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When it comes to search engine optimization, there are certain common mistakes that I see people making over and over again. Here’s a list of the 10 most common mistakes that I see people making. By avoiding these mistakes, you can avoid a lot of anguish and frustration in the long run.

1) Optimizing your site for the wrong keywords

The first step in any search engine optimization campaign is to choose the keywords for which you should optimize your site. If you initially choose the wrong keywords, all the time and effort that you devote in trying to get your site a high ranking will go down the drain. If you choose keywords which no one search for, or if you choose keywords which won’t bring in targeted traffic to your site, what good will the top rankings do?

In order to learn how you can choose the correct keywords for which you should optimize your site, see my article on this topic. (more…)

What’s Up?
Getting your site an optimum listing in the Open Directory (DMOZ) is vitally important as far as search engine positioning is concerned as Google gives a lot of importance to sites being listed in the Open Directory.

In this article, we focus on how you can get your site an optimum listing in the Open Directory. Even if your site is already listed in the Open Directory, you should read this article to find out how you can get multiple listings in the Open Directory. (more…)

Link Analysis
While many of us have been tweaking our META tags and refining our web site copy to improve our search engine standings, our friends at the search engine companies have been working on means to make these manipulations less relevant.

Consider the issue from the search engines’ point of view. A search engines’ primary function is to take a users’ search request and provide the most relevant results it can, base on the request. Up to now, the search engines have had little choice but to trust web masters to accurately depict their content. This depiction has been accomplished using tags and text and a variety of algorithms to determine a sites’ relevancy to particular keywords. We all know that not every webmaster has been scrupulously honest in the way they describe their sites utilizing these “self indexing” tools.

In an effort to reduce the occurrence of these “optimized” (read “misleading”) self indexing techniques, the programmers and architects who work for the search engines have been burning the midnight oil. Their focus has been to develop algorithms that give higher relevance to “off page criteria” — that is, information that can be obtained from a source other than your website.

Enter Alta Vista, the first major search engine to seriously employ off page criteria in their raking algorithms. Their actual algorithms are, of course, closely guarded secrets, but they appear to be utilizing “link analysis” as a heavy weighting factor for placement.

So what is “link analysis” and how does it affect my web sites’ placement in a search engines’ results? Simply stated, link analysis is evaluating what sites link to yours, who links to them, link density and what terms are the sites highly to? Clear as mud, right? Let’s look at each of these items in detail:

Link Density
Link density is the term use to refer to how many sites link to your site. Most are familiar with the idea of a reverse link lookup. For those that are not, a reverse link lookup is asking a search engine “How many web sites, other than my own, are linked to mine?”. To perform a reverse link lookup in Alta Vista, type a simple query like:

+link:www.hotmail.com -host:www.hotmail.com

This query will result in around eighty four thousand pages being found. This is an outstanding number of web pages, all linked to Hotmail’s web site, and a very good example of link density. Now will your site stack up against Hotmail? Probably not, but you are probably not in direct competition with Hotmail anyway. To get a feel for more down to earth numbers, do a search for “web hosting”. Take the first site you find and plug the URL into our query above. When I did this little test I got nine hundred sixty nine pages found.

But what if Hotmail decided to go into the web hosting business? From the standpoint of link density, this would be bad news for our example company because, based on link density alone, Hotmail would be nearly eighty seven times more relevant.

Link Popularity
Clearly, link density alone is not enough to make a reasoned decision about a web sites placement. The next element of off page criteria to be considered is link popularity. When you are considering what sites to approach about reciprocal linking, which would you prefer: A) a link from a site hosted on a free web host like Angelfire; or B) a link from Yahoo.com? Obviously, most of us would prefer the link from Yahoo. So we have determined that not all links are created equal. The algorithm to analyze link popularity utilizes third level linking to determine a site’s popularity. In other words, the algorithm looks at who links to the sites that link to you. For off page criteria algorithms, it is not just the quantity of links but the quality of the links that counts.

Crosslinking
It’s a fact that sites that have to do with a particular subject have a higher density of crosslinking to other sites that are relevant to the same subject. This is where the entire concept of the Internet as the “web” originates. As it pertains to off page ranking criteria, high density crosslinking indicates a “cluster”. These clusters are assumed to be highly relevant to the same topics. Take the search keyword “nuclear energy”. The first site listed in Alta Vista is the Nuclear Energy Agency (NEA). Now do a reverse link lookup on the NEA. Several sites are listed. Doing reverse link lookups on the listed sites produce the same sites, over and over again. Therefore sites belonging to this “cluster” would be determined to be highly relevant to the search keywords “nuclear energy”.

