Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Can SEO Exist Beyond Google Personalization?

For the past few years, Google has been monitoring what you search for when logged into your Google account and in particular, what sites you click on in the SERPs. If you favor particular sites, Google takes note and customizes future searches to show you more results featuring your favorite sites, more often and in higher positions.

For example, if you like t-shirt shopping online and are a regular visitor to Thread less as a result of logged in Google searches, Google would feature pages from Threadless more in the SERPs you see for t-shirt related search queries than would normally be featured in SERPs shown to others for the same search queries. Likewise, pages from Threadless would be pushed higher up the search results than they would normally be.

Why Personalization DOES Impact SEO:

• If everybody sees different SERPs based on their searching patterns, how can you measure a consistent ranking? How can you reach an audience if their search queries are already *rigged* to show your competitor's brand?

• On page optimization and link building will no longer have as much influence on your site's rank for competitive search queries.

• Clients who opt-ín to personalization and visit their own sites may have a false impression that their sites are ranking well in the SERPs and cease or refuse SEO services.

• Clients who opt-ín to personalization and visit their competitor's sites may have a false impression that their sites AREN'T ranking well in the SERPs and blame their SEO.

• Companies / brands with greater traffic have a better chance to gain new business because searchers will see more impressions of snippets to their sites. This creates branding opportunities via snippets.
• Webmasters will start optimizing more for other search engines like Bing where they can have more of an impact on organic results.

• It will become even more difficult to rank for generic keywords and search phrases (as larger brands will tend to dominate based on market search share), meaning long tail search queries will become much more important in an SEO campaign.

• Search spam should start to be filtered out as very few people will be revisiting spammy pages. That should eventually push more relevant, naturally optimized pages higher up the SERPs, particularly those in competitive industries.

• Fresh content will give sites an advantage because new pages are more likely to stand out to searchers in personalized SERPs. Same goes for real-time content generated by Twitter, Facebook etc. Static sites are going to fall to oblivion.

• Audience targeting and snippet relevancy will become more important when optimizing web pages.

• PPC ads will have to try harder to compete with increasingly brand-biased SERPs.

• PPC will become more popular as people find organic SEO too complex and abandon it.

• Personalization should help normally lower ranked sites to get to the top a little faster via loyal customers and visitors.

• Titles, META descriptions and text snippet optimization will become SEO priorities.
• Top SERP performers will fall down the ranks if their snippets and offerings are not competitive enough, allowing lower ranked sites to take over.
• Manually checking your site rankings, or those of your clients with personalization switched on will result in skewed, inaccurate SERPs.

• Rank checking tools like WebPosition will no longer be accurate. Clients will stop asking for ranking reports (hooray!).

• Some think that Google could be using personalization to monitor user-driven search in order to tweak the PageRank algorithm based on what users actually search for.

• Brand new sites targeting competitive search queries have very little chance of appearing in SERPs customized by personalization, even with SEO.
• If you don't rank well now for your target search queries, you might slip further and further off the radar as searchers refine their SERPs by clicking on the higher ranked sites.

• If clicking on SERPs begins to impact what users see, hackers may develop malware etc. that automates SERP clicking.
Convinced that SEO is dead yet? Hold your horses. Let's aim for some perspective here.

Why Personalization DOESN'T Impact SEO:
• Personalization has been in place for some time already - since 2005 in fact.

• The main Google PageRank algorithm still applies, it's just the delivery of the results that has changed.

• Any SERP emphasis is user-driven rather than algorithm driven and personalization changes only relate to search queries closely aligned to your web history.

• Most non-personalized SERPs are not identical these days anyway. There is evidence of changes even based on the same search query on same PC in the same location a few minutes apart. Different datacenters and Everflux between them mean consistently shifting SERPs.

• SEO isn't just about SERP ranking. Think usability, keyword selection, conversion design, branding, social media, online reputation management etc.

Saturday, December 5, 2009

Managed Email Marketing including writing and design consultation of emails

Don't know where to begin with an email marketing campaign? Portal Technologies Park can advise you on best practice. We can also offer as much technical, editorial or marketing help as you require.

