Tag Archives: Keywords

Different Kinds Of Keywords

Keyword can be classified into three categories :

-Single word Keyword
-Multiple word Keyword
-Keywords based on Theme

Keyword(s) are basic raw material used in Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Keyword selection or Keyword Research as it is called technically, where we use special tools to find out a list of Keywords (search terms) searched by targeted audience, recently. Keyword can be single word, two or three words, multiple words and theme based.

Lets detail each of these one by one . Understanding these categories of keywords would also help one to decide as to their targeting on specific pages.

#Keyword of Single word

Keyword of Single word is used to target a large traffic but leads to highly competition category of sites. Keyword of Single word are known as generic Keyword(s) where we target general audience. Keyword of Single word does not help to target a specific page for a specific audience.

Although, Keyword of Single word helps in bringing huge traffic but these terms are mostly not relevant these days, as, searchers mostly use two or three keyword to find out their required information.

Instead single word keywords are good theme keywords.

We can use these primary keyword 5 to 7 times in a web page for good theme according of a site. The inside pages of the site can qualify these themes into product or service categories by adding qualifiers to these theme keywords.

Example:

Keyword “Services” will produce result of all the web sites related to Services which can be United States Department of Health and Human Services, The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services, direct Services, online Services, offline Services, Indian Services, American Services, food Services, agricultural Services, business Services, free Services, paid Services, etc.

#Keyword of Multiple words

Keyword of Multiple words is used to target a specific traffic, which leads to high sale, top position in search result listing as well as improves page rank competition. Keyword of Multiple words are known as Specific Keyword(s) where we target a specific audience & not general searcher. Keyword of Multiple words helps to target a specific page for a specific audience.

Keyword of Multiple words, more often than not are location specific and related to geographic area of your intended services or products.

#Keywords based on Theme

Keyword based on Theme are used to target a highly targeted audience, which leads to quick high sale, top position in search result listing as well as boosts page rank. Keywords based on Theme are known as Conceptual Keyword(s).

Keywords based on Theme consists all possible primary Keywords related to the web site therefore attracts high traffic of targeted audience. Keywords based on Theme add quality by providing Keyword Rich Text to search engines, which improve results and provide targeted search result listings.

Keywords based on Theme are used in each page of web site to focus on a specific topic correlated to a targeted topic or idea (theme). Keywords based on Theme effectively contribute in growth of informative pages for its site focusing on different related topics.

SEO Advertisting & Pay Per Click PPC

Advertising can be an easy way to break into the internet but there are many downsides to it. Unless you are running a community based site, have a site offering very unique content, a valuable service or product the traffic usually only comes as long as your paying for it. Of course ad campaigns can also be very expensive to run and maintain so you need to be sure your squeezing everything you can out of it. You should only proceed with a ad campaign if you are positive your site is the best it can be, otherwise you may just be pouring money away. There are thousands of companies on the internet who offer to provide you with ad campaigns, many of which never deliver, do not let any of these points put you off advertising.

If you want quality traffic with affordable prices you are recommended to stick with the major search engines and their partners. Google Adwords, Overture and MSN are all well respected companies which will deliver you the best traffic. All of the fore mentioned websites use pay per click systems which can be perfect as they drive traffic with keywords you specify directly at your site, these advertisers are all interlinked with the main search engines so you should expect to get the most widespread sections of the population from them. Because they have the traffic numbers to support ad campaigns there can sometimes be bidding wars on popular keywords, I advise you to stay away from popular keywords and do your research. Overture provides a free Keyword Selector Tool which can help you find out how much traffic similar keywords receive each month, these are usually a lot cheaper and still provide the same high quality traffic.

As I mentioned before advertising wont necessarily mean a good flow of traffic after you stop paying, other routes of advertising can mean you get listed in a search engines immediately for a set fee. Yahoo offers the ability to pay for a index within their search engine or directory, although your site still needs to abide by the same rules as other sites it gives you the opportunity to get indexed immediately within the search engine, a more subtle way of advertising power. Alternatively you can find quality sites that are related to yours on Sitepoint.com and WebHostingTalk.com who may be willing to put a one way link up for a nominal fee.

