David Leonhardt’s SEO and Social Media Marketing

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

THE HAPPY GUY MARKETING

 

Make them think

Oct 03, 2007 - filed under email, marketing, writing Comments Off on Make them think
 

If you want to attract attention, it helps to make them think.  I ran the following item in my Daily Dose of Happiness ezine:

RELAX

Close your eyes and imagine you are in a room filled with soft blue light.  Around you is gentle green foliage.  Feel the blue.  Feel the green.  These colors, the hues of sky, forest and water, are known to relax people.

For more permanent stress-relief, paint your walls blue, green or a combination of the two.  Since these are cool colors, they can also help keep tropical homes cool.  Not recommended in Iqaluit or Hammerfest. 

A fairly straightforward little item, with a touch of cuteness at the end.

Actually, it was a touch of interaction.  You have no idea how many people pulled out the atlas to find out where Iqaluit and Hammerfest are located.  And one Norwegian subscriber even emailed me to cheer the inclusion of her country in my ezine.

Make them think.  Make them look something up, but make sure that what they have to look up is not something really important to your message, because not everybody will look it up. 

Geography based directories

Oct 03, 2007 - filed under deep links, directories, linking, SEO Comments Off on Geography based directories
 

Have you ever noticed that some directories have a two-track navigation?  You can drill down to the appropriate category.  And you can also drill down to the apporpirate location. 

When submitting your website to such directories, always drill down as low as you can in the geography are.  Even if you are submitting a website that services the world, submit at the city level.  Even if the lowest level is not yet indexed by Google or yahoo or MSN. Here is why…

 Suppose you submit your website to http://www.wv-travel-directory.com/directory/0-world/187-cheap-air-travel/view.html .  You will get a link on that page.  If you take advantage of the deep linking opportunities (this directory allows three deep links, in addition to the home page URL), you will get 4 links all on the same page.

Suppose however, that you drill all the way down through http://www.wv-travel-directory.com/directory/10-north-america/187-cheap-air-travel/view.html , http://www.wv-travel-directory.com/directory/25-united-states/187-cheap-air-travel/view.html , http://www.wv-travel-directory.com/directory/316-new-york/187-cheap-air-travel/view.html , http://www.wv-travel-directory.com/directory/802-new-york-city/187-cheap-air-travel/view.html and submit your website at http://www.wv-travel-directory.com/directory/807-manhattan/187-cheap-air-travel/view.html .  I am, of course, assuming your offices are in Manhattan.  You get a link on the page you submitted to, plus on all the parent pages…all those pages you just navigated through.  Count them: 1 – 2 – 3 – 4 – 5 – 6.  Six links, and if you submitted three deep links for your listing, each of those links also shows up on six pages, so you get a total of 24 links.

Stupid writing client tricks

Oct 02, 2007 - filed under clients, writing Comments Off on Stupid writing client tricks
 

If you plan to hire a writer, please do not try this at home:

Message from prospective client (came in on a form on this website)…

I need 10 unique articles about closet organizer, I provide you the keywords for each article, I need the article have a keyword density about 2% to 3%.

Next message…

The articles have to be in english, I provide the keywords, each articles have 300 words and a keyword density of about 3%. The articles is to be include in ezinearticles to generate trafic to my site, the article  have to wake interest in the people to visit my site.

Final message…

Thanks for your time David, but I found Ghost Writers who write me the articles for $50, thanks again for your time and your interest.

No, I did not make up one word of this.  10 high quality articles for $50?  If it is not immediately obvious what the problem is, you had better get a job quickly — you won’t be in business for long!

Not just on the Net

Sep 26, 2007 - filed under Internet Comments Off on Not just on the Net
 

Much has been made of how careful one has to be when dealing with people on the Internet.  After all, you never know who you really are dealing with.  So imagine everyone’s surprise when we found out what was happening in the real world just a few cubicles away from a family member.

The Internet might add another layer of anonymity, but rotten people on the Net are still what they always were – rotten people.

Google still tops

Sep 25, 2007 - filed under Google, SEO Comments Off on Google still tops
 

Who is the biggest search engine in the market?  That’s the one thing everyone agrees on: Google.  But beyond that, there are some significant differences in the data.  For instance, Nielson says that Google accounts for 54% of US searches, whereas Hitwise says they account for 64%.  That’s a big difference, although part of it might be explained byNielson separating out Google-based AOL’s marketshare at almost 6%. 

