Ten Simple Tips to Properly Use Google Places Business Listing

Ten Simple Tips to Properly Use Google Places Business Listing
Google Places is currently one of the most effective free online marketing tools available to local business owners. Known as Google Local Business Centre upon its initial release, it has become an essential tool in increasing popularity of a business on the Web to draw local consumers. 
And even though millions of customers are searching for local businesses using Google Local Marketing, famously known as Google Maps Marketing, each day, Google offers the tool for free. 
Find out all about Google Places and how you can use it to your advantage in these ten simples tips: 
Tip 1 – Use your real Business Name 
Other business owners tried inserting extra words in their business name. The move might have resulted to a temporary boost in clicks, but not for long because Google is punishing this technique. That said, you can still safely add words into your business name if the words are not misleading to your business. Here’s an example: 
Real business name – Fred Withers Ltd 
Google Places listing name – Fred Withers Plumbing Ltd 
Tip 2 – Ensure your Business Information is 100% accurate 
See to it that the business information you listed are correct. You should provide potential customers with exactly what they need to know about your business. Here is the information you need to add correctly: business address, email, fax number, telephone number, and website. A PO Box number will not work as well as a 0800 or free telephone number. 
Tip – 3 Use the right Business Categories and lots of them 
There are 5 different categories you can list your business on Google Maps Marketing that can affect local search ranking factors. Choose your category wisely because this can make or break your Google Places listing. Your main aim is to appear under the right category when people search for a business. Always select 1 or 2 of Google-suggested categories even though they might not fit exactly with your understanding of your business category. To add to the Google-suggested categories, add 3 more categories of your choice to leverage your business listing. There are 5 categories available–make sure you use all of them. 
Tip 4 – Punchy & compelling Business Description 
Google Places limits your Business Description to 200 characters so you need to get it perfect. The trick is to use the most relevant keywords & business terms in your description. Also use phrases such as professional, trusted, accredited to emphasize your credibility. 
Tip 5 – Include Photos & Video 
Google local listings lets you publish 10 photos and a short video to add to your listing–take advantage. Take a camera and start shooting a 1-2 minute video of yourself pitching about your business’ specialties to your customers. This might make you cringe and say, really? Why? Because local customers love to see something from the local business itself: i.e. your logo, your display room, and even the owner himself or herself. Give your business a face on Google Maps Marketing and expect your listing to shine on directories. 
Tip 6 – Maximize Google Local Listings with Extra Details 
Take advantage of the extra details Google Places will ask for like your opening hours, coverage areas, payment methods accepted, and available facilities. Not only will your customers appreciate the extra details provided, Google Places loves complete detail on the listing too. 
Tip 7 – Take time to complete the Services Section 
At the end of each Google Places listing are the services you can enumerate. A good number of services to list is from 6-10, but you be the judge–if you feel it’s relevant, then don’t be afraid to add them. You can use the service listing area to insert more keywords, but NEVER use location as part of the keyword(s) here. Here is a bad & a good example: 
Bad – Heating Services: Yes 
Good – Heating Services: gas-safe registered, radiator repair, boiler instillation, hot water problems, fix central heating 
Tip 8 – Create a unique Special Offer Coupon 
Your potential clients love to receive special offers; Google know this and thus pushing up listings with special offers on the search results. Have freebies or discount coupons for Google Maps Marketing purposes only. This will help your business standout from others and will help convince online browsers into new, real customers. 
Tip 9 – Generate Citations 
Citations are articles or words about your business on other websites. These citations are important because Google local SEO uses these citations to figure out whether your business is worth people’s time and money or not. Other business owners are concerned about this fact, but it’s an opportunity to those who understand the potential behind citations. 
Here are 3 legitimate ways to get as many citations possible for your Google Local Marketing: 
1. Get listed in other online directories 
2. Negotiate with your neighboring businesses and suppliers about the possibility of having reciprocal link backs of your businesses in your individual websites. 
3. Create a promo for the personnel of neighboring local businesses and put this on a separate part of your website–create a special page for each offer if you have to. Send details of this offer to each company through your Google local SEO and local advertising with the link to your special offer Web page. Ask them to mention your business on their company or personal website if they have one. This will help generate new business directly & help with Google Places. 
Tip 10 – Generate Customer Reviews 
Google Places congregates online customer reviews from multiple online directories like Yelp.com, Qype, Insider Pages, and TripAdvisor. Google uses these reviews as another factor in determining how trustworthy your business is. You can motivate your loyal customers to leave reviews about your business on these online directories or on your Google Places listing itself. But, know that it’s more powerful to have reviews on online directories because you reach their users as well as Google’s so you get more bang for your buck. 
Most clients are willing to give 5 minutes of their time; be sure not to bribe them or set up cash for comments scheme as this can backfire on you. Reviews should be genuine. Google Places allows you to reply to reviews right on your listing, so use this to thank your generous customers and reply politely to dissenters. 
Everyone knows that Google advertising and marketing is an important factor in business success, and now Google local marketing makes it an even more powerful marketing tool for local businesses. Google Map’s immense users hold huge potential for drawing new clients and growing a business, if used correctly. Surprisingly only a handful of local businesses are applying tools to help with Google local marketing–it’s your turn to try. Claim your listing and get a head start on your competitors before they wise up! 
About the Author 
Myles Anderson is the co-founder of Brightlocal.com. After working with big company names like Freeserve, eHarmony, and Orange, he turned his attention to helping all sorts of local businesses attract new customers through business directory listings and other local search engine marketing tools.

