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Website design, SEO and Marketing FREE Tips and Techniques

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Is SEO Optimisation Important Today?

by Z. MacKinnon

 

Those who have tried setting up their own websites know just how competitive the online market really is. With low costs and easy management allowing people to create websites in a matter of weeks, it's hard to believe that people can actually earn online income without the help of SEO optimization. Based on the first two words, we can already assume that websites gain popularity by being at the first page of the search engine listings.

Some of the most popular search engines constantly being used by people include Google, MSN, and Yahoo and by optimizing your website and increasing its ranking in these search engines, you not only have a website that will attract thousands of people/visitors but will also develop a money-making machine that could sustain a stable online income every single day.

SEO optimisation therefore means optimizing one's website so that its rankings increase and it becomes more popular in search engines like Google and Yahoo. This is done by carefully increasing specific keyword volume and calculating keyword density within the content of the site. Aside from this, webmasters consider the complex algorithms that search engines use to ensure that illegal and abusive SEO techniques aren't being used to increase web rankings easily. These techniques are known as "black hat SEO techniques" and search engines ban or suspend websites that use these methods in order to filter out the "garbage" from the rest.

Usually, search engines would display a variety of listings on every result page. These include ads, pay-per-click or PPC, paid inclusion, and of course organic listings. If you're aiming for the listing that search engines prioritize the most, it would have to be the organic listing as this type increases the quality and the quantity of the web traffic being driven into a specific website. It's a listing that is free of solicitation, a listing that is being facilitated by actual users of the World Wide Web, and a listing that has proven to be much more effective in generating income as compared to paid online ads placed in the search engines.

Because of this, SEO optimization has become a necessity for businesses who want to generate income online. It is not only a necessity but a low-cost method of improving one's web rankings as it only involves creative and analytical methods for improving and increasing web traffic online. Therefore, if you're interested in improving the content of your website (or your website as a whole) and are aiming to do this through organic searches or listings, here are a few helpful tips on what you should do first:

- You should have a focus or a concentrated niche before anything else. Start by choosing a product or a service you are very much interested, skilled, and knowledgeable with and use that as your starting point.

- Don't think of the search engines as the enemies in your journey to success. Concentrate on getting them on your side through honest and effective SEO techniques and you'll do just fine.

- Do your research first before optimizing your website with keywords. You need to at least know what keywords to use before actually placing them in different parts of your site's content.

If you want to learn the seo basics, step by step, simply click on the link and get my free seo optimisation course. Do it now while it is still free! Get internet marketing help today!

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Why Google Indexing Requires A Complex Blend Of Skills

If it was easy, everybody would be doing it. Getting a company’s name and products, or services, onto the first page of a genuine Google search isn’t a trivial piece of work. In fact, there are four distinct skills that a search engine optimizer needs to possess. Most people possess one or maybe two of these skills, very rarely do people posses all four. In truth, to get to all four, people who are good at two of these need to actively develop the other skills. Now, if you are running your own business, do you really have the time to do this? Is this the best use of your time?

Specifically the four skills needed for SEO work are:

Web Design - producing a visually attractive page
HTML coding - developing Search Engine friendly coding that sits behind the web design
Copy writing - producing the actual readable text on the page
Marketing – what are the actual searches that are being used, what key words actually get more business for your company?

Many website designers produce more and more eye-catching designs with animations and clever rollover buttons hoping to entice the people onto their sites. This is the first big mistake; using designs like these will actually decrease your chances of a high Google rating. Yes, that’s right; all that money you have paid for the website design could be wasted because no-one will ever find your site.

The reason for this is that before you get people to your site you need to get the spiderbots to like your site. Spiderbots are pieces of software used by the search engine companies to trawl the Internet looking at all the websites, and then having reviewed the sites, they use complex algorithms to rank the sites. Some of the complex techniques used by web designers cannot be trawled by spiderbots. They come to your site, look at the HTML code and exit stage right, without even bothering to rank your site. So, you will not be found on any meaningful search.

I am amazed how many times I look at websites and I immediately know they are a waste of money. The trouble is that both the web designers and the company that paid the money really do not want to know this. In fact, I have stopped playing the messenger of bad news (too many shootings!); I now work round the problem. So, optimizing a website to be Google friendly is often a compromise between a visually attractive site and an easy to find site.

