The future of SEO is CONTENT!

Content is Still The Furure of SEO

Content - The Key To SEO

Content is, was and always will be the future of SEO! Search engines love content, give them juicy nuggets of unique information and you will be rewarded.

The rewards are numerous:

  • The more content you write and get indexed the more chances you have of appearing in a related search
  • The better your content is the more chances there is of someone giving you a backlink, trackback or bookmark
  • The more backlinks you have the more non-search engine visitors will visit your site
  • The more backlinks you have the higher you will feature in the SERP’s

Take this blog for example: I write maybe one article a month, I do absolutely no backlinking whatsoever, I often forget I own it from one week to the next…  Yet it receives 20K to 30K unique visitors per month and consistently earns me between $400 -$700 over that period. Personally, I think it could earn a whole lot more than that but this site was a “labor of love” and I do precious little to monetize it!

So let your content pull-in the search engines and backlinks… if your content is even half decent people will link to it. Once your site is established you don’t even need to get your posts indexed, an article posted on this site can and often does show up in the search results within 30 minutes of being published.

Many internet entrepreneurs fail to see how content writing can benefit an internet retail or eCommerce site. Well, here’s the trick, start a blog alongside your retail site. Write about your industry in general and link the articles back to your product pages but more importantly write about your products, write about them in as many different ways as you can. Write about each product more than once but each time focus on different variables such as sizes, colours, locations and other product options. Each article gives you a chance of being found when a customers types in a specific product search.

Example Article Title:

Featuring the Dr Martens 2976 Boots -Size 9 Boots in GAUCHO or Brown

This may feature in a search for “Dr Martins Boots” but probably wont. However, it stands a great chance of featuring in a search for “Dr Martins Boots size 9 in brown” or numerous other variations of that search… And believe me many customers are that specific when they search for products. What’s more, it’s often the case that the more specific the search expression is the closer the customer is to making a buying decision! Think about it, while your researching the market your searches tend to be very general but when you’ve decided what you want and you’re about to buy it, your searches tend to become very specific.

I have many articles that pull 2K+ UV’s per month but I also have articles that pull just 50 UV’s per month that are just as profitable. Simply because they are very focused articles and therefore convert the visitors at ridiculously high rates.

Nothing is free but once I’ve invested my 20-30 minutes to write an article (or pay someone to do it for me) there’s nothing more to pay and if that article converts just 10 times a year for the next five years it’s time  / money well spent!

This process may be a little slow and boring compared to the immediate hit you get from paid traffic but it’s solid sustainable income that grows your internet business month on month with no additional investment apart from the time it takes to keep building your online infrastructure.

SEO – Dominate the search engines for your keyword

dominate

This is really easy stuff so I’ll make it brief and easy to follow.

So you’re looking for good positions on the search engines preferably on the first page and better still, somewhere in the top 5 results.  Well it’s not necessarily as difficult as you may think and on occasions you can get your Blog listed multiple times on the 1st page meaning you can completely dominate that particular search term.

First, consider what search term you would like to be listed on the search engines with? And what expression people will type in to find your blog?  Be realistic though, as nice as it would be, your unlikely to dominate an expression like ‘mobile phones’ with two hours work.

Now create a blog using your desired search term as the title of the blog:

(ie: Wireless Camera Blog)

Now for the longwinded part, you need to create 30/40 keyword related posts for your blog.  You could pay an article writer to do this for you, at maybe $3 article your only talking about $100 or so for all the content your blog will need.  Alternatively, you could do a bit of research and write the content yourself, it may take a bit of time but it’s normally worth the effort and you may learn something about your product while your doing it.

Post three quarters of your articles to to this blog.

The next step of the search engine optimisation process is to get 30/40 back-links, doesn’t really matter how; I often search for other wordpress blogs using the search term below:

‘Leave a Reply’ ‘Name “(required)”‘ ‘Mail (will not be published) “(required)”‘ ‘Website’ + ‘wireless spy camera’

Leave the quotation marks in place and replace ‘wireless spy camera’ with your own target keyword expression.  This search will return a list of wordpress blogs that have some relation to your keyword expression in the post.  Simply leave constructive comments on 50 – 100 blogs, try to make your comments as legitimate as possible… avoid leaving superfluous very delete-able comments like “gr8 post m8″

NOW- sign up with a few blog listing sites such as:

TopBlogArea.com
DigNow.com
topblogging.com
blogcatalog.com
blogdigger.com
mynewblog.com
TopBlogRateDir.com
Blogs.com
Blogifer.com
lsblogs.com
Bloggernow.com
BlogsOnTop.com
Skinny.com

etc… do a bit of research and find as many as you can, there are quite a few out there!

