Sunday, March 29, 2009

The bloggers network: The art of getting linked by bloggers

This topic has been in discussion since long, but didn’t quite steal the limelight the way it’s been doing of late. One of the biggest reasons for this is the recently downsizing of page ranks by Google that has screwed all the spams and has compelled bloggers to take the ‘white hat’ route for better page ranks. There have been several posts describing as to how can one build links and awareness with fellow bloggers, prominent in them being the ones in problogger and the post by Peter in SEObook.

There is a mixed baggage of opinions on the effectiveness of such tactics, however it should be agreed that contacting relevant bloggers and requesting them to review your blog should give you the much required boost for your website. Now, why do you think this link build up strategy (through bloggers) will work?
  • Bloggers around the globe (yet in front of their PC’s!) are in search for new ideas and resources of their interest. Perhaps you may just give them their piece of cake!
  • Even if immediate response isn’t bestowed to your website i.e. the bloggers do not link it up instantaneously, they will surely mark your site or idea for future and your idea may probably find a mention in their link round-ups or some of the related posts in their blogs.
  • Niche bloggers do have their own powerful network. The word of mouth here spreads in seconds and what one writes of, is bound to be a topic of discussion amongst fellow bloggers.
Now, let’s have a look at the tactics to be employed. Lets start from the basics (trust me! It’s important).
  • Relevancy of efforts: Contact bloggers who are more likely to buy in your resources or ideas.
  • Don’t be a turn off when it comes to grammar and spellings and do not let unprofessional vibes surround.
  • Customize the email subject (so as to not get filtered away by spam filter-adding a date would be good!) and let the tone of the subject be unlike that of spams and promotional mails.
  • Use the blogger’s name wherever required i.e. personalize the message.
  • Let the message be brief and let it make your point! The reader should get on to the message’s important part right in the first glance of the first mail- you are just another name amongst thousands when your first mail hits his/her inbox.

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Typo SEO- Success in spelling mistakes!

Search engine optimization or SEO is hanging on with every possible way that’ll increase the page visits and most probably the page ranks too. You as a web surfer must have many a times, typed wrongly! No! Not that you are necessarily poor in your English, it’s just that your fingers inadvertently hits the wrong keys. So, don’t you see a strategy there, waiting to be exploited? So, did some smart SEO minds!

Here, deterrence to the typo SEO strategy would be the fact that search engines actually prompt a message ‘Did you mean…’ in cases of typos and thus many users click on it to actually get the valid information. However, many of them don’t and further, what if the person finds the relevant information even when the keyword is misspelled?! Thus, we can actually come to a conclusion that ‘typo SEO’ actually works!

However, it may not as well work like they promise too. The misspelled keyword may let you lead in the search results but that wouldn’t count for a web visit, given in the placing of the ‘did you mean…’ sentence. So, empirically one can figure out that the actual number of visits due to typo SEO is half (or somewhere around it) of that of the theoretical data of the number of visits.

What to wait for? Get your hands on to the effective typo SEO strategy. But the game isn’t very easy, as by employing the typo SEO one always runs on a risk of being silly or unprofessional. Further, excellent research needs to be done to get the most common typos or one may just end up making a self-mockery.

Here are few tips as to how you can go about with the typo SEO strategy.
1. Unleash the full potential of your blog posts! Blog posts are formally considered to be informal and whatever one writes in blog posts doesn’t actually count to be a typographical mistake, if it’s done intelligently or in a reader-friendly fashion. Placing the typo on the URL of your blog post is another cherry on the cake.
2. Place the typos in the ‘Alt’ tags or the table tags or any other strategically good location. Indeed, by indulging in this technique you are running at a risk of losing out the correctly spelled keyword for the misspelled one. But, you got to take your chances to stay ahead in the competition. Let the placing of the typos be done smartly so that you do not actually lose out on the correctly spelled keywords.
3. Try using your Meta tags for the typos. As far as possible avoid the typos from your content unless it actually fits in the bill.
4. Try placing the misspelled keywords in links from other sites. For this, you may need the permission of the other site, but if the link is from a website that happens to believe in the ‘typo strategy’ then things must get easier for you!
5. Use PPC, as it helps a great deal in keeping your content clean and yet popping up ads for misspelled keywords.
6. Optimize the typos regularly. There are some folks out there who learn from their previous mistakes…and ironically, commit new mistakes!

