SEO

Plan Your Rebranding to Avoid De-Branding

Without careful planning and implementation your rebranding campaign can devolve into a de-branding campaign, diminishing your presence on the internet and social media, creating confusion with your customers.   After years of developing a brand sometimes a strategic decision is made to change the brand or create new brand and start a re-branding campaign.  Whatever the reasons for changing the brand, before you choose your new identity and launch your rebranding campaign there are several things to consider.   Before there were websites, domain names, and social networks rolling out a new brand was a bit more straightforward.  You picked a new name, made sure there were no copyright issues or companies using a similar name, set the creative team in motion to create new logos, letterhead, print materials and other media materials, and then rolled out your new brand through traditional media.  Rebranding required good  planning and execution, but it was much less complicated than today.  Let’s take a look at a brand launch gone bad and then how to do it right.   Netflix Qwikster – example of branding faux paux  A great recent example of a rebranding faux paux is Netflix roll out of Qwikster in 2011 and immediate retreat and euthanasia of the new brand.  It was bad enough that the new brand represented a thinly veiled price increase of 25% or more to users, but to make matters worse, or from the public’s perspective ironically funny, there was already a @qwikster Twitter account in use and the avatar was a pot smoking, obviously high, Elmo.  Needless to  say this was a short lived brand and very embarrassing epic fail for Netflix.    Netflix clearly demonstrated the need to do your homework and research before choosing a new brand name and launching it, lets take a look at some basic steps to avoid a Netflix brand fail Redux.   10 Steps to Prepare for Rebranding  Before you embark on a rebranding campaign to roll out your exciting new brand here are some steps to take to ensure your campaign is successful:  Google and Bing searches:  Some would think that the obvious first step is #2 below, obtain the domain name, but before you do that it is smart to see what turns up for your prospective name in Google and Bing searches.  We suggest you to both Google and Bing as they do turn up different results and we also recommend you go back several pages and do some variations on the search as well.   Domain Name (url) availability: Prior to choosing your new brand name, the most important step to take is to confirm and then purchase the domain name for your new brand.  In addition to purchasing the domain name you intend to use, make sure you check for obvious conflicts with similar domain names.   Facebook Page availability:  One you have your domain name purchased and it is under your control the next thing to check is availability of a Facebook Page with your new brand name.  Facebook Pages have a title and can have a custom url such as Facebook.com/newbrandname  There can be multiple Facebook Pages with the same title, but once the url is taken it is permanent and unavailable.  If the url for your new brand is available that’s great news, but you will not be able to obtain it until you create a new Page and have a minimum of 25 Likes.  If it is available you may want to create that new page, build it to 25 Likes and then lock down that url as soon as possible. Your current Facebook Page: If you have a current Facebook Page with a custom url you cannot change the url.  Once a custom url is set on Facebook it is permanent.  You also cannot “migrate” your Fans or Likes to a new Page.  The only way to get your existing Fans to the new Page is to place frequent posts about the new Page notifying them of the new page with a link.   Twitter handle (account name) availability:  As you saw in the Netflix example above, make sure the Twitter handles you want for your brand are available and if so set up accounts immediately to lock these down.     Pinterest:  Pinterest is still an emerging social network platform, but it is presently the fastest growing, and even if you don’t have a presence on Pinterest today, you should plan for one in the future and obtain your brand name there with a page. Blogs: While you can’t necessarily lock down a blog name other than via a url (domain name), it is good to check for blogs with similar names and see if there are any potential conflicts.  Obvious conflicts would likely have shown up in the Google and Bing searches, this is just an extra measure of precaution.   Rolling out a new website: once all of the above is done and you are confident you have the right name chosen you can start the design of the new website.  When you are ready to launch the new website it is imperative that 301 Redirects are set up from the old website and all of the old pages to the new website and equivalent replacement pages.  Done correctly, 301 Redirects will preserve your search rankings and pass on the rankings to the new site.  While there may be a small drop in your search rankings, it should be temporary.  Announcing the new site:  Now that you have a new brand and new website it’s time to let the world know.  Use your social networks such as Facebook, Google +, Twitter and your blog to let everyone know. You can also use Facebook ads to build your new Facebook Page and do posts on the old Page to inform existing Fans of the new website and new Page.  Email newsletters are also effective for reaching out to your customer base to let them know about the branding change. Consistency:  With your new brand launched it is vital to be consistent with the new look, style, and tone and stay on message for the new brand. Commingling the brands will cause confusion, there is now only the new brand and you must stick with it. 

