32 SEO Tips And Tricks

  1. SEO from the beginning – You should incorporate SEO planning into your website project right from the start. Many builders opt for the “build first, ask later” approach and inevitably get fried as a result. Don’t be like the entrepreneur who spent thousands on a marketing and advertising campaign around his new website’s launch which was built entirely using Flash. Save yourself time and money by making SEO a priority right from the beginning which will influence the way the design, layout and content of the website is built and placed. Constantly meet up with the SEO project team to ensure that all site elements are addressed, such as tags, links, content, site architecture, URL, code and redirects. SEO matters should always be considered from the website planning and development stage all the way to the maintenance phase, and beyond.Things to take note of:
    • Flash-type website is not good for Spiders can’t read flash
    • Websites full of graphics and little text cannot rank well, as spiders can’t see
    • Focus on building text-based The longer and more useful information there is, the merrier.
    • Focus on having only one main keyword per web
  2. Use the right keywords – Sounds easy? Picking the right keywords to use requires a thorough understanding of what words and phrases your target audience is likely to use when entering search queries and a strong research effort to optimize said words. Stand in their shoes and determine what words they are going to enter to find your website and web pages. Don’t use technical and sophisticated terms; searchers don’t understand what they mean and won’t bother inputting them to find what they want. Instead use layman terms. As mentioned, use phrases that narrow down the focus and attract your intended target audience. Devise a list of words that you think are relevant to your website, and then use keyword research tools to further refine and whittle down the list. Take the following into consideration when deliberating on the choice of keywords:
    • Strong relevancy for which you can create content to support and build on.
    • Low number of search results and small competition.
    • Popular terms that many people use and, hence, a high search volume.

    Conduct careful research to find the right balance. You do not want keywords that are so generic that you will have a hard time getting into the rankings (let alone finding your target audience) and yet you also do not want them to be too narrow and specific that no one will search for them. Also, consider the following once the keywords have been chosen:

    • For best results, each web page should have 1 main keyword and 4 related keywords at most.
    • Support your keywords with relevant text and content, and all of this information should be placed high up on the web page, at the very beginning of the body of content.
    • Be sure to include keywords in the following elements: navigation links, headings, all tags (title, description, and meta), and alt text.

    Keep the keyword list updated and anticipate cyclical changes when keywords will evolve to suit a particular event or circumstance. Store keywords into an inventory and constantly run keyword research tools on them to see what’s hot and what’s not at any given moment. As your website grows and evolves along with customer needs and wants, so too will your keyword list grow in tandem.

    Do not go overboard and saturate your web pages with keywords, hoping to rank high on search engine rankings this way. You may find yourself pushed lower instead. In SEO, keyword density means the percentage of times a particular keyword appears on a webpage compared to the total number of words in that webpage. Spiders that crawl and detect a high keyword density may conclude that you are merely padding your webpage with that keyword (keyword stuffing) to try to attract traffic and they may penalize you by downgrading your search engine ranking based on that keyword. A general rule of thumb is to keep the keyword density around 2 to 4 percent in body content. This is the best range from our experience.

