Seo-mama’s Blog


A Headline Title Trick to Maximize Social and SEO Traffic – The One Two Punch

Posted in Uncategorized by Rajib Roy on May 12, 2009

Social media is all the rage these days. Everyone wants to get in on the game and promote themselves on networks like Twitter, Facebook, StumbleUpon, and Digg. Social media, when done right, is a proven method of Internet marketing that can send hordes of quality traffic to your sites (e.g. see my case study about how Twitter sent me 35,967 hits in 14 days). But where does on-page SEO fit into all of this (particularly the title tag)? Does your SEO need to suffer in order for you to do well on social media sites? Contrary to what you may think, the answer is no. In fact, you can utilize social media to jump start your SEO efforts and get the best of both worlds.

In this article, I’ll describe the role of the title tag in social media and in SEO and let you in on a little title trick you can use to maximize both your social media and SEO exposure.

Title Tag for Social Media

The ultimate goal in social media is to create compelling content that people will voluntarily share and spread virally via word of mouth (using various social sites). In order for this to happen, the title tag (and header tags) need to be optimized to spark readers’ attention and hook them in. The title is essentially the first impression of the article and many people will actually vote up stories on social bookmarketing sites like Digg and StumbleUpon solely based on the headline.

So what makes a good title for social media? The use of specifics, numbers, names, and descriptive power words always helps. For more guidance, check out Copyblogger’s article on how to write magnetic headlines.

Here’s an example. A current hot story on Digg is entitled “Electric Motorbike Does 0 to 60 in Under One Second!” Did that get your attention? It certainly got mine. That’s the mark of an effective headline.

Title Tag for SEO

Whereas title tags in social media should aim to get readers’ attention, titles tags for SEO should focus on incorporating highly relevant and popular keywords for the search engines. The title tag is by far the most important on-page SEO attribute and if you want to rank favorably for targeted keywords, you have to be sure that they’re strategically placed in the beginning of the title tag.

For example, using the previously mentioned Digg story, a better title for SEO purposes might be “KillaCycle Review – Fastest Electric Motorbike”. It’s descriptive with a lot of keywords, but it just doesn’t get your attention like the social media version, “Electric Motorbike Does 0 to 60 in Under One Second!”.

This presents a bit of a dilemma. On one hand, you want to optimize your titles for spikes of social media traffic, but on the other hand you want to optimize your titles for the search engines. What do you do?

The Solution – One Two Punch

Here’s the trick. When you first write an article, write the title (including both title tag and header tag) for social media. Be shocking or controversial. Do whatever you need to do to craft an interesting title that will be sure to get people’s attention. Once you have that in line, promote the article on social media sites. Get the word out and give it a chance to spread on sites like Twitter, StumbleUpon, Digg, Delicious, Reddit, etc.

If you do a good job, you’ll get a big influx of traffic and links. However, after a few weeks, the traffic will inevitably die down and your article will be buried in the archives.

Once this happens, change the title tag on the article to be more SEO friendly by incorporating descriptive keywords with high search frequency (use the Google Adwords Keyword Tool). Leave the header tag as is with the social media version to entice search visitors to further read the content.

What does this do? You maximize sharing on social media by writing compelling titles – which aren’t always descriptive and search friendly. Once you get the traffic and links from that effort, you then maximize search traffic by changing the title tag to incorporate more keywords – and thus increase rankings. Make sense?

Have you used this tactic to increase both social and search traffic to your articles? If not, you may be missing out on a lot of new visitors you could be driving to your site.

Leave a comment with your thoughts. I’d love to hear more about additional strategies you’ve employed to maximize both social and search traffic to your sites.

SEO-MAMA 

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The Perfect Career Path for a Super SEO

Posted in Uncategorized by Rajib Roy on May 12, 2009

1. Learn design and programming from the start
There’s really no way around this. If you want to be a good SEO, you need to learn the language of the web. Knowing HTML, CSS, PHP, and other scripting languages will help you to understand how the Internet works and how search engines crawl pages in their indexes. An SEO who can’t program is like a dolphin with a missing fin.

2. Read SEO Book.
Aaron Wall is a very knowledgeable SEO whom I’ve had the privilege of speaking to in the past. The SEO Book training program is the best and most comprehensive course I’ve seen in the industry and I recommend all aspiring SEO’s to sign up and take part.

3. Develop and market your own sites
There’s really nothing like good ole’ experience to learn from. Pick a niche, start a site, and experiment with different SEO strategies to get it to the top of the SERPs.

