Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Social Media Marketing in support ofComprehensive Website Development

             As a company that offers website development services, as well as internet marketing services, Web Dot Com is a firm believer in the effectiveness and necessity of social media marketing.
             Social media marketing simply means strategic participation in existing social media networks as part of an overall marketing plan. Participation could mean social interaction or submission of quality content such as blog posts, articles, videos, images or audio files.

          Some of the most popular social media networks are Twitter, Facebook, YouTube,, StumbleUpon, LinkedIn, Flickr, Digg, Reddit and Technorati. These are, therefore, the best networks to include in your social media marketing campaign. If your target audience is young, be sure to include Friendster and MySpace, as well.

                    Through social media marketing, you reach an unbelievably large audience. Your message gains more weight and credibility by riding on the love earned by the social media network from its followers. You could get a lot of direct traffic from the exposure. You could also be linked to by other websites or blogs. These not only bring in more secondary traffic, but the links themselves – being natural and permanent – provide very valuable search engine ranking. As we all know, top ranking in search engines is the goal for every website since it guarantees continued influx of traffic. In turn, traffic for your site helps you build a base of returning visitors who could be converted to clients.

                Social media marketing also provides a very inexpensive way of building your brand. Your online reputation is something that will provide more long-term benefits. Of course, all these are contingent on the quality of your participation in the social media networks you have chosen. The reputation of your brand will be developed according to how you connect with others and based on the value of the content you contribute. More often, content that is highly relevant and helpful to others earns the greatest social revenue. Also popular are humorous and entertaining content. Really juicy content usually gets spread virally to unexpected proportions. Make sure that means juicy in a positive light, though, to ensure it does not backfire on you.
Establishing sincere relationships with others through social media networks will slowly create a loyal following for your site. Return the favor sincerely by actively interacting with their sites, as well. Join communities and be useful in each one. These relationships could become mutual advocacies that further strengthen your brand.

                     Undoubtedly, social media marketing takes considerable effort. Many companies, and even individuals who leverage their websites for profit, opt to outsource this undertaking. Make sure you assign it to experts who know how to maximize returns for you, though.

               Social media marketing, along with search engine marketing, is part of the internet marketing strategies applied by Web Dot Com. The ten year old Philippine-based company offers this in conjunction with basic and advanced website development, web design, advanced portal development and other custom programming, web based database programming, content management systems, e-commerce solutions such as online store applications for online shopping and online payment, search engine optimization, and website maintenance and support.
Who can better implement your social media marketing campaign than the same website development team that set up your website and will be maintaining it for you? This ensures focus and synergism while streamlining costs.

Thursday, June 04, 2009

Seo Spiders – What they are Hungry for ?

             In the previous article ‘Get Traffic With SEO Thinking’ we discussed how search engines work in general and how you can apply SEO to your site or article. You should understand, or at least be aware, of where to put your keywords and how keyword prominence and keyword density works. If you haven’t read it maybe it is a good idea to go do that quickly before we continue.
If you remember correctly a search engine has workers and thinkers, spiders and indexers. When we discussed keyword densities and the like we were focusing more on the indexing part of the search engine algorithm. Let’s have a look at websites from the spider’s point of view, what do they like?

Spiders like:
• Text more then they like code. For the most part it’s quite easy to have more lines of text then code. Be aware that some programs, like the MS Office Suite, add a lot of extra code to a file. This is to enable you to open any MS file in almost any application.
• Keyword densities in the range of 3-7%. Anything less is off subject and something ridicules like say 20% is frowned upon and possible flagged.
• Backlinks from other sites, it’s said that authority sites have an average of 300 backlinks pointing to them.
• Original content. If you didn’t write it, it’s probably not original. Although you might pay someone to do it, but then you own the only copy.
• Sites that download quickly. One of the biggest culprits in slowing download down is dynamic URLs, like pictures, from other sites.
• Site maps. They take seconds to build, so do it and update it at least once a month.
• ALT Tabs for images, because spiders cannot see pictures.
• Links to websites that are contextually relevant. If your site is about making online millions you should link to something like investing millions, contextually relevant but not competitive.
• Fresh content every time the spider crawls your site. Spiders are like girls, they love new stuff.
Spiders do not like:
• More lines of code than text.
• Nested tables. It adds code and the spiders take longer to digest the tables, making you less likely to be crawled.
• Mega-high keyword densities, also called keyword stuffing. It’s unnatural, and the search engines have caught on. You should remember that using a keyword stuffed portal as a doorway page is doing exactly the same thing. Bad programmer!
• Too many backlinks to your own home or landing page from within your own domain.
• Duplicate content, it doesn’t matter from where or how. Even if someone copies from YOUR site you have duplicate content.
• A slow loading site. Watch those dynamic URLs.
• Automated link swapping that could be because of repeating exactly the same words in your linking text, spiders are allowed to do this, we, ironically are not.
• Stale content, it smells like old people to spiders. So, go ahead, update your site, its fun.

