SEO-PRO Advanced Internet Marketing

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SEO-PRO // Advanced Internet Marketing

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

The Dark Art of Link Building

Why Link build?
Link building is an essential part of the SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) process. Search engines value a site with links pointing to it more than a site with no links pointing to it.

An inbound link (a link pointing to a page on your site) is seen as a “vote” for the page that it points to.An outbound link (a link from a page on your site pointing to a page on another site) is seen as a “vote” for the page that it points to.A page with more links pointing to it will often rank higher for a search term than a competing page. Having multiple links pointing to a page on your site will help the page rank for a highly competitive key phrase.

Also the “anchor text” of a link will be considered. The anchor text is the linked text, so for a link going to you could have the link text say “Click here”. This would be a wasted opportunity though, far better would be “buy bikes online” this will help your page/site rank for the term “buy bikes online”.

It would be easy to make pages of links pointing to your own pages to boost the number of links to your site/page, but search engines also take into account the quality of the link. A page filled with links pointing to the same destination would be viewed as a page of poor quality links. I stick to the rule of one link to one destination per page, occasionally duplicating important links (home etc) is ok, but it can be confusing for a user if there are ten links pointing to the same destination.

As well as the amount and quality of links, relevance is also a factor. For example, a page on diet and fitness linking to a zoo website would not really benefit the zoo website. It is unlikely that someone browsing a diet and fitness page will want to view a zoo website, so the zoo website will not benefit from referred visitors and the link will appear out of place (or inappropriate) to a search engine.

In summary, links are needed to generate referred visits and to help a page rank.

Want to know how to Link Build?
Link building is a fairly normal process in SEO. There are a number of ways to go about it and I have put together an easy to follow guide.

Make a list of your businesses online competitors; do not list businesses that you compete with offline but do not turn up in a search for key phrases your business needs to rank for. Find an example of a business in your area that is highly successful at ranking for suitable keyphrases.

Find the URL for each business. Using Google or Yahoo, type in the search box “link:” followed by the URL of the business. This will bring up a list of all the links pointing to pages on that URL. You can then look at the pages that link to the site and email them asking for a link to your site if you feel that:

a. there is some benefit for them
b. It is a suitable site to link from (in a similar area)
c. They do not compete with your business (this will save your time because competing sites will just say no)
(This is mostly common sense)

The fruit of link building
By using various linking strategies I have improved my clients websites performance. In one case my client was in a very niche area. Their income was more or less directly relative to the number of registrations made on the site, the more registrations the more profit.

Because my client was in a very niche area I had to research longer than normal and find targeted, relevant sites where the users would already be interested in my clients services. I suggested several links/adverts on certain relevant forums and they now benefit from 30 visits per month from the adverts/links I suggested. This may not sound a lot, but the visitors were already interested in my clients’ service because of the topic of the forum. These are effectively pre-qualified customers and a higher percentage of these visitors registered than the normal search engine traffic. This makes the 30 targeted visits worth equal to 90 normal visits because of the higher registration rate.

Good luck link building!

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Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Business Blogging

Increasingly, businesses have found value in creating a blog for their business. Several of my clients have asked me about creating a blog or optimising and making better use of their current Blog.Part of this growth in interest has been generated by the fact that a lot of the current fortune 500 companies use either internal or external Blogs to communicate with employees or customers.

Business Blogging can add a level of interaction that is often impossible from a standard corporate website. It is an informal way to communicate and increases the perception (to users) of accessibility and transparency with even the largest and companies.

Blogging. How to do it and how not to do it...
In my opinion, a company in the technology / IT / Internet area should look at creating a Blog strategy. In the same way that technology and IT companies were the first to be interested in creating a website for their business, they should lead the way again.

Anonymous business Blogs should not contain inappropriate content. A Bloggers reputation thrives on his/her ability to post genuine unique, original content. Do not copy other content, bring in new ideas and offer opinion for and against current thinking!

Don’t copy other posts or information. Reference and cite other material and do notcopy directly unless you are referencing a source. Keep material as original and unique as possible. Offer advice hints and tips on your area of expertise. This way people are likely to link to you because you provide good quality, original information.

The reasoning behind Macromedias decision to Blog was that they wanted people to see their Blog as “Real” and not part of a marketing agenda, something to help their employees to communicate with the community of developers using their software. This is why the Blogs are under normal Blog domains and not under the corporate Macromedia domain.

A Blog is similar to (but not to be confused with) a “latest news” part of your site; it is a bit less formal and most importantly, allows users to post comments. This degree of interactivity is not commonly available on corporate websites. Users can complain or complement your products or services. Obviously some good positive feedback on your Blog would be great, but what about complaints? This at least gives you the chance to solve the problem. (Doing so would win you some respect with the other readers)

Making money from Blogs

Promotional Blog
The easiest way to make money from your Blog is to use it to promote your product or service. Make sure you offer original content though; people will not visit a Blog stuffed with marketing text.

Use Adsense on your Blog
Adsense is the “Google Content Network”. It is part of another website that displays adverts from Googles Adwords PPC programme. By paying for Adwords PPC, your site is advertised on relevant websites that use Adsense.

Anyone with a website can sign up to Adsense and generate a percentage (of the amount paid by the PPC user) each time someone clicks through. Your Blog needs to have relatively high traffic to benefit from this.

Cleverly, Macromedias Blog is promoting its own products and using Adsense to do it. Notice the Blog? All content created by a Macromedia employee. The Google Adsense box is advertising Macromedias own software too, so they are effectively supplying traffic to purchase their own software and generating revenue via Adsense to offset the cost in Adwords.

I hope this post has been of use to those who are interested in creating a business blog.

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Saturday, June 02, 2007

Microsoft Shows off its Milan "Surface Computer"

To really see how cool this “Surface Computer” is, you need to check out the clips on youtube.

Essentially a table forms the “desktop” environment and users manipulate media on the table with their hands using natural gestures and movements.

A demo on youtube showed a picture being taken on a digital camera, and once the camera was placed on the table, the pictures on it were displayed. Great for when you’re down the pub with friends comparing pictures on mobiles and cameras and so on!Being table based, collaboration with different people becomes easier. I’m just trying to imagine how much keyword research could be done with three people around this “Surface Computer”!

It made me think of Mark Weiser's theory of computing.

"Ubiquitous computing names the third wave in computing, just now beginning. First were mainframes, each shared by lots of people. Now we are in the personal computing era, person and machine staring uneasily at each other across the desktop. Next comes ubiquitous computing, or the age of calm technology, when technology recedes into the background of our lives."

Many people / One computer (First stage)

One person / One computer (Second stage)

One person / Many computers (Third stage)

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Google launches "Gears" API

I have been reading up on Google’s new Google Gears API. The concept as far as I know is to allow online functionality without an active Internet connection. Currently the Google Reader product already supports Gears and will allow Reader users to read RSS feeds while offline.

While I love the mobile Internet on my Nokia 6233 phone, there is limited coverage in certain areas, with Google Reader able to download a load of feeds, I can read plenty of blog posts while I’m on the train and no Internet is available.

Google have a really broad range of products from YouTube, Gmail, Maps, Earth and Docs and Spreadsheets. While I’m sure plenty of useful applications can be developed with this Gears API, apart from the Google Reader application, I’m not sure what else I can think of in terms of useful software…

Maybe I need to keep reading. Watch this space!

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