Google Place Search Changes How Local Searches are Displayed

Google Place

Today, November 8, 2010

Businesses will now have to have a visible and physical location if they want to be listed in a local search.

Google Local and Map have become a big influence on how people search and get results. We can demonstrate this by searching for ‘accountant’ and the search result returns a broad list of ‘accountants’, but perhaps too broad so we tend to search again by narrowing the result – adding a location to the search – ‘accountant in city’ and the results we see are now closer to home.

So it’s no surprise that Google should be taking a closer look at how we search and attempt to refine the process and provide a more meaningful search result by changing the Google Local search algorithm to make it easier for us to find what or who we are searching for locally.

Today, November 8, 2010 we see searches that reference local business and all the relevant places in that location in a new clustered visual display located in the upper right corner of a search result page. The now familiar map displays each business with red lettered pins, and links to each business. And as you scroll down the page the Google Places Map will scroll with the page so that it is always visible.

In addition to the way we see businesses displayed on Google Places, a new product is being launched – Google Boost.

Google Boost is a Google AdWords product that allows local businesses to feature more prominently in local searches. It allows small to medium size businesses the ability to feature more highly in searches, and concentrates much more on the relevance and location of that business than ever before. Now searchers will see sponsored location searches appear on the Google Places map as blue lettered pins and in search results with the blue marker pin next to the content description.

Search results for the ‘accountant in city’ will now appear first below sponsored listings and above organic listings. What this means is that results for a business in a location will now appear grouped with the other search results, making it much easier for searchers to find what they are looking for in a local area.

Google reports that Place Search results will begin appearing automatically when Google determines that you are looking for a ‘business in location’ search result.

Google-MapsGoogle also says “We’ve made results like this possible by developing technology to better understand places. With Google Place Search, we’re dynamically connecting hundreds of millions of websites with more than 50 million real-world locations. We automatically identify when sites are talking about physical places and cluster links even when they don’t provide addresses and use different names.”

Google Places is being rolled out across the world and will be available everywhere, in 40 languages once complete. Google is hoping to provide a better, local search to users, while exploiting a different revenue stream. It’s also competing with Facebook Places which was launched a while ago. Facebook was able to use very targeted advertising to provide a similar service to its users.

Google should have the advantage here though, as most Facebook advertising is passive, appearing alongside the primary content. Google’s Place Search is active and should have the advantage when it comes to conversion.

Location-based services are seen as a growing market, with Facebook Places and location aware services like Foursquare enjoying significant growth since their inception. Placing Google Place Search alongside search results, Google can hedge its bets while not detracting from its standard offering.

From an SEO perspective Peter Bowen at First One On says, “One of the downsides to this new display of results is how it will affect businesses that previously enjoyed number one placements for ‘business in location’ or featured well alongside the old Google Map.”

“Now with the introduction of Google Place Search in results it is quite possible that businesses that had worked hard to get top placements on page one now find themselves listed on page two! Other businesses that did not even have a listing on the old Google Map are now being brought to the top of the search results based on the location of their business and business listing in Google Places.”

What this means is that in the long run it will be more difficult for businesses to rank at the top of a local search unless they realize that they will have to spend much more time and effort on local search engine optimization. Businesses that had previously enjoyed a prominent position on the old Google Map without a website, which was possible before, will now find it almost impossible to maintain a listing without a well developed and locally optimized website.

Businesses will now have to have a visible and physical location if they want to be listed in a local search. In the past, businesses could hide their physical location and yet still be found locally through their websites, but now consumers searching for a business in a location will be able to determine if they contact that business or not based on their location. So as Google exposes competitors in searches, it is now revealing where those businesses are located – hopefully providing the consumer with more information before making a purchase decision.

Full Article: http://www.sitepronews.com/archives/2010/nov/10prt.html

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Traffic is king – Five Top Traffic Sources For Your Site

Traffic-is-king-targeted-web-site-traffic

5 Top Traffic Sources For Your Site

I believe if you asked any webmaster or online marketer what their most important aspect of running a site would be, you would get an answer that’s some way related to traffic. Mainly because traffic is your site’s lifeblood, actually without traffic you really don’t have a site at all.