NexGen Gallery Instructions

If you are using WordPress and need a gallery program, NextGEN might be a great choice for you. You can have multiple galleries and albums and it is pretty easy to use.

Where is the gallery?

After you login to your WordPress admin area, you should find a new item on the left side named “Gallery”.Wordpress Plug in NextGEN Gallery

What is the difference between galleries and albums?

Galleries are a collection of pictures. You can have multiple galleries.

Albums hold one or more galleries.

How to add a new gallery

  1. Under the main Gallery heading, choose “Add Gallery/Images”
  2. From the “Add new gallery” tab, choose a name for your gallery and click “Add gallery”

How to add a new album

  1. Under the main Gallery heading, choose “Album”
  2. From the “Add new album” area, choose the name of your new album and click “Add”

How to add photos to a gallery

  1. Under the main Gallery heading, choose “Add Gallery/Images”.
  2. You will see you have some choices in tabs:
    • Upload a Zip-file (this is a way to upload a zip of folders from your computer)
    • Import image folder (this is a way to upload a folder of images from your server)
    • Upload Images (this is uploading single images from your computer)
  3. Choose the right gallery you want the images uploaded to.
  4. Select “Start Upload”

How to add gallery of images to an album

Drag items from middle column to first columnDrag items from middle column to first column

  1. Under the main Gallery heading, choose “Album”
  2. Select the album you want to add galleries to.
  3. Drag any or all of the existing galleries from the second column to the first column
  4. Select “Update” to save your changes.

How to put descriptions under my photos

  1. Under the main Gallery heading, choose “Manage Gallery”
  2. Choose from the list of galleries you want to edit.
  3. From here you can change your gallery title, image captions, etc.
  4. When you are done, click “Save Changes”

How to display my photos on a page

There are many ways to post your albums or galleries on a page. The basic idea is to create a page and insert a snippet of code that will pull the gallery in and display it. If I set this up for you, the code may be there already.

  1. Go to the page you want a gallery or album inserted
  2. Insert the desired code
  3. Update your page
Adding the code to your posts and pagesAdding the code to your posts and pages

What are some of the codes?

In the first example,, means that it is going to display an entire album with the ID 2, in a compact form. The extended form lists the galleries with some description next to them. If you wanted it extended you would write If you wanted to display an album with and ID of 3, you would write 

The second example,, is going to display a gallery with the ID of 31.

The album and gallery IDs are listed next to the galleries and albums when you go to edit them.

Where can I find more tags?

You can find lots and lots of tag options and examples on the NextGEN Gallery website.

How to Create And Profit from Your Facebook Fan Page Workbook

How to Create And Profit from Your Facebook Fan Page Workbook

Why Does Your Business Need a Facebook Fan Page? A Facebook fan page is more than just another way to connect with prospects and customers online. Your Facebook fan page can:

Introduction

Why Does Your Business Need a Facebook Fan Page?

