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Archive for the ‘ SEO ’ Category

seoI’ve decided that I’m going to start a series on search engine optimization.  In it I’ll be giving step-by-step instruction on how you can use the same techniques and tricks to get your own websites to the top of major search engine result pages.

We’ll go over a ton of topics in great detail.  I’ll use video, other blogs, and written material all to give you the same basic set of skills that professional SEO specialists use to get their client sites ranked at the top.

Not sure how long I will keep this content free.  I’m thinking that I might turn it into premium content once it is finished.  It should be a fun project for me and should be very useful content for anyone that has a website or needs an online presence.

If you’d like to leave a question or comment about a specific topic in SEO that you’d like me to cover, just jot it down in the comment section.

flask

Social Media Experiment on Cooperative Writing

I’m going to layout the background of the experiment and it is rather long, if you would rather just skip to the guidelines and start having fun.

Background

Yesterday was a fun day for me on the Internet (not so much in real life, but that’s another story for another time.) I got a chance to participate in a round table discussion radio show on “how to be found on the Internet”. The show is a weekly show hosted by Bill Boorman and it’s called READY FOR LIFT OFF! covering various subjects related to careers, recruiting and such. I’ve participated in online radio shows before, in fact I participate rather regularly on the Recruiting Animal Show with my friend the Recruiting Animal (@animal on Twitter.) Bill has an altogether different style of hosting than Animal, but the show was still quite enjoyable.

One statement that Bill made during the show, as we were discussing blogs, really bugged me. Even though I didn’t say anything at the time, I guess it bubbled down into my subconscious mind. I say that because it bubbled up about the time I was ready for bed. The statement that Bill made was that he felt that the best blogs are the ones that have the most comments on them (or something similar to that maybe not in those exact words), the blogs that are controversial. I thought to myself ‘poppycock’ – the number of comments on a blog has nothing to do with whether or not it is enjoyed by the reader, useful, well written, or heavily trafficked. So that thought jut stayed with me.

Later in the day I ready a tweet by Stephanie Lloyd (@StehanieALloyd who happens to also live in Atlanta) about a blog contest that she has a post entered in. Her post is “Just stop it. You don’t get to use Twitter anymore.” I don’t know all the rules of the contest, but from Stephanie’s tweet I gather the winner is going to be the one that has the most comments.

There it was again, someone who was attributing ‘value’ or ‘worthiness’ to the number of comments that a post has. So I started thinking what if I could show these people with whom I completely disagree, that there yardstick for measuring a post’s value was wrong. It flashed through my mind that I could make any number of controversial posts that would whip the audience into a frenzy. I could post about the healthcare reform bill, Obama’s choice of radicals, socialists, and communists as ‘Czars’ or special advisers. I could post about the soaring national debt, the economic down-turn, the inefficacy of the stimulus package or the TARP fund. Any of those subjects would definitely draw attention and more than likely cause heated debate – since the country and my audience are probably split down the middle on either side of any and all of those issues. But my intention wasn’t to start a big brew-ha-ha, I wanted to do something positive. I also thought it would be cool if I could leverage social media while doing it.

Purpose

That’s when it came to me, why not run a social media experiment that would be positive & cooperative and at the same time try to do something that would generate hundreds (and maybe multiple hundreds) of comments.

So here’s the idea let’s write a story, using the guidelines below. When we are finished we should have a very interesting story, written cooperatively by hundreds of people. I hope that it will be fun and very entertaining. I also hope that it creates lots of new friendships and deepens relationships. The fact that it will generate lots and lots of comments (at least I hope that it will, otherwise I’ll have egg on my face) is not what will bring the value to the post, but the positiveness of it. And the resulting, entertaining, wild roller-coaster ride of a story that will undoubtedly come out of it. so the experiment should show that value is not in the number of comments, the the community that is built by them and the conversation that occurs during them. Much better than starting a shouting match, don’t you think? check out the guidelines below and get commenting.

Guidelines

1) First commentor starts us off – write the beginning of a story (any subject, setting, characters, etc all your choice) with one sentence, no longer than 50 words.

2) Next commentor, copies comment above, adds another sentence, no longer than 50 words.

3) Next commentor, repeats the process.

3.5) You may comment multiple times, but not consecutively.

