Archive for the ‘search engine optimization’ Category
Here in Metropolis, online advertising is at a premium. You have to make sure it is catchy and if it isn’t, you have to sign a superhero (or villain) to a contract to endorse your product. It’s a cut-throat world and in constant change.
So how does Superman stay at the top?
I’ll tell you how… he has a great SEO guy.
Mind you, the hero won’t tell me the secret identity of the genius behind his online image, but it is clear that he knows what he is doing.
Owning Keyword Phrases
It’s always important to own your keyword phrases especially your company name. If you don’t own this, then you are going to lose money faster than Lex Luthor lost his hair.
Superman’s SEO guy understands this and has spent hours ensuring that the word “Superman” points straight to the superherp. Open up Google and type “superman”. He owns the first three pages. Don’t you wish you could get the same for your client?
Try typing some other phrases.
- “Superhero” – The third link should be to Wikipedia. Who is the first hero that they mention? Superman.
- “big blue Boy Scout”, “dc” and “daily planet” – He is listed in the description of the first link.
- Even if you put in “Lois Lane”, you get info about Superman.
To do this, you need good content, effective META tags and strong H1 tags. (And it helps if you save a school bus or two to get some good buzz.) This just goes to show that writing good content with great keywords can do you wonders.
The Importance of Good Link Campaigns
It also helps that Superman’s SEO guy has spent time building legitimate linking campaigns throughout the web, starting with Wikipedia. Inputting a legitimate page on Wikipedia became a goldmine! There are 8,756 pages linked to the Wikipedia page. Fourteen of these links are from inside Wikipedia, creating some excellent inner-linking campaigns. If you branch out and check all fourteen of these links, you’ll see that there are thousands and thousands of secondary links built in that eventually lead back to Superman.
Are Taglines or Mottos Important on the Web?
You bet they are! If you are known for a certain catch-phrase, then use it to your advantage. That’s what Superman does.
The Man of Steel? The Man of Tomorrow? The Last Son of Krypton? All of them lead to Superman.
Faster than a speeding bullet? More powerful than a locomotive? Able to leap tall buildings in a single bound? Even though all of these phrases contain common words, the SEO guy has spent years flooding the internet with the phrases in content near the word Superman. You can’t go to the web and type in those keywords without seeing Superman on the page.
The Love of the People
Because of his noteriety and high visibility, Superman shows up all over the place on forums and community message boards. Don’t forget that this can be extremely valuable. Those messages usually stay on the web forever and if you get a link in there, it will build history. Who knows? Maybe it will even gain you new fans.
History, History, History
Speaking of history, did you know that Superman is 70 years old? He’s also been on the internet since its inception and continues to build up his reputation with Google. I hope Google still knows who I am in 40 years. Heck, I hope they still know who I am in 10 years! You can’t buy that kind of history.
We can all take a lesson from this ingenious, unnamed guy who continues to retain his secret identity (until some villain uncovers it). He has taken basic SEO principles and applied them in a manner that is natural and unassuming. It’s almost as if he has super powers.
This article was written by Kimberly Carrillo, an SEO Specialist with IF marketing & advertising and IF Development and is also the resident comic book nerd of the company. Kimberly has spent much of her adult years reading comic books and continues to get annoyed when someone forgets to put them back in the protective bags. IF marketing & advertising is an agency in Austin, TX that specializes in making you and your website a superhero on the WorldWideWeb.
by John Kim & Kimberly Carrillo, SEO Services, IF marketing & advertising
Our web design firm has “secrets” to get you ranked on top of Google!
Because Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is both a science and art, many vendors promise “first page rankings!” to unwitting businesses owners. This claim is the equivalent of “make a lot of money from home with no skills and no money down – with my real estate secrets!”
Really? If you fall for this, you just may deserve to have your money taken. More often than not, these vendors have sales agreements that do NOT back up any guarantee, or include pay-per-click advertising as a “first page ranking.”
Ask any vendor promising search engine success one question – do they have any track record of building an online business themselves? Most successful online marketers bring corporate or entrepreneurial track records having built web-based businesses from the ground up – not just designing websites and “SEO’ing” them. If they can’t build their own web business (other than selling SEO & web design) how are they going to do it for you? This reminds me of the “start-up consultants” that arose in the dotcom boom in Silicon Valley – the irony being that while they charged fees to advise one on how to build a successful start-up business – they themselves had never done it.
