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Archive for the ‘SEO’ Category

Search engine optimization is where we find the low hanging fruit, the so called “Free Leads, Free Sales, Free Conversions”.  While nothing is FREE, those who put the wrench time into organic SEO “and do it well” will learn how valuable it really is. Here are a few small tips that I like to call … Back to Basics of organic SEO.

Keyword mining and research – Make sure you are targeting the right keywords. Do not guess at what keywords/phrases your potential customers are searching with.

Keyword & strategic placement – Make sure you put your keywords in the title, description and everywhere else the search engines like to see them. Do not spam and watch out for keyword density.

Fresh and original content - Search engines like fresh content, that’s why blogs are so important. Develop a posting schedule and stick to it as much as you can. The spiders will learn your habits of posting and come back more often.

Web directories – Submit your site to web directories. Think relevance and lots of it. Directories can provide a great deal of targeted leads and most of them are completely FREE.

Put your content online – Write original content for your site or blog. Duplicate your content into articles and white papers for potential customers to download. Remember … relevance matters.

Be social – Comment on blogs, participate in online conversations and join social networks like Twitter, Facebook and Linked-In. These social sites will drive highly targeted traffic to your site and will allow you to network with like minded people.

Be patient – Everyone is impatient thee days. Be patient because search engines are not going to make you priority #1 until you prove to them that your site is worthy of page 1 results. Even so, it takes weeks and sometimes months to see progress.  The battle is tough, but it is worth the wait. You may get bruised along the way but if you stick to the basics and maintain a high level of relevance you will be victorious.

If you are looking to hire a firm to manage your Organic Search Engine Optimization, please do not hesitate to contact us. Call us today and schedule your FREE 15 minute conference call.

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  • Filed under: Google, SEO, Social Media
  • SEO Tip (Call-To-Action)

    Include a strong “call to action” to trigger a response from the reader/visitor.

    Also remember that people get accustomed to the same type of tactics when they are repeated over and over. Practice coming up with new ways to present a “call to action” so that it still packs a punch, but does not get ignored. Give it a different style, use different colors, use bold easy to read fonts and you will see what works and what does not. Every demographic has its core styles that seem to “just” work.

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    Effective SEO does not happen overnight, it’s a long game like process that often takes months, even years before reaping the rewards for your web marketing campaigns. Implementing the proper strategies from the beginning is crucial for SEO success and advancement. In order to get  going in the right direction I have developed a basic list of the top 10 Do’s ad Don’ts of effective SEO. – Back to SEO the basics !!!

    1) Don’t assume you will be able to optimize your site entirely on your own. Do an analysis of your business and its major keywords. Are you going to be able to rank on highly competitive keywords on your own? Should you hire an SEO company? This decision needs to be made early in the process, not later.

    2) Don’t begin your website design and development without considering an SEO plan. Do complete a keyword analysis first and determine what kind of keyword-rich content you will need to develop in order to rank highly. Make sure your designer knows which keywords are going to be targeted on each of the pages they will design – it makes it easier for them to match the overall theme of the content and keywords to the sites design, broadening the SEO reach.

    3) Don’t forget about your secondary pages. In many cases these pages can rank just as well as your main home page. Do spend ample time developing these pages.

    4) Don’t repeat the keywords you have within your main page title tags on your secondary page title tags. Do spend time developing separate keyword-rich title tags that match the content to the keywords you are targeting on your secondary pages.

    5) Don’t list your company or domain name first in your title tags. Most likely, you are already ranking well for your own company or domain name. Do place your company or domain name at the end of the title tag if you absolutely need it to appear within the search engine results.

    6) Don’t target general, highly competitive keywords. Do target keyword derivatives that get traffic and are not as competitive. It’s better to rank #3 for “effective website design” than #35 for “website design” even if the main keywords get more traffic. In the end, landing in the top 10 or top 5, even for less competitive keywords will generate more overall traffic.

    7) Don’t forget about a sitemap and making your website search engine friendly and crawlable. Do submit your website to Google Webmaster Tools and Yahoo Site Explorer and take advantage of their resources.

