Archive for the ‘SEO’ Category

If you are not a fan of Google’s new Keyword Planner? Here are some alternative keyword research tools you can try today.

One of the top keyword research tools – Google AdWords Keyword Tool – has undergone a drastic renovation, now known as Google AdWords Keyword Planner. And the general consensus seems to be that this was not the best of all ideas. If you aren’t a fan of the new Google keyword tool, then here are some good alternatives to try out. None are a replacement for GAKT, but they can help ease the pain of the loss.

Moz Keyword Analysis (paid)

Moz’s Keyword Analysis Tool allows you to enter up to 20 keywords to see their difficulty, average monthly search volume, and the top 10 websites ranking for them. This tool is a part of Moz’s premium membership that starts at $99 per month with a free 30 day trial.

Raven Tools Research Central (paid)

Raven Tool’s Research Central allows you to complete in-depth SEO keyword and domain research with data from SEOMoz, Majestic SEO and OpenCalais in one place. This tool is a part of Raven Tool’s premium membership that starts at $99 per month with a free 30 day trial.

Advanced Web Ranking (paid)

Advanced Web Ranking’s keyword research tool brings data from Google AdWords, Google Webmaster API, Google Trends, Google Suggest, 7Search, SEMRush, Wordtracker, and Yahoo API Related Keyword Search together in one place. Basic keyword research functionality is available with plans starting at $99 for a lifetime license. Advanced keyword research functionality is available with plans starting at $399 for a lifetime license.

Keyword Spy (paid)

Keyword Spy is a keyword research tool that helps you research your competition’s organic, paid search, and affiliate keywords. Pricing starts at $89.95 per month.

Wordpot (free)

Wordpot is a free keyword research tool that will give you keyword ideas along with daily search volume. The trade off for it being a free tool is that it says the current index of keywords was last compiled in 2011.

Keyword Discovery (free & paid)

Keyword Discovery is a tool that will give thousands of keyword ideas based on the search term you enter. You can use it for free for up to 50 searches to get keyword ideas, or sign up for the premium plans starting at $69.95 per month for additional keyword analysis features.

SEO Book Keyword Tool (free)

SEO Book’s Keyword Tool offers suggested daily search volumes, price estimates from Google AdWords, links to other keyword tools (Google Trends, Suggest, Synonyms, etc.), links to vertical databases, and is powered by Wordtracker’s keyword tool.

Wordtracker (paid)

Wordtracker helps you find high-performing, profitable, keywords for your business. They separate themselves from other tools by helping you find the keywords that your customers are searching when they are ready to buy. Pricing starts at $69 per month.

Bing Keyword Research (free)

Bing’s Keyword Research Tool helps you discover keywords people are searching for on Bing with up to six months of historical search data instead of averages. It is a part of Bing Webmaster Tools.

WordStream (free)

WordStream’s Free Keyword Tool has over a trillion keywords in their database and helps you identify the most profitable long-tail keywords for your business.

SEMrush (paid)

SEMrush helps you discover your competitor’s organic and paid keywords in search. You can search by your competitor’s domain or search for competitors using specific keywords. Pricing starts at $69.95 per month, or you can access it for one month for $79.95.

Keyword Eye (paid)

Keyword Eye is a tool that lets you visualize your competitor’s organic and paid search terms. It also includes the ability to connect to Google Analytics to discover additional keyword opportunities as well as monitor incoming anchor link text. Pricing is £9.99 per month.

Long Tail Pro (paid)

Long Tail Pro helps you research keywords to find profitable niches. It includes the ability to discover domains based on keyword search results. Pricing is $97 for a lifetime license with the option to add an additional $17 per month for extended features.

Suggestions (free)

Ok, these aren’t specifically keyword research tools, but they can help with the keyword idea generation process. You can use just about any search engine to get ideas based on typing in just a word or two. For example, on Google…

google-suggestion-keyword-tool

With the rise of smart phone use in the India, (Google Android and iPhone are currently reporting roughly 500,000 activations a day ) it’s more important than ever to have your Google places listing up to speed because when people use voice search on Android phones, the first results they see are from Google local.

