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Blog items tagged with "optimization"

10 Rules of Thumb for SEO in 2013

The best practices of SEO are constantly changing every year. In fact, almost every month search marketers are faced with new advancements, algorithm updates, and techniques that shape their SEO strategies. SEO Rules of Thumb

In this short post, we summarize 10 rules of thumb that have seemed to remain consistent over the years with respect to SEO best practices. Each rule of thumb should be well ingrained in your SEO practice.

1. You Can't Out-Smart the Search Engines

There are no tricks to getting good results with SEO. Sure, in the past there have been some automated processes that have made SEO easier (automated blog/link building networks,) but the easy ways of SEO seem to become obsolete (if not complete risky to the website being optimized.)

2. Optimize Pages for Only 1 or 2 Keywords

It's not uncommon for some search marketers to try and optimize a page for 4 or 5 different keyword targets. Although the keywords might be related in some respect, this is not ideal. Either pick your top 1 or 2, or determine if it's logical to create a dedicated page for the outliers. You'll find it's much easier to write short and concise page titles and Meta descriptions when your on-page optimization efforts are more focal.

3. Build an HTML Sitemap

One of the most important aspect of a website that often gets overlooked is the HTML sitemap. This page, which acts as an index or reference source (particularly for search engine spiders,) is considered by many search marketers to be the second most important page of the website (next to the homepage.)

4. Link Logically

Whether your adding internal links throughout your website, or building backlinks from other sources, it's important to link logically. That is, build links that make sense from a user's perspective, not just for SEO value. The link anchor text you use is a major consideration. Instead of using exact keyword match anchor text, use descriptive text and other natural forms of anchor text. Especially for backlink building, it's critical to use a blend of anchor text so that your website's link portfolio appears as natural as possible.

5. Start Integrating Social Media

There's no question that social media is having a profound impact on SEO. Social signals (such as Google +1's and Facebook Likes) are becoming a stronger ranking factor every month. If you have a blog, social media is the place to share your content. This will help inbound traffic to your website, in addition to racking-up the social signals (and search engine authority) of your website. By the way, if you have yet to set-up a Google Plus page for you website or business, this should be a marketing priority.

6. Start Producing Content

With Google Authorship shaping the search results, content creators can earn an upper-leg in SEO. Google values strong content (especially content that's socially favored and marked-up with Authorship.) It keeps a website fresh with newness, and also helps make a website more keyword relevant. Whether weekly or monthly, starting a blog or articles section on your website can offer massive SEO advantages.

7. Keyword Optimize Consciously

The process of keyword optimizing a page is rather simple. In the old days, it was all about cramming the keyword for high density. That is now a risk that can result in your website being penalized. To successfully keyword optimize a page, consider the following rules of thumb.

  • URLs: include your primary keywords in the URL (and avoid including words like "the" or "an") - shorter URLs are preferred.
  • Meta Titles: include your primary keywords only once and keep the title under 70 characters.
  • Meta Descriptions: include your primary keywords once, but more importantly, write a compelling description that motivates users to click into your page.
  • Page Copy: try to use your primary keywords once in an H1 (header) and variations of your keywords in H2's and H3's. It also helps to mention the keyword a few times in the copy (but don't over-do it!)

8. Install Google Analytics

In order to properly track and measure visitor traffic and the level of interaction users have on your website, it's imperative that you install Google Analytics on all pages of your website. Analytics is a must for all web marketers and it can help you troubleshoot issues as well as find new opportunities for optimization.

9. Get Listed on Trusted Directories

Being listing on trusted directories only makes your site appear more trustworthy and credible. In addition, most directory listing that you create will offer a link back to your website, which can significantly help for SEO. A few of the most trusted directories are Yahoo! Local, Bing, Yelp, LinkedIn, and DMoz.

10. Verify Google Webmaster Tools

Similar to Analytics, Google Webmaster Tools enables search marketers to check-up on the health and overall performance of their websites. You won't gain the same level of insights as with Analytics, but you can find out if your website is being flagged for certain problems like: duplicate content, short Meta titles and descriptions, HTML code errors and warning, and other SEO-unfriendly ailments. You can also create and submit a XML sitemap on Google Webmaster Tools which tells Google your website is ready for fresh crawling and indexing.

There are your 10 SEO rules of thumb to keep top of mind with your optimization efforts. Do you have additional questions or concerns regarding SEO? Ask us in the comments section below, or contact us directly to learn more.

 

About the Author
Tyler Tafelsky is highly engaged in many facet's of search engine marketing. He currently heads the Peoria SEO team here at OIC Group, Inc. You can email him directly at Tyler(at)oicgroup.net or follow him on Twitter.

How Web Presence Optimization is Reshaping SEO & Internet Marketing

Web Presence OptimizationA new buzzword in the Internet marketing is becoming increasingly popular. That word is "web presence optimization," and it's redefining the SEO and Internet marketing industry.

