Tips on How to Improve Your Search Engine Ranking

Google's Panda
Don’t Let Google’s Panda Bite You

SEO and content are intertwined. But, swirling around Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is tons of myths. In this post I share with you some tips that talk about what I think are the five most important things not to do so that Google and other search engines do not eat you alive.

What has created these five things you should never do, is the constant changing of Google’s vast menagerie of algorithms named after animals. This includes;

  • Panda;
  • Penguin;
  • Pigeon; and
  • Several more that have other animal names or no names.

Google is striving to make the user experience more meaningful and the combination of their efforts of the updates tries to do this. What at one time was considered good SEO, is now verboten, and using them is considered “black hat” SEO which will get you eaten by the Panda with leftover crumbs enjoyed by Pigeon and Penguin.

Keyword Stuffing

If you are responsible for your company’s Internet marketing efforts, keyword stuffing is still the most often asked for feature that I, as a freelancer, encounter. Keyword stuffing is deadly, do it and your Search Engine Ranking (SER) locally and worldwide will be buried deep towards the last page of results for that keyword you so badly want a writer to use to excess.

Duplicate ContentIf you think that using duplicate content on websites you control on different domains helps you, you are mistaken. The bots and teams of Google employees that explore questionable sites will catch you – and hurt you.

Putting Page rank Above Everything Else

While page rank is important for SER, it is not the only metric that Internet marketers should concern themselves about. According to Google, there are more than 200 indicators that bots use when crawling and ranking a site. Look at your site’s analytics and do everything possible to improve other areas beside page rank.
Not Enough Content
Often, web sites use too many graphics on their pages and write little content. I am a huge supporter of using images, video and infographics for attracting readers that stay and may convert, but too many is distracting. So, even if your SER are good, your page ranking will suffer as visitors leave your site, to continue looking for quality information.
Not Using the ALT Tag

Primarily this tip is for other search engines, such as Bing and Yahoo!. Do not forget the ALT tag when you post an image of any kind. Doing so, simply wastes an opportunity to place a searchable keyword in your image tag. As of now, no bots can determine the value of an image – all, including Google bots, rely on the ALT tag for information about the relevance of your images. Google says it does not pay much attention to the text associated with an image, but it sure cannot hurt you.

If you would like me to look at your content and improve it for SEO, drop me a line at alanedwards749@gmail.com or use my contact page. Please, share your experience and knowledge about other potentially dangerous SEO mistakes in the comments below.

Till next time,
Alan

Photo credit: Buzzfeed
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Why Headlines Are Like Cute Kitten Images

 

 

  • Picture

       Even Though This Kitten Has Nothing to do With Headlines, You Will Read the Content

    Every visitor to the Internet knows that cute kitty videos and images get plenty of attention. So do great headlines! In fact, a great headline is one of the most crucial parts of a blog or article.do great headlines! In fact, a great headline is one of the most crucial parts of a blog or article.Many Internet veterans are familiar with the 4U’s of great Internet Headline Writing. For those of you new to Internet marketing they are:

    1. Urgent
    2. Unique
    3. Useful
    4. Ultra-specific

    Urgent: When readers judge a headline is urgent, they tend to open and read the blog, article, or email. For example, last chance sale!

    Unique: Why being unique is vital is that a unique headline catches the reader and if he or she has not seen this type of information, holds them on your page

    Useful: If a headline that promises the content below it is useful and then doesn’t deliver, readers will leave the page.

    Ultra-specific: What makes specificity in headline writing important for readers is that it helps them information useful to them and reading the content beneath it is more compelling. For example- One Day Sale Tomorrow Only – All Linens 50% Off! It tells the reader what is on sale, when, and how large the discount is – this is very specific.

    Best Words to Use in a Headline

    Words in a headline that draw people to it and the content include:

    • New: 10 New Ways to Save on Grocery Bills!
    • Secret: The Secrets of Financial Success
    • Now: How to Change Careers Now
    • How To: How to Grow Old and Be Healthy
    • Shocking: The Shocking Reason Your Auto Insurance is Too High!
    • Numbers: 10 Amazing Easy Ways to Write Headlines

    So, now that you have the idea, other great words to include in a headline are,

    • This
    • What, When, or Which
    • Amazing
    • Breakthrough
    • Exclusive
    • Bargain
    • You & Your
    • Why
    • People
    • Video

    The Importance of Headlines

    In an article about how important headlines are, Copy Blogger shared some astonishing data, such as,

    1. Out of 10 people, 8 will read the headline, but only 2 read the copy
    2. Copywriter Gene Schwartz many times spent a full week writing a headline and the first 50 words of a sales piece.
    3. The following headline by famed adman David Ogilvy was rewritten 104 times. The epic headline was “ At 60 miles an hour, the only thing you hear in a new Rolls Royce is the ticking of the dashboard clock…”

    Some online marketers know they can do the copy of a particular piece, but still want a freelance writer to come up with a headline.

