Archive for July, 2012
SEO is not an easy business anymore and there is dynamism, aptness and algorithms to tackle in every campaign. Naturally enough, the last thing that you would want in it is a fastidious client who takes extra care to make your job difficult.
It’s a fact that until and unless the relationship between a client and a SEO consultant goes on smooth, good results does not arrive. So if you desire to build up a trustable reputation in the industry, there are certain types of clients that you must take care to avoid right away when you are taking up SEO campaigns. Who are they? Read on.
The Impatient One
SEO is not an overnight job. It involves the integration of tools and tactics in a website in accordance to client requirements. This may take some time, which can range from a few weeks to a few months. SE ranks also do not come off just like that. There are indexing, algorithms, backlinks and content to take care of and all these cannot be accomplished in the blink of an eyelid. An impatient client who refuses to understand this is best to be eliminated from your list. He will keep on disturbing you throughout the planning and execution process, and ultimately hamper your work procedure at the end.
The Disturbing One
There are people in this world who take up to disturbing people relentlessly, no matter whether they like it or not. Some SEO clients, or rather to-be-clients, will start pre-stalking your activities even before they do business with you. They will call you at odd hours, demand to discuss SEO with you over phone and sometimes, text you for knowing what you can do to their websites when they give you the contract. Avoid them. These are perhaps the most horrendous of clients – if they can follow you like a shadow when they are not your client, they will make your life HELL when they pay you money for their contract.
The ‘only’ SEO client
If your client looks like a solely SEO person, avoid him. SEO as a strategy will get him online recognition and appreciation, true, but there are other aspects of web marketing as well (PPC, email/affiliate marketing, social media marketing) which he must not neglect. Concentrating ONLY on SEO might not deliver to him the highest profits and he may get disappointed at the end.
The Over-imposing one
A client who constantly checks in while you are working on his campaign does not trust you – this is 100% guaranteed. He will possibly also brag about his knowledge on SEO all the while and try to show you that he knows everything. Avoid him as he will interfere with your work at all stages and fail to keep confidence on you.
To make successful SEO campaigns, client quality matters. You should therefore avoid the above-mentioned kinds of clients to make things go smooth.
Adopting SEO techniques to gain access to a higher page rank is what everyone is busy doing. But, what really needs to be realized by webmasters is how effective these strategies are. Measuring performance is crucial in understanding how your efforts are being utilised. After all, it is about the results that really matters. You could be spending hours of your time and hundreds of dollars of your earnings on implementing these strategies but, if you are not aware of how useful they are, there is no point.
Thanks to the growing popularity of the best used SEO techniques, there are well established tools being introduced to judge the effectiveness of these SEO techniques.
The most common tool that one can come across in this regard is ‘Google Analytics’. This is a tool which can be used to assess if your efforts are being utilised towards traffic generation. Every webmaster makes use of certain keywords and key phrases to attract traffic. But, are these keywords actually driving traffic is what you should know. Google analytics lets you match your keyword against the traffic numbers and tell you if you need to take a keener look at changing your keywords.
Another tool which is not much of a tool than it is a simple logic is the number of links made to your website. When you back link your content from other sources to your website, you should know how many of these links are actually being used to explore your website. Are readers who come into contact with your links, actually clicking on those links to know what you are and what you have on offer for them? Knowing this will help you find out if backlinking strategies are being implemented effectively.
If you have just launched your website and want to know how many people are visiting your website, you can install a simple yet extremely effective web tool which actually lets you know how many visitors have visited your page in a day. This is more like a clicker that goes off for every visitor who visits the website. However, if you want to make a sale, this information is not really useful as you would like to know how many of those visitors are actually being converted to sale leads.
SEO success is a very subjective matter. It is very easy to assume success while your competitor is going on another roll. Using these tools will help you get a reality check as the results will tell you if your efforts are being underutilized or utilized for the wrong reasons. You can also use these tools to measure discrepancies and make instant changes to the way your website functions and operates.
Building profits online is directly dependent on the SEO factor that is incorporated into an entrepreneurial site. Naturally so, since SEO today is a big thing in the cyber world and sans it no website can expect to fetch a good rank in any of the SERPs.
SEO agencies exist in bundles in the web today, each promising to cater out the best services in the arena to its clients. But are all of them good? Possibly not! Then how to spot the winning bidder in this crowd? Well, there are things that SEO agencies should and should not do. While things that a SEO agency should do are numerous, there are certain activities that they must never indulge in and spare their clients from. What are they? Read the list below. If you are running a SEO agency, these are the things that you should keep away your clients from.
Using jargons and complicated terms
As an SEO expert, SEO jargons might come to you naturally. Yes, they are impressive to hear too but you must specifically take care not to bombard your client with them, as it is nothing more than Greek and Latin to him. Your client would rather like to hear what you can do for him in comprehensible terms, in absence of which, he will promptly move to another agency in the industry. So, this is a strict no-no.
SEO is a dynamic tool and hence your duties towards your client do not end with the optimization of his site. You must be in constant touch with him. Evading contact will do neither of you any good – his problems and requirements will not get a solution and your reputation in the SEO world will fall at blazing speed.
Pointing out or criticizing mistakes
An SEO client who comes to you for sprucing up his mistakes will not like you criticizing him and his errors. So don’t do that. Make him feel comfortable and analyze his website from the SEO perspective and thereafter start working on it in a planned manner. Also suggest innovative methods of improving the site rank to him.
Focusing on one SEO area
Do not make the mistake of focusing on one clear-cut area of SEO for any of your clients. SEO being a commonly discussed topic now-a-days, most clients would know that this shows limited skills of the SEO expert. Rather, suggest comprehensive SEO strategies to him and offer him a panorama of SEO techniques to choose from.
