URLs and SEO

I would like to talk a bit about your website's URLs and how they affect your ranking in Google. It is important to have the URLs through out your website be compatible to the Google search engine and it's "crawlers."

Crawlers from Google are constantly going out and "crawling" the content on your website. If the content is determined to be friendly to these crawlers, you will rank higher in Google and other search engines.

That is where the URLs come in. Very long and undecipherable URLs are not search engine friendly. If the URLs on your website have strange words and odd symbols, this could be affecting your ranking. It is better to have recognizable 

words and basic URLs.

You want your URLs to contain words that are relevant to your content so that your users will have a better experience. Google wants to create the best possible experience for the folks that visit your website. That's why your website will rank higher if Google perceives it as having relevant content for your visitors.

URLs with relevant and recognizable words with no strange symbols provide Google with what it wants, which basically is a good experience for your visitors. URLs like that make it easiers for folks to link to your website and generally makes search engines happier. This will cause you to rank better.

You now have a basic understanding of how the URLs on your website affects your rankings. Keep your URLs simple and your website will rank higher. 

Use The Right Keywords

Keywords, or what are also called search terms are essential to your rankings in Google. It is important to have the right balance of keywords sprinkled through your content.

A good course of action would be to go to the Google Adwords Keyword tool ( you will have to sign up for an account) and try out words that you believe to be relevant to your business, or words you think people are using to find your industry.

The Adwords tool  will also tell you how many times the word was searched in Google.  It is very robust and it will give you suggestions along with the price Adwords advertisers are paying to have their ad shown for that word. 

This is vital and very valuable information. You want to find words that have search traffic and a decent cost per click, or CPC. The keywords with the highest CPC are the ones converting into sales.

Keyword research and placement is vital. Do it right and you will have a website that not only ranks high, but also stays in the rankings.

5 Ways Customers Find Your Website

There are countless ways potential customers can find your website while they are online. For the purposes of this blog post, I am going to focus on 5 different methods.These methods are through search, through the use of review sites, using social media, and online browsing.

The search method happens primarily when a customer types in certain keywords into Google. The customer may type "eat breakfast" when he wants to find a restaurant that serves breakfast or has a breakfast menu. After the customer types in his keywords he gets a list on the first page of Google of available restaurants that have a breakfast menu. This method is where SEO comes into play, because the websites that are optimized to be on page one are going to get the lion's share of the customers doing simalar searches. This may be the most effective method of a customer finding your website because it is a targeted search, meaning the customer is actively looking for a specific thing using specific keywords to attain it. 

Next are the review sites like Yelp and Google reviews. The customer will seek out various reviews to see who has the best "breakfast menu" and proceed to the recommended website.

A growing segment of the online market uses social media sites such as Facebook to get to your website. A customer will do a search for "eat breakfast" and a Facebook fan page from a restaurant will come up. The customer will go to the fan page, and then click through to the website to see the breakfast menu. This method is less effective than direct search because the potential customer has to go through several steps to reach his desired goal, which is the breakfast menu.

The last method a customer can use to find you is through an ad adjacent to content he is reading or viewing. A customer may be reading a blog and a banner ad for a particular restaurant comes up. Or a customer may be watching a YouTube video about breakfast foods and a link to a restaurant appears. This method may be the least effective because it is a non targeted method, meaning the customer was not actively searching for the ad.

There you have it. Those are 5 of the most effective methods of getting customers to your website. It may be a great idea to consider using all 5 as a part of your marketing strategy.

SEO Best Practices

SEO Best Practices

It is always a good idea to be aware of your website's rank in Google and what you can do to affect it. Quite often just a few minor tweeks can create favorable results for your rankings.

To do SEO for a small business, try to have the right mix of keyword phrases woven into the content on your website. The type of keywords phrases you should optimize for are what you think your customers are seaching for on Google. For example: If you are an electrician you might have the phrase "electrical repair " in your content. Use a good mix of these phrases. Also make sure that your homepage has links to other pages on your website that explain your products or services. A one click link from your homepage is best. Doing this sends clear signals to Google about the structure and relevency of your website, which affects your rankings.  

Always make sure that you are rotating fresh content on your website. Do this on a predetermined basis so that Google knows that you are an active business. Following these simple steps wil go a long way in helping you rank higher on Google.                                                          



Signs You Need To Invest In SEO Services

You are not getting visitors to your website

So you have been in business for some time, or possibly you started a new business. We all know it is important to have a website to promote your products and services. Having a website also shows you are a legitimate business. 

