Archive for the ‘Search Engine Optimization’ Category

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You Are Properly Using Google Places; Right?

November 14, 2010

Having your business listed in Google places is extremely valuable
for increasing your visibility and your page ranking in a Google
search. There are several things you should do in order to help
increase your Google Places ranking.

Google recently reconfigured the way they rank pages. If they
think the person doing the search is trying to find a local business they
will automatically put the Google Places results at the top of the
search page. If your business isn’t listed in Google Places you will not
show up in that list. Therefore, make sure you have your Google
Places page set up.

Once you have created your page you should do as much as possible to
make  your page rank higher than your competition’s Google Places
rankings.

Here are a few things you can do to help create a positive Google Places ranking.

1. Have a 100% complete profile. If you took enough time to fill out all
the information you should get much further along than those who
don’t fill out the profile. That’s common since.

2. Upload photos and videos [If you have them] to your places page. Make
sure your favorite photo is the first one you upload. This picture will be
used as a profile photo that people can actually see when your place
shows up in a Google search. Here is an example of what the
places search results
will look like when it displays your photos.

3. Get reviews! This is extremely important! First of all, don’t write your
own reviews. Most of the time it is obvious that they aren’t genuine. Take a
look sometime at someone who has a lot of reviews and look at the
dates they are posted. Some businesses will suddenly have a boost of
reviews all on the same day or within a period of a few days. Then the
reviews stop coming in. Those almost always turn out to be the
company writing reviews on itself.

If you have a quality business it shouldn’t be hard to ask a few of your
top customers or clients to write a short review for you. Asking 10
people to write a review for you will significantly improve your
ranking and credibility. You could even offer an incentive to get your
favorite customers to write for you.

4. Use Google Posts. Using Google Posts is like using the status
update for Facebook. You are able to enter as many as 160 characters of
text and publish it with your places page. If you have something going
on make sure to use the Google Posts option to let people know about
it. Also, consider using keywords to add to your industry relevance.

5. Have a well designed website. If your website is built well for search
engine optimization purposes you will seem important to Google. This will
of course be helpful for your places ranking when someone is
searching for a local business.

6. Add a description for your company. This is a short description but it
is an excellent place to add the most relevant keywords for your
industry.

7. Properly categorize your places page. There is a section that allows
you to categorize your business. If you own an ice cream business and
don’t categorize it as ice cream it may be difficult to get your page to
show up in an ice cream business search. Make sure to categorize your
business properly.

There are some more strategies and aspects to successfully using Google
Places but I think the seven points listed above are perhaps the most
important things to be taken advantage of.

I hope this helps and please feel free to leave comments and suggestions
to this post!

Thanks for reading,

~Joshua Lyons

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3 Important Things to Check on Your Website

October 31, 2010

I don’t know much about html and programming, but I can tell if my
company website is designed to get the attention of Google and other
search engines.

I’ve noticed that a lot of websites are built to appear attractive to
visitors but ignore hidden aspects that make search engines happy.

Here are some steps my company took to increase our page rankings
on some various search terms. We now rank number one in almost
every search that people use to find us.

Go to your website and right-click on the background. In the tab that
appears you will see an option to click on “View Source (V).” Click that
option.

There are three things in that crazy maze of letters, numbers, and
symbols that you need to find.

Meta Descriptions

Three SEO Tips1. Look for where it says
<META NAME=”description” CONTENT= towards
the top of the window. This is the description of
the website that Google displays in the Google
search. This is the first thing people will read
about who you are and what you offer. This is
very important because the keywords people
are using to find you should be in that
description. That will help google give your page a
higher ranking. If you leave this section blank
Google will make up a meta description for
you. It’s better to make your own description using the keywords you
want. The meta description should be no more than about 160
characters long and should be written in readable sentences and not just
a list of keywords. People will read your meta so be careful as you
craft it.

Meta Keywords

2. Look for <META NAME=”keywords” CONTENT=. This should be very
close to where it has the description. This is the place where you want to
add the keywords that are most relevant to your site. You don’t have
to list them in sentence form like you do for the description. Just
add some keywords or phrases which are separated by commas. Most
people recommend that you have somewhere from four to nine keywords
or phrases. Choose your keywords well. I would recommend using
Google AdWords
to find the best keywords for your site. One good idea I
read was to include your city as a keyword. Don’t just include the products or
services you offer.

Meta Alts & Titles

3. The last place to look for is a little more tricky than the first
two. You will need to find the part of the page that says “<body….” If you
have a picture in the body of your website you will also see some text that
says “<img….” After  and are the last two places you want to pay some
attention to. Each time you have an image in your website there will be alt
and title names available to the image. You could think of alts and titles as
very brief descriptions you can give to your photos. Again, you
want to use keywords that are associated with the page. By adding
alts and titles to each image you can give Google and other search
engines more opportunities to see what your page is about. The more
you can describe your page to the search engines the better.

