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Link Building Using Google Places

By | SEO, Uncategorized | No Comments

Google Places are no longer restricted to the map box results in Google, as they used to be when they were Google Local. In their new incarnation they are now available right at the top of the search results, as a big individual placement. See here, for Sydney Butcher, after the PPC ad, the very top result is a Google Places result.

Link Ideas From Google Places

Now, this post isn’t about the importance of getting your local business ranking high in Google Places, today is a Linking day. So I am going to tell you a little story about how you can use Google Places to get links for SEO. It is very easy, you just need to follow these steps;

1. Do a Location based search for your industry. E.g., above I did Sydney Butchers. Now, if you have limited time, you might want to focus on the top, most powerful results, but if you have more time, I recommend doing the next few steps on as many results as you can, because you will get lots of different link opportunities this way. In fact, using the above Butcher example, I didn’t choose the top result, because it didn’t yield many link ideas, I went down the page a bit, and used a different one.

2. Click on the “Place Page” link to the right of the result

3. On the resulting Google Places Page, scroll right down the bottom to the section “More about this place”

Get Links from Google Places

4. Now, you might be getting excited, because here is a list of places which are linking to this places page, and which may in fact be helping the Places page rank! Click on the ‘more’ at the bottom of that to get the complete list

SEO for Google Places

Now, all you have to do is check out the sites which are linking to that butcher site, and find out if they might not link to your butchers site!

Your research doesn’t stop there, you now need to repeat that trick for;

– Other Google Places pages in your results

– Keyword and location variations to see if there is anything you are missing

– Re-do the Google search and use it for other industries which are closely related to you, and see if there are any more linking opportunities there

– Re-do the Google search again for other random industries or services in your local area, and see if there are any surprise sources  of links in their results.

There has to be some links in there for you somewhere!Google Places are no longer restricted to the map box results in Google, as they used to be when they were Google Local. In their new incarnation they are now available right at the top of the search results, as a big individual placement. See here, for Sydney Butcher, after the PPC ad, the very top result is a Google Places result.
 
Link Ideas From Google Places
 
Now, this post isn’t about the importance of getting your local business ranking high in Google Places, today is a Linking day. So I am going to tell you a little story about how you can use Google Places to get links for SEO. It is very easy, you just need to follow these steps;
 
1. Do a Location based search for your industry. E.g., above I did Sydney Butchers. Now, if you have limited time, you might want to focus on the top, most powerful results, but if you have more time, I recommend doing the next few steps on as many results as you can, because you will get lots of different link opportunities this way. In fact, using the above Butcher example, I didn’t choose the top result, because it didn’t yield many link ideas, I went down the page a bit, and used a different one.
 
2. Click on the “Place Page” link to the right of the result
 
3. On the resulting Google Places Page, scroll right down the bottom to the section “More about this place”
 
Get Links from Google Places
 
4. Now, you might be getting excited, because here is a list of places which are linking to this places page, and which may in fact be helping the Places page rank! Click on the ‘more’ at the bottom of that to get the complete list
 
SEO for Google Places
 
Now, all you have to do is check out the sites which are linking to that butcher site, and find out if they might not link to your butchers site!
 
Your research doesn’t stop there, you now need to repeat that trick for;
 
– Other Google Places pages in your results
 
– Keyword and location variations to see if there is anything you are missing
 
– Re-do the Google search and use it for other industries which are closely related to you, and see if there are any more linking opportunities there
 
– Re-do the Google search again for other random industries or services in your local area, and see if there are any surprise sources  of links in their results.
 
There has to be some links in there for you somewhere!Google Places are no longer restricted to the map box results in Google, as they used to be when they were Google Local. In their new incarnation they are now available right at the top of the search results, as a big individual placement. See here, for Sydney Butcher, after the PPC ad, the very top result is a Google Places result.