Let’s start with a few facts. Did you know that;

73% of all online activity is related to local content (Google)
82% of local searchers follow up with a phone call or show up on your doorstep (TMP/comScore)
66% of Americans use local search to find local businesses (comScore)
Another reason to take Google Places seriously is the recent changes and enhancements that were rolled out. Now you will notice the map with local businesses appears above the ads on the right side. Also worth noting is that the local listings are appearing above all organic search results and have taken up more space, pushing the organic listings further down the page.

With the recent Google launch of Hotpot, Google is entering the local recommendation space. Hotpot combines Google Places, the places you like and the places your friends like making it even easier for people to make decisions about which local businesses to patronize.

Not surprisingly, marketing on Google Places has gotten very competitive. It used to be you could simply fill out your business listing on Google and see it in the 7 pack a few weeks later. These days, if your listing doesn’t have a 100% score, you can forget about being listed in the first 7 local businesses that Google displays for local results. That said, here are 5 things you can do to get more business from local search:

1. Make sure your Google listing has a 100% score – There are more than 20 different fields you in your Google Places listing and surprisingly most businesses don’t bother to fill them all in. At the end of the day, the difference between showing up on the first page of Google Places or not can boil down to not having a video as part of your listing.

2. Include product or service keywords in your listing description – I would also list one or two of the cities or suburbs where your target market lives. As with any content on the internet, be sure not to over use your keywords. Your description should be written for people with an eye for SEO.

3. Encourage your clients to write a review on your Google places listing – Think about it, if you and 10 local competitors all have 100% scores on your listing, which is fast becoming the case, what will Google use to rank order these businesses? The one component of the profile that is open ended is the review section so in many cases, the business with the most reviews can win the day.

4. Make sure you are listed in your local phone book – I know this sounds counter intuitive but the fact is Google looks to established sources of data to both build their database and check for local business information. If you’re not listed here, it may affect your ability to rank on the first page.

5. Get listed in the other top local directories like:

Yelp
Bing
Yahoo
Best of the Web
Hotfrog, and
Foursquare

You can go to http://www.getlisted.org to get a score on how effectively your business is taking advantage of the free listings at the major search engines.

Local listings & SEO have always been important for small business online marketing, but now they’re essential. If you follow the advice above, your business listing will have a better chance of getting on the first page of the search results and in many cases, may even appear above the organic search results.

Link building is a project, often long and lengthy in nature. Good link building campaigns employ diverse strategies to build backlinks over the course of months, with diverse goals and objectives.

It doesn’t take thousands of backlinks to rank. The goal in link building should be sustainable activity that will continue to result in good links that make sense, without creating abnormal patterns or high link velocity.

This mindset is often hard to sell, and can be difficult for those used to link building of the past. Yet building confidence and trust is absolutely vital to a successful link building project.

There are five different strategies worth examining at the start of any campaign, which will help build confidence in a fresh link building project. They are:

404 Pages and Link Reclamation
Competitor Analysis
Fresh Web Mentions
Local Link Building
Past/Current Relationships

Local Link Building
Local link building is a commonly untapped resource, which can lead to quick yet quality links.
Not every website will be able to take advantage of their locality, but it absolutely should be scrutinized at the start of a fresh link building campaign.
ow let’s explore some great strategies to build local links, as well as why they’re worth pursuing.
Why Local Links Matter?
If a site has any potentially local customers, it’s definitely worth the time to invest in a little local link building. Especially when you consider the effect of localization in the search engine results pages (SERPs).

Google will boost your site in the SERPs (for searchers in your area), if there’s even a hint of local intent in the search. If your business has any chance of selling to local customers you’re letting a great opportunity slip through your fingers by not pursuing at least some local links in your link building campaign.

Especially since local link building can result in really great links.

So, how do you build these local links?
Local Link Building Strategies
Local link building isn’t wildly different than industry based link building, except that the relevance/focus is shifted. I’m a big believer in the importance of relevance in link building.

The relevance in local link building centers upon location, rather than niche.

If a link building company, for example, were going after industry based links, the relevance would be link building > SEO > online marketing, from narrow to broad. In local link building the relevance would be city > region > state.

If you can find double relevance – a website that is relevant both to your locality and to your industry – so much the better. But it isn’t absolutely necessary when building local links.

