I know I covered web page size a few times but I thought a few more things to say. Web page Load times are very important especially during this recession. Many people are switching to dial up or switching to lower speed broadband to save money. AT&T offers a 750k service for $20 a month now. Even if that were not the case I know everybody has dealt with slow web page load times on their expensive high speed connections. If you have a cable modem you are sharing an Internet connection with your whole street probably. Not to mention many people share an Internet connection in their home. If you live with somebody that plays games and/or downloads movies and music you have seen slow web page load times. Even if Google analytics is showing you 5% dial up users that does not mean you donâ€™t have to worry about slow web page load times.
The problem is that many websites are built on top of some CMS or shopping cart. It may be impossible for some people to make these changes. The advice I give is that if your website is doing well and making you money it is worth the investment to redo the site so that it loads faster. If your just starting out or already invested a lot into a website it may not be worth the extra expense. Slow web page load times will not kill your site I’m just talking about how to make your site better. If your running a business you should always be looking for little ways to squeeze out more profit. I mentioned in a previous post on this subject that Google Maps reduced their page size by 30% and traffic went up 30%. I have also read that you have anywhere from 3 to 5 seconds to convince people to not to hit the back button. If your content does not load very fast you will lose sales.
I have sold a lot of things online over the years and have seen all kinds of scams. I’m writing this post because I just ran into an old scam while trying to sell something on Craigs List.. This most important thing you can do when selling things online is to watch out for red flags. If it is too good to be true it is. The biggest flag is if somebody wants to pay full price and wants fast shipping. If you are selling on a craigslist type of site be very wary of somebody that does not haggle. Bad English is a big red flag as well. Shipping out of the country is also a huge red flag. Copy the first sentence or two of the offer they make to you into Google with quotes around it. This will catch the really stupid scammers.
Here is an email I got today. It has red flags all over it.
Thanks for the prompt response..I fully understand the condition of
what i am buying. I’m ready to buy it now for my personal use but am
not local and due to the nature of my work, phone calls making and
visiting of website are restricted but i squeezed out time to check
this advert and send you an email regarding it.Note that you will not
be responsible for shipping and handling. My shipping company will
come to your location for the pick up. Kindly provide me your name
and full address so i can forward it to the shipping company to
calculate the cost of pick up for me. And concerning the payment, i
will prefer PayPal because i don’t have access to my bank account
online as i don’t have internet banking but i can pay from my PayPal
account because i have my bank account attached to it. I will also
need you to give me your PayPal email address so i can make the
payments immediately and if you don’t have an account with PayPal yet,
it is very easy to set up, go to http://www.paypal.com and get it set
up, after you have set it up i will only need the e-mail address you
use for registration with PayPal so as to deposit the fund. So get
back to me with the following details:
Your Full Name:
The Pick Up Address including Zip Code:
Your PayPal email address for the payment.
Thanks and in anticipation of your response.
There are all kinds of articles on how to use certain tools to do keyword research. I would like to talk about some other tricks I have used over the years.
Check your junk mail and try to get junk mail from friends and neighbors. Many companies send out fliers with special domain names specifically for mail outs. Donâ€™t forget that URLâ€™s are keywords. I used to make $5000 a month from one kw that I did ppc for. These keywords wonâ€™t last forever so you have to keep finding new ones.
There are a lot of sites that leave their analytics open. You can do certain searches in Google to find these sites. This way you can find out new keywords. Here are some of the searches.
- july referrer usage statistics
- “Top 8 of 8 Total Search Strings”
- Total Search Strings” july
You will find links like http://example.com/.stat/ref_201007.html. What you do is start deleting the sub directories to find the links to every month. http://example.com/.stat/ You can also throw in some base keywords into those searches to find site in your area. The above searches are just something to get you started. You can come up with all kinds of searches to find sites. Look at different analytics packages to find out keywords they use on their reports to find even more.
I was messing around in Google trends yesterday trying to find out how it matched my analytics data. In Raven tools I like to compare this year and last year to see how well Iâ€™m doing. I have it set to only show organic traffic from all search engines. I prefer the Raven interface to GA over Googleâ€™s.
I had two browser windows open going back and forth trying to see the difference. I was thinking it sure would be cool if I could get this Google Trends data in one place. I did some searches and discovered that if you log into your Google account you can download the Google Trends data. I downloaded the CSV from 2009 and 2010 for the main keyword for a client. I copied the data from 2010 to the 2009 spreadsheet. I deleted the percentage cols and the extra stuff on top and bottom. Since I was comparing 2009 to 2010 I deleted the weeks from 2010 that have not happened yet and the corresponding weeks from 2009. This left me with 4 cols. I changed the heading for the numbers to the year plus AD like 2009 AD because excel did not like just a number there.
