Making links work for you (SEM 101)

Links can be the lifeblood of a good website, as we discussed in Part 1 and Part 2 of Links: the good, the bad, and the ugly. But how well you manage them on your site from a site architecture perspective can be the difference between your website being starved for oxygen (aka search engine referral traffic) versus healthy and thriving. That’s why we do search engine optimization (SEO). This article is part 2 of the recent Site Architecture...
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Site architecture and SEO – file/page issues (SEM 101)

Search engine optimization (SEO) has three fundamental pillars upon which successful optimization campaigns are run. Like a three-legged stool, take one away, and the whole thing fails to work. The SEO pillars include: content (which we initially discussed in Are you content with your content?), links (which we covered in Links: the good, the bad, and the ugly, Part 1 and Part 2), and last but not least, site architecture. You can have great...
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Links: the good, the bad, and the ugly—Part 2 (SEM 101)

In the previous blog post, Links: the good, the bad, and the ugly—Part 1, I discussed that links are de facto endorsements of the site linked to, that the relevance of the linked to page to the one linking to it is critical for determining the value of the link, and how the quantity vs. quality argument shapes up regarding links. I also defined what is good and bad about each. So let’s pick up where I left off last time in our...
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Links: the good, the bad, and the ugly—Part 1 (SEM 101)

Lord Alfred Douglas once said, “All good poetry is forged slowly and patiently, link by link, with sweat and blood and tears.” He could have just as easily been talking about high-ranking websites (had he known about them — his quote pre-dates the 1920s!). The way to search engine optimization (SEO) success is neither fast nor simple (not that it has to be hard, though). But the accumulation of valuable, relevant, inbound links...
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Are you content with your content? (SEM 101)

Let’s just say it. Content is king. There. It’s done. That’s everything you need to know about improving page rank, right? Well… Content may be king, but as in modern monarchies, the king may not be the sole authority. Parliaments now rule, and they are made up of many constituent parts of society. And while the quality of your site’s content can have a leading role in helping you optimize your site’s organic...
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Put your keywords where the emphasis is (SEM 101)

In my previous post on developing your keyword list, we discussed techniques and considerations for developing a list of relevant keywords and key phrases for the pages on your website that are highly specific and (hopefully) not overly competitive. All of this is effort is geared toward making your website stand out from the competition in search engine results pages (SERPs). But developing a list of great keywords is just the start. You now...
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The key to picking the right keywords (SEM 101)

Mark Twain once famously said, “The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug.” Twain never saw a webpage or performed search engine optimization (SEO) in his life, but his assessment of the importance of using the right words is, shall we say, illuminated. So why are words important in terms of SEO? Because users type them into search engines to try to find you!...
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Who’s looking for you? (SEM 101)

Quick note from the author: The closing teaser from my last post said the next post would cover building a toolbox. I’ve decided to take another tack on this and make references to tools as we go along in the series to keep the unfolding story as interesting, active, and relevant as possible. Sorry for the misdirection! – Rick ———————————————...
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Does search marketing really matter? (SEM 101)

I have a good friend who creates websites for personal users and small non-profits. When I told him about my new project, blogging about search engine marketing (SEM) and search engine optimization (SEO), he wondered aloud, “Who in the world cares about that stuff? What does it matter? There are only so many Amazons in the world, anyway.” I was initially surprised by his reaction. But his comments got me thinking – what is the...
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Going international: considerations for your global website

One of the best parts of publishing online is that, on the Web, anyone can have a world-wide reach. But while being global is made easy on the Internet, ensuring that the content you produce will be found by the right audience can be a real challenge. Search engines can have trouble understanding geotargeting because of a few technical limitations. These include: Search engines may not be crawling your site from the location of your customers...
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