Thursday, December 29, 2016

10 SEO Tips for Blogging

Blogging is a great way to expand your business. Blogs can widen your net, so to speak, and enlarge your social media audience. However, it’s important to remember the difference between personal blogs and professional blogs. While all of the content on the web has an informal tone, blogging for your business is not about presenting your audience with gimmicky notes and up-to-the-minute celebrity gossip references.

You should use blogging to create authority and lift your visibility in the search engines. But above all, blogging is a great opportunity to connect with your customers and create an open dialogue between your business and the public. A great example of this is Google’s official blog. Now, on the surface it may not seem like Google needs a blog. After all, why does such a titan of industry need to blog to grow its business? But that’s the wrong question. The culture of web consumerism and social media is built on the notion that a business MUST communicate with its customers as much as possible. That way, a business earns consumers’ trust and builds itself through social media marketing.
But even if your business site has a unique, interactive blog, little is gained if nobody finds the blog. So, here are the best Search Engine Optimization tips to help your business blog’s audience grow.

  1. Choose the right blog platform. Before we get into the details of the SEO tips, you should set up the blog with a good platform. Blogging with a user-friendly platform makes it easy to perform many of the social media functions that will improve your visibility. We recommend WordPress.
  2. Host your blog on your own domain. Hosting your blog on a platform’s domain from your primary site is one of the worst mistakes you can make. A blog on your domain attracts links and search rankings.
  3. Use your primary key words in your blog domain. Make sure that your blog’s URL contains the primary keywords for SEO purposes.
  4. Use your primary key phrase in the title of your posts. It’s nearly impossible to optimize your blog if you aren’t incorporating key phrases in the titles. Many blogs fail to grow a big audience because they have esoteric titles that aren’t search-friendly.
  5. Use your secondary keywords in the body of your post Make sure you create a list of search-friendly buzzwords that are particular to your industry. Use a few of these buzzwords in every post. Don’t repeat the same words over and over again, and find a way to incorporate the words into the blog organically.
  6. Manage your RSS feed. RSS is an easily tracked and managed XML-based file structure that allows compatible web systems to read the data. Simply put, your RSS feed will allow you to sync up your blog with your other social media outlets, such as your Facebook page, Twitter account, StumbleUpon, digg, etc. RSS will allow you to reach more people across many different platforms.
  7. Link to the main website. Especially in the early going, make sure every post has at least one hyperlink to the site’s main page. This is an easy, sure-fire way to improve your visibility.
  8. Tag and categorize all of your content for the best indexing results. Too often forgotten by beginning bloggers! There are two things you must do here. First, create a search-friendly page title. NOTE: this is not the same thing as the post title. Like the post title, the page title should contain some of those industry buzzwords that search engines love so much. The page titles are usually located in bottom half of the “post page” on your platform. Make sure you find this before you start blogging. Also, tag and categorize the content. Create a number of categories that all of your posts should be divided into. Some posts will be categorized as more than one. Categorizing is a great way to make your archives easy to navigate, especially when you’ve been blogging for a while. This will allow customers to search all of blog for specific products or industry advice.
  9. Leverage podcasts and videos. Podcasts are a simple way to provide more detail and personalization around your business. The MP3 format can easily be streamed for listening on the web and from your blog. You can podcast your files and manage them on iTunes. Also, you can stream video into your visitors’ homes and let them watch it. Podcasts and videos served a greater purpose, too. They make your blog much more attractive to the audience by providing information in digestible, creative ways. You don’t want your blog to just be a bunch of text. No matter how well optimized your site, if you don’t present multimedia content in fun ways, you’ll have a hard time reaching an audience. Again, use Google’s blog as a great example.
  10. Have a consistent blogging schedule, and be persistent! You can’t blog sporadically and expect to draw a big audience, not even if you perform all of the SEO tricks. Also, don’t create unrealistic goals and then give up in a month. You must always find new ways to present content and interact with your customers, but you have post consistently to have any chance of building an audience.

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Sunday, December 25, 2016

SEO Tips to Optimize Your YouTube Video

Blogging is not the only way to establish a line of communication between your business and your customers. In fact, videos and podcasts are probably the best way to create fun, informative content for your clients. After all, we are living in a multimedia age in which the image is everything. Motion picture is more user-friendly than thousands of words on a page. So you’ve probably thought about making videos for your business site, or have made some videos but aren’t reaching as many people as you’d like.

