April 7, 2011

10 Reasons People Hate Your Website

There are a variety of reasons why a website does not behave how it should and oftentimes website owners are not really aware of all of the possibilities that could slow down the growth of their website over time.

Here are my top 10 reasons people hate your website:

1. Too many Google Ads: Trying to monetize your site is perfectly fine, but covering the entire homepage with Google ads is not going to make you successful.
2. Poor Load Time: You don’t want your audience to sit there for a minute because the load time of your website is very slow. They will leave.
3. Poor Graphics: Your graphics need to appeal to your audience and if yours do not you might get people leaving your website fairly quickly.
4. Confusing Layout: Your website needs to lead your traffic down a path and a confusing layout might turn them off or really confuse them.
5. Poor Navigation: Your website navigation should be laid out thoroughly and in a fashion that is not confusing to your audience.
6. Too Much SEO: Nobody wants to view a website that has more links than content so make sure that it is first readable by your audience before you SEO it to death.
7. No Blog: Believe it or not there are certain people that will not engage with your website if it doesn’t have a blog.
8. Lack of Contact Info: Visible contact info is something that allows website visitors to feel warm and fuzzy in order to make further contact with your company.
9. Broken Links: Always make sure that the links on your website are working and not broken. People really don’t like clicking on links that lead them to nowhere.
10. Lack of Information: Your website should have the proper information to answer any of your website visitor’s questions. A lack of information could cause them to go elsewhere.

Make sure that you go through your website with a fine toothed comb and clean up any of these Website Building 101 concerns that sometimes plague website owners from growing their business well into the future. Make sure that people do not HATE your website!

March 24, 2011

Tips To Avoid Mistakes While Dealing With Link Building

It has been seen that people tend to make many mistakes while making efforts to boost up the page rank of their respective websites.

Such mistakes are pretty common mistakes and made by almost everybody who tries to up lift the page rank. It is very important to learn from those mistakes and never repeat them. Here are some important Search engine optimization mistakes one must always avoid.

Excess use of Keyword:
It is very important to use keyword as they help achieving optimization as per the search engine requirement. But one must avoid excessive use of keywords. It is a misconception that if keyword is used many times it will result in better page rank. It is advisable to keep in mind that search engines do not blindly follow the keywords they have set algorithm to track the genuine contents. There is a possibility of getting penalized with excessive keyword use. if you wish to have better rank and good optimization in terms of search engines then always use fresh content with appropriate use of key words.

Index without Page rank:
It is a wide spread misconception among people that if page is indexed then its page rank will automatically get increased by search engine. What they fail to realize that there are some very basic optimization techniques which can help increasing page rank. How ever hard you try to make your site better to get higher page rank but if it is not optimized properly then you will never get the desired results.

Social media is not enough:
Over the years social networking sites have gained tremendous popularity, they are not only famous but carry millions of fan following as well, for example face book, orkut and twitter. Major reason for such massive spread is that they hit the target bang on right and sing the right chord of emotions. They play good role getting traffic but not good for back links. They ends up getting you no follow back links. Thus start looking for more meaningful sources to get good traffic and back links.

Unethical link building:
there is no short cut to success. Always avoid unethical promoters who promise you to get fast and useful links in jiffy. You may encounter sudden rise in page rank due to links but they are unethical links could result is penalizing your site or permanently banning it.

March 18, 2011

SEO Tips - SEO Secrets

1. Before You Start SEO

Before you start doing SEO, there are some important things to always keep in mind.

: Keywords. Remember that it all starts with keywords. Do a proper keyword research before you put your time and effort (and sometimes money) into SEO. Preferably, you should test your target keywords with PPC to make sure there's traffic you expect and if it's a good traffic (if it converts). Also keep in mind that you should target one keyword per page unless they are very tightly related.

2: Content is key in SEO. So what if you do a great job to rank a page with crappy content and the visitors immediately click the back button after seeing your site. Google tracks the CTR and time spent on your site and if these indicators are very low, you will not hold on to your rankings for long. Worse yet, if your site looks spammy, the folks from Google may manually remove your site from their index at all.

On the other hand, if your content is great, people will naturally link to you, thus increasing your rankings even more without you having to do anything. What you should strive for is to be better than your competitors on the first page of Google by providing better content than they do. I can't stress enough the importance of this. If you don't have good content, don't even start SEO.

