How To

How to get top search engine rankings

How to write a Google Review

17:38 03 December in How To, Information
0 Comments

The process to write a review takes only a few minutes.  This is your opportunity to let others know about the company you are reviewing.  Information provided by individuals who have first-hand knowledge is greatly appreciated by others who are making a decision to use or not use this company’s services.

How to write a Google review

 

How to write an effective Google review:

Name of the company
Pros
: Specific, simple, one or two word highlights you experienced, separated by commas
Cons: Same – don’t leave either of these out – every experience has both! Even if there’s no place to put them, jot them down so you have your thoughts in order.

Cover the basics. Time, date, etc. “On February 11th, I stopped by Tim’s Bakery on the corner of 12th and M streets for a sandwich. It was around 1:30pm, and I had hoped I’d missed the lunch crowd. I wasn’t expecting a line, but I definitely got one. The line at the lunch counter was about five people deep when I walked up and another five people were waiting to pay at the register, and there was only one person working in each spot. I had heard the place could get busy, but this was ridiculous.”

Information specific to your situation. Keep the rules above in mind, and tell the whole story, regardless of what the outcome was. “The housecleaning crew arrived on time, which was impressive considering I’d only made the appointment the same morning. The cleaner in charge came in first while the others got their equipment out of the truck, and went over the paperwork with me. She took a look around, and presented an estimate that was a bit higher than I was expecting. I pointed out that their dispatch told me that their services would be less than this, and showed her the email estimate I received. She explained that their dispatch service had calculated a rate based on a smaller house than mine, but said they could make it work with the lower price.

When I set up the appointment, I had a feeling the rep on the phone was busy, and didn’t hear me when I answered his questions, but I wasn’t about to pay for the mistake. I’ll keep it in mind next time I call their 1-800 number, but I’m really glad the people on the ground are flexible enough to make adjustments on the fly. That alone earned some respect.”

Now’s the time to make your conclusions, offer yourself up for commentary, and keep it classy. “Overall, my experience with the Roadrunner SuperFast 128GB SSD was positive. I was up and running within minutes of installing it, and the thing is much faster than the old WIL-E 128GB I had to return as defective. DriveShop was really helpful in getting me a shipping label and overnighting the replacement drive, but it was a shame I had to be so aggressive in letting them know it was urgent. If you’re shopping or a drive, I have no compaints about the Roadrunner SuperFast, it’s been performing well for me over the past week. The WIL-E model though could have been a one-off, or a systemic problem. I probably won’t buy the WIL-E again. If anyone has any questions about the Roadrunner though, leave a comment to my review and I’ll get back to you.”

 

Links to our Clients Review Page:

Akins Henke & Company
All State Companies, Inc.
Amalife
BayView Boat Club
Gordon Drywall-Remodeling
Gosiak Construction
Helke’s Tree Service
Independent Paper Group
Integrity Dental Care
Johnson’s Blacktop Driveway
Mnsota Real Estate
Morris Appraisals, Inc
V.T. Jewelers
Wood’s Pure Maple Syrup

 

 

How to Get Top Search Engine Rankings – Part 5

08:01 06 October in How To, News
0 Comments

Links and Linking Factors

 

Inbound links increase ranking

The more links into your page from qualified relevant sites the higher the page will rank.

 

Anchor Text

The words that appear in a link, also known as “Link Text”.  Search Engines pay special attention to the anchor text, because it seems reasonable that if they finds a link to, say,  how to buy a house, then the page being linked to is probably about how to buy a house.

 

Links in the page Body

Links that are in the body of a page count for more than links that are all by themselves in a navigation bar, sidebar, or footer. As for clickability, there is little question that links inside body copy get clicked much more than links at the edges of the window. Content links are more likely to be clicked, and many believe that they count for more in the engines, too.

 

Internal Links

You get less credit for links from within your own site rather than links that come from external sites, but this doesn’t mean you should neglect internal links. Have links to as many of your pages as possible from your home page. If you can’t fit more links in your navigation menu, put some extra links on the bottom of the page. The idea is that you want as few “hops” as possible to get to all your pages. If a user (or Googlebot) has to go from your Home Page > Category Page > Article Page, that’s two hops, or “two-deep”. PR is being passed down the chain, and gets weaker as it wends its way down. The Home Page gives a little PR to the Category Page, and then the Category Page gives a little of what IT has to the Article Page. If you have fewer hops then the pages get more PR passed to them.

Each and every page in your site should link back to the home page, as well as to a handful of the most important pages on the site, and also to pages related to the page in question.  Larger sites do better with Search Engines, and probably has to do with the number of links within the site.

