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WordPress Features

posted by Web_University @ 8:00 AM
Sunday, October 31, 2010

WordPress Features

The online world is constantly shifting and changing, from the introduction to blogging software like WordPress to the advent of social media marketing. Our entire way of interacting with each other as people is changing as a result of the Internet and its ever changing software platforms.

* The Evolution of WordPress

As blogging has become more and more popular, new, web-based, free software like WordPress has appeared on the scene. The WordPress code is accessible by any developer who wants to build a product that works with WordPress. The original platform b2\cafelog has evolved well past the simple blogging functions that it originally encompassed. Since all of the code is open source it has evolved even more quickly than it would otherwise have.

WordPress has turned into a content management, CMS, system, which is software that makes, manages and edits content for a website. The website can be a blog, or it can be any type of website, and WordPress can power the site. One of the great things about using WordPress to update your site content is that you do not need any special programming skills like HTML or PHP. It is the ultimate system of templates, and it is highly customizable.

The website owner can rearrange the site at will, and can easily add pages, logos, shopping carts and most importantly content. It is easy to build entire, functional websites using WordPress at the core. The website owner can easily update copy and add function to their page without redoing the entire site.

* WordPress Highlights and Features

The underlying base of WordPress is a system of themes that makes it incredibly easy to build a site whether it is a blog or a retail site. The site creator can update the look and feel of the website as frequently as the wish quickly and easily. It also offers link management, article indexing, blogging, text formatting filters and multiple author support for blogs. It works with services from other blog sites, and it supports Pingback and Trackback. You can also import your content from another blog.

It also offers security like spam checkers and blacklist for user registration and visitor comments, and it also offers password protection for some of the posts. Not only does it offer a wide variety of basic functions, but you can add on literally hundreds of plug-ins that are compatible with the software.

* WordPress Goes Professional

Even though WordPress began as an individual communication tool, it has demonstrated that it also has a lot to offer the business world. Because it is simple to use, and it makes content management so easy, a business has lower overhead with less time being spent on the maintenance and creation of a company website. WordPress’ roots are in blogging and this feature gives businesses a way to engage their customers.

Blogging also lets companies hear from their customers, and feedback can be worth its weight in gold. By being able to keep content fresh with easy blogging capability, WordPress lets companies keep their search engine rankings high because the website is always being updated with fresh content.

So if you have an idea of a website that you would like to launch on the internet, but you do not have any technical skills, you may want to consider starting your own WordPress blog. It is easy to use, easy to install, and easy to customize for anything that you want to publish on the web.

How To Automatically Install WordPress Plugins

posted by Web_University @ 8:00 AM
Saturday, October 30, 2010

How To Automatically Install WordPress Plugins

WordPress plugins give you an amazing ability to extend the power of WordPress. You can easily install and start using any of the thousands of plugins to bring a wide assortment of functionality to your website. There are plugins for e-commerce, SEO, banner ads, Analytics, managing your users, integrating with email lists, showing galleries of images, embedding audio or video, and on and on and on.

Check out the repository of free WordPress Plugins at http://wordpress.org/extend/plugins/. There are also a number of premium (paid-for) plugins that you can by searching Google for “WordPress plugin” plus a keyword describing what you are looking for.

But they don’t do you any good if you aren’t using them! The good news is that finding and installing WordPress Plugins couldn’t be easier. In this How-To article, we’re going to take a step-by-step look at how you can find and automatically install plugins directly from within WordPress. Let’s get started:

Step 1: Log Into WordPress

Go to your WordPress Admin Center just like you would if you were going to add a new page or post and login as an administrator.

Step 2: Go To the Plugins Tab

This will bring up a list of all the plugins that are already installed. You may find a couple in there called ‘Hello Dolly’ and ‘Askimet’ even if you never downloaded a plugin before, those come pre-installed with WordPress. At the top of this page you will find a “Add New” button that you can click to start searching for the plugin you want to include.

Step 3: Find Your Plugin

If you are looking for a specific plugin, then you can just search for the name of the plugin. You can also search more general terms to try to find a plugin for a particular need you have on your site. For example, let’s look at the Exclude Pages plugin. This simple, but endless useful, plugin lets you create pages that do not appear in your typical navigation. This is great for creating pages such as a Thank You page (for after someone submits a contact form for instance) where it doesn’t make sense to have visitors navigating directly to. To find this plugin, just search for “Exlude Pages” and you it should be at the top of the list.

Step 4: Install the Plugin – Automatically!

Under the “Actions” column you will find a link called “Install”. Click that link to see more information about that plugin and to install it. You’ll want to make sure that the plugin is compatible with your version of WordPress, though plugins will generally work fine for later versions as well. You’ll also want to check that the Average Rating is pretty decent, that the plugin has been downloaded a significant amount of times, and that they plugin author updates the plugin somewhat regularly. These are all good signs that the plugin is still actively maintained and should work without any problems.

When you are ready to install the plugin simply click the Install Update Now button. This will automatically start the process of downloading and installing the plugin into your WordPress. You just need to click the “Activate Plugin” link to start using the plugin.

Step 5: Use the Plugin

Different plugins are controlled in different ways. Most of them will create a new option under Tools or Settings to control the plugin options, others will create their own tab in the Admin Center, and some just add a new option somewhere within the Admin Center. In our example using the Exclude Pages plugin, we can navigate to a page via Posts > Edit (or Add New) and see the new Panel called ‘Exclude Pages’ where you can click the checkbox to either include or exclude that page from the general navigation. Simple!

It’s that easy. You can now search through the thousands of available plugins to add all kinds of functionality to your WordPress site. Did in and have fun!

Submissions accepted will be for speakers who can cover
advanced topics only.

The SES Program Team is now accepting speaking proposals
for a new show in San Diego. SES Accelerator is a one day, three track event
linked to the annual Online Marketing Summit. Please remember to fill the form
out completely. In particular we are looking for solo presentations with
in-depth information and actionable advice.

Priority will be given to active practitioners on the
client side and those providing hands-on consultancy and implementation.

Timelines:

Event:  February 10,
2011

Deadline for proposing to speak: Jan 7, 2011

Further info: speaking guidelines are here

The speaker submission form is here.

Thanks in advance for your interest, and see you in San
Diego!

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Blogging and Inbound Marketing

posted by Web_University @ 8:00 AM
Friday, October 29, 2010

Relationship Marketing 101: Blogging and Inbound Marketing

One of the most effective inbound marketing strategies available for businesses, online and offline, both in terms of cost of implementation and in overall return on investment (ROI), is blogging. Why has business blogging become so important as an inbound marketing strategy? There are a variety of reasons. Blogging is conversation, it’s personable, and it’s informative. Blogging is attractive for both online and offline (i.e., brick and mortar) businesses because consumers (i.e., customers, clients, and patients) feel they are being told a story rather than sold a product or service; and, no one wants to be “sold!”

Significantly, clients and prospective clients become part of the conversation by reading the blog posts and leaving their thoughts and feelings in the form of comments.

* Who doesn’t like being asked their opinion?

And, what business owner wouldn’t pay big money to know what his target audience is thinking, as well as what they react to and why?

A blog is a great way to show the world your expertise, thus establishing authority and demonstrating your competence in the marketplace and to your target market. People like to do business with business people they know, like, and trust. Prospective clients are drawn to businesses and business people who are experts in their field. Demonstrating competence enhances your image and makes the prospective client feel confident about their decision to purchase from you…you, as the expert in your field.

When properly constructed and implemented, an effective business blogging strategy is an incredibly valuable asset. Blogging for business is crucial, whether the business is entirely online or a combination of both, as is the case with most brick and mortar businesses today.

When organized and well written, a blog conveys the ultimate Internet image, an image that announces:

“This business is well run, this is a business I can do business with!”

A well thought out, well constructed blog, combined with an effective overall inbound marketing strategy, conveys a message, an image if you will, that this business owner is knowledgeable and cares enough to seek feedback about products and/or services offered from his or her clients and prospective clients.

A wise business owner values feedback, realizing there is always room for improvement, both in sales and service. Why not ask for feedback from the very people who use the product or service day in and day out? A blog can accomplish this for a business, creating a link both valuable and, ultimately, profitable. The feedback a blog offers is an often over-looked advantage; and yet, it is an incredibly powerful resource.

Significantly, the proper blogging strategy will provide a window into the thinking of your client-base and create a vehicle you may then use to improve your products and/or service.

The feedback from your business blog will also provide ideas and strategies for new products and services. Interestingly, you may even be able to gain a competitive advantage by learning what your clients and prospective clients like and dislike about your competitors, their products and services. Perhaps it’s a product or service you don’t provide but should? Perhaps it’s something to do with price? The blog provides the vehicle, the opportunities are there; and, it is up to the individual business owner to take advantage of them. A well constructed inbound marketing strategy, one that has at its center a well-thought-out and appropriately implemented blogging strategy, will put your business on track to accomplish all of the above and more.

One last word about inbound marketing, blogs, and blogging for business: photographs, audio recordings, and short videos are worth their weight in gold. If you aren’t the greatest writer, and don’t have the money in the budget to hire a good copywriter, also worth their weight in gold, a photograph or short video can help you tell your business’ story. With today’s technology, a photograph, audio, and/or video is easy to create and it’s often the first item to catch the attention of a visitor to your blog.

It’s worth taking some time each day to blog. Think of it as going out to talk to the man on the street. Think of it as time well spent. You will find it to be a great investment in time and effort, the ultimate in ROI.

How to Get the Maximum Number of Links to Your Blog

posted by Web_University @ 8:00 AM
Thursday, October 28, 2010

How to Get the Maximum Number of Links to Your Blog

It is every blogger’s dream: to be read by as many people as possible. But it’s not as simple as it sounds. Several things have to fall into place to capture that wide audience.

First is to get the word out that your blog exists, second is to hold visitors’ interest in what they are reading, third is to make them return for more, and fourth is for them to start referring you to others.

That is why when SEO marketers sit down with blog owners to talk about increasing audience viewership, one of the strategies they instantly recommend is to build as many links to the site as possible.

Just how does link building equate to a wide captive audience?

The equation goes something like this: links to your blog from other sites generate referral traffic and increase your blogs’s Google page ranking.

The former is possible when users go to another site and click on the link from that site to your blog. The second is when Google’s search algorithms consider the links to your site as a vote of referral from the other sites, taking that to mean that you are a site of substance, thereby elevating your page rank. The higher the page rank of your blog means that when users search via Google, your blog will be one of the first ten sites listed on the first page.

* Sources of Blog Links

When you commit to link building, there are many sources where you can get these links. Below are a few of them:

1) Common-niche blogs, websites, forums, and communities

Visit these sites and drop a comment or two in forum messages and posts. Be helpful by answering questions or offering information. Sign your posts on these sites with a link to your blog site. As your presence in these sites is established, so will your blog site generate more traffic.

2) Social networking sites

StumbleUpon and Digg have proven track records in generating traffic to sites, so take advantage of this. Consider other sites such as Facebook and Twitter as well.

3) Directory submissions

This technique is still good for link building, but you have to be careful to submit your site to quality directory sites only, because there are many directories out there that turn out to be mere link farms.

    * More Tools and Tips for Link Building

    Link sources may be there for the taking, but the key to success is in actually keeping in mind the following rule-of-thumb:

    1) Link building takes time

    Many sites require webmaster’s approval for links to be established. And with Google suspicious of a sudden increase in links, a slow but sure approach gets the links in the long run.

    2) Link building means never having to give up

    Not all link-building efforts strike gold – moderators and webmasters may disapprove of your posts, or remove your link signatures, or worse, consider you spam. Continue your link-building and don’t get discouraged.

    3) Link to quality sites

    Although they are more discriminating in whom to give their links, links from quality sites are worth more than low-ranked sites.

    4) Create quality content

    Interesting and useful content gives your link requests a higher chance of being accepted and your blog linked to by other sites.

      Successful link-building for your blog generates referral traffic and increases your blogs’s Google page ranking. The result? A bigger blog readership than ever before.

      12 Reasons Your Website Is Failing

      posted by Web_University @ 8:00 AM
      Wednesday, October 27, 2010

      12 Reasons Your Website Is Failing

      1) The Site Has No Focus

      A website should be designed with its primary purpose in mind. You should have ONE thing that you’d really like most visitors to your page to do. Almost everything on that page should lead the visitors toward deciding to take that primary action. Nothing on the page should distract them and “lead them off down other trails.”

      Common primary actions that you’ll want your visitor to take are to join your list, buy your product, download a free trial version, or join an online community. Make sure that you know what you want your visitors to focus on, and get rid of the other distractions. It’s been proven that if you give your visitors too many choices, or confuse them, they will simply choose to leave!

      2) The Site Has No Email Capture Mechanism

      Most honest copywriters will tell you that in most Internet marketing type niches, a 1-2% response rate to a sales letter is VERY respectable. You’ve worked very hard to get visitors to your site, and if you completely ignore the 98% who don’t buy you’re not going to be in business very long.

