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Meta Robot Tags – Are They Still Important?

Posted by Steve | Posted in SEO - From Scratch | Posted on 18-05-2011

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Meta robot tags are used as a guide for the search engine spiders to determine whether any links on the page should be followed and whether the page be indexed. Are they still important? Well the short answer that, is that not as much as they were. Today, many Web hosting sites allow the use of a robots.txt file which you upload to your Web directory and this replaces the Meta robots tag with a much more effective set of instructions you can use to control the search engine spiders.

Why would you want to block robots from indexing certain pages on your website? It may be that you have certain pages that you do not want listed by the search engine such as a download page for some information that is not normally accessible to the user. It is not uncommon to have a redirect from your payment portal to a download page will stop by using more advanced controls over the search engine spiders you can ensure that Google for example does not list the URL of this download page. Similarly, you can tell the spiders not to follow certain links on the page.

These search engines have their own specific robots and they do not necessarily all respond to the same range of controls. However, given that Google is by far the most common search engine it would seem most sensible to least include the Meta robots tag specifically for the Googlebot.

Next Post: Optimizing Header Tags

Steve Williams – www.earnyourmoneyonline.com

Please remember to follow me on Youtube and Twitter if you find my posts useful.

Keyword Tag Optimization

Posted by Steve | Posted in SEO - From Scratch | Posted on 13-05-2011

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Prior to optimizing your Meta Keyword Tags you should be very clear on what your keywords or keyword phrases that are. This research should have been completed in advance of constructing your web pages. Guidelines for keyword research can be found on other threads on this website.

Keyword tags are no longer a particularly important factor when optimizing your webpage. This is because, historically keywords we often used as a method of attracting traffic regardless the relevance those keywords had to the actual site content. Less than reputable websites would simply stuff Meta keyword tags full of keywords and key phrases to attract the desired traffic so the search engines eventually change their algorithms to reduce the listed importance of Meta keyword tags in the ranking factors will stop

Notwithstanding the above, they have some relevance albeit quite small but they also may have a significance in the future so well constructed Meta Keyword Tags are good general SEO practice. Speaking of good practice, all your pages should have a dozen or so keywords or phrases and should be included in the Meta keyword tag. It is generally a good idea not to repeat keywords on a single page and you should not duplicate the keywords in total to multiple pages in a cut-and-paste fashion as this may impact your rankings due to Google’s duplicate content filters.

 

Optimizing Your Description Tags

Posted by Steve | Posted in SEO - From Scratch | Posted on 09-05-2011

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Meta Description Tags are a brief description of the content of your web page. Many will argue that Meta Description Tags are not as important as they once were. While it is true that their impact on your search engine ranking is not as important as it once was they do give you the opportunity to clearly display information regarding your page content. Displaying a summary of your page content is part of your general web page marketing strategy.

Your Meta Description Tags will appear below the page title tag in the Google search results for your keywords. This is the first opportunity you have to entice your potential visitor to click on your link so you will need to make sure that the description tags have some compelling information about your website.

It should be noted here that it is not a good idea to over use keywords in your Meta Description Tags. This old tactic no longer works and a keyword density of more than about 8% will more than likely cause the search engines to penalize you as they will see this as “keyword stuffing”.

It is important to ensure that each of your pages has a  Meta Description Tag relevant to the page content. If you use the same Meta Description Tags across all your pages this has the potential to be seen as duplicate content by the search engines. Duplicate content filters employed by the major search engines will use description tags as one of the indicators to determine whether your web page is original or whether the content is identical to another source. If your web page is determined to be a duplicate of another it is possible that only the page with the higher page rank will be listed by the search engine.

It should be noted in that Meta Description Tags are not used by all search engines. The exact make up of Google’s ranking algorithms are unknown to those outside the Google organization however, we do know that Google generates its own description of your web page based on content and may well use your Meta description tags elsewhere in its ranking system.

Next Post: Page Optimization In More Detail. Meta Keyword Tags

Steve Williams – www.earnyourmoneyonline.com

Please remember to follow me on Youtube and Twitter if you find my posts useful.