  3. Targeted, directed traffic over mass traffic –  Your SEO efforts should be about getting qualified traffic, traffic that matters. Fact is, general visitors to your site are going to spend just a little amount of time on your website. Targeted visitors are going to see if your site really has what they want, what they need. A sound SEO plan will answer the visitor’s query and attend to his needs as soon as he arrives at the website, such as through optimised content management whereby rich, relevant information such as articles and links are strategically placed on the body of the page.
  4. Every page on your website is an access point – Remember: Google ranks pages, not domains. Gone are the days when the website’s homepage served as the primary access point from which visitors examine and navigate the rest of the website. SEO has flung wide the doors of opportunity and now searchers can be directed to their destinations without having to navigate through a primary homepage. Indeed, they can land anywhere on your website as long as it pertains to what they are seeking. Smart online business owners will know that the importance of SEO is not limited to just the traditional homepage of the website, but every page has the potential to attract potential customers and be the setting point from which they further explore their website. Hence, be sure to address potential customer needs and wants by having clear, easy site navigation, well written site content that tells the visitor which part of the site they are on and where to go to further their queries within the site, an internal search tool, comparable listings, and site anchors. Every web page should have a clear main keyword, appropriate meta tags, descriptions, page titles and qualified content so that they go with your targeted audience’s queries and needs when they search online and navigate to your webpage.
  5. Content, Content, Content – At its heart SEO is about the proper usage of words, words and words. Clear, easy to understand content that informs and answers the queries and questions of searchers will attract traffic. Most importantly, good and relevant content can retain traffic. Whether you like it or not, Google is extremely good at tracking visitor behavior. If a site’s visitors show satisfaction, then Google will reward that site with better ranking, since it means that the search results displayed is very relevant to what the searchers want. It will also give spiders a lucid idea of what your site is about and what it aims to achieve. Be sure to observe proper grammar and spelling, proper placement and usage of keywords and phrases, and the content must be fresh, up to date and be presented in short, easily readable paragraphs. You don’t have to do all the writing by yourself. Make use of user generated content such as reviews, feedbacks, news feeds and research reports to bolster your existing content.
  6. Your image is at stake –  Do a quick search on Google and see what results you get when you enter your business’ name, your name, your employee’s name, the nature of your business, and other queries related to your online business. You may be surprised to find that there are negative things said about you out there. Worst, it could be very first thing you see on the first page. It might be negative content that has since lost its relevancy as time goes by. It might have been a fault about your product that your business has since corrected. However, just by sitting there on the first spot of search engine rankings today, it’s going to give searchers and your audience a negative perception about you right off the bat. What’s an online business to do? Engage SEO and make sure that you optimize your web site’s on-page and off-page leverage so it gets to, and stays, at the top, knocking off the bad press pages. Marketing and branding wise, be smart and generate useful content to project a positive image. Engage your viewers, both good and bad, to see what needs to be done. Have constant, frequent dialogue with bloggers, customers and online communities. Spread good things about your online business that you know will set tongues wagging (and fingers clicking) on the Internet, such as contributions to noble causes and charitable donations. Good image helps branding, which in turn builds word of mouth on the Internet, which translates to more backlinking to your web site. Others will pick up the good news and create their own positive content about your online business. Over time, quite simply, the good content is going to grow and grow, meaning more free backlinks!
  7. Whenever you can, be specific - Use keywords and phrases instead of Don’t use “we”, “us”, “our”, for example. Spiders aren’t going to understand what those terms are referring to. Instead, use terms like “ABC corporation” whenever you can.
  8. Place the keywords and phrases at the beginning of the content - Spiders allocate more value to words and phrases that are placed near the top of the content, especially the first 100 They may read the entire content from top to bottom, or they may not. Similarly, your visitors may read the entire content from beginning to end, but they aren’t likely to read all of it if the first few sentences don’t have the keywords or phrases that will anchor their attention to your webpage. Present yourself clearly and effectively from the beginning.
  9. Use keywords and phrases as often as possible –  Just don’t go overboard and place words and phrases for the sake of spider crawling alone. Be intelligent and creative in how you present your content. Keep in mind the content is for your target market, not for the spiders. Before starting to write, research the keywords and phrases that are relevant to what you are doing and that will accomplish your goals, and make sure that they match precisely what your intended target audience will be entering into their search engine queries.
  10. Use semantically related words –  To take advantage of latent semantic indexing, use words and phrases that are related to your main keyword or phrase and include them into your web page. Search engines give more priority and rank higher those pages that back up their keywords with related terms. For example, if your website is about computers, use related terms like PC, hardware, software, laptop, desktop, computers, computing, mouse, monitors, hard drive, motherboard, processor, and so forth, throughout your whole website.
  11. Observe differing versions of keywords and phrases –  Consider the plural and singular form for words and phrases. Ascertain the way searchers enter the query words if they have various spelling forms (digicam, digital camera). Be consistent about the way you enter keywords and phrases into your web page. Use only one form of spelling for one particular web page. So, as an example, you can use the term “digital camera” as the main keyword for one web page, and its variant term “digicam” as the main keyword for another page. Doing this also helps you rank for multiple keywords.
  12. Use phrases over single keywords –  Searchers are more likely to enter phrases than keywords into search boxes to narrow down their search results and be more specific in finding what they want. “Computer” is too generic as a keyword. Searchers may instead enter “Dell studio 450”. In this case, you want to have a page that targets this keyword. Use relevant phrases that will direct your target audience to your web pages.
  13. Don’t use images if you can write it instead –  Spiders read and interpret text and cannot decipher images. If you can write it out, then do so. If you want to put in images, at least make sure to tag and label them accordingly along with a proper caption. A description below the image to tell what the image is about works very well.
  14. Proper grammar and spelling –  Proofread and edit your content frequently to catch spelling mistakes and grammar errors. It does no good if you spell your keywords wrongly and searchers aren’t going to find your website on the search engines. Whenever your website is updated with new content, make sure they are properly proofread. The exception to the rule is,  if you are targeting misspelled keywords, you probably want to “intentionally” misspell the words so you can rank for the misspelled keyword.
  15. Snippets are important – A snippet is the short text that accompanies every search engine result. These are added as a meta-description on your pages. They are important in drawing searchers to your site since they can be used to encapsulate what your website/web page is about. Write a unique description meta tag for every web page that you have so that searchers get a clear understanding of what you offer on your site. Snippets are gaining more importance nowadays as Google is tracking the click-through rates of search results listings. If you are ranked #7 yet you have a better click-through rate and retention rate than listing #5, you are probably going to rank higher very soon.
  16. Don’t use Flash –  Spiders don’t read Flash. If you really must, create another HTML site to complement your Flash site. Flash sites may be flashy and look very cool and modern, but when it comes to SEO they might as well not exist.
  17. Don’t duplicate your content –  Spiders don’t look too kindly on blocks of the same text and content that appear on multiple domains or pages of the same website. Vary your content from page to page, domain to domain. Use “nofollow” and “noindex” to block spiders from accessing the duplicates otherwise.
  18. Create your website using clean, efficient coding –  Avoid clunky, messy coding that will confuse spiders as they crawl through your website. Search engines like websites with clean, uniform, precise and efficient code that are more semantically defined and that comply with the latest Web standards.
  19. Don’t use splash pages –  Splash pages, in order to grab the viewer’s attention, are rich in visual graphics and sound but have minimal text content. This is poor optimization for spiders when they crawl through your site. Therefore don’t use splash pages if you can help it.
  20. Use internal linking –  Include links that navigate to other areas of your website whenever the occasion presents itself. Structure them in such a way so that visitors will connect the dots and navigate from page to page because the contents are relevant to what they want and need. Internal links also give spiders a chance to investigate your website deeper and delve into more and more pages. Good internal linking: Every page should be less than 2 clicks away from your home page.
  21. Text first, graphics second –  Spiders pay attention to what’s placed on your webpage first. They look for words and give higher priority to words that appear near the top of the page. If you put too many images at the top of the page, the spiders may give a lower ranking for your webpage. Put images at the bottom and text on top for best effect. However, if you have a video, place it at the beginning, above-the-fold. Videos have proven to lengthen visitors’ staying time on your site, which can positively affect how Google judges your site.
  22. Title tag is paramount –  What you type here for the title tag will be the exact same words and phrases that appear in the title bar. More importantly, they also appear as the text for links for search engine results. When spiders enter your site, the first thing they are going to see is your title tag. Therefore, make sure that the words used in the title tag are related to the keywords for your SEO. Since each HTML or XHTML web page on your site requires a title tag, customize and optimize for each web page by using highly-targeted, focused keywords that are relevant to each. Use proper grammar and apply seperators such as commas and semicolons when writing text for title tags to make text structure easier to comprehend. While it’s very tempting to squeeze as many keywords into the title tag as possible, bear in mind that the content of the web page is also very important in determining SEO as well. You may end up with a long and rumbling web page that would have served SEO purposes better had it been split up into several web pages. Hence, it may be necessary to make two or more separate web pages so that the keywords and content are aligned in purpose and optimization is achieved.
  23. Get linked –  Much like how we humans have friends who exert more influence and popularity than others in a social network, the same can be pretty much said for websites who share a common background or network. Links are therefore the relationships that connect websites to each other. Similarly, one of the criteria search engines use to determine your placing on the page rankings is by looking at the quality of the links to your site. The more links to your site from other places on the Internet, called inbound links, the more esteem you have according to the eyes of the search engines. However, quality matters over quantity. To get quality inbound links, they must come from related and relevant websites that have high page rankings. Usually, these websites are perceived as the authoritative head by members of the relevant community and hence have great sway and prestige. Request the site owner for a link to your website politely and return the favour if accepted. It is also good marketing and business practise to provide links to these websites from your own. Finally, manage your links and discard those that link to non-existent web pages, or have not been updated in a long time.
  24. Avoid bad apples – Just as you would do your best to get quality inbound links to your website, you have to be mindful of bad apples that could potentially ruin your page ranking standings by way of association. Websites that have a spotty reputation and that use unethical and sneaky means of getting visitors to their site or to increase their page rankings are definitely to be avoided at all costs. Some of the methods these websites employ include:
    • Duplicitous content
    • Spamming
    • Keyword stuffing
    • Violating copyright laws
    • Link farming
    • Doorway pages
    • Installation of software without the user’s permission or knowledge

