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Browsing "search engine optimization"

Rankings Make or Break Online Businesses

Apr 24, 2008   //   by freshtraffic   //   internet advertising, online marketing, search engine optimization, seo  //  Comments Off

While some would argue that the need for search engine optimization for a website can vary website to website, it is becoming more and clearer that search engine rankings can actually make or break a business. Every good businessman will agree that marketing is everything in a business, besides a quality product or service. Search engine optimization is high quality marketing for your website.

Let’s take a look at an example of how SEO can directly affect your business:

A freelance marketing copywriter set up a website to market herself and her services. She mainly used brochures and word of mouth, and while this worked in bringing in clients, she was not making a solid living off the clients that did make it to her website. Someone mentioned SEO to her and she researched and found an SEO company to optimize her website. Upon first analyzing her website, the SEO company had a hard time locating her website within search engine result pages. The SEO team began the optimization which resulted in the copywriter’s website ranking within the top 10 on most major search engine results under the major keyword searches intended. And while the search engine optimization company could happily step back and consider this story a success, the true measure of success after search engine optimization is how successful the website and/or business is after optimization has occurred. The SEO company contacts the copywriter with a follow up and discovers that not only has her traffic significantly increased, she is making a fairly decent living and has had to hire on an extra copywriter to help manage the incoming workload. Only now can the SEO company truly claim success on this search engine optimization project.

If more SEO companies took the time to send out a follow up email just to check in and see how optimization has affected their business clients, the revelations will be astonishing. These companies are spending twice as much on advertising campaigns and techniques, when, for half the cost, proper search engine optimization can actually provide bigger and better overall results. One of our recent clients, for example, is spending $70,000 a year on yellow pages advertising. This gives them a nice page ad in the LOCAL yellow pages. After we finish their new ecommerce website containing all of their parts and products they hope to do away with yellow pages and have little or no further investment while reaching a NATIONAL customer base. As more and more customers go online to search for products and services local advertising paper books are sure to struggle.

Having said this there still seems to be a large number of business owners who still rely on old methods of marketing using paper products. We feel that this is likely because it is hard for long-time business owners to give up on methods that used to work very well for them. There is a strong sense of fear when they consider giving up on paper and going digital. Some feel safer paying out a lot of money for something they know has worked for them in the past. Unfortunately it is not working as well for many of them any longer.

Other online business website owners are hurting because they chose the wrong firm to design their E-commerce website and perform SEO on the new website. Many thousands of dollars later and often many firms later they are still struggling to make any return on investment from their website. Be sure to find the right SEO and design firm before you spend any money. Make them prove their SEO capability with current high ranking websites. Examine their designs carefully to make sure they are clean and easy to navigate. This is one investment you cannot afford to go cheap on. Get the best.

Think of it this way: With regular, everyday advertising, you are only reaching the area within the boundary that you advertise in. With search engine optimization of your website, you are literally advertising to the world—an endless opportunity for success!

It is important to understand that even the best search engine optimization cannot help you if your website is poorly constructed, difficult to navigate, or the content does not contain and maintain fresh, up-to-date information. A major part of overall search engine optimization lies within professionally written and fresh marketing text. And, unfortunately, not all businesses will see such a huge turn-around after search engine optimization. However, considering that regular marketing can be substantially more expensive than SEO, it is safe to say that SEO is a more cost effective way to approach marketing where your business website is concerned. And as we stated earlier, with search engine optimization you are marketing to an entire world of potential customers.

Fresh Traffic Optimize can help bring the world to your website. Call us today for a free consultation and website analysis at 204-942-4200

Website Design Process

Apr 18, 2008   //   by freshtraffic   //   internet strategy, online marketing, search engine optimization, website principles  //  Comments Off

So, you have a great product, a perfect pitch; it’s so great it could sell itself. The only problem being you live in a tiny market, and have already reached saturation. The next step? Take it online of course!

Website design can be a frightening prospect if your knowledge of the internet extends only to reading your email and news daily. There is however, a few basic guidelines that should be followed that will allow even the internet novice to become visible with their own website.

