Sunday Morning SEO: How Many Links is Enough?

Last month, I started SEO work for a client.  The client has a website in a pretty popular niche.  As I worked on the site, it surprised me how powerful SEO is especially the activity of link building. Since the client is in a popular niche, I thought it would be hard to get them a front page ranking.  See one of the maxims in SEO is popular niches are very competitive.  And the more competitive a niche is, the harder it is to attain a top 10 ranking.

The client was only a couple spots from the front page but I still thought it would take at least 2-3 months to get a front page ranking. However, after just one month and a couple of links, they now have not one but two front page rankings for popular two word search terms. This surprised me because it didn’t take much effort. [Read more…]

Sunday Morning SEO: Stay Motivated by Tracking Your Rankings

It often takes time to see the results of link building in terms of traffic.  Compare this to social media marketing.  With social media, you can see traffic spikes right away whenever you get stumbles, diggs, and retweets.

On the other hand, link building doesn’t send as much as direct traffic as you might imagine.  In the short term, social media will usually send much more traffic to your site than link building.  [Read more…]

Sunday Morning SEO: Improve Your Rankings by Increasing Your Traffic

Sugarrae published an interesting study on her blog a couple months ago. It’s entitled You Don’t Need SEO to Rank in Google. It basically shows that increasing your traffic can help your rankings. Usually we think of it backwards. We do SEO to increase our traffic, but if you have a knack for attracting visitors without doing SEO, your rankings will improve as a by product. [Read more…]

Sunday Morning SEO: How to Combine Catchy and Keyword Rich Titles

In my last post, I talked about the importance of inserting keywords in the title tags of your blog posts. The title tag is by far the most powerful onpage SEO factor. But what about catchy titles that don’t have many keywords? Is there a place for them in SEO?

The answer is yes and here’s how you can combine catchy and keyword rich titles to improve your rankings. [Read more…]

Sunday Morning SEO: The Most Effective Onpage SEO Strategy

Search experts may debate about a lot of things but most of them will agree that the title tag is the most important onpage SEO factor. In fact, in survey done by 37 search experts, the title tag was the number one search ranking factor. It trumped even anchor text and quality of links.

However, I find that many bloggers don’t take the few minutes (or even seconds) it takes to make sure their title tags have relevant keywords.

For example, I checked out some popular blogs from different niches and found these title tags on recent posts that could be optimized better. [Read more…]

Sunday Morning SEO: How to Find Good Long Tail Keywords (Part 3)

In my last post, I gave the second step to finding good long tail keywords: targeting the keywords on your initial keyword list. Here is the third and final step.

Part 3: Check your keyword logs.

After your target keywords, wait a couple days and then check your keyword logs.  You’ll extrapolate that data to find more long tail keywords.  This step is important because your keyword logs provide some of the best data of finding long tail keywords. [Read more…]

Sunday Morning SEO: How to Find Good Long Tail Keywords (Part 2)

In my last post, I gave the first step to finding good long tail keywords. Here is the second step.  Also, I’ll talk about part three next Sunday.

Part 2: Target the keywords.

Targeting your keywords is a pretty simple process.  But many bloggers make one of these two common mistakes.

First, don’t spam the keyword in your blog post.  Most bloggers don’t seem to have this problem, but it’s worth mentioning just in case.  Google has penalties for keyword spamming.  Also, keyword spam is annoying to your readers.

The second mistake is more common: not being aggressive enough with your targeting.  Yes, I know I just talked about not spamming but some bloggers make the mistake on the other end of the spectrum.  They barely include the keywords in their posts. [Read more…]

Sunday Morning SEO: How to Find Good Long Tail Keywords (Part 1)

As promised in my last post, I’ll cover the process of finding good long tail keywords for your blog.  Here is the first part.  Part two will be next Sunday.

Part 1: Generate an initial keyword list.

There are a couple ways to come up with your initial list of keywords.

First, use an SEO tool.  My favorite ones are Google AdWords: Keyword Tool and SEO Book Keyword Tool.  If you’re not too tech savvy, don’t worry.  These tools are easy to use.

Basically, you enter in the name of your blog’s niche and the tool will spit out a bunch of related keywords.  So, let’s pretend I have a sports car blog.  I typed in sports cars in Google’s tool.  Here’s a sample of what came up. [Read more…]

Sunday Morning SEO: Target Long Tail Keywords First

For many bloggers, when they first get interested in SEO, they will go after the most competitive keywords first.  A web design blogger will optimize his site to target web design.  A gadget blogger will go after gadgets.  However, this is usually a bad strategy.

Short keywords like web design, gadgets, and social media are very hard to rank for.  For a new site, if you do everything right, it could take months and oftentimes years before you reach the front page of the search results.  And even then, there could be 10 other sites that do SEO better than you, so your site would be left languishing on the second page.

Now you may be happy with a second page or even a third page ranking, but most people don’t visit those pages.  Aaron Wall, a prominent search expert, writes:

There is no award, little traffic, and virtually no value for ranking on page 2 or page 3, even if it is for an exceptionally competitive and high traffic keyword like credit cards.

So, what’s a blogger to do? [Read more…]