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

5 links for internet marketing and SEO

It’s become quite common on the web to talk about SEO; one can corroborate this by having a look at the umpteen websites and posts on SEO. A common mistake or rather miss-out seen in these posts is the shoving away of internet marketing. Yes, indeed SEO is a major part of internet marketing, but SEO alone isn’t internet marketing! Very less is spoken about other ways that take a broader approach into internet marketing and effectively market a website.

1. Affiliation to good products/services : Affiliation to good products or services may not fetch you great returns on the SEO front but it is bound to give you lifelong income from the product or services, given in you crack up a fair deal with the company/website. All you need to do is to select a product or services related to your website and write an article on it. Yes, you are promoting it, and hence, do not bluff about a product/ service you have no idea about. Let authenticity prevail!

2. In-house email newsletter: Marketingsherpa surveys proclaim that house email gives more return-on-investment than SEO! Is anything left to say? But play the game smartly- Give a sign-up option on every webpage. Further, do not forget to declare that ‘this isn’t spam’ and ‘none of your information will be used publicly’, ‘no products or services will be endorsed i.e. no trade’ etc (promotional mails have become synonymous to headache on the internet). You could even try adding incentives for signup.

3. Subscription of RSS via other ways: Don’t constrain your readers to just RSS. Users today love to be given more flexibility to services, so try out other options to subscribe to your feed like email, twitter etc. This can also be seen as a long term strategy as by doing so, you are providing more channels to promote your website and express yourself online. Techcrunch is one of the exemplary to this method; they have around 4 links to subscribe to their RSS feeds. Their twitter account, which they use for sending out updates on their website, has around 33K keen followers and IE and FF plug-in is another option of theirs that gave them a huge increase in the number of readers.

4. A simple ‘share this’ link: This is undoubtedly one of the most underrated of all the tactics. The logic is simple- if someone likes a page they would love it to share it with their friends, peers, colleagues etc. So, just facilitate them with a simple option!! Don’t suffice yourself with a ‘share this’ word widget, use an additional link in each page with a more convincing title like ‘tell a friend’, ‘let your friend love this page too’ etc. Say, 50K people visit your webpage and 2% of them share the link and it still accounts for 1000 more visits!

5. PPC link and brand recall: PPC is used widely for a variety of purposes in relation with SEO. One of them is brand recall i.e. the usage of PPC when your page is ranking in Google for a short-tail keyword rank. You just need to bid for the top sponsored listing for the high volume keywords you are leading in.

Sunday, March 08, 2009

Evaluate your SERP competition to stay ahead in the competition

Do you evaluate your competition regularly? Perhaps, you don’t do it at all forget doing it regularly! Words of advice here- do find time rather make it self-mandatory to evaluate your SERP competition on a regular basis. Often, we need to know as to how much exactly deep we are and if it’s worth going on deeper further! You may be doing well with your website, but after an SERP competition evaluation you might as well do great!

Here are three simple ways for the job of evaluation!

1. Use a good tool for the evaluation of your SEO competition

• Nichewatch: This is a free tool, in fact one of the best in practice. The tool rates a plus in domain backlinks, page backlinks, and Google PR. However, it falls short in the criteria of domain age. Rankings for allinanchor, rankings for alintitle and rankings for allintext are some of the worthy add-ons of this tool.

• The tool isn’t one of the best in practice but it has some great add-ons that bring it to the top bracket of SEO tools. The tool is a paid one with several free searches to offer. One of the great add-ons of this website is the ‘Site share’.