The first step, of any website may not seem important initially, but it can make all the world of difference. You need to decide upon your websites domain name. Something that shouldn’t be taken lightly at any degree, as it has been said, “It’s all in the name”

Once you’ve chosen a name, you should then decide on a website host. You can start with a free host, which will place ads on your site, or you can pay monthly for your very own domain name and have no ads running (aside from your own).

Typically a free host will have a variety of premade sites which require you only to fill in the blanks. You can literally be up and running your site in an hour or two if you have all of your information organized and ready. Even if you’ve decided to pay monthly for hosting, there is a plethora of templates out there, ranging in price from free, to hundreds of dollars.

Bear in mind now, the more you have on your website the longer it will take to load. Text is not a problem, pictures, sounds/songs, and little movies can slow down your page load speed dramatically, depending on your hosting.

And that’s just the beginning of an online presence!

Then there’s online marketing, constant updating, and search engine optimization to consider.

You could of course, just let someone with some Fresh ideas do all of the aforementioned work for you.

-Nathan

10 Simple Steps to Boost Search Engine Rankings

Apr 2, 2008   //   by freshtraffic   //   internet strategy, keyword, online marketing, organic, search engine optimization, website principles  //  Comments Off

There are several steps to follow to ensure top rankings in search engines. Sites that follow these simple steps will likely see their traffic and search engine rankings soar through the roof. The better optimized your site is for the search engines, the better results you can expect.

1. Implement Title Tags and Meta Tags
Title tags are an important aspect of search engine optimization as they are the way to convey your marketing skills to your target audience. The wording should flow smoothly while containing important keywords. This is where the search engines and your target audience get a feel for what your Web site is about.

You want to stress all the viral information in this limited area of space. This is your area for free advertising, so take full advantage of this. Insert information like company name and your targeted keywords that you have chosen for this page. Every page on your site should have unique title tags and meta tags.

2. Offer Quality Content
Your content is very useful for the search engines in determining whether or not your Web site is relevant to your topic. You want quality, keyword rich content. You do not want to stuff your keywords, but place them sporadically throughout you site.

Keyword stuffing is a black hat technique that will get you permanently banned from the search engines. Make sure that your content flows smoothly and rolls off the tongue easily. Remember, humans — not search engines — have the ultimate decision to purchase your product or service. Write your content first for your audience and then add keywords where it makes sense to.

3. Acquire Quality Links
Links are a valuable tool for gaining top search engine rankings. Links (backlinks) are viewed as a vote from one site to another, so the more links to your site, the more popular the search engines think your site is. Higher-quality links from authority Web sites are weighed more heavily when ranking your site. So, acquire links from reputable Web sites that are popular.

You want to get links that are related to your line of work to increase rankings. Make sure all your links are related in one way or another to your Web site. If not, then your site will be penalized in the rankings, which is the opposite of what we are trying to achieve.

4. Strive for Quality Backlinks
Recently, Google (Nasdaq: GOOG) began to crack down on link farm sites (sites where you buy links) by penalizing them in the search engine rankings. Avoid link farms or buying links from non-authority sites, as they will only do more harm than good.

Remember, it’s not the quantity of links you have, but the quality of those links you do have. Make sure your links appear natural, not like they have been paid for. You must have something of quality to offer others so they will link to your site and increase your search engine rankings.

5. Have a Keyword Relevant Domain Name
Before purchasing a domain name, you should look for a URL that has relevant keywords to your company. Ensure that your domain name has some relevancy to your Web site.

Your sub domains should not be long and full of strange characters and symbols. This will only confuse the search engines and your human visitors. The simple domain that has your keyword specific to your page is great for the search engines and human readers.

6. Use HTML
Search engine spiders have a hard time reading coding other than HTML (hypertext markup language). To avoid any confusion for the spider, have your Web site written in HTML — not Flash. If you are a large, well-known company, this does not play as big a role, but if you’re a small company trying to make a name for yourself, ensure that your programmer is using HTML.