Link Ideas From Google Places

Now, this post isn’t about the importance of getting your local business ranking high in Google Places, today is a Linking day. So I am going to tell you a little story about how you can use Google Places to get links for SEO. It is very easy, you just need to follow these steps;

1. Do a Location based search for your industry. E.g., above I did Sydney Butchers. Now, if you have limited time, you might want to focus on the top, most powerful results, but if you have more time, I recommend doing the next few steps on as many results as you can, because you will get lots of different link opportunities this way. In fact, using the above Butcher example, I didn’t choose the top result, because it didn’t yield many link ideas, I went down the page a bit, and used a different one.

2. Click on the “Place Page” link to the right of the result

3. On the resulting Google Places Page, scroll right down the bottom to the section “More about this place”

Get Links from Google Places

4. Now, you might be getting excited, because here is a list of places which are linking to this places page, and which may in fact be helping the Places page rank! Click on the ‘more’ at the bottom of that to get the complete list

SEO for Google Places

Now, all you have to do is check out the sites which are linking to that butcher site, and find out if they might not link to your butchers site!

Your research doesn’t stop there, you now need to repeat that trick for;

– Other Google Places pages in your results

– Keyword and location variations to see if there is anything you are missing

– Re-do the Google search and use it for other industries which are closely related to you, and see if there are any more linking opportunities there

– Re-do the Google search again for other random industries or services in your local area, and see if there are any surprise sources  of links in their results.

There has to be some links in there for you somewhere!Google Places are no longer restricted to the map box results in Google, as they used to be when they were Google Local. In their new incarnation they are now available right at the top of the search results, as a big individual placement. See here, for Sydney Butcher, after the PPC ad, the very top result is a Google Places result.

Link Ideas From Google Places

Now, this post isn’t about the importance of getting your local business ranking high in Google Places, today is a Linking day. So I am going to tell you a little story about how you can use Google Places to get links for SEO. It is very easy, you just need to follow these steps;

1. Do a Location based search for your industry. E.g., above I did Sydney Butchers. Now, if you have limited time, you might want to focus on the top, most powerful results, but if you have more time, I recommend doing the next few steps on as many results as you can, because you will get lots of different link opportunities this way. In fact, using the above Butcher example, I didn’t choose the top result, because it didn’t yield many link ideas, I went down the page a bit, and used a different one.

2. Click on the “Place Page” link to the right of the result

3. On the resulting Google Places Page, scroll right down the bottom to the section “More about this place”

Get Links from Google Places

4. Now, you might be getting excited, because here is a list of places which are linking to this places page, and which may in fact be helping the Places page rank! Click on the ‘more’ at the bottom of that to get the complete list

SEO for Google Places

Now, all you have to do is check out the sites which are linking to that butcher site, and find out if they might not link to your butchers site!

Your research doesn’t stop there, you now need to repeat that trick for;

– Other Google Places pages in your results

– Keyword and location variations to see if there is anything you are missing

– Re-do the Google search and use it for other industries which are closely related to you, and see if there are any more linking opportunities there

– Re-do the Google search again for other random industries or services in your local area, and see if there are any surprise sources  of links in their results.

There has to be some links in there for you somewhere!

Search Engine Marketing – A Beginners Guide and Glossary

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I want to first pay snaps to SEMPO, the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organisation, who have one of the best SEM glossaries on the web, and which I have appropriated here for the purposes of this post.

The SEMPO glossary is very technical, however, and is very useful for SEO’s and SEM’s who are going to be working full time in the field, either as a consultant or inhouse SEO. But, for those people who need a more shallow view of search engine marketing, such as overarching marketing managers, content writers, or for those who are just getting started with their own online business, I thought I would cut the SEMPO glossary down to the least technical terms, and divide it into easy sections.

This glossary will enable you to speak to SEM practitioners, and not be lost in jargon.

The first section explains about Search engines in general – what they are, and a general idea of how they work.

The next two sections describe the two types of Search Engine Marketing – Search Engine optimisation and Pay Per click marketing.