      Incorporate a form into your website that gets them into an autoresponder so that you can follow-up with them. Offer them a free report, access to an MP3 on the topic, or access to an exclusive community. Get them to opt-in, and then you can follow up with them on their topic of interest.

      Your opt-in form can be set up “in-line” as a part of the webpage, and even take them back to the point on the webpage where they were reading before they stopped to opt-in. You can also have an exit popup, or pop- under, that offers them a freebie as they’re leaving your site. Once they’ve decided to leave, you’ll probably NEVER see them again unless you have a way to invite them back. An autoresponder is the perfect way to do this automatically.

      3) The Owner is “Hiding Behind the Website”

      Web surfers are skeptical and distrusting. You need to let them know that there is a real person behind the site. Give them contact information, show them your photo, and even let them hear you. You can easily add audio or video to your website, and allow it to “touch” your visitor on such a deeper level. When people hear your voice or see you talking, and get to watch your body language, you communicate so much more effectively than just the written word.

      To add audio to your website, all you need is a microphone plugged into your computer. To add video to your website, all you really need is a webcam plugged into your computer. There are services that will take this audio or video, allow you to edit it with a few clicks of your mouse, and then stream it from their servers or upload it to your server.

      A totally amazing service that I use is called Audio Acrobat. I use it to have customers, subscribers, etc., call in and leave testimonials. I use it to record some teleseminars, interviews, product recommendations, and for dozens of other purpose. I do record video from my webcam to this service too. You can also upload video recorded on a regular video camera to this service, and then stream it from their website.

      As I said, I Love Audio Acrobat. If you want to check it out, you can get a free 30-day trial from here: http://williec.audioacrobat.com/ It’s where I have dozens of testimonial lines, dozens of audios, and a few videos. It’s also how I save on my web hosting bandwidth ;-)

      4) The Owner of the Site Offers No Credentials

      The very first question I ask when reading a magazine article, watching a television show, or reading a web page, is “What makes this person qualified to teach ME this topic.” Most web surfers don’t trust you, and believe that most Internet sites are out to rip them off. You need to show them that your experience and training makes you qualified to teach them the topic. In addition to formal credentials a professional looking website also shows that you are a serious business person. Don’t skimp on your website’s design!

      5) Not Offering Proof of Statements

      It’s natural for you to say how great you and your product are. That means nothing to potential customers. Get others to share how your product improved their lives. Use media interviews, and statements by officials in professional organizations, to provide third-party validation.

      Testimonials with photos, audio, or video, are very powerful. Testimonials with just a set of initials, or with just a first name, have NO credibility.

      6) Offering the Wrong Payment Options

      The majority of Internet users prefer to pay via credit card. If your product allows you to do it, and still make a satisfactory profit, consider taking orders through an answering service or call center, via fax, via snail mail, and through third party processors such as Paypal as well. Evaluate each of these options and decide which of these make sense for you. As an aside, I once considered even offering my customers the option to order C.O.D (cash on delivery). My local postmaster strongly suggested that I NOT do that and also pointed out that it’s almost never done these days. He convinced me that it was more trouble than it was worth.

      7) Using the Wrong or Too Many Fonts

      When you use different sizes and colors of letters on your webpage you need to have a real reason. When you highlight or underline text on your webpage you need to have a logical reason.

      As your site visitor reads your webpage, he will subconsciously ask himself why you emphasized a certain word or sentence on the page. If you had no logical reason, you pull him out of your message as his mind “wrestles with the why.”

      Your page should be structured such that a “skimmer” could just read the headlines and sub headlines and get the message. He should be able to read just the highlighted text and get the gist of your webpage. He should be able to just go to the bottom of the page, read the “P.S.” where you’ve restated your offer, and order without being forced to read the rest of the page… if he’s in a hurry.

      8) Using Header Graphics that Distract from the Message

      Your header graphic should spell out or emphasize the main benefit of your product. It should be simple enough that the visitor is not forced to waste time trying to decipher its meaning.

      Sometimes, it’s better not to even have a header graphic. This is something you should test. You want to get your visitor reading the text on your page and discovering how your product can help him, as soon as practical. This is what will sell him… not cute or fancy graphics.

      9) Not Focusing on Benefits Rather than Features

      Don’t tell your visitor how great the product is, tell him how it will improve his life. Your testimonials should also provide concrete, and very specific, examples of how it improved someone else’s life.

      10) Focusing on “I” Rather than “You!”

      Look at your webpage and make sure that it talks about the customer and his problem more than it talks about you, your company, and your products. Your customers don’t really care about you. They care about how you can help them! Read through your copy and make sure that it answers that question. Make sure that you’re not talking about yourself too much, and that when you do talk about yourself, it’s answering the question of how you can help the reader.

      11) Not Emphasizing the Guarantee

      When a customer purchases with a credit card, or through certain third-party processors, the guarantee is implied anyway. So, why not make your guarantee a selling point? If a customer goes to Visa or MasterCard and states that they are unhappy with their purchase from you, they will get their money back in most cases… and you’ll pay an extra fee for the “chargeback.” If a customer goes to Clickbank or Paypal with a complaint, they will end up issuing a refund in many cases.

      Make it easy on yourself by offering and honoring a guarantee. It will increase your conversion rate, and unless your product is total JUNK, it won’t increase your refund rate.

      12) Not Using a P.S.

      Many busy surfers will jump right to the end of your webpage and read the P.S.(s). If they were somewhat pre-sold before they arrived at your page, many will go ahead and purchase at that time. Use the P.S.(s) to restate your offer, emphasize the guarantee, showcase your bonuses, and to emphasize any scarcity factor in the offer.

      2 Free WordPress Themes That Can Quicken Your Blog Setup

      posted by Web_University @ 8:00 AM
      Tuesday, October 26, 2010

      2 Free WordPress Themes That Can Quicken Your Blog Setup

      WordPress themes are also known as layouts or templates. These are files that create the look and feel of your blog content. WordPress themes can be very simple, like the one that comes standard with every install, to the complex. Bloggers can choose from free and paid versions of templates. When choosing a template, you should choose one that will give you a lot of ability to easily customize the template to fit your branding needs. This article discusses 2 templates (or themes) that have a lot of customization features which are relatively easy to a create unique brand.

      All WordPress templates allow you to customize them by going into the Edit page of the Appearance tab. If you are not comfortable with PHP and HTML code, then you may have some trouble in customizing your appearance. One benefit of the themes mentioned in this article is they are customizable through a special theme options page, which means you can get your WordPress site up and running much more quickly:

      1) Atahualpa Theme

      This theme is a free theme that was created by ‘Bytes for All’ and can be found at http://bytesforall.com/ where you can ask questions and get community support for this theme. Once this theme is installed, you can customize the theme in the Appearance >> Atahualpa Theme Options page. Once here, you will find a host of options to highly customize your theme. Webmasters can configure special CSS styles for things such as the header, the layout, and page features such as headings, links and menu bars. Users can easily upload header graphics that can rotate through the header graphic. Other options that can be customized include the number of columns you want on your blog (technically you can have from 1 to 5 columns), which side you want you sidebars to be on, or what you want your widget boxes to look like. The look and feel is highly customizable and is a great start to quickly getting a professional look to your blog.

      2) News Magazine Theme

      The free News Magazine theme was created by http://antisocialmediallc.com. This theme gives you several easily customizable options that can be set in the Appearance >> News Magazine Theme 640 Options page. The News Magazine theme doesn’t have quite as many options to set up as the Atahualpa theme, but you can add code for site tracking (can be done through the use of plugins), ad rotating and just adding text or java script code to parts of your template.

      One nice feature of this template is that you can easily take featured categories and spotlight them on your blog through simple drop-down selections. One very nice feature is that you can control the excerpt length of your blog postings on the index page. On 99.9% of the WordPress blogs out there, the home (or index) page prints the entire text of the blog post. A better format for visitors is to have a post excerpt and they can click a link to read the entire blog. Currently there is no function in WordPress that allows you to display excerpts of your blog postings. This blog theme allows you to display excerpts with their ‘Blog Mode Excerpt Length’ setting.

      These two WordPress themes are varied enough to get you started and well on your way with your first (or second) WordPress blog. The ease of these customizable settings should greatly reduce your setup time while creating a fairly well customized blog. To make the most advantage of setting up your blog for more traffic and more automation, taking a WordPress training class will speed up creating a decent blog following.

      SES Chicago blog coverage: Day 3

      posted by SES Conference & Expo @ 9:39 AM
      Monday, October 25, 2010

      Top 10 WordPress Terms You Should Know

      posted by Web_University @ 8:00 AM
      Monday, October 25, 2010

      Top 10 WordPress Terms You Should Know

      My new WordPress clients are often confused about some of the terminology of WordPress. This makes it more difficult to communicate effectively with them about what they want from their WordPress sites and blog. So, I’ve decided to list the top 10 WordPress related terms everyone who uses WordPress should know:

      Term 1: Themes

      A Theme is a collection of files that create the visual look of your WordPress website or blog. Themes are kinda like ’skins’ that you can easily download, install and start using on your site. Themes also can include some custom features to give you greater control over the presentation and functionality of your site. In general, only one Theme can be used at a time.

      Term 2: Templates

      In WordPress, templates are one of several specific files that control how a particular page on your site is displayed. For instance, your theme may have multiple page layouts, perhaps one with a sidebar and one without. There are also templates that control the top of all your pages including navigation, called a “header”, the bottom of all your pages, called a “footer”, and “sidebars” (see below). Templates can also be created for a specific page or post, category, and much more.

      Term 3: Plugins

      Plugins are a collection of files that you can download and install to add some certain functionality to your site. For instance, there are plugins for e-commerce, Search Engine Optimization, to create specific features like a calendar, or to modify how you control and operate your website. There are 1,000’s of plugins, most of which are free.

      Term 4: Sidebar

      A sidebar is a section of your website that generally displays the along the left or right side of your pages, but can also appear in other places, such as the footer. You can also have multiple sidebars in your site based on the templates you have.

      Term 5: Widgets

      Widgets are the individual blocks of content that go into a sidebar. You can easily add, delete or rearrange Widgets in your sidebars by dragging and dropping in the WordPress admin center. Many Widgets can also be edited to give you extra control over how the Widgets appear on your site. Some common examples of Widgets are simple text, recent posts, advertising such as AdSense, etc.

      Term 6: Pages & Posts

      Pages vs. Posts are a bit confusing and could have its own article. In general though, you want to use Pages for any single pages of content that remain in the same place on your site. Pages generally have their own navigation in WordPress and are good for pages like ‘About Us’, ‘Contact Us’, etc. You can easily select different templates for pages and they are not categorized.

      Posts on the other hand are used when you will be creating multiple entries about a particular topic. You can put Posts into various Categories. WordPress will then automatically handle creating various Category pages, which will list all of the Posts in that Category, generally showing only an Excerpt of the Post and putting the Posts in chronological order. For instance, if you had a blog on Hollywood happenings, you would use Posts each time you write a new entry about some celebrity doing something stupid.

      Term 7: Admin Center

      The Admin Center is where you control everything about your WordPress site. To access the Admin Center you will go to a specific URL on the internet and enter your username and password. From there, you will be able to add/edit/delete Pages and Posts, control Plugins and Widgets, manage your users, and much more.

      Term 8: Permalinks

      How your URL’s are formed is very important to Search Engine Optimization and making your pages more memorable and understandable to your visitors. In WordPress, you can easily create Permalinks, which are a particular structure to your site. Instead of using meaningless URL’s like yourdomain.com/?p=8, you could have yourdomain.com/my-page/. You can control the permalinks for each Page and Post in WordPress.

      Term 9: Tags

      Tags are similar to Categories, only they are less structured. For instance, you may have a Post about your favorite Football team, which perhaps you are putting in a “Sports” category. You could also use some tags like ‘Football’, ‘Cincinnati Bengals’, and ‘Carson Palmer’. Using the tags makes it possible to have a list of Tags in your sidebar where people can click the different Tags to bring up all the Pages and Posts that have those particular tags. If you have a Search box, then the Tags are also used to retrieve results for the users specific search.

      Term 10: Custom Fields

      WordPress includes a way to create custom values that you assign to a particular Page or Post. Your Theme, or WordPress developer can then use those fields and values to create custom functionality on your site. For instance, you may want to be able to have a rating system for whatever you are writing about. A developer could set-up a custom field where you just enter your rating and then the system takes that information and makes a pretty display feature based on the rating you assigned. The possibilities are endless with Custom Fields and are a powerful feature of WordPress.

      I hope these terms help you to better understand WordPress and how it operates. Even if you have a professional helping you with your WordPress site, you’ll be better off understanding some of the basic principles so you can be on the same page when communicating with your developer.

      Best of luck!