7. Make Site Navigation Easy
You want a Web site that is easy to navigate through. The more confusing and broken links to your site, the less likely it is that the spider will fully crawl and index all your pages.

You want to submit a xml sitemap for Google so it can find and index all the pages in your Web site. Sitemaps are a necessity for Web sites getting all your pages indexed and included in the search engines.

8. Use Fresh, New Content
Search engines do not want old, outdated content on their search results, so you must make sure to add new content to your site on a consistent basis. Both humans and spiders like to see new content on your Web site. Make sure to update your content to make sure it is up to date and relevant.

You can make simple grammatical changes to your site or add pages — anything counts as new content. If you stop adding new content to your Web site, your rankings will start to slip and fall way below your desired results. If you see your rankings start to slip, make sure you add new content to your site.

9. Add a Blog to Your Site
A blog is a great tool for keeping visitors up to date to with your site. Blogs help promote your site and give your visitors another way to locate your Web site. Blogs and blog posts get indexed in the search engines quite quickly as well.

If you start a blog about the industry you are in, you can quickly build up your rankings. Blogs are especially useful for adding fresh content to your site. Blog posts are seen as new content, so post in your blog at least once a week to keep your content new. Blog postings do not have to be relevant to your Web site, but it does help to keep the content somewhat relevant to build up and authority blog.

10. Make Your Web Site for Humans – Not Spiders
This is probably one of the biggest mistakes committed by newcomers to Internet marketing. They write and organize their Web site for the search engines to achieve high rankings, yet the traffic that comes in does not make a purchase.

You want to have a Web site that is easy to read and comprehend — not a site that is made for the spiders to read. Ultimately, your site is viewed by humans who hold the purchasing power. Ensure that your Web site is easy to read and does not have any misspellings.

When SEO Isn't Really SEO

Apr 1, 2008   //   by freshtraffic   //   internet advertising, online marketing, search engine optimization, seo  //  Comments Off

A potential client recently asked a good question. She regularly reads various search-engine-optimization websites, and she was confused as to the current meaning of the term “SEO.” What, she wondered, was the difference between SEO and online marketing?

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is constantly changing. As the major search engines update their algorithms and redefine how their search results will be determined and displayed, the SEO industry must adjust and redefine to follow those trends. But there is a new trend as well: Search optimizers going well beyond search engine results and into other marketing areas but still calling it SEO. It gets a bit confusing.

By definition, SEO refers to the process of optimizing a website with the goal of having major search engines (primarily Google, Yahoo! and MSN Live Search) return pages from that website in highly-ranked search engine results. SEO is almost always employed as a form of marketing, but it is a very specific form of marketing that takes place within the search engines.

Lately, some industry blogs have suggested that SEO has grown beyond its primary parameters, suggesting that successful SEO includes expanding into other realms of marketing. I don’t think that makes any sense. By definition, SEO – search engine optimization – does not include any form of marketing that goes outside of search engines. The use of the term SEO in such a way is disingenuous and confuses many webmasters and owners of ecommerce sites.

Let’s be clear: Online marketing (also referred to as web marketing and Internet marketing) is a term that includes SEO as one marketing aspect among many and not the other way around. It may be a matter of semantics, but as there are well-defined terms to describe the wider practices of marketing on the Internet, why is there a need to redefine SEO to reflect that process? It’s a very useful term as is!

Some SEO professionals may be recognizing that search engine optimization is moving away from a stand-alone industry and towards being one arrow in the quiver of the online marketing industry. They are compensating for this by simply including more forms of online marketing under the SEO heading.

But SEO practitioners shouldn’t fear this move. If the natural path of SEO is to interact with other forms of online marketing, so be it. One can hold this SEO position quite confidently because SEO is not going away. Or, SEO practitioners can expand their boundaries to become more general online marketers – and call themselves just that. But, it should be one or the other; there is no point in redefining terms.

What does this imply for ecommerce sites that are simply trying to employ some SEO to boost sales? Well, first and foremost, a well-optimized and usable site is still priority number one. The best bang for your buck (or your time) is addressing the basic SEO assets of an ecommerce site because natural search engine results are still one of the best ways to drive traffic and sales.