You may find websites on the internet offering “banner exchanges”, “free traffic” and other such promises, I wouldn’t look at them twice unless you want to lose out. The traffic they send you is of the worst quality, many of these websites operate bots, own networks of link farms and even pay people to visit your site. This of course means that no one being referred from these sites are actually interested in your content or services, in worst case scenarios you may even end up being banned from search engines due to these malicious sites. Even if they are reputable companies it is hard to judge whether they will work for you, many of the smaller search engine companies simply do not get the traffic to give you value for money.

SEO Success: Step One is Good Web Design

Creating a well-designed website is the first step in your internet marketing strategy. Once the website has been created and optimized, there are further techniques to employ that will drive traffic to your website for successful, long-term results. You wouldn’t consider opening a retail store in a major shopping mall without signage and you shouldn’t consider having a nice looking website designed without expanding your web presence in order to be found on the internet. But unless the website is designed correctly to begin with, follow-on SEO efforts will have limited results at best. The following strategy overview is designed to bring about productive SEO results:

– Create an attractive website that is complementary to your company image and provides your targeted audience with information about you, your company and your products and/or services.

– Design a website that has a call-to-action in the form of a purchase or providing you a contact, subscription or other commitment from your visitor.

– Create a successful marketing arm for your overall business promotion and marketing campaign to promote your business, products and/or services with the many follow-on strategies that drive traffic to your website.

– Become competitive in your industry and marketplace by meeting or exceeding the industry marketing standards and attracting a qualified audience for your products and/or services based on a strong reputation.

– Generate and maintain or grow internet traffic to your website resulting in a conversion of traffic into sales of your products and/or services by evolving as your market demands.

This search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is composed of several processes in three stages: 1) Good web design, 2) Attracting attention from search engines and directories, and 3) Creating long-term popularity on the internet. However, it all starts with good web design. Website design is the foundation and beginning of a successful internet marketing strategy. It is true that there are websites on the internet that are unattractive but somehow seem to work. If there are aspects of these websites that work, imagine how well they could do if they simply followed basic design implementation tactics that resulted in a good image as well as simply pushed information out to the viewer.

These basics are essential for Tier 1 success:

– Good web design will complement and enhance the company image and offline marketing campaign products creating a corporate branding if done well.

– Easy, logical navigation that leads the viewer deeper and deeper into the web of information provided by the website will keep the visitor on your site longer and give you more time to sell your products or services.

– Attractive but quick-loading graphics that are pleasing to the eye and meaningful to the website will guide the viewer along the route you decide is important for explaining what you offer.

Keyword usage that is search engine-friendly depends on how the keywords are utilized, the placement of the keywords, the frequency of the most important keywords and their relevance to the website.

– Website coding that is lean, clean and without errors will keep the search engines happy and your viewer seeing exactly what you intended to offer.

– Relevance of content to the theme of the site is essential. Be concise, to the point and focus on your goals. If you have multiple themes and offerings, consider multiple websites to address the different markets, then tie each website back to the others by linking.

– Changing content that changes frequently and stays fresh keeps your viewer returning and prevents the search engines from treating your website as if it were stale news. A stale site will be ranked lower by the search engines.

Content is king — it’s all about content, content, content. But how that content is presented is what makes the difference.

Marketing Your Business – How Do I Adapt To The Internet?

The way we do business is changing rapidly. From VOIP, video conferencing, email support, telephone answering services, and the almighty internet. As a business owner we are faced with hundreds of decisions our parents and grandparents never had to contend with.

Some of you keep hearing from other business associates that internet marketing is the greatest method of increasing business and building a foundation for customer support. The only problem is, you’ve just learned how to send emails to people! Never mind learning about SEO, web design strategies, content analysis, pay per click, ROI, etc!

Do you hire an SEO company or do you learn yourself?

Investing time into your company is what we business owners do best but, in many cases, when it comes to learning new methods we quickly open our wallets to anyone out there who seems like the right person to help with your situation. This is the worst possible decision you can make.

