Category Archives: search engine optimization

Optimized for the Future?

“75% of 16 to 24 year olds feel they ‘couldn’t live’ without the internet”

Kids right? Nothing to note? Quite the opposite..

In the current jungle of the internet, the youth are the future. They are the natives of internet, matured on broadband and wi-fi, four out of five 16 to 24 year olds turn to the internet for advice when they need it.

So where are you? Are you at the top of your game, the head honcho in your niche? Or do you halfheartedly maintain a website, merely because “everyone else does it”. There are billions of websites out there, trillions of pages full of information, dis-information, scams, do-it-yourself tips, and some of the greatest literature ever written.

And that group of kids, the ones riding skateboards and drinking Slurpees, can navigate it better than any other age group that has come before it.

So again.. where are you?

Have you optimized your site for the search engines to find and index? Is your content, chock full of information, and laid out in an easy to read and navigate format?

Search engine optimization may seem transparent, may seem a simple task, but just remember one thing:

“All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved.”

When Search Optimization Will Not Work

Hitting the internet and searching Google for topics like, Search Engine Optimization, or, SEO Tips, or SEO Tricks, will yield you literally millions of pages. All with great shiny pictures of how SEO and optimization will change and enhance your (websites) life. Just like every cloud has a silver lining, and adhere to the “DO” sides of any advertising campaign; there are definitely the “DON’T”s that need to be minded as well. Search Engine Optimization, is no different in this regard. In fact, it’s more important in ways to mind the “DO NOT”s. For example:

Do Not:

Be impatient – Optimization takes time and effort. It’s not a quick fix, duct tape, band aid for a poorly built website. It takes time to fix any coding errors, search for the proper keywords to help boost you the most, and effort in placing the content within the site.

Tinker – After we’ve taken all of the time, and effort to repair any code or damage in your site, and help you add quality content, don’t mess with it. Because then we just have to start.. again.

COpy/Paste – Content, needs to be as unique as possible, while still being relevant to your site and it’s purpose. There are billions upon billions of pages of everything on the internet, and rest assure, Google has been there. Don’t think that you’ve stumbled upon the last jewel of the internet.

And most importantly!! DO NOT::

Try your hand at SEO – Don’t assume, that because you’ve read that tips list on Mr.SEO’s blog that you’re ready to step into the sea of SEO. It’s very deep, very dangerous, and not knowing what you’re doing, is a very quick way to drown and be lost in index.. or dropped completely.

These are only just a few of pitfalls which can be found when you embark on your SEO odyssey, always remember however, the advantages far greatly out weight the disadvantages, when you have the proper guide.

SEO Basics – Content

Continuing our ever growing list of SEO Tips, we’ll step into another batch of really basic optimization techniques which can help you improve your sites appearance, and hopefully, appeal on the search engines.

*Continually update your site-Sites that have new content added on a regular basis are seen as more reliable than sites that rarely do. This also helps you to increase the amount of relevant material on your site, which also improves your rankings. Consistently adhering to this principle, you can over time, become “the authority” in your niche.

*Unique content-Adding all the content you find on the internet won’t help improve your appearnce, if none of it is original. You need to provide content that has different information than what is on other sites and other Web pages.

*Try to use your keywords in your headlines-Headline tags (h1, h2, h3, etc.) are a great place to use your keyword phrase and secondary keywords. Search engines recognize that headlines are more important than the surrounding text, and so assign greater value to keywords found there.

*Try to get your keywords inside incoming links-Inbound links are a great way to improve your page rank, and your standings in the search results. But it’s difficult to control how people link to your pages. Most incoming links don’t use a phrase that has anything even remotely close to any of your keywords. Remember that they are doing you a favor by linking to you.

One way to get your keywords into inbound links is to provide your customers with the link text ready-made. For example:

Please link to this page: a href=”http://www.freshtraffic.ca/online_internet_marketing_sales.htm” Search Engine Marketing

Just a few more tips to add to the beginning stretch of beginning SEO. As always, there’s always more to come.

Search engine optimization (SEO)

In some circles, search engine optimization (SEO), has acquired a bad reputation. The industry moves fast because search engine algorithms (the unknown “logic” search engines use to associate searched terms or phrases with germane Web pages) is constantly changing. It is simply not in the search engines’ best interest to make this logic known (Google, Yahoo, etc. host advertising platforms and would rather a business pay for rankings – hey, they are running a business too!). The vast knowledge needed to implement SEO created an “us” and “them” dichotomy – if one didn’t “know” seo, then it was better left to the “experts”. The obvious problem being that if one does not know, how would they know their SEO services “knows”. It is kind of like bringing a car to a mechanic – one can get an outrageous bill and not acquire the knowledge to determine if the large amount was vindicated or not.