4. Follow the search marketing sites
As an SEO, one of your main tasks to stay competitive will be to follow the latest trends and tactics – especially because the industry changes so quickly. Danny Sullivan and the folks over at Search Engine Land do an awesome job in staying on top of the news. Be sure to subscribe to the SEL feed.

5. Start your own SEO blog
If you want to be perceived as a thought leader in the industry, an SEO blog gives you the perfect platform to relay your thoughts and opinions. Blogging also helps you to connect with the community and to develop a personal brand.

6. Experiment with black hat SEO tactics
I don’t necessarily agree with the SEO’s that insist on keeping on a pristine white hat. Some of the shadier black hat SEO’s are some of the smartest marketers I’ve ever met – and they are definitely rolling in the money. Black hat isn’t necessarily the best way to go, but experimenting in the gray areas can make you a better overall SEO (and learn to defend against competitors that use black hat tactics).

7. Get a business degree
If I had to pick a college degree that was best suited for SEO, I’d choose business. Understanding the general marketing and business principles are crucial for the success of SEO campaigns and selling online.

8. Work as an in-house SEO for a large corporation
In-house SEO comes first because it is the most stable and long term. The earning potential isn’t very high but it’s a great way to learn the ropes and get a feel for the corporate culture.

9. Work for an SEO agency
Working for an SEO agency is usually more demanding than doing in-house SEO work. Strict deadlines have to be met, but there is much greater team support and an opportunity to really hone those SEO skills with a variety of clients.

10. Promote your own online business on the side
Again, experience is the best teacher, and you should be working independently on the side on your own web projects. Not only will this thicken your resume and provide you with more experience and knowledge, but it was also give you another source of income that will lessen your reliance on a 9-5 job.

11. Get your own SEO clients – work as an independent consultant
Working for an SEO agency helps you to develop your SEO skills. Working as an independent SEO consultant helps you to develop your SEO skills AND forces you to thrive in selling, developing a business, and coming up with a sound strategy for success. It’s a whole new ball game that facilitates the transition to entrepreneur.

12. Speak at industry conferences, work on personal branding
It’s strange but true… Speaking at an SEO industry conference can catapult you from nobody to superstar overnight. Just be sure you have something intriguing to say before you go and make a fool of yourself.

13. Write a book on SEO, continue blogging
Another asset that symbolizes power and authority is a book. An SEO who has written a book on the subject will be perceived much more highly than someone who hasn’t done the same. For example, Kris Jones of Pepperjam recently wrote a book on SEO to solidify his position as an Internet marketing guru.

14. Develop a system, hire staff, & build a business
Now that you have a strong personal brand, tons of connections, and SEO and business marketing expertise, it’s time you leverage those assets to develop a system, hire staff to support your system, and build a business that you can bank on for many years to come.

Are you a super SEO yet? If you could start over again, what would you do differently?  What does your perfect SEO career path look like?

www.seo-mama.com

21 Essential SEO Tips & Techniques

Posted in Uncategorized by Rajib Roy on May 5, 2009

Small Business SEO Checklist:

1. Commit yourself to the process. SEO isn’t a one-time event. Search engine algorithms change regularly, so the tactics that worked last year may not work this year. SEO requires a long-term outlook and commitment.

2. Be patient. SEO isn’t about instant gratification. Results often take months to see, and this is especially true the smaller you are, and the newer you are to doing business online.

3. Ask a lot of questions when hiring an SEO company. It’s your job to know what kind of tactics the company uses. Ask for specifics. Ask if there are any risks involved. Then get online yourself and do your own research—about the company, about the tactics they discussed, and so forth.

4. Become a student of SEO. If you’re taking the do-it-yourself route, you’ll have to become a student of SEO and learn as much as you can. Luckily for you, there are plenty of great Web resources (like Search Engine Land) and several terrific books you can read. Aaron Wall’s SEO Book, Jennifer Laycock’s Small Business Guide to Search Engine Marketing, and Search Engine Optimization: An Hour a Day by Jennifer Grappone and Gradiva Couzin are three I’ve read and recommend.

5. Have web analytics in place at the start. You should have clearly defined goals for your SEO efforts, and you’ll need web analytics software in place so you can track what’s working and what’s not.

6. Build a great web site. I’m sure you want to show up on the first page of results. Ask yourself, “Is my site really one of the 10 best sites in the world on this topic?” Be honest. If it’s not, make it better.

7. Include a site map page. Spiders can’t index pages that can’t be crawled. A site map will help spiders find all the important pages on your site, and help the spider understand your site’s hierarchy. This is especially helpful if your site has a hard-to-crawl navigation menu. If your site is large, make several site map pages. Keep each one to less than 100 links. I tell clients 75 is the max to be safe.