4) You may include hyperlinks (which will be active and indexable since I use ‘Do Follow’ – read more about ‘Do Follow’)

5) If the story gets to long to fit in the comments section, I’ll makes some accommodations to keep things going.

At some point in the future, after we have all had lots of fun, I’ll publish the full story along with some stats as the ‘results’ of the experiment.

Hope this sounds like fun and that you will participate. Let’s see how many people we can get to participate, how many comments we can generate, and what a great story we can write together. So go ahead and comment below.

PS – feel free to use the ‘Share this button’ to Digg the story or share it with friends by email.

billboorman-020I have a new friend who lives in the UK, Bill Boorman (@BillBoorman). Bill is a recruiter trainer (we have that in common) and a heck of a nice guy.  He mentions me in an article that he just wrote lamenting his poor SEO skills and SERP (search engine results page) ranking.

Bill has a really good number of followers and quite a few first level connections on LinkedIn.  His main issue is that he writes great content (in his opinion as well as others’) on his blog but doesn’t think he is ‘getting found’ by enough readers.  It is a question of traffic… he wants more.

There are lots of ways to increase your traffic.  One of the best ways in my opinion, is to rank well for search terms related to your particular niche.  To do that you can employ a do-it-yourself methodology for you can hire a professional.  My thought is that you should hire a professional.  I have made a pretty good argument for hiring a professional on my business blog: SEO for Hire.  Another good friend of mine Erin Kennedy, a certified professional resume writer, makes a good point in one of her recent blog articles about hiring a professional resume writer… different field, but same principle.

It boils down to this Bill, you can spend a lot of your own productive time trying to get SEO right for your site, or you can hire a pro.  Best choice is the latter.

Branding Email – Visual Instructions

I saw a great post on branding your email over on RecruitingBloggers.com.  My friend the Recruiting Animal (@animal on Twitter) rusn the site which has a multitude of recruiting based bloggers who contribute there.

This particular article was written by CindyKraft (@CFOCoach), check out her blog here.  Cindy did an excellent job of explaining what needs to be in an email signature.  Seeing the post gave me an idea for writing this post.  See, since I’m a lazy guy I have no compunction whatsoever at ripping off great post ideas and running with them.

After reading Cindy’s psot I thought the only way that I might improve upon it would be to add a visual – and perhaps give an explanation of what components I put into my signature.  so here goes:

email-siggy

I send email from Outlook, always in HTML.  That gives me the ability to have live hyperlinks in my email.  The components of my signature are pretty complicated.  First I should pause for a minute to give credit where credit is due.  I stole the idea for the signature from my friend Jim Durbin (@SMHeadHunter) who is heavy duty into social media marketing, thanks Jim.

So here are my components:

  • Logo - contributes to branding.  I do SEO which should get you ‘Seen Online by Everyone’ – this is a visual that will get you to recognize me and my brand.
  • Full Name – hyperlinked to an up-to-date online resume.
  • Title – lets you know who you are dealing with (ego gratification for me ;o)
  • Affiliate Program – hyperlinked to my affiliate program description.  I share the wealth.  YES, I’m in business to make money, but you can earn too!
  • LinkedIn Profile – a quick click and you can connect to more than 15MM people
  • Office Phone – hyperlinked to Jaxtr which can let them call me for free with just a click
  • Website - hyperlinked to my email capture squeeze page

If you don’t know how to do this or you don’t have time, I can put them together for you.  Rates are negotiable (depending upon the size of your staff/number of sigs you need)  Get in touch with me through my business blog at http://WebsitesThatDriveSales.com/blog/

google_girl

Do you want to get to the top of Google?

Almost everyone does, but few people know how. Remember there are only 10 slots of the first page of Google for any term, but someone’s website is gonna be there, it might as well be you.

I can help you get there, if you hire me [ see my business website Internet Marketing SEO at WebsitesThatDriveSales.com and the SEO for Hire page explains pretty well what I can do for you. Let's just say that ALL of my clients enjoy a number of the #1 rankings on Google for keywords related to their businesses.

But some of you guys might not be cash flush at this time. You might want to do your own work on getting ranked. That's what this post is about, the work that YOU can do. So here is a simple step by step guide to the most important thing you can do to start getting yourself ranked highly:

Step One - Get a blog and start making posts. (if you don't have one, or don't know why you need one, read this post on the value of blogs.)