Any SEO firm that promises results should be approached with a wary eye. No different than the real estate infomercials at night that promise million dollar results for the fee of an over-priced book. They might make you feel good and full of initial optimism, but they probably won’t make your business a single cent.
It’s too hard to get on Google.
Actually, once your business gets hooked on revenues from being in the search engines, it’s hard to give up. That’s why your competition doesn’t want you as yet another entrant onto their cyber-turf and why Google’s stock price is so high – not because people like using their search engine, but because the websites that are listed on Google experience so much new business by being ranked at the top. Hence is Google’s power to build new businesses and new sources of income for companies that previously did not have large marketing budgets. Google works so well that businesses get “addicted” to the new monies Google brings them.
It’s too hard to get on Google if your search engine marketers do not have the experience of being a veteran in a space that is only 7 – 8 years old. Having said that, for most business owners with vision, one can NOT afford to ignore the rising power that Google brings to small businesses. Once you’re listed in Google and rising in the ranks – most likely your business will also get “hooked” on the new revenues and customers that this newfound visibility brings your business.
It’s a black box of never-ending costs to be on Google.
In most industries, the cost and effort to be ranked atop Google have reached the 3 P’s of the marketplace – price, parity, and par. Meaning that an average marketer may spend $35 to get each new potential customer from Google, but that $35 spent represents a 50% to 200% return in terms of the new business it brings in.
A smart marketer can take that and make it upwards of 400%. And what does it take to be a smart marketer? Like most things – experience. Search Engine Optimization is a relatively new field of software engineering & marketing, and because it’s such a new industry, it has a lack of experienced pros and a glut of fresh vendors eager to “cash in” on the search engine boom. The pros with track records charge an arm and a leg (because they can) and the fresh-faced Johhny-come-latelies offer low prices with “guarantees!” that often yield little to no results.
Compared to word-of-mouth, print advertising, radio, yellow pages or any other ad medium, search engines bring in a far better return-on-investment (ROI) than any other form of advertising. And unlike word-of-mouth, businesses can throttle their spending on Google up and down – generating as few or as many customers as needed, all on demand.
Buying a book on SEO will teach us what we need to know.
Even a competent webmaster can toil away for 2+ years and still not be successful at SEO. That’s because SEO requires a combination of technical mastery of websites as well as a creative element of designing SEO campaigns. Because there are no schools or degrees in SEO (yet) much of the information regarding successful web marketing is scattered and constantly changing. So no book could possibly stay atop the ever-changing search engine result rollercoaster.
That’s because the search engines themselves are continuously altering their algorithms (the mathematical formula(s) that dictate how websites get ranked) in order to keep the results relevant and fresh. This means that there is no “set it and forget it” or periodic “SEO treatments” that can have real affects on rankings. In-house SEO means touching the website on a periodic, if not daily, basis in order to stay atop the competition and regularly study the new trends in SEO.
If you’re going to optimize in-house, spend the first 6 months to get an SEO firm with experience to guide the in-house webmaster – otherwise the webmaster may waste 6 months to a year just “guessing” as to which strategies work best for your business situation, budget, and industry. Also, inexperienced link building strategies and optimization tactics can get your website banned from Google. You’ve been warned!
We often get asked by clients: “How often should I add content to my website?”
As an internet marketing company who gains profit from web programming and maintenance, it is hard to answer this question. Most likely, we will adding the content to their website and, therefore, charging them for the programming involved. We do not wish to look like we are “beefing up” our estimate to our benefit. However, as a reputable web programming firm which prides itself on good customer relationships, we owe it to our clients to be honest in our answers and estimations.
Search Engine Optimization advisors recommend that you add new content to your website once a week. This gives the search engines more meat to work with and also shows them (and your customers) that your site is active.
Upon receiving the content, you may need to adjust the timetable for your client, so be sure that you clarify at the beginning of your relationship that you will give them an estimate of how long the edits will take before you begin updates. Case in point, if they want to add a new section, your estimate should be much larger than adding one page of content to an existing department.
