Good SEO Practices

There are always the articles and posts about “How to SEO” or “SEO Tips and Tricks”, but it isn’t too often there is any discussion of what not to do from an SEO perspective. So, very briefly, lets go over some of the points of what not to do from an SEO view.

SEO Mistake #1 – Improper Use of Your Title Tag

The title tag is extremely important when it comes to website optimization, and serves multiple purposes. It tells the search engines what your site is about, it gets displayed in the search results for your page and is displayed at the top of your visitors browser while they are on your site.

SEO Mistake #2 – Improper Use of Your Keywords Meta Tag

Once upon a time the keywords meta tag was was used by search engines to determine the relevance of your website. These days even well-written keyword tags are largely ignored by Google and the other major search engine players. But that doesn’t mean you may ignore, or abuse the keyword meta tag. You could possibly wind up being penalized by the search engines instead of ranking well with them.

SEO Mistake #3 – Keyword Stuffing

More does not always equal better. Page content with too many keywords typically doesn’t read properly, and “hiding” keywords, using white text on a white background, is highly frowned upon and dealt with.

Your best bet, is to work up well written, relevant content for what your customers may be looking for, and let the web work it’s magic.

SEO Mistake #4 – Using Irrelevant Keywords to Attract Traffic

May seem like a common sense point, but to reitterate. Using irrelevant or useless content and keywords to attract traffic to your site will only lower your overall rankings with the search engines.

Aside from the few points from above, there are a great deal of mistakes you can make as a website owner that can hurt, or hinder your rankings with the search engines. Cloaked pages, doorway pages, poor coding practices, page labelling, and the list goes on and on.

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Dallas Cowboys try their hand at SEO

The Dallas Cowboys will be using search engine optimization (SEO) to increase organic traffic to their sites One of the most popular sports franchises in the world has jumped aboard the search engine optimization (SEO) bandwagon as the Dallas Cowboys plan to increase organic traffic to sell team merchandise.

To generate traffic and get the most targeted visitors to its sites, the Dallas Cowboys’ Pro Shop has partnered with a well known web development company to increase its search engine optimization (SEO) and search engine marketing (SEM).

All companies should focus on more than just traffic, “If you are running marketing campaigns and don’t have solid data in regards to your true ROI, you could be wasting your budget,” “Many of our clients come to us looking for traffic. We respond with: It’s not all about traffic anymore. It’s about solid analytics, maximizing targeted visitors and building websites that convert.”

According to a report from Forbes in December, statistics from SportsScanInfo – a company that tracks jersey sales – show the 10 most popular jerseys in all of sports were from the NFL. Of that 10, three belonged to the Dallas Cowboys

3 Keys to a Successful Web Presence

Whenever I ask a prospect what their goals are, all too often their answer is, “We want to rank in the top three results for keywords A, B, and C.”

Is that really a goal?

Now, I understand that high rankings (or, rather, organic search traffic) are important. I sincerely believe that a sound organic search strategy should be the core of every business’s marketing efforts.

This goes back to the old adage of running a business (location, location, location). You must be where people are actively searching for your product or service offerings.

However, imagine that you had the perfect retail location and yet your storefront was filthy. Perhaps there isn’t as much as a sign with your company’s name on the front of the building. Perhaps, once you get into the location, not a single item has a price tag and the salespeople are nowhere to be found.

That traffic coming through your parking lot isn’t going to help much, is it?

There are three basic rules that you need to follow to have a successful Web presence:

1. Brand matters.
2. Usability matters.
3. Search engine optimization matters.

Brand Matters

The look and feel of your Web site is a key component to success on the Web. For example, last summer, a retailer that was enjoying great rankings in the search engines approached my company about a possible redesign of their Web site.

When I pulled the site up, it was very evident that these folks needed a facelift (the site was very ’90s, with no brand — not even a logo — and it was poorly organized). This e-commerce Web site was typical of many: it was graphics-heavy (not even formatted consistently) and had little to offer in terms of (keyword-rich) product descriptions.

Bottom line: there was no way that I would drop my credit card info on this Web site. I didn’t trust it. If I were a common searcher, I’d probably spend about five seconds on the page that I landed on, then hit the back button and check out the next result.

Build a Web site that exudes credibility and trust with your target audience. Because online, a competitor is always next door to your perfect location. And, next door to them is another competitor. You get the picture?

Usability Matters

OK, let’s assume your Web site looks great now. So, if you manage to get the traffic to your site, you probably want people to fill out a lead form, call you, or buy a product.

Too often, prospects tell me that a phone call is a major point of emphasis for them, yet you can’t easily find their phone number on their page. Check some of the most successful e-commerce or lead-gen Web sites and you’ll notice that most of them display their phone number on the top right of every page. Little things like this can have a dramatic impact on your success.