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How to Edit Yoast Plug-In on Word Press 3 Pages and Posts

Driving more traffic to your Word Press page or post is very important when wanting to successfully promote your content that you have spent so much time on. The best way to do this is by installing the WordPress SEO by Yoast plug in. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which helps Google, as well as other search engines, find your content quicker and easier, giving you a higher chance of getting clicks to your page. By having the Yoast plug in installed, you are able to easily customize  what Google finds from your page/post and how to display it to the viewers.      The Yoast plug in should display under your main content writing and should look like this (refer back to this photo throughout this post):   Snippet Preview The snippet preview is displayed to show you what your link will look like when being posted to social media sites such as Facebook. When you are in the process of editing within Yoast you will see the changes display here.    Focus Keyword The focus keyword is exactly as it says; it is the keyword or phrase that your content is mainly about, or focusing on. Say you are writing about fishing in the Everglades, you want to decide what kind of traffic you want to your post, so maybe you want fisherman to be directed to your page, then you could put simply “Fisherman.” Or maybe your post is focusing in on the Everglades and less on the fact that you are fishing there, then you could put “Everglades.” Or to be even more specific you can put “Fishing destination.” Filling out the keyword option helps Google find your article so if someone were to type “Fishing Destinations” Google can refer them to your page more effectively.    SEO Title The SEO title is what is displayed in social media when the link is shared and also on the tab for that webpage or blog post. It is very important to have a title that is less than 70 characters and is relevant to the page topic and content. Spammy titles with repeated keywords or stuffed with keywords do not help and actually hurt both search results and click-throughs. Be sure to always write an informative and accurate title. You may find that the actual title you originally created is good enough to keep as the SEO title, so therefor you can leave this part blank.    Meta Description Your meta description is the most important part of the entire Yoast plug in. Meta Description is used by Facebook WordPress plugin and by Facebook, Google Plus, and other social media sites as the post description – what ever you enter here is what will show up on the post! The Meta Description is also the little summary that shows up on search results describing the page and this is THE most influential information for getting people to click on your link, so it is important to write a GREAT description that is informative and more importantly interesting and engaging. Spammy descriptions never work and will actually reduce the click throughs you get.    Meta Keywords This section is specific for search engines. The best way to come up with your meta keywords is by reading your entire article and jotting down the words that sum up your article. Such as this article we would use the keywords being Tutorial, Yoast, SEO, etc, keeping it at about a 10 word limit. 

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Panda or Penguin Slapped? Here’s the Cure for an Ugly Slap