Taking care to keep your SEO clients away from these things would make them comfortable in their dealings with you and get you more business in the course.
Link baiting, right from the word go, has not had the negative connotation which now surrounds it. Having high value links come to your site is known to be the most effective way to have valuable link juice flow through to your site. It automatically leads to an increased rank for the page. The links that come in to the page have to be one way links, or in other words, they should not originate in that page and go back to some other page. They should lead here, so that the link juice flows only one direction.
Link baiting is therefore that tool which attracts the attention of readers and makes them want to link to that website. Link bait works to the advantage of the website owner because the search engine algorithm counts the number of incoming links and their quality. Link bait increases these links, by giving people a reason to link to the website.
The link bait in question which acts as the instrument in increasing the links need not be a piece of text only; it can also be a video, picture or animation which commands attention and brings in many cyber footfalls. The real magic about link baiting, as one can see plainly, is that it generates so much interest among the cyber traffic that the page is marketed virally, another word for saying that it generates a lot of word-of-mouth publicity. This results in the page becoming popular, at least temporarily.
The procedure of link baiting commonly involves creating a network of links between pages containing extremely interesting, funny or attention grabbing article, pictures, videos and blogs so that they attract the attention of readers and web users. They bring with them not only traffic but a trail of loyal followers when a comment or posting is made by them.
What makes it right or wrong?
As long as link baiting is done in the above mentioned transparent way, there is nothing wrong with it. It is only when black-hat SEO techniques take the place of above-board ones, that link baiting goes from pristine white to murky or downright dirty.
The importance of making a page interesting is so high that often SEO takes a turn for the bad and the facts and figures are dramatized and presented in a highly sensational, shocking way which twists, or sometimes turns around the facts altogether. This is not healthy, and doing this in the name of link baiting is what gives it the infamous connotation of the name. Attention grabbing incidences include inciting or insulting comments, angry posts or slander which maligns a blog, its readers, or a section of the community.
This method of sensation causing website design and construction is damaging to the reputation of a website in the long run and has to be avoided at all costs.
Where headlines and sub-headings are concerned, one might think that the importance of them is only as far as writing grammatically correct and language of good quality is concerned. But headlines have some importance from the SEO perspective also. Let us see how.
Headlines can be written by any author, but to work well for your page, they have to be optimized with the keyword. First off, make sure the headline contains the keyword. Some SEO specialists suggest that the headline should start with the keyword, but it is not really necessary. It is enough if the keyword is present in the headline.
Any author knows that keeping the headline crisp is important, while making the sense comprehensive enough to convey the core idea of the article or publication. The other criterion is that the head line should not be too short or too long. The problem is greater if the headline is too long because most blogging sites truncate the headline if it is too long, and if this happens, there is a chance that the keyword is cut out in the truncated part and the remaining phrase in complete sense.
There is a good chance that if your headline or title is similar to something a user is likely to type in the Google search bar, your article has a higher possibility of turning up in front of him. So make sure you use commonly known terms and tone in your headline and make it approachable. Something in a ‘you’ tone is favored across writing.
Anchor text is the technical term used to denote the keyword or keyphrase based on which search functions are operated in search engines. The extreme importance of the anchor text is because it is these terms which are hyperlinked and this is the basis on which the search engine algorithm rates and ranks the page.
The words and phrases that comprise the anchor text are therefore to be chosen very carefully, because they also appear in the other on-page optimization factors such as tags and meta tags. There are several examples of a page having excellent anchor text and hyperlinks to those keywords and making it to the top of the SERPs (Search Engine Result Pages) without fulfilling any other parameter of web layout, design on structure. This outlines the great importance carried by anchor text.
Further, the question of competition for the same anchor text is a valid one, and this is when other features of on-page optimization become important. There are many keywords that are highly searched (as is shown from keyword research tools) and therefore the competition for them is high. In such a case, it is difficult to rank for a term with the help of good anchor text, and it becomes important to use other SEO techniques as well.
For some webmasters and website owners the past few months have been nightmarish. Google has ruthlessly penalized sites for non-compliance to its standards and pulled down many from its index with or without notice. Among many other reasons, deal with link farms have been a major cause for this, and yes, the recent Google penalty meted out for manipulative links have been the worse.
This is serious since Google can choose to permanently de-list a site from its index if the matter is not attended to at the earliest and the mistakes not rectified.
What are link farms?
Although many are aware of Google’s penalization actions due to link farms, the idea of it is still unclear. So what is it exactly? A link farm is actually an amalgamation of isolated websites without any relation, each containing hyperlinks to every other site present in the group. Google considers this as spam as it is purely an artificial union of links, which connects pages only for the sake of pumping up search engine results.
Such manipulative links are deliberately designed to enhance the link equity of a website, and as far as Google is concerned, is an unethical activity in SEO. It has got techniques to identify such link farms and thereafter filter these out of its computation and/or banish these sites right away from the index, so that they are not able to affect the search results in an undesirable way.
Ways to recover
If your site has been penalized by Google for manipulative links, there are ways to get out of this mess. But the first step for this is to identify whether or not the penalty has been attracted because of link farm. For this you would need to log onto the ‘Webmaster Tools’ account that you have and look for the Google message page. Google usually sends a notice when it bans a site for “unnatural” links.
If this is the case, you can do the following for rectifying the mistakes-
- Remove the manipulative links.
- Build backlinks to your site slowly and steadily, about 5 every week.
- Make the anchor text distribution look natural.
- Use a backlink “Anchor Text Analyzer” to keep a check on the backlinks.
- Never link back to any link farm page.
Employing an experienced SEO company to work on your website’s link building campaign is a good idea. After removing the manipulative links and sprucing up the space with the right ones, you can submit a re-inclusion request to Google via its Webmaster Console. If everything is fine, you will gain back your place and rank in the index shortly.