You should be constantly updating your information by adding a new page (blog, information, news, etc.) to your site daily.  At the very least once a month.

 

Backlinks

A  backlink is a link to your page from another domain (website).  More backlinks mean better rankings with Search Engines.  If you create a high quality site then other webmasters will link to your site – or to useful internal pages – without your asking, increasing your link popularity.

Links from relevant pages count for more than links from unrelated pages. If a page ranks well for what you want to rank for, then the engine considers it relevant. The engines determine relevance by considering such things like the <TITLE> tag, body copy, and the nature of the sites linking in and out of the page in question

 

If you would like more information please Contact us


How to Get Top Search Engine Rankings – Part 4

08:01 29 September in How To, News
0 Comments

Ranking Factors

 

Content is Everything!

There’s a saying in the SEO community, “content is king”. That means that what’s most important to the search engines is what you have on your page. The substance of your page, the paragraphs that make up an article or the descriptions of products, is the content. As far as the engines are concerned, the more content text the better, because the more words on a page the better job they can do of figuring out what a page is about.

You should have at least 1000 words on a page.  250 words should be considered an absolute bare minimum. You can’t communicate much value with only 250 words.

Make sure your product or service is mentioned and linked to, but don’t hit customers over the head with it. People hate being advertised to. They’ll be more receptive if they feel that you’re trying to help them make a good choice than if they feel you’re just trying to sell them something.

 

On Page

SEO is basically two parts:

  1. Putting your keywords on your page
  2. Getting inbound links.

The first part is referred to as on-page factors.

Don’t latch onto the items below and forget everything I’ve said about focusing on creating quality content and ignoring the specifics about how search engines rank pages. Just remember that knowing that keywords work better when placed near the top of the page (for example) does not absolve you from creating the best site possible.

 

<TITLE>

The most important on-page factor is the <TITLE> tag. Most engines place a greater weight on keywords in this tag than keywords anywhere else on the page. Armed with this knowledge, some webmasters try to exploit this feature by stuffing dozens of keywords into their TITLE tags. Not surprisingly, such a crude method usually doesn’t work. Google isn’t stupid. If there are a gazillion words in the TITLE, Google will probably figure that it’s an SEO trick and not rank it well.

The general feeling is that a <TITLE> should contain your most important keywords, shouldn’t contain any individual keyword more than twice, should have the most important words as far to the left as possible, and shouldn’t be much longer than what shows in the SERPs (~64 characters). In addition, your <TITLE> should also be inviting to searchers, since you’re hoping they’ll click it when they see it in the SERPs.

 

<H1, H2, H3>

Next in importance are heading tags. Engines generally figure that things in headings tags must be what a page is about, so use the heading tags to identify the different sections of your articles. Don’t try to fool the engines by putting your whole page in headings tags and then making it readable with CSS, or sprinkling heading tags gratuitously throughout the page. Instead, use heading tags where they make sense. Try an H1 tag for the main title of the page, and H2 and H3 tags for section headings. A heading tag on its own somewhere, with no real content following it, probably won’t count for much.

 

Adequate body copy

Body copy refers to the prose on your site — the paragraphs of text, as opposed to the menus, footer, etc. In general, the more body copy the better. Search engines love words, because that’s what they analyze. The more words on the page, the better chance the engine has of figuring out what the page is about, the more confident it is that there’s actually useful content on the page, and the more chances you have of matching visitors’ search terms when they use extra words in their searches. Go for 1000 words or more, but absolutely no fewer than 250.

 

Keyword density

Some webmasters claim that you should try for good keyword density, a theoretical desirable ratio of the number of times your keywords appear to the total number of words on the page. Like most SEO topics, this one is hotly debated. The truth is that no one outside of the engines really knows under what circumstances keyword density is evaluated and how it winds up being evaluated when it is.

 

Position

The closer your keywords are to the top of the page the better, especially if you can get them into the first full sentence.

 

Outbound links

Search Engines usually like it when your content page links out to related pages on other sites, especially if those pages have a high PR. They may figure that if you’re linking to a known winner then perhaps you know what you’re talking about. They might also like the idea that you’re sharing resources by pointing visitors to other related information rather than trying to hoard all your visitors on your site without giving them a way out.

 

 

If you would like more information please Contact us

Part 5 coming soon (Links and Linking Factors)


How to Get Top Search Engine Rankings – Part 3

08:01 22 September in How To, News
0 Comments

Selecting Good Keywords

 

Keywords:  Words you want to rank well for

When we are talking about Keywords we are actually talking about multi-word phrases.  You need to put a lot of thought into the keywords you want to target.  Think about the phrases you hope your page will match when writing content for that page.

