SEO Tips

Question is always asked can a person do SEO on their own website without paying a company. And of course the answer is yes. Some things to consider are the following that might help you get better page rankings and search engine hits;

  • Time - SEO can be time intense
  • Software - What products will help you with your SEO efforts. Software use is critical and with all the products available it is tough to determine what products will give you the results required. At MaxNet IT Solutions we use five different software suites for SEO work.
  • Patience - it takes time to get search engine rankings.
  • Great website content - this has been mentioned on a number of websites and all we can say is content is King. Better content = more search engine hits = better page ratings. And check your spelling. Nothing is worse then to see spelling mistakes and those could show up in the search engines.
  • Great products or services have a much better chance of making money via the internet.
  • Well designed websites - with good navigation - site maps - google site maps - easy to read fonts. Personally we dislike flash sites - sites that use colored fonts - or tacky backgrounds. However that is not to say that all sites cannot use the above mentioned items.
  • Proper meta tags for page title - page descriptions. More and more we see sites without keyword meta tags and they do well but we still feel that key word meta tags do not hurt on key pages.
  • Software to track website rankings based on key words. Well dah how else will you know what search words are working.
  • Develop incoming links to your website. Incoming links or better reciprocal links adds importance to your website which adds better PR ratings. Finding sites to exchange links does require special software and it is a time consuming task. You can also try websites like linkmetro.com here members exchange links and the task of finding good like partners is alot easier.

 

Would you like further info? Or perhaps you would like to ask a question? Feel free to contact use at info@elitesolutions and we will be more then happy to reply.

 

Some other great tips:

 

  1. Understanding Your Web Traffic
  2. Evaulate Website Performance
  3. Increase Link Popularity
  4. Selecting a SEO Firm
  5. Protecting Your Search Engine Rankings

 

 

 

Understanding Your Web Traffic

 

Analyzing your web traffic statistics can be an invaluable tool for a number of different reasons. But before you can make full use of ths tool, you need to understand how to interpret the data.

 

Most web hosting companies will provide you with basic web traffic information that you then have to interpret and make pertinent use of. However, the data you receive from your host company can be overwhelming if you don't understand how to apply it to your particular business and website. Let's start by examining the most basic data - the average visitors to your site on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis.

 

These figures are the most accurate measure of your website's activity. It would appear on the surface that the more traffic you see recorded, the better you can assume your website is doing, but this is an inaccurate
perception. You must also look at the behavior of your visitors once they come to your website to accurately gauge the effectiveness of your site.

 

There is often a great misconception about what is commonly known as "hits" and what is really effective, quality traffic to your site. Hits simply means the number of information requests received by the server. If you think about the fact that a hit can simply equate to the number of graphics per page, you will get an idea of how overblown the concept of hits can be. For example, if your homepage has 15 graphics on it, the server records this as 15 hits, when in reality we are talking about a single visitor checking out a single page on your site. As you can see, hits are not useful in analyzing your website traffic.

 

The more visitors that come to your website, the more accurate your interpretation will become. The greater the traffic is to your website, the more precise your analysis will be of overall trends in visitor behavior. The smaller the number of visitors, the more a few anomalous visitors can distort the analysis.

 

The aim is to use the web traffic statistics to figure out how well or how poorly your site is working for your
visitors. One way to determine this is to find out how long on average your visitors spend on your site. If the time spent is relatively brief, it usually indicates an underlying problem. Then the challenge is to figure out
what that problem is. It could be that your keywords are directing the wrong type of visitors to your website, or that your graphics are confusing or intimidating, causing the visitor to exit rapidly. Use the knowledge of how much time visitors are spending on your site to pinpoint specific problems, and after you fix those problems, continue to use time spent as a gauge of how effective your fix has been.

 

Additionally, web traffic stats can help you determine effective and ineffective areas of your website. If you
have a page that you believe is important, but visitors are exiting it rapidly, that page needs attention. You could, for example, consider improving the link to this page by making the link more noticeable and enticing, or you could improve the look of the page or the ease that your visitors can access the necessary information on that page. If, on the other hand, you notice that visitors are spending a lot of time on pages that you think are less important, you might consider moving some of your sales copy and marketing focus to that particular page.