Iâ€™m not an excel expert. If you really know excel you can really get fancy with this but this worked for my needs and it was fast. Then I click on the insert tab and clicked on Line and picked the first line graph. It made exactly what I wanted.
2007 Excel File
97-2003 Excel File
* Bottom numbers are week numbers so this shows the first 25 weeks of 2009 and 2010.
Yesterday I was on Webmasterradio talking about link building. I was on with Disa Johnson aka airDisa and Daron Babin aka SEguru. We had a great time but there was just not enough time to talk about all the things I wanted to. Below is a list of link building tips that I prepared for the show.
- First step to link building is to make sure all your incoming links go to existing pages or pages that have been redirected to existing pages.
- Get a list of websites that mention you or your product but donâ€™t link to your website and ask them to link to you. You can get this from Majestic SEO or by searching for your domain name or company name or product name in Google.
- Find websites that link to more than one of your competitors. This means somebody is making a list of similar sites and there is a very good chance you can get them to add your site to the list. One tactic to help in this is to offer a coupon code specifically for that site. Donâ€™t just use a unique random code make it a word that reflects the site name or subject. Search Return will let you do this by uploading your backlinks from Yahoo or you can use an export from linkrep.seofox.com or many of the other backlink providers.
- Study your competitorâ€™s backlink profile. This will let you see what types of sites they get links from. It helps to find out what types of sites link to your type of website. It also helps find the type of content people link to. This will give you ideas to create new content that will attract links. You can do this with many of the different backlink tools out there.
Find broken links to your competitors and inform the site owner that the link is broken and ask them to link to you.
- Find sites that link to you with URLâ€™s or junk words like â€śclick hereâ€ť or â€śmore infoâ€ť and contact the site owner to change it to a keyword.
- Find bloggers that have blogged about your competitors and ask them to write a blog about you. Offer them something like a free product, or service.
- Directory submissions still work for long tail keywords. I have run a lot of reports recently and we are seeing top sites with thousands of directory links. The key is getting a good list of directory links.
I have been using a custom proposal generator over the last year and the guy who made it for me decided to make a commercial version. The new proposal generator is called www.phpProposal.com. It works like wordpress. You have to install it on your own server. It is very easy to install. They have a simple script to install on your web server that will tell you if your server is comparable. It works on most LAMP servers. If you have a “linux” web hosting account there is a very good chance this will work on it.
It was originally designed specifically for my needs. The new version is designed for everybody. You can make your own templates and change the wording to whatever you want. It still has built in features for SEO.
Some of the stats for potential clients
- Ranking in Google, Yahoo, and Bing for keywords
- How many .edu, .gov links
- Alexa ranking
It has several pre built proposal templates or you can create one from scratch. It saves your proposals so you can print them out later. I always have to send out proposals and this program makes it real easy.
Some SEOâ€™s have been doing competitor backlink research for a long time some people are just now discovering it and most have never heard of it.
Competitor link research is when you study your competitorâ€™s backlinks as part of your link building efforts. There are quite a few different ways to acquire links using this practice. The possibilities are endless. The best place to find links are places that are already linking.
- When you find pages that link to several of your competitors there is a good chance they will link to you too.
- Get a list of blogs and forums that link to your competitors that don’t have nofollow. Make sure to leave good comments and post good threads. Don’t just say “great site” and spam links with anchor text. It is best to do comments or posts that don’t have links at first. Contribute to the site so they don’t mind your links later. Read the forum rules to find out if you have to make a certain
number of posts before you can use links. Some forums moderate the first 4 or so posts you make.
- Study the types of content websites link to and create that type of content. You can get them to link to your site as well or you can convince them that your content is better than the one they are linking to and they might replace your competitors link with yours.
- When looking through your competitors links you might find that sites link to pages that no longer exist. You can create a page that reflects what was linked to and then inform the site owner of the broken link and let them know they can link to your page instead.
- Get a list of sites that used to link to you or your competitor and try to get a link on those sites. If they used to link they might link again. Find out what the site used to link to and improve the content then show the owner why they should link to it again.
- Find directories that link to your competitors to get your site in.
- Study your own backlinks to find sites that link to you with URL’s or junk anchor text like “click here” or “articles”. Contact them to try to get that changed to a keyword.
- Find wikiâ€™s that link to your competitors and donâ€™t use nofollow . Try to get added to that page or create your own page on that wiki with a link to your site.
- Find run of sites links to your competitors. This might be blogrolls or sometimes paid links. Try to get the link for free. This is not about the right and wrong of buying links just ideas if you want to use them.
While you are doing all this research you might find types of sites that link to your subject area you did not know about. Any time youâ€™re surfing the web you should be looking for new ideas to attract links.
