Browsing "search engine optimization"
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a necessary part of any website strategy. The potential traffic is simply too big to ignore.
The question isn’t “Should I do SEO?” it’s “When should I do SEO?”
As a site owner, you have to make hard decisions about how to spend your always-not-enough budget and when. In this post, I’m going to talk about some of things your should consider when trying to determine…
When Should I Invest in SEO?
SEO is not direct marketing. Just because you put a dollar in today does not mean you’re going to get a $1.50 out tomorrow.
Fundamentally, natural search optimization is a long-term investment. With the right strategy and the right implementation, I do believe you will get the return on that investment and, possibly, a sustained competitive advantage.
Of course, this presents a problem: you have to spend the money now, but you might not see it for a while.
Fundamentals to Make the Most of SEO
Search engines don’t buy from you, people do. There a few things you need to have in place in any site to make the most of SEO:
Functioning Site – There’s no point in bringing people to your site if it doesn’t work. People don’t like it and neither do the search engines. Getting your site to work properly is as important as getting people there.
Great Product – You can optimize your site till you’re blue in the face, but if you’re product stinks, you’re fighting an uphill battle. They say the quickest way to kill a bad product is to advertise it…
Measurement (Web Analytics) – Spending money without any way to track it is pointless. What’s more, you need analytics in place to help you refine the SEO you do execute.
The Resources You Need to Execute SEO
There are 2 paths to SEO: do-it-yourself or hiring an SEO consultant.
The choice between the two could fill several blog posts. For the purposes of this post, I’m going to assume you are looking for professional help.
A good organic search optimization agency will:
Do your keyword research
Make recommendations about your platform and information architecture
Address on-page code elements
Conduct a competitive and market analysis
Make specific content recommendations
Build and, possibly, execute a link strategy
You then have to execute that advice you paid so much for.
Oftentimes this is a hurdle for people who buy SEO services. With so many priorities clamoring for your attention, it’s easy to put off.
Make sure your marshal the right people together before the start of the project to convince them of the value of SEO.
Your key people will be:
The Developer – Someone will have to change your code and address server/platform issues. With apologies to the technology folks in the audience, these folks are usually the least inclined to understand the importance of SEO, but they’re absolutely essential to doing it right.
The Creative – Search engines are text readers. You will probably need to get more content onto your sites. This is going to piss of some artist. Best to suck up to them now and get them on your team.
The Copywriter – Somebody has to write all of that new content. What’s more, they have to do so in a search engine friendly way. A new way of writing + new things to write = another team member to persuade.
The Marketer – If this isn’t you, then it’s likely your colleague or boss. The marketer has to ensure everything is on-brand, and that includes the changes to the meta-data and content you’re going to recommend. Figure out the approval process and key concerns early.
Chose: Buy SEO Services or Something Else?
You can buy $25 worth of paid search. You can’t buy $25 worth of SEO.
In reality, you’re going to have some per hour, per project or per month fee to get sound SEO advice customized for your business.
Assuming you’ve addressed the fundamentals mentioned above and can convince the key team members to pitch in, you now have to ask yourself: is this the best time to invest in SEO services?
There are times when SEO is a no-brainer:
Pre-Launch – It is 10 times easier to change things in the design phase than during coding or after launch. What’s more, the education and research will also weave its way into all of your decisions the sooner you learn about SEO.
Starting Paid Search – It makes sense to coordinate paid and organic search marketing. Think about it: do you want to pay for clicks you could get for free? Shouldn’t buy words that will take you months to win?
You’ve Done Everything Else – Well, that just makes logical sense
It’s always better to start SEO sooner rather than later, but there’s often an opportunity cost with that choice. The opportunity you could be giving up is better email marketing, more paid search, affiliate expansion, upgraded user experience, multivariate testing… the list goes on.
You need to ask:
Do I have the cash flow to pay for natural search optimization when it could take 6-9months before I get that money back?
Can I execute the SEO recommendations in a timely fashion?
Are there minor site changes that I could address in 1-3 months that would produce immediate returns across all channels (e.g., shopping cart improvements)?
