Author Archive

SEO for Bing

bing SEODo I need to specifically perform SEO for Bing? After all,¬†the stats show that Bing doesn’t have anywhere near the traffic that Google has, so why perform Bing SEO? I say don’t perform SEO for any search engine specifically; perform SEO for your website. All of the known factors for on-page and off-page optimization should help you with Bing, Yahoo and Google. I won’t even bet money that meta keywords are 0% at Google. Maybe they lied to us. ūüôā

Bing might put more weight on one factor than Google, but SO WHAT? Optimize all factors and stop trying to micro manage a single factor for a single search engine like Bing. Quality titles and descriptions with keywords are a must for Bing and Google. It only takes seconds to add some meta keywords, and Bing suggests you should still take advantage of the meta¬†keywords in this article: Put Your Keywords Where The Emphasis Is. They won’t help much, but it all adds up and you never know what the next algorithm update holds. It’s a safe bet that your copy¬†needs to be¬†at least 250 to 300 words per page. Link text counts as copy, but your page should not be primarily link text. Usually only authority sites like Wikipedia can get away with that crap and still be top 5.

  • Create great content that targets the audience that is most likely to convert for your product or services.
  • Make sure each page you create has a specific topic.
  • Use keywords naturally in your copy.
  • Stop worrying so much about some magic keyword density number.

Links are the primary key to search optimization even when performing SEO for Bing. A few outbound links to authority sites can’t hurt, but make sure they are relevant for your page topic. Inbound links from relevant authority sites is the “right stuff”, but you can get results with the proper blend of lower value inbound links. Use social media to put the word out and you should get some natural links, assuming you wrote good content. There are still some quality directories that aren’t filtered, so those can help too. Buyer beware when it comes to paid links.

You have heard this same information over and over everywhere you go, and it still holds true when you perform SEO for Bing. And yes, Bing is important no matter which stat you believe.

—David Blizzard

What is SEO? Is It Real?

To the SEO bashers, I present this argument: Some people hire a lawn service because they don’t have the time to mow their lawn; they don’t like to mow their lawn; they don’t like wasting their weekends mowing; they don’t have the tools for it; or they tried it and they ruined the lawn and killed all of the plants in the yard. For whatever reason, they pay to have the lawn mowed. How silly would a person look if they posted an article stating “anyone that pays to have their lawn mowed is an idiot”? They continue about how it’s easy to do,¬†they have been mowing their own lawn for years and it looks great. They declare “Lawn men are con artists! I will even tell you how to trim your hedges, edge your sidewalk, weedeat, and prune your trees, and I will tell you for free.lawn man reading SEO book

Believe it or not, I started writing this because I just finished reading¬†“It’s All About The Links” over at SEOWizz. Ahh, the mind is a terrible thing. How did¬†I turn Tim’s great post about links into a discussion about¬†lawn mowing?

SEO work can be fun and educational during the on-page process.¬†¬†Onpage search optimization is the act of optimizing copy and¬†HTML based on a set of known and ¬†perceived search engine¬†guidelines. It takes a certain skill set to evaluate key words and phrases and incorporate those into HTML elements and body copy so they satisfy your target audience and the search engines.¬†You can change your page title, description, and copy and watch your SERP position and sales pitch change. Don’t let anyone tell you it can’t be done and there aren’t known factors. Then we get to link building, which is a whole different animal.

Sadly “Links! Links! Links!” is very true. I’m not sure we should be calling link building SEO, to me it’s more marketing and should be listed as SEM. Finding the links that are providing your competitors with an edge or finding quality links that will improve your search position is a different skill set than on-page SEO. New rules from Google and “juice” protection from websites is making SEO link building even more tedious and time consuming. It is also raising the cost of hiring an SEO/SEM that gets results. Specialists who can provide quality links that will hold their value don’t come cheap. You can get your site bot-spammed to hundreds of¬†blogs cheap, but it’s not going to help.

The SEO community has been labeled con artists by some, but these people are blowing smoke when they tell you all you need to do is write good content.¬†It’s just not true.¬†You might not be capable of writing good content anyway. You need good content and you might have to pay for it,¬†and then you need¬†people to link to it. The content on its own does not get you traffic, and nobody knows you have good or even great content until someone links to it. Sure, it can go viral but first somebody needs to light the fuse. Some of the anti-SEO crowd are giving advice like “just¬†tell people about¬†your website”¬†(so they will link to it?). Well, guess what; you just committed the “act” of link building. They tell you to have your friends and co-workers tweet about your site and mention it on Facebook or in email. Guess what; that too is link building. Sure, if you have the time and will to learn then you can do it yourself,¬†but most business owners don’t sit at home blogging all day (or mowing their grass). They have a business to run and they need help promoting their website.