 Hitwise also gives a 3-point edge to Yahoo

The really big difference, however, is with MSN.  According to Hitwise, it has fallen by a third since last year to just under 8% of the market.  However, Nielson gives MSN a 13% market share.  In either case, the questions raised in 2006 of whether a rising Ask would surpass a falling MSN in 2007 seem to be laid to rest, as MSN commands over double the marketshare of Ask in both ratings.

What does this mean for you and your SEO plans?  Google is still where the big traffic lies.  Yahoo no longer commands close to a third of the marketshare – more like one fifth.  Don’t ignore MSN.

Cheery Contract

Sep 10, 2007 - filed under branding, clients, SEO, writing 1 Comment
 

Second post today, but I can’t resist.  We have just signed another client for our freelance ghostwriting services, and this is what the client had to say when the ink was dry:

 I have to say in all my years of business I’ve never seen a contract quite so cheery!

Well, what do you expect from The Happy Guy Marketing.  Indeed, the contract is to protect everybody, not threaten them.  (Personally, I think it was the company logo – that 3-D smiley face – that made the contract seem so cheery.)

But this is a good time to discuss branding.  People react very differently to our branding.  Some think that “Happy Guy” is too light and fluffy…not ready for the big time.  Others find it refreshing.  In a business (SEO) where clients often come after having had a bad experience with a previous SEO, a name like The Happy Guy Marketing tells them right away that we are easy to deal with.  And generally, if you don’t make me eat Brussels sprouts, we are!

SEO Software – just say NO!

Sep 10, 2007 - filed under linking, rankings, SEO, software Comments Off on SEO Software – just say NO!
 

Over at my favorite SEO forum, High Rankings, somebody asked for recommendations about SEO software.  The consensus response was, “Yes, don’t do it.”

But that response deserves a little more explanation, some of which was also posted at the forum.  There are two reasons why SEO software should be avoided.

Avoid SEO software for link-building.  What doe Google and company look for in links?  They are looking for recommendations.  They seek a sign that a web page is considered a good reference on a certain topic.  They are looking for natural links, not contrived ones meant to alter their results. 

What does automation do?  It creates patterns – patterns that are not natural, but contrived. What is the one strength that computers have that mere mortals like you and me and Paulina Rubio do not have?  The ability to sort through almost infinite data in almost no time at all and recognize patterns. Using SEO software is like posting a neon sign that reads, “Yoohoo! We’re trying to mess with your results.”

Think your SEO software can fool the Google algorithm?  Hmmm.

Avoid SEO software, because this is a sport.  I know a lot of web folks are techies who are used to the scientific principle that if you take certain steps, you will get certain results.  Repeat the same steps, get the same results.  SEO is not like this.  If a thousand people all repeat the same steps, there will not be 1000 websites in Google’s top 10 for “Paulina Rubio lyrics”.  There will still be just 10 results.

In any competition, the goal is not to duplicate what everybody else is doing.  The goal is to do more than everyone else.  To do better than everyone else.  And, if possible, to do what nobody else though of. It’s OK to study the competition.  It’s OK to study others who are not competitors.  It’s OK to take the best of what each of them is doing, but then you have to go out and do the very best you can.  No me-too software program will do that for you.

All that being said, I do use some software for SEO purposes. 

I use Internet Explorer to view websites (Yes, IE is software.)

I use Roboform to prefill forms for directory and article submissions.  But note that I manually edit important things like “title” and “description”.  Roboform just saves me from having to misspell my own name hundreds of times a day.

I use Keyword Discovery to help research the best search terms for my clients (It’s a web-based application, but it counts as software).

And of course, I use Word to compose articles and news releases, to edit source code and to do plenty of additional tasks.

And let’s not forget WordPress, which I use to blog about SEO.  :-)

So software, yes.  Software to automate SEO, no.

I’ve blogged about you!

Sep 08, 2007 - filed under blogging, MySpace Comments Off on I’ve blogged about you!
 

Check out my MySpace blog today at http://blog.myspace.com/happiness_book .  I’ve blogged about YOU.  😉

Blog traffic explosions

Sep 07, 2007 - filed under blogging, content, traffic Comments Off on Blog traffic explosions
 

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.

Great SEO tools blog

Sep 05, 2007 - filed under SEO Comments Off on Great SEO tools blog
 

Every now and then there is another SEO blog worthy of mention here.  One such is Oliver Tani’s blog, which in 2007 posts has often focused on handy, free SEO tools like keyword research tools, backlinks analyzer, etc.  Just thought I would mention it.

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