Wednesday, September 1, 2010

SEO tips: Twitterific words, scoring a Google 7 pack and more

Grand wizards of the search marketing world were sharing secrets today at a seminar hosted by SEOmoz, the Seattle search marketing software provider.

Here are a few search marketing (and Twitter) tips and tricks from the sessions I attended at the Seattle Westin today.

SEOmoz Chief Executive Rand Fishkin talked about how marketers can take advantage of new types of search results.

Google's new image search results, for instance, display a blend of images so getting the top two or three results isn't as important.

More frustrating is the new "overlay" result that pops up a Web page image, obscuring the rest of the page.

"Basically this is an invitation to, yes, right click and steal this image," Fishkin said.

He suggested websites add a few lines of code to "essentially break this functionality, so people get full page results instead of overlay."

If other sites are getting higher search results with images taken from your site, perhaps you need to add more surrounding text and page titles to better catch Google's attention, Fishkin said. This happened to Seattle's BuddyTV, which was being outranked by other sites using images taken from BuddyTV, he added.

Odd image search results can also be traced to Google's Image Labeler game, which asks people to help tag images.

To get higher results in video searches -- which mostly happen at YouTube -- one trick is to take advantage of the popularity of "how to" and tutorial content. Fishkin suggested using Reddit TV to see what people are finding popular from video searches beyond YouTube.

Fishkin said search marketers may find less competition in video search than standard search.

"If you are someone who can stay on top of this, you are going to have a big win," Fishkin said of the various new search types.

There's a huge new opportunity in local search, according to David Mihm, a consultant and chief executive of, in Portland.

Mihm said local search is starting to display general search results in some categories. He predicted that soon Google will be returning localized product search.

It's also an evolving category that's not yet dominated by Google. Mihm advised search marketers to pay attention to Bing if they aren't already. "I think they're primed for a major play" in local search, he said.

Mihm explained that local search is about optimizing locations more than websites. Whereas traditional search was about content, local search is about location.

Businesses trying to improve their performance in local search results should claim their local listings at the directories that search engines are building, such as Google Places. Mihm said businesses should fill out all the categories on their listing, customize categories as needed and include compelling photos because the listing may be their first contact with a potential customer.

So far only about 2 million of the 20 million companies in the U.S. have claimed their spots on Google Places. Most of the local business information now comes from a few business listing aggregators that feed listings to smaller sites.

Key markers include the local phone number and address of businesses. The phone number in particular is a key way that Google identifies individual businesses.

"Think of your phone number as your fingerprint," he said.

A goal is to become part of the "Seven Pack" of local listings that Google displays with a map on the first page of a local business search. There's not a precise formula for getting there, but Mihm said getting more user reviews and newspaper mentions helps build authority and citations that Google draws upon.

In general, Mihm advises that companies claim their companies on listings such as Google Places and clean up outdated and duplicate listings. They should also make sure their website is "sending a strong geographic scent."

I would have posted sooner, but another speaker, Dan Zarrella, said you'll get more action on Twitter if you wait until traffic slows later in the day.

Zarrella, of Cambridge, Mass.-based Hubspot, also suggests asking people to retweet their messages -- and say please.

"It's obvious and if you do it all the time it looks cheesy, but it works," he said, cautioning that constantly asking for retweets will annoy people.

"My fiancee has threatened to unfollow me for tacky stuff like this," he confessed.

Simple steps that people can take to improve their Twitter traffic include filling out the 160-character biography field on their Twitter account. Zarrella's analysis of 5 million accounts found that Twitter uses with bios listed on average have six times more followers.

Similarly, most users don't add their own picture and use Twitter's default avatar, and most don't bother to add a link to their website. Zarrella said accounts with links have six times more followers, and those with a picture also had a "lot more" followers.

Other advice was almost counterintuitive. For instance, talking too much about yourself on Twitter tends to result in fewer followers.

"If you want more followers, don't talk about yourself so much," he advised.

Instead, use the site to "talk inclusively" about groups of people you're talking to on Twitter.

Negative tweets also tend to decrease followers, perhaps because people are going on Twitter to be more hopeful, he said.

"If I want to get bummed out I can just turn on the television," he said. "I don't need to go on Twitter, right?"

More important than the aura of Twitter may be click-through rates, at least for marketers and others using the service for business reasons.

After analyzing click-through rates on high-traffic accounts, Zarrella concluded that click-throughs are affected by the volume of tweets. Accounts that tweeted twice an hour saw lower click-throughs, and it fell further for accounts tweeting three times an hour.

