Welcome to Josh Baker's Practical Advice for Optimizing Your Internet Marketing blog. Here you will find internet marketing optimization and online strategy articles full of tips, tricks, discussions, and thoughts to help you take your marketing and business to the next level of success.

Archive for SEO

When you need to permanently change the URL of a web page or your entire website, and you want your new and returning visitors and the search engines to find your new web page it’s recommended to use a search-engine friendly 301 redirect. A 301 redirect is the HTTP status code for “moved permanently”.

Some common situations for when you want to implement a 301 redirect are:

  • You want to move your entire web site to a new domain for example if you want to change the domain name of your website or you are merging 2 websites into 1 website location.
  • You changed the URL of an existing web page to a new URL, or updated the URL of an older web page where the old URL may still exist in user bookmarks, incoming links from other websites, or indexed in the search engines.

How to create a 301 redirect:

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Categories : Marketing Basics, SEO
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Advanced Web Ranking Screenshot

Advanced Web Ranking

Three very important but always time consuming tasks of starting, running, and maintain your SEO program for your business or clients are keyword discovery, monitoring your search engine rankings for inclusion, improvement or decline (change) in rankings, and competitive research and ranking.

Fortunately, for those who are willing to give up some of the manual work and let an automated tool either do the research and reporting work for you almost in its entirety, or supplement your manual work there is a well known tool called Advanced Web Ranking.

Advanced Web Ranking, as a SEO keyword research tool can be very helpful in providing the data you need so that you can concentrate on creating great content for your visitors and other websites to link to, as well as optimizing your pages and websites for the best possible rankings they deserve.

Let’s be honest, in most cases if your website doesn’t appear on the first page of organic results when a user performs a search query at a search engine on keywords or phrases that your site represents or covers, you don’t exist. Of course the higher-up on the search engine results pages the better, but exact positioning (i.e. a guaranteed #1 ranking) is out of your complete control in many cases due to many signals and factors including personalization results returned based on the users past search patterns and geographical location.
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Bing announced Wednesday the release of their updated Bing Webmaster Tools. According to a recent blog post by Bing titled A New Beginning: Bing Webmaster Tools, they reached out to webmaster and SEO communities for ideas and suggestions on how they could improve their Webmaster Tools. They started over and rebuilt Bing Webmaster Tools from the ground up providing webmasters with more transparency, more control, and more information to aid in optimizing sites for Bing.

They focused on 3 areas in the redesigned Bing Webmaster Tools to help you optimize your websites for Bing:

  1. Crawl – to provide you with more information on crawl issues (redirects, exclusions, etc.)
  2. Index  – browse the Bing index to verify which directories & pages have been indexed
  3. Traffic –  ability to analyze up to six months of crawling, indexing, and traffic data

Bing Webmaster Tools is still not as robust as Google Webmaster Tools in the information it provides, but it is a step in the right direction. I look forward to additional features they have in the works in the coming months.

Categories : Optimization, SEO
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Today’s post is a guest post from Justin Palmer, Justin is the founder of Palmer Web Marketing, which offers SEO website review services. You can learn more about Justin on Palmer Web Marketing blog, which focuses on internet marketing and website usability strategy for eCommerce websites.

“It’s going to take how long?” – A classic question when it comes to delivering SEO results. After all, everyone knows results today are far more valuable then results tomorrow. At times, SEO can be a business owner’s worst nightmare. Why? Because a good SEO will not promise results in a specific amount of time because there are too many variables. There are, however, several “tweaks” that can bring immediate results to your site if implemented properly. Below is the low-hanging fruit I always look to first.

#1 – Add Internal, Non-Navigational links In my opinion, too many SEO’s focus on obtaining external links while ignoring the low-hanging fruit on their own site. Google is craving informative, contextual links located within a paragraph of page content. Too many sites rely on only navigational links to inform search engines about their content. Contextual links, in contrast with a navigational link appearing on every single page, tells Google you’re linking to a relevant, specific piece of information. If your site has a blog or articles, make sure to sprinkle a few keyword rich links within their content.

#2 – Add a Keyword Phrase(s) to the Title Tag I cringe every time I stumble upon a site with only “Company Name, Inc.” in the title tag. For pages on your site that are already ranking well and have PageRank, adding an additional keyword to the title tag can yield first page ranking for that phrase instantly, assuming the title tag isn’t already too overloaded with keywords. Of course there’s other factors to be considered here, including whether or not your title tag will be readable in the SERPs with this additional phrase.