Future Reference
So what do you do about this new direction in search engine algorithms? My advice is to continue doing what you should have been doing all along.

– Continue to ensure that your title tag is catchy and appropriate.
– Continue to make sure that your description tag is accurate and that it utilizes your main keywords.
– Continue to research and maintain you keywords tag.
– Continue to use your keywords early and often in your web site page copy.

Does this mean you should do nothing different? The answer to that depends on whether or not you have been soliciting reciprocal links from similar sites. The recommendation to do reciprocal links is not a new one, just more important in light of off page ranking criteria. A few specific recommendations:

– Trade links with other web sites that focus on the same topic as yours.
– Identify and get listed in topic specific portals.
– Participate in topic clusters, such as web rings.
– Use reverse link lookups to track not only your popularity, but also the popularity of the sites you trade links with.

It is too soon to tell for certain if other search engines will follow Alta Vistas lead in using off page criteria for determining relative position. The move will largely depend on whether the users of search engines feel that these factors really improve the relevancy of their searches. If Alta Vistas traffic jumps markedly you can bet your bottom dollar that we will see a lot more of these algorithms utilized by the major search engines.

Author Bio:
Tony L. Callahan, is a successful Internet Promotions Consultant with more than twenty years of industry experience and is president of his own Internet marketing company, Link-Promote. He also publishes Web-Links Monthly, a newsletter full of tips, tricks, tools and techniques for successful web site promotions. To subscribe, send e-mail to: Web-Links-subscribe@topica.com. For an online archive of Tony’s articles available for reprint, visit: http://www.link-promote.com/articles

Ignition
We are going to talk about target marketing what it is. Why it’s important for your business. And we’ll cover some tips and strategies for how you can incorporate this vital way of thinking into your business.

With that being said, let’s get started!

Target marketing is so critical to online business success it astonishes me to know that so few online entrepreneurs have even heard of these concepts, let alone put them into practice! And those that have heard about these fundamental concepts ignore them or forget about them because it seems like too much work to understand or take the steps necessary for success.

These concepts are not hard!
Not hard to understand.
Not hard to put into action.

But if you know anything about what it takes to become successful, you know that just taking action is one of the biggest factors to success. Deciding to learn something new and put it into play could mean the difference between making tons of money like the big boys or folding up your webpage and looking for a day job.

Decide right here and now to take action.
Decide to learn about target marketing.
Decide to define your market before it’s too late.

Starting an online business and not learning these concepts is like opening a car repair shop without knowing anything about cars!

Sounds silly, I know. But that’s exactly what most online entrepreneurs do. And if you do the same, your business will almost certainly be doomed! Spending some time defining your target market will propel you leaps and bounds ahead of your competition.

Sound business strategy demands that you focus on your target market. You must clearly think about your customer and ask yourself all kinds of questions until you have a picture of that person in your mind. This research will become the foundation for everything else you will do in your business.

What is a Target Market?
Before you can even begin to think about your customers, you need to understand why target marketing so important. You have to know what a target market is and the reason you are going to spend so much time thinking about it.

A target market is a group of people with a common problem, need, or desire that can be helped by your product or service. Simply put, they are those individuals most likely to buy what you have to sell.

That doesn’t sound like such a difficult concept.

These people have a problem they want solved.
They have a desire that they want fulfilled.
They have a pain they want to avoid.

Your job is to make it so painfully obvious to them that it is in their best interest to buy what you have to offer. You have to convince them that unless they take advantage of your product or service, their need will go unmet, there problem will be unresolved, and their pain will continue.

Your success will be measures by how well you convince your target market that your product or service is the only option to meet their needs and wants.

And the bottom line is simple:
Unless you can effectively find ways to reach your target market and convince them how much they need you, you won’t make a dime. You won’t be able to sell anything unless you know how to match your product to their desires.

The Importance
Why is All This Important?
If making money isn’t a good enough reason, let me show you some other reasons why you should.

It’s impossible to be all things to everyone. There is no way your product or service will appeal to everyone – or even a very large group of people.

A lot of people spend time developing a product that they think is the next better mousetrap. They think that once they let people know about it, their web page hit counters will catch on fire from all the activity on their website. Naturally, they assume that everyone will want at least one of what they have.

