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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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September 27, 2009

Sunday Morning SEO: Link Building With Press Releases

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You don’t usually hear a lot about press releases when people talk about SEO, but I’ve found them to be a solid link building tactic.  There are sites that publish and promote press releases called newswires.  Some newswires like PRWeb do well on the search results.  These sites provide quality links.

You’ll have to spend some money to get the best links but there are free or low cost newswires that pass a good amount of link juice.

There are other benefits aside from the links.  News search engines like Google News scour the newswires to populate their search results.  And any site that uses press releases gets a boost in perceived authority since press releases are associated with activity and expertise. read more

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September 20, 2009

Sunday Morning SEO: How Effective are Paid Links?

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A couple months ago, We Build Pages stopped buying links for their clients.  This was a big change since We Build Pages is a well known link building firm in the SEO industry and they were notorious for buying links.  Also, just recently, I was surprised to see SEOmoz change their stance on paid links.  SEOmoz had previously recommended paid links.

Why is it that top SEO firms are now changing their minds on paid links?  Has buying links gotten so risky that you shouldn’t do it any more?

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September 13, 2009

Sunday Morning SEO: Copying Your Competitors’ Links

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Well, I’m back to continue the Sunday Morning SEO series. I took a little break of three months because I was busy with client work. I’m creating backup posts beforehand so I won’t have to take a break next time.

Anyways, today let’s look at one of my favorite link building tactics. It’s a powerful tactic that involves competitive analysis.

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September 7, 2009

Movable Type Monday: MT 5, Media Manager, SEO

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Happy Monday, folks! Big news this week: Six Apart announced the beta for Movable Type 5. The plan is to have a two month beta period, with the release coming sometime in November. Let’s take a look at some of the big new features in MT 5:

* Websites — MT 5 will have the concept of a website, which includes blogs and pages. This makes it more of a CMS, and makes it much simpler to use MT to maintain your entire site.

* Revision History — Entries, pages, and templates will all maintain a revision history. I’m particularly excited about this feature. The ability to modify templates, and return to previous version, is very useful.

* Custom Fields — Custom fields are now available on more objects and can be imported and exported. Plus, you can map them to a category/folder, so that they only appear if an entry/page is within that category/folder.

* Themes — MT 5 will have a whole new theme engine, which allows the bundling of templates, CSS, images, etc. together as a complete website theme.

…and lots more. MT5 will be a huge change from previous versions, pushing the platform more towards a CMS and further away from being a personal blog engine. We should get more details about these other changes in the coming months. read more

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August 20, 2009

Matt Cutts Praises WordPress SEO in Presentation

Google SEO expert Matt Cutts spoke at WordCamp San Francisco 2009, and the video i available over at the WordPress Publishing Blog. Why would they publish it? Well, it might have something to do with this:

WordPress takes care of 80-90% of (the mechanics of) Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Great praise indeed, and true at that. Launching a site using WordPress (or any other SEO friendly platform for that matter) is a good idea if you want to rank well in the search engines. If you’re interested you might want to check out Matt Cutts’ slides from the presentation as well.

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May 31, 2009

Sunday Morning SEO: How to Use Anchor Text Effectively (Part 2)

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In part one of this series, I gave a couple tips on using anchor text effectively including doing research on keywords and then inserting the keywords in your post titles.  Here is part two where we’ll look at other tips including optimizing internal anchor text and avoiding anchor text spam.

Optimize Your Internal Links.

Internal links are links that point to a page within the same website. These links should be optimized since they actually help with rankings. Anchor text from external links, or links from other sites, is more effective than internal links, so don’t just rely on internal anchor text. However, since you control the anchor text of your internal links, it makes sense to optimize them.

For example, look back at the first sentence of this post. I could’ve linked back to part one of this series like this:

In part one of this series, I gave a couple tips on using anchor text effectively including doing research on keywords and then inserting the keywords in your post titles.

Instead, I used the anchor text using anchor text effectively since it has the relevant keyword, anchor text. read more

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May 28, 2009

StudioPress To Get SEO’d, Courtesy Of Joost De Valk

StudioPress is growing, and the themes are getting some serious SEO treatment thanks to the latest member of the team: Joost de Valk, of WordPress fame. Brian Gardner and Joost de Valk have their own respective announcement posts up. They are both really happy with the partnership, this from the latters blog post:

So we are partnering up. I’m going to be optimizing all the StudioPress themes, and offering StudioPress customers advice on how to optimize their sites in regular blog posts and in a new blog optimization package we’ll be offering through StudioPress.

I caught up with Brian Gardner for a really quick chat about this latest development for StudioPress. read more

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