Seo Tips & Tricks
Use Ethical SEO
Many SEO Companies and website developers use unethical techniques and spamming methods to synthetically increase the placement of websites in the SERP’s (search engine results pages). This compromises the quality of the search results returned by the search engines. It is for this reason that the search engines are continually adjusting and improving their algorithms to detect these spamming methods and reduce irrelevant and poor content. Penalties for the website are harsh when the techniques are found out and often times the website is banned from the search engine.
FastandSocial SEO solutions only time tested ethical SEO techniques and so should you.
Ethical SEO delivers quality, long lasting results that don’t put your website at risk with the search engines. The major search engines consider the following spamming techniques:
- Keyword stuffing ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Keyword_stuffing )
- Duplicate content on different web pages( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duplicate_content )
- Hidden text ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hidden_text)
- Doorway pages ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doorway_page )
- Cloaking and false redirects (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cloaking)
- Link farms ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Link_farm )
- Irrelevant content
The above mentioned techniques may produce some quick, short lived results however it is very possible that your website will be penalized and even banned for using any or all of these methods. Get Noticed uses only ethical SEO methods that produce powerful, long-lasting results.
Ethical SEO is a win-win practice for everyone and that’s good business.
- Search engines win because they are indexing web pages that are highly relevant, easy to understand and contain high quality information that web searchers are looking for.
- Web searchers win because they are finding what they are asking the search engines for.
- Website owners win because they are getting targeted traffic from visitors that are looking for their products and services.
FastandSocial crafts SEO campaigns that benefit the website owner, the search engines and most important the web surfer who is looking for your products and services. It’s a win-win for all and that’s good business.
- Avoid Filter and Stop Words
Here is a list of words to avoid optimizing with:
A, about, an, and, are, as, at, be, by, from, how, I, in, is, it, of, on, or, that, the, this, to, was, we, what, when, where, which, with.
When a search engine crawls or reviews your web pages to determine ranking placement it looks at the keywords used in the document title, content, link text and other factors. If these important ranking factors contain too many filter word you will reduce the importance the search engine places on the other keywords and the result will be poor at best. Also keep in mind that the search engines look at only so many characters (including spaces) in the document title. 70 characters seem to be the absolute limit that will be looked at so use them wisely. Meta description is around 150 characters (including spaces) on Google.
unlike filter words, can actually get you banned. Common stop words are adult words and phrases containing sexual content.
- Try to use the most important keywords first in the document title, content, meta description and so on.
- Limit or avoid using filter words
- Don’t use stop words anywhere on the page
The document title is possibly the most important factor search engines look at when determining ranking. A highly relevant document title can produce an enormous increase in search result placement and deliver large increases in targeted traffic
- Your document title is one of the most important factors search engines look at to determine ranking.
- Your document title is the first thing your targeted customers will see in the search engine results pages. It is usually the link to your website so they need to find the words they are looking for to get clicked. Relevancy.
- The document title is typically what gets book marked by your targeted customers so you want it to be descriptive, enticing and relevant. Book marking also creates links and you want your keywords in your links.
Let’s use a fictional plumbing contractor in Hanwell London to demonstrate: You could use this document title: Welcome to Mike and sons.
- This title has absolutely no optimization value. No keywords are in the title.
- The targeted customers have no idea what services they provide.
- The targeted customers don’t know what area they service or where they are located.
- It contains 2 filter words
- It uses only 25 characters and is not capitalizing on the importance of this ranking factor.
- It’s boring, uninformative, not relevant and will not get clicked often.
Now let’s add a little flair and make it worthy of a visit and a good ranking:
Hanwell Plumbing Contractor | Fast Affordable Expert Plumbing Service
- This title contains some good keywords and this increases the chance of getting great rankings for the keywords.
- It capitalizes on the character limit and provides relevant information.
- No filter words are used.
- It addresses some very important questions:
- What do you do? Answer, Plumbing contractor – Plumbing services
- Why should I click on your site? Answer, we are fast, we are affordable and we are experts.
- Where are you located and what area do you service? Answer, London
Great document titles can translate into large jumps on the search engine results pages and deliver enormous increases in targeted traffic.
Visit to sales ratios are often overlooked by SEO’s. Getting great placement in the search results is only beneficial if you’re landing the sale. At Shane Media we know that optimisation is only as good as the sales it produces – we’re in business too. Here are 4 essential questions you may want to ask yourself:
We’ve all been here before; waiting for a web page to load and at some point we simply skip it and move on to the next site. It’s a fact, now matter how awesome your services and products, if your website is too slow your going to loose most of the visitors. When selling on the web speed is important, nobody waits for long. Possible solutions:
- Use quality website hosting companies with fast and dependable servers.
- Limit the amount of graphics, each one needs its’ own connection between the browser and server.
- Provide the dimensions of your graphics in the HTML code; it’s one less thing the browser will need to determine.
