Optimize Me

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

More about PushON UK

PushON offer a personal approach to search engine optimization, search engine marketing and website development solutions.

Many website owners think that the web development project is finished once a website has been created and published, but in reality, the real work is just beginning. In order to create a moneymaking site, traffic must be generated and driven to the website. There are several effective methods that can be implemented to create web traffic, maintain traffic and finally, grow traffic to your website with long-term, lasting results.

SEO & SEM solutions play a vital role in getting higher search engine placement. In short, to get traffic to your website, you need to apply SEO techniques to make your site search-engine-friendly and to grow and sustain traffic to your site we need to submit your site to Search Engines, directories, portals, etc. and also embark on link building campaigns. Another solution is to start a Pay Per Click (PPC) Campaign, which involves targeting potential customers by purchasing relevant keyword ads on search engines such as Google, Yahoo and AltaVista.

To do all of this, PushON focus mainly on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM) solutions and will optimise your site for any period of time that suit your needs and budget. Using a comprehensive range of SEO techniques, there aim is to take your site higher in the Search Engine result pages.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Driving traffic to your site

One of the certainties about having your own Internet business is that if no one knows that your site is there, you can be sure that no matter how good your site is, no one will be able to find it. So it is very important to think about how you might promote your new online business and drive traffic to your site. The best type of traffic to your site is the type of users who are interested in what you have to say or are selling.

There are a few ways to go about this, it largely depends on your budget and expectations. Since the majority of Internet users claim to use a search engine to find sites of interest, it would make sense to start there. Search engines offer you two solutions for you to be seen by your potential customers, one is the organic search engine and the other is the paid for listings.

The organic searches are the results provided to you after you perform a keyword search, as long as your sight is indexed by a search engine you have a chance to rank for certain keywords. Of course, depending on how competitive your main keywords are depends largely on where you will be found in the search engine. You should take the time to understand how to optimise your web site for both on page and off page functions, I recommend that you have a look at the Google guidelines for webmasters. Surprisingly, many web site owners have never read this very good document on how to rank well for Google. A well-optimised site has a much greater chance of ranking high in the search engines.

Many of you will know from your own web surfing experiences and habits that it is rare for someone to go beyond the top three results offered by a search engine, not less pages two, three and beyond. This means that if your site is not ranked well, you may be missing out on crucial targeted traffic, so you may want to consider a pay per click program which are offered by the main search engine vendors. Also companies such as PushON provide services which cover SEO and SEM at competitive prices.

Pay per click is exactly what is says, you bid an amount per click to have your site highlighted to the right of keyword searches. This is a great way to highlight your site and drive immediate qualified traffic, the great thing is that you only pay when a user clicks through to your site. So make sure that your site has quality content and a way for you to encourage your users to submit their details. Once you have a collection of your users data, it is much easier and cheaper to market to them directly.

Monday, August 21, 2006

The Power of Article Writing

Every site on the Internet needs fresh, original content for their website. Writing articles for others to place on their website (as well as placing the articles on your own website) can not only increase your reputation with the larger search engines and directories, but if you simply add a link to the bottom of your article next to your name, you can get high quality traffic from hundreds of different sites with each article. Sites such as goarticles.com will publish your article on their site and make it available for others to copy to theirs for free. You will not only get the initial link from the article site, but also you get a link from each browser that adds it to their site.
The key to this is to write high quality articles with a specific topic in mind. For example if your site deals with SEM or SEO, write search engine marketing or optimization reviews, things to look for in SEO companies, which SEO companies are the most reputable, or other topics that relate directly to your area of the marketplace.

Well written and well thought out articles will get linked on a good amount of sites, and people will actually visit your website to read other articles by you.

Friday, August 18, 2006

Dialup vs Broadband heres my say...

I was speaking to my colleague Jamie Clouting just the other day and we were debating whether Dial-up Internet had died a horrible death? I thought i would have my say here on my blog.

In this ongoing debate of dialup vs broadband I believe there isn't really a definitive correct answer. This question can only be answered by looking at your needs and resources and comparing them to what each option has to offer.
If you use the Internet to check email, stock quotes, and visit the occasional website, dialup will be sufficient. You can suppliment your connection with accelerator software such as Onspeed which can cause some improvement in page loading times.