8. Make SEO-friendly URLs. Use keywords in your URLs and file names, such asyourdomain.com/red-widgets.html. Don’t overdo it, though. A file with 3+ hyphens tends to look spammy and users may be hesitant to click on it. Related bonus tip: Use hyphens in URLs and file names, not underscores. Hyphens are treated as a “space,” while underscores are not.

9. Do keyword research at the start of the project. If you’re on a tight budget, use the free versions of Keyword Discovery or WordTracker, both of which also have more powerful paid versions. Ignore the numbers these tools show; what’s important is the relative volume of one keyword to another. Another good free tool is Google’s AdWords Keyword Tool, which doesn’t show exact numbers.

10. Open up a PPC account. Whether it’s Google’s AdWords or Yahoo’s Search Marketing or something else, this is a great way to get actual search volume for your keywords. Yes, it costs money, but if you have the budget it’s worth the investment. It’s also the solution if you didn’t like the “Be patient” suggestion above and are looking for instant visibility.

11. Use a unique and relevant title and meta description on every page. The page title is the single most important on-page SEO factor. It’s rare to rank highly for a primary term (2-3 words) without that term being part of the page title. The meta description tag won’t help you rank, but it will often appear as the text snippet below your listing, so it should include the relevant keyword(s) and be written so as to encourage searchers to click on your listing. Related bonus tip: You can ignore the Keywords meta altogether if you’d like; it’s close to inconsequential. If you use it, put misspellings in there, and any related keywords that don’t appear on the page.

12. Write for users first. Google, Yahoo, etc., have pretty powerful bots crawling the web, but to my knowledge these bots have never bought anything online, signed up for a newsletter, or picked up the phone to call about your services. Humans do those things, so write your page copy with humans in mind. Yes, you need keywords in the text, but don’t stuff each page like a Thanksgiving turkey. Keep it readable.

13. Create great, unique content. This is important for everyone, but it’s a particular challenge for online retailers. If you’re selling the same widget that 50 other retailers are selling, and everyone is using the boilerplate descriptions from the manufacturer, this is a great opportunity. Write your own product descriptions, using the keyword research you did earlier (see #9 above) to target actual words searchers use, and make product pages that blow the competition away. Plus, retailer or not, great content is a great way to get inbound links.

14. Use your keywords as anchor text when linking internally. Anchor text helps tells spiders what the linked-to page is about. Links that say “click here” do nothing for your search engine visibility.

15. Build links intelligently. Submit your site to quality, trusted directories such as Yahoo,DMOZBusiness.comAviva, and Best of the web. Seek links from authority sites in your industry. If local search matters to you (more on that coming up), seek links from trusted sites in your geographic area—the Chamber of Commerce, etc. Analyze the inbound links to your competitors to find links you can acquire, too.

16. Use press releases wisely. Developing a relationship with media covering your industry or your local region can be a great source of exposure, including getting links from trusted media web sites. Distributing releases online can be an effective link building tactic, and opens the door for exposure in news search sites. Related bonus tip: Only issue a release when you have something newsworthy to report. Don’t waste journalists’ time.

17. Start a blog and participate with other related blogs. Search engines, Google especially, love blogs for the fresh content and highly-structured data. Beyond that, there’s no better way to join the conversations that are already taking place about your industry and/or company. Reading and commenting on other blogs can also increase your exposure and help you acquire new links. Related bonus tip: Put your blog at yourdomain.com/blog so your main domain gets the benefit of any links to your blog posts. If that’s not possible, useblog.yourdomain.com.

18. Use social media marketing wisely. If your small business has a visual element, join the appropriate communities on Flickr and post high-quality photos there. If you’re a service-oriented business, use Yahoo Answers to position yourself as an expert in your industry. With any social media site you use, the first rule is don’t spam! Be an active, contributing member of the site. The idea is to interact with potential customers, not annoy them.

19. Take advantage of local search opportunities. Online research for offline buying is a growing trend. Optimize your site to catch local traffic by showing your address and local phone number prominently. Write a detailed Directions/Location page using neighborhoods and landmarks in the page text. Submit your site to the free local listings services that the major search engines offer. Make sure your site is listed in local/social directories such as CitySearch, Yelp, Local.com, etc., and encourage customers to leave reviews of your business on these sites, too.

20. Take advantage of the tools the search engines give you. Sign up for Google’swebmaster Central and Yahoo’s Site Explorer to learn more about how the search engines see your site, including how many inbound links they’re aware of.

