Maintain Website Focus People

If you set yourself up properly, when users click through an ad for your product or company on another site, they end up on your main page. This is your chance to grab their attention and keep their attention. You’ll find plenty of tips for building, testing, and improving your site, but it all boils down to one word: focus.

Hard selling belongs on your main page, but it’s a special kind of hard sell. You must take your visitors by the hand and guide them to what you want them to do. In the days before the web, consumers simply read and/or watched ads, which marketers could at least imagine led smoothly and directly to a sale. But it’s quite rare for a person to go online, type a URL into a browser, visit that single site, accomplish a task, and leave the web completely.

This is what you’re up against when you create your main page. Your main page needs to grab your visitors’ attention, hold onto that attention while giving them what they want and expect, and persuade them to do what you want them to do: buy the product, sign up for the newsletter, what have you. In marketing, this is sometimes referred to as the three C’s: capture their attention, communicate the value of your offering, and close the deal.

A main page is actually a “second impression.” The first impression is the ad through which the visitor clicked to arrive at the main page. Since they left one page to go to another, it behooves you to make sure they know they arrived at the right place. Tell your visitors that the main page is relevant to what they clicked through. Use the same colors and logos if you can. Use the same title as you used for the original ad. If you made a particular offer in the ad, it should be clearly visible on your page. Some main pages that visitors arrive at through sponsored links on search engines even include search text: “You searched for Gibson guitar,” for example.

Once your visitors know they’re in the right place, it’s your job to keep them focused. Most people have a shorter attention span for online activities than they do for offline things. That’s even true for something as simple as reading. No matter how good your monitor is, it’s still much more enjoyable to read a book or magazine offline than it is to read online. This makes users restless; they’ll fidget, and fidgeting can mean they click away from your site if they’re bored.

–NG

Google SEO Advice – The Do’s & Dont’s

You may or may not be aware, but Google has released a list of SEO do’s and dont’s that you should follow if you want any hope of being indexed and ranked in the search engines. Most SEO information is disputed, but when it comes from the BIG G’s mouth, you know it’s probably very true!

Ok, so maybe this isn’t breaking news – and although it’s been out for a while, Google has a small guide on what to do and what not to do when it comes to getting ranked in their glorious index. Again, while these are some common sense items, you’d be surprised at the amount of people that do not read it, and end up either suffering a drop in rankings, penalized, or banned from Google’s index all together.

I want to sum up the Do’s and Don’ts of Google’s guidelines to SEO best practices (not all of them, because some are extremely basic, so just the ones that you may have forgotten)

Do’s:

Have other sites link to yours (quality, relevant sites).
Submit a sitemap using your Google Webmaster Tools account.
Submit your site to quality, high authority directories in the appropriate category.
Make a site with text links and a clear hierarchy, and make sure every page is reachable by at least one static text link.
Create useful, unique, and clearly written content. Relevancy is key.
Make sure your TITLE tags and ALT tags are”descriptive and accurate” (see, even Google recommends this – told you I wasn’t BS’ing!)
Maintain clean HTML code.
Keep the outgoing links on a particular page under 100.
Make it easy for search bots to crawl your site without error.
Make use of the robots.txt file to limit crawling on pages that aren’t useful to visitors.
Make pages for users, not search engines. (It’s fine to optimize your page, but don’t do nasty spammy things just to get the search engine’s to look for it)

Dont’s:

Don’t have any broken links on your site.
Don’t use hidden text or hidden links (people, doing that is soooo 2002, and will get you heavily penalized)
Don’t cloak or use “sneaky” redirects.
Don’t load pages with keywords or keyphrases. This is spam, and Google knows it.
Don’t send automated queries to Google.
Don’t create duplicate content. (This will kill your rankings most of the time)
Don’t create pages that install bad things (trojan’s, viruses, malware, etc..) – kind of a no brainer anyway.

If you participate in an affiliate program, don’t provide duplicate, run of the mill content. Provide useful, relevant content for the user.

DON’T participate in linking schemes!!! Bloggers pay attention to that one. So many of those viral linking posts go around, and they are just not good for business.

That’s why you rarely see the bigger A-list blogs take part, because they know it’s bad for rankings. Resist the temptation to gain 30 extra links overnight (do you really think Google doesn’t know what’s up with that, c’mon….).

So, what you just read comes from the horses mouth itself, and I personally agree that you can’t go wrong by following the above advice. I take it for granted sometimes that people know all of this stuff, but I see it every single day that people will still try to keyword stuff, white text on white background, cloak, and all sorts of nasty things. Rarely, there are a few that get away with this and achieve good rankings, however, those rankings don’t last long at all.

Google is all knowing, and will catch you eventually. You can bet on that.