Diving into the internet marketing community with your wallet open will result in a disaster if you aren’t properly trained on how to spend your money wisely. The key is not to hire an SEO (Search Engine Optimization) company to take your money and promote your business behind your back. Try finding someone who offers you their “training services” in order to train yourself or someone within your organization to learn more about what is required online, how much effort it entails, and what pitfalls to avoid.

As a business owner, if you blindly search online and pick a company, you have no idea what you could be getting yourself into. There are no secrets to promoting your business online, only a lot of hard work. That being said, anyone with a computer can easily learn how to get their company high search engine rankings. Search engines don’t look to see whether or not you’re running a scam. No, they are concentrated on delivering relevant results for your search terms.

Old Fashioned Marketing Tactics:

In the old days (and still practiced today), business owners would devise their own marketing plan through print media, business cards, postcards, fliers, brochures, newspapers, magazines, TV ads, and radio ads. By doing this, the company could track their results by trial and error and really find out what truly works for their industry.

Old fashioned marketing is a simple trial and error process. So is the internet. Unfortunately, all too many business owners don’t have a clue how to start their own internet marketing process and they fail to even put their foot in the water. Instead, many business owners simply hire anyone they can find that seems reputable and then turn a blind eye and say; “Here’s my budget, you are the professional, you tell me what to do”. This is simply preposterous. You’ve worked so hard to get to where you are now by learning and adapting and as soon as it comes to marketing your business online, you simply shut down.

I hope that this article has awoken some of you. Don’t be afraid to dive into the internet’s vast realm of marketing potential. So what if you fail the first time around. When we started out, we had no idea what we were doing, 3 years later our website ranks higher than many other internet marketing companies world wide.

The ULTIMATE secret to internet marketing is simple…

A concept I call “T.I.M.E.”

T – Try and try again
I – Internet changes all the time
M – Marketing opportunities are around every corner
E – Eventually you too can succeed

Think of it this way (Illustration only)

Here is a time line of your internet marketing campaign:

Start date – Research only: June 7th, 2009
Hired a website designer – August 31st, 2009
Website Complete – October 15th, 2009
Website launch – October 20th, 2009

Started an internet marketing campaign – November 1st, 2009
Started a Pay Per Click campaign – November 10th, 2009
Made a sale – November 15th, 2009

Increased our website’s link popularity – January 1st, 2010
Website gets hit by the Google Sandbox Effect – January 20th, 2010
Increased our Pay Per Click campaign – February 5th, 2010

Made some changes to the website – February 21st, 2010
Increase the website’s link popularity – February 28th, 2010
Got listed in the Yahoo directory – March 3rd, 2010

So here you are 10 months out of the gate and your website may still be “locked in the Google sandbox” ( Search for “Google Sandbox” in Google for an explanation). Your link popularity is just starting to grow a little bit. Hopefully you haven’t tried to link to everyone you can find and are actually linking to companies that are directly related to your business. Your PPC campaign is doing good. People are finally starting to come through Yahoo & MSN search results. You can sometimes find your company in the 200th spot within search results in Google and you are now wondering why this is taking so long.

Welcome to the world of marketing your company on the internet!!!

This time line representation from above is just something to show you how “T.I.M.E.” is the key of success on the internet and all we are required to do is keep plugging away and keep learning more every chance we get.

For most people who simply open up their wallets, they would have learned nothing in those 10 months and for everyone else starting an internet marketing campaign, those who didn’t simply just open their wallets, their websites are probably 10 times further than yours!

In Conclusion:

Learn more about how to increase your marketing campaign on the internet. If you have to, hire someone in-house who can learn for you and give you updates on everything. If you truly need to hire an SEO company make sure it’s for the right reasons like “starting and finishing a marketing campaign with you learning in the process”, or “enhancing a campaign that is already in place”, or “to revise your website’s conversion rate” or “create a full impact  key word optimization campaign”, etc. Take your time and use “T.I.M.E.” to increase your business slowly but effectively on the internet.

