How to protect your search rankings with SEO

Posted by on Aug 12, 2010 in SEO |

One of the biggest fears for web site owners that have long relied on search traffic for new business is a sudden drop in search engine rankings.  Some webmasters are experiencing this very situation as a result of Google’s recent update. In most cases, it takes a lot for a tenured web site to mess up its search visibility.  In other situations, it doesn’t take much at all. Avoiding mistakes that result in exclusion, penalties and more often confusion for search engines are often overlooked.  Don’t fall victim to carelessness and ignorance when it comes to maintaining the search visibility achieved from years of content and online marketing by avoiding these common mistakes: Website Redesign Probably one of the most common situations that result in fluctuations in search visibility involve significant changes to a web site’s design, content, internal linking relationships and the new use of Flash, Ajax or JavaScript for navigation. Search engines copy websites and the links between pages. Think of it as taking a picture of your site. If you change your site from what the search engine has a copy of, the new form might not include the same content, keywords and crawlable links. The worst case scenario is when a company decides to redesign the website and over write all previous SEO work. Upon finding that search visibility has completely tanked, they call up the SEO agency and demand an explanation. Solution: When significant changes are planned for the company website, work with your SEO to identify how the new design will impact search visibility. Have them map out and prioritize the implications of page layout, content and keyword usage, navigation, links and redirects. New Content Management System (CMS) Along the lines with a new website design, changing content management systems can create a lot of confusion for search engines. Many companies have had websites long enough that the legacy CMS used to launch the site no longer serves the needs of the organization. Large companies may find that the hodgepodge of CMS used by different business units and acquired companies is inefficient and a common content management system would better serve the organization. A change in the CMS means a change in the templates that format web pages, navigation and oftentimes the URL structure of pages.  It’s common that major changes in content are rolled out along with new website software and that can spell confusion for search engines. URLs that change can also create confusion. For example, web page file names that previously ended with .asp and now end with .aspx are perceived as completely different. Solution: While the IT department or web developer will understand the importance of redirecting old URLs to their...

read more

Make a website work effectively for you by understanding how it works!

Posted by on Jun 8, 2010 in Business Opportunity |

Let people and’ Search Engines’, know that your business exists and what it does. Have keywords on your site that people will use firstly to find you, then you need to create a resource site with pertinent information that will keep them coming back to your website says Jamie MacLeod, WSI Internet Marketing Consultant. Here are a few tried and tested tips that will work for your business: Provide lots of valuable information on your website. Customers need to have a reason to come to you. “If they believe that you are a knowledgeable source of information, they will come. Provide enough information Establish yourself as knowledgeable about your product or service.” Include both articles and blogs as this keeps you fresh and topical. “You can comment about things on a timely basis and establish yourself as an expert in the field.” Enable customer input. Let users have their say. Don’t dominate the conversation, Allow comments on blog entries. Establish a bulletin board so they can communicate with one another. Fill orders on a timely basis. Assure that ordering is fast, easy and available. At 2 a.m., on weekends, holidays or while out of town, a customer should be able to come to your store and do business. Online stores enjoy a huge advantage, they can offer a lot more items, and a wider assortment, without having to lease retail or warehouse space, or clutter up the basement of a home. Use “drop shipping” to fulfill orders. Instead of carrying inventory, simply forward the customers’ order to the manufacturer or wholesaler, which then ships directly to the customer. Your profit is the difference between wholesale and retail pricing. Marketing your website won’t be easy. “If you think you have trouble getting people to know about your bricks-and-mortar store, wait till you get online”. The challenge is to distinguish your website from all of the others and convince them to use YOUR SERVICES. Lay down a footprint. Your target market should run across a reference to your website in as many channels as possible — the community, professional organizations, other websites, the media, social networking sites and on search engines. Practice ‘search-engine’ optimization. ” The idea is to get your website to appear on the first  search engine’s results pages so people will see it, and more importantly click through to your site. Most people aren’t in the habit of clicking past the first few search-results. “If you are not on the first couple of pages, you are just not there.” The key to search-engine optimization is in using effective tags, or terms, to describe your business or product, he said. “The big thing is to know what customers call...

read more

Writing website content

Posted by on Jan 25, 2010 in Content Marketing |

Your website should always answer your visitor’s queries and solve their most urgent need or problem. The writing of website content is most likely the most time consuming part of developing and creating your website. A good way to start writing the content of your website is to ask yourself a couple of questions about your visitors. This can help you to establish the purpose of your website. What is the purpose of your website? This can be your first question.  What is the purpose of your website? Why are you creating a website? Are there any specific services or products that you want to promote? What CTA (call to action) do you want your visitors to take? What is the problem? What is the problems your website visitors are trying to resolve? What questions do they need before they will take the final decision and buy? What is your selling sequence? Use this to plan your web site map and the order of your navigation. Your home page Use the most important keywords on your home page.  What is your value proposition? You can use this in the page headline. If I came to this website, what would I most want to find out and know? What are the advantages of your offering over your competition? How is what you are offering better? How will what you offer benefit your customer? What makes your products or services convenient to use (easier, faster)? About us This is the page where you can humanize your business and it is usually the second most read web page on your website. What do your website visitors want to know about you and your business? What is your expertise and how does it address their questions and problems? What is the history of your business? What caused you to start the business? What special affiliations or certifications do you have? How many employees, volunteers or students do you have? Services or products This is usually the pace where you can get specific about your offering.  You may want to create a separate page for each service or product that you might have. What need or problem do you solve? How will your services or products benefit them? What are the important specifications and features? What other options are available? How does someone buy or obtain more information? Always provide more details, illustrations and pictures to explain your offering. When writing website content, make sure your content is concise and scannable.  Clarity and brevity are important. Write as if you were answering someone’s questions on the phone. Use simple easy to read words and write with shorter sentences and shorter paragraphs. Leave a comment...

read more