Email and the Internet have opened the floodgates for direct marketing. Although we're all sick and tired of deleting hundreds of 'junk' or 'spam' emails that fill up our in-boxes, a carefully targeted and designed email marketing campaign is totally different.

To start with, you should only send emails to people who've expressed an interest in receiving them from you. So you can send potential clients more information, offer existing clients a great new service or special offer, or simply keep them up to date, thereby reinforcing their trust in a tried and tested partner.

Email marketing involves sending targeted messages directly into someone's email inbox. Proper email marketing involves only sending messages to customers or potential customers who have asked to receive news, information, special offers and so on. It never involves sending out unsolicited emails or 'spam'.

Email marketing is undeniably a cost-effective strategy. According to the DMA's Power of Direct economic-impact study released in October 2006, email returned the equivalent of £32 for every pound spent on it in 2005. And don't forget that email is also environmentally friendly, so is a good 'responsible business' practice!

Here we can advise you on all aspects of email marketing, including writing and designing the emails. In addition, we provide a cost-effective browser-based email marketing system that's much more powerful, flexible and measurable than ordinary emailing.

Social media maths: is time spent online a net gain or a loss?

A recent interesting article in Management Today mentioned the research we conducted on how many small businesses in the world have websites (answer: fewer than ought).
This was as part of a wider response to a recent report about how much time is wasted on social networking sites, and particularly by those who are purportedly at work.
It’s a difficult truth that, even while we evangelize about their transformative effect on businesses, such sites can easily be time-sinks even for the most diligent workers. Even the best of us cannot deny the temptation to take a quick peek at our Twitter stream, only to emerge twenty minutes later having been sucked into a debate about who would win a fight, Superman or Spiderman… or some equally unimportant subject.
The problem is that we can’t expect our employees to be using social networking sites effectively unless they are enthusiastic tweeters, Facebookers or bloggers themselves. As we’ve said a thousand times before, you really can’t understand these sites or what they do, until you have become fully immersed yourself. Undeniably, though, by their very nature, social media sites do suck people in and it’s a strong person indeed who can resist their lure.
What is the answer? Well, one solution is to do the tweeting and blogging yourself. Most people who own businesses are so wrapped up in them that their personal lives can barely be distinguished from their working ones. In no time, you’ll have gathered around you a social circle of people in the same field, and, as is the nature of these arena, you may find that such alliances are incredibly useful, in ways you never could have foreseen.
If that doesn’t appeal, you may find that the nature of your business allows you to give the job of social media marketing to someone who is mainly stuck behind a counter, with long periods of idleness: think garage attendant on a night-shift, art gallery attendant during the quiet hours, or cinema usher after the lights have dimmed.
What if your business simply doesn’t include such job descriptions? Well, you may just have to consider that 40 minutes of wasted time each week to be part of the cost of employing someone who is truly a social media specialist.

Managed link development campaigns as part of your SEO

Boost your website's rankings with a systematic programme of courting inbound links - the hard currency of search engine rankings.
Link development is now commonly referred to as the currency of the Internet. To simplify this to an extreme, if you have more links coming in to your website than going out, you will be seen as 'richer' - and your ranking upgraded accordingly. However, the links must be relevant otherwise the search engines will penalize the site. Therefore good quality links will benefit your site more than a large quantity of low quantity ones.

We will find and contact sites that are relevant to your field, but not in direct competition to you, and encourage them to link to you without having to give a link back to them. This is an ongoing process and we envisage the initial campaign should be for at least 12 months.

With a successful optimization and link development campaign, more and more websites will seek to be your link partners. We will monitor and vet all link enquiries, recommending and responding to favorable link partners, as certain links could be detrimental to your popularity ranking.

Friday, December 4, 2009

Managed Internet Marketing with one way link campaigns

What is it and why is it important to SEO?
One way links are one way inbound links that are pointing to your website. Good quality, relevant, one way links help to achieve a high position in search engine results.

