This Blog Will Be Assimilated

February 26th, 2009 by supak

Resistance is futile. OK, not completly futile, but I will be doing most of my posting about this subject at our new blog, Internet Marketing and Organic SEO with Bald Mt. Press. This seo-blog.org site wiped out a bunch of my posts when it was taken over by Wordpress. I had another blog, about Blogging for Small Business, that was set up over at Bloglines, and a lot of info there got scrambled. While this is somewhat better than Bloglines, it’s still not what I was looking for as a blog to represent my business. This little site is like a training ground.

Now, I’m really happy with this new blog. Nice look. Very versatile. Starting clean allows me to put all the ideas I formed working here and at bloglines, and put them in a much more organized and optimized, format. I’ll still come in here and post occasionally, probably with cross-posts from there that are more SEO related. When the post over there is about blogging for small businesses, I’ll post it in the bloglines blog.

Thanks for reading.

10 Steps to Higher Search Engine Ranks

January 31st, 2009 by supak

In this economy, people are looking for value even more than they were in the roaring days of, well, hell, there haven’t been any roaring days for most people in a long time. With that in mind (and believe me, I feel your pain on the being broke thing) I’m giving away some search engineering tips to help yourself get higher search engine ranks.

1. Your HTML title tag should have the 7 or 8 keywords that people most use to search for what you have. Of course, if your subject matter is highly competitive, you might want to do some keyword research (I use Word Tracker), and find a niche.

2. Repeat those words on the home page at least 4 times for the most important 4 (not too many times though, as it will look like you’re spamming), and 3 times for 2, and two times for the last two. This is not a hard rule. You can repeat them all 4 times, but if you’re tying to keep your home page short, you can truncate.

3. Still, you should have at least 400 words on the home page. Content is still king on the internets.

4. If in those 8 main words there are 4 categories, then the titles of those categories (and the corresponding pages) should have the keyword pair as the first words in that title tag, followed by words that are related, or subsets. This navigation, or architecture, is very important. The better organized, the better.

5. Get a robots.txt file.

6. Get an XML site map.

7. Use the main words in the ALT tags of the images, and in the names of the images.

8. Google doesn’t read the description or keywords metatags, but use them anyway. There are other search engines, and those people spend money too.

9. Blog. Set it up at blogger or wordpress if you have to. In fact, I recommend using one the free blogs for small businesses, because you can benefit from their “piggy back” page rank. I helped a client in Hawaii set up a blog about Maui last year, and she’s already got a Google PageRank of 3 (out of 10), which is quite good. Link prominently to the blog from the site, and vice-versa.

10. Get inbound links from quality, high-ranking sites, preferably from like-minded sites. Get them often. Then get some more. Make sure the links to your site have your keywords in the “anchor text” or the text that’s actually in the link. Link images that have your keywords in your alt tags.

11. Hire me and don’t worry about it.

OK, 11 tips on getting higher search engine ranks. Think of it as a bonus.

How Does Blogging Help My Business?

January 22nd, 2009 by supak

Blogging can help your business in many ways. Here’s a post that I put up at my bloglines blog, Supak Blogs for Small Business Blogs, just a few days ago. I started that blog a long time ago, before I had the kind of experience that I have now. So, I’m not always happy with the way things run over there. However, it is an extremely popular site, I’ve established some PageRank there, and I’d hate to abondon something that successful.

In the interest of organization, more exposure, and the constant creation of content (which is still king), I’ll just try to remember to post anything from there to here as well…

I like to think of blogging as a kind of automatic newsletter. It’s a very direct way for you to connect with your customers and your potential customers. Writing posts directly to people who might hire you is a way to show them that you are competent and professional. You can talk about all the reasons why they should hire you. You can link to the pages on your main site that support what you’re saying, or give more information. You can highlight particular customers and what they say about you (testimonials). You can link to sites that mention you, as a kind of pay-back.

The possibilities are limited only by your imagination and marketing skill.

