How to Get Your Website on the First Page of Google without FAIL!

Getting on the first page of Google is any website owner’s goal. And that is because the front page opens your site up to thousands of visitors in your niche. It leads to higher sales, better brand awareness, and better business.

Now you must understand that there’s a science behind a first-page ranking. That science is called ‘search engine optimization’, or SEO for short.

SEO is a series of expert techniques and tricks that show Google you’re the best in the game. If you dream of getting your website on the first page of therefore, you need to know these techniques and then put them into practice.

But, what exactly are these fundamental tricks and techniques?

That is what I aim to reveal to you in this post. So, stay with me!

How to get on page one of Googlegle

Expert Techniques and Tricks That Will Get Your Website on Google’s 1st Page

1. Keywords

The first thing to know is that Google sends crawlers, or spiders, to every website on the planet. They’re looking for a few important factors to determine how useful and important your website is. The first thing they look for is keywords. By doing that, they get a sense of what your website is about. After all, they want to present their users with the most relevant results. So, make sure you use plenty of descriptive and explanative keywords in your headers, titles, and copy. We often find that hiring an SEO consultant can help you highlight the very best keywords for your business.

2. Authority

Google like to know they’re sending users to a reputable, established site. To do this, they measure your level of authority. There are a number of ways they do this. First of all, how much traffic is accessing your site. If a steady stream of visitors are coming to your site, Google can assume you have something to offer. They also take into account the authority of the sites linking to you. For example, if The Huffington Post links to your website, Google can assume you have a certain level of authority and credibility.

3. Performance

Google don’t like to send their searchers to slow websites. That would damage their credibility. So, they scour the web for high-performing, fast websites. If yours takes too long to load, it’s never going to make it to the first page of Google. Speak to your web host about speeding up your initial server speed. Then consult your web designer to make the website pop faster. Trust us, Google will notice the difference.

4. User Experience

The speed and performance of your website all feeds into the umbrella topic of user experience. Google wants to make sure that searchers find what they’re looking for. If your website is confusing, difficult to navigate and fussy, you’re moving down the ranks! Google only ranks simple, effective websites that provide a fantastic user experience.

5. Content And Social Media

There’s a lot of talk about social media in SEO circles. Now, Google don’t take into account your follower numbers or number of likes on Facebook. But, they do rank authority. And the best way to get authority (lots of traffic and lots of links) is through content and social media. Use high-quality content to spread all corners of the internet. Build your social media network, and ensure there is a community that relies on your website.

Finally, always know that Google is a tricky beast to please. The best-techniques are always changing. To stay ahead of the game make sure you keep up with the times, and ensure your website is performing. Do this and you will always come out a winner!

How Ready Is Your Site For The Google Mobile-Friendly Algorithm Update?

With just a few hours before Google implement its planned big update – mobile-friendly algorithm change, it beholds every webmaster to take action now, if they have not done so.

Google had announced earlier that come 21 April it will launch a new mobile-friendly algorithm with the mind of rewarding websites that are fully optimized for mobile with higher rankings in search results. The funny thing is that why Google indicates that the change is to improve the overall user experience (UX), there are however, news that Google is actually planning to launch its own mobile phone network, a move that will see the company move into supplying broadband connections across the planet.

But, instead of waving away the up-coming algorithm change because we know that whenever Google comes up with any update it always has some vested interest, we must understand that this is really beyond Google.

For example, right now more and more people are now accessing the internet with their mobile devices and not making your site mobile friendly will be missing out on this vast number of mobile users.

How Do You Know If Your Site Is Mobile-Friendly?

If you still don’t know if your site is ready or not you can easily found out by doing a check using this tool from Google.

For example, when I checked the webincomejournal.com, here’s what I got:

WebIncomeJournal.com - mobile friendly

Web Income Journal passes mobile-freindly test

Yes, the Web Income Journal blog is mobile friendly!

Mobile Friendly Web Design Tips for Businesses [Infographic]

But beyond checking you can also use Google’s own guidelines to ensure that your site/blog is mobile friendly. If you site is built using the WordPress software, you can get some tips here. If you’re using some other software then you will want to check out this page.

And, here’s an infographic from the team at SumAll with a review of the upcoming changes:

Mobile friendly sites - infographic

Google SEO Ranking Factors – The Complete List [INFOGRAPHIC]

Search traffic has, over the years, been regarded as the best and biggest form of free and targeted organic traffic to any website. But to take advantage of this you will need to know how to SEO-optimize your website and web pages to meet the demands of Google. This is because Google is unarguably the granddaddy of search engine marketing!

Unfortunately, Google is a hard nut to crack when it comes to knowing what you should optimize for. With the mind of keeping their ranking factors secret, Google has never at any time shared what these ranking factors are. However, they have at one time or the pointed out that they use about 200 ranking factors!

But, what do the heck? How you mean Google really expect us to know or to remember every one of those factors if we want to really optimize our web pages?

Of course, it’s intimidating but Google is not expecting us to use every one of those search ranking factors before we can make any impact with our search engine optimization strategies. Nevertheless, it pays to know them.

This is why this infographic by Backlinko and Single Grain – two digital marketing firms of repute – is really a useful resource.

This is indeed an all-inclusive infographic. It list and categorizes the 200 factors that make up Google’s ranking algorithm. Though Google has never before given a detailed list of what make up its ranking factors, Backlinko and Single Grain have taken their time in scouring the internet to gather this information.

If you are in any way interested in optimizing your website for the search engines then this infographic is definitely a valuable resource for you! To make the best use of it, remember to bookmark it so you can always refer to it later.

