SEO for longtail keywords ‘positive for e-commerce’

To stay on top of new search trends and bring more traffic to a website, a company should look to the longtail phrase and relevant content to attain visitors, it is claimed.

Jan Riley, writing for Practical eCommerce, says a longtail phrase is a series of words people use to begin a search and they “can be very revealing for e-commerce”, particularly when words are identified that hint at intent.

She cites what she believes to be notably good examples of longtail phrases in “orthopedic dog bed large” and “antique Tiffany diamond engagement ring”.

“The qualifying words like ‘orthopedic’ or ‘antique’ and ‘engagement’ indicate a clear understanding of what they want,” she asserts.

Ms Riley advises putting aside one hour a week to research keywords until a long list has been formed, which should then be edited without mercy.

Practical eCommerce was established in 2005 and it looks to help smaller businesses perform online.

Posted in SEO |

SEO becoming increasingly important for marketers

Microsoft’s recent launch of new search engine Bing could be set to shake up the world of internet browsing and certainly gives marketers using online advertising something to think about.

In her blog for Forrester, Shar VanBoskirk suggested that the new tool, which replaced live.com last week, could change the face of search, having a massive impact for marketing professionals.

She predicted that Microsoft’s current eight per cent share of searches will grow, meaning that marketers will need to buy search advertising through Bing as well as Google and Yahoo.

Ms VanBoskirk also forecasted a change in the approach to search engine optimisation (SEO).

“Instead of Bing showing all sites that match the search engine’s algorithm, it will show just three results for a given ’subcategory’ related to a search,” she explained.

“This means SEO strategies will adjust in order to optimise web content for select subcategories, rather than select keywords only.”

Given that a recent survey by Forbes revealed SEO to be one of the most important and effective tools for marketers when aiming to secure conversions, the launch of Bing could be particularly important.

Researchers questioned senior marketing executives during February and March of this year and found that when it comes to digital media spending for the coming months, 40 per cent of respondents planned to devote more of their budget to SEO.

The findings of this report echo earlier results from Econsultancy and search agency Guava, which found that SEO is the area where companies are most likely to be investing more money in 2009, with 55 per cent of respondents to the online survey saying they expect their budgets for this to increase.

Scott Guthrie, corporate vice president of the Microsoft Developer Division, recently highlighted the importance of getting SEO right.

“A non-trivial percentage of Internet traffic to sites is driven by search engines, and good SEO techniques can help increase site traffic even further,” he wrote in his blog.

“Likewise, small mistakes can significantly impact the search relevance of your site’s content and cause you to miss out on the traffic that you should be receiving,” Mr Guthrie explained.

He said that common errors, such as broken links from a page, poorly chosen titles, descriptions and keywords, large amounts of viewstate and multiple URLs leading to the same content, are usually easily fixable.

To that end, Microsoft have launched the first beta of the Internet Information Services Search Engine Optimization Toolkit, which allows firms to analyse SEO on a website and identify and fix any issues.

Looking ahead, marketers are going to have to increasingly look at incorporating video into their websites, as this is set to be hugely influential for SEO.

With broadband increasing in availability and lowering in price, video has seen huge growth in recent years and Google is ranking pages higher in its news section based on the presence of the media on a website.

Posted in SEO |

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Basic Introduction

To help Google and other search engines better understand what is your website for and to have it rank well in the search engine results page you would need to learn to do Search Engine Optimization. This is definitely not the easiest thing to do and each and every day these optimization methods become a bit more dynamic and interesting based on how social media and online marketing evolve.

There are various ways to optimize a site and every SEO “expert” will tell you their own method of doing it.  I know everyone has different views on search engine optimization – it’s become a bit complicated with so many ideas on what is ethical and what is not ethical in the search engine game.  The basic rule for an ethical SEO technique, and I believe all experts would agree on this, is to always keep the user in mind. If you optimize keeping people in mind across the board then your employing what is called a white hat search engine optimization strategy and the search engines will probably rank you well.

If your hoping to trick and cheat the search engines by spamming, and building web pages for the sake of links while damaging the users online experience then your probably employing black hat SEO techniques.

When you think of SEO you have to look at what you have (Your Site) and figure out:

  • Where you want it to be in the search engines?
  • What keywords do you want to target?
  • What is your competition?

Among a few other criteria you need to follow. Once you’ve determined the answers to these questions then you have to follow a plan to get yourself there.

I’ve launched a few sites and for each one of them I’ve always employed some sort of search engine optimizing technique. My main goal for every site I launch is to land my links within the first three pages of the SERP’s(Search Engine Result Pages) and that should be your goal as well.

SEO is an extensive and continuously growing strategy but here are a few things you should focus on from an SEO perspective while building, launching and running your site.

Domain Names

It’s very important that you choose a good domain name; the best way to choose the appropriate domain name is choose something that is fairly easy to remember, it’s keyword relevant(make sure your main keyword is somewhere in the domain name), and finally make sure it’s easy to remember.

Keywords

Keywords are the meat and potatoes that surround search engine optimizing. They determine your ranking in the results therefore its important to keep in mind that choosing appropriate keywords is a crucial step in any SEO process.