Title Tag Optimization – High Impact SEO

Posted by Steve | Posted in SEO - From Scratch | Posted on 19-04-2011

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Title Tags are an extremely important component of search engine ranking. Google, and of course the other search engines, use the text contained within your title tag to determine what your webpage is all about. You need to get this right and make sure there is a strong connection between the search phrases (keywords) and the title of your page. Is this title tag which appears in the top of your browser and in the text link of the search results.

I can’t count the number of times when I have found pages with no page title when I have been reviewing the SEO on a client’s website. Expecting to rank well with the search engines is at the very least optimistic when your search term is “weight loss in Florida” and your landing page is called page20 with a filename of page20.html.

Your page title should be a summary of the main points of your web page. In the short description length available you are attempting to convince search engine users to click on the link. Your title tag should include some the keywords that you are attempting to rank on and the name of your organisation (this will help establish your site and some authority on those keywords) You are fairly limited in the number of word you can news so use them well and limit it to about 65 words.

The strategy is fairly simple really. As described in the previous post your filenames should reflect the specific keywords you are targeting as should the title tag for each individual page. So if for example you were not lucky enough to own the domain www.weightloss.com you can  improve the SEO of your site by careful file and title tag name selection.

For example if you were optimising for weight loss in Florida the full URL would look like this http://www.<yourdomain.com>/weight-loss-florida/ (weight loss being the file name) and the Title tag might look something like this:

Losing weight has never been this easy. If you life in Florida we can help you with your weight loss just like we have helped thousands of people just like you. Easy step by step guidance from diet and lifestyle consultants in your local area. Make new friends and find a happier healthier you with the team at www.yourdomain.com Start Today FREE membership.

In this title tag I am attempting to add the important elements in around 65 words:-   the website name , the keywords and somethin compelling the user to act.

Finally, when you create title tags for your pages make sure that they are unique, that is you don’t accidentally duplicate the title tags accross other pages which can often happen when your designing webpages when using copy and paste techniques. Additionally, links between pages and links from external websites will be much more valuable if the link contains some text which is included in the title tag.

Research: Do a search on Google using Firefox for some search term that you are interested in. Right click on the page when it opensand select view source which will allow you to see the HTML code behind the page. Take a look through the code and said you can find the title tags and other significant on page SEO components

Next Post: Page Optimization In More Detail. Meta description tags

Steve Williams – www.earnyourmoneyonline.com

Please remember to follow me on Youtube and Twitter if you find my posts useful.

SEO Page Optimization in Detail – Filenames

Posted by Steve | Posted in SEO - From Scratch | Posted on 15-04-2011

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When the search engines send their spiders to your site they pay particular attention to your file names. Every single page in your website has its own file name and this final name is an opportunity to establish a relationship with the search engines. The  theme this relationship is relevance. You should make sure that before you design or rename a page that you pay a good deal of attention to the topic of the page.

The topic of the page is of course related to the keywords you are optimizing the page for. So, for arguments sake, if you are marketing weight loss programs for people in Florida your keyword phrase would be weight loss florida the filename of your page would be weight-loss-florida.html or weightlossflorida.html

Whether you are using this as a landing page for your PPC marketing or you are trying to improve your organic rankings , provided the actual content of the web page is relevant to weight loss in Florida you have achieved some fundamental and powerful SEO already. You may find it very surprising that some of your competition may well have a landing page called webpage1.html for the same keywords and what this means is that they are behind the eight ball already.

You will notice in the last example there are two options. the major search engines have indicated that hyphens are treated as spaces. Personally, I like hyphens because they make the text more readable, however they should be used in moderation as anything more than three hyphens is generally considered to be a “spammy” URL and this will disadvantage you in the search engine ranking algorithms. Apparently ,most search engines also now treat underscores in a similar fashion so apply the same rules if you use underscores in your filenames. So should you be using hyphens or underscores? Given that it is only a recent move for the search engines to treat underscores in a “similar” fashion to hyphens and given it is difficult to get a definitive answer as to what “similar” means and given that it is generally considered that hyphens make text a little more readable I would recommend you always use hyphens rather than underscores.

