Zach Browne http://sett.com/zachbrowne Technologist & Marketing Guy en-us Fri, 19 Oct 2018 01:48:55 +0000 http://sett.com Sett RSS Generator Write a Site Title That Drives More Traffic http://sett.com/zachbrowne/uid/103915 Writing a strong, search engine friendly website title is not only important for potential visitors to find your website easier, it's one of the most important search engine optimization factors. If you were to choose one on-page SEO factor to do well, it would be your ti]]> Title-TagsWriting a strong, search engine friendly website title is not only important for potential visitors to find your website easier, it's one of the most important search engine optimization factors. If you were to choose one on-page SEO factor to do well, it would be your title.

The title goes inside the <title> tags on each page and Google generates your title by either using what you put in your title tags, or if there is not title tag they use an algorithm to fill in the blanks.

Titles are very important and should give visitors a quick glance at what's in the content of the page and why it's relevant to their search.

Rules to follow

  • Make sure every page on your website has a title.
  • Ensure each page title is precise. Avoid using things like "Home" or "Forum". Don't use titles over 70 characters because they will be truncated.
  • Try not to stuff your keywords in the title. It's ok to add your most important keyword phrase or two but don't use a bunch of variations of the same keyword.
  • Don't use the same title tags on every page. If you have an e-commerce site and you use "Inexpensive Products" on every page, a user cannot distinguish one page from the next.
  • Use your brand in your titles such as your company name or if it's a blog, your name.

Title structure

Moz.com does some really cool annual research where they study all sorts of ranking factors relating to search engine optimization and then post the results. One of the factors they consider is the site title and their recommendation for the structure of a title is:

Primary Keyword - Secondary Keyword | Brand Name

or

Brand Name | Primary Keyword and Secondary Keyword

Title tags are a very important part of your SEO strategy so take some time to update them now!

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Tue, 22 Oct 2013 15:27:12 +0000 http://sett.com/zachbrowne/uid/103915
Lifelogging, A Search Engine of the Future http://sett.com/zachbrowne/uid/103914 Imagine everything you do every day being recorded and archived. Every breakfast you eat, every person you meet, every moment you experience laughter, sadness and excitement. A complete archive of every visual and auditory experience you have throughout your life and the ]]> lifeloggingImagine everything you do every day being recorded and archived. Every breakfast you eat, every person you meet, every moment you experience laughter, sadness and excitement. A complete archive of every visual and auditory experience you have throughout your life and the ability to recall any moment in a few clicks. Welcome to the world of lifelogging where thousands of people just like you are doing it every day.

Unless you are involved in the world of technology, chances are you have not met a lifelogger. They are mostly students, hard core techies or computer scientists, such as Dr. Cathal Gurrin at Dublin City University's School of Computing (DCU) in Ireland, "When you're faced with this kind of data about your life in the past and you can start to identify times you make mistakes it becomes very apparent that when you remember a time in the past and go back to look at it, there are differences in the reality versus what you actually see yourself. That's where a life log can really help you, when you identify the truth about what's happen in the past, not just your memory's version of it which we know from research will have inaccuracies and flaws."

Dr. Gurrin started an experiment in 2006 that led to his current collection of over 9 million photos, 3 million GPS recordings and 21 million accelerometer recordings of the way he moves every day. He and his team of researchers at DCU are creating the first search engine made entirely of lifelogs with the overall goal of creating a perfect digital memory. Something you could theoretically pass on to your children and grandchildren as well as help with ailments like Alzheimer's and Dementia.

Whether or not lifelogging is your cup of tea it has some very useful angles and at the very least it's interesting. You can learn more about Dr. Gurrin and his experiments on his website, http://www.computing.dcu.ie/~cgurrin/.

 

 

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Fri, 18 Oct 2013 13:25:26 +0000 http://sett.com/zachbrowne/uid/103914
MySQL Commands for Moving WordPress to a New Domain http://sett.com/zachbrowne/uid/103911 When you move WordPress to a new domain you would think that just moving your database and your web files over and launching it would do the trick... but it doesn't. Not only will your custom url settings be skewed but the database will redirect most links back to the original site. Once you've moved the database and web files you still need to use either PHPMyAdmin or a program like my favorite, Navicat for MySQL. Just connect to your database and issue these three commands in the console:

UPDATE wp_options SET option_value = replace(option_value, 'http://old-domain.com', 'http://new-domain.com') WHERE option_name = 'home' OR option_name = 'siteurl';
UPDATE wp_posts SET guid = replace(guid, 'http://old-domain.com','http://new-domain.com');
UPDATE wp_posts SET post_content = replace(post_content, 'http://old-domain.com', 'new-domain.com');

Good luck, and thanks to My Digital Life for the tutorial that I learned this from.

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Tue, 08 Oct 2013 04:08:00 +0000 http://sett.com/zachbrowne/uid/103911
Huge List of SEO Resources http://sett.com/zachbrowne/uid/103909 A website that pleases its visitors pleases Google and a high quality, search engine optimized website and closing business goes hand-in-hand. You already offer great customer service, have an excellent business model and every reason to be generating profit - you should be getting all the sales you want. If you're not, you most likely need help with your SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

A website that is properly optimized for SEO opens up a whole new world of possibilities. It will save you money that is traditionally spent on advertising and save you time that you are currently spending on promotion. Most importantly it will start driving highly qualified leads that convert into new sales for your business.

If your website appeared on the first page of Google's search results, it would be a consistent source of new leads.

List of SEO Tasks

  • Create unique, accurate page titles to show in the search results - to accurately describe the page's content, create unique title tags for each page, and use brief, but descriptive titles.
  • Make use of the "description" meta tag - Unique summaries should be defined for each page to accurately summarize the page's content.
  • Improve the structure of your URLs - Use words in URL, create a simple directory structure, and provide one version of a URL to reach a document.
  • Make your site easier to navigate - Create a naturally flowing hierarchy, use mostly text for navigation, put an HTML site map page on your site, and use an XML Sitemap file, and have a useful 404 page.
  • Offer quality content and services - by writing easy-to-read text, staying organized around the topic, creating fresh, unique content, creating content primarily for your users, not
    search engine
  • Write better anchor text - Choose descriptive text, write concise text, format links so they're easy to spot, and think about anchor text for internal links too.
  • Optimize your use of images - Use brief, but descriptive filenames and alt text, supply alt text when using images as links, and supply an Image Sitemap file.
  • Use heading tags appropriately - Imagine you're writing an outline and use headings sparingly across the page
  • Make effective use of robots.txt - Restrict crawling where it's not needed
    with robots.txt and use more secure methods for sensitive content.
  • Be aware of rel="nofollow" for links - Combat comment spam with "nofollow" and automatically add "nofollow" to comment columns and message boards.
  • Notify Google of mobile sites - Configure mobile sites so that they can be
    indexed accurately, verify that your mobile site is indexed by Google, and verify that Google can recognize your mobile URLs.
  • Guide mobile users accurately - Running desktop and mobile versions of
    your site, redirect mobile users to the correct version, and switch content based on User-agent.
  • Promote your website in the right ways - Increasing backlinks with an
    intention to increase the value of the site, master making announcements via blogs and being recognized online, know about social media sites and reach out to those in your site's related community.
  • Make use of free webmaster tools - Make Googlebot crawling smoother by using Webmaster Tools and high-level analysis is possible via Google Analytics and Website Optimizer.

List of SEO Tools

This are the tools I've run across and used in my time. They are high quality and will do the job.