Traffic is king.

Traffic brings in the leads and the sales. Quality traffic is what produces your online revenue, whether from advertising or from sales on your site. Now, I have sites which get less than 50 visitors a day, I have a few sites which get around 200 visitors and I have one site which gets around 2,000 visitors a day.

Don’t jump to any conclusions, some days the site getting 50 visitors can make just as much as the site getting 2,000 visitors. It all has to do with the quality of the traffic and how well it converts into a sale. And of course, it all depends on what you’re selling… a lcd cleaning kit for $20 bucks or a gaming laptop which sells for $2000+.

Regardless, you have to get that traffic in the first place if you want to earn an online income. The more traffic you have, usually, the more you will make; at least this has been my experience. Since traffic is very important to me, I keep a lot of records and stats on where my traffic is coming from on the web. I have to know what produces the quality traffic and how to get it.

So below I have listed down my 5 most important traffic sources and/or the marketing techniques I use to get that traffic. This list might also help you with your own traffic and how you can increase it. Here are my 5 main traffic sources…

SEO-Free-Traffic-Tips1. SEO and the Search Engines

The majority of the traffic to my sites comes from the search engines, mainly Google. It is my high rankings for my targeted keyword phrases which bring in the most and the best quality traffic to my sites. Get the SEO right and build a lot of quality one-way links from related sites and you will get the traffic.

Another tactic, don’t just create a website with only 10 or 20 pages – create one with 1000 to 5000 pages. I know this takes time but consider your site like a long-term business which you will keep building for years. Produce plenty of quality content and you will get plenty of quality visitors in return. Works for me.

2. Article Marketing

Another very effective way to bring in quality traffic to your site or sites is article marketing. Just write short articles related to your site’s keywords and place your keyworded links in the resource box. Distribute these articles all over the web.

Right now, what is working for me, is writing unique articles which I only place on one important site. I am using this technique with sites like SiteProNews, Buzzle and many more. Article marketing is still one of the most effective ways to get quality traffic, just try it.

3. PPC – Pay Per Click Advertising

I know, I know, this can be very expensive but PPC can be the quickest way to get quality traffic to your sites. Just be careful and approach it with kid’s gloves until you find campaigns which work for you – then scale them up.

Microsoft Adcenter and Yahoo Marketing have now joined forces and I find this is producing good traffic for me. Google Adwords is probably better but they are a real pain to work with and have become too expensive, at least for my keywords. But if you have the resources, don’t rule out Adwords or any of the PPC programs.

4. Social Media Sites

From Facebook to Twitter to LinkedIn, social media sites can provide a lot of traffic and word of mouth advertising for your site. For me, even though I haven’t worked these sites to their fullest potential, I still get traffic from them. Getting your pages bookmarked in some of these sites can bring in a flood of traffic overnight, while most of this traffic will be temporary, you can get a lot of sign-ups to your newsletter and different follow-up lists. While not exactly in the same group, I have had some success with YouTube videos which also bring in targeted traffic. Don’t ignore these social media and video sites in your traffic strategies.

5. Email Marketing and Follow-up Lists

This is another one of my major sources of “repeat visitors” to my sites. You must be constantly building up your different contact lists for further follow-up. This will bring in more visitors than you would expect, especially if you put some simple viral messages in your emails. If you supply valuable information, people will recommend your content to friends and co-workers; again word of mouth can bring in a lot of traffic especially in this age of Facebook and Twitter.

Of course, there are many more traffic sources such as Press Releases, Banner Ads, RSS Feeds, Off-line Advertising… and if you have your own products to promote, affiliates and joint ventures will be your most valuable source of traffic. Over the years I have picked up a lot of information on traffic and traffic tips… some of the best places/people for this has been:

freetraffictip.com – run by Tinu Abayomi-Paul, one of my best sources for free traffic tips. Excellent.

trafficology.com – this site and newsletter gives you off-beat ways to build traffic to your site. Highly Recommended.

trafficsecrets.com – if this one is still open, John Reese has a few very good products on traffic. Recommended if you can afford it.

