Quality inbound links are key to achieving great results with organic search.
As SEOs, getting quality incoming links for clients is a time-consuming routine of content creation, web browsing, info submission, and link requests. The question is how to build link popularity efficiently without wasting time.
There are a number of ways to get incoming links, but two that show the most results are creating quality content (linkbait) and requesting links directly from relevant sites. We all know how to create quality content (or buy it). The question is really how to find relevant sites to approach for a link. Advanced keywords searches are a great way to get started. One of the most efficient ways to target potential linkbacks is still competitor backlink analysis.
Competitor backlink analysis is no stranger to SEO; our site owner David Ogletree has made several worthwhile posts about backlink research recently. There are a number of free and modestly priced tools on the market that streamline the link analysis of any website. But a new tool has entered the backlink analysis market that truly aids in streamlining your backlink management.
Link Hound is a great backlink research tool for discovering and managing any backlink endeavor. The process of adding a website campaign and relevant keywords to that campaign is simple. The tool actually suggests numerous websites to analyze based on any keyword phrase entered and determines the links with the most potential to backlink to your site based on the information you give. Link Hound also offers a contact management system within its results page which makes it easy to keep track of links and contacts within the tool instead of exporting that info to Excel. But if you are old-school, you can still export the data to CSV and have fun.
After spending an afternoon using the new tool, it definitely provided relevant potential. Even if you are already using link building software, Link Hound can serve to bolster your reservoir of potential link targets.
Bottom line: Link Hound will help you find relevant backlinks to pursue and help you manage them too.
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.
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.
Putting up an ecommerce website with the descriptions from the manufacture is bad for SEO. Putting up any content on your website that is not unique is not good for SEO. The excuse that â€śeverybody does itâ€ť is not valid. Sure there are some people out there that rank well using manufacture descriptions but your not them. When you get the same kinds of links that they do you will outrank them because you have unique content. When Google spiders the web they notice that there are a lot of people selling the same item with the same description. If you want Google to notice you youâ€™re going to have to be different. A very good example of a website doing this right is www.jpeterman.com.
If your serious about getting more sales through organic search traffic your going to have to spend the time or hire somebody to do it for you. Somebody is going to have to go in and rewrite your descriptions. When you rewrite the description you need to make sure you include keywords you want to rank for. Also add alt tags to your images. Another thing I recommend is to consider how Wikipedia is set up. In your description talk about other items that go with this item and link to them with anchor text. Notice in Wikipedia articles there are lots of links to other pages in Wikipedia. That is one of the reasons they rank so well. Internal linking can help you rank above your competitors. On page SEO is hard work and has to be done on large ecommerce websites.
Donâ€™t forget that an ecommerce website is also a website. It should not just be a cart. You need to include articles. The more interesting your site is the more links you will get. Talk about your products. Talk about how they can be used in different ways. Talk about ways to augment them. Write stories about somebody using your product. Spend time on your template and try to keep the code down so that Google mostly finds text instead of tons of junk. Donâ€™t forget that people will leave your website if your page is not loading very fast.
Austin PPC Company
I wish people would not read some old blog post or forum thread about URL’s and change all their page names. Do not ever change your page names. There is no reason whatsoever to do it. Even if you switch from asp to php or some other server side language you can keep your old url’s with a very easy tweak to your system regardless of what web server you use.
There is no benefit to switching to keyword rich url’s. As a matter of fact 100% of the time there will be a negative effect in the short run.
I am noticing that a lot of web developers consider HTML old school and something to avoid. This is a very bad trend. People need to realize that web pages are documents that need to be cataloged and searched. If you donâ€™t use a universally accepted standard to mark them up companies like Google and Yahoo will have a harder time figuring out what a page is about.
HTML is a standard to define the elements in a text document. An HTML only document looks very ugly and plain in a web browser. Using HTML to design your web page is very old school and does not look very good. At the dawn of the Internet HTML provided 2 roles one being markup and the other design. We now have CSS that takes over the job of defining how something looks. People are so caught up in how a web page looks they forget about the markup side of a web page.
Any good SEO should know this. Part of the job of an SEO is to educate developers about this topic. We are document markup experts. Companies need to have an SEO on staff to make sure the developers donâ€™t lose site of this.
I have a new site that our company is working on. I noticed that in google all of a sudden we have all of our pages listed in Google with very weird things added to our URLs.
I found out that this works on any IIS server. Even on www.microsoft.com. I have no idea what this is. I do know it is a bad thing for SEO and any site hosted on IIS needs to address this. This goes back to what I say about site architecture. Your site needs to have a URL policy set up and enforced. Nobody can go to any page unless that URL is already known to the site owner. This means no page can be access from 2 or more differnt urls. The site owner needs to redirect any rogue URL to the correct one and 404 anything you can’t predict. What this does is create duplicate content that the search engines do not like and can even hurt a sites rankings.
I had a post the other day about how to make search engine friendly URL’s using coldFusion. I had a comment that asked “Is it still necessary to remove the â€ś?â€ť and other symbols from CF code so search engines can read them?” Instead of answering with a comment I thought I would create a post about it. The simple answer is no. Google and the other top search engines have figured out how to do deal with dynamic URL’s. There are many sites that rank well using them. Having a “?” or “&” in your URL is not considered a negative or a positive by the search engine algos. What they do have a problem with is session IDâ€™s. Do not use those. Read more…
UPDATE: I don’t want anybody to think that I am saying it is wrong to have a client link to your site. My only point is that it should be done with permission and that when people are looking to hire an SEO they should not consider an SEO good just because they rank for SEO terms. I am mostly talking about local SEO terms.
One thing I have noticed is that a lot of SEO’s and web designers put a link on all their clientsâ€™ sites to themselves. They then turn around and try to claim to be good at SEO because they rank locally for seo or web design. That is not SEO. Most of the time it is not even ethical because they do not tell their clients what they are doing. They also then turn around and send a link to their clients to help them rank. I’m not saying that putting links on your clientâ€™s site is wrong I’m just saying it does not make you good at SEO. Some of the people that rank for top SEO terms suck at SEO. It is not hard to rank for a term in your own industry specially if you do a lot public speaking and write a book. It is hard is to get a client in a different area than you are and get them to rank for a hard non-local 2 word phrase. When choosing an SEO do not be impressed by the fact that they rank for SEO terms. Check their back links and see if they have a ton of links just from clients.
I have a client that has a site in coldfusion and I needed to fix their URL’s so they are search engine friendly. I don’t have access to the server so I needed a coldfusion solution. What I wanted was to make it so there were no ?, &, or = signs in the URL and convert them to /’s. I also wanted to 301 redirect the old URL’s to the new URL’s. Here is what I came up with
<cfset urlstring = cgi.path_info>
<cfloop from="1" to=#ListLen(urlstring,"/")# index="i">
<cfif i mod 2>
<cfset paramName = "URL." & ListGetAt(urlstring,i,"/")>
<cfparam name="#paramName#" default="#ListGetAt(urlstring,i,"/")#">
<cfif cgi.QUERY_STRING contains "=">
<cfset moveUrl = #rereplace (cgi.QUERY_STRING,"[=?&]","/","ALL")#>
<cfset newUrl = #cgi.path_info# & "/" & #moveUrl#>
<cfheader statuscode="301" statustext="Moved permanently">
<cfheader name="Location" value="#newUrl#">
I was just reading search engine land and read probably one of the best posts I have read in a long time. There have been some people talking about how easy 95% of SEO is and that it is up there with snake oil salesmen. Todd Friesen (aka oilman) goes into the 5% that is not easy.
On a side note I thought it was funny that Oilman is defending us “snake oil salesmen”