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What Is Search Engine Optimization? The 3 Minute SEO Video!

seo-featured Don't know SEO? Know someone who needs a short, easy to understand overview of search engine optimization and how it works? Grab some popcorn and watch our new SEO video, which in just three minutes covers the basics of search engine optimization: What is SEO? New to SEO? Start with this quick and easy to understand video about search engine optimization. We worked with Common Craft to produce this SEO video, and they have many more great videos like this in their Common Craft video library, so check that out! You'll find our v [...]

A Guide To Geocoding Images For Local SEO

One way to kick up your local search optimization game is through beefing up the local signal through images. There are a few techniques for doing this -- read on for details. Incorporating images as part of your overall content mix is a good idea for search optimization in and of itself. Images can provide additional opportunities for keyword signals on a page, and they represent good opportunities for ranking in search results under Universal Search. But, if they're also associated with places properly, they can convey additional location signals, helping a business and/or its website [...]

How To Improve Crawl Efficiency With Cache Control Headers

Way back at the end of the last century, I worked for a company called Inktomi. Most people remember Inktomi as a search engine, but it had several other divisions. One of these divisions (the one I worked for) sold networking software, including a proxy-cache called Traffic Server. It seems weird now, but Inktomi made more money from Traffic Server than it did from the search engine. Such were the economics of the pre-Google Internet. It was a great business until 1) bandwidth got really, really cheap and 2) almost all of the customers went out of business in late 2000/early 2001. (Most of [...]

A Step By Step Guide To Effective Online Article Marketing – Part II

Effective article marketing is not about submitting articles to article submission sites. Effective article marketing is about writing quality articles that are useful or interesting to your market, using some on your own website and getting some published on other related websites. Previously in A Step By Step Guide To Effective Online Article Marketing, I covered the first step in effective article marketing; writing quality, useful articles for your own website. I also talked about how to find article ideas and how to get articles written if you don’t have the time or can’t write. [...]

A Step By Step Guide To Effective Online Article Marketing

Online article marketing can effectively improve organic search results in a number of ways: Improve visibility for your target keyword phrases Obtain traffic for additional (long tail) keyword searches Assist in building awareness and reputation Increase targeted traffic from other quality related websites Helps attract more incoming links to your site Helps make your website more unique and useful Google’s Panda update showed once again, that it’s important to have high quality, unique content. We recently evaluated a large ecommerce website that was stung by the Panda [...]

How To Increase Organic Keyword Conversions – Part II

Previously in How To Increase Organic Keyword Conversions, we covered how to use Google Analytics to determine the entrance pages people are landing on after clicking through from organic keyword listings in search engines. We showed you how to look for typical issues with entrance pages that hurt conversions such as files with no navigation, old webpages still live with broken images and links, pages that have been moved or deleted resulting in Page Not Found errors, and entrance pages that are not the best place for people to enter a site after searching on a specific keyword. Here, w [...]

DIY SEO: How To Check On-Page Ranking Factors Using Google Docs

My kids and I really enjoy watching the MAKE Magazine video podcasts together. It's one of those rare and happy things that a ten-year-old girl, an eight-year-old boy, and an adult can watch together and find interesting. Inspired by these podcasts, I thought it would be a good idea to create a do-it-yourself SEO project. So today, we'll make a Google Spreadsheet that checks a web page for various on-page factors that can affect SEO. Getting Started What you need: A Google Account for logging into Google Spreadsheets A URL that you want to check. In this article, I'll be chec [...]

How To Avoid SEO Pitfalls With Timely Alerts

In the world of SEO, there are big updates like Panda, Mayday, Vincent, Florida, but there are also smaller internal issues that can creep up on you leading to traffic and revenue loss. The ability to identify and prevent self inflicted nicks and cuts along the way is key to a successful SEO program for online retailers. When dealing with large, product-driven sites, automation and templates, things are bound to fray and break over time. Getting alerted and identifying the issue is half the battle. Dashboards are a great way of staying on top of internal issues, as well as competitor and [...]

How To Use Effective Navigation Labels for Search Engine Optimization

Is your website’s URL structure based on the perceived logic of your boss’ teenage son? Or even worse, a software engineer? Search-engine friendly labeling systems are critical for long-term search engine visibility.

How To Increase Conversions For Organic Keywords

Once your website starts getting at least some traffic from organic search queries, you can help increase conversions (inquiries, signups, purchases, phone calls etc) by investigating what happens once people reach your website from the search results. You can use Google Analytics to choose what keywords to focus on and to check the entrance pages (landing pages) for issues hurting conversions. How To Choose Which Organic Keywords To Focus On Most websites have hundreds or thousands of keywords bringing visitors to their website so it’s ideal to have an easy way to select which keywords [...]

Keyword Insights: How Office Furniture Vendors Can Target Start-Ups

It's a great time to start a company. Incubator labs are springing up all over the place, sponsored by venture capitalists and universities. Universities are teaching entrepreneurial skill, and have programs to sponsor student startups. Massive layoffs over the past two years have forced new college graduates, and experienced former employees to strike out on their own. The emergence of social media and mobile platforms are providing thousands of start-up opportunities, and you can see them showcased at "network and launch" events such as the Web Innovators Group and Mass Innovation Nights. [...]