Keywords Finalization Methodology

To arrive at the set of keywords that:

Describe business correctly (are relevant)
Attract traffic (are popular & are searched for)
Have less competition (are relatively un-optimized for )

Steps

Step I:
Lets start by saying that the for the keyword finalization of a web site the first step is to device the theme of the web site. The keywords then should be generated which are in sync with the theme structure of the site. The home pages & the other higher level pages should target more general(main theme)keywords. The deeper pages (embedded in sub directories or sub domains) should target more specific & qualified keywords.

Once the sites themes & sub-themes are done, lets start by looking for the keywords

StepII:

The finalization of the keywords for any given site can be done in the following way:

Generation of the seed keywords for the site (theme keywords).

Expansion of the seed keywords into key-phrases by adding qualifiers (sub theme keywords)

Generating a larger set of keywords by word play on the key-phrases generated in step II.(sub theme targeting)

Lets take them one by one:

SEED Keywords/Primary keywords:

The seed keywords can be generated by either of the ways mentioned below:

The client provides the terms he feels are relevant to his business.

The SEO firm generates the seed words by understanding the business domain & the business model of the client.

Some outside domain consultant provides them.

Another way of generating seed keywords is to look for the meta tags of the competition web sites.

WARNING: do not place any unnecessary emphasis on these tags. Use them just to generate you seed keywords list.

If one has certain set of keywords then tools like WT & Overture can also be used to arrive at the other relevant seed keywords.

Typically seed keywords are single word.
A good number of seed Keywords is between 10-12.

SUB theme Keywords (add Qualifiers)

Now to these seed keywords add qualifiers.

These qualifiers can be anything location/sub-product/color/part no/activity/singular etc.

By utilizing these qualifiers one can expand the list of the seed keywords.
Say a good number would be anywhere between 20-30.

Typically a sub theme key phrase could be of 2-3 -4 word length.

One recent study suggests that

The typical searcher often uses longer queries. Many contain more than three words. Within three different search engines, keyword distribution data tells a compelling story:

Words in Query Look Smart (%) Ask.com (%) Teoma (%)
1 27.00 12.76 38.04
2 33.00 22.46 29.59
3 23.00 19.34 18.13
4 10.00 11.89 8.00
5 7.00* 7.86 3.51
6 – 6.19 1.39
7 – 5.47 0.63

Look Smart does not report beyond 5 search terms, instead grouping five or more terms into one category.

Approximately 40 percent of queries in Look Smart have three or more words. About 32 percent in Teoma have three or more. Ask Jeeves has an even higher skew, nearly 62 percent, because of its natural language focus. Within FAST, the database that powers Lycos and others, the average is 2.5 terms. That suggests a similar frequency distribution to LookSmart and Teoma.

Hence we can keep the average length of sub theme keywords at around 3.

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.

SEO – Natural Linking Strategies

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be the difference between a small, barely profitable or visible website and a traffic magnet website. There are a lot of ways, both good and bad, to influence the search engines. Some search engines react to certain strategies better than others. Some even have conflicting strategies that they react to. To document all of these things would require a significant number of pages and research that goes beyond the scope of this article.

However, there are a number of things that can be documented that will work for most if not all search engines. And let’s face it; there are really only 3 that make a difference between a successful and an unsuccessful SEO strategy. They are the big three: Google, Yahoo and MSN. These three search engines in any given month are responsible for over 90% of all internet searches.

So, what is this article about? It’s about what you can do as a website owner that will influence the search engines using commonly accepted practices of linking to other websites (outbound) and getting website links (inbound) back to you. There are basically 4 strategies that a website owner usually will employ to increase their website value in the eyes of the search engine. They are reciprocal linking, one-way linking, multi-site linking and directory linking. A website owner should not think that using just a single strategy is the right answer – sure it will help your SEO but it won’t be the Best answer. The Best answer is to employ all 4 techniques and to do it naturally.

Each of the four linking strategies has specific descriptions that can be summed up as:
1. Reciprocal Linking = Site A links to Site B, Site B links back to Site A
2. One-Way Linking = Site B links to Site A
3. Multi-Site Linking = Site A links to Site B, Site B links to Site C, Site C links to Site D, and Site D links back to Site A. Could be 3..N number of sites involved.
4. Directory Linking = Site Directory A links to Site A

That seems simple enough but it takes time and effort to perform all 4 strategies and most website owners aren’t willing to spend the time or don’t have the time to spend on it. As a website owner, SEO needs to be one of the highest priority tasks that you need to address, just after Order Processing and Fulfillment and Customer Service. Without free traffic from the search engines, other traffic generation strategies that usually require payment must be engaged.