Monday, June 01, 2009

Does Your Website Really Need SEO

What exactly is SEO? SEO (search engine optimization) is the process of improving the volume or quality of traffic to a website from search engine via natural search results. The earlier your site appears on natural search results, the more visitors you will receive from search engines. Traffic from search engines is targeted. When your web pages rank high for keywords that are related to what you are offering, you get more traffic and business.

To make your web pages rank high on natural search results, you must optimize your website. So if you are still wondering whether your website needs SEO, it is no doubt - YES. If you run a small business, SEO gives you the opportunity to compete with the big boys. When your website appears on the first page of the natural search results, you can take traffic and business away from your competitors.

Many websites do not implement SEO and they are losing a lot of quality traffic. SEO is the bed rock of internet marketing and every website should implement it.

So now you have understood that SEO is an important business process, what’s next? It is possible for you to do SEO on your own but it is a tedious and continuous process. It is not something that you can do it once and forget about it. So if you are not well-verse in SEO or do not have the time to do it consistently, you should allocate a budget to engage a professional SEO firm to do it for you. Professional SEO companies have the resources to optimize your website consistently and they know what they are doing. If you go online and do a search, you can find tons of companies offering this service. So how do you choose the right company to optimize your website?

You should shortlist a few companies and meet up with them. Listen to what they can offer and remember to ask them what exactly they will be doing for you. If any company guarantees rankings for certain keywords, you should beware. This is because with it comes to SEO, no one can ever guarantee keyword rankings. Moreover, SEO is more than guaranteed rankings for certain keywords or key phrases. It is about improving the volume and quality of search engine traffic to your site.

Before you decide to engage a company to optimize your website, be sure to check out the price. Professional SEO service may be costly but it is definitely worth every single cent in the long run.

Cheow Yu Yuan is the co-founder of OOm, an online marketing agency providing SEO Singapore service.

Monday, October 27, 2008

What is Organic SEO ?

                          All this talk about planning for SEO is great, but what about organic SEO. You don’t have to put any efforts into that, do you?
             Don’t go foolin’ yourself. Organic SEO is just as much work as any other type of SEO. It’s just a little different method of creating a site optimized for search ranking, without having to implement any new technologies or spend a lot of time submitting your site to different primary and secondary search engines. And really, the distinction here is a very general one. Only SEO purists
consider “real SEO” as being strictly organic — meaning you use no fee-based services whatever. Most people are happy with “just plain SEO,” which usually means a combination of organic and
fee-based. It’s best if you just think of SEO as just SEO; then you don’t have to worry about distinctions that aren’t really important in optimizing your web site.
          The definitions of organic SEO vary a little, depending on whom you talk to. Some SEO experts think it’s all about optimizing the content of your web site to catch the attention of the crawlers and spiders that index sites. Others think it’s the number of quality links you can generate on your site. But in truth, organic SEO is a combination of those and other elements, such as site tagging, that will naturally place your web site in search engine rankings. How high in those rankings depends on how well you design your site.
                      But before you go thinking that organic SEO is just the solution you’ve been looking for, take a step back. What organic SEO is not is an easy way to land in a search engine. Basically, if you put a website online and spend a little time getting it ready for the world to see, you will have probably achieved some measure of organic SEO without really trying.
            That’s because your site will probably end up listed in some search engine somewhere, without too much time and effort from you. Elements that naturally occur on a web site — like the title of
the site, the URL, included web links, and even some of the content — will probably land you in  a search engine (unless those elements are black-hat SEO efforts, in which case the engine could
permanently exclude you). The question is where in the results will you land? Without attention from you, that might not be as high in the rankings as you would like.
             Organic SEO maximizes those naturally occurring elements, building upon each element to create a site that will naturally fall near the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs). One of the most attractive features of organic SEO is that the methods used to achieve high SERPs rankings are of no cost — other than the time it takes to implement these ideas.