Full Article: http://www.marketingtoolguide.com/

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Google Instant // SEO Internet Marketing

Google-Instant-Search-Demo

Google Instant – Implications For SEO & Internet Marketing

While reading Harry McCracken’s rather insightful article on Google Instant in PCWorld, I was reminded once again, how narrowly focused my own thinking has become in regards to Google. I keep forgetting, not everyone is into SEO or Internet Marketing (lucky dogs), and that Google search has a function outside of SEO.

I keep forgetting that the general public actually uses Google for online search, there are millions of web users out there who have been using Google Instant to find out the weather, the latest Lady Gaga outfit or which flat-screen HDTV to buy? Of course, I know this to be the real function of Google, but if you’re a full-time search engine marketer, your perspective is solidly aligned to all the SEO elements – keyword rankings, link building and content placement in the most dominant search engine in the world.

Basically, you will be more concerned with how Google Instant will impact those top keyword rankings, your click through rates and most importantly, what effect will it have on your conversion rates and sales? More specifically, how does this instant search impact the display of your listings in Google and what are the long-term ramifications this instant “real time” display will have on your online marketing?

There are even some so-called experts which say Google Instant will be the end of SEO. This is a rather foolish notion since the underlying structure of using optimized strategies to obtain top rankings in Google or any other search engine for that matter, has not changed. We still have the emphasis on quality content, high quality back-links and on-page ranking factors.

In the background nothing has changed, in the foreground everything has changed. Well, somewhat.

Google Instant is a game changer for online marketers simply because it changes “How” your listings are displayed. Not only is the faster speed a factor but Google is guessing or rather dictating what the web surfer is searching for so Google’s influence on what’s displayed has increased 10-fold. They are displaying results not only based on rankings BUT on what their data tells them you’re looking for? How big a role this other compiled data and web users’ histories play in these suggestions only Google knows, but to the online marketer all this is somewhat worrisome.

Eric Schmidt, the CEO of Google has been quoted as saying, “Never underestimate the power of fast. Quick, quick, quick – we want to help you right now… we can understand things like what you really meant.”

Only time will tell what effect this “jumping the gun” or “making up your mind for you” will have on Internet marketing. The long-lasting effect of Google imposing its results on the web searcher will no doubt have some strong impacts on web marketing. Getting those first suggestions when a surfer types in just one or two letters… will become the real money-makers in terms of online traffic and sales.

Those companies and products which pop-up first will gain in market share and importance, but hasn’t this always been the case with getting those first place keyword rankings in Google? Yes, but now Google is giving the searcher options and planting seeds/suggestions, which Google has done in the past but not at this speed and to this extent. The implications for online marketing could be enormous, assuming of course, web surfers actually use this function because Google does give users the option of turning off Instant search. In our hurried fast-paced world, one would reason, web searchers would not turn off this function, although if your Internet connection is too slow, Google will automatically turn off Instant search for you.

Las Vegas On Google Instant - Example

From a marketing angle, webmasters must now note Google’s keyword suggestions which quickly pop-up and target them in their SEO efforts. Analyzing and targeting which keyword phrases Google are displaying in your niche market will be vital to capturing the majority of the traffic. Surfers will click on Google’s suggestions to find what they’re looking for on the web. Getting top rankings for those 4 or 5 suggestions will become important if an online marketer or webmaster wants to cover/corner all the search territory in their niche. Whether you actually target these keywords would really be determined by their commercial intent probability which can be discovered by using Microsoft’s Adcenter Laps (http://adlab.msn.com/Online-Commercial-Intention/) and of course, the amount of traffic each keyword gets each month. (Try here: https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal).