How much traffic and revenue would I have to generate to make this investment worthwhile?
I’m not trying to scare you away from SEO. It’s totally the opposite–I think SEO is vital and, frankly, amazing. It’s important to have realistic expectations about how and when SEO will pay off.
The point is that there’s a reason many people don’t succeed at SEO–they’re not willing to put in the effort and give it time to succeed.
Understanding what it takes to be prepared for SEO will help you understand when you should invest in it.
Let me turn the question back to you: how/when did you decided to focus on SEO?
Looks like we have coursed a little stir within the SEO community in Canada,especially in the Winnipeg area where I new office is to open shortly, not before time may I add as Canadians spend more time online than any other country, have more connected households than anyone else and most are still in the dark ages when it comes to online marketing for there business.
Yes a new office in Winnipeg, another soon in BC and newly trained staff are ready to bring the world of search engine optimization and online marketing to the Canuck’s.
It’s going to be tough, these guys have heard it all before, they have either been ripped off by some website design company who profess to be SEO’s, been shafted by individuals who think >SEO Winnipeg is being listed on top of Google AdWords and the list goes on, we have heard some horrendous stories within the last 6 month’s in Winnipeg while setting up the new global office.
All is not lost, we have been inundated with requests from every Province, why, because we get the job done right, we get results and we get return on investment, not hard to work out really, that’s all that anyone could ask, after all is that not what they pay us for.
So if your in need of an SEO company in Canada or search engine optimization in Toronto, a SEO consultant in Vancouver, a trusted SEO company in Winnipeg, SEO services in Calgary, website optimization in Montreal or an seo expert in Quebec, please give us call, it’s free and you have nothing to lose.
We work with company’s large and small from $100k – $100 million turnover, be the best you can, make that call today. SEO Winnipeg 204 661 5295
SEO, link building, website optimisation, article submission, directory submission, blog posting, the list goes on.
How many times have you sat at your PC and thought “OK I’m going to do some SEO for my site”6 hours later, you are still sitting there, your head hurts, your stomach is empty, and you have done nothing.
Search Engine Optimization is a frustrating time consuming job. You can spend weeks working on SEO for your site, and your rankings are still no where near where you want them to be.
The most frustrating thing about SEO is you cannot really see the results of your efforts. It may take several weeks, or even months, before you see any change in your search engine rankings. So how do you know that what you are doing today, is going to benefit your site 3 months down the line? Well unless you are an SEO expert you don’t.
So what is the answer? Well the answer is to outsource your SEO work to someone that specializes in SEO. Would you consider rebuilding the engine on your car? No, you would probably employ a car mechanic to do it for you. So do the same with your SEO.
How do you know which SEO companies are good at SEO, and which are just good at talking? Testimonials are one way. Don’t just read the testimonials on their site, as most, if not all of them, are made up. Ask for telephone numbers of their clients and speak to them directly. Or ask them to show you results that they have achieved for their clients. If they will not give you this information just move on to someone who will.
A good SEO company will tell you exactly what they are going to do for you. They will try to explain SEO in a format that you will understand, not try to baffle you with tech speak.
Take SEO Company Fresh Traffic for example, they are an SEO company based in Globaly with offices in the UK, USA & Canada. They believe that the key to their success is customer service. They give their customers free SEO resources to help them understand what SEO is all about.
Look for SEO companies like Fresh Traffic. Companies that are not afraid to explain SEO in lay mans terms. If you have a better understanding of what is involved, then you are in a better position to decide what you need. It is then down to the SEO company that you choose, to deliver the results that you are after.
Choosing an SEO company is very a difficult job, there is no doubt about that, but if you take a few of these pointers on board, then you should be better equipped to negotiate the minefield that is SEO.
Off-Site SEO refers to search engine optimization techniques that are not performed on your own website or page, and are therefore termed “off-site.”
You see, these days, optimizing the content on your pages is not enough. For effective SEO you need help from other websites in the form of incoming links, commonly referred to as backlinks.
