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 ‘website updates’ Category

El Marcadorado updated

Friday, May 15th, 2009

  

We have just made a major update to El Marcadorado for those of you  who have Spanish-language blogs and websites you want publicized.  El Marcadorado is the Spanish-language version of TheBookmarketer …a simple script that you add to your pages to encourage your visitors to social bookmark them.  In fact, we are pretty sure this is the only service of its kind for the Hispanic world.

Acabamos de hacer una actualización mayor a El Marcadorado para los que tienen blogs y sitios web en español. El Marcadorado es una herramienta sencilla que usted añade a sus páginas para favorecer a sus visitantes a marcar sus páginas en sitios “marcadores sociales”. De verdad, estamos bastante seguros que esto es el único servicio de su clase para el mundo latino.

This time we have added / Acabamos de añadir :

We have also removed a number of old social bookmarking websites which have gone the way of Furl and Magnolia in English.

 


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Furl Removed From TheBookmarketer

Thursday, March 19th, 2009

The BookMarketer<br /> Free bookmarketing power tool

The popular social bookmarking website Furl, one of the originals, has been removed from TheBookmarketer.

Why have we taken such a harsh step? Because Furl has folded; it no longer exists.

Why have you not heard about it from other social bookmarking services? Because TheBookmarketer keeps its database updated better than most other social bookmarking aggregators.

Last month we removed Magnolia, when it also folded.  Not all social bookmarking aggregators are keeping up on the comings and goings of social bookmarking services.  In fact, some still feature Spurl, a service that discontinued a year ago.  And very few have added Tipd or Zoomit or Plime, three up-and-coming social bookmarking websites.

 


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How NOT to redesign a website

Thursday, November 20th, 2008

Sorry, but I just have to share this with you.  I won’t bother with the long-winded email exchange between myself, the prospect and Cindy (our designer) - I think my final email message sums it up fairly well (and hopefully fairly diplomatically): 

I understand that you have opted to have your website redesigned for $150 in India.  There are a lot of very talented technicians in India who work for very little.  I am constantly being approached by Indian web folks offering to outsource my web design, SEO, and other items.

I understand that this time you made your decision on the basis of expenditures.  If at some time you decide to choose a website designer based on the income you want it to generate for you, I hope you will look us up.

Best of luck.

Website design is not just about art. It’s about the elements on the page and how they are used to engage visitors, offer them choices, answer their questions and move them through the sales process (or the sign-up process, or the lead generation process, or whatever the goals of the website). This gentleman will most likely waste $150 and a lot of time, probably suffering a fair amount of frustration wondering what went wrong.

Cindy and I are working on preparing a couple pages on website re-design case studies, demonstrating how we have altered the various elements on the home page to help increase conversions.

 


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BrowseRank follow-up

Wednesday, October 1st, 2008

Regular readers might have noticed that I have not published any additional posts in the BrowseRank series, despite the fact that there are obviously more to come.  Actually there are not.  But there is something better…

 …an eBook!

Yes, I have decided to publish an eBook on the topic.  Don’t worry, the eBook will be 100% free, so you’ll get all the tips and advice you would have gotten in a series of blog posts, only more.

So fasten your seatbelts and make sure your seats are in an upright position, because we’ll be taking off real soon. :-)

 


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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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Online Contact Forms for Better Website Conversion

Monday, June 25th, 2007

This posting is counterintuitive, but I have found a way to get more leads from this website.  Here is the story:

On all the services pages, we would encourage people to email or to phone.  We made it very clear that we prefer email for first contact.  This was in order to do some triage, and not spend half-an-hour on the phone with someone who will never be a client.  Also, once on the phone, a person is inclined to ask a hundred questions, whereas by email they are more likley to confine themselves to those questions that are actually relevant. 

I estimate that at least 80% of queries would come in by email, but still too many by phone.  Furthermore, the email queries often contained very little information, so there was still a bit of back and forth before we could assess what to do with each query.

So we replaced our message with a contact form on each page.  Our phone number and email address are still easy to find on our contact page, but we are now prompting people to contact us using a form.  The form contains all the basic information we need to understand a potential client’s project.  The key is to customize each form for the specific type of project. 

For instance, if you go to http://www.seo-writer.com/freelance/report-writer.html, you will see that the form is very specific about what type of report the client wants written.  On the other hand, http://www.seo-writer.com/freelance/book-writer.html contains different fields based on what is appropriate for that service.

Unexpected website conversion bonus

We loaded the forms to the pages, and two things happened.  First, the suspected.  In several days, there have been no phone calls.  In several days, there have been no emails.  In the several days there have been more total queries.  Yes, the forms are helping drive leads.  I would have though it would be the opposite, since we are forcing people to think a little about their project before contacting us (not a bad thing, mind you, but something I would thing that would act as a small barrier).  I suspect that by giving people an indication of what information we need and making it easy for them to provide it without writing from scratch, we are increasing our leads. 

Will that increase our revenue, our actual conversions?  Too early to tell.  But I sure hope so!