    Do you find writing headlines hard? I prefer to write a headline first and let it light my way to the end of the blog post or the article.

    How can I help you develop content that is appealing to readers? Do you need help developing titles that pull readers into your blogs or articles? Do you need help developing content for blog and article? If so, contact me using the form on my contact page, or call me at 916-342-0564.

    Next Week

    aliciaNext week, make sure you read Alicia Rades’ Guest Post titled
    What Exactly Makes Your Content Quality Content? I have long admired Alicia’s work as a freelance writer.Alicia’s passion is helping new writers learn freelancer success secrets and helping content buyers choose the best freelancer that they can hire.Get to know more about her and her services at aliciaradeswriter.com, where you can download her free Which Freelance Blogger Should I Hire? worksheet.

What You Get From a Freelancer

 

The key to a successful social media and Internet marketing campaign is fresh content, relevant to your product, ant the information is fresh and in a given way. The most successful type of Internet marketing is also the least expensive to set up.

As a freelance writer, I began this site free. Free gets me a four-page website. If I want to expand my site, I can upgrade on Weebly for a small amount. Some other sites that offer you a free website are Wix and Webs. These and a number of other similar sites have easy to you tools to design and publish a website. Most folks I work with decide to buy domain name (yoursite.com) and have it hosted. To just test the waters, you can publish your new site on the site you used for designing and try it – the difference is, the end of the domain name is something like – com.wix. To get rid of the “wix” you pay for hosting.

Now you may be asking – what has this got to do with freelance writing. Everything! You now have at least four pages to fill with writing. Usually, these pages are a Welcome (landing) page, contact page, services page and a blog.

You do not need a freelancer to write the contact page. Most web building sites have a fine contact form that easily links to you. That is what I have done. See my contact page to see exactly what I mean.

Your landing page needs to catch the reader and entice them to stay on the page. Writing this page, is an initial expense. Small and medium-sized businesses need to have their site catch and keep the reader. Experienced freelance writers know the latest techniques to get you a high-ranking for local search results. You may take an excerpt from your landing page for Google+, Yelp, and other free business directories. This helps improve your Google ranking. When a freelance web writer is asked to help with your landing page it is optimized for local search and compliant in the long list of animals used by Google to robotically monitor content. This includes robotically monitor content. This includes Panda – the most comprehensive overhaul of the Google algorithm.

The services page describes your products and services and may go by many other names – the more original the better. Using a freelancer to write this for you helps fill the page with engaging content rich in content, SEO, and local search optimization.

Your Blog Page is the most challenging. I don’t know about you, but when I see consumer oriented blogs with no entry under six months year old, I move on quickly. Blog posts must engage the reader by the title and the first sentence. If you don’t connect in that first 5 to 7 seconds, you have lost the reader. Blogs need to be updated on a schedule. Based on my experience, I find one to two blogs a week is a good amount. You might run unscheduled blogs when your business is having an event like a free in-house seminar, a sale for web followers only or a special neighborhood event your clients or customers will enjoy.

A relationship with a freelance writer leaves you time to do what you do best in your business, and cuts your stress about keeping your website up to date. Many businesses also use freelance writers for posting on Facebook and Twitter. Usually, these are short and affordable call to actions to your newest blog entries.

Monday I will get on schedule and first post my blog on my site on Mondays and reblog it on WordPress on Friday.post my blog on my site on Mondays and reblog it on WordPress on Friday.

Next Post:
Google’s Zoo of Content Requirements

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Open for Business

As a freelance writer, I belong to a number of forums and follow several blogs. As part of my year-end clean up, I took a look at those blogs and forums and realized that nearly all of them were populated by writers like myself. The best thing about them is they form a superb virtual support system, the negative is they do nothing to help clients and potential clients. Writers are more than welcome to visit and comment on this blog – heck, a little promoting of yourself is even welcome.

Every Friday this blog will post, if you can’t wait, visit my website which will be up and running on January 5, 2015. It will be published there on Mondays.

The only purpose for this blog is to help clients and potential clients learn about the freelancing business and how it helps them with their Internet marketing.

For instance, one area I think freelance writers must educate clients about is Local Search Engine results  Too many times I have spoken to small local businesses who want to hit number one on Google search results. They fail to realize that it is far better for their business to rank #1 on local search engine results. It is far easier, far less costly, and brings in business. Let’s face it, an auto shop in Niagara Falls, NY gains no business from hitting number one in the country under Auto Shops. It is uncertain that the high national ranking will bring them customers from California, South Dakota or Boston.

Hitting the first page in search results for Auto Shops, in Niagara Falls, NY is more targeted, and a well-designed site brings new customers.

There will be lots more posts on local search, targeted marketing, social media and more. Guest posts by highly qualified Internet marketers will be here from time to time as will links, like this, to outside resources.

Happy New Year!