To read the entire paper from Google, check it out here.

SEO Winnipeg – SEO Manitoba – Search Engine Optimisation Company Canada

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

Google SEO Experts, Who are they, Who's Who

Below is list of names of some of the perceived experts in seo and Internet marketing,

Aaron Wall, Bill Slawski, Jim Boykin, Jeremy Schoemaker, Jill Whalen, Bruce Clay Barry Schwartz, Danny Sullivan, Dave Naylor and others.

I am sure most people in the industry will have come across or heard of these people, what makes them who they are? I personally know a few of them myself and from what I have seen do great work, I would love to see some answers on this please,

but Im guessing here,

but could it be fees they charge for there work?
Newspaper articles?
results they achieve for clients?
or just be that they seem to be at every SEO marketing Internet show, they get out there and like to be seen?

Question, I know one so called SEO Expert, there retainer for consultancy is $300,000 per year to each client, they have other experienced seo’s in the company who work for a lot less.

They where making $2 million a year in the early 2000’s on affiliate websites.

They worked with both Yahoo & Google on PPC in the early days helping them improve the products we know today.

Google even paid an out of court settlement in 2004 to this person after a 2 year high court battle, along with a gagging order included not to divulge information about the company, it algorithms, its workings etc before the Big G’s floatation. I know that they are now free to speak if they wish, but will they?

Today they still work with some of the best known companies worldwide.

Who is this person?

Ideas are a plenty, do you know them?

Some people may be surprised to find out, they rarely ever post on forums, keep a reasonably low profile, don’t show up at shows and don’t write books.

All will be revealed in 2008

Let me have your thoughts

SEO – Taking the Headache Out


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.

Establishing Link Popularity

Online marketing is fast becoming everyone’s cup of tea. It’s a common myth that one can easily earn high profits working from home. Not everyone who enters into business on the Internet succeeds. Just building a website isn’t enough to make money online. There are a lot of online business tactics you need to know and follow.
Online Business is Crucial

For any online business to flourish, link popularity is a major factor to consider. So what is link popularity? Most Internet users come to know about a particular site through search engines. Based on various algorithms, search engines give a ranking to the sites indexed. The better the ranking, the more popular your site is.

The keywords in your website play a crucial role in determining the ranking of your website. The more common your keyword is, the more you come down in the ranking list. Does this mean that websites with common keywords never flourish in business?

Not necessarily!

By applying certain strategies, your website can achieve a very good ranking even with common keywords. But remember, link popularity or web promotion is something that cannot be achieved overnight.

One way of achieving link popularity is by linking to different sites. Link sharing is a major feature of online business. It is through the links placed on web pages that people come to know of other sites. People, when surfing through a particular site, often click on the links on that page to gain additional information.

When your link is placed on another site, it is more likely that the visitors of that site will also visit your site. This increases the number of hits on your site. But keep in mind, this doesn’t mean that linking with all the sites you come across can add popularity to your site.

Search engines give a lot of weight to the links. While the links from quality websites can give you good sales and traffic, a bad link can spoil your whole business. The quality of the sites you link to matters the most. To take advantage of people who work to build their link popularity, some sites are made just to link to different pages. These websites are nothing but long lists of links. Don’t ever think of linking to such a site as this will do more harm to your link popularity than good.

Off-Site SEO Tips

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
Buying links
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

Basic Onsite and Offsite SEO Tips

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 Hyperlinks
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:

Article Submissions
SEO Friendly directories
Blogs
Press Releases

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.

Wikia Search Launches With Google in Its Sights

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.”

Most Googled words in China

The names of three banks and the word “stocks” beat “sex” to become four of the most Googled words in China last year, according to a Google China list seen on Thursday.

China Merchants Bank, Industrial and Commercial Bank of China and China Construction Bank ranked second, third and sixth, according to a list supplied by Google China on its website (www.google.cn).

“On the Chinese mainland, it was money and technology that took the honors last year,” the China Daily said, pointing out that “sex” was the most popular keyword for Google users in some other countries.

Fourth on the list was “stock,” not surprising with Shanghai shares having risen 97 percent last year. At number 1 was “QQ,” a Chinese instant message service and a brand of car.

China’s Central Bank, the Ministry of Finance and Banking Regulatory Commission ranked first, third and fifth in the “Most Popular Departments” list, the Web site said.

In another list named “qiu zhi,” or “seeking knowledge,” “what is a blue chip” and “how to invest in the stock market” were the most searched questions on Google in China, while “what is love” and “how to kiss” ranked top of the global list.

China keeps a tight rein on Internet content and has launched several campaigns to root out online pornography, perhaps one reason why “sex” did not score so well.