That’s basically what off-site SEO is all about – getting quality links relevant to your topic to assist the search engines in establishing what your web page focuses on. You can think of each backlink as a vote for your page. This is what Google’s PageRank measures, albeit in a complex way, taking many factors into consideration.
There are many ways to get backlinks; unfortunately, few of them are quick and easy. Here are some options:
Creating content that makes people link to it
Doing link exchanges
Getting directory listings
Writing and syndicating articles
Making forum postings
Posting comments to theme related blogs
One link from a high quality site is worth tens from a poor site. And linking to bad sites can negatively effect your own website’s rankings.
One-way links into your website from another are of greater value than reciprocal links from carrying out link exchanges.
Links to your pages should use the relevant keywords in the anchor text. Use several variations on this text if you plan to create a high number of backlinks to a page. You’ll get better results and it looks more natural to the search engines, keeping you below the radar.
It’s generally best to avoid organized link exchanges or link farms. In the vast majority of cases they will harm, not help you. This is because the search engines see it as manipulation of the SERPS (Search Engine Results Page) and punish linked websites when they discover the network.
Although I’ve summarized link building in just a few sentences, don’t underestimate how important off-site SEO is. Good backlinks with targeted keyword anchor text carry so much weight these days that if it’s done well it’s entirely possible to rank a website highly for terms not even occurring on the page.
The advice on SEO in these 2 articles is all you need to start getting your pages ranking highly for traffic generating keywords. You just need to get on and do it, and be prepared to spend the time good off-site SEO requires. The more high rankings you get, the greater their influence on your overall rankings, and the easier it will become to tackle more difficult keyword phrases
I keep on getting asked by newbies so here goes
Search Engine Optimization is broken down into two segments. Aspects of onsite changes to make your site more spider friendly and Offsite keyword text backlinking.
From an on site SEO perspective, consistency and placement of your keywords are important. Spider read a page top to bottom left to right. Therefore your major keywords should be consistent from your Meta tags all the way down to your footer page. Consistency in Syntax as well a prominence. Interlinking your site with keyword text links not only helps navigation of your site but it improves your keyword density.
There is much discussion in regard to the keyword density as to what is considered a non spam factor. Each page should have about 350-500 words per page with a keyword density of no more than 7-10%. Keyword density is also considered in your graphic alt text as well as hyperlinks.
Generally speaking, if your keyword looks stuffed, it is.
Basic On site SEO Factors:
Title Tag ( with Keyword)
Meta Description ( Consistent with Title Tag)
Meta Keywords ( Consistent with Title tag and Description)
H1 Tags ( with Keyword)
Graphic Alt Text ( with Keyword)
Keyword Density in body text
Keyword in Menu Links
Footer Page with Keyword Text Links
Off site linking is generally though of as the most effective way to raise in the search engine rankings. However if your on site SEO is not complete you are battling an up hill battle.
When planning your off site linking strategy you need to keep in mind that reciprocal links are considered devalued through the latest round of algorithm updates. Textual Keyword Rich links from various C-block IP address are the best links possible.
There are many ways to receive quality links.
Some of the top linking strategies to receive quality links come from the following venues:
SEO Friendly directories
Growing your links in a consistent manor is also relevant. Creating 1000’s of links in a short period of time could set up red flags. You will receive many links via RSS Feeds from the sources described above and be successful in your linking campaign.
Getting Search Engine rankings can take time depending on your keywords, but consistency and effort both on site and off site will bring you the desired results.
Declaring that Internet search is currently broken, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales is trying to fix it. And he wants your help.
After several months of development and acquisitions to assemble the infrastructure needed to build a viable search engine, Wikia Search service goes live today. Wikia Search is a product of Wikia Inc., a for-profit company wholly separate from the Wikimedia Foundation, the nonprofit organization that was founded in 2004 and oversees Wikipedia.
Following a brief period of private alpha testing, today’s unveiling is billed as a “public alpha release.” Wales has freely admitted that today’s launch is something of a test drive, and that the application will continue to see substantial modifications and updates.
