Torpedo and Sink the Ship SS Search Engine Ranking
I was recently contacted by one of my best clients who askedme what I thought of his decision to make a major change toone of his highly ranked pages. His initial concern was thatvisitor sales conversion ratio was low. At almost one percent,it was just below normal, but I'm always happy when a clientwants to improve. Conversion and rankings though, are verydifferent beasts and his concern was overly focused on theformer to the total exclusion of the latter.
As his SEO I should have realized that the top rankings ofthis already optimized page were in danger when his firstsentence referred to the existing "Dusty, tired old page, thatjust isn't getting enough sales." That page had just beenoptimized for search engines about 6 months previously, andwent from page 10 (invisible) or so of the Search EngineResults Pages (SERP's) to the top three on the first pages ofall three major search engines virtually overnight after a fewtweaks to gain traction from a popular movie reference to hisproduct.
The page had been up for several years before the movierelease without gaining substantial web sales of that sameproduct, but our optimization six months ago lead to a leap insales and consistently improving page visits after thattheatrical release. But sales plateaued over time and slowlydecreased after the movie which had mentioned his producttransitioned to DVD sales. Somehow he hadn't forseen thatdecrease and wanted to continue the level of sales he hadenjoyed while the movie mention was fresh.
To achieve the continued sales though, he wanted to completelyreplace the page text with new material he'd been given by themanufacturer of the product. As is the case with marketingmaterial provided by many companies, keyword density wasnon-existent with emphasis was on slick new photos, coveredwith stylized, graphical text. Text with keywords thatcouldn't be repeated in any page text since they had alreadybeen embedded in the image graphics several times.
What to do? I suggested creating an entirely NEW page with themanufacturer provided information linked within his site menulinks on each page and from the sitemap. While maintaining theold page for it's top rankings in the search engines we couldsimply use internal linking to keep the search enginescrawling that (old dusty) fully optimized page. That way wewould still rank in the top 5 for that page and it's covetedkeywords and provide the new conversion focused page to sitevisitors from the menu links.
For some reason though, the client insisted on using theexisting filename for the new content and moving the oldcontent to a NEW filename! Why? Because he wouldn't have tohave his programmer change a script which loaded a rotatingbanner to a select few highly trafficked pages. The programmercosts too much to change a few lines of code for a profitableproduct page?
This tactic meant that we would completely lose the existingrank on the next visit of the search engine crawlers after thenew page was posted. I was convinced that we could gain therank back, but only over time and with substantial extra work.The cost to the client to get a new page into the top five onSERP's was going to exceed the cost of programming updates ofbanner rotation scripts. But he insisted we use the newmanufacturer provided (image only) content on the oldfilename. OK, I relent.
The web designer wanted to use the new manufacturer providedpage in an iframe and embed the old page text in noframes tags- making it visible to search engines, but not visitors. Sillyidea and borderline spam technique that may drop our top fiverankings off the charts. I dug my heals in and refused thatidea.
The client suggested simply keeping previous metatags andtitle tag to maintain ranking. Sorry, that simply won't work.If it did, we'd return to the bad old days of simplistickeyword stuffing in those (no longer) magical metatags. Istarted to wonder ... "Am I here as an SEO only to stopdesigners from using SE spamming techniques, programmers fromhaving to write new code and clients from doing absurd keywordstuffing in metatags?"
No you actually have to use carefully crafted keyword richtext on the visible page - and NOT embedded in graphics filesas text painted across photos with photoshop and illustratorsoftware. Search engines can't read text on images and thatimage "Alt" text in the HTML is no longer useful in SEO sinceit has been so badly abused by simplistic optimizers forranking gains before the search engines began to ignore it intheir ranking algorithm.
The new page may initially see sales increases due to thepretty new photos (there is zero text on that new page) butafter a long series of email exchanges with this client and afinal phone discussion over ranking issues, he proceeded withthis change anyway. I normally don't hope for poor rankings onclient pages, but since this one runs counter to every fiberof my SEO being, I'm actually looking forward to that torpedostriking and the ranking to sink off the charts and the clientto pay attention to his SEO's advice.
The old page is still showing up in cached pages at the searchengines, so they haven't yet crawled the new version. I willdutifully point out the sinking of the venerable "SS SearchEngine Ranking" ship next week when Googlebot revisits thisclient site and finds all that text has disappeared from hispreviously #1 ranked page and suggest to him that he reviewhis WebTrends traffic reports to see that it has settled tothe bottom of the ocean.
I guess I better get busy finding a way to rank the previous(old optimized) page on the brand new shiny filename. Won't hebe surprised to learn that most of his sales come from that(newly named) "old dusty page" within a few weeks?