A Facebook fan page is more than just another way to connect with prospects and customers online. Your Facebook fan page can:

  • Drive more traffic to your website
  • Build your email list
  • Sell more products/services
  • Announce special offers and promotions
  • Announce events
  • Share news
  • Provide value to your prospects and customers
  • Share photos and videos
  • Get feedback from clients and prospects
  • Improve your relationships with your prospects and customers
  • Improve Search Engine Optimization

Additionally:

  • Facebook fan pages are public
  • You can communicate directly with your “fans”.
  • When a person joins your fan page, it’s published in their News feed – this gives a viral quality to your fan page.
  • You have access to more than 500 million active users who log onto Facebook regularly and spend an average of 55 minutes per day on the site.
  • Facebook is now the 2nd most visited site in the world after Google
  • And Facebook fan pages are free!

Plain and simple, Facebook offers a huge potential to profit and grow your business.

What This Workbook Is Designed to Accomplish

This workbook operates under the assumption that you already have a Facebook account. If you do not, you’ll need to register – it’s free.

This workbook walks you through the five steps required to create and profit from a Facebook fan page. The steps include:

  • Step #1 Define Your Facebook Page’s Goals and Purpose
  • Step #2 Identify and Research Your Audience
  • Step #3 Plan Your Facebook Page
  • Step #4 Create Your Facebook Page
  • Step #5 Maintain Your Facebook Page – A Long Term Plan for Profit

So let’s get started!

Step #1 Define Your Facebook Page’s Goals and Purpose

It’s a simple question. “What do you want to accomplish with your Facebook page?”

Yet the answer isn’t always so simple. Ultimately you likely want to use your Facebook page to make more money and grow your business. But there are many ways to accomplish that and may directions to take. Perhaps a better question is, “How do you want to use your Facebook page to grow your business?”

Don’t worry, you’re not expected to know the answer right now. However, before you begin creating your fan page it’s important to have a direction – to have goals.

As mentioned in the introduction there are several things your Facebook fan page can accomplish. They include but are not limited to:

  • Traffic generation
  • List building
  • Selling products/services
  • Announcements and promotions
  • Content and value
  • Building a community/strengthening relationship

In fact, Syncapse.com surveyed 4,000 people who “Liked” the top 20 brands with Facebook pages.  They found that someone who has “Liked” a brand spends an average of $71.84 more each year on that brand’s products or services.

A little story about turning fans into paying customers…

Company ABC created a Facebook fan page. Their audience is strongly represented on Facebook so they went all out and hired someone to maintain their page for them. They created a custom Facebook page that offered a ton of valuable content, promotions, news items and interactive tools and applications. They even included a Q&A page and a page where Facebook fans could learn about products and services and purchase directly from the page.

When a fan made a purchase they also tended to post a note on their profile about the great new product they purchased from Company ABC. The company gained more fans from these mini reviews. Company ABC was able to increase their monthly sales by 10%.

This story can easily be you. And if selling products or services on your Facebook page isn’t your goal and you’d rather build your opt in list, you can do that, too.

Before you move onto the next step, spend some time brainstorming what you want to accomplish with your Facebook fan page.

Step #2 Identify and Research Your Audience

Okay, you’ve brainstormed your Facebook fan page goals and you’re anxious to get started planning and creating your page. Wait, not so fast!

Before you create your page you want to make sure your audience is represented on Facebook. You want to make sure you’re planning and creating a page that will generate the profits you desire.

One great place to start might be the collection of data published by iStrategyLabs, collected from Facebook’s Social Ads Platform. http://www.istrategylabs.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/01/facebook_demographics_chart_statistics_2010.png

However, that chart and other charts found online don’t tell the whole story. Often the best way to see if your audience is well represented on Facebook is to log on and start browsing. Search for friends by interest. Look at other pages that are relevant to your industry.

You can also go through the motions of creating a Facebook ad. You’ll be asked to choose demographics for your ad. This can show you how many people your ad might reach. This is likely your potential audience for your fan page as well. (In fact, later, once your page has been created, you can create an ad to promote your fan page.)

Take a few minutes to jot down who your audience is for your fan page. Then spend some time on Facebook making sure that they’re present and that your efforts will be profitable.

Step #3 Plan Your Facebook Page

Once you know your goals for your Facebook page and you’re comfortable that you have an audience, it’s time to get into the fun stuff – planning your Facebook page.

What tabs do you want on your Facebook page?

You can create a number of tabs. Each one will be designed to help you achieve your goals.