• Keyword difficulty tool: This tool is available exclusively for the SEOMoz premium members. The tool however, is a gem of a tool and it’s worth it if one becomes a premium member just for the sake of this tool! Its features include domain backlinks, Page backlinks, Google PR, Domain age, Alexa rank, internal link ratio, Delicious links, Wiki links, Technorati links, and DMoz links.

2. Assess the advertisers competition

For this purpose, you may find the Google Adwords external tools to be very useful. A word of fact here- the tool isn’t a good indicator of the organic search difficulty; rather it’s a vital parameter of the commercial potential of the ads. To put the above statement is a better way- the tool’s a good indicator of the popularity of keywords and thus, ads.
A table of analysis is displayed. The table gives the information on the ‘advertiser competition’, ‘the approximate average search volume’ and ‘the approximate average search’ (on a monthly basis) of a keyword and its related terms.

3. Evaluate the organic competition using the Google search

Playing the game by just counting on the popularity charts isn’t called playing smart.
Use SEOquake or SEO for firefox extensions to evaluate the top ten search results for a keyword. Look at some of the vital metrics like the domain age, backlinks, Google PR etc and draw inferences as to how to difficult it might be to get to the top slot.

Once you analyze you’ll be having a fairly good idea as to where you are and where you can be. In fact, if you are smart enough you would might as well figure out how to be there too!

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Keyword research: A tool displaying the various relations between words

Keyword research forms the basis of SEO and thus, it’s in a way one of the essentials for any webmaster. Once you get the right keywords (after a good research obviously!), you have actually done half of your task. Further, you just need to play around these keywords and then its merry time!

For your keyword research, there are many options on the internet. Firstly, there are several websites that provide a great resource of information on SEO and keywords. Further, there are umpteen SEO tools (most of them are nice ones!) that open up an entire world of keywords for you. Some of these tools are very famous while many of them are not so popular, even though they score a very good on usefulness! One such tool is the Lexical-Freenet Connected Thesaurus. This SEO tool has been around for quite some time now and has been used by several webmasters for their benefits (yet, surprisingly not much is talked about it!).

Lexical-Freenet is a free keyword research tool. In fact, it’s a treasure of ideas on how search engines might possibly view the relation between various words. The tool simplifies a hell lot of work of your keyword research. Not just does it displays the results in words but also gives a graphical analysis of sorts for the words and its relations. It’s a compilation of a multitude of words and its relations on various bases.

The results are classified symbolically to ‘ synonymous’, ‘triggers’, ‘generalizes’, ‘sepcializes’, ‘comprises’, ‘part of’, ‘antonyms of’, ‘anagrams’, ‘rhymes’, ‘sounds like’, ‘bio triggers’, ‘also known as’, ‘occupation of’, ‘nationality of’, ‘birth year of’, ‘death year of’!!! Well to make it simple, the classification is done on the basis of the relation between words or possible relations. One could type a single word or two words to find out the various combinations of possible relations between them.

Consider this for an example, you type in the word ‘research’ in the tool. You would be surprised by the results it shows. Let’s just see few of the classifications and their corresponding results for the word- research.

In the category of synonymous words: enquiry, explore, inquiry, search are the word featured.

In the category of triggers (which means what the word would possibly trigger in a search engine query): cancer, researchers, scientists, disease, aids, patients, breast, science, medical, drug, brain, genetic, virus, development, scientific, institute, experiments, drugs, diseases, data, university, genes, cells, Alzheimer’s, vaccine, risk, project, nicotine, human, gene, fetal, embryos, embryo, effects, cure, animals.

One could easily observe the plethora of related words the tool displays. Similarly, the tool displays related words in the other categories too (it would be better not to write them all, as it would make the article quite dull and uninteresting!). Nevertheless, do check out the tool all by yourself for a great source of information. This tool along with the combination of other effective keyword tools can be an excellent recipe for an SEO technique.