After you’ve set up accounts with the above blog sites (and any more you may wish to add), you need to add a second blog using the Title, (ie: wireless spy camera) in other words keep titles of yours blogs the same or very similar… and in the blog description, use your keyword expression:

“wireless spy camera”…etc…..

Now post the remaining articles to this blog.

Now leave to simmer for anywhere between 3 weeks and two months.  There you have it, you’ll be listed on the 1st page for whatever search term you want! (Within reason of course)

Good huh? I get a lot of traffic with this technique!  It amazes me how something so simple can have such a positive effect!

Do Nofollow links increase traffic and PageRank?

There is a general conception that NoFollow links are rubbish, so you have to wonder; is there any value in accumulating them?

The theory is NoFollow backlinks do not get indexed, this is perhaps true for a percentage of the sites out there but from experience, I can confirm that NoFollow links do indeed get indexed.

So for what reason does this happen? Well, it’s all about site authority and link relevance. Large amounts of NoFollow links do get indexed but they get indexed because of the content on that site. Despite the fact they are unlikely to increase your backlink count, there is a popular belief that suggests they will increase your PageRank.  However, for the simple reason that the link is indexed and is therefore displayed in the SERP’s, they will ultimately bring in traffic!

50% of the battle is the relevance of the link.  In order to get NoFollow links indexed they must comprise keyword rich relevant information. It’s important not to spam your keyword! Responding to questions on high PR Forums is a good example, if you answer a question making sure you include your keyword in the answer.  The question and the result (your answer and backlink) will then appear on the indexed page, meaning that it will get indexed and it will get listed even though it’s not going to increase your backlink score.

The other 50 percent of the battle is authority, Look for authority websites with lots of visitors and lots of indexed pages, google especially will index and list both the question and your answer and with it, a link to your website. (No backlink just indexed).

So the question is, are NoFollow links useless? Not at all, you should make NoFollow linking an integral part of your ‘traffic creation’ exploits.  However, you have got to make sure you find the correct sites to get your links from. Remember RELEVANCE & AUTHORITY.

90 Tips and tricks to enhance the quality of your Ecommerce website

General Ecommerce :

  • Ultimately, websites are there to provide your customers with a better service.  Don’t build your website with anyone else in mind.
  • Consider what you want each page of your website to achieve and go about designing it to fulfil these goals.
  • Tell your customers about your company on your ‘about us’ page, consider who your customers are and portray an image that will appeal to your target market.
  • Don’t rely exclusively on internet technology. Build alternative sales channels: direct mail, sales brochures etc.  Build a customer base and look after them.
  • Give your customers every means to contact you: phone, email, physical address, live chat, Aim, etc. And respond to all customer contact in a professional and timely manner.

