David Leonhardt’s SEO and Social Media Marketing

Tips for better SEO (search engine optimization) and website marketing …

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Archive for the ‘content’ Category

Broken Links and SEO Rankings

Wednesday, June 25th, 2008

Phew! I just finished removing all the broken links from this website. It would have been a fairly small undertaking if not for the blog. The blog creates hundreds of pages and the broken links can appear in comments, posts, sidebars and all sorts of hidden files. And since broken link checkers report all sorts of anomalies, such as RSS links, the list to wade through is quite large.

But it is worthwhile. A website that points to a lot of broken links is one that is not maintained. Put quite simply, if Google has the option of listing two equally relevant websites for a particular search, why would it list the one that appears not to be as up-to-date. I have no empirical evidence to show that broken links hurt ranking (if you do, please let me know), but common sense says that somewhere in the algorithm broken links play a role.

 


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More on Blogs, RSS and SEO

Friday, May 9th, 2008

A couple days ago I wrote about how blogs are good for SEO.  Today, I would like to offer one additional reason.

RSS.

RSS helps your SEO efforts in two ways.  First, you can submit your feed to RSS-specific directories, and that of course brings a number of links to yet another page on your domain.  That is good, especially for a new website that lacks the credibility to be referenced in blogs and portals, and lacks the link-juice most link-exchange partners seek.  One caveat is that some RSS directories will accept only tried and true feeds, so you might have to go back a year later when you have proven yourself.

In addition to the link-juice that RSS offers, if your content is good and you take your blog seriously, those RSS directories should generate traffic.  The number of people who take advantage of RSS feeds is small, but these are Internet diehards.  These are people with voracious appetites for information and are more likely to buy over the Internet than the typical surfer.   Many of them are bloggers themselves who use RSS as a means of gathering research and ideas quicker than by surfing.  Exposing your blog feed to them is a great way to build the best links of all – natural ones that your website earns because of its superior content.

Content alone won’t win the SEO battle.  But content publicized can.  And RSS is a means of publicizing.

 


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Why blogs are good for SEO

Monday, May 5th, 2008

Just a few reasons why a blog is a great tool for SEO.

  • Fresh content – the search engines love that.
  • Growing website – the search engines love that, too.
  • Multiple variations of keywords to attract highly-targeted long-tale searchers.
  • Highly relevant pages from which to link into the main pages of your website.
  • Keeps you in touch with your topic, not just the technicalities of SEO.
  • You can submit your blog to blog-specific directories, providing extra link love.
  • You can easily trade content, not just links.
  • Assuming you can generate even a modest amount of traffic for your blog, you can get links to individual posts through social bookmarking (especially if you have a tool like TheBookmarketer at the bottom of each post, as I do).
  • Blog open doors to real-people networking on the Internet, and that is always helpful when it comes to link-building and other forms of collaboration, such as blogrolls and webrings.

There are probably a few dozen more reasons why blogs are good for SEO, so why not post your favorite reasons in the comments section below?

 


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Don’t Waste “Useless” Traffic

Monday, April 7th, 2008

Not everybody has this happy problem, but many websites get traffic they cannot use because it serves only a narrow spectrum of people who arrive from a broader search.  People do a search for a broad search, such as “marketing gimmicks” at Google or Yahoo, find your web page about a very specific marketing gimmick for real estate agents, discover that the website does not address their needs to market beauty products or metal bending or accounting, and they go.

Wait.  Stop.  Where do they go?  Back to the search engine?  No, no, no, no. 

From an SEO perspective, you don’t want to send the search engines the message that your page was a poor choice to rank well for the search term “marketing gimmicks”.  If that happens, the search engines might just demote your rank, and you will love the good prospects with the “useless” traffic.  We have no evidence that the search engines are factoring bounceback data into their algorithms, but we do know they are capable and have an interest in doing so.   It’s coming.

Of more immediate concern is all that hard-earned traffic that could be buying something from you is just leaving without spending a penny.  What a shame!  In a case like that, it would be worth having a very prominent affiliate link to a website that sells a broader marketing package with a text like “More Surefire marketing Gimmicks Here”. The result would be to convert some of the “useless” traffic, and to both reduce the bounceback rates and increase the bounceback lag time of those who do go back to Google.
 