Step Two - When you blog, you have to have links; not just any links, but links that will help you.

You need to link to blog posts that are related by subject matter to that your keywords. Notice I said blog posts, not just 'websites' or articles. Putting a link to a website like MSN, Yahoo, CNN, or MSNBC might be helpful to your reader, but it won't be helpful to you.

When you link to a blog post on another blog (not just a page on the blog, but an actual blog post itself) you will generate a trackback to your post. That means you, by the simple act of making your post create a BACKLINK to your own site. That is almost impossible to do any other way.

Backlinks are one of the most important things you can do to drive your website's ranking. Blogging is the fastest easiest way to create backlinks to your site. For instance if I was and executive resume writer and I were writing an article on executive resume branding, I might include a link to this article on RecruitingBloggers.com about updating your resume.

Step Three - Find blogs that don't use 'no follow' and make thoughtful comments on them, using your important keyword phrases as 'your name' and the URL of the webpage that you want to promote that keyword for as the 'website'.

If you don't know how to find out whether a blog is using 'no follow' then you need to read my blog post on sniffing out no follow blogs. It goes without saying, you should NOT use 'no follow' on your own blog. Read the article to find out how to fix the nasty 'no follow' default installation of WordPress.

Step Four - Find other blogs related to yours and get on their blog roll (even if they use 'no follow') as this is a tremendous way to get backlinks.

HOWEVER, you need to make sure that these blogs are using your keyword as the anchor text for you blogroll listing. You don't want just a listing on your name (unless that is your keyword) or abbreviations.

Getting on blogrolls is a cooperative effort, so expect to reciprocate. In fact the best strategy is to put your target blog on your own blogroll first, before asking for reciprocal action from them. Notice that it doesn't matter if these blogs use 'no follow' or not, but they SHOULD be related to your niche in the marketplace. [check out this article on getting the most out of your blogroll]

Conclusion - Take a bit of time and look at the links that I have included in this article. Analyze how I include blog posts as links that are still helpful to the reader, but accomplish my primary goal of generating backlinks.

Follow these four steps and you will be miles and miles ahead of almost everyone on the internet.

Hope you find this useful. Feel free to add to the conversation by leaving a comment with your own ideas. Also sharing with a friend is a nice thing to do. :-)

How to Get the Most Out of Your Blogroll

wordpress-logoFirst, if you are an expert, bear with me for a minute while I help the less experienced in the audience catch up.  If you don’t know what a blogroll is, here is the definition: blogroll – a list of blogs on a blog (usually placed in the sidebar of a blog) that reads as a list of recommendations by the blogger of other blogs.

Now that everyone knows what it is and where it is let’s talk about why it is important and how you can benefit from yours (and other peoples blogrolls.)  Even if your blog uses the default setting of ‘nofollow‘ on links in comments [see my article on why you need to remove nofollow] your blogroll doesn’t.  That means that your blogroll, along with everyone else’s is a great source of links to related content.  That means that other people who have blogs and put your site on their blogroll are providing a great source of one-way links to your site.

As you may know having links pointing back to your site is very important for ranking well in search engine results pages (SERPs).  Plus they can be a good source of traffic.  People who read blogs, on another blog may peruse the blogroll to find additional interesting content to read.  That can mean a new visitor for your site.

For my SEO clients, I always advise that they have a blog and that they find related blogs with which they can swap blogroll listings.  It really is pretty easy to do and most people that have a blog are more than happy to include you on their blogroll if you ask nicely.  The best thing about being on a blogroll is that it isn’t just one link to your site – it’s a one link from every single page in that blog.  So think of your mission like this – don’t think of it as  get listed on one blogroll think of it as getting hundreds of backlinks to your site.

One of my clients, Erin Kennedy, has a really good blogroll with lots of related blogs.  Erin, who is a professional resume writer,  has taken the time to research blogs that will be of interest to her readers and added them to her blogroll as a service.  The by-products is that she can build relationships with those bloggers and get on their blogroll.

Cool SEO Report – Helps Small Businesses

Carls-coverSEOsmallOK, forgive me if I sound like I’m bragging.  I have produced an SEO report that all my friends have told me I should be charging a lot of money for.  It contains a bunch of information that can help people with their online marketing efforts.  It is 44 pages long, written in easy to understand everyday language and explains how to get your website ranked highly on Google.