      Blogging – Understanding The BIG Picture!

      posted by Web_University @ 8:00 AM
      Sunday, October 24, 2010

      Blogging – Understanding The BIG Picture!

      So, is your blog generating any traffic yet?

      Probably not… at least not yet!

      Your primary objective should be to generate leads on a daily basis and to convert those leads into customers and distributors. So, I’m going to share with you what you need to do to achieve this.

      1) Create Valuable Content

      If you don’t create content, people will not find you and you will not be able to build a successful business online.

      Many people ask me this question, “How often should I write on my blog”? And my answer is, 2-3 times a week or daily if you can. Having a consistent schedule is the key here. When you write “killer” posts, your readers will keep coming back to your blog for more! Write about boring stuff, then you’ll lose your audience!

      Your goal should be to write the best content so that your blog can stand out among the rest and have more readers. You also want people to share your posts with their friends and followers because they are great.

      You can also outsource your blog content inexpensively to fill the gaps, if you are busy with the other things. A word of caution: you should always check the content before publishing, because your blog is about YOU and the content represents YOU!

      2) Generate Social Traffic

      You need to integrate your blog with the social media sites so that you can drive massive, free traffic to your blog and ultimately into your business.

      a) Twitter

      * Make your blog your primary website link on Twitter. Top tip: Use a link to a capture page on your blog. * Use a greet box plug-in to greet and welcome visitors from Twitter. It makes it more personal. * Use tools to automatically tweet about your new blog posts when they get published. * Use a comment system to get more viral traffic as the commentors’ followers get exposed to your content – very powerful!

      b) Facebook

      * Link to your blog from your Facebook profile. Top tip: Use your blog as the only link on your profile. * Use a greetbox plug-in to greet and welcome visitors from Facebook. It adds a personal touch. * Use tools to update your status each time you publish new content. * Import your blog RSS feed into Facebook as “Notes”. Top tip: Use “excerpts” in order to send your readers to your original posts. If you don’t do that, people will read the full content on Facebook and leave comments there. Remember that your goal is to drive traffic to your blog! * If you have a Facebook group, send your members a message about your new posts, in order to get more visitors and readers. * Use a comment system to get more viral traffic as the commentors’ friends get exposed to your content.

      c) YouTube

      * Link to your blog from your YouTube profile. * Create short videos to promote your new posts. Send your viewers to the relevant blog link for full content, from the video description.

      3) Generate Search Traffic

      You also need to take advantage of the traffic from the search engines such as Google. The most important piece of the puzzle when it comes to search results is keywords.

      It’s important that you do a keyword research before writing your posts so that people can find your content as well as ranking high in the search engines.

      Once you have decided on your keywords, there are factors contributing to where your blog could show up in the search engines.

      a) On-Site Factors refer to things that you do on your blog that can affect your search engine rankings:

      * Domain name – having the keywords that you want to rank for in your domain name is very powerful. Also, the age of the domain has some impact on Google, believe it or not – old domain will rank better than the new one. * Title and meta description – having your keywords in the blog title and meta description helps with your blog ranking. * Keyword density – pay attention to how often your keywords are used in your posts. Don’t overuse them! * Blog structure – having your content organized and linked together internally helps your blog to get ranked on each of the categories or sections. * Outbound links – every link from your page to another site, causes it to lose a little rank. Don’t use a lot of outbound links.

      b) Off-Site Factors refer to things that do not happen on your site but make a big difference:

      * Inbound links are a very important part of your blog linking strategy in order to attract more traffic to your blog. Quality and quantity of these links are important. * Anchor text – use the relevant keyword that you want to rank for instead of words such as “click here”.

      4) Share Your Offer

      The above process is intended to get people to opt-in your list. So, it’s very important that you pay attention to your opt-in box. It will allow you to capture your readers’ information so that you can follow up with them and share what you have to offer with them. Then that will mean more money in your pocket!

      If you ever wanted to have a good blog in place for your business, the time is now. Implement these strategies and take your blog and business to the next level!

      How To Pick The Right Business Theme

      posted by Web_University @ 8:00 AM
      Saturday, October 23, 2010

      How To Pick The Right Business Theme

      If you want a blog for your business then you need a professional looking theme. The right theme can make your blog look professional. The wrong theme can make it look like a kid put it together.

      The right theme can get people reading through your site. If you get your theme wrong you may not be found in the search engines. To start with just look at the overall appearance of the theme.

      This should give you an overall feeling of whether a theme may work for you or not. You need to decide how many columns you want, what colors you want, and any features that you might want.

      A customizable theme can provide you with even more options. Start with the free themes available at WordPress. If you can’t find one you like you can look for premium WordPress themes. It’s generally not advisable to go with free themes away from the WordPress site.

      These may have no support, or even worse, viruses embedded in them. Make sure anything you choose comes with support. The support forum is usually sufficient. Check to make sure that it is active and the moderator responds in a timely fashion. Additionally, positive reviews are a good sign.

      Once you have a few good-looking business WordPress themes, you want to check the specs. It’s important that they’re compatible with all the different browsers online. Also, they should be quick to load. They should also be widget friendly and search engine optimized

      The easiest way to go to install a theme is to go to appearance on the sidebar of your WordPress control panel. The first link under there is themes. Click on it, then click add new at the top of your screen. This will take you to an area where you can browse all sorts of free WordPress themes.

      You can choose any of them you want to use on your site.

      Look for one with good reviews. Also, choose one that is widget friendly, search engine optimized, compatible with all browsers, and fast loading. Some of them will list these features bright in the description.

      If you can’t find a theme you like then you may want to consider buying one. There are a number of these available all over the Internet. Again, you want to look at the reviews make sure you are getting a good product. The theme should come with support. Most of the time, this is the support forum.

      Make sure that it is active and the administrator responds quickly to any problems. Also, look for one that is easy to adapt. As you become more experienced you’ll want a more unique blog.

      How To Set Up a Blogger Blog

      posted by Web_University @ 8:00 AM
      Friday, October 22, 2010

      How To Set Up a Blogger Blog

      Setting up a blog on Blogger is quite easy. The first thing you want to do is to set up a Google account for the blog. You can do this by going to Blogger.com and then following the link in the resources section.

      It takes about 2 or 3 minutes to set up a Google account. If you already have a Google account you can use it if you wish.

      After you have set up your Google account you should go back to Blogger.com and sign-in using your Google account username and password. Your username is typically the e-mail address you used when creating the account.

      You can set up your account so it remembers your username and password. Only do this if you are on a non-shared computer.

      Look for the “Create a blog” option on the dashboard of Blogger. The dashboard is the page you go to every time you log onto your Blogger account. You can manage several blogs from the same dashboard if they were all created with the same Google account.

      You will be asked to name your blog. You want to create an easy to remember, easy to find name that makes it clear what your blog is about. Try not to have a blog name that is too long. It will be the first part of the web address of your blog. For example if you name your blog “Teds Tidbits” your URL will be: tedstidbits@blogspot.com.

      The next thing you need to do is to choose your template. Blogger has a number of templates to choose from. You do not have to agonize over which template to use because you can change the template at any time.

      Write your first official blog post using the template Blogger provided. Feel free to add a picture, etc. Once you submit that first blog posting you will be able to view your new blog, edit the posting, etc.

      At this point you can personalize your blog so it stands out. Many different aspects of the blog can be changed, moved around, etc. Click on the “Layout” option and start to make your blog stand out from the other blogs out there. You can undo virtually anything that you do so do not be shy to experiment with different layouts for your blog.

      Once you finish your layout you are done. I wish you Happy blogging!

      SES Chicago Coverage: Day 2

      posted by SES Conference & Expo @ 8:32 AM
      Thursday, October 21, 2010

      The Art of Podcasting

      posted by Web_University @ 8:00 AM
      Thursday, October 21, 2010

      The Art of Podcasting

      A common 21st century phrase is ‘podcast’ an odd combination of the words iPod and Broadcast; the iPod being, Apples market dominatingly popular portable MP3 player. This expression is used to define a technology that lets users routinely download available audio files for listening to later, and is no longer exclusive to the iPod as many other software and hardware combinations now be used for the very same thing.

      The roots of podcasting most likely lie in the blogging world as it is the natural progression to broadcasting information via the written word. I’m sorry for chucking another buzzword in the form of ‘blogging’, but with technology suddenly becoming cool there are dozens of new ones making their way in to our vocabularies. A blog, for those of you that don’t know, is an online journal that is frequently updated and intended for the general public. I should also just mention a technology known as RSS (Really Simple Syndication) which provides a continuous feed detailing updates that have been made to a particular data source; a podcast site for example.

      The conventional media sources like TV, radio or streaming Internet media offer minimum control with regards to when the recordings are heard. Podcasting lets users get their hands on the downloaded content automatically carted over to their compatible player so they can listen to it later. In my opinion this is key to the technologies success and why it became so popular, so quickly similar to the way most technology is going success relies upon on demand content, tailored the users lifestyle, not vice versa.

      For arguments sake let’s say, that I get the bus to the office and I want fresh and exciting content to listen to on a daily basis. If I head over to one of the many online resources available (for example www.podcast.com), I can subscribe to as many podcasts as I want from the thousands available. From this point on when I plug my iPod (other MP3 players are available) in for it to synchronize with my PC the latest available from my podcast list will be downloaded for my listening pleasure. The topics covered by podcasting in general are incredible and include everything from the music to technology, gaming, religion and world news.

      Assuming you don’t want to individually move podcasts onto your MP3 player upon release, you will require specialist software such as the excellent free download Juice to make the rather tedious job automated. When the software is all setup you can go about adding as many podcasts as you like (and will have the time to listen to) and Juice will make sure it keeps you up to date. Fortunately there are versions of Juice to run on Windows, Linux and Mac OS ‘ it is very much a cross platform compatible application fits nicely with the podcasting ethos of access for all.

      A subject as diverse and with as much content as Podcasting cannot really be convincingly covered in one article so the best tip I can give you is that if you are at all interested then download the software, visit the directories and take some time to see what’s out there.
      Yes, there is a load of absolute rubbish but all you ever have to do is hit the unsubscribe button; as with many things in life you have to sift through the chaff to get at the wheat.

      I do have one last tip I feel I should share – Subscribe to the Chris Moyles podcast; it’s fantastic!

      Blogging – How Often do I Post?

      posted by Web_University @ 8:00 AM
      Wednesday, October 20, 2010

      Blogging – How Often do I Post?

      Many bloggers, especially new bloggers wonder how often they should post on their blog. Do they post at a furious pace until their fingers bleed? Do they post only when the spirit moves them? The answer is somewhere in between.

      Bloggers need to have a general idea of how often they plan to post. Consistency is more important than volume when it comes to posting. If you start off with great passion and post 5 or 10 postings every day for a month then suddenly lose steam your followers will recognize this and wonder if you are losing interest in your own blog. If you lose interest so will they.

      How Often to Post – Gain Momentum

      You are always better off gaining momentum rather than losing steam. Start off your blog by adding postings at a pace you know you can keep up with. On days that you are feeling particularly prolific you should create extra posts and save them in your admin panel without actually publishing them.

      You can build a stockpile of posts that can be used on days you have nothing to say or are unable to sit down and focus on your blog at all. This is a good way to make sure that you are prepared for any unplanned writing absences.

      How many posts you start off with per day will depend on your blog’s focus. If you are a corporate blog you can likely start with one very good post per day. If you have an entertainment blog you probably want at least four or five short postings per day.

      What is my Starting off Point?

      The best way to determine your starting off point is to look at the competition. See how often they post and how long their postings are. You do not have to duplicate their effort but you do not want to be too far below it.

      You must also consider quality. Quality should not suffer for the sake of quantity. If you find that some of your posts are not good enough for your blog because you were focused on getting out extra posts you should consider scaling back a bit and sustain a volume that is comfortable for you.

      The bottom line is you need to keep your blog updated and current with content but you do not want to become a slave to it. Try to find a realistic pace that can grow over time.

      SES Chicago Blog Coverage: Day 1

      posted by SES Conference & Expo @ 4:48 PM
      Tuesday, October 19, 2010

      360 Fresh Influence–The Future of Search

      SEOptimise–What is the Future of Search Marketing?

      Chicago Now–Geek Becomes Geek-Chic

      Search Engine Watch–Three Key Reasons To Go To SES Chicago

      TopRank Blog–SES Chicago: 4 Great Reasons to Attend

      Promedia Corp–SES Chicago 2010 Next Week

      aimClear Blog–Avinash, Analytics & Making Love To Keywords That Matter

      WebPro News–Avinash Kaushik Delivers SEM Advice

      Search Marketing Sage–Live from SES Chicago: Keynote Speaker & Analytics Evangelist Avinash Kaushik

      AdCenter Blog–Avinash Kaushik Kicks Off SES Chicago with 5 Components of Search Marketing

      WebProNews–The Future of Search Looks a Lot Like the Present (on Steroids)

      Search Marketing Sage–Live from SES Chicago: “Search: Where to Next?”