So here’s a quick post about how to optimize videos for your business.

No discussion of Video Optimization can begin without mentioning YouTube, which is the portal for 95% of the web’s videos. YouTube might be synonymous with trivial, silly videos of people pulling pranks. But don’t be fooled. YouTube offers you tremendous opportunities to shape your brand and cast a bigger net for new clients. For instance, take famous football coach Pete Carroll. He’s been able to build a remarkably successful brand by marketing himself on his YouTube Channel, Pete CarrollTV. You can use YouTube as your own private marketing television campaign.

But like everything else related to Social Media Marketing, you must focus on optimization to make sure new people find your content.

The YouTube algorithm relies on three signals when ranking your videos within YouTube’s search results:

  1. Text in your titles and descriptions
  2. Number of views, and recent trending
  3. Ratings


With that in mind, here’s a long list of ways to optimize your YouTube videos.

Title Text

You have 99 characters to optimize your title text, so consider your target keywords and any other keywords you may want to rank for, but don’t forget including your branding and descriptive text.


You have 5,000 characters, which is a lot, so use all that space to write as much about your video as possible. Because user ratings and views play a factor in your search rankings within YouTube (and therefore Google), make sure to ask for people to rank your video, but also share and embed your video.


Useful for search terms you use in your title text and description, including names and branding.

Comments Section

Make sure to enable comments. The web culture is founded upon interconnectivity and interaction between users. People will be turned off by your business if you expect them to consumer your videos without expecting them to provide any feedback. Ultimately, you want people to be communicating on your comment section. Your goal is to initiate a conversation about your business, and foster a sense of community. If you disable commenting, users will go elsewhere to talk about your video, your brand, or your message.

Video Responses

These help boost views because they are automatically linked to your original.


These have a direct impact on your rankings, so make sure you set this to “yes.”


Blogs and social media shares really boost views, and help your message get to new audiences outside of YouTube, it’s a good idea to keep this enabled.

Post your videos to your Facebook Page and Link your videos on TwitterIt’s all about making sure your as many people see your videos as possible. That’s what Video Optimization is all about.


Encourage others to share your video on social media platforms within the video itself by asking people to share it in your video itself and in the description.


Seed your videos on bookmarking and listing sites.

Press Releases

Distribute links to your videos in press releases and embed them in social media releases.


Promote views of your video by buying them through Google AdWords.

Getting Ratings

Start by ranking your own videos! Also, encourage others to rank your video by asking for it within your video.

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Friday, December 23, 2016


Don’t even think of using the ALT attribute (often called the alt-tag) any other way than outlined in the W3C Accessibility Guidelines – 7.1 Short text equivalents for images.

The alt-tag is there for the many users who use talking browsers, screen readers, text browsers or browsers on small devices. If you are blind the last thing you want to hear from your talking browser is the text in an alt tag stuffed with keywords.

Use short and clear alternative text for every image that carries information and use alt=”” (nothing between the quotes) for non-link images that do not convey information or are redundant.

Remember search engine spiders are ‘blind’ too and if you write perfect alt text for a blind user it will be perfect for SEO as well.

alt=”store fixtures and retail store fixtures with fixtures in the store” (Let Google know you are an alt tag spammer)

alt=”Chris Day” (Bad)

alt=”Chris Day at work” (Better)

alt=”Google engineer Chris Day seated at his workstation.” (Perfect!)

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Thursday, December 22, 2016

Yahoo User Interface Library


I am continually surprised by even good web designers/developers who are unaware of the Yahoo! User Interface Library. I am hoping that this post will help more of them discover this useful resource. If you are a site owner you may want to pass the information on to your designer. Who knows they may thank you for it 🙂

The Yahoo User Interface Library (YUI) is a collection of JavaScript and CSS resources that make it easier to build interactive applications in web browsers. Some like the Event Utility simply make in-browser programming easier while others like the Menu family of components make it a snip to add fly-out menus, customized context menus, or application-style menu bars to your website or web application.

Not only is the YUI Library the same high quality code that is used by Yahoo on its web properties but it is also free for both commercial and non-profit use (subject to minor restrictions).

An additional bonus is that if you’re using YUI for your own project Yahoo is offering free hosting for YUI components, both JavaScript and CSS , gzipped and with good cache-control using their state of the art network.

Support is provided through a Yahoo! User Interface Library Group and there is a YUI Blog for announcements.