If the SEO is solid for a website, look to augment it by incorporating other forms of online marketing, especially social media. Get involved in the blogosphere whether you do it yourself or hire an outside firm. Taking into consideration a website’s focus and demeanor, consider using YouTube and other video sharing sites to promote a website and drive traffic directly. Remember that PPC (pay per click) search advertising, while often overpriced, can augment a natural search campaign.

But don’t be confused by those who are twisting terms. SEO is still SEO – search engine optimization. Make SEO the skeleton of your online marketing efforts, but don’t be afraid to hang a little muscle and meat on those bones. If your optimization is strong, other online marketing avenues may be a natural – and logical – step towards more sales.

Local Optimization – Local SEO

Mar 11, 2008   //   by freshtraffic   //   fresh traffic, internet strategy, search engine optimization, Winnipeg  //  Comments Off

Local search engine optimization is something that every business with a website should take very seriously. Advertising locally can only get you so far, having your website optimized with geo-targeting and proper keywords in mind, you can bring in a lot of traffic that you would otherwise miss.

Using a single keyword phrase in geo-targeted optimization could mean that you lose out on a lot of traffic and potential customers. While it may be the most widely used phrase in terms of your business, bear in mind that not everyone searches the same way. As an example, “local restaurants” may be the most obvious of search terms, but some people will search for those same restaurants as “best eatery” or “local hotspots”, the terms are many; it pays off in the end to remember that.

Local SEO can definitely be focused around a single main search term, but add others throughout the site. This can help boost your ranking on the search engines and you´ll find that your traffic will increase.

–N

SEO all the way to Pics

Mar 10, 2008   //   by freshtraffic   //   search engine optimization, seo strategies, website optimization, website principles  //  Comments Off

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a virtual no brainer when it comes to the long term marketing of your website. When you work to develop your website using SEO strategies you will likely focus most of your approach on the development of knowledge-based content filled with keywords or phrases that assist in positive site rankings.

Some online business owners do themselves a disservice by stopping short of full optimization. For instance site development can include adding SEO keywords and phrases to meta titles. This is information visitors will not see, but search engines will. Since they pay attention to the meta titles shouldn’t you?

Some website owners also stop before they provide a full compliment of SEO strategies in other text based areas of their website. This may include the ‘about us’ section that allow visitors to learn more about the company. Presumably your SEO keywords relate to your business. The use of those keywords in this section is very important.

Site owners can tastefully place their keywords in product descriptions and the frequently asked questions (FAQs) segment of their website.

Your home page should also include SEO strategies. The truth is you should pay attention to every single page and every text entry you place on your site. This includes any forums or blogs you might host on your site.

One area that is often overlooked when it comes to Search Engine Optimization is the photos you might display on the site.

Visit virtually any website and roll your cursor over a picture. In most cases a small yellow box will pop up and a series of words will pop up to describe the picture. Most visitors do not use this function so enterprising web owners will use photos to increase their SEO exposure since search engines do pay attention. You can use the name of the website or the primary key phrase you are using to enhance search engine placement.

There are other areas where SEO principles apply, but the above principles should help you fully develop a website that is inviting to a system that can do more for the long-term marketability of your site.

SEO principles are not the stuff of overnight success. In fact it can take several weeks for search engines to crawl and index your website to improve your website’s placement in overall search rankings.

Think of SEO like you might a mutual fund. You invest in SEO, but the accumulated interest can take time to mature. Ultimately it is a sound investment, but your interest is always drawn later than your investment. It also has the potential to return more than you invest.

It always surprises me to see web owners who refuse to consider the use of SEO because they believe that the merit of their business is based exclusively on marketing skills that may be best applied in a brick and mortar environment.

The problem is the skills associated with online marketing operate on a different platform. You will help yourself, search engines and best of all your potential customers by making sure your site is optimized for search engines – all the way down to the photos.