Another area of concern has to do with the ever decreasing space for organic listings on the new Google Instant interface. With the drop-down menu and depending upon how many paid listings are shown, there may only be room for 3 listings instead of five or more above the fold. Keep in mind, we are mainly talking about lucrative keyword phrases which will also usually have three paid Adwords listings in the spots where organic search results were formerly displayed. Searchers are lazy, they will probably not scroll down, especially if they see different listings popping up as they narrow down their search. So your SEO has probably gotten much harder since you will now have to aim for the top 3 spots – thanks Google.

Of course, savvy online marketers know the real gold is in the long-tail keyword phrases which surfers use to find what they’re looking for on the web. Google Instant could possibly play havoc on this whole process because before the searcher finishes typing in the long 4 or even 5 word phrases, they would be exposed to maybe 4 or 5 pages of Google listings… chances are great that searchers will click on one of these listings before they finish typing, especially if the listing contains a part of the searched for phrase.

Marketers will have to closely analyze their own web stats and conversion rates in regards to Google Instant. I am seeing little change in my own online marketing… traffic has dropped on some sites and risen on others, subscription rates are up and sales are steady. What really concerns me is the fact that Google may not only be pre-judging their rankings but also your mind. They are playing a much bigger role in how you decide which listing you click. Granted, this is probably drawn from unbiased data but will the influence of top-brand companies be more dominant in Google’s Instant results?

Another general concern, will the display of so many listings make it harder for your site or page to be clicked? Will giving the searcher so many options so quickly, lower your chances of getting that click-thru, even if you have the top spot in Google? The laws of probability and human nature says your chances have diminished somewhat in this new instant search environment. Not good news if your livelihood depends upon getting that click.

However, many of these changes and no matter how fast Google gives you their search results, will not change the fundamental principles of good SEO practices. Keyword positioning will still get you to the number one spot in Google for your chosen phrase if you have the time and resources to create quality content, build quality one-way back-links and use good on-page optimization. Besides the smaller emphasis on organic traffic, the only other real concern is the degree to which Google will use their suggestions and how much those suggestions are based not on SEO ranking factors but on users’ histories and compiled data. Even with this concern, Google Instant, even at warp speed, does not negate the importance of getting those top rankings. For many search engine marketers, like myself, it’s business as usual. Full speed ahead.

Demo Slam: Google Instant Elements

 

Full Article: http://www.marketingtoolguide.com/

A low bounce rate is a hallmark of a good website

What is Google Analytics Bounce Rate

Should You Worry About Your Bounce Rate?

A low bounce rate is often cited as a hallmark of a good website – 40% or lower is typically heralded as the goal – signaling that visitors are engaged with your site and finding useful content. A high bounce rate is often assumed to mean that your site is not doing its job. In reality, bounce rate means different things for different sites and the emphasis you place on it will vary according to the type of site you have and its goals.

What Does Bounce Rate Mean?

The definition from Google’s Analytics help pages is: “Bounce rate is the percentage of single-page visits or visits in which the person left your site from the entrance (landing) page.”

When is Bounce Rate a Relevant Metric?

  • If you have a sales or conversion process which requires the user to follow through multiple pages on your site.
  • If exploration of your site is important to your goals.
  • If you are trying to turn new visitors into loyal readers or customers.
  • If yours is a retail site and you want people to shop around and make purchases.
  • If your homepage is not inducing further clicks, particularly if it contains blog excerpts or other ‘teaser’ content.

What a High Bounce Rate Could Mean:

1. Keywords and content are mismatched.

In cases where visitors are coming from search engines, a high bounce rate may mean that the keywords they used and the content they found on your site are not aligned – so your site doesn’t meet their expectations in some way.

What you can do:

Analyze your keyword traffic and make sure your pages are optimized for the keywords you want and that the content is closely aligned with keywords and not misleading in any way.

2. The next step in your conversion or goal process is not obvious or easy enough.

What you can do:

Look at your landing pages with an objective eye and make the next step clear and easy to take.

3. The navigation on your site is confusing or unclear, making additional content hard to find.

What you can do:

Re-evaluate the navigation and see if there are ways to streamline or simplify. Also double-check for browser compatibility – perhaps the page is not displaying correctly under some conditions.