Competitor Research

Keyword Research

Keyword Revision

Synonym / Alternate Keywords

Keyword Difficulty

Keyword Density

Keyword Rankings

InBound Links

Anchor Text

Internal Links

Analytics

PageRank

Local Business Listings

Analytics

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Tue, 26 Jul 2011 02:38:40 +0000 http://sett.com/zachbrowne/uid/103909
Huge List of Page Speed Optimization Factors http://sett.com/zachbrowne/uid/103908 Website load times have been identified as a crucial factor to measure the performance of a website. With the information deluge on the Internet, user’s patience levels have been continuously decreasing. Web users are constantly begging for faster page downloads. Ac]]> Huge-List-of-Page-Speed-Optimization-FactorsWebsite load times have been identified as a crucial factor to measure the performance of a website. With the information deluge on the Internet, user’s patience levels have been continuously decreasing. Web users are constantly begging for faster page downloads.

According to the findings of independent surveys conducted by Lightner, Bose and Salvendy indicates that the most widely cited problem with using the world wide web was that it took too long to download Web pages.

Why do I need a faster website?

Akamai's 2-Second Study¹

  • 47% of consumers expect a web page to load in two seconds or less.
  • 40% of consumers will wait no more than three seconds for a web page to render before abandoning the site.
  • 52% of online shoppers state that quick page loading is important to their site loyalty.
  • 14% of internet users become distracted when made to wait for a page to load and will begin shopping at another site.
  • 23% will stop shopping completely or walk away from their computer if a page is loading slow.
  • 79% of online shoppers who experience a dissatisfying visit are less likely to buy from that site again.
  • 64% will simply purchase from another online store.¹

Pear Analytics Study²

  • Zona research said in 1999 that you could lose up to 33% of your visitors if you page took more than 8 secondsto load.²
  • Akamai said in 2006 that you could lose up to 33% of your visitors if your page took more than 4 seconds to load on a broadband connection.
  • Tests done at Amazon in 2007 revealed that for every 100ms increase in load time, sales would decrease 1%.
  • Tests done at Google in 2006 revealed that going from 10 to 30 results per page increased load time by a mere0.5 seconds, but resulted in a 20% drop in traffic.

I can speed up your website by as much as 300% by adding features such as a content delivery network, HTML caching, Google Pagespeed and minification.

About 96% of websites can be made faster and more responsive. The fact is a faster site offers a much better user experience and allows Google and other search engines to more easily index your website resulting in higher website rankings and much happier visitors that will convert into new business.

There are around 35 factors that will help increase the speed of your website and I can help you with all of them.

How can I speed up my website?

I would take all the components for speeding up your website based on Yahoo and Google's best practices and work through each one until I’ve achieved optimum results.

Google's Recommendations

  • Optimizing caching — keeping your application's data and logic off the network altogether
  • Minimizing round-trip times — reducing the number of serial request-response cycles
  • Minimizing request overhead — reducing upload size
  • Minimizing payload size — reducing the size of responses, downloads, and cached pages
  • Optimizing browser rendering — improving the browser's layout of a page
  • Optimizing for mobile— tuning a site for the characteristics of mobile networks and mobile devices

Yahoo's Recommendations

  • Minimize HTTP Requests by combining files, using CSS sprites, image maps and inline images so your WordPress website will be much faster for first time visitors, before they have a chance to cache your site.
  • Use a CDN (Content Delivery Network) to disperse your static content across multiple servers in order to deliver it in a closer proximity to your visitor’s location.
  • Add Cache Control Headers to make components like images, scripts, stylesheets, & flash cachable so your visitors will avoid unnecessary HTTP requests on subsequent visits.
  • Use Gzip Components to reduce response times by reducing the size of the HTTP requests.
  • Put Stylesheets At the Top of your page to allow the page to render progressively. This makes the page appear to load faster.
  • Put Scripts At the Bottom of your page to stop them from blocking parallel downloads. A browser can only make 2 HTTP requests at a time and nothing else loads while a script is loading.
  • Remove CSS Expressions to limit the amount of times the page is evaluated.
  • Make Javascript and CSS External if possible to encourage the browser to cache them.
  • Reduce DNS Lookups to reduce the amount of parallel downloading that are taking place in each page.
  • Minify JavaScript and CSS When code is minified all comments are removed, as well as unneeded white space characters (space, newline, and tab).
  • Avoid Redirects to improve the overall user experience.
  • Remove Duplicate Scripts to decrease unnecessary HTTP requests and wasted JavaScript executions.
  • Configure ETags to reduce the size of the HTTP headers in both the response and subsequent requests.
  • Make Ajax Cacheable to improve the speed of feedback to the user.
  • Flush the Buffer Early to improve the overall user experience.
  • Use GET for AJAX Requests to improve the speed of feedback to the user.
  • Post-load Components to only load crucial components first, then the rest.
  • Preload Components to cache component before the user hits the page.
  • Reduce the Number of DOM Elements by optimizing the markup.
  • Split Components Across Domains to maximize parallel downloads.
  • Minimize the Number of iframes to improve the overall user experience.
  • No 404s to reduce useless responses.
  • Reduce Cookie Size to minimize the impact on the user response time.
  • Use Cookie-free Domains for Components to reduce creating network traffic for no good reason.
  • Minimize DOM Access to cache references to accessed elements.
  • Develop Smart Event Handlers to reduce the extra event handlers attached to different elements of the DOM tree.
  • Choose over @import to improve CSS response times.
  • Avoid Filters to decrease memory consumption.
  • Optimize Images to decrease image sizes.
  • Optimize CSS Sprites by arranging the images in the sprite horizontally & combining similar colors.
  • Don't Scale Images in HTML to reduce extra calls.
  • Make favicon.ico Small and Cacheable to avoid 404 error.
  • Keep Components under 25K to improve load times.
  • Pack Components into a Multipart Document to fetch several components with one HTTP request.
  • Avoid Empty Image src to avoid extra browser requests to your server.

¹Cited from Akamai's 2 second study.
²Cited from Pear Analytics


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Tue, 26 Jul 2011 02:37:35 +0000 http://sett.com/zachbrowne/uid/103908
Google Discovers Huge BlackHat Malware Scam Infecting Millions of Users http://sett.com/zachbrowne/uid/103907 Today Google found a large amount of unusual search traffic while they were performing routine maintenance on one of their data centers. After meeting with with a number of engineers at the organizations that were sending the unusual search traffic, they discovered that the organization's machines were exhibiting a very peculiar behavior that's similar to a particular strain of malware. The discovery caused Google to create a very obvious notification at the top infected users search results that looks like this:

If infected, this particular malware will your computer to send all traffic to Google through a proxy servers before reaching Google. They are confident that the notification will prompt users to update their antivirus software and remove the infections.

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Wed, 20 Jul 2011 17:41:48 +0000 http://sett.com/zachbrowne/uid/103907
List of the Best SEO Tools Available http://sett.com/zachbrowne/uid/103906 Competitor Research

Keyword Research

Keyword Revision

Synonym / Alternate Keywords

Keyword Difficulty

Keyword Density

Keyword Rankings

InBound Links

Anchor Text

Internal Links

Analytics

PageRank

Local Business Listings

Analytics

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Mon, 18 Jul 2011 23:18:33 +0000 http://sett.com/zachbrowne/uid/103906
Detailed List of Factors to Consider When Evaluating a Site for Proper SEO http://sett.com/zachbrowne/uid/103905 This is a list of factors I've collected from several resources, SEOMoz being one, that are a must if you want to thoroughly evaluate a website for proper search engine optimization.

