Link Popularity – The Easiest Ways To Do It

June 19, 2007

The easiest way to generate links for yourself, in people either linking to you or contacting you to link to them is…..WRITE COMPELLING CONTENT! That’s it!! People should come to your site and even if they don’t generate a “sale” for you, they should leave feeling either happy or informed.

Informative content is the easiest way to get people to link to you. Make it seem like your main focus is not just selling your product, but also informing the consumer about the product. If you have to go out and contact other webmasters about a possible link exchange, they are much more likely to link up with you if you have COMPELLING CONTENT! What a concept – If you write it(quality at least!) they will come. Just like the movie – sort of.

Just remember though, in terms of ranking relevance, when people are linking to you and you are spidered, it says that you are “Very Important”! But when you return the link, or exchange links, with another site and you are spidered, it says that you are “Not that Important”. Makes sense though right? With COMPELLING CONTENT more people will want to link to you because you are a better information resource than they are. It gives you a lot of leverage when just starting out and really helps you build your online momentum much quicker than someone whose site really offers nothing that sets them apart from the next guy.

And having a properly SEO’d site doesn’t hurt either! As you get more and more links, try to keep outbound links relevant to your vertical. Which mean, don’t link to rubberducks.com if you are selling car tires because a spider will lower your relevance because it sees rubberducks.com which has absolutely nothing to do with what you are offering…

More later….Questions, comments, SEGA!

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SEO – Search Engine Optimization – Why are People So Dumb…

June 19, 2007

SEO is a word many people are throwing around these days. If you don’t know what it is and you currently own an online business, affiliate site, or whatever it is you own, more than likely you are not making as much money as you really can be. Why is that? It’s simple really – SEO means search engine optimization, or in laymans terms, making your site “relevant” to the search engine spiders sent out by Google and Yahoo that determines how you rank for a particular keyword or keyword phrase.

There are numerous other search engines out there, but there are reasons why the majority of people use either Google or Yahoo when they are searching for a particular product, service, location, or whatever
you happen to be searching for. The top three are Google, Yahoo, and MSN respectively in terms of search volume. For my purposes here I am not going to mention MSN because they forced me to get Vista on my new laptop and it really irked me so they get no more free mentions from me! Microsoft already makes quality software, so stick to that because your guy’s live search gets two thumbs down from me! If I had more hands I’d give it four thumbs down! The milk has gone sour…now show Charlie Murphy your algorithm MSN!!

Quick rundown on how the search engines rank your site. MAGIC! Just kidding! Using Google as an example, it is a combination of the age of your site, how many inbound and outbound links your site is receiving, how keywords are used in your title tags, alt tags, meta data, etc, and how the keywords are used in the actual on-page content(words) and links throughout the site itself.

Anyways, Google and Yahoo would much rather you use their sponsored listings for featuring your products, but let’s face it, that can cost alot of money for most companies. When you optimize a site it means using keywords that you know are relevant to the services that you are offering. For instance if your company sells “bobblehead dolls”, then it would be financially beneficial for you to rank for that term because anytime someone goes to a search engine and types in “bobblehead dolls” you want to be in the top ten listings that they see, preferably at the number one ranking.

Now proper SEO always begins at the initial building of your website in everything from how you name your folders to the alt tags applied to photos that you use as well. You need to research the traffic on all keywords that are going to be relevant to services that your company is going to be offering to find out what would best suite your SEO needs. You are also going to have to research your competition to see if there is any particular reason why they are ranking for the keywords they are ranking for. Many times companies are there only because of the age of their site, the competition is not that tough for those keywords, or they unknowingly did SEO to their site.

Now after researching keywords from the companies perspective, you then must put yourself in the shoes of your customer as well. The things is, as most online marketers know already, the online world brings every different personality to the table when it comes to searching. Some people search grammatically correct, while some don’t. Some people know exactly what they are looking for, while again, some don’t. This does not always directly relate to how you initially SEO the site, but it is always good to know as much about how your customer thinks as possible because that is always going to help in the long run.