Don’t forget that just adding photos to a site does not constitute adding content. While the search engines will notice a slight difference, this does not match the benefit of including keyword rich content to an established website. This doesn’t mean that the new content needs to be 10,000 words of technical specs on a new product. Rather, it should be a summary of your new information with important phrases that will help your current and prospective customers find you through a search engine.
So, how often should you add content to your website? Try to add a page a week and maybe a new section every six months. Sticking to this timetable will ensure that you can handle updates in a timely manner and not be overwhelmed by trying to get 20 pages of content onto your site before that big presentation.
Would you like to find out about a maintenance package to handle your new content? Consider contacting Intra-Focus, Inc. to ask about their affordable web maintenance and SEO packages.
Publishing press releases can support your internet marketing and PR program in several ways. Creating an entire online PR campaign opens up lesser known opportunities and also generate leads to direct inquiries from the media and prospective customers. Use the following steps to help you realize your online PR campaign.
Step 1 – The Press Release
The first step is to identify a topic for your press release. Popular topics include new or improved products, relocations or new locations, website or blog launches, or any other unique stories associated with your company. Be sure that you have a competent person create a professional press release that identifies your target audience. Be aware that writing for print media and writing for the web can differ. If you do not have an employee that can meet these needs, you should hire a marketing firm to write the article for you. You might be surprised at how little it will cost for this service!
TARGET AUDIENCE QUIZ
Which of these sentences would appeal to men aged 16 – 20.
#1. The new Speedster skateboard uses ionized paint to anticipate the retroactive artistic styles of master artisans of the past century.
#2. The new Speedster skateboard has a retro look that will appeal to your senses.
Both of these sentences say the same thing and are professionally written, but the first sentence will probably cause the target audience to immediately stop reading. If you do not have someone in your business to handle these duties, you should consider hiring a marketing firm that has a copywriter. You might be surprised how little you will have to pay for this service.
NOTE: Do not finalize the press release until it has been checked for spelling and grammar by someone other than the copywriter. It never hurts to have a second set of eyes!
Step 2 – Releasing to the Media
Once you have the press release finalized, it is time to release it to the media for release in their publication or electronic medium. Send your PR to prweb.com and prnewswire.com. These websites are two of the most sophisticated online press release services around and many media outlets use these two websites to find news. Your article might just get picked up by dozens of newspapers! By combining your marketing firm’s knowledge and experience with the powerful distribution networks of sites like PRweb, you can transform your press release into an online promotional vehicle with unlimited reach.
You should also send your press release to your local newspaper and any local television or radio stations. Make sure that they have good contact information for you in case they would like to use you in a feature story!
Step 3 – The E-campaign
At this point, you should strongly consider hiring a marketing firm to handle the creation of your e-campaign. If you used a copywriter to write the press release, see if they will also set up the e-campaign. (Better yet, try to get everything in one package!) The e-campaign should be attractive and eye-catching and have at least one link to a landing page. Make sure that the landing page contains a form for lead generation or, at the very least, a button for people to contact you.
An important item that is largely ignored is the size of the e-campaign. If you choose to send the entire press release in the e-mail, then the campaign should be no wider than 600 pixels. This will fit in most e-mail clients. If you choose to send a summary of the article or an eye-catching graphic that will go to the press release, then the campaign should be no wider than 600 pixels and no taller than 395 pixels.
Your marketing firm should also have a system that will track how many people viewed and clicked on the e-mail. Be sure to ask for reports. This is an excellent opportunity to not only judge the success of your e-campaign, but also to remove any defunct e-mail addresses from your customer database.
Step 4 – Updating Your Website
If you don’t have a news page on your existing website, you are missing out on a great opportunity to add fresh content and to expand your profile on search engines. Get your news section built and add your first article.
If you do have a news page, get your article up there with a dateline at the top and contact information at the bottom.
Be sure to link no more than five phrases in your article to other pages in your website. This is called an optimized press release and will be beneficial to your search engine optimization efforts.