The reality is often hard to swallow. Your product – no matter how wonderful it is – will only appeal to a limited number of people.

It’s foolish to waste your time trying to sell your better mousetrap to people who don’t already have a cat.

Think for a moment about coffee. In the morning, I only make enough coffee for about two cups. So, I only put a small amount of coffee in the filter and enough water for my two cups. And it usually comes out just the way I like it.

But what if I had a group of friends over for dinner and I wanted to serve coffee with dessert. If I put enough water in the pot for fifteen cups, but only added a few tablespoons of coffee – like I do for my morning coffee. I would be serving pitifully weak coffee.
My friends would hate me and never come back over for dinner.

Well, maybe not that extreme, but the coffee would taste that awful. It would be horribly diluted.

The same thing happens when you try to apply the resources you have to a market that is too big for you to effectively reach. You will dilute your message and your efforts will be very weak.

For example, rather than place one ad in one thousand general e-zines hoping to find a customer, you could run ten ads in each of a hundred highly targeted e-zines and your message would achieve greater penetration. If you’ve selected the right e-zines – ones you know your market reads – you will have a much stronger pull from repeated ads in fewer e-zines than you could ever hope to get with just one ad in ten times as many.

Don’t waste your time and money trying to tell the whole world. The whole world doesn’t care.

Think about how many times you get email messages in your inbox that don’t apply to you. I am always getting messages trying to get me to refinance my house, or purchase insurance, or buy Viagra. These are all things that I don’t need or want. Most of these emails never make it past a cursory glance at the subject line.

My point here is this: someone somewhere paid money to buy my email address from some list so they could send me some email promoting some product I don’t need and that only ended up in the trash.

The point of defining your target market is to find out who will buy what you have to sell. You must understand their needs and wants.

Once you know this, your job is to focus your limited resources on making sure your potential customers know about your product and know their only option is to get it from you.

I can’t stress this enough. This is the key to marketing success.

If you don’t do this, you risk:

* Spending money on things that don’t work
* Wasting time doing things that don’t get results
* Broadcasting your message to people who don’t care

The Competitive Advantage
Like most online entrepreneurs, you probably have some competition.
There are other websites trying to get your customers – and all your potential customers – to buy from them instead of you.

The secret to your competitive advantage lies in target marketing.

* Take the time to define exactly who your customer is.
* Focus on all the qualities that make them unique.
* Design your product to meet their specific needs and problems.

Once you do that, you can show your potential customers that the only way their problems will get solved or their needs will be met is through what you want to sell them.
If you do this well, no other product from any other competitor will be able to address their concerns.

And you will have scored a direct hit against your competition.

You move from being a generalist to becoming a specialist in your field.
As a specialist, you are much more capable of catering to the needs, desires, and problems of your customers.

There’s a difference between the Fettuccini Alfredo that I get when I dine at the finest restaurant in town and the frozen entre I buy at the grocery store.

The noodles may be the same.
The sauce may be the same.
But there’s something different.
When I want a gourmet meal, I don’t get it from the frozen food aisle.

You need the competitive advantage and target marketing will give it to you.

Taking Care of Your Budget
If you’re like me, you don’t have an unlimited budget for advertising and marketing.
You can’t afford to reach everyone with your marketing message.
So don’t even try.

There are too many advertising options, and unless you tightly focus on a limited market, you will be throwing good money after bad trying to reach the wrong people.

A High Impact Marketing Plan
You will be able to develop an organized, systematic marketing plan when you understand target marketing and take the time to do it right.

Your marketing plan is crucial to your success.
You must spend time planning how you are going to reach your target market.

When you understand your ideal customer, you can begin to think about the ways he or she gets their information.

Is it newsgroups?
Discussion lists?
Email?
How about e-zines?
Or do they make purchase decisions based on referrals from people they know?

Put yourself in the mind of your customer.
Once you know HOW they get information, you can begin to concentrate on WHICH sources they rely on.

If your target market relies on newsgroups to get most of their information, then you need to start by creating a list of all the newsgroups your customers might spend time in.

Then you need to design an effective method of reaching them on their own turf.
Your choice of marketing message will largely depend on the sources you come up with.
Marketing to newsgroups has a totally different set of rules than marketing to an e-zine list.

If you were to try to develop a marketing plan without a clear picture of the people who make up your target market, the job would be overwhelming. There is no way you could even begin to get a handle on all the different resources.