For example, a Welcome tab is a common choice for any successful Facebook page. You can adjust your settings so that’s the first page anyone sees when they come to your Facebook page.

Other options include:

  • Video
  • Opt In tab
  • Product tab
  • Questionnaire/Survey tab
  • Information tab

And so on. Here is an example of a Facebook page bar with tabs

Page bar 2.jpg

In the screenshot above you’ll notice there’s also a video on the welcome page. This is a great way to instantly connect with your visitor.

Here’s the fan page for Coca Cola

Notice that Coke also has a video along with a link to their other social networking sites. Connecting multiple social platforms can help funnel prospects and customers throughout your community. It can forge a stronger connection and grow your audience. Consider the other social networking sites you use and how they might fit into your overall Facebook goals.

Below you’ll see some other items on Coke’s Facebook page. It includes links to their products, contact information, and links to other Coke communities and initiatives.

Additionally, if you click on the side tab on the top bar of Coke’s page you’ll see a long menu list of pages, applications and tools people can visit.

Notice that everything on the Coke page is designed to provide value to visitors.

As you’re planning your Facebook fan page, consider what content you can offer that will provide the most value to your prospects and visitors.

Provide content that:

  • Is relevant to your industry
  • Is insightful or entertaining
  • Motivates people to interact, comment and take action.

Add tabs that offer value to your prospects and customers.

For example, if you’re a professional coach you might have a tab that offers assessments and quizzes.

If you’re an information marketer, perhaps one tab will be dedicated to “reviews.” Contests and sweepstakes are also a great way to motivate people to participate on your page and become part of your community.

Create an outline for your Facebook page. Include all of the tabs you’re going to have on your page. Note that you don’t have to create all of them before you launch. Part of creating an engaging page is adding content and that includes adding new tabs as your page grows and evolves.

Start with a plan for what you want to launch your page with. Make sure your page and subsequent tabs support your goals. For example, if your goal is to build your list you’ll likely want:

  1. Welcome page with an opt-in form
  2. Info/About page

Once you have your plan, it’s time to get on Facebook and start the creation process.

Step #4 Create Your Facebook Page

Visit- http://www.facebook.com/pages/create.php and enter your log in information in the upper right hand corner.

As seen in the screenshot, you’ll be asked to choose a category for your Facebook page. You’ll also be asked to enter your page Name.

Experts strongly recommend using your name, not the name of your business. This is because people are looking to connect with other people on Facebook, not companies.

Once you have created your Facebook fan page, you will need to add photos and information in order to make it a page that Facebook users will want to visit again and again.

Again, use your own photo rather than a logo or business graphic.

In the screenshot you’ll also notice a red arrow pointing to a +. When you click on the plus symbol you can add a new tab to your page.

You’ve already planned your page, so this step should be fairly straightforward. Simply add the tabs you’ve planned. You can play with the wording and the copy on the page. It’s all a draft and not “live” until you publish it.

To add a welcome tab, click on the plus symbol and search for “Welcome” in the drop down menu.

Once your page is ready to go, it’s time to publish your page. Your Facebook fan page is not yet live until you click the “Publish this Page” link. You can edit your page at any time by simply clicking “edit page”.

**It should also be noted that you can outsource this project to a professional or a service. There are a number of social media and Facebook experts that create custom fan pages to help you achieve your profit goals.

Step #5 Maintain Your Facebook Page – A Long Term Plan

Your work isn’t done once you’ve launched your page.  You will have three primary functions to make your Facebook page a profitable success.

Network and Connect

You’re going to want to let people know you have a Facebook fan page. Share links from your fan page on your profile. Invite friends, prospects and connections to become fans. Consider hosting contests and promotions to drive traffic to your Facebook page.

Promote your Facebook page on your email signature, on your homepage, and in other social networks that you’re a part of. Integrate your fan page into your existing marketing tactics and strategy.

Consistently Add Value and Content

The best way to generate and maintain interest in your page is to consistently add fresh and valuable content. Post links, create discussions, publish pictures and content. Post surveys and have fun with applications.

Don’t forget to also publish promotions and special offers. Get creative and generate excitement for your page and your business.

