i.e. the advertiser only pays when someone clicks on their ad).

submit

You can submit your domain name to the search engines so that their ‘spiders’ or ‘robots’ will crawl your site. You can also submit articles to ‘article submission sites’ in order to have them published on the Internet.

text link

A word on a web page which the reader can click to visit another page. Text links are normally blue and underlined. Text links are what ‘spiders’ or ‘robots’ use to jump from page to page and website to website.

URL

Uniform Resource Locator. The address of a particular page published on the Internet. Normally in the form http://www.yourbusinessname.com/AWebPage.htm.

web copy

See ‘copy’.

web copywriter

A ‘copywriter’ who understands the unique requirements of writing for an online medium.

webmaster

A person responsible for the management of a particular website.

wordcount

The number of words on a particular web page.

World Wide Web (WWW)

The vast array of documents published on the Internet. It is estimated that the World Wide Web now consists of approximately 11.5 billion pages.

Get a top 10 ranking without paying a cent

If there’s one thing that Google loves, it’s content. Done right, a content rich website is almost guaranteed to rank highly. But how to get that content? You can write it yourself, but that takes a lot of time. You can pay an SEO copywriter to write it for you, but that takes a lot of money. If only there was another option…

What if you could get your content for free? And not just a little bit of content; a lot! What if you could get an almost unlimited supply of keyword rich, expertly written content, specific to your subject matter, absolutely free of charge? Would you snap it up and upload to your site in an instant? Of course you would! Well here’s the good news: you can! Read on to find out how you can get a top ten ranking in the search engines without paying a single cent…

Yes, content gives you a great ranking

Content is king. This is widely acknowledged as fact, but if you need further convincing, consider the following two points:

Point 1 – In Google’s own words, one of the keys to a high ranking is to “create a useful, information-rich site” (from “Google Information for Webmasters” – http://www.google.com/webmasters/guidelines.html).

Point 2 – Google insider, codenamed ‘Google Guy’, advocates a list 26 steps to building a high ranking site. Step 5 of the list says, “build one page of content and put online per day at 200-500 words” (from Brett Tabke’s “26 steps to 15k a Day” – http://www.searchengineworld.com/misc/guide.htm, advocated by Google Guy in a WebMasterWorld QA session – http://www.webmasterworld.com/forum30/29727-6-10.htm).

But why does content give you a great ranking?

I won’t go into any further detail about IF Google loves content. I will, however, briefly explain WHY. Google’s love affair with content is based on two key attractions:

1) Google loves sites with a lot of content because it assumes they provide a lot of useful information. And remember, that’s the whole reason Google exists – to help people find useful information. The more helpful Google’s results, the more traffic (and revenue) it gets.

2) Google loves sites that have a lot of links pointing to them because this means other webmasters hold your site in high regard, and Google assumes this means the content is useful. And naturally, if you create a useful site, other webmasters will link to it because this makes them useful to their visitors (thereby developing site loyalty), and they gain credibility and authority because they’re associated with you.

So how can you get free content for your website?

Three words: ‘free reprint articles’. There are hundreds of thousands of people out there writing high quality, helpful, informative articles on virtually every topic imaginable, then giving these article away to any webmaster who wants to publish them on a website. In exchange for the article, the author asks only that you retain the author bio at the end, complete with all links (e.g. “Glenn Murray is an SEO Copywriter and Article Submission Specialist…).

To find free content for your website, simply visit any one of hundreds of ‘article banks’ on the Internet such as http://www.ezinearticles.com, http://www.goarticles.com, or http://www.articleblast.com. Browse or search for the subject you’re interested in, then take the article(s) for free. There is absolutely no charge. Some of these sites will even send a regular stream of articles direct to your website (using RSS).

Alternatively, you can sign up to any number of article distribution lists and get articles delivered direct to your email inbox. Again, it’s absolutely free! Some of the better known distribution lists include http://groups.yahoo.com/group/article_announce, http://finance.groups.yahoo.com/group/Free-Content, and http://groups.yahoo.com/group/Free-Reprint-Articles.

