Archive for December, 2009

Link Bait

December 22nd, 2009 by Lisa Rosenkrantz

As anyone familiar with SEO knows, it’s all about the links! Reputable links get you traffic and move you up in the search engine rankings. Anything you create to inspire people to come to your site is known as linkbait.

Some valuable link bait ideas that have proven to be successful include compelling videos, web cams, interactive tools (such as calculators) and other gadgets because this is exactly what people like. The link to your bait can be located pretty much anywhere – on other Web pages, bookmarking sites like Digg or even in a blog post or an email. The social media explosion of late has resulted in sites like Facebook and Twitter becoming a phenomenal opportunity to drive tons of links (and traffic, brand awareness and conversions) in a natural way.

Still, it’s really important to realize that just because you’re trying some linkbaiting doesn’t mean you’ll automatically be successful. It’s an art and a science. You must be proactive and make sure certain things are in place:

  • Your site needs to be worth linking to. Make sure it’s up-to-date, streamlined, easy on the eyes and classy.
  • Your content should be interesting, unique, thorough and, above all, worthy of a link.
  • You should go viral, meaning find a way to appeal to the widest audience of folks on the web possible even if it means going out of your comfort zone or niche.
  • Your link bait should be easy and intuitive to use. At the very least, have a good title, description and share button.

Implementing a link bait strategy is not simple; thus, it’s highly recommended that you get the help of a seasoned SEO company like Web.com Search Agency that can get you linked and viral quickly, properly and successfully. We’ll evaluate your site, your links, your content and focus to implement linkbait ideas that will get quality visitors to your site who have the potential to become your customers.

Web Traffic Estimator

December 22nd, 2009 by SEO Topics
Nobody likes to be stuck in traffic; however, when it comes to the Web, traffic is not such a bad thing.

In fact, Web traffic is actually highly desirable. Traffic is a measure of how many people query a given keyword or visit a website. It’s the number of unique visitors that a Web page or keyword receives.

In the keyword research phase of search engine optimization (SEO), the amount of traffic a keyword receives is of critical importance. The Google Adwords Traffic Estimator and the Google Adwords Keyword Tool are among the best free and reliable estimator tools available. Both of these tools will allow you to predict a keyword’s performance before starting a campaign.

Although designed to assist with PPC performance, these tools are also excellent for selecting keywords to target in SEO campaigns. For example, if only a handful of people type a given keyword phrase into the search engines, it’s probably not worth your optimization efforts, but keywords with hundreds or thousands of searches each month may be worthy of consideration.

When selecting keywords, your industry and personal website statistics will play an important role in deciding how many high-traffic keywords you should target. While high-traffic doesn’t always mean high-competition, these two factors tend to go hand-in-hand more often than not. An experienced SEO firm such as Web.com Search Agency can help you determine the right mix of keywords that will bring the desired volume and type of traffic to your website to drive sales.

Ready to learn more? Give us a call at 1-877-Rank-321!

Web Crawlers

December 22nd, 2009 by SEO Topics
A search engine spider “crawls” the Web in search of website updates. These robots are Google’s and other search engines’ way of staying current with the myriad of changes that take place on the Web 24/7. They troll the Web in a methodical and automated manner to keep tabs on what’s happening and adjust their search engine rankings accordingly.

So, what does this mean for your website?

You want the spiders to come to your site, and for them to come often. As you make changes and improvements to your website – such as adding new content or implementing keyword-rich meta tags – you want the search engines to take note and increase your rankings accordingly.

Since the spiders don’t have a set schedule for visiting and indexing sites, there are a few things you can do to ensure that they will visit your website on a regular basis:

Update your website often: Spiders tend to visit sites that update their content more frequently, since they can count on there being new information that will be helpful in updating their index of websites. If you aren’t currently updating your website on a regular basis, you may wish to consider keeping a blog or perhaps periodically writing industry-related articles or press releases.

Create a portfolio of great links: In addition to your on-page content, spiders also want to know what other websites are saying about your website. Inbound links, external links that point to your website, play a very important role in search engine rankings. If the spiders consistently see that your site is receiving quality inbound links, they will index this information and adjust your rankings accordingly.