Other than that, all the same link building tactics you might use in normal link building apply, although keep in mind the inherent value you will already have to local sites, since you share the same community.

Here are four common local link building tactics, which can work for any business.
1. Interact Locally
Helping clients get active in their community is one of my favorite tactics for building great local links. Typically these links take a little more time and investment, but the payoff can be huge both online and off. This works best for sites that are more invested in local.

If you’re looking for quick and quality links this might not be your go-to link building tactic, but I still urge you to at least consider it.

A list of potential ways to involve yourself in the community, with the opportunity for great links:

Host, sponsor, or participate with a local charity.
Create, host, or sponsor an event, association, or club that ties into your industry.
Start a local scholarship for high school students.
Interview an important community member or group.
Feature an important community member or group on your blog (assuming you have one).
Start a discount/product partnership with a local group (if applicable).
Contact your local media and offer your expertise as a source for future work.

Now some of these could technically be categorized as paid links, such as obtaining a link by directly sponsoring an event. But would Google count that as a paid link, or hidden advertisement? Not currently, and I don’t believe they will anytime soon. However if you are worried, you can always ask that the link be nofollowed.

Paid links are an endless rabbit hole, and the issue isn’t quite as white and black as Google would like it to be. There are many ways to build great links that technically involve the spending of money, but I wouldn’t classify as a “paid link”.

Regardless, all of these activities can lead to absolutely superb local links. Links that are acquired through valuable actions, not just tactics or online strategies.

However, most of these will require a real investment into the community. Not bad, although if you’re looking for solid early campaign wins this might not be the most straightforward path, especially if your website only has tenuous connections to your local community.
2. Create a Community Resource
reating a community resource is a great route for local link building, notably for websites that will otherwise struggle to build local links.

So, if your site doesn’t have much of a local presence, you haven’t interacted much locally, and you’ll struggle to justify why your site should be considered a community resource, creating a community resource might just be the way to go.

Here are some examples of community resources you can create (fairly easily) that can still net you great local links:
A map of local:
Tourist attractions or sights worth seeing
Pet-friendly locations
Free Wi-Fi spots
Outdoor attractions
A local guide to:
Best restaurants in the city
Must visit bars/pubs
Things to do in the city
Cultural attractions
A calendar of local:
Governmental meetings
Charity events
Sports events
General entertainment events
Those are really just a few convenient ideas that should get you thinking. Bonus points if you can make a creative local resource that is relevant as well to your industry.

Simply create something useful that doesn’t currently exist – but first make sure there’s public interest. Don’t waste your time creating the resource before you’re sure you’ll be able to get a few great local links from it.

Local governmental sites, colleges, schools, libraries, and community sites are great places to find resource lists. Vet them to see what sort of resources they list, and the probability of your potential resource being included.

Check out this page from NYU, featuring local online resources for undergrads. This is typical to colleges; you can see the potential power of local links.

Also, this guide from Geoff Kenyon of Distilled provides step-by-step instructions on how use Google Maps to create local links, along with a few other strategies worth checking out for local link building.
3. Leverage Local Relationships
As I mentioned before, part of the reason local link building can result in quick, quality links is due to the inherent value of being local.

This means leveraging relationships you’ve built locally. SEER wrote a fantastic guide on 35 local link building opportunities, and after #9 they’re all about leveraging relationships by providing a testimonial in order to secure a link.

Now obviously you shouldn’t be providing a testimonial if you didn’t truly value or appreciate their service. But if you did? Share the love and get love back.

Here are a few ways to leverage local relationships in order to secure a healthy local link:
Provide an honest testimonial for any local businesses you interact with, including:
Service providers
Local restaurants
Local vendors
Local charities
Participate in their events
If you’ve already established a relationship, odds are they’d be happy to have you participate in events they’re involved with. Great for getting links back from local blogs.
Further the relationship
This might not result in an immediate link (unless they blog about it or have a list of “sites we like”), but it certainly can’t hurt.
Ask for inclusion on their resource list
Plenty of local companies will list “preferred vendors” or “partners” – if you have the relationship, see what it will take to be included. Sometimes it just takes asking.
Ensure proper linking
Often in local your website/company will be mentioned but not properly linked to by other companies. This is especially true for older/established websites – check to make sure every link is solid.
4. Join Local Resource Lists or Directories
Getting included in local resource lists is one of the best ways to clue Google into your local authority. So, if you’ve already worked to establish local authority, or your website is a true resource for your locality, there’s nothing left to do but outreach.