There are the basics that should be done when optimizing a website, and it will usually squeeze out some competition.¬†Generally, the basic onpage optimization with no regard for links will not get you in the top 10 if you are in a market that is the least bit competitive. Don’t get me wrong; you need to study keywords and phrases, because they have to be used somewhere, either in content, titles, or link text, but that research is generally wasted¬†without quality inbound¬†links.

Are you listed on Best of The Web?

—David Blizzard

What Is Inbound Marketing

SalesmanWhat is inbound marketing? Is it hype? On Monday, I got a phone call from a merchant service company and the girl went straight into a pitch about “when is the last time you had your rates compared…” I told her I didn’t know what she was rambling about, but¬†if she didn’t have a service contract I couldn’t help her, click. Yesterday, a two man team of door-to-door salesmen came in to our office. They wanted to inspect our fire extinguisher.¬†Stop laughing, it’s a job. Right after demanding to speak to “the boss” and just before they could finish the opening sales pitch,¬†they were being told that we weren’t¬†interested in their service and to have a nice day. It might sound a little rude, but the truth is that cold-calling is rude. You expect¬†the client¬†to be available when “you” decide to show up or call. Both uninvited calls were made while I was in my office with a client. How many times has your credit card company or DirecTV called while you are eating supper? If you still use cold calling as your primary or only¬†sales force then you are a dinosaur; your model is becoming extinct.

AlligatorInbound Marketing to the rescue. If you make your company available 24/7 via Internet or phone service, then you are available when the customer is looking for your product or service. When you make your services available through your website and you optimize your website so your target client or customer can find you, then you are 1/2 way to the goal. You never hear the words “no, I’m not interested”. The customer is already interested in your service or product. It’s like dangling a chicken in front of an alligator (yes, that works, but don’t use your hand). Actually, I like that analogy because the customer is ready to snap the service right out of your hand rather than bite your head off.

So is inbound marketing just hype? No! Inbound marketing is not hype. It’s necessary. You need to make sure your business can be found for the products and services you offer. You should try to interact with large numbers of people on the web and build name recognition so when they need your service, they know who to call. Customers are out there and they want you, can they find you?

—David Blizzard

Basic SEO Final Chapter

[ Basic SEO: OneTwoThreeFourFive ]

Basic SEO 1-4¬†was intended to be a quick lesson for web site owners that want to get some basics out of the way before they put a pro “on the job”.¬† You should continue to create good content. You should also be¬†ready for intermediate SEO work which includes link building. If you aren’t ready to hire a pro then I am listing more advanced articles for you to continue on your quest for the Holy Search Grail. Keep in mind, just like some people will never be able to solve computer hardware and software issues some of you will never be able to perform good SEO. I know there are some popular posts right now about SEO being easy enough for a cave man, or it‚Äôs all a scam but it‚Äôs really like any profession. Some people excel at it and some don‚Äôt and never will.

Read More on SEO:

SEO Basics – Aaron Wall from SEO Book gives a more in-depth look at the basics.

Beginners guide to SEO – Hobo SEO has a nice PDF you can download for SEO beginners.

—David Blizzard

Basic SEO For Everyone Chapter 4

[ Basic SEO: OneTwoThreeFourFive ]

header elementsIf you read chapter 1, 2, 3, then welcome back. If not then you can read SEO Basics 1,2,3 here.
Let’s look at the heading element. There are 6 levels defined H1 – H6. Let’s keep it simple, you should have one H1 on each page and it should be a well crafted description of the entire page content. Yes, I am aware that Matt Cutts said you can have multiple H1 elements on a page. He didn’t say you should, just that you can. Without too much detail I say if you have the content for two H1 tags on a page then you might have enough content for two pages.
You can have multiple H2 elements and normally they would be the title of each section on the page.  H3-H6 can be used in each section to define subsections. When used properly the heading elements create an order that is easy to follow. It sounds like a lesson in HTML but it is very useful in organizing content. The search engines understand headings and they love organized content, so will your readers.

Back in the day (1 year ago?) people were big on keyword density. It was abused and it has been addressed. As usual, good content that reads well works best. Yes, you should do keyword research and you need to use keywords in your content but there isn’t a magic number you need to hit. Let it read natural.

What about copy writing? You can optimize copy after it’s written but it’s usually easier if you keep search optimization in mind while you are writing new content. Have someone that is not afraid to tell you the truth read your copy. If you aren’t good at it then get someone else to do it even if you have to pay for it. It doesn’t have to be great, it just needs to offer what your visitors are looking for and it needs to be easy to read unless your target audience is all propeller heads or Kris Kristofferson.

added: If your headings don’t include your primary keywords for that page¬†then you might have a structure problem. I am not talking about going back and spamming the headings. If you didn’t naturally include the primary keywords in the heading elements then you should re-evaluate the need for the¬†page.

Move on to advanced SEO.

—David Blizzard