Google Search engine ranking factors - the big list!

So, what do you think of this infographic? Are you overwhelmed by the info presented?

Google +Posts Ads: Giving Brands the Social Power

Google.com has once again showed that 2013 is indeed a year of change and innovation. From the various Panda and Penguin updates to the launch of a completely new ranking algorithm and of course, the issue of encrypting search results, Google has shown that it is an entity on a mission! Right now, Google is taking that mission to another level by introducing a whole new twist to social media advertising.

Just some hours ago, Google announced the introduction of what it has chosen to call +Posts adsan advertising opportunity for brands to turn their Google+ posts into ads which will be displayed across the Google Display Network (GDN). According to Google,

“+Post ads let you turn your Google+ posts into engagement ads on the Google Display Network. People can join a Hangout On Air, add a comment, follow your brand, or give a +1, right from the ad.”

+Post ads - The all new Google advertising game!

For now, Google is testing this new innovation using a few chosen brands like Toyota USA, Cadbury UK and RITZ crackers.

This is really a new twist to social media advertising because unlike what we have seen on other social media sites, +Post ads will not be shown on the Google+ platform (Google’s social media site) but rather displayed across all its network which reaches to somewhere around 2 million sites!

Is This Taking the Rivalry between Google and Facebook to another Level?

Without trying to sound antagonistic, it is very clear that the launch of +Post ads is indeed another way of Google flexing its advertising muscles against other social media sites, especially Facebook.

In his post announcing +Posts ads, Eran Arkin, Google’s Social Ads Product Manager, said:

“+Post ads allow a brand to take a piece of their public Google+ content, like a photo, video or even a Hangout, and with a few clicks, turn it into a display ad that can run across the more than 2 million sites in the Google Display Network. This lets brands think of the entire web as their social stream.”

The statement, “…lets brands think of the entire web as their social stream” is definitely an indirect way of saying that as a brand you don’t have to limit yourself to just one social platform like others are doing but have the entire web as your platform. Of course, that is a way of luring more brands to jump in to the program!

For example in a video posted by Eran Arkin, he revealed how Toyota is using +Post ads to drive consideration for its newly launched Corolla. Arkin also claimed that the brands testing this new innovation are already seeing increased click-through and expansion rates of up to 50% higher than the industry average for rich media ads!

Did I Saw This Coming?

I must say that even when I did not see the whole picture of what Google had up its sleeves from the beginning, I can say I had an inkling that Google was going to do something in this direction at the time Google+ launched.

Back in 2011 when Google plus entered the market and many were comparing it to Facebook pitching Facebook’s big numbers against Google+, I did a post where I said,

“Facebook is not just competing with Google+ but with Google.com who has proved in its own merit that it is an online colossus.

So the question is not about Google+ displacing Facebook from the social networking game but Google.com putting all of its online resources into playing the game and coming out on the top!

You can read that post here.

Since then we have seen a whole lot of new things from the stables of Google aimed at putting all of its online resources to play the game. +Post ads is just another such move!

+Post Ads Is Actually A Two-Edged Sword!

As expected, many are already whining on why Google should not show the +Post ads on their social media platform – Google plus – even when the ads are initiated there.

But it is clear that this is definitely a tactical move. We mustn’t forget that at a time when many users had issues with Facebook concerning what to share with friends, acquaintances and family members, Google came up with the idea of Google+ Circles.

Right now, reports indicate that many youngsters are abandoning Facebook while elderly ones are complaining about the volume of ads they have to contend with on the site. So Google taking the decision not to display +Post ads on the Google+ platform but on its advertising network is definitely a good decision, business-wise!

RECOMMENDED: Business Lessons You Can Learn from Google’s Company Philosophy!
Beyond that +Post ads could really be a way of Google bringing more brands to using the Google+ social media platform while at the same time building its advertising business. And if that is the case, then this is really an innovative move on the part of Google!

How are Facebook and others going to react to this move? We only need to wait to see that in 2014!

But I’ll love to know what your reaction is. Give your views on these +Post ads in your comment below.

Save

News: Google Celebrates Birthday; Announces Major Algorithm Update!

Google, a few days ago, celebrated 15 years of fruitful and innovative service to the online community. And as a happy birthday package, the giant of online search has launched a major update of its search engine algorithm – code-named Hummingbird. This is the biggest update since the Caffeine update of early 2010 and according to Google this update is to affect about 90% of all searches!

Though the Hummingbird update was released about a month ago Google waited till when it celebrated its 15th birthday to make the news public. To make the event a memorable one the announcement was made during a press event in the garage of the Menlo Park (Calif.) house where it all started some 15 years ago.

No doubt, Google has been a major player in the search engine business since the internet started and through these years Google has championed a number of innovations helping to improve how people use the search engines. However, it does appear that we will be seeing more in the days ahead as hinted by Amit Singhal in his official blog post:

“15 years on, we’re just getting started. We want to help you make more of each day.

“We’ll keep improving Google Search so it does a little bit more of the hard work for you. This means giving you the best possible answers, making it easy to have a conversation and helping out before you even have to ask. Hopefully, we’ll save you a few minutes of hassle each day. So keep asking Google tougher questions—it keeps us on our toes! After all, we’re just getting started.”

Google Birthday celebration - Hummingbird update announced!

So, What Is In The New Search Engine Algorithm Update?