From my point of view, as a search engine marketer, I see blogs as a gold mine of fresh content that Google, and other search engines, just love. If you write a few paragraphs a week, you’ve created 52 posts by the end of a year. That’s a lot of content, and a lot of keywords and phrases. These words and phrases, no matter how obscure, will eventually be searched for by someone, and your blog will show up on the search. If you’ve linked those words to your web site, that searcher might follow the link, and you’ve sent traffic to your site.

Plus, Google sees that link, and the text in it, and the site to which the link links is given higher relevance for that term. So, there’s this multiple whammy going on with your blog at the search marketing level. You’re providing content that shows up for search, but you’re also lending credence to every thing you link to. And, you’re expanding the search terms for which you appear in the results. The more content you have, the more search terms for which you will appear.

As your blog becomes an authority on a subject, people will subscribe to your “feed.” That means that every time you write something, it will show up in people’s “readers” – usually RSS, or feedburner.com. There are many brands of reader. The point is that when these people read what you, now a known authority on your subject, they will link to it from their own blogs. In this case, your content has become what is known as “link bait” and you will start attracting links to your posts. This causes google to see you as even more of an authority, thus improving your blog’s PageRank (PR, or google’s way of ranking pages on a scale of 1-10), which imparts more PR to everything the blog links to. So, you’ll be getting higher search engine ranks!

Furthermore, as people link to you, there are more pathways to your site, and your traffic will increase from referals as well as from searches.

So, what are you waiting for? Contact me and start blogging!

Internet Marketing Starts with Higher Search Engine Ranks

January 13th, 2009 by supak

Internet Marketing is the blanket term for promoting your business through the internet. The first place to start your adventure in marketing your business through the web is to get higher search engine rankings for the search terms people actually use to search for you. Often called search engine optimization, or SEO, designing your site right is one of the key determining factors on how highly it ranks.

When I perform SEO for a site, I begin by researching the keywords used to search for your business. Using databases from many different search engines (but always concentrating on Google, which gets approximately 60% of all searches), I determine which are the best words to attempt to get higher rankings for based on how much those terms are searched for, balanced by the amount of competition for the term. Keyword decisions are extremely important, as going for terms that are extremely popular is extremely hard, and going for really easy terms won’t get much traffic.

Once we have the keywords figured out, I include them in the web site copy, which usually has to be rewritten to include the phrases in the right places and density. During this part of the process, if your budget allows it, I try to increase the functionality, navigation, and salesmanship of the site. What good is getting a lot of traffic if your site doesn’t convert those eyeballs into customers?

Finally, high search engine rankings come from authoritative links to your site from other sites. I control a lot of valuable “real estate” on the web. I write a lot of blog posts on multiple blogs, covering many subjects. I use social networking and social bookmark sites to drive traffic to my client’s sites. All of this exposure, and linking, increases the ranking of your site, because ultimately, two things matter most. The content of your site, and the links to it.

Search engine traffic is often just a small part of over-all traffic patterns, especially for more established sites. The longer your site is around, with me working on it on a monthly basis, the better the quality and quantity of links leading to your site. Eventually, those links will provide referral traffic to your site, and people will begin booking marking you, linking to your content from their pages, subscribing to your blogs, and generally helping you spread the word.

Contact me – scott@supak.com – for more information about how I can work with you to tailor an internet marketing plan for your business that works within your budget, and pays for itself as it goes. For more information on internet marketing and higher search engine ranks, visit Bald Mt. Press.

When a New Blog Has Lots of Old Content

November 19th, 2008 by supak

I used to get higher search engine ranks for an organic coffee farmer in Kona, Hawaii. He sold the sustainable Kona coffee farm, and now, after two years of work, the new owner has hired me to handle the internet marketing for his web sites, and to help him sell his organic Kona gourmet coffee beans. When I heard the story of how they rehabilitated the farm south of Kona on the big island of Hawaii, I thought, wow, what a great blog that would make.

Turns out they kept a journal of the entire sustainable organic farm rejuvenation process, and now it is a blog. Mike uploaded his story onto the Blogger platform, and it looks pretty good. I’ve been debating how much I want to customize, as Mike’s the kind of guy who might want to tinker with the site someday, so I’ve left it in the out-of-the-box Blogger wrapper. What I’m most interested in is seeing how the Google Bot likes all that new content!