    Likewise, refrain from the above practices or you will find yourself losing more than just your page ranking standings. Check the background of sites that you are linking to, and that are going to be linked to you. Link only to contextually relevant websites with a solid, proven background and reputation. At the same time, constantly update your website with original content and observe ethical business practices so that your website is beyond reproach, which in turn means more quality inbound links.

  25. Avoid farming – You may have come across web pages where the only thing you can see is a sea of links, with minimal or no useful content whatsoever. These are link farms, which exist solely to stuff the site with as many links as possible to boost their visibility to spiders and searchers alike. This is a deceptive practise and all search engines frown heavily on this kind of link stuffing. That’s why it is very important that when you create outbound links to other websites, make very certain that those websites share a contextual relevance with your own and harness only good quality links. When considering whether to link to a site, check the website and especially take note of the content of the website. If the contents appear to be irrelevant to what the website is purported to be about, or if the contents seem to be duplicated or otherwise dubious, then it is best not to link to that site. Also, see if there is some contact information on the website. You have the right to be highly suspicious if the web site provides no contact information of any kind. As always, exercise caution and due diligence when you want to consider outsourcing and hire the services of search engine optimizers who promise you thousands and thousands of quality links to boost your page rankings in no time flat. There is a high chance that the person is using unscrupulous methods to get those links such as software- generated link farming.
  26. Avoid keyword stuffing –  Keyword stuffing is the practise of overloading web page content or its meta tags with keywords for the purpose of increasing search visibility and page ranking. Some ingenious technics used back in the day include hiding text in the background by blending them together in the same color and using cascading style sheets (CSS) positioning. It goes without saying that search engines have clamped down hard on this method and it is now no longer effective in SEO. However, there are still black hat SEOs out there who want to outsmart the system and still employ keyword stuffing albeit in a different form. These now include:
    • Gibberish
    • Tiny text (to maximize page space for keyword stuffing)
    • Duplicating the content
    • Hiding text

    Be sure to write content that is geared for the end users rather than for the system to increase your page ranking. A world of good can only come if you constantly provide quality content.