                    However, there is a trade-off. Achieving organic SEO can take anywhere from three to six months. For web site owners impatient to see results from their SEO efforts, this can seem like an eternity. But it’s worth the extra time if the budget is an issue.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Let Search Engines to Work for You

All this information about search engines has one purpose — to show you how they work, so that you can put them to work for you. Throughout this book, you’ll find various strategies for optimizing your web site so it appears high in search engine rankings when relevant searches are performed.
But this requires that you know how to put search engines to work for you.
Search engine optimization is essentially the science of designing your web site to maximize your search engine rankings. This means that all of the elements of your web site are created with the goal of obtaining high search engine rankings. Those elements include:
    • Entry and exit pages
    • Page titles
    • Site content
    • Graphics
    • Web site structure

                             In addition to these elements, however, you also have to consider things like keywords, links, HTML, and meta-tagging. Even after you have all the elements of your page optimized for search-engine friendliness, there are other things to consider. For example, you can have all the right design elements included in your web pages and still have a relatively low search engine ranking. Factors such as advertising campaigns and update frequencies also affect your SEO efforts.
                            All of this means that you should understand that the concept of search engine optimization is not based on any single element. Instead, search engine optimization is based on a vast number of elements and strategies. And it’s an ongoing process that doesn’t end once your web site is live.  SEO is a living, breathing concept of maximizing the traffic that your web site generates, and because it is, that means that it’s a constantly moving target. If you’ve ever played a game of Whack-a-Mole, you can understand how difficult search engine optimization is to nail. In the game, a little mole pops up out of a hole. Your job is to whack the mole on the top of the head before it disappears back down the hole and appears in another.Search engine optimization is much the same concept. Search engines are constantly changing, so the methods and strategies used to achieve high search engine rankings must also change. As soon as that little mole pops up in one hole, he disappears and then reappears in another. It’s a frustrating game, but given enough time and concentration, you can become very good at it.

Friday, October 17, 2008

How to Manipulate Search Engines

There’s one more topic to touch on before this chapter is finished. SEO is about manipulating search
engines — to an extent. Beyond that, the manipulation becomes something more sinister and you run the risk of having your web site removed from the search engine rankings completely. It’s true. It happens. So what exactly can and can’t you do? There’s a list. Here is part of it.
You can:
  • Create a web site that contains meta tags, content, graphics, and keywords that help improve your site ranking.
  • Use keywords liberally on your site, so long as they are used in the correct context of your site topic and content.
  • Include reciprocal links to your site from others as long as those links are legitimate and relevant.
  • Encourage web site traffic through many venues, including keyword advertising, reciprocal links, and marketing campaigns.
  • Submit your web site to search engines manually, rather than waiting for them to pick up your site in the natural course of cataloging web sites.
You can’t:
  • Trick search engines by imbedding hidden keywords in your web site. This is a practice hat will very likely get you banned by most search engines.
  • Artificially generate links to your site from unrelated sites for the purpose of increasingyour ranking based on link analysis. Most search engines have a built-in mechanism that will detect this type of deceptive practice.
  • Artificially generate traffic to your web site so that it appears more popular than it is. Again,there are safeguards in place to prevent this from happening, and if you trip those safeguards, you could end up on the banned list for many search engines.
  • Force your web site to appear in search engine rankings by submitting the site repeatedly for inclusion in the rankings. A good general rule of thumb is that you should submit your site once and then wait at least six weeks before submitting it again. Submitting it repeatedly will, again, only lead to something nasty like being banned from the search engine.
  • Expect search engines to automatically rank you at the top of your topic, category, or keyword as soon as the site is picked up. It could take a little time to build the “status” that you need to reach a high search engine ranking. Remember, SEO is a process.
These are just basic rules for putting search engines to work for you. There are many more, which you will discover in the coming chapters. As you get started, however, keep these in mind, because you’ll see them over and over again throughout the course of this book and any other research that you might be doing on search engine optimization.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Creating Your SEO Plan

                      Once you have a goal or set of goals in mind for your web site, it’s time to create your SEO plan. The SEO plan is the document that you’ll use to stay on track as you try to implement SEO strategies on your site.
                        For many people, the thought of implementing SEO on a web site that includes dozens or even hundreds of pages is overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be, though.

Prioritizing pages
                        Look at SEO in small, bite-size pieces. For example, instead of looking at your site as a whole, look at each page on the site. Prioritize those pages, and then plan your SEO around each page’s priority. Taking a single page into consideration helps to eliminate the “everything has to happen right now” issue and makes it possible for you to create an SEO plan that will maximize your web site’s potential in the minimum amount of time.
Top priority pages should be the ones that your visitors will most naturally gravitate to, such as your home page, or pages that will generate the most in terms of traffic or revenue. When prioritiz-
ing pages, you’re also creating a roadmap for your marketing efforts. If three of the pages on your site are your top priority, those three will have the lion’s share of time, capital, and effort when it comes to SEO and marketing.