The specific “logic” is constantly changing, but SEO implements online initiatives to help a business’ quest for visibility. Simply, SEO is marketing for words and phrases associated with goods and services, in comparison to traditional marketing, which would seek to promote a business’ name, executive, etc. That is a very simple definition, and SEO is a lot more complicated (such as the need to acquire in-bound links from reputable sources), but it is an easy, elementary way to begin thinking about search optimization.

It is strongly suggested that any businessperson, thinking about using search engine optimization, do some reading on the subject. Frankly, there are many “SEO experts” out there who will take money, obfuscate, and get no results. On the other hand, many genuine providers exist that can greatly help a company. Researching the topic makes for a better result in finding a provider (after research, a business may find SEO services are not in their budget or presently desirable).

Golf magazine updates SEO

A golf magazine is now using SEO With more people heading online to look for news and content every day, a growing number of media outlets are using search engine optimization (SEO) to increase traffic – a trend that is being adopted by even niche media markets.

Golfweek, a magazine for golfing enthusiasts which boasts a weekly readership of more than 1.3 million people, says it has revamped its website and plans to make the site easier to find through search engine optimization.

The website has already seen a boost over the past few years, with 111 percent increase in unique viewership between May 2007 and May 2008, but this new site the company content will be more accessible.

By using search engine optimization (SEO), Golfweek says news and articles will be easier to find through typical searches while the site itself has an upgraded search feature directly on the site.

The site is also jumping into the world of web 2.0 by featuring new blogs from staff and readers along with links to the site’s Facebook and Twitter pages.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is becoming a must in the world of journalism, with Jerry Booth, CEO for Freshtraffic.ca, recently saying,he’s surprised more job seekers in the industry are not well-versed in SEO.

Winnipeg's tried, tested, and true SEO Experts

Winnipeg SEO Experts Fresh Traffic will be in the limelight with our very own SEO Expert throwing out the opening game pitch this Friday at the Winnipeg Goldeyes home game. It’s been a little over 2 years since Jerry came to Winnipeg, and SEO in Winnipeg has changed quite dramatically.

SEO Experts are everywhere suddenly, pay-per-click management companies have cropped up, and web consultants city wide have taken notice of the whirlwind that is Jerry. Enigmatic, eccentric, and charismatic, known in some circles as the Google Optimization Guru, he’s brought Fresh Traffic’s expertise to Winnipeg and Canada’s SEO market. I’ve been working with Jerry for a little over 18 months, and it’s completely changed the way I use the internet. Improperly SEO’d sites stick out like sore thumbs, poorly coded, written and laid out; it’s painful to look at some local, and even global companies who’ve spent thousand’s on what is a “style before substance” website.

Search engine optimization isn’t a fly by night. Search engine marketing isn’t just “the latest” in terms of buzz. Internet marketing whether local in Winnipeg, nationally across Canada, or globally is here, and it’s here to stay. The code will change, the internet will evolve, grow, and adapt..but the fundamentals will remain. The sooner that the old boys realize that, the sooner they’ll realize their pocket books will begin to grow with a perfectly implemented SEO/SEM campaign from Fresh Traffic; Winnipegs tried, tested, and true, SEO Experts.

Search Engine Optimization Winnipeg

Like anywhere else, a website requires optimization in order to rank within its own city, and Winnipeg is no exception. Winnipeg is the 7th largest city in Canada and the largest city between Toronto and Calgary.

Home to several internet startups in health, travel, and finance, Winnipeg is an overlooked technical hub with lots to offer. A little known fact, its where a few internet industries were started. Winnipeg also has a small gaming and film community which is thriving as well.

Internet marketing has made location a non-issue, allowing people virtually anywhere to operate a business online.

What is SEO
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. Borrowing a definition from wikipedia… “it is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a web site from search engines via “natural” (“organic” or “algorithmic”) search results.” SEO is a process which requires a time investment in order to see results. For faster results, one might try PPC, which you can setup and turn on in the same day.

Search Engine Optimization Winnipeg
There’s a city that lies on the prairies where two rivers meet. Known as Winnipeg, it’s known for hot summers, cold winters, love for hockey, and the great outdoors.