    8) Don’t make the mistake of driving all your incoming links to your main home page. Do create a balanced link program that not only generates incoming links to your main page but also to your secondary pages. If you have useful content or tools on your secondary pages, websites will link to them.

    9) Don’t request the same anchor text on all of your incoming links, as this looks very unnatural to the search engines. Do offer anyone who wants to link back to you with a variety of anchor texts. And, of course, match the anchor text with those keywords you are targeting for that specific page. If at all possible, try to stay away from getting incoming links displaying your domain name. Instead, try to get people to link to you with keywords and keyword phrases.

    10) Don’t assume you can complete an initial SEO campaign and think you are done. Do perform regular and ongoing keyword research to make sure you are still targeting the correct keywords; perhaps there are new keywords to target? Do follow up on your link requests and maintain an ongoing link campaign. Do implement an analytics program and track the amount of traffic you are generating from the organic search engine listings. Are these visits leading to sales or conversions? If so, it’s in your best interest to up your SEO efforts and ride the momentum.

    There are many mistakes that webmasters and website owners make when implementing a new or ongoing SEO strategy. That’s why it is difficult garnering and maintaining organic listings on the major search engines. While this is only a sample of some of the more common mistakes, this list should provide you with a starting point of how to begin and what questions to ask your SEO firm when considering to hire them to manage your SEO efforts.

    For a website analysis and proposal on SEO services, please visit our SEO page.

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  • Filed under: SEO
  • SEO and New Website Design

    SEO (Search engine optimization) is a huge part of the internet world we live in today. Without companies like Google, Yahoo or MSN online businesses would not thrive the way they do nor would they have the chance to compete with millions of companies across the globe.  SEO has become the “MUST DO” things on the web.

    In some cases, web sites need more attention on SEO than design/branding. The most important aspect of online success is measured by traffic and stickiness. What is the sites purpose? By knowing the purpose and understanding your demographic, you will be able to put the emphasis on the items that count most.

    That brings us to the beginning!  Sounds strange right?  But this is accurate … we must always go back to the beginning, as well thought out plans and strategies that have a clear and concise plan of action will succeed. Part of this beginning plan has to deal with a website being brand new, never indexed, never cached and just flat out never seen to anyone. The biggest misconception is that we build a pretty, effective new site that does exactly what the client needs and will be in the #1 position within 3-4 weeks after launch. <Insert evil laugh as we designers have heard this a million times>

    Time, (and I mean allot of it), needs to be factored into the planning of a new website. Search engines need to be notified that a new site exists and is ready for their crawlers to come dig through the code. This simple task of having a spider spend 1.4 seconds on your site takes 6-9 months longer than most clients expect or want to hear. There are some ways to lessen the time to have your new site seeded and cached, but overall a safe assumption is that it will take at least 8 weeks to even have your site crawled for the first time.  So in a nut shell, planning is essential and a well thought out strategic plan of action will prevail. Consider a holding page or pages to alert the engines that you exist. Building up to the day of launch will lighten the load of a fully engaged SEO plan.

    Our job as designers/web developers is to make the client understand the SEO aspect of a website is a separate task at hand and normally has its own allocated budget and time constraints.

    For more info on SEO and Web Design services visit:  Jtdesigns.com

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  • Filed under: SEO, Web Design
  • What Makes a website a GREAT website!

    20 Rules of Website Design

    You have no choice. If you want to be successful online, you need to develop a website that serves the needs of your visitors in a manner that is both user-friendly and easily understood. This sounds easy enough, right? Unfortunately, no one thing is going to make your website a success. You will need to constantly be trying and testing new things, even if you currently have a website that is doing well. Why? Because what works today isn’t necessarily going to work tomorrow!

    In order to help you, here are a few rules that you should follow when developing and maintaining your own website:

    1. Fast Loading
    If your home page does not load quickly, your visitors will lose patience and click away. Get out a timer or a watch that registers seconds. Now stare at your screen for 10 seconds. It seems like an eternity, doesn’t it? Web surfers are extremely impatient — if they can’t begin reading or viewing your homepage in less than 10 seconds, they will simply leave.