Site assessment
                         After you have prioritized your site, you should assess where you stand and where you need to be with your current SEO efforts. Again, assess each page individually, rather than the site as a whole. In SEO, individual pages are equally important (if not more so) than the entire site. All of your efforts are designed to rank one page above all others in search results. Which page is the most important should be determined by your business needs.

Your SEO assessment should be a document that outlines the current standing of the main SEO elements of each page. It should contain columns for the element of the site you’re assessing, the
current status of that element, what needs to be improved in that element, and the deadline for improvement. It’s also helpful if you have a check box next to each item that can be marked when
improvements are completed and a column for follow-up, because SEO is a never-ending process. The elements that should be considered during an assessment include:

Site/page tagging: The meta tags that are included in the coding of your web site areessential to having that site listed properly in a search engine. Tags to which you should pay specific attention are the title tags and description tags, because these are the most
important to a search engine.

Page content: How fresh is your content? How relevant is it? How often is it updated? Andhow much content is there? Content is still important when it comes to search results. After
all, most people are looking for a specific piece of content, whether it’s information or a product. If your content is stale, search engines could eventually begin to ignore your site in
favor of a site that has fresher content. There are exceptions to this generalization, however. And one exception is if your content is, by nature, very rich but not very dynamic. Because
of the usefulness of the content, your site will probably continue to rank well. But it’s a difficult case to determine. In most cases, fresh content is better.
Site links: Site links are essential in SEO. Crawlers and spiders look for the links into and out of your site in order to traverse your site and collect data on each URL. However, they also look for those links to be in-context, meaning the link must come from or lead to a site that is relevant to the page that is being indexed. Broken links tend to be a large problem when it comes to search engine ranking, so be sure to check that links are still
working during the assessment process.

Site map: Believe it or not, a site map will help your web site be more accurately linked. But this is not the ordinary site map that you include to help users quickly navigate through your site. This site map is an XML-based document, at the root of your HTML, that contains information (URL, last updated, relevance to surrounding pages, and so on) about each  of the pages within a site. Using this XML site map will help to ensure that even the deep
pages within your site are indexed by search engines. If you don’t have a site map, you should create one. If you do have one, make sure it’s accurate and up to date.
Finishing the plan
                         With the site assessment out of the way, you should have a good idea of what areas need work and what areas are in good shape. Don’t assume the areas that don’t currently need work will always be perfect, however. That’s not how it works. At the least, changes to the pages will require changes to the SEO efforts that you’re putting forth; at most they may require that you begin SEO efforts for that page all over again.
           You can now take the time to put together all of the information that you’ve gathered into a cohesive picture of the SEO efforts you should be making. Your SEO plan is more than just a picture of what’s there and what’s not, however. This is the document that you use to tie everything together:
current standing, marketing efforts, capital expenditures, time frames — all of it.
             The document should look much like any other plan that you’ll create, for instance your business plan. In this plan, you should have an area for background information, marketing information, plans for growing the business, and plans for managing problems that may arise.
               An SEO plan is very similar. You’ll have your current standings, the goals that you plan to hit, and the marketing efforts that you plan to make for each page (or for the site as a whole). You’ll even have the capital expenditures that you plan to encounter as you implement your SEO plan.
             You’ll also want to include the strategies you plan to use. Those strategies can be efforts such as submitting your site or pages from your site to directories manually and planning the content you’ll useto draw search crawlers, or they can be keyword marketing plans or pay-per-click programs you
plan to use. Also be sure to include a time line for the testing and implementation of those efforts as
well as for regular follow-ups.
                       Follow-up is also an essential part of your SEO plan. Many people believe they can develop and implement an SEO plan and then just walk away from it. The truth is, however, that SEO is not just a one-time event. It’s an ongoing process that requires testing, monitoring, and often re-building.
               A good plan for conducting follow-ups is to plan for them quarterly. Some companies will choose to follow up and reassess their SEO bi-annually, but to be truly effective quarterly is much better. One thing to keep in mind, however, is that following up on your SEO efforts too soon is non-productive. In many cases, it takes at least three months to get a clear picture of how successful your efforts are. Conducting an evaluation before that three-month mark could have you chasing after an elusive SEO goal that doesn’t really exist. Or worse, it could lead you away from a successful strategy.
                        Give your plan at least three months but no more than six between checkups. Once you create the
habit of re-evaluating your SEO efforts on that time schedule, it will be much less time consuming than you assume.