It is a common misconception that most of your traffic will come from a handful of 2, 3, or 4 word phrases. If you have a good information-rich website you will get traffic from many searches you never thought of.  This happens when you provide a lot of good relevant content.

 

Keywords

The best keywords are 2-4 word phrases that describe what you offer using everyday language that searchers are likely to enter into search engines.  If your keywords are too general they are likely to be too competitive.  If your keywords are too specific then few people will search for your terms and you will get few visitors.

Note:  Search Engines rank pages, not sites.  You should target keywords on different pages.  Think about using more general terms on the home page and more specific terms on the inside pages.

 

Common Mistakes when selecting keywords:

  • Single-word terms
  • Terms that are way too broad, and not focused to what you offer
  • Terms that are too specialized, which nobody searches for
  • Terms which are unpopular
  • Highly-competitive terms which you can’t hope to rank well for

 

Avoid broad terms

Let’s say your business is selling Pies in Scottsdale, Arizona.  You decide you want to be ranked for “Pies”.  This is not a good idea as the overwhelming majority of your visitors searching for “pies” aren’t potential customers.  They are more likely looking for recopies or nutritional information.  Even if they are looking to purchase a pie they are probably not looking for one in Scottsdale.

It is not how well your site ranks on a given term or how much traffic you get from rankings.  It is how many potential customers visit your site.  Five hundred random visitors are not worth as much as one qualified lead.  You want visitors that are interested in what you have to offer.  One visitor searching for “Blueberry Pies Scottsdale” will be worth more than 500 people searching for “pies”

 

Avoid terms that are too specific

The more specific the search, the less the competition for the search term. And the less the competition, the easier it is to rank well on that term.

 

Example:

Number of Google Matches     Term

11,600,000

    writer

1,200,000

    real estate writer

48,000

    freelance real estate writer

9,000

    freelance real estate writer los angeles

 

But is not all that simple.  The more specific the search, the fewer people actually search for that term. Which is another way of saying that as competition goes down, so does the popularity of the search term.

 

Avoid terms that are not popular

As an exaggerated example, just because the phrase “perpendicular orange robin” is a phase doesn’t mean anyone will be searching for it.  Ranking #1 on terms that nobody is searching for is just as bad as ranking #500 for terms that everybody is searching for. You can’t get the traffic if people aren’t using your search terms, no matter how well you’re ranked.

Don’t take this as you should not use lesser-used keywords.  As long a a rare keyword brings some qualified traffic to your site then it is useful to your business.

 

Avoid highly competitive terms

You may not rank well if you use a term that is both popular and highly relevant to what you offer If too many other sites are competing for that same term.

 

The trick is to find search terms that are

  • highly relevant to what you offer
  • popular enough that they’ll result in decent traffic to your site
  • not so competitive that you can’t rank well for them.

 

There are many online tools to that will tell you how many searches are being performed for specific keywords, as well as suggesting keywords to optimize for.  Most of these sites have a monthly charge of $50 or more.

 

 

If you would like more information please Contact us

Part 4 coming soon (Ranking Factors)


How to Get Top Search Engine Rankings – Part 2

08:01 15 September in How To, News
0 Comments

SEO Myths

 

Do I have to submit my site to a search engine for it to get listed?

FACT: Submission is unnecessary. A search engine will always find your site as long as some other site links to it. I never submit my sites to the search engines.

 

Do I have to periodically re-submit my site to the search engines.

FACT: Resubmission is unnecessary. Once a site is in a search engine, it’s in for good (unless it resorts to trickery and gets banned). There is zero reason to keep submitting a site to a search engine. Resubmission is a waste of time. Anyone selling a resubmission service is a con artist.

 

Will having Meta tags will help my rankings.

FACT: META tags don’t affect your rankings. The search engines ignore META keyword and description tags for ranking purposes, for an obvious reason: Taking the webmasters’ word for what their site should rank well for would be a pretty stupid way for the engines to rank pages.

 

Should  I should focus on getting great rankings rather than making sure my visitors become customers. After all, it’s not how many sales I make, it’s how many people walk through the door — or maybe even just how many people just see the door without walking in.

FACT: Ranking isn’t everything. Many webmasters are so focused on ranking that they forget the obvious: A good ranking doesn’t always mean more visitors, and more visitors doesn’t always mean more sales.The reason a good ranking doesn’t always equal more visitors is that people won’t click onto your website just because they see it listed in the SERPs. A person who typed a query is looking for something. When they get the ten results they don’t just click them blindly, but rather they read the titles and snippets to see whether they think the site will provide what they’re looking for. If they think it doesn’t then they won’t click, even if you’re ranked #1. So it’s especially important to make sure your <TITLE> reads like a good ad, by succinctly telling potential visitors what you offer. For the snippet, I recommend Jill Whalen’s article on getting a good snippet.