Most companies put together their website only thinking about how it looks and functions to them. With the onset of the growing SEO world, now a smart company thinks about three things. How does this site look to me, how does this site look and function for my customer, and most important when SEOing, how does this site look to the search engine spiders? Lets face it, the only company that still has a fully Flash website and is always going to make money regardless is the Jordan site. I mean if I had worldwide brand recognition for not only my company name, but logo as well, I probably wouldn’t care either. Until someone in the basketball world becomes more well known worldwide than Michael Jordan and starts a successful shoe company, I think he has that market cornered.

Keywords are what you are trying to rank for so it is important that the spiders can see as many as these relevant keywords as possible throughout your sites visual and coded layout. No don’t stuff your on-page content full of keywords, you need it to read naturally. That only aids in getting people linking to you which I get to in other posts :). If the spiders cannot index your pages how do you expect to rank for anything? Easiest way to get a spider to index all the pages you want them to is to create a site-map that lets the spiders easily find and index each and every page of your site. Simple enough right?

I’ll get into more things to do when optimizing your site like the proper usage of redirects, session ID’s and why there are not good at all, and other things that can hinder your SEO process, but honestly “Deal or No Deal” is coming on….

Let me know what you think….


Increasing your online ROI

June 19, 2007

This seems to be the questions everyone from the largest Fortune 500 company to the fledgling online business is asking themselves. How can we succesfully increase our ROI?

It is simple really – obtain natural (organic) rankings!! If you are a company spending any amount of money on a PPC (pay per click) campaign, then you need to be reading this!! As many people have begun to realize, the benefit of having natural rankings is tremendous. Not every company can just throw handfuls of money at a PPC campaign on the chance that they “might possibly” see some return on their investment. If you are currently spending over $100,000 yr, you might as well contact me to get you ranked naturally because I can get you there for a one time fee of half of that! But that is another post altogether…

Obviously there are some standard things that can be done (SEOing anyone!) in order to lower overall costs and increase traffic to the site, which in many cases, can also increase the cashflow to the site as well. Who are we kidding though! It is not just about the amount of traffic that you bring in to the site, it is about the QUALITY of the visitors that you bring to the site. Are people coming to your site in an informational gathering mode, or are they in the ever important buy mindstate? That question answered will determine if you are seeing an improved ROI, or just improved traffic levels with no visible sale increase. And whatever your sales are measured as – be it actually buying a product, signing up for a newsletter, or whatever (because only you know what a sale is to you!), it is all about the foundation of your site that is going to determine if it is able to get quality natural rankings.

It used to be before the online world came into play, many companies would be happy with cornering one section of the market. For example if they sold children’s toys and the majority of their sales came from Power Wheels, then they would be content with 45% of their sales coming from that, and the rest broken down into the smaller percentages of the thousands of other products that they sell.

With the online world, this goes for the Fortune 500 companies first off (sorry smaller competitors, you can do it to but I will get to that later), why are you not completly dominating the entire market. Since you already have one step above the smaller guys in that you should already have hundreds, if not thousands of inbound links already(if you are paying a SEO/SEM any money for “link building” they are probably ripping you off!), all you should be doing is large scale optimization on each and every page, so you are ranking naturally for EVERYTHING YOU SELL!

I mean are you going to be waiting until the online world is regulated for monopolies or something? Monopolize!! Control your entire market, no matter how small you think it is! If you think it’s unimportant then you probably shouldn’t be selling it anyways, jeez! That just goes into how you optimize all of your pages though.

Smaller companies, I haven’t forgot about you, don’t worry. The only additional battle that you would have that many larger companies don’t have to worry about (unless their site has no pages indexed because it is in Flash, or is just really, really crappy) is actually getting the pages you want indexed and ranked. Indexing is easy enough, but with getting ranked we know links play a BIG part of that process, both inbound and outbound. So how can I the small company, compete with the cold and heartless 😛 corporation? Rank for the things they either are not caring about ranking for or not yet knowing about. That begins building your foundation and showing the search engines why you should be ranking for the more competitive keywords. Duh!

In turn the easiest way to increase your online ROI is to broaden your online horizons! Think “WORLD DOMINATION” – in an online sense. Stop looking inside the box for a different solution to the same problems. The only way to find a new solution to the same problems is to look OUTSIDE the box. Duh! I will get into more ways on increasing your online ROI, and before I get any idiotic comments, I know that the way to do that is to SEO a site but that’s not what is being discussed here. Start those brains juicing and let me know what you think…