Winnipeg is also a thriving community for business, both online and offline, and has contributed a great deal for a city of barely 700,000. There is a strong community for web developers, designers, and Internet marketers. There is also the Winnipeg SEO and SEM groups as well

Links – Basic SEO interpretation

A site alone cannot achieve the full return on investment without using certain SEO techniques. Link building, one of the more effective ways of promoting a website on the Web, is an often discussed, and debated subject. There are varied types of link building techniques and strategies which could help in improving your standings within the index. Let’s have a look at different types of link building techniques used in search engine optimization strategies.

One way links
Here one site gets a link on another website due to the quality and relevance, and not for the business purpose. The website whose link is posted, does not need to provide a link back to the site on which it is posted. Best type of linking to work towards.

Reciprocal links
Another widely used strategy of link building is ‘reciprocal linking’. Here there is link exchange between two websites on one to one basis. Care needs to be taken in choosing reciprocal link partners, as fraudulent webmasters can take undue advantage. It is advisable to review any requests for link exchanges before finalizing. This can be seen as a last alternative if a one way link isn’t in the cards. A little more towards the quantity end of the spectrum.

Articles
Article submission in various directories is a sure shot method to build effective link building to your website. You can write one article per day or as much as you want and submit to directories. Submission can be done in many directories altogether, where one-way links are given to your site from the articles. Other sites that use your articles also provide one-way link to your site from other websites. Quantity linking is where this would fall into.

Press releases
Press release submission in various press release directory and leading news site is a best way to get natural back links from your press release articles. You need to write press release article about your new product launches or news releases in your industry. In the deep end of the quantity pool, great for getting out a blast of information to multiple sources, quickly.

Social bookmarking and Social networking
Social bookmarking and social networking is one of the newest ways to get back links and more visitors to your website. Experience is varied, but on the whole it will send more traffic to your site. If your content is relevant to the readers interest, it’s up to them at that point to provide the link back to your site.

The most important point when it comes to links however, quality link building is far better than quantity link building.

SEO & PPC to Double in 5 Years

A flurry of new information released as part of Forrester research predicts a huge change of emphasis from traditional media to online advertising over the next few years. In particular, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Pay-Per-Click (PPC) are due to double over the next five years according to the Forrester report.

In the US, digital marketing will become $55 billion industry by 2014, representing 21 per cent of the overall marketing spend. In the UK, online advertising spend already controls over a fifth of the overall advertising market, but the trend predicted by Forrester is that online will continue to flourish while other aspects perish.

The most interesting takeaway from the research is that overall advertising budgets will decline. Yep. With dollars moving out of traditional media toward less expensive and more efficient interactive tools, marketers will actually need less money to accomplish their current advertising goals.”

The message is getting through that online marketing can achieve the same as traditional media for less. A paradigm shift is occurring, with 60 per cent of advertising gurus ploughing money into digital media rather than the normal advertising avenues. Up to 59 per cent of the increase in advertising spend will be allocated to SEO and PPC.

PPC is currently much more prominent than SEO with most companies preferring to invest in paid search. However, as organic search starts gaining more widespread traction, more brands will turn to search engine optimization to drive traffic naturally to their websites. By 2014 the US will spend over $5 billion on SEO according to the Forrester research.

Ten SEO Tips for any Website

Achieving a high ranking in the search results at Google and other search sites is, for many websites, the primary means of attracting new visitors and increasing traffic. That’s why it’s important to optimize your site for search, using various search engine optimization (SEO) techniques. The better optimized your site, the higher it will appear in the search rankings—and the more traffic you’ll attract.

With that in mind, here are 10 SEO tips that you can use with any website, no matter what the site’s content. Follow the advice here and you’ll likely improve your ranking!

TIP #1: Improve Your Content
Ultimately, people visit a given website because it has valuable content. If the content isn’t any good, all the SEO in the world won’t create new visitors.

That’s why of all the SEO tips in the world, the one that has the biggest impact is improving your website’s content. It’s simple: The better your site is, content-wise, the higher it will rank.

You see, when it comes to search rank, content is king. Ultimately, the better search engines find some way to figure out what your site is all about; the higher quality and more relevant your site’s content is to a particular search, the more likely it is that a search engine will rank your site higher in its results.

So forget all about fancy keywords and technical META tags for the time being, and focus on what it is your site does and says.

