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To get good traffic, your website needs to be popular, to be popular, your website needs links, to get links, your website needs to be popular….Before you groan in defeat, let me explain. Now everyone agrees that link popularity is critical for your website’s visibility, traffic, and thus success. It is something you need to have. As I pondered the ways of establishing and improving one’s “popularity”, eventually all come back to one central issue–your website must be designed to be popular.

Link popularity is a basically the measure of links pointing to your website and is meant to be a measure of the best websites. Theoretically those websites that have the most links pointing to them must be important and thus worth the visit. Unfortunately, there are a lot of folks out there that have created programs to “boost” your popularity artificially and all they have done is create spam and muddy the picture. The search engines and directories are keeping a close eye on these programs. (more…)

If you have spent any time on the web, you must have come across a website that uses Zeus to build its link directory. It seems to be everywhere. Zeus offers a free and paid version, but the majority I have come across have the free version-you can tell by the banner ads.

Another way you might have come across a Zeus directory is by getting an email asking for a link exchange. “Dear Sir/Madam: Wow, what a great site, lets link….” or “Hi I recently visited your site…”

Saving time and energy is something everyone looks for when doing any project either on-line or off. Why take 20 hours when it can be done in 2 with help? For a successful website, one needs to build links and this takes time. Thus Zeus and other programs have been developed to automate this process. (more…)

Link building is all about traffic–trying to get more targeted traffic so you can get more visitors and/or sales.

Now everyone talks about your traffic increasing when you make improvements to your link popularity via reciprocal linking and through general link building, but rarely has anyone every discussed how you can tell. You need to have a reliable way to measure your website traffic. Sounds simple enough, but it really is not.

There are tons of free and paid services (see links below) you can use to measure your traffic. But before you start searching the web, check with your web hosting company and see if you have access to your server logs-if so should provide the best overall picture for your website. When I compare the traffic reports from my server logs and those from a free service I subscribe to, I get very different results. (more…)

You have no doubt been bombarded with emails from all manner of marketing ‘gurus’, including most of the big names, telling you to hurry up and get in on the “once in a lifetime” marketing opportunity of owning a long domain name of up to 65 characters.

Apparently the main attraction is that you can now stuff your domain name with relevant keywords for your site, and by doing so, increase your site’s ranking in the search engines.

The way most are talking, you’d be forgiven for thinking that owning a long keyword-rich domain is the key to bringing heavy traffic to your site! (more…)

Hi Jill,

I’m pretty new to this sort of thing and there’s a LOT of info out
there so I’m hoping your newsletter can help me out. My site comes up
great on MSN and ok on some other sites, but I’m having a hard time
getting it on Google. I’ve been spending my days trying to get
reciprocal links with good (high PageRank) Websites so hopefully that
will help in the coming weeks.

I guess a quick question I would have (2 actually) is:

Roughly how long after someone adds me to their link page should it come up in a Google reverse link search? I’ve been on a few other sites for about a week now but the Google backlinks only show me on one site. (more…)

Don’t mess with those links! When you’re designing your site, you should leave your text links in their natural state–blue and underlined.

We all want to be creative and not do the bland, expected, normal thing. We want to change our links to red, green, yellow, even black–anything but blue. And we have the urge to take off those underlines.

Resist the temptation. It’s hard. But there’s a good reason to leave them alone. (more…)

A lot of times, browsing a website is sort of like playing hide and seek.

Visitors know the information they need is probably available somewhere on the site, but it’s lurking underneath several layers of pages. They are required to go find it.

These websites have the attitude that it is enough to merely provide good information or products. However, they don’t worry about compelling visitors to go in a specific direction or take a specific action.

There may be lots of good information or services available on the site, but visitors are left to take the initiative and pursue it themselves. (more…)

On many sites, it’s impossible to lead visitors straight to your primary goal on the home page. Getting visitors to take your most-desired action often means you have to use your home page to channel them down a certain path. You have to guide visitors through a set of choices before they can actually complete the action you want them to take.

It’s true that some websites revolve around a single product or a single service, in which case, it’s easier to move visitors to your primary goal immediately on the home page. However, your website may offer two or more products or services that are somewhat unrelated to each other, or that target slightly different audiences. (more…)

They Pick & Choose
I’ve seen a lot of articles around lately about how to pick and choose a search engine optimization company. That’s fine and dandy, but it often works the other way around in this industry. The most successful SEOs pick and choose their own clients. Good SEOs can spot a tire kicker from a mile off and I know of a few SEOs that quickly “fire” clients that give them too much grief.

