Friday, November 6, 2009
Let me think on it for few more days and decide what should I really do...................................???????
Friday, May 8, 2009
Direct recycling typically does not work too well as most smart people will be able to locate the original source if the idea was successful. What does work well is to take up a related idea and add it to your site. There are recurring themes and stories that will work in any market. Just look at the magazines in the checkout line and notice how little the headlines change from month to month and year to year.
Being remarkable often means grabbing a new spin on a well worn story. Forrest Gump ran across America numerous times. Are you opening a thin classified site for low priced cars? Why not buy a car from your site and drive your beater cross country, while contacting relevant media outlets along the way.
There are a lot of human beat boxes that make weird sounds (to me anyhow). It is not my cup of tea, and yet today a friend sent me a link to a video posted on Facebook where there was a video (from Google) of a human beat box who also played the fluteThe same guy probably would not have been remarkable enough to get millions of viewers if he didn’t add the flute to his repertoire.
There are dozens of formats you can use to publish content and thousands (maybe millions?) of effective marketing strategies. Nothing is going to guarantee success, but each day the web provides more free market research & examples of what has worked in other markets.
If you ever run into the limits of your industry and feel everything has already been done then all you need to do is pick up a book on another topic, read the news (outside your industry), or tie your other hobbies to your industry to find an interesting angle that has not yet been done. Some people might think your analogy or strategy is ridiculous, but you don’t need the approval of everyone to be citation-worthy to some.
Not everyone is able to ride a bicycle across a fence or off a bridge, but it is remarkably viral and when someone does.Push the boundaries of your market, but try to stay out of the hospital! :)
Monday, May 4, 2009
Most of us see the same tweets, read the same blogs and know the same case studies. We know to optimize titles and anchor text, fix canonical issues, write compelling meta descriptions and so on. In the age of social media, trade secrets are now few and far between.
If that’s the case, and we all know basically the same things, what differentiates a great SEO?
The answer is, simply, the ability to get things done.
Here are 10 things you can do to be a great SEO.
10. Be humble: Value goals beyond rankings
A great SEO knows that the ultimate success involves checking their ego. Ranking for an ultra cool term is great chest-pounding material, but the contribution to the bottom line is the currency that spends. Whether the goals are sales, or traffic, ranking for the ugly terms may not be as cool to the world, but it will be to your company.
9. Be a realist: Focus on sustainability
What can your company really expect to rank for? Think like a search engine. Are you really the right answer for a particular search term? If not, don’t spend your resources working hard for a ranking that you really don’t belong in. If you’re building a business model based on a changing algorithm, have a fundamentally sound reason for choosing your terms. If you don’t, create one. No one agrees on how bounce rate affects rankings, but long term I think everyone agrees nothing good will come of a poor performing, irrelevant page.