21. Diversify your traffic sources. Google may bring you 70% of your traffic today, but what if the next big algorithm update hits you hard? What if your Google visibility goes away tomorrow? Newsletters and other subscriber-based content can help you hold on to traffic/customers no matter what the search engines do. In fact, many of the DOs on this list—creating great content, starting a blog, using social media and local search, etc.—will help you grow an audience of loyal prospects and customers that may help you survive the whims of search engines.

Rajib Roy
www.seo-mama.com 

Ways To Find “Freebies” To Add To Your eBook and Ideas for Viral Marketing

Posted in Uncategorized by Rajib Roy on April 29, 2009

 

If you shop online regularly I’m sure you are already familiar with the marketing techniques many webmasters use by offering you FREE bonuses, gifts and other incentives in an effort to encourage you to make a purchase from them.

That is all well and good.

However, did you know that (depending on what rights you are granted with the freebies); you can use those “Freebies” to your advantage to add value to your eBooks and other products?

Here are just a few ways that you can find Freebies and things that you could do:

Do a Google search on the internet to find free gifts that are related to your product.

Search under a few keywords such freebies, free reports, free eBooks, free software, free gifts, etc.

Look for products that compliment your product that you can give away as a free gift in your eBook.

By doing that you will make your product more appealing to your readers and you will increase your chances of making a sell.

Look for eBooks on the same topic of your eBook that are published by established expert publishers or by other publishers who have a different take on the same topic.

You can accomplish this by placing your keywords in every chapter of your eBook and researching those keywords in your favorite search engine(s).

Once you have found the free eBook that you are looking for add a link to it in every chapter of your eBook.

Don’t be afraid to search, as many sites have freebies and they want you to distribute them.

Here are a few ideas to help you start your viral marketing campaign:

1. Purchase the branding rights to a viral Book and allow people to give away your free eBook to their subscribers. When their visitors give away the eBook it will take on an exponential effect and spread like wildfire all over the internet.

2. If possible, set up a forum or bulletin board and allow visitors to use your forum or bulletin board for their website. You can include your banner at the top of the forum or discussion board.

3. Write articles pertaining to your niche and allow others to reprint them on their website, in their newsletters, ezines, eBooks or magazines. Always include your resource box at the bottom of each article along with the option for the article to be reprinted.

4. Search the internet to find products with branding rights that allows you to add your name, website information, and contact information to the product and those that allow you to pass it along to others “free of charge.”

5. If you are creative you can design your own graphics, software, templates, fonts, etc., include your own ads on them and include a link directly back to your website.

To preserve the integrity of your designs, make sure that visitors to your website agree to keep any copyrighted information that you provide in tact and include in the copyright notice a link back to your website.

Once they have agreed to your terms and conditions you can then allow them to give away your templates, graphics, fonts, software, etc.

6. In exchange for allowing your website visitors to advertise in an eBook that you have written, make sure they agree to give away your eBook to their ezine subscribers or to their website visitors.

Always over-deliver and give your readers the very best offer possible. They will appreciate you for it.

www.seo-mama.com
www.mebreaks.com
www.wvss.net
www.dubainightplanner.com

What is Niche Marketing? What is SEO?

Posted in Uncategorized by Rajib Roy on April 29, 2009

Niche marketing with SEO isn’t quite self explanatory – so here’s a simple overview. A niche is simply a product category that people are looking for and that doesn’t have overwhelming competition on the supply side of the demand/supply equation.

The ideal niche is one that has great demand and little or no supply available. Such niches are rare. You could spend a lifetime looking for one and never find it – so don’t count on this if you are planning to do niche marketing.

Fortunately, niche marketing with SEO doesn’t require that one’s niche be ideal to be good from our perspective – just good enough. Most people who set up marketing websites don’t research the competition very thoroughly while picking the market in which they are going to operate. This is a good thing for those of us in the know about online market research.

By picking a niche with relatively high demand and low supply, and by “optimizing” our website to attract the notice of the search engines, we can compete successfully in the marketplace.

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It consists of two parts: on-page optimization and off-page optimization. On-page optimization is mostly a matter of picking a keyword for your page that matches the informational theme of the page. A web page with the theme “niche marketing” would have “niche marketing” in the keywords meta-tag in the Page Source” view of your browser.

Off-page optimization is effected by the recognition accorded your web page by other webmasters – primarily expressed as links from their websites to yours. Search engines are able to track both optimization factors – and they give more weight to the latter than to the former.

A page will have matured when other websites, known to be authorities on niche marketing, bear links pointing to the page. SEO is a big subject and you will see it referred to repeatedly throughout many websites concerned with niche marketing. The first question that should occur to you at this point is – What Am I Going to Sell?