Your filenames or URLs should not be excessively long and this is not just because of the impact on search engines but also because to your human visitors a long URL is difficult to remember and looks “spammy”.

Research: I you haven’t already …Take a look at SEO Power Suite

Next Post: Page Optimization In More Detail. Title Tags

Steve Williams – www.earnyourmoneyonline.com

Please remember to follow me on Youtube and Twitter if you find my posts useful.

Page Optimization

Posted by Steve | Posted in SEO - From Scratch | Posted on 12-04-2011

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Optimizing your web pages is the fundamental element of successful Internet marketing.

The process of optimizing your web pages can be a time-consuming process but it will pay big dividends and it’s not tremendously difficult to do. Web page optimization uses what is referred to as on-page factors or on-site factors. On-page factors include filenames, description tags, keyword tags, robot tags, filenames, alt image tags and title tags. We will take a look at these one by one and discuss how to optimize your keywords. There will more specific information in later posts.

Filenames: Every page on your website has a specific name. Because Google ranks pages not websites you should carefully choose a name for each page which reflects the content of the page. Google’s algorithms are clever enough to sense a “disconnect” between the search term and the page title and given that the first thing Google sees (after the domain name) is the page title your page will be ranked downwards if the relevance is not obvious.

Therefore if you sell flowers and one of the kinds of flowers in particular demand are native flowers your page title should reflect that. For example if your domain was www.wesellflowers.com then your native flowers page should be titled www.wesellflowers.com/natives.html or something similar.

Meta Title tags: Title tags are another very important on-page optimization factor. Visitors to your site see this title tag on the browser header and of course the search engines also, in a slightly different way, read this title tag. For both the search engines and the human user the title tag should be descriptive and contain a measure of keywords.

Meta Description Tags: These these are summaries of your page content. These are more important in some search engines and others but in all cases this needs contain a brief but meaningful summary of the web page’s content with a balanced amount of keywords included.

Meta-Keywords Tag: It is true that many search engines actually ignore  the meta keywords tag. This is essentially because the search engines now prefer to focus on the content of the page is which is a more accurate reflection of the relevance to the keywords in the search. However, some search engines still use this in their ranking algorithm so is it is wise to use keyword tags and make them consistent with the meta description tags. In other words, your meta description tags should contain the same keywords are used in your keyword tags. This makes seem obvious but it is often overlooked.

Image tags: Search engines like your site to be easily navigable both by graphical and non-graphical-based browsers. Websites littered with images can be difficult for the search engines to negotiate. In particular the spiders which map out your site will have a very difficult time understanding your page content and the relevance to your meta keywords and meta description tags. Using alt image tags, which are basically text descriptions for each of your pictures,  will give the search engines every chance of understanding the topic of your page.

Meta Robots Tag: Meta robots tags are particularly useful for defining what pages search engine spiders are allowed to visit. Only those pages you define will be indexed by the search engines. Take an example where you have a  specific page which is hidden but still does not require passwords to enter. This may be a thank-you page after payment is made or it may even be the download page. Your meta robots tag will let the search engines know not to index this page and not to send visitors directly to it. You can also define whether the search engines are allowed to follow links on pages to external web sites or web pages.

Bold Text: Bold text ( also underlined and italicized ) is used to emphasize certain relevant information in your text. Search engines look at modified text in context with the rest of the text on your page. Generally speaking your keywords or phrases should be in bold text but, as with all other keyword references in general, you shouldn’t overdo it. Keyword stuffing on your website should be avoided at all costs. More on this in a later post.

Header Tags: Your web pages should be as logically set out as any other formal document. Well written documents contain headings and subheadings and within these headings and subheadings there is relevant and meaningful  content. H1, H2, H3 etc describe a hierarchy of header tags, the most important being the H1 better which is where the main topic of your web page is contained and this is where the search engines would expect to see your keywords. More on this in a later post.