8. Know your product: Keyword research wins
7. Understand your resources: Plan your projects accordingly
Keep in mind, the Paid Search team has a huge advantage here. Their results are relatively predictable. Yours are not. Be certain your project is funded, planned, benchmarked and understood by others. If link building is involved, as it should be, be certain that time is budgeted for a diligent effort. Creating, sharing and following a roadmap will buy you the space to work.6. Learn your surroundings: Identify potential roadblocks and address them
The worst thing you can do as a SEO is surprise, or ambush, people. You need to assume other departments will already be skeptical of your sorcerer ways. It’s only natural. Identify the people that will block your path. Address them with facts, privately. Do not humiliate someone who doesn’t understand SEO. What seems obvious to you may not be obvious to them. Only if you give respect do you earn the right to command it.5. Embrace your limitations: Plug the holes
One of the hardest things to do sometimes is admit what you don’t do well. Doing so, however, will earn the respect of others and insure that those holes are plugged by other team members. Work on them as you go, but never hide them. Being great doesn’t mean you need to be great at everything. Asking for help is ok, and very much a sign of greatness.4. Be a team player: Share the glory
Now we’re getting more into the psychology of a great SEO. It’s easy to want to take credit for a change that reaps huge rewards. Remember the IT guy that implemented it for you? Let him know how rewarding it was for the company and make sure his boss knows it. Not everyone understands how they impact the bottom line. Teach them, and recruit them, and your goals will be that much easier to meet. When people are praised or rewarded, they’ll get on your team.3. Argue with facts: No mudslinging
Take the high road. Something simple like adding related links to a page may be a no-brainer to you, but may look like spam someone that just doesn’t understand the reason. Stay patient. You probably can’t do their job, either. Explain why your idea is necessary, and use case studies. Show them how the sites they use probably do the same thing, and they just don’t realize it. Show how rankings influence revenue, and how your project influences rankings. People can’t argue with fact-based numbers. At that point, your nemesis will need to justify their reasons with facts, and not opinions. Do this respectfully, and firmly. When it’s done, you’ll win. Or, you’ll realize SEO may be hopeless where you’re at.2. Choose your battles: There’s more than SEO
Sometimes the decision makers understand SEO, and fly directly against a known best practice. If your company values a project component above SEO, don’t pout or write them off as morons. There’s a bigger picture and sometimes a small SEO sacrifice can reap large gains in other areas. A great SEO lives to fight another day and comes knocking at another door. You see, there’s always more than one answer. It’s your job to figure it out.1. Understand business models: Contribute effectively
SEO is not just implementation, it’s largely strategy. Sometimes it’s a strategy that may not even be known to your company. Bring a revenue strategy, along with the SEO ability to implement it, and you’ll have gotten out of the box. You see, the key to greatness is being more than just a SEO. Bring ways to contribute to the bottom line, and make them happen, and you will have achieved greatness.So there you have it. The difference between a great SEO, or almost any other professional, lies in their ability to get things done. Navigating pitfalls, effectively communicating and maintaining superior knowledge all lead to greatness. For future reference, I suggest you bookmark this page. It can serve as a great source for dealing with common SEO issues.
This is what Matt Leonard has said.
Monday, April 27, 2009
Publishing many web sites can be a very challenging process. There are times when organizations have a larger main site and decide to operate one or more smaller sites (aka microsites) as well. Other organizations publish a number of microsites without having a larger site at all.
Whether publishing microsites are in violation of the search engine webmaster guidelines depends on the details of the implementation and the reasons for doing it. Let’s look at a few of the reasons why people do it, and map out the likely search engine viewpoint on them:
SERP domination.. As most of our readers know, the search engines do not like to show more than 2 pages in the SERPs for a given web site. The main reason for this is that the search engines want to show their users a diverse set of results. After all, if a particular web site is not what a user is looking for, showing it to them multiple times in search results is not likely to result in a satisfied user.
Some organizations want to obtain more than 2 results and use microsites as a way to dominate the SERPs. This is done by publishing sites that chase the same sets of keywords, and therefore have similar content. As you might guess, this is against the search engine guidelines. If you choose to pursue this path, you need to do so with great care, and be prepared for the consequences if your group of sites are discovered and linked to you.
Reputation management. Related to our first scenario is when an organization is looking to dominate the SERPs for their brand name. Organizations often start to think about reputation management after seeing a website that publishes disparaging comments about them show up in the SERPs for the organization name or brand. This causes management to become very focused on protecting their reputation and seeking out strategies for dominating the SERPs for their brand name.
One strategy for pursuing reputation management is to build up a series of social media profiles and rely on the trust and authority imbued in those sites to start occupying the SERPs (linking to these profiles from the main site to help drive their rankings up), hopefully above the offending site. This type of strategy is OK with the search engines, but some organizations choose to create microsites for this purpose. This is where the game gets dicier, particularly if the content on the microsites are substantially similar to the content on another site owned by the organization.
Bypass internal management restrictions. Some organizations maintain very tight controls over what can and cannot be done on their main site. These types of controls are often put in place for branding reasons. Novel new marketing programs can get squashed in such an environment. One way around these restrictions is to develop a microsite.