 

As you can see, these statistics will reveal vital information about the effectiveness of individual pages,
and visitor habits and motivation. This is essential information to any successful Internet marketing campaign.

Your website undoubtedly has exit pages, such as a final order or contact form. This is a page you can expect your visitor to exit rapidly. However, not every visitor to your site is going to find exactly what he or she is looking for, so statistics may show you a number of different exit pages. This is normal unless you notice a exit trend on a particular page that is not intended as an exit page. In the case that a significant percentage of visitors are exiting your website on a page not designed for that purpose, you must closely examine that particular page to discern what the problem is. Once you pinpoint potential weaknesses on that page, minor modifications in content or graphic may have a significant impact on the keeping visitors moving through your site instead of exiting at the wrong page.

 

After you have analyzed your visitor statistics, it's time to turn to your keywords and phrases. Notice if particular keywords are directing a specific type of visitor to your site. The more targeted the visitor - meaning that they find what they are looking for on your site, and even better, fill out your contact form or make a purchase - the more valuable that keyword is. However, if you find a large number of visitors are being
directed - or should I say misdirected - to your site by a particular keyword or phrase, that keyword demands
adjustment. Keywords are vital to bringing quality visitors to your site who are ready to do business with you. Close analysis of the keywords your visitors are using to find your site will give you a vital understanding of your visitor's needs and motivations.

 

Finally, if you notice that users are finding your website by typing in your company name, break open the champagne! It means you have achieved a significant level of brand recognition, and this is a sure sign of burgeoning success.

 

 

Evaluate Website Performance

 

Setting up a website is the very first step of an Internet marketing campaign, and the success or failure of your site depends greatly on how specifically you have defined your website goals. If you don't know what you want your site to accomplish, it will most likely fail to accomplish anything. Without goals to guide you in developing and monitoring your website, all your site will be is an online announcement that you are in business.

 

If you expect your site to stimulate some form of action, whether it is visitors filling out a form so a representative can contact them, or purchasing a product, there are steps you can take to insure that your website is functioning at peak efficiency. One of the first indicators of how well your site is working for you is finding out the number of visitors in a given period of time. A good baseline measurement is a month in which you haven't been doing any unusual offline promotional activities.

 

However, just because hoards of people have passed through your gates does not mean your site is successful. Usually, you want those visitors to actually do something there. It is equally important to monitor the number of visitors to your site who made a purchase. This figure is called the site conversion rate, and it is an essential element of the efficacy of your website.

 

To find the site conversion rate, take the number of visitors per month and figure out the percentage of them
that actually performed the action your site is set up for. For example, if you had 2,000 hits to your site, but only 25 of them purchased your product, your site conversion rate equals 1.25%. To get this figure, take your number of visitors and divide that figure by the number of visitors who made a purchase. Then divide that result by 100 (25 ?00 X 100).

 

If your website is set-up to get visitors to fill out a form, make sure to then figure out what the difference is
between your site conversion rate and your sales conversion rate. This is because not everyone who fills out your form will actually become your customer. However, whether your site is set-up to sell a service or product, or to get the visitor to fill out a form, the site conversion rate will measure the success or failure of your website whenever you make changes to the site.

 

You may find that you need to implement some additional marketing strategies if you find that traffic to your site is extremely low. There are several effective methods to improve the flow of traffic to your website, particularly launching a search engine optimization campaign. This campaign is targeted at increasing your position in search engine results so that consumers can find your pages faster and easier. You can either research the steps you need to take to improve your search engine rankings, or employ a search engine optimization company to do the work for you.


In either case, after your have improved your search engine positions, make sure you keep on top of them by regular monitoring and adjusting of your efforts to maintain high positions. Another factor to examine is how easy it is for a visitor to your website to accomplish the action the site is set-up for. For example, if your goal is for the visitor to fill out a form, is this form easily accessible, or does the visitor have to go through four levels to get to it? If it's too difficult to get to, the customer may just throw in the towel and move on to another site. Make sure your buttons are highly visible, and the path to your form or ordering page quickly accessible.

Finally, have a professional evaluate the copy on your website. The goal is, of course, to get your visitor to
make a purchase or fill out your form. Website copy must be specifically geared to your online campaign and not just a cut and paste job from your company brochure. The right copy can make the difference between profit and loss in your online campaign.