How To Collar Top Rankings: Barking Up The Unique Content Tree

leather-dog-collar-with-name-plate For my last round, I was supposed to share the results from that 300% sales explosion on the leather dog collar with nameplate page, but the folks at Google decided otherwise with the Panda update targeting content farms. Panda bit a few ecommerce sites pretty hard, so I've been helping out some new client-folk sort out the mess. So, today we're getting the Retail Smarts column back on track. In my first installment, I told you about how I spent less than thirty minutes optimizing a single product page, which resulted in a 300% explosion in sales on that SKU. That column pressed the righ [...]

How To Build Business By Focusing On Click-Throughs & Conversions, Not Just Rankings

Many website owners obsess over organic keyword rankings. Our clients often tell us, "We have to improve our rankings for "keyword X!". However, focusing on rankings as the primarily goal of SEO will not likely deliver the results most site owners want which is to increase business from their websites. In this example, we  will use a client’s Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics to choose the best keywords to focus on first, those bringing searchers to the website who are converting into leads. Improving Rankings May Not Lead To Increased Click-Throughs A past client, a media pl [...]

29 Ways To Speed Up Your Website

There are so many reasons to make your website faster:  Higher conversion rates, lower bandwidth costs and yes, higher rankings in organic search. Frankly, I’m stunned how often web teams resist doing it. Here’s a list from easy to not-so-easy, of 29 ways you can get things running faster on your website: Put your images on a separate domain. Services like Amazon S3 make this very easy. Open an S3 account. Point a subdomain like ‘’ at the S3 storage. Put your images there. Web browsers can load from multiple domains simultaneously, creating the impression [...]

Kadafi, Gaddafi, Qaddafi: In The Age Of Search, News Publications Still Struggle With Libya Leader’s Name

qaddafi-featured A decades-old dispute involving Libya remains unresolved. How do news organizations spell the name of Libya's leader, Muammar Gaddafi? The exact spelling has a bigger impact these days, where people search for news. Use the wrong spelling, and your story might go missing. Can search tell us the "right" one? More below. Google News: A Copy Editor's Nightmare Consider this page from Google News, the "Muammar al-Gaddafi" page that pulls in headlines from all over the world about the leader: That page would give any newspaper copy editor fits, given that there are at least four different [...]

Lessons Learned at SMX West: Google’s Panda Update, White Hat Cloaking & Link Building

An amazing amount of great information came out of SMX West this week. Below is a summary of some of what I found to be the most actionable and useful. Google's Own Words About the Farmer/Panda Update Google's Matt Cutts said that while the change isn't 100% perfect, searcher feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. He noted that the change is completely algorithmic with no manual exceptions. Blocking "Low Quality" Content Matt reiterated that enough low quality content on a site could reduce rankings for that site as a whole. Improving the quality of the pages or removing the pages alto [...]

Where, Why, When & How To Benefit From Google’s Farmer Update

I'm sure everyone has read about Google's recent algorithm change to penalize content farms by now. There's been lots of reports on who the biggest losers have been in terms of traffic loss, but for everyone who's lost – someone else has won! So looking at this from the alternative point of view, how can you benefit? Well firstly, it's important to look at where the content farm style of websites went wrong. Quite clearly, one of the common signs is that they created not just thousands, but in many cases millions of pages containing low-quality content. All with the primary intention o [...]

How I Got A 300% Retail Sales Explosion With 30 Minutes Of SEO

I’ve lived by this rule since 1997: If you name your products using the keywords customers search for to find and buy what you sell, you’ll do better selling online than if you use the manufacturer's name or industry jargon for your product names. I’ve been working on product pages on online stores for a long time, and I don’t get too excited about new techniques or tricks for boosting sales by optimizing product pages. I think I’ve near ‘bout tried everything I’ve read about or seen online. We’re always testing stuff, and trying new things, but every once in awhile s [...]

8 Necessary SEO Steps During A Website Redesign

Following these simple steps could help improve the immediate impact on search results for a new website, and help avoid the often significant reduction in search traffic after a website is re-launched. Website owners often wait until after their site is redesigned and launched before getting a SEO expert involved. Unfortunately, this can lead to expensive site design changes that could have been easily implemented during the design process. Sometimes, it's difficult or impossible to correct issues after a website is launched without essentially rebuilding the site again. In addition, [...]

How To Get The Most Search Engine Marketing Value From Key Content Initiatives

One of the major obstacles marketers face, particularly with B2B search engine marketing, is the availability of content to support keyword initiatives. While we realize the importance of new content, the demand for time and resources will always be tested. The key to success: don't try to reinvent the wheel every time new content is required. In this article, we'll explore several areas of content creation and distribution which can assist in creating effective B2B content marketing strategies and support search engine optimization initiatives. The Core Foundation: Value Extraction Many [...]

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