It’s better to start with a smaller group of resources and then refine your list, adding and deleting resources as you develop your marketing plan.

For example, let’s say your product is a how-to e-book teaching the finer points of golf.
Your list of obvious places to advertise might include a number of golf-oriented e-zines.
But then you remember that a lot of business deals are made on the golf-course.
You begin to add e-zines that focus on professionals and the art of the deal.

The possibilities are limited only by your creativity.

No matter which resources you rely on, you must chose them wisely.
Spend your resources only on those things that get the best results.
Eliminate those that are a waste of time or money.
You want bang for your buck.

And you can’t get it if you don’t know where your customers hang out.

How Do You Do It?
Up til now we’ve talked a lot about what target marketing is and why it’s important.
I’ve said very little about how to do it.

First . . . you need to understand that you need to do this BEFORE any other marketing takes place.

In fact, many purists will recommend that you define your market before you locate or develop a product.
The logic is that the product will sell better when it is based on the specific knowledge gained from your experience with the market.

In other words, find out EXACTLY what your customer wants and then give it to them.

There’s something to be said for this theory.
If you are thinking about creating an information product, then this would be the ideal approach, and would position your product for tremendous sales in the marketplace.

But, if you already have a product and have already spent time and money marketing it all over the Internet, by all means, don’t throw in the towel now! It’s not too late to change your game plan.
Define your target market now and re-focus your resources in that direction.

If nothing else, you will have gained a world of experience about what is already working and not working.

Knowing your target market before you begin your marketing activities will save you much time, effort, money, and aggravation.
It’s best to do it before you get too far ahead of yourself.

Getting to Know Your Customer
So, what is it you want to know about your customer?
Here’s a short list to get you thinking.

Use your knowledge of the industry and your product to come up with new factors that are important to you.
* Age
* Gender
* Marital and family status
* Employment
* Income
* Geographic location
* Primary language
* Recreational activities
* Hobbies and interests
* Politics
* Religion
* Attitudes and opinions

When you think about each of these areas, try to be as detailed as you can.
Write down anything that comes to your mind.
Try to capture as much on paper as you can.

Go online and find out what makes your customers tick.
Go into the newsgroups your customers are likely to target.
Ask questions.
Listen to what’s being discussed.

Visit websites your customers are likely to visit.
Try to identify the elements that appeal to them.

Try to get to the point where you can picture what your perfect customer looks like.
See every detail.
Give your ideal customer a name and personality.

Looking at Your Target Market
Once you’ve finished with picking apart your customer’s life, take a step back and think about your entire target market.

* Does your market want your product?

Make sure your market consists of people who want your product.
Selling sand to people living in a desert may not be a good idea.
They may be dying for water, though.

Remember, you won’t sell anything if your product does not satisfy a need, quench a desire, solve a problem, or prevent a painful situation.

Marketing is all about reaching people with a problem to let them know you have the solution!

Don’t waste your time making the market fit the product.
Spend your time making the product fit the market.

* Is it large enough to provide enough business for you?

It does no good if your target market consists only of you and your Uncle Fred.
You are not going to get rich that way!
Make sure there’s enough potential for you to make it worthwhile.

* Is it small enough to provide you with enough opportunity for specialization?

Your focus needs to be narrow enough to give you the competitive edge.
If you are marketing a product to blue-eyed girls, you may not be focused enough.

* Do you have the financial means to reach your market?

Even if your market is the right size, the methods used to reach them effectively may be beyond your financial reach.

If your market requires that you take out a full page ad in Time magazine, but you’re wallet can only afford a classified in the local penny saver, you’re in trouble.

If you can’t afford to reach your market, don’t.
Find another product or another market.

* Does you market have the financial means to purchase your product?

Just because you have a great product that solves the problems your customers have, don’t assume that they are ready, willing, and able to buy.
Are your customers the kind of people who use credit cards to pay for purchases online?
Is your product priced within their reach?

I have an aunt who uses her computer primarily for email.
I know of an ideal product that I could sell to her and her friends.
I could probably make a fortune with this product.
BUT . . . is she going to put her credit card number into a form on a web page?
Never.
My fortune just went up in smoke.

* Is your market easily reached?

You may have an ideal market, but if you have no way to reach them, you will spend more time and money to reach them than it may be worth.
Your market needs to be accessible through traditional internet marketing methods – newsgroups, discussion groups, email, joint ventures, e-zines, and so forth.