Designed with the changing usage of search in mind, Google says Hummingbird have 200 different ingredients and will be able to handle complex search queries. For example, Google claims that Hummingbird is designed to serve better search results with queries that have context attached to them as it would automatically attach th

e context – time, location, contacts among others – to search queries in order to make the results more meaningful to individual users.

Demonstrating this, a Google

executive showed off a voice search through her mobile phone, asking for pictures of the Eiffel Tower. After the pictures appeared, she then asked how tall it was. After Google correctly spoke back the correct answer, she then asked “show me pictures of the construction” – at which point a list of images appeared.

Truly impressive one would say but,

Where Do Content Publishers Like Us Come In?

If this update affects 90 percent of search results, as indicated by Google, then this is one of the major algorithm overhaul by Google. Though we cannot say what the impact of this will be for content publishers in the days to come we can be assured that search engine optimization is not going to be the same again.

This is more worrisome knowing that Google recently started encrypting search results across board except for paid searches. Though Google explained this is in response to the issues of online privacy, there are already speculations that Google is actually doing this for economic reasons – wanting more people to use Google Adwords!

For now we just need to keep our fingers crossed and watch things unfold. But no matter the changes, ranking our sites to drive organic search traffic can not be totally taken away!

If you consider carefully Google’s statement:

“The key focus of the new `Hummingbird’ algorithm is on ranking information on the basis of a more intelligent understanding of search requests,”

you’ll definitely get some insight into what to focus on the coming days.

Please note: Why the previous Caffeine algorithm change was chiefly about better indexing of websites this one is about “ranking information on the basis of a more intelligent understanding of search requests!”

Enough said!

So, what do you think will be Google’s next move? Do you think the Hummingbird algorithm update will turn out to be the death of SEO as many have always said?

Business Lessons You Can Learn from Google’s Company Philosophy!

Google business lessonsSome few weeks ago I wrote a guest post title, “6 Business Success Lessons Every Entrepreneur Can Learn From Google!” Frankly, that post is a bag full of business wisdom!

Unfortunately, since it was published I’ve felt nothing but disappointment because, what I expected of it was not what I got.  You may not believe it, but from researching through writing and corrections, I spent nothing less than 5 days, working an average of 4 hrs a day, on that post! And that is the reason for my disappointment because the exposure I dreamed of it did not really happen.

Since then I’ve been thinking of how I can redo it and publish it somewhere else and that opportunity came just a few hours ago.

I don’t know if you have read Google’s business philosophy title, “Ten things we know to be true” which you can read here.? Now, all these years I’ve never come across this page nor read anything that has to do with this philosophy.  And so, it was a WOW moment for me when read it a few hours ago.

You may not believe it but right there I saw that every point I raised in the guest post is just what has been driving the online search giant all these years!

This was a deep confirmation for me to redo the article. And so, in this post I want to pick just 4 of the lessons and present them here with Google’s “Ten things we know to be true” as a basis.

Please read carefully!

1.     Focus On the User and All Else Will Follow.

This is philosophy #1 and here is what Google has to say,

“Since the beginning, we’ve focused on providing the best user experience possible. Whether we’re designing a new Internet browser or a new tweak to the look of the homepage, we take great care to ensure that they will ultimately serve you, rather than our own internal goal or bottom line.”

And this is what I wrote,

In All That You Do, Know Your Customers – Google knows so much about the online user than any other business online. Most of the tools Google freely gives away to marketers are simply aimed at helping Google to better understand the online user. This has helped Google to tailor each of her services towards satisfying a specific need in the market.

Lesson: Implement resources that will help you know your customers better. Get close to them. Talk to them. Ask questions. Count them as partners in building new tools and services. Include them in the designing process when developing new products. If you can know your customers unmet wants and needs and then use your core competencies to solve them, you will greatly increase your success.

2.     It’s best to Do One Thing Really, Really Well.

Google’s insight on this,

“We do search. With one of the world’s largest research groups focused exclusively on solving search problems, we know what we do well, and how we could do it better. Through continued iteration on difficult problems, we’ve been able to solve complex issues and provide continuous improvements to a service that already makes finding information a fast and seamless experience for millions of people.”

And here is my own insight,

Build on Your Strengths – Working on your weaknesses in order to improve them, works great if you are in school or in paid employment; but not in business. Unfortunately, many business entrepreneurs spend a whole lot of their time trying to improve their weak areas. If only they will learn from Google.

Google Inc. definitely understands its area of strength – search technology! When Google+ launched and people were trying to compare Google+ with Facebook, Google introduced various innovative tools and services that made it clear that Google was not trying to compete with Facebook but was simply strengthening its search technology (its area of strength) with Google+ as the central hub.

Lesson: What is your area of strength? What are your core competencies? What are those things you know and have experience in?  As an entrepreneur trying to build your business in the areas where you have little skills or knowledge, is tantamount to a waste of resources. Learn from Google and use your strength to your advantage!

3.    The Need For Information Crosses All Borders.

“Our company was founded in California, but our mission is to facilitate access to information for the entire world, and in every language. To that end, we have offices in more than 60 countries, maintain more than 180 Internet domains, and serve more than half of our results to people living outside the United States. We offer Google’s search interface in more than 130 languages, offer people the ability to restrict results to content written in their own language, and aim to provide the rest of our applications and products in as many languages and accessible formats as possible. Using our translation tools, people can discover content written on the other side of the world in languages they don’t speak. With these tools and the help of volunteer translators, we have been able to greatly improve both the variety and quality of services we can offer in even the most far–flung corners of the globe.”