Finally, there were a few general terms which are used all the time, but you might not exactly know what they mean.

This is not an exhaustive list, it is just the bare bones of what I think you need to know when starting out in SEM. For the full list, please visit the SEMPO SEM glossary.




 

 

SEM – Acronym for “Search Engine Marketing.” A form of internet marketing that seeks to promote websites by increasing their visibility in search engine result pages (SERPs).  SEM methods include: search engine optimization (SEO), paid placement, contextual advertising, digital asset optimization, and paid inclusion.  When this term is used to describe an individual, it stands for “Search Engine Marketer” or one who performs SEM.




 

1. About Search Engines

Search Engines – A search engine is a database of many web pages. Most engines display the number of web pages they hold in their database at any given time. A search engine generally “ranks” or orders the results according to a set of parameters. These parameters (called algorithms) vary among search engines; they are always improving in order to identify spam as well as improve relevance.

Algorithm – A set of rules that a search engine uses to rank listings in response to a query. Search engines guard their algorithms closely, as they are the unique formulas used to determine relevancy.

Index – A search engine’s “index” refers to the amount of documents found by a search engines crawler on the web.

Search Query – The word or phrase a searcher types into a search field, which initiates search engine results page listings and PPC ad serves. In PPC advertising, the goal is to bid on keywords that closely match the search queries of the advertiser’s targets.

Keyword / Keyword Phrase – A specific word or combination of words that a searcher might type into a search field. Includes generic, category keywords; industry-specific terms; product brands; common misspellings and expanded variations (called Keyword Stemming), or multiple words (called Long Tail for their lower CTRs but sometimes better conversion rates). All might be entered as a search query. For example, someone looking to buy coffee mugs might use the keyword phrase “ceramic coffee mugs.”

SERP – Acronym for Search Engine Results Page, the page delivered to a searcher that displays the results of a search query entered into the search field. Displays both paid ad (sponsored) and organic listings in varying positions or rank.






2. SEO Terms

SEO – Acronym for “Search Engine Optimization.” This is the process of editing a web site’s content and code in order to improve visibility within one or more search engines. When this term is used to describe an individual, it stands for “Search Engine Optimizer” or one who performs SEO.

Organic Results – Listings on SERPs that were not paid for; listings for which search engines do not sell space. Sites appear in organic (also called “natural”) results because a search engine has applied formulas (algorithms) to its search crawler index, combined with editorial decisions and content weighting, that it deems important enough inclusion without payment.

Rank – How well positioned a particular web page or web site appears in search engine results.

Reciprocal Link – Two different sites that link out to each other. Also referred to as Cross Linking.

Backlinks – All the links pointing at a particular web page.

Link Popularity – Link popularity generally refers to the total number of links pointing to any particular URL.

Linkbait – This is something on your site that people will notice and link to. By linking to your site, other sites are saying they value the content of your site and that they think other people will be interested in it, too.

Long Tail – Keyword phrases with at least three, sometimes four or five, words in them. These long tail keywords are usually highly specific and draw lower traffic than shorter, more competitive keyword phrases, which is why they are also cheaper. Oftentimes, long tail keywords, in aggregate, have good conversion ratios for the low number of click-throughs they generate.

Metrics – A system of measures that helps to quantify particular characteristics. In SEO the following are some important metrics to measure: overall traffic, search engine traffic, conversions, top traffic-driving keywords, top conversion-driving keywords, keyword rankings, etc.






4. PPC Terms

PPC Advertising – Acronym for Pay-Per-Click Advertising, a model of online advertising in which advertisers pay only for each click on their ads that directs searchers to a specified landing page on the advertiser’s web site. PPC ads may get thousands of impressions (views or serves of the ad); but, unlike more traditional ad models billed on a CPM (Cost-Per-Thousand-Impressions) basis, PPC advertisers only pay when their ad is clicked on. Charges per ad click-through are based on advertiser bids in hybrid ad space auctions and are influenced by competitor bids, competition for keywords and search engines’ proprietary quality measures of advertiser ad and landing page content.

