Tag Archive: search engine

Optimize Linking for SEO: 10 Useful Tips for New Sites

SEOThe way you link, both internally and externally from your site, is crucial for achieving results in today’s competitive market. Proper linking can give you the advantage you need when it comes to search engine ranking and those all-important hits on your site.

As SEO experts are bound to point out, it’s a process that needs to be carried on over time and considered whenever you make any changes to your site. As a new site you’ll need strategies to assist you in climbing the ladder to good Internet ranking placement as quickly as possible.

Here are 10 very useful tips on links and linking architecture for anyone with an interest in SEO, and if you’re involved in marketing of any kind over the Internet, then that’s you.

1. Think About Who Links to You

You’ll already know the value of reputation when it comes to marketing your product or service. If sites that are associated with good quality products are clearly seen by users and search engines to link to your own then this will reflect well on you.

Pay close attention to the number of .com and .co.uk sites that link to you, for example, and think carefully about ways in which you can encourage others to do likewise.

2. Think About Who You Link to

The same rules as before. Linking to good quality sites reflects well on your own. Keep up to date with innovations and developments and stay relevant with fresh links on your pages. Try to develop a balanced portfolio of links on your site.

3. Avoid Broken Links

As part of ongoing site maintenance for SEO you should be aware of any links that are no longer in use and remove them from your site.

4. Think About Relevance

This is very important. Link to sites with a clear relevance to your own only. Search engines pay special attention to this, as do users, and every irrelevant link on your page is detrimental.

5. Internal Links

Think about internal links and whether your site is user friendly. Make the most of internal links and get some advice from SEO experts about ways to link internally that will benefit your site’s ranking.

6. Maps

Think about linking back to homepage and site maps. Make your site as easily navigable as possible. This will encourage users and benefit your site as search engines see these links when they probe it. A map is a useful way to introduce internal links and make the site easier to get around.

7. Link Building

Think about the use of exact match terms for link building. Build links using exactly matching anchor text. Remember though, don’t get carried away – an excess use of keywords can be as bad as a lack. Using terms you want to rank for and that summarize the topic referred to, in moderation, can strengthen the ratings of your site by search engines.

Find a balance and use your senses. If you feel that you’ve gone overboard with repeated words or phrases in your internal links then you probably have.

8. Avoid Cloaking

Search engines are increasingly sophisticated at detecting ‘black hat’ or unscrupulous SEO techniques. While it may be tempting to improve your popularity on the net by attracting unwitting visitors to your site, be aware that techniques that accomplish this can get you into trouble.

Users and search engines are alike in their approach to cloaking – they don’t accept or tolerate it. Stay within the boundaries to avoid problems.

9. Look at Where Your Competitors Link

This is legal and it can give you an advantage or at least level the playing field somewhat when it comes to links.

10. Strategize

Have a solid strategy for linking to, from and within your site. Think before you link and use every intelligent strategy at your disposal. Getting advice from website optimization specialists can really help.

4 Tips for Writing SEO-Friendly Blog Posts

This post originally appeared on the American Express OPEN Forum, where Mashable regularly contributes articles about leveraging social media and technology in small business. This post also appeared on Mashable’s website, where we found it and wanted to share the information.

In addition to writing for their human readers, web writers and bloggers have to consider the digital web crawlers employed by search engines like Google (Google). Your business can’t skip the task.

Since most would-be readers use search engines to find blog posts, you need to make sure that Google ranks your site highly when those readers search for terms related to your business and the content you’re writing.

You could spend thousands of dollars to have a search marketing firm optimize your business’s blog for search engines, but chances are that you can learn a lot of the fundamentals yourself, saving yourself a lot of money as long as you have the interest and the time. Here’s a basic primer on Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your company’s blog.

1. Always Include Search Terms in Your Post’s Title

When Google reads a website to index it, it reads the code directly, not the snazzy presentation that humans see. The way most blogging platforms are built, the headline or title of your blog post is among the first things Google sees, and Google generally assumes the words that appear earliest are the most important. That’s why the title is the most important part of your blog post when it comes to SEO.

Think about who you want to reach with this blog post, and what that person might be searching for when looking for your business’s goods or services, then include critical words from that hypothetical search in the title. The most important terms should appear as quickly as you can reasonably fit them in. Just be careful not to make the title unreadable or awkward to human readers — that SEO effort will have been for naught if the reader is immediately turned off by the content once he or she finds it.