The second skill is that of optimizing the actual HTML code to be spiderbot friendly. I put this as different to the web design because you really do need to be “down and dirty” in the code rather than using an editor like FrontPage, which is OK for website design. This skill takes lots of time and experience to develop, and just when you think you have cracked it, the search engine companies change the algorithms used to calculate how high your site will appear in the search results.

This is no place for even the most enthusiastic amateur. Results need to be constantly monitored, pieces of code added or removed, and a check kept on what the competition are doing. Many people who design their own website feel they will get searched because it looks good, and totally miss out this step. Without a strong technical understanding of how spiderbots work, you will always struggle to get your company on the first results page in Google.

Thirdly, I suggested that copy writing is a skill in its own right. This is the writing of the actual text that people coming to your site will read. The Google-bot and other spiderbots like links and love text – but only when written well in proper English. Some people try to stuff their site with keywords, while others put white writing on white space (so spiderbots can see it but humans cannot).

Spiderbots are very sophisticated and not only will not fall for these tricks, they may actively penalize your site – in Google terms, this is sand-boxing. Google takes new sites and “naughty” sites and effectively sin-bins them for 3-6 months, you can still be found but not until results page 14 – really useful! As well as good English, the spiderbots are also reading the HTML code, so the copy writer also needs an appreciation of the interplay between the two. My recommendation for anyone copy writing their own site is to write normal, well-constructed English sentences that can be read by machine and human alike.

The final skill is marketing, after all this is what we are doing – marketing you site and hence company and products/services on the Web. The key here is to set the site up to be accessible to the searches that will provide most business to you. I have seen many sites that can be found as you key in the company name. Others that can be found by keying in “Accountant Manchester North-West England”, which is great, except no-one ever actually does that search. So the marketing skill requires knowledge of a company’s business, what they are really trying to sell and an understanding of what actual searches may provide dividends.

I hope you will see that professional Search Engine Optimization companies need more than a bit of web design to improve your business. Make sure anyone you choose for SEO work can cover all the bases.

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Free tips from Google's SEO guideline

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past 12 years or are in complete denial, you are surely aware that google is the number 1 site on the planet. Google is ranked the number 1 visited site according to Alexa and has a reach of nearly 50% of internet user to date. Why does this matter to you? Because if you want any site to succeed to have to play by google's rules. There are many scam artists and websites that claim they can get you to the number 1 spot on google, or get you free traffic from search engines. DO NOT fall in to temptation to try them out. Also, do not pay for anyone to tell you google's so called "secrets". Beside their search algorithm and some other business secrets, google is a very transparent company. In fact, they have a starter guide to SEO which is going to be the main reference for this article.

SEO Basics

Let's start with web page titles.The html title tag is used by search engines and browsers to tell the user what is the topic of a particular web page. The webpage title is what is going to be displayed in search engine result as a link to your page.  You should try to find the best description for your web page, while keeping the description under 80 characters long. Try to avoid ambiguous and generic words in your page title such us 'home page', 'next page', etc...

While you should use different, unique page title for each website, you should also make good use of the "description" meta tag. This tag is what will be displayed in search engine results following the link to your page title. Try to make this tag describe in short, but more detail then your page title. Use it to summarize your page content. As with the page title, the description meta tag should be unique to each page of your website.

Improve your site structure

The internet is driven by links and so is your website. Having a good, solid URL structure will improve you site's SEO. Keep in mind that the URL will be displayed in google's search result. You should have a URL that is descriptive just as the page title and the meta tag. Use words and dashes "-" to separate them. When you are building your website, use keywords to structure your folders and sub folders in addition to your page titles.

You navigation is the way humans and crawl bots are going to go trough your website. Make sure you keep it in mind when you are designing the layout of your website. Also make sure you use breadcrumb trails for extra convince. The last thing as far as structure is a site map. This is one page that contains all the links to all your webpages. You should have 2 versions of site maps. one should be an html version for humans, the other should be an xml version that you will submit to google and other search engines to crawl.

Optimize content

After all is said and done, content is key and king. You can do all the tricks in the book, but without good, quality, keyword rich content, you will not have a good ranking. Interesting and original content is more valuable then copy-paste anything you found. In fact, if your content is not original, you might get panelize by the search engines. Use the google keyword tool to search for keywords that are searched and a lot and are low on competition. However, create content for users, not for search engines. Do not write for robots, this will not work in your favor as you might think.