Rather than pick a product that is familiar to you – or one that you can create yourself – both of which are very tempting choices – I strongly suggest that you decide at the outset to pick one that you know people want. In other words do the market research first – find out what people are actually looking for and that can be sold profitably – and then decide what to sell.

If your research leads you to a subject that is not the most familiar, so be it. Learn the subject and then sell it. It is likely that you will find a niche in an area with which you already have some familiarity, because you are likely to start with something familiar as you begin doing the research. It is best if this is so, because you can write most capably about a subject about which you care passionately.

What Do I need to Know to Do Niche Marketing with SEO?

In simplest terms you need to know:

  • How to set up a website properly
  • How to select the search engine keywords that will bring traffic to your website
  • How to structure your website to be ranked highly by the search engines – so it appears on the first page of “results” that a search engine displays when a visitor searches for your keywords,

* How to “monetize” your web traffic to create multiple streams of income, and

* How to lead your sites visitors to a decision to buy what you are selling – without using a heavy-handed sales pitch. This is called “pre-selling”.

The first of these questions is answered very thoroughly by sources that I will reference in subsequent articles. It is a big subject – beyond the scope of this article.

The choice of keywords has also been covered by many writers on the subject. Each has his own angle on doing the research, and some make useful tools available to you either free or at modest cost.

How To “Monetize” Your Website

To monetize your website is simply to connect your site’s readers with an opportunity to buy something in such a way that you make money in the process. There are a number of good choices in this regard, and you can use more than one of them.

For starters, you can directly sell something via your website using your own merchant account or PayPal account. Your product might be a tangible item that you are prepared to ship or drop-ship to your customer – or it might be an e-book, a piece of software, or an information product that you will deliver immediately as an electronic download.

Then again, you might sell a product produced by a company of whom you are an affiliate. There are many good affiliate programs available. In this case you simply include on your website a link that takes the reader to a website provided by the product supplier. The link identifies you to the supplier, so if the reader becomes a customer, you get a commission on the sale. Such commissions can run as high as 75% and be very profitable to you.

And/or you might contract with a product or service provider to be paid a fixed fee for each referral that you send their way via your website.

And/or you might sell advertising space on your website, either via Google’s Adsense program, which will pay you on a per-click basis, or through one of several other programs. Some of these pay you on a weekly or monthly basis and can be more lucrative than Adsense ads.

A Note On Monetizing

One of the most common mistakes that beginners make when setting up a commercial website is to monetize the site too soon. Until the site contains enough useful content, its readers should not be expected to trust its author enough to buy anything on the site. Why should they? The traffic to the site will tell you when that trust has been established – then you will have “earned” the right to monetize it.

If you monetize too soon, before you have at least thirty highly informative pages and twenty unique visitors per day, then you run the risk that both search engines and human visitors will just see the site as a sales pitch – and accord it little value or rank.

The Value Of “Pre-Selling”

As I said earlier, most Internet surfers are not looking for advertising when they use the search engines. They are looking for useful information – authoritative information that informs them about the subject of interest to them. When you provide such information, you gain a level of credibility in your readers’ eyes that you can never achieve by presenting them with a sales pitch.

Niche marketing is all about credibility. As your readers recognize the value of the information content that you provide, they become more open to the idea of buying something from you. As this occurs, the likelihood that they will buy from you rises, the percentage of visitors who are “converted” into customers rises accordingly – and the ease with which you make money online soars.

If you are serious about making money with niche marketing, the next thing you need to study is the choices you will need to address in deciding how you will go about doing so.

www.seo-mama.com

The 10 Best Ways To Promote Your Website

Posted in Uncategorized by Rajib Roy on April 29, 2009

To make money on the internet you need an effective marketing plan. So here are the best marketing tips that you must follow to make your website a powerful magnet for traffic and sales.

Banner Advertising

Although many marketers already know about pay-per-click advertising, very few are purchasing guaranteed banner click-thru’s that are available on hundred’s of sites. Look for sites that cater to your target market and look for, or ask for, their advertising rates. Slowly but surely most of the sites that sold banner impressions are starting to offer performance advertising in the form of pay-per-click.

Write articles

Writing Articles is an excellent way to promote your website and best of all you can get recognize as an internet business expert. You can submit your article to ezine or article directory.

Exchange links

Exchanging links is one of the best method for getting web site traffic and ranking higher. When you start a site you should exchange many as possable links with sites that are RELATED to YOUR site. Robots are eager to find new links and fresh information.