Study Your Results

Finally, it’s important to stay on top of your page to ensure it is meeting your goals. Facebook provides a wealth of information to help you stay informed. You can analyze:

  • The number of interactions you have had with fans each day or week.
  • The number of comments you had on your posts.
  • The demographics of your fans
  • The tabs, content, or applications that receive the most interest and interaction

And of course you can and should track your success. If your goal was to build your lead list, are your efforts helping you achieve your goal? If your goal is to send traffic to your website sales page, what’s your click through rate? How many of those clicks are converting?

Create a plan to:

  • Network and spread the word about your fan page
  • Consistently add value and content to your Facebook fan page (Consider hiring an administrative assistant to manage your page.)
  • Analyze the results and build on your success.

Conclusion

Facebook fan pages are an exceptional tool to achieve a number of business building goals. Whether you’re driving traffic to your website, building your lead list or actually selling products or services on your page, the end result is a boost in profits.

Create your goals, research your audience, plan and create your page to support your goals. Once your page has been published, create a long-term plan to maintain it by consistently adding valuable content, networking with users and fans and tracking results. Profits will naturally result from your dedicated efforts.

Copyright (c) 2011 Institute of Global Marketing. All rights reserved.

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2011 Plugin List

Using WordPress for Websites is my current Platform of Choice.  From a SEM – Search Engine Marketing Standpoint it the most versatile.

Here is my list of plugins!!!

CLICK HERE TO DOWNLOAD PDF

The Best WordPress Plugins to Use in 2011

1. W3 Total Cache – This WordPress plugin is great for two reasons. First, it makes
your pages load way faster. Second, since it stores static versions of your site, it
requires much less CPU processing than using WordPress all by itself. This
WordPress plugin is number one on the list for a reason.
2. HeadSpace: WordPress SEO Made Simple- Move over All in one SEO. There’s a
new guy in town. HeadSpace provides you with the features you need to drive
your site to the top. People spend way to much time working on SEO and too
little time writing great content. This plugin let’s you put your focus back where it
belongs. It takes care of all the SEO work that your blog will need.
3. PAID Gravity Forms – This is without question the best WordPress plugin for
forms. There is no competition. This form creates posts, allows image and media
uploads, allows conditional logic, and so much more. It is the all-in-one form
plugin for WordPress.
4. PAID MaxBlog Press Affiliate Ninja – This WordPress plugin is amazing as it
massively cuts down on the amount of time it takes to promote affiliate products
throughout your site. It converts keywords that you identify, tracks clicks, and
much more. You won’t have to keep chasing down your affiliate links when
they’re all stored in your WordPress dashboard and doing the work for you.
5. WP-DBManager – This little gem is amazing for backing up your website. It
actually has quite a few functions that it can perform but perhaps it’s most
impressive feature is it’s ability to email the entire WordPress databse to me
every day.
6. Thank Me Later – This plugin is great. It sends an email to all first-time visitors.
You can write up the email to remind them about your RSS feed or just to invite
them to connect with you personally. I do both.
7. WP-PageNavi – Those ‘Older Posts’ and ‘Newer Posts’ links are boring. With
WP-PaveNavi you can get page buttons so users can go directly to whichever
page they want. Plus they look a lot better than plain little links.
8. SEO Smart Links – Do you inter-link your articles? You should. Linking within an
article to other articles is a great way to build Page Rank throughout your site
and it’s a great way to get readers to find your other articles on similar subjects.
This plugin will interlink keywords to your other articles for you.

9. Digg Digg Social Sharing – This simply WordPress plugin is what powers the
floating social icons to the left of each post here at Site Sketch 101. With an easy
to access Twitter icon, your friends and readers will be able to easily share and
promote your content.
10. Sharing is Sexy
11. Feedburner Circulation – The era of the feedburner chicklets are over. Install the
Feedburner Circulation WordPress plugin and you’ll be able to display your
subscriber count just as you see in the top right corner of this page.
12. Revision Control – With the revisions feature of WordPress, it doesn’t take long
for your database to get bloated and begin slowing down your site. With the
Revision Control WordPress Plugin you can limit the number of post revisions
that remain in storage. I have mine set to 2.
13. Tweet Old Post – If you’ve been engaging and building a community of friends on
Twitter, then this WordPress plugin is the perfect way to sprinkle your posts into
your tweets. It has options to add hashtags, leading text and more.
14. Widget Context – With the Widget Context WordPress plugin, you’ll be able to
pick and choose which pages you want sidebar widgets to appear on. You can
literally create different sidebars for different pages and sections of your site with
this.
15. WordPress Editorial Calendar – This plugin provides a crisp, clean editorial
calendar of your posts both past and present. You can drag and drop articles
from one date to another, edit them and much more. This is an amazing
organizational tool.
16. ReplyMe – This plugin sends an email to anyone who leaves a comment only
when someone comments as a direct response to them. This is a terrific way to
help continue the conversations that you’re working to build on your site.
17. WordPress SEO by Yoast is the most complete SEO plugin that exists today for
WordPress.org users. It incorporates everything from a snippet preview that
helps you optimize your page titles, meta descriptions and keywords to XML
sitemaps, and loads of optimization options in between.
18. Google Analytics for WordPress is the most complete Google Analytics plugin for