These three steps are focused on making keywords for the search engines
to see.

I would strongly suggest looking at your website to see if you
have individual descriptions for each page, individual keywords for
each page, and unique alts and titles for each image in your site.

If your site isn’t taking advantage of these SEO methods you should
come up with descriptions, keywords, alts, and titles and ask your
webmaster to include them in your site.

Give it a few days for the search engines to take a look (crawl) your
page. Once this is done I suspect your page ranking will improve.

I hope this helps and if you have any questions or anything to add
feel free to leave a comment.

Thanks for reading!

~Joshua Lyons

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7 Ways to Get Powerful Backlinks

October 17, 2010

Backlinks! How do I get them and why are they important?

Backlinks are links that come from another website to your site.

Search engines evaluate the quality of the site that is linking to you. If
the other site has a higher PR than your site does you will get brownie
points from Google and other search engines. If the site linking to you
has a lower PR than your site your PR could be lowered.

The more good backlinks you have the better your page ranking will
be. You could also say that the more good backlinks you have, the
more customers you will have.

There are several ways to get backlinks. Here are some of the
options available to you:

1. Write articles for EzineArticles and GoArticles. You will be able to
leave a link to your site in the author bio section.

2. Go to Yahoo Answers and Google Groups and find people asking
questions related to your industry. Once you find a good question
you can answer it and leave a link to your site. Make sure the link
is appropriate for the question being asked.

3. Make sure your website link is included in the yellowpages.com.

4. Make sure your website link is included in the website for your
local chamber of commerce.

5. Write a high quality blog. With time people who read your blog
will include links on their sites to your blog because they value your
opinions.

6.
Use social bookmarking tools to make sure your blog is seen. You
can use StumbledUpon, Technorati, Digg, and a host of other sites.
Google “bookmarking sites” and see what else there is for you to use.

7. Let everyone you know hear about your sites. Add the URLs on
your business cards, stationary, e-mail signatures and on anything
else people see. This will build awareness for you sites. If the
people you know are aware of your site there is a good chance
they will also eventually add links to you from their sites.

I recently heard of a company that annually charges $15,000 for
SEO purposes. The biggest thing they do for SEO is creating
backlinks for their customers. I did a search on one of their clients
that they have had for over a year. The search showed that their
customer has a total of one backlink!

That is pathetic! My blog currently has 33 backlinks and I’ve only
been writing for about three months! If you have someone “building
backlinks” for you consider doing a check to see if they are doing
their job.

You can check the number of backlinks to your site by using Site
Explorer
by Yahoo. “Explore” your URL and then click the “inlinks”
button. This will tell you how many backlinks you have to your site.
It will also tell you who is linking to your site.

Thanks for reading and I hope this helps,

~Joshua Lyons

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Are Social Media Your Minions?

October 10, 2010

This post is very different from everything else I have done on this
blog; but it should help drive home the point that social media platforms
should work in unison and not independantly.

Here are three of the best minions I have ever had working for me. I have
given each one some orders. They are as follow:

Minion #1: Twitter – Twitter, when someone runs a Google search there will
be 10 results on the first page. Your job is to make my name, my
reputation, and what I have to offer appear as all ten of those top search
results. By doing this we can knock all opposition off the first page of the
search results.

Minion #2: Blogs – Blogs, your objective is to continually give the world great
information. Tell them what they want to hear and give them a longing to
come back to see what you have to say next time. Then, create interest and
desire within the reader. Persuade the reader that we are awesome and that
they will do anything for us. Convince them that they need us!

Minion #3: Facebook – Facebook, your mission is to direct our fans. If we are
needing to push them to our blog and feed them information you will give
them incentives to go there. If we need people to go to Twitter, to help
increase page rankings, you will convince the fans that they need to go to
Twitter. Do whatever is necessary to guide the world in the direction we
desire.

By having my minions work together I can create an effective plan for world
domination. If they do not work together I will be left with a team of
minions who are aimlessly trying to do something but will not be able to do
so effectively.

1. Use Twitter to get your company, products, and services all over the first
page of Google.

2. Use your blog to inform your target market and to create a desire for
what you have to offer.

3. Use Facebook as a way to guide your fans to do whatever it is that needs to
be done. This could be retweeting your tweets, posting comments on your
blog, giving feedback about a product, or something else. Facebook should
be used to direct your fans.

By making your social media platforms work together you will find your
social media campaigns to be much more successful than if they are not
working together.

Use your minions and rule the world!

Thanks for reading,

~Joshua Lyons