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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 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 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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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 24, 2009

Sunday Morning SEO: How to Use Anchor Text Effectively (Part 1)

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In my last post, I defined anchor text and talked about its importance in SEO.  Today, we’ll look at a couple ways to use it effectively.

Research Keywords.

It’s a good idea to do some keyword research so that the keywords you use in your anchor text are good keywords. I’ve written about keyword research before so I won’t belabor the point. read more

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May 17, 2009

Sunday Morning SEO: What is Anchor Text and Why is It Important?

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In a survey of 37 search experts, the 2nd highest SEO factor was the anchor text of links from other sites.  However, many webmasters who want to rank better on the search engines don’t know what anchor text is.  Fortunately, anchor text is an easy concept to understand.  In this post and next week’s post, we’ll look at what anchor text is and how to use it well for your blog.  read more

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