On-Page (Keyword-Specific) Ranking Factors

  • Keyword Use Anywhere in the Title Tag
  • Keyword Use as the First Word(s) of the Title Tag
  • Keyword Use in the Root Domain Name (e.g. keyword.com)
  • Keyword Use Anywhere in the H1 Headline Tag
  • Keyword Use in Internal Link Anchor Text on the Page
  • Keyword Use in External Link Anchor Text on the Page
  • Keyword Use as the First Word(s) in the H1 Tag
  • Keyword Use in the First 50-100 Words in HTML on the Page
  • Keyword Use in the Subdomain Name (e.g. keyword.zachbrowne.com)
  • Keyword Use in the Page Name URL (e.g. zachbrowne.com/folder/keyword.html)
  • Keyword Use in the Page Folder URL (e.g. zachbrowne.com/keyword/page.html)
  • Keyword Use in other Headline Tags (< h2 > – < h6 >)< /h6 >< /h2 >
  • Keyword Use in Image Alt Text
  • Keyword Use / Number of Repetitions in the HTML Text on the Page
  • Keyword Use in Image Names Included on the Page (e.g. keyword.jpg)
  • Keyword Use in < b > or < strong > Tags
  • Keyword Density Formula (# of Keyword Uses ÷ Total # of Terms on the Page)
  • Keyword Use in List Items < /li >< li > on the Page
  • Keyword Use in the Page’s Query Parameters (e.g. zachbrowne.com/page.html?keyword
  • Keyword Use in < i > or < em > Tags
  • Keyword Use in the Meta Description Tag
  • Keyword Use in the Page’s File Extension (e.g. zachbrowne.com/page.keyword)
  • Keyword Use in Comment Tags in the HTML
  • Keyword Use in the Meta Keywords Tag

On-Page (Non-Keyword)Ranking Factors

  • Existence of Substantive, Unique Content on the Page
  • Recency (freshness) of Page Creation
  • Use of Links on the Page that Point to Other URLs on this Domain
  • Historical Content Changes (how often the page content has been updated)
  • Query Parameters in the URL vs. Static URL Format
  • Ratio of Code to Text in HTML
  • Existence of a Meta Description Tag
  • HTML Validation to W3C Standards
  • Use of Flash Elements (or other plug-in content)
  • Use of Advertising on the Page
  • Use of Google Ad Sense (specifically) on the Page

Page-Specific Link Popularity Factors

  • Keyword-Focused Anchor Text from External Links
  • External Link Popularity (quantity/quality of external links)
  • Diversity of Link Sources (links from many unique root domains)
  • Page-Specific Trust Rank (whether the individual page has earned links from trusted sources)
  • Iterative Algorithm-Based, Global Link Popularity (PageRank)
  • Topic-Specificity/Focus of External Link Sources (whether external links to this page come from topically relevant pages/sites)
  • Keyword-Focused Anchor Text from Internal Links
  • Location in Information Architecture of the Site (where the page sits in relation to the site’s structural hierarchy)
  • Internal Link Popularity (counting only links from other pages on the root domain)
  • Quality of Nofollowed Links to the Page
  • Percent of Followed vs. Nofollowed Links that Point to the Page

Site-Wide Link Based Ranking Factors

  • Trustworthiness of the Domain Based on Link Distance from Trusted Domains (e.g. TrustRank, Domain mozTrust, etc.)
  • Global Link Popularity of the Domain Based on an Iterative Link Algorithm (e.g. PageRank on the domain graph, Domain mozRank, etc.)
  • Link Diversity of the Domain (based on number/variety of unique root domains linking to pages on this domain)
  • Links from Hubs/Authorities in a Given Topic-Specific Neighborhood (as per the “Hilltop” algorithm)
  • Temporal Growth/Shrinkage of Links to the Domain (the quantity/quality of links earned over time and the temporal distribution)
  • Links from Domains with Restricted Access TLD Extensions (e.g. .edu, .gov, .mil, .ac.uk, etc.)
  • Percent of Followed vs. Nofollowed Links that Point to the Domain

Site-Wide (non-link based)Ranking Factors

  • Site Architecture of the Domain (whether intelligent, useful hierarchies are employed)
  • Use of External Links to Reputable, Trustworthy Sites/Pages
  • Length of Domain Registration
  • Domain Registration History (how long it’s been registered to the same party, number of times renewed, etc.)
  • Server/Hosting Uptime
  • Hosting Information (what other domains are hosted on the server/c-block of IP addresses)
  • Domain Registration Ownership Change (whether the domain has changed hands according to registration records)
  • Inclusion of Feeds from the Domain in Google News
  • Use of XML Sitemap(s)
  • Domain Ownership (who registered the domain and their history)
  • Domain Registration with Google Local
  • Domain “Mentions” (text citations of the domain name/address even in the absence of direct links)
  • Inclusion of Feeds from the Domain in Google Blog Search
  • Citations/References of the Domain in the Yahoo! Directory (beyond the value of the link alone)
  • Citations/References of the Domain in DMOZ.org (beyond the value of the link alone)
  • Citations/References of the Domain in Wikipedia (beyond the value of the link alone)
  • Use of Feeds on the Domain
  • Citations/References of the Domain in the Librarian’s Internet Index - Lii.org (beyond the value of the link alone)
  • Domain Registration with Google Webmaster Tools
  • Activation of Google’s “Enhanced Image Search” (aka image labeler)
  • Use of Security Certificate on the Domain (for HTTPS transactions)
  • Validity of Mailing Address/Phone Numbers/Records from Domain Registration
  • Citations/References of the Domain in Google Knol Articles (beyond the value of the link alone)
  • Use of a Google Search Appliance on the Domain
  • Use of Google AdSense on the Domain
  • Use of Google AdWords for Ads Pointing to the Domain
  • Alexa Rank of the Domain (independent of actual traffic)
  • Compete.com Rank of the Domain (independent of actual traffic)
  • Use of Google’s Hosted Web Apps (not App Engine) on the Domain

Social Media/Social Graph Based Ranking Factors

  • Delicious Data About the Domain or Page
  • StumbleUpon Data About the Domain or Page
  • Twitter Data About the Domain or Page
  • LinkedIn Data About the Domain or Page
  • Facebook Data About the Domain or Page
  • MySpace Data About the Domain or Page

Usage Data Ranking Factors

  • Historical Click-Through Rate from Search Results to the Exact Page/URL
  • Historical Click-Through Rate from Search Results to Pages on this Domain
  • Search Queries for the Domain Name or Associated Brand
  • Use of Query Refinement Post-Click on a Search Result
  • Average “Time on Page” Duration
  • Data from Google’s SearchWiki Voting, Ratings, Comments
  • References/Links to the Domain in Gmail Emails