Submit your site map to the search engines: If your website is new or you are undergoing a major redesign, submitting your website and XML sitemap for inclusion can be an effective way to gain the attention of a search engine crawler. A site map will help the spiders navigate your website and ensure that all of your internal pages get indexed.

Make sure the spiders can “read” your content: Spiders can only read text, which means most images and Flash content gets overlooked. Use text whenever possible, especially for important keywords, links and products. Spiders also like to see lots of content (at least 250 words per page) so be sure to talk up your products, services and more.

Above all, one of the best things you can do to attract crawlers is to have an organized and easy-to-crawl website that is optimized for search engines. Want to learn more? Contact Web.com Search Agency at 1-877-Rank-321.

Optimized Press Releases

December 15th, 2009 by Megan Homan

One of the best ways to spread the word about your company is through a press release; however, merely sending your release to print editors or television news producers is a thing of the past. Regardless of what news you wish to share with the world, an optimized release has the potential to help you reach a much wider audience. When you introduce an optimized press release on the Internet, you are not only reaching members of the media who can offer you print, television or online news coverage, you are also reaching any individual searching for your topic.

Aside from reaching more people, optimized press releases can also help you with your search engine optimization performance by creating link opportunities. From an SEO standpoint, when business-related keywords are added to your press release you should turn those phrases into links to your website. This not only helps to increase the link popularity for your site, but also creates an opportunity to drive traffic to your site. When your SEO press release is discovered, whether by the media or simply an interested individual, they will notice the links in the press release and be given an opportunity to click through to your site.

Crafting SEO press releases that encompass everything you need is an art form. There is so much more that goes into it than who, what, where, when, why and how, and your knowledge of AP Style writing will only get you so far. Researching the keywords, knowing how to insert said keywords and distributing to the proper online news feeds is the arsenal of talents you need to have in place.

Web.com Search Agency knows how to create the most impactful releases. Our optimized press release services include all that you need to officially get the word out and implement SEO link building strategies. Our talented SEO team will research and select the most efficient keywords and link opportunities for your announcement. Our professional writers can either create a news release from scratch or edit your existing release using the best SEO practices. The release will then be distributed on the most popular online newsfeeds. Contact us today so that we may create a press release for you that really packs a punch!

How to Increase Page Rank

December 15th, 2009 by Megan Homan

Want to increase page rank in Google? The way to increase your page rank is through acquiring back links, back links and more back links. It’s simple – the more links you have pointing to your site the higher your page rank will be. Ways to create successful back links that will be deemed viable by Google in your quest to improve page rank include the following:

1. Articles – Writing and submitting articles for publication on other websites provides you with an opportunity to create a link back to your site. There are numerous places on the web where you can submit articles. Submitting an article provides you with an opportunity to speak as an expert about industry related topics. So, not only will this create a link for your page, but it will also help to build your reputation as a preferred source.

2. Directories – When you submit your site to search engine directories this creates a free link to your site. It is true that some directories are paid, but it shouldn’t be too difficult to find an unpaid opportunity. Being featured on a search engine directory will also help you build your online presence.

3. Forums – Other free link opportunities can be found on forums. Most forums allow you to post your website in your signature, thus creating a link placement. It is best to select a forum that is closely related to your business sector. This gives you the opportunity to promote your website and get a link at the same time.

4. Websites – Obtaining links from other websites is a terrific way to boost page rank; however, finding a website that is willing to link to yours is a daunting task. It is best to choose a web page that is relevant to yours because it will help increase your credibility from Google’s standpoint. Securing one-way links to your site will be the most powerful link option, particularly if the text link is within the web page’s content.

5. Blog Posts – Getting bloggers to write about your business is an opportune way to obtain links. There are two approaches you can take when it comes to gaining links from bloggers. You can try to find individual bloggers on your own who are willing to write about your business, but the best and least time consuming way is to subscribe to a blog review service.

