David Leonhardt’s SEO and Social Media Marketing

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

THE HAPPY GUY MARKETING

 

Blog Optimization – Contextual Related Posts

Aug 31, 2007 - filed under blogging, deep links, SEO 2 Comments
 

I just added a plugin to this blog.  It’s great for users and it’s great for SEO.  The  Contextual Related Posts Plugin adds to the bottom of this post a list of related posts based on the content of the post.  If you are reading thsi on a page that incldues other posts, click on the title of the post to go to its own page.

For readers, this is handy, because they can quickly read more on the same topic.

For SEO, this is handy because it creates automatic links between similar relevant content.  This is definitely a tool every blogger who wants to rank well should install. 

And by the way…a blog is increasingly something that every website should have.

Cell Camera Great for Web-quality Photos

Aug 21, 2007 - filed under Flickr Comments Off on Cell Camera Great for Web-quality Photos
 

You might recall my post on how a camera can help SEO.  Well, I thought I would share with you a couple photos that have nothing to do with SEO, but they do have to do with the quality of photos that you can get from a cell phone…yes, the photos from my camping trip below are from my cell phone!


View from our campsite.
View of our campsite.

Reciprocal Linking Versus Triangular Linking

Aug 13, 2007 - filed under Google, linking, SEO, SEO scams Comments Off on Reciprocal Linking Versus Triangular Linking
 

When emails like this come from amateurs it’s one thing, but when they come from so-called SEO professionals… 

I came across your site ( http://www.seo-writer.com )  whilst searching for potential link partners for a client site I am currently promoting (name withheld to protect her innocent client). My client’s site is thematically relevant to your own without being competitive.

I would be more than happy to offer you a quality one-way link from our site ( name withheld, well, just out of politeness) in return for a one-way link from your site to my client’s site (from a page with a minimum pagerank of 2+). This linking arrangement avoids reciprocal linking which Google has devalued, giving instead a more valuable one-way link.

Google devalued reciprocal linking?  This is news to me.  What Google has devalued is unnatural linking patterns – anything that can be recognized as a plain attempt to fiddle with their rankings.  If all your links are reciprocal, well, that’s a pretty unnatural linking pattern.  On the other hand, if all your links are triangular, that’s an even more unnatural linking pattern.  What’s more, whereas reciprocal linking can be for traffic reasons and/or better search engine rankings, triangular linking is a pretty transparent attempt to control Google’s rankings.   

To sum up, here is how I responded to this so-called SEO: 

That myth about reciprocal linking is certainly getting around.  It’s basically bunk.  If you follow natural linking patterns, Google will love you.  Triangular linking is less natural than reciprocal linking.  Anyway, this particular arrangement doesn’t interest me.

Best of luck.

More Spanish spoken

Aug 07, 2007 - filed under marketing, Spanish Comments Off on More Spanish spoken
 

Over the past few years, Americans have been waking up to the growing Hispanic presence amongst them.  Not only are there more Hispanics than ever as a percentage of the total US population, but the Hispanic community is growing more mature, as the next generation takes on higher-paying jobs, moves into the suburbs and has more money to spend.  Of particular note to marketers is that, unlike other communities before them, Hispanics are hanging on to their language and will often expect to be addressed in Spanish or take their money elsewhere.  This is one of the reasons that work by people like Leslie Inzunza, who advises on law firms marketing to Hispanics, is so important.

Canadians are used to bilingualism (English/French), so you would think they would be jumping on this brand new market opportunity in their own back yard by teaching their kids Spanish (a language similar to, but easier than, French).  Not so. 

The head-in-the-sand approach of most Canadians is even more worrisome when considering the change happening in Canada.  I just returned from a suburb of Montreal that I know well, where Greek, Jewish, Middle Eastern, Caribean and Indian minorities abound.  Our family picnic lasted 7 hours, during which time we conversed with four Spanish families.  Considering that we did not speak with most strangers in the park, that number speaks volumes about the shifting demographics right in Canada.  It mirrors what I saw the week before in Niagara Falls, where the two visible minorities that I saw in large numbers were Indians (recognizable by their skin and attire) and Hispanics (recognizable by their language).  It mirrors what I have been overhearing in shopping malls, in bowling alleys, in stores around Ottawa.

America’s changing demographic is also Canada’s changing demographic.  Funny that Canadians, already attuned to bilingualism, are so slow to notice!

Human Face of Web Design

Jul 25, 2007 - filed under blogging, marketing, website conversion Comments Off on Human Face of Web Design
 

Even when one is on vacation, one never seems to be able to escape work.  A case in point is when I had the chance to catch up with an old friend , Karen Hegmann, and we discovered that we are each writing our own marketing blogs.  Hers is Narrative Assets, about — wait for it — marketing.