Every click/visitor to your Web site is valuable. Yet many don’t put the effort to get the most out of every click.

Once you get people to your site, what do you want them to do? Download a white paper? Sign up for a newsletter? Complete a lead form?

Now, be honest with yourself. Are you making this action obvious to your visitors? People on the Web have very short attention spans.

Search Engine Optimization Matters

Now, just because I put SEO last on this list doesn’t mean that this is the last thing you should do. Oh no. The creation of your information architecture absolutely should be done in conjunction with your SEO efforts.

Your SEO team should research (or at least approve) the content management system and coordinate the design and site development. SEO is the foundation of your efforts.

Funny thing about how SEO and usability go hand-in-hand. Visitors to your Web site like content. They may be researching and need to read those detailed product descriptions.

And, coincidentally, search engines like that content, too. So, the more search engine friendly you make your Web site, the more usable the site will become. If your content is good enough, people might want to link to your Web site.

You know what else users like? Blog content. They love finding “unbiased” helpful/resourceful information. They love reviews. They love forums.

Guess what. Search engines love this stuff, too! Ever seen Wikipedia show up in your searches on Google?

So, next time you’re trying to determine your SEO goals, stop for a moment and think about the bigger picture. SEO is just one part of Web success.

Recession Proof Advertising?

Search Engine Marketing (SEM); – SEM, paid search, Pay Per Click (PPC) – why would this particular form of online advertising appear to be just about recession-proof? Google’s continued growth in such a down market is just one example of how SEM continues to grow at a faster pace than nearly any other form of marketing.

It is expected that SEM/PPC will grow at a rate of 13% a year up to 2013, even where print, broadcast and other offline mediums are stagnating or declining.

What is it exactly that seems to make SEM recession-proof? SEM does what marketers need a marketing medium to do in a down economy: it generates better returns on the smaller budgets organisations have to work with.

The true power of Search Engine Marketing lies in the fact that a search user is telling the advertiser exactly what he or she is looking for, and search engines provide the relevant results to the user. Other forms of advertising by contrast push a message to the consumers who may or may not be interested in them.

The fact that advertisers place their messages in an environment that is relevant to the user mean that SEM is a powerful tool for branding as well as achieving customer acquisitions and conversions.

SEM is cost-effective and efficient. Because you are getting the right message to the right people, at the right time, there is far less wastage than there is in most other forms of advertising.

The flexibility which SEM provides is another key strength. One could easily set up a branding campaign that will see a longer tail of keywords and the possible use of the content network. The focus is on achieving critical mass or to reach it in a cost-effective manner. Sales-driven campaigns by contrast, will be more targeted with a strong ROI focus.

Around the world, industry is buying into search. Research conducted by Forrester in Asia Pacific, North America and Europe shows that 85% of marketers are using, piloting or planning to pilot search marketing programmes this year.

Search marketing should be a cornerstone of any marketing strategy. Any company which isn’t visible when users are looking for their services or products online is throwing away opportunities to capture new sales and customers.

Winnipeg Free Press Archives – No Thanks

Archives of the Winnipeg Free Press for a $100 a year or $3.99 per day, No Thanks.

You would have thought by now that the Free Press might just have learned something, obviously not, yet again they are going back to the well of winnipeggers to try and extract more revenue, is this because the over priced advertising they churn out is suffering and ineffective?

Any person who uses the Internet today can find all they need to know for free, you can trundle through hundreds of newspapers archives from around the world, download your favorite video clips and programs, read and watch news live as it happens, even do your banking, shopping, pay bills and learn for Free.

You could take a very safe bet that most stories the Winnipeg Free Press has to offer have also been covered by some other newspapers in some format or other, so why pay?

So come WFP it is time to give something back to the loyal people of Winnipeg for a change, no more raping and pillaging, you have had 100 years of that, do as your name says, give the people of Winnipeg some FREE PRESS

Traditional Media, Time to move your Butts

In a pure business sense think about the old American railroads. They were huge in their day, but, with the advent of cars and highways, they have lost their broad-base relevance. We’re in the same place with newspapers and magazines right now. In one sense the Net is the automobile that is taking over from the railroads.

People are switching over to online for their entertainment and news”. People aren’t just switching, they’re consuming more – both online and traditional print, TV, radio. The traditional media sources are ‘floundering’ somewhat, however there are always signs of bouncing back.