      Search Engine Roundtable–SES Chicago: Remaining Agile Amidst Seismic Shifts in the Social Media Landscape

      Search Engine Roundtable–SES Chicago: Update on Real Time Search: I Want it Now!

      WebProNews–The Intersection Of Marketing And Real-Time Search

      Search Engine Roundtable–SES Chicago: Meaningful SEO Metrics: Going Beyond the Numbers

      Search Engine Roundtable–SES Chicago: Social Integration: Creating Interactive Conversations Across Channels

      Search Engine Roundtable–SES Chicago: Brand, Trademark & Reputation Management

      Search Engine Roundtable–SES Chicago: Beyond Listening-Establishing & Hitting Metrics with Social Media

      aimClear Blog–Why Content Creation 3-Ways Are 1 Smart, Sexy Strategy

      aimClear–Boosting Response, CTR & Conversion: Bryan Eisenberg’s Secret Formula

      Search Marketing Sage–Live from SES Chicago: The Secret Formula to Boost Response

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      YouTube DMCA Ruling is Good News for Blog Sites

      posted by Web_University @ 8:00 AM
      Tuesday, October 19, 2010

      YouTube DMCA Ruling is Good News for Blog Sites

      The Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) provides a “safe harbor” from strict liability for copyright infringement to online service providers that satisfy its requirements.

      A June, 2010 ruling by a U.S. District Court in New York in favor of YouTube established an important precedent for blog sites for avoiding strict liability for copyright infringement by blog posters.

      The DMCA

      Online service providers such as blog sites are vulnerable to claims for copyright infringement if visitors post infringing material on their websites, even if the service providers are unaware that the material is infringing. This unfortunate result – that’s often quite surprising to blog site webmasters who are unfamiliar with copyright law – is due to the strict liability principles of the U.S. Copyright Act.

      Signed into law in 1998, the DMCA protects online service providers from strict liability for copyright infringement by their users if they:

      * post a specific DMCA notice prominently on their websites,

      * register with the US Copyright Office, and

      * promptly block access to, or take down, allegedly infringing materials if they receive a notice from a copyright owner claiming infringement, or if the service provider has “actual knowledge” that it is hosting infringing material or if the service provider is aware of facts or circumstances that should make it “readily apparent” that there is infringing activity.

      This protection by DMCA is known as a “safe harbor”; it completely protects the service provider from vicarious liability for copyright infringement.

      The YouTube Case

      YouTube’s online video sharing service permits users to post videos to the YouTube site which then can be accessed and viewed by anyone who visits the YouTube site.

      Viacom International sued YouTube alleging that YouTube was liable for copyright infringement of numerous videos for which Viacom owned the copyrights. Viacom argued that YouTube was aware that some of its users posted infringing videos on the YouTube site and that this awareness disqualified YouTube from the safe harbor protection of DMCA.

      The YouTube case involved the third bullet point above – whether YouTube’s general knowledge that some of its users post infringing content on the YouTube website can amount to either:

      * “actual knowledge” of infringement, or

      * qualify to make it “readily apparent” to YouTube that there was infringing material on the YouTube website.

      The court rejected Viacom’s argument and ruled that YouTube was not disqualified from the DMCA safe harbor. Specifically, the court found that YouTube’s general awareness of infringing activity by some of its users did not rise to the level of “actual knowledge” or knowledge that would make it “readily apparent” which videos were infringing. The court noted that YouTube had removed allegedly infringing videos promptly after receipt of notice sufficient to identify specific infringing videos.

      Finally, the court ruled that YouTube had no general obligation to police its website for infringing videos and to determine whether specific videos were infringing.

      Conclusion

      In general terms, the key rulings of interest to blog sites were that:

      *
      YouTube had no general obligation to police its site for infringing videos, and

      *
      that YouTube’s general knowledge of infringement, but not of specific infringing videos, was insufficient to disqualify YouTube from the DMCA safe harbor.

      Blog site webmasters should be aware, however, that there are specific requirements that must be satisfied in order to take advantage of the DMCA safe harbor. It’s essential that these specific requirements be satisfied in order to qualify for DMCA?s valuable protections.

      Building Brand Identity – Five Reasons Your Blog Needs a Ghostwriter

      A ghostwriter is any writer who creates content for a project that will be presented under another name. As you are traveling in a bookstore, you might marvel at the sheer volume of works certain names such as Tom Clancy put out. In many cases, these books weren’t written by a single writer but rather many and then published under the big name. This arrangement is a good one for many writers, as it allows them to get work and valuable writing experience, while also benefiting the larger name by allowing more work under their aegis to get out.

      Your blog might just benefit from hiring a ghostwriter for the same reasons. Every blog needs a writer to direct it, and blogs do best when guided by one or two voices in a consistent direction. Sometimes, however, the originator of a business or idea isn’t the one who can best capture that direction, and that’s when you should turn to a ghostwriter.

      In no particular order, here are five reasons that many blogs choose to hire a ghostwriter for their content.

      Reason #1 – They Can’t Write Appropriately

      This isn’t referring to whether their content is polite or not, it simply refers to whether the “idea man” behind a project can generate content that fits the aim of the blog. Suppose, for example, you have someone who knows all about the world of competitive cooking as seen in Iron Chef. He knows the competitors’ ranks and accomplishments and wants to use the blog to promote interest in competitive cooking – even, perhaps, in his own cooking school.

      The problem is, he can’t write in a way that catches the eye. His writing might be too technical, or rely on obscure factoids that don’t really do much to inspire the reader’s imagination. A ghostwriter, on the other hand, is all about the writing, and one of the best talents a writer can have is the ability to take someone else’s ideas and rephrase them in exciting, evocative language.

      Reason #2 – Lack of Time

      Many of the big blogs seen on the web weren’t start-up ventures, but rather grew out of a company that already existed. Many companies have seen the success of blogs in other ventures, and have chosen to add one to their own site, much the same way they chose to add a website to their business when the web first got popular. This is a natural evolution and response to a changing market, and is not a bad idea. On the other hand, the owner is usually concerned with other issues and does not have time to devote to writing a blog.

      In such cases, the natural step is to hire a ghostwriter. You want the articles to continue to go out in your company’s name, since the idea of the blog is to promote the company, but don’t have time to do it yourself because you are justifiably busy. A ghostwriter can build a solid blog post in about an hour of work, and then move on to their other projects.

      Reason #3 – Intermediate Perspective

      There is a great deal to be said for being familiar with your product and your brand. You get to know subtleties and rhythms of the business that no outsider could appreciate. The problem is, your perspective is entirely different from that of your customers. They can’t get into the nitty gritty of your brand in a way you can.

      In cases like these, the value of a ghostwriter lies in linking the outside views of your audience with the inside views of the company. You can communicate your passions directly to this writer, who can marry them to a perspective of those on the other side of the glass. Their intermediate presence crucially bridges the gap between brand and audience.

      Reason #4 – Brand Protection

      Writers are a notoriously prideful lot. Some of the fiercest legal battles are over intellectual property rights, and justly so. Creating a written body of work is a tremendous effort, and having it stolen or infringed upon is a terrible offense. On the other hand, a branded blog is not about the individual writer, it’s about the brand and what the brand represents.

      By definition, a ghostwriter doesn’t take credit for their work. The work is put out in the name of the brand, or the site’s owner, as a means of projecting the brand forward. The ghostwriter is willing to take their pay without putting their own creative name on the work, which will benefit your brand because there isn’t an intermediate step. If you let one ghostwriter go, either because they move on to new things or you decide you need a new creative direction, there isn’t necessarily an indication of this to the outside world, and the brand’s voice continues.

      Reason #5 – Flexibility and Freshness

      Ghostwriters in the plural sense can do a blog good, too. If you maintain more than one at a time, you can ease the wear and tear that is associated with writing on the same general subject. Writers are like horses; you don’t want to ride them to death on the way there if you expect to get home. And since writing can be done anywhere, by anyone, anytime, you can cast your net far and wide in search of the two or three writers you need to best communicate your message.


      ME HE QUEDADO AQUI

      How Much is Too Much to Pay for SEO?

      posted by Web_University @ 8:00 AM
      Sunday, October 17, 2010

      How Much is Too Much to Pay for SEO?

      How much is too much to pay for SEO? (…or should you try to do it yourself first?)

      Yes, Search Engine Optimization (SEO) can be an excellent way of getting leads.

      Yes, good SEO can level the playing field between you and competitors.

      Yes, you should do some level of SEO.

      …but how much is too much?

      Too much? Good question.

      You’ll find that everybody that uses the word “Internet” is going to suggest that you engage in SEO and many will make you an offer to do it for you. There’s nothing wrong with that as far it goes. But what you have to decide is how much you should pay for having it done.

      Some Perspectives On Paying For SEO

      Here are a few important tips to help you decide the answer to that question:

      (1) First, make sure you really do need outside assistance. If you’re looking for better SEO placement for relatively unique or so-called “long tail” key words (e.g. “pine street rental condominiums” ) it might be worth trying it yourself before you involve an SEO consultant or SEO firm.

      (2) SEO is not rocket-science. Mostly it’s monotonous drudgery. So what you pay should not be about hiring “expertise”. The SEO effort is more like 90% drudgery, 8% experience, and 2% expertise and you should compensate accordingly.

      (3) The value of SEO boils down to “clicks” – preferably clicks that result in a sale conversion. SEO should be measured on the same cost-per-click basis any search-engine-marketing (SEM) or pay-per-click (PPC) campaign would be – i.e. the basis of ROI. If you don’t know how many clicks or orders you want, do not engage SEO until you do.

      (4) SEO is not static and optimization is competitive. You may be on the first page today but your competitors aren’t necessarily going to sit still forever. You could be bumped at any time. So if you’re not prepared to maintain an ongoing and strategic SEO effort – no matter what the competition does – then save your money.

      (5) Search engine “secrets” are just that – secret. The search engines aren’t telling them and anybody that claims to know the secrets is just guessing. It doesn’t mean they can’t help but it’s not as if they have some special advantage. Impossible.

      (6) Frankly, from the search engine point-of-view, if your site doesn’t have enough useful and relevant content to be on the first page, ethical SEO notwithstanding, eventually it won’t be. This is the objective of the search engines and there’s little likelihood that the SEO “expert” pitching you is going to out-think Google, Yahoo!, Bing and others in the long run.

      Is Doing SEO Yourself An Option?

      It’s almost always worth taking a first crack at SEO yourself. Often only a little effort can make a significant difference. If you do want to make the effort, invest a few dollars in a do-it-yourself SEO guide and try to adhere to the following minimum suggestions:

      (1) Focus on keywords that are realistic. You’re not likely to get a good placement with a keyword like “real estate” but you might get first page with a keyword like “Hill street real estate”;

      (2) Make sure your keyword is mentioned in the link to your page. Instead of saying “click HERE” make sure the text for the link says something like “for more information about HILL STREET REAL ESTATE”;

      (3) Make sure your keyword is mentioned in your page title, your keyword list, your page content, bolded page content;

      (4) For every keyword you’re interested in, make sure you have an appropriate page to focus on it (and that it complies with #1, #2, and #3 above)

      (5) Register with search engine webmaster accounts so that you can submit your site to them quickly and efficiently (search for “google webmaster”, “bing webmaster”, or “yahoo webmaster” to find the details).

      Don’t Forget Links

      Lastly, if you going to make an initial stab yourself, understand that quality links to your site are a vital factor in your ultimate placement. The more the merrier. To get a head-start on building links to your site, do the following:

      (1) Enroll in all relevant local or regional directories – (search “free directories” to find lists of these); many will be free, some will want nominal fees or backlinks. You decide.

      (2) Ensure that any press releases and announcements you make refer to your site and specific pages within it.

      (3) Post pages of your site to delicious.com or to digg.com and to similar bookmarking sites.

      (4) Ask local friends and business acquaintances if they will exchange links with you.

      (5) On the other hand, DO NOT sign up for paid links without the guidance of someone experienced in Internet marketing.

      Do these things sound particularly difficult? No.

      And well worth taking a stab at by yourself. From there you can decide whether its desirable or worth the cost to pay for SEO services from a 3rd-party.

      No Matter What You Do…

      You need to think in terms of what kind of return you are going to get on your investment. The calculation is simple: Divide the total SEO cost (yours or a 3rd-party’s) by the number of orders/sales you’ve received as a result of the effort. Then compare that cost-per-sale against your margin-per-sale. If you have margin left over, you’re in the right territory. If you don’t, you’ve got a problem.

      The bottom line is that when you talk with any SEO service provider, you must think in terms of ROI. Not in terms of “secrets” or first pages or top spots, but ROI. (Note: it is theoretically possible to be on the 3rd page and still get a positive ROI – not likely, but possible) If the ROI doesn’t work, then search engine optimization may not be for you and other Internet marketing methods might yield better results and a better ROI.