If your site is about NASCAR racing, work to make it the most content-rich site about NASCAR you can; if it’s about aquariums, make it the highest-quality aquarium site possible. Don’t skimp on the content—the more and more relevant content you have, the better.

Here’s what you need to remember: SEO isn’t about technological tricks. It’s about making your site more useful to visitors—and that means providing the best possible content you can. Everything else follows from this.

TIP #2: Create a Clear Organization and Hierarchy
Here’s an important fact: Web crawlers for the major search sites can find more content on a web page and more web pages on a website if that content and those pages are in a clear hierarchical organization.

Let’s look at page organization first. You want to think of each web page as a mini-outline. The most important information should be in major headings, with lesser information in subheadings beneath the major headings.

One way to do this is via standard HTML heading tags, with the most important information in H1 tags, the next most-important in H2 tags, and less-important information in H3 tags.

This approach is also appropriate for your entire site layout. Your home page should contain the most important information, with subsidiary pages branching out from that containing less important information—and even more subpages branching out from those. The most important info should be visible when a site is first accessed via the home page; additional info should be no more than a click or two away.

TIP #3: Fine-Tune Your Keywords
Just as important as a page’s layout is the page’s content in terms of keywords. A keyword is a word or phrase that the user searches for.

In determining search ranking, the major search engines look to determine how important a keyword or phrase is on your page. They do this by seeing where on the page the keyword is used and how many times it’s used. A site with a keyword buried near the bottom of a page will rank lower than one with the keyword placed near the top or used repeatedly in the page’s text. It’s not a foolproof way of determining importance and appropriateness, but it’s a good first stab at it.

When various search engines examine your page, they look for the most important words—those words used in the site’s title or headings, those words that appear in the opening paragraph, and those words that are repeated throughout the page. The more and more prominently you include a word on your page, the more important a search engine will think it is to your site.

For this reason, you want to make sure that each and every page on your site contains the keywords that users might use to search for your pages. If your site is all about drums, make sure your pages include words like “drums,” “percussion,” “sticks,” “heads,” “cymbals,” “snare,” and the like. If your site is about dogs, include words like “dog,” “puppy,” “canine,” “beagle,” “collie,” “dachshund,” and such.

Try to think through how you would search for this information, and work those keywords into your content.

TIP #4: Tweak Your META Tags
A search engine looks not just to the text that visitors see when trying to determine the content of your site. Also important is the presence of keywords in your site’s HTML code—specifically within the META tag.

The META tag includes metadata about your site, such as your site’s name and keyword “content.” This tag appears in the head of your HTML document, before the BODY tag and its contents.

It’s easy enough for a search engine to locate the META tag and read the data contained within. If a site’s metadata is properly indicated, this gives the search engine a good first idea about what content is included on this page.

Fortunately, you can insert multiple META tags into the head of your document, and each tag can contain a number of different attributes. For example, you can assign attributes for your page’s name, a description, and keywords to the META tag.

You use separate META tags to define different attributes using the following format:

META NAME=”attribute” CONTENT=”items”NOTE

In the previous line of code, replace attribute with the name of the particular attribute, and items with the keywords or description of that attribute.

For example, to include a description of your web page, enter this line of code:

META NAME=”DESCRIPTION” CONTENT=”All about stamp collecting”
To include a list of keywords, use the following code:

META NAME=”KEYWORDS” CONTENT=”keyword1, keyword2, keyword3″

TIP #5: Solicit Inbound Links
Google got to be Google by recognizing that web rankings could be somewhat of a popularity contest; that is, if a site got a lot of traffic, there was probably a good reason why. A useless site wouldn’t attract a lot of visitors (at least not long term), nor would it inspire other sites to link to it.

So if a site has a lot of other sites linking back to it, it’s probably because that site offers useful information relevant to the site doing the linking. The more links to a given site, the more useful it probably is.

Google took this to heart and developed its own algorithm, dubbed PageRank, which is based first and foremost on the number and quality of sites that link to a particular page.

If your site has a hundred sites linking to it, for example, it should rank higher in Google’s search results than a similar site with only ten sites linking to it. Yes, it’s a popularity contest, but one that has proven uncannily accurate in providing relevant results to Google’s users.

And it’s not just the quantity of links; it’s also the quality. That is, a site that includes content that is relative to your page is more important than just some random site that links to your page. For example, if you have a site about NASCAR racing, you’ll get more oomph with a link from another NASCAR-related site than you would with a link from a site about Barbie dolls. Relevance matters.