  27. robots.txt. Robots.txt files are essentially barriers that prevent spiders and other search crawlers from accessing a particular web page. For example, if your website has web pages with duplicate content or sensitive information, you will want to include a robots.txt to these pages so that they don’t get indexed and appear on search engines. The common format is:User-Agent: [Spider or Bot name] Disallow: [Directory or file name]Simply open notepad or another text editor and enter the lines of text. One of the foremost reasons for using a robots.txt file is to protect privacy and to block out certain sections of a website that have no relevancy to its primary uses and functions. Take note that robots.txt files are not a complete safeguard against intrusion of privacy, however. Always take safety precautions and build smart website structures and hierarchies to minimize risk.
  28. What to look for in an SEO Company – There are many different kinds of SEOs out there, and with the increasing sophistication and diversity of both search engine optimization and Internet devices, you should pick an SEO company that would best suit your needs, aims and objectives. Check the credentials of the SEO and make sure that he walks the talk, so to speak. Speak with clients whom the SEO company has worked with before and determine what methods he employs to optimize page rankings. To get a better understanding of the SEO:
    • Request the SEO company’s portfolio of work and testimonials
    • Past experience and current outlook about SEO company
    • Clients and referrals
    • Value-added services, if any
    • Affiliations and associations that the SEO company is a member of
    • Practices and methods used
    • Fees and charges

    The expected duties of SEO companies today also encompass the areas of site traffic, link and network building and helping increase conversion rates. Consult with the SEO company about the services offered and how that would best fit in with your overall strategy. Make sure to discuss the following points with your SEO company and improvise and adjust as necessary as the project progresses:

    • Site coding, structure and hierarchy
    • Optimization by media platform
    • Keyword and phrase research
    • Content development
    • Linking and networking strategy
    • Ongoing monitoring and rank reporting

    Avoid instant quick fix offers and solutions that “guarantee” instant high page rankings or other such dubious claims. Some SEO companies may indeed give you fast short term gains but with awful long term consequences. Don’t get scammed and if an offer seems too good to be true, it usually is. Generally, stay away from black hat practices and work hard and diligently at ethical, legal SEO methods and the results will come.

  29. Search is getting more personalized – The major search engines are already offering users and searchers many options and choices for narrowing down their searches so that they can get to what they want quickly and efficiently. Many other factors are also playing havoc with the concept of being ranked highly in the search engines, particularly now that search engines are getting more and more personalized and detailed in their search criteria offerings. Depending on region, personal details, language, filters and preferences, what may be  a number one ranking for a particular query may not even appear at all for another similar search. What this means for SEO is that SEO is never a one-and-done deal; it is an organic process that continues to evolve and adapt to externally changing situations and circumstances so that a particular site will remain high in its rankings.
  30. User generated content (UGC) – User generated content, also known as user created content (UCC) are publicly available media content that are created by end In the world of SEO, they are a major force to be reckoned with as they increase visibility and spread awareness of a brand or website. Examples of UGC include reviews and testimonials. You may have already seen reviews done by your friends or family on a product and may have even done some reviewing of your own. Some UGC may link back to your website, while others may provide quality content about it. It is good practise to create and foster an online  community where users get to trade information and opinions with one another so that you can maximize your site’s exposure and increase its page rank through content creation and keyword generation on the community’s part. However, the community must be genuine and be free from outside interference, even your own. Moderation is practical so long as it deals with abuses and other infractions that would harm the community. Encourage user participation on your website by having contests and other such events so that more UGC is created. Lastly, keep in mind that UGC such as reviews can be either positive or negative. You cannot satisfy everyone 100%, but know that the good outweigh the bad by far when it comes to user created content for SEO.
  31. Google Sandbox Effect – Many falsely refer to the Google sandbox effect as either their website being delisted or listed under supplemental results. Sandbox merely means Google is testing the ranking, nothing bad about that. However, getting delisted is a problem, while getting into supplemental index is another case. The real sandbox is the one that new domains are indexed to. For Google to determine a new domain’s ranking, they will place the new domain a little bit higher on the search rankings so that more visitors will go to it initially. Google can then profile the web site’s visitor response, from which Google will be able to determine the correct placement of the website. Usually, new domains will experience high ranking on the early stages, and then suddenly experience a drop. This is because the early ranking was only temporary and Google has since determined that the site does not deserve a high ranking, hence dropping it. We also have cases where google decided that the site deserved a higher ranking and got pushed further up. This is the true sandbox.The sandbox fear that says too much backlinks will hurt a site is just a rumor. It was true somewhere back in 2006 to 2007. Back then, SEO firms exploited this and started spamming competitors’ site with  thousands  of backlinks  a  day to see them  drop dramatically  in the rankings. After that, Google decided that off-page linkbuilding will not affect your ranking. Google has even publicly confirmed that off-page linkbuilding will NOT affect ranking anymore:  http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=34449
  32. Duplicate content is fine (wait, what?) – This may sound ridiculous. You know that Google penalizes websites for duplicating content. Actually, this is true only if you duplicate content within your own domain. For example, if you have the same content on both www.domain.com/ page1.html and www.domain.com/page2.html, then Google is  going  to  penalize  you. However, if the same content were to appear on two (or more) different domains, such as www.hisdomain.com/page1.html and www.herdomain.com/page1.html, then Google will treat the content as if it were unique and not penalize either site. This only makes sense as articles, press releases and other content do get copied and duplicated over many different web sites. What this means is that you can submit the same content to as many sites as you want, for example submitting the same article to dozens of article directories, without fear of being penalized or downranked. Bear in mind that Google will be placing excessive duplicated content in their supplemental index, which means, duplicates won’t really show up in search results. It is still a useful practice to submit the same content to as many relevant sites as possible so it gains maximum exposure to readers and Internet users. These readers may very well link to your original site from their own blogs, web pages or sites and therefore increase traffic and the number of backlinks to your site.More on duplicated content and getting flushed into supplemental index: Most of the time, duplicate results are shown in a supplemental index (that means, not displayed). Google has a problem determining who is the original and who is the duplicate. This can happen if someone else copied your content and Google actually thinks the other person is the original and you are the duplicate. However, there is still a way to let Google know who is the original. For example, you have the same article on your site and on 1,000 article directories. The best way to tell Google you are the original is to have the 1,000 sites point a link back to your site. This is the same as academic referencing where 1,000 sites referenced your site. Therefore, this tells Google your site is the original source. Also, since 1,000 other sites referenced your site, it makes Google think that the content is quite important and hence, rank better. If your content has been copied and Google mistakenly puts you in the supplemental index, what you can do is to change your content afresh and make a press release. This way, you have unique content and the press release will bring the spiders back to your site so Google can re-cache your site. This often rescues a site from getting binned in the supplemental index.