Search Engine Optimization is BIG

Mar 6, 2008   //   by freshtraffic   //   fresh traffic, search engine, search engine optimization  //  Comments Off

These days, search engines’ results are directing people to sites, products and services. That is why search engine optimization has gained a big importance. Search Engine Optimization is also important in the age of the powerful web when more and more people are buying everything online.

Power of the web has promoted online shopping culture and customers mostly develop confidence in their favorite product by seeing them in searches and decide to buy. If they do not see a results, the odds of the online purchase are reduced. But if they see result of a brand they know clearly and like, then they will check the price and terms, make their selection, and purchase.

Businesses try to strengthen their presence by Search Engine Optimization. For measurable results in searches, businesses need to know what they want to project, should be committed to build by doing whatever is necessary to get the message to any segment of a target market.

This can be best done by a experts and professionals. Fresh Traffic are one of the best to build a powerful web presence that remains in front of the eyes of the customers.

Explore resources and information, rich site content and learn how they can position you at a vantage point. Better still, let them handle your optimization strategies.

Mapping Basics

Mar 4, 2008   //   by freshtraffic   //   search engine optimization, sitemaps, website principles  //  Comments Off

Have you ever wondered how a search engine works? Have you experienced instances where the link that supposedly contains your keywords is not exactly what you have in mind? You would probably think that there must be something wrong with the search that it generated irrelevant results.

How does a search engine work? Two things figure greatly in making search engines work: the electronic spider and the sitemap.

A sitemap is basically a page serves as a directory by listing all the links to all documents and files on a website. It is not just a random listing of links, it is organized in such a way that it gives the user an idea of how all the information that can be found in the site fits into an outline. It is like viewing the table of contents of a book.

What is a spider? In SEO language, spider is not an animal, the search spider is actually a bot which collects data and copies content to be stored in the search engine’s database when keywords are fed into the search dialogue box. The spider reads the content of the site and sends another bot to follow the links and copy the content contained in them.

What purpose does a sitemap serve?

A sitemap like any other map gives directions to a navigator. It primarily targets search engine spiders so that they are properly directed to your site and to the links where keywords entered in the search box. It is actually a useful tool in search engine optimization. A well organized site map would guide the spider to find the information it needs when keywords are entered during a search.

What are the benefits of having a sitemap for my website?

1.No page would be left out:
Back to the purpose of sitemaps, having one would mean faster and easier tracking and crawling of spiders all over your site. As a result, search engines would get to the view all the pages of your site and not just the pages containing keywords.

2.Easier navigation for visitors:
Once a user has accessed your sitemap, they need not go back to the search engine page to look for what they need. If what they are looking for is in your site, then they would have an easier and faster way of finding it.

3.Encourage traffic to your site:
If your company site has a sitemap then potential buyers would have an easier time in accessing your products and services. Also, they would not miss out on any product that might be of future interest to them.

There are at least three major kinds of sitemaps: indexed, categorical, and restricted categorical. An indexed site map appears as an alphabetical listing or directory. A categorical map displays all links classified into categories; while a restricted categorical sitemap displays all links listed in a chosen category at a time. The full and restricted sitemaps are very similar except that the former displays all links in all categories all at once in a page, while the latter focuses only the links under the selected category for easier and less eye-straining viewing.

Some tips in setting up your sitemap

1.Link the sitemap only to your homepage. This ensures that the spider will start searching from your homepage down through all the pages listed in your sitemap. In this way, no page will be missed.

2.Try not to go beyond 30 pages for a sitemap. Large websites having 50 plus pages should not go beyond 30 since this adds more pages to the site, and may make search engines think that the sitemap is a link farm.

3.Check the integrity of the links listed in your sitemap. It can be discouraging when you click on a link only to find out that nothing is displayed. Test your sitemap!

4.Give keyword-rich titles to sitemap links. Keyword-rich titles give your site more advantage in being searched properly under the right category.

5.Provide a short description for the links in the sitemap gives readers a better idea of what to find in the link.

6.Be consistent in designing your sitemap with the other pages of the site.

