Monday, August 10, 2009

Your Target Audiences can Determine the Direction of your SEO Campaign

Without traffic to your website, you may as well not have one at all. Getting people to your site is very important, but more important is that you get the correct audience to your site. This entails knowing what your audience wants and then steering your SEO Campaign in that direction. Not understanding this can result in a weak campaign.

Some Things to Keep in Mind
So, you have narrowed down the audience and you think that you know the best keywords you want to use for rankngs. But it is far more important that you know what keywords your target audience use. At times the difference between the two can be vast and may lead your campaign into oblivion.

But knowing the correct keyword/s may not be enough either, you still have to understand which keywords are realistically achievable. Even if you have an excellent product and a site that is easy to use and packed full of links if you have the wrong keywords you are wasting your time.

What are you advertising?
To help you glean the keywords your audience use, it helps if you know who your site is geared toward. In other words who is likely to be interested in your product? For example is your product available to a Global audience, or only relevant to your country? This will ascertain which words your audience will use in their search. For example some may use the word petrol while someone else would use the word gas.

You need to know who or what type of people you want to communicate with on your page. Remember that once you have chosen your keywords, they form the basis of your SEO Campaign. It is also vital to keep ongoing analysis of our keyword rankings as you may need to change them over time in order to keep your rankings high and ensure that your SEO campaign remains successful.

and remember, Pigs DO Fly

Be realistic - SEO is time consuming

Be Realistic, an SEO Campaign is Time Consuming

Apart from the whole process that goes along with keyword selection, there is a whole lot of other stuff that you need to do on your site if you want to keep your SEO Campaign successful and relevant for your business. Once you have launched your campaign, don’t get too comfortable. Do your homework, keep monitoring, analysing and tweaking.

Statistics show that it will be about one whole year until you see any tangible results, this is of course subjective. But however long it takes seeing results will depend on how much attention you put into your SEO campaign right from the start, and constantly thereafter. Your goal is to get ranked, and to stay ranked which certainly will not happen if you are neglectful.

Individual vs. Specialist
It is time consuming and depending on the size of your site, you may very well need to employ someone on your staff who is focused on just this task. Or you have to do it yourself.

Why is it so Time Consuming?
Well, there is a lot to do - you need to check out what your competition is doing on their site so you don’t get left behind. You need accurate statistics showing how your site is performing. If your hit rate is down you will need to investigate and take appropriate action. You must ensure that your content is at the highest level and is constantly updated. These are just a few things that will help keep your site in the rankings.

Link Building
As well as all these attentions one very important aspect is link building. The concept behind link building is that you get as many links to your site as possible. If you are not sure how it is done you will need an expert to help you.

You need to make sure that your link is active at all times and also check that any links your host are active and relevant at all times. Link building is very time consuming. Advertising links that are old or disabled could affect the popularity of your site and therefore, your rankings.

remember, Pigs DO Fly

How long does it take to achieve rankings?

Unless your website address is imprinted in people’s minds the chances of any potential clients finding you in Cyberspace and doing business with you is very slim to impossible. Your website is a little island in an unmapped ocean and certainly will not bring you business.

Clients have to find you and they want to do it with as little hassle as possible. Getting results and keeping them is your goal, and this takes work and commitment, from you!

But How long, really?
Unless you have no competitors, or your competitors are not doing any work on their SEO Campaign, you might very well shoot to Number One, and stay there. But this is not going to happen in your lifetime! Results will not happen overnight so don’t expect them to! A few months to a year is not an unrealistic time span to wait, and apart from technical reasons time to approve web links and search Engines having to find new links and ‘re-spider’ new pages, keeping your results optimum will be directly linked to your ongoing efforts.

Don’t twiddle your thumbs, get going!
The work you do on your site will have a direct impact on the time it takes your SEO Campaign to get you ranked.

Think of a Search Engine as a pet that to be fed and watered, exercised and groomed. The more attention you give it, the more faithful it will be. Starve and neglect it, and it will fade away like it never existed.

Here are a few small tips to help you get results faster:-

  • Stay involved if you are using a professional to conduct your campaign. If you are conducting your own campaign it is very important to ensure that you have the resources to carry out all the work you need to do
  • Check out your competition and see what they are doing on their sites, then do more.
  • Monitor your stats. A simple Tracking Software will keep you informed on your hit rate, if it falls you can quickly investigate why and take the appropriate actions
  • Make sure that your keywords or keyword phrases are narrowed down as much as they can be and that they are realistic and specific to your market audience.
  • Don’t make any changes to your website that may result in your link being turned off by the Search Engine
  • Make sure that all your links are up to date and working
  • Keep updating your site with fresh new content
  • Set and maintain realistic, reasonable goals
  • And, most importantly, be patient!

remember, Pigs DO Fly

Friday, July 31, 2009

Search Engine Algorithms

Search engine algorithms are without doubt one of the best kept secrets in the world .

The purpose of algorithms is to keep indexing websites so that they can provide a searcher with a list of relevant and accurate information. If they can do this they ensure that searches are successful and as a search engine they are successful too.

Search engines continually change their algorithms and the reason they do this is so that they can fight black hat techniques and reward good rankings to those that practice ethical SEO.

Many have tried to find out and manipulate algorithms and to protect themselves search engines use off site criteria to rank web pages. Many have tried and many have failed.

