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SEO Basics

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Posted 4th December 2013 at 11:58 AM by imarkedy

Many years ago, I began the journey of learning how to Seo my website. Seo, short for search engine optimization, is crucial for long-term success regardless of industry keyword focus. Before presenting easy Seo strategies, a foundation must be established explaining what Seo is and further, why it is the difference between online businesses that fail and succeed. Here is the easy stuff, told to you hundreds of times which assist Seo efforts;

- Deep keyword research
- Clean, geo-focused keyword strings
- Keyword rich domain names
- Industry specific meta data
- Keyword rich content
- Social media integration
- Multi-media alt tags
- Relative backlinks
- Optimized embed coding

At its’ core Seo, short for search engine optimization, is about establishing brand conversation using search habits customers have already formed. Yet, instead of forming a nexus between the above best practices, many are stuck debating which works and which doesn’t! At this very moment, there are titanic cyber battles occurring within niche web marketing forums, based on an argument which says Internet marketing and online reputation management are separate, yet equally valuable business tools. Hmm? To demonstrate my remarkable ability to communicate (HA!), I should point out discussing these separate one from another is an exercise is folly which will ultimately impact your bottom line.

In lieu of presenting technical definitions for both, let’s review shared traits;

1. Tone setter for brand messaging

2. Presents an alternative to competitive messaging

3. Strategically positions products using search habits consumers have already formed

There is little doubt many more commonalities could be added but the point is made. Regardless which side of the argument entrepreneurs and small businesses land on, there is a fact more critical to grasp than language nuance – if businesses aren’t managing their online messaging, someone else will! Let me explain; cyber success can be measured in many ways but something, above every other consideration, must take center stage – profitability. To make this an operating reality, paying customers (or sustaining investment capital until profits are achieved) are required. It matters not whether internal data surveys indicate 97% of customers who use a company’s services are happy, it is the other 3% which, whether neutral or dissatisfied, have the ability to drive online conversations.

Several years ago, I had a client being savaged in social media by a paltry, shockingly low number of dissatisfied customers – two! While monitoring these negative conversations and comparing it to client ‘push-back’, I noticed a huge problem; my client offered no ‘offsite’ response to these ‘Internet commandos’ who’d determined to harm brand image. Sure, the client put forward an in-adequate rebuttal on their website but refused to take this, what turned out to be, titanic battle to the enemy!

In all humility (but not much), when I got involved, the customer rebellion was ‘put down’ through use of simple Seo strategies which combined search, geo-targeted indexing power of the following social media platforms;

Multiple Facebook fan pages stretching across industry keyword markets
Linkedin optimized group(s)
Multiple Powerpoint presentation upload site(s)
Press release creation across multiple platforms in ‘hot’ territories
Social sharing by loyal customers on relative platforms
Microblog content creation focusing on search results only
Negative messaging dilution using targeted video embeds and search indexing
No need to list everything but the goal was a strategy which would first, offer response to these commandos and next, dilute negativity through sheer volume of client push back content. Nevertheless, what I told my client, I now tell you– the battle for online reputation almost NEVER occurs on Internet platforms controlled by the accused. Using this example and, with even less humility, I was really good! The nexus between SEO, which at its’ core, is the most effective form of Internet marketing as well as online reputation management is management of company brand image. At its’ most simple, search engine optimization’s end in mind is to gain significant positioning within geo-targeted markets. Of course many may say – “Yeah – so my company can make money”! Dear reader, profits are the result of first setting and then controlling brand conversation. How does one begin the process of effectively setting message tone? First and contrary to what has been drilled into every business owners head unto nausea – customer ARE NOT always right.

Is there a time to work with a dissatisfied customer to resolve issues? YES! However, when you’ve done everything possible short of harming profits, it may be time to ‘cut the cord’ and prepare for a torrent of negative messaging. This is when having not only a solid brand messaging Seo plan is critical but additionally, an emergency Seo response strategy. Seo response isn’t only for negative messaging but should effectively address any ‘press’ which comes your way. Another issue nearly every business has to contend with and is far more common than the aforementioned internet commandos is lackluster sales results. Far be it from any professing expert to suggest lackluster profits are 100% Seo driven. However, true is the measurement which often underachieving sales will remain so absent search engine optimization efforts.

Here are additional tips easy to implemented and will improve search rankings;

1. Hosting images and documents on a subdomain (improves site load time)

2. Embed videos from cloud environment or free video hosting platforms (improves site load time)

3. Establish keyword rich categories

4. Implement simple rbt.txt protocols to block indexing of pages none critical to overall content theme (focuses link juice to critical sales & content assets)

5. Use of effective anchor text to other site areas (reduces bounce rate-further defines content them)

6. Cache as much content as possible without harming website quality (improves site load time)

The discerning eye will notice a recurring theme – improving website load time! Over the years and having ROCKED many a website into top search position, I’ve noticed entrepreneurs and small business who occupy top five search rankings (in the most sought after keyword categories) make website load time a priority. Why is this important? A key measure for Google, Yahoo and Bing are how quickly a website loads when clicked on as compared to competitive properties. Search engines quickly serve content to users and it is their expectation webmasters prepare their properties to that end. For all intents and purposes; your website and other Internet concerns are in ‘business partnership’ with search engines. Hold up your end of the partnership and search indexing bots will do the same.

I will forego throwing out a load time measurement (in seconds) but will say regardless of market, if your site takes any longer than 3.2 seconds to load, you have issues which need addressed. With no hyperbole intended, two-tenths of a second difference in load time between competing websites can literally be the difference between (all other things being equal) #1 rankings and #4! When load time is optimal, you are just that much closer to not only page #1 results but controlling brand conversation. Those most effective at controlling conversation, from an organic search index perspective, understand the heart of any Seo planning is content (message) multiplication. Let’s give an example using Udemy. When time allows, conduct keyword research on the company this blog post is hosted on; Udemy.

What you will notice is Udemy is totaling dominating the conversation about their brand. As of this writing, all page #1 results are Udemy driven platforms or in one case (, another brand promoting their services (probable behind the scenes partnership). Contrast this with one of the most popular online communities; Warrior Forum. What should be noticed, unlike Udemy, the Warrior Forum does possess the top search result however, the following six listings are non- Warrior properties. Additionally, one top ten search listing claims to be EXPOSING the forum as a scam of sorts. Of course in many ways, this is comparing ‘apples and oranges’ but brand conversation management processes should be the same.

Does this hurt business and search engine optimization efforts for the forum? Without access to historical, internal data, I can’t say but what if the others (or a newcomer) joined the voices against Warrior and became as previously describe, Internet commandos? We arrive back at the simple truth concerning Seo strategies – If, unlike Udemy, you aren’t controlling organic conversation about your brand, someone else will.

B.D. Dale
Web Development Instructor
SEO Online Courses
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