TIP: The article banks and distribution lists mentioned above are just the tip of the iceberg. There are hundreds more – just do a search for “free reprint articles”, “article submission”, “article submission site”, “submit article”, “article submit site”, “free articles”, or “free content”. You may even find a site or list which only deals in articles relating to your particular subject matter.

Why is it free?

Why are these authors giving their articles away? Because it helps the author’s own search engine ranking. It’s a promotional activity known as ‘article PR’. As explained above, Google loves sites with lots of links pointing to them. Every time their article submission is published, the author gets another link to their website. In fact, if the article is really good, it may be published hundreds of times. And each time, it’s another link to the author’s website. Put simply, article submission is a writer’s free pass to the top of the search engines. (In this sense, the “PR” in article PR stands for PageRank.)

Furthermore, like traditional public relations, article PR also conveys a sense of authority because your articles are widely published. And because you’re proving your expertise and freely dispensing knowledge, your readers will trust you and will be more likely to remain loyal to you. (In this sense, the “PR” in article PR stands for Public Relations.)

How do I know if the quality is good?

It’s a process of natural selection. The better the article submission, the more often it will be published, so it’s in the author’s interest to write and submit articles of the highest quality. Of course, this doesn’t always happen, but in most cases, you’ll be reviewing the articles before you post them anyway, so if you discover one that’s not up to scratch, don’t use it.

In time, you’ll become familiar with the authors who consistently put out good quality content – you may even find enough of them that you don’t need to go looking for content from anyone else…

Where do I put the free content?

Most people put the articles in an ‘Articles’ or ‘Resources’ section on their website, but you can put them anywhere you like.

How much free content should I use?

As much as you want or as little as you want. It all depends on your needs and the needs of your audience. If your audience expects that at least some of your site is original content, then give it to them.

But what about the duplicate content issue?

It’s not an issue!

There’s a lot of a talk about how Google penalizes duplicate content. The theory is that when the majority of the content on two separate webpages (on different sites) is the same, the one with the higher PR will be shown and the other one will not.

Whether or not this theory is true is still a hot topic in search engine circles, but regardless, it doesn’t affect people publishing free-reprint articles. When you publish the article, just make sure you have unique content around it. Generally, it’s enough to have your own unique introduction to the page (which may be common to all pages), and your own navigation elements, headers, footers, sidebars, logos, images, etc.

Conclusion

Free reprint articles are a great way for you to achieve a high ranking. And you don’t have to pay a cent! So what are you waiting for?

Happy reprinting!

Pay Per Performance Web Traffic

Why should you pay to get web site traffic, isn’t SEO enough?

It’s a fair question – after all most businesses on and offline have tight budgets to play with and need to make each and every penny count.
So why should you as a business pay good money to drive targeted traffic to your site?

Perhaps there’s a clue in the last question.

What other options are there?

You have 3 basic choices to get traffic to your website:

1. You pay – using PPC, ezine ads, banners etc…
2. You borrow – constructing Joint Ventures and endorsed offers with partners
3. You grow your own – with natural search engine optimization

So which is the best?
———————

Well they all do a different job and have different characteristics.

But why PPC?

You need PPC because you can:

* Control the flow of traffic to your website
* Target buying customers and those most likely to buy through correct keyword targeting
* Test different offers

The last benefit above is perhaps the most important. Remember a page on a website doesn’t have to stay recorded online forever…

Just because you’ve completed your site in terms of the pages you want to add (although in truth you’ll never be finished as you can continually add more related content), this does not preclude you from testing other pages…

The value of testing
——————–

Simple scenario: You want to test 2 price points for a product/service. (Yes you can do this and people don’t have to know about it so don’t be worried).

With a PPC campaign you can have your normal web page (Page A) sitting as normal at the well known web address with all of your normal links pointing to it.

You 2 price point test pages (Page B & C) are a different kettle of fish – they sit off to the side and you push traffic to them using PPC to quickly determine which is the winner.

You can do this for any test you dream up, the bottom line is you can quickly determine what is working and what is not in your marketing.

Knowing what’s not working is more important than what is (particularly if you are sailing close to the wind) because you SAVE money you would otherwise have thrown away.