 The now infamous Panda and Penguin updates were released by Google in April 2012. Actually this was Panda 3.5 and 3.6 and the first Penguin update and while there have been other Panda updates dating back to 2011, these seem to have had the most dramatic impact on websites. Panda and Penguin are intended to target Spammy websites, low quality content, and link farms and in fact they did just that. These updates also affected a significant number of websites that not really were spammers or link farms, but through poor website design and worse SEO practices they looked that way to Google after these updates. One thing you must understand about Google search results, it is an algorithm. It plays no favorites, has no discretion, it is a huge array of computers crunching numbers to a set formula and out pops the search rankings, end of story.  So what do you do if your website has been Panda-Penguin slapped and how do you do SEO in the Post Panda-Penguin era? Below we outline some steps you can take to identify possible problems on your site. If you website has been penalized it is not a simple process to restore your rankings but it can be done.   What to do if Your Website has been Panda-Penguin Slapped  Fixing the issues that caused your site to get penalized by Panda or Penguin can be complicated as there is generally no single problem and thus no single solution. Most sites that have been penalized have a number of problems and red flags that resulted in a rankings drop. Here are some things to do and look for:  Getting Started: Google Analytics and Webmaster Tools: start with this, you can look for the problem if you don’t have the tools to deliver the data. Make sure both are installed and working on your site. Webmaster Tools Warnings, Crawl Errors, etc.: Go through Webmaster tools and look for Crawl errors and any warnings from Google. In some (rare) cases Google will issue warnings about bad links via Webmaster Tools. Google Analytics: check your bounce rate, average time on site, and visitor flow. While these aren’t necessarily a primary cause for a penalty, but they can point to other problems on the website.  SEOMoz: this is a very powerful tool SEO professionals (us included) use to analyze the internal workings of a website. It’s a great tool, and of course it is not free, you will need to subscribe to use it. SEOMoz or an equivalent tool is the only way you will be able to dig into what is going on with your website. Once you subscribe and set up your website analysis it will take a couple of days for it to be completed so let it run and work on the things above while it is running. Finding the Problems Webmaster Tools will give you a basic list of things to fix. Start with cleaning up the basic problems. Bounce Rate, Average Time on Site, and Visitor Flow: If your bounce rate is higher than 40% and your average time on site is low, say less than a minute, then your website has poor engagement with the users. This does affect search rankings to a degree and while it probably was not a significant factor in your rankings drop you should address this at the same time. SEOMoz: the SEOMoz analysis will give you a crawl diagnostics summary listing Errors, Warnings, and Notices. The Errors and Warnings are the places that your Panda and Penguin problems may lurk and there could be hundreds, even thousands of them. This seems overwhelming, but often these Errors are the result of poor design or website structure and can be fixed by an experienced SEO Tech or website developer.  Duplicate Content: The SEOMoz analysis will point this out and if you have duplicate content within your own site (duplicate pages) or from other websites this is certainly a major factor and must be resolved. This may turn into a page by page rewrite.    Fixing the Problems There is no simple list we provide on how to fix the problems. You will have to address each on case by case. By the way, if you are thinking of nuking the site and replacing it with a new one on the same domain name, that may fix some of the problems and it will create others and leave some lingering problems too. So before you nuke the old site, which is an option, make sure you have a plan to fix any problems that may follow the domain. Oh, and if you are thinking of just tossing the domain and starting with a brand new domain name, consider this first; a significant factor in search rankings and domain authority is the age of the domain name. So your old domain name is worth fixing and a new domain name is starting from scratch with zero authority.   As you can see from the list of how to find the problem you quickly go down a rabbit hole deep into SEO and website design wonderland and it takes a very experience SEO tech or website developer to fix these problems.  

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Surviving Google Panda and Penguin Updates, 2 Client Success Stories

Google’s Panda 3.5 and 3.6 updates, along with the Penguin update, in April of 2012 had a devastating impact for search rankings on many websites. Many reported traffic drops of as much as 85% and search rankings dropping from page one to to the basement. Esotech and our clients were very fortunate to have been unscathed by Panda and Penguin. All of our clients either held steady or increased through both updates, with just one client having a small rankings drop that is now climbing again. Here are two examples of websites that not only survived Panda and Penguin, but actually thrived after the updates and increased their search rank positions. Below are search rank summaries for two of our clients are shown a travel company and a marine manufacturing company. Search rankings are shown for April, the month that Panda 3.5/3.6 and Penguin were released and had the most dramatic impact. We also show search rankings in July roughly 3 months after the infamous Panda and Penguin updates.  In both cases search rankings for these websites increased overall.  In our next blog post we will talk about what to do if you have been Panda-Penguin Slapped and how to avoid Google penalties.   Example 1: Travel Company – highly competitive market We developed the SEO and SMO (Social Media Optimization) campaign for this client long before the Panda and Penguin updates came out. Our SEO strategy for this involved building an SEO friendly website with an well thought out Information Architecure, quality content, and On-Site SEO to ensure all the pages are blogs are constructed properly. We also had a solid Off-Site SEO campaign for this client that focused on high quality and diverse link building. The results speak for themselves, quality websites, with excellent content, and professional SEO always do well.   Search Engine Rank Position (SERP) April 2102 – immediately after Panda and Penguin Updates The search engine rank summary below shows the rankings for this travel site after the Penguin update. What is remarkable here is that they retained 38 page one positions and 17 positions in the top 3 on page one.     SERP April through July 2012  Here are the search rankings 3 months after the Panda and Penguin updates, and again remarkable results. While many other sites had not recovered or even dropped further, this site increased its search rankings overall. Three words did drop out of the top 3 position, but page one words increased from 38 to 42.         Example 2: Marine Manufacturing Company – very strong competitors We also developed the SEO and SMO campaign for this client long before the Panda and Penguin updates, and again strategy involved an SEO friendly website, Information Architecure, quality content, and On-Site SEO. This client had a very robust Off-Site SEO campaign since they are new in the business and competing against a very well established competitor with excellent search rankings. Once again, the results speak for themselves…   Search Engine Rank Position (SERP) April 2102 – immediately after Panda and Penguin Updates  The search engine rank summary below shows the rankings for the marine manufacturers website after the Penguin update. Again, remarkable results, they retained 25 page one positions and 8 positions in the top 3 on page one.       SERP April through July 2012 Here are the search rankings 3 months after the Panda and Penguin updates, and remarkable results again. This site increased its search rankings overall, page one words increased from 25 to 30, and top 3 words on page one increased from 8 to 16!   