Find local sites that have authority within your community, that also host lists of local resources.

Sites such as:

City government pages, including:
Official city websites
City/county libraries
Chambers of commerce
City council websites
Nonprofit/charitable organization within your locality
Local associations, groups, clubs or organizations
Local media coverage, including:
Newspapers
Magazines
Popular bloggers
Radio websites
Take a moment and think about who you would consider a true authority within your locality. Who has immediate credibility? Who is immediately recognizable?

These organizations’ endorsement will give real weight. And, if you’re willing to invest the time and energy, it can be surprisingly easy to acquire a link from these websites, provided you can succinctly describe why you deserve to be on the list.

There are also a number of websites that host directories of local companies, which should be worth pursuing:

Yahoo Local
Bing Local
Google Places
Yelp
Angie’s List
Merchant Circle
Yellowbook
ThinkLocal

As we all know, the Search Engine Optimization field is booming day to day with new inventions and innovations. People may not know that much of what they have learned yesterday will be out of date by tomorrow. Unless one updates his knowledge by reading SEO news/articles, there is no doubt he’ll lag back in the SEO race.

Being an SEO Professional, I hereby suggest some the factors that deal with off-page SEO. I found this forum to be the best suited place for sharing. Below is a list of some things most people may be familiar with, but I have also added a few advanced things that you may not know. Try these Advanced Off-Page SEO Strategies to market your website, get ranked in search engines, and to build online reputation (branding) for your company/website so that you can survive in this competitive SEO world.

Note: These things have to be done after the completion of on-page SEO. Before doing these things you must be aware of your competitors who can able build a negative reputation against your company/website.
ravibhushanseo-off-page-optimization

1). Community Creation in Social Networking Sites

Also known as online reputation management, this is the first and foremost step with which you have to initiate your process. Try to become a member of the most popular social networking sites like Orkut, Myspace, Facebook, Linked In, Ecademy, etc., and create a profile of your own. By doing this you can extend your network online, get connect with your friends, share things with each other, and promote your company/website to build an online reputation. This is most likely the same as Web 2.0 (Participatory Web), which means you have to show your active participation on a regular basis.

2). Blogging

This is one of the most powerful ways to promote your company/website online. Write a blog of your own for your company/website and include lots of unique content. Be precise in what you’re trying to convey for the users in your blog entry and promote your blog in blog directories and blog search engines. You can also promote your blog/website by posting comments in other service-related blogs which allow links in the comments section that are crawlable by the search engines (these blogs are commonly identified as Do-Follow Blogs). If you’re not very good at writing content for blog posts, hire a guest blogger for your blog and ask him/her to write precise and unique content so that your blog can gain more credit from a search engine point of view.

3). Forum Postings

Create a forum/online discussion board of your own and start a discussion or share topics with your friends. You can also post/reply to a thread in other service-related pre-existing forums that allow links in your signature which can be crawled by the search engines (aka “Do-Follow Forums”).

4). Search Engine Submission

Submit your website to the most popular search engines like Google, Yahoo, MSN, Altavista, Alexa, Alltheweb, Lycos, Excite, etc., to get listed for free.

5). Directory Submission

Many people may say that directory submission is dead. As far as I’m concerned it is still alive. It is purely based on how effectively we are selecting those directories and how efficiently we are choosing the category for submission. Of course, I agree that it gives quite delayed results, but it is worth doing it. Submit your websites to the topmost quality directories like DMOZ, Yahoo Directory, ZoomInfo, One Mission, Pegasus, etc. Nowadays many web directories may offer paid listings but don’t go for it.

6). Social Bookmarking

Social Bookmarking is yet another powerful way of promoting your website, but nowadays most people are spamming social bookmarking sites without knowing how to use them. Since content in these websites update frequently, search engines like these types of sites and often visit them (this is commonly termed as Tagsonomy & Folksonomy in Web 2.0). Do some social bookmarking in popular bookmarking sites like Digg, Delicious, StumbleUpon, Propeller, etc. You should be very careful while doing this and you must properly handle the tags which are very essential to broadcast your news on a wide area network. This may increase your website traffic based on how effectively you have participated.