–N

Search Engine Optimization Techniques

Mar 3, 2008   //   by freshtraffic   //   fresh traffic, keyword, search engine optimization, website principles  //  Comments Off

Webmasters who are interested in building high traffic to their site and maintaining a successful site, should pay particular attention to Search Engine Optimization techniques which can help them improve the search engine rankings. All search engines employ some type of algorithm that brings up the resulting links when a user searches for something. No, all search engines don’t use the same algorithm. But that’s not what this discussion is all about. I’m sure all of you are interested in getting your website/blog listed in the topmost search results. listed below are 5 simple tweaks that can greatly influence your ranking in the search results.

1. Keyword Optimization

The use of relevant keywords in your site is one of the most common and also one of the simplest ways to optimize search engine ranking. It will increase your ranking if you use commonly searched words like for example: If you have a gardening site, you might want to use the word “Home gardening” or maybe even “House-keeping” more in your posts. As a result, when people actually type those phrases in the search box, your website is shown earlier because of the use of it in your web page is higher than the rest.

TIP : Don’t ever overdo it.

2. Get Link Love

Many search engines (almost all) rank your site on basis of the number of back links that lead to your site. Now basically you could do link-exchange, but search engines will rank you even higher if you get one-way links. It’s simple: The more back links one has, higher up in the search results you climb.

TIP: Try and get as many as One-way links as you can.

3. Use Image Tags to your Advantage

Site owners should also be aware that any pictures used on their site can be used to improve search engine rankings with some search engines. This aspect of search engine optimization is often overlooked because many believe the pictures are not viewed by search engines. While this is true the search engines do crawl the code of the blog in addition to the content on the blog. This means the search engine will view the information provided in the image tags. Take advantage of this by using the image tags to provide relevant keywords which can bolster search engine rankings. However, care should be taken to ensure the keywords used in these tags also accurately describe the image because visitors will often see the text included in these tags when they scroll over pictures on your site.

TIP: Make sure that the tag is relevant to the picture.

4. Site maps are Necessary

All websites need site maps. Why? Well, every site map has links to all the pages in a website and it helps search engine spiders gain even more easier access to your content. And it’s obvious that if more content is tracked by the spiders, the more results appear.

TIP: Well, K.I.S.S, keep it simple silly.

5. Search Engine Friendly URL’s

Using Search Engine friendly URL’s like http://www.freshtraffic.ca/search-engine-optimisation/ will be more effective than the long ones. Why? Well long URLs are most likely to be considered as spam by search engines and users. Keep it brief. Don’t be under the impression that longer URLs will impress your visitors. Users generally despise those kind of addresses. It’s not tough to make the change, and frankly the faster you shift to Search Engine friendly URL’s the better.

–N

Natural vs Paid

Feb 27, 2008   //   by freshtraffic   //   online marketing, organic, search engine optimization  //  Comments Off

There are two major techniques in use today that are used for Online Marketing. These are Natural Organic SEO and the other one is Pay per click advertising.

Pay per click advertising is a technique that works by taking a specified sum of money for listing your advertisement on any of the major or minor search engines. These sponsored links usually appear at the top, bottom or, as in the case of Google, the right hand side of the search engine results page.

Natural Organic SEO: Natural Search engine optimization is defined as the process of redirecting traffic volumes to a specific website through a search engine like Google by using natural or organic or algorithmic techniques.

Search Engine Optimization not only makes use of keywords, although that is the most popular method of conducting Search engine optimization processes, it can also carry out different kinds of searches including image search, local search, and industry-specific searches.

As a marketing strategy utilized primarily for increasing a site’s ranking, Search Engine Optimization will take into account how search algorithms work and what exactly do people search for. Search Engine Optimization efforts would involve a number of things such as a site’s coding, presentation, and structure, in addition to fixing problems that could prevent search engine indexing programs from fully spidering a given site. Trying to Compare Natural SEO and Pay per click advertising is like trying to compare your right hand and your left hand and asking which one is better? Each has its own importance and is usually advisable to use a combination of the two techniques.

The major advantage that Pay per click advertising offers is that it gives faster results as compared to the Natural search engine optimization techniques; only at a cost.