Conversion rate — The ratio of visitors who take the action you want, to the total number of visitors.

Even when you get visitors to your site, it’s not a given that they’ll buy your product, sign up for your newsletter, or take whatever action you wanted them to take. To make your conversion rate as high as possible your page must load quickly, look professional, be extremely clear about what it is you offer and what the visitor’s next step should be, and provide some important information (such as sample products and pricing) right on the landing page, with no clicking required. Most webmasters’ time would be better spent focusing on their conversion rate rather than their rankings. After all, a 2% increase in conversion is twice as good as a 1% increase in traffic.

Finally, a top ranking on a highly-trafficked search term may be no better than decent rankings on a wide array of less popular terms. Success is not always measured by how high you get for one particular term.

 

Instead of focusing on building a quality site with good, useful information, I should try to find some “trick” to make my site rank well.

SERPS — Search engine results pages

FACT: Focusing on tricks is a waste of time. Build a quality site and they will come. There is no magic bullet which will rocket you to the top of the SERPs. There is no way Google could rank eight billion web pages by using only one criterion. There are reportedly hundreds of different factors in Google’s ranking algorithm. Thus your chances of dominating the SERPs by making one specific change are slim.

A search engine’s algorithm is the formula it uses to match websites with a search term. Naturally, the engines keep the details of their algorithm a secret. The algorithm isn’t a simple formula, it’s likely more complicated than most of us would expect — or could even understand. Google’s algorithm reportedly contains hundreds of factors, and Google has dozens of Ph.D’s on staff who constantly tinker with it. They have to, in order to be able to return relevant, high quality sites when there are so many junk sites trying to trick their way to the top of the SERPs. Changes to the algorithm don’t just involve adding or deleting criteria, but also weighting the criteria — figuring out how much each factor should count in the ultimate ranking. It likely goes further than that: Rather than deciding how much weight, say, they <TITLE> tag should carry, the algorithm likely says that when certain criteria are met then the <TITLE> tag should be evaluated a certain way, and when other criteria are met the <TITLE> tag should be evaluated in a different way. The engines could also easily add a randomizing element to the mix to make decoding their formulas virtually impossible.

It’s pointless to try to figure out the details of an algorithm because:

  1. You probably can’t. The algorithim is too complicated, and it’s extremely difficult to test your assumptions because it’s nearly impossible to correlate cause and effect.
  2. Even if you figured out some of it, it’s going to change soon anyway.
  3. Even if you figured out some of it, there’s no guarantee that your strategies would work well for the other engines. Each engine uses its own proprietary algorithm.
  4. It’s easier — and more rewarding — to focus on building a good site rather than worrying about what the algorithm du jour is.

Nevertheless, many webmasters try to figure out the details of the algorithms and tailor their sites to what they think they’ve discovered. Such webmasters are known as algorithm-chasers.

There have been certain tricks that people have discovered over the years, but as soon as they exploited them the engines closed the loopholes. The engines aren’t stupid, and they’re not going to stand by while a bunch of webmasters try to game the system. Any trick you might be lucky enough to discover will have a short shelf life. It’s not a long-term strategy.

 

Is it a good idea to make my keywords invisible, such as by having white letters on a white background?

FACT: The engines are not stupid. But stupid tricks like invisible text can get your site penalized by some engines. Focusing on tricks is a waste of time.

 

Is trading links with any site which will link to mine is a good idea.

FACT: Trading links with anyone is silly. If you have standards in real life (and you should), then you should have standards on the web, too. Don’t associate with useless websites. Choose your friends carefully.

 

Should I should try to rank well for a single-word term instead of the 2 to 3 word phrases that searchers actually use and that I actually have a hope of ranking well for?

FACT: Trying to rank well for a single-word query is missing the point. First of all, you can’t rank well for just a single word. There are too many billion other websites out there to compete with. Second, people actually search for multi-word phrases, because such phrases give them more relevant results. If you want to rank well for a single word then you need to step back and think about what people actually search for and what it is your site actually offers.

 

Any time my rankings go up or down should assume that it’s the result of some change I made?  If my rankings drop I should assume that someone at Google manually looked at my site and penalized it?