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Defending Your Reputation and Copyright on the Internet

Your brand image is predominantly defined by what is shown on the first page of Google, Bing and Yahoo search results. Under normal circumstances one would expect the first page of search results to be your webpage, blogs, webpages and of course your competitors. What happens if an angry customer or client decides to start posting negative comments about your company or you or worse creates a website dedicated to harming your reputation like www.your-company-name-here-sucks.com and this content creeps onto page one? Google and Bing’s algorithms are very blog-centric due to their unique content and keywords. Thus, if you have a dissatisfied client and they blog negatively about you and your company, there is a strong possibility that it will show up on search results next to the company’s site and for related keywords. Our previous blog discussed how to repair a reputation damaged by negative content, in this blog we discuss what action you can take if your online assailant crosses the line.  Copyright and Brand Protection One way you can ensure your name is protected is to diligently enforce your copyright on your content. Your site content is the key to revenue for your company. The more unique the content you post the better ranking you will receive. If others are using your content, your search rankings may be affected and their content may rank nearby yours. Such duplicate content, if not properly attributed to your company, is a violation of copyright. To be clear, you do not need a registration to hold a copyright on your content. As soon as your work is made public, you own the rights to that work- the registration however, affords you stronger protections and higher damages if you register the your work before the infringement occurs. The first step to discovery Copyright infringement of your web content is to use a site such as http://www.copyscape.com/. This site scans the web for plagiarized content and gives you a list of all sites which might have stolen your content. If the goal is to preserve costs, you should first attempt to contact the site owners yourself and notify them of the content you believe they have stolen. If this proves to be unsuccessful you should contact an attorney and ask them to give you a cost benefit analysis of enlisting their services to achieve removal of the content.  Defamation Protection Courts are beginning to recognize rampant defamation on the internet as a serious problem. If a blogger or reviewer goes outside of pure opinion or fact to slam your brand then they are well on their way into defamation territory. For example, stating “The mechanic is a jerk” is likely safe on the opinion side; however, stating “The mechanic is a thief” sways dangerously close to defamation. By monitoring reviews and content on the Internet for negative postings you can keep your brand name clean. While one review may not do much damage, if you begin to notice a smear campaign against you by an angry customer you may want to consider contacting an attorney to weigh your options for putting an end to these damaging statements. The above is a simplified summary of complex topics of law. A quick and reasonably priced Cease and Desist Letter can solve these problems a majority of the time. If you suspect infringement, defamation you should seek professional legal advice regarding your options. About the Author: Brittany Grunau is an attorney licensed to practice law in California. Brittany can be reached by e-mail at brittany@brittanygrunauesq.com. The above is not to be construed as legal advice. Communication with Brittany Grunau by e-mail or telephone does not cause you to become a client of Brittany Grunau or afford you to the protections of confidentiality or attorney-client privileges.

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Beware of Proprietary Website and CMS Platforms – Don’t Create a Legacy Site!

Some systems will lock you in. It’s not impossible to get out! Also, we share some tips on choosing your next platform.

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How to Use Google In Page Analytics to Analyze Website Design and Performance