Step 5 – To Blog or Not to Blog
This step is optional, but can bring great rewards to your online presence. If you have a blog, post your press releases with target phrases linked back to your existing website. Optimized press releases get a lot of visibility in the major search engines. They can also generate new links back to your website, as other sites republish your release. These "backlinks" play an important role in the overall search engine visibility of your website.
INDUSTRY EXAMPLE – Online PR Campaign (Intra-Focus, Inc.)
An online PR campaign was recently created for Jimmy Jacobs Custom Homes and their work on Extreme Makeovers: Home Edition. In addition to electronic press releases, they also created a special website to generate buzz about the project.
The world is becoming more internet focused by the minute and you need to stay on top of this technology wave or your company will drown. Don’t wait! Get proactive and start your online PR campaigns today!
If you are interested in getting a quote from a marketing firm or just finding out more about the process, you should contact Intra-Focus, Inc. Intra-Focus has a wealth of experience writing press releases, optimizing them for the search engines, and distributing them online. They can transform your press release into an online promotional vehicle with unlimited reach.
By BR Cornett
Search engine optimization is on the minds of a lot of web marketers and business owners these days, and with good reason. Search engine success can often turn a marginally profitable website into a huge success.
But having a website that’s visible to search engines is not the question. The question is, how do you get there? More importantly, what mistakes can you avoid that might prevent you from getting there? Here are some of the most common search engine optimization mistakes I see on business websites, and how you can avoid them on your own website.
Content as Graphics or PDF
When you put your words into graphical format (JPEG or GIF), those words become invisible to search engines. Sure, there are times when it’s necessary, like when designing a logo. But if you use graphics as sub headers on your web pages, you’re wasting a good SEO opportunity.
Often, I’ll see keyword-rich headers and sub-headers in graphical format, when the exact same look could be achieved with regular text formatted by a style sheet. It doesn’t make sense to me.
PDF files are another area where companies often rob themselves of search engine-friendly content. Let’s say you have a news section on your website, and all 15 news stories link to PDF files. In this case, you have one page of readable web content and 15 PDF files (that search engines cannot read or rank you for).
But if you made a separate web page with regular text for each news story, you’d have an additional 15 pages for search engines to crawl through and evaluate. You can still offer the PDF files for people who prefer to download the story. But you’d offer the PDF in addition to the regular text page, not in place of it.
Lack of Titles
In this usage, “title” refers to the title element within the HTML code that makes up a web page. Titles appear in three places: (1) at the top of the web code for a given page, (2) in the blue title bar at the top of your web browser, and (3) above each listing on a search engine results page (SERP).
The title element is an important part of search engine optimization because it tells search engines what the page is about. In fact, I would say the title element is one of the two most important parts of a web page for SEO purposes.
But I can’t count the number of business websites I’ve visited that lacked key phrases in their page titles, our lacked titles altogether. If an older, well-established website with bad titles were to suddenly optimize all page titles with key phrases, that site could easily double its search engine traffic in a few short months.
Lack of Sufficient Content
Like many things in SEO, good content helps people as well as search engines. People need content to help them understand your products or services, to tell them what to do next, and to give them a sense of your overall brand and reputation. Search engines need content to understand what your site is all about. So if your website lacks quality content, you’re depriving two audiences at once.
From an SEO standpoint, think of text hyperlinks as road signs. They tell people and search engines where they’re going, and what they’ll find when they get there. If most of the internal text links on your site use phrases like “click here” or “learn more,” you’re missing another SEO opportunity.
If you have a text link that goes to a page about CRM software, don’t label it “learn more” — label it “CRM software advice” (or whatever is applicable). This helps people navigate better, and it gives search engines plenty of clues as to what your site is all about. Search engine developers know that the hyperlinks on a site say a lot about the site’s theme or topic, so they’ve built their algorithms with this in mind.
You need to eliminate bad SEO habits before you can rise to search engine greatness. Use this article as both a starting point and a checklist. Print it out and go through your website page by page, checking for areas where you can improve your visibility. Good luck!
About the Author
BR Cornett writes and works for Intra-Focus, an Austin search engine optimization, web development and Internet marketing firm. Intra-Focus serves clients from many industries and from all over the country. Learn more by visiting http://www.intra-focus.com.