 


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Link-bait content for viral marketing

Wednesday, November 21st, 2007

Today I just want to share with you Jason Lee Miller’s list of what works as good link bait and ideal for viral marketing.  His whole article is great and can be read here, but this is the list I thought I would share directly with readers. 

The Resource Approach (Becoming the Expert In Your Field/Niche)

–    Create expert articles/lists/data sheets 
–    Create practical or fun tools
–    Write How-To articles
–    Create a comprehensive blog roll (give link love, get link love)
–    Compile informative news stories and articles


The News Approach

–    Get the scoop. Be first with industry news
–    Interview prominent people in your field
–    Investigate a hot topic
–    Do an exposé


The Humor/Novelty Approach

–    Post funny/interesting/amazing photos related to your industry
–    Create humorous/unique videos (Use Blendtec for inspiration)
–    Create lists; people love lists – Top 10 Ways to…; 10 Signs You’re…

 


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Inbound links – better to own than to rent

Wednesday, October 17th, 2007

I like this post saying Don’t Buy Rent Links

Julia Kristiva makes a great arguement for creating content, going through the costs and revenue, and how the website benefits from the content.  In this example, she references a useful tool created for a client.  But articles, data, case studies, ebooks, and other useful content can have the same effect.

I have never been a big fan of buying (“renting”, actually) links.  Just as with home ownership, it’s better to own than to rent.  If you own something that people want to link to, you effectively own the links.  But if the links are a result only of your monthly payment, your are renting. 

It’s the difference between a cost and an investment.

 


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Optimize for misspellings

Thursday, October 4th, 2007

Your PPS is cute, what with the “translaters” !  :o )

That was part of a query I received from a lady needing translation of a French medical document into English.  She was refering to the following paragraph from my “free lance englishfrench translaters” page.

P.P.S.: If you came searching for a free lance frenchenglish translater or free-lance englishfrench translaters, you won’t be the first to make a little spelling booboo. That’s OK; it’s our job to make sure that your final translated text is error-free.

This is just a cute way to get a few misspellings tactfully into the text of the page.  When someone searches for “free lance translater”, their real intention is to find a “freelance translator”, so including the text on the page is one good way to help them find hwat they meant to type, not what they actually typed.

Is this appropriate?  Are we tricking the search engines?  Not at all.  We are helping people find what they want.  It is always wise to include as many variations of a word as possible.  It is for that reason that writing naturally makes sense.  Writing just for a keyword, say “Freelance French English Translator” would not sound right.  Variations of these words should also appear on the page, such as “translation” and “translators” and maybe “translating”.

Including misspellings is another way of covering the various combinations of searches people might eb undertaking

 


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Blog traffic explosions

Friday, September 7th, 2007

Once upon a time, everyone wanted to get into the New York Times.  Today, popular blogs carry the same weight.  They can send a ton of traffic to a website they link to.

Then, with all those readers, some will also blog about the topic, sending a second wave of traffic.  And the permanent links at all these blogs help send more Google and Yahoo traffic for months to come.  Assuming the traffic converts, mentions in http://www.boingboing.net or http://www.perezhilton.com/  can result in overwhelming success. 

Imagine a 4,891% increase in traffic from one Sunday to the next!  That’s what happened not long ago when one of my clients got blogged by a top blogger (I wish I could take the credit, but this happened totally organically, which means that all the efforts of both my client and me to publicize his site opened the door indirectly, and the blogger found the information we have been publicizing ).

Remember how we always hear that content is king…then spend all day begging, buying or bartering links?  Well, it’s a lot easier to get links if you have something free and worthwhile – good content. 

Think of the Internet as a trade fair.  Ever notice how even a non-starter can hook participants into the sales process by offering a free, unique-looking give-away?So spend a little time at http://www.boingboing.net and ask yourself,, “What could I post on my site that would be worthy of a mention here?”  When it comes to content, if it’s good enough for Boing Boing, it will be good enough for anybody.

 


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