Web.com Search Agency knows how to increase your page rank in Google. Our services incorporate all of the above mentioned opportunities for building your link portfolio and improving page rank. We employ a dedicated and knowledgeable productions team that can execute these link building endeavors and create quality links for your site. We want to hear any questions you may have about increasing your Google page rank and look forward to providing you with outstanding opportunities to increase your website exposure.

Sitemaps as an SEO Strategy

December 15th, 2009 by Megan Homan

More often than not, sitemaps should be an integral part of your search engine optimization strategy. There are two types of sitemaps that can benefit your online search ability. Both HTML and XML sitemaps are recommended from an SEO standpoint. They are both important for search engine indexing; however, the HTML version is also beneficial to the user experience.

XML Sitemap

Creating an XML sitemap for your website is a surefire way to get recognized in the search engines. This type of site map is not for people to read. Instead, it is basically just a list of all the pages you want Google to see on your website. Every website should submit an XML sitemap to the search engines, but it is extremely important to websites with thousands of pages that may otherwise get overlooked because of their sheer size.

If you want all of your important pages to get indexed this is the most effective approach; however, that doesn’t mean that your search engine optimization efforts should fall by the wayside. XML sitemaps simply let Google spiders know your pages are out there and they should be crawled, but it is up to you or your SEO strategist to make sure your pages really gain high rankings in the engines.

HTML Sitemap

Not necessarily an important part of SEO but almost always recommended by SEO professionals is a user friendly website layout. There are important components your website shouldn’t be without including a home page, services page, about us page, contact us page and an HTML sitemap. This type of online sitemap helps your viewers easily locate pages of interest.

An HTML site map offers an opportunity to clearly organize and structure your site in a way that is beneficial to both the search engine spiders and the human viewer. When a user visits your site you want to offer them a site map that clearly displays the hierarchy of your site’s pages. Think of your site map as a Table of Contents. For smaller sites, text links should be incorporated to each page listed on the map so that visitors may go directly to a particular section or page of interest. These site maps also help to lay out a clear-cut content structure for the spiders so that they will be sure to crawl every page.

HTML sitemaps tend to be better for smaller sites in comparison to those with thousands of pages, only because when you are trying to configure a map that outlines a large site it will lose its purpose of a clean-cut page hierarchy map. Really large sites can still take advantage of these sitemaps, but it is then best to limit the map to key category pages that incorporate text links – but only for the main topic pages.

Creating either site map can be an obstacle without the appropriate website development knowledge. Web.com Search Agency can offer you the technical advice necessary for developing search engine appropriate sitemaps. Contact us today to learn more about SEO strategies that will help you gain exposure in the engines.

Do You Have a Trusted SEO Partner? Learn How You Can Profit by Partnering With Us!

December 10th, 2009 by Patrick Hare

Want to help your Website Design clients get professional SEO services? If you’re a web design or marketing firm with several clients, you can refer them to us and get a commission up to 15% of the sale price. Since many of our clients pay us monthly, you can get a monthly SEO affiliate commission check for the initial life of the contract, which is usually a year. For web designers with a large list of clients, or design agencies with big customer lists, this can be a lucrative opportunity to get residual income from clients without the added workload.

Who can benefit from our SEO and PPC Management Affiliate Program?

  • Web Design Firms
  • Public Relations Firms
  • PPC Firms
  • Ad Agencies
  • SEO Firms (Overworked? Too many leads? Send them to us!)
  • SEO Firms that outsource link building
  • Website Publishers
  • Marketing Consultants
  • Business Development Consultants

Whether you want to send leads to us as an SEO affiliate, or have an SEO reseller relationship, Web.com Search Agency can tailor a program that rewards you for referrals. Because the affiliate commission is based on actual sales, (for SEO, Link Building, PPC, or Reputation Management), your commission is limited only by the size of the customer’s order. We use an in-house system to keep track of leads and their referrers, and you get compensated as soon as client payments to us are cleared. If you’re a web design firm or have an existing client relationship, you can be assured that our interest only extends to optimization and PPC management. Our team members will most likely be communicating with you directly for any SEO changes to the website.

