Category Archives: SEO

Top SEO Tips for 2013

Top-SEO-Tips-to-Run-a-Successful-SEO-Campaign1There’s not an online business person alive who doesn’t spend at least some time considering the mystery of SEO.  The landscape has evolved tremendously since the days of massive link shares and meta data, and for most, it’s hard to keep on top of the latest trends and nuances to Google’s algorithms.  The good news is, one core thing has already remained consistent:  Great content equals great SEO.  It’s a more complex equation than that, of course, but if you start out with a solid, well-designed site brimming with intriguing content, you’ve just tackled half the battle.  For the other half, keep reading.

Tip #1: Your Website Has to Rock

No amount of SEO prowess can ever make up for a lackluster website, so your first strategy should be building a killer online presence.  Your site should look polished and professional, have scads of relevant keyword rich content, clearly articulate who you are and what you offer, and have intuitive navigation – for starters.  If you’re an ecommerce site, that shopping cart process needs to be flawless and simple, and you should be executing smart retention tactics too, like suggesting similar products, email newsletters, and related outreach.  If your site is failing, making efforts to drive more traffic will only showcase your flaws all the more.  Resist the urge to rise the Google ranks until you have content you can crow about.

Tip #2: Outreach is Key

Once you have a site that you’re truly proud of, it’s time to make friends with like-minded sites and media hubs.  You absolutely have to get people to talk about your brand and products, and one way to do this is to connect with folks already writing about your target niche.  If you run a site that sells tires, as an example, have a comprehensive list of all automotive directories, bloggers, and related sites.  And make friends!  Offer to link to them as well, or create marketing campaigns that offer discounts to their customers.  Whatever you do, ensure your citations are credible.  If you link to someone who has questionable tactics, or even if THEY link to spammers, your ranking will subsequently suffer.  It’s imperative you choose partners that are already Google-friendly.  If they aren’t, they won’t move the needle for you at all.

Tip #3: Social Media

You should create a very strong and active presence on all related social media outlets.  Don’t think you need to tackle ALL of them, however – target only those that your audience uses most.  Sites like Pinterest, as an example, have a high volume of female users.  If female shoppers aren’t the core of your demographic, don’t waste time trying to reach them.  It’s integral that you have a clear vision of who your key customer is, and where to find them online.

Good social media needs constant care, much like a garden.  Seeds are planted through the form of consistent profiles and business data, and then cultivated by staying engaged with your audience.  Resist the temptation to use products like HootSuite to send the same status updates to all your networks.  Folks on LinkedIn, as an example, respond to different updates than Twitter.  Taking a little extra time to thoughtfully consider each demographic will increase your chances of engaging.  If you’re not engaging with your customers, you business will suffer greatly.

By following a few basic SEO principles, you can build a solid foundation that search engines and customers alike adore.  Content has been and continues to be king, so make every page count.  Search engines aim to highlight the best sites for any and all searches, so it’s on you to make your site top tier.  Have fun rising the ranks!

Does Panda Hate Bloggers?

urlSometime in March, Panda appears to have released it’s 25th version.  What is Panda?  It’s the aspect of Google’s mysterious algorithm that focuses solely on quality content, and weeds out those sites it deems unworthy.  For businesses, this is actually great news – Panda is certainly your friend.  Business sites should be very targeted and focused on their core niche, with no extemporaneous content.  If you have a business selling eyeglasses, for example, you won’t stray and post things about foot braces or pitchforks – your content will be conceivably concise, on point, and current.  At least that’s the idea.  Panda helps to identify those link spammers that are attempting to skirt the quality-not-quantity adage, and therefore tends to reward businesses that are truly creating a great customer experience, and not trying to fool search engines.  Again, that’s a good thing.

For bloggers, this is a much more slippery slope.  As a writer that’s been keeping a blog about shamanism and enlightenment since 2006, I’ve got hundreds of pages of content.  Although I try to stay on point, sometimes what’s flowing through my heart brings me to all manner of topics.  And let’s face it, there’s nothing enlightenment does not touch.  Unfortunately, this means that Panda has smacked me with duplicate content accusations.  How do I know?  Run a test in Google for inurl:page – then skip to the last page of results.  You’ll see Google is repressing additional results because it deems them “duplicates”.  It isn’t duplicate content at all – all are original posts.  But there’s too much waxing poetic for Google’s liking, so my SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) are severely damaged.  I used to rank super high for searches that involved “enlightenment blog” or “Ayahuasca blog” – now, not so much.

In a way, it’s fine, as I don’t have blogs, and am not currently seeking any profit from my blogging.  But I had intended that to change in the near future – now I have my work cut out for me.  Not only do I need to launch a smart and concise marketing strategy, I have to redo the whole structure of the site for Panda’s sake, and hope that over time, organically my rankings will improve.

Search engines have become the hub of how we navigate the web, so nowadays, we simply must play by their rules.  I trust they are doing their best to reward people giving quality content and sites, but it’s subjective how this is determined.  But it doesn’t do any good to whine about what is, now does it?  It’s lovely to just be informed, and play within the system we are dealt.  It may take a bit more persistent, but the good guys will prevail.