2. What is SEO?

I'll assume that you know what is SEO (otherwise you wouldn't have found this report) and make it quick, if just to be sure that we're on the same page.
Search Engine Optimization is a method of manipulating search engine results to rank your pages higher and get more traffic. While most experts categorize SEO to black hat and white hat (sometimes gray hat), I would argue that all SEO is equal. The difference is how you get back-links – whether you spam or not. In this report I will not teach you to spam and stick to what is called white hat SEO (with a little bit of grey hat for that extra flavor ;))
There's on page SEO and off page SEO. The former is what you do on your website to increase your rankings (that is, your content and site structure), the latter is link building.

3.On Page SEO

There are just a few elements of on page SEO, and they arguably have little influence to your rankings (as opposed to back-links), however they are so easy to implement that there's no reason not to. These are the musts to have on your page:

Page title – make sure to have your keyword in the title while also making it attractive to the user. There's no use of a listing if nobody's gonna click it. Think of it as an ad headline.

Meta description – while it doesn't have a direct impact on your rankings, it's important to have an attractive description because that's what the users will see. In other words, it's your ad. Make sure to have the keyword here too, otherwise the search engines will not display it.

H1  heading  –  make  sure  to  have  the  keyword  in  the  heading  (<h1>  tag)

because structurally it tells what the page is about and it makes easier for the search engines to understand what your page is about. While you can rank a page relatively easy even without h1 tags, let's not make it harder than it has to be.

The content – make sure to mention the keyword in your content. The rule of thumb is to let the copy flow naturally without worrying about keyword density. If you are worried, include the keyword near the beginning of the content, once or twice in the middle (depending on the length) and near the end.

Website Structure – your website must have a logical structure and has to be easy to navigate. A quick and dirty solution without having to worry about it is using Wordpress. Here are some guidelines for your site's structure:

•Identify categories. Preferably they should be keywords (use a keyword tool for ideas). Each category should be listed in a sidebar or a menu.
•If there are a lot of categories and it makes sense, you can have sub-categories. However, try to limit the level to 1 (i.e. Sub-categories without further sub-categories within them).

•A currently opened category should list all pages under it. If there are too many pages to list, implement pagination. The links to the pages must have the target keywords as anchor text.

•The most important pages should be listed in the menu or sidebar on every page of the site. That way you make use the ranking power of the site itself to increase the rankings of those pages.

•Always link back to the home page with the main keyword as anchor text (as opposed to “Home” - unless you want to rank for the keyword “home”).

Age of your domain – this is perhaps the most significant on-page SEO factor that can help with your rankings by itself. The website's age is one of the most important factors that Google takes into account as well as it allows you to be more aggressive with link building. So when starting a new site, look for old domain on auction. There are several domain auctions out there ( Go Daddy  Auctions,  Snapnames,  Pool,  Namejet – to name a few). And there are thousands

upon thousands of expired domains in different niches that you can buy for as little as $10. I recommend doing this for any new project you do as it will help your SEO a lot.

4. Off Page SEO (Link Building)

Now this is where the magic happens. If we take the on page SEO for granted, all SEO can be summed up into getting as many quality links as needed. As such, all SEO tips and techniques come down to link building.

But first, let me define what is a quality back-link. There are 2 important factors as far as votes for your page (i.e. links from other sites):
1. Importance
2. Relevance

An important note is that at least as of writing this relevance is not that important of a factor and links that are considered important, still help your ranking regardless of the relevance of the page they're on. However, many experts believe that Google is moving towards relevance and it makes sense to aim for relevant back-links. Another reason why it makes sense is that you're likely to get more direct traffic from relevant sites than irrelevant.

The importance of a page is simply defined by PageRank. The higher it is, the more important the page is. Note that there's a common misconception to assume a home page PageRank of a site to be the PageRank of the whole site. There's no such thing and every single page has its own PageRank. So just because you get a link from a random page without a PR on a site with a high home page PR, doesn't mean you get any benefit from it. That doesn't mean that you don't get it either, but you should always look for the PR of that particular page and not other pages.
Also, keep in mind that the PR you see in Google Toolbar, is not an actual PR and is rather a snapshot of the actual PR at some time in the past. This snapshot is updated every few months. That means a page with a PR may have a different PR in reality, and more importantly, a page without a PR may actually have one.

Here are the guidelines you must follow when getting backlinks:

•Never SPAM. Nobody likes spammers and you should not be one when building links. While technically only e-mail spam is illegal, that doesn't mean you should spam forums, blogs and other sites. If a website doesn't want to have your links – don't push them.

