10 Tips to Help Your Blog Soar in the Search Engines (Part 2 of 2)

May 9th, 2006

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Originally published in MarketingProfs

In this continuation of ten useful tips about optimizing your blog for search engines, we look at the five remaining tips, including: sticky posts, heading tags, anchor text and more.

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The Problem with Embedding Tracking Codes in your URLs

May 8th, 2006

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The problem with embedding a tracking code into URLs to track referrals from particular marketing campaigns or from particular partners is that inevitably those URLs end up in other places, such as in the search engines. Thus your referral numbers become overinflated.

Case in point: Google’s “Inside AdSense” Blog. A couple days ago I searched Google for [inside adsense] and was surprised to find that the #1 result was not http://adsense.blogspot.com. It was the URL with a utm_source and some other stuff appended at the end of the URL (i.e. the URL was something like http://adsense.blogspot.com/? utm_source=aso&utm_campaign=ww-en_US-et-asfe&medium=et). Unfortunately I didn’t record the exact URL at the time, and today Google is back to returning what it should be returning for the top result: http://adsense.blogspot.com (without any utm_source or query string). I bet the Analytics folks at Google will be scratching their heads at the spike in popularity of the “ASO” (or whatever it was) referral source when they look back at the month of May (unless of course they’ve read this blog post!).

Example #2: CBS News. Check this out… Run the query [site:www.cbsnews.com inurl:source=rss] on Google. Google returns 27,900 pages. You’ll see that all of those pages have a source=RSS in the URL. Even though I don’t believe Google’s numbers of results to be even remotely accurate, still there are a heck of a lot of pages there, and those pages are bringing in some amount of traffic from Google searchers. When they do, the referral source is being wrongly attributed to the site’s RSS feed. I wonder if CBS News realize this? Probably not.

So, if you must use the URL’s query string to track your referral sources, then at least make sure that you aren’t ever serving those links to search engine spiders. Drop the referral source from all links when spiders come to visit. Don’t worry; the search engines say this sort of “cloaking” is totally okay.

That will ensure your own site isn’t providing source coded links for the spiders to explore. But what to do about other sites that are linking to you? I suggest that you 301 redirect all traffic to URLs with tracking codes to the corresponding URL without the tracking code. You should see that your source coded pages in the search engines’ indices should drop away to nothing over time (or at least get relegated to “supplemental hell”).

10 Tips to Help Your Blog Soar in the Search Engines (Part 1 of 2)

May 2nd, 2006

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Originally published in MarketingProfs

With over 75,000 new blogs created every single day, and tens of millions of blogs already in the blogosphere, it’s not a given that you’ll get found by your target audience and develop a loyal following of readers. What can you do to pull in the crowds and to rise in the rankings? Read on and I’ll share my secrets…

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Competitive analysis critical to SEO success

May 1st, 2006

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Understanding your competitors — their strategy, their tactics, their level of success, etc. — is crucial to the success of your SEO initiatives. I’m not just talking about your traditional competitors, I’m referring to the other sites occupying spots in the SERPs (search engine results pages) for keywords that you are targeting.

Many free competitive analysis tools are out there, but you have to know where to look for them. One of my favorite SEO blogs (Stuntdubl) offers a veritable Home Depot of such tools, at Mr. Ploppy’s Monday Tool List.

It’s a bit like walking into a DIY store and being faced with an overwhelming array of options. What is the right tool for the job?

Here’s a sampling of some of the SEO tools that I use for competitive analysis and what I specifically use them for:

SEO Report Card: AirTroductions.com

May 1st, 2006

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Originally published in Practical Ecommerce

AirTroductions (www.airtroductions.com) is an ecommerce-enabled matchmaking service for road warriors (currently over 11,000 of them) who are looking for someone interesting to sit next to on their next trip. It could be for companionship, a date, business networking, or just shared cab fare. What a great business idea! And theyâ??ve got a solid website to back it up.

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SEO: Optimizing Your Content

May 1st, 2006

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Originally published in Practical Ecommerce

Optimizing the content of a website containing dozens, or hundreds, and certainly thousands of pages may seem daunting. It doesnâ??t have to be. It just requires a “SMART” plan of attack and commitment to see that plan through.

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E-commerce consultancy service vital to their success

TRUSTcite Logo“As a new venture, it was vitally important that clear outcomes and costs were identified and monitored. This is something I found Netconcepts to be excellent at…”

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Unlocking Google’s Hidden Potential

April 20th, 2006

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Originally published in MarketingProfs

If you use Google regularly, following this guide will save you time and frustration and help you find the right result, quicker.

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TrustBite

April 4th, 2006

TrustBite screenshotTrustBite is the CEO blog of TRUSTcite founder Hannah Samuel. The blog is opinionated, insightful, informative and helpful — all the sorts of things that a good CEO blog should be — and establishes Hannah’s credibility as a thought leader, while generating PR and building inlinks. The blog is outfitted with an RSS feed, tag pages, and has been optimized for search engines.

[ database | client admin cms | SEO ]

Visit The Site: Trustbite

Search Engine Marketing (SEM)

Professional Association of Innkeepers International 2006 annual convention — Phoenix, AZ

April 2nd, 2006

Panelist:

Explore both strategic and tactical aspects of SEM to prepare you to make the right decisions regarding budget and objectives. Learn how to identify placement on valid search phrases, see if your site is optimized as best it can be, improve your web site popularity and what to expect from your web master.

Scott Crumpton, White Stone Marketing, Kihei, HI
Lisa Kolb, Acorn Internet Services, Colorado Springs, CO
George Newman, Third Millennium Marketing, West Hartford, CT
Stephan Spencer, Netconcepts, Madison, WI
Dr. Bill Carroll, School of Hotel Administration, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY (moderator)