In other words, think about how you are going to communicate with them.
If you don’t see your customers participating in online communities like newsgroups or discussion groups, you have to find other ways to get in touch with them.

Make sure your market can be reached through a method that you have access to.

* Are your customer’s computer users?

If you are trying to sell products online, it makes sense that your customers need to be online, too.

There is no doubt that senior citizens represent a tremendous marketing opportunity for the right kind of products.
But, if your product is geared toward seniors, you may be out of luck trying to reach them through online marketing.

Now, I know a lot of senior citizens who are Internet savvy.
But I also know a whole bunch who don’t even own a computer.
If you were trying to achieve market saturation via online marketing, you’re barking up the wrong tree.

* Can your customers get the same or similar product locally or through traditional models?

People aren’t going to want to buy soda from your website and wait for it to come by mail when they can drive to the corner store for the same thing. If you do choose to sell something available through traditional models, you will need to come up with a reason for your customers to buy from you instead.

Wrapping Things Up.
Target marketing is an important, but often overlooked concept when it comes to internet marketing.
In order to propel yourself ahead of the competition, you need to spend some time thinking about your ideal customer.

Here is a recap of the step you must follow:

* Think about your customer – Who are they?
What do they like and dislike?
What are their hope and ambitions, their fears and fantasies, their needs and desires?

* Go to your potential customers and find out what they want.
Ask questions in newsgroups and discussion lists.

* Develop a product that fulfils their needs.
Or figure out a way to make your existing product lines do the trick.

* Create a marketing plan that details all of the resources you will rely on when reaching out to your target market.

* Go to where your target market hangs out and convince them you have the solution to their problem.
Let them know that you are the only person they can come to in order to get the answers they are looking for.
Convince them it would be foolish to go somewhere else.

These are the secrets of marketing that very few people on the Internet really understand and put into action.
Once you begin to think about target marketing, your sales will take off.

Good luck.

Author Bio:
Charles Davidson is a business consultant who writes articles about Internet marketing. He operates an online resource for marketers and business people at http://www.CharlesDavidson.com. You can subscribe to his newsletter by sending a blank email to: mailto:cashmaster-subscribe@topica.com

Briefing
A #1 search results position for your site, it almost seems like a fairy tale. Like the abominable snowman, many question the validity and effectiveness of the tips, tricks and techniques that are commonly found on the web or elsewhere. I have read many books, articles, newsletters, gotten sound advice from experts, and gone through the time baring process of plan do review many times. Through my experiences I have learned the strategies revealed in this article and have decided to share my knowledge on the matter with you.

Before I begin, I would like to tell you what this article is not going be about. It is not a thrown together set of tips that you normally find. It will, obviously, include some strategies you are familiar with or may have heard of before but will also describe techniques that I have proven to be successful and that hopefully you will use to do the same.

Firstly, No One Technique will get you the results you desire. That would be too easy and in the fight for a good search engine position the old adage, ‘No Pain No Gain’, is deemed appropriate.

Ok enough of the intro let’s get down to business.

Domain Names
Contrary to popular belief your choice in domain name can play a significant role in your search engine position. E.g. you have a website that is about web hosting and you would like to target the search term ‘web hosting’ one of the best domain names you could choose is webhosting.com.

Why?
1. The search engines see this domain name as being highly relevant to the search term as it is composed of the search term.

2. Other people having an interest in ‘web hosting’ also see this name as being highly relevant and will feel that this is one of THE websites for web hosting and will be more willing to link to this URL. With link popularity very important, for the #1 search engine Google and others, this will definitely aid in your chances for a high position.

Does this mean that I am at a disadvantage because my domain name doesn’t contain the search term mainly used by my target market?
Not necessarily. You see you could have a much more popular site with more valuable content than say your competitor that managed to grab this domain name before you could. This is also very important. Remember, No One Technique will get you the results you desire.

However, if there were two identical sites in every aspect except for the domain name then in a search for ‘Web Hosting’ webhosting.com would prevail. You also have the option of using web-hosting.com however the use of hyphens is less popular end users as it is more of a hassle.

Links & Link Text
Hyperlinks and Hyperlink Text are also key ingredients in the recipe for great search engine placement. If you are targeting the search term ‘web hosting’, having links on your site with names like webhosting.html or web-hosting.html or web-hosting-faqs.html as well as text with a similar naming convention also add a great flavor to your site’s success. You, more than likely, won’t find it appropriate to use this naming strategy for all your links but keep in mind it takes 25 pennies to make a quarter and falling short of this is just that. Using these names show the search engines that it isn’t only your homepage that has information about ‘web hosting’ but also other areas of your site.

