Thursday, October 18, 2007

Local Search Engine Optimization

As the fastest growing vertical in search, many people are now starting to recognize the value of local search engine optimization can have on their site traffic. Also known as regional search, it's basically geo-targeting your audience when they search.

Local search works best for the service provider, or a retailer that has numerous locations. While the search volume won't be as great as a non-regional phrase, the person who reaches your site will be a more targeted visit and most likely ready to convert.

Another happy accident in local search is that for sites that are well optimized may also pick up rankings in mobile search.

So, here's what you need to do in order to rank for local seo:

  • Be sure to have your location(s) full address
  • If you have a regional number, list that as well since some people start with an area code
  • Be sure to include driving directions to your location
  • Use a mapping service to display your location
  • Have pictures of your locations and name them with your street address
  • Make sure your site appears in any regional directory that might be online
  • If you can afford it, get listed in your local yellow pages
  • Place the regions you want to rank for in your page titles
  • Get text links that contain the regional phrase

Most of these techniques are not only common sense, but also good web design. If you're in business, you want people to be able to find you, right?

How to Create a Google Site Map

Officially announced on June 6th, 2005 at Google'e Blog, Google Site Map allows you to submit a listing of all your urls for Google to crawl.

There have been many questions concerning the procedure of creating a Google Site Map. Below is the non-Python way of creating one. (Note: Google has further documentation at their site)

First, create a file named sitemap.xml

Use the following code in any HTML editor:

urlset xmlns="">


Here's a breakdown of those properties:

lastmod -
This is the date the document was last modified and uses the following formats: hh:mm
dd/mm/yyyy hh:mm

changefreq -
Tells Google Sitemaps the frequently that content of a particular URL will change.

Your options are "always", "hourly", "daily", "weekly", "monthly", "yearly" or "never".

The value "always" should be used to describe documents that change each time they are accessed. The value "never" should be used to describe archived URLs.

priority -
The priority of a particular URL relative to other pages on your site.
You may select between 0.0 and 1.0, where 0.0 identifies the lowest priority page(s) on your website and 1.0 identifies the highest priority page(s) on your website.

Add as many pages as there are in your website.

Google Sitemap supports up to 50,000 pages per XML file.

Once you've completed all of those steps, you'll need to submit your site map page.

Submit to: (requires gmail account)

Collateral Benefits of Search Engine Marketing

Many times a client only looks at the bottom line when it comes to the performance they are getting for their investment into Search Engine Marketing.

They often only look at the selected keyword phrases that they are paying for, without fully realizing what other residual effects they are receiving.

When a site gets properly optimized, (SEO) it is being transformed into a thought-out navigational pattern to information. This is the same pattern a search engine spider looks for. Don't forget, the easier you make it for a spider to index your site, the better your chances are for getting your site a higher placement in the search engine results page (SERP's).

While W3C validation is something all sites should strive for, it is not required for better rankings. Does it help? Probably. Yahoo engineers have stated that whether a site is W3C compliant or not makes no difference to how it ranks. If it has relevant content, it will get ranked.

Another element when optimizing a site is that through proper naming of page titles, file names and placement of content make the site all the more relevant to the spider. Although Google places less value on Meta Tags, they are still used as part of the algorithm, and should not be overlooked.

After the site has coded properly, the game then goes up to the next level. Search Engine Marketing is used to drive traffic to the site through various means. Press releases, articles, blogs, RSS/XML feeds, Directory Submissions and User Groups all can bring targeted traffic to a site.

Here is where the collateral benefits of SEM begin to appear. Let's say that you have been doing a series of press releases where once a week, you talk about a new color of widget. In each press release you also list the other colors of widgets that you have for sale. Even after only the first release gets sent, you've already created a valuable In-Bound Link to your site for your Red Widget, but since you included the other colors of the widgets as well, they all pick up IBL's as well.

An even greater demonstration of a collateral benefit is ranking for keywords and phrases that you aren't targeting. Keeping to our widget example, if your site copy talks about the different uses of widgets, the available colors that they come in and the best way to preserve your widget, you've just created a multitude of various phrases that your site can get ranked on.