The quantity, quality and relevance of the anchor text of inbound links to your site is extremely important to Google. Anchor text is the visible text of a link to another site. Therefore, having a large number of these links is vital to any online business.
But how many should I have?
The only way to answer this is to find out how many inbound links your competitors have pointing to their website. The higher the number of inbound links they have means you need to aim to have more.

However, we have to stress the word 'relevant'. If an inbound link is relevant to your website, then the search engines will consider it a quality link and will take notice of it. Search engines include link popularity in the way they evaluate the web pages they include in the search engine databases. These inbound links are seen as a positive vote indicating the quality of the web page the link is pointing to.

A one way link building programme is extremely time consuming and requires continuous work - which is why we offer it as one of our managed services. We do the work, while you concentrate on your business.

Wednesday, December 2, 2009

A small change to Google

It’s a small change – but Google’s making a big thing out of it.
You may have noticed, last time you visited Google, that the size of the search box has increased. There again, you may not have noticed: it’s quite a subliminal tweak, and, as search is, by its very nature, a means to an end, you may have had something else on your mind.
There was never any limit to how many words you could fit into that little Google search box, but it’s longer now, so you can see more at once.
So what is the point? Well, Google is trying to sell it as a way of emphasising that Search is their primary and most important product, despite their diversification into so many other areas.
Champions of accessibility and usability might hail it as a welcome step too: larger fields and larger buttons are easier to see, locate, and use.
Ultimately, I suppose, it’s a design tweak, and one we’ll all get used to. Where Google leads, others often follow, so watch this space for larger search fields across the other major search engines – and other websites.

Google domestic trends

If you’re in the selling business, Google’s Domestic Trends reports should interest you.
They are based on the idea that search data can inform us about the purchasing intentions of the populace. If people are searching for terms like ‘jewellery’, ‘perfume’ or ‘Tiffanys’, then we may assume that the luxury goods market is buoyant, the economy on the up. It’s much the same train of thought that led Google to claim it might predict a flu epidemic by aggregating the number of searches for ‘flu symptoms’ and similar.
On the other hand, if searches for ‘do it yourself’, ‘jobs’ or ‘unsecured loans’ are on the up, then we may all be in trouble – except, of course, for DIY stores, employment agencies and loan firms.
At the moment, the data refers to searches on, and primarily reflects habits in the USA – but we’ve seen most other Google services unroll to other countries, so I’d think we can expect a UK version in the near future. This free tool might just become one of the strongest at your disposal.

Educate yourself with Google’s Internet Stats

Have you ever needed to convince stakeholders of the value of your website?
Possibly you’re not even 100% convinced yourself. In either case, Google’s Internet Stats page is the place to visit for nifty soundbites. Next time you have to present to your investors, get colleagues “on side”, or even explain to Auntie Majore why you’re putting money into your online presence, you’ll be able to pull out facts like these:
· Online spending in the UK grew 25% to £18.4 bn in 2008, outperforming the 2.1% increase in total retail.
· Over half (51.0%) of consumers are using the Internet before making a purchase in shops, educating themselves on the best deals available.
· Social networks have a penetration of nearly 75% among European Internet users.
Each of these little nuggets of insight speaks volumes, and should provoke useful debate in your own workplace. If you prefer a surprise, just hit the ‘random statistic’ button, and see what you learn.

Brand names: fair game?