PPC Management – The monitoring and maintenance of a Pay-Per-Click campaign or campaigns. This includes changing bid prices, expanding and refining keyword lists, editing ad copy, testing campaign components for cost effectiveness and successful conversions, and reviewing performance reports for reports to management and clients, as well as results to feed into future PPC campaign operations.

ROI – Acronym for Return On Investment, the amount of money you make on your ads compared to the amount of money you spend on your ads.

CPA – Acronym for Cost Per Acquisition (sometimes called Cost Per Action), which is the total cost of an ad campaign divided by the number of conversions.

CPC – Acronym for Cost Per Click, or the amount search engines charge advertisers for every click that sends a searcher to the advertiser’s web site. For an advertiser, CPC is the total cost for each click-through received when its ad is clicked on.

CPM – Acronym for Cost Per Thousand Impressions (ad serves or potential viewers). Compare to CPC pricing (defined above). CPM is a standard monetization model for offline display ad space, as well as for some context-based networks serving online search ads to, for example, web publishers and sites.

CTR – Acronym for Click-Through Rate, the number of clicks that an ad gets, divided by the total number of times that ad is displayed or served.

Click Fraud – Clicks on a Pay-Per-Click advertisement that are motivated by something other than a search for the advertised product or service. Click fraud may be the result of malicious or negative competitor/affiliate actions motivated by the desire to increase costs for a competing advertiser or to garner click-through costs for the collaborating affiliate. Also affects search engine results by diluting the quality of clicks.

Impression – One view or display of an ad. Ad reports list total impressions per ad, which tells you the number of times your ad was served by the search engine when searchers entered your keywords (or viewed a content page containing your keywords).

Sponsored Listing – A term used as a title or column head on SERPs to identify paid advertisers and distinguish between paid and organic listings. Alternate names are Paid Listings or Paid Sponsors. Separating paid listings from organic results enables searchers to make their own purchase and site trust decisions and, in fact, resulted from an FTC complaint filed by Commercial Alert in 2001 alleging that the confusion caused in consumers who saw mixed paid and unpaid results constituted fraud in advertising.




4. Other

Content Management Systems (CMS) – In computing, a content management system (CMS) is a document centric collaborative application for managing documents and other content. A CMS is often a web application and often it is used as a method of managing web sites and web content. The market for content management systems remains fragmented, with many open source and proprietary solutions available.

Traffic – Refers to the number of visitors a website receives. It can be determined by examination of web logs or analytics packages.

Usability – This term refers to how “user friendly” a web site and its functions are. A site with good usability is a site that makes it easy for visitors to find the information they are looking for or to perform the action they desire. Bad usability is anything that causes confusion or problems for the user. For example, large Flash animations served to a visitor with a dial up connection causes poor usability. Easy, intuitive navigation and clear, informative text enhance usability.

Conversion Rate – Conversion rates are measurements that determine how many of your prospects perform the prescribed or desired action step. If your prescribed response is for a visitor to sign up for a newsletter, and you had 100 visitors and 1 newsletter signup, then your conversion rate would be 1%. Typically, micro-conversions (for instance, reading different pages on your site) lead to your main conversion step (making a purchase, or signing up for a service).


 

DIY SEO

By | SEO | No Comments

Search Engine Optimisation is an essential activity for any business who wants to use their website to build their business, BUT not every business can afford the time or money it costs to do the most thorough job on their SEO. Small businesses particularly have to be careful with their budgets, and some businesses like to do as much as possible themselves.

Now lets not get ridiculous, of course I am a big advocate of businesses (that can afford it) outsourcing their SEO. Not only will you benefit from years of expertise, but our SEO consultants deal with lots and lots of websites around the world, we know what works and what doesn’t, and we have the time, inclination and passion for increasing our SEO knowledge every single day.