Mailing List

Having a mailing list can bring wonders to a web site, not only will it help bring old visitors back , but they will send the newsletter to their friends (If they like it).This is like gold for you. The only real purpose for a consumer website is to capture leads and to sell products. Send out a monthly e-zine that offers FREE valuable information and mentions similar products they may be interested in. Search Engine Optimization It is no secret that search engines are the number one traffic generating method for driving visitors to web sites. Search engines are very useful in helping people find the relevant information they seek on the Internet. The major search engines develop and maintain their own gigantic database of web sites that can be searched by a user typing in a keyword or keyword phrase in the search box.

Search engine optimization

(SEO) is the process of studying the search engines in an effort to determine how to get your web site to rank high on user searches. Depending on the statistical information reviewed, search engines account for over 80% of the visitor traffic to web sites.

Free online forum

One forum can be about “Online Business”. Another forum can be about ” Joint Ventures”. When people join those forums, make sure that they need to come to your site first and log in from there, if they want to log on and post on the forum.

Market Statistic

You can use features on your website such as visitor polls, online surveys and your website statistics to find out what your customers like more and how they feel about certain aspects of your business to determine how you can improve your product and the way you do business.

FREE Advertising

There is alot of FREE Advertising on the Internet. There is Classified Ads. FREE For All Pages (FFA), Ezine, Article Submission and Newsgroup of course and many more.

Blogging

Blogs are a relatively new and popular way to publish content on the Internet. They allow the blogger to publish content; very quickly AND get feedback from the people that read it. Because they are new and content is created regularly, search engines love indexing them – and if search engines love them, you should too.

Real Syndicated Content

RSS marketing is a tool used by many on the Internet to deliver articles, advertisements, emails, customer support responses, ezines to clients and potential clients.

www.seo-mama.com

Avoid Broken Links: 5 Quick and Easy Tricks To Ensure Your Resource Box Links Work!

Posted in Uncategorized by Rajib Roy on April 29, 2009

Article Marketing is a great way to build links to your site, resulting in long term targeted traffic and an increase in your search engine rankings.

How does that work?

With every article you submit you will also include an ‘author resource box’ or ‘author bio’ that includes some basic biographical information and also a link back to your website.

That resource box will sit below your article, and if a reader likes your article they will read your resource box and then (hopefully!) click the link that leads back to your website.

Also, every time your article is republished, you gain an incoming link to your site which can affect your website’s search engine ranking. With an increase in links, your website can start ranking higher when people do searches for your keyword terms.

So, a major key to success with article marketing is that link in the resource box that leads back to your website.

You can imagine how frustrating it must be to go through the effort of writing an article and submitting it, only to later realize that you made a mistake when entering your website URL into the author bio area.

If you’ve ever made that mistake, you’re familiar with that “Argh–I can’t believe I did that!” feeling, and I bet you’ll go to any lengths to be sure that it doesn’t happen again.

How can you be sure that your links work?

Are there any quick and easy tricks to make absolutely certain that the links in your resource box lead back to your website like they’re supposed to?

Thankfully, yes!

There are several recurring reasons why links break, and if you’ll follow these 5 tricks, you will submit an article with a resource box that has working links!

1) Be sure that your URL is fully qualified and has ‘http://’ at the start of it.

Now, I know that we’re all used to just typing in www. and then our website name, but when you’re entering a link into your author bio box, be sure that the link is a fully qualified URL. For example,http://www.examplewebsite.com

That http part at the beginning of the website address needs to be there. If you’re nervous about entering your URL correctly, you may try just bringing your website up on your computer, and then copying and pasting the URL from the address bar of your browser. Then, you don’t have to worry about making a typing mistake.

2) Don’t try to italicize or bold your website address.

If you know basic HTML then you know how to do bold and italics, but I caution you–do not try to put bold or italics into your URL. The HTML can mess up the formatting of the link and make it not work, and I know you don’t want to risk that happening!

Just keep things simple–enter your fully qualified URL and don’t worry about making it fancy with bold or italics or underline.

3) Put your URL on a new line.

Sometimes when a link is at the end of a line it can get artificially cut off, which results in a broken link. To safeguard against this, try entering your URL on a new line rather than at the end of a line.

Now, of course to make this look right, you need to make your URL be the last word in your resource box.

4) Don’t put punctuation after your URL.

Even if your URL is at the end of a sentence, you don’t need to put a period behind it. Putting any type of punctuation after your website address can mess up the formatting and break the link.

5) Preview your article and test your links.

Now, this is a foolproof way to be sure that your links will work–before submitting your article, preview it and click the links in your resource box.