In this I saw Google’s desire to provide free tools across all platforms and it is not far from what I wrote:

Never Underestimate The Power Of Free – If you truly want to succeed online then you must make the word FREE your biggest ally! Google understands this very well! Think of the various tools and services they offer without any cost to the online user. Google dominance of the search engines is simply because when others like Yahoo! went for paid search listings, Google remained a free search engine. The result is that today Google is synonymous with search – you can “google” it; but never “yahoo” it!

Lesson: Look into your business. What and how much of your product/service can you give away free? And how can you turn what you’re giving away into profitable business? You must be able to work this if you’re going to succeed marketing online.

4.    Great Just Isn’t Good Enough.

Google is always on the lookout for improvements just as it clearly stated here:

“We see being great at something as a starting point, not an endpoint. We set ourselves goals we know we can’t reach yet, because we know that by stretching to meet them we can get further than we expected. Through innovation and iteration, we aim to take things that work well and improve upon them in unexpected ways.”

I think that is really insightful. And here is what I wrote,

Don’t Compete, Create – There’s no doubt about it, competition can never really be avoided in business. But Google has a big lesson for us here. Since launching Google plus, a whole lot of tools and updates have been introduced by Google aimed at strengthening its position as a leading authority in search technology, especially as it affects search and social media.

Lesson: Instead of doing or offering just what your competitors are doing and offering and hoping to outwit them in some way, use your imagination to think up new products and services that will make the existing ones obsolete! Be creative and in your creativity, innovate – ensure that your ideas are turned into profitable realities.

The above are just 4 out of the 6 lessons based on the Google’s business philosophy.

Here are two: based on my insight researching the Google brand:

5. You Are Not a Failure Until You Give Up

Google is a good example that you are a failure only if you quit. This is very clear in its doggedness in becoming a social media player. Despite the fact that her several attempts at social media failed – Open Social, Orkut and then Google Buzz – and not many gave her any chance, Google did not give up. There is no gain saying that since the launch of Google+ there have been a whole lot of changes in the social media scene!

After various failed attempts many would have given up. But not Google. Understanding the importance of social media in the new internet, Google was dogged in her attempt to play a major role.

Restrictions from Facebook and others who wouldn’t allow its search engine to crawl certain information on their sites didn’t stop Google. Like it is said, if you can’t find it then build it, Google went out to build its own social media hub – Google Plus!

Lesson: No matter what you may have experienced in the past, never be afraid to break into new grounds. Successful business is about innovation. Take a look at your target market and find a way of building on an already existing product or simply introduce a new one. Forget the past and take the bold step forward!

6. Never Stop Marketing

Another insight I’ve glimpsed from working with clients is that many business entrepreneurs who desire to create visibility online have wrong notions about the internet. Many falsely believe that building a great website and then creating profiles in various social media sites is just enough. But how far from the truth!

Marketing is the sole of every business. Your website needs marketing. Even the content you create needs marketing if it must market your product/service. The same goes for your social media profiles. They need to be marketed if they must achieve the desired result.

With its success and the position it occupies in the search engines, no one expected Google to “waste” time about marketing. But not in your life! The launch of Google+ came with a well structured marketing plan. Various tactics were employed – blog posts, articles, videos and even Google Adwords!

Lesson: No matter the position you occupy, never downplay the importance of marketing. Know your products; know your target audience and then structure your marketing language to appeal directly to them. Marketing is how your business will create new customers and ensure that the current ones are retained. Neglect marketing and your business will be strangulated!

Over to you: What do you make of these lessons? Please share your thoughts with us in your comments below.

SEO Keyword Research Guide to Getting On Google’s First Page!

[UPDATE: This post is part of a series on WordPress SEO written before the many updates by Google in the recent past. Though the info in this post are still very relevant, most of the tools and tactics referenced in this post have changed. You’re therefore advised to use with caution.]

This is part 4 of our search engine optimization training series. I encourage you to read the previous entries.

In our last article we emphasized the importance of strategically placing the right keyword phrases in your content to effectively optimize your  wordpress blog. Having touched the WHY of implementing seo keywords in your content we want to shift our focus to the HOW in this our search engine optimization training updates.

But first,

What to Concentrate On In SEO Keyword Research

Ever heard of long tail, short tail and the other fancy words SEOs use when talking about keyword research? Do you know all of these have different impact when you are working on improving search engine ranking?

Some SEO experts classify SEO keywords into head and tail while others classify them into head, body and tail keywords. Not minding the classification here is simply what they are all about.

1. Head keywords are usually of one or two words. For example marketing, professional blogging, Amazon, etc. These type of seo keywords are most times brand names or general words. Though these keywords produce a greater percentage of searches every day the traffic generated from head keywords is usually not targeted.

2. Body keywords, which most seo’s put with head keywords are mostly a combination of two or three words. For example blog marketing tips; make money blogging, seo expert tips, internet marketing, home business etc. These types of seo keyword phrases get lesser searches than head keywords however; they are more targeted than the head keywords.

3. Tail keywords are most times referred to by many as long tail keywords. But the important thing to note is that these are keyword phrases of three or more words. These are searched far less than the head and body keywords. But from a search engine optimization point, they are far better in producing targeted traffic than the first two. For example, search engine optimization expert Houston, work at home business tips for single mothers, facebook marketing strategist dc, etc.

What you should note however, is that when you’re doing keyword research you should concentrate on “body” and “tail” keyword phrases and less on “head” keywords.

SEO Keywords Research: The Tools of the Game!

There are a plethora of tools you can use for keyword research. However, for this search engine optimization training, I want to concentrate on just a few free resources which I personally use.