The Affiliate Advantage
———————–

When you have a website that is converting well, you will be able to attract many affiliates (and even super affiliates if you are doing a good enough job and providing a good enough incentive package).

Affiliates can make your business explode overnight if you have done your homework and have the site converting well.

If you have not you may attract them, they may pump some traffic and then they will disappear to pastures new when they see you are not doing a good job.

In summary
———-

If I could give you one reason why you should use PPC and in particular Google Adwords as part of your internet marketing campaign it would be this:

“Feedback fast, feedback cheap”

Yes you may spend a little money up front, but you can save yourself a whole lot of heartache on the back end.

Using Free Reprint Articles – Some Questions Answered

Recently I read an article discussing the merits of using free reprint articles on your website to increase your search engine ranking. (The article explained how Google loves lots of content on your site, how it loves that content to be regularly updated, and how you can get lots of keyword rich content for your site, absolutely free. See http://www.divinewrite.com/Top_Ranking_Free.htm .)

A few days after publishing, The author received a mail  ‘please help’ email from Loren, a small business owner. Her website is all about glass art (http://www.headchangearts.com ), and she wanted some clarification on some of the points I made in my previous article. Loren’s questions were good ones, and the answers important, so I thought I’d publish them.

Q: We have a site for glass art. From your article, I gather that if I create an articles page with free reprint articles (written by other people) containing ‘glass art’ type keywords, I’ll get higher search rankings for those keywords? Is that correct? If so, what page comes up in the rankings? The article itself or my Home page? Also, if the article is being used by other webmasters, won’t the search results also include their version of the article?

A: In answer to your first question, yes, having an articles page with keyword rich free reprint articles generally has the effect of increasing your ranking. Google thinks highly of sites with a lot of helpful content, but it all comes down to whether other webmasters do as well. If your site contains heaps of helpful content about glass art, other webmasters in the glass art field (be they suppliers, distributors, or competitors) will be inclined to link to you simply because that link implies (to their customers) an association with you. That association boosts their credibility because you’re obviously an authority in the field. It also may help their own search engine ranking a little as Google will then see them as part of an expert, credible community of sites (although the benefits of this for the linking site are minimal and arguable). So, in a roundabout way, I’m saying that yes, article-based content can help your ranking, but only if it increases the likelihood that other related sites will link to yours.

As to the question of which page (the article itself or your home page) displays in search results, that really depends on which page has the most links to it*. If you have an article which is just THE BEST source of info in the industry, and everyone’s linking to it, that page will display in the search results. This is good because people who click on this result are interested specifically in the content of the article. So when your website displays, they get the information they want, and they’ll be pleased. And assuming your navigation is clear and easy to use, it is likely they’ll at least visit your home page.

And finally, yes, if other sites have published the same article, they may display in the results alongside you. The same is true of the original author’s website. But it’s important to remember that, generally, the site with the highest PR will rank highest in the results, and it’s this site that most users will visit. You just need to work hard to make sure that’s you! For an example of how this works, do a search for a very specific term related to the article of mine which you’ve obviously read. Search Google worldwide for “Google’s love affair with content” (including the quotes). You’ll notice that the no.1 result is actually a page on EzineArticles.com which contains my article. The page on my site (DivineWrite.com) containing the article only ranks no.2. This is because EzineArticles.com has a higher PR than DivineWrite.com, and overall, the keywords are considered more relevant to the rest of the content on their site than they are to mine. Obviously, this means that a good article can display several times in the same search results, but that’s OK – it simply adds to the perceived authority of the article and the sites containing it.

* Above I say that the page that displays in the results will be the one with the most links to it. There are some complicating factors here. For instance, the text in a link plays a big part in how effective that link is. A link to your site that says “Click here” or “check this site out”, won’t do you as much good as a link which says “Glass Art sales” or “glass art creator”. So if lots of people are linking to the page containing the article, but the text in their links is generic, then that page may not rank as highly as a page with fewer – more keyword rich – links pointing to it. Of course, this assumes that both pages are equally well optimized for search engines and for the same keyword phrases.

I know that the above is a very specific question and the answer is full of ifs and buts, but hopefully this exchange will answer a few questions for a few people.

Happy reprinting!