 


If all of this sounds too complicated to do yourself, call us at 281-816-6932 or fill out our contact form to see how we can help your website rank higher in the search engines and, more importantly, make you more money.

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SEO – On-Page Optimization

On-page optimization is maximizing the factors that you can do and control with your own web site so that it gets high ranking in the search engines. Simple things such as site coding, the layout and display of your web site, and site architecture and navigation. On-page optimization is a very important part of SEO, some might even say fundamental. Without solid on-page optimization, your backlinking will be for naught as Google places high importance on your web site’s structure and coding, and if it determines that your web site isn’t what it’s suppose to be, then the backlink and other off-site factors are wasted. You can still gain some ranking from a good backlinking campaign, but it won’t be at its best because of a lack of solid on-page factors.

on-page optimization

It surprises us still that so, so many people still take on-page optimization for granted. They think that a fancy website design, along with fancy, awesome images arranged perfectly on the main page is more than enough to grab people’s attention and lure more visitors. It’s a thinking that’s quite similar to how you would run a print ad campaign, or something like a movie poster. You hope that the images used is strong enough to convey a certain feeling or connection to the viewer and grab their attention. Or, they make their web site easy to navigate, with proper internal links and relevant content spread throughout the site.

However, all of this is for nothing if they do not understand proper on-page optimization.

There are a few, must-know on-page factors that have to be very well taken care of, or the web site might be as well be non-existent to the search engines. You have to ask yourself the fundamental question:

“HOW ARE PEOPLE GOING TO FIND MY WEB SITE?”

No, fancy websites in flash is not the answer (in fact, flash is completely useless. We have already explained this earlier).

No, properly designed web sites with a lot of good, well-informed content is not the sole answer. Though it is very important to have great content and a proper design for your web site, if you do not take care of your coding, keyword density and other, more crucial on-page factors, your web site is not going to get high ranking.

Therefore it is very important that you have an understanding of the important on-page factors so you can get excellent on-page leverage.

That is, if you manage your on-page factors well, then your backlinking efforts will get multiplied!

ON-PAGE LEVERAGE

This is what we call on-page leverage: on-page leverage is, quite simply, all about maximising your on-page factors so that you rank considerably higher compared to another site with less than perfect on page optimization, even though that site may have more backlinks.

Understanding of proper on-page leverage is very crucial to optimizing your website. You may have a successful backlinking campaign running for your site, but if you do not have the proper on-page factors taken care of, then your site is actually going to lose out to another site that has less backlinks but which has excellent on-page factors. We certainly don’t want that to happen!

To elaborate further, consider that one SEO company (let’s call them Business A) spends a lot of its money and time on building two backlink campaigns, right from the get go, for its client, while another SEO company (let’s call them Business B) spends its time first dedicated to fixing and innovating the on-page factors of its client’s site. Later on this SEO company will conduct one backlink campaign for their client, but for now the focus is on getting on-page optimization.

Business A later finds that, despite all of the money and resources spent on building two excellent backlink campaigns, their client’s site is losing to Business B’s client’s site, even though Business B has only one backlink campaign. B also spent less money and resources compared with Business A, yet their client’s site is gaining ground on the search engine rankings, overtaking Business A’s client in the process.

This is the power of on-page leverage. When you optimize your on-page factors, and then build an effective backlink campaign, you are going to see your efforts and results at building backlinks get multiplied, and for less money and resources.

Here are some crucial on-page leverage factors:

  1. Domain Name. The first and most important on-page factor is your domain It will be very easy to rank if you have your keyword in your domain name, for example:

www.keyword.com. However, what if the domain name is no longer available? Then it is better to have www.keywordSuffix.com than www.Prefixkeyword.com.

 

For example, consider the following:

www.buyhandsoap.com – no longer available (this is the keyword that you were targeting)
www.comebuyhandsoap.com – available
www.buyhandsoapnow.com – available

Which domain name should you pick? You should go with www.buyhandsoapnow.com, as using a suffix is better than using a prefix in the domain name to get on-page leverage because your keyword is at the front of the domain name.

 

  1. Keyword in URL Let’s consider the following two URLS: http://www.buyhandsoapnow.com/buyhandsoap/

and http://www.buyhandsoapnow.com/06/2009/?p=8792.html Which one would be more meaningful to search engines? The first link is more meaningful. The second link is a bunch of text and numbers link which is meaningless to search engines. Make sure that your keyword is in your URL.