When clicking your links, do they take you to your website?

If so, great! Then you know your links work, and you can put your mind at ease.

If not, then you can go back into the ‘edit’ page of your article and make your corrections. Maybe you typed your URL incorrectly, or maybe you made one of the mistakes listed above.

At any rate, isn’t it great to figure out that your links don’t work when you still have the opportunity to correct things? Absolutely!

After you write your article and get it all entered into the submission page, just take an extra few seconds to be sure that your links are formatted correctly and working–you’ll be happy you did!

www.seo-mama.com

SEO Web Design, Harnessing the Power of Alt Text and Images

Posted in Uncategorized by Rajib Roy on April 29, 2009

Today I would like to share an invaluable SEO web design technique to refine the focus of your pages using images and alt attributes for create relevance for SEO.

SEO, Images and Alt Text

Sculpting the focus of your pages translates into coherence and relevance for search engines. For example, if you have repetitive elements on a page, such as a legal footer (that is 200 words of legalese), a tag line in your title tags, overpowering navigation (which breaks down as a cascading tree menu), then all of these things are impacting the word count, text to link ratio and either increasing or diffusing the relevance of each page.

With examples such as this, you may consider using an image as an alternative (make a high res image with that text instead and use that instead of text) to lower the co-occurrence or non specific keywords and replace the nebulous shingles of text.

If in doubt, then look at your pages Google cache in text only view by clicking on a search result (cache link then selecting text only) link to see how spiders really see your pages with all of the style sheet information removed.

Frequently when conducting an on page website review and analysis we see multiple pages in a website that for lack of better terms are so similar to the market focus of multiple pages (which essentially means, since they are so alike, nothing distinguishes it from others).

As a result, lackluster performance impacts the relevance score of the page by diffusing the keyword focus and jumbling the phrases, modifiers and keywords in an attempt to make sense of what that page is really about.

Add to the fact that the anchor text is typically wide open with no real regard for continuity using off topic keywords for links (click here, contact us, etc), linking from multiple methods from one page to another (from the home button or link, from anchor text in the body and say for example an image as well) confuses the order of importance.

The remedy for this SEO web design dilemma is:

1) Add additional text on the topic – you can either add 100-200 additional unique words to a page or add 2-3 more supporting pages and internally link them to the target page to increase relevance for specific keywords.

The fastest way to get in the top 10 is to get a link from a website already ranking in the top 10 for a keyword. Similarly, in order to make your on SEO page factors prominent, linking from a page (all about Topic A) with a relevant link (about Topic A) to you preferred landing page within your site, transfers that ranking factor through the anchor text.

The more competitive the keyword, the more internal links you should use, using a variety of modifiers, reversing the order of the words if applicable or related synonyms as links to the target page (you wish to elevate).

2) Use images as links when adding text links is not applicable. Images can be tactfully integrated into a page and the alt attribute harnessed to link pages with relevant keywords.

If you still have images on your page lacking alt text (spiders cannot interpret images so you need to tell them what the image is). For example, if you have an arrow leading to a free quote page, the arrow could say get a free quote as the alt attribute. If it is a link, then the text in the alt attribute counts as a viable link and that value gets transferred to the target page.

So, if you cannot change the text on the page (due to upper management bureaucracy , you don’t want to throw off the flow of the text, or whatever reason) you can use images to sculpt relevance, make a visual suggestion or act as internal links.

As a result, that page is infused with internal link relevance and then combined with the fact that the weeds have been removed or pruned (noisy words minimized while relevant keyword dialed in) your pages focal point is conveyed to search engines.

Effective Ways to Optimize Security in IT

Posted in Uncategorized by Rajib Roy on April 29, 2009

By Eddie Bannister in Security

Chances are your computer network or PC has been attacked at some point or another. Perhaps a worm caused your system to slow down severely, a virus erased your entire hard drive, or, malware plagued your registry and browser, leaving you helpless and frustrated. What you probably learned from these attacks was how or where to find a quick-fix while your overall security remained unchanged. What you may not know is that there are a few fundamental practices in relation to the hardware, software and people that can help to improve or optimize the safety level of your computer network and personal system. These practices or ways are sound, easy to implement and highly effective.

On the Hardware/Software Side

While they may appear relatively basic at the onset, some practical measures should be taken to not just establish and maintain but also to increase ongoing security to computer hardware and software. Failure to adhere to these measures or ways of implementing security can potentially lead to disaster. Of course, you can further add to or enhance these measures depending on your particular situation–such as budget restraints, time-frame, etc.