Suppose you went shopping for a designer bag on the High Street one day. You head towards the Louis Vuitton shop, but before you go in, you see another bag shop next door. Something catches your eye, and you go home not with the Vuitton bag you had planned to, but with a cheaper alternative.
There’s not much Louise Vuitton can complain about there – you would have exercised your consumer choice as you saw fit. This is the analogy I keep coming back to when I consider the current legal tussle between Louis Vuitton and Google.
Briefly put, Louis Vuitton want Google to stop returning sponsored AdWords from other companies when users search for their brand name. We’ve all been there, if not when designer bag shopping, then in similar situations: you search for ‘Fox & Sons’, and a number of other estate agents’ ads appear. Search for ‘Interflora’ and the price-undercutting M&S flower service is offered (and that’s another case that has been taken to the courts, as well).
I try to look at every online situation from the user’s point of view, and here is where I think we see the kernel of the issue. If I am looking for, let’s say, Nike shoes, there is nothing more frustrating than clicking on a sponsored link that promises them at greatly reduced prices, only to find myself on a website with no Nike on offer.
For me, the real key is the wording. Offer the consumer some choice, sure – but make it clear exactly what is available, be it bags similar to Louis Vuitton’s ones, or shoes that are nothing like Nike’s, but which I might like anyway. If I click on a Google Adword and leave the site with no purchase, Google’s PPC model means that the site loses financially, and I lose my time. The only winner is Google.
That’s why, in my opinion, Google needs to refine its rules a little: not to crack down on bids for trademark keywords, but to insist on precise descriptions of what the user will find when they click through. Not easy in the small space available, but surely the way forward.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Measuring Results

Is your site generating more leads, higher quality leads, or more sales? What keywords are working? You can look at your server logs and an analytics program to track traffic trends and what keywords lead to conversion.

Outside of traffic another good sign that you are on the right track is if you see more websites asking questions or talking about you. If you start picking up high quality unrequested links you might be near a Tipping Point to where your marketing starts to build on itself.

Search engines follow people, but lag actual market conditions. It may take search engines a while to find all the links poiting at your site and analyze how well your site should rank. Depending on how competitive your marketplace is it may take anywhere from a few weeks to a couple years to establish a strong market position. Rankings can be a moving target as at any point in time

* you are marketing your business
* competitors are marketing their businesses and reinvesting profits into building out their SEO strategy
* search engines may change their relevancy algorithms

Viral Marketing

Link building is probably the single hardest and most time consuming part of an effective SEO campaign, largely because it requires influencing other people.

Marketing phenomenon that facilitates and encourages people to pass along a marketing message.
The beautiful thing about viral marketing is that creating one popular compelling idea can lead to thousands of free quality links. If your competitor is building one link at a time and you have thousands of people spreading your ideas for you for free then you are typically going to end up ranking better.

Viral marketing depends on a high pass-along rate from person to person. If a large percentage of recipients forward something to a large number of friends, the overall growth snowballs very quickly. If the pass-along numbers get too low, the overall growth quickly fizzles.

At the height of B2C it seemed as if every start up had a viral component to its strategy, or at least claimed to have one. However, relatively few marketing viruses achieve success on a scale similar to Hot mail, widely cited as the first example of viral marketing.

Elements of a Viral Marketing Strategy

Accept this fact. Some viral marketing strategies work better than others, and few work as well as the simple strategy. But below are the six basic elements you hope to include in your strategy. A viral marketing strategy need not contain ALL these elements, but the more elements it embraces, the more powerful the results are likely to be. An effective viral marketing strategy:

1. Gives away products or services
2. Provides for effortless transfer to others
3. Scales easily from small to very large
4. Exploits common motivations and behaviors
5. Utilizes existing communication networks
6. Takes advantage of others' resources

In SEO many people create content based around linking opportunities.

Brand Building

Brand related search queries tend to be some of the most targeted, best converting, and most valuable keywords. As you gain mind share people will be more likely to search for your brand or keywords related to your brand. A high volume of brand related search traffic may also be seen as a sign of quality by major search engines.

If you build a strong brand when people search for more information about your brand and other websites have good things to say about your brand, these interactions help reinforcing your brand image and improving your lead quality and conversion rates.

Things like advertising and community activity are easy ways to help improve your brand exposure, but obviously branding is a lot more complicated than that

Brand Building

Brand related search queries tend to be some of the most targeted, best converting, and most valuable keywords. As you gain mind share people will be more likely to search for your brand or keywords related to your brand. A high volume of brand related search traffic may also be seen as a sign of quality by major search engines.

If you build a strong brand when people search for more information about your brand and other websites have good things to say about your brand, these interactions help reinforcing your brand image and improving your lead quality and conversion rates.