Tag You’re It
Meta Tags
To Meta or Not To Meta? If that’s the question then here’s the answer.
Definitely use Meta Tags in your web pages. Search engines do still use these as a factor in their algorithms and it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to add them to the html. Some say “But what if Meta Tags don’t work?” and in return I say “What if they do”.

Your Meta Tags should be relevant to your web page’s content. Don’t stuff in keywords to try and increase your chances in the search engines. That makes no sense. Search engine optimization is a science and should be treated as such. Choose your Meta keywords wisely ensure that any keyword used is either on your page or directly related to the content on your page. Your Meta description should be enough to give a blind man insight on your site. Customize the Meta tags for each of your pages. Once again Your Meta Tags should be relevant to your web page’s content. There are some very helpful programs that will aid you in your Meta Tag creation such as Web Position Gold2.

Alt Tags
Name your Alt tags to reflect the search term you are targeting. If your site is www.NetVisits.com and you’re adding alt tags to your logo, don’t simply put NetVisits, www.NetVisits.com or NetVisits.com add a few words to give your users as well as the search engines a bit more information. E.g. NetVisits.com – Pay Per Click Search Engine.

Other Tags
Though I will only briefly mention the following tag they all pay a role in boosting your movement to the top. The Comment Tag, Headline Tag, Table Summary Tag and the Noframes Tag should not be neglected. Many website creators neglect to utilize these tools to aid in their search engine optimization. Don’t be one of them. Add them to your arsenal.

Potent Content
There is no point to targeting a search term if there is no content about it on your site. Your homepage doesn’t have to be densely populated with content for a good placement but it should have some form of relevant content even if it is just a brief description of the benefits gained by using it. The search term MUST be present a few times on your homepage. This is not critical but more along the lines of essential.

Content is a MAJOR factor but not just anything thrown together on the topic. Lets say you’re eating your favorite meal (yes I use the food analogy a lot, what can I say, I love food). Any restaurant or person can slap together the ingredients to make it that meal but if they use the best quality ingredients and take the time and make the effort to do it right, then they become the one that you remember, the one you want to go back to. Get it?

Try and include a paragraph or two about or relevant to your site near the top of your page that include the search term you are targeting so the search engine robot is quickly faced with content.

The search engines crave good content, make them crave yours. Use articles, newsletters, general information, tips, FAQs, whatever is appropriate. But use something, and don’t stop even if you’re content with your content, always strive to improve on the old and introduce the new. If you don’t have time to write articles etc, there are many resources on the web that provide these free of charge. They normally include a link back to the author’s site but it’s worth it, nothing in life is free.

What’s Your Title
To show you the power of a good title here is a brief story. TRUE STORY I once had a site that was #2 in Google for the search term I was targeting. I created some additional pages but neglected to fill these pages with content, due to an unexpected lack of time, for a few weeks. These were new pages, with no content at all, just titles and Meta Tags. The next time I checked my statistics I noticed an amazing increase of over 30,000 unique visitors. I had no idea how this happened until I notice that these pages had all been spidered and were now in the search engines results. Needless to say the titles and Meta Tags were the key to this increase. When they were populated with content the results were even more amazing. Need I say more?

Use Maps
Structure
Graphics, animation and the like will make your site attractive but use them sparingly as search engines prefer simplicity. Don’t present the search engine robot with a clutter of things to search through, keep it simple. Try and place the most important links near to the top of your pages and once again at the bottom and keep those page sizes below 50k (a more than generous size).

Sitemaps
Further feed the search engine robots by creating a sitemap. This is a page which contains links to the major areas of your site. Include as many of your site links as possible and with a small site include all links. Add a short description to each link to guide users as to the purpose of the link destination. This also gives you the opportunity to add more of your keywords to this page.

Link & Close
Link popularity is when other websites contain links to your site. The more links to your site, the higher your link popularity. With link popularity, quality is just as important as quantity. Having sites with similar content to yours link to your site is worth more than unrelated sites linking to your site. Many search engines, including the #1 search engine Google, put a high importance on link popularity.

When optimizing for search engines there’s one thing that must never be left out EVERYTHING. Do it all, use all methods and use them well and you’re sure to see the results you want. Remember, No One Technique will get you the results you desire.