An example would be a large brand that decides to create and promote a new video game on the web, even though they are not in the video game business (i.e. the game is being used as a PR tactic). They may not want to promote such a product directly on the main site, but are perfectly OK with promoting it on a new site thematically focused just on the game. Since the content is different, this is a strategy that the search engines will not have any quibble with.
Microsites as “link friendly” representatives. Sometimes moving differentiated content onto its own domain can make it easier for that content to gain links. For example, a publisher of a highly commercial site may want to create a series of articles that they promote on social media sites such as Digg, Reddit and others.
Why? The users of these types of social media sites are not particularly fond of linking to highly commercial sites. Publishing such articles on a different, “less commercial” domain may raise the probability of the success of the campaign. Once again, this is a scenario that the search engines would not be concerned about because the content is likely to be substantially different.
Beware of diluting your link power
The other factor that publishers should consider when deciding whether or not to publish a microsite is the issue of dividing up their link power. Each site you launch represents a new marketing problem. Each site needs links to prosper, and if a set of sites all share the same links that’s a sure clue to the search engines that something is amiss. As a result, the best linking strategy for a group of microsites is to make sure that the number of links they have in common are limited.
On today’s web where trust and authority play a large role in the ranking of a web site, dividing up your content on multiple sites is often not a good idea. For example, if you get 1000 different web sites to link to a set of 4 web sites, each site probably gets links from 250 to 400 domains (allowing for a modest degree of overlap).
This means that the domains have only the trust and authority of the 250 to 400 domains that link to them. Contrast this with a single site with all 1000 domains linking to it (particularly if they are all largely relevant). This site has a much higher level of trust and authority. The result is that this site can rank higher for the related keywords, and this can be critical in highly competitive areas.
As we have outlined above, there are scenarios where one or more microsites does make sense for an organization. Be careful to make sure that the microsites have unique and differentiated content and you will be OK from the search engine point of view. The other factor you should consider is the dividing of your link juice. In scenarios 3 and 4 outlined above, you may be willing to accept this splitting of links because the other reasons for developing a microsite are compelling enough. Weigh these factors when considering a microsite so you can make a fully informed decision.
Sunday, April 26, 2009
You may notice that some of your blog posts are drawing search engine traffic for particular search phrases and keywords (especially if your blog has had some time to establish itself with search engines). Even if you are doing keyword research prior to writing posts, you’ll almost definitely see that some of these phrases that are producing traffic are not something that you had intentionally targeted. While this is a nice surprise, it also means that there is likely more potential if you’re willing to make some small, but significant, tweaks.
If you’re drawing search traffic from a phrase that you’re not targeting, it probably means that you could be ranked even higher, and draw even more traffic as a result, if you make some changes to optimize your post accordingly. Just because a post was published at some point in the past doesn’t mean that it can’t be modified and made to be more effective.
In this post we’ll look at a few simple changes that can be made to improve upon these unintentional rankings. By taking a relatively small amount of time to recognize these opportunities and act on them, you could be setting yourself up for significantly more search engine traffic on an on-going basis.
First of all, you’ll need to find the keywords and phrases that are already driving traffic to your site. These are the search terms that you know are already producing results, so making a small effort to move up in the rankings is well worth your time. If your post is ranked 5th in Google for a particular phrase without even attempting to optimize the page, you may be able to quickly improve to the 1st or 2nd spot and see a noticeable increase in traffic. Repeat this process for a few different posts and the results will add up.
As an example, I have a post on my primary blog that has steadily attracted search traffic for the past six months or so. It’s not a ridiculous amount of traffic each day, but it does come from some fairly competitive search phrases and it is consistent every day, which adds up over the span of a month. I recently spent a few minutes to look into which search phrases were sending traffic to this post and I was surprised to see that I was ranked 4th in Google for a phrase that didn’t seem to be optimized. I made a simple change in just a couple of minutes and within a few days the post had moved to the #1 spot for that same phrase. Since then search traffic has been up consistently for that phrase.