Links: your internal links describes of the search engines the relationship of all the pages on your website. Aside from the ranking algorithm which is impacted by your internal links structure to some degree your internal links should allow both the human visitors and the search engines to easily find all the relevant pages on your website.

At this stage this may all be sounding quite complex. It is complex but in small chunks I am confident your understanding will grow.  Having said that I have always been a big fan of automation. While I am yet to find a program that will actually do the work of optimizing your website there are some very capable applications which will do the actual analyzing of your on page SEO. In my experience you can spend a lot of time trying to understand the complexities of all these elements above. Alternatively, you can use a relatively inexpensive application to do all hard work for you.

Personally, I use SEO Power Suite. This suite include SEO Website Auditor which gives me a snapshot of my on page SEO and tells me exactly how I compare with my competition and exactly what to change to optimize the page.

Research: Take a look at SEO Power Suite

Next Post: Page Optimization In More Detail.

Steve Williamswww.earnyourmoneyonline.com

Please remember to follow me on Youtube and Twitter if you find my posts useful.

Introducing Key Word Generation.

Posted by Steve | Posted in SEO - From Scratch | Posted on 11-04-2011

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Keyword generation is without doubt the most important component of search engine optimization. Essentially, your entire website should be structured around the keywords that you choose. This includes page titles, image alt text, page descriptions and of course page content. Regardless of your promotion methods keywords will be the very foundation on which your campaigns are built.

So where do you start? You start by making a decision on what keywords you want to rank optimization for and of course, those should be the ones with the best potential to bring new traffic. This doesn’t necessarily mean that you select the keywords with the greatest traffic. You you first decide how competitive the market is and your capacity to compete and then you decide whether you concentrate on head or tail terms. Head terms refers to short keywords such as “weight loss” whereas tail terms typically have three or more words such as “weight loss in New Jersey”. Typically, head terms have a very high search volume and very high competition whereas tail terms have a lower search volume and lower competition.

Keyword generation takes a lot of research but it is a very important step in the process. There are numerous free tools available are listed below are the ones you should take a look at:

  • keyword spy
  • Key Complete
  • compete.com
  • SEM Rush
  • Word Tracker
  • Google keyword suggestion tool
  • keyword Discovery

These are free tools and if you are on a limited budget and have enough time to invest in learning the various tools that I would highly recommend investing the time required to learn and understand these on line tools. However, there is another alternative which combines all of these resources in a single application thus reducing the learning curve dramatically in providing the information in one central location. Take a look at  Market Samurai which is a software download comprising most of the applications in one single software package. The link will take you to a video presentation and there is a free trial version available for you to test.

In the next post we will discuss how best to apply the keywords you have discovered during this process and how to make sure that your website is optimized for those keywords. This is a process that many web designers get wrong. I don’t know how many pages I have seen that do not include for example, the keyword in the page title. This is just about the easiest SEO you can possibly do but it is so frequently neglected.

Research: Take a look at the recommended keyword tools and also the link to Market Samurai

Next Post: Page Optimization Tips

Steve Williamswww.earnyourmoneyonline.com

Please remember to follow me on Youtube and Twitter if you find my posts useful.

Funding Your New Web Site

Posted by Steve | Posted in SEO - From Scratch | Posted on 09-04-2011

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Now that you have decided on the topic your website and you have found your target audience or demographic you will have an idea of what your website should look like.At this point you need to make a decision whether you outsource website creation or do it yourself. This can be very daunting step for some so it really depends on whether you have a budget for website creation.

If we look at the steps involved in getting a website up you may be able to make a clearer decision on whether you have the funds to outsource this process or whether you will have to do some crash courses on website construction. The following is required to establish a web presence.

  • A domain name.
  • Hosting account
  • A Website

A Domain Name can be registered with your hosting service and this is by far the simplest way to achieve this because you will avoid having to transfer domains to your chosen host if you make the mistake of registering the domain name elsewhere to save a few dollars. Some of the most popular hosting options include Hostgator, Just Host and GoDaddy.  Hosting will cost somewhere in the order of $75 per annum including the initial domain registration.