Intro
In case you are not aware, there is a revolution happening in Internet search engines. There are search engines out there that allow you to bid on your placement under the search terms of your choice!

Pay for placement search engines are quickly taking over as the search engine of choice for both web business people and for the web consumer. This type of search engines eliminates the ambiguity of placement algorithms, allowing advertisers to directly control their placement. The consumer benefits because pay for placement eliminates the motivation of less scrupulous businesses to spam the search engine with bogus terms. Therefore, the results tend to be more targeted and productive.

It has been my experience that Pay For Placement search engine have one of the highest return on investment ratios of any means of advertising I use. So how can the Internet business person use the pay for placement search engines to their advantage?

The Key Words
First of all, I recommend bidding on as many keywords and search terms as possible. You may well ask, “Why not focus on a few highly requested terms?” The reason is simple; the high frequency terms are usually the most expensive, and sometimes several dollars per click. Unless your product has extremely large profit margins or your purchase per click ratio is very high, the high frequency terms are cost prohibitive. Instead of bidding on these few terms, focus on many related terms, some of which will get you a number one listing for pennies per click.

You may be asking yourself, “So how do I go about choosing the right keywords?” The answer to that is simple and one I advocate frequently, Do Your Homework. Get a piece of paper and draw a line down the middle, making two columns. Think about the web site that you wish to list in the search engines. If you were a potential customer, trying to find your product, what term or terms would you search for? Write these terms down in the left column on your piece of paper. Next, get out a thesaurus and look up synonyms to your terms and write them down in the same column. Third, go to the search engines and perform searches on your list of terms. Visit the sites that currently enjoy top listings. View their source and make note of terms in their keywords in the right column of your list. Compare the two columns highlighting the terms in the right column that do not already appear in the left column. When finished, move the highlighted terms to the left column. In the left column you now have a list of candidate terms for your keywords.

Other Matters
Next, you must develop an attention catching title and description. Avoid clich� filler words and phrases. Be as descriptive as possible within the constraints imposed by the search engine. Including the search term in the title and description will increase click through rates. Test different titles and descriptions for effectiveness.

Start out bidding one cent per keyword and see where you fall in the listings. Most of the pay for placement search engines will allow you to adjust the amount of your bid, so now spend some time adjusting your bid to get the placement you want. Remember you don’t have to be number one to get traffic. Usually, somewhere in the top in the top ten will do nicely. Keep track of your terms and bids in a spreadsheet. This will make it faster and easier to track your results.

Remember to monitor your keywords for positioning. Adjust your bids if necessary to maintain your position. Change the title or the description to stimulate a stale keyword.

Final Words
Pay for position search engines are not a substitute for maintaining your web page. The Keywords, Description and Title Meta tags, as well as keyword density, are still critical to your positioning in the regular search engines. Utilizing these tips simply gives you another trick to add to your arsenal in the search engine wars.

Author Bio:
Tony L. Callahan, is a successful Internet Promotions Consultant with more than twenty years of industry experience and is president of his own Internet marketing company, Link-Promote. He also publishes Web-Links Monthly, a newsletter full of tips, tricks, tools and techniques for successful web site promotions. To subscribe, send e-mail to: Web-Links-subscribe@topica.com. For an online archive of Tony’s articles available for reprint, visit: http://www.link-promote.com/articles

Pay Per Click Search Engines are without question, the fastest and most cost effective way to generate immediate traffic to your site, regardless if you’re a newbie or a seasoned veteran at online marketing.

Today, I am going to discuss all the attributes of using pay-per-click advertising and give you some useful tips to save yourself some money.

What is a -Pay per Click- search engine?

Well, simply, it is very much like an auction site, where you bid against other marketers for top placement under your selected keywords. You control where you want to be placed based on the keyword(s) you have chosen and price you are willing to pay. (more…)

From: Bill Treloar

Jill —

In a recent newsletter, you said:

“As you know, the advertising side of search engine marketing isn’t really my forte, since I concentrate my efforts and knowledge on the optimization side of things.”

I do the same, but I’m sure you’re better at articulating “why.” I’d be very interested to learn about that. Good topic for the newsletter?

Cheers!