Ecommerce software usability

  • Avoid slow loading; time consuming graphics or animations on your home page.  No one wants to sit and watch some sycophantic, webmasters ego massage before they get to your core data on your website
  • Keep your home page up-to-date with your top-selling and newly launched products.
  • Every product on your website should be reachable within 3-clicks of your homepage.
  • Recommend additional related products for items added to the shopping cart. Amazon do this very well, they recommend related products on the product page, even before the customer reaches the shopping cart.
  • Never add items without the shoppers consent, this will ultimately cause high levels of shopping cart abandonment
  • Use buy buttons whenever and wherever a product is displayed, make it as easy as possible for customers to add products to the shopping cart.
  • Display your product prices wherever buy buttons are displayed.
  • Let your customers know exactly how much your products cost.
  • Link to other sites that carry relevant information and products to your own
  • Avoid having excessive outgoing links. There are varying opinions on maximum quantities; I try to limit outgoing links to a maximum of 15 on any given page.
  • Optimise your images:
    Speed – but try to get the balance right between quality and speed.
    Use original images – where possible take your own photographs
    Name your images – use your keyword in your image naming conventions
    Alt tagging – complete image alt tags, this is another opportunity to push your keyword density
  • Create a sitemap for your site.  This has two direct advantages: First, a sitemap created in the right format can be uploaded to Google which will increase the chances of each page being indexed.  Second, it will make sure that no pages on your site are orphaned.
  • Use friendly URLs this has two main advantages: Firstly, they are easier for your visitor to remember.  Secondly, they are good for SEO, yet again another chance to plug your all important keywords.  Mod_rewrite will continue to make this possible if your using dynamic PHP content.
  • Run a blog along side your site and regularly write about the products you sell.  Content is king create other industry related articles and you may be amazed at the traffic this generates.
  • Use compelling call to actions – buy now, while stocks last, limited offer, etc.
  • Surprise your regular customers with gifts and discounts.
  • Make sure your site has search facilities that make products and content as easy to find as possible.
  • Use breadcrumb navigation, this will help your customers understand exactly where they are on your site.  It also helps your customers find similar or related products.
  • Shopping carts should be editable. Customers need to be able to remove products and change product line quantities easily.
  • Never add exorbitant costs during the checkout stage.  Avoid overly high postal costs or surcharges.  For Business to Customer (B2C) based sites, add the sales tax / VAT to the advertised product prices so customers don’t get a nasty shock when they get to your checkout. Hidden costs lead to shopping cart abandonment.
  • Never add anything to the shopping cart the customer hasn’t expressly requested.  This will alienate potential customers, which will lead to cart abandonment.
  • Avoid lengthy or unnecessary registrations prior to checkout.
  • The checkout process should be quick and simple and should only collect absolutely essential information.
  • Give your customers a sense of confidence by displaying appropriate security and ‘site-safe’ logos.
  • Provide as many payment options as possible. Cheque, credit card, Paypal etc.  The more payment options you allow, the more customers you will attract.
  • Consider offering free shipping when a certain order total is met. This may increase your average order totals.
  • Use website analytics and statistics to help you understand visitor activity and behavior.  Google analytics is free and is really rather good!
  • Give your customers as much information as possible: include delivery methods with expected durations. Also make your privacy policy and return policy easily accessible.

Design technology and development:

  • Adhere to web standards in the construction of your HTML pages.
  • Avoid the use of excessive and/or poorly optimised graphics and keep the amount of flash and slow loading media to an absolute minimum.
  • Where video media is embedding into a page don’t force it play automatically. Allow the visitor the choice if they wish to view the video file or not.
  • Try to avoid links through graphics as they optimise for search engines far less effectively than text links.
  • Where possible use text links and anchor the link with keywords appropriate to your website.
  • Avoid slow loading web pages and pay special attention to landing pages and your homepage.  Optimise these pages for speed; slow loading pages create high levels of visitor bounces.
  • Your 404 page is presented to visitors when they try to reach a page that does not exist. Try to be creative with this page, you could add a site search or navigation menu to help the visitor find what they were originally looking for or you could link it back to your home page / another section of your site.

Retail Ecommerce SEO:

  • Study your competitors SEO campaigns, SEO Quake which is a free browser plugin, will give you analysis of the sites you visit.  Study your competitor’s back-links, emulate them and improve on them.  Take your top 20 search engine competitors for desired keywords and target 30% of each competitor’s back-links.  You will quickly start to see your pages rise to the top of the indexes.  (Ignore authority site listings in your niche… firstly, they are not a threat and secondly, you will never compete with the quantity and quality of back-links that these sites attract)
  • Take the time to build a strong list of target keywords.  If you’re struggling for suggestions again look at competitors sites.  Look at their Alt tags, page titles and keyword densities.  This practise will quickly give you the keywords your competitors are targeting and will help you build a comprehensive keyword list.  For deeper analysis Goolge has a keyword suggestion tool built into their adsense programme and deeper analysis still you could look at Wordtracker.  Monthly subscription to this site will give you probably the best keyword tool on the market.
  • Limit the amount of keywords you target on any single page to 4 or less.  Targetting too many keywords on a single page dilutes the page from an SEO perspective.
  • Long-tail keywords are expressions that consist of 4 or more words.  You don’t generally have to target these expressions; you will pick them up naturally from a mixture of words the search engines find within your content.  However, every now and then you will find a ‘little diamond’, one that produces a good few clicks.  When you do, write a bit of content to target this expression.
  • Never copy word for word the manufacturer’s product description. Rewrite the description in your own words.  This may seem a bit of a waste of time but the search engines filter out duplicate content.  If you copy the manufacturers description, chances are your product page will not be indexed and will fail to show in the SERP’s
  • Use your keywords liberally in your page titles, meta tags and headings. However, don’t spam, avoid using so many keywords your text is no longer readable and never try to be clever by making the keywords the same colour as the background (an old practise that allowed webmasters to stuff their pages with keywords without ruining the visitors experience of the page.
  • Again use keywords in your product descriptions liberally.  Check your keyword densities (SEO quake will do this for you) keyword densities of over 5 could be considered spamming.
  • Try to obtain quality back-links but do so steadily, sudden fluctuations in back-links could alert search engines to back-link spamming.  Various methods for obtaining quality back-links are discussed on several other posts on this site.
  • Use links on your site to other pages on your site and when you do anchor the link with keywords relevant to the target page. For example this is an example of anchor text. Clever and relevant use of interior linking is very good for your SEO campaign.
  • Ask for reviews from your customers, the ever changing and unique content that this will produce is very good for SEO.
  • Use book-marking and social networking tags on your product pages. These allow your customers to bookmark your products for future reference or share your products and services with their community and/or friends.