4. Your offer or product is not presented in a compelling or easy to understand way.

What you can do:

Look at your sales copy or offer details and see if you can refresh it or make it more appealing. You could try split-testing different versions to see which performs better.

5. Your site has technical problems. Particularly if your bounce rate suddenly spikes or displays an unusual trend, it could be an indication of technical issues – broken images or links, or something on the page not loading correctly.

What you can do:

Check for compatibility and broken links. Test the load speed of the page and generally make sure your code is as clean and functional as possible. Check for server outages and other issues that could have temporarily affected the functionality of your site.

Bounce Rates TipsA high bounce rate might not be a problem if:

  • You have a blog homepage containing all your recent posts in their entirety – Blogger blogs are notorious for this. When all your posts are presented up front there would be little reason for someone to clíck to any other pages.
  • You have a loyal blog following and your site has a higher proportion of returning visitors than new visitors. Your followers and subscribers may just want to read the newest post and have no need to visit other pages.
  • You are promoting a landing page which contains the call to action within it, such as submitting an email address. That single page can do its job effectively without requiring further clicks.
  • The call to action or conversion takes your visitor off-site – to an external shopping cart or email sign up for example. This would look like a bounce, but can still be a conversion.
  • Blogs typically have higher bounce rates compared to other types of sites so the same benchmarks do not apply.

Bounce Rate is Not the Only Metric.

Don’t look at bounce rate in isolation – look at the overall picture of your website and how it’s performing according to the metrics that matter to you. What DO you want your visitors to do at your site? Are you making it easy for them to do that, and are you measuring it?

Look for trends and other data that give you a fuller picture of what the bounce rate really means:

  • Is the bounce rate higher or lower for certain keywords?
  • Does it vary according to how people found your site? Search engines vs. social media, for example.
  • How does it vary with New vs. Returning visitors?
  • Which particular pages or types of content on your site have higher or lower bounce rates?
  • Look also at length of time the visitor spends on the page which could indicate whether or not they are reading what they find – this is very important for a blog.

Full Article: http://www.webtrainingwheels.com/social-media-small-business-training-program/

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Need to analyze your website traffic

Analyze Your Website Traffic

Analyzing and inspecting your website traffic statistics can be a very helpful tool for a variety of reasons. However, before you take advantage of this particular tool, you must understand how you can interpret the information.

The majority of web hosting companies provides you with basic website traffic information that you simply then need to interpret and make pertinent usage of. Nevertheless, the information you obtain from your host company may be too much to handle unless you learn how to put it to use for your particular business and website.

Let us begin by examining the most basic information – the average website visitors on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.

These figures would be the most precise measure of the activity of your website. At first glance, it appears that the more traffic you see that is registered, the better you are able to presume your website is performing, however it is deemed an inaccurate perception.

In addition, you need to consider the behaviour of your website visitors once they come to your website in order to accurately measure the effectiveness of your site.

Generally there is usually a great false impression about what is popularly known as “hits” and what is genuinely effective, quality traffic to your website. Hits only denotes the amount of information requests received by the server.

If you believe about the fact that the hit can merely equate to the amount of graphics per web page, you will definitely get a solid idea of exactly how overblown the idea of hits can be. For instance, if your homepage has fifteen graphics on it, the server records this as fifteen hits, when in actuality we are referring to just one visitor looking at a single page on your website. As you can tell, hits are certainly not beneficial in analyzing your website traffic.

The more visitors that come to your website, the more precise your interpretation can become. The greater the traffic is to your website, the more accurate your analysis is going to be regarding the overall trends in visitor behavior. The smaller the amount of visitors, the anomalous can more easily distort the analysis.

The goal is to use the website traffic statistics to find out exactly how effectively or how badly your site is working for your visitors.

A good way to know for sure is to discover the length of time on average your visitors spend on your site. In the event the time spent is pretty quick, it typically signifies an underlying problem.