Copyright © September 3, 2005
Have you done anything to torpedo and sink your ship "SSSearch Engine Rankings" lately? Call me at 562-572-9702 if youneed a salvage operation to raise that venerable ship from thebottom of the vast search engine rankings ocean. http://www.seoptimism.com/SEO_Contact.htmMike Banks Valentine operates the article distribution sitehttp://Publish101.com and a Small Business EcommerceTutorial for Web Entreprenuers at http://WebSite101.com
Search Engine Optimization Strategies To Drive More Targeted Traffic To Your Website
Want to drive more targeted traffic to your web site?
A Classified Way To Drive Business To Your Web Site
There are more than 105 million of them in the United States. Worldwide, there could be at least 250 million of them. Them, according to statistics from the Nielsen/Net Ratings service, is the number of active Web surfers. 250 million in the whole world? The figure is more than the populations of Canada, Australia, Great Britain, and a few non-English speaking countries combined. That's a lot of them!
Is Something Missing From Your Keywords Research? (Part 2)
In my previous article, I raised the issue that proper keyword research must take into account countries. The reason for that was that the demand for keywords can vary between countries. I gave examples of that fact using the Overture keyword tool.
Forget SEO ? It?s All About Conversion!
Which SEO hat do you wear? Is it white or black? Or perhaps it's a subtle shade of gray. Well, wherever you are on this spectrum, if you are like 99% of the SEO-fixated webmasters out there, you are doing all you can to get visitors to your site. Where you used to optimize your keywords meta tags, you now worry about anchor text and XML site maps.So, you finesse your site, schmooze the algorithm du jour and begin to climb the slippery search engine rankings pole. But this is where you have to leave your SEO tricks behind and start thinking conversion.Whoa there! Conversion? That's all about making sales on shopping sites. My site's a forum! I don't sell anything. What has conversion got to do with me?Everything, my friend. Everything?.SERP ConversionYou want visitors to come your site, right? That's why you climb greasy SERP pole, after all. (And why you lay awake at night wondering when the next Florida, Hilltop or Bourbon algorithm earthquake is going to hit.) But what does it matter if you reach the peak, but no one clicks through to your site anyway?The fact is that you have to convert prospective visitors even before they arrive. You have to pique their interest, tweak their curiosity and make sure they click your link and not the other guy's. And all you have to use are words. No technical tricks will help you now ? your only tools are plain ol' words.The SERPs will show words from two of three places. Two of these you can control and one you can't:1.Your title tag.2.Your meta description tag.3.A directory description.(For example, Google is known to use DMOZ descriptions in their SERPs, and Yahoo uses their directory descriptions in theirs.)Now, there's not much you can do about how Yahoo or DMOZ editors describe your site, so don't worry about number 3. But do what you can do: Place your value propositions clearly in 1 and 2, and use them to lure searchers into your website.So you have to convert people before they even get to your site. But that's not all?. You want them to stay, right?Flash ConversionNo, this has nothing to do with being blinded by bright lights on the road to Damascus. Nor am I telling you to go and make a 100% animated website.This "flash" is that split second, that tiny window of opportunity that opens up when a searcher arrives at your site and decides whether they have actually found what they are looking for? or not.Typically, you'll have a couple of seconds to persuade the new visitor to stay and hang out. That's all you get. It's the ultimate in speed-dating. So, how do you wow your "date"? Do you show him a page of scraped "content" interspersed with Adsense ads? Not if you want this to be a lasting relationship.Follow these tips and be sure to impress your "date":1. Have a clear themeRanking high for "blue widgets"? Then be sure your visible title, copy and images are clearly focused on them.2. Have a clean designImagine you are taking a first date to a movie. Do you pick her up wearing your pajamas in a dirty, trash-filled car? Or do you clean the car, wash your face and dress to impress? Of course you want to impress her, so you make sure you look (and smell) good. It's the same with your site: Clean design, a nice text size and pages that don't scroll from here to eternity are going to float your first-time visitor-date's boat.3. Write clearly and focus on your "date"Waffle on about yourself and your date will get bored. She wants you to be interested in her. And in terms of your site, that means giving her what she wants to know as quickly and succinctly as possible. This comes down to your ability to write and communicate. So, if you are like Steve Martin in "Roxanne", make sure you get a someone else (a copywriter) to compose the lines to wow your "date" for you.OK, so let's say you have successfully wooed your first-time visitor date. He's here and he has decided to stick around. You're going steady, getting to know each other a little more. That's all you want, isn't it?No, it isn't! You want to pop the question, of course!Getting hitchedYou've made all this effort and spent money on getting your "date" this far, so you want to get the most out of your investment, right? You want to hear those sweet words, "I do":I do? want to click your Adsense ads. I do? want to become a forum member. I do? want to buy that cool digital thingy.So how do you turn a whirlwind romance into a successful proposal? Try these ideas for size:Have clear navigationYou want to make your date dizzy with excitement, not frustration! Make sure you have clear, consistent, well-labeled navigation and make your visitor-date's time with you a pleasure, and not a reason to reach for the Advil.Have a clear propositionWhat do you want your visitor to do? Buy something? Sign up for something? Join something? Whatever the point of your site is, it does have a point, right? So don't beat about the bush, and don't hold back waiting for the right