•Make sure the page has a PR. However, even if it doesn't, still consider getting the link as it may have a PR in the future. A rule of thumb here is to consider where in the hierarchy of the website the page is. If it's a page linked from the home page, for example, it's likely that it does have a PR and is important. On the other hand, if the page is some obscure page that is hard to find without having its url, you should probably not bother with it.

•Pay attention to other outgoing links. Your link shares the PR with other outgoing links on the same page, so the less of them there are, the better. Avoid pages with 100s of outgoing links, as you will get little benefit from them and Google might consider it a link farm (a “bad neighborhood”) and in extreme cases decrease your rankings by a notch rather than increasing them. However, don't worry too much about it as bad incoming links rarely have significant negative influence (otherwise anyone would be able to sabotage their competitors by simply building some bad links for them).

•Try to get links closer to the top of the page (preferably in-content) rather than the footer or sidebar. While it doesn't have such a huge impact, it can have a slightly better effect.

Where to Get Backlinks?

Here are most of the places you need to know:

•You can get some, what I call, “filler links” (links of lower quality) from article
directories, Web 2.0 sites, social bookmarks, blog comments, forum posts, classified ads, press releases, videos, etc. But again, don't spam. To be safe, stick to just article directories. All of these sites give you only low importance back-links so it's natural to post low quality content. However if you do so, you end up spamming. That's a big no-no and the benefit you get is little. Instead, you should use these sites to market your site, but that's a subject for another repot.

•Use your other sites! I can't believe how often this method is overlooked but it is. To tell you a secret, I've grown to have so many sites that I can rank for most keywords I want just by linking back from them. Linking to yourself is natural thing to do and even Google agrees with that. An important point to note is that if you create sites for SEO purposes (and you should do it ;)) you should use different hosts/IPs as much as possible. Google “seo hosting” for more information.

•You can buy high PR links. Keep in mind that this is considered as a no-no by Google and they recommend against it as well as may ban your site if they catch you. On the other hand, you can buy links for traffic and nobody can enforce the site that sells you the link to use the nofollow attribute. If you can get both, traffic and SEO benefit, why not!

•You can exchange links. If you do it, use the 3 way exchange. That is, you get someone to link to you, but instead of linking back to them from the same site, you link from another. This is to avoid the reciprocal linking which search engines de-value. Keep in mind that like buying links, exchanging links is also “grey-hat”.

•Buy other websites. If you don't have other websites yourself, buy them. While high traffic websites are expensive, you can find some low traffic websites with a good PR that would sell for cheap.

•Buy expired domains. You don't even have to buy a whole website, just a domain with age and PR is even cheaper and will have the same effect once you rebuild the site. You can retain the PR of an expired domain if you rebuild it as soon as you get it transferred to you. This is a very advanced technique so I suggest you to find more information about buying domains if you decide to try doing it.

•Guest posting can be a great source for high quality links as well as traffic. There are many high profile blogs in any niche and many of them are more than welcome to publish guest posts. You can find them on Google by searching for “write for us”, “guest post” and similar phrases. The key to keep in mind here is the quality of the content you can provide them.

•Release a free Wordpress theme. You don't have to know anything about design, just pay someone to do it and include your link in the footer. Submit the theme to several theme directories you can find on Google. Now anyone who uses it will automatically give you a back-link. You can release any theme or script this way but the reason I've chosen Wordpress themes is because the use of WP is growing every day and there are thousands of people looking for free themes – it's a great way to get potentially thousands of decent quality links. The only limitation is that you can only do it with web design/marketing related sites.

5. Step-by-Step SEO

All this theory is great, but how on earth do you implement it? Let me break down my SEO process in simple steps:

1.Choose the keyword and publish the content on your website

2.Make sure the on page SEO is right (chapter 3)

3.Submit a few articles to article directories to get some “filler” back-links, submit your site to RSS directories (if your site has an RSS feed)

4.Get one quality back-link using one of the methods form chapter 4 and see what effect it has (may have to wait a week or so to see it)

5.Get more “filler” backlinks (best to optimize it with all those blog networks and similar link building services)

6.Get quality links one by one and monitor the results until you get the desired position (#1 probably). To get an idea of how many and what PR links you will need, you can research your competition to see what links they have using a tool like Market Samurai or SEO Elite

7.Once you're in the position you want just continue to build “filler” links and don't get any more quality links unless you fall lower (in other words, be efficient with your resources and avoid over-optimization).

Usually if the keyword has a relatively easy competition (500k or so) just a couple of high quality links will get you to the first page (yes, it's that easy when you do it right). For higher competition, you just have to keep building high quality links and be patient.