 

  1. Keyword in TITLE You want to make sure that your keyword appears in the title tag of the HTML code. As the name implies, what you write in the title tag is what gets displayed on the title bar of web browsers. The title tag text is also used by Google as the title for web pages to give a short description on its search results pages. The tag goes like this:

 

<title>your keyword here</title>

For example, say your keyword is Kung Fu: <title>Kung Fu, Chi Kung and Tai Chi Chuan for Health and Fighting Ability</title>

Why is it important to have your keyword in your title tag? If you do a search for any keyword on the search engines, you will see that the keyword appears on more than 75% of the title of the top ten search results. This is a very important factor that you cannot miss as it has a close correlation to Google’s top results.

 

  1. Keyword in HEADING Headings tags are used to describe a site’s structure and organization. They are displayed as large, bold text on your web browsers. They delineate section headings, with <h1> being the highest level heading, all the way down to <h6> being the lowest. The tags go like this:

 

<h1>your keyword here</h1>

<h2>your keyword here</h2>

 

For example, say your keyword is Kung Fu. Your heading tags will look like:

 

<h1>Where to Train Kung Fu?</h1>

<h2>Kung Fu Health Benefits</h2>

<h3>A History of Kung Fu</h3>

 

They are also commonly called H1, H2 , H3..H6 tags.  Although there is no close correlation with the heading tags and the top search results, if you have the keywords in your heading tags, it does make your page rank higher and easier with minimal backlinks. Also, consider that heading tags are used to delineate your page’s structure. Therefore, treat the heading tags as a way of organizing how you wish your content to be read, like a table of contents. Don’t be lazy and do the following:

 

<h1>Kung Fu</h2>

<h2>Kung Fu Kung Fu</h2>

<h3>Kung Fu Kung Fu Kung Fu</h3>

 

This will not only look very unnatural to your readers, but it is also keyword spamming, which is a no-no for SEO.

 

  1. Keywords You want your keywords to appear in the first and last sentence

of your page document. This is because it is usually the introduction and conclusion/summary of the document that tells what the page is about. Having your keyword in the first and last sentence helps to describe your web site to the search engines and lets them know what your page is all about. This in turn helps you get on-page leverage.

 

  1. Keyword Density. There is no hard and fast rule to keyword density, which is the percentage of times that your keyword appears on the web page compared to the total number of words on the page. However, as a guideline, less than 2% of keyword density is too little while keyword density of more than 5% is too Therefore, the best keyword density range is 2% to 5%.

 

  1. Image to Contain Keyword. Search engines cannot read images, so what they do is that they will try to look for hints that describe an For example, have a look at the image tag below:

 

<img src=”kungfumasterimage/kungfumaster.jpgalt=”Kung Fu Master” width=”455” height=”322” />

 

There are 2 factors at work for on-page leverage here: one is the ALT Tag, the other being the file name. Say the keyword is Kung Fu again. As you would have guessed, the text for the alt tag contains the keyword, and the file name also has the keyword in it as well.

 

  1. Content The longer the document, the more useful information it normally contains. Search engines love longer documents more than short ones. However, do not blindly lengthen a document just for the sake of on-page leverage, especially either through keyword stuffing or repetition of content. If you find that your document is a tad on the short side, include useful examples or more elaborations.

 

Let’s look at quotes taken from Google Patent that are relevant to on-page leverage. Go to Ranking Mechanisms section of the document, and look at section 48:

 

 “[0048] The amount of detail in the description of an entity. Longer descriptions are given a greater score than shorter descriptions, based on the presumption that more words means more information.”

 

This suggest that longer documents generally rank better than shorter documents. In the same section 48:

 

“…A detail penalty can be assessed when the description size is less than a selectable threshold as a means to down-weight “empty” or “signature only” texts.”

 

What this means is that if your document length is less than a certain amount of words, you might even get a penalty.

 

  1. Have BOLD, Italic and Underline Google has publicly said that it looks at the font decoration on every text that appears on a document. This helps it to decide what the document is all about. You see, Google does not read an entire document as normal text only.

It takes into consideration the size, decorations, colour, subdivisions and the exact location of each word and their proximity when determining the ranking of a page. On your page, you should have your keyword bolded, italized and underlined at least once. If you have a page with 100 words, at 3% keyword density you should have 3 occurrences of the keyword. This is enough to have at least 1 keyword decorated bold, italic and/or underline.

 

From Google:

  1. Your Web Site is Not a Junk Directory – Remove all unrelated and junk links. You have complete control over your web site’s outbound links. If you point a backlink to some link farm, your page ranking is definitely going to be affected in a bad way. You will also want to add nofollow tags to your links to guard yourself against any bad linking neighborhood. In fact, it’s a good idea actually to add nofollow tags to all your external links.

 

Example of a nofollow tag in use:

<a href=”http://www.kungfumaster.com/” rel=”nofollow”>kung fu</a>

 

Having fully optimized your on-page factors, you stand a greater chance to rank well in search engines. Your site will rank better, faster and easier.

In conclusion, Google tracks more than 200 signals and we don’t know all of them. What we CAN do, is to do our best with the knowledge and tools we have. We have shared with you here some of our major tweaks to gain on-page leverage, so you can use them for your site.