To find these opportunities for your own blog, look at your stats from Google Analytics (or a similar program) and see what search phrases are sending traffic to your site. Most likely these phrases will be leading traffic to a particular post rather than to your homepage, which means you can simply optimize that post to more effectively target the phrases that are already sending traffic. Just look through the phrases that are sending traffic and you’re sure to find some that could be more productive. Personally, I start with the ones that are sending the most traffic since they have potential for the best results.
In addition to looking at Google Analytics, you can also use Google Webmaster Tools. Webmaster Tools will show you some valuable data under “Statistics” and “Top Search Queries.” This will show you 20 phrases where your site is ranking well, and 20 phrases that are sending the most traffic to you. You may find some items on this list that surprise you a little bit. If they surprise you, it probably means that you weren’t intending to draw traffic from these phrases and there should be some room for improvement.
So now that you have identified a few phrases to work with, what should you do? Here are a few simple suggestions.
1. Page Titles
Page titles are the most significant on-page factor for search engine rankings. If your post is ranking very well for a particular phrase that is not exactly used in your page title, you should be able to see some improvement in the ranking if you change your page title to include this phrase. If you’re using WordPress and the All-In-One SEO Pack Plugin this is very easy. From the example that I used earlier, I didn’t remove anything from the existing title, I simply added a two-word phrase that was already producing the search traffic. As a result, with no other effort, that was enough to jump a few spots in the rankings.
2. Add New Internal Links
By adding more internal links to a particular post you will be indicating to search engines that the post is important. This is a pretty simple process, but one that most of us don’t take the time to do. If you’re blog has been around for a while you have plenty of places where you can add internal links. Go back and find posts on related topics and add a link in the content of the page or at the beginning or end of the post. Also, look for opportunities to link from any significant pages on your blog.
3. Change Anchor Text
Another factor that will influence search engine rankings is the anchor text that is used on links that point to that post. You can obviously control the anchor text used on your internal links, so take a few minutes and see what anchor text you are currently using on these links and see if it could be optimized to match the phrase that you are now targeting.
The anchor text of links from other sites to this page will also be significant, but you may or may not be able to change that. In most cases the best you could do is to contact the other blogger or website owner and ask them if they mind changing the anchor text on a particular link. I know some people do this, but I can’t say that I have ever asked someone to change the anchor text on their site for me.
4. Meta Description
While meta descriptions are not going to make a big difference in terms of rankings, an effective description is capable of improving the click-through-rate from the SERPs. For example, if your page is ranking 3rd in Google for a particular phrase, you could enter a description that will do a better job of attracting clicks from those searchers and you may find a 10% in traffic without moving up in the rankings. Again, this is something that you can easily do with the All-In-One SEO Pack Plugin.
5. Add to the Content of the Post
One of the best ways to help a post draw more traffic on an on-going basis is to make the post more useful. Most of us don’t take the time to improve our old posts, but the time can be a good investment in some cases. By making adding new or updated content you will be making the post more useful and hopefully it will attract more links in the future because it continues to be valuable. And more links mean possible improvement in rankings.
6. Write a Follow Up Post
I rarely write posts to target a specific word or phrase, but I did so about a year ago with a post on my primary blog. After a while the post attracted some links and moved up to the number one spot for the targeted phrase. After that I thought it would be nice if I could get a second post to rank well for that phrase, so I published a follow up. Since my site was already recognized by Google as a good source of information for this phrase it was pretty easy to get a second post to rank for the same phrase. Before long I had the first two spots in Google for the phrase pointing towards my two posts.
If you have a page that is ranked very high, this is a very achievable way to grab an even higher share of the traffic for this phrase. However, most of us (including me) rarely think to do this. Take a look at your posts that are ranking well, most likely you’ll find some opportunities where you could write a follow up post to target the same phrase.