I played around with the DataTable control which provides a powerful API to display screen reader accessible tabular data on a web page with sortable columns.

This is what I was able to produce in 15 minutes.

Try clicking on the different column headers to sort the table by that column in ascending or descending order.

ISBN Date Quantity Amount Title
1597800260 9/21/2005 4 $10.50 The Algebraist
0312017529 5/11/1988 3 $24.00 Consider Phlebas
1553374591 6/1/1995 12 $13.50 Feersum Endjinn
0671036688 2/1/2000 6 $8.30 Inversions
0356191605 1/2/1991 6 $28.75 Use of Weapons
0356232700 8/27/2002 8 $12.75 Dead Air

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Wednesday, December 21, 2016

5 Tools to Monitor your Social Media Marketing Success


There are many people out there who have been told that they should use social media marketing to grow their business but they remain skeptical. Why? Because there’s a myth that social media marketing is not quantifiable, that it is impossible to know if using these new-fangled marketing methods really work. But that’s a myth!
There are many powerful tools to help you judge the effectiveness of your social media marketing. In fact, the struggle is finding the best tools to measure your internet marketing success.
Before you search for the right tools to use, you must understand what are your goals. Yes, there are tools out there to monitor every bit of social media activity having to do with your business and your industry. But that doesn’t mean you should try and use every bit of information out there. The key is to define your goals for social media marketing, and use the tools that best help you measure whether you are reaching those goals.
So write out your goals for your social media marketing. Do you want to know how much Twitter users talk about your business? Do you want to know if your YouTube channel is bringing in more clients? Define your social media goals, and then find the right tools.
Here are the best tools to monitor your social media marketing success.
1. Google Alerts
Google provides you with free alerts when you receive any mention of your business or brand name, your competitors or other keywords. You’ll be emailed alerts immediately. You can use Google Alerts to monitor blogs, videos, message board discussions, news updates, etc. This is a great tool to see what people are saying about you. Of the many great things that social media marketing provides your business, perhaps the best is the ability to know what people think of your business and why.
2. Facebook Insights
Facebook Insights collects useful data about your Facebook page and your fans. Insights allows you to track page views, likes, people who have unsubscribed, wall posts, discussion topics and more.
3. Twitter Search
Don’t overlook using the social media platform themselves! They’re often great social media tools in their own rights. Twitter has a wonderful search function that provides you with an idea of what people are saying about you on Twitter. Of course, this is not only a way to know what people are Tweeting about but whether and how much your business is being discussed. The best way to measure your social media presence is to go straight to the biggest forces in social media (Facebook and Twitter). You can narrowly search for specific keywords or phrases with “hash tags”- the pound sign followed by words or terms.
4. Twazzup
Twazzup is a dashboard that monitors Twitter for you. Again, we think you should monitor Twitter for yourself, if only to get comfortable with social media and understand the culture. However, Twazzup is a great help to any business that is too busy to monitor Twitter on a daily basis. Twazzup will tell if certain keywords are mentioned in a tweet. It will also categorize your results by link popularity, contributors, tagging clouds and users.
5. Buzzlogic
Buzzlogic is different from the other tools we’ve mentioned in that it has an emphasis on internet marketing. Buzzlogic provides you with stats on the feedback your business is getting. Buzzlogic employs tools that help you build strong and sustained relationships with customers.

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Monday, December 19, 2016

Why SEO Ranking is More Valuable than Pay Per Click Advertising

If you’re thinking of how to grow your business on the web, you’re probably wondering whether or not it is a good idea to invest in Pay Per Click Advertising (PPC). So we’re going to explain why your business will get a MUCH BETTER Return On Investment (ROI) by paying an SEO company to build your organic ranking than to pay Google for Pay Per Click Advertising. Between paying an SEO company and buying PPC Ads, it’s much better value to go with the SEO company.