Content Optimization

Just like choosing the right keywords is important, dropping them on your pages at a decent frequency is one of the most important elements of SEO – this is what helps the search engines determine that your site is relevant and relates to the keywords your attempting to rank well on.

Link Building

Think of the days when you were in high school, the popular kids got the most attention out of all the students in the school. Search Engines kind of work in the same way; Search Engines will judge and rank your site based on all of the SEO elements above but the amount of quality inbound and outbound links to and from your site will help them to determine that you should be high on the search engine ranks.

The idea behind this concept is that if you have a good amount of good quality links to your website then your blog/site/content must be important within that niche. The end result and winning prize – a great rank in the results.

For those that have no idea about SEO, and for those that have learned some basic principles behind it, it’s time to SEO the crap out of your site so that you may rank fairly well in the search engine results. If you still find it a bit complicated you can always use the service of a professional Search Engine Optimizer

Posted in SEO |

Guaranteed SEO ranking results

Can You guarantee SEO rankings? This is a question pondered by the Search Engine Optimization elite and new SEO start-up companies. It is entirely possible to get reasonably good rankings for SEO clients, or else Search Engine Optimizers would be out of business in a hurry.

The “Remains of the Day,” part however is the ‘results guarantee’. How many SEOers are willing to put their money where their mouth is? There is a well-known “gremlin” component in the search engine world that sometimes shoots your ranking results in the foot. How can you guarantee the client the product they paid for in the face of this “uncertainty principal”… and maintain your integrity as a Professional SEO Company?

The answer is easy when you start thinking about it. The components of high ranking from an SEO Company are these:

  1. How experienced is this SEO Team?
  2. How much past success have they enjoyed?
  3. How is this SEO Company motivated for getting and maintaining high rankings for their clients?

Motivating SEO Results

Flagging results for your client’s campaign may stem from the fact that, with most SEO models, your SEO Team just isn’t that motivated to ethically push for great client results. For most SEO Companies, client campaigns are prioritized as they come in the door. Many are forgotten after their initial optimization motions are in place. How can an SEO company with this type of modus operandi guarantee results? The answer is THEY CAN NOT. There is no incentive for guaranteed results.

Like any other sales business, how do you motivate great results? The answer is money.

Guaranteed SEO Results are Possible

With the model of SEO from some companies there is motivation. It’s called Pay-for-Performance. Those companies provides organic SEO service in two steps:

  1. An affordable set-up fee.
  2. After the initial setup fee, the Monthly Pay-for-Performance model kicks in

The guarantee is this: If a company doesn’t provide 10 top-ten rankings for the client’s approved keywords that month, the client gets that month free. The monthly fee is actually based on the performance. That’s motivation! The client pays for high rankings.  This just may be the closest thing to a win-win situation in the SEO Industry.

Posted in SEO |

Importance of meta keywords and description tags

In the heyday of search engine optimization, about 10 years ago, the Meta keyword and Meta description tags were the indisputable ring leaders in a mixed bag of search engine optimization techniques. In those days Yahoo was the dominant player in search followed by AltaVista. In both cases, a Web page’s ranking was determined largely by on-page factors such as body text, Title tags and certain HTML tags including Meta and ALT tags.

When Google entered the search landscape back in September 1998 (in beta) the concept of backlinks was new to most SEOs. In fact, we were still submitting websites to search engines by hand in those days via submission forms and it wasn’t always free (and still isn’t, if you’re Yahoo).

Eight years later, it’s hard to believe that was ever the case. Link placement has completely superseded the need to hand submit to the search engines. It has also overshadowed Meta keyword and description tags as the most important component of SEO after the Title tag.

Since search engines, Google in particular, place a lot of relevancy on solid inbound links and overall keyword relevancy of a website (e.g., thematic relevancy) rather than focusing just on a particular web page, the value of Meta tags has come under fire. So, are Meta keyword and description tags necessary when practicing good SEO?

The short answer is, yes.

Meta description

Google uses the Meta description tag as the default description for your site’s search listing in their search results page if you are not listed in The Open Directory. Thus, this is a rare opportunity for you to “control” how your website is represented in Google and also promote your company or product using the language you want.

Also, if you do not have a Meta description tag or an Open Directory listing, Google will take the first text it finds on your website. If your site is mainly image-based or has a lot of code on the page, this text may be the first string of words in your navigation bar or privacy information, etc. If you have no text at all on your home page, Google will not display any description for your site in its search results, and you should avoid this.

Meta keywords

Meta keywords are important because they help reinforce the content on a specific page. Meta keywords should be unique to each page of your website, never contain duplicate terms (keyword stuffing) and they should absolutely mimic the general content of the page. The Meta keywords tag should be no more than 160 characters long (syntax and specific recommendations for each tag will be addressed in the next post). Meta tags are also a useful way for boosting keyword relevancy when a page has very little text (e.g., with an image-heavy page or one that is in Flash).

It is important to remember that Meta tags are just one component of a good Search Engine Optimization  strategy. When used in conjunction with things like frequent content updates, backlink building and search-engine friendly web site structure, Meta tags can help you achieve good search engine ranking.

Posted in SEO |