So when it comes to increasing your rankings at Google (which is, far and away, the largest and most important search engine), you can get a big impact by getting more higher-quality sites to link back to your site.

There are a number of ways to do this: from just waiting for the links to roll in to actively soliciting links from other sites. You can even pay other sites to link
back to your site; when it comes to increasing your site’s search ranking, little is out of bounds. But however you do, increasing the number and quality of inbound links is essential.

TIP #6: Submit Your Site
While you could wait for the each search engine’s crawler to find your site on the Web, a more proactive approach is to manually submit your site for inclusion in each engine’s web index. It’s an easy process—and one that every webmaster should master.

Fortunately, submitting your site to a search engine is an easy process. In fact, it’s probably the easiest part of the SEO process. All you have to do is go the submission page for each search engine, as noted here:

•Google: http://www.google.com/addurl/
•Yahoo!: siteexplorer.search.yahoo.com/submit/
•Windows Live Search: search.msn.com.sg/docs/submit.aspx
As easy as this site submittal process is, some webmasters prefer to offload the task to a site submittal service. These services let you enter your URL once and then submit it to multiple search engines and directories; they handle all the details required by each search engine. Given that many of these services are free, it’s not a bad way to go.

TIP #7: Create a Sitemap
Here’s something else that you can submit to increase your site’s ranking: a sitemap. A sitemap is a map of all the URLs in your entire website, listed in hierarchical order. Search engines can use this sitemap to determine what’s where on your site, find otherwise-hidden URLs on deeply buried pages, and speed up their indexing process. In addition, whenever you update the pages on your website, submitting an updated sitemap helps keep the search engines up-to-date.

The big three search engines (Google, Yahoo!, and Live Search), along with Ask.com, all support a single sitemap standard. This means you can create just one sitemap that all the search engines can use; you don’t have to worry about different formats for different engines.

Your sitemap is created in a separate XML file. This file contains the distinct URLs of all the pages on your website. When a searchbot reads the sitemap file, it learns about all the pages on your website—and can then crawl all those pages for submittal to the search engine’s index.

By the way, the new unified sitemap format allows for autodiscovery of your site’s sitemap file. Previously, you had to notify each search engine separately about the location of each file on your site. Now you can do this universally by specifying the file’s location in your site’s robots.txt file.

While you could create a sitemap file by hand, it’s far easier to generate that sitemap automatically. To that end, many third-party sitemap-generator tools exist for just that purpose. For most of these tools, generating a sitemap is as simple as entering your home page URL and then pressing a button.

The tool now crawls your website and automatically generates a sitemap file; once the sitemap file is generated, you can then upload it to the root directory of your website, reference it in your robots.txt file, and, if you like, submit it directly to each of the major search engines.

TIP #8: Use Text Instead of Images
It’s important to know that today’s generation of search engines parse only text content; they can’t figure out what a picture or video or Flash animation is about, unless you describe it in the text. So if you use graphic buttons or banners (instead of plain text) to convey important information, the search engines simply won’t see it. You need to put every piece of important information somewhere in the text of the page—even if it’s duplicated in a banner or graphic.

So if you use images on your site, which you probably do, make sure that you use the ALT tag for each image—and assign meaningful keywords to the image via this tag. A searchbot will read the ALT tag text; it can’t figure out what an image is without it.

Similarly, don’t hide important information in Flash animations, JavaScript applets, video files, and the like. Remember, searchbots can only find text on your page—all those non-text elements are invisible to a search engine

TIP #9: Update Your Content Frequently
It pays to constantly update your site. Because most searchbots crawl the Web with some frequency, looking for pages that have changed or updated content, your ranking can be affected if your site hasn’t changed in a while. So you’ll want to make sure that you change your content on a regular basis; in particular, changing the content of your heading tags can have a big impact on how “fresh” the search engine thinks your site is.

TIP #10: Know Your Customer
This final tip is a piece of business advice I’ve been hawking for the past two decades. Everything you do in business—or on your website—should come in service to your customers. You don’t develop a new product just because you have the capability; you do it because it’s something your customers want.

To that end, knowing what your customers want is the most important part of your business. If you know your customers, you can develop a website that they will want to visit—and that search engines will want to rank highly. Know what your customers want and you’ll know what kind of content to create, and how to present that content.

And because SEO starts with your optimizing site’s content, the better and more relevant that content, the higher your site will rank with Google, Yahoo!, and the other search engines.

Know your customer, and everything else follows.