With the community-driven, open-source search engine, Wales is hoping to transform Internet search, which he describes as currently dominated by a few large companies operating under a cloak of secrecy with virtually no accountability for how results are served up or pages are ranked.
“The philosophical background here is that I’m a very big advocate of openness and transparency,” Wales told InternetNews.com. The best parts of the Web are largely absent from the proprietary protocols of the major search engines, he said.
“My view here is that there’s an opportunity to change that.”
Starting from www.wikia.com, users can navigate to an unadorned search page that Wales compared to Google’s for its deceptive spareness — like Google, the Wikia Search launch page is just the tip of the iceberg.
Wales said that Wikia Search is both a social network and a search engine. On the site, users register, create profiles and are able to perform all the typical functions of a social networking site – messaging friends, uploading photos, etc.
The search engine serves up results as a series of links ranked in order of relevance, just as Google and Yahoo do (enter a query; receive a list of results), but the similarities end there.
Applying the collaborative editing approach that is the essence of a wiki, registered users can contribute to a mini-article that appears at the top of the results page, Wales said.
Users can click on the links and rank the relevance of the result to the search term on a scale of one to five; their evaluations are then fed back into the algorithm to improve the quality of information delivered.
Building a search engine from the ground up, with results delivered and refined the using the same approach that made Wikipedia the Web’s favorite general reference site, is not going to be an overnight process, Wales admitted. Just looking at the near future, “we’d be ecstatic if we grabbed 5 percent of the market,” Wales said.
The push toward community-driven search began in earnest in July, when Wikia announced the acquisition of Grub, the open source search project that harnesses the distributed processing power of individuals’ computers to crawl the Web.
The Grub Web crawler is just one of many technologies cobbled together to power Wikia Search, Wales said. On the back end, Apache efforts Lucene and Nutch shoulder the brunt of the search and indexing responsibilities. The front end, which handles the user interactions, such as the comments and rankings, is written in Java.
Wales said that Wikia Inc. is still exploring monetization methods for the search engine, but that, in a general sense, it would employ some form of an advertising model. No commercial partners have been announced.
Delivering search results through open source algorithms that evolve through community rankings begs the same question of user abuse that has dogged Wikipedia from time to time.
Search engine optimization is a microindustry in its own right these days. Asked about the concern that by turning the algorithms and rankings over to the community, Wikia Search could be a ripe target for gaming the search engine to artificially boost site rankings, Wales demurred.
“My view is that sunlight is the best disinfectant,” he said. “Talk with security experts and they will tell you that security through obscurity is a bad idea,” adding that the policing of Wikia Search will work in a very similar manner as it does on Wikipedia.
“We have a community that is in charge of the editorial content” that will be able to identify and block the bad apples who aren’t playing by the rules. Ultimately, SEO will be less of an issue for Wikia Search than it is currently with Google, Yahoo and the other major search engines, Wales said.
“I feel that this is going to be one of our strengths.”
Wales said he’s taking an organic approach to the development of the editorial community and that his own involvement will be extensive.
He wasn’t didn’t specifically answer whether there’ll be censorship or banning of rogue community members for trying to game the system?
“I have a general philosophy that’s served me very well: Avoid excessive a priori thinking – wait and see … we’ll see how it unfolds.”
Nice little Quiz from seomoz
So, you think you know your SEO inside and out, eh? Well, here’s the mother of all SEO Expert Quizzes, designed to test your mettle with 75 action-packed questions covering all corners of the SEO universe from beginner knowledge, to sneaky tricks only true Dark Lords of the SERPs will know. Take the next 25-35 minutes and see how badass you truly are, then share in your triumph (or tragedy) by slapping your SEO Quiz badge on your site to let the world know how hard you rock the SEO game.
Test your SEO Expert knowledge to earn your knowledge level.