 


 

If all of this sounds too complicated to do yourself, call us at 281-816-6932 or fill out our contact form to see how we can help your website rank higher in the search engines and, more importantly, make you more money.

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What’s Your Bounce Rate? (And Why Should You Care?)

What’s the number 1 thing most website owners think about? That’s right, getting more traffic to their site. It’s the Holy Grail of website ownership. We spend hours carefully crafting new content for our site, we [stress] over every page title and meta-description, trying to get everything perfect to attract more site visitors. Heck, we even pay for traffic in the form of Pay Per Click (PPC) ads.

But what about when that website traffic shows up? Will your much sought after visitors find what they’re looking for or will they quickly hit the back button and move on to your competitors’ site? It’s all too easy to get caught up in the quest for more traffic without thinking of what you’re going to do with it once you get it. Website owners need to put just as much time into keeping visitors on their site as they do driving them there.

For instance, if a visitor searches for “baby panda bears” and clicks through to your site from the search results, they expect to see, you guessed it, baby panda bears. If they don’t, out comes the dreaded back button. When a visitor leaves your website without going beyond the home page, this is called a “bounce.” The percentage of times that this happens on your website is called your “Bounce Rate.”

But wait, what if the website visitor just wanted to find my phone number or address?

It’s true, sometimes a “complete” web visit may not need to go beyond the home page. Perhaps the visitor chose to call your business and only needed the phone number. (Your website does make it easy to find your phone number, right?) Or maybe, they saw your list of services and it didn’t include what they were looking for so they saw no need to go any further into your site. You can usually tell if this happened if the visitor stayed on the page for at least 20 seconds.

On a side note, this doesn’t only apply to the home page. Remember that search engines crawl and index your content pages as well (assuming you’ve set up your website correctly) so visitors may not enter your website through the home page only. For this reason, proper thought and planning need to be given to your entire website, not just the home page to make sure that visitors find what they are looking for and are able to quickly take the appropriate action, whether it’s adding an item to their shopping cart or filling out a contact form to request more information. Think of it this way; if you’re having a party at your house, you probably clean up the area by the front door, put out a welcome mat and maybe set a coat rack nearby for convenience. But, what happens if a guest unexpectedly comes to the back door? Are you prepared to make that guest feel as welcome and invited as if they came through the front door?

Your website has many entrances and you never know which “door” a website visitor will use to enter your site.

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Troubles with Google Rankings?

Google RankingsA change is happening! The only problem is that with Google, a change is always happening. Google has recently made some updates that have many sites finding themselves missing their coveted top page rankings. As we all know, it is nearly impossible to keep up with Google’s exact algorithms or to guarantee the #1 ranking without paying for it. Many SEO experts have come as close as possible to mastering the art of remaining one of the top sites for their keywords; however, Google has recently sent yet another shock through the SEO world.

Because of this most recent update, some sites have seen some dramatic boosts to their rankings while many others suffered drastically. Either way, these new rankings have not been holding steady. Apparently Google made a change that caused these crazy and unexpected results and, once realized, has begun to implement additional changes to help things get back to the steady result stream we are more accustomed to seeing.

Trouble with Google RankingsThe buzz around the SEO communities is that these results will eventually smooth out; however, some sites may land in a different position than they started from or than they expect to be found. If you are finding yourself lost amongst the new crowd of your competitors, contact us and we will be happy to review your website’s performance and discuss ways to improve your rankings.

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5 Deadly Google Places Mistakes

With more and more people searching the Internet for local information it has become crucially important for small businesses to maintain a Google Places profile. If you want to be on the first place of Google Places though, you need to follow the rules. Breaking any of Google’s rules could result in your listing being demoted in the rankings or worse yet, de-listed from Google Places completely. Making sure to avoid these 5 deadly Google Places mistakes will give you a better chance of a page one listing.

Keyword Stuffing

Keyword stuffing is when someone puts extraneous keywords into fields that aren’t supposed to have keywords. For example, lets say your business name is officially Smith Piping, but rather than putting Vance Piping as your business name, you put Smith Piping Houston Plumbers Fixing Leaky Faucets and Broken Hot Water Heaters Since 1952 as your name on your Google Places profile. All those other words beyond “Piping” would be considered keyword stuffing. Unfortunately, many businesses end up unintentionally keyword spamming their profile. Whether you intend to keyword stuff or not, the result is the same. You will eventually get your profile deleted. Google is particularly persnickety about keyword stuffing in your name and your category. When filling out the category field always describe what your business is rather than what it does. Returning to the Smith Piping example, the category should be “plumber”, not “fixes hot water heaters”, etc.

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Dealing With Negative Google Places Reviews

At some point or another, most business owners face the difficult task of dealing with negative reviews and criticism. The truth is that even the best businesses sometimes have an off day and even if overall you run a five-star business, you won’t always get five-star reviews. Since less than favorable reviews are inevitable, you should have an action plan for dealing with them. Google Places now offers business owners the opportunity to respond to negative reviews. When possible, you should always take advantage of this feature. Responding to negative reviews shows you care about your customers and it’s even possible that a well thought out response to a negative review may garner you more customers than a spate of perfect reviews.

