Merry Christmas!

No post today. Just wanted to extend a warm thought. Enjoy your day. Enjoy your family, and remember why we celebrate.Christmas at Pat Marcello's

 

Merry Christmas!

 

Don’t eat too much. Don’t drink too much. Hug your kids.

Talk tomorrow.

Bing Tagged Pages – Tag Yourself or Your Facebook Friends

Almost a year ago now, I wrote a post about Bing’s “Linked pages.”  Basically, you could go to a page on Bing where they would bring up pages about your name or brand and you could “claim” them.  It was just a way for Bing to see what you were responsible for online and for people who searched for you or your company on Bing to see more about you. Bing tagged pages

I did that, and only found 79 pages, which is nuts because when I Google my name (Oh, come on… You do it, too.), there are like 20 pages of results and most all of them pertain to something I’ve done online.  I have, of late, taken down a lot of stuff I did. It was just old and no longer relevant. So, I want what I do to be fresh, just like Google wants. 🙂 Oh, hell, give ’em what they want. They give you traffic.

Anyway, Bing has changed their Linked Pages. Now, they’re called “Bing tagged pages,” and you can tag not only yourself, but also your Facebook friends when  a page you find belongs to them.  This time I found 121 pages. Whoopee!

It’s quite obvious to me that Bing just doesn’t have the clout that Google does. I like it a lot, and tried to use it for my default engine for a while, after I got really mad at Google (as you well know). But I have to say that it just doesn’t have the sand. It’s not nearly as powerful, and everyone I know, including me took the Bing vs. Google test and picked Google. Ooops… Big marketing blunder, IMO, Bing.

But some people love Bing and use it religiously. So, why not allow them to find you and/or your company more easily? Go to Read More…

10 Steps Toward Building a Killer Website

Tim Berners-Lee: The World Wide Web - Opportun...

Building a killer website involves many choices. The main thing to remember when designing is making your visitors happy, and this is especially true when you’re marketing a product or service. You want to make everything as simple as you can so that your potential customers can navigate through your site and get to that “buy” button easily.  You also want to make search engine spiders happy by making your navigation simple and clear.  They really don’t care about colors, but they do care about your design. You’ll see why in a minute.

First, make sure that you have your content right in front of their little beady eyes.  Left-hand sidebars in a blog, for example, or a navigation panel on the left side might stop them cold. It really depends on how the site template is designed, and today’s SEO-friendly blog templates, such as Thesis, have this problems solved. I’m not going to go into a coding mantra, but I would like to show you some great ways that you can spice up your site for VISITORS. The people you want to care about most.

These 10 aspects of your site are important, and they’re steps you really need to consider:

1. Decide on your niche: First think about what you love. Then, go to the Google Keyword Tool and make sure that somebody is actually searching for information about that niche.  If there are at least  10,000 people a month searching for your general theme, such as golf, hunting, knitting. biking. or writing, you should be good to go. If you’re planning to sell reindeer hoof covers, you’re going to run into a problem.

2. Do some keyword research: This is highly important because you want to build your site around keyword phrases that have high search volume and low competition: If you’re brand new, searches with less than about 2,000 results are out, as are High and Medium competition terms. Find the best keywords you can, and then, don’t overdo. Keyword stuffing will get you into trouble. Just write naturally with your main keywords phrases in mind.

3. Check out the competition: Part of your market analysis is looking to see who else is doing business in your space. If you’re seeing a full first page of listings at Google from sites like Amazon or other well-respected businesses online, you may want to choose different keywords. Find keywords where there are some sites listed that you’re able to compete with. I’ve seen first page results, just loaded with high-ranking site listings, but one or two sites listed that don’t make a lot of sense. You can get your site into those spots, if you are in a position to compete with them. For example, if you have clout in social media, and then build a site, you have some advantage. Use that to boost your new website.

4. Find the Current Design Trends on the InternetRead More…

SEO for Pages with Alternate Languages

I don’t have my site optimized for more languages than English, but some businesses have a need to translate their pages into alternate languages to serve their customers better. For example, Canadians may want English and French translations. Or, if you’re selling products in Scandinavia, you might want to have your page translated into Norwegian, for example. It really depends on your business and what you’ve got going on. Are you local or global?

English: Screen of Mushroom page on Telugu tra...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

If you’re global, then you should have your pages translated, and I’m not talking about automatic translations, either. If your translated pages aren’t set up right, Google may consider the alternate language pages spam. That would deliver an SEO blow  to your site that you don’t want to have to recover from. Duplicate content on the same domain is a real killer. Just don’t let that happen.

This is where a rel tag comes in. On the pages that are in an alternate language, use the tag:

rel=”alternate” hreflang=”fr”

Where “fr” (French) can be replaced with Spanish (es), German (de), Norwegian (no), or whatever other language your alternate page is in. This tells Google that the alternate page is just a translation of the original language and will keep you from being Google smacked.