Negative Ranking Factors

  • Cloaking with Malicious/Manipulative Intent
  • Link Acquisition from Known Link Brokers/Sellers
  • Links from the Page to Web Spam Sites/Pages
  • Cloaking by User Agent
  • Frequent Server Downtime and Site Inaccessibility
  • Hiding Text with same/similar colored text/background
  • Links from the Domain to Web Spam Sites/Pages
  • Excessive Repetition of the Same Anchor Text in a High Percentage/Quantity of External Links to the Site/Page
  • Cloaking by IP Address
  • Hiding Text with CSS by Offsetting the Pixel display outside the visible page area
  • Excessive Number of Dynamic Parameters in the URL
  • Excessive Links from Sites Hosted on the Same IP Address C-Block
  • Link Acquisition from Manipulative Bait-and-Switch Campaigns (301’ing microsites, etc.)
  • Keyword Stuffing in the On-Page Text
  • Hiding Text with CSS display:none; Styling
  • Keyword Stuffing in the
  • Keyword Stuffing in the URL
  • Link Acquisition from Manipulative Widget/Badge Campaigns
  • Cloaking by JavaScript/Rich Media Support Detection
  • Cloaking by Cookie Detection
  • Link Acquisition from Low Quality Paid Directories
  • Excessive Links from Sites Owned by the Same Registrant
  • Links to the Page from Web Spam Sites/Pages
  • Links to the Domain from Web Spam Sites/Pages
  • Link Acquisition from Manipulative Viral Campaigns
  • Cloaking with Positive User Experience Intent
  • Over-Optimization of Internal Link Anchor Text
  • Use of “Poison” Keywords in Anchor Text of External Links (e.g. student credit cards, buy viagra, porn terms, etc.)
  • Link Acquisition from Buying Old Domains and Redirecting
  • Excessively Long URL
  • Use of Keyword-Rich Anchor Text Internal Links in Footers
  • Keyword Stuffing in the Meta Description Tag
  • Link Acquisition from Buying Old Domains and Adding Links
  • Overuse of Nofollow on Internal Links for “PageRank Sculpting”
  • Forum Link Building (Signatures, Link Drops, etc.)
  • Excessively Long Title Tag
  • Keyword Stuffing in the Meta Keywords Tag

Factors Negatively Affecting the Value of an External Link

  • Domain Banned from Google’s Index for Web Spam
  • Domain’s Rankings Penalized in Google for Web Spam
  • Link is Determined to be “Paid” Rather than Editorially Given
  • Domain Contains Links to a Significant Amount of Web Spam
  • Domain Has Not Earned Trusted Links

Geo-Targeting Factors

  • Country Code TLD of the Root Domain (e.g. .co.uk, .de, .fr, .com.au, etc.)
  • Language of the Content Used on the Site
  • Links from Other Domains Targeted to the Country/Region
  • Geographic Location of the Host IP Address of the Domain
  • Manual Review/Targeting by Google Engineers and/or Quality Raters
  • Geo-Targeting Preference Set Inside Google Webmaster Tools
  • Registration of the Site with Google Local in the Country/Region
  • Address in On-Page Text Content
  • Address Associated with the Registration of the Domain
  • Geographic Location of Visitors to the Site (the country/region from which many/most visitors arrive)
  • Geo-Tagging of Pages via Meta Data (e.g. Dublin Core Meta Data Initiative)

If you have any good ideas or changes you think should be made, please leave a comment.


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Sat, 16 Jul 2011 17:04:22 +0000 http://sett.com/zachbrowne/uid/103905
List of High Quality Resources for Link Building in 2011 http://sett.com/zachbrowne/uid/103904 Search Engine Blogs

Great Link Building Articles

Google Algorithm Articles

Link Bait & Viral Content Link Building

Guest Blogging and Social Media Link Building

Archived Link Building

Backlink Analyzers

  • OpenSiteExplorer - A popular choice for analyzing backlinks. OSE has its on crawl data and doesnt rely on other backlink sources such as Yahoo Site Explorer, which only shows limited Data.
  • MajesticSEO - Another popular choice for analyzing backlinks. Majestic has its own crawl data.
  • Yahoo Site Explorer - Allows users to check incoming links to websites and specific pages.

Rank Checking/Tracking Tools

Pagerank Lookup/PageRank Tools

  • PrProwler - Prprowler is another really great link analysis tool. Allows you to quickly analyze, collect info, and sort backlinks from your competitors and from analysis of top ranked sites for particular keywords.

Class C IP Tools

Keyword Research and Management Tools

  • KeywordSpy Very popular tool for researching keywords. They maintain a huge database of millions of keywords and track where websites rank for those keywords. Great for competitive research.
  • SEMRush Similar to KeywordSpy and just as popular.
  • SpyFu Similar to KeywordSpy and SEMrush
  • Wordstream Keyword Management Online tool that helps you research and organize your keywords. Great for SEO/SEM companies that deal with lots of keyword lists. Helps with keyword discovery, keyword grouping, keyword organization, keyword analytics, search marketing work flow, with the ability to act on keyword data for PPC and SEO.
  • Keyword Search Volumes - Provides keyword data using Wordtracker and Google search results.
  • Word Tracker - Probably one of the oldest and most well known keyword research tools. Requires paid subscription

Firefox Extensions

  • SearchStatus Plugin - SearchStatus gives you Pagerank, Alexa, Compete right in the status bar of firefox, it also provides links to find backlinks and other stats for a domain/page in Google, Yahoo, MSN.
  • SEOBook's SEO for Firefox - A great plugin that allows you to see a ton of data about sites inside of Google or Yahoo Search.
  • RankQuest SEO Toolbar - Toolbar provides you quick access to more than 25 intuitive SEO tools.
  • SEO Keyword Competition Research - Gives you backlinks number, indexed pages, keyword occurences on the page, page rank and more.
  • SEO Tools - Collection of useful SEO Tools
  • SEOpen - Provides some basic tools to help with search engine optimization and link building.
  • SEO Bar - Another SEO Toolbar.
  • a4seo - Use to examine a site's backlinks.
  • FireBug - Tool used to pick apart web page coding.
  • NoDoFollow - Highlights no-follow links pink to easily determine what is follow and what is no-follow.

PageSpeed Testing

Link Building Tool Directories

Link Building Books

  • Amazon Link - Marketing Through Search Optimization: How to be found on the web (Paperback) by Alex Michael, Ben Salter 2003 - 264 pages
  • Amazon Link - Search Engine Visibility (Paperback) by Shari Thurow 2002 - 320 pages
  • Amazon Link - Speed Up Your Site: Web Site Optimization (Paperback) by Andrew B King - 2003 - 528 pages
  • Amazon Link - 101 Ways to Promote Your Web Site : Filled with Proven Internet Marketing Tips, Tools, Techniques, and Resources to Increase Your Web Site Traffic (Paperback) - by Susan Sweeney - 2004 - 460 pages
  • Amazon Link - Search Engine Advertising : Buying Your Way to the Top to Increase Sales (Voices That Matter) (Paperback) - by Catherine Seda - 2004 - 368 pages
  • Amazon Link - Guerrilla Marketing for Free: Dozens of No-Cost Tactics to Promote Your Business and Energize Your Profits (Paperback) - by Jay Conrad Levinson - 2003 - 188 pages
  • Amazon Link - Google Hacks : Tips & Tools for Smarter Searching (Hacks) (Paperback) - by Tara Calishain, Rael Dornfest - Computers - 2004 - 443 pages
  • Amazon Link - How to Do Everything with Google (Paperback) by Fritz Schneider, Nancy Blachman, Eric Fredricksen - 2003 - 350 pages
  • Amazon Link - Search Engine Optimization : An Hour a Day (Paperback) - by Jennifer Grappone, Gradiva Couzin - 2006 - 312 pages
  • Amazon Link - The ABC of SEO (Paperback) - by David George - 2005 - 172 pages
  • Amazon Link - Search Engine Optimization for Dummies (Paperback) - by Peter Kent - 2004 - 384 pages

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Thu, 14 Jul 2011 04:53:45 +0000 http://sett.com/zachbrowne/uid/103904
Guide to Performing Basic SEO http://sett.com/zachbrowne/uid/103903 This guide will take you through the basic steps of performing SEO on your website.