    2. Focused
    Make sure your offer is immediately apparent! If visitors can’t instantly tell what your site has to offer, they’ll leave. We’ve all arrived at sites, only to leave seconds later because we couldn’t figure out what the site was all about. Your visitors are no different! Be sure that your site has a clear and distinct focus — and that your focus is immediately revealed in your titles or headings. Even a site that sells thousands of products should have a focus. Need an example? Office products — thousands of products, one focus! Or even DVD downloads — thousands of titles, one focus!

    3. Believable
    You need to establish credibility. If your visitors don’t trust you, they’re certainly not going to trust your offer! As a result, developing rapport with your visitors is critical to your success. Don’t make fantastic promises or offers that you can’t back up. Emphasize benefits, but also share information — facts! Use percentages and give real, concrete examples. Use testimonials. The more information you give your visitors, the more secure they’re going to feel about buying from you.

    4. Guarantee
    We’ve all been burned before and every time it happens, it becomes harder for us to trust anyone. Online, it’s worse. Guarantees help to alleviate any anxiety the customer may be feeling about ordering from you. If you are marketing a quality product or service, then you should not be afraid to back it up! Offer a 100%, no hassles, no questions asked, money-back guarantee. Be sure to keep your promises!

    5. Collect Email Addresses
    Do this as quickly as possible, from your home or index page. Give your visitors a reason to give you their email addresses. Offer them a free report, a free newsletter or free updates. Get their addresses and their permission to contact them.

    6. Limit Your Visitor’s Choices
    Don’t give visitors hundreds of choices on your main page. Lead them through your site. If you are selling a product or service, lead visitors towards the “decision to buy.” Don’t leave it to chance that out of a hundred choices on your main page, they might decide to look at and buy your product. In fact, if you give them too many choices, they simply won’t make one. Take control and lead them to your offer!

    7. Simple to Navigate
    Your website should be easy to navigate. Don’t make your visitors wade through dozens of irrelevant pages before you give them the information they need. Make it easy for your visitors to move through your site — they’ll stick around much longer, and will be more likely to visit you again!

    8. Consistent
    Be sure that the look and design of your site is consistent. Choose a background color and stick with it. Choose link and text colors, and use them consistently throughout the site. Always put your navigation buttons in the same place, be it along the side, or across the bottom of the page. Consistency of design will ensure that the experience at your site is a pleasant one. It will also let visitors know that they are still at your site, and haven’t linked off somewhere else!

    9. Be wise when using Colors for text
    Use colored text to indicate links (blue is traditional) and to emphasize important concepts or points. Too many different colors make your text hard to read — and look unprofessional. You are designing a web page, not a circus poster! .

    10. Be careful when choosing Colored Backgrounds
    Don’t get carried away using fancy background textures or colors. While it might look fabulous on your computer, it may look putrid on other computers using different browsers. Be particularly careful about using brightly colored backgrounds in combination with colored text. I’ve come across sites where I could barely read the text because it blended with the background color. Use contrast. Remember that different browsers read colors differently — some folks purposefully set their browsers to read only 16 or 256 color combinations. So be warned! While a white background with black text may seem pretty boring, everyone will be able to read your copy!

    11. Keep Graphics Small
    How big should files be? Should I use GIF’s or JPG’s? 
Graphic size (kilobytes) should be kept to a minimum so that images load quickly. You can control graphic size by reducing the total number of colors used or “crunch” them using any of the popular GIF or JPEG crunching programs available.

    12. Headlines
    Always remember that your headlines are the most important element of your sales copy. Test them extensively to see what attracts and holds your visitor’s attention.

    13. Links
    Your links can be boring, or they can invite people to click on them. They can either detract from your site, or contribute to it. Think creatively when developing your links!