WordPress. Of course, you could just copy the tracking code into your theme andbe done with it, but then you’d miss a whole lot of features that this plugin has to
offer you. All the extra data this plugin can add to your tracking is what makes
Google Analytics for WordPress into the most powerful tracking tool you’ve ever
seen.
19. NextGEN Gallery: A NextGENeration Photo gallery. Want to build a gallery of
photo with ease and style? In our opinion this is the best.
20. Facebook Comments for WordPress – This WP Facebook plugin will integrate
Facebook commenting into your blog allowing your readers to comment using
their Facebook profile. The plugin can be customized to change the look of the
comments and set the maximum number of comments that should be displayed
to visitors. Commenters are additionally given the opportunity to post their
comment to their own FB profile.
21. Simple Facebook Connect – A WordPress Facebook plugin that adds Facebook
Connect login abilities to your WP blog permitting readers to comment using their
Facebook profile. The plugin also allows you to manually publish your blog posts
to your FB profile, an FB application, or a Facebook fan page. Other add-ons for
this plugin can extend its functionality to import other great features geared
toward integrating with Facebook and promoting your website’s content there.
22. Facebook Fan Box – If you have a Facebook fan page for your blog, you can
display any recent updates and new fans using this fan box plugin. Customized
settings for this WordPress plugin permits the admin to change the appearance,
dimensions, stream stories, and limit the number of fans that are shown.
23. The WordPress Mobile Pack is a complete toolkit to help mobilize your
WordPress site. It has a mobile switcher, themes, widgets, and mobile admin
pane
24. SexyBookmarks Adds an attractive social bookmarking menu to your posts,
pages, index, or any combination of the three.


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How to Use Ping.fm

How to use PING.FM

Ping.FM

Use this to sign up of keep all your social networking sites in one place.
Make sure you set up accounts with the correct branding for your business.

Top To Join and Save in Ping.FM

  1. Twitter
  2. Facebook & or Facebook Pages
  3. Tumblr
  4. Blogger
  5. Livejournal
  6. Hi5
  7. Xanga
  8. Vox
  9. Mutiply
  10. Linkedin
  11. Posterous (also web2.0)
  12. Flicker (a photo sharing spot)
  13. Tagged
  14. Ning
  15. MySpace
  16. Goggle Buzz
  17. Yahoo Profiles

Create different Groups 4 or so -

Go to Dashboard and look for the Create Groups link in blue.

Post to Groups – To do this:

1. Navigate back to your dashboard, where you will find the box to distribute content to your groups.

2. Select the group (in green).

3. Paste Content (in blue). Use standard anchor text within the content. Contextual links.4. Enter a title (in red).Once published (by pressing ping it!
in orange) it will be distributed to the sites in the group, and we have instant links.

SEO to Pay or Not to Pay

Organic Search Engine Optimization — To Pay or Not to Pay?

Organic search engine optimization is actually a redundant term. Search engine optimization naturally brings about organic, natural traffic. Beyond that you often hear the question of organic versus paid traffic. Understanding the difference between the two of these will help you in your Internet marketing career, and in deciding what to focus on as you promote your website.

The organic search results are those that are naturally found in search engines listings like Google. They appear there because the search engine found your site good enough to include and relevant enough to related terms that people are searching for.

Paid traffic is just that — traffic you pay for. This is usually in the form of pay per click, which can also be found on search engines like Google. Have you ever done a search and found advertisements down the right hand side of the search results? The chances are probably good that you have — and if you haven’t you can go ahead and check it now. People bid on search terms with the hopes that people will click their ads to get to their website.