Guest Bloggers Create Free Content for a Link

November 14th, 2008 by supak

Occasionally I’m contacted by someone with an article they’d like to publish, which I’m always happy to do, especially when it’s something green that can help save the planet (win valuable prizes!). So, when a reader sent this great article on grey water systems and how they can work for organic gardeners, I was more than happy to put it on the organic gardening blog!

If you have a web site and you’re looking to get some outside links to it, one of the best ways would be to write for other people, like in this case. I got the content I need for my blog, and Kelly got a link to her web site from a content rich, authoritative site. It’s win-win!

So, start writing. Find blogs and web sites where you’d like you article to appear, where having a link back would be beneficial to your site. And get out there and give it away!

My Long Lost Blogs

October 24th, 2008 by supak

Now that I do this full time, I’ve been going back and reviving some of my old blogs. For example, I’ve always been an avid organic gardener. I had one of the first organic gardening web sites on earth. But things got busy for me in my old career, we got suburban, and my gardening consisted of an occasional trimming of the rose bushes and herbs.  My recent disability led us up here to upstate NY, near Cooperstown, to live more cheaply near relatives, where I managed to get in a fall garden of greens, onions, peas, and lettuce.

So, I started posting to the organic gardening blog again.  I had ignored that little blog, and yet it still has a PR 3. So I updated it with all the new blogger tools, and I’m out here in my other blogs linking to it again. With a little work, it could be brushed off and get much better search engine rankings. Maybe you have an old blogger blog, or any blog for that matter, that could be revived. Remember, content is king, and organized content is king of kings.

New Maui Hawaii Blog

October 9th, 2008 by supak

One of my very first internet marketing clients has a new blog: Ho’okipa Aikane, or “home sharing friend.” Cherie Attix, owner and operator of the Hale Hookipa Inn, a Maui Hawaii Bed and Breakfast, has started blogging. She is an active member of the Maui community. A dedicated environmentalist, hiker, and small business woman who spent years converting her historic home into upcountry Maui’s coolest place to stay.

The Hookipa Inn is a short drive to Haleakala National Park or Hookipa Beach, and is centrally located on the island of Maui, making it the perfect place to stay on your Hawaiian vacation.

Cherie’s blog will feature her take on Hawaiian life and the Maui community in general. The grounds of the Hookipa Inn are all organic, featuring fresh tropical fruits and flowers!

Integrating an off-site blog with a site

October 2nd, 2008 by supak

My friend, Mort Mather, is an author, farmer, and philosopher. We met in the early nineties through the internet, when he asked me to publish his organic gardening articles at my organic gardening site. We finally met when I went to visit him in Maine, where he lives just down the road from my Grandfather’s place. Small world.

Mort recently had me build a web site about him. He wanted to include a blog. To make things easy, I told him we could just build a blog at blogger and make it match and inter-link with his site. Ease is just one reason, though. My main reason is, that from an SEO point of view, two sites are better than one. And, when you include the bonus PageRank you get from using blogger (what I call the piggy-back effect), it’s even better!

Today I just did a little updating, and blogger has added a lot of cool features I’ll be taking advantage of. There are automatic blog rolls, lists of followers, and an automatic feed link generator (I used to spend a lot of time doing all those feed links).

New Client Blog Stands Alone

December 28th, 2007 by supak

I just created a new WordPress blog for an old friend who, for obvious reasons, would like to remain anonymous. The Blog will be a series of Bible commentaries based on the essay Satan Wrote the Bible. So, I was creating a blog with a cynical approach to religion. I’ve done that before with Questions for Christians.

This time, it’s more of a chance for the author to state his views on this controversial subject matter in an organized and easy to read way. So, I went with a very clean theme, and used all the widgets and other tools available with the new WordPress open source blogging software.  The result is a very organized, easily spidered site that should do well in the search engine results pages.

Because the search engines will probably be the source of most of the traffic for this site, the organization, clean code, and blogging capabilities (for continuous fresh content) are the key to generating readers. I highly recommend WordPress for blogging if you want clean code that search engines love to spider.