Thursday, February 26, 2009

Use your meta Descriptions to Bring People to your Website

Effective use of your meta-Descriptions will bring more traffic to your website.

The meta-Description for each page of your website is often the bit that appears in the Search Engine results underneath your page title. This is your opportunity to sell your website to searchers.

Why should they choose your website over the other 10 that are listed in the search results on that page?

There are some rules to follow when creating effective meta Descriptions for the pages on your website.

1. They should be unique.

Like your titles, the description tells the search engines a bit more about what they can expect to find on each page of your website. For this reason they should be unique.

Many websites that I review that look very professional have the same metadesciptions and titles for each page on the website. This will adversely affect how your website is ranked by the search engines.

2. They should contain the main keywords relevant to this page of your website.

Each page of your website should be optimised for 2 or 3 main keywords and some secondary keywords. Your meta-description for each page of your website should contain your main keywords.

3. There should be a call to action.

Give searchers a reason to click on your result as opposed to the other results on the search page. What is your point of difference for your business. What special offer or promotion are you running to entice them to your website.

Statistics say that the closer you are to the top of the page of search results, the more likely your site is to get chosen. Give searchers another reason to choose your website over the others by including an effective call to action as part of your meta-description.

Now would be a good time to review the meta-descriptions for each page of your website. Check out my free website review service if you would like me to conduct a professional review of your website.
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Monday, February 23, 2009

Title Tags - How you use them affects your Rankings

"Effective use of Title Tags for every page on your Website is vital to your Search Engine Rankings"

For those of you that are small business owners you might be a little unsure what I am talking about when it comes to title tags. The Title Tags are what appears at the top of the Browser Page and the top of the tabs in the browser if you are using tabs.

Like a book, the title tag is like the chapter heading for each of the pages on your website. And the same kind of rules apply to title tags as to chapter headings.

My Rules for Effective Title Tags

1. Title Tags should be relevant to the individual webpage. They should be descriptive but brief and contain some of the main keywords for that particular page.

The title tag is the bit that shows up in the search engine listings as being the link to your particular page. This should be compelling people to click on your link rather than the other results on the page.

The most common mistake that I see people make with this is that they call their Home Page -'home' and their Products Page - 'products'. This is not going to help your search engine ranking.

This is a bit like calling the chapters of a book 'Chapter 1', 'Chapter 2' etc.

2. Title Tags should be unique.

If all of the pages on your website have the same title tag then there is a very good chance that your pages will not be indexed by Google.

This would be like giving all the Chapters of a book the same title.

3. Title Tags should contain keywords.

My caution here is everything in moderation. Don't stuff your title full of every keyword you came up with. Just use one or two of the most relevant keywords for the particular page.

And put the keywords close to the start of the title, so long as it doesn't affect the readability. Remember this is what people are going to see in the search engine results.

Part of the service that I offer is that I conduct free website reviews.

One of the most common things that I find with small business websites is incorrect or ineffective us of title tags. This is hurting your search engine rankings and your conversions.
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Thursday, February 19, 2009

Ramp up your Keywords - Use them in your Onpage Links

There are many ways to tell the search engines what your website is about and how it will be relevant to searchers.

Onpage links are the links on your webpage that links to other pages on your website. These links will be in your navigation and you should also use them in the content on your page.

Using your keywords within your onpage links is a great way to increase the power of your keywords.

Just like you try to do with the links coming into your website from other websites, your link text should be optimised to make best use of your keywords.

Have a look at a page on your website right now. Find the links. What is the text that represents the links. Is it 'Click here' or 'Free Sample' or 'Find out more'. I guarantee that free sample and click here are not on your keyword list.

Remembering readability foir your users, change these links to incorporate your main keywords.

Just like you do in the headings on your webpages, you should also look to include keywords in your onpage links whenever you possibly can.
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Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Keyword Research for your Small Business Website

Keyword Research could be the death of your Website!!

What keywords are you targeting with your website?

What are people searching for in your industry?

Week 2 of your 8 week challenge is all about keywords. This is an area that I find alot of small business owners struggle with, and alot of website designers overlook.

