Archive for the ‘SEO’ Category

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 Digital 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.

SEO vs. Online Marketing – What’s the Difference?

When people are growing their web presence they often focus on SEO (search engine optimization) to the exclusion of all else. The fact is, SEO is only one component of an online marketing strategy, and often what you do in an online marketing campaign can effect your SEO results.

What is SEO (search engine optimization)?

According to Wikipedia, SEO is: the practice of maximizing the volume or quality of traffic to a web site (such as a blog) from search enginessearch results as opposed to other forms of search engine marketing (“SEM”) which may deal with paid inclusion. via “natural” or un-paid (“organic” or “algorithmic”)

In other words, SEO is what you do to come up on page 1 of Google. It is essentially the technical site of online marketing. SEO is primarily focused in 3 areas:

  1. Content generation on your site or other sites.
  2. Gaining as many links INTO your site as possible.
  3. Optimizing your website for keywords chosen.

What is Online Marketing?

According to YourDictionary.com: In its simplest form, the term online marketing refers to using the power of Internet advertising to generate a response from your audience.

So Online marketing ecompasses all things you do to gain customers through your website or blog. This could include:

  • Social media
  • SEO
  • Banner advertising
  • Print advertising
  • Press releases
  • Article marketing
  • Creating a blog to compliment your website
  • Affiliate marketing
  • Email marketing
  • Video marketing

Online marketing is the process of turning your web presence into a salesman that never sleeps. It incorporates traditional marketing as well as online marketing, and the end goal is to increase the traffic to your website.

Do I have to do both?

The short answer is yes. If you want to maximize incoming traffic to your website, then SEO and other online marketing techniques are both required. But research shows that 47% of potential customers are going to the search engines to find online businesses, and with those numbers, ranking high in the search engines is a critical component of gaining online eyeballs. So if you do nothing else, focusing on SEO will gain you incoming traffic can help you gain half the market share for your niche.

SEO Webinars

Landau Digital has SEO webinars to teach you how to do SEO on your own. Join us and find out how you can create a dramatic increase in website traffic in just 3 months:

Link Building Efforts Should be Real, not Fabricated

When it comes to a small business website, a significant SEO strategy is your best bet towards driving up visits from online search results. A major component of your SEO strategy should be link building, which means getting links TO your website from other online sources. Unfortunately some companies fall into the misnomer that buying links can easily increase the inbound link numbers, and positively effect search results.

Google has caught on to bought links

Google has gotten so wise to the purchased link market that they will hold it against you. Websites who have a lot of purchased, or spam, links, will be kicked out of Google all together. Google is so serious about this that many blogs have no-follow on their ad links in order to let Google know “this is a bought link, so please don’t count it.” It’s a way to still buy advertising, but not have it held against you in Google.

Fabricated links are obvious to Google

Many companies purchase the services of an SEO company, not realizing that these so-called experts are engaging in “black-hat” or “fake” SEO that could actually hurt their search engine rankings. Some examples of fabricated SEO efforts:

  • Putting random comments on blogs to try and gain a back link. We receive dozens of these daily, often the same poster putting the exact same comment on different blog posts. We use Askimet, which is a plugin that weeds out fake comments, so these comments never go live on our blog.
  • Buying advertising on parked domains. These pages are often structured around a particular topic so it looks like you’ve gained a pertinent link, but Google is wise to these spam pages and will count these bought links against you.
  • Adding your company to link farms. These are sites that are created to appear as if they are a business directory, when in fact they are simply a huge directory of outbound links.
  • Duplicating content across the net. This would mean taking the same article and publishing it over and over into many article directories so you can get the in-bound links within the articles. Google is wise to over duplication of content.
  • Keyword stuffing pages. Putting to many of the same keyword on a page on your site in an effort to increase the relevance. A keyword density of more than 7% is considered keyword stuffing.

Link building strategies should be authentic

When you set out to gain links into your site, you must find authentic ways to do so. The following provides examples of authentic ways to build your inbound links:

  • List your company in online business directories that are pertinent to your industry.
  • Comment on blogs that you have honest, valuable comments to contribute to the subject being discussed.
  • Create a Squidoo or Hubpages page about a topic pertinent to your business and of interest to others.
  • Comment on message boards pertinent to your business arena.
  • Write interesting articles and publish them in online article directories.