Specifically, you will want to:

  • Upgrade or replace. Older hardware can malfunction and become unstable; older software can have security holes and vulnerabilities or could fail to properly integrate with newer technologies.
  • Patch up and harden. Whether it’s a domain controller or your home PC, install anti-virus software, configure a firewall, update the OS using service packs and remove unnecessary services.
  • Limit access. Keep the system away from prying eyes and unauthorized users. Implement strong passwords; use encryption. Locks and biometrics are strongly recommended, too.
  • Monitor regularly. Make a habit of watching network activity and reading system logs to find inconsistencies and unusual traffic patterns.
  • Maintain good backups. Backup often and verify your backups always. Keep one or more copies off-site, if possible.

On the People Side

When it comes to security, people usually are the weakest link in the chain. They can be lazy, indifferent, uninformed or represent some other security liability. Because you, too, may possibly exhibit such characteristics and behaviors yourself, here are ways to address these people problems and successfully increase and ensure IT security. For example, you should:

  • Establish controls. Rules and policies can help to specify what is or isn’t acceptable use. Enforce them. Be prompt at acting on the slightest deviation.
  • Train and educate. You and your staff can never be too knowledgeable about the newest technologies or the latest types of attacks–worms, viruses, Trojans, malware and others. Be prepared to learn and learn to be prepared.
  • Be safety aware. Don’t expose yourself or your systems to potential attacks by linking to questionable websites. And, opening an email attachment from an unknown source could quench much more than sheer curiosity.
  • Go “long” on commitment. Engage people by assigning them (or yourself) duties and responsibilities with realistic goals and rewards. Foster loyalty and support alongside accountability for non-performance.

Experiencing a malicious attack is sometimes the result of weak or ineffective security practices. And, while finding quick solutions to the attack may be reactionary and expected, it is not necessarily the only or best course of action in securing PCs and networks. There are far more sensible and fundamental ways to implement and address security in relation to the hardware, software and people involved in day to day operations. It is, in fact, by applying those ways and practices that you can effectively and successfully improve upon and optimize security in IT.

www.seo-mama.com

Dramatically Increase Dynamic Page SEO With Descriptive URLs

Posted in Uncategorized by Rajib Roy on April 27, 2009

Dynamic pages tend to have URLs that read horribly, such as:

“mysite.com/thread.php?id=3951&page=2”

The URL says absolutely nothing about what the page is, other than that it’s probably a thread. If yours look like that, you’re missing out on a valuable way for gaining extra search engine optimization.

Wouldn’t a URL like:

“mysite.com/thread/3951-Bubblewrap-Is-Delicious-2.html” 

look a lot better? First, you know just from reading the URL exactly what the page is about: If you want to find out about how delicious bubble wrap is, that’s a page you want to look at. Second, and more importantly, search engines give extra ranking to keywords present in the URL.

The technical parts of this guide will differ based on which scripting language you’re using. I’ll be using PHP, but there are similar ways to accomplish this with the other languages.

First, you should make the script run as a file without an extension, rather than a .php extension (or whichever extension your language uses). I added a ForceType statement to my .htaccess file, to make the thread file read as application/x-httpd-php, a PHP script.

At this point, your script would run properly as “mysite.com/thread?id=3951&page=2”. This is already better, because it doesn’t give away which scripting language you use. It doesn’t accomplish anything in terms of SEO though.

Next, you should to break up the arguments that are passed to our script with the “explode” function, like so:

$args = explode(“/”,$_SERVER[‘PHP_SELF’]);

If you were to access “mysite.com/thread/3951/2”, $args would be an array with “3951” and “2”. You can use a second explode statement (or a strtok statement) to allow the two arguments to be separated by a hyphen, but do that later as the most important part is next.

Finally, convert the name of the document (be in the forum thread name or blog post name) into an argument, replacing spaces with dashes. You might notice some sites using underscores, but I’ve found that words separated by underscores are counted as a single word, instead of multiple words. If you leave them as spaces, though, they end up being turned into a garbled mess.

Add a bit of code at the top of the script that you’re optimizing to make sure that the URL matches the one you want it to be (so it redirects thread/4614-blah-1 to thread/4614-Styrofoam-Is-Good-Too-1), add .html to the end of the whole mess, and you’re done!

To prevent overuse of words that don’t actively contribute to SEO, you can use the string replace functions to strip words such as “I”, “The”, and “And” from the URL.

Many search engines won’t fully index your website if everything is behind standard argument lists, so by giving them URLs that look like proper filenames, you both ensure that all of your pages are indexed and increase your SEO relevancy. Making your URLs readable by humans is an added bonus, too.

www.seo-mama.com

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