      9 Ways To Increase Your Email Clickthrough Rate

      posted by Web_University @ 8:52 AM
      Saturday, October 16, 2010

      9 Ways To Increase Your Email Clickthrough Rate

      Like all forms of marketing, an email marketing campaign usually has a single end goal: the conversion of non-buyers into buyers. Buying decisions tend not to be made all at once, but rather in a series of small steps toward a commitment.

      For an email marketer, the first step toward conversion is signing up for your mailing list. After that, it’s the click-through. With each of these actions, the subscriber makes a small behavioral commitment to the idea that you are someone who provides value to them. Below, you’ll find 9 ways to help your email subscribers click through the links in your messages.

      1. Segment your lists for maximum relevance

      People just don’t have time for mailings that aren’t relevant to them. If you send them a few messages that they can’t use, they’re likely to get impatient with you and either unsubscribe or click the spam button. Even if only part of your message is relevant to them, they’ll be less likely to find it and cilck through if they have to wade through parts that they have no use for. Modern email list managers such as ActiveCampaign’s Email Marketing make it easy to split your mailing list into smaller segments and customize the content based on which segment it’s being delivered to. This boost in relevancy can have a dramatic effect on your reader response.

      2. Use a simple template that’s easy to scan

      Yes, your messages should be attractive, but they should also be clean and simple. Use a layout that lets the reader easily find what they’re looking for without the distraction of navigation links and multiple panels.

      3. Tantalize your readers with article previews

      If your newsletter includes informative articles, consider moving those articles onto your main web site and simply including a teaser in the body of your message. This not only wins you the emotional benefit of the clickthrough, it also makes your email easier to scan so that readers can focus on the content that matters most to them.

      4. Put your main call to action above the fold

      If you’re sending a message that has a main purpose, make sure that purpose is the most prominent thing in it. At least half of your readers will only ever look at your message in their preview pane. Make sure that your main proposition and call to action are visible in that limited space.

      5. Make the benefits of clicking obvious

      If you don’t describe in detail what the reader has to gain by clicking on your link, they’re going to be a lot less likely to click on it. This is just plain common sense. Yet too often you’ll see email newsletters that offer up links without any clear description of what the reader has to gain by clicking them. Don’t just describe what the reader will find at the other end of your link, tell them what it will do for them.

      6. Consistently deliver on your promises

      An effective email campaign builds up a relationship with the subscriber. Over time, your readers should come to see you and your business as trustworthy and beneficial. You can build up that trust by simply delivering on any promises you make in your messages. Don’t promise a benefit unless you’re sure you can deliver it.

      7. Set limitations to spur action

      People naturally respond to scarcity and competition. You can put that to good use by limiting the offers you make to your subscribers. For example, you might make a special offer that is only valid for a day or two after your message goes out. You can also offer a special gift or a chance to win for the first 100 subscribers that respond.

      8. Add a link in a P.S.

      If someone makes it all the way through your message, they’re probably very interested in your work! But they may also have forgotten about an important call to action that occurred earlier in your message. It’s a good idea to add a “P.S.” after your signature line to remind your readers what you want them to do and why.

      9. Split test!

      Some tactics will work better than others depending on your industry and target demographics. Fortunately, you don’t have to be a mind-reader to figure out which work best. Simply write up a few different versions of your message, taking a different approach to inducing action in each version.

      SEO & Social Media Marketing To The Rescue

      posted by Web_University @ 8:00 AM
      Saturday, October 16, 2010

      SEO & Social Media Marketing To The Rescue

      Now that the website is live, we just sit back, celebrate at the launch party with a bottle of bubbly and wait for all that traffic and recognition, right? Dream on!

      Internet marketing and online promotion require ongoing attention and acute care. The good news is that this part of the “web-dev” process can be the most fun and bring the most joy – both emotionally and financially. Checking your website stats and seeing that you have ten times the traffic increase when compared to last month, and having to hire additional help to respond to all of the contact form submissions can be very exciting times for any online business. (Yay! #success) Where do I start then?

      A properly crafted website well on it’s way with this.

      During the website development phase great care and attention was taken to lay the ground work for a sound SEO (search engine optimization) foundation. Well thought out page titles, meta tags, keyword sensitive copy-writing and a solid interlinking system should have all been in place. Having these items in place will greatly help in increasing your relevance in the eyes of major search engines. Web directories and Search engine submission

      One of the first steps after launching the website should be submitting your site to the top web directories and search engines. Getting listed can sometimes cost a nominal fee and at times can be a long process, so it’s important to get the ball rolling.

      Getting your site known and listed on directories can help in numerous ways:

      People who use these directories can find your site

      Lets the search engines know that your website exists

      Provides links back to your site from some top page ranked sources

      Link building

      Link building is another important step in promoting your website. Having in-bound links listed on highly reputable and relevant websites is probably at the top of Google’s long list of criteria for determining your pages rank. Make sure that your approach with link building is ethical.
      (Not-so-good practices such as using link farming services can quickly make your site disappear in the eyes of the major search engines.) The Best practices of getting your links listed on websites that are relevant to yours can direct visitors to you as well as making search engines say: “Hey if that top ranking website thinks that your site has reputable and relevant information then it must be so.”

      Best practices for link building include (but are not limited to) the following:

      Writing articles for websites or blogs and including a link back to your site in your authors bio

      Writing articles and submitting them to article publication services

      Adding a link on your site to a website you hope to get your name on, contacting them and asking for a reciprocal link in return

      Having content on your website that is actually inbound link worthy

      Keeping your content fresh

      A very large mistake many people make after launching their website is never adding new content or updating existing pages. This hurts your visibility in numerous ways. If there is never anything new to see visitors will never feel the need to return. The same is true for search engine spiders – they want to eat up and index all of your new content.

      Top experts also feel that search engines give more importance to sites with frequently updated content as the info must be time relevant. Spiders keep track of how often new content is added to your site and determine the frequency of their trips back to you based on this data.
      The more content you produce, the more visits you’ll have from all your friendly neighbors on the net. Harnessing social media.

      Using social media channels like Facebook and Twitter can help keep you in touch with your fans, tribe and client base. Social Media is a great avenue for building upon old relations and creating new ones as well. The viral nature of social media marketing also provides huge potential for exposing your website to an exponential number of people, friends of theirs and their friends’ friends, and so on ad infinitum.

      There are many ways to market your website and get your name out there so that your people find you.

      SES Chicago 2010 advanced blog coverage continued!

      posted by SES Conference & Expo @ 11:02 AM
      Friday, October 15, 2010

      A Flaming on Your Blog

      posted by Web_University @ 8:00 AM
      Friday, October 15, 2010

      A Flaming on Your Blog

      Flaming is something that every blogger will see from time to time. Basically flaming is when someone viciously attacks you or someone else that posts something on your blog. Typically a flaming is very personal and quite vicious.

      It is important that you handle flaming, in fact you probably want to have a written policy about inappropriate behavior on your blog including flaming.

      How to Handle a Flaming on Your Blog

      First and foremost you want to make sure you address any flaming or other personal attacks that appear on your blog. This is especially true if someone is attacking another reader of your blog. Your failure to handle these types of postings will make it appear as if you condone them. You want your readers to know that you value them and will make sure they are not attacked for participating on your blog.

      The first thing you should do is delete the flaming post. Once it is deleted you should contact the person who was flamed and apologize for the behavior or the person who flamed them and let them know the offensive posting was removed.

      After contacting the person who was flamed you need to contact the person who posted the inflammatory posting. You should let them know the offensive posting was removed and that you do not tolerate that type of behavior on your blog.

      If their post was extremely offensive you can immediately ban them from your blog. The alternative is to warn them that if they post anything in the future that violates your blog policies they will be banned.

      How to Handle You Being Flamed

      If the personal attacks are directed at you, it is important to take action. Just as you would protect any member of your blog you need to protect yourself as well. Though you should always invite feedback and commentary, including negative commentary, you should not accept flaming.

      Remove any inappropriate comments and provide a warning to the person or persons who posted it. You can even invite them to post an edited version of their comments if appropriate. Most will probably not take you up on the offer but some may.

      If you protect yourself and your readers from flaming you will be promoting a healthy environment where topics can be discussed and heated debates can ensue without rising to the level of inappropriate flaming on your valued blog.

      Building Brand Identity – Five Reasons Your Blog Needs a Ghostwriter

      A ghostwriter is any writer who creates content for a project that will be presented under another name. As you are traveling in a bookstore, you might marvel at the sheer volume of works certain names such as Tom Clancy put out. In many cases, these books weren’t written by a single writer but rather many and then published under the big name. This arrangement is a good one for many writers, as it allows them to get work and valuable writing experience, while also benefiting the larger name by allowing more work under their aegis to get out.

      Your blog might just benefit from hiring a ghostwriter for the same reasons. Every blog needs a writer to direct it, and blogs do best when guided by one or two voices in a consistent direction. Sometimes, however, the originator of a business or idea isn’t the one who can best capture that direction, and that’s when you should turn to a ghostwriter.

      In no particular order, here are five reasons that many blogs choose to hire a ghostwriter for their content.

      Reason #1 – They Can’t Write Appropriately

      This isn’t referring to whether their content is polite or not, it simply refers to whether the “idea man” behind a project can generate content that fits the aim of the blog. Suppose, for example, you have someone who knows all about the world of competitive cooking as seen in Iron Chef. He knows the competitors’ ranks and accomplishments and wants to use the blog to promote interest in competitive cooking – even, perhaps, in his own cooking school.

      The problem is, he can’t write in a way that catches the eye. His writing might be too technical, or rely on obscure factoids that don’t really do much to inspire the reader’s imagination. A ghostwriter, on the other hand, is all about the writing, and one of the best talents a writer can have is the ability to take someone else’s ideas and rephrase them in exciting, evocative language.

      Reason #2 – Lack of Time

      Many of the big blogs seen on the web weren’t start-up ventures, but rather grew out of a company that already existed. Many companies have seen the success of blogs in other ventures, and have chosen to add one to their own site, much the same way they chose to add a website to their business when the web first got popular. This is a natural evolution and response to a changing market, and is not a bad idea. On the other hand, the owner is usually concerned with other issues and does not have time to devote to writing a blog.

      In such cases, the natural step is to hire a ghostwriter. You want the articles to continue to go out in your company’s name, since the idea of the blog is to promote the company, but don’t have time to do it yourself because you are justifiably busy. A ghostwriter can build a solid blog post in about an hour of work, and then move on to their other projects.

      Reason #3 – Intermediate Perspective

      There is a great deal to be said for being familiar with your product and your brand. You get to know subtleties and rhythms of the business that no outsider could appreciate. The problem is, your perspective is entirely different from that of your customers. They can’t get into the nitty gritty of your brand in a way you can.

      In cases like these, the value of a ghostwriter lies in linking the outside views of your audience with the inside views of the company. You can communicate your passions directly to this writer, who can marry them to a perspective of those on the other side of the glass. Their intermediate presence crucially bridges the gap between brand and audience.

      Reason #4 – Brand Protection

      Writers are a notoriously prideful lot. Some of the fiercest legal battles are over intellectual property rights, and justly so. Creating a written body of work is a tremendous effort, and having it stolen or infringed upon is a terrible offense. On the other hand, a branded blog is not about the individual writer, it’s about the brand and what the brand represents.

      By definition, a ghostwriter doesn’t take credit for their work. The work is put out in the name of the brand, or the site’s owner, as a means of projecting the brand forward. The ghostwriter is willing to take their pay without putting their own creative name on the work, which will benefit your brand because there isn’t an intermediate step. If you let one ghostwriter go, either because they move on to new things or you decide you need a new creative direction, there isn’t necessarily an indication of this to the outside world, and the brand’s voice continues.

      Reason #5 – Flexibility and Freshness

      Ghostwriters in the plural sense can do a blog good, too. If you maintain more than one at a time, you can ease the wear and tear that is associated with writing on the same general subject. Writers are like horses; you don’t want to ride them to death on the way there if you expect to get home. And since writing can be done anywhere, by anyone, anytime, you can cast your net far and wide in search of the two or three writers you need to best communicate your message.

      Microblogging: More than Micro in Helping your Online Business

      posted by Web_University @ 8:00 AM
      Wednesday, October 13, 2010

      Microblogging: More than Micro in Helping your Online Business

      Microblogging; it may sound small due to the “micro” word; but I tell you; it’s one of the giants on the internet when it comes to traffic, promotion and sales for your blog. You must know which microblogs can give you the best benefit.

      Without even visiting the web-page, a good Keyword Analyzer will have a module that will tell you whether or not links on the page use “NoFollow” tags. This lets you avoid you from wasting your time on building links from sources where you receive no search engine benefits. It’s otherwise known as Follow or No follow.