There are pros and cons to both methods. Organic methods can take quite a long time to show results. On the flipside, paid traffic can start coming within just a few minutes. Many people pay for traffic at first to see if it is traffic that converts (or, brings in money). When they are sure it will, they use search engine optimization techniques to increase their profits.

Deciding whether you want to go with organic SEO techniques first or not can be a difficult decision. This will depend on if you have the funds for paid traffic or if you’d rather start out more slowly with your marketing. On the other hand, if you have the investment capital to get started, you can easily find out if it is worth going for organic traffic or if the search term you are considering targeting is not going to be worth it.

When you are ready to focus on organic methods, here are some tips you’ll want to follow through with:

Make use of your meta tags, including keywords and description areas. There is some debate on the effectiveness of these tags, but they can certainly help your rankings and do not hurt them, according to many experts.

Use quality content that focuses on one keyword and includes related keywords for semantic latent indexing reasons as well. This will tell the search engines what your content is about so they can more easily rank you for that term.

Focus on getting backlinks. While many issues regarding search engine optimization are fuzzy, experts agree that the more backlinks you have (that are high quality) the more highly you tend to rank.

Website Structure Basic of SEO

Writing search engine friendly content helps your potential customers find you through a search engine. Most search engines use software “spiders” to comb the Web for the most relevant sites, and one way they determine a site’s value is by its written content. The spiders are searching the content for keywords or the words that people type in to the search engines that relate to a particular topic. The good news is that spiders, like your site visitors, are attracted to short, easy-to-understand text that is relevant to what you are selling. By organizing the relevant information about your site — the page titles, descriptions, etc. — you’ll make it easier for search engines to find and rank you appropriately.

Web Page Titles Your site’s title, which appears at the top of the browser window, is the first piece of text users — and spiders — will read. Search engines use title tags to get information about your site and help determine rank in search results pages. Your home page title should be short and include your business name and its function, if it’s not clear from the name alone. For example, if you sell watches, the title of your home page could be “Smith’s Online Watch Store.” Giving each page a unique, descriptive title will help searchers find what they are looking for. For example, if you sell shoes and your web site has a page that lists only basketball shoes, a good title for that page might be “Basketball Shoes for All Sizes.” That particular page, instead of your home page, would also be listed on the results page, so users can go directly there from their search.

Meta Tags Your site’s meta tags are similar to the title tags, but are not displayed at the top of a browser’s window. These tags explain the web page’s content and store keywords for search engines, which helps in the ranking process. Also, the text in the meta tags will be used as the descriptor on a search engine’s results page, just below the link to your site. For example, if the title of your site is “Smith’s Online Watch Store,” your meta tags could read, “Buy casual, dress, and athletic watches.”

This would appear on the search engine’s results pages as:
Smith’s Online Watch Store
Buy casual, dress, and athletic watches. 
www.smithswatches.com

Meta tags don’t impact the display of your site to visitors, but because search engines do use them to create the descriptive text that accompanies search results, they need to be as clear as the rest of your site’s content. When writing meta tags, you should:

  • Use your keywords in the description , but keep them limited so you do not appear to be spamming the search engine.
  • Limit the description to 250 words in length.
  • Write for people, not spiders. The best sites are the ones that provide the highest quality user experience.

Home Page The copy on your home page is your first opportunity to attract spiders and sell to customers. You should write content that supports the keywords and phrases that initially led customers to your site and use your keywords at least three or four times. Some search engines pick up text from the top of your home page to create a description of your site instead of using your meta tags, so make sure to include catchy phrases and keywords that will appear on the top portion of the screen. This also is important for users who visit your site — they shouldn’t have to scroll down to find the most relevant content.

Category and Subcategory Pages These pages allow you to organize your products or services in a logical way, help users locate exactly what they are looking for, and bring customers directly from a search engine to the product they want to buy. Headers, products, and special offers placed at the top of the page will increase visibility with both spiders and shoppers. For example, on your sneakers page, a “Free Shipping on Sneakers” ad near the top of the page will help entice customers, but it will also make it easier for spiders to find your keywords because they won’t have to scan as much content. Keep in mind that spiders can’t read content embedded in graphics or flash so be sure to use plain HTML text when placing the copy on the page.