If it were completely possible to manipulate algorithms search engine results would become totally irrelevant and this it would result in a bloody war amongst those fighting for rankings.

Is it possible to predict when algorithms change?

When algorithms change they give no warning. One day you are the top of the rankings and the next you aren’t. This is one negative aspect of algorithm changes. Yet although it isn’t possible to predict when changes will take place it is possible to predict the direction these changes will take. For instance, Meta tags.

Meta tags were designed to allow webmasters to list important keywords so that search engines could figure out where to place a website on a results page. It did not take long for unethical practices to start in which resulted in trying to fool the algorithms by stuffing keywords into the Meta tags. This caused a major algorithm change and today Meta tags no longer hold the value they once did.

Another case in point is the practice of cloaking. Algorithms underwent a change as a direct result of cloaking techniques.

Even though algorithms change it is not hard to keep your website in the rankings. You need to know the criteria search engines place on ethical SEO practice, some imagination and common sense.

more to follow...

remember, Pigs DO Fly

Spiders, Spiders everywhere

Not only webmasters need to understand spiders, if you are undertaking an SEO Campaign you should know something about them too.

Search engines use spiders or robots to index websites that are posted on the WWW. If your website is indexed this means that when someone types in a search query your website will come up in the result pages. On what page it is shown is another story completely. This is what SEO is about. However this is not only good news for your website. Search engines also benefit. The more correct and accurate a search engine’s index is the more people will use them to find information.

How do spiders work you may ask

Search engine spiders are nothing more than an automated program running in a search engine. Their job is to visit websites. Their purpose is reading content, Meta tags, Title tags and HTML tags. They also follow links that are placed on a website. They take back all the information they gather and index it.

The minute you submit your website to a search engine for publication the spiders start trolling it. They read what is on your web pages and return what they find to a central repository where all data is indexed. They keep coming back to your site periodically to see if anything has changed. The frequency they do this is determined by moderators. But, if your site is static chances are you will eventually stop being trolled. If your site is active, interesting and packed with fresh content you should get trolled more frequently.

It takes spiders some time to do their job. On average it takes a spider about six weeks to index an entire website. Even though they can index over a million pages per day, be warned not to expect results over night.

This is because the process that goes into indexing and converting web pages into entries on search engine pages is very complex. It involves data warehousing and information retrieval process and these vary from search engine to search engine.

more later....

remember, Pigs DO Fly

Playing with SEO positioning

SEO ranking can be war. Everyone wants to win. The stakes are high and one has to deploy tactics and techniques that use ethical practice in order to win.

It is important to know the rules of war, who your competitors are and where they are placed in the war, are they ahead of you, beside you or behind you? If you know this you can adjust your strategy. If you want to attract more traffic and ulitmately take business away from them then you have to come up with something different from that of your competitors.

One thing that can do this for you is content. Content in SEO terms is KING! If you want to gain top positioning and stay there you have to provide the search engine with relevant, polished, fresh and interesting content. Content needs to be constantly changing, added to and updated. Static websites are rarely up in the top rankings.

Web spiders love fresh interesting content, they thrive on it much as they would a fly caught in their web. They are hungry for good content and when they find a website that provides them with a diet rich in content they will keep coming back for more.

Defending yourself

The minute you start ranking you will have to start defending your place. Increase your opportunitites by increasing the pages you have on a particulr topic or topics relevant to your product or services. The more information that can be found when a surfer types in their search query the higher the probability they will find you.

There are millions of other websites vying for your position, so it is up to you to keep the search engine happy. You need to create trust and if you do this then the little spiders will visit you every day. To do this you must ensure that the content you produce on your site is relevant to your product or service. If you start sneaking something else in that has nothing to do with your chosen keywords you run the risk of driving the spiders away. Worse you might run the risk of penalities.

Your content has to speak to your audience. If it does you will start building brand awareness, keep spiders happy and busy trolling your pages, your rankings will improve and you will attract more and more traffic.

More later………

And remember, Pigs DO Fly

SEO Explained

SEO or Search Engine Optimisation is a marketing technique reserved exclusively for the internet.

In order to have a successful business one needs sales. In order to get sales one needs to market their products or services. It is no longer enough to just have a website; you have to get people to visit your website and while there do some business.

OK, so how does SEO fit into this? Basically SEO is the technique used to drive people to your website. It is fast overtaking conventional marketing methods because it is cheaper in comparison and has the ability reach a vast global market.

How it works is this. When you search the internet for information you use a search engine such as Google or MSN for instance. You type in your query and a list of websites comes up, generally about 10 to a page. The websites listed first get the highest hit rates, rarely do people continue past page 2. If your website is situated on page 10 you can forget about getting exposure.

SEO in a nutshell is the technique of getting your website on the first page and high up on the list. This is called ranking.

Search engine’s use algorithms to calculate how to rank of your site dependent on a wide range of rules and stipulations. They have little web spiders or web robots that continually troll websites in order to find something of interest. Once they do they take this information back and index it in the search engines listing. The more things of interest the more indexing. The more your site gets indexed the higher your rankings.

Even though SEO is cheap, it is highly specialised and if you don’t conform to a particular search engine’s rules and regulations you can get into trouble.

More later………

And remember, Pigs DO Fly