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SEO: Simple Tweaks You Can Make to Your WordPress Content So Your Clients Find You

SEO… ugh… I know you’re probably thinking some or all of the following.

SEO: Simple Tweaks You Can Make to Your WordPress Content So Your Clients Find You

 

  • Search Engine Optimization is way too scientific for me–after all I’m an artist
  • SEO is way over my head–I’m a coach, not a techno geek
  • SEO looks incredibly boring. My eyes are glazed over even now
  • SEO is done by geeky guys who work in their parent’s basement and never see the light of day
  • SEO is illegal and, if caught, Google will banish you and your biz forever from search results

But in reality, SEO is a very powerful business skill that can get you a lot of traction in the competitive world of the internet. It’s really only a series of little tweaks you can make in your blog posts and on your pages that can amount to a huge rush of traffic, and clients that are finally able to find you in the search engines. (Of course, you can go much further than little tweaks and hire yourself an SEO strategist for big $$, but why not start small to see how it works?).

SEO is about “organic” search, meaning that you optimize your posts and pages for the people who don’t know a thing about you (eg: they are not friends on Facebook, Twitter, or other social networking sites) They are the people who need you but don’t know it yet. They are the people who are in Google search right this minute, and are madly typing words into the search field trying to find a solution to their problem or answer to their question.

The words (keywords) they are typing into the search field are the only link between them and you (remember, they have never heard of you). If the words you use on your site (your keywords) match their search terms, then you will show up in the search results. The more exact your words match theirs, the higher you will show in the results.

You can probably see now that if you aren’t using the words (keywords) that this person is using to find answers, then you’ll never show up in the search results as a viable solution or answer to their problem(s). The better your site answers the searchers questions, the more Google will send you the highly coveted “organic” traffic.

So here is a summary of what SEO is:

SEO is the shortened term for Search Engine Optimization. As an online business and WordPress site owner, you need to know that SEO is what helps drive visitors to your website. And without visitors…well you know.

How Google Works

Search engines have names like Google, Yahoo, and Bing. When someone is searching for information on the internet, they type phrases or keywords into the Google, Yahoo, or Bing search field. They press “Enter” and receive a page with a list of search results.

SEO is “spoon feeding” your relevant content to the search engines so that it matches the searchers’ queries.

A search engine is a program that searches documents on the World Wide Web for a specific word or phrase. ~ Dictionary.com (SEO is tweaking your site to match those words).

Kathleen

SEO and Google Analytics go hand in hand. Check out this course.

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What Search Engines Do and How this Affects Your Website’s Search Rankings

What Search Engines Do

What is a Search Engine?

search engine is designed to search for information on the internet. The search results are presented in a list of results referred to as SERPS, or “search engine results pages”. The search results can consist of web pages, images, information and other types of files.

Some search engines also mine data available in databases or open directories. Unlike web directories which are maintained by human editors, search engines also maintain real-time information by running an algorithm on a web crawler.

 There are 2 main components

  • English: a chart to describe the search engine...The Crawler (bots, spiders) go out to the internet and crawl the content they find.
  • The Algorithm, or the ranking formula, that the search engines use to determine the relevancy of your content.

How they do their magic

 Indexing

This is very simplistic, but essentially the search engines send out their bots to crawl the internet every 28 days. It crawls the internet by following links. This can be from one page on your site to another (interlinking) or from one website to another).  The search engine then builds a database containing a copy of each page of information it finds.

 How to ensure that your content gets indexed:

  • Search engine optimizing your content is like spoon feeding the bots making their job as simple as possible.
  • Using keywords shows the general relevancy of your content, especially in searches
  • Creating remarkable content is how others find your content, note that it as remarkable, and link back to you.

Increasing prominence

  • There are several ways to increase the standing of a website within the search results.
  • Interlinking between pages provides additional links for the bots to follow and may improve the site’s visibility.
  • Writing content that includes highly searched keyword phrases is another way to  to increase traffic.
  • Updating content to keep search engines crawling your site frequently can also give additional weight to a site.
  • Adding relevant keywords to  your web page’s meta data (title tag and meta description) will improve the relevancy of a site’s search listings, thereby increasing traffic

In summary:

taking the simplest SEO steps will help the search engines find and index your content. As a result, your audience (target market, customer, client) will be more likely to find you, your content and site amidst a sea of similar products, services, and content on the internet.

This requires some time, effort and research, but the benefits are many and it is never too late! There are both free and paid plugins that you can install on your WordPress site that will help you to use SEO strategies on each post and page of your site.

How to Choose a Good Web Domain Name

This is a guest post by Nicole Dean of Ladypens.com

A question I am frequently asked is:

“How do you choose a good web domain name for a blog or project you’re working on? What factors do you take into consideration? What’s a deal-breaker for you?”

Here’s my answer.

My unbreakable rules for choosing a domain are:

  • No hyphens. Been there. Done that. Regret it to this day.
  • No numbers. Do I spell it out “five” or is it the number “5″?
  • Nothing difficult to spell. Although I once was really excited about using a domain with the word “catalyst” in it — I found that no one could spell the darned thing.
  • Domain must end in .com. I don’t bother with other endings.
  • Domain must NOT have any copyright names in it. I would not recommend using “Google”, “Disney”, or any other company name in your URL or prepare to be “ceased and desisted”.
  • If I’m looking to sell the site down the road, it must be generic enough. For instance, I wouldn’t buy “NicoleKnowsFootball.com” to talk about my favorite football team if I planned to sell the site ever, because I’d have to find someone named Nicole – or who wanted to call themselves that — to buy it.
  • And my big, bad unbreakable rule.
  • It must pass the Oprah test.

What exactly is the Oprah test?

Well, I picture Oprah saying it out loud. “Today I have with me, Nicole Dean, author of Blah blah blah and owner of NicoleontheNet.com”. Is it memorable? Easy to spell?

It’s not just the Oprah test, though. It’s the Willie Crawford test, too. If I’m in an interview with Willie Crawford and he introduces me – I want people typing or writing down my URL easily – and remembering it long after the fact.

You can’t do that with MyNumber1-BestHome-Remedy-Treatments4New-Mothers.net.

Why is this Important?

A difficult domain is actually wasted opportunity and wasted traffic slipping through your fingers. If you’re promoting via audio or video (in webinars, iTunes interviews, on BlogTalkRadio, live radio, TV, or even your own podcast) – you need a domain that is EASY to remember. It has to make it into the person’s ears and to his brain and stick.

Plus, honestly, it’s a credibility issue. Would you really buy something from MyNumber1-BestHome-Remedy-Treatments4New-Mothers.net? I hope you wouldn’t even think of getting out your credit card for a site like that. SCARY. And would you feel comfortable referring it to your friends? Not a chance