The Benefit of Writing Search Friendly Content 
Your ultimate goal is, of course, to communicate with and sell to your customers. Writing search engine-optimized content helps achieve that goal by making it easier for search engines and customers to find you. Sprinkling your keywords throughout both your site’s text and meta tags is one way to get noticed by search engines. And it helps potential customers find exactly what they’re looking for.

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Natural Search Engine Optimization

Believe it or not, there is a lot of manipulation that goes on behind the scenes when it comes to ranking highly for desired search terms. Despite the trickery, natural search engine optimization is a much better route to take as the results will likely be longer lasting. Before we delve into the great ways to increase your rankings, it’s important to discuss the less than desirable methods that can lead you astray.

The first thing you want to stay away from is much of the automated software. While it certainly is the Internet marketing dream to make money without having to lift a finger, many of the automated techniques are simply spam and clutter and are quickly discovered by the search engines. This includes auto scraped content that doesn’t even make sense much less draw readership to it! You can find yourself dropped out of the search rankings faster than you probably thought possible by using such junk content. Hands-off is not always the best way!

Another thing to stay away from is automated blog commenting. There is the caveat that some people find this useful to quickly find the latest blog posts to comment on. There are some uses that are probably okay (like that one), but for the most part you should steer clear of it. Blog owners can tell when the content is not related and will not allow your comments to begin with. Even though this is a hands-off effort, it is completely wasted.

Now for the methods you SHOULD use! The absolute best way to make use of natural search engine optimization is to create quality content. That way you will become well known within the niche and people will naturally link to you. This is what Google and other search engines want to see!

They want to see consistent readership by way of quality content. Every time another website links to you, it is considered to be a vote for your website. If you consistently have good content that gets linked to, it will be clear that you have a lot of votes and you’ll start to rank highly. This is where the true hands-off earning comes in!

There are other methods that are considered to be more natural and are okay in the eyes of many marketers. These are not completely natural as there is some manipulation of the rankings according to the most “pure” marketers. This includes exchanging links with other people, writing articles for more backlinks, and submission to directories. You’d be hard-pressed to find a popular site that doesn’t utilize a least some of these techniques.

Natural search engine optimization techniques can get you a lot further than manipulative and automated testing. You’ll get longer lasting results, which is worth your time and can bring you have a lot more money in the long run.

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Search Engine Optimization — Google Knows Best

Many people agree that if you want to make it online with your website, you need to understand search engine optimization “Google style.” The fact is that Google is the top search engine and controls most of the market share among all the search engines. The problem is that they do not disclose how their algorithm ranks websites, so it takes expert testing as well as your own trial and error to figure it out.

If you are just starting out marketing your website, it is important to focus on the things that we know to be true about ranking highly in Google. These are time-tested tips and techniques that people have discovered.

The honest truth is that there is no magic bullet that will make you rank highly for incredibly competitive terms. Factors that seem to be prevalent for websites that rank highly for those kinds of terms almost always have:

Quality content
Consistent content
A lot of backlinks and quality websites
An “aged” domain

Any newbie marketer might be intimidated by this list. At the same time, all you have to realize is that Google’s main goal is to provide the best search engine experience to their visitors as they possibly can. It starts with quality content! Even if you are the newest of the new, this is something you can do. Make it your mission to create a website that will stand the test of time.

Google also tries to present up-to-the-minute information. You will get extra “points” from the algorithm if you update your site consistently. There is no known time that you need to update by — this is something you’ll need to test for yourself. Many popular bloggers, for instance, blog every day, or at least several times per week. There are other static or product-based websites that update less frequently and still rank highly. This may be specific to the type of website.

The other things are features that build up over time. Take a little time each day, or each week, to get as many back links to your website as possible. This will naturally occur if you have quality content, but you can also take steps to ensure backlinks come through. Comment on blogs, submit articles to article directories, and utilize other linking strategies to ensure these come in consistently.

Google also enjoys aged domains. This means domains that have been around for a few years or more. This might be because there is more chance of there being a lot of content there, but it also has to do with the fact that many people start and abandon websites within a short amount of time. If your website is still up and running, it shows authority in Google’s eyes and you’ll likely get a boost in the rankings because of that.

Following these search engine optimization Google to will certainly help you get started right with your site. Focus on quality and the rewards will come.

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