6). Link Exchange

Exchange links with service-related websites (this is commonly termed as Thematic Link Exchange) that can help increase your link popularity, which is a major factor of Google’s PageRank algorithm. Beware of Black-Hats while doing exchanges.

7). Link Baiting

Suppose you have copied/published another website’s news or content in your blog/website. Don’t forget to place their website link as a reference. Do it for others and, if your content is trustworthy, let others do it for you. This is another way to increase your link popularity.

8). Cross-Linking

Link to internal pages within your site wherever necessary (this is commonly termed Internal Linking). This increases your internal link popularity ,which is another major factor of Google Page Rank algorithm. The best known example of successful internal linking is Wikipedia. Also try to get a content link from websites/blogs that are related to your site theme. Try getting a link from within their site content using a targeted keyword as anchor text (much like Wikipedia does). We know that this strategy can often be hard to implement, but these types of links have more weight from a search engine point of view.

9). Photo Sharing

Publish/share your website product pictures and make them public. Let your friends see them and comment on them too, which will help drive traffic towards your website. Do this in major photo sharing websites like Flickr, Picasa, Photo Bucket, Picli, etc.

10). Video Promotions

Like with photo sharing, you can publish/share your product videos, expert opinions, and reviews of your product and make them public in YouTube, Metacafe, Dailymotion, etc.

11). Business Reviews

Write reviews about others businesses or ask your friends/clients to write a review of your business in major business review sites like RateitAll, Shvoong, Kaboodle, Stylefeeder, etc.
12). Local Listings & Yellow Pages

Instead of going global and facing huge competition, make your website local so that search engines can easily view your website and fetch the content. This will help you to reach a targeted audience. Submit your website to Google Local, Maps, Yahoo Local, Yellow Pages, Superpages, Hotfrog, etc.
13). Article Submission

Write articles of your own and submit them to popular article sites like Ezine, Go Articles, Now Public, Buzzle, etc. This will help you to attain some deep links for your website (though it’s usually a slower process).

14). Press Release Promotion

If you are a business/service provider then go for PR submission in popular PR websites like 1888pressrelease, Open PR, PR Leap, etc. This will help you to publish your site in Google News.

15). Classifieds Submission

Do some classifieds submissions to advertise your products for free. Try Craigslist and other major classifieds sites like Kugli, Myspace, iMadespace, Vivastreet, etc.
16). Social Shopping Network

If you own an e-commerce website, this is a good strategy for advertising and easily branding your products for free. Submit your products to Google Product Search, Yahoo Online Shopping, MSN Online Shopping, and other major social shopping network sites like Kaboodle, Style Feeder, Wists, Five Limes, Buzz Shout, Ohmybuzz, etc.

17). Answers

Participate in Answers by asking and answering relevant questions and placing a link to your website in the source section if necessary. If you don’t spam, this is another great way to increase your link popularity (Yahoo Answers, Cha-Cha, Answer Bag, etc.)
18). Document Sharing

Share your website documents like business documents, information brochures, and slides in Google Docs, Slide Share, etc. This will help you brand your website.

19) CSS, W3C & RSS Directories Submission

If you have a web design site or offer services related to web design, submit your website to CSS and W3C website directories which may drive traffic towards your website. Also submit your website to RSS feed directories which, again, will help you attain more traffic.

20). Widget / Gadget Development

Develop some interactive and innovative widget/gadget applications (such as an online poll or game widgets) for your website and publish them on your blog/website or in other popular social networking sites like Facebook and Myspace. Let your friends and others vote/play/use the widget/application, which will help you increase your branding and website visits.

21). PPC Ad Campaign

When none of the above strategies work for you, go for a PPC ad campaign with your targeted keywords. Remember that you have to pay to drive more traffic towards your website through PPC.

Note: Always keep in mind that you have to be very careful while implementing these strategies. You should not spam or overdo it. Whatever you do, just plan and execute. Otherwise, you can see adverse effects.

Thanks for reading!