Essential Keystrokes is…

where I share my favorite tips, tools, reviews and commentary on web design, marketing, blogging, new media and related topics. For more about this site and the voice behind it, check out my About page.

Connect

SubscribeFollow me on TwitterLinked In Stumble Upon What I Digg Email me

Archive for SEO Tips

Sep
07

Educating Businesses on SEO

Posted by: Char | Comments (5)

Targeting your search resultsOne day last week I got a call from a client and she wanted to know why her business web site did not appear on the front page of Google when she typed in a specific search phrase. For the sake of this discussion we’ll just say that she was wondering why her Widgets site did not appear on the front page of Google when she typed in “widgets in walla walla.”

“Walla Walla,” I asked? There is no mention of Walla Walla anywhere on your site. Never has been.

So I spent the next 30 minutes explaining to her that the search engines don’t have some special mind reading powers. If you want the search engine to find you based on a certain phrase, that phrase has to be somewhere on your site – preferably in more than one relevant place in the copy.

I try to educate my clients on the SEO basics:

  1. Meaningful title tag
  2. Keywords that are relevant and show up in the content
  3. Solid Description
  4. Keyword rich alt tags on images
  5. Keyword rich descriptor tags on links
  6. Plenty of original, well written, keyword rich (not spammy) content
  7. Good site organization with clean, up to date coding
  8. Don’t pay $99.99 for submission into “500 search engines”
  9. Your typical small business web site will take about 6 months to really get anywhere on Google organically – they just don’t have the back links, page rank and update frequency to get there any faster.
  10. If you are going to do a Google Adwords campaign or other paid sponsorship campaign, you really need to educate yourself and enlist the services of a professional.

And while I do my best to hammer home that doing the basics, mixed with good quality content and revisiting this list every few months to tweak, I still seem to get the same question – “Why doesn’t my site show up #1 for widgets in walla walla?”

I would love to know how you educate your clients on SEO. What tips do you give them? What are some of your favorite articles on SEO for the average small business client?

Categories : Doing Business, SEO Tips
Comments (5)

While I use a variety of stats packages to monitor all my sites, AWstats is one of the packages that my web host, HostGator, provides us with (they also give you Webalizer). I was waiting for a back up to finish this morning and decided to check on my stats at AWstats and was surprised at what I saw:

AWStats

Notice that not only StumbleUpon, but also Digg are being categorized as links from an Internet Search. Interesting.

From looking at the rest of the stats, it appears that the StumbleUpon and Digg traffic indicated in the Internet Search category is different from that coming from another category – Links from an External Page:

Links from an External Page

It appears that traffic coming from StumbleUpon and Digg in the Internet Search category are the results of people using those sites’ search functions and finding my pages, where as the traffic from the external page links are the result of people stumbling upon my pages or clicking on them directly within the Social Bookmarking sites.

Have social bookmarks “arrived”? Am I beginning to see the another benefit of using social bookmarking sites such as StumbleUpon and Digg? Or both? I’d love your take on it!

Related post:

Comments (7)
Jun
20

Essential Tools – Prime SEO Research

Posted by: Char | Comments (7)

Essential ToolsToday’s Essential Tools series features Aaron Weiche of Prime Advertising & Design. Aaron is a 10 year internet veteran that loves the challenges and successes a small business encounters online. However, Aaron is also a visionary in a sense. Aaron’s blog should be held up for other businesses to see – to show them how blogging can really help to add another voice to a company’s overall brand. On the Prime Advertising & Design blog, Aaron does a great job of mixing up posts about their office, with posts about their involvement with the community, announcements of new projects, and articles that his current and potential clients can learn from.

Aaron is sharing his favorite SEO Research tools.

Keyword Research Tools

Using a combination of these tools together allows you to compare results and determine the best keywords to target.

Paid Keyword Research Tool:

Wordtracker – This is a paid tool with an annual subscription. The grand-daddy of keyword research tools helps determine what keywords are being searched the most and the keywords that have the greatest opportunity. Cross-referencing theses results with one or more of the free keyword tools below only increases the accuracy of your results.

FREE Keyword Research Tools:

Site Analytics

You ABSOLUTELY have to know where you’ve been, where you’re at and where you’re going. If your current host doesn’t provide you with an analytics tool you can easily understand, you need to install Google Analytics ASAP … this second! Not employing a measuring tool is like plugging your ears whenever your customers talk to you. Did we mention how important this is? Did we mention it is FREE?

Paid Analytics tools worth considering:

Note: In some cases you may want to employ multiple tools. Each have their own strengths and you’re better off with too much info than too little.

Utility Tools

  • SEOmoz SEO Tools – SEOmoz itself is a great source of SEO information. For free you get their blog (check out the Whiteboard Friday videos) and limited access to their tool list (which they keep adding to). With a premium membership you have full access to numerous SEO articles and tools to measure a sites rankings, term target analyzer, page strength tool, crawl test and keyword difficulty tool.
  • SEO Book Tools – A wealth of tools from Aaron Wall and his SEO book. I like the Link Analysis section most.

Sitemap Tools

  • XML-Sitemaps.com – This FREE service generates html sitemaps for you’re your site as well as XML file generation you can plug into other evaluation tools listed below.
  • Google Webmaster Central -Tools to help you evaluate Google’s crawlers, site indexing, external links, page analysis and more.
  • Yahoo Site Explorer -Tools to evaluate Yahoo’s indexed pages, inbound links, feed submission and more.

What’s in your SEO toolbox? Have you tried any of Aaron’s recommendations? Do you have others to add to the list?

PS - Essential Keystrokes will be a year old this week and I have something really cool planned for next week – don’t miss it!!

ek-div.gif

Comments (7)

RECENT PROJECTS

Team Training NE Celiac Family