Example site copy:

We sell the highest-quality widget available. Our color selection ranges from red to purple, black to white and can be used in your home or for industrial needs. The widget is the most versatile tool on the market. Pick one up today!

From this one paragraph, here are the possible phrases your site could get ranked on:

  • high quality widget
  • red widget
  • purple widget
  • black widget
  • white widget
  • home widget
  • industrial widget
  • widget tool
  • widget

This is only a tiny sampling of the potential your site has. Remember, each page gets ranked on it's own, so that's why it is so important to make sure every page you have on your site is optimized.

Even your contact/about page is critical because if you have a brick-and-mortar business, by listing your street address, you help the search engines geo target your site. Most search engines are already trying to focus your search results regionally. While it's not a major factor yet, it is something to be aware of.

In conclusion, the next time you start checking Google to see where your site ranks for it's keyword phrases, don't forget about all of the hidden keywords/phrases that are embedded in your site's copy. You would be surprised at how many of those forgotten about terms end up at the top of the pile....

Press Release Power

I'm sure by now you've heard about how Press Releases can help your marketing campaigns on the Internet. But besides from people telling you, do you have any quantitative evidence that it's worth the time to craft a newsworthy release?

From a search marketing perspective, this is one of the best ways of killing two birds with one stone. Besides getting exposure for your site, you are also creating web saturation. By having the possibility of your release getting picked up by multiple media outlets, you quickly and cheaply get eyeballs looking at your product or service, and ultimately, traffic to your site.

Being that the Internet has grown to being a social environment with the ultimate goal of personalization for each user, how can anyone get their message out?

With blogs, RSS readers and news aggregators becoming more popular, the user is becoming more selective to what they want to see. This is something every marketer should embrace.

Now, instead of spending thousands to blast an add that may only be relevant to 10 percent of your audience, you can now selectively target your audience and deliver your message.

Since the majority of us do not have Google's bankroll, we are left to find less expensive ways to drive visitors to your site. This is where one can get onto a level playing field with the big spenders.

To demonstrate the power of the press release, take a moment to review some stats on a campaign that was conducted in early December.

PR Service:

Price: $80.00 USD
(Note: - you can submit free press releases, but you won't have access to any tracking stats, and you lose some services.)

For the above mentioned fee, the $80.00 includes:

Properly Optimized, RSS/XML Feed, Next Day Distribution, ability to attach files, featured, listing appears on: Google News, Overture, eMediaWire, Yahoo News, Excite News, DogPile, MetaCrawler, Inktomi, MSN News, Lycos News, AskJeeves News, Feedster and Topix News

Quite the bang for your buck, eh?

The Press Release in question was for a free service, and it was geared for Christmas use, so keep that in mind as you review the information.

Reads: 88,380

(This number indicates how many times the press release was accessed from the PRWeb site and other distribution points where they have the ability to measure a click through. This number does not include the number of journalists that have received the release through email.)

Estimated Pickup: 3,908

(This number estimates the number of times the press release was picked up by a media outlet. This does not indicate how many times the story appeared in the media. It simply attempts to estimate media interest in the release.)

Now how many places on the Internet can give you those type of numbers for getting traffic to your site?

To try and get an accurate number for a "typical" Press Release, another release was submitted in March of 2005, for a new paid-for service.

Reads: 80,375

Estimated Pickup: 1,362

Still pretty impressive, even if it's just to get some traffic, or brand name exposure.

If you're serious about your business, $80.00 is easily worth the investment for this type of return.

Friday, August 10, 2007

SEO Facts

There are a lot of rumors that go around the net that all you need to do is submit your website to thousands of search engines and traffic will immediately start avalanching to your website like never before. The problem with those rumors is that they simply are not true.
Ranking high in the search engines and collecting traffic as a result is a fairly complicated and time consuming process. It will take some work and dedication, but the end result can be rewarding. I will attempt to summarize the concepts of search engine marketing and help you get your start today.

I think it is safe to say we all know what search engines are. Just go to for an example. You type words, it finds related web sites.

