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Archive for the 'On-Page SEO' Category
Start the conversation when interviewing Search Marketing professionals by first implementing 4 strategies that elevate you from spectator to participant in selecting the best Search Marketing partner:
- Know What Your Visitors Are Doing
If you do not have a Web server analytics tool telling you what is happening on your Web site, get one. Google Analytics has a free tool that provides a wealth of knowledge to determine where visitors came from and what they do after they arrive. Understanding current online activity on your Web site is critical in identifying strengths and opportunities to define Search Marketing strategies for your business.
- Identify Your Most Valuable Customer
A Web site that speaks to everyone speaks to no one. Is your most valuable customer the easiest to close, returns often, or costs less to aquire? Think about your customers in terms of total cost to do business with them and how that factors into your bottom line. Discuss your most valuable customer with prospective Search Marketing professionals to observe how they would approach the problem of driving these specific visitors to your Web site. Be ready, a good consultant may question your list and help you to think about your most valuable customer in a different way.
- Take Inventory of Your Marketing Mix
Are you getting the best return on your online marketing investment? If you are investing in Paid Search, traditional PR, or any other online marketing program, review the results of those campaigns by comparing with the results of your Web statistics. Consider reallocating dollars to pay for a campaign that may have better results.
- Define Business Goals
Search relates to action and action can be measured. Once you’ve installed Google Analytics and identified your most valuable customers, business goals require measurement. If your goal is to increase sales of a specific product or service or to increase visitors in order to draw investors, you will begin to understand how many options are available in Search Marketing to achieve those results. As the mystery of Search Marketing begins to unfold, defining or re-defining your business goals will guide you in understanding strategies that any SEO company will propose.
The decision to introduce an SEO company can be a good one. You should not feel at the mercy of the SEO company due to lack of knowledge or experience in implementing Search Marketing strategies.
As the expert in your industry your focus is to collaborate with professionals who will work with you to understand the complex nature of Search Marketing, identify where your strengths lie and what opportunities are out there that fit into your business goals and budget.
Wordpress is an ideal open-source SEO friendly platform that is easy to install and easy to manage. You can buy a template online or have a Wordpress developer create a custom theme for a reasonable cost.
If you’re taking the opportunity to utilize this powerful platform, ensure you read up on security. Avoid making security mistakes by controlling directory and file permissions, backing up your blog site and following these Wordpress Security guidelines.
Is your Web site design layout speaking to your visitors as well as Search Engines?
The balance between the two is related to two distinct elements in Web site design; active content and images as visual cues.
Search Engines capture only keywords and keyword phrases. Images are essentially ignored.
Opportunities are lost when Web design does not take into account active content as a strategic element in design.
Learn how Eye Tracking and Heat Map studies have guided us toward SEO friendly Web design best practices.
- Active Content - Copy that targets your visitors needs
- Images as Visual Cues - Triggers that take your visitor one step closer to a desired action
Google Analytics was reporting a client’s Error page as the 3rd hottest page on the Web site. Obviously there was a problem but the biggest mystery was that although visitors were getting a 404 Page Not Found Error, through the Google Analytics Navigation Summary I could see that visitors encountering the 404 Error were continuing to find content on the Web site from that page.
After performing some investigation, I found that the 404 Error Page was populated with a sitemap of the entire Web site, including a list of URL’s by product. Visitors were redirected, so to speak, from a serious issue.
The root cause of the problem was resolved by identifying a URL that was renamed. A 301 URL level redirect implemented via .htaccess redirected the old filename to the intended new URL. The problem was fixed immediatly. It took 2-3 weeks for Google to cache the new URL information but the redirect worked as intended.
Use 404 Error Pages for more than just reporting an error. Be creative and take the opportunity to fix a fubar gracefully.
I don’t trust GUI’s and this is why. A simple URL 301 redirect was botched by PowWeb’s URL Redirect tool. I had an issue with an error page being among the top content viewed and found an problem with a URL name change conflicting with a PPC campaign landing page target. I knew what had to be done.
PowWeb has a handy set of control panel tools that allow .htaccess editing. The .htaccess editor has a URL Redirect tool that defines the from path as http://… and the to path also as http://… in it’s instructions.
After going through various resources, I found this lovely note that saved my sanity:
“Notes: Don’t add “http://www” to the first part of the
statement - place the path from the top level of your site
to the page. Also ensure that you leave a single space
between these elements:”
PowWeb also has a very nice direct .htaccess editor that allowed me to modify the .htaccess file so I manually changed the redirect to the following:
Redirect 301 /home.html http://www.domain.com
There was no designation for a 301 Redirect so I had to modify the .htaccess file manually. It worked… Check your redirects here - http://www.internetofficer.com/seo-tool/redirect-check/.
Luckily I have FTP access to the Web server but that is not always the case. In using the editor, I found there were actually 3 .htaccess files on the server. I had to ensure I was modifying the correct one and my next phone call to PowWeb will be about having 3 .htaccess files on the server.
Pay close attention to your redirects. Check them. Then check them again.