FACT: It’s nearly impossible to discern cause and effect in the search engines. Webmasters new to search rankings are usually quick to ascribe a change in position to some recent change on their site. Maybe that’s accurate, but maybe it’s not — and I’m tempted to say that it’s probably not. A change in position could be the result of a completely different change you made to your site three months ago that you forgot about. Or it could be the result of changes competitors made to their sites. Or it could be that the engines changed their algorithm and the changes on your site had nothing to do with it. In the end, it’s nearly impossible to correlate changes on your site with changes to your ranking. So what’s the strategy here? Simple: Don’t worry about it. Focus on creating the best site you can: the general things, not the specific ones.It’s tempting to think that a change in your rankings was the result of some change you made, but it’s just as likely to be coincidence. It could be the result of an algorithm change or competing sites doing things that caused them to rank better. Google doesn’t have the resources or the inclination to police the billions and billions of pages on the Internet. Humans at the search engine are not personally monitoring your website; your website is not that important.

 

When my rankings change, or even disappear from the results should I consider that change permanent?

FACT: Rankings are fleeting. There is no such thing as ever achieving a permanent ranking in Google or any other engine. The engines constantly modify their ranking algorithms (and keep them secret to boot), and every day new pages appear on the web, some of which will by vying for your spot in the SERPs. Think of every search you do in an engine as a snapshot of that moment in time. Just because you’re on the first page doesn’t mean you’ll stay there. And just because you drop from the first page and disappear from the top 100 doesn’t mean that you’re lost forever, either. Also realize that there is no real way to tell when a change happens how long that change will last. You might drop out of the top 100 for a couple of days or weeks, or it may be many months. The point is that there’s no way to tell. Consider the SERPs 100% fleeting.It’s not uncommon in Google for a new site to be ranked amazingly well at first, and then to drop several hundred results down, or completely out of the database entirely, and then reappear. It’s also typical for sites to bounce up and down through the rankings before stabilizing near a certain position. But even “stabilizing” is fleeting, because no ranking lasts forever, since the engines are in a constant state of flux. This is just the nature of the engines, and there’s nothing that we can do about it.

The important thing to take from this is to accept that rankings change, you will rarely know why, and you shouldn’t panic if your ranking drops or even if it disappears.

 

If you would like more information please Contact us

Part 3 coming soon (Selecting Good Keywords)


 

How to Get Top Search Engine Rankings – Part 1

08:01 08 September in How To, News
0 Comments

Part 1: Introduction

 

You have had your website for a while and are no longer showing up on the first page of Search Engines. What should you do?

 

What Keyword, or Phrases do you want to be found with?

Think about what you potential customers are going to enter when looking for the service or product you provide.  Ask current customers how they found you or what would they search on to find you.

Most phrases (2-4 words) will be competitive, meaning lots of websites are using them.  You will also need to make your site worthy of ranking well.  When you search Google, don’t the best sites for your search phrase usually come up first?  Google wants the best sites first because if they returned bad sites people would stop using them.

You can’t rank well for just a single word.  You are competing with billions of other websites.  People actually search for multi-word phrases, because they give them more relevant results.  If you want to rank well for a single word then you need to step back and think about what people actually search for and what it is your site actually offers.

You don’t know all the ways that visitors will find a way into your site — but then again, you don’t have to. Build a quality, information-rich site and it will naturally rank well for combinations of words you never thought of.

 

How do I make my website worthy of top ranking?

  • The page is relevant to the terms being searched for
  • The page is considered an authority about its topic
  • The page has good, useful content
  • The page has been around for a whileThe page is part of a site with lots of informationThe page isn’t filled with a cheap list of keywords

     

    Ranking well means having content-rich pages, with words you want to rank well for, on the page and in the Title tag and getting links to your pages from other sites, especially from pages similar in content.

     

    What do Search Engines consider High Quality?

    Google:

    • Make pages for users, not for search engines. Don’t deceive your users, or present different content to search engines than you display to users.
    • Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you’d feel comfortable explaining what you’ve done to a website that competes with you. Another useful test is to ask, “Does this help my users? Would I do this if search engines didn’t exist?”
    • Don’t participate in link schemes designed to increase your site’s ranking or PageRank. In particular, avoid links to web spammers or “bad neighborhoods” on the web as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links.
    • Don’t use unauthorized computer programs to submit pages, check rankings, etc. Such programs consume computing resources and violate our terms of service. Google does not recommend the use of products such as WebPosition Gold™ that send automatic or programmatic queries to Google.

    Yahoo:

    • Original and unique content of genuine value
    • Pages designed primarily for humans, with search engine considerations secondary
    • Hyperlinks intended to help people find interesting, related content, when applicable
    • Metadata (including title and description) that accurately describes the contents of a web page
    • Good web design in general

     

     

    If you would like more information please Contact us
    Part 2 coming soon (SEO Myths)