Frankly, I don’t think you need most of the highly priced keyword research tools out there if all you want is putting your wordpress blog in the first page of the search engines. If you understand the strategy laid out in this tutorial, you can actually work on this whenever you’re creating your content.

However, if you intend to go deeper into search engine optimization as a professional offering SEO optimization services online then purchasing one of these keyword tools is a must. Also, if you want to speed up your keyword research and achieve quicker results then investing in a keyword tool is something you need to consider.

If any of the above applies to you here is a keyword tool you want to look into:

Having said that here are the keyword research tools I use:

1. Google Adwords Keyword Tool

This free keyword tool provided by Google has become one of the most accessed keyword tools out there. It returns results directly from Google’s own internal database of what people are searching for. Although no keyword tool is 100% accurate, Google’s own data is likely to be the most accurate. This tool gives you around 100 keywords. You can then dig deeper by taking some of the keywords it returns as seed keywords to find more body and tail keywords.

You can access the keyword tool here:

http://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal

2. Wordtracker – free version

This is similar to the google adword tool. While the google keyword tool returns a monthly search result this one gives you an estimated daily search results for each keyword. Though this tool gives you the opportunity to estimate the type of traffic you can potentially generate with a particular keyword phrase, I rarely use it except when researching for niche sites. Get the tool here:

http://freekeywords.wordtracker.com

3. SpyFu.com

This one gives you some good intelligence for spying on your competitors. It helps you have an insider look at what advertisers are paying per clicks (PPC) for your target keywords on Google Adwords. As a general rule, if the cost/click hits anywhere between 50 cents and $3.00, it’s a good indicator that you potentially have a profitable keyword. Here is the link:

http://www.spyfu.com

4. Google Trends & Hot Trends

This is another tool from google that, if used well, can help you generate keywords that will generate a quick burst of traffic to your blog. This is very good if you’re running a news blog or a current affairs blog. Google Trends and Google Hot Trends basically show you which terms around the world are popular right now. There is a lot of useful information you can pick up with google trends and hot trends. There’s news volume, search volume, and several notable news articles displayed for you, along with where they occurred on the timeline. You can also see which countries, cities, and languages made the most searches. With Google Trends the work is already done for you. You just need to put it to good use. Get the tool here:

http://www.google.com/trends

SEO Keyword Research: A Step By Step Guide

Now let’s move on to a simple guide for keyword research. For this I personally use the Google’s Adword Keyword Tool and the Google Search Tool – two free tools from google! Here we go:

Step 1: Preliminary Keyword Research: Brainstorm

Ok, the first keyword tool you actually need for this is your brain! Oh, but that the truth! Remember, you’re writing for humans and people do not go scampering for some software before they look up what they want on Google! Right? So most times you need your brain to come up with the seed keywords for your keyword research.

This is quite easy if you know your target niche very well. You simply need to “think up” a few keywords/phrases people may enter into the search engines while looking for information about your niche.  For example, if you’re targeting the “credit card” market you may think of keywords like, “the best credit cards online”, “best credit card 2011”, “online credit card approval” etc. Write down a few of these and then proceed to step 2.

Step 2: Research the Demand

I usually do my keyword research having in mind the principles of demand and supply. I consider the demand as the number of people searching for information using a particular keyword/phrase while the supply is the number of webpages already targeting that keyword/phrase. To know the demand for a particular niche and the keywords to target, I simply take the keyword phrases I’ve brainstormed above and enter them into the Google Adword Tool. For example, using our topic in this article – search engine optimization, I entered, “how can i optimize my blog for the search engines” in the search box as shown below:

Keyword Research basics tips

Note that I have checked the “Only show ideas closely related to my search terms” box.

And here is a graphic of the results:

keyword search results - seo

Ok, there was nothing for the phrase I entered but I’ve about 100 keyword phrases there to work with! Click on the “Download” icon and download this result.

Now, before going to the next step I do a little dressing up” of the list. If you’re monetizing your content with Google Adsense this “dressing up” is something you’ll want to do.

Here’s what you need to do:

Open the list of keyword phrases as an excel sheet. Then rearrange them in descending order according to “Competitors”. This will return the keyword phrases with the highest number of “Competitors” on top. To do this in excel you simply need to use the filter function.

Note: These competitors are Adwords advertisers targeting each keyword phrase. The idea is that the higher the competition the high they must be paying per click. If that is so then this can possibly translate to more high-paying adsense ads showing up on your content! Cool, right? ?

After doing this with the list I downloaded, this is how it looked:

Updated Keyword Research Results

The keyword phrases I highlighted are ones I considered as possible ones to use based on what I’m doing with this blog seo tutorial. However, before anything else I’ll need to analyze the competition.

Step 3: Analyse the Competition

In this step we want to analyze the keywords phrases bearing in mind these two questions:

Will this keyword phrase bring me enough traffic?

• Can I rank high with this keyword phrase?

To answer these questions I use the following formula to choose which keyword phrases to focus on:

At least 1,500 monthly searches

• Not more than 30,000 pages in Google “in quotes”

• Not more than 10,000 results for “allintitle”

The first criteria answer the question of traffic while the other two answer the question of ranking. Not doing this can result in a waste of time and resources because you might end up targeting a keyword phrase that is too competitive or don’t get enough searches.

The list of keywords you got from the Google adwords keyword tool already give you the approximate number of searches each phrase receives each month. And so using the criteria above simply trim the list removing any keyword phrase that is below 1500 searches each month and then go on to analyze for ranking.

