Author: Mikal E. Belicove
You know you must leverage Facebook, Twitter and word-of-mouth marketing to increase awareness of your brand. But the fact is, websites remain infinitely more popular with consumers than all of the business pages on social media sites combined.
Only 22 percent of those of us online in the U.S. visit a branded social networking page such as those found on Facebook, while 62 percent of us regularly visit branded websites, according to the latest Global Web Index report. If you were starting to let your site become outdated or haggard, consider a refresh. After all, as these figures note, websites still matter.
Here are five reasons why you shouldn’t ignore yours:
1. Branding: Since it’s your site, you set the design, which affords you the flexibility to optimize the user experience in ways that directly support your business model and brand-related goals. There’s no competition on your website, just a branded experience that you direct yourself.
2. IT and Engineering Jurisdiction: When you control your own site, you have complete jurisdiction over its code, hosting environment, page count, content, plug-ins and more. Just as I mentioned above with regard to branding — here too you have the elasticity required to make small or sweeping adjustments at will, an advantage you don’t get with third-party websites. With sites like Facebook, you can change minor graphics and some content but not code, navigation scheme, server speed or the graphic user interface.
3. Content: Speaking of content, more of it can be found on your own website than on a third-party utility or platform, and none of it competes side-by-side for your visitor’s attention. Create compelling and useful content that speaks to why someone is visiting your site and you stand a higher chance of that visitor taking action with respect to your products or services. And since inventory (i.e., web pages) is virtually unlimited on a site under your control, you have ample opportunity to add additional content and calls-to-action in the format you deem most appropriate.
4. Search Engine Optimization (SEO): If garnering multiple, relevant and highly positioned placements in the SERPs (search engine result pages) is part of your sales and marketing strategy, a website is a must. When properly coded and managed, your site delivers natural and sustaining search results that drive qualified traffic to the exact pages on your site where you want visitors to be.
5. Analytics: While many social utilities, platforms and networks provide access to data related to demographics associated with who accesses your profile and how often they do so, website analytic tools go much deeper. They can provide you with the type of business intelligence you need to determine in real-time how your online marketing performs and stacks up against the competition.
Don’t think for a moment that I’m suggesting you drop social in favor of your own website. What I’m advocating is that you lead first with your website, followed by leveraging social, email marketing, point of purchase, mobile, apps and other forms of marketing and outreach to drive traffic to your website where you can generate qualified leads who convert to paying customers.
For the original article go to: http://www.entrepreneur.com/blog/220307
Author: Cyrus Shepard
Did you know that if you include Google Adsense on your website, you are likely to rank higher?
We’ve heard this rumor before from prominent SEOs. It makes sense. Google stands to make more revenue by promoting websites that display its ads. Exciting? Yes.
But completely not true.
Well meaning folks spread a lot of Google myths that can harm your SEO efforts. Sometimes they come from your boss or even an Internet hack trying to make a quick buck.
Earlier this month SEOmoz released the 2011 version of its Search Engine Ranking Factors. This year’s survey contained a number of new insights, but also debunked a number of Google myths that have persisted far too long.
Myth #1 – Using Google Services Improves Your Rankings
Many webmasters believe that installing Google Analytics on their site improves indexing or that displaying Adsense will help them as described above. While it’s true that the insights provided by Google Analytics helps are invaluable, the service itself has absolutely no impact on rankings.
In the case of Adsense, the correlation data actually shows a negative correlation between Adsense slots and rankings. This makes sense, given the recent Panda update and Google’s emphasis on high quality content. The data implies that the more Adsense on your page, the less likely you are to rank.
This isn’t to suggest that you shouldn’t display ads at all. Best practices are to ensure your original content to ad ratio is high, and to place your original content prominently above the fold.
Note: Google Analytics is a super useful service and I recommend every website owner should create a Google Webmaster account.
Myth #2 – Keep Your Link Juice Internal
It’s the pet peeve of online marketers. Another website mentions your brand – heck, they even write an entire article about how great you are – but they fail to include a single link to your site.
This anti-social behavior stems from the false belief that you should preserve link juice within your own site to improve your rankings. It also springs from the absurd rational that you don’t want visitors to leave your website – ever.
Contrary to this thinking, the Ranking Factors correlation data actually shows the opposite relationship. There exists a positive correlation between the number of external links on a page and higher rankings.
- For years top SEOs have share anecdotal evidence that linking out to quality, relevant sites improves their rankings
- Linking out fosters goodwill among webmasters and visitors alike, which can lead to an increase in backlinks and other positive ranking signals
- External links can help Google to better understand the content on your page
Myth #3 – Nofollowed Links are Worthless
Yes, followed links still rule, but one of the most surprising results from this year’s Ranking Factors was the negative correlation between the percent of followed linking pages and ranking ability.
What this means is the higher percentage your link profile is in followed links, the less likely you are to rank. It’s not a big correlation, but it exists. For example, if 100% of the links pointing to your site are followed, the correlation data predicts a lower ranking for your site than a website with a link profile of only 80% followed links.