Things like advertising and community activity are easy ways to help improve your brand exposure, but obviously branding is a lot more complicated than that

Link Building

Search engines view links at votes, with some votes counting more than others. To get high quality links (that help your site rank better) you need to participate in the social aspects of your community and give away valuable unique content that people talk about and share with others. The below Google TouchGraph image shows a small graphic representation of sites in the search field that are related to based on linking patterns.

Link building tips

* try to link to your most relevant page when getting links (don't point all the links at your home page)
* mix your anchor text
* use Yahoo! Site Explorer and other tools to analyze top competing backlinks
* don't be afraid to link out to relevant high quality resources

Link building strategies

* submit your site to general directories like DMOZ, the Yahoo! Directory, and
* submit your site to relevant niche directories
* here is more background on directories and SEO
* if you have a local site submit to relevant local sites
* join trade organizations
* get links from industry hub sites
* create content people would want to link at

Search Engine Indexing Limits.

1. Page File Size==> No more than 150 kilobytes (Before Images, CSS and other Attachments).

2. Amount of links==> No more than 100 unique links per page.

3. Title Tag==> No more than 70 characters.

4. Meta Description==> No more than 155 characters.

5. Parameters in URL==> No more than 2.

6. Depth of URL==> No more than 4.

On Page Optimization

It is hard to rank for keywords that do not appear in your page content, so each page should be organized around the goal of ranking for a specific keyword phrase, with some related phrases and related keywords mixed into the page copy.

Unique descriptive page titles play a crucial role in a successful search engine optimization campaigns. Page titles appear in the search results, and many people link to pages using the page title as their link anchor text.

If possible create hand crafted meta description tags which compliment the page title by reinforcing your offer. If the relevant keywords for a page have multiple formats it may make sense to help focus the meta description on versions you did not use in the page title.

As far as page content goes, make sure you write for humans, and use heading tags to help break up the content into logical sections which will improve the scanability and help structure the document. When possible, make sure your page content uses descriptive modifiers as well.

Each page also needs to be sufficiently unique from other pages on your site. Do not let search engines index printer friendly versions of your content, or other pages where content is duplicate or nearly duplicate.

Image Optimization

If your site has lot of images, you need to optimize them too as they can’t be read by the search engines. It’s very easy for a human reader to interpret the image into its meaning. However for a Web crawler the whole interpreting process is completely different. Search Engine spiders can only read text but not images. So you need to use some special tags for your images in order to give them some meaning.

Alt text : ALT text or Alternate Text is the text to describe your image when your mouse moves over an image on your web page. The text should be meaningful but short. You can use your relevant keywords as ALT text. If your browser can’t display the image for some reason, the alt text is used in place of that particular image.

File name : always use meaningful file name for your images, use names like “apple-iphone-cover.jpg” instead of meaningless “DSC24045.jpg”. Keep image file name same or similar to the ALT text.

Image Title : always use the title tag in images which will show the title as tool tip when a user moves his mouse over the image. Example of an image with title tag: [img src=” http://imagelocation.jpg” alt=”Image description” title=”Title of the Image”]

The "title" of a Web page is the name of the page as it appears on the top of your Web browser. For instance, the title of this page is How to Search Within Web Site Titles Using Google's Intitle: Syntax.
Sometimes you may want to find Web pages where one or more words appear in the title of the page. For instance, many Web pages may mention feeding iguanas, even if that's not the main focus of the page. If you'd like to find a page dedicated to iguana feeding, you can use the Google syntax intitle: to force Google to only list results that have the word "feeding" in the title. Do not put a space between the colon and the next word. The search would look something like this:
intitle:feeding iguana
This will find Web pages that are relevant to the keyphrase "feeding iguana," and it will only list results that have the word "feeding" in the title. If you'd like to restrict the search further, you could search for:
intitle:feeding intitle:iguana
You can also use the syntax allintitle: which only list results where all the words in the key phrase are in the title.
allintitle:iguana feeding
Image Linking : Whenever you want to link to your image, use the image keywords in your link text. Example: use “view an Apple iPhone”, instead of “Click here to view” as the anchor text.
We generate and send Google Analytics reports to you by email that tell you exactly what keywords your visitors searched for and even which search engine they used to find your site.
Increase Your Website Traffic In Less Than 1 Month!
Following are the main areas in a web page that search engines give more importance in their ranking algorithm:

1. Title =2.0
2. Link Popularity =2.0
3. The main body text =1.5
4. Domain name =1.0
5. Keyword Promience =1.0
6. Heading tags =0.5
7. Proximity of keywords =0.5
8. Bold or italic =0.4
9.Folder or filename =0.4
10. Meta description =0.3
11. Alt tag =0.2
12. Title attribute =0.1
13. Meta keywords =0.1

Total Score = 10

Site Structure

How should you structure your site?

Before drafting content consider what keywords are your most important and map out how to create pages to fit each important group of keywords within your site theme and navigational structure based on

* market value
* logical breaks in market segmentation
* importance of ranking in building credibility / improving conversion rates

You may want to use an Excel spreadsheet or some other program to help you visualize your site structure.

Make sure

* your most important categories or pages are linked to sitewide
* you link to every page on your site from at least one other page on your site
* you use consistant anchor text in your navigation
* you link to other content pages (and expeically to action items) from within the content area of your website

If you are uncertain how deep to make a portion of the site start by creating a few high quality pages on the topic. Based on market feedback create more pages in the sections that are most valuable to your business.

Keyword Research

What keywords are people searching for?

Use the Keyword research tool to search for popular and Long Tail keywords related to your industry. This tool cross references the Google Keyword Tool, Wordtracker, and other popular keyword research tools. Notice how our keyword tool provides daily search estimates and cross references other useful keyword research tools.

Keyword research tools are better at providing a qualitative measure than a quantitative measure, so don't be surprised if actual traffic volumes vary greatly from the numbers suggested by these tools. When in doubt you can also set up a Google AdWords account to test the potential size of a market.

In addition to looking up search volumes for what keywords you think are important also take the time to ask past customers how they found you, why they chose you, and what issues were important to them in chosing you.

You can also get keyword ideas by doing things like

#Checking your web analytics or server logs
#Looking at page contents of competing websites
#Looking through topical forums and community sites to see what issues people frequently discuss

Market Research

The first step is to search the major search engines to see what types of websites are ranking for words which you deem to be important. For example, if mostly colleges, media, and government institutions are ranking for your most important terms it may be difficult to rank for those types of queries. If, on the other hand, the market is dominated by fairly average websites which are not strongly established brands it may be a market worth pursuing.

You can extend out the research you get from the search results by using the SEO for Firefox extension with the Firefox browser. This places many marketing data points right in the search results, and thus lets you see things like

* site age
* Google Page Rank
* inbound link count
* if any governmental or educational sites link at their site
* if they are listed in major directories
* if bloggers link at their sites

Introduction of SEO

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the art and science of publishing and marketing information that ranks well for valuable keywords in search engines like Google, Yahoo! Search, and Microsoft Live Search.

Search engines only show 10 results on the first page, and most searchers tend to click on the top few results. If you rank at the top business is good, but if you are on the second or third page you might only get 1% of the search traffic that the top ranked site gets.

The 2 most powerful aspects of search engine marketing are

1)users type what they want to find into search boxes, making search engines the most precisely targeted marketing medium in the history of the world.

2)once you gain traction in the search results the incremental costs of gaining additional exposure are negligible when compared with the potential rewards, allowing individuals and small businesses to compete with (and perhaps eventually become) large corporations

While many people consider SEO to be complicated, I believe that SEO is nothing but an extension of traditional marketing. Search engine optimization consists of 9 main steps

1. market research
2. keyword research
3. on page optimization
4. site structure
5. link building
6. brand building
7. viral marketing
8. adjusting
9. staying up to date
....Our Business Partners....

Rainrays Web Directory

Earn upto Rs. 9,000 pm checking Emails. Join now!