Even if you do basic SEO work for your customers, you can use Web.com Search Agency to provide advanced optimization and link building services that may be too complex or time consuming your firm. Because we are large search engine marketing company with an online presence and a team of experts, we are able to leverage our experience and buying power on behalf of our clients. We have access to proprietary systems which break down the SEO and PPC management process into manageable steps, and we have dedicated people for each part of the process. We also offer monthly reporting and individual account management, so your clients can speak to an actual person in Scottsdale Arizona who will be managing the optimization process. And best of all, we offer a host of tools to help you promote SEO to your clients.

One of the reasons that the Web.com Search Agency referral program works is our company itself. We have a physical location in the Scottsdale Airpark, and we welcome visits from potential customers. We have a proven track record of SEO and PPC management achievement. Many of our best leads come from referral partners and affiliates, who may only have to leverage an existing list of contacts in order to generate commissions from a reputable, publicly traded company. We even have white label SEO programs available for agencies who want to add SEO services to their current offerings without disclosing the relationship with Web.com Search Agency. If you have customers who could benefit from improved search engine rankings, but you don’t have the expertise, experience, or energy to build a search marketing campaign from the ground up, then Web.com Search Agency can provide a solution that satisfies your customer and adds dollars to your bottom line.

For more information on our SEO Affiliate, Referral, or Reseller Partner programs, please contact Jeffrey Willenbrink, at jwillenbrink[at]web.com or 480.747.9166.

The Value Proposition of SEO

December 10th, 2009 by Patrick Hare
It is very difficult to oversimplify the value proposition of Search Engine Optimization, since it is based on the following 2 premises:

  1. People use search engines to find things.
  2. If people can’t find you in the search results, you don’t have a shot at their business.

Everything else in the world of SEO, from coding to link building, goes back to getting found in the search results, and usually at the top of those results. Every day, thousands of site owners seek out SEO solutions on their own initiative because they wonder why that can’t find their website on a Google search. (People also want to be found in Bing, Yahoo, AOLsearch, Ask, and everywhere else, but they almost always say “Google.”)

Anyone who can articulate the end goal of SEO, and has a working knowledge of the main principles, should have no problem selling it to a customer. Building a realistic set of expectations about SEO is usually the more complex part of the equation. In a world of instant results, people don’t always want to hear that it takes time, effort, and money to create a profitable outcome. The answer to the question “Can you get me on to the front page?” is usually answered with “Yes, but it will cost you.”

The mechanics of SEO get more complex depending on the competitive nature of your business sector, but the basics of SEO are the same whether you’re selling shoes or Geiger counters. An SEO agency doesn’t need any experience in your line of business to create good results, although your input and industry knowledge can definitely help you get the kind of site visitors you want to see. In fact, the most important consideration for SEO customers should be that the agency will “do no harm” to a site’s credibility in the search engines, and deliver sustainable results. An agency with a diverse group of customers and an experienced staff will be able to handle some of the odd challenges that only show up once in a while, regardless of the keyword focus of the site itself.

Plenty of SEO scam artists have turned the value proposition of search engine optimization on its head. They promise instant results for a few hundred dollars, but all you usually get is a submission to search engines, which is free if you do it yourself. We even have plenty of clients who forward us unsolicited emails and ask for an analysis its claims, and it doesn’t take too much time to deconstruct the wild promises, which sometimes involve placing ads on browsers that have been compromised with spyware. Unfortunately, deceptive SEO practices tarnish the industry, since nobody wants to find out that the true cost of optimization is more than $500, and it takes a lot more time. Oddly enough, people who have gotten bad results from one SEO agency still value optimization enough to seek out people who can get the job done right.

Usually, the selling process for SEO begins with giving customers a general overview of how the results are delivered. Briefly stated, an SEO consulting firm like Web.com Search Agency will indicate that modifications will be made to on-page code, content will be added, and links from outside sites will be acquired. After the sale, the educational process for the customer continues, with reporting, analysis, and adjustments for search algorithm tweaks. There is usually some input given regarding site conversion issues, and advice is given on fixing calls to action or reducing friction in the online sales process. For any reputable SEO company, this level of service would be part of a standard operating procedure.