I can't stress this enough: if you have a website and you are not investing in

SEO for your small business you may as well not have a website at all. Without good quality, targeted traffic (and by targeted traffic I mean lots of visitors hungry for your products and services) you are dead in the water.

Say you have your website up and running. Do you have a way for customers to contact you? If you do, and you are not getting online inquiries, then you want to invest in SEO services

that can boost your rank in the search engines. Are you trying to build an email list, and do you have lots of email subscribers? If not, you may want to think about investing in SEO services.

Check out our SEO services pricing and see how affordable SEO services can be. 






The 5 Most Important Page Tags For SEO

Page tags talk to Google about your page

Page tags are very important and they have alot to do with how you will rank for SEO. You can view the page tags for any given web page on the internet simply by hovering your mouse over the page, right clicking and choosing "page source."

The first and most important page tag is the <title> tag. This tag on your home page is the most powerful tag on your website. You definately want to have the keywords you want to come up for in searches in this tag. The next most important tag is the <a href>. With this tag you want to link your pages together with keywords. Doing this will communicate your top keywords to Google. 

Next is the <img alt> tag. This is a tag that has to do with the images on your website. You want to have your keyword that you are targeting in the alt part of the image.

Headers and footers are also very important for SEO. You want to have at least one <h1> header tag per page. Google seems to like headers and also footers. Put keyword heavy footers at the bottom of your pages.

The last most important page tag is the <meta description> tag. Google uses this tag at least 90% of the time, but you have to put your target keyword in it. If you would rather that I handle your SEO services for you so you dont have to worry about page tags and the like, contact me and lets explore how I can increase your business.






Keyword Planning For Your Website

Your keywords are how your prospects find you

 The keywords you use in your content are of the utmost importance. In order to get the right mix of keywords in your content, you need to do some preliminary research as to what your customers are searching for online, specifically what they are searching for on Google.

The first task you want to accomplish is to write down any keyword that has to do with your product or service. This stage of your research does not have to be organized, we will do that later. Just get all of your keyword ideas down on paper. A good rule of thumb is to write down the products or services you provide, and then put the cities you work in after those products or services. For example, if you are a plumber in Boston MA one of your keywords might be "unclog drain Boston". This keyword woud attract everyone in Boston MA who was searching for the term "unclog drain Boston MA.

The next step in the process is to go to the Adwords Keyword Planning tool to see how many monthly searches your keywords are getting on a regular basis. It is ok if you use the tool and the keyword comes back as having only 1000 monthly searches. It is quality, not quantity that you want here. If the keywords have less monthly searches they most likely will not be as competitive, making it easier to rank for them.

Next you want to organize your keywords into a list. The list will consist of the keywords you brainstormed originally. This time you are going to organize the keywords in several categories, cost per click, how heavy the competition is for each keyword, and the volume of monthly searches for each keyword. Remember, it is not the quantity of searches that determines if it is going to be a good keyword for you to optimize for. It is the quality of the keyword that determines if you are goinfg to optimize for it. We will go deeper into keyword planning in subsequent blog posts.






Things Your Competition Can Teach You About SEO

Reverse engineer the SEO on your competitor's websites

 One of the most effective ways of ranking higher in Google is to take a look at what your competitors are doing. Start out by doing a random keyword  search that pertains to your industry. When page one comes up, take a look at one of your competitors in the top three spots.

Look at your competitor's website in the top spot on page one. What is his meta description? These are the first few words that describes his website. Is it catchy? Would it make you want to click on it? If it does make a note of it, you may want to repurpose it for your own website, 

Next hover over the page with your mouse and right click. Go to "page source" and click again. Now when the website's page source information comes up, you should be able to reverse engineer what this site has been doing with it's keywords, meta description, page tags, and a host of other factors that are causing this site to rank high.

Make a note of which keywords are in the title tag at the top of the page. Make a note of all of the keywords this site is using. After all this website is in the same industry as yours, so if these keywords are causing this site to rank high, they will make your website rank highly too.

Next make a note of the different page tags and how the site is using them to rank. Look at the header tags, the tags on the footer and all the other SEO friendly information on this page. Reverse engineer what is working for this website to rank high by looking at it's page source info. By doing this you can note all of the positive ranking factors that this competitor's site is using and apply tham to your own site to improve it's rankings.