Rule of thumb

When engaging in a link building strategy, just ask yourself, “Is this content adding value?” This should be your rule of thumb when deciding on how to gain links into your website. If you are putting the link merely to get a link back, this may be risky. If you are putting the link to generate useful content, then continue on!

Free SEO Copywriting Report from ScribeSEO

SEO is all about the words. How you write your words, put them together and publish them determines your fate in the search engine rankings. Weaving in your keywords is the crux of getting the highest rankings. But how can you be sure you have done it appropriately?

You might ask yourself:

  • Have I chosen the right keywords?
  • Have I used keywords too many times (which will hurt you if you have)?
  • Do the keywords show up in key areas of my page?
  • Should I write for my users or the search engines?

Scribe has created a plugin that will answer all these questions for you. This simple plugin works in WordPress and Joomla, and it can analyze your page and let you know your SEO score. It gives you an actual percentage out of a 100 to let you know how well you’ve done. But Scribe goes one beyond that, it gives you suggestions on how to fix your content in order to get a higher score. With one click you can find out how well you’re doing and if the search engines are going to like what they see.

Scribe has gone one step further in offering a FREE PDF download on how to write content for the web. This report will help you learn the ins and outs of writing for the Web. Written by Copyblogger founder Brian Clark, this definitive guide is a must-have for anybody who writes a blog or manages a website. The best part is, this download is totally free. You don’t have to sign up for an email list, create a login account, or anything. Simply go to the Scribe download page and click download.

SEO: Figuring Out Where Your Visitors Come From

In the first article on understanding and implementing a plan for SEO, we discussed the terminology of Measuring Website Effectiveness. Let’s discover what these terms mean in relation to your website and how visitors use it.

The answers to the questions below help you make changes to your website so the content and structure is more effective for the user.   They may also suggest that you should evaluate your marketing strategy and message especially if your sales and other marketing results are not strong.

When people find your website, it is important to know:

  • How many people visit your website and Is there a trend up or down?
  • How did they find your site?
  • What information do they look at?
  • Did the visitor’s usage pattern indicate that the website helped you achieve some business goal?
  • What actions do they take after they visit my website?

The statistics that help you understand the first two questions are discussed below.  The other questions will be addressed in the next blog.

How many people visit your site?

  • Visitor count: A higher visitor count indicates more people are finding your website.  If you started an SEO campaign, this is one measure to indicate if your efforts are helping.  If you have a new promotional offer online or a new service listed and your visitor count is higher, check the landing pages to see which page viewers visit first.  If they visit a page with promotional content, this indicates if your promotion is generating traffic.
  • Unique visitors: If your website does not have features that draw people back to it, you would expect that the unique visitors would be relatively high as a percentage of total visitors.  This may indicate that your site does not offer enough value to draw people back again.  Some features that draw people back again include a subscription service for premium content, regularly updating content, special offers or coupons online, and rss feeds (automatic content updates from other related websites).  Other effective means of developing repeat visitors for some business include message boards and polls.
  • However a high unique visitor count as a percentage of the total visitor count may also indicate a new website or really effective promotion of the website. It takes a couple of visit for a user to believe a site merits returning on a regular basis so it takes some time for repeat traffic to develop. So look at the trend and the individual period to better interpret your unique visitors.

  • New visitors: This statistic is the best overall indicator of how fast your traffic is growing.  New visitors represent the untapped potential of the marketplace and following what new visitors do on your website gives you great marketing information.  If your Analytics tool allows you to segment the data, look at landing sites, time spent on the site, and exit pages for new visitors.  This will give you a sense of how valuable they consider your services and the content you provide.

How did people find your site?

  • Referring site: If you have increased your directory listings or started a reciprocal blog posting relationship, you would expect links from those sources to increase.
  • Traffic source: If you have enhanced your internal, you would expect that your traffic from organic referral sites to increase e.g. Google search by one of your key words.  If you can segment this statistic with you analytics program, look at new visitors for support of this conclusion.

Take a look at your analytics and see what these statistics show you before you look at our blog about interpreting visitor’s traffic pattern. A good analytics package is the key to effectively managing your SEO strategy, so if you haven’t installed one yet, make sure you do so you can follow the changing traffic trends.