Monday, October 8, 2012

Article Writing : Write What Users Love To Read


Search engines love fresh and unique content. The very heart of online marketing in article writing. If done appropriately it can help to grow your business, specially if it is an online business. Moreover, it also helps to improve search engine ranking of the site.

Article marketing is also a good technique for off-page optimization, since it is a one-way link which would not hurt. The technique helps to generate traffic as well as quality backlinks for your site. The primary motive of articles is to provide a good information. The article should be such that attracts the visitors and generates an interest in the users to read it. Make sure to write it on a regular basis with a unique content.

Check out the important keywords related to your business through Google Adwords. Target relevant keywords with anchor texts. Too many hyperlinks may annoy the users as well as search engines, so it is not a good idea to insert too many anchor texts. Write the article for the users to read and not for the algorithm.

Become a master in article writing and you will never be short of work and money!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

How "Pretty" URLs Help Search Engine Optimization

If you think that it is only the title and description of the website which helps in better ranking, then you need to think again. The URL structure of the website should also be optimized, not only for the search engines but also for the users.

The URL’s first name consists of the domain name, where you can provide the important keywords of the website. The second part consists of the filename, which can be optimized easily. Simply add the focused keywords of the page (separated with hyphen).

Query strings are not good news for SEO
What exactly is query string - It is a string of characters at the end of the URL, which starts with a question mark and uses an ampersand (&) to separate values.

For example: http://www.xyz.com/articles.html?category=2@orderby=1

Why is it bad for SEO: First, URLs with query string are longer, which is no longer the optimized URL and hence loses the significance.
Secondly, it indicates that the page is created dynamically, which might create duplicate content issues (unintentionally though!). Also it is believed that search engines like clean static URLs, instead of messy dynamic URLs (since it’s easy to generate SEO spam dynamically).

Length: It is recommended to have short and descriptive URLs, containing no longer than 100 characters (say, 3-4 words, separated by hyphen).

URLs are case sensitive: Unlike domain names, URL is case sensitive.
For example: http://www.mustseeindia.com/Goa/how-to-reach is NOT the same as http://www.mustseeindia.com/Goa/HOW-TO-REACH

It is better to stick to standard lower-case version; otherwise one may lose the traffic and also create duplicate content issues.

File extensions: Take care of the file extensions. Don’t end URLs with .exe

Sunday, November 13, 2011

SEO Competitor Analysis: Winning The War Against Your Opponent

If you want to know your competitor’s strategy and beat them in search results, it's important that you do some competitor analysis. There are few points which should be taken into consideration.

        Analyzing Off page SEO
  1. Discover your real competitors: Keep an eye on the websites ranking on top for your main keywords
  2. Backlinks: You can find them using various tools like Yahoo Site Explorer (one of my fav)
  3. Traffic: Find out their traffic (using tools like Alexa, Google trends for websites, Compete)
  4. XML Sitemap: Acknowledging that the competitor has one is definitely noteworthy
  5.  
             Analyzing On page SEO
    1. Page Title: It would give you a fair idea for their strategy. Check if the title is well written or the same syntax is used throughout the website
    2. Meta Descriptions: See if they are doing a good job of providing keyword-rich meta descriptions.
    3. Heading Tags: Check if they are using the “H1”, “H2”, “H3” tags, and if these tags show up, it might give an idea about their main keyphrase
    4. Pages Indexed: Determine how many pages have been indexed by major search engines

    Wednesday, July 13, 2011

    Social Bookmark Submission

    Social Bookmarking is the practice of saving bookmarks to a public website and tagging them with keywords. It is one of the most convenient methods to get high rankings and make the website visible and also ensures a good volume of relevant traffic.

    If you are doing a lot of bookmarking you should be very careful not to just bookmark your own websites, since there is a chance that you will be detected as a self promoter and the account may be banned or closed. You can bookmark websites like Wikipedia and other information related sites.

    Though most of the social bookmarking sites have nofollow links but there are social bookmarking sites out there that give dofollow links, which means that if you craft a piece of content and title it with the keyword phrase you need, you are getting a free link with the correct anchor text.

    According to Search Engine Journal, social bookmarking services can help search engines in a variety of ways:
    • Backlinks: You may get a backlink when you bookmark a page on your site, since many bookmarking sites use “dofollow” in their backlinks
    • Fast Indexing: Bookmarking can help get that page indexed in the search engines quickly
    • Tags with keywords: Most social bookmarking sites allow you to use tags. You can list your target keywords in these tags and this can help your ranking for these keywords
    • Increased quality: If more users bookmark a page, the more quality and relevance the site is perceived to have
    • Number of votes: As the quantity of votes increases on the sites like Digg or Reddit, the search engines would assume it as having higher quality
    But remember not to misuse the technique by submitting every page of your site, try to be judicious and think about what pages of your site may be helpful and of interest to others.

    1. Digg

    Thursday, June 30, 2011

    Real PageRank vs. Toolbar PageRank


    Sometimes people are confused why they don’t rank better in SERPs even when their toolbar PageRank increases. The reason for the confusion is that there are two types of PageRank available.