Click-through rates also improve when Twitter usage is slower -- later in the week and on weekends.

The takeaway he offered: "If you want more clicks, tweet less."

Zarrella also provided lists of words that get the most retweets and words that get retweeted the least. Refreshingly, large syllable words don't retard retweeting, so you "don't have to dumb down your content to get retweets," he said.

His list of the most retweetable words and phrases:

1. You
2. Twitter
3. Please
4. Retweet
5. Post
6. Blog
7. Social
8. Free
9. Media
10. Help
11. Please retweet
12. Great
13. Social media
14. 10
15. Follow
16. How to
17. Top
18. Blog post
19. Check out
20. New blog post

The least retweetable words:

1. Game
2. Going
3. Haha
4. Lol
5. But
6. Watching
7. Work
8. Home
9. Night
10 Bed
11. Well
12. Sleep
13. Gonna
14. Hey
15. Tomorrow
16. Tired
17. Some
18. Back
19. Bored
20. Listening

"This is you talking about yourself when it's extremely boring," Zarrella said.

"Who tweets lol?" he asked. "I don't use lol anymore. I use heh."


Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Basic SEO Strategies for Beginners

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process getting your website ready to be found in whole web searches. By organic searches, I'm referring to web searches that appear naturally as the result of a search for a particular keyword or phrase, rather than appearing in the sponsored links (pay-per-click advertising) section of a search page.

Frankly, for the first few years I was online, the thought of doing my own SEO made my eyes cross, and I was overwhelmed at where to start. I even toyed with the idea of hiring a specialist to do this for me, but never got around to it. However, over time, I slowly began to see a pattern emerging, and started to optimize some of my sites accordingly. One of the best days of my business was when I recently ranked #1 for a particularly competitive search term.

I'm not a search engine optimization (SEO) specialist, nor do I play one on TV. However, even a new business owner who creates and updates her own websites can implement some very basic SEO strategies to make her website appear higher in the organic rankings on certain keyword searches.

Here are the 11 strategies that I regularly implement on my sites for better SEO positioning:

1. Page title tags: This is the page information that you see in the blue bar of your browser in the upper left-hand corner when you visit a website. For best SEO, use your top 2 keywords in your title tag. The best way to do that is separated with a bar, as illustrated in this example: Internet Marketing | Web Marketing.

2. Domain name: If at all possible, use one primary keyword in your domain name. You will have a slight edge over your competition by doing so. If you already have a domain that you have used for some time, include a keyword in the name of files for your website pages. Example: if your keyword is Internet marketing.

3. Meta tags: These are descriptions on a web page that are not seen by most visitors except when looking at the page source code in their browser. While the keyword and description Meta tags used to be the primary way that search engines indexed sites, which is no longer the case. However, you shouldn't ignore them entirely, as it is still worthwhile to include them as a part of your page description. For optimal SEO, your Meta description and keyword tags should be no more than 150 characters each.

4. Header tags: Header tags are the HTML code that indicate a headline, like H1, H2 and H3 and show up as bolded headlines in your page content. The first 3 header tags are the only ones you need to be concerned about, and the primary header tag, H1, is the most important. Use your primary keyword once in the H1 tag, 2-3 times in your H2 tags, and multiple times in your H3 tags.

5. Alt image tag: The alt tag typically describes an image in a floating text window when you put your mouse over the image if the image isn't able to be displayed. The best use of any tag is to use your keywords in your image descriptions.

6. Content formatting: Search engines pay attention to formatted content, as in when text is bolded, italicized, and underlined. Make sure that you are bolding your keywords in the content of your website.

7. Keyword density: Keyword density refers to the number of times a keyword or keyword phrase appears on a web page. Rather than trying to focus on the number of times a keyword appears in the content of your page, aim for a more natural density by keeping your keyword phrases in mind as you write the copy for your page. Optimally, keyword density should be between 2% - 7%. There are a number of keyword density checkers available online to assist you with determining the keyword density of a page.

8. Anchor text: Anchor text refer to links on a page that connect your visitor to other pages. So, rather than telling someone to "click here" in the content of your page, include a keyword in your anchor text, as in "click here for dog training tips."

9. Inbound links: Reciprocal link exchange (you link to my site and I'll link to yours) used to be a great way to attract the attention of search engines to your site. Now, search engines pay attention only to the quality and popularity of the site providing you with an inbound link that is not a reciprocal link. One of the best ways to get quality inbound links back to your site is to submit articles to high traffic article directories and submit press releases to paid press release services.