We both agreed if you frequently download large media files, play games over the Internet, and view sites that are high in image content then you may be more satisfied with broadband service.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Unethical SEO?

This post briefly discusses some of the most common forms of unethical search engine optimization.

Unethical search engine optimization techniques can be unlawful, however you would be surprised how many people use these methods. A lot of what is now called unethical SEO used to be accepted, until people went overboard and it started to have a negative affect on the web as a whole.

The most common form of this is keyword stuffing and is when your site consists of long lists of keywords and nothing else. There are ways to put keywords and phrases on your site without running the risk of getting banned.

You may have seen 'invisible text' if you've been selecting the text on a page and found words that are the same color as the background. This text is often lists of keywords put there in the hope of fooling search engine spiders while hiding the words from visitors. This is considered unethical, and should be avoided.

A doorway page is a page that isn't designed for real people to see - it's purely for the search engines and spiders, in an attempt to trick them into indexing the website in a higher position.

Even though unethical SEO is tempting, and does work, it should not be practiced as it is annoying to users, but more importantly can get you banned from search engines. Your sites' search engine rankings just aren't worth the risk. Use efficient SEO techniques to get your site ranked higher, and stay away from anything that even looks like unethical SEO.

Google ranking exposed

In this first post relating to google ranking techniques i would like to explain the term 'click through rate' and the importance of this to your site.

The click through rate (CTR) of your site may play an important roll in adding up good points on your Google Search Engine score card. The CTR is the rate that people click “through” to your site. Referrer statistics are the numbers and methods visitors use to visit your site. This information tells the site administrator, and Google, from where did you arrive from to land on this site. Did you click through from a search engine (which one), directly, from another site (which site), or, as revealed in the patent, from the cache, temporary files, bookmarks, or favorites of your Internet browser.

The click through rate is also based on the CTR of the advertising on your site. The more ads which are clicked, the higher your score.

The CTR is also monitored for fresh or old content - in other words, are they visiting new content on your site or old posts or articles? Trends and seasons are also taken into account as certain subject matter gains precedence with the time of the year.

In some of my future posts i shall be explaining some of the other factors google takes into consideration when ranking your site.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

How not to optimize your title

Following on from my last post i thought i would provide a brief mention of the 'title tag' mistakes that should be avoided.

  • Do not leave your title tag blank, under any condition.
  • Do not write title tags that are unrelated to the content on the page.
  • Do not use 'Untitled' or default text in your title tag. Some web page editing applications may place some default text in the title tag. Make sure you check your title to ensure this does not happen.
    Search engines compare text in the title tag against actual textual content on your page to rate relevancy, if the two are not related this will decrease your ranking. Also it is annoying for a person who visits your page when the title tag they saw going into your page is unrelated to the content on the page. This may result in a visitor never coming back to your site in the future.
  • Do not stuff your title tag with repeating keyword phrases.
    This may be looked upon as spamming by most search engines and they may penalise your ranking.
This is one of the first things i learnt whilst working at PushON and have benefitted from the knowledge gained.

Title it Right

Nothing could be simpler than the title you give to your web pages right?

Unfortunately, the vast majority of websites that you visit these days have really poor titles that hurt their online business. The title of your website is a very important part of getting good rankings on most of the major search engines. A good title also goes a long way towards getting your prospects to click on your listings.

If you go to Google and type in a search phrase, you get back a listing of web sites that match the keywords you entered in. If you look closely, you'll notice that each search listing hyperlink is also the title of that website. The title you choose needs to describe to your prospects what your website is all about. It needs to be able to entice your prospects to click on your listing over any other listing. If your title is simply your company name, you are most likely loosing lots of traffic. You will also find it difficult to rank highly on relevant keywords to your site.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

To link or not to link that is the question

Following on from my last post here is a brief guide on how and where you should be looking to link.

To begin with I would definitely advise choosing sites relevant to the subject of your site, you maintain the interest level of your visitors in the topic they have just been exploring with you.

With hundreds of thousands of sites out there, there is just no need to exchange links with everyone. “Focus is the key to attracting traffic; after all, how many people will click on a link to a genealogy site when reading about sheep shearing?”

If you are running a commercial site, you may not want to link to a competing site. For instance, if you are selling Dental Treatment you may not want to send your visitors to other Dental treatment sites.