Keyword Research

Keywords are the words that web surfers enter in search engines like Google, Yahoo! or Bing - with the probable intent of finding products to buy, useful information, news or things to entertain. You'll want to optimize your website for effective keywords that might bring you lots of targeted visitor traffic from the search engines.

Building a Keyword List

Create your keyword core by picking basic keywords that depict your business.

Brainstorm broad terms that are related to your business, products and services. These words are going to build your keyword core that you will further use to create a list of keyword phrase combos to optimize your site for.

Good keyword tools:

Keyword suggestion tools

Engine suggestions

Suggestions in the drop-down menus that appear when you start typing in a search box:

  • Google Suggest Keyword Suggestion Scraper Tool – This tool grabs the top queries from Google Suggest which normally appears in a drop down menu under the Google search bar as you type a query.
  • Soovle is a free tool that provides the search suggestions from various engines around the net including Google, Yahoo, Bing, Wikipedia, Amazon, etc.

Visualization tools & word clouds

Topical/categorical

  • GoRank Ontology Finder (Related Keywords Lookup Tool) – Checks the top 1000 Google results for your keywords by running a related word query. Not really for synonyms but rather other words in that topic.
  • Google Trends – See search terms and activity around certain topics.
  • With Google Insights for Search, you can compare search volume patterns across specific regions, categories, time frames and properties.
  • Google Sets – Enter a few items from a set of things and Google will try to predict other items in the set. Can be handy to uncover terms related to your keywords.

Synonyms & word meanings

  • Thesaurus.com – You can’t beat the basic thesaurus for finding terms.
  • Princeton University’s WordNet lexicon tool goes beyond the thesaurus and really drives into the different meanings of specified words.
  • Lexical FreeNet – A powerful tool that shows the relationship between words.

Typos and misspellings

Keyword Manipulation

  • SEO Tools Bad Keyword & Number Stripper – Use this tool to remove bad keywords from your keyword lists.
  • AdWords Wrapper – Simply enter a list of keyword phrases and the Google AdWords Wrapper will turn it into 4 separate lists; a combination of broad, phrase and exact match, a combination of phrase and exact match, phrase match only, and exact match only.
  • Jumbo Keyword tool – A myriad of features such as auto-lowercase, auto-dedupe, delete blank lines, create phrase, exact, and broad match versions of keywords. Make sure to click the advanced tab for the most options.
  • iwebTools Quick Dedupe – Paste in a list of terms and it will quickly remove duplications

Keyword Density

These tools detect how often terms appear in content.

Geotargeting

  • For the low cost of a free blog mention, you can get ZipCodeGuy’s geo-database which has a list of all cities and counties in the U.S. along with some other good resources.
  • Generate local AdWords & keyword lists – Enter a zip code and chose the radius around it you want to geotarget. The tool will combine your keywords with the cities and states within the radius. Really great tool!

Keyword monitors

These tools let you input a list of keywords, and then tracks rankings and competitor activity over time.

Permutation tools

These tools let you combine lists together—see PPC Magic: 3 Steps To Turning Hundreds Of Keywords Into Millions for more info.

Keyword competitor tools

Find out who’s ranking on specified terms along with other useful data.

Engine upload tools

Negative terms

Modifier lists

Miscellaneous tools

  • Free Keyword Grouper – This tool from WordStream can transform your list (up to 10,000 keywords) into an organized keyword structure ready for high-performance PPC campaigns and an SEO-friendly information architecture.
  • The Free Keyword Niche Finder – An innovative new keyword tool from WordStream that returns structured keyword suggestions rather than a disorganized list. Just enter a keyword to find your most relevant and profitable keyword niches for pay-per-click advertising and SEO.
  • Apogee’s meta data research tool – Sure, it’s easy enough to view the source code of a site and see its meta keywords, but this makes it even easier.

Keep in mind that one word keywords are not very targeted so they are not very effective: most people use a two to four word phrase in a search. For example, if you are male and plan to buy a bike jacket it will not be very helpful to enter jackets in the Google searchbox. You'd rather narrow down your search to men's bike jackets to find exactly what you want.

Tip: Do not think only about the keywords and phrases which are most popular and will drive the most traffic. Also use long-tail, more specific terms - these might convert the most sales, leads or phone calls.

In other words, you are supposed to pinpoint your Keyword Niche. It should be large enough to draw good visitor traffic, yet narrow and specific enough to let you outplay your competitors and get to the top on the SEs.

Use the keyword tools listed above to expand your keyword list with related and synonymous phrases.

For example, if you sell all kinds of dresses online, you may want to add the following phrases to your list:
black dress, evening dresses, plus size dresses, cocktail dresses, formal dresses, party dresses, maxi dress, summer dresses, designer dresses, white dresses, mother of the bride dresses, strapless dresses, vintage dresses, long dresses, dresses for sale, dresses online.

SEO

Once you are done with the keyword research, you can now get to your site optimization. This includes enriching the existing site pages with the targeted keywords, making your site structure and page source code search-engine-friendly, creating new optimized content, doing local SEO and submitting your site to search engines, directories and other valuable web resources.

Basic SEO Milestones

Purchase a domain name which contains your keywords.

In case you haven't purchased a domain yet, you may want to choose a domain name that includes some of your keywords, e.g. http://www.keyword1-keyword2.com.

If you use several keywords in a domain name, make sure to separate them with a hyphen, the best word separator recognized by all search engines. Another benefit of using a hyphen as a word separator is that many people linking to your site will most probably use your domain name in the anchor text of the backlinks, so your keywords will be there automatically, too.

Note: If you target local audience, it is recommended that you purchase a country-specific domain. The major search engines (Google, Yahoo!, and Bing) check top-level domain (TLD) names to determine where a website is located.

If your site has a country code top-level domain name, that is, a domain name that ends in a country code like ".ca" for Canada, ".uk" for the United Kingdom, ".fr" for France, etc. - then your site will be included in the country-specific search results. In most cases, the local TLD will outrank a .com name when it comes to local search results.

Here's a list of tools to find a good domain:

  • Domainr - Nowadays, it's difficult to find a domain name that end with the popular .com, .net, and .org TLD's. Domainr is an innovative web tool that helps you explore other TLD's that have made popular websites like last.fm and delicious.com stand out from the crowd. Of course, searches will also include popular top-level domains that are available.
  • Dot-o-mator - Dot-o-mator is a web tool that suggests site names based on prefixes and suffixes that you’ve entered (keywords). Alternatively, you can use a category of prefixes (like "Tech" or "Games") and suffixes (like "Hardware" or "Web 2.0 words") to generate suggested site names for you. It’s a helpful tool for, at the very least, obtaining inspiration for a site name.They also have a fun tool called Web 2.0 Domain Name Generator that generates "Web 2.0" site names like "Yakidoo" or "Zoompulse".
  • BustAName - BustAName is a robust and feature-packed domain finder that uses linguistic data to help you search domains. BustAName allows you to save and manage/organize your searches for later use. It has a "List of Words" feature that advise you of similar words to your search – which you can then organize inside folders.Available domains that are returned can be sorted in a number of ways such as "by quality (readability)" or "by length" for easier viewing. Though the web tool is very intuitive, the creators have a video tutorial on how to utilize BustAName.
  • Domain Tools - Domain Tools is a set of domain name search engines that will help you uncover relevant information about certain domain names. They have a "Whois" search that reveals records about the party who registered the domain, a "Suggestions" search to help you find similar domain names, a "Domain Search" which shows you what TLDs of a domain name are available, and domain names that are "For Sale" or "At Auction".
  • Domize - Domize is a fast, Ajax-based search engine that you can use to rapidly check the availability of domains. Domize has a widget that you can install on your website to provide a domain search engine to your visitors. Domize also has an iPhone app – because domain name inspiration can hit you at anytime (hopefully you have your iPhone with you when it happens).
  • squurl - squurl is another fast Ajax-based domain search engine. It has a "Suggestions" feature to help you discover similar domains to the ones you’ve typed.
  • DomainsBot - DomainsBot is a domain search engine that has an "Advanced" search feature so that you can conduct a more customized and refined search. For example, you can set the maximum domain character length to eliminate lengthy domain names from the results or exclude domain results that have a hyphen (-).
  • dnScoop - dnScoop tries to estimate the value of a particular domain based on several statistics such as site traffic, links pointing to the domain, and other factors. This will help you gain some insight on the value of a particular domain name in case the name you really want is "for sale" and you want to see if the asking price is fair, or to make an offer to a site owner that owns the domain you really want.
  • StuckDomains - StuckDomains is a database of expired domain names that previous owners have not renewed. This can be an opportunity to find a domain name that doesn’t involve odd names like "fujiyakuku.com".
  • Nameboy - Nameboy is a popular domain name generator. This straightforward web tool asks for a "Primary Word" and "Secondary Word" that describe the topic of your website, and based on your input, it suggests possible domain names.For example, typing in "web" as the Primary Word and "superman" as the Secondary Word returned results such as webhero, supeweb and supermanweb. There’s a "Rhyme" option that tries to suggest domain names that rhyme with the search phrases, but the feature didn’t seem to work on the above example.
  • dyyo.com - It’s common practice to keep domain names as short as possible so that it can be quickly typed and also so that they’re easier to remember. dyyo.com specializes in helping you find 4-letter domain names to keep your URLs terse.
  • Ajax Whois - Ajax Whois is a simple Ajax-based domain search that makes domain-name-hunting effortless and rapid. To make your searches even faster, they have a set of useful keyboard shortcuts to satisfy the power user in you.

Select the most valuable pages of your site that you will optimize for the targeted keywords.

You have already picked keywords to optimize your pages for. Now you should think which pages of your site should be optimized for high search engine rankings. These are definitely NOT the Terms of Use or Privacy Policy pages, but the pages that are meant to showcase your merchandise, attract targeted visitors and serve as landing pages.

It is recommended that you optimize each page for no more than 3 keywords (1 major keyword and 2 complementary ones). Each specific page should be optimized for an individual set of keywords.

Optimize the TITLEs of your pages for the targeted keywords.

The TITLE tag is the most important tag on a page; it tells both search engines and users what the page is about. Search engines take its contents into account when determining the page theme and its relevance.
From the usability standpoint, the TITLE tag includes the text that shows up in a browser window header when users open your page and on the search results pages. They can also see this text in their Bookmarks/Favorites menu after they save the page to bookmarks.

In the code of the page, the TITLE tag looks like the following:

The appropriate length of a title tag is under 70 characters.

Make sure it is the first tag in the area. It is also important to use only one TITLE per page.

Create a unique and relevant META Description tag for each optimized page.

The META Description tag is a summary of your page content. This tag was primarily meant for the search engines to let them know what the page was about; it could seriously impact your search engine rankings.

Nowadays, the META Description tag no longer plays a crucial role in your search engine rankings however it is still important because the search engines may use the contents of this tag as a snippet for your page in the SE results.

In the code of the page, the META Description tag looks like the following:

Create a descriptive META Description tag for each page that you optimize; this tag can be 1-2 sentences long (between 150-160 characters best).

Include keywords relevant to this page; do not use instant keyword repetitions to avoid being considered a spammer by the SEs.

Optimize the headings of your pages for the targeted keywords.

When creating web pages, people use Heading tags (< h1 > < h2 > < h3 > < h4 > < h5 >) to label headlines. Some search engines still consider the contents of these tags as important (especially the first-level heading tag), however their importance is much lower than the TITLE tag.

Include your most important keywords and key phrases within the first-level heading:

Your first-level heading with keywords

Use only one tag on any page. In most cases, the top-level heading will be the same as the TITLE.

Also use and tags on a page in order to structure information in a proper way; make sure to enrich them with keywords, too.

Optimize the anchor text of your page links for the targeted keywords.

The anchor text of your page links is the underlined text that your visitors click when they navigate the pages. It tells both users and search engines what the target page is about, so it is important to include keywords here.

In the code of the page, the anchor text looks like the following:

Visible anchor text with keywords

When optimizing the anchor text of the links that point to a valuable page, do your best to include keywords that you optimize the other page for, instead of using common phrases like "click here" or "read more".

Optimize image ALTs and image titles of your pages for the targeted keywords.

If you use your images as links to other pages, you may want to use keyword-rich image ALTs and titles. This can help you to increase the relevance of your pages and have your images included in Google Images search results.

In the code of the page, image ALTs and titles look like the following:

Your text with keyword1

Results Monitoring

Once you are done with the keyword research and website optimization, it's time to track the first results of your undertakings. See how well your site is doing on the search engines: check if your pages have been indexed by the SEs, track your site rankings, and analyze your link popularity and visitor activity.

Indexed pages check

Check if your pages have been indexed by the search engines.

After you have submitted your site to the search engines and directories, it makes sense to wait for several weeks and then check if the search engine robots have visited your site and put your pages in their indices.

Go to Google.com and enter the following in the search box (substitute www.example.com with your domain):
site:www.example.com

Rankings check

Check rankings for your keywords on the major and local search engines.

Site ranking is the position your site occupies for a particular keyword in the search engine result pages. You can choose to check your site rankings manually by entering keywords in the SE search box and looking for your site in the SE results.

Backlinks check

Check your backlinks on the major search engines.

Tools to be added here later.

Site Traffic Analysis

Set up Google Analytics for your site, and analyze visitor traffic.

Site visitors may come from the search engines, social media sites, partner networks where you place your ads, etc. It is important to implement a Web Analytics solution on your site at the very beginning of your website promotion activities - to see if your site gets any visitor traffic, and analyze the sources of this traffic.

Whatever solution you choose to use, you will get stats on unique visitors and page views, referring sites, search engines and even the keywords that brought you the most traffic from the search engines. Advanced web analytics solutions will also let you track sales, subscriptions, registrations and opt-ins, plus view info on conversions, revenue and ROI.

I recommend that you use a real-time visitor tracking system that provides far more exact figures if compared to log analyzers. Google Analytics is a good example of a free real-time visitor tracking tool.

To set up Google Analytics for your site, you should first sign in with a Google account, add your website's URL, and install the tracking code for your site. For more help on installing the tracking code, you can refer to the Google Analytics Help Center.

Link Building

One-Way Link Building

Ask for a link from those who mention your name but don't yet link to you.

Search for articles, sites, or posts that mention your personal or business name though do not link to it; contact them and suggest that they place a direct link to your site.

Ask your clients for a link from their site.

Ask for links from suppliers, service providers, clients, and complementary businesses. It is good to get links with relevant partners that can send you targeted traffic.

