David Leonhardt’s SEO and Social Media Marketing

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

THE HAPPY GUY MARKETING

 

Archive for the ‘SEO’ Category

KEI Formula Misleads for Keyword Competitiveness Research

Friday, February 23rd, 2007

Many SEO specialists wonder why I don’t use Keyword Effectiveness Index, or KEI, to research the right keyword phrases to target.  On the surface, the KEI formula makes sense, and it struck me as so obvious when I first learned about it. 

To the best of my recollection, WordTracker invented KEI, and their original description of the formula was, “the KEI compares the Count result (number of times a keyword has appeared in our data) with the number of competing web pages to pinpoint exactly which keywords are most effective for your campaign.”  What better way to research keyword competitiveness?

At first a fan, I did eventually come to my senses.  This formula tracks how many websites are in a given database for a searched term.  But it is not the volume that counts; it’s the distribution.  Here’s an analogy… 

Which way would you prefer to cross a city on foot:

1. A small alleyway, with a thousand thugs lounging in cafes around the city.
2. An equally small alleyway, with a dozen bloodthirsty thugs in the alley bent on stopping you.

KEI would lead you down the equally small alley…the one with very few keyword phrase competitors, but all right in your way, fighting hard for their high search engine rankings.  Is that what you want?  Of course not.  Keyword popularity is not the selection criteria that matters.  The SEO game is not a democracy…at least not yet, but that’s another story.
I had a sort-of related question from a client today:

Say for instance the word “tennis” was hyperlinked all over the web on all different pages and sites yet the links could be linking to 100’s of different places. Doesn’t that make the word “tennis” more competitive because other sites are trying to use it to increase their chances in trying to get it to show up in the search engines?


On the surface, her proposal made eminent sense, but it’s not the total volume that counts, rather the distribution.  Here was my response to her:

That depends.  If There are a million links with the word “tennis” in them, pointing somewhat evenly to 100,000 sites, the most any one site might have pointing would be, just for example, 20 or 25 links with the word “tennis”. On the other hand, there might be only 500,000 links with the word “badminton” in them, pointing to 100,000 sites, but skewed toward a dozen sites that have been battling it out for top rankings, each with 2000 – 10,000 inbound links with the word “tennis”.  It’s not the volume that counts, but the distribution.

Look very carefully at the top 10 ranking websites for a given search term at your favorite search engine…and how well-optimized those sites are for the keyword, how many inbound links they have, what the quality of those links appears to be, etc.  Don’t rely on the KEI formula or any other web-wide aggregate figures for keyword selection.
  

 


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SEO for Reputation Management: Part III

Monday, February 19th, 2007

Yikes! It’s been two weeks since I posted SEO for Reputation Management: Part II.  So your patience has earned you a good post.

In SEO for Reputation Management: Part I, we made the strategic decisions of what Amanda wanted people toi see when they Search Google or Yahoo for her name.  In Part II, we took inventory of what is already on the Information Highway that she can use to that end.

Now it’s time to put together the plan. Time has slipped through my fingers, and Amanda (not her real name, remember?) has already begun implementing some of the plan.  At the end of this post, I’ll share with you her interim results.

I won’t go through all the details, but some of the major recommendations were…

1. Her blog was being used very, very sporadically.  More frequent posts, occasionally speaking in the third person, would help (I probably should mention that this is David Leonhardt’s blog in every post and put my name in the Blog Title above as Amanda does, but I never put together a reputation management plan for myself!).  In fact, I recommended a post about herself, something I should do one of these days, too. This should secure a second listing in Google’s top 10 for her blog.

2. She owns the domain of her name, but it points to her blog.  I recommended developing her domain to include certain content that would help her get double listings Google’s top 10 for her name.

3. I suggested ways to make her two blogger profiles work to her advantage.

4. I suggested ways to boost the rankings also of a few of the various places where she has articles right now (or then) on the Internet.

5. I suggested a few places where she could build a good reputation directly, that could also rank highly in the search engines or support the rankings of her other pages.  For instance, I pointed out my pages at MySpace, Zaadz, Squidoo, MyBlogLog and TagWorld.  I haven’t done near enough with any of these, mind you, but I will.  Honest.

6. I also recommended a multi-faceted linking campaign, geared to the various types of pages Amanda was trying to boost in the rankings.

SEO Reputation Management Plan Progress report.

On Google’s top 10 right now…

1.  Amanda’s Blogger profile.  She has another Blogger profile, but it has not been worked on yet and it is not ranking.

2. Her blog.  She has been doing more posts, but not yet what is needed for a second page to rank.  I have offered some additional details.