Quickly, a little background. What is PPC? Basically, it is what has made Google such a fantastically wealthy corporation. Companies pay Google a Pay Per Click Advertising fee, and in return Google places an Ad for the company high atop (and along the side of) the page of any search results that are related to that company.
What is an organic ranking? It is a ranking based on Google’s (or Bing’s or any other search engine’s) algorithm that ranks websites according to popularity. An organic ranking is in stark contrast to a PPC ranking, which is given strong placement simply because it has paid Google for that space.
For instance, if you type in “seo company,” Google’s first page of search results provide you with a number of Search Engine Optimization companies that show up as officially sponsored Ads that are mixed into the page with other SEO companies that are ranked organically.
It’s easy to see distinguish between PPC Ads and the organically ranked sites. PPCs are either shaded in gray at the very top of the page or they run along the sides of the page’s search results.
Take a second to search for something. Notice how the PPCs stand out like a sore thumb. Subconsciously, we all ignore PPCS and look at the organically ranked sites instead.
That’s why you’d much prefer to focus on your organic Search Engine Optimization ranking than PPC.
When people search for products or services on Google, they are looking for the most popular site for 2 reasons. 1) They have short attention spans and click on the sites on the first page of the rankings. 2) Implicitly, people trust the sites that are most popular because popularity reflects credibility.
Also, a great SEO ranking gives your business Google’s stamp of approval! Everybody trusts Google. So if somebody searches Google to find your services and your site shows up at the top of the page, that person is going to trust your company because (s)he trusts Google.
The SEO ranking is more credible to potential clients than a PPC Ad.
Not only that, a good SEO ranking is a much better value than PCC.
Consider: if you pay an Internet Marketing company $1000/month to improve your Search Engine Optimization. You’re going to get a great ROI quickly.
However, PPC Ads cost you money for every click. If you pay Google $40 per click to the site, it’s hard to get a good ROI because not everyone who clicks to your site is going to buy something.
That’s why paying a good Internet Marketing company a monthly fee to improve your SEO is such great value!

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Search Engine Optimization for Site Owners and Small Businesses

Using submission software is a very bad mistake made by a small minority of site owners. Tempted by sales copy that promises to “Submit Your website to more than 1.2 Million Search Engines, Directories and Link pages” they pay for software that is completely unnecessary and in most cases will have a negative effect.

In practice there are only a handful of search engines that people use and all of those have robots that spider the web looking for new pages and sites. There is absolutely no need to submit your pages to these search engines because they will find you quite quickly if you have a link from at least one site that is in their index already. Of course you should have a lot more than one inbound link!


The disadvantages of using such software is that most of the sites they submit to are there only to collect your email address and then make it available to spammers. So when you purchase the software you are in effect paying to be spammed which is not a good way to spend money.

Here is a section of a page from a site that sells this kind of submission software
Do some people really believe there are 700,000 search engines? Probably not but it doesn’t seem to stop them buying and using the software. Notice that one of the logos is DMOZ which is not a search engine but a directory. Automated DMOZ submission would be a very big mistake and all directory submission should be done by hand as outlined in a previous post Directory Links.

Some submission software claims to auto submit to guestbooks like this example here:

This is even more ludicrous than search engine submission software and should be avoided at all costs. Guestbook spamming doesn’t do anything for your site as far as the search engines are concerned, except perhaps label you as a spammer.

Guestbook spamming has become less of a problem as the number of sites with guestbooks has decreased but has now been replaced by blog spam (posting comments to blog posts that then provided a link to a spammer’s web site). Here is a section of a page from a site that sells blog link generating software:

Of course it doesn’t work because current blog software has methods of preventing blog spam such as registration and posting with captcha (an acronym for “completely automated public Turing test to tell computers and humans apart”). Captcha is used on this blog. Even if the blog spammer breaks through the barriers and manages to post their spam most blogs apply the nofollow attribute to urls in comments, so it really is a complete waste of effort.

Submission software, forget it!

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Friday, December 2, 2016

Why Have A Blog: Easy Analytics

Once you’ve accepted the importance of analytics, the question becomes how best to begin gathering data.

Fundamentally this comes down to installing tracking code on every page of your site. Yes, every single page.


The Trouble With Static Sites

This quickly reveals a major flaw with static websites. On a typical static site, every page is maintained manually, so any structural changes to a page have to be done individually.

This means if you haven’t installed tracking code yet, or you want to change what you’ve got, you’ll probably need to go into every page, one by one, change the code, and hope you don’t miss anything.

For all but the simplest of sites, this is a real pain.

With A Blog, Analytics Are Easy

With a blog, you copy and paste the analytics tracking code in one location, and it is immediately placed in every page of your site, and in all future pages, automatically.

This allows you to move quickly beyond the technical aspects of setting up your site, and focus on creating content and using the data you collect to improve your business.

Action Item:

Take a few minutes to check out Google Analytics, and read a little about the information it will provide you… for free.

Visit here to learn more about SEO