 

 

Increase Link Popularity

 

Search engines are the gateway to the Internet; they are the first tool that potential customers use to find the
products and services they need. This is why link popularity is so imperative. If the customers do not find
your website, you have no possibilities of making any sales.

 

You're probably wondering what the blazes is popular about a link! Well, in a word - plenty! Link popularity refers to the ranking assigned to your website by the search engines, and it determines the ranking your page gets when keywords are entered into a search engine. So, you're probably wondering, how do I make my link popular?

 

Search engines are discretionary, giving status and ranking to sites that have links to their pages from related,
quality sites. It's a simple formula, but a very important one. Google created the system, and now virtually all the most popular search engines employ it to rank your web pages in their indexes.

 

The more commonly used your keyword is, the harder it will be to achieve link popularity, but without achieving this step, it is almost certain your site will never rank highly on any search engine. But don't be discouraged; there are tried and true ways of achieving link popularity using the most competitive keywords.

There are a few things you should be aware of.

 

The first is that just linking up with a large number of other websites will not achieve link popularity. In fact, it may have quite the opposite effect. This is particularly true when pertaining to websites that are nothing more than "link farms" - pages containing line after line of indiscriminate links. Search engines may aggressively discriminate against your website if you are associated with a link farm, so steer clear of them!

 

The next thing to bear in mind is the quality of the site you are linking to. Never link to a page you have
reservations about your visitors seeing. The last thing you want your website to appear as is indiscriminate and cheap. Linking to sites of poor quality will only lessen your link popularity, if not completely destroy it.

So let's get to what you need to do to achieve supreme link popularity and improve your rankings to stellar status on all the popular search engines.

 

The first step, and the fastest way to get your foot in the door, is to get a listing in a popular directory, such as Open Directory Project and Yahoo. If your site is business-related, you will want to be listed on Yahoo, and despite the fact that it will cost you around $300 a year, it will be money well spent. If your site is
non-commercial, the listing will be free, but it will take time and follow-up to actually get it listed. Open
Directory is gives you a free listing whether you are business-related or non-commercial, but be prepared to make a lot of follow-up inquiries before you see your site listed.

 

You are aiming to get listed in the highest level of appropriate category, and this just takes some common
sense. For example, if your company ships Alpaca wool from an Alpaca farm located in the middle of Nowhere, Tiny State, do NOT submit your listing to "Retailers from Nowhere, Tiny State." BIG MISTAKE! All you have to do is look a little deeper - and submit your listing to the "Fine Alpaca Wool" category. You will not only associate yourself with culture and quality, but you will be listed in a national category.

 

The next step after you have attained directory listings is to locate other quality sites that will increase your link popularity. Try to find sites that are in some way related to yours, so not only will your link popularity increase, but your customer base may also be expanded. You want to avoid your competitors and look for sites that are useful to your site's visitors. Let's look at the Alpaca Wool site example. Linking up to a site that sells knitting supplies would be helpful to your visitors, and the chances of the knitting supply site wanting to link up to your site are also greater. By linking to a related site that will be relevant to your website's traffic, you are increasing both of your site's business prospects - and both of your sites' link popularity.

 

Not all sites want to link to other sites, so you will have to do some research when you are looking for possible linking partners. Google is an excellent starting place for your search. Make sure you enter keywords that you think quality customers will also enter to find your own site. Remember, your criteria are quality, highly ranked, non-competing websites that have a links or resources page.


Go to these sites and objectively assess them. Look at the quality of the product, the graphics, and the ease of use. Then check out the other sites they are linked to, and determine if your own site would fit in with the crowd. When you decide you have found a good prospect, you must set out to woo them. The first thing to do is to add a link on your own links page to their site. This is an essential first step; it shows good faith, and ups your chances significantly of their reciprocity. After you have added their link, you must contact the webmaster of their site.


Since this is almost always done by email, you want to make sure it is immediately clear that your message is not junk mail. This requires that you tell them right off the bat that you have added a link to their page on your site. A hook like this almost always insures the reader will read on.