3. One of the pages I mentioned in item #4 above.

4. and 5. A new appearance by another offensive blogger, posted two years ago. How these two postings got up in the rankings is anybody’s guess, but it is likely the result of something that happened sitewide (as opposed to something related to these two specific posts).  As the linking campaign kicks in, the two offensive posts should sink.

6. Amanda’s MySpace profile.  More can be done to make this a double listing.  Possibly.

7. Amanda’s under construction and 99% unoptimized site on her own-name domain.  When the site is finished, there should be two pages from this domain in the top 10.

8. and 9. Two more of the pages I mentioned in item #4 above.

10. Amanda’s MySpace page. More can be done to make this a double listing.  Definitely.  I’ve made some additional suggestions.

So there you have it.  Some promising interim results.  One can do much to manage one’s reputation using sound, responsible SEO techniques.

 

 

 

 

 


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How Webmasters Harness Social Bookmarking for Success in 2007

Monday, February 12th, 2007

Most webmasters and website owners do not yet understand social bookmarking or how they can use it to increase their leads, their sales, their subscribers and even their repeat visitors.  This is a primer that every webmaster and blogger should read.

Everyone knows that a bookmark is a piece of paper that marks a page so you can find it easily again.  Most people know that a computer bookmark is a link on your computer that marks a web page so you can find it easily again. 

A social bookmark is link that marks a web page so you can find it easily again, but also so you can share it with others, usually by posting it to one of several dozen social-bookmarking websites.  For instance, I have accounts at del.icio.us, Simpy, Searchles and several others. 

If I was to post a bookmark to your web page at one of these sites, something magical would happen.

First, other members of the bookmarking site could view the link.  Then they could follow the link.  Then they could subscribe, view more, buy or whatever can be done at that page.  Then they could also bookmark the link.  Since many bookmarking people participate in several bookmarking sites. They might bookmark your page several times.  And they might even blog the link. 

The next magic happens when all this is amplified by the magic of search engines who see these very naturally-created (real votes, not phony link exchanges!) building up over time across numerous domains and in varying contexts.  The search engines are not stupid, and they are getting smarter every day at recognizing the difference between real and phony links.

The website which can attract social bookmarks has a clear advantage above those that don’t.

STOP THE PRESSES

Just last week, Google updated its algorithm, and webmasters should take note.  It’s new “personal search” algorithm includes social bookmarking even more specifically than in the ways I mentioned above.  Google can easily see which web pages have been bookmarked at — guess where? — Google Bookmarks

So you as a website owner or blogger have a very special interest in finding ways to encourage people to social bookmark your pages at Google Bookmarks and at public bookmarking websites.

HOW TO HARNESS SOCIAL BOOKMARKING OF YOUR WEBSITE

Bloggers have been doing this manually for some time, posting little icons for del.icio.us and Digg and ma.gnolia and others at the end of each post.  The idea is that users of each social bookmarking service will be prompted to bookmark the post, assuming the post has value. 

But doing this manually leaves a lot to be desired, consuming time and effort to set it up and stay current, as well as limitations.

So a few clever people came out with scripts to help automate the process (not the bookmarking itself, just the bookmarking links on the website).  The latest entry into this market is the free TheBookmarketer, which is better than the other “similar” scripts in five ways, as I outlined near the bottom of my previous blog post.

When you place a social bookmarking script on your website or blog, make sure to use it yourself.  Ask friends and family to, as well. Ask your newsletter subscribers and satisfied customers to social bookmark your pages, too. 

Remember, placing the simple snippet of code on your website might be an easy set-it-and-forget-it marketing tool, but it is not some automated “0 to 60 in 5.2” magic wand.  It is just one tool in your arsenal, and it works best when you have something worthwhile for your visitors to bookmark.  It does not make your website great, but it does prompt your visitors to let other surfers, shoppers and the search engines know just how great your website is.

As ever day passes, social bookmarking becomes a more important factor in how people find the websites of interest to them.  Social bookmarking is both replacing and enhancing typical search engine activity, and no webmaster can afford to lose out on the incredible amount of traffic that social bookmarking sends, both directly and through the search engines. 

