Announcement: Blogging with Google in Mind

By Michael Cash

Are you ready for your business to join the 21st Century? Before you answer this question, let me ask you another one: Are you ready to start a blog for your business? For many, the prospect of learning how to properly start, maintain, and optimize a blog for search engines is a monumental task that simply never gets done. But don’t let the enormity of the task stop you from doing it! You could be missing out on thousands of customers simply because your business has not joined the blogosphere. Setting up your business’s blog for search engine optimization (SEO) is the topic of this writing. The benefits of SEO far outweigh the labor it takes to set it up for your blog.

Basically, SEO is the foundation your blog needs to be ranked highly by search engines such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. It contains two parts: On-Page and Off-Page SEO. On-Page SEO are the things that you control about your blog, such as content, domain name, and plug-ins. Off-Page SEO are things outside of your control, such as links to your site from other blogs. Since On-Page SEO is directly affected by what you do, we will focus on that here.

Here are the things you can do to optimize your blog for search engines: Continue reading

Five Ways to Create an SEO Friendly Blog

By Brendan Egan

Well, blogging has become the new pink in the internet world. Almost everyone has their own blogs and websites however some are more well known than others. Maybe the popular blogs have more flare, maybe they are more creative or maybe they are just easier to find. And that is exactly what you need to earn more viewers for your page, to create an SEO (that’s Search Engine Optimization) friendly blog. And here are five great tips to get you started.

1. SEO Plug-ins

The first step you need to do is to create a Uniform Resource Locater so others can find your blog easily. This is a very important thing because having plug-ins allows you to manage title, address, and other vital parts of a message. It is important that you make all information as clear as you can so they can fit with the keywords on your blog.
Continue reading

Tips for Managing Your Reputation Online

By Charles Mburugu

Tips for Online Reputation ManagementIf you have ever Googled your name, you should know how vital it is to manage your reputation online. Each day, thousands of people are looking online for information on others by searching using Google and other major search engines. Since information is very readily available online, managing your reputation is as vital as ever.

Fortunately, reputation management is not very difficult, though it takes much work. The following are tips which can help you ensure that your reputation online does not get impacted negatively by what is being said about you.

1. Establish where you stand

The first step towards reputation management is Googling your name. Try it with and without quotes. Check each of the results in the first two pages of Google. Are there any negative posts or comments that you would want removed?

2. Set a Google alert

Go to Google and set an alert for your name. Google will then send you an email to confirm that you want to receive the updates. When you accept the alert, you will receive a notification every time your name is posted on the web. Continue reading

Tips on Using Blogging for SEO

By John Stepleton

Blogging for SEO

Blogging on a regular basis can be great for your SEO efforts

There are many different ways you can increase the SEO value of your website. One of the easiest ways to make an impact is by blogging. Content is king, and by blogging on a regular basis you are giving search engines lots of new information to crawl and index. But not all blogs have the same benefit.

Here are a few things to consider when writing blogs for your website.

  • Start by picking keywords that make sense for your site. These are key words that have enough search traffic, but aren’t so competitive that you will never make a dent. Insert these key words into your blogs and write your content around them.
  • Continue reading

Call for Guest SEO Blog Articles

By Richard V. Burckhardt

Got something to say? Guest blog at The Web Optimist.
Got something to say? Guest blog at The Web Optimist.

Just so you know, The Web Optimist blog is open to guest blogger articles related to SEO, VOIP and search marketing. These guest posts are free, of course (take that, Google!) and posts must be a minimum of 250 words in length.

Guest blog post in the following categories for free – SEO, PPC, Social Media, News, Reviews. All are moderated and edited. Inappropriate posts will be deleted. Be civil, folks! A total of three links are allowed within the body text (two of which can point to your own sites). Obvious spam, inappropriate or off-topic content will not be considered. In other words, if I do not like it, I will not publish it! 😉

Simply go to the Contact page to submit your article idea. I’ll set up frequent contributors with an author’s account.

SEO 101: Need an SEO Friendly Site? Think Blog!

By Richard V. Burckhardt

Make WordPress your site's home baseWhen I started out in web development way back in the dark ages (1998), I was doing web design for an in-house agency. Primarily, we did sites for the publications that the parent publishing company produced, but we also took on local Palm Springs area clients and built web sites for them.

