How to Enhance Search Engine Rankings

By Charles Mburugu

No serious website can dare to ignore the significance of search engine rankings. Search engines provide more than 70% of the traffic for most websites. Therefore, if you rank high in search engines, you will receive more traffic.

However, getting and sustaining high rankings is not easy. It usually takes much hard word and effort to attain good search engine rankings. The following are three things you need to always keep in mind for better search engine rankings.

Content is king
Search engines love content. Without good and valuable content, you have little chance of success, no matter how great your website is or how much effort you have put into search engine optimization. It is important to have a lot of keyword rich content all through your site. Another great tip is to visit websites which are similar to yours. Read their articles and get ideas which you can make use of in your own site.

There are several reasons why content is vital for high search engine rankings. High search engine ranking will bring you a lot of traffic. However, to sustain the high traffic and retain a good number of return visitors, you need to have useful and well written content in your site. This volume of targeted traffic will be helpful in keeping your reciprocal links growing. Continue reading

San Diego Power Outage: Like a Bad Syfy Flick

By Richard V. Burckhardt

Made the 2½ hour drive over to San Diego after work yesterday for my partner’s chemo procedure at Sharp Hospital scheduled for Friday. Drove up to a dark hotel where we were told all of the San Diego area was without power, something like four million people. That meant no gas, no restaurants, no hotels, in some areas no water. It was like a really bad Syfy TV movie (of course, ALL Syfy TV flicks are bad). Kept waiting for the flying mutant Squidshark to appear…

Original iPhone 2g with T-Mobile prepaid SIM card.

Screen capture from a previous post about how a jailbroken original iPhone 2g works with a T-Mobile prepaid SIM card.

Went to the hospital to find out what to do. As we pulled up, we discovered a voice mail that all medical procedures for Friday were canceled (the phone never rang, the voice mail just appeared). Went into the hospital, which had emergency power, to see if anyone knew how far this thing went inland. Were told it went as far as some parts of Palm Springs. As usual, my AT&T iPhone was useless. Not even a signal. Pulled out a jailbroken original iPhone I stuck a T-Mobile prepaid sim into and, voila, it worked. (I am so canceling my AT&T when the contract expires).

Called the Betty Ford Center in Rancho Mirage, where Jim (my partner) works, and they had power. Since they are only a few minutes from where we live, we took a chance on our remaining half a tank of gas and headed towards Palm Springs and home, passing a lot of cars on the side of the road, obviously out of gas. Mercifully, we found gas an hour or so into the drive home. It took a 45 minute wait for a pump, but it was worth it as the remaining drive was through the mountains.

Got home at about 11 pm last night.

So, who wants to talk TV movie rights?

;-)

This is a post from The Web Optimist – SEO in The Desert.

+Richard Burckhardt

Link Building in 2011

By Philip Russell

Link building gets harder in every year. SEOs have to find a way to make their links work for their clients, and the type of links that will help your website are becoming harder and harder to achieve as Google finds different alternatives to their algorithms that they hope can help offset the totality of the weight of links (think Panda).

Many bold predictions were made in the beginning of the year in terms of where people thought link building would go in the year 2011. Not all of them came true. In fact, being an active link builder for the last year and a half, I found that the best results and money rely in one type of link building.

Forget the Link Directories

Unless you are willing to throw down some cash on some quality link directories, forget about them. Free link directories and “iffy” link directories will just prevent you from spending time on what you really should be doing with your day – which includes making your site more valuable by producing quality (the absolute best indirect way to build links) and taking care of all of your on-site SEO, which is often overlooked.

There is no better way to waste time than to spend countless hours filling out forms and submitting to free link directories. Their links hold very little weight, so little that even as many as 15 of them may not even guarantee that your website gets into the Google’s SERPs if your website is new and with zero links. Continue reading

Email Marketing – Getting Started

By Charles Mburugu

Email marketing is a great marketing channel which can be used to promote websites, make money through affiliate offers and interact with customers. However, most website owners and bloggers continue to neglect email marketing.

What is email marketing?

It is a kind of direct marketing where email is used as the communication channel. Email marketing basically involves gathering the email addresses of clients or prospects, and then sending those subscribers messages containing information about special offers, products etc.

Why is email marketing important?

Email marketing is one of the best marketing channels online. As opposed to banner ads, online articles or blog posts which require people to visit your site, email messages are sent directly to the subscriber. Furthermore, if your email newsletters offer valuable content, you will be able to establish solid relationships with the subscribers. This is likely to result in high conversion rates. Email marketing is also very flexible and can be utilized for many different purposes. It could be used to launch new ventures, to promote affiliate offers, to build relationships with customers and to generate more traffic to your site.

Unfortunately, many people avoid using email marketing since they think of it as spam. They believe that email marketing is just a way of spamming others while making money out of it. While it is true that email marketing can be used for spamming, it can also be used ethically and legitimately. Reputable companies, online marketers and bloggers usually offer quality content in their email newsletters. It is therefore very possible to engage in email marketing without offending your users. Just ensure that your email newsletter contains quality content which is relevant to the subscribers.

The following are steps that can help you get started with email marketing.

Continue reading

Five Non-Local SEO Tips

By Richard V. Burckhardt

Or, What To Do After Google Gives Your Web-Only Site The Finger

Trying to see above all of the local search results?

Trying to see your way past all of the local search results? Here are some SEO tips.

It seems that everything has gone local with with search engine results lately. With Google, if you don’t rank in the top three for many queries, you are buried below seven local businesses and below the fold. Of course, you are also buried beneath the Adwords ads and the Related Searches, too.

This is a boon to local businesses as they now have the opportunity to appear on page one of the Google serps through their Google Places profiles. Of course, this is a big, fat middle finger pointed at non-local web-only sites without the local offices and locations that many of the big chains can leverage. Continue reading

Tips for Tracking Your Hits

By Charles Mburugu

Tracking traffic will usually make the difference in an online marketing campaign. With the many free tracking tools available nowadays, there is no excuse for anyone not to track their hits to discover the source of their traffic.

For those tracking traffic, what should they look out for in the tracking data?

How did your visitors find you?

Many site owners are excited when they receive traffic from new sources. However, many will not bother to follow up and establish how their link got to the referring site. You need to take time to write an email and find out as much information as you can. How your visitors located you is a vital question that needs to be answered. The answer will be vital in helping you improve your marketing efforts.

Continue reading

Four Key PPC Web Analytics Metrics You Should Consider

By Kirsty Lee

Watch your bounce rate

A high bounce rate is a good indication that your content isn't engaging.

PPC is an important strand of your web analysis. One of the cool things about PPC data is that you don’t need a lot of history to draw conclusions from it – a few weeks is enough time to give you an idea of how well a campaign is performing.

Google Adwords data is included in your Google Analytics data and includes metrics like click through rate (CTR) and cost per click (CPC). Google recently released AdWords API v201101, which allows you to more efficiently run reports, as well as implement campaign experiments and other recently released advertising features at scale.

But how do you track success after PPC visitors are on your site? What metrics should you investigate to ensure that you are getting high quality traffic and capitalizing on opportunities to convert?

For these types of performance metrics, you need web analytics! Here are four important metrics you should review on a daily basis to evaluate PPC campaign performance.  Continue reading