      Let’s proceed to what makes microblogging so attractive, not only to marketers, but also to customers. The fact that the fewer words make them easier to read, understand, and digest. Another is that readers get to be curious about the microblogs, since its brevity only allows for teasers and promotions. If done right, microblogs can attract large traffic into your site.

      Let’s look at the top 5 giants when it comes to microblogging:

      1. Twitter.
      Tweeting is now the trend. And no, it doesn’t mean making bird-like sounds. Twitter is a microblog which allows people to post status messages, called Tweets. Twitter’s interface was made to be user-friendly.

      2. Plurk.
      Plurk is a new player when it comes to microblogging but it’s faring well. It attracts many people, especially those that would like a visual representation of their microblog posts, which Plurk provides.

      3. Jaiku.
      Obtained by internet storm, Google, Jaiku was first obtained in 2007, and has since been closed to users first to start with the beta testing.

      4. Pownce.
      Another one that’s very similar to Twitter in the way it presents its microblogs, is Pownce. However, unlike Twitter it has a 140-character limit.

      5. Spoink.
      Crazy name, lovely microblogging platform. Spoink allows microblogging from mobile phones. While this may not be considered an innovation since many microblogging sites are already ahead of that, but Spoink is one up above the rest because it allows podcasts to be featured from everywhere.

      Now, affiliate marketers should seriously consider going into microblogging. Before you proceed with microblogging; first weigh your options whether it’s important for you and your business and whether you’ll target the right audience.

      For affiliate marketers and the like, microblogging is one of the things you would want to get into. With the certain age groups that it targets, the customers might probably be into microblogging sites. So just from there, you can already see what a big prospect market, microblogging sites can be. Aside from that; it can help build up your site’s awareness and also add up to your credibility.

      Also, if you are too busy to scout for updates about the other sites that are relevant to yours, you can also get generous updates from microblogging sites too. Given though, that you do take time to do the search required to do just so. Aside from that, microblogging sites help expand your business and gain some contacts or followers.

      So now that you have seen and read the importance of microblogging; you ask yourself where you can get more information?


      Use Coupons to Gain Customers & Create Conversions

      posted by Web_University @ 8:00 AM
      Tuesday, October 12, 2010

      Use Coupons to Gain Customers & Create Conversions

      With the current state of the world’s economy, people are routinely looking to do whatever they can in order to save money. People will go to lengths that they previously would not go to so they can save a buck. You can easily make yourself stand out from the competition by offering valuable coupons for your products and services.

      Many owners and operators of companies large and small have a tendency to either forget about or overlook the use of coupons as a promotional and marketing tool. Coupons are often thought of as thing of the past, with memories of parents and grandparents huddled over a stack of newspapers, scissors in hand, searching for the next big bargain.

      With the Internet becoming the modern marketplace and the slow death of the traditional newspaper, coupons have evolved beyond the print media. The online coupon has become a formidable method of promoting a business while simultaneously saving the cash-strapped general public some money and encouraging competition between businesses.

      Coupons are a powerful way of branding and gaining publicity for a business. By highlighting sales and current promotions, you can drive quality traffic to your online store. Traffic originating from a coupon is the kind of traffic that leads to conversions and this is the type of traffic that an online storeowner needs to generate, especially in this current economy.

      There are currently a number of coupon sites online and they are becoming increasingly popular. They make their money from selling ads on their sites because of the staggering amount of visitors that check out these sites in search of money-saving purchases. Since the websites are making their money by selling ad space, there are generally no charges or fees for businesses placing coupons on these sites. Not to mention, all of the stores that have coupons on these popular websites are receiving high quality backlinks to their site. This is a surefire way of building links, page rank and climbing up the SERPs (search engine results pages).

      A smart coupon strategy is to create a coupon that directs visitors to your Clearance or Sale page where discounted goods are already listed. You do not even have to go out of your way to fabricate a special sale.

      The use of coupons can be a highly successful method of promoting your online business. Coupons do not need to be thought of strictly in the traditional sense. There is a whole new market for modern coupons.

      How To Skyrocket Your Perceived Value

      posted by Web_University @ 8:00 AM
      Monday, October 11, 2010

      How To Skyrocket Your Perceived Value

      It is of great importance that your visitor “see,” the bargain within your offer. There are ways to enhance this perception. People often observer Sales pages with a “what is in this for me,” mindset. Your offer needs to clearly show them what is in it for them.

      When someone does form their first impression about your site, would you not want it to be a good one? When we present our product or service to visitors, it is vital that they see the value within as important to their desire to prosper themselves.

      Here is where our USP should stand out from the crowd, giving us a keen edge over competitors. This “Unique Selling Proposition” should grab their attention and hold it – all of the way to the conversion point, whether it be to buy, or to opt-in for a newsletter.

      Whether it be a capture page, where they enter their email address, or reach for a credit card to purchase, this USP is a critical point in the process in getting conversions.

      How does one create a perception of value to first time visitors? In the world of sales online, everyone is clamoring for their attention flashing buy now or click here messages.

      To stand alone in the crowd, and be the “first choice” in the mind of “lookers,” one has to offer “more for less,” – greater value, – a unique selling point, that compels them to chose your product or service over the many others.

      This is the very reason your USP must compel them to see the greater bargain your offer has over other competitors. The way you present an offer unto visitors is of great importance. You have to “show,” them what greater value your offer contains.

      Once they are looking at what you have to present, it is then of utmost importance,to have your sales copy capture prospect’s full attention. To do this, you have to be unique. You want them to transition into a qualified prospect who is a perfect position to order now.

      To get them from where they are now, to the desired conversion point,(what you want visitors to do next) you must continue to position your offer in a way that flames their desire. If their attention is distracted from the momentum once started, you could lose their interest, and there goes the sale.

      To keep their focus on tract, the elements of persuasion must continue to drive them forward, keenly interested, all the way to the “order now” button, or the “enter email,” conversion point.

      To meet this objective, the perceived value they began with must be inflamed with focused precision. This enhances the very thing which caught their eye in the beginning.

      These proven marketing methods, press their emotional “hot buttons” triggering their need to fulfill their want. This is done through positioning the perceived value in such a way, that increases the prospects interest, all the way to the point of the “how much” question.

      When this is done correctly, even high-end or products or services, can be moved without objection to price, for indeed the prospect has already made up their mind.

      The “I’ve got to have this, or I need that,” hurdle, has already been jumped in their thinking. They have been “sold.” They move to the “buy now” button, and proceed without hesitation.

      Good copywriters know exactly how to reach each objective in the sales process. Good solid copy begins by first grabbing visitor’s attention, it then directs them into the body copy, and quickly shows them why they are in the right place. They then “know,” they are going to get exactly what they want.

      If It is interesting, flows freely, is personable, and engaging, it becomes winning copy because it is not “hyped-up. It shows them perspective, and insight about why this offer is so much better than competitors.

      It is punchy, clear and concise. By the time they hit the “order now” button, they are completely happy – and happy with their buying decision, feeling like they have really gotten a great deal.

      A Review of the PopUp Domination WordPress Plugin

      posted by Web_University @ 8:00 AM
      Sunday, October 10, 2010

      A Review of the PopUp Domination WordPress Plugin

      The PopUp Domination WordPress Plugin is the newest, and first, plugin released by Michael Dunlop, a young online entrepreneur who blogs about making money online and generating your own wealth.

      What the plugin is for

      It’s for WordPress bloggers who have an email newsletter and wants to increase their subscription rate.

      What it does

      Once the plugin is installed and activated, it’ll pop up a subscription box whenever a person visits your site, however, you can configure how often it’s shown to the same person. Some people like to pop up the box every time someone visits your site, returning or not.

      Personally I don’t like to do that, mainly because as a blogger, I have many returning visitors who like to comment on my blog and they don’t need to keep getting hit with my pop up. My preferred settings are to show the box to everyone at first and then show it to them again after 7 days.

      I also prefer to wait to show the popup until after they’ve been on my site for at least 20 seconds. I do this because a really successful niche marketer told me once that’s what they’ve found works best for them. The reasoning behind it was that the people who stay longer than 5 seconds are probably interested in what you have to offer.

      So why does the popup domination plugin work so well?

      I’ve definitely seen an increase in subscriber rate to my newsletter since using this plugin. The plugin seems to work so well because the popup templates which you are supplied with are high quality and are visually pleasing to your visitor.

      PopUp Domination Options

      As of the writing of this article, the plugin has the following settings available:

      * 4 different pop up templates to choose from
      * Multiple options for the template and button colors
      * Easy embedding of many of the popular mailing list services (MailChimp, AWeber, etc.)
      * Customization of text shown on the popup
      * Allows you to add quick bullet points
      * Schedule how often it appears to visitors
      * Advanced settings where pros can edit the template and CSS files

      Search Engine Strategies – How To Increase Your Search Engine Ranking

      The methods employed to increase your search engine rankings may seem like rocket science to you, so you have probably avoided dealing with this issue. I am here to tell you—the time has come to face your website! A high search engine ranking for your website is so essential that if you have the slightest desire to actually succeed in your business, there is no way you can continue to avoid this issue.

      At least 85% of people looking for goods and services on the Internet find websites through search engines such as Google, Yahoo, and MSN. The idea of optimizing your pages for high search engine rankings is to attract targeted customers to your site who will be more than likely to make a purchase. The higher your page comes up in search engine results, the greater the traffic that is directed to your website. That’s what search engine optimization is about.

      You can immerse yourself in all the technical information available online to figure out how to optimize your web pages to achieve higher rankings. Or you can look at a few simple items on your pages, make some small adjustments, and most likely see improved rankings quite rapidly. The first item you should examine is the title bar on your home page.

      The title bar is the colored bar at the top of the page. Look at the words that appear there when you access your home page. To increase search engine rankings, the words on your homepage’s title bar should include the most important keywords or phrases, one of which would include your company name.

      Then click on all your links and examine the title bars on the pages you access. Each title bar on every single page of your site should contain the most important keywords and phrases taken from the page itself. However, avoid very long strings of keywords, keeping them to six words or less. Avoid repeating keywords more than once in the title bars, and make sure that identical words are not next to each other.

      The next item to put under your microscope is your website content. Search engines generally list sites that contain quality content rather than scintillating graphics. The text on your site must contain the most important keywords—the words that potential customers will be typing into search engines to find your site.

      Aim to have around 250 words on each page, but if this is not desirable due to your design, aim for at least 100 carefully chosen words. If you want to achieve a high ranking on search engines, this text is essential. However, the search engines must be able to read the text, meaning that the text must be in HTML and not graphic format.

      To find out if your text is in HTML format, take your cursor and try to highlight a word or two. If you are able to do this, the text is HTML. If the text will not highlight, it is probably in graphic form. In this case, ask your webmaster to change the text into HTML format in order to increase your search engine rankings.

      Next we come to what is called metatags. I know this sounds like something out of science fiction, but it is really just simple code. Many people believe that metatags are the key to high search engine rankings, but in reality, they only have a limited effect. Still, it’s worth adding them in the event that a search engine will use metatags in their ranking formula.

      To find out if your page is set up with metatags, you must access the code. To do this, click the “view” button on the browser menu bar, and select “source”. This will pull up a window revealing the underlying code that created the page. If there are metatags, they usually appear near the top of the window. For example, a metatag would read: meta name=”keywords” content=. If you do not find code that reads like this, ask your webmaster to put them in. This may not do much for your search engine rankings, but any little boost helps.

      Lastly, we come to the issue of link popularity. This is a factor that is extremely important in terms of search engine rankings. Almost all search engines use link popularity to rank your website. Link popularity is based on the quality of the sites you have linked to from your links page.

      If you type in “free link popularity check” in a popular search engine, the search engine will then show you what sites are linked to your site. In the case that there aren’t many sites linked up to yours, or that the sites that are linked up have low search engine rankings, consider launching a link popularity campaign. Essentially, this entails contacting quality sites and requesting that they exchange links with your site. Of course, this requires checking out the rankings of the websites you want to link up with. Linking to popular, quality sites not only boosts your search engine ranking, but it also directs more quality traffic to your website.

      Search engine rankings are extremely important for a successful Internet Marketing campaign. Before you go out and hire a search engine optimization company, try taking some of the simple steps listed above, and see if you can’t boost your rankings yourself. Don’t ever ignore this all-important factor in Internet marketing. Remember, the higher your search engine ranking, the more quality customers will be directed your way.

      When is an SEO agency NOT an SEO agency?

      posted by Web_University @ 8:00 AM
      Friday, October 8, 2010

      When is an SEO agency NOT an SEO agency?

      Let’s face it, almost all SEO agencies, like most online service providers, will outsource some aspects of their work. This is nothing new. In fact, even before the advent of the internet, businesses would traditionally outsource certain tasks – Hence the plethora of ‘temping’ agencies.

      Commonly outsourced tasks were things like telesales, recruitment, even accounting and auditing to some extent. But with the massive growth of online business, outsourcing has grown, and indeed actually changed in its very nature.

