All Articles Tagged "seo"
Question: Which SEO tools have been most helpful to your business?
SEOMoz for Everything
“SEOMoz‘s suite of products has essentially provided us the value of our own personal SEO consultant. We use their tools track keyword rankings, rate on-page optimization, and track links to our site. They also regularly post great tips on their blog and have a Q and A section. By using their tools, we’ve increased our monthly search traffic 10x in the last year.”
- Bhavin Parikh | CEO, Magoosh Test Prep
Raving About Raven Tools
“I love Raven Tools. It is one of the key reasons why my company’s website ranks either first or second for most keywords related to our niche. Their research analysis and link-building tools allow me to find untapped niches and capitalize on them through effective organization for outreach.”
- Lawrence Watkins | Founder & CEO, Great Black Speakers
Are you starting up a
Websites are great to promote yourself or your company. But a website done wrong could cost you work. According to Inc.com there are common mistakes that people make when designing their websites.
In this age of smartphones, you have to take into consideration if your site looks good on a cell phone screen. “Mobile now accounts for 12 percent of global Internet traffic, and it’s scaling faster than the desktop did,” reports the site. “If your website is not mobile enabled, you’re going to miss out on a growing population of users.”
Keywords are a great way to optimize your site in search engines, but too many keywords are just overload. “It may be a natural impulse to load up your website with keywords and keyword hyperlinks, but what you’ll probably create is an SEO nightmare,” says the article. Speaking of search engines, don’t forget to register with the local search engines. “If you do the majority of your business locally and you’re not taking advantage of free listings in important go-to local resource directories such as Google+ Local, Yahoo Local, Yelp, or others, you’ll have to pay for better visibility through advertising,” advises the article.
Keep your designs simple; skip using too much flash. “Flash is really cool for visuals, but it doesn’t work well with search or Apple devices,” advises Inc.com. Tech expert Toi Barnhardt, associate publisher of the Women of Color in Technology STEM Conference agrees that visuals are very important. “Unless your site is about ‘The Team of Me,’” jokes Barnhardt, referencing Welcome Home Roscoe Jenkins. “[B]e sure not to inundate it with too many pictures of yourself. Stick to content relevant pictures.”
Another major mistake is burying or omitting contact information. “How many times do you visit a website and want to call the company, only to find the only option you have is to complete a form? Do you become suspicious of the company’s legitimacy or interest in helping you? Make all contact information–including social-media icons–readily and repeatedly accessible,” says Inc.com.
It is also equally important, adds Barnhardt, to have user-friendly payment options. “PayPal and anything backed by Verisign are normally trustworthy methods of payment,” she tells Madame Noire.
And it may sound basic, but decide what type of site you want to have. “Be sure to know the differences between the needs of a products site and a services site,” says Barnhardt. “Products sites should always should always be updated to reflect true inventory. Services sites should thoroughly list descriptions of services and when they are offered.”
Once your site is up and running, make sure to keep up with your maintenance fees. “The biggest mistake I find that small business owners make is not preparing for the monthly maintenance fees that come with site hosting. If you don’t have the payment set up to recur permanently, your site host will absolutely pull it down,” Barnhardt says. “There is nothing worse than going to a business site only to get an error message regarding the domain.”
Ready for another installment of “Behind the Click?” Get ready because this time I have a fellow digital colleague who actually works for a company many of you know and love. Ashley Baxter is Digital Marketing Manager for J.C. Penney and is building their organic search program. Ashley is also launching her own business to train and educate business owners and professionals on digital marketing. Proving multi-tasking is definitely the future, Ashley is ready to give you some tips and insight into how women of color are contributing to the digital balance of power. Here we go!
Current Occupation: Digital Marketing Manager – SEO
Favorite website: Mashable.com
Favorite read: How to Win Friends & Influence People by Dale Carnegie
Recent read: ZMOT by Jim Lecinski
2012′s ultimate goal: Finding a way to use my digital marketing skills to serve a greater purpose
Quote that Inspires You: “You miss 100% of the shots you don’t take.” – Wayne Gretzky
Twitter handle: @Baxie404
LdC: So Ashley, from your bio it seems that you chose to study public relations in college, but then your actual jobs were more in the tech arena. Was it hard to get employers to take you seriously without a heavy tech education? I’m sure many women wonder about this.
AB: It wasn’t. Although my traditional education was focused on communications, I spent a lot of spare time teaching myself technical elements. I created my own websites, set up my own blogs, and played around with manipulating code. Being self-taught has actually given me an advantage because my knowledge comes from directly testing what works.
LdC: So now you are at JCPenney. What’s a typical day like for you?
AB: Lots of competitive research and diving into keyword data. I meet with various groups to find out how we can integrate SEO into things we already have going on. I also work closely with internal partners and provide them with information to help their specific areas of business.
LdC: What’s your biggest challenge in your position and how diverse is your department?
AB: In my own personal opinion, the biggest challenge is having so much room for opportunity. While it is a good thing, it also makes having a carefully calculated strategy very important. Right now I want to make sure that we have a solid foundation to build our program around. Also, my department is very diverse. We have associates from a variety of backgrounds and many female team members.
AB: SEO is short for search engine optimization. Essentially, websites should cater to two different sets of eyes; human and search engine. My favorite example is going to Google and searching for the word pants. You’ll see a variety of things to click on. Some of those are paid placements while others appear naturally for free. SEO is optimizing your website so that you have a better chance of appearing in those natural areas for no cost. This can be a benefit to all site owners in many ways. If you have a product or service to sell, having good SEO can increase your traffic which in turn helps to increase sales. For a personal blog or website, good SEO can lend you credibility. People tend to have more trust in the sites that appear on the first page of results.