    The first one is the Google Toolbar Page Rank. You can download the toolbar from www.toolbar.google.comThe toolbar will show a little green bar at the top of your browser and the number varies from 0-10 (of course, 10 being the highest). 

    This is important to understand that toolbar PR is not the PageRank that Google use in their algorithm. It is only a rough guide to the true PageRanks,  which Google keeps secret. Google toolbar is updated in approximately 6 months(recently it was updated on 27th June 2011). So, you may notice that a  website has no toolbar PageRank but ranks well. Try your own search in Google and you will see pages with “lower toolbar PageRank but more relevancy” conquering pages with “higher toolbar PageRank but less relevancy” in SERPs.

    Second definition refers to the Google algorithm for sorting the ranking system. This is real PageRank which is used by Google for giving results in SERPs. The number 1 in the SERPs has higher PageRank than the number 2 result etc. for a given keyword term. This PageRank will be altered for different searches. This is a difficult algorithm, but concisely, the more websites are linking to your website the higher PageRank your site will get and is updated as soon as Google finds new information to change their opinion of the value of site’s inbound links.

    Some of the important factors required for high quality links are:
    1. Relevancy: The first thing to check is the relevancy of the link. Say, if you have a website related to food, then a backlink from sports website would not be considered as much relevant, as compared to another food-related website.

    2. PageRank: A link from a high PageRank site has a greater influence in getting high quality backlinks. The higher the PageRank of the site linking to you, the better the link for you.

    3. Link Density: If the page you got your link from is having hundreds of links then it becomes hard to determine if the link is valuable or not. Instead, it is better to have a link from lower PR site and your link is one of the few links.

    Monday, June 20, 2011

    Social Media Marketing Using Facebook


    Going Viral on Facebook
    It would be difficult not to notice the magnificent growth of Facebook over the last few months. It has more than 500 million active users, across the globe. Using Facebook as marketing tool properly, can help you establish a relationship and credibility with a large number of people who in turn may visit your website and purchase your products and services.
    If you want to focus on one thing on Facebook, I would highly recommend to create a Facebook page, instead of a group. The advantage of Facebook fan pages (in terms of SEO) is the fact that they are indexed by Google.


    Here are few simple steps to take for Social Media Marketing:
    1. Create a Fan Page: The first step is to Create a Fan Page. Choose proper category for your business and a relevant title and add a brief but detailed description of what your website/product is all about.
    2. Invite People: Next, initially you will have to invite people to your page. Here, either you can select your existing Facebook friends. It is highly recommended that you choose to add a “Personal Message” to your invite and not just with a standard invite notice; it raises the chances of people accepting your invite. Another option is to invite via email, where you can import your contacts and send the invite to everyone in your email address book.
    3. Regular Status Update: It is very important to update your status regularly to increase fan base, with interesting and relevant posts, add catchy images, if possible. Ask questions, create quizzes, discussions etc. The main advantage is that if a fan likes or comments on the post, it is posted on their friend’s wall as well, who in turn, may also join your page. And this is the way it goes viral. But remember, do not spam your fans with status updates because it may annoy them and may stop being a fan(which is definitely not good!)
    4. Discussion Boards: The other great thing about Fan Pages is the Discussion boards. Create a discussion topic (even if it doesn’t match your page’s content), which people would like to respond to and give them incentive to discuss the topic. Every time anyone talks on a discussion topic on your Facebook Fan Page, it will send a notice to their profile “wall” saying they have participated in a discussion on *topic title* at *Fan Page name*. This also attracts people to your page!
    5. Promotional offers and Giveaway: You could also promote your page by providing some sort of giveaway, in case you are not a major brand. Once you get fans, you can send updates about your product.

    Friday, May 27, 2011

    J.C. Penney Regains Its Google Rankings After 90 Days

    Good news for America's leading retailers, J. C. Penney, as it appears to be back in Google’s ranking after 3 months penalty. Operating over 1,100 department stores throughout the United States and turning over in excess of 17 billion dollars a year and yet they couldn’t invest in their site enough to avoid this ban! 
    Well, they actually have a terrible website: Bad Architecture and Lack of Basic Optimization

    Consider the very basics of SEO: Title, URL Structure and Content and these all are missing in their website. 

    Title: The TITLE element of your web page is the most important part of a page and should ideally be optimized for a small number of keywords. Instead JC Penny considered this as a good title tag:  JCPenney : womens shoes

    URL: Check out the URL for “Women Shoes”
    Now this is what is called as a bad URL. By looking at the URL, could anyone identify that this is the URL for women shoes? 

    Content: Forget about the keywords, where’s the content? Even the image has no title.

    The original story, "The Dirty Little Secrets of Search" published in the New York Times details how they allegedly manipulated search results to come on the top listing for various terms like "dresses" and "shoes".
      
    For best SERP Placement, try not to indulge in bad seo practices else you may or will be banned.