Bill

Jill’s Response To – Search Engine Marketing vs Search Engine Optimization (more…)

The Google Toolbar
Like many other useful toolbars out there so is the Google Toolbar. I consider this toolbar a must have for any serious search engine optimizer and anyone who searches the internet on a regular basis. Here’s why…

The Google Toolbar has grown significantly in features since inception. It now features several new useful features but the main focus of this article is on those that aid in search engine optimization. So without further ado here’s the Google Toolbar unfolded.

PageRank
Upon installation of the full Google toolbar you will notice a small bar near the center of it that may or may not be partially filled with a green color as displayed in the diagram below.

Google Toolbar

This is the Google PageRank indicator. PageRank is one of Google’s ways of rating your website and plays a role in the position of your site in their search results. This value is calculated based on several variables including the PageRank value and the number of sites that link to that page. Sites with a higher page rank tend to have better rankings than other sites if all other things are kept equal. I have personally noticed a significant increase in the search engine placement of http://www.webmoves.net/blog/ whenever our Google page rank is increased.

The Google toolbar enable you to, at a glance, view the PageRank of your website as well as your competitors’ sites. This helps when looking for sites to engage in with link building as more links coming from sites with a higher PageRank than yours help to increase your site’s PageRank. It is also said that when looking for site to link to yours that you should aim for sites with a PR 4 or higher. LilEngine personally accepts links from any useful resources, however, links from sites with a PageRank of 4 and above are an added bonus. Visit http://www.webmoves.net/blog//submit.php if you would like to contact us about exchanging links with our site.

A side note
There are times when the Google Toolbar will display your website as having a PageRank of 0 or even no rank at all. If your site previously had a PR greater than 0 and you notice this, watch it for a while or close your browser and reopen it to check as there are times that this feature seems to be a bit buggy possibly due to updates etc at Google.

Cached Version
When Google spiders your site it records the latest version of your site that it has spidered and this can be viewed using the Google Toolbar by going to the Page Info button and selecting cached version. Your browser must be on the page you would like to see the cached version of at the time you choose to do this.

How can this help you with your SEO campaign?
If you have optimized your website in hopes of increasing your search engine results in Google, this will indicate whether or not Google has updated their database with the new version of your page. If the Googlebot visits your site regularly the cached version of your site will be updated more frequently than otherwise.

Backward Links
The Google Toolbar also has a pretty useful feature that displays all the web pages that link to your web page, which Google counts towards your PageRank. This information isn’t regularly updated and can’t be expected to take between 1 – 3 months before changes can be seen. Backlinks deal with quality and not quantity. A site with 1000 mediocre backlinks may not have as high a Page Rank as a site with 800 high PR backlinks.

Highlighting
You have the option of adding a highlight feature to your Google Toolbar that highlights all instances of your search term on the web page reached from your search. This can help you see how many times your competitors use specific keywords on their pages and you may modify your SEO campaign accordingly. You may also use this to check your own pages and see if you are or are not using enough of your target keywords on your page for optimum search engine placement.
Besides those features listed above there are also some other cool tools on the Google Toolbar such as:

Popup Blocker: This only works in IE 5.5 or later but is a great addition as we all know that there are many sites on the web that bombard you with popups. Some of these even go as far as almost preventing you from going anywhere else as more and more windows keep popping up. Annoyance factor 10/10.

Google Web Search: You can easily search the web using the Google Search Engine via the Google Toolbar by typing in your search terms in the search box area and then clicking enter or clicking the ‘Search Web’ button on the toolbar.

Translate: Easily translate sites into English that you may be interested in for one reason or another.

Unfortunately there is no version of the Google Toolbar for browsers other than Internet Explorer 5.0 and greater but hopefully they will be adding this in the near future.

There are many more features available with the Google Toolbar. Learn more and download it here, Google Toolbar.

Author Bio:
©Copyright LilEngine.com.
Alec Duncan is the founder of LilEngine.com a Search Engine Optimization resource belonging to the NetVisits, Inc. Network. Visit LilEngine.com for search engine optimization tips, tools and strategies.

Introduction
When first setting up a business, most people will register a domain name that mirrors exactly the name of their company. While this is certainly important for directing people to your Web site, many Web site owners do not realize that a good domain name can help with their search engine ranking.

The Common Mistake
Let’s look at how this can have an impact on a Web site. Joe Smith sets up a Web site selling plastic widgets and proudly registers the domain name “JoeSmith.com.” This is a common practice, especially among smaller companies or entrepreneurs running their online businesses from home. However, Joe should also register a domain name that contains keywords that relate to the products he sells. (more…)