But of course not everyone can afford it, and there are lots of things you can do for your website yourself which will help your SEO efforts.

The first step, is to get realistic and target your campaign. Broader, and more competitive terms, will be very difficult to rank for, and if you don’t have the time or budget for an intensive SEO campaign, then you might be wasting your time on those big terms.

Smaller, more niche or geographically targetted terms might be easier to achieve, and because they are more targetted, you will be putting your small amount of investment, on the most valuable spend.

Once you have decided on the keywords to target you need to ensure that you are;
1. Putting them on your page titles
2. Putting them in your content
3. Using them as anchor text on links
4. Using H tags around them, and
5. Titling images appropriately.

It is important to do this within reason, and not spam your page – if you do, people might find you, but I doubt they will like what they see when they do.

Other important things to do for simple SEO is grow your content and get links to your site.

For growing your content – just make sure that over time you keep adding to your site, either through a blog, adding new products, or other information pages.

For getting links – this takes a lot more work. However, I have previously writen a couple of links posts, like this one about “Top 10 places to ask for a link” and my original “Best Linking Strategies” post, so check them out for inspiration.

Another great idea, if you have a small budget, is to get a consultation from an SEO specialist (like us, why don’t you call us?). Just tell them before you start that you want to do the SEO yourself, and you just need a strategy with a clear action plan on how to do it.

And P.S., here is a checklist for doing SEO on your Blog.

Link Building – 10 Places To Ask For a Link

By | SEO | No Comments

Link building is an essential part of any SEO strategy. It is thought to be one of the most influential ranking factors, with links from relevants sources with excellent anchor text being the Holy Grail (of course if they are no-followed).

Not every link has to be this Holy Grail, every little bit helps as long as they are 1. Relevant in some way, 2. Don’t have a ‘no follow’ on them (although even if they do they can be valuable for click through traffic), and 3. Cached by the search engine.

Finding links can be really time consuming, but for every website there are going to be some ‘easier’ wins (not necessarily quick).

The following is a list of people you might want to hit up for a link, these ones should be friendlier than most.

1. Your web designer. You might not have noticed this, but the vast majority of web designers help their own SEO by putting  a link to their own site from every single page of their client’s websites, through a footer link. This is not necessarily wrong, (although it doesn’t help their clients), but if they are going to do that, the least they can do is link back to your site too. After all, you are the client! Even better would be if you could be on an industry page, or a case study about your business, which will make your page relevant.

2. Suppliers – Similarly to your web designers, if you use other suppliers
like accountants, PR, or copy writers, you might want to be named on
their client list or as a case study.

3. If you are in an industry group (e.g. any logo you display on your site for a professional qualification or membership), and especially if you pay money to be in this group, ask them for a link to your site.

4. Similarly, if you support any charities financially or with free products/services, ask them if they could put a link to your site as well

5. Resellers – If you resell products for ANYONE else, make sure that you ask them if you can be on their website as a reseller. They should want you to be there, because it helps people find your store, which will help people find their goods.

6. If your school or university has a website with case studies, history’s, profiles or news, consider submitting a story which conveniently ‘links’ to your current business or work place. Remember that .edu links are particularly valuable!

7. Link reclamation – Use back link checkers to see who is already linking to you, and see if you can get those links changed to have relevant anchor text, or see why they are linking to you and see if you can get more links like that

8. Chamber of Commerce  – If you are lucky enough to be in an area which has a chamber of commerce, or if you are operating in a foreign market, you can join your national chamber.

9. If you are in an office block, shopping centre, or some other complex,
make sure there is a link to your site from their tenants list. Again,
it is even better if there is a category page for your listing.

10. On your site – If you have an article, picture, statistic or graph that is unique and attractive, make sure you ask for links to it! A short “link to this graph” will not only prompt people to think of linking to it, but will make it easy for them to do so.

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