moment: Make your "proposal", and make it clear and direct.Happily Ever After?You thought that was the end of the story? Wait a minute, it's not over yet! I thought you were in this for a long-term relationship, not a one night stand? I know, you were thinking that having made all that effort while you were dating, you could ease off now that you're "married". But don't you know that the real rewards start here?So what are the secrets of a long, blissful relationship with your visitors?1. Feed them!You convinced him to come visit once. But how often will he come back if all you give him are the same old leftovers? Cook him up something juicy and delicious, and have him salivating for more:Enliven your content with new, relevant pages and, not only will you set the search engine robots drooling, but you will also find you have a hoard of visitors coming back for seconds. And in this age of fast-(visitor)-food creation tools called blogs, there's really no excuse anymore.2. Shower them with giftsEveryone likes a gift - and not just on birthdays, anniversaries and at Christmas:Money talks, and if you are selling anything through your site, then discounts and other offers to previous visitors and customers will draw them back like magnets. Throw in tempting freebies as well and you will have a potent marketing mix.3. Send them "love" lettersAnyone who has been in a long-distance relationship (like my wife and I were for a year and a half), knows that if you can't be together, the next best thing is a letter or email. For your website, this means an interesting ezine that is light on sales pitch and rich in information.4. Start a family!Not literally! But you can create a "family" atmosphere by adding a forum where your visitors can interact with each other ? not just with you and your site. People are social animals, so use a forum to keep them coming back.OK, so perhaps I overstated it a little in my title. SEO is not dead, so don't forget about it quite yet. Just remember that it will only get you so far: If you want to actually achieve anything with your site, then you need to focus on conversion like a laser.
Do Not Ever Link to a Site Without Doing This First!
Links are a crucial part of attaining high search rankings, but you must be very careful about to whom you link. I'm going to help you develop a simple link strategy for your website that will help you decide which sites to link to so you're making your way up the search engine rankings and not accidentally hurling yourself backwards.
Using Blogs for SEO
Why Start A Blog?
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SEO #1: Choosing THE Keywords to Optimize for
This is the first lesson out of 6 that teaches you the most important elements of search engine optimization. You should read one of these 6 courses EVERY day so that you can have enough time to "digest" all the information and put them to the test. Now today is DAY #1 and I will start with the first course on the list:
How Search Engines Work
Before anyone can start optimizing a web site, you must understand how search engines work.
Thanks to a unique algorithm that produces most relevant results to any given query, Google has become, indisputably, the best search engine on the Internet. On the last count, Google has indexed over 4 billion pages and tackles around 200 million searches a day! A cluster of 100 thousand servers are used to store, crunch and spew out the query results with lightning speed that you are so accustomed to see.
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In parts 1 - 5 you learnt how to develop your proposition, identify your key words and optimize your site and pages. You were also introduced to our mythical Doug (who sells antique doors, door handles, knockers, door bells or pulls and fitting services) in Windsor in the UK.
Arrogant Overture Placing Greed Ahead Of Their Customers Needs
According to the dictionary, the definition of the word "overture" is as follows:
SEOing A Flash Intro
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A good portion of my business involves spending hours and hours using incredibly powerful but difficult to master software to uncover thousands of the exact, targeted keyword phrases people in any given niche market are typing into the search engines.
Good Content: The Key To Search Engine Ranking
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Twelve Steps to Higher Search Engine Placement
Recent studies suggest that more than 80% of new visitors to any web site get there as a result of a search engine query. If this study is to believed, it certainly suggests that working to get high rankings in the search engines might be the most effective thing you can do to bring traffic to your site.
How to Create Killer Keywords to Get FREE Traffic to Your Website
When exploring good keyword choices there are several steps one must consider. The most important step is putting your self in the shoes of the type of customer you want to target. Just make a list of the keywords or phrases you think that customer would enter into a search engine or directory when searching for your company or site. A good tool is WordTracker.com which will help you brainstorm different key phrases. Ask friends and associates which words they would use to search for your site on the internet, if they were looking for a site similar to yours.
Search Engines from a Webmaster Perspective
By now, virtually every webmaster has heard or read that the major search engines are responsible for 80% or more of the traffic received by most web sites and that most searchers never look beyond the first 20 - 50 search results. Not surprisingly, an entire industry devoted to search engine ranking and search engine optimization (SEO) has sprung up to capitalize on these well known facts.
Promoting Home Business: Tips to Increase Web Site Sales
You've selected an appropriate Online Business Opportunity. That is not ALL!
Do Search Engines Like Your Web Site?
Between 75% and 98.8% of visitors to Web sites come from searches made at search engines. If you're going to get high levels of traffic - and hence the levels of ROI you're looking for - it's very important that the search engines can access all the information on your Web site.
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