Website Construction can be professionally outsourced for under $1000. If this seems too expensive then you may wish to consider purchasing a product like Serif’s Webplus which is a graphical-based application which allows the development of a website by relative novices. This product by comparison will cost you less than $100 and with some additional study and some free SEO applications will allow you to produce a very professional and optimized website with the added advantage that you can change at any time you like and not have to pay ongoing development fees.

There are a few schools of thought regarding outsourcing versus self development of your website. I can certainly appreciate the advantages to a competent Internet Marketer with a clear understanding of SEO and social networking opting for the outsourcing solution to quickly and professionally produced an income generating website. However, in my experience there are many advantages to be gained in terms of knowledge and experience for the inexperienced Internet Marketer in developing their own website using some of these wonderful new tools.

While you are deliberating over funding your new website I strongly suggest that you take the time and progress to the next post where I will discuss keyword generation using some free Google tools.

Research: Take a look at Serif’s Web Plus X4 site development software.

Next Post: Key Word Generation and Research

Steve Williamswww.earnyourmoneyonline.com

Please remember to follow me on Youtube and Twitter if you find my posts useful.

SEO – Who Is Your Audience?

Posted by Steve | Posted in SEO - From Scratch | Posted on 09-04-2011

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Search engine optimization is most effective when your website is targeted towards the right audience. The most common and appropriate way to define an audience is by demographics. You should ask yourself the age group, the nationality and language of the audience who will be interested in your product or service.

During this process of information gathering regarding the specific demographics of your target audience you should also unearth information regarding the way your target  audience searches for products or services similar to yours. If you search for weight loss programs on the web you may tend to type in “weight loss programs”. On the other hand a significant proportion of your target audience may in fact type “diet tips” so optimising your website for the more common search terms is very important.

Knowing your target market helps you determine where best to promote your products and services. Clearly, if your product is aimed towards students then social networking sites such as Facebook and MySpace would be ideal avenues to advertise. Additionally, knowing your target market will define the look and feel you should be aiming for in your website design.

It is almost certain that there will already be competition in your chosen market. You can learn a lot from this competition and you should spend significant time analyzing their approach, their target market, their website design, their keyword use and their advertising strategies. This process will allow you to identify whether there is any space this market and hopefully identify your ideal approach to occupying space or pushing  out the existing players.

Research: Take a look at Google Trends. This resource will allow you to see the trends and the demographics of your chosen keywords.

Next Post: Building a Website

Steve Williams – www.earnyourmoneyonline .com

Please follow me on Facebook and Twitter if you find my posts useful

 

Choosing a Theme for Your Website

Posted by Steve | Posted in SEO - From Scratch | Posted on 08-04-2011

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It is fitting that this new blog series starts at the absolute beginning. I make the assumption here that the reader is commencing with a brand-new website. Therefore the first step in the process of building a successful website is to choose the theme or topic of the website.

The theme for topic of your website will have a very significant effect on the results you achieve as we move through the search engine optimization process in later posts. This is because if you choose a very competitive website theme the process will be much more difficult indeed. You probably know already which website topics are competitive and unless you are in for the long haul you may as well a void those topics entirely. However, if you are hellbent on competing against other websites in the weight loss, prescription medicine or fitness markets for example then your best approach would be to localize the theme of your website and perhaps concentrate on ranking on  keyword phrases such as “Miami fitness” or “New Jersey weight loss”.  Your  object here is to reduce the competition that you will face on most of the general search turns which can be extremely difficult to rank for by making the search term more specific and less competitive.

Localizing the keywords associated with your site will remove some of those search engine ranking factors like domain age and inbound link value that long established competing sites will have.

Research: Start using Google’s Adwords Tool and learn more about keywords and keyword competition. 

Next Post: SEO – Who Is Your Audience?

Steve Williamswww.earnyourmoneyonline.com

Please remember to follow me on Youtube and Twitter if you find my posts useful.