 


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SEO website audit available

Monday, June 4th, 2007

We have just added a new page to the website, offering an affordable, customized and comprehensive 99-point SEO Audit Checkup for your website.  This is a superb way to begin an SEO campaign for an established whose owners need to know where to start.  Whether doing the SEO in-house or outsourcing it, an outside audit is a good way to get a handle on the size and direction of the SEO needs.

 


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New Look for the Blog

Wednesday, May 23rd, 2007

You might have noticed a new look for the blog, building on the design of the rest of the site (but more bloggy, less commercial).

You might also have noticed that we are also offering preview snapshots of  and links within the blog posts.  This is cool, although they don’t always work.  There is also the MyBlogLog widget on the upper left side, showing you  your very own face (if you happen to be logged in to your MyBlogLog account when you come a-callin’).

 


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Blog advertising

Friday, April 13th, 2007

You might have noticed that we have a new page listed at the top called “blog advertising”.  Yes, we do accept advertising or sponsored posts, and we have set up very specific guidelines to avoid potential conflicts of interest, including transparency, relevance and freedom to say “this website simply does not deliver”.

In preparing to accept advertising, I did some research on what others are doing.  Tim Nash recently made a similar decision to mine, and given that he is a well-respected contributor at Webdigity, one of the more interesting forums around, I asked him if he would be willing to be a guest blogger and share his thoughts on paid blog posts.  What follows is his commentary…

I’m a blogger not a journalist!
 

Once upon a time I started a website it had a single page about me, these days I run several websites participate on 2 blogs regularly and guest blog on numerous others. I spend 60 hours a week working on the web one way or another. Why am I telling you this? Well in all those hours across all those sites I see reviews and I meet people and products and I think cool I will write about that, 90% of the time I don’t but occasionally I get beyond the first few lines. So when some one turns up and offers you a few dollars to write a review about their site or product are you going to say no?
 

I consider myself to be an ethical blogger in that I always declare when a post is paid for I only accept “jobs” where they are after my honest review. In many ways I consider myself simply being given a nudge out of the door of course I can already hear the screams from the anti paid per post lobby.
 

“The PayPerPost model brings up memories of payola in the music industry, something the FCC and state attorney generals are still trying to eliminate or control. Given the distributed and unlicensed nature of the blogosphere, controlling payoffs to bloggers will be exponentially more difficult.”
Tech Crunch – http://www.techcrunch.com/2006/10/12/the-payperpost-virus-spreads/
 

This is one of the biggest arguments against pay per post — are you being bribed and if so does it matter? If a journalist on a big paper was found to be on the pay of a company how would we react, outrage, anger certainly the end of their career, but why?
 

It’s down to trust and authority we believe our newspapers to be independent of such things this is of course not true but perception is everything. The journalist may never write a positive review about the company but we perceive our trust has been breached we have been let down.
 

But I’m a blogger! I write in my spare time and if some one says here some money to write about xxx then sure I will write about it. If you don’t like it don’t read it! The problem comes when the personal integrity of the blogger is breached which is summed up nicely by Stuntdubl
 

“If everybody writes positive reviews of CRAP – it’s a surefire way for the whole idea to suck. It’s not a surprise that people will accept money to write reviews or analysis – the big question will be HOW MUCH it costs for a review. “
Stuntdubl http://www.stuntdubl.com/2006/11/10/reviewme-2/
 

Here it is laid out on a plate If I accept $30 for an impartial review that’s cool what if I’m given $500 or $1000 can I really remain impartial when offered larger sums of money; I’ll let you know
 

Advice for Bloggers
So here some advice if you’re going to try Pay per post or similar.

  • Set up a disclaimer page discuss which services you use
  • Offer a way to view the site without PPP
  • Make PPP very clear and obvious (I use the tag PPP plus disclaimer)
  • Try to make your posts interesting and on topic, just because its paid for doesn’t mean it can’t be part of your normal blogging cycle.

 

A final cautioning word of warning, some search engines believe Paid links should not be allowed and to steps to prevent these links and pages appearing in the index  Grey Wolf has a great post on this; so is paid per post worth it?
http://www.wolf-howl.com/seo/googles-policy-on-no-follow-and-reviews-is-hypocritical-and-wrong/
 

 

About Me
Tim Nash is a reputation management consultant, co-founder and primary consultant for Venture Skills, a “New media” IT company which specialises in search engine optimisation, reputation management, and technical side of online marketing. When not working at Venture Skills, posting site reviews on forums he can be found teaching at a local university where he lecturers in Search Engine Optimisation and Information Retrieval.
 

http://www.timnash.me.uk
http://ventureskills.wordpress.com
 

 

 


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Voodoo Love Doll at the laptop…

Monday, March 5th, 2007

You know you’ve made it when somebody publishes your photo on Flickr.  Well, nobody’s published mine yet, but somebody did publish my website’s photo.  OK, so that somebody was me, but it is part of a humorous series of photos, so I though I would share it here: Voodoo Love Doll at the laptop…

 


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