Ask your employees to link to your company site from their personal sites.

Ask your employees to link to your company site from their personal sites and blogs, online profiles, virtual business cards, etc. It is preferable that they use targeted keywords in anchor text, and also include niche-related text around the link.

Connect your own sites.

If you have other sites related to your topic place links from them to your site. Don't use this technique if your websites are hosted on the same server. Connect sites with different IPs only.

Don't participate in the manipulative link schemes that are prohibited by the search engines' guidelines. Inbound links or cross change links with a site that does not deal with your topic can be seen by SEs as a Gray-Hat or even a Black-Hat technique.

Ask your web design company to link to your site.

Most web design companies list their client sites in the Portfolio section of their sites. Make sure it is not a script-based link and not a redirected link.

Create a virtual business card and include a link to your site.

Look for high quality card exchange sites and create a virtual business card on each site. Generally virtual business cards are professional, clean, flexible and customizable and meant to be exchanged because of the information they contain. Fill the information for your online bio with the link back to your site.

Sites to consider:

Write a testimonial on someone's product and have it posted on their website.

You have to share your experience of the product or service with people; the company you are writing for will appreciate and value it. When working on a testimonial you need to be 100% honest and include things in your testimonial within your direct experience.

Be specific. That means write about specific details and not general comments. Where possible give permission for your full name and company name to be used. The testimonial will be posted on their site so you can ask for a link back to your company site.

Ask someone to review your product.

Sites with active user bases can give you links with your keywords that can help your search engine rankings, in addition to bringing you direct traffic and a good reputation via favorable reviews. Search for relevant blogs and reach their authors.

Tip: Do not go after A-list bloggers, focus on the mid-list bloggers instead. These people are often much more accessible, and much more willing to check out your offerings.

Order a paid post from a prominent blogger.

If you can't write yourself or need an additional audience and traffic to your site, try getting a post about you from an experienced blogger whose topics are relevant to your website/service/product. This way you will automatically get a high quality link pointing to your site.

Donate to charity and expect a thankful link back to your site.

Donate some of the profits you generate every month to charity. Being involved in this activity is great for promotion in the media and for the good will of clients: they will feel like they're helping out the charity by purchasing from you. Besides, charity sites may list their donators in a special section of their site.

Donate your skills to non-profit sites in exchange for a link.

If you are a web designer, programming engineer or an SEO expert, you can offer your help for free to non-profit organizations. Actually you can be an expert in any field where you can help - just think what you can really offer.
Target .gov and .edu sites (colleges and universities, organizations, etc.) that can post a thankful link back to your site.

Sponsor an event and expect a link from the Sponsors page.

All sorts of contests and conferences link to their sponsors. Companies can display their corporate or brand names or logos on event signs, buildings, equipment, programs, uniforms, or promotional materials. In addition event sponsorship is a way to reach a self-selected audience, hopefully interested in purchasing the company's products or services.

Become a sponsor of an event and provide your site details to be posted on the event's site. Interact with the guests: take part in discussions, exchange experience and share contact details.

Post comments on the blogs related to your niche.

Track the most popular blogs in your niche. Post comments when you have something to say or share, and include a link to your site in a signature. The subtle mentioning of your products or services in comments helps to build relationships, customer loyalty, and branding. Don't overdo it however; your comments should not sound as open advertising.

Join forum discussions.

Make quality contributions in forums related to your topic. Add links to your company site in your signature and user profile if this is allowed by the rules of a forum. Every time you post a new topic or a reply, forum readers will be able to follow the links you provide.

Remember that your posts should offer useful information to web surfers, forum fans and return visitors.

Note: If there is no nofollow attribute forum links may also help you in ranking.

Make an offer of free samples.

Provide free product samples to your readers, clients, etc in exchange for feedback. Offer a discount or free product samples to others who blog about your product.

Link Exchange

Look for relevant sites to exchange links with.

Link exchange is an old yet effective method of acquiring two-way links, as it may help you improve the PageRank of a page that is linked to, raise your site link popularity and help you get ranked better for targeted keywords. Remember, however, that only authoritative links with relevant anchor text can help you improve your link popularity.

To find link partners, look for:

  • Sites that link to your competitors. Find pages linking to a certain domain by entering queries using a special syntax in the search boxes of the search engines. For Google, use the following syntax:
    link:www.yourcompetitor.com
  • Sites that are ranked high for the keywords that are indirectly related to your niche (thematic partners yet not your competitors in your country/region/language). Enter your keyword or key phrase and search for them on a search engine. It will return relevant result pages.

It is good to exchange links with suppliers, clients, and complementary businesses. Make sure to exchange links only with relevant partners that can send you traffic.

Contact your potential link partners by email and offer link exchange.

Once you've built a list of your potential link partners, it is time to swap links with them. To send a link exchange proposition, you need to have an email address of a webmaster, site owner or another contact related to the site in question. You can find the addresses on their websites, use whois data, or add the office, webmaster or other common prefixes to the @ sign and a domain name.

Important: Ask to include your keywords in anchor text of links. However don't make all links with the same anchor text and pointing to the same page.

Measuring the results of link building

  • Use a backlink checker to track your site backlinks on major SEs.
  • Use a rank checker to check your site rankings for the targeted keywords.
  • Use Google Analytics to track the results of your link building campaigns.

Now you can analyze the effectiveness of your link building campaigns and fine-tune them if needed. If you build links for traffic but the number of your visitors doesn't increase, take a closer look at the sites you have your links on. Whenever you open up new avenues of traffic through quality links, you should see a traffic increase.

Social Media Marketing

Nowadays social media marketing is an indispensable element of the promotional mix. You should center your efforts on the creation of content that attracts attention and encourages readers to share it with their social networks. Social media marketing benefits you by providing an additional channel for customer support, a means to gain customer and competitive insight, and a method of managing your reputation online.

Buzz Tracking

Track social media channels to see what others are saying in your niche.

Before you dive deep into the social media marketing mix, it would benefit you to first probe the ground and listen to the social media buzz on your products and services, your brand and your niche in general.

  • Build Large, Busy Networks on Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter
  • Participating in Community Answers
  • Ask or answer a question related to your niche on Yahoo! Answers.

Participating in Yahoo! Answers is a great way to showcase your expertise, get new skills and knowledge, build new relations within your niche community, acquire new prospects and clients and get target traffic.

Become a member of Yahoo! Answers, upload an avatar and fill in your profile with general and accurate information. Pick the category most relevant to your business or site.

Perform searches in Yahoo! for your main keywords and answer the questions supplied by Yahoo! Answers in the normal Yahoo! Search results. This will get the most web search eyes and possibly clicks on your links.

Use the Yahoo! Answers social network to make friends with every person asking or answering questions within that category. Answer the questions that you can and link to your site as a reference when best suited. Do not forget to link to other sites as references so your answers are not mistaken as spamming.

Remember that Yahoo! Answers information will be indexed by Yahoo! It is integrated into Yahoo! Local, Yahoo! Search, Yahoo! Brand Channels and other Yahoo! content channels, so your audience will grow significantly.

Ask or answer a question related to your niche on Answers.com.

Go to the Answer section and search for the question you can answer and show your expertise about.

When answering a question, you can use your site as a valuable reference for the answer. This way you will not only build expert recognition, but get traffic, links and sales.

The two main rules of answering questions are: don't spam (jamming your site's URL into every answer will just scare people off) and be active (contribute value, help people out and you will be rewarded).