Google Analytics has powerful tools for analyzing how users interact with and navigate through your website.  Our previous blog explained How to Use Google Analytics Visitor Flow graphs to understand how visitors are flowing through your website.   In this blog we will explain how to use In Page Analytics to understand how users are interacting with your website, what they are clicking on, what is working, and what is not working.  We use both Visitor Flow and In Page Analytics in our SEO Analysis prior to doing a new website design.  We also review this data to see how our client websites are performing (along with other metrics we track). Google In Page Analytics; example of website with poor click throughs This is the same website we used in our previous blog as an example of a website with good traffic, but poor visitor flow and poor click throughs.   We are in the process of designing a new website for this client and we used both Visitor Flow and In Page Analytics as part of our SEO Analysis to better understand how the current website is performing and what needs to be improved. Something very important to observe here is that the Top Navigation (colored diamonds) has zero clicks.  This is because it is not obvious that it is navigation and also because the titles are not compelling or interesting, bottom line, the eye just passes right over it!  This is an excellent example of why “pretty” or “clever” website design is often ineffective from a performance and functionality standpoint.   Google In Page Analytics; example of website with good click throughs This is a great example of a website with excellent click throughs as well as good Vistor Flow.  You may have noticed that good click throughs = good visitor flow.  This is absolutely true, clicks leads to flow and the two are directly related.  The Visitor Flow graph show the flow through the website, the In Page Analytics shows how they are getting there and what they are clicking on.  To fully understand what is going on with a website you need to review both. What we like about this website is that not only are visitors clicking and going into the interior pages, BUT they are clicking on what the client wants to them see, THE BOATS!  This is a result of both good website design AND good SEO.   The SEO is targeting the right keywords and delivering the right traffic and once the visitors are there the website is enticing them to look further.  This is exactly how it is supposed to work!   Google In Page Analytics; another example of good click throughs We choose this website as an example for two reasons, firstly it is getting very good click throughs to the pages where the client wants visitors to go to (again a result of good SEO plus good website design); but secondly for a more subtle reason.  This is a very simple and clean website design.  It is very straight forward, not “sexy” from a website design standpoint, and it is performing very well, in fact, it is performing better than most sexy website designs. This is a great example of how simplicity is often a better design than an overly busy and complicated one.  The visitors to this website are professional clothing buyers, they are busy, too busy for a bunch of gimmicky Flash animation, video, or a complicated website that is hard to navigate.  They are looking for clothes, and want the information quickly.   Google Analytics In Page Analytics Menu To see In Page Analytics  for your website you must have Google Analytics installed on your website and a login, usually a gmail account to access it.  If you do not  have Google Analytics installed or do not have access to it ask your webmaster to set it up for you.  This is very easy for a webmaster to do and should be running on every website.  Our team can set this up for on your website or do a complete SEO Analysis of your websites performance and ranking.  Click on Jump to contact us about this or any other questions you have about our services and of course we welcome blog comments and are happy to answer questions here as well. Below is the Google Analytics menu where you will find In Page Analytics, from Home or the Dashboard click on Standard Reporting to see this menu:    

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How to Use Google Analytics Visitor-User Flow to Optimize Website Traffic

