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November 16, 2009

Interview: Tom Rusling, Text Link Ads

text-link-ads-logoHere, Thord interviews Tom Rusling at Text Link Ads.

Let’s start with you. Who are you and what do you do at Text Link Ads?

I am the Senior SEO Strategist. In that role, I offer resources to Text Link Ads clients that are looking to add a layer of strategy and/or on-page site optimization to their link building campaigns. TLA is by design a self serve network: clients can enter our system and find a huge array of links to choose from. However, often clients are looking for guidance around things like:

  • Which keywords should I be targeting?
  • How many links should I be buying?
  • How fast should I be purchasing links, and how much should I vary my anchor text?

And of course, many clients feel like the links they have acquired with us are not working effectively for them. Often my most important role is to help clients identify technical problems on their site which are impeding the benefit of their link building. Such examples could be incorrect use of redirects, duplicate content issues in all its many vast and wonderful forms, lack of page targeting and keyword dilution, etc. They always come into the conversation blaming the links, but invariably the client and I are able to analyze the problem and identify the source of the problem is something on-page.

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November 15, 2009

Sunday Morning SEO: Stats to Consider for SEO

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One of the things I’ve been trying to do recently has been to combine my stats analysis with SEO. Stats analysis and SEO are both powerful marketing strategies so I thought combining them could definitely improve my blog.

Most bloggers just look at their visitor count but if you dig a little deeper in your stats program, you can find data to help you make good decisions about your blog. read more

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November 8, 2009

Sunday Morning SEO: Long Tail Keyword Research With Google Analytics

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One of the things SEO specialists often talk about is the power of long tail keywords. Long tail keywords are the search terms with 3 or more words that don’t have high search volume. The shorter keywords have higher search volume but in aggregate, the long tail keywords provide the bulk of a site’s search traffic.

For example, you can have a Europe travel site that ranks well for europe travel but the majority of your traffic will come from terms like:

  • europe travel deals
  • europe travel guide
  • europe travel packages
  • europe travel books
  • cheap europe travel

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November 1, 2009

Sunday Morning SEO: When to Use Pages Over Posts

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One of the things that has worked out well for me is strategically using pages. Just because you have a blog doesn’t mean all your content needs to go in posts. Here are a couple instances to consider pages instead.

Sales page: This seems like a no-brainer but I have seen blogs selling their products on posts. Some of the posts are pretty old so the products seem outdated. read more

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October 25, 2009

Sunday Morning SEO: The Role of Design and Formatting

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You may be surprised to see a post about design and formatting in an SEO column. These elements have nothing to do with keywords. But in my experience, they can play a crucial role in link building.

I found this out from one of my blogs about a year ago. A couple weeks after I started the blog, I started getting links and some of the linkers commented about how they liked my blog’s design. This was the first blog I launched that had a custom design. In the past, I would start blogs but just use a common free theme. I would modify it a little bit, but you could still tell that it was a common design. (If you’ve seen all the similar Thesis themed blogs running around, you know what I’m talking about.) read more

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October 18, 2009

Sunday Morning SEO: Preparing for Future Events

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One of the things I realized when I first did SEO was that your new pages and posts don’t automatically get indexed right away by Google unless you have a very authoritative, or trusted site. Also, once your pages are indexed, it usually takes time to rank for your desired keywords.

Therefore, I started preparing for keywords that I knew would get a high search volume in the near future. These keywords were based on popular future events in my niche.

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October 15, 2009

Google PageRank finally demoted, but remains on toolbar

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Google PageRank, which has caused its fair share of excitement, disappointment, worry and FUD over the years, finally seems to be on its way out.

Although Google has been telling people not to treat its public PR scores as an all-important metric for some time, the statistic has now been dropped from the Webmaster Tools.

Personally, I didn’t notice (I haven’t observed PageRank for years) but SEO Round Table and others found a thread on the Webmaster Central forums in which Google employee Susan Moskwa says: read more

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October 11, 2009

Sunday Morning SEO: Using PPC to Test Keywords

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Like the title of my column implies, I do a lot of SEO work – both for clients and my own sites.  However, I’ve recently started getting into PPC, or pay per click, marketing.  This has been a great education.

One of the things that I’ve learned is the importance of testing.  The fundamental principle in PPC seems to be to test every variable you can think of so your campaign is as efficient as it can be.  PPC is the fastest way to drive targeted traffic to your site.  However, if you’re not constantly testing in order to improve your campaign, you can quickly lose a lot of money.  We as humans are not perfect, so your first ads and keywords will have to tweaked as you gain data from your testing.

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October 7, 2009

Forget About the Meta Keywords Tag

Search Engine Land reports that Yahoo have stopped supporting the meta keywords tag. It seems they did that months ago, which means that neither Google nor Yahoo or Bing supports it. Sounds good, let’s focus on the actual content in our search results instead…

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October 4, 2009

Sunday Morning SEO: Are You Flexible With Your SEO Strategy?

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PeterD’s recent article, The Unexpected Success, reminded me of how marketing plans often need to be changed because of an unforeseen success.

He writes about companies who strayed from their original goals because better opportunities came up.  For example, Macy’s wanted to be known as a high-end clothing retailer.  But then, they unexpectedly got a lot of sales from appliances.  They realized there was an opportunity so they added more resources to promote their appliance brand and as a result, their business reached new heights.

Also, he brings up the famous example of old school business veterans: IBM.  He writes:

The original IBM computers were scientific instruments meant for arcane academic research purposes. However, businesses started to buy computers for more mundane, everyday functions, like payroll. IBM reoriented their company around business machines, and the rest is history. Had IBM not tuned into what was working, rather than what their business plan said should be working, they probably wouldn’t be here today.

In my experience, this kind of unexpected success happens all the time in SEO.  But you have to be flexible and ready enough to change your initial plans to take advantage of the success.

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