Of course, I had to check it out and right away noticed this posting about The Human Face of Web Design , which begins with: When I walk into a store, I’m usually there for one of several reasons: 1) I know exactly what I’m looking for 2) I have an idea what I’m looking for, but need more information to make my decision and 3) I have no idea what I’m looking for and just want to browse.  

You can probably guess the rest, and if not, you can read it.  But I did want to share with you this question: is your website designed so that everybody can easily get what they need?  Even those people with no idea if they even want to make a purchase?  Even those who know exactly what they want?

(As an aside, that evening I discovered that Toronto’s Pickle Barrel restaurant, a dive we would often avoid when living a couple blocks away, is now one fancy place to eat, with a really spiffed up menu.  Sadly, two days later we discovered that my favorite Mr. Green Jeans has gutted its menu and taken all life out of the decor in what we were told was a TV broadcast makeover.  Oh well, win some, lose some.)

Managing an X-rated reputation

Jul 11, 2007 - filed under blogging, Google, reputation, reputation management, SEO Comments Off on Managing an X-rated reputation
 

First, this post is not what you think it it.  By the way, just what do you think it is?

This post os about My Aunt Is Hot, a blog with a stated purpose to manage the reputation of the blogger’s family name.  It seems that his “aunt” stole his name (Ziering) and he wants it back: www.MyAuntIsHot.com – Because Ziering on Google doesn’t have to be porno.

It’s actually a story worth reading.  However, I did a Google search for Ziering and so far the aunt is still hot and the blog is not.  It looks like Mr Ziering could use a fair amount of SEO to reach his stated goals.  In the meantime, at least he is having fun with the concept…and I like that.

Long Tail Search Terms

Jul 10, 2007 - filed under keywords, SEO, stats, traffic Comments Off on Long Tail Search Terms
 

Is bigger really better?  Well, there is one advantage to having a bigger website – more long-tail search terms, which translates into more traffic.

Most website owners chase after the “big money” search terms: top ranking for “china dolls” or “Barbie dolls”, for example.  Yet the traffic form hundreds of less-searched “long-tail search terms can be just as impressive…terms like “china dolls red and green” or “doll china miniatire umbrella”.

As I mentioned earlier, I am recommending the use of Hittail to all my clients.   Reviewing the data from one client, whose website is fairly well ranked for some competitive search terms, I can see that of the 14,059 searches that brought traffic to his website in the past 19 days, 95% are three or more words long.

How do you capture long tail search term traffic?

  1. Create many pages, each about a slightly different topic.  For instance chnia dolls with umbrellas, china dolls with hats, china dolls with baskets, etc.
  2. Use lots of text.  The more text on the page, the more words will be searchable.  For example, if someone searches for “china dolla with fruit baskets” and you have the word “fruit” on the china dioll with baskets page, you stand a chance of getting traffic from theat search. 
  3. Make sure to have frequent uses of typical support words, such as colors and locations, “men”, “women” and “children”, and words like buy, find, hire, get, my, etc.

Cover as many bases as possible and you can benefit from the long-tail search traffic.

Taming Deadlines

Jun 28, 2007 - filed under marketing Comments Off on Taming Deadlines
 

Like most people, I have a love-hate relationship with a monster called Deadlines.  On the one hand they are a pain in the butt.  After all, who needs a Deadline breathing down your neck, licking your ears and drooling all over your shoulders. 

On the other hand, there is nothing to galvanize a person to action and focus the mind like a Deadline.

Then again, too many Deadlines can become so overpowering that a person could simply drop dead of stress.

On the Internet, as in every business, it is important to harness Deadlines for success, and ensure they do not overwhelm you.  I found a great blog post on taming deadlines that you might find useful.  It works for writing.  It works for SEO.  It works for marketing.  It most likely works also for zookeeping, archeology and other fields of activity.

Live Chat Improves Conversions

Jun 26, 2007 - filed under website conversion Comments Off on Live Chat Improves Conversions
 

I found this an interesting read, so I thought I would share it… Study: Live Chat Ups Conversions Tenfold | WebProNews

Even more interesting was the response I got from one of my clients when I forwarded the article to him: That’s very interesting.  Live Chat is easier to support than phone calls too.”I suppose live chat makes it so easy for a person to ask questions, even less of a barrier than picking up the phone.  But keep in mind that not everyone wants to do the live chat thing.  Email and phone numbers are still important.  And trust levels are much higher when you post a real address…so keep all your contact information on your pages.

Online Contact Forms for Better Website Conversion

Jun 25, 2007 - filed under clients, website conversion, website updates Comments Off on Online Contact Forms for Better Website Conversion
 

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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