- Include dimensions of tables in the HTML code and split large tables into smaller ones. Also make sure total cell width is not more than table width.
- Make your first headline enticing; it may buy you a little time while your page is loading
Web pages that display quickly give the consumer nothing to be frustrated about keeping your prospective sale calm and open-minded. You have not wasted our customer’s time and hopefully they will spend more time on your site reading, evaluating and of course buying.
Your credibility is your collateral. It is absolutely imperative that your website presents honesty and confidence to your visitors, they must trust you. No Trust = No Sale. Because you cannot verbally establish this relationship you need to develop this rapport with your web pages. Here are 4 things you may want to consider when establishing trust.
- Have your web pages professionally designed, the look and theme of your pages says a lot about your company.
- Let visitors know who you are, share your experience in your field and make your contact information accessible. Customers are more apt to buy if they know whom they are buying from.
- If your company has been in business for a while share how long, it shows stability and that’s another reason to buy from you instead of a competitor.
- Offer free estimates or trial periods – also show any warranty, guarantee and refund policies. Money back guarantees and 100% complete total satisfaction guarantees are huge trust builders and sales clinchers.
- Reviews and testimonials are awesome trust builders. These are basically digital referrals. It’s strong medicine when others are saying great things about your business instead of you. Also consider linking to the source of the review or testimonial so your customers can see it on other sites lending more authority.
At Shane Media we encourage our clients to make follow-up phone calls to their customers after the completion of a service. A very brief survey demonstrates that you care about how your customers feel about your service. It also gives you the opportunity to correct any problems and head off any bad reviews before they are posted. Ask for their e-mail so you can send them special offers. We assist our clients in crafting an e-mail to thank the customer for using their service, provide a coupon or special offer as repeat customers, offer an incentive for referring future customers and let them know how much you appreciate reviews and let them know where they can post their feedback about your product or service.
Enticing content is critical to keeping the customer on the website. Every potential customer has one question on his or her mind, “what’s in it for me?” The sooner this question is answered the better. We strongly suggest answering the following questions as soon as possible:
- What does your company do?
- Why should I continue investigating your website?
- What’s in it for me?
If your web page does not provide a quick answer to these questions you are loosing sales. Keep in mind that most people read only the first few sentences and scan the rest in search of how your services or products will benefit them and how quickly. Most website focus on the products features or services features and not the benefits. The benefit to the customer is what they are most interested in. We will cover this in great detail a little later. A few more things to consider:
- Write tantalizing headlines that captivate the visitors’ attention.
Again, few people are going to read your web page from beginning to end. Most scan pages looking for keywords. You need to make it very simple for the customer by placing a large sized font headline at the beginning of each paragraph. A good headline will grab your customers’ attention while clarifying what to expect in the following sentences. Buzzwords like: “benefit”, “complete”, “discover”, “exclusive”, “first”, “free” and “proven” do well. Try to avoid using “but”, “could” and “should”. Limit the use of “I” and “we” and use the word “you” more often. Keep in mind the visitor is not truly interested in you or you business, they want to know what’s in it for them.
- Finish your sales copy instructing the visitor what to do next. This is referred to as a call to action and while placing a call to action at the end of the sales copy seem logical, also place one or more earlier. Why?
1. You are planting a seed to take action in the customers mind.
2. Many customers will never read the entire page but may still want to take an action before finishing.
- CALL NOW
- CLICK HERE FOR IMMEDIATE DELIVERY
- ORDER NOW
We put this in red because it’s very important and were going to spend some time here before moving on to the 4th question.
There is not a business owner in the world that has not struggled with the features vs. benefits question. At Shane Media we have found that less 10% of small-business owners really understand the difference between features and benefits. This is the main reason why most small-business marketing campaigns fail.
Most small-business owners assume that people will understand why they should buy their product or service just because they’ve read about it. As business owners we forget people really don’t know about our products and services. This is sometimes referred to as “The curse of knowledge”. We become such experts and so filled with knowledge that we forget what it was like when we didn’t know. Thus, small-business owners only sell the features of their product or service and don’t point out the benefits.
A feature is a factual and accurate statement about the product or service being promoted. But features aren’t what entice customers to buy. This is where benefits come in. A benefit answers the one question every customer asks, “What’s in it for me?”
The best way to fully understand the benefit of your product or service and answer the question “What’s in it for me?” is to focus on the results. A customer’s awareness of each feature’s results is what attracts him or her to a particular product or service. You want the customer to visualize how purchasing your products or services will make their lives better. The most effective benefits center on emotional and financial return, by making the customer feel better or saving the customer money. Ask yourself, “Will this one thing improve the life, cost, health or well being of my customer?” If you can answer yes, then you have a marketable benefit.