 

Next, be sure to be flattering and let them know how much you appreciate their website. Make sure you emphasize that you have actually visited their site, and that their site is not just a random pick. Give them the address of your links page, and ask them to check out the link for themselves. It's a good idea to mention that they will not only benefit from the increased traffic your website will direct their way, but you will also increase their link popularity. Briefly, explain why link popularity is so essential, but do this in a sentence or two so you don't sound like a professor! Finally, tell them you would greatly appreciate if they would reciprocally add a link on their own links page to your website. Go through this process with as many appropriate sites as you can find, bearing in mind the criteria of quality and non-competitiveness. After you have emailed all relevant sites, be sure to check these website frequently to see if they have added a link to your page. Give it about a month, and if no link appears, try another charming email. Then give it another month, and if your site is still absent from their links page, it's time to remove their link from your own links page. The only time you want to pursue a link further than this is if you believe a site is crucial to your link popularity and your business needs. Just remember to keep all your communications complimentary and
cordial.

 

Then set up a schedule to check your ranking in search engines frequently to see if your link popularity has
improved. This is not achievable in the blink of an eye. It will take some time and a good deal of work. There is no way around the labor-intensive quality of improving your link popularity, which is why search engines regard it with such importance.

 

By the way - make sure you have a beautiful, streamlined site or you will never persuade anyone to link up to you. Be prepared to keep plugging away at this process, as long as it takes, until you achieve link popularity stardom!

 

 

Selecting a SEO Company

 

A Search Engine Optimization Company can be an invaluable asset in your Internet marketing campaign. They specialize in knowing how to raise your search engine positions, monitoring those positions on the regular basis, and adjusting their strategies to account for undesirable results in any given month. Since this takes a lot of time, effort, and specialized knowledge, it can be in your best interest to go to an outside source rather than try to maintain high search engine positions on your own.

 

However, like every business, there are good companies and there are lemons. Knowing the right questions to ask and the criteria to look for will help you in choosing an affordable, effective search engine optimization company. When looking at different companies, begin by considering the approach they employ to raise your search engine positions. Steer clear of companies that use cloaked, doorway, or bridge pages to raise your positions. These techniques violate most search engine policy, and in the worst case scenario, will only get your website severely penalized, if not removed entirely from a search engine's index.

 

A cloaked page is a page that is created which is invisible to the regular visitor to your website. The cloaked page is coded to detect a search engine spider and divert them to this special page, which is set-up to artificially boost your search engine position. Doorway or bridge pages utilize the same concept, but often reside on an entirely different server. Google, one of the largest and most important search engine on the Internet, will remove your website from their index if they detect you have cloaked pages. Never, never employ any company that uses this technique!

 

Another important element is to get a guarantee that the company you hire will not work with your competitors while they are working for you. Obviously, this would seriously compromise the effectiveness of the search engine optimization campaign. Be aware that some companies will use the success they achieve for your website to sell their services to your competitors. So get your guarantee in writing, and make sure it is legally binding.

 

Of course, one of the most important factors you want to check out is the company's track record of results.
However, don't take the company's word for it. They will undoubtedly be slanting their results in order to sell
their services to you. To go beyond their simple statement of success, ask them a few pertinent questions, and verify their answers.

 

Ask them which engines they have achieved the best results on. The ones that are important are the most popular engines, and these are the ones you want to see good results on. Since the popularity of search engines can change with the landscape of the overall Internet, check out the Nielsen Netratings page at Search Engine Watch. You can access this at http://www.searchenginewatch.com/article.php/2156451.

Next, find out what keywords and phrases they are claiming great results with. It's easy to get high rankings with unpopular words. For instance, the keyword "cat leashes" will get high popularity ranking because no one else would think of using it. What you are looking for is good results using popular keywords. Check out the software Wordtracker, available at www.wordtracker.com. You can order a free trial, or a subscription ranging from 1 day to 1 year. This software rates the popularity of keywords and phrases based on actual search engine use.

 

Next, look for good results over an entire site that the company claims to have successfully worked for. You want to see a wide range of positions over a number of different search engines using different keywords or phrases for the entire site. Request a report for any client the company claims to have done well for. This report should show good positions on a number of the most popular search engines for a variety of different, popular keywords and phrases.