The Google Analytics dashboard and traffic graphs of are familiar to many, but few go beyond these very basic tools.  Google Analytics also has great tools for analyzing how visitors (users) interact with your website.  Visitor-User Flow and In Page Analytics are two tools that provide great insight into how your website is performing with respect to converting traffic into visits, and ultimately leads or sales.  We routinely use both Visitor-User Flow graphs and In Page Analytics to see how our client websites are performing and we always review this data when we do an SEO Analysis prior to starting a new website design or SEO campaign.  In this blog we are doing a tutorial on how to use Google Analytics Visitor-User Flow graphs to analyze the traffic flow of your website.  Our next blog will be on using In Page Analytics to analyze your pages and improve your click throughs. Traffic figures alone really don’t reveal much about what is going on with your website.  The Visitor-User Flow graph shows where visitors go on your website and how they navigate your website.  Used in conjunction with In Page Analytics you can see a clear picture of the traffic through your website as well as which icons and menus are getting the most clicks.  Visitor-User Flow and In Page Analytics are very useful when designing a new website.  By looking at past traffic flow patterns you can identify what is working and what is not, what is drawing visitors into the website, and where they are dropping off and leaving. Below are three examples of Google Analytics Visitor-User Flow graphs; the first is for a website that needs a redesign as it is performing very poorly, and the next two examples are websites that have excellent visitor-user flow and traffic conversion.  At the end of this blog we show the Google Analytics menu where Visitor Flow is located. Visitor-User Flow Graph Example: Weak Flow & High Drop Offs/Bounce Rate Below is a website (not designed by our team) that we are in the process of redesigning.  This is a excellent example of a website that is not performing well.  Although the website has good traffic over 1,000 out of 1,450, nearly 70% of visitors, dropped off the homepage without visiting any other pages!  A quick look at the flow shows that only 367 visitors clicked for a 1st interaction (going beyond the homepage), and only 198 went on to a 2nd interaction and so on.  The Visitor Flow shows where your visitors are going and the flow of how they got there.  The red column is a visual indication of the magnitude of drop offs from each page, not that on the homepage the red column for this website is very large whereas on the next examples it is much smaller indicating far fewer drop offs. (click to expand image)  Visitor-User Flow Graph Example: Excellent Flow & Extremely Low Drop Offs/Very Low Bounce Rate This is an excellent example of a website that has both excellent traffic, over 30,000 visits to the homepage, and also has excellent visitor flow with very low drop offs and a low bounce rate.  Note that for this website nearly 60% of visitors went past the initial landing page and on to a 1st interaction.  Likewise nearly 80% went on to a 2nd interaction.  This is easily seen by looking at the flow to the inner pages and the red drop off columns which are very small.  Looking at this flow graph by itself would not be so enlightening, but when compared to the one above, the contrast and distinction between the two is very clear. Visitor-User Flow Graph Example: Excellent Flow & Low Drop Offs/Low Bounce Rate Below is another example of a website that is converting traffic into visits very well (just so you don’t think that a high performance website is a one shot thing).  This website is for a yacht manufacturer and demonstrates excellent visitor flow for a very niche product and highly targeted customer demographic. Google Analytics Menu; Visitor-User Flow To see Visitor Flow graphs for your website you must have Google Analytics installed on your website and a login, usually a gmail account to access it.  If you do not  have Google Analytics installed or do not have access to it ask your webmaster to set it up for you.  This is very easy for a webmaster to do and should be running on every website.  Our team can set this up for on your website or do a complete SEO Analysis of your websites performance and ranking.  Click on Jump to contact us about this or any other questions you have about our services and of course we welcome blog comments and are happy to answer questions here as well. Below is the Google Analytics menu where you will find Visitors Flow, from Google Analytics Home or Dashboard click on Standard Reporting and you will see this menu:  

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SEO Tips: Ideas for Creating Great Website and Blog Content