For ranking you need to do two things, first, you need to find out how many people are using each keyword phrase on their pages. You do this by entering the keyword into Google in quotes. This will tell you how many other pages contain that exact phrase. The next step is to see how strong those other competitors are.

As we have seen in our previous articles Google and the other search engines usually give a tremendous amount of weight to the words appearing in the title of each page. You therefore need to see how many of those pages are also using the phrase in their title. You can easily know this by entering the following search command into Google:

allintitle:”keyword in quotes”

So let’s do this for our keyword phrases from step 2 above.

Before doing that I’ll open up the list of keywords and beside the “Competition” column I’ll create two more columns and name them “Competing Pages” and “Allintitle” like this:

updating your keyword research details

I’ll now go to http://www.google.com and taking each keyword phrase in the keyword list, I’ll enter them into the google search box with quotes.

For example, for the phrase “search engine optimization course” google returned 174,000 competing webpages:

researchkeywords in quotes

Take note of this number and write it down in the “Competing Pages” column against the keyword. Do this for all the keyword phrases.

Next take each keyword phrase and again enter them into the search box but this time enter: allintitle:”keyword phrase in quotes”  like this:

Keyword research with all in title checking

For “allintitle” you can see that this returned 9,070. Do the same for all the keyword phrases and enter them in the column named “AllinTitle.”

Here is a graphic after I’ve done these two steps for a few of the keyword phrases:

Keyword research results
Using the criteria above I’ve highlighted some of the possible keyword phrases I could easily optimize for in this wordpress seo tutorial!

All you need is to go through the list and note the keywords you can use in your content for search engine optimization purposes. Remove the seo keyword phrases that fall out of the bracket and then save your new list. These keyword phrases will now form the frame work for your content creation in the days ahead.

Ok, that is for now but before I sign off it’s important to point out again that researching and using the right seo keywords in your content is very crucial to your blog’s ranking. Targeting the right keyword phrase is the secret of this game. If you will use this search engine optimization training
guide as a game plan, I assure you that you will not need any SEO expert to rank your blogs and websites.

Over to you: What seo keyword strategy do you use? Is this search engine optimization training guide simple enough for even a dummy to use? Share your views in the comments below.

Put These three Backlink Constructing Tricks to Boost Your Traffic Now

Every good marketer or webmaster ought to know that one of the best kind of traffic if the traffic coming in from search engines. Getting ranked with the search engines can get you hundreds if not hundreds of visitors at no cost. But in an effort to obtain that it is advisable to concentrate on one of the crucial necessary on-page SEO factor and that’s link building. If you’ll be able to create prime quality links to your web site will probably be easier to rank higher. The following data will look into three suggestions for link constructing you could implement immediately. These strategies will work wonders for you whether you’re attempting to boost your ranking for a low-competition keyphrase such as “venapro reports” or something more competitive like “nutritional supplements” or “celebrity gossip.”

Google’s Content Farmer/Panda Algorithm Change: What You Can Do To Stay Afloat!

The recent Google algorithm change christened Content Farmer or Panda update is one topic that took the internet by a resounding bang! The ripples traveled far and wide and the whole of the blogosphere was agog with the news.

This algorithm change is definitely one of the biggest targeted at about 12% of g seoogle’s search queries. And so far Google appears to be happy with result reporting great success with the update. In fact, the most affected websites reported a drop of about 30 – 40% or more in traffic!

Unfortunately,  many “reputable” websites and blogs also recieved a hard knock which has prompted questions like, what really are Google’s criteria for these changes? As the rage about this algorithm change continues many have continued to offer some explanations. For a picture of the top casualties of this algorithm change and some possible reasons why these sites were affected you may want to read
this post by Sistrix.

But Why Write Again About The Google Content Farmer Update?

A few days ago I wrote a post on this recent Google algorithm change. Most of you responded to that post to the effect that change or no change, you don’t really care.  Of course, in the post I sought to know what you will be doing to stay ahead of the game following this algorithm change but since none really cared I thought leaving it that way. However, a comment by Dennis made me change my mind and therefore this post.

First in a comment to the post,
“Google Algorithm Change: Are You Bracing Up For The Impact?”
Dennis said,

“I never worried, nor do I ever plan to worry about Google changes.

Do things right, don’t get too clever or sneaky, and you’ll never have to worry either. 😉

Besides, as with anything, why worry? If yer gonna get hit, yer gonna get hit. lol”

In reply to that, I said:

“That’s exactly what it should be. There are actually some fundamentals that once implemented you don’t have to worry about what Google is doing or will do tomorrow.

Unfortunately, in trying to punish the content farms, Google has hammered many this time without looking back. This is the more reason why everyone needs to be on the lookout so you don’t get hit!”

But then, Dennis came back with this:

“This is part of my point, be on the lookout for what? What exactly can you do about it?”

Now, after considering that question, I decided instead of just replying him in the comments, and seeing that the comment will definitely be too long, I decided to make this post and offer some tips that can be of help.

Please note that I take seo to be very serious topic because it can be really great source of free traffic when handled well! So since the update I’ve been studying the situation and trying to put a finger on what content publishers like me can really do to ensure that we’re not over taken the recent event.

Please Read This Very Carefully!

Before continuing I just want to add this note. As I’ve mentioned, since this Google content farmer update internet marketers have been at a loss about the criteria used by Google. This is not surprising because that has always been Google’s “modus operandi” – secrecy that leaves everyone dazed!

