Archive for the ‘Houston SEO’ Category

SEO Competitor Analysis Tip

Tuesday, October 20th, 2009

As an SEO, coming up with new ideas to help slingshot a client past a high ranking competitor in the search engines can be a daunting task. I have seen consultants get so wrapped up in finding the latest and greatest linkbaiting technique that they simply forget about the basics. Don’t get caught up in this head-smacking task and focus on your high ranking competitors and what got them to the top.

I will not go into detail on the technique about to be described, but the general idea has been very successful for me. I believe it will help you in your competitor analysis and seo strategy for all clients. When performing your regular competitor analysis, be sure to research the SEO companies or consultants that have worked with your competitors in the past. It’s not always easy to find out this information, but once you do it can be very beneficial. In particular, you may be able to find out common directories, social bookmarking sites, blogs, forums, or other high-valued web sites they are using to gain backlinks. Add these web sites to your arsenal for future projects and go seek them out.

Much of search engine optimization has to do with what your competitors are doing. If you do as much as the competitor in position #1 on Google, the worst ranking you achieve should be #2, right!? Anything above and beyond should leap-frog you into position #1. While there is much more to it than that, don’t forget about the importance of competitor analysis and use the SEO competitor analysis tip described here in your next project. Good Luck!

Viral Content and SEO

Tuesday, September 8th, 2009

There are various factors taken into consideration by search engines when determining what websites will rank higher in the SERPs (search engine results page) for a given keyword or key phrase. While these factors are not 100% known, shared experiences among SEOs help establish what factors do play a role in the algorithms used by search engines. The whole point of search engine optimization is to help a particular website rank higher in the SERPs for different keywords and key phrases in hopes of generating quality traffic. There are different reasons for driving traffic to a website, but that is a new discussion entirely.

An SEO can use different techniques to help a website climb the SERPs. Usually, these techniques can be categorized into on-page or off-page optimization, sometimes referred to as on-site or off-site optimization. An example of on-page optimization is using keywords or key phrases in the title tag or the content of a page. An example of off-page optimization is seeking out backlinks to a website. Some optimization techniques can be positive efforts in both categories, either directly or indirectly.

By creating a blog on your website, you can keep content fresh on-page. If your content is unique and something people will want to share, it can become viral content and indirectly affect your off-page optimization efforts without any additional time consumed in the process. Viral content has been listed as one of the most important factors (if not the most important) in efforts to climb the SERPs. By spending the time creating quality content on your website, over time you will reap the benefits of doing so. There is not a science to creating viral content, but I will share some ideas that have worked in the past.

1. Research – Do your research and find out what the buzz is in your industry. Also, find out what is currently driving traffic to your website by researching keywords visitors are using to get there. Visit sites like Digg and find out what type of content is making the headlines. What do you find intriguing about the more popular articles and what makes you fall asleep?

2. Revolt – Find something you feel very strongly about that could be better by implementing your own ideas. There are other groups out there with your same ideas that have not been heard and will want to link to you in hopes of spreading the word. Seek out these other groups and let them know.

3. Refute – Create content that will cause much debate with evidence that will surprise the reader. Invoke questions in the mind of your readers.

PPC Campaign and Long Tail Keywords

Monday, August 17th, 2009

While I cannot go into great detail on this specific case, I would like to share my feelings on those “professional” online marketing and SEO firms out there that only care about the bottom line.  Perhaps it’s not the firm as a whole, but instead a bad apple here and there in sales or management or other.

We had a client come to us begging for help after seeing no results from his pay-per-click (PPC) campaign managed by a very well-known online marketing company.  After sitting down and discussing the details with this client, it was obvious as to why there were no positive results.  There were many issues, but I will discuss just a couple in hopes of helping others in the same situation.

One of the issues at hand was the fact that there was absolutely no direction provided from this online marketing company chosen to manage the client’s PPC campaign.  This company allowed the client to choose his own keywords based on no research at all.  I’m not saying this is a bad thing in all cases, especially when there is a knowledgeable client involved, but the client should have been provided advice on these keywords from the professionals they sought after as described in the service agreement.  The client trusted this company to manage their campaign and ended up spending thousands of dollars with minimal results and empty promises.  I’ll submit to the fact that it’s simply not possible to guarantee results on a PPC campaign, but a client should be able to get professional advice on what keywords to use based on good research and end up with some good leads.

Another issue at hand lies again with the keywords chosen.  Not only did the online marketing company allow the client to use keywords that were not 100% in line with his products and services, but these keywords were also highly competitive, which ended up costing the client a lot of money as mentioned previously.  I know it’s been beaten to death in the past, but I cannot emphasize enough the importance of long tail keywords in the pursuit of a successful online marketing campaign.

There is good news though…this particular client is now reaping the benefits from this lesson learned.  Some of the best lessons learned in life are learned the hard way, whether the lesson be a moral one or a financial one.