It is said over and over, “Content is King” for achieving top search rankings, but what exactly does that mean and how do you create great content.  Here are some quick SEO tips for developing great content for your website or blog. Don’t Write What YOU Think They Want to Read: Website owners and bloggers often create content based on internal assumptions of what they think their consumers or visitors want to read or should be interested in.  It is vital that your content addresses topics useful and interesting to your primary audience and at an appropriate level for their consumption and understanding.  Make sure you look at potential topics and the level it is written at from the perspective of your typical consumer, not your own internal view of how it should be or what they should want to know. No Selling, Telling, Shouting, Screaming – No Hype Zone: No one likes telemarketers and ditto for websites and blogs that SCREAM BUY NOW!  Shouting and screaming self-proclaimed achievements, features and benefits about your amazing new product, how your company is number one, or the industry leader in…  destroys any credibility your blog or website may develop.  Content that is overtly selling and making huge claims makes visitors immediately suspicious.  Likewise shallow content with a transparent cover to “sell” something is always detectible and will send visitors packing off to another site where they can find useful information.  No matter how catchy the title or creative the pitch, people know when they’re being led down to the checkout cart, no matter how well disguised the tour guide is. If You Think You the Information is Too Valuable, It’s Perfect: Readers are looking for one thing when they come to a website: information. Readers do not want to read pages and pages of case studies that all brag about your Fortune 500 clients, nor how great youthink your services or products are – see #2 above.Many bloggers and content writers or owners are reluctant to reveal “too much” for fear of “giving away” their secrets.  However, the information you may be clinging onto so tightly for fear of giving too much away – is likely the content that will drive traffic to your site. For illustration’s sake, let’s say George has a legal consulting website.  George regularly offers very useful, authoritative legal information and how-to’s in his website blog.  Things like what to do or say, or not do or say, when questioned by law enforcement, or how to file certain complicated court forms or claims, and so on.  When one of his loyal readers, who has never hired George before, needs serious legal consultation – is he or she going to scour his site for an article or blog regarding the situation, and say to himself, “Thanks for the free advice, George, now I don’t have to hire you”.. ?  On the contrary – because George regularly provides helpful, inside advice about legal matters, he will not only gain trust, but he establishes himself as a leading authority in his profession.It’s as simple as this: the more unselfishly information is given away, the more readers and customers will instinctively trust you and your business or blog, and the more your business or blog will be seen as an authoritative source and a “good” business. Unique Content: It is vital that your blog posts and web page content is unique and not copied from somewhere else on your website or worse from another website! Duplicate content will get you penalized by Google and hurt your search results, Google assigns the top rank to the oldest content and penalizes the copycats. In addition, duplicate content from a site or source other than your own material is plagiarism and also could be a copyright violation, and can cause more serious problems than a dip in search results, so create your own stuff. Keyword Stuffing – great idea, NOT really: If you don’t know much about SEO, know this: SEO is not just about inserting a few keywords into a blog or webpage.  Google does not base search results upon a magic number of keywords in website content.  A few clever words, or repeating some keywords according to some magic SEO recipe, will not get your site or blog ranking.  In fact there are over 240 factors used in the Google algorithm, no one knows the exact number and only about 50 factors have been reverse engineered by deduction; the algorithm itself is secret and as well guarded as the Coke recipe.Does stuffing or repeating keywords work?  Stuffing content, forcing keywords into a post or page, creates unnatural content that is hard to read and follow.  It is usually obvious to both readers and Google, and both will ignore content like this.  The overall quality of content is more important to both readers and Google than the number of keywords used (look up the Panda updates if you think otherwise). Page Content – at least 200 to 300 words: Pages with very little content don’t provide much information to visitors, nor do they give much to the search engines to index and digest.  Both Google and visitors view pages with minimal text content as having little value and poor quality/authority.  Make sure your key pages, Homepage and second level pages at a minimum, have at least 200 to 300 words per page. Make it Relevant: Make sure the page content is relevant to both your overall website and it is focused on the topic for that page.  The page title and content should relate to each other and be focused on a particular topic.  It is better to have several highly focused pages than a few pages that are very general  covering a wide range of topics, but not in detail. Page and website Structure: This is key to creating a high ranking website and page.  We could write an entire blog  on this one item alone.  For now, we will leave it at; follow good design practices, make sure your title, description, H1 and H2, etc are done correctly and that all are relevant to the page content.   Surprisingly this is one of the most overlooked aspects of on-site SEO.   A webpage and website can look great, and be completely non-functional from an SEO standpoint. We have met many that think that a great website, with great content; will eventually rank on its own.  In a perfect world this may be true, but the fact is that the internet is highly competitive and if you rely strictly on the content on your website and in-house SEO skills your website will not be competitive.  Your more aggressive and ambitious competitors certainly have SEO campaigns running and it is impossible to compete against well done SEO with website content alone and frankly, in-house teams can rarely compete against a good SEO professional team. SEO is not something that can be learned overnight, there is much, much more to SEO than most realize.  The best SEO tip is to hire a professional to either do your search engine optimization or advise your in-house webmaster and website team on how to optimize your website and blog.

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Adobe mobile Flash Abandoned, Impact on PC Flash and Web Design

What is the impact of Adobe abandoning mobile Flash? Actually abandoning Flash for mobile is not really a big deal in itself, what is a big deal is what this move likely means for the future of Flash on all platforms, PC included. Apple has been a Flash antagonist and Microsoft joined the Flash opposition with IE 10 and Windows 8 declaring it is time for the Web to move on (ouch). With this the demise of the antiquated PC Flash platform can’t be far behind. In fact, Adobe already has the replacement for Flash in work, Edge which is scheduled for launch in 2012. Adobe has finally embraced web design standards such as CSS, although a bit late in the game. CNET has a great article on this with more details, Adobe Abandons Flash Plugin For Mobile. For a more technical assessment of this see Alex’s post The Internet Progresses as Adobe Abandons Flash. Flash was amazing when it first launched, it brought animation and graphics to life on a lifeless internet at the time.  Since then HTML 5, CSS,  and other languages have advanced and made Flash much less relevant and more importantly provided better options for animation and video. Add to the mix that Flash is horrible for SEO and effectively invisible to search engines and there are huge disadvantages and disincentives for using Flash. With today’s announcement from Adobe Flash for website design is now a dead language, like Latin, and it is time to move on to better options. We use HTML 5, CSS and other SEO friendly languages for all of our website development and applications. In fact we have been very busy lately converting Flash video and Flash animations to HTML for some clients that still have them on their websites so their website will be iPad and mobile compatible.

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