However, even as I offer these tips as a way out of this situation I want to let you know that what I’m putting here is not anything guaranteed! Some who were hit by the change are still arguing that they are not content farmers and therefore should not have been hit by theupdate. But you should know that even Google has come out to say they are not just out against content farmers. On the official blog post announcing the changes, the good people at Google said:

“This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on…”

A look at that statement shows the end user is now the defining factor for the success of any site on the Google ranking algorithm. So there are definitely other criteria used which must have been the reason why most sites that can be classified as content farmers actually gained from the update while others considered by their owners as decent fall under the hammer!

Google’s search-quality guru, Amit Singhal gave an interview where he mentioned some very important points I think anyone who is interested in the subject should consider reading.
Click here
to read the interview.

Finding Your Way Around The New Algorithm Changes

Ok, having given you my disclaimer above I want to offer the following as helpful tips in staying ahead of the game. I believe Google is working to improve their search results so that they can offer the end user a better experience.  With this in mind if you’ll do these things you definitely will be getting some favor from Google!

1. Beware Of Whom You Exchange Links With

I want to start with this considering the fact that this algorithm update, though Google says it is not targeted at content farms, has content as the main thrust. We all agree that content is what drives the internet.  But this new change throws up the question of what should be considered as “good” content. In the recent past many blogs and websites, capitalizing on the fact that the search engines considers content as a critical element in SEO, have been using different methods in producing content. Automated blogs scrapping content from other sites using robotic software easily gained popularity among bloggers.

Most of these bloggers and webmasters looking for different ways of promoting these automated sites used different ways to build links to their automated sites – some legitimate others overly dubious. On different occasions I’ve received emails from bloggers seeking link exchanges with the Web Income Journal. But I simply refused refused those requests after visiting such blogs and reading through a couple of posts. I’ve also refused to approve some trackbacks and comments because the sites those links point to does not meet with the standards I expected.

The point here is that you must understand that link juice as interpreted by Google in ranking sites is about a site’s trust. With these new changes if a site’s inbound links are classed as a content farm, their trust factor is lost and the sites they are linking to suffers also. So watch your link exchanges. Don’t give your thrust to a site Google is seeing as a content farm if not, you’ll be classed in the same category – remember, birds of the same feather flock together!

2. Affiliate Review Sites/Blogs

If you’ve been following the Web Income Journal, you’ll understand that I’m into niche marketing. Now, if you’re familiar with what most niche marketers do you’ll understand that they build mini sites/blogs that simply use some software or manually copy a product’s description, price, images and other details and call them product review sites. Hundreds of sites built this way contain the same content with not much difference between them. These all fall into the category of what Google is seeing as content farms.

I must say that even before Google came up with this new algorithm change I’ve taken a different approach in creating my niche blogs. I use both product reviews and unique informative articles. Instead of simply importing product details from sites like Amazon.com, the reviews are done in my own words. I think this is what Google is looking forward to. If you’re  an affiliate marketer who do product reviews therefore, you should begin to look into the type of reviews you’re doing. Instead of copying the products sales page, the better way right now is to read through the product description and customer reviews, if any, and then write your own review.

Even Google has some advice on this in their webmasters guidelines. You can read it
here.

3. Be Careful With Your Monetization!

I think another area that will help you stay within the comfort zone of these new Google algorithm changes is to be careful with monetizing your content.  If you take a look at Google’s reason for the update you’ll discover that this stands high, to “reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users.” What many bloggers and webmasters don’t know is that too many ads reduces the sites user experience. In fact too many ads come across as spammy to Google. I think this is why most blogs and content sites with decent content were affected by this content farmer update.

If you’re familiar with the era of building content sites and monetizing them with Google Adsense then you’ll understand what I’m talking about here. In fact, having too many ads on a site is a red flag telling Google the site is a “built for adsense site!”

The bottom-line therefore is, as much as you want to monetize your site/blog, be careful that you don’t cluster your site pages with too many adsense or other ads. I’ll advise that instead of putting 3-4 adsense ads on your page use inlink ads like the ones which I use on this blog.

4. Watch Your Blog Design

This is another area that many, judging from Google reasons for the update, agree played an important role in the recent Google content farmer update. It appears Google is really using different criteria to judge what user-experience is. So, if your blog is using a generic template with minimal or no customization, then consider doing some sprucing up right away. Unfortunately, many bloggers, especially those using wordpress, simply download some free wordpress themes and use “as is.” This only tells Google a whole lot of things. I think it’s time for redesigning work! Do something about your blog/site to make it more pleasing to the users. If you have doubts on doing it yourself you can always get help at minimal cost to you.

You may not readily agree with the fact that your blog/site design is something that should be considered in this Google algorithm update but if you understand that Google is looking to improving the end users experience then this will be evident enough. Your blog design will give your blog visitors the reason to either stay longer or click away without any hope of coming back. Remember, Google has different tools monitoring the behavior of your blog traffic or what do you think is Google analytics doing for you!

5. Work to Encourage More Interaction on Your Blog

There’s another thing that Google maybe looking at and that is, the factor of user interaction. If you’ve visited any blog that is nothing but a content farm, regurgitating other people’s content, you’ll notice that hardly there are comments on such blogs. Such sites/blogs also always have high bounce rates as the time spent by visitors is very low. So this is a pointer to Google that the site/blog is not offering much to the users. You should therefore work on your blog to create more interaction on the site.  You may do this by encouraging more comments, retweets, track-backs, facebook likes and any other you can think of. These activities are a vote that your content is valuable and not farmed content.