When you try to sell the features of your product or service, you’re making the customer do all the work because they need to figure out why they want the feature. Sell the benefit so they won’t have to think about it. A benefit is a desirable state sought by the product’s target market. A benefit does not have to be converted in the mind of the reader. It is persuasive as soon as it is read. It’s in your best interest to make this correlation for them. But in order to do this you have to know the results yourself. Here are some example features and benefits for a couple of businesses:
- Feature: 500 ATMs in the London area.
- Benefit: We have an ATM near you.
- Benefit: Don’t pay ATM fees.
- Feature: Detailed statistics tracking.
- Benefit: You know what your customers are doing.
- Go 15% further on a tank of gas.
- Save money.
- Tougher hard wearing heavy-duty rubber.
- Double your money.
- These hardworking tires last twice as long.
- An easier life.
On this list 2, 4 and 6 are benefits, 3 is a feature, 1 and 5 are advantages. OK we threw a curve ball at you. An advantage is a useful outcome delivered by one or more of the product’s features.
In this example, the feature ‘heavy-duty rubber’ delivers the advantage of tiers that last longer. An advantage has more persuasive impact than a feature, but must be converted into a benefit in the mind of the reader. There is no guarantee the targeted customer will do this for you.
We want to craft a natural progression but in reverse. Example: Save money – These hardworking tiers last twice as long – Built with tougher hard wearing heave-duty rubber.
Services can be a little trickier than products but here is an example: Affordable service saves you money – our experts have the superior knowledge to get the job done fast – certified technicians, fully stocked service vehicles, all work backed with a 100% complete customer satisfaction guarantee.
The key to writing powerful sales copy is to lead with the main benefit and then underpin it with the products or services advantages. The advantages are then supported by the product’s features, which act as evidence for the claim being made.
The lesson here: stop talking about your business and put yourself in your customers’ shoes. Think about what benefits they are looking for in your product or services and focus on those rather than bragging about your business and boring your visitors with technical information.
` If your order page is difficult to access and/or hard to use everything else will be in vain. Research shows that over 50 % of online shoppers never complete the ordering process.
- Place a highly visible link on every page of your website to the order page. (Calls to action).
- Display all prices for products and services so there is no question about the cost.
- Include any taxes and shipping costs prior to asking for a credit card.
- Provide all your contact information (phone numbers, email, and complete address)
- Make refund policy clear and easy to understand.
- When applicable offer an unconditional money back guarantee.
- Make sure your order page uses good encryption for security.
A picture is worth a thousand words – not necessarily. Fact is search engines have no idea what’s on your images – they can’t read them. You can have images of the Mona Lisa, Dogs Playing Poker or the U.K. Constitution but it makes no difference to the spiders that crawl your web pages. They simply can’t read them. It’s the same for flash movies and banners. So how do we optimize these images and such? We need text. Here’s how to get the text in there.
- Images: Include alt attributes. Go to a few random websites a place your cursor over an image; the box that appears with text is the images alt attribute. This alternative text is conventionally displayed in case the image is not available or does not load but we are interested in optimization. Because we achieve this by placing it in our HTML code the search engines can now read it. Including your keywords in the description can help your optimization efforts.
- Flash movies and flash banners: To flash or not to flash, well that sounds a little suspect but do you want to use flash? Although sometimes impressive to visitors flash reduces the chances of getting ranked by the search engines because again they read only text. Flash also needs to load up and many web users still use dial-up connections that are slow – they may not wait for the flash to load. Others don’t even have a flash player installed. With that said, if flash is your thing, consider these SEO tips
- a. Use your keywords to name the movie file when you embed it in your HTML code.
- b. Tags like object standby, object title and no embed can also be used. Consult your Webmaster for greater clarity if you don’t do your own coding.
- c. Add some text around the flash movie, this provides the spider with something to crawl.
Google has recently integrated some flash crawling technology to their algorithm that has made flash more index friendly. Read more
A sitemap is simply a page that contains links to all web pages on your site. On larger site with a great many pages it is useful to the visitor for navigation of the site. For optimization purposes there are several good reasons to include it:
- Use keywords in the links that point to the corresponding page. When you use your keywords as links you are essentially telling the search engines what words to rank the page for.
- When you submit your site to the search engines (and by the way you only need to do this once contrary to popular belief) consider submitting your sitemap instead of the home page. Doing this gives the search engines access to all pages for indexing.
- If you are submitting your home page make sure you have a link on it to your sitemap.
The best sitemaps are crafted with a brief statement describing you company. Next your mission statement or philosophy and then an orderly list of links pointing to each page on your site. You can also include a brief description of each link.
A robots.txt file is the file the search engines crawler looks for to find out what web pages are to be indexed and what pages to ignore. Consult your Webmaster to include this file in your root directory.
HTML is simply a language that the majority or websites are written in. Like all languages there is a correct way to write in them. HTML is forgiving to some extent however the more errors you have the greater the chance the search engines will not be able to find all the information on your we pages. To check you site for HTML errors go to: http://validator.w3.org