When you are writing content try to put in some links to other websites, primarily your own. Use god keywords for your anchor text instead of just 'next page'. If you have images as part of your website, make sure the file name of the image is descriptive and use alt text to describe the image. As a side note about images, having a long load time for your website is generally bad. Remember to lower the size of your image files and store higher resolution as eternal links.

Crawlers

Crawlers, spiders, web-bots, it all refers to the same thing. Instead of a human user it is a robot, a pice of code that visits your website and others and follows the links outbound from it. To make the robots visit more efficient, google suggest using a robot.txt file that sets permissions for robots. If you have login only areas, you can create a user name and password for crawlers to use. In googles webmaster tools there is a guide that will help you generate a robot.txt file and monitor the crawler errors, if any.

Mobile SEO

Over the past few years, mobile internet via smart phones has grown. With the lunch of the iPad and other tablets, there are predictions that users will use mobile platforms more than regular computers in just a few more years. In order to accommodate the mobile user, you should create a mobile version of your website as well as notifying google of such website. Google can recognize mobile sites as the domain starts with 'm' instead of traditional 'www'.

Promote your website

As a final note, promote your website using back links and other creditable websites. Do not try to promote each little section, but rather the website as whole. Google will crawl and index your entire website on it's on. Avoid scams, spamming and using any 'black-hat' ways to promote your website as you will get penalize for it. Use Google Analytics and Googles webmaster tools to analyze your website and the traffic you attract.

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SEO Truths

Let’s have an open talk about SEO and SEM. Both these terms are used so frequently these days, but many are still confused on what they actually mean. Please note that I am by no means an expert on web marketing. All the information to follow are evidence I have collected over the past 2 years and the conclusions I have made are completely biased. That being said if you wish to correct me I am more than open to suggestion and comments. If I am wrong about anything and you can prove it, please do. I will update this post immediately if I am wrong.

So, what is SEO? What is SEM? Lucky for me that’s about the only thing everyone can agree on. SEO stands for search engine optimization and SEM stands for Search engine marketing. Great, now what? Well, now its fuzzy. Most of the research I have conducted was about SEO, I know less about SEM at the time I am writing this. Rest assure I will not leave it out. However, I am going to start by addressing SEO.

SEO is the method that become popular in optimizing a web page or an entire site to be more search engine friendly. There are a number of big search engines, but the most popular of them is google. Now matter how much time and money you spend, if google doesn’t like you, the effort is futile. Although google tries to help with there SEO guideline, not much is really known about the search algorithms of google. If anyone claims differently they are lying to you and want your money. I will get back to Google’s guideline in a bit, but I want it to be absolutely clear. No one knows the inner works of Google’s search algorithm. We have some ideas about it, but there is no secret method that has been found by a guru. Save your money, weather it’s a free e-book or a thousand dollar seminar. They all come done to a few points that everyone agrees on and a lot that is up to debate.

Let’s go back to Google’s SEO guideline. I do urge you to read through it and take from it what you need. Check out Google’s SEO guideline summary. The tips coming from google are those everyone agrees on, and in theory are all you need, but the Internet is doesn’t work in theory mode. In reality, the SEO guideline is meant for webmaster. For individuals that have been creating web pages professionally. All the guides, secrets, e-books, seminars or what ever others are trying to sell you is elaboration on Google’s guide. So what you really pay for is for someone to explain you things you can find out for free.

If you read carefully every blog about SEO or book or the guideline it comes done to a few points that will probabbly help your SEO ranking:

  • Write content, describe everything and don’t be ambiguous.
  • Be real and non automated. The internet is for humans, not robots.
  • Do not force visitors to your site, allow them to come naturally.
  • Be patient

Now of course there are many more points you will need to consider, but these are what it comes down to. I will continue to follow this post with supporting posts describing how and what you can do to improve your SEO. The main point I am trying to get you to acknowledge is that all the evidence are that SEO, is something that is comply in your control and is free. You don’t need to spend money and give your hard earned cash to anyone and there is no “Rank #1 in google tomorrow” way.

If you do choose to be patient, over the next couple of weeks I will have all the guides up that will take you from A-Z on website optimization, SEO, SEM or whatever you want to call it. If you can’t wait and have to spend $$$ for that one pice of software that claims will make you climb to the top of the charts overnight, go ahead. I can guaranty you that won’t happen. If it does I will personally give you $1,000 and post on how wrong I am, but that won’t happen.

 

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