As an advertiser, you should instantly see the potential in using search engines as a tool to get traffic to your own site. And in fact search engines are a very powerful marketing tool that can prove very helpful if properly utilized.

The first mistake most newbie marketers make is to submit their site to search engines without ever optimizing their web page. Now in order to be able to optimize your web page, you must first own the web page.

Search engine optimization is a detailed, lengthy process that would be to difficult for me to get into complete detail here, so I’ll leave it up to you to do a little research of your own to learn how.

I will still leave you with the most crucial tips to get you on your way and to keep you from making fatal mistakes.

What is more important to optimize?
a) Meta tags
b) content
c) both are important

In my opinion, both are important to attend to, but even more important than optimizing your meta tags is optimizing your content. Most of today’s search engines (especially the largest -- Google), focus more on your content as a guide to relevancy than your meta tags. It is not bad to optimize your Meta tags with a good description and keywords, but just remember that even more important is your content optimization.

Review your web site content and look for creative ways to strategically add into your content the keywords which you are focusing on reaching. For example, if you are targeting the keyword “Internet marketing,” you will want to ensure that the phrase “Internet marketing” appears frequently within your sites ad copy. The more it appears, the greater your chances of being listed high are. Yet be sure to do this within reason. Your website is made primarily to read by humans, not search engines.

Of course, as I said meta tags are still an important issue to attend to as well. While Google may not use meta tags much at all as a guide to relevancy, some other popular search engines still do.
Meta tags are the html tags in between the tags of your html, found at the top html of your web page.

For example…

[meta content="" name="description"]
[meta content="Your Keywords go here" name="keywords"]
[meta content="" name="author"]

Note: The [] tags are used instead of the <> tags.

In the above example the [title] tag is a description of your site that will appear on the browser taskbar at the top of browser. This description should accurately explain your site, but it should also be rich with your most important keywords.

In the [meta name=”description”] tag, you will want to include a short description of your web site. This is what appears as your description when you appear in the search results on some search engines. While this description should be rich in your targeted keywords, it should more importantly accurately describe your site. If you write a description optimized with keywords, but that doesn’t make sense to humans, no one will click through to your site.

The [meta name="keywords"] tag is where you will type your targeted keywords, separated by a comma.

In the [meta name="author"] tag, you will want to include a short description about yourself, the author. Make it accurately describe you, but also don’t be afraid go ahead and puff yourself up a little bit.

Let me guess what you’re thinking now?

You’re wondering what keywords you should use and how you should choose them.

Well, the best advice is to keep your keywords targeted and narrow, rather than broad.

For example, rather than using the broad search term, “network marketing,” try using a less searched, more targeted keyword like “network marketing training.” Even while narrow, targeted keywords get searched less, you will be competing with less people for the top spots and will end up with a higher position under that keyword and ultimately more traffic in the end.

Go to for a cool tool to help you choose your keywords. You type in a broad search term, and it suggests narrow search terms.

The other optimization tip to keep in mind is link popularity. Again, this is especially a factor with Google, but since Google is by far the most used and accounts for about 70% of all Internet searches, it is wise to focus on being optimized for Google most of all.

Link popularity has to do with how many other pages there are on the Internet with links to your pages. The more pages linking to you and the greater the link popularity of the pages linking to you, the greater your link popularity will become.

Many people believe they can solve this problem by simply submitting to thousands of Free For All (FFA) link sites and instantly have thousands of sites linking to them. But the unfortunate truth is that Google and most other search engines can recognize and ignore the links to your site which reside on FFA sites. So the point here is, don’t bother wasting your time submitting to thousands of FFA sites because it doesn’t help you.

What does help your link popularity is taking the time to submit your site to all the major web directories (such as

These sites are credible and have a high link popularity rating, which will only help your link popularity rating in the end. A good site to go to for a listing of all the biggest and best directories to submit to for traffic and increased link popularity

Developing key partnerships with other web sites is the other way to increase link popularity. You can find other web pages that you would like to be linked to and swap links. You create a page on your site with links to only a select few web sites and they do the same There are many other optimization tricks and the more tricks you use the better your chances of ranking higher will be, but just remind yourself not to get to obsessed with search engine ranking and remind yourself that there are other advertising methods to attend to.