Then the challenge will be to find out exactly what that problem is.

Maybe your keywords and phrases tend to be directing the wrong type of visitors to your website, or perhaps your graphics are perplexing or daunting, causing the visitors to leave quickly.

Make use of the knowledge of the amount of time visitors are spending on your website to figure out specific problems, and as soon as you resolve those problems, continue using the time spent as a gauge of how successful your resolve has been.

In addition, website traffic statistics can assist you in determining the effective and ineffective areas of your website. If you have a webpage that you consider is very important, yet visitors tend to leave it quickly, that web page requires attention.

You may, for instance, take into account in improve the link to this page by making the link much more visible and enticing, or you could enhance the appearance of the actual web page or the ease that your visitors can easily gain access to the necessary information on that web page.

In case, on the other hand, you observe that website visitors tend to be spending considerable time on pages that you feel are much less important, you might take into account moving some of your sales copy and marketing concentration to that particular web page.

As you have seen, these statistics will certainly uncover vital information about the effectiveness of individual web pages, and visitor behavior and motivation. This is vital information to just about any successful Internet marketing campaign.

Your website without doubt has exit web pages, for instance a final order or contact page. This is the page from which you could expect your visitor to leave quickly. However, don’t assume that all visitors to your website will find precisely what he or she is searching for, therefore statistics may show you a variety of exit pages. In the event that a substantial percentage of visitors are leaving your website on a page not created for that purpose, you have to look closely at that specific web page in order to discover exactly what the problem is.

As soon as you figure out probable weak points on that web page, minimal modifications in content or graphic may have a tremendous effect on keeping visitors moving through your website as opposed to leaving at the wrong web page.

Once you have analyzed your visitor statistics, you are ready to turn to your keywords and phrases. Observe if there are specific keywords that leads a specific type of visitor to your site. The more targeted the visitor – which means that they come across what they are trying to find on your site, and even better, fill out your contact form or buy something – the more beneficial that keyword is.

Nevertheless, if you discover numerous visitors are now being directed – or should i point our misdirected – to your website by a specific keyword or phrase, that keyword calls for adjustment. Keywords and phrases are essential in delivering high quality visitors to your website who will be ready to do business with you. Close analysis of the keywords and phrases that your visitors are utilizing to locate your site will give you an important understanding of the needs and motivations of your visitors.

Last but not least, if you see that users are discovering your website by simply typing in your company name, break open the champagne! It indicates you have attained a significant level of brand reputation, and it is a positive indication of burgeoning accomplishment.

Full Article/Author:  http://guaranteedtrafficgeneration.com/

You simply must get the SEO part right

Getting Your Site’s SEO Right

Getting Your Site’s SEO Right

You simply must get the SEO part right. Mainly because proper SEO (Search Engine Optimization) will increase your chances of obtaining those all important top rankings in the search engines. Besides, a well optimized site or page, will go a long way in weathering any abrupt changes on the web.

Google Instant is a perfect example of how things can change overnight. While it didn’t change SEO per se, it did change how people use Google and how the results are shown. Searchers don’t get the same chance to type in their long-tail keyword phrases because they are constantly and instantly being bombarded by suggested links… so much so that getting those top positions for shorter root keywords has gotten more important and this has increased everyone’s competition because those popular shorter keywords have always been the most competitive.

Probably every webmaster or online marketer knows that in order to get top rankings in the search engines you have to have quality one-way backlinks from other high ranked keyword-related sites. This will more than likely be the main determining ranking factor for most search engines, especially the all important Google. You simply need good quality one-way links and plenty of them to rank high.

However, there are many more SEO factors which come into play, especially if you’re in a very competitive niche and targeting highly cherished lucrative keyword phrases which bring in the big bucks. Then in these competitive situations, you must get all your SEO ducks lined up proper, if you want to be a player.

Some of these SEO factors may be minor but in very tight keyword races, it could possibly mean you get ranked above your competitor. Believe me, for some very lucrative keywords, just moving up a few notches can make a significant difference in your traffic and sales. The number one spot is what you’re aiming for, but even landing or moving up to the top five positions can make a big difference.