      In the online business world, the term outsourcing has almost become synonymous with paying for workers that actually live in other countries, whereas previously the outsource workers would be the same country as the employer, if not the same city!

      What about the question we started with? When is an SEO agency NOT an SEO agency?

      The answer to this is not simple, and the question is really only meant to provoke thought. My own personal feeling is that an SEO agency is not really an SEO agency when it outsources all the work except the customer facing aspect.

      What I mean by this is that some SEO ‘agencies’ merely employ UK based office staff to do the selling and silver tongue sales pitches, then farm out the actual work to cheap overseas labour. The better agencies may have their own database of workers they use on a regular basis, and trust – whereas others may simply use freelancer type websites to ‘pick up’ staff.

      Whilst this may not at first seem like much of an issue, it is not exactly honest!. The kind of setup mentioned above, to my mind, is NOT an SEO agency, more of a sales agency that then passes the work on to others.
      I guess you could argue that they are more than a sales agency; after all, perhaps they plan a campaign prior to the work being handed out to freelancers, and pop a quick report together once it’s been done… Alright, let’s call them an admin agency
      ;-)

      Is it wrong for SEO agencies to outsource at all?

      Again, this is down to a matter of opinion. I think its fine for any company, whatever its industry, to outsource some of its workload. At kingpin-seo we sometimes outsource bits and pieces – who doesn’t! But perhaps the problem arises when the bulk of the workload is outsourced, without the knowledge of the SEO agencies clients.

      The client is in the belief that their work is being carried out by UK workers, whereas unbeknownst to them, someone half way round the world is carrying out the actual work, and for a tiny fraction of the amount the client is paying the agency.

      What is it good to outsource, and what shouldn’t be outsourced

      Again, this is my own opinion – but it is founded on background knowledge of what our own clients are happy with.

      We feel it is okay to outsource small amounts of manual, repetitive work, things like gathering initial, basic info on competitors (although we prefer to carry out in depth reports in house!) , and some elements of promotion (such as submitting articles, that are of course, written in house)

      A basic rule of thumb is that if the client would not be comfortable with something being outsourced, then it shouldn’t be outsourced! – Simply!

      Another little rule of thumb is that if something requires or involves decision making that could have some bearing or impact upon the SEO campaign on the whole, it shouldn’t be outsourced.

      How do I find a decent SEO Agency, that isn’t simply an ‘Outsource/Admin Agency?

      Simple! – Just ask!. Seriously, call or email the agency, and ask them straight if they outsource, and to what extent they outsource.

      If they say they don’t outsource anything at all, either they are lying, or they don’t fully understand the question!

      If they say they do outsource, but are fully transparent about what processes and work practices they outsource – that’s a good start. We can define in a single sentence our stance on outsourcing, and we suggest you ask any potential SEO agency to do the same…

      “We never outsource any decision making, creative production or administrative workload, everything is planned in house, and the vast majority of our work is carried out in house… any outsourcing we do is isolated to repetitive techniques such as submitting a previously written high quality piece of content to directories & websites”

      If an agency is not willing to disclose to what extent they outsource, then I would just walk away. At the end of the day, it is YOUR money being used for this service, and just like a service offered offline, you are entitled to know where it is going!

      Resource Section – About Kingpin-seo

      Kingpin-seo is a client focused, ethical SEO agency that benefits from Google news approval. Kingpin provides cutting edge ethical link building services and transparent SEO techniques for its SEO clients.

      De-mystifying Landing Page Optimization

      posted by Web_University @ 8:00 AM
      Thursday, October 7, 2010

      De-mystifying Landing Page Optimization

      When a website is finally getting respectable traffic, enjoying a decent page rank (PR), and already at the first pages of search engine results, is it time to break out the champagne in celebration?

      The shrewd website owner knows this is just halfway through the journey to a successful income-generating website. The end-goal is still how to turn visitors into buying customers. The bottom line is sales conversion, and this is an even harder hurdle to overcome.

      It all boils down to what the users do when they get into the site. Do they click on links and advertisements? Do they spend a lot of time reading or browsing products? And most importantly, do they buy?

      To convert audience from just-curious exploring visitors into actively purchasing ones, website owners should venture into the realms of landing page optimization.

      Shedding Light on Landing Page Optimization

      Experts rely on certain information to optimize the landing page. Some data may come from search criteria used by users to get to the site, or user demographics and buying habits. With this data the page is re-designed to appeal to users.

      Another way to optimize is based on the results of an experimentation, wherein users are led to several versions of the landing page to see which version is more appealing to them. The most common experimentation is through A/B split testing involving two versions of the page. Although this method is inexpensive and makes for easier analysis and decision-making, the decision maybe flawed by inadequate data that takes no account of many external elements – banner, layout, color theme, text copy, etc. — not contained in only two versions.

      Another landing page optimization that is more complex in execution, tools used, and statistical analysis is multi-variate LPO. Multi-variate LPO incorporates more elements that can be combined to come up with better landing page versions. When testing versions of landing pages that accounts for multiple variables instead of just two, the site gets the most accurate analysis of visitor preferences, the factors that can make them buy, and which page version is the best combination that gets the best reaction from users.

      Tips to Better Landing Page Optimization

      When website owners decide to launch their landing page optimization, they should do so with careful consideration. The undertaking involves resources and a certain degree of risk. If not done correctly, LPO can end up costing money but little results. Here are some tips to make the effort effective and easier:

      The look and feel of the landing page, is critical to encouraging or discouraging visitors to make a purchase in the site. This should be kept in mind as the rationale behind any LPO effort.

      Be careful in choosing the elements for optimization, such as layout, color theme, promotional campaigns, banners, etc. Make sure they can materialize or can be delivered when they turn out to be critical to optimization.

      Choose the best element mix from the many permutations, to lessen the complexity of having to test all landing page combinations.

      To find the optimum mix of elements from gathered data, use the most efficient tool such as Google’s Website Optimizer for analysis.

      Be careful in directing users to experimental landing page versions in a production website, many users tend to dislike changes and may cause them to leave.

      Organic SEO or PPC advertising?

      posted by Web_University @ 8:00 AM
      Wednesday, October 6, 2010

      Organic SEO or PPC advertising?

      Sadly enough, there are still many online business entrepreneurs who take it for granted that they can still use the old marketing techniques in order to overtake their competitors. Little do they realize that those old basic techniques such as including a simple “click here” link, simply doesn’t cut it anymore. If for example you own an online business which is currently in dire need of some changes, then you may need to consider taking advantage of online marketing techniques which include the likes of search engine optimisation and pay-per-click advertising.

      In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if you’ve already heard about these techniques from some of the world’s best internet marketers, but the truth is, you might be reluctant to begin integrating them into your existing business. However, there’s nothing to be gained by simply keeping these strategies on hold, so here are a few tips on how to go about using search engine optimisation (SEO) and PPC advertising.

      Search Engine Optimisation

      Organic search engine optimisation is essentially an online marketing strategy which is dependent on having momentum and some long term commitment. By utilising SEO, you’ll be taking a step in the right direction in terms of accumulating information regarding link building campaigns, relationship building with other webmasters, and even some respectable and desirable publications. Of course, in order to be in full control, you need to set certain milestones so that you’ll be able to monitor your progress as you proceed.

      For example, you need to ask yourself what it is exactly that you wish to accomplish. You also need to pay attention to your current image and to the level of optimisation regarding your website.

      An experienced SEO specialist will be able to help you determine which the best keywords to use are, and of course they’ll be able to help you integrate those keywords into your meta tags so that you’re able to restructure your marketing strategies in order to overcome any negative fallout resulting from your previous attempts. Over and above SEO, you could of course also take advantage of other techniques, such as paid one way links and link exchanges for example, providing you do so with other reputable websites. But don’t forget – once you start organic SEO, you need to continue with it in order to maintain the momentum or else your diligently attained rankings will go down.

      Pay-Per-Click Advertising

      PPC advertising places much emphasis on keyword usage and the placement of adverts which are relevant to a specific website. In fact, it’s often said that this form of advertising has revolutionised the world of online advertising, in that it can provide small businesses with the same amount of leverage as what the big businesses have. Providing it’s done correctly, PPC advertising can certainly help you stand out from the crowd. If you’re currently considering a PPC campaign then you should also pay attention to the following three questions:

      What do I have to offer?

      Why will customers want to click on my advert?

      How can I hook them with just ten words?

      At this point, the most important thing for you to do is to integrate an ideal title and ten words which tell potential customers what your business is all about. The most difficult aspect of PPC advertising is that you will be in close proximity to your competitors, both in search engine results and in sponsored positions. Remember, if someone types in a search relevant to the type of website you own, your advert will appear at the top of the page or on the right hand side, and it’s vital that your advertisement must be powerful enough in order to trigger an immediate response.

      Essentially, in order to get the best results you should ideally consider using SEO and PPC advertising simultaneously, rather than just opting for one of them.

      10 Profoundly Effective Steps to Internet Marketing Success

      Over the years, I’ve read thousands and thousands of marketing articles, both online and off. But to this point, I have never read any article that was what I considered to be 100% idiot-proof – meaning even a dunce, moron, or complete idiot couldn’t screw up the process.

      So I decided to write such an article. And if you read and judiciously apply the ridiculously simple, but profoundly effective and proven success steps presented in this article, I am 100% convinced beyond any shadow of doubt that anyone can absolutely, positively make money with Internet Marketing.

      Why am I so confident in these steps? Because these are the exact same steps I’ve used to build nearly 100 profitable websites of my own, in a very short period of time. Here are the steps:

      1. Brainstorm Your Domain Name

      This is an important process, so don’t rush it. Even if it takes you weeks or even months to come up with a domain name you’re satisfied with. Take as much time as you need. Your domain name is that important.

      I’m a firm believer in creating generic domain names that utilize your primary keywords. For example, NewyorkCityHotels.com or NapaValleyWines.com. Having a generic domain name serves two crucial purposes:

      First, it will attract a more targeted audience to your website. A targeted audience will give you a much higher conversion ratio – allowing you to make maximum use of the traffic you receive.

      Second, generic domain names that utilize your primary keywords will help with your search ranking. While SEO experts have opposing viewpoints whether or not this actually helps, based on my own personal experience, I can tell you that it does.

      By the way, because of the astronomical number of domains on the Internet, you may have to get a little creative in order to utilize your primary keywords in your domain name.

      For example, if your first choice, NewYorkCityHotels.com is already taken, try playing around with different variations of your keywords.

      For instance, try this variation, HotelsinNewYorkCity.com…or this one, CityofNewYorkHotels.com. Also, don’t be afraid to use hyphens in your domain name. Using this technique allows me to utilize my primary keywords 100% of the time.

      It also allows me to use the much preferred .com domain. You should try to use .com domains whenever possible, because most people will automatically put a .com on the end of a domain when they type it into a search engine. This puts you in prime position to pick up traffic from domains in your category that utilize extensions other than .com.

      2. Register Your Domain Name, and Forget It

      After you decide on a domain name, don’t build your website right away. Register your domain name, and forget it.

      Why? Because in my opinion, you should never build a website without having a plan to promote, as well as monetize your website. Develop a well-thought-out marketing plan going forward, then when you build your website, you can hit the ground running.

      3. Develop Your Marketing Plan

      I’m a member of several small business forums, and without fail, the two questions that get asked most often are:

      “How do I promote my website?” or, “How do I get free traffic to my website?” Those two basic questions get asked every single day.

      That’s why it’s so important to develop a marketing plan in advance. You need to know the answer to those questions, before you build your website. You can’t get to your destination, if you don’t know know where you want to go.

      4. Your Budget Determines Your Marketing Plan

      If you have thousands of dollars to work with, then you have many more options when it comes to promoting your website. For example, you can buy ads in offline publication, as well as online publications.

      A word of advice: Unless you are an experienced marketer with extremely deep pockets, stay away from pay-per-click advertising. PPC advertising will eat up your advertising budget quicker than Usain Bolt breaks world records.

      In reality, most people coming online don’t have thousands of dollars to work with. In fact, most people coming online have little or no money at all.

      But that’s the beauty of the Internet. Even if you are broke, you can still promote your website effectively, if you know what you’re doing.

      For example, you can participate in social media networking, and promote your website via mega-popular sites such as Twitter, Facebook, MySpace, LinkedIn and a host of other social media websites.

      Other free and highly effective promotion methods include article marketing, forum posting, guest blogging, RSS feeds, volunteering your expertise on Question & Answer sites like AllExperts.com and more.

      5. Learn How to Implement Your Marketing Plan Effectively

      Starting a business – any business without having even basic marketing skills is downright foolish. Competency in marketing is the most important business skill that you can have.

      If you become proficient in the art of marketing, it will allow you to become profitable that much quicker. And there won’t be anything that you can’t accomplish.

      Some of the greatest sales and marketing books ever written are located right under your nose, at your local library – and they’re free. Do yourself a favor and study the classics. Many of the marketing techniques being used today are based on sound marketing principles established many decades ago.