 


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Offical Launch of TheBookmarketer

Monday, February 12th, 2007

The Bookmarketer free bookmarketing power tool

This is the official launch of TheBookmarketer.  It is tempting to call this a revolution in website marketing, to use the typical hype of online marketing gurus…but it’s not.  It’s not about hype, it is about substance.  It’s not a revolution, it is a big step forward in the Web 2.0 revolution that is already under way.  And it is an extraordinarily handy and easy tool to give website owners and bloggers a competitive edge. TheBookmarketer is a social bookmarking tool.  In my next post, I will give a complete rundown of social marketing, why it is important to webmasters and bloggers and how you can harness its awesome power.  In this post, I will simply explain what TheBookmarketer is, what it is not, who should use it, how it is better than several “similar” tools, and why I have gone to the effort and expense to make it so good and give it to you for free. 

WHAT THEBOOKMARKETER IS… 

 

  • TheBookmarketer helps your visitors promote your site in many ways.  

  • TheBookmarketer is a set-it-and-forget tool, a free snippet of code you have to add to your SSI or include file only once. Ever.  

  • TheBookmarketer helps you win with Google’s 2007 algorithm changes.  

  • TheBookmarketer helps build valuable one-way links to your website.  

  • TheBookmarketer helps create “natural linking” patterns that impress search engines.  

  • TheBookmarketer  helps build deep links that tell the search engines that your website has depth.  

  • TheBookmarketer draws other interested social bookmark users to your site (targeted traffic).  

WHAT THEBOOKMARKETER IS NOT…  

 

  • TheBookmarketer is not an “automated traffic machine”.  Those don’t generally give you quality traffic.  

  • TheBookmarketer is not a 0 to 60 in 5.2 link-builder.  It builds links at a speed that reflects a) the number of visitors to a page, and b) the value they get out of the content of the page.  

  • TheBookmarketer is not a guarantee of success on its own; you need quality content that others will feel is worth bookmarking for later use or for sharing with friends or colleagues.  

WHO SHOULD USE THEBOOKMARKETER… 

TheBookmarketer can help any website get wider exposure and higher search engine rankings.  However, certain types of sites stand the most to gain:   

 

  • Content-rich portals and information sites, including directories and article directories.  

  • Ezines with online archives.  

  • Blogs and online forums with always new and useful information.  

  • Ecommerce stores with descriptions of products that people might want to save for later use of share with others.  

  • Photo- or video-sharing websites.  

  • News websites, general or niche  

  • Any website with either new or useful information  

HOW THEBOOKMARKETER IS BETTER THAN “SIMILAR” TOOLS… 

Technically, you do not need a tool to prompt your visitors to social bookmark your pages.  You could add code for each social bookmarking site by hand.  The disadvantage to that is that it is a lot of work…a lot of work getting started and a lot of work keeping up-to-date when in a fast-changing field.  And you won’t be able to cover as many social bookmarking websites.  There are a handful of social bookmarking tools for webmasters around, but we made TheBookmarketer better in 5 ways:  

 

  • At this point, only TheBookmarketer has the Google Bookmarks submit link.  

  • Only TheBookmarketer allows you to check your stats (see the email form at the top of http://www.seo-writer.com/tools/bookmarker.php.  

  • The Bookmarkerter has the largest list of social bookmarking sites, offering the best reach of potential visitors and the best breadth of incoming links (and we plan to add to the list).  

  • TheBookmarketer makes the most popular sites easy to access by floating them to the top.  

  • I am committed to keeping TheBookmarketer very current so you don’t have to think about it.   

WHY I INVESTED THE EFFORT AND MONEY TO DEVELOP THEBOOKMARKETER JUST TO GIVE IT AWAY FOR FREE… 

Marketing.  It’s that simple.  We are a website marketing company and what better way to introduce ourselves to you and to those people who will be bookmarking your pages than by demonstrating our ability to help you market your website.  That is the same reason why we are committed to keeping it current for you and ensuring that it remains the very best tool possible.  See it in action at the bottom of this post…

 

 

 


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Testing the NoFollow Attribute

Monday, February 5th, 2007

Following my earlier post about Wikipedia: the Dead End on the Information Highway, after they added the nofollow attribute to their external links, I decided to launch a test to see whether the engines are really respecting the nofollow attribute.  So I created a page optimized for a non-existent word, with a single link pointing to it.  Let’s see if the page gets into Google’s index, and how long it takes.  I’ll keep you posted.

 


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SEO for Reputation Management: Part II

Monday, February 5th, 2007

We’ve been following Amanda and her quest to manage her online reputation when a potential client searches for her name.  We covered the first part of her strategy in SEO for Reputation Management: Part I.

Now it’s time for Amanda to take inventory.  She is actually in an enviable position.  She starts out with her own domain name, a blogspot.com blog with a blogger.com profile, contributions at a couple other group blogs, and several articles she has written (Amanda is a writer, remember?)