Here’s a pro tip: You’re not likely to win strong ranking for more than one or two search terms at once, so minimalism is a virtue here. Don’t get over-ambitious. Focus on one potential search term, then if you want to rank for a second term, write a separate and unique post specifically with it in mind.

2. Link Important Words to Earlier Blog Posts

Search engines generally assume that a blog post that has been linked to has more authority than one that has not. They also consider exactly what word or phrase linked to the post; a blog post about the iPhone (iPhone) is going to be more likely to show up in Google searches on the subject if another page links the word “iPhone” to the post.

You’ll get the most value from external links from sites that Google or other search engines already consider to be an authority of the subject (if the top blog about iPhones links the word to your post, you’ll get a huge boost), but all incoming links will still pass rank to your page, even those from elsewhere on your site.

So be sure and link important keywords to other pages or previous posts on your blog to gain some credibility and search rank. It will make a big difference. Just don’t overdo it; not only do human readers hate reading blogs so filled with links that they might accidentally click on something, Google may penalize you if you go overboard, too.

3. Hit the Tagging Sweet Spot

Most blogging platforms let you apply tags to your posts. Tags help organize your blog so both humans and search engines can find what they’re looking for. They’re terms like “consulting,” “local” or “technology” that reflect the topics and content of the post.

Google tries to recognize tags and use them to prioritize your site in its search ranking for those terms. The tags are usually links to other pages on your blog (usually a backlog of other posts with the same tag), and like we said earlier, linking search terms to other pages on your site helps too.

So by all means, add pertinent tags to your blog post, but be warned that Google and other search engines are wary of sites that try to game this system. They will penalize you in the search rankings if you use so many tags that the web indexing bots suspect you might be attempting to associate your content with unrelated topics just to score extra traffic.

The method for determining this is arcane, but a good rule of thumb from a pro blogger is that five to 10 appropriate tags are usually right in the sweet spot.

4. Use Google Insights to Find the Best Search Terms

You don’t have to play a guessing game about the best tags or search terms to link or put in your post’s title. Since Google is the most popular search engine, it makes sense to focus your efforts there. Whenever you’re not sure which terms to go with, hit up Google Insights, a web-based tool that compares the popularity of any search terms you want to know about.

For example, if your business is a coffee shop but you’re not sure whether would-be customers are more likely to search for “café” or “coffee shop,” Insights can tell you which one is more popular.

These four tips should get you on your way to having a more SEO-friendly corporate blog. Add your tips for search engine optimization in the comments below.

Drive Traffic to your Website

Website TrafficAs a web designer I frequently get asked: “How do I get traffic to my website?” and “How can I get my website to come up on page 1 of Google, Yahoo or other major search engines?” Well, there are many methods of driving traffic to your website. When these methods are combined and implemented successfully, you will reap the benefits of search engines and traffic. Most people do not understand this process. It is a hard and time-consuming process, it will not happen overnight. The following methods will be suggestions to help you in your quest for website traffic.

First and foremost, you need to have your title, keywords and meta tags in your website correctly done. Each page of your website contains different content so they should be labeled as such in the title, keywords and meta tags.  Website pages should contain between 10-14 keywords at the most. Please refrain from repeating keywords or trying to “trick” the search engines. The major search engines and their “spiders” have become extremely smart and too many keywords or tricks will actually work against you rather than in your favor.

I am going to pretty much list the methods here and in future posts, I will go into much more detail for each in future posts.

Social Media and Bookmarking:

  • Blog(s)
  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • MySpace
  • Delicious
  • Digg
  • YouTube
  • Stumble Upon
  • Foursquare
  • LinkedIn

Place your link in your e-mail signature

Every e-mail you send out (or is forwarded on) will have the potential of someone visiting your website.

Use your link on all printed media and advertising:

  • Business Cards
  • Brochures
  • Flyers
  • Billboards
  • Signs
  • Vehicle Graphics

Reciprocating Links (Affiliates)

Exchange links with quality businesses and websites.

Business Directories

  • Google Maps / Google Local
  • Yellow Pages
  • Super Pages
  • Yellow Book

E-mail blasts and/or newsletters

Send e-mail blasts to clients/customers and opt-in subscribers with relevant information. (Company News, Sales, etc .. )