Archive for the ‘SEO’ Category

Are Your Business Directory Listings Up-to-Date?

Business Directory Listings are an easy way to add some SEO linkbacks to your website. They are also a great way for people to find you when searching for businesses in specific areas. But there are hundreds of business directories that you can get listed in, and keeping your information up-to-date can be cumbersome.

Out-of-date information can hurt SEO

If you have information out there that is not up-to-date, it can be seen as a dead SEO link. It’s important to do a periodic review of these listings to make sure your address, phone, email and business description are all the same.

We have moved, so nothing has changed

Do not assume that because you haven’t moved that nothing has changed. Some of these sites allow visitors to change listings, and sometimes visitors make mistakes in an attempt to be helpful. It’s still important to check out the information that is published about you.

Aggregate business listing sites often get it wrong

Sites like ZoomInfo or Pipl crawl the internet and compile information about businesses. They often get the information wrong so it is crucial to check these regularly.  A great example is for Landau Design. There is a company overseas with the same name, and ZoomInfo put all our information together into one listing. That means their employees and our employees were both listed, and our offices were shown as two locations for the same business. Some of the most popular aggregate business listing sites:

Services to help keep up-to-date

There are some really helpful services that can help keep you up-to-date. You do have to pay for them, but in exchange they can save you time.

  • For as little as $39 Universal Business Listings will manage keeping your listings on track. They will also submit your business information to hundreds of directories that you may not already be a part of.
  • Yext allows you to scan listings and it will tell you which ones have erroneous information. You can pay them to fix specific listings or all of them. If you want to save $$$, you can just use their scanning service as a way to point out errors, then you can go to each site and fix the listing yourself.

How to Write for SEO

Web content writing is set apart from all other writing genres by the influence of search engines. If you’ve been at this Internet marketing game for more than a day or so, you’re probably already familiar with search engine optimization (SEO) and why it’s important–but just in case here’s a quick SEO review.

SEO writing is all about the keywords

Whenever you are writing for SEO you need to make keyword research a priority. In order to attract readers you have to know what words they are using when searching for the information you provide.

One of the best tools for conducting keyword research is Google AdWords Keyword Tool. You can use this free tool to generate a list of keywords and keyphrases based on Google’s vast accumulation of search data.

Knowing which keywords to choose

With over a 130 million sites on the web, webmasters, like you, suffer intense competition for desirable keywords. To have a chance at ranking on the first page of search results you have to choose your keywords carefully.

Fortunately, Google’s Keyword Tool provides a gauge of how competitive each keyword is. Use this insight to find keywords that have high search volumes paired with low competition ratings. Generally, the more specific the keyword (so-called “long-tail” keywords) the less competitive it is (e.g. “freelance copywriter in Knoxville, Tennessee” compared to “copywriter”).

Using keywords in SEO writing

When writing web content remember you are ultimately writing for human beings. Yes, search engines need keywords to determine what your content is about, but humans need clarity and smooth reading. For this reason you’ll want to include keywords in your writing only as often as they make sense–and no more.

To keep things natural-sounding limit yourself to three keywords or fewer per item of content (webpage, blog post, article, etc). Strategically place these keywords in your headline, subheadings, and sprinkled throughout your text (I cannot over-stress this point: only use SEO keywords where they make sense and flow nicely with surrounding text).

Also, search engines can identify multiple forms of the same word so try varying your verbiage. For example, one might use “how to write for SEO” and “SEO writing” in an article about writing for SEO.

Finally, when appropriate, highlight your SEO keywords in bold. This will draw both readers’ and search engines’ attention and can emphasize important points.

The secret sauce of writing for SEO

On a final note, SEO writing on its own will not get your website ranked by the search engines. For that you need to attract the attention of other websites.

Search engines treat hyperlinks between websites like votes. The more links (or votes) you have, the higher you are likely to rank. Therefore, my number one SEO writing tip (the secret sauce, so to speak) is this: create link-worthy content. Make your content something people care about, can relate to, are interested in, and will share with others.

If you still don’t feel comfortable writing SEO content consider hiring a professional SEO copywriter. I would be happy to offer you a free content evaluation and consultation. You can contact me via www.thewebsitewordsmith.com.

Guest author Alexa Steele is The Website Wordsmith. She focuses on producing high quality web writing that informs and persuades.