Our ability as humans to move reasonably freely about the Earth opens up a world away from a computer. We can play sports, go to the beach, shop, drive cars and even fly to far off destinations. At each point of the journey the marketer would like to reach us, and whether travelling, shopping, driving or just living, there is an opportunity for them to engage with us in a meaningful way via many varying communication platforms

All aspects of advertising including television, radio, magazines, print websites, blogs, email, direct mail, telemarketing, in-store advertising and promotions, event sponsorship, conferencing, concerts, product samples and even whisper marketing have their time and place

Is Traditional Media Dead? Not Yet – 10 Uses For Newspaper


With the advent of citizen journalism, blogging, twitters, youtubers and the overall fragmentation of news, traditional media is trying hard to find new ways or not being irrelevant. Here are 10 new uses for newspaper:

1. Deodorize food containers. Stuff a balled-up piece of newspaper into a lunch box or thermos, seal it, and let sit overnight.

2. Ripen tomatoes. Wrap them individually and leave them out at room temperature.

3. Pack delicate items. Wrap frames and figurines with several pieces of newspaper, then crumple the remaining sections to fill extra space in the box.

4. Wipe away tough streaks on glass. Use newspaper with cleaning fluid to clean mirrors and windows.

5. Preserve antique glass. Some older frames have finishes on the glass that can be damaged by cleaning solutions. Remove smudges by rubbing with newspaper dipped in a solution of one part white vinegar and one part warm water. Let air-dry.

6. Dry shoes. Place crumpled paper in them overnight.

7. Wrap gifts. Use the comics to wrap a child’s birthday gift, or try the wedding announcements for an engagement gift.

8. Create a home for slushy snow boots. During the winter, keep a pile of newspaper near the entryway. When your little snowmen and -women come home, they can toss their winter wear onto the newspaper instead of creating puddles on the floor.

9. Prepare a garden. In the fall, mow a patch of lawn to make room for a dedicated bed. Cover it with four layers of newspaper, then a four-inch layer of shredded leaves or bark mulch. Hose it down. Come spring, the compost blanket will have smothered the grass roots, and the bed will be primed for planting.

10. Keep the refrigerator vegetable drawer dry and free of smells. Line the bottom with newspaper.

Who said that newspapers are dead? The above proves that they can be really useful in daily life.

Barack Obama – The Online Tips

Okay Time to Tell and we know better than most :-)

1) Never be over confident : Uphold some modesty and keep in mind that it doesnt matter how good things look for you now, there is much more work to continue.

2) Don’t keep all your targeted terms in one basket : Barack Obama knew that to win an election meant campaigning in a multi-tiered fashion. You can’t target just one region. You must keep hold on every segment of your market in terms that they can understand.

3) Begin early : It was 2 years before Barack Obama became President that he started campaigning for it. For Online, age is a factor. Start up early and hold a top position.

4) Newcomers can beat old veterans : First it was Hillary Clinton then it was John McCain. Just because the other guys have more experience doesn’t mean that the guy with new ideas can’t come out on top.

5) Don’t spend all your time in areas you know you’re going to win : You must target the swing states – that is, there are segments of the marketplace that can go your way or move closer to your competition. Focus on those segments and make a strong case for yourself.

6) Build up a team that covers up for your weaknesses : Obama selected Biden which made a big difference. All Obama where lacked, was in experience which was make up by his running mate. Build up your team in a similar manner and lead ahead.

7) Be positive : It doesnt matter what the enemy throws at you, stay positive and be focused. Always have a ray of hope.

8) Change : Make sure that if you offer change that it is change we need.

Remember, SEO is not a zero sum game. Barack Obama and Online team have lessons to teach us all – about Search Engine Optimization and about life.

Using Your News To Drive SEO

With more than 70 million people getting their news online every day, your news is about more than just reaching the media.

Your news can be a powerful tool to directly reach the millions of people searching for information online, drive traffic to your website and maximize your online visibility.

News search engines like Yahoo! News and Google News offer a great way to direct targeted traffic to your website and help you generate awareness about a topic or your company.

Emerging Online Marketing Trends

It’s always been known that America is primarily a consumerist market. But, even now Americans are dedicated consumers. And, the Web makes it easier and faster to track, and then bag, the goods.

Even with living with a devastating economy, we’ll still find ways to happily buy stuff. We won’t stop.

So, flagging emerging consumer trends is the lifeblood of any business. Consumers can pile into a fad quickly, and leave just as fast.

Two must-watch trends rippling through the consumerism this year bear watching: chic frugality and the greening of older goods.

Booming online shopping and research tools speed the frugality process, especially as small, mobile devices make the Web easier to navigate. The result is a giant communication tool for sharing consumer information and low-cost goods.

According to one survey, 80% of consumers say they’re shopping online to save money.

80%!!

What with the 24/7 market of the web, it’s best to be your targets first, and only stop.