      A few of my favorite marketing books include The Ultimate Sales Letter by Dan Kennedy, Advertising Secrets of the Written Word by Joe Sugarman, Breakthrough Advertising by Eugene Schwartz, Tested Advertising Methods by John Caples, Ogilvy on Advertising by David Ogilvy, Magic Words That Bring You Riches by Ted Nicholas and How to Write a Good Advertisement by Victor O. Schwab.

      If you can’t find these books at your local library, you can pick them up for just a few dollars on Amazon.

      6. Apply What You Learn

      It’s not enough to just read the classics, you have to apply what you learn. Otherwise, what’s the point? That means reading the books more than once – several times if necessary.

      Actually, you should read the books as many times as it takes for the information to sink in and become second nature to you.

      You should also take copious notes, and practice writing ads over and over and over again. You should give yourself regular written exams on the information in the books, and each time you test yourself, your goal should be to score 100%.

      Sounds like hard work, doesn’t it? It is. The question is how hard are you willing to work to get what you want?

      7. Monetize Your Website

      There are a number of ways that you can monetize your website – from selling advertising on your site to affiliate programs. My preferred method is affiliate programs.

      Why? Because affiliate programs are completely hands-off for you. No billing, no inventory, no hassles. You simply choose from among the thousands of affiliate programs available on the Internet, select your program of interest, and promote the living daylights out of it. Then take your checks to the bank…that’s it.

      8. Take Your Income to the Next Level

      Once you start making $50 per month with affiliate programs, build another website, and start promoting another affiliate program. And when that website starts making $50, build another website and another and another.

      Why? Because if you have 10 websites making $50 per month, that’s a monthly income of $500. And therein lies the secret to making money on the Internet.

      Why beat yourself up trying to make hundreds – or even thousands of dollars with a single website? Take the path of least resistance. Build a bunch of websites that make just $50 per month. If you can build fifty websites in a year, that’s a monthly income of $2500, or $30,000 a year.

      Does your current job pay that much? And the beauty of this method is you can keep giving yourself a raise. If you build another fifty websites the following year, you just doubled your income to $5,000 per month.

      And if you can build another fifty websites the following year, you just tripled your income to $7500 per month.

      The key to making this method work is building simple, low-maintenance websites. Just add content once or twice a month, and forget about them.

      Think it can’t be done? Think again. I’m doing it, and so are thousands of other smart and resourceful entrepreneurs.

      9. What About Content?

      The key to having a website that other websites want to link to is having quality, content that is relevant to the overall theme of your website. You can either produce the content yourself, import it from somewhere else, or a combination of both.

      If you elect to import your content from somewhere else, you can either use free content from article directories like EzineArticles, or you can purchase PLR articles, which I don’t recommmend.

      Why? Because hundreds of other people purchased the exact same PLR package as you. So those articles have to be completely rewritten, which is a time-consuming process.

      Whichever way you choose to go, just remember, it’s important to have lots and lots of relevant content on your website.

      How much content? The more the better. After all, the more content you have on your website, the more often your visitors will return to read that content.

      10. Build Your Website

      Okay, now that you’ve properly laid the foundation for success, it’s time to build your website. The type of website you build will again depend on the amount of money you have to play around with.

      I have a bunch of websites that I paid absolutely nothing for. And I have websites that I paid hundreds of dollars for. My recommendation: If you don’t have to spend money on a website, don’t.

      Nowadays, it’s not necessary to spend a lot of money to get a decent looking website.

      But whatever you do, be sure to purchase your own domain name. You definitely don’t want the name Blogspot, WordPress or Homestead in your domain name. It just looks amateurish.

      I buy most of my domains through NetworkSolutions.com, because I’ve been using them for years, and I’m comfortable with them. Their domains cost a lot more, but they more than make up for it with great customer service.

      That’s something you just can’t put a price on. That being said, I’ve also purchased $10 domain names from GoDaddy without any problems.

      One last thing, don’t beat your brains out worrying about SEO. Just make sure your primary keywords appear in your title tag, and you’ll be just fine.

      Use SEO Strategies to Increase Web Traffic

      posted by Web_University @ 8:00 AM
      Monday, October 4, 2010

      Use SEO Strategies to Increase Web Traffic

      Every new technology adopted widely by society brings about a number of new opportunities. The movable type printing press created affordable print information, the telephone and radio created the concept of instantaneous communication over great distances. Today, the Internet has unified both of these concepts into the information explosion that is the digital age.

      Consider this article alone – a mere forty years ago printing even fifty copies of each page would cost either a chunk of change or at least a suspicious look from the boss as you hovered over the office copier. Now the information can be sent to thousands of people within the time it takes to brew a good cup of tea.

      Of course with every technology comes a system to make the best marketing use of that advancement. The radio gave rise to the modern commercial advertisement, which was refined by the television and still persists on the Web. The telephone gave us telemarketers and the first concept of communication networking. For making the most of the Internet, the strategy of the day is Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

      What is SEO, again?

      In short, SEO is the presentation of a webpage in such a way that it consistently ranks highly in particular search engine results. While fads and sensations can quickly boom online from “word of mouth,” they don’t produce the same reliable success as a balanced, systematic approach.

      Very few businesses, after all, want one rush of attention that leads to a website crash, followed by an equally quick slide into the various forgotten graveyards of the web. Therefore, SEO uses a combination of elements to make the site increasingly relevant to the various searches that Internet users perform, to bring it up again and again among the best results.

      Key SEO Strategies

      1. Set goals.

      Identify what you want your SEO campaign to accomplish. While any SEO-conscious writing and page design can contribute to a site’s search engine rankings, an unfocused effort will simply waste time and money. After all, a business promoting athletic clothing and footwear may not benefit too much from showing up in searches for evening wear. Is your goal simply to increase your site’s visitor traffic? Do you want to generate more sales of a product? Is it part of an effort to promote your digital brand? Each of these goals benefits from different aspects of SEO technique.

      2. Link up.

      Link building is one of the cornerstones of any SEO effort. Many search engines are spider-based, meaning they use automated processes to collect and categorize information on various websites. When a large number of websites provide links back to your business, or when a particularly high-traffic site does so, the spiders take notice of it and increase the relevance of that link in searches related to those sites.

      3. Get the keys.

      Keyword writing is consistently stressed as a requirement when websites look for content writers. Keywords are just that, words and phrases chosen for their popularity and relevance to key searches.

      There are dozens of theories about keyword writing. In the earlier days of SEO writing, it wasn’t uncommon to see pages that were nothing but long strings of repeated variations on a few keywords. This has evolved into more organic writing that fits in keywords with the article as a whole.

      Whichever strategy is chosen, care must be taken to avoid the temptation to abuse keyword searches. Yes, a proper keyword density will bring up your search rankings over time. However, Google can and does ban pages from its index when they determine it to be a keyword-abusing effort. So consider your keyword choices carefully, and seamlessly integrate them into your entire strategy.

      4. Be on the right page.

      One aspect occasionally neglected in SEO is the architecture and design of the webpage itself. Search engines and their ranking systems (be they spider or human based) are growing more sophisticated all the time, and look at many different factors in their decisions. A site that buries its keyword-rich articles on interior pages behind dozens of subsidiary links will not perform as well as one with strategic keyword-oriented material right on the front page. Have an SEO-conscious designer look over your page, as well as your articles.

      Remember that every business is a multi-faceted whole. Many failures occur when people attempt to compartmentalize too much. You can’t consider SEO as some sort of ‘event’ that you do every so often, just as a business can’t put off routine maintenance of their equipment and expect it to function properly. Integrate your efforts into the entire process, and give them the same focus as any other effort in the business, and they will return their investment much more reliably, quickly, and ideally.

      Do You Want the Top Spot on Google? Find Out How

      posted by Web_University @ 8:00 AM
      Sunday, October 3, 2010

      Do You Want the Top Spot on Google? Find Out How

      Every website is battling for the top spot in Google’s search results page, and to do that you have to optimize your website for Google. Optimization requires continually improving your site’s content. Even though Yahoo and Bing simply search the tag structures in HTML, Google uses a trickier, and somewhat clandestine, method to determine top spot.

      Google looks for websites that continually provide fresh and relevant content. Since Google has such strict guidelines for top spot, it requires web page owners to continually work on keeping their page’s content fresh and relevant to hold a top spot in the list.

      Keywords and Phrases

      Google looks for phrases and keywords as it is assessing a site. It evaluates a site’s content, and looks for phrases that match a particular search term. If say, a visitor is looking for ‘boat repair’ Google will display pages where that keyword shows up several of times in the body of the page. So when you are optimizing your web page, you should concentrate on phrases rather than single words. Now that you know Google is looking for a particular phrase you do not want to go crazy with that phrase on a page either, because this is know as keyword stuffing. Be careful with keyword phrases–if Google sees too many of them, they will lower your page in the search engine rankings.

      The Title Tag

      The title tag is important and is unique to each page in a website. The tag can be found on the browser’s title bar. It is also used by Googlebot to see what the page contents are going to be. Google then looks at the page contents and evaluates if the two match, and this helps determine page relevance. Since Google looks at each page in a domain, many sites dynamically generate page titles with an introduction text appended to the company name.

      Anchor Text

      When you add link tags to your page, this is anchor text. Take care to be precise in your anchor test by using relevant phrases for prominent links on your page. Google is looking for specific link information, so the more specific that you can be the better. If you focus on your site’s keyword terms and make sure that these are always in line with your content, you will make Google’s assessment of your site easy. Google is generous with its link limits saying that no more than 100 links should ever appear on a web page.

      Header Tags

      Header tags are HTML page elements coded “”, and they provide a bold heading on the page. The headers tell Google what the purpose of the page is, and the title tag tells it the purpose of the website. You should have a header tag on each page.

      Quality Content

      The last thing that Google is looking for is unique content. Google’s customers are your website visitors, and when Google returns a search list, they want their customers to be happy. So you are helping Google as it is helping your. New content and keyword phrases help you get to the top of Google’s search list. So if you have bad content – either plagiarized, badly written or irrelevant content – Google is
      not interested in you. Make sure to follow Google guidelines, or Google will blacklist your domain and not link to it at all.

      Optimize Your Website for Google and Make it Readable

      By complying with the guidelines that Google has set out for page ranking, you can set your page up to show up at the top of the search list. By continually adding new content,
      Google will mark your page as a good one to return to its customer. However, you must always make sure that you site is aesthetically pleasing and readable by a human, because the point of why you optimize your website for Google, is to attract new visitors to your page to increase your company’s market share.

      Optimize PDF Files for Maximum SEO Performance

      posted by Web_University @ 8:00 AM
      Saturday, October 2, 2010

      Optimize PDF Files for Maximum SEO Performace

      A PDF file can be in the form of an eBook, technical document or a brochure. Most of the search engines can read the content and index the PDF files. Currently, there are a number of well optimized PDF files which rank well and are a source of traffic for their website. Listed below are some tips for optimizing PDFs:

      1. Use a Text Based PDF Creator:
      There are a lot free tools available online with Adobe Acrobat being the best text based PDF creator. If a PDF document is created in an image based program, the search engines will completely ignore it. If the PDF is created using a text based creator like Adobe acrobat, the search engine robots will read and index the text like any other web page.

      2. Update the Document Title:
      The title of the PDF file is as important as the title tag of a web page. The PDF title property tells the search engine robots about the type of content. The most important aspect of the title is that Google uses the text in the title field as the link in the search engine result pages. Thus, the title field should be keyword rich and should not contain random text.

      3. Complete the document properties:
      A PDF file contains many document properties apart from the title field. These are keywords, description, author info, copyright info etc. All the fields must be completed with relevant information. The keyword field should not be stuffed with keywords or remain empty. It has not been proven that the search engines give importance to the keyword field in the document properties. If in future they do, your PDF file will have an advantage over other web pages.

      4. Link to the PDF File from the Homepage:
      The Searchbots will not discover and index the PDF file if it is placed too deep within the website. To ensure that the PDF file gets crawled by the search engines, it should be visibly linked from the home page or any other page which gets crawled regularly. If your aim is to get the PDF in top search engine result pages, then you have to lead the searchbots to it.

      5. Optimize the content in the PDF File:
      The content in the text based PDF files is similar to the content in a website. This makes content optimization an important aspect in optimization of PDF files. The content should be relevant to the subject matter. Important text should be highlighted by increasing their font size and utilizing the bold and italics features of the PDF files. Keywords should be placed in the first few lines of the content.

      6. Place Links in the PDF File:
      When a visitor opens a PDF file ranking in the top search engine results page, there should be a provision in the file to link back to its original website. This action reduces the efforts of the visitor to hunt for the main website. Also, a link from the PDF file can be considered as a backlink by the search engine.

      A PDF file is similar to a web page in an assortment of aspects. It should be optimized with as much care as a web page to achieve high rankings.

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