Why? Because they can. Their reputation is widely known and they are constantly in demand. Many of them are too busy to spend time haggling over price or technique and why should they? Their reputation is rock solid, their results outstanding, the ROI for their work impressive. Companies are lining up to pay for their expertise and to benefit from the amazing income generation potential that a well-executed search engine optimization campaign can bring. To quote one of the best:

“I choose clients who choose me” – Jill Whalen, (more…)

A Good Smack
If you’re reading this and your web site doesn’t contain any body text on the home page, give yourself a good smack and go to your room without supper. When you?re ready to behave and design your site with the search engines in mind, come back out and read this article.

The simple truth is this: search engines read text and not much else. You absolutely, positively need to use text on the pages of your site that you want indexed and ranked highly. Not graphical text that you created in your fancy design software, but actual, visible body text. Not sure if your site uses graphical or body text? A good rule of thumb that I learnt from search engine guru Danny Sullivan is to try and highlight the text with your mouse. If you can drag your mouse over the text when viewing it in a browser, chances are this is body text and the search engines can read it.

Ok, so you’ve created your body copy and your site pages are loaded with good old-fashioned text. But your job?s not over! Now you need to get targeted. Search engines aren’t going to rank your web site about socks highly if your body copy talks about foot sizes. You need to get specific. If you sell socks, then for heaven’s sake, make sure your site copy has plenty of references to the word socks! At the risk of sounding like Dr Seuss, if you want to be found for, big socks, small socks, cotton socks and wool socks, then mention them all. Better still, sort your copy into categories based on your products and services. If you sell blue socks AND red socks, then have a page dedicated to each kind. This allows you to target niche keywords within your copy and meet the relevancy guidelines for logical search queries.

It sounds so obvious, but I’m constantly amused by the number of web sites I see selling particular items without once making reference to those items in their body copy. For example, there are thousands of sites on the Internet promoting web site design services right? Next time you see one; take a look at their body copy. You’ll be surprised how often you?ll see flashy looking sites without a single mention of the phrase “Web site design” in their page copy. Instead they’ll use fancy all graphic pages or Flash movies. Or if they do use body text, it might include cryptic jargonized language like “Internet Solutions” or “online brand building”.

What the heck does this tell a search engine about their business? Absolutely nothing. Are these sites going to be considered a relevant match for search queries about “web site design”? No way! The creators of these sites might think they’re being clever, but they are really missing the boat entirely. What?s the point of having a web site if you are going to sabotage its ability to be found?

Your Website
Anyway, back to you and your web site. So now you?ve added plenty of text to your pages and the copy flows well for the reader. You’ve researched your keywords and phrases using WordTracker or something similar and now you’re faced with the dilemma of integrating the keywords into your carefully written copy. So how do you satisfy the search engine’s craving for keywords without interrupting the copy flow for the reader? The answer is: very carefully.

Let’s take a look at a practical example. We have a client that specializes in luxury adventure travel. Before I optimized their site, part of the home page copy read like this:

>> “We specialize in providing vacations for people who want a personal service. We bring to our efforts a fanatical obsession with quality and exclusivity. We also bring a freshness, an outward-going passion for discovery which justifies our growing reputation as one of the world’s top travel providers. We can put together packages that include all adventure activities, accommodation, transport and food.

Extensive WordTracker keyword research for the client had determined that the home page should target the following key phrases:

  • adventure travel
  • best adventure vacations
  • tailored travel
  • overseas adventure travel
  • luxury travel packages

So taking our original home page text, the challenge was to integrate these keywords carefully and naturally so as not to disturb the logical flow of the copy and lose the interest of the visitor. Here’s how I did it:

“We specialize in providing the best adventure vacations for people who want a personal and tailored travel service. We bring to our efforts a fanatical obsession with quality and exclusivity. We also bring a freshness, an outward-going passion for discovery which justifies our growing reputation as one of the world’s top overseas adventure travel providers. We can put together luxury travel packages that include all adventure activities, accommodation, transport and food”.

Note that the key phrase “overseas adventure travel” accommodates the phrase “adventure travel” too. Voila! The search engines are happy because the site contains text content relevant to related search queries, the client is happy because we were able to integrate the keywords without distracting the visitor and I’m happy because I know the site is going to rank highly for the client?s target search terms.

Now go and apply the same principles to your own site…

* Please note that web site content quoted in this article uses British English so what you might think are spelling errors are actually not!

Author Bio:
Article by Kalena Jordan, CEO of Web Rank. Kalena was one of the first search engine optimization experts in Australasia and is well known and respected in her field. For more of her articles on search engine ranking and online marketing, please visit High Search Engine Ranking.