Online Search Marketing – Spam

The latest buzz is that Google is changing its algorithm to fight spam.

An algorithm update is nothing new.

I guess it's a big deal because Google's Matt Cutts provided some insights about what Google has been working on and what's now in place - new provisions to attack low-quality websites and duplicate content.

I don't know how Google or other search engines really determine what content is original and what's the same or slightly re-purposed. But I'm glad they do. In the past, this issue focused more on fairness than quality.

It used to be easier for slimy marketers to put the same content on 5 web sites and dominate the search engine ranking results - pushing back the competition. Searchers deserved better so search engines responded by trying to guard against this type of manipulation.

It's not that hard to write original web site content; it just takes a little bit of time.… Read more

Online Marketing: Website Development Tips

Here are 5 basic website development tips:

1. Planning
Long before the design begins, you should take great care to plan out a new website.  It starts with your company's needs and your business objectives.  Do you really know what the website is suppose to do for you?  Some companies make the mistake of putting too much information on the home pages.  Other businesses don't mention enough on the home pages.

Take a look at your competition.  Explore websites in other industries.  You can learn a lot just by keeping an open mind.  It's OK to dream.  Make a big list of ideas.  At some point, you'll need to start thinking about your budget.  What you plan to do with the website will have a big impact on the total cost.  Your design choices, including the navigation, can influence the budget.

2. The Map.

When you're confident about what you need and what you can afford, then create a map of your website. … Read more

Rankings and Small Business Web Marketing

A ranking fixation is the focus of Aisle #9 in my series, “SEO is NOT a Candy Store.”

What’s a ranking fixation?

It’s when business executives and online marketers lack proper perspective.

I think it’s kind of silly when business executives get caught up with how well they rank - whether they are #1 or #7 for a keyword phrase on a major search engine.

It’s a myopic view of SEO and small business web marketing. It’s one thing to rank, but it’s another thing to rank and actually get traffic.

Shouldn’t it really come down to conversions and sales? Look at the keyword phrases that are actually converting. You shouldn’t judge a natural search engine optimization campaign just based on a few keyword phrases. Look at the whole portfolio of keywords to see how they are performing for your business.

Bear in mind that your organic keyword rankings are going to fluctuate.… Read more

CMS Tips from a Web Site Marketing Company

You have to wonder about those Content Management Systems.

In Aisle #8 of my series, "SEO Is NOT a candy Store" I look at major issues you can encounter with a CMS.

CMS technology can be a delight to any web site developer.  And why not?  It sure makes it easier to start and manage a website.  But how likely is it that creating and a website is the only objective as a business tries to market on the Internet?  Several other factors should not be neglected.  A key one is search engine optimization.

People implement a CMS and they are hurt by their own ignorance.  You might think a CMS will help you rank with search engines (it can), but in reality they can actually hurt you.  If you don’t want a CMS  to work against you, learn what you’re going to play went before you get too involved.

For example search engines may not be able to find all of your pages because of the way that the CMS works. … Read more

Website Marketing Strategy – Blogs

In Aisle #7 of my series, "SEO Is NOT a candy Store," I look at the undeniable value of blogs.

Blogs are great way to add content your website and support your website marketing strategy.

You can be topical, clever, have some fun, or be informative.  It’s up to you.  One of the best things about blogs is that they get indexed faster than regular pages.

If you’re trying to compete on search engine rankings, adding blog posts is a great way to support your strategic keyword phrases.

With WordPress, for example, you can use the SEO All in One Pack to control your settings.  The plug in is a neat feature that allows you to stipulate a unique, keyword-rich page title that is different from the page header.  If you have a blog, it’s also a wonderful way to establish or reinforce your expertise.

A blog basically says, "I’m an expert.… Read more