Remember that search engines will list one or two pages from any single domain, so to make sure the right information fills the first page (top 10 results), it requires at least five domains and at most 10.

In Amanda’s case, her domain points to her blog, so she is wasting an obvious opportunity.  If she develops her domain, she should be able to occupy two of the top spots for her name.  Her blog should be able to occupy two of the top spots and her blogger.com profile should be able to occupy just one. 

That leaves five more pages required, ideally her own writings or testimonials to her writing.  The problem with working to get some of Amanda’s best writing to the top of the rankings is that she cannot control the content or format of the pages…nor can she even be sure they will exist six month hence.

We identified those articles and group blog posts with the most likelihood of lasting, as well as a page where readers debated the merits of one of her articles, given that there is no better testimonial to the quality of a writer’s work than it’s ability to generate interest, even debate. 

 

 

 


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SEO for Reputation Management: Part I

Saturday, January 27th, 2007

Anyone whose business depends on trust and credibility needs to be concerned about reputation management.  Most people don’t give two thoughts to the search engines when they think of protecting or enhancing their good names.  But consider where you would go to check up on someone you plan to trust with a valuable project.  That’s right…Google, Yahoo, Ask, MSN.

This SEO for reputation management blog series will interest you if you are… 

  • an accountant   

  • a lawyer   

  • a therapist, naturopath or any other health service provider   

  • and SEO specialist   

  • a consultant of any kind   

  • a personal trainer   

  • a writer or editor   

  • an artist of any kind   

  • a web designer or programmer   

  • a virtual assistant    

  • a home inspector   

  • anyone else in the service sector   

What do people find when they Google your name?  One writer (let’s call her “Amanda”) came to us because they found her blog in the top two spots, but in positions 3 and 4 they found a very disparaging blog post.  (Blogging is about being real; it does not have to be about being rude!)  

Obviously, she wanted to move that blog post down, out of Google’s top ten for her name.  That’s not how SEO works.  SEO is about moving a website up in the rankings, not down.  The only way to move a website out of Google’s top ten, is by moving ten web pages ahead of it into Google’s top ten.  We told Amanda that we could help restore her maligned reputation using SEO techniques.

We knew what Amanda did not want potential clients to see when they Googled her name. Amanda’s reputation management SEO campaign began by identifying what she did want them to see:   

  • Her own website that lays out her credentials in a professional manner, so that potential clients see that they would be dealing with a professional in whom they can trust their project.   

  • Samples of her work, so that potential clients see the quality of her work (easy for a writer, as well as for an artist; much harder for a medical practitioner or an accountant.   

  • Testimonials.  Better yet, rave reviews.  Any third-party testaments to the quality of her work and her professionalism. 

 This is David Leonhardt, of The Happy Guy Marketing.

 

 

 


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Tags Tags Tags

Wednesday, January 24th, 2007

Andy beard just wrote a great blog post on tags and how multiple tags can help get a blog better search engine rankings for a wider variety of search terms, and therefore of course a wider variety of potential readers.  The strategy: tag everything in site.

I commented with reservations, but I am intrigued and at the risk of making my tag list unwieldy, I am going to start applying Andy’s strategy, beginning with this post.  (Don’t worry, I won’t overdo it; you’ll never see a tag list longer than a post, even if I try keeping my posts short.)

 


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How to use AdWords for top SEO benefits

Saturday, January 13th, 2007

Yesterday, a client asked my how to use AdWords to advance her SEO campaign.  The idea had come highly recommended.

The short answer is, well, you can’t.  Sorry for the misleading title, but that’s how the question usually comes phrased.  But it just cannot be done.  Google values the integrity of its search results too much to allow monetary considerations influence them.  Yes, you can believe it, because if people lose confidence in Google’s search results (ordinary people, not frustrated webmasters), there will be no more monetary considerations.

 


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SEO success, marketing failure

Friday, January 12th, 2007

One year after it began, we had all the numbers to show what a smash success the SEO campaign had been. We got the client top-5 rankings for some highly targeted and fairly competitive search phrases.  We showed how traffic was way up, and page views were up four times as much as traffic.  More site visitors, more time spent on the website each one. The client wasn’t buying it…because the visitors were not buying.  So we spent the next two hours looking at the competition to see why they were making more money, even those whose SEO was not as successful as our client’s.  It turns out they had systems and packages.  In other words, they had a marketing plan. SEO is a very powerful part of a marketing plan, but it is just one tool.  If you do not have a basic marketing plan, how you get visitors to your site is irrelevant.  

 


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