Indeed the ripples of the Google content farmer update are still spreading. Those who were affected by the change will definitely be working on restoring their rankings. The competition will soon be rife again. But for now you can push your blog/site to more advantage if you will use some or all of these suggestions. Whether Google will be coming up with more changes very soon no one knows right now. But whatever it may be simply know that Google is aiming for more user experience and so work to put your blog/site on that level and you will never be afraid of what Google will do next.

So what do you think of these tips? Do you think these can be of any help to you? Is there any other you want to add to the list? Share with us in your comments below.

Google Algorithm Change: Are You Bracing Up For The Impact?

Did you know Google recently effected another algorithm change?

Did you care to know what the change is all about and how it can affect you as a blogger?

Ok, I know that many bloggers don’t really care about search engine optimization (SEO) and of those who care, most consider google as too over bearing on such matters. To them Google is simply a dictator when it comes to search engine marketing.

In fact, I’m sure if those who consider Google as a dictator will have their way, they will be on the cyber streets protesting the over bearing nature of Google just as it’s happening in North Africa right now! 🙂

But the truth is, no matter what you may think, we must give it to google for their effort to sanitize the Information Super High Way.

To better appreciate the stand of Google as regards these constant changes which always impact negetively in the rankings of most websites, you will need to read the official Google blog announcing the recent algorithm changes. Simply, the purpose as stated by Amit Singhal, Google Fellow, and Matt Cutts, Principal Engineer on the Official Google Blog is:

To give people the most relevant answers to their queries as quickly as possible. This requires constant tuning of our algorithms, as new content—both good and bad—comes online all the time.

Considered carefully, we must agree with google that these changes are definitely neccessary. You’ll agree that if google has not from time to time effected changes like this, the value of information published on most websites would have fallen below worthless!

But Do These Changes Really Matter To Bloggers?

When I first learnt of the new algorithm changes a few days ago I was concerned for the simply fact that most of my blogs and niche sites depends essentially on organic search traffic.

And I believe that if your blog is deriving much of its traffic from the search engines then you should be concerned also. Of course, the recent algorithm change is mostly in the US but it’s not out of place to prepare your sites now even if you’re not in the US. Very soon the changes will be propagated to other country-specific Google sites like google.co.in, google.com.ng and google.co.uk and if you’re not prepared then you’ll find yourself in the cyber dust!

A Look At What This Recent Google Algorithm Change Is About

Having gone through the Official Google Blog, I was able to pick out some salient points that matters as regards this new change. Here’s another quote from the blog:

Many of the changes we make are so subtle that very few people notice them. But in the last day or so we launched a pretty big algorithmic improvement to our ranking—a change that noticeably impacts 11.8% of our queries—and we wanted to let people know what’s going on. This update is designed to reduce rankings for low-quality sites—sites which are low-value add for users, copy content from other websites or sites that are just not very useful. At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on…

I’m sure you can readily pick out what matters in that statement. The purpose is in two parts:

1. To Reduce Rankings For Low Quality Sites

These are what many people has refered to as content farm sites. Most of them are nothing but worthless aggregated content. Most times these sites simply copy content from other sites without really adding any value. Auto-generated content sites comes to mind here.

But, they are not alone. I’m sure sites that publish articles that are retweaked using article re-writing software may also be affected. This blog post by EzineArticles.com definitely points to that fact:

This past Thursday, Google announced an algorithm change to 11.8% of their U.S. search query results. Their target was aimed at content farms that are typically low-quality sites, sites with only copied content and sites with low value content.

While we adamantly disagree with anyone who places the “Content Farm” label on EzineArticles.com, we were not immune to this algorithm change. Traffic was down 11.5% on Thursday and over 35% on Friday. In our life-to-date, this is the single most significant reduction in market trust we’ve experienced from Google.

I’m sure youll agree with me that EzineArticles is one of the leading article directory on the net right now and that they are very strict when it comes to the type of article published on the site. But did you noticed that this google algorithm change has affected the site so much that Chris Knight, CEO of EzineArticles.com says, “In our life-to-date, this is the single most significant reduction in market trust we’ve experienced from Google.”

And because of these changes, EzineArticles.com is introducing some very serious changes to the type of articles any one can submit to the site! One of the drastic measures the site is thinking of implementing is removing “dofollow” even from the author’s resource box because they realize many people submit articles to the site simply to gain backlinks.

Now don’t you think that is a lesson for those of us who have “dofollow” blogs and accept guest postings?

2. To Provide Better Rankings For High-Quality Sites

This is the second purpose of the algorithm change. And this is where you’d want to be! 🙂 Seriously!

So if you’re want to take advantage of these new changes what should you be doing?

The answer is provided for us right there on the official announcent. Here it is again:

At the same time, it will provide better rankings for high-quality sites—sites with original content and information such as research, in-depth reports, thoughtful analysis and so on.

A look at the statement tells you what you should concentrate on if you want to make an impact as far as the google search engine is concerned. And please note that apart from these recent changes, google says more will be coming in the days ahead! And who knows other search engines may just be joining the dance!

Frankly, I see a revolutionary change in the internet marketing cycles because this is where most of these recycled content are mostly found. That of course is good for the internet or don’t you think so?

So it’s time to look and plan ahead now. Don’t let the almighty Google give you a slap that you’ll never be able to wake up from. Think that google is only targeting content farms and not blogger like you? Then read what the regrets of this blogger here.

Over to you: What do think of this algorithm change? Do you support google with the changes? If yes can you suggest some other areas they can affect more changes? If no, what are your reasons?