It may also be healthy to offer links to competitors. Offline, people rarely make significant purchases before browsing a few alternatives. So by providing choice, you are indirectly stimulating people to buy more. And since your link is also on your competitor's site (these are reciprocal links, remember!) your own sales may see a boost from visitors coming from the competing site.

The best balance may lie in combining the two: provide links to similar sites, and provide links to related sites. That way, you maximise your exposure.

What is reciprocal linking?

I thought I would answer this question, as it seems to be one of the techniques used by most companies to optimise their page rank.

Before beginning to answer such a question, it is important to define what a reciprocal link is, and perhaps more importantly, what it is not.

A reciprocal link is a text and/or banner link to a site that, somewhere in its pages, carries a similar text/banner link to your own site.

A reciprocal link is a commitment. This link basically says "The site at the other end of this link feels that my site is important enough to link to, and I feel that their site is important enough that I am willing to let visitors leave my site via this link."

A reciprocal link involves an element of trust. Few Webmasters have the time or patience to constantly monitor the sites that link back to them, so you are trusting the other site to maintain the link on their site, and not bury it under other information or delete it during a site upgrade.

A reciprocal link is not the quickest way to bring more traffic. I have seen sites with over 100 banner and text links on a single page -- now how much traffic do you think the sites featured on that page were getting from those links? I visited some of the linked sites, and most offered the same scenario: a collection of unorganised links and graphics, many of them broken or out of date, none benefiting the relevant sites.

Next time ill have a look at which sites you should submit to and ones to avoid.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Whats it all about….

I found that in order to fully understand Online marketing and all the areas this covers there are some terms that come to mind. This is my personal list of common terms and meanings, hope you find them useful.

ALT TEXT - HTML attribute that provides alternative text for images. Search Engine spiders or robots can read ALT text but not the images.

DEEP LINKING - linking to a web page other than a site's index or main page.

DESCRIPTION TAG - A HTML tag used on the web page to provide a description for search engine listings.

DOORWAY PAGE - A page made specifically to rank well in search engines for particular keywords, serving as an entry point through which visitors pass to the main content. Usually dynamic pages are provided with a doorway page.

FFA - Free-for-all links list

INBOUND LINK - A link from a site outside of your site.

KEYWORD - A word used in a search engine to perform a search. It's necessary for the site content to be keyword heavy.

KEYWORD DENSITY - Keywords as a percentage of text words that can be indexed.

KEYWORDS TAG - META tag used to define the primary keywords of a Web page.

LINK POPULARITY - A measure of the quantity and quality of sites that link to your site.

MANUAL SUBMISSION - Adding a URL to the search engines individually by hand and not automatically.

META TAG GENERATOR - Tool that will output META tags based on input page information.

META TAGS - Tags to describe various aspects about a Web page.

OUTBOUND LINK - A link to a site outside of your site.

PAY PER CLICK SEARCH ENGINE - Search engine where results are ranked according to the bid amount, and advertisers are charged when a searcher clicks on the search listing.

RECIPROCAL LINKS - Links between two sites, often based on an agreement by the site owners to exchange links.

SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMIZATION - The process of choosing targeted keyword phrases related to a site, and ensuring that the site places well when those keyword phrases are part of a Web search.

SEARCH ENGINE SPAM - Excessive manipulation to influence search engine rankings.

SEARCH ENGINE SUBMISSION - The act of supplying a URL to a search engine in an attempt to make a search engine aware of a site or page.

SERP – Search engine result page.

Search Engine Optimization…the new Mantra!

The world of business is witnessing change every other day. The days of just simple competition are long gone, these days it is all cutthroat and the weaker is left way behind. Online marketing is no exception and so are the rules of Search Engine Optimization. In my early months of just researching this area I have found to just position your site in the right segment and attract potential customers is a tough task. It requires analysis of the existing scenario, setting milestones and complete planning to achieve results.

Im currently working in Manchester with a company called PushON who provide great SEO services and have learned a lot in a short time.

Me and my colleague Jamie Clouting are the newest recruits and have found our work to be very rewarding.

In my future posts I shall be aiming to help share my knowledge and discuss issues relating to search engine optimization and Online marketing.