"It is no good having a pretty website if nobody can find it."

Here is an outline of the process that I use for researching keywords for a website. Feel free to copy it or improve on it as you can.

Step 1 - Create a list of keywords.

Have you ever been in one of those network marketing organisations? The first thing they say to you is come up with a list of prospects (people you know), and all of a sudden it seems like you don't know anyone. And then you contact the people on your list and none of them are interested.

Well, it can be a bit like that with keywords. Coming up with a list of a few hundred keywords that people might be searching the internet for that relate to your business can be a bit daunting for those that are new to it.

The good thing is there are tools that can help you. Personally I tend to use the Google keyword tool first and foremost. You can do this by typing in a term related to your business and it will generate a list of terms related to this term. Or you can type in a website, maybe your competitors and it will generate a list from the content on the website.

Step 2 - Select your keywords

Once you have your list for starters you then need to select the keywords that you want to focus on. I take into account 2 factors when looking at keywords. I want the words with plenty of traffic, and I want the keywords with less competition.

I can guarantee that everyone in your industry will be targeting the top 10 main keywords. So, if you are just getting started in can be a real boost to target some of the secondary keywords. These keywords will still have good traffic volume, but there will be less competition.

Google Keyword Tool will give you a good indication of both traffic and competition.

Step 3 - Group your keywords

Once I have a list of a few hundred keywords with good traffic I then group them together. You can do this simply in an Excel spreadsheet. At the top of each column I put a main keyword, and I then group similar keywords under this column. You will probably finish up with 5 or 6 groups of keywords after you have finished this process.

I then look at each of these groups of keywords and from within each group I select the main keyword that has the most traffic and the least competition.

Step 4 - On Page Keyword Optimisation

After the grouping process you should have 5-6 main keywords and groupings of secondary keywords that relate to each of these main keywords.

These main keywords will then form the basis of your site URL's, Page Titles, meta descriptions for each page, navigation menu and page content.

When you do this it is vital that you do it in such a way that you do not detract from the user experience of your website. All of these factors should consider usability first and search engines second, but it is entirely possible to enhance your search engine rankings quickly and easily by doing this without affecting the usability of your site. In fact it will often enhance the usability of your site as well.

For example, if you are a florist one of your navigation menu headings might be 'products'. After this process you will find that 'products' will not be one of your main keywords. You may find that 'roses', 'flowers', and 'gift baskets' will be among your main keywords that you can then use in your navigation menu. This enhances both usability and search engine performance.

This process of identifying your keywords will take some time to begin with, but in my experience it will help you to focus on what your site is really about, and it will enhance your search engine rankings from day 1.

More traffic, more sales, happy days.

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Wednesday, February 11, 2009

8 Week Challenge - Week 1 - URL's

Week 1 - URL Structure

Over the next 8 weeks I am going to cover various on-page factors that have a bearing on your ranking in the search engines.

Let me say firstly that any of these factors by themselves may not be make or break for you, however if you put them all together they will be very powerful for you in terms of how your site ranks in the search engine.

URL's are the first factor that we are going to deal with. The URL is the individual web address for each of the pages on your website. eg. This is most likely the address for the home page of your website.

Some other common URL's that you might see for pages on a website are -

One of the more powerful ways to use URL's is to include your keywords into them.

If your business is a florist, rather than having you could have

This then puts some of your keywords into your URL's. It gives Google a better idea of what the page is about and this will help your search engine rankings.

Dynamic URL's

Dynamic URL's are a URL that is automatically generated for a web page each time the page is loaded. So, each time the page loads it will have a new URL. This is difficult for search engines to index and can hurt your search engine performance.

There are sound reasons for using dynamic URL's for a website, so if you have dynamic URL's on your website you should talk to your web developer about why you are doing this.
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Tuesday, February 10, 2009

The 8 Week Challenge - 8 Key On Page Factors for Having a Google Friendly Website

Web Page structure is a vital element of SEO. If your website is languishing on Page 553 of Google then there is a good chance that you are missing one or more of these factors.

If you want to draw tons of traffic from Google then it makes sense that you should make your website easy for Google to understand.