My new backlink reports at SEO Fox can facilitate this type of link building. In the past it took a long time to get a lot of this information. My new service speeds things up so you can get links faster.
I got a call today from a guy claiming to be from Today’s Business Report. He told meâ€ťTodayâ€™s Business Report” is an educational Business television show that is going to air on the FOX business network. I called up and had a long conversation where he leads me to believe that I am being screened to be on the TV show. He asks me all kinds of questions about my business. He finally starts talking about how my company will be featured at the end with a segment. At the end he asks me if I’m ok with a scheduling fee. For a 60 sec spot it costs $5900 to be on their show.
This is basically an infomercial. It is not a real show. They really don’t think you have some great information they just want your money. I did a press release yesterday so I thought somebody at FOX had seen it and wanted to put me on one of their business shows.
Click on image to see un-cropped image
I did a search for “Houston Electrician” earlier in the day without being logged in. Later on I did a search for “Houston Doctor”. This is when I got this result. I’m pretty sure the electricians are not advertising for “Houston Doctor”. I opend IE and logged out of Google and did the same search and did not get those results. I went back to Firefox did the same search and still got the electricians. I then searched for “houston doctor” several times in IE and never got the electricians. I then did a search for “houston electrician” and then did a search for “houston doctor” and got the electrician ads this time.
Google has decided that because I searched for electricians earlier that I should see some more electrician ads. The electrical ads are below number 4 when I type “houston electrician” so I know they don’t have a very high bid. I seriously doubt low end bidder on “Houston electricians” beat out high bidder for “houston doctor”
Looks to me like Google is ripping off some people. How would somebody making a ppc campaign for electricians know to put doctor as a negative keyword.
UPDATE: Barry over at Search Engine Roundtable pointed out that this is an old thing that Google is very open about.
Several products allow you to see all your competitors’ backlinks, including my newly released reports. You can see your competitors’ backlinks, and get a report that breaks the list down into manageable chunks that you can investigate. The best place to begin your link building process is to look at your competitorâ€™s links. If they are ranked number one for a keyword term, you will know that it is their links that got them to that position. The first thing you do is:
- Try to get some of the same links.
- Get ideas to find your own links.
Links from Forums and Blogs
Look at the report’s links from forums and blogs that do not have the â€śno followâ€ť. You can then go to these forums and blogs and make posts or comments. Read the thread or blog post and make a helpful comment. If it is a forum, you should get involved. Do not go and make some spam post. Link building is hard work and don’t go looking for short cuts.
See what types of content people are linking to as you go through your competitorâ€™s backlinks. You need to create a similar type of content if you donâ€™t have it already. You can send a personal email if you find a site that links to content you already have, When sending emails, your success rate will be higher if you send the email from the domain you are requesting a link from. Be complementary to them in your email. Tell them how much you like their site. Talk about the specific page that you want a link on. If they are linking to your competitor you have two choices you can ask them to also link to you or you can ask them to change the link to link to you instead.
If you get a rejection email, try to figure out why. If they don’t tell you why then send them an email asking if there is something you can change so that they will link to your site. If they do reveal why you were rejected, change your content or create new content and ask them again to link to your new content.
There are several programs you can use to mange this. I use Squid. You can also use Digixmas. Digixmas is not just for submitting to directories. You can go to their manual mode to visit a website. Once you send an email, just mark it as success. This way you know which ones you have worked on. You can use the bypass and failed flags to mark different things as well to help you remember what step in the process you are on.
Come visit http://linkrep.seofox.com and get reports on your competitors. If you don’t want to do all this work SEO Fox can do for you.
If I had to pick only one plugin for firefox it would be the Web Developer Toolbar add on. I use it every day. I’m not really a developer. I do make simple web pages but I use it most the time evaluating websites. I use it to look at a site when I get an email or phone call from a prospect. I also use it when I’m link building.
The next thing that I do is click on the information tab and go to “view meta tag information”. I can tell if they are using meta tags at all. Sometimes you see all kinds of odd tags like “revisit after” which no search engine uses. Sometimes I see they have 2 descriptions.
I like to use the resize feature. Click on the resize pull down menu and change the size of the window to see how the site looks in different sizes.
This is not for SEO but I like to use the “Display Anchors” feature in the information pull down menu. I use this when I want to link to a specific forum post.
Under Images you can click on “display alt attributes” to see if they are using them. You can also tell it to show you images size. Find broken images is helpful too. “Show images full size” will show you real quick if they are not optimizing their images.
The Web Developer toolbar does quite a bit more but since I’m not a developer I don’t really use it. Let me know what your favorite features are in the comments. I would love to hear them.