91% – 100% – SEO Deity
81% – 90% – SEO Master
71% – 80% – SEO Professional
61% – 70% – SEO Newbie
0% – 60% – SEO Novice
Take it here
I’m too modest to share my result,all I can say is I must be living in heaven, but it did start to get a bit tedious after a while
Canadians use the Internet more than anyone else in the world. They spend more time online, have more wired households, are more sophisticated in our online behavior, do more searches. Pick your metric, Canada is ahead of the pack when it comes to online usage. For example, when we look at average hours spent online per month, Canadians are top with 40 hours, followed by Israel with 37.4 and South Korea with 34. The US is in 8th place with 29.4. Canada also leads the pack in Online Reach, with 70% of households wired. This time, the US comes in second with 59%. Average pages viewed per visitor? Canada comes in tops with 3800. The UK is second with 3300 and the US clicks in with 2500. See a pattern emerging? They spend a hell of a lot of time online there. And much of that time is looking for something to buy. Canadians are the world’s best shoppers. You research every purchase down to the nitty-gritty detail. The Internet was created for shoppers just like you.
By common consensus with most Canadian search marketers I’ve talked to, Toronto seems to be the epicenter of the orifice that Canadian advertisers have lodged their collective heads in. The city doesn’t get it, the province doesn’t get it, the country doesn’t get it. When it comes to search, Canada (with a few exceptions) is clueless.
I remember my first SES in Toronto. I had been attending the US shows for a few years previously, and it was with more than a hint of nationalistic pride that I attended the first Canadian show. But my jaw soon dropped at the questions I was fielding from the audience. This group was at least 3 years behind the US market. That was 4 years ago. Since then, the US has dramatically outpaced Canadian growth in search savviness. And if you look elsewhere, almost every market I’m familiar with, including the UK, France, Italy, Germany and even China is rapidly gaining on the US. But Canada still seems to be blundering its way forward, overlooking the fact that Canadians spend a huge amount of time online using search engines. It’s to the point where it’s unforgivable.
Show Us the Money!
Here are just a few of the stats I pulled from comScore, Yahoo! Canada and other sources:
Canadians spend $28.05 in online advertising per internet user. The US spends $71.43.
21% of Canadians media usage is online, but it gets 6% of the budget
In contrast, newspapers and magazines get a 7% share of total media usage, but capture 42% of Canadian ad budgets
The US spends almost twice as Canada per capita on search marketeering
Canadian shoppers get it, so why don’t business?
These are extracts from Gord Hotchkiss, A Canadian Search Marketer.
Fresh Traffic, The world renowned SEO Marketing company is opening new offices in Winnipeg offering services to Canadian Business, Get in First
Online advertising is changing the rules of engagement within the advertising industry. As more and more companies question their current marketing mix, expenditures and return on investment, online advertising gains power and pull.
Answers to some frequently asked questions about the merits of online advertising, the future of online and offline media and hottest opportunities in the market.
Q: What are some of the major trends in online advertising?
A: Search is becoming the dominant form of online advertising, increasing the sophistication of search engine results and content as well as the consolidation of industry players. Market pricing will function more like network television, although the web still remains the great equalizer: Small business will continue to buy a significant share of online advertising because it’s effective, easy to buy and the same medium used by the big boys. Because of its inherent measurability, online advertising is already having an effect on the accountability of all advertising.
Q: When will online advertising really start to take off?
A: It’s already taken off, most dramatically a year or so ago. It was also consumed by entrepreneurial direct marketers that figured out economic models after the easy money exited the marketplace. Many of these upstarts have had to evolve into far more sophisticated players, as the market and competition have grown and matured.
Q: What advantages does online advertising have compared to print, for example?
A: In most ways that impact the bottom line, online outperforms print media. That is not to say print media is without value, but as the marketplace grows more digital (and therefore more accountable) the ability to track, measure, and optimize the results generated by media are difficult to beat. Print’s strengths include highly targeted or niche audiences and the business-to-business sector–though search is impacting that as well.
Q: What are the opportunities for specific markets, such as the real estate industry?
A: Real estate is a big opportunity, and the majority of decisions today are already influenced by online content and advertising. The challenge here is in capturing and organizing oceans of data, images, and entities in a super fragmented industry that is eminently localized. Sounds like a sweet market for a Google invasion, but upstarts like Zillow are doing a great job.