#3- Remove Keyword Phrase(s) from Title Tags On the other hand, sites with very little incoming link equity will benefit by removing extraneous keywords from an overloaded title tag, focusing only on the phrases that matter most. If your Title tag has 20 keywords in it, ask yourself how many are actually relevant to that page. Then ask yourself how many of these phrases are supported by the page itself, in other words they occur somewhere on the page besides the Title. If they are not supported elsewhere, remove them and create a different page.

#4 – Indented Listing If you already have a page ranking for an important keyword phrase, snagging a second, indented Google listing can effectively double your SERP real estate. How do you get an indented listing? Here’s a 3 step process that works for me.

#5 – Narrow your Focus on Broad Keywords Let’s suppose you’ve done your SEO well, and you’ve landed a first page result for “laptops bags.” You also sell leather laptop bags, and want to rank for this phrase as well. By simply sprinkling the word “leather” into your page content, meta description, and image alt tags, you can leverage your ranking for leather bags, and likely place yourself in a decent position, sometimes without needing the term in the title tag.

Strategical, long term SEO is more complicated than this post suggests. But fortunately, there are always “quick fixes” out there, like the 5 tips listed above. Let’s hear from you. If you had only 3 hours to SEO a website, what tactics would you use?

Categories : SEO
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Upper Funnel Keywords in paid search (or even in organic search by definition) are those keywords that do not bring in visitors that convert in a traditional sense into an immediate purchase or lead, but rather are the keywords that convert the potential customer to the next stage of the “interest cycle”. These Upper Funnel Keywords typically bring potential customers or leads into your website that have not made up their mind to make a purchase (or fill out a form or take a trial) because they are still in their “considering their options stage” of decision making and are possibly not yet familiar with you or in some instances not familiar enough with you to complete a conversion during that visit.

You are going on vacation to a cold climate (let’s say the North Pole). You know you need to buy something to keep yourself warm, but you’re not sure exactly what options are out there because you live in a year round warm climate. So you do a search on the keyword phrase extreme cold weather coats. You end up at a website by clicking on a paid search ad that appeared when you typed in the phrase and notice that they have a section for cold climate coats and even list the temperatures they can withstand.  You think to yourself, wow this is great, now I have a better idea of what’s available and I kind of like Brand X Model 4567, but I am not going on the vacation for another 4 months so I am not going to purchase anything today because I don’t have the extra money. Forty-five days later you win $200 on a scratch-off ticket that you found and decide that you are ready to purchase a coat with your extra money, you do a search on Brand X Model 4567 since you knew the exact coat you wanted to buy now and end up back on the same website as before and purchase the coat.

The difficulty in measuring the value of these Upper Funnel Keywords is that they don’t produce single visit conversions -you can’t see the whole picture of entrance to conversion in your analytics data in a linear fashion.

For instance, a single visit conversion would show start to finish in one visit from entering your site to making the purchase. Here you easily have the whole picture from the PPC keyword that triggered the ad that they clicked on to enter your website and their entire path to the purchase.

With Upper Funnel Keywords, a typical scenario would be that the visitor arrives at your site from these keywords or phrases,  looks around, leaves, comes back another time reads more information, exits your site again, then finally comes back a 3rd time and makes a purchase.

Most only know how to measure the keywords that produce single visit conversions and thus deem these Upper Funnel Keywords more or less valueless because their value isn’t easily seen in a typically known fashion. The ROI isn’t easily visible.

In the example given earlier, the keyword phrase you searched on first, extreme cold weather coats, was the Upper Funnel Keyword phrase. You didn’t purchase during that visit of your initial search, but you did eventually go back and purchase based on the information you learned during that first visit. Had another website come up with a different but possibly similar featured coat that you liked, you would have purchased from there and a different coat. So there was definite value in that first search as it gave you the information you needed to make a decision, but you just didn’t purchase then. Now imagine if you were only looking at single session conversions, you would only be able to confirm that Brand X Model 4567 was a valuable keyword because a sale was associated with it. But in reality, without having a presence in paid search for extreme cold weather coats a sale wouldn’t have been made – thus showing the importance of being able to look at multi-session conversions to contribute back value (and ROI) to the Upper Funnel Keywords.

Avinash Kaushik on his Occam’s Razor blog this week made a powerful and very instructionally clear post on how to measure the success of Upper Funnel Keywords and I suggest you read his post for the details on how to do so.