Traffic to your website

But you probably already know the significance of getting top rankings for your site and marketing. It can simply make or break your online endeavors. So here are some SEO on-page or on-site factors which you should have in place if you truly want to compete in the ranking wars.

1. Place your main keyword phrase in your Domain Name and over time you will see higher rankings for that phrase and keywords related to it. With Google going to Instant Search, I believe you will see these keyworded domains playing a much greater role in what is listed first. You still have to get those quality back-links, but having a good keyworded domain will be half your battle.

2. Place your keyword phrase in the URL for your webpage. Place it in the title, description and in the H1 tags on your page. Also place this keyword phrase and variations of it throughout your page, including at the very bottom. As for keyword density, try to keep it under 6%, this is the limit that Ezinearticles puts on their contributed content, go above this percentage and they won’t take it. I usually aim for around 2% to 4% but don’t get too hung-up on this issue, just write helpful easy-to-read content for your visitors.

3. Place related keyworded interior links on your page. That is, keep all your content and links keyword-related to one another. This makes it easy for the search engines to index your pages and content. I like building keyword-related traffic hubs or sections on my sites, for example I could have a whole sub-directory just on all the “affiliate marketing” info pages on my site. These would be all linked together and back to the homepage.

XML Web Site Sitemap4. Make sure you have an XML Sitemap which the search engines can use to quickly index your new pages. I also like adding an HTML sitemap which goes into more detail and lists all the pages and their content. This is not only for the search engines but to help your visitors more easily navigate your site; never leave a visitor stranded.

5. Make sure all your pages load quickly. Reduce any large images that you have and break content/articles up into different pages to reduce load times.

6. Make sure your site handles 404 mistakes and your visitors are directed to your sitemap or another page on your site. If you don’t know how to correct this problem, just do a Google search for “how to set up a custom 404 file not found page” or contact your web host support to fix this issue.

7. Don’t have duplicate content on your site. Do a proper 301 redirect for the www and non-www versions of your site, since this may fool some of the search engines into believing you have two versions of your site, one with www and one without the www in the URL. For Apache servers I simply place this bit of code in the .htaccess file on my server.

Code example from non-www to www:

RewriteEngine On

RewriteCond %{HTTP_HOST} !^www\.example\.com$ [NC] RewriteRule .? http://www.example.com%{REQUEST_URI} [R=301,L]

8. Link out to other high quality keyword related sites. I don’t believe webmasters use this very much, but linking out to high quality sites have helped my rankings. Search engines, especially Google, want to see you’re connected to quality content and besides, pleasing your visitor is what it’s really all about.

9. Keep all your interior site navigation as simple as possible. Make it extremely easy for your visitors to find their way around your site. I usually don’t have any pages more than three clicks away from my homepage. All main categories or sub-categories of my site are not only listed on my home/index page but also on every page of my site. Again, never leave your visitors or the search engines stranded.

Analyze Your Website Traffic10. Don’t know if this is a ranking factor or not, but I like placing my YouTube videos on my content pages. Sure you will lose some visitors to YouTube, but it also connects your content with this very popular site which is owned by Google. We all know Google says it doesn’t promote its own interests, but what publicly traded company doesn’t? In that same light, I like using many Google products such as Google Analytics, Google URL Shortener, Google Profiles… and the list goes on. Completely inter-connecting all your pages and content with the countless Google programs will ensure your content won’t be missed.

There are probably many more on-page factors but these are the major ones which you should have on your site and done properly. If you want to check the SEO quality of your site or page, here is a handy site which will check some common SEO factors: www.pearanalytics.com and for checking out your keyword density try this one: www.webuildpages.com/seo-tools/keyword-density/

Full Article: http://www.sitepronews.com/archives/2010/nov/5prt.html

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10 Keys to Facebook Success

How to Use Facebook to Get Results in Your Business

How to Use Facebook to Get Results in Your Business

Whether you like it or not technology is the way of the future. Everything you do and say will be online. If you decide it is all too hard, sorry to tell you but you are going to be left behind.