Surprised? It stands to reason that the natural, healthy link profiles Google favors contain a range of nofollowed links and citations. We’ve believed for years that nofollowed links from high authority domains like Wikipedia, although they don’t pass PageRank, act as ranking signals.
This also makes sense considering the strong correlation data surrounding link diversity. One of the strongest indicators of ranking ability is the number of linking root domains. This means the greater diversity and breadth of your link profile, the more likely you are to rank higher. A broad, diverse link profile undoubtedly contains a number of nofollowed links. This is also an actionable metric that you can use to improve your SEO.
Good SEO is hard. Use science and best practices to ensure SEO myths don’t get in your way.
As SEO Strategist for SEOmoz, Cyrus Shepard helps guide content strategies, link building, customer education, information architecture and feature development for the fast growing SEO software company. His diverse experience includes innovative SEO, paid search marketing, web design and a strong background in customer-focused services. Follow Cyrus on Twitter @cyrusshepard
Author: Jennifer Horowitz
I’ve been gathering information on some common SEO mistakes. Here is a list of what I have so far:
|Mistake||Why It’s A Mistake||Solution|
|Not doing proper keyword research||You think you know how people think, you certainly know how you think and how you would search so you just go with the phrases that you think people will use. Big mistake. People search differently, especially because different people are in different phases of the researching and buying process and you want to use keywords that will catch them in all phases in the process. Keyword research is the foundation of your campaign and not a step you should skip.||Review web stats, brainstorm with colleagues, use keyword research tools, check out competitors. Put the proper time and attention into keyword research.|
|Doing your own SEO…but then never making time to actually get it done||You don’t have to outsource, you can handle it yourself – as long as you really do handle it yourself. Often the tasks site on a to do list for a long time and you never get around to it, but you still hopefully check your web stats – expecting to somehow find the engines picked up your site and sent a ton of traffic.||Be honest with yourself about whether you have the time or not. If you do have the time, make it a priority and do the work, if you don’t then you need to outsource.|
|Ignoring social media because you “don’t get it” or “don’t like it||Like it or not, get it or not, social media is part of SEO and its here to stay. You are missing out if you aren’t doing SEO.||Just Do It!! At the minimum get a profile and get connecting on LinkedIn. Get a Fan Page and get active on Twitter.|
|Lacking a strategy and plan||We are all busy, we all need more hours in the day. Without a strategy and action plan, most things won’t get done. If you are handling your own SEO, Blogging, Social Media, you need an action plan and you need a focused strategy that has goals attached so you know what you are working towards.||Reverse engineer your goals to come up with a daily action plan. Also be sure your tweets, Facebook posts and articles/Blog posts all work together to create momentum.|
|Obsessing about ranking reports and not paying attention to traffic stats||SEO is a means to an end. It’s a way to get traffic. It’s not about looking at pretty reports and feeling good. Look at your traffic stats, learn from it. Often you are hitting yourself over the head to get a certain phrase ranked but you don’t realize that all these other phrases are bringing in some traffic and expanding those could be a great way to go. Ranking reports can give a snapshot of where you are at on a set of words you chose to run the report on. But the beauty of SEO is that if your site is well optimized, the engines will start picking your site up for other related phrases and you won’t even know that traffic is actually increasing because you are too busy lamenting a ranking report that doesn’t show great rankings on one impossible, coveted phrase.||Glance at ranking reports if you must, but look at traffic stats and see what is really going on. Use Webmaster Tools to also get an idea of what’s going on and find areas you need to focus on/improve.|
|Focusing too much on the engines and not enough on site visitors||Getting your site ranked isn’t going to do much good if your site isn’t prepared to convert site visitors when they get there. You need to make sure your site is user-friendly and well written. It needs to be compelling. It needs to work for you and not against you. Never optimize your site at the expense of the users experience.||Don’t do it!! J Make sure each step of the way you ask yourself 2 questions: 1. Is this good for the engines? If the answer is no, try to tweak it so it is good for the engines but most importantly question 2 is: Is this good for site visitors? Don’t compromise on this one.|
|Putting all your eggs in one basket. It’s not “content” OR “links” it’s “content AND links” (have a strategy plan for both)||SEO is made up of many factors, on-page, social, site structure, linking etc. Ignoring one piece of the puzzle will limit results.||Be sure you have a well thought out strategy and make sure you do the right things at the right time (get your site in top shape architecturally and get on-page in place and then get out there to build links and participate in social).|
|Not growing your site content.||The engines like fresh content and so do site visitors. It gives them a reason to return. Not updating content makes your site dated and you lose opportunity to increase rankings and further engage site visitors.||Get a Blog or create an Articles/Info section on your site and add helpful/informative content regularly.|
|Keyword stuffing, spamming, setting up or participating in link farms.||The engines don’t like it, you risk getting penalized or banned. It is not good for site visitors.||Educate yourself on what best practices are for SEO and follow them.|
For the original article go to: http://www.searchenginejournal.com/top-seo-mistakes-you-must-avoid/30667/