It went something like this. For a certain amount of money, like $500, we’d build a ten page static web site. We’d do the design work, but the client provided images and text. We’d do the SEO as it existed in those days (title, meta tags, submit to the search engines/directories) and then there would be a monthly hosting/maintenance fee (about $50). Quarterly changes (pictures and text) were part of the fee, anything else cost extra.

Of course, the client was sort of at our mercy as they had no way to make changes themselves. They had to go through us. This could get frustrating for clients who needed frequent changes to their sites, like real estate agents or those with products that needed changing constantly.

Fast forward to today. Yes, if you really need a complicated site with a web designer, programmer and so forth, that option is definitely available more than ever. But, if what you want is a smaller site that you have complete control over and won’t cost a fortune, it can be had quickly and inexpensively. Continue reading

The Best of The Web Optimist 2008

Richard V. Burckhardt, aka The Web OptimistThe year has passed so rapidly that I can’t believe we’re already at the end of 2008! The Web Optimist blog is an outlet for me to pass on things that I learn in my real job as an SEO (as I have the time) and I’ve published a total of 90 posts this past year, some in-depth articles and some just quicky “did-you-know-this?” items.

Here’s what I consider the best of The Web Optimist over the past year (in no particular order). You might not agree, but hey, it’s my blog. 😉

1. S E O Tools & Tips Want a look at what I consider essential tools for my day job as an SEO? Here’s what I use in my personal arsenal.

2. Robots.txt: Powerful but Picky! – The robots.txt file is a powerful tool, but you’ve got to be extremely careful with it. This post discusses one of it’s little idiosyncrasies that could easily trip you up. That’s my Lost in Space toy robot in my back yard in the photo. Yep, I wanted to be Will Robinson growing up! Such a geek!

3. Shopping Site Essentials Got an ecommerce site and think you can do it on your own without product listings on shopping search sites? If so, you are missing out on a MAJOR opportunity to expand your product and brand exposure around the globe. Yes, it costs money to be in most of them, but you can strike gold if you know what you are doing. This post gives you some tips to get you started.

4. Beginning Viral Marketing Want to get a campaign started that will spread like a virus but don’t have a clue how to start? Videos? Social sites? Freebies? Here are 14 clues to help you get going.

5. Grabbing the Longtail – No, I’m not talking about a cat, here. In this article I point you in the direction of ranking for multi-word search phrases, getting cheaper PPC traffic and increasing your site visits without a lot of work.

6. User Content GenerationUser generated content basically turns your customers and site visitors into SEOs for you while generating fresh keyword rich content for the spiders to devour. You just need to know how to get them to contribute and this post provides some great pointers to encourage the process.

7. Online Retail Optimization: Will It Blend? You can’t just post your product pages on the web and expect them to rank as well as they did in the days of ten blue links on the search results pages. There’s a lot more competition now that Blended Search (another term for Universal Search) has become the norm. To compete, you’ll need to optimize images, videos, feeds and more.

8. Google Personalized SearchThe search giant has put a new spin on rankings by personalizing search results when you are logged into your Google account. To rank well for users who are signed in, you’ve got to get sticky and this post shows you how.

9. Annoying Speed Bumps on the Information SuperhighwayC’mon, folks. Using the Internet should be easy. So why do hotels, software, hardware, web sites and even the search engines make things so hard? This is one of my rants on things that should be simple but aren’t.

10. Brand With Your Head, Not Your GutUsing past experience with the local tourism bureau, I discuss online branding and how politics and misguided reliance on a name rather than a brand can trip up a campaign.

11. Will Trust Kill the Algorithm?I’ve heard a lot of comments about whether Google is going social lately. The answer is a resounding yes and I blogged about it a year ago.

12. Is Universal Search Harder?Despite the big push towards including everything AND the kitchen sink in search results, Universal Search can actually make finding what you are looking for more difficult. Sure would be nice to have an off switch!

And, I left the best for last because it wasn’t originally published on The Web Optimist, rather I guest posted over at Search Engine Journal. My 55 Quick S E O Tips Even Your Mother Would Love has been reposted here as Free eBook: 65 Quick S E O Tips Even Your Mother Would Love featuring ten more tips and a downloadable PDF file. Look for that to grow to 100 tips very soon when I update Mom’s tips in 2009!

I add to the blog as I have time. Thanks to all of you who have come back as return readers, commented, e-mailed and joined as Twitter followers. We’ll see what 2009 brings!

Happy New Year, folks!