Sunday Morning SEO: Long Tail Keyword Research With Google Analytics

keywords-tab-ga

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

[Read more…]

Sunday Morning SEO: When to Use Pages Over Posts

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 Some of the posts are pretty old so the products seem outdated.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…]

Sunday Morning SEO: The Role of Design and Formatting

fight-metric

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…]

Sunday Morning SEO: Preparing for Future Events

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.

[Read more…]

Google PageRank finally demoted, but remains on toolbar

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…]

Sunday Morning SEO: Using PPC to Test Keywords

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.

[Read more…]

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

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.

[Read more…]

Sunday Morning SEO: Link Building With Press Releases

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…]

Sunday Morning SEO: How Effective are Paid Links?

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?

[Read more…]