Q: What other areas of online advertising would be smart to invest in? Are there any areas that are untapped?
A: Online video is growing fast, but barely tapped. Online music and audio advertising opportunities are also hot. While Apple and pirated music dominate, upstarts like Soundpedia are taking the music world in a new direction and have a real plan to optimally leverage online music (which is likely to converge with online video as an ad vehicle). Another area is specialized local price and quality shopping engines–at least those that the major search engines index favorably–generally due to strong focus and a good SEO (search engine optimization) team.
Q: What online advertising listings do you predict will be popular in 2008?
A: Yahoo, already a monster in the category, will make significant strides in 2008 and 2009. Despite some organizational issues, they have some excellent people as well as the wherewithal to pull together a high-performing set of online advertising vehicles in an exceedingly scalable manner. Also, Yahoo Search is improving, but is still not as easy as Google AdWords. Yahoo’s acquisition of Right Media was a boost for smaller shops, as the auction model they implement allows savvier online advertising buyers to potentially outperform larger rivals cost effectively.
Q: What about digital game ads?
A: In-game advertising is getting a lot of traction. When you consider there is a generation that thrives on high-end video games, IM and text messaging, it’s easy to see why these ads have great value. Game consoles are turning into living room PCs on the web, They stand to dominate the attention of an exceedingly valuable demographic.
Q: Are there any interesting statistics readers should be aware of?
A: Online advertising has become a major opportunity for a majority of marketers. With so many options, however, it’s easy to confuse a strategy. Focus, and working with people that are experienced in pulling together a solution either in-house, outsourced, or some combination is the first step. Do the homework, keep expectations realistic and focus on learning about how a product or business responds within the online medium. The same advice applies for marketers already in the medium that are seeking growth of their programs and results
Search engines optimization (SEO) should be measured as serious element of any Internet promotion. This is vital as there is so much which can be gained from SEO in terms of Internet promotion and if you do not optimize your website for Search engines,it can effect in a significant loss in terms of free promotion which is basically gained from place well with Search engines. This article will offer insight into what SEO is and will explain why Internet promotion requires at least some degree of SEO.
SEO optimization is a must in order for a website to be listed in Search engines. This may be achieved in a assortment of diverse ways and optimal SEO strategies combine a assortment of diverse strategies to complete one well orchestrated SEO crusade There are quite a few basics to believe when attempting to optimize your website for Search engines. This may take in keyword research are importance META tags, titles and inbound relatives Keyword research is one of the most widespread SEO strategies and basically involves using applicable keywords over and over again in the satisfied of a website to demonstrate the relevance of these keywords to the website. This is vital as Search engines optimizations are likely to reward websites with optimal keyword densities with constructive Search engines optimization will places in an effort to offer Internet users with the most applicable websites for meticulous search stipulations
The prominence of keywords should also be measured. This takes how close the keywords are positioned to the commencement of the website. The widespread fault with this policy is to believe the first opportunity to fit in keywords is in the first line of noticeable text on the webpage. This is not true as Search engines optimization crawl the code of a website as opposed to the noticeable satisfied on the website. This earnings there are multiple opportunities to fit in applicable keywords long before the definite noticeable satisfied on the website. This power takes in the code for the title as well as the META tags. trade owners who realize the potential for incorporating keyword into the code gain an advantage over competitors who only fit in keywords into the satisfied on their website.
Now that we have briefly explained some of the main concept of SEO, we will illustrate why it is vital to optimize your website in the first place. SEO is as vital as most Internet users highly value the effects of hunt locomotives and are likely to only visit to place websites when they hunt for a meticulous keyword. Internet users trust Search engines to serve the most applicable satisfied first and are therefore not likely to visit websites which do not fall on the first or second page of search effects. This earnings websites which rank well basically are receiving a great deal of free promotion from hunt locomotives that place their website in a key position. Website owners who do not invest time into optimizing their websites miss out on a great deal of potential web travel.