The definition of web presence optimization is a comprehensive strategy of optimizing all relevant touch points in an effort to help grow and sustain a better online brand.

SEO Evolved

Unlike traditional SEO practices that solely concentrate on keyword optimization, link popularity, and better rankings, web presence optimization blends other elements that are evolving the standards of SEO.

Now to be successful in SEO, many channels overlap in their core purpose and objective. For example, social indictors (or "signals") such as Google +1's, Facebook Likes, and Tweets can influence a pages ranking in the search results.

Furthermore, great content that integrates Google Authorship is more likely to be rank-able asset over a simple webpage trying to sell a product or services

As a result, social media, content marketing, and SEO are all interconnected in some way. This marriage has evolved the focus of search engine optimization into what we call "web presence optimization."

Other Elements of Web Presence Optimization

In addition to SEO, social and content marketing, there's more to achieving a powerful web presence. This includes marketing channels and touch points like:

  • Pay Per Click (PPC) Advertising - another medium to maximize your brand's search engine visibility for profitable keywords
  • Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO) - the interactive content and calls-to-action on your website that drives conversions
  • Mobile Optimization - ensuring your brand's web presence is well-suited for mobile visitors

If you're seeking services for SEO and Internet marketing, this new buzzword is your leverage to pinpoint the right provider for these services. Ideally, a good SEO will incorporate social media and content marketing into their mix, (whether or not they've heard about web presence optimization.)

For the consultants, experts, and agencies who offer SEO and Internet marketing, this should your insight to evolve your optimization service programs. You'll look awfully smart and savvy when you say "SEO is really evolving. In essence, we're now optimizing brands' entire web presence, beyond search."

About the Author
Tyler Tafelsky has over five years of experience in the organic SEO profession. He offers a wealth of expertise in the Internet marketing industry and stays well abreast the latest changes in the profession. You can email him directly at Tyler(at)oicgroup.net or Follow Tyler on Google+.

How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile for Better Exposure

LinkedIn is a powerful social media platform to connect with other professional and businesses. By optimizing your profile for LinkedIn search, you better you visibility when people are looking for some of the expertise and specialties that you have to offer.

Below is a video created by our Internet marketing manager Tyler Tafelsky. It's called How to Optimize Your LinkedIn Profile for Better Exposure, and results you'll see from doing this optimization are almost instantaneous. We hope you like it!

Video transcription:

Hello and welcome. This is Tyler, and in this video I want to show you how to optimize your LinkedIn profile page.

As you probably already know, LinkedIn is a very popular social network to connect with other companies and professionals, and a lot of people search in LinkedIn looking for someone to help them out for a particular service or specialty. So I’m going to show you a few ways to sort of keyword optimize your profile to show up when people are searching for some of things you have to offer.

So I’m based in Michigan and I do SEO, so those are my keyword targets: Michigan SEO. And there I am on the top of the list. And I will show you how I did that. It’s pretty straightforward, there are just few key elements that you’ll want to make sure you optimize. If you’re doing real estate in Denver, then you’ll probably want to have real estate or realtor in Denver, in your professional headline. This probably offers the most weight in terms of keyword relevancy, so I definitely including Michigan SEO in my professional headline.

The next thing you want to try optimize is your experience. Both your current and previous experience plays a big role in your LinkedIn ranking, so you’ll want to try to keyword optimize it if you can. Of course you can’t do that and be misleading or unethical, but I was fortunate myself to have a lot of experience in the SEO profession for a couple of SEO companies based in Michigan. I got SEO in the title on both of them so I’m sure that really helps my ranking. You might want to take a look at that and see if you can embellish upon your experience.

The next thing that you can do to further optimize your profile is to edit your URL. That’s right here. The next option is a little hidden – it’s down on bottom right - this link here “your current URL.” Some people prefer to keep this as their name, and I respect that, but in my case I’d rather just be more relevant on these three words, specifically Michigan SEO. Michigan SEO Expert is actually a Google SEO experiment that I’m working with outside of LinkedIn, so we’ll see what happens. Even Linkedin knows that you can "take control on how you appear in a public search results," so that is a good tool that I recommend keeping top of mind.

The last thing you’re going to do to optimize your LinkedIn profile is to get some recommendations from other people. Recommendations are like backlinks in SEO; they show that your page is more credible, it’s more authoritative and thus it’s going to rank higher on search results.

So to do this, go to Profile, Recommendations, and I strongly suggest to skipping all this ask to be endorsed stuff and going to the bottom where you make recommendations for other people. If you make a recommendations to someone that you have school with or work with, chances are they‘re going to give you one back. I’ve done this a few times, or 3 times to be specific, in the last 48 hours and I’ve already gotten two back. So it’s just a really great way to build your credibility and to help your page rank higher. So I hope these tips have helped you out and wish you the best. Rank on, my friend.

 

Peoria Web Design Company Offices:
OIC Group, Inc.
Phone: (309) 680-5600

Mailing Address:
PO Box 1111
Peoria, IL 61653