3 Myths About SEO

Some misconceptions about SEO

It has been my experience that the subject of SEO is not widely understood. There are many conflicting ideas, some correct but many are flat out wrong. I thought I would dispel some of the myths surrounding the subject of SEO.

The first myth is that it takes years to rank highly in the search engines after you optimize your site for SEO. The simple truth is that with the proper optimization you can begin to see results within 90 days.

The second myth concerning SEO is that it is an expensive undertaking, costing thousands of dollars. This fallacy could not be further from the truth. Your website could be on page one of Google for literally a few hundred dollars if you wanted to outsource the work. If you did the work yourself, of course it would cost you nothing. 

Another common misconception about SEO is that proper optimization of a website for SEO is a time consuming task, taking countless hours. The truth is that with the proper know  how and proprietary methods, SEO can be accomplished in a much shorter time frame. The time and effort required to maintain your page one rank can be automated with the use of the right technology. 

There you have it. Three common misconceptions about SEO, and the simple truth about them revealed.

Finding Keywords For Your Content

Keywords are basic to SEO

It is important for SEO purposes to add fresh content to your website on a regular basis. Doing this is not only good for your SEO, it also lets Google and the other search engines know that you are still in business and that your website is active. Adding fresh content at least once a week is a good start.

Not only is it vital to add fresh content, it is best to have keywords related to your industry spread through it. How do you find good keywords related to your business? One simple method is to type  a few words related to your industry in the Google search bar. You will see keywords and keyword phrases begin to populate as you type. 

You can also use the Google adwords keyword planner tool, and you will get a ton of ideas for keywords and keyword phrases for your content.  There is also a great keyword tool on Serps.com This tool is free to use, you need a Google adwords account to use the Google tool. In my opinion it is worth it to set up an account to use the Google adwords tool. A direct benefit of the tool is that it gets it's data from the Google search engine. That is the search engine you want to rank in. 

Keywords are basic to SEO and ranking on Google and other search engines. For that reason it is worth your time to research your keywords, and add them to your content on your website on a regular basis.

5 Worst Things You Could Do To Affect Your SEO

There are several practices that are best avoided when you are writing content for your web pages. You want to have the proper content to rank highly in Google and other search engines. One of the worst things you can do is to write a description meta tag  for the webpage that has no relation to the content that is on the page. 

Your meta tag description, which is the description that describes the page has to match the content on the webpage. Try to be specific with the description and not use generic terms like "page about plumbing".

You also do not want to use a single description meta tag for all of your site pages, you want to use a descriptive one for each page on your website. The description meta tag is supposed to summarize what each page is about. 

You also want to use URLs that have simple words in them related to the specific content on the webpage. You do not want lengthy URLs that have all these different characters in them making it difficult for Google and other search engines to crawl your webpage. You also do not want to stuff alot of keywords into your URLs, always repeating the same keyword.

When creating a directory structure for your website, avoid using directory names that have no relation to the content in them. You ideally want to use a directory structure that organizes your content well and makes it easy for visitors to know where they are on your site. You also do not want pages from subdomains and the root directory accessing the same content. 

Take into account some of these practices to avoid. Doing so will improve your rankings in the search engines and will go a long way in getting your website on that coveted first page in Google.






7 Reasons Why Blogs Are Important For Your Business And SEO

Having an active blog is very important for your business. You can have a blog on your website or host it off of your website on a blog site, either way a blog is a necessity for your business and for your search engine rankings.

Think of a blog as an interface between your business and your customers and potential customers. It is vital to be communicating with them and to be relevant on a regular basis. On a blog you can make your potential customers aware of specials and upcoming promotions that would be of interest to people in your industry.

You want your blog posts to connect with the potential customers in your industry. You want to provide value, giving people something they can use that will be of benefit to them. If your customers are business owners you can show them how to get more customers, etc. 

Blogs are important for the SEO of your website. When you sprinkle keyword heavy phrases through your blog you increase the ability of your content to rise in the search engine rankings. Just adding new content on a regular basis to your website using a blog can add great content to your website related to your industry, which inreases the overall value of your website. 

Make sure you share your blog post over your existing social media channels. Doing this will not only create backlinks for SEO, but will increase the possibilities of getting shares to spread your content and get more visitors to your website. 

In summary, keep an active blog on your website or on a blog hosting website. This way you will provide value to potential and existing customers. The freshly added content will enhance your Google rankings and prove to the search engines that you are an active business.