Now doing the 4 strategies above is great, but it gets even harder because you have to do it in a way that doesn’t trigger the search engines to enforce a penalty upon your website. No one except the search engine engineers know all of the exact penalties but we have some good theories for some of them.

The first is the rate at which links are created. There is a certain threshold for creating links that is too fast. It’s possible that the threshold is a sliding scale and is related to the age of the website according to the engine. For example, a young low-traffic website should not normally be getting 1000 links a month whereas an older website that gets a lot of traffic could be OK to get 1000 links a month. As you progress in your linking strategies make sure you keep this in mind, especially if you are thinking about buying links.

The second is that having a link to every site that links to you will likely reduce the value of the links. In other words, if all you ever get is Reciprocal Linking, you will likely move up the SERP’s (Search Engine Results Page’s) but you won’t reach your sites full potential. Having a mixture of all 4 strategies will appear more natural to the engines.

The third is having all inbound links to your site on “linking” pages will make those links less valuable than having a natural link on a contextually relative page for a percentage of the inbound links. The higher you can drive this context percentage, the better your website will rank. These types of links are often some of the most difficult links to generate an exchange for because it requires more time and effort for both website owners.

The fourth is to have links inbound from all different ranking sites. If all you have linking to you is page rank 6 and 7 sites then you are likely to be sending the message that you purchased your links and that is not natural to the engines. Some would argue that purchasing links for driving traffic is just fine and it is. However, you should not expect the search engines to give those inbound links very much weight when calculating your SERP positions. It is significantly more natural for you to have a large number of rank 1 and 2 inbound links and a decreasing number of inbound links as you move up the page rank scale (0 – 10).

The fifth is to have the text of you inbound links varied. It isn’t natural to have every website that links to you to have the same text on the link description. The natural tendency would be to have a certain percent be the sites name, but after that it should be a wide variety of description. Your link text description is a key factor for how your site/page will rank, so make sure that you keep that in mind as you specify your preferred link text description on your website.

Finally, it would be best for a good percentage of your inbound links to appear within the text of a page that appears natural for the reader of that site. And for those links to not all point back to the home page of your website. It’s most natural for a good high quality link to appear in the text of a page and have it point internally within your site.

So, when you begin or continue your SEO activities keep all of these things in mind and don’t be impatient. Impatience could incur penalties or worse. Your website could end up in the “sandbox”. It is rumored and becoming more concrete that Google supposedly uses a sandbox that questionable sites are put in until they have aged to a point that Google no longer feels that they are being manipulated. Many of the search engines use similar protection schemes to eliminate spam sites and manipulation sites to keep their SERP’s from being cluttered.

Search Engine Optimization – Inside Google Page Rank

At present Google is the leading worldwide search engine, it supports multiple languages and has one of the most sophisticated search engine algorithms around. If you bear in mind Google’s unprecedented popularity and simplicity you will see that your site needs to master its rankings for your particular key phrases, this will usual mean that other search engines catch on to your website with similar positioning. It isn’t easy to understand such a complex system but you need to master it to give your site an edge in an increasingly demanding market.

Google is a mystery as far as search engine theories go, you essentially have to try and understand what makes one site rank better than another. Although the aforementioned algorithms are constantly changing Google themselves have shown link backs play a large roll in a search engines view of any web page, in order to do well a website needs to have links from other sites directly to it. Not only that the websites that link to it are usually respected by search engines themselves. Page Rank is Google’s own measure of a website, there is much speculation on how it is composed but a key factor is proven to be back links, below is a scale that is widely believed to be the backbone of how it judges your website. The amount of Page Rank distributed around the internet is believed average at 1 for every website, thats why we begin this at Page Rank 2.