Email marketing:

  • Create an opt-in email list and encourage your customers to join
  • Ask customers to sign-up for a newsletter during or just after the sales process and send regular product information to the people that join.  However, don’t flood your customers mailboxes with emails every five minutes.
  • Provide the ability to opt-out every time you send your customer an email or newsletter
  • Make sure you call your customers to action in the emails – buy-it-now, limited offer, limited stock, hurry while stocks last, buy now because when they are gone there gone – you get the message!
  • Make your slaes offer clear and concise and make sure it’s visible before the bottom of the screen when the mail is first opened.
    Pay per click (PPC) marketing tips:
  • Begin with your best selling products and build your campaign from there.
  • Use keyword analysis products to build a comprehensive keyword list
  • Start with less expensive long-tail keywords, your looking for very specific targeted expressions that will hopefully give you very good conversion rates.
  • Budget your campaign spending and analyse your return on investment on controlled bursts of traffic.  Google analytics allows you to set goal conversions which means you can analyse which keywords are giving you the best return on investment (ROI)
  • Add negative keywords to campaigns, these terms are often less expensive and may convert just as well.
  • Google have a feature built into their software that means if you improve your advertising quality score it reduces your average click cost.  So improving your ‘click to impression rate’ actually reduces the amount you pay.
  • Try to use your keywords in your ad copy.
  • Use call to actions in the ad copy.
  • Don’t get involved in bidding wars, getting the top position is not necessarily that important.  There is a school of thought; I’m told that suggests that positions 4 to 7 provide the best return on investment.
  • Deep-link your campaigns, don’t just throw all your traffic at your homepage.  Make sure your customers are taken to a product page relevant to the reason they originally clicked your advert.
  • Look out for price drops, when setting your PPC amounts you will regularly notice keywords with the following characteristics:
    Position 1 = 0.65
    Position 2 = 0.64
    Position 3 = 0.63
    Position 4 = 0.22
    You will notice there is a big price drop between Position 3 and Position 4.  This Means that if you bid $0.23 your ad will go in at position 4 and you will pay less than half than you would to obtain position 3.  This represents great value for money!
  • I often turn the ‘Content Network’ off, this means you won’t pick up traffic from 3rd party websites and your traffic will only come directly from the Google site.  However, in my opinion, content clicks from 3rd party sites tend to be more impulsive and are often not made by people actively looking for your product / Service.
  • Create various versions of your ad copy and test them for performance.
  • Create various versions of your landing pages and test them for performance
  • Experiment with your keywords, ditch low performing keywords and push the high performing ones.

Comparison shopping engine marketing:

  • Comparison engines only work for branded and or mainstream products people use them to find the cheapest price for a specific brand / model product.  If you’re selling unbranded products you could be wasting your time listing on comparison sites.
  • Comparison site aren’t too dissimilar to using a PPC network but they tend to be very targeted, clicks from comparison sites generally yield very good conversion rates.
  • Test the market with your best selling products.
  • Learn how to prepare a data feeds or find someone who can.  Comparison sites normally accept a text file, CSV file, Excel file or some form data file prepared in the form of a list of products formatted in a particular way.
  • Obviously populate all required and recommend fields but also populate as many optional fields as possible.  The more data you provide the more comprehensive your listings will be.
  • Don’t forget to use the exact Manufacturers Part Number MPN or SKU. This will ensure your listings are correctly displayed when searches for specific products are entered.
  • Update your data feeds regularly, weekly or monthly.  In some cases even daily updates are required if your business is fast moving and competitors keep manipulating their prices.
  • Google base is free and entries are displayed directly above the start of the natural listings in a very prominent location.  If you list your product nowhere else, take the time to list on Google Base.
  • Amazon market place also offers free listing but will charge you a percentage of the sales total (percentage based on what category your products fall into).  It’s worth mentioning that there are no credit card processing costs with Amazon sales, they take all the money and forward it straight to your bank account once a month (less their percentage of course)
  • Remove out of stock products as soon as possible.
  • Deep-link your listings so your potential customers are taken directly to the relevant product page.
  • Analyse all statistics and remove any poor performing products.
  • Analyse your comparison site competition, if other merchants are undercutting you or have promotional offers that undermine your listings, you may want to try and compete.

Customer support & service:

  • Give your customers an exceptional service.
  • Give your customer as many ways to contact you as possible and respond to all customers contact in a professional timely manner.
  • Use a Freephone or toll free number. It’s well reported that offering free calls can increase sales contact by up to 30%.
  • Make sure the person who takes the sale call has been properly trained and knows the products inside out and backwards.
  • Display your contact information on all the pages of your websites
  • Some customers will rub you up the wrong way.  Remain courteous and polite however ignorant the customer may be.  If it makes you feel better swear about them after you put the phone down.

Anchor text – how to use it and how you would like other sites to backlink to you

anchor_textIt’s first important to understand ‘Anchor text’ and how to use it on your own site and how you would like other sites to use it when linking to you.  ‘Anchor text’ is the word/words on a web page used to attach a hyperlink to. In other words, the phrase or expressions you click when following a link to another web page or website.

wireless camera” is an example where ‘wireless camera’ is what we call the anchor text.

The ‘anchor text’ gives the visitors to your site information about the content of the page behind the link.  Anchor text is important because it informs both human visitors and search engine robots what the target page is all about.

If you use generic expressions like “click here” as your anchor text, you are telling the search engine that the target page is about “click here”. A text link from one site to another should reference what the target page is all about. Search engines read the ‘anchor text’ and make the assumption that if you call the link ‘click here’ the page is all about ‘click here’s’. This is clearly not going to help with the optimization of the page.

Proof of how important anchor text is that it’s possible to get a page listed in the top 10 on Google for a phrase that does not appear in the pages content. In other words, using anchored links from several high ranking third-party sites could push a page to the top of Google for the expression featured in the anchor text even though the page is neither about or features the anchor text expression in its content.

When asking sites to link to you, consider providing the link code for them. If you provide the HTML code so they can simply cut and paste it into their page, you get to choose your own anchor text. An example of the link code you might provide could look something like this:

<a href=”http://www.pakatak.co.uk/camera/camera.htm”>
Wireless Cameras</a>

Mix your text links up! Use different expressions so as to avoid over optimizing any one expression.

Anchor text should be well utilized for your:

  • Incoming links – links from other sites
  • External links – links to other sites
  • Internal links – links on your pages to other pages on your site
  • Site map links – one page that links to every other page on your site
  • Home page links – links on your home page to other pages on your site

Using Keywords in your body text to Create Anchor Text

Try to use important keyword phrases in your page’s body text and link it to relevant target pages within your own site. The paragraph below is an example of how this can be achieved:

_____________________

Wireless cameras are getting smaller and lighter and at the same time wireless camera prices are coming down. The Spy camera and covert camera ranges have seen a steady reduction in cost and at the same time product quality and wireless transmission ranges have increased. Without obstacles our covert cameras will transmit a clear wireless signal up to 100m. Some of the larger Infrared camera units have detachable yagi antennas meaning that wireless transmission distances can be easily increased with high gain antennas. The night vision camera and infrared camera ranges have also seen the same reduction in price but unit sizes have stayed constant to incorporate the Infrared LED’s.

_____________________

This example has been exaggerated but it shows how easy it is to first of all weight the text on your site with your target expressions and on occasions, anchor the text with a link to another area of your website.

Keyword density is used to describe the percentage of keywords to normal text contained on your web page. Keyword density should not generally exceed 20%

Don’t forget that people will also read your anchor text links. Make sure that the words in your anchor text also make sense to your human visitors.