Social media provides a way to communicate to the masses, it means that you can expose your business to people that you would never have had the opportunity or ability to communicate and market to. It means that marketing your business all of a sudden becomes so much easier.

Facebook, being just one of the many social media communities, is an internet phenomenon which is currently sweeping the globe. Like instant messaging and sites such as YouTube, Facebook is a website which allows you to find and communicate with friends, share photographs, and compare your likes and dislikes.

Facebook has become so popular because it is uniquely viral in that you need to find ‘friends’ before you can communicate with anyone. People either have a love or hate relationship with Facebook since it gets to know an inordinate amount of information about you very quickly. However, you are in control of how much information you provide to the entire Facebook community or to your friends.

Facebook for Business

There is much debate as to whether Facebook is the place to be if you are in business. Is it worth your time and effort if the main users are consumers not businesses?

The answer to that is Yes. Marketing your business on any social media platform is not an arduous task, as much as many people think it is, it is about having a presence, building credibility, and educating your potential customers.

Remember, Facebook provides opportunities that you would never have been exposed to, so make the most of it.

To be most effective when marketing your business via social media, you really need to be talking to your target market. How you get them to “Like” your page is all about building your following and providing education about what you do and how you can help them.

You should also have a strategy in place on how you will market your business through social media. It’s like all your other marketing activities; it needs to be strategic not ad hoc for the best results.

10 Keys to Facebook Success

Here are 10 key steps to help you get the most out of Facebook marketing:

1. Create a neat page. You don’t have to fill out everything, but fill out at least the most important information in the profile section. Also, include a picture. People like seeing that they’re dealing with an actual person or business and not just some faceless company.

2. Keep your business profile separate from your personal one. Don’t go following your favorite bands or befriend your real life friends on Facebook with your business account. It’s okay to have a bit of fun with your business profile, but don’t forget its main purpose of marketing.

3. Make plans about what you’re going to say. What are you trying to accomplish? How can you make your page unique? How can you get the right audience interested in your page? How will you respond to criticism? To praise? Be strategic!

4. Brand your identity. You can now brand and theme your Facebook page similar to that of your website. Use the same logos and graphics, although you shouldn’t go overboard with them. Too many graphics will make your page difficult to load.

Create an Opt-in on your Facebook page to get followers contact details and all of a sudden you have another lead generation strategy for your business.

5. Interact with others. Participate in discussion and always give friendly, knowledgeable replies. Join clubs relating to your niche and offer suggestions and tips. Whenever somebody asks a question, offer a thoughtful answer.

If somebody says something you disagree with, let them know in a friendly manner, and provide a well-thought out reply as to why you do.

6. You’ll probably have to deal with some negativity. People can question your intentions at any time. Always be patient with your critics and deal with them in a professional and friendly manner. Don’t expect to always satisfy everyone. What you can do is maintain a positive image for your brand.

7. Try encouraging your fans to talk. Offer polls and surveys, asking your fans what they do and do not like about your niche. Try starting new topics such as ‘top 10 reasons why’ or ‘learn how to’ and then ask others to share their tips and ideas.

8. Keep everybody up-to-date with offers. Online communities need to be active, and one of the best ways to stay active on Facebook is to offer coupons and special deals on a regular basis. Also, having updates about discounts on your page will entice new visitors to follow you!

9. Hire a professional to create an app and offer it on your page. People really love apps, and your fans will even share them with their friends! Fun applications are a great way to attract attention on Facebook. You should be able to find a developer who charges fair rates.

10. Be consistent with your efforts. Log on every single day and post something! Even if you don’t have any updates, log on and participate in discussion. If you don’t get on Facebook every day and share tips, ideas, etc., people will forget about you. Also, don’t forget to use important keywords in your posts!

Follow these 10 steps to get the best out of your Facebook marketing campaign!

Full story: http://www.sitepronews.com/archives/2010/nov/1.html

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