You can get the report for free by visiting my website WebsitesThatDriveSales.com.  You will have to sign up for an email list [totally spam free, your information never shared] but you’ll get the report instantly!

You can also check out the services that I offer on the blog at that site.  We do web development, SEO, and eCommerce consulting.  Make sure you listen to the customer feedback at the bottom of each page.

I’m pretty proud of the results that we have attained for our clients.  Every client that we have worked with has attained multiple #1 rankings on major search engines for related keywords.  Our latest client, Apartment Marketing Solutions, just went live on July 30th and has 22#1 rankings across 3 major search engines. They provide online, turn-key marketing solutions for multi-family property owners.

So what are you waiting for, head over to the website and pick up my FREE report “10 Internet Marketing Secrets Guaranteed to Double Your Business in the Next 12 Months

Just added ‘Subscribe to Comments’

subscribe-smallI just added a great plug-in to my blog that is designed to encourage conversation among readers. the blog here isn’t only about me, but about my audience as well. In fact it is mostly about my audience. I have other blogs where I provide good and services and do it for money. Here I just give away advice.

Since the idea here is for a free flow of great information, what better way to do that than to encourage commenting? Hope y’all will make use of the new feature.

- Carl

PS – here is the link to the plug-in for your wordpress installation: Subscribe to Comments Now!

Welcome Twitter & Facebook Friends!

saynotonofollowGlad you guys are here! I’ve been doing the blogging thing for a number of years now, and even though I’m just a passable writer, I’ve managed to put into practice some tricks that have made my blogs pretty successful. I’ve also taught a number of my clients these same tricks which have helped their blogs and websites get highly ranked in the major search engines.

Most SEO guys will tell you that one of the most powerful elements of ‘importance’ to search engines is links that point back to your site. This links and their anchor text is what accounts for your site being indexed and ranked for the keywords in the anchor text. The more links pointing to your site with anchor text that consists of keyword phrases that you are targeting, the better.

This is what makes blogs such a great thing. You can get links pointing back to your site almost at will, if you know how to do it. There are really three main ways:

  • Commenting – writing comments on other people’s blogs, using your keyword text as the ‘name’ and the page your are targeting as the ‘website’
  • Linking – putting links in your blog post so that your will get a trackback from their blog to yours.
  • Blogroll – getting on their blogroll.

Now what most people don’t know is that the first two are generally a waste of time (at least as far as search engines and indexing go) for 95% of all blogs.  That is because the blogs are using ‘no-follow’.  So the hyperlinks that are pointing to your site, that you so carefully, lovingly, and laboriously added to your list of related blogs by commenting and linking from your posts are nothing but a big waste of time.

“Why are most blogs ‘nofollow’ anyway?” you might be asking.  Good question.  Peole thought it would be a good way to fight comment spam by the comment spambots.  What they forgot about what what the web is about in the first place… people helping one another and linking back and forth. There are better ways to fight comment spam than punishing bloggers who take the time to post thoughtfully on your articles.

That’s why I put together a little training video for people.  Totally free, it shows you how to add a neat tool to your browser that will help you detect if a blog is using ‘no follow’ of if the blog owner has been smart enough to use the Do Follow plugin.  Plus I show you how to install the Do Follow plugin on your own site.

Watch the video here

After you watch the video I’d like for you to do three things for me (well really do them for yourself)

  1. Install the Quirk SearchStatus toolbar in your browser
  2. Install the Do Follow plugin for your blog (sorry if you are on WordPress.com or Blogger you should get a self-hosted blog)
  3. Come back here and comment with your URL telling people that you now “Follow”

Here is a list of some blogs from various fields that you might find helpful to post to, all of which use Do Follow

Hope you have found this to be helpful.

7 Reasons You Shouldn’t Have a Website

That’s what I said, you shouldn’t have a website.

You should have a blog instead.

Now that you’ve found a web host for your business / marketing website you have just one question – “What the heck do I put up on my website?” My very best suggestion is is that you put up a blog and not a regular website, at least at first. I would suggest that you use WordPress as your blog software. Here are my 7 reasons you shouldn’t have a website but should use a blog for your website: [read more at my other website]