A second way to gain high quality inbound links is by listing your site in search engine-friendly directories in which humans review the listings. Google and other search engines place more credibility in the directories in which the listings are reviewed by real people than they do other kinds of directories. Consequently, these links are weighted more heavily and favorably in the inbound link evaluation process.

10. New content: Content is still king, so one way to improve your page rank for a search term is to write high quality articles containing one or two of your keywords in the title and posting those regularly (weekly is best) to your site. Search engines are always seeking good, fresh, content, so your goal should be to make your site into an information-rich resource for your industry.

11. Site maps: There are sitemaps that help a visitor navigate a site, and sitemaps that are expressly designed for the search engines. The two are not the same. To enhance your site, submit an xml sitemap to Google Webmaster Central and Yahoo Site Explorer. I use XML Sitemaps to build search engine-friendly sitemaps on my sites.

Search engine optimization strategy is not as difficult as it appears. Take some time to do some keyword research for your site, and then spend another 15 minutes a day employing a few of these strategies until you have a well-optimized site. Why pay for visitors through pay-per-click advertising if you don't have to?

Saturday, May 9, 2009

Haley Marketing Group Announces Free SEO Guide for Staffing Firms

Haley Marketing, the largest relationship marketing and website development firm serving the temporary staffing and executive recruiting industries, announces the release of Staffing Website Optimization 101, an introductory guide to search engine optimization (SEO) specifically for staffing and recruiting firms.

Haley Marketing's staffing SEO guide provides staffing professionals with an introduction to SEO concepts, and it walks the reader through the process of getting their websites ranked highly with Google, Yahoo, MSN and other search engines.

Staffing Website Optimization 101 includes:
* What is SEO and why is it important?
* How to select the right keywords
* Three main elements of Meta-Data
* Writing killer content
* Analyzing the results for your SEO program

Staffing Website Optimization 101 can be downloaded for free from:

About Haley Marketing Group
Haley Marketing provides relationship marketing, website design and creative services to the temporary staffing and executive recruiting industries. Since 1996, we have served staffing and recruiting firms throughout the United States and Canada, most recently, we have expanded into Australia and Asia.
Haley Marketing's mission is to make great marketing more affordable, and we work with companies ranging from solo recruiters to larger organizations with regional, national and international offices.

Their services include:
-Website design
-Direct mail campaigns
-Email newsletters
-Corporate identity & creative services
-Marketing strategy

For more information, contact Haley Marketing at 1.888.696.2900.

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

21 Tips to bost your blog

* Submitting your blog to Blog Carnivals.
* Commenting on related blogs. (Google Blog Search)
* Search Engine Optimisation - Increase your rankings, increase visibility, increase traffic.
* Article Marketing - Build traffic and Build backlinks (Links in well with SEO)
* Social Media Marketing (SMM) - A good way of building traffic short term and building backlinks.
* Forum Marketing - Using Forum signatures or link dropping (dropping your link in a related thread).
* E-mail marketing - Marketing your website to an existing E-mail list.
* Guest posts - Writing unique articles for other people’s blogs.
* Exchanging links with other related blogs.
* Join Yahoo and Google Groups
* Add your blog to your online profiles
* Submit your blog to directories
* Submit your blog to social bookmarking websites
* Put an advert in the local newspaper
* Add an advertisement in your local shops
* Use Pay Per Click (PPC) - Google Adwords
* Purchase advertising space on relevant blogs
* Purchase advertising space on relevant forums
* Create a Video of your website and submit it to the popular Video sites (Video Submission Site)
* Ping your Blog (Ping FM)
* Syndicate your site’s content by using an RSS Feed (FeedBurner)

Monday, April 20, 2009

What is Press release?

What is Press release?
Press release is like news release considered attracting the journalists or relevant target in order to encourage them to develop articles on the subject biased towards the objective of other.

What is the use of Press Release ?
Press Release is a complete website promoting service.
1. It helps to get your pages crawl easily by major search engine's
2. It Boosts your sites Google Page Rank.
3. It Increases one way valid Backlinks to your website.
4. It Drives Targeted Traffic to your Website
5. It Increases your Product Sales.

Why Manual ?
Many Press Release sites don't allow Automatic Submission.
Automatic (Machine Submission) is known as SPAM in many Press Release Sites.Manual Submission can get 100 % result from Press Release Sites.