 

When you are checking out search engine optimization companies, make sure they have actually done the work they are claiming to have done. Some companies will use other company's results in order to get you to sign on with them. If you are in doubt, call the company they are showing you results for, and ask for the name of their search engine optimization company.

 

It's important to keep in mind that a successful search engine optimization campaign will result in maximum
exposure across a wide range of popular search engines using a variety of keywords and phrases. This is the formula for a successful campaign, and you should keep it always in the forefront of your marketing strategy.

 

Ask the search engine optimization company you are considering for a report that shows you rankings across a number of popular search engines for a period of at least six months. Remember: search engine marketing is a process that is continual, and you need a company that not only understands this, but keeps constant tabs on your search engine positions. That company must also be able to adjust its strategy in the event that search engine rankings drop. Since search engine marketing is an on-going process, your
positions must be constantly monitored. If you want your search engine optimization company to do this for you, request a sample of a monthly report. It is essential that this report should show rankings for the most popular search engines. Don't be impressed by a report that only shows great results for a limited number of small search engines. These are fairly easy results to acquire. Also confirm that the popular search engine results they are showing you are indeed the popular search engines currently. Be sure the sample report the company shows you is in a format that you can easily understand. For example, it could be in the form of a chart that covers a period of at least six months and presents data such as the top 50 positions broken down on a monthly basis or the top 5 pages each month. Then, ascertain that the company you are considering actually monitors these positions or pages every month, and that the sample report they show you
includes findings and recommendations for the specific site. This insures that the company will actively monitor and make adjustments to their strategy on a continual basis rather than simply gather statistics on your positions. You need a company that is actively participant in your search engine marketing campaign, not just an information gatherer.

 

Obviously, your finances have to figure into your choice of company, but bear in mind that a search engine optimization company is crucial the success of your marketing campaign. It is not just a casual accessory. If you cannot afford a company that will do a thorough and reliable job for your website, you might consider waiting until you do have the finances in place.

 

If you have to find a company and can't wait for your finances to catch up, you may be able to find an affordable company that will also be able to supply quality, reliable work, such as a fairly new company. Just remember that there are risks involved with using a company without a proven track record - and that risk is your money! Don't take that leap unless the company can supply you with a least a few references.

 

References are the most reliable indicator of a good company. Don't use a company that won't show your
references because of any reason, confidentiality included. Remember - even doctors will provide references! The firm you choose should provide you with a minimum of two references, one that is from the past, and one that is current.

 

When you contact these references, be prepared to ask precise, specific questions so that neither of your time is wasted. Ask them what their experience was like with the company, such as their availability to answer questions and deal with problems and their ability to meet deadlines. Ask the reference to rate the overall performance of the company.

 

Find out if the company requested that the reference make significant changes to their web pages that affected the visitors coming to their site. You are looking for a search engine optimization company that can balance the needs of both search engines and site visitors without compromising either. The most essential question to ask is whether the work of the search engine optimization company resulted in higher profits for the reference. Without profits, it doesn't matter whether your positions are at the top of the list or not.

 

Protect Your Website Rankings

 

Your website's ranking on search engines is a vital element of your overall marketing campaign, and there are ways to improve your link popularity through legitimate methods. Unfortunately, the Internet is populated by bands of dishonest webmasters seeking to improve their link popularity by faking out search engines.

 

The good news is that search engines have figured this out, and are now on guard for "spam" pages and sites that have increased their rankings by artificial methods. When a search engines tracks down such a site, that site is demoted in ranking or completely removed from the search engine's index.

 

The bad news is that some high quality, completely above-board sites are being mistaken for these web page
criminals. Your page may be in danger of being caught up in the "spam" net and tossed from a search engine's index, even though you have done nothing to deserve such harsh treatment. But there are things you can do - and things you should be sure NOT to do - which will prevent this kind of misperception.

 

Link popularity is mostly based on the quality of sites you are linked to. Google pioneered this criteria for assigning website ranking, and virtually all search engines on the Internet now use it. There are legitimate ways to go about increasing your link popularity, but at the same time, you must be scrupulously careful about which sites you choose to link to. Google frequently imposes penalties on sites that have linked to other sites solely for the purpose of artificially boosting their link popularity. They have actually labeled these links "bad neighborhoods."