How to Ask the Search Engines to Index Your Site

Many people wait patiently for their website to get indexed, and sometimes this can take up to 2 months. You can make this happen faster by actually asking them to crawl your site. You do this by submitting your URL to the major search engines.

Here are direct links to the submission pages for the biggest search engines:

Is once enough?

Every time you make some major changes to your site, it doesn’t hurt to resubmit the URL to the search engines. This may encourage them to crawl your site more often. And of course the more they index your content, the better it is for your SEO.

At Landau Design we can show you how to get indexed more by search engines. Let Landau Design review your SEO status and develop a plan for increasing your ranking.

Commenting on Blogs Can Get You SEO Link Points

According to Technorati’s State of the Blogosphere, 184 million people in the world have started a blog. With that many people engaging in regular posting, blogs have become a standard way of discussing topics of interest. Regularly commenting on blogs can be a valuable tool for building relationships and gaining SEO links in the major search engines.

How do comments build relationships?
When you regularly read and comment on the same blog, that blog’s owner is likely to take notice. In many cases, this can establish a relationship between you and the blog owner, almost in the same way that having regular discussions with a coworker might. This connection can be established in as little as a few weeks, and can lead to offline discussions and networking opportunities for each of you. If there is a person you want to make a business connection with, but they are a stranger, seeking out the person’s blog and regularly posting comments is an excellent way to open the door.

How can comments build SEO Links?
The more links you have to your website, the higher your page rank is going to be. Comment on blogs is a great way to increase your link count.

When commenting on blogs, you don’t have to use your real name when you post. Instead, using your name followed by a keyword will help gain some search engine indexing (for example: Bonnie the Web Designer). Most blogs will give you the option of linking back to a web site when you leave a comment. Be sure to take advantage of this option by entering your URL. It even better to link to a specific page in your site that you’re trying to get indexed using the keyword you’ve chosen.

How do I find blogs to comment on?

  • Word of Mouth
  • Blog directories
  • Following people on Twitter
  • Using keywords in search engines

Does the topic of the blog matter?
It is going to be considered a more relevant link if the topic of the blog relates to your business. But even blogs that are unrelated give you a link back to your site. So if you’ve chosen to comment on a blog for your hobby, let’s say, still use the strategy of your name + keyword to gain a link back to your site.

Aren’t Blogs No-Follow Links?
It’s true that the default for some blog platforms (like WordPress), is to have no-follow links. But serious bloggers often override the default and switch to do-follow links. They do this to encourage commenting since they know people are more likely to comment if it has a positive effect on SEO. Serious bloggers will say if their comments are do-follow are not. Simple Web Toolbox is a do-follow link blog.

How Do You Counteract a Negative Online Presence?

You have worked very hard to create your website and/or blog, and you have probably spent a fair amount of time creating personas in the world of social media. You have built up some regular traffic, and you find the Internet is a friendly place after all. Then something unexpected happens… a negative comment on somebody else’s site.

Perhaps it’s a negative review on a business site such as Yelp or Google Business Directory. Or perhaps somebody doesn’t care for the way you’ve written a blog post, and they have expressed their dislike on their own blog. It could even be that you had one too many at a friend’s party, and that said friend has posted photos of you on Flickr.

Whatever the negative information is, what can you do about it now? Your online presence has been tarnished, and you need to polish it back up. In these cases it’s unfortunate that the nature of the Internet is to be a gigantic database for online activities. While you may convince your friend to take down the pictures, and you might negotiate with that unhappy client and get them to change their review, the fact is, once something is posted online, it’s likely to remain available through the Wayback Machine, Google cached records, or somebody other site’s catalog of online content.

SEO is your best defense

A targeted SEO campaign is your best counterattack when your online reputation has gone south. While you may not be able to erase the content, you can bury it in the search results by creating opposing content that will rank higher. This is done with a combination of content generation on your website as well as content aggregators such as Squidoo or EzineArticles.

Once you generate the opposing content, then you use link-building strategies to increase the page ranking to bring your content up in the search results, and bury the negative content you have found. At Landau Design we teach a Do-it-Yourself SEO class that assists you in creating an SEO strategy to bolster your online presence. Our next class begins July 14, 2010. Find out more >

How do you know if there are negative comments out there?

You should research your online presence every month. You should keep a log of what you find so you know when something new appears. We believe your online presence is your gold card on the Internet, and if it gets tarnished, it can harm your business. We have created a free PDF to show you how to research your online presence.