First and foremost, it is always important to give yourself time to deal with a negative reviews. Many business owners are furious when they first read a negative review and rather than stopping and thinking about how they can calmly react, they immediately start writing a hostile retort. More often than not, this type of response results in far more negative publicity than the initial bad review. Take the time to breathe and process what the negative review is really saying. Rather than viewing the review as an attack, you should view it as the opportunity to learn from your mistakes. It’s true that sometimes customers complain needlessly, but often there is legitimate criticism embedded within the review. Use that criticism as a learning opportunity.

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Understanding How Search Engines Work

When most people want to find something on the Internet, whether on Google or Facebook or Bing or YouTube, they use keywords to search for it. Search engines are the number one way people retrieve information on the Internet, so building a site that is easily accessible to search engines is, perhaps, the most important component of a strong internet marketing campaign. Unfortunately, most people do not understand how search engines work and therefore have difficulty making their web pages “rank” or appear on the search engine results page for valuable keywords. A basic understanding of how search engines work can greatly enhance your chances of getting quality leads through your website.

In order to find relevant web pages for every possible keyword that is entered by a user, search engines employ software, known as bots or spiders, to catalog as many pages on the Internet as possible. Once a bot comes to your website it will look for information that identifies what your site is about. The bot uses the words you put in your title, in your text, and in your URL to catalog the site as being associated with a particular keyword. The bot may also try to determine whether other sites on the Internet think your website is related to a particular keyword. It does this by examining the context in which other sites link to your site. For example, if 100 websites linked to another website with the phrase “blue widgets” a search engine would determine it is likely that website has something to do with blue widgets.

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Website Makeover Analysis and SEO Audit

Website Makeover Analysis Does Your Website Need a Little Help? – Answer These 7 Questions to Find Out

  1. Was your website built by a friend, relative or family member years ago and currently in need of some updating?
  2. Has the traffic to your website continued to decline over the last few months or years?
  3. Do you need to quickly attract more QUALIFIED prospects to your website?
  4. Are you looking for new and inexpensive ways to convert more visitors into paying customers?
  5. Would you like to have more of your website visitors sign up to get your online or offline company newsletter?
  6. Are you looking for more ways to get your website to show up on the first page of Google for your keywords?
  7. Would you like to know some of the specific strategies your competition is using to drive traffic to their website?

If you answered yes to any of these questions then this makeover analysis can definitely help you and your business.

We conduct a thorough analysis of your current website which includes both the front end (what your website visitors see) and the “backend” (the html coding – what the search engines see). We then provide specific strategies that you can either do yourself or give to your webmaster to implement.

The typical plan ranges between 40 – 60 pages long and takes about one week to complete. Once we complete the plan, we e-mail you a PDF copy and schedule a personalized 90-minute one-on-one online meeting to review the entire website makeover analysis. We do this using “Join.me.” This let’s you sign on to your computers and view whatever is on our computer screen. We will walk you through the analysis, page by page and answer any questions you may have.

Here are Just a Few Things That You Get With Your Website Makeover Analysis and SEO Audit:

  • An overall website critique with specific suggestions for improvement in the areas of visual appeal, layout, text readability, download time, etc.
  • Navigation review and ease of use suggestions
  • Onsite optimization analysis including meta tags, titles, keywords, images and descriptions
  • Traffic analysis – where your traffic is coming from and how visitors found you
  • Inbound link review
  • How you compare to your top 3 competitors in terms of traffic, links and keywords
  • Strategies to obtain more inbound links using social media websites, blogs and video
  • How to incorporate audio and video on your site
  • What pages need to be improved or added
  • Call to action strategies
  • Unique and FREE ways to improve your visitor experience, get them to stay longer and get them to return more often

The Specific Strategies and Recommendations That We Will Give You Can be Used to Grow Your Business by Helping You:

  • Capture more leads
  • Improve and provide easier navigation for visitors
  • Achieve better on-page/site search engine optimization (SEO)
  • Improve search engine marketing
  • Enhance your company image
  • Appeal more to your target market
  • Enhance and automate follow-up marketing
  • Increase your referrals
  • Better integrate social media marketing
  • Make your site become more viral
  • Incorporate your company’s unique selling proposition (USP)
  • Make your site get searched by search engine “spiders” more often

The Cost of the Website Analysis and SEO Audit is Only $295.

Call us today to order.

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Website Rescue Squad

We literally made a Big Splash at the Clear Lake Chamber Business Expo 2012 held at Gloria Dei Lutheran church last month with our Website Rescue Squad campaign!

 

The campaign was initially created for the full page ad we are running in the Bay Area Houston Magazine (we just redesigned their website, go check it out).


Our Full Page ad in the June 2012 issue of Bay Area Houston Magazine

One of our biggest mottos is “branding first”, so to keep with the theme of the ad, and to have something fun for our visitors to do, we brought in Big Splash 1!

Big Splash 1 became the mascot of our booth; visitors got to drive our trusty aquatic vessel and gave us an opportunity to start a conversation with them.

We were also involved with the “QR Code Scavenger Hunt“- expo visitors with QR code scanners on their mobile devices were able to participate by hunting for 7 booths that displayed the QR codes associated with the hunt. When they scanned the code it sent them to a mobile website. We created a mobile website specifically for the campaign, which can be viewed HERE 

We also created a before/after video that showcased a few of our redesigned websites that was playing in our booth. View the video here:

 

So the question remains…


 

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