Get your site basically optimized and submitted to start off, then come back and tweak it over time. After you have finished your optimization, you are now ready to submit to the search engines.

Although you may be dazzled by the chance to submit your site to 400,000+ search engines (or other such offers) with one click, please remember one thing… That although there are thousands of search engines out there, only a handful really matter.

The truth is that a handful of the major search engines account for about 96% of all search engine traffic. So it is quite obviously more beneficial to focus on getting submitted to the major players, rather than all the thousands of little ones. With that said, let me suggest that you throw automated search engine submission tools out the window right now and submit manually.

After all, only a handful of the top engines even matter and you will almost always see better results with your rankings when submitting manually. In addition, when you submit manually, you know it’s really getting done. So what are the top search engines that power thousands of other search engines and account for about 96% of all search engine traffic?

1) Google (
2) FAST (
3) Inktomi (
4) Teoma (
5) AltaVista (

While Google may be free to submit to, others like Inktomi, FAST, Teoma and AltaVista cost money to submit to. My advice would be that unless you have spent some time on optimization and know that your site is going to do well on the search engines; don’t spend the money on paid submission engines.

The only advantage to the paid submission engines is that there is usually not as much competition on them because they aren’t free. However, you can use a little known trick to get on the paid submission engines free. What you do is find someone else with a website already listed on these engines and get them to list a link to your site on their site. Then, when the Inktomi, FAST, Teoma and AltaVista spiders come to crawl their sites, it will find your link, go to your site, and add your site to their index.

Thursday, August 9, 2007

What is Internet Marketing? Introduction & Information

This article is for the people who don’t know much of Internet Marketing. Let me introduce this powerful source of marketing in my words.

Web has been always evolving, changing, searching & indexing with Time. But the new trend of Marketing / Promoting through Internet as primary medium is quickly catching on, in the present dynamic world. In comparison with traditional Advertising, Online promotions tend to offer best deals to consumers / customers since they can attract large number of target audience / visitors to their websites if they have Search Engine Friendly site with good mix of Marketing and Optimization. This helped the overall market of Online Advertising very much.

Internet Marketing is also referred as Online / Web Marketing also. It has many components. Some of them are as follows:

· Search Engine Marketing
· Search Engine Optimization
· Social Media Optimization and Marketing
· Viral Marketing
· Banner Advertisement
· Including in Comparison Shopping Sites
· E-mailers / Email Marketing

SEO Tools - QTP to Automate SEM Tasks

Anytime did you have any idea to automate some of the tedious, time taking SEO tasks?

I got it today and here is the solution for it.

QTP ( Quick Test Professional ) is an excellent Automation Tool which would solve the manual work which is repetitive. It is actually an automated testing solution which provides functional test and regression test automation.

Search Engine Optimizers ( SEO ) and Search Engine Marketers ( SEM ) can use QTP to full advantage by automating the Pay Per Click ( PPC ) campaign Management, Search reports generation for Analysis, keyword optimization in Bulk and can even manage campaign bid optimization.

QTP works in two modes

1) Context Sensitive Depending on the clicks and
2) Low Level will considers mouse movements such as X and Y co-ordinates

QTP has two View options

1) Keyword View: In this view, we can see the Screens.
2) Expert view: This view is where the Code is written. Coding will also include scripting

QTP also has the following Check Points

1. Standard - Used for Text
2. Page - Can be used to check page download time
3. Bitmap - may be used to check the images
4. Database Checkpoint
5. XML Checkpoint
6. Accessibility Checkpoint
7. Text Checkpoint

All the QTP is working based on the macros saved in Object Repository Manager.
- - - Here the activities are recorded
- - - Macros can be defined and analyzed

QTP also has feature called Exception Handling. This is used in Recovery Scenarios.
This option would handle run-time errors. Hence the process will flow smoothly.

Use Quick Test Professional as a Search Engine Optimization Tool and enjoy Automated SEO Tasks.