Beyoncé launched her new website to an avalanche of media buzz. Most of the attention went to the collection of intimate photos featured on the notoriously private star’s Tumblr blog launched on the same day. However, the real news is the superstar’s savvy in recognizing the importance of having an online presence that reflects her brand.
Before the revamp, Beyoncé’s web presence consisted of a Twitter page she never used, and a website managed by her label that offered news and photos a day late and a dollar short. Beyoncé decided to do something about the problem last year when she issued an urgent brief to agencies – she wanted “a site that looks like who she is an artist, someone who likes fashion and art and photography and travel,” said an executive close to the Knowles team. “She has all sorts of interest and wants to communicate that.”
Some may wonder why Beyoncé even bothered. Awareness isn’t a problem for her. But, revamping her website isn’t about awareness; it’s about giving access to her fans while maintaining control over her image. Beyoncé has long showed signs that she wants to be the only one running the show when it comes to her image – from ending her father’s management of her career to releasing the first photos of her daughter through a personal blog. Her new website is a hub for her to disseminate information.
Beyoncé’s seeming perfection on stage and in interviews has brought her criticism for being robotic. Her website addresses these concerns as well, creating a sense of intimacy, complete with hand-written notes. The photos she includes on her Tumblr show her at her most human – no makeup, surrounded by family. The site also features a peak at what inspires her via her blog, and a fan section allows her “beyhive” to see themselves on her site, and show that their Queen Bey sees them.
The pop diva is off to great start. She’s already updated her blog – and garnered headlines – with penned notes to Sade, Basquiat, and the First Lady. Hopefully she’s in it for the long haul, because building a website is only the first step to creating an effective online presence. Here are 9 easy steps you can take to build an authentic web presence of your own:
- Start with a solid strategy: Define the goals of your website and what components will be created to address these needs.
Read the rest of this entry »
(CNNMoney) — Google’s recent change to its search algorithm has dramatically shaken up the businesses of websites that moved up or down its search rankings. Sites whose rankings rose to the top found that their traffic and revenue soared — but the adjustment had an equally devastating effect on those that were dropped. The Online Publishers Association, a group of content producers comprising many of the Internet’s largest properties (including CNN.com), estimates that the algorithm change shifted $1 billion in annual revenue.
Some of the losers felt the hit immediately. Mahalo.com laid off 10% of its workforce last week thanks to what CEO Jason Calacanis called “a significant dip in our traffic and revenue.” The stakes are high in the Google-placement game. The top spot on a search page typically attracts 20% to 30% of the page’s clicks, according to Adam Bunn, SEO director of Greenlight. After that comes an enormous tail-off: Positions 2 to 3 generate 5% to 10% of the clicks, and links below the fold receive less than 1% of users’ attention. Fall off to the second page and your search-engine-driven clicks will be negligible. With control of two-thirds of the U.S. search market, Google (GOOG,Fortune 500) steers a tremendous amount of traffic to websites. Many of them rely exclusively on advertising dollars to make money.That means that positioning in Google’s search results can be a life-or-death issue for a business.
(Entrepreneur) — To increase your visibility and authority on the web, you need some knowledge of Google rankings. Learning how Google’s ranking system works can help you make important changes that can move your website up the ranking ladder. What follows is a quick primer on need-to-know basics for improving your site’s Google ranking. When it comes to your web pages, two different Google rankings are at work: your search result ranking and your site’s PageRank. They are related, yet distinct measures of the value of the content on your site in the eyes of the search-engine giant.
Searches: Your search ranking refers to your position on the results page for a given keyword query. Because Web users usually want quick answers, they are more likely to click links at the top of the first page of results. For that reason, you tend to get more site traffic if your site is included in the list of the top five or so search results.
(Businessweek) — Today people are more connected to the Internet than ever before. That may sound obvious, but the numbers are truly staggering. Every day, Google receives around 500 million search requests. Approximately 110 million unique websites are in operation—and more than 1 trillion URLs. The challenge for owners of businesses big and small is to be found in this enormous haystack, and the solution is search engine optimization, or SEO. An effective SEO campaign puts a website at the top of a search engine’s results, ensuring that it is seen and visited by a large audience.
(New York Times) — Edwin Perello discovered that Bing, the Microsoft search engine, could find addresses in his rural Indiana town when Google could not. Laura Michelson, an administrative assistant in San Francisco, was lured by Bing’s flight fare tracker. Paul Callan, a photography buff in Chicago, fell for Bing’s vivid background images.
(Mashable) – For millions of websites, publishers, and online businesses, search is still the king. While social media may have the media’s attention and Twitter and Facebook are garnering a lot of the hype, search still trumps them when it comes to driving traffic and being discovered by potential new customers. Because of the importance of search traffic to online business, there is an entire industry dedicated to improving websites’ visibility in search engine results: Search Engine Marketing (SEM).
(Read Write Web) – While the social, real-time Web is hogging all the buzz as of lately, it’s still important to keep an eye on good old fashioned search engine optimization for your company’s site. SEO can be an expensive endeavor, especially if you hire an expert, but it doesn’t have to be. We’ve covered the basics on how to improve your business website’s search rankings, and here are a few tools to get you started without breaking the bank.