First let me say though that your website should be easy for your customer to understand. Here are 2 scenarios that both generate the same results -

Scenario 1 - Traffic NIL Conversion Rate 10% Revenue $NIL

Scenario 2 - Traffic LOTS Conversion NIL Revenue $NIL

So, effective website design should take into account both the search engines and your customers to bring you traffic, sell your product and make you money.

Here are 8 Key Factors for On Page SEO. Overt the next couple of weeks I will be dealing with each of these in more detail.

1. URL's - what is the structure of your URL for each page. Do they look like alphabet soup or are they search engine friendly?

2. Keywords - is your page optimised for your keywords? What keywords? How many? How often?

3. Title Tag - what is the title of your page and what does it tell Google about your page?

4. Meta-Description - what does this tell Google about your page? Are you using keywords effectively?

5. Users - don't forget the users. They are the ones that buy your products. Last I checked Google robots do not spend much money on the internet. They do however have a big bearing on where the money gets spent on the internet.

6. Content - what information is on your page. How are you using Headings? How are you using keywords? How good is your navigation? Do you have a sitemap?

7. Links - navigation links, in page text links, footer links. Are you using these effectively?

8. Test, Test and Retest - if you ever think that the work is done on your website you are heading for a fall. Times change, people change, search terms change. And each market is subtlely different. Constant and Never Ending Improvement is the key to great website design.

So, over the next 8 weeks, my challenge to you is to pick each 1 of these elements and get better at it. In 8 weeks time your website may be very different. Then repeat again for another 8 weeks.
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Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Affiliate Marketing - What makes a good affiliate website

I guess the short answer to this question is SALES. Money in the bank must make a good affiliate marketing website.

Up until now, I have dabbled in affiliate marketing, and there is so much information out there on the internet about what makes a good affiliate site that it is hard to know who to believe.


Obviously the first thing that you need is traffic to your website. So, you can either get free traffic by working on creating content around certain keywords and then working on getting a good search engine ranking.

The other way you can get traffic is by buying it. Buying links to bring traffic (even though the search engines don't link this), or Google Adwords are the main ways you can buy traffic. This will require that you manage your conversions so as to ensure that your program remains profitable. No point paying $50 for a $20 affiliate commission.


Once you get the people to your website obviously you want to convert them to a sale, or at least capture their contact details so as to keep in contact with them.

The layout of your site should lead your prospect towards your affiliate links or banners. Bottom right hand corner is where I am using my affiliate links. I do this so as to not him them with advertising straight away. This gives me time to build trust so as to make it more likely that they will click on the links. Great website copy will help you to build trust and solve their problems.

I use a combination of inpage text links and banners to lead people to my affiliate program.

My primary goal is for people to click on the affiliate links on my website.

Secondary goal is to capture their contact details. I do this by offering them a free newsletter or free ebook.


I use Google Analytics for my tracking program. I create goals for my website and then I track how well my website achieves these goals.

The main metric that I use is how many people click on the links compared to how many people visit the site. I am also looking at how many click on text links and how many click on banner links.

I am then intending to use different experiments on my website to see which elements help conversion.

Website Redesign

With these parameters in mind I have almost completed a redesign of my Soccer Drills Review website. I will be posting results along the way on this blog if you would like to follow along and see what I find out.

My new site will be live next week. If you want to see how not to do affiliate marketing go and have a look at the old site.
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Sunday, February 1, 2009

Do Online Classifieds Generate more Traffic

My Experiment

One of the things that I am always looking to do is to find more ways to generate targeted traffic to my websites, and my clients' websites.

A little while back I came across some Online Classified Ad services. I googled 'Online Classified Ads' and had a look through the first couple of pages.

So, I have decided for February that my experiment will be to see how much traffic I can drive to my web design website. I will track the sources of the traffic using Google Analytics.

In some of the classified ads I have been able to post a direct link to my website. The other thing that I am interested to see is how much 'link juice' I will get from these ads, if any.

I am going to post regular updates on my blog so you can follow the progress. In all cases I have only posted free ads. If I can generate some traffic I will then look at paid ads to see if I can generate more traffic and if so how much.
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