Code this into the <head> section of your primary language page:

<link rel=”alternate” hreflang=”es” href=”http://yourdomain.com/es/page.html /” />

Or, you can also address these issues in your sitemap. It might look something like this:

<url>
<loc>http://www.yourdomain.com/en/</loc>
<xhtml:link
rel=”alternate”
hreflang=”fr”
href=”http://www.yourdomain.com/fr/”
/>
<xhtml:link
rel=”alternate”
hreflang=”es”
href=”http://www.yourdomain.com/es/”
/>
</url>

This tells Google that there are three versions of the same page, in English, French, and Spanish. If you do have multiple languages on your site, it’s also a good idea to group all the alternate language pages into a subdirectory. It just makes it easier for spiders to see what’s going on.

Partial Translations

This tag should also be used when only parts of the page are translated into another language. Let’s say you have images with alternate language descriptions or navigational tabs in other languages.  You’ll need to be sure to use the alternate language tag for those pages, too.

But even if your site is in only ONE langauge, be sure to keep your default or primary language clear for search by completing your language Meta tags: Read More…

Google: Beware of Snake Oil

Lots of great topics in this video from Google’s Matt Cutts. Check it out:

So many ideas where do I start?

First, probably with Matt is 100% right. If it seems too easy, step away from the screen. It’s GAR-BO.

Plus, if it’s an SEO product, know that we SEO pros don’t generally give out our techniques because they work.  If we told everyone about how we got our clients more traffic and sold a product about it, everyone would start doing the same thing and then… whatever we were doing that worked, won’t work again. I NEVER do that. When someone wants to “share their secrets” with you, especially when it comes to SEO… The strategies are played out, just like Matt said. Don’t use the strategy or you’ll wind up in  the corner with a “Dunce” cap on your head.

Second, forums. Hmm… How do I put this, ever so gently — Read More…

7 Killer Mobile Apps for Productivity

I spend most of my time on my desktop working.  I mean, I find it hard to type on my mobile phone, but some people are all over the mobile explosion! I’m not that connected. In fact, my husband wanted to buy me a tablet for Christmas and I told him I really didn’t need it.  (Take my temperature now, right?) 🙂QRCode for the SEO News Blog

Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE my little “fun machine,” which allows me to read my Kindle books, play games, watch Netflix, read my email and oh yeah… place and receive phone calls! Among other things.

And guess what? Business is starting to be easier on a mobile phone, too. Here are 7 great mobile apps you may want to check out, if you spend more time outside your office:

Facebook Pages Manager

Unfortunately, I have an Android and this app is still only available for iPhones, but I can see where this will be really useful. I manage pages for several of my clients, and to do it on a mobile device would be quite difficult. This app will make it pretty simple. It will allow you to view page insights from the app, post status updates, share photos and reply to private messages. Not bad, eh? I learned about this one in Website Magazine.

MD Scan Lite

This is a great free app that allows you to scan any document with your camera.  It’s like real spy stuff, but you can use it for business. I can’t tell you what a pain it used to be for me as a writer. There was no Internet! I had to spend countless hours in libraries (I miss that, actually.) pouring through books I couldn’t take out. If I wanted to photocopy anything, I had to pay to do it and had to sign an agreement about the copyright. What a pain! Wish I’d had this great app several years ago.

Swift Key

If you are one of those texting demons, you’ll probably want a more responsive keyboard. Enter Swift Key. It remembers the stuff you type in all the time and actually offers words up before you type them. Pretty cool for $3.99. It’s also available for tablets.

Smart Tools

Want to measure something? Smart Tools has Smart Ruler Pro.  You can measure in inches or in caliper mode. Read More…

Interview with Vanessa Fox: Algo Chasing and Other Googly Foibles

English: seo block

English: seo block (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

So, yesterday, I had the chance to read through some of my email. SEO changes so quickly that I subscribe to all kinds of newsletters and such about SEO and to WebProNewz. So, Saturday, I got an interview that their Chris Crum did with Vanessa Fox, who was the creator of Google Webmaster Tools and who now is working her own business.  She’s a very smart person and plus, she’s a girl, so I enjoy reading her advice. We girl geeks have to stick together.

Crum asked her several questions, so you may want to click over and read the entire article (linked above). But what made me nod my head the most was her answer about pitfalls she sees in marketing strategies.  She said:

“I see a lot of algorithm chasing, which is such a short term game. I also see a lot of fragmented organizations — the web developers don’t think SEO is important and don’t know best practices of making sure the site is search-friendly; the user experience team thinks that SEO is spam and has no idea that insight can be gained from search data; and so on. And I see a lot of tactics with no strategy. “

Nodding again.

I see so many businesses that have a good idea about running businesses offline, but no clue about what they’re doing on the Web.  They have these great products, but aren’t really prepared to sell them online. Read More…