Understanding SEO’s value proposition is also the key to customer satisfaction and expectation management. Most of the online chatter in the SEO world relates to processes, the effectiveness of certain techniques, or whether a certain tactic will result in search engine penalties. However, when contract renewal time rolls around, most customers are going to want to know about where they are on the search engines, and what it is going to take to get better positions. A customer who is getting strong traffic from good rankings is likely to pay more for better rankings or a bigger keyword footprint. It isn’t hard to get bogged down in the minutiae of SEO, and sometimes a customer has to be reminded that a delay in implementation translates into a lost opportunity. By framing all of the parts of the optimization equation around the customer’s original goal, all of the complex processes along the way can be sketched out in a way that merges confidence in your firm’s capabilities with a realistic expectation.

Meta Tags

December 7th, 2009 by Jessica Runberg

The secret to high rankings is writing keyword-rich tags, right? Well, yes and no.

Meta tags have always played an important role in search engine optimization; however, they’re still just one part of an overall strategy to achieve high rankings. But employed correctly, they can certainly help clarify which pages should be ranking for selected keywords, and increase rankings for those pages accordingly.

Here, we’ll examine three types of SEO meta tags: title, description and keyword:

Meta Title Tag
The title is the most important of all of your tags. As the search engines attempt to figure out what the page is about (i.e. what keyword queries best match the page), they rely on the title more than any other factor. The title appears on the top bar of your browser, as well as in the clickable link on a search engine results page (SERP). This is a great place for a couple of variations of your top keywords, but be careful not to overdo it. Just as you wouldn’t want your on-page content to look like spam, you don’t want to keyword-stuff your title tag!

Meta Description Tag
Unlike the title tag, the keywords in the meta description don’t hold quite as much weight; however, this doesn’t make this tag any less important. The meta description appears under the title tag on a SERP – it’s the two lines that describe what the page is about. In essence, it’s an advertisement, and it’s often the reason someone decides to visit – or not visit – your site.

This description should be short, descriptive and enticing. It’s the perfect place to advertise a special offer or sale. The question to ask yourself when writing your meta description is: what will make people choose to visit my site over the other websites that offer the same product or service that I do?

Google automatically bolds any keyword phrases that match the search query, so it’s a good idea to include a keyword or two in the description. This is a quick way for Web users to see that your site’s content matches their keyword phrase – and therefore is relevant to their query!

Meta Keyword Tag
This once-popular tag used to be a good way to tell the search engines what keywords to rank for; all you had to do was place your keywords in the keyword tag. However, this  made it too easy for spammers to abuse this feature and now little emphasis is placed on the keywords tag. While it certainly doesn’t hurt to place keywords here, it won’t necessarily help either.

Want to learn more? Type some of your keywords into Google and study your competitors’ title and description tags. And, as always, feel free to contact Web.com Search Agency at 1-877-Rank-321 if you have any questions!

Bread Crumb Navigation

December 7th, 2009 by Jessica Runberg

Just as Hansel and Gretel left breadcrumbs to follow their trail on their big adventure, website breadcrumbs allow you to see where you came from, and how to get back there. It’s the leading navigation method for most websites. Whether displaced vertically or horizontally (or both), a breadcrumb script usually looks like this:

Home page > Category Page > Subcategory page

A shoe retailer might have the following breadcrumb structure:

Shoes (Homepage) > Women’s Shoes > High Heels > Black Pumps

Here, women’s shoes is a main category page and high heels and black pumps act as subcategories. A bread crumb menu is dynamic in that what you see depends on what you’ve clicked on. If you had clicked on athletic shoes instead of high heels, a different set of options would have revealed itself that would not include black pumps.

The key to creating effective and user-friendly breadcrumb navigation is to list your main category and subcategory pages in a clean, concise and intuitive format. While it may be tempting to list all of your subcategories and sub-subcategories on your homepage, it’s actually easier for the consumer to shop by category and then dive deeper into your site’s navigational structure as they further define what they’re looking for.

Want to learn more about site navigation and how you can make it easier for your customers to use and ultimately buy from your website? Contact Web.com Search Agency at 1-877-Rank-321 to learn more!