PR 2 = 0-6 Link backs

PR 3 = 6-60 Link backs

PR 4 = 60-600 Link backs

PR 5 = 600-6000 Link backs

PR 6 = 6000-60000 Link backs

PR 7 = 60000-600000 Link backs

PR 8 = 600000-6000000 Link backs

PR 9 = 6000000-60000000 Link backs

PR 10 = 60000000-600000000 Link backs

We used a base number of 6 for this example although it is disputed whether it could be 5 or lower. The amount of back links your website receives plays a large role within your search engine positioning but a strong anchor text and title tag for your links is also key to success, you can see how to do this as demonstrated below.

a href=”http://www.linkhere” title=”Keyword Title Text” Keyword Anchor Text

Page Rank analysis more than link backs. External links are known to “leak” page rank from your website, in simple terms – your website can cast one vote against each websites it links to, if these are external links it takes from a pool of Page Rank that your website has to offer. It is recommended you either seek reciprocal links from websites you link to or use other methods like java script to prevent your Page Rank from being dispersed from your website.

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!

Creative Search Engine Optimization – A Case Study

Search engine optimization this and search engine optimization that. You read and hear about it all day, but what about your site? While there are plenty of articles providing useful information, this article shows you how a real world example met with success. The point of this article is to emphasize creativity when approaching tough optimization situations.

Problems for BusinessTaxRecovery.com

In November of 2004, our firm took on the seo marketing for BusinessTaxRecovery.com. The site was being promoted through offline activities and pay-per-click campaigns. No effort had been made to achieve high rankings in Google, Yahoo or MSN.

Keyword analysis revealed that combinations of the root keywords, “business” and “tax” were going to be difficult to attack. The primary problem concerned government agencies with web sites. The IRS site, for instance, had roughly 9,680 inbound links and an absolute ton of content. State agencies weren’t far behind. The California tax agency site had roughly 7,000 inbound links and, again, tons of content.

For a final nail in the coffin, the client informed us the business was cyclical with the busiest months being January through April when people focused on taxes. The site absolutely had to rank highly during this period. We had two months to achieve results.

Gulp!

The Solution for BusinessTaxRecovery.com – 140,000 Hits

After staring at a Salvador Dali painting for a few hours, we came up with a solution. It involved a combination of internal site page focus, meta tag optimization, link exchange and massive article promotion. The results produced 145,828 hits from January through April, with only 5,000 coming from the pay-per-click program.

The first step was to change the focus of the site from the home page to the article page. Jumping the tax agency sites on keywords such as business tax and taxes was impossible in two months, so we didn’t even try. Instead, we decided to focus on the keyword phrase “business tax articles” and bring people into the site through the article page. Meta tags were optimized and a link exchange program undertaken. The key to campaign, however, was a strong article promotion campaign.

Since taxes are confusing, it seemed obvious that an article campaign focusing on tax information would meet with success. Boy, did it. Approximately 35 articles were written, published and submitted to article directories. Since the articles were timely, they were snapped up and published. The articles produced direct traffic to the site as well as numerous inbound links because of the link created in the article byline.

As for the search engines, we focused on everything but Google. We expected nothing from Google because the major content and meta tag changes would take six to eight months to show results per the usual practices of Google. In reality, it didn’t matter. The Yahoo and MSN search engines produced big time.

In mid-January, the site went to number 1 on MSN under “business tax articles.” By the end of January, Yahoo was also listing it as number 1. MSN started listing it at number 1 for “tax articles” in February. The combination of these listings produced a significant amount of traffic, conversions and a very happy client.

Can we go on cruise control now? No! With the end of the tax season, the traffic to the articles page of the site has dropped by 75%. Nobody is looking for tax information after April 15th, so this is hardly surprising. The promotion of the article page was simply a short-term solution to a difficult situation. While it should produce traffic during the first quarter of each subsequent year, it is not a year-around solution.

Over the next six months, we will focus on the long-term goal of jumping over the tax agency sites for keywords such as “business taxes”, etc. It is going to take a lot of patience, but will eventually produce a significant amount of business for the client.

Creativity is often the key to conquering seo situations. Blindly slapping up new meta tags and links isn’t always the best answer. Sometimes, a little pre-emptive consideration can yield amazing results. It did in this case.