 

You can raise a toast to the fact that you cannot be penalized when a bad neighborhood links to your site;
penalty happens only when you are the one sending out the link to a bad neighborhood. But you must check, and double-check, all the links that are active on your links page to make sure you haven't linked to a bad neighborhood. The first thing to check out is whether or not the pages you have linked to have been penalized. The most direct way to do this is to download the Google toolbar at http://toolbar.google.com. You will then see that most pages are given a "Pagerank" which is represented by a sliding green scale on the Google toolbar.

 

Do not link to any site that shows no green at all on the scale. This is especially important when the scale is
completely gray. It is more than likely that these pages have been penalized. If you are linked to these pages, you may catch their penalty, and like the flu, it may be difficult to recover from the infection. There is no need to be afraid of linking to sites whose scale shows only a tiny sliver of green on their scale.


These sites have not been penalized, and their links may grow in value and popularity. However, do make sure that you closely monitor these kind of links to ascertain that at some point they do not sustain a penalty once you have linked up to them from your links page. Another evil trick that illicit webmasters use to
artificially boost their link popularity is the use of hidden text. Search engines usually use the words on web
pages as a factor in forming their rankings, which means that if the text on your page contains your keywords, you have more of an opportunity to increase your search engine ranking than a page that does not contain text inclusive of keywords.

 

Some webmasters have gotten around this formula by hiding their keywords in such a way so that they are invisible to any visitors to their site. For example, they have used the keywords but made them the same color as the background color of the page, such as a plethora of white keywords on a white background. You cannot see these words with the human eye - but the eye of search engine spider can spot them easily! A spider is the program search engines use to index web pages, and when it sees these invisible words, it
goes back and boosts that page's link ranking.

 

Webmasters may be brilliant and sometimes devious, but search engines have figured these tricks out. As soon as a search engine perceive the use of hidden text - splat! the page is penalized. The downside of this is that sometimes the spider is a bit overzealous and will penalize a page by mistake. For example, if the background color of your page is gray, and you have placed gray text inside a black box, the spider will only take note of the gray text and assume you are employing hidden text. To avoid any risk of false penalty,
simply direct your webmaster not to assign the same color to text as the background color of the page - ever!

Another potential problem that can result in a penalty is called "keyword stuffing." It is important to have your
keywords appear in the text on your page, but sometimes you can go a little overboard in your enthusiasm to please those spiders. A search engine uses what is called"Keyphrase Density" to determine if a site is trying to artificially boost their ranking. This is the ratio of keywords to the rest of the words on the page. Search
engines assign a limit to the number of times you can use a keyword before it decides you have overdone it and penalizes your site.

 

This ratio is quite high, so it is difficult to surpass without sounding as if you are stuttering - unless your
keyword is part of your company name. If this is the case, it is easy for keyword density to soar. So, if your keyword is "renters insurance," be sure you don't use this phrase in every sentence. Carefully edit the text on your site so that the copy flows naturally and the keyword is not repeated incessantly. A good rule of thumb is your keyword should never appear in more than half the sentences on the page.

 

The final potential risk factor is known as "cloaking." To those of you who are diligent Trekkies, this concept should be easy to understand. For the rest of you?cloaking is when the server directs a visitor to one page and a search engine spider to a different page. The page the spider sees is "cloaked" because it is invisible to regular traffic, and deliberately set-up to raise the site's search engine ranking. A cloaked page tries to feed the spider everything it needs to rocket that page's ranking to the top of the list.

 

It is natural that search engines have responded to this act of deception with extreme enmity, imposing steep
penalties on these sites. The problem on your end is that sometimes pages are cloaked for legitimate reasons, such as prevention against the theft of code, often referred to as"pagejacking." This kind of shielding is unnecessary these days due to the use of "off page" elements, such as link popularity, that cannot be stolen.

To be on the safe side, be sure that your webmaster is aware that absolutely no cloaking is acceptable. Make sure the webmaster understands that cloaking of any kind will put your website at great risk.

 

Just as you must be diligent in increasing your link popularity and your ranking, you must be equally diligent
to avoid being unfairly penalized. So be sure to monitor your site closely and avoid any appearance of artificially boosting your rankings.

 

 

 

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