    14. File Names
    Use descriptive and meaningful file names. Your files names not only show up in the search engines, but also at the top of your visitors browser and in their bookmarks! Would you remember why you bookmarked a page that looked like this:

    http://www.neatsite.com/cgi-bin/900wty/f862uz?5331a7qw334

    Or would you be more likely to return to

    http://www.neatsite.com/cgi-bin/Newsletter

    15. Java, Animation and Wild Graphics
    I’m not going to tell you NOT to use them. If, for example, you are a multimedia game designer demonstrating your skills, then it may be appropriate. But if you are selling vitamins, should you create a singing, dancing vitamin troupe? Again, it depends on who your audience is and what you are trying to accomplish. A singing, dancing vitamin troupe might be just the thing to teach children what the various vitamins are for. However, whether or not this kind of animation would help you to effectively sell vitamins to parents is another question. The technology you choose will depend largely on the kind of site you have and who your target audience is.

    16. Let Visitors Know Who You Are
    Make is easy for visitors to contact you — don’t make them hunt through your site for your email address or phone number. Part of building credibility involves letting people know exactly who you are and how they can contact you. Real phone numbers, real names and real addresses make a HUGE difference!

    17. Sales and Site Strategy
    Do you let your visitors wander aimlessly through your site, or do you gently lead them where you want them to go? If you are selling a product or service, you should definitely be leading them through your offer to a purchase. Even if your site is information based, you should still have a strategy. For example, at the end of an article, you could suggest another article that the visitor might be interested in viewing. Remember: Your goal is to keep people at your site!

    18. Taking Money
    Make it easy for people to buy from you. I’m sure this sounds ridiculous but I’ve seen far too many order forms that cause people to leave in frustration. People who make purchases on the web expect your ordering process to be fast and easy.

    19. Fresh Content
    Your website content must be up-to-date and relevant to your audience. If your site is information based, then you need to be sure that you are adding new content on a regular basis. Why would your visitors come back if there is nothing new for them? Plus, you lose credibility when your information is old and out of date. Make regular changes to your site. They do not need to be drastic changes — for example, quote recent web statistics instead of those from 5 years ago, change your testimonials regularly and update your copy.

    20. Keep Your Purpose in Focus at All Times!
    Don’t lose site of why you developed your website in the first place. Every aspect of your site should somehow contribute to your goal — be it to sell, inform, or simply entertain!

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    Getting an online website noticed is an art, so patience is necessary and very often overlooked. A lot of people think they can build a great website and instantly have a good amount of traffic for it. What they ignore however is the simple fact that they are not the only ones in their field who run a website, there are millions of competitors who own a website and want to do the same thing you are contemplating at this very moment. The more relevant question should be…

    “What is the faster way to expose a new online website?

    If you have the money, paid advertising is one of the most efficient ways to get your online website noticed quickly. All you are doing is paying for a spot towards the top of a search engine or a spot on someone’s website. It may cost you a lot of money to get a higher spot, however the reward will most probably surpass the intitial cost.

    Finding high traffic websites to advertise on can help you get your online business noticed as well. The thing with advertising on a high traffic website is that there are thousands of people that will see your advertisement a day. Certainly not everybody will click on your ad, or even half of them because it is there. But even if a very few percent of people click on your ad, let’s say 5%, that is a significant amount of traffic that you will receive to your website.

    Email, direct emails and bulk emails can be effective in getting your online website noticed as well. The key factor to this method is doing something to make your email stand out. Every day people are flooded with spam and email that is a waste of their time. If you can come up with a way to grab the reader’s attention right from the subject line, you will have already surpassed a number of your competitors.

    Similar to paid advertising is Google adwords. Google adwords are seen by thousands of people every day and if you can come up with a creative ad campaign, your online business will catch the reader’s eye and gain exposure. With Google adwords, every click you get is costing you money, so make sure that your ad is worth the investment.

    The idea is to get your website displayed on first page for a targeted keyword on the the major search engines, which can be really tough. In order to increase your chance, target for smaller and less popular keywords as contrast to very popular keywords. For instance, instead of targeting work at home. maybe go for legit work at home, work at home online or best work at home business.

    Please visit www.jtdesigns.com for information about how we can help you achieve the best results for your online business. Remember … you have to “Do 3 Things Right” to make it a success!!!!

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  • Filed under: Google PPC, SEO
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