Ask or answer a LinkedIn question related to your niche.

Go to LinkedIn Answers and first of all pay attention to New Questions From Your Network section. You are here not only to answer questions and show your knowledge, but to establish good relationships within the community.

Browse the category that you've got experience in, and look for questions related to your niche. Add a link to your site or blog post to support your answer. Avoid looking like a spammer; your answers should contribute value.

You can also ask a question if you are sure that your network can provide an answer. Always thank people for their good answers and connect with the people who are helpful.

Social Media Optimization

Prepare your site pages and blog posts for sharing via social media.

Increase your linkability.

To optimize a site for social media, you will need to increase the linkability of the content. Adding a blog is a great step. You can also create white papers or ebooks or even simply aggregate content that exists elsewhere into a useful format. Your visitors should want to link to your content.

Make tagging and bookmarking easy.

Use social media share-me buttons connected to bookmarking sites, social news sites, social event sites and other social media channels; add tagging options; add RSS feeds.

One of the most popular plug-ins of this kind is AddThis. AddThis is compatible with any website, most popular blogging platforms (Blogger, Wordpress, TypePad, Tumblr), social networks (e.g. Myspace), most popular content management systems (Joomla! and Drupal), email newsletters, Microsoft Office Live and RSS Feeds.
Add share-this buttons at the end of each article, news or blog post, rather than creating one share button for the entire newsletter or blog.

Know how to target your audience.

You will have to understand both the subject matter and the community by living and breathing it. This is the only way to create content or marketing ideas compelling to a niche. Create ideas which resonate with your audience, and you can forge great relationships and build vital brand allies.

Connect your site/blog to social media channels.

Use the YouTube or Vimeo video sharing options on your site. This will make it easy for your visitors to socialize, tag videos and post comments.

Incorporate third-party community functionalities like images and slide share. Create profiles on slideshow sharing sites (SlideShare, Slideboom, etc.) and display Flickr pictures on your site.

Add social networking features to your site or blog.

All social networks offer widgets that you can use on your site to connect your users to the social networks and let people chat online, buy virtual gifts, play games, take quizzes, take part in polls and ratings, share photos, videos and other media without leaving your site.

Community building widgets.

Use Google Friend Connect on your blog. With it you can create a community, see who your members are and reach out to them if you choose.

Subscription widgets.

Choose a suitable widget that lets your visitors subscribe to your RSS feed easily.

Social networking widgets.

Social networking widgets encourage visitors to connect with you on Twitter, Facebook, BlogCatalog, MyBlogLog and other key social bookmarking and social networking sites.

Content sharing widgets.

The AddThis widget at the end of each article makes it very easy for you to share content with friends in your networks.

Link Building with Social Media

Create your page on Wikipedia.

Make a compelling descriptive page about your company, write in a neutral tone, be objective and unbiased. Remember that Wikipedia prohibits promotional articles and it is better to read Wikipedia guidelines carefully.

Include external links, not to your company's homepage, but academic papers, scientific journals and industry-specific websites to give your article the credibility it needs and that Wikipedia demands. You may indirectly link to your website through a research paper with your link on it.

Create a Squidoo Lens and promote your site.

Squidoo lets you create as many one page websites as you like. Create your own lens to promote your product. Concentrate on a single topic - Squidoo calls any web page you create a "lens" because of this focus.

Search engines like Squidoo Lenses so use appropriate keywords and link to your site. You will then have relevant dofollow links that improve your site's ranking.

Join groups in Squidoo. These will get extra links to your lens from other Squidoo pages, boosting your incoming links and helping your search engine results too.

Create an Amazon.com product list.

Place a product list on Amazon.com that reviews top products and also mention your product using a background link. Register on Amazon and use the Web-based tools, a free desktop software application, or text files to upload details of your inventory.

Ask your clients to review your product on Yahoo! Local.

If your business model is appropriate make a listing on Yahoo! Local. Ask your clients to write a positive review on your product on Yahoo! Local, in case your service can be geographically targeted (restaurant, store, clinic, coffee shop, bar, etc.).

Social Bookmarking

Do social bookmarking for your site pages and blog posts.

Remember to add all your fresh content to social bookmarking sites like Delicious, Yahoo! Bookmarks, Google bookmarks, Buddymarks, etc.

Pay enough attention to add a catchy description, tag the story with your keywords. Ask friends / colleagues / fellow bloggers to bookmark the same URL too.

Social News Sharing

Submit a story to social news and social recommendation sites.

Submit a story to social news and social recommendation sites. Go for Digg, Reddit, StumbleUpon, etc.

Submit the story yourself, ask a friend or ask a top user in these communities. Tag your story with your keywords. If your site turns out to be attractive for the community, expect thousands upon thousands of users to visit and review your site themselves.

Media Sharing

Take photos of your products or the things related to your niche and upload them to the photo sharing sites.

Take a camera with you everywhere and make unique, funny or interesting photos of your products or the things related to your niche, and upload them to the photo sharing sites. Consider sites like Flickr, Photobucket, etc.

Think of Flickr first of all, as it is not only integrated within Yahoo! Image Search and gets listings in Google's search results, Technorati, personalized start pages (Netvibes etc.), various other portals, websites and blogs which pull in and display public Flickr pictures via RSS, but Flickr also has a great social component.

Join a group and submit your photos. This is a good way to get some exposure for your website and profile. Another networking method is to actively comment on pictures that you come across. This will get some users to click through to your profile page, which should have an introduction and link to your website or business.

Alternatively, you can also create your own group if you do not find any which fit your interests or website focus. Starting your own Flickr Group is rather easy and only takes a few minutes. Creating a Flickr group is useful when you are unable to find a group that is relevant to your website or interests.

Create a video on your topic and upload it to the video sharing sites.

Another thing you should not neglect is a video on your topic which you should upload to the video sharing sites. Start with the popular sites like YouTube, Vimeo, MetaCafe, etc.

You can also search for local video sharing sites that are popular in your country or region. If you want your video to be distributed virally, it should be interesting, funny, useful, or shocking. Remember that on YouTube, the number of times a video has been viewed plays a role in YouTube popularity rankings. Maximize organic search visibility and drive quality traffic to your video by including keyword-rich titles, descriptions and video tags on your video upload page. YouTube's organic search results are based on the relevancy of video tags, titles, descriptions and popularity. Because only 1,000 characters show in the initial search, be compelling and brief.

Create a presentation and upload it on slideshow sharing sites

One more media sharing method is to create a presentation and upload it on slideshow sharing sites. Start with a PowerPoint presentation that showcases the tools/techniques on how to solve niche-related problems, offers useful tips or advice, presents a useful Guide or To-Do list, etc.

Create profiles on slideshow sharing sites (SlideShare, Slideboom, etc.); add your website link to your profiles and upload the presentation. Do not forget to tweet about your new uploads and share them via social media bookmarking sites.

Social Media Tracking

Track your social media activity results.

Analyze readers' reaction and engagement in your social media activities. Track blog post views, trackbacks and comments, RSS subscribers, social bookmarks, YouTube views, Twitter retweets and followers, number of Facebook fans/friends, Facebook and LinkedIn Group discussions, Digg and Reddit votes, etc. Analyze trends in your reader engagement.

Through social media tracking you can gain insights from the conversations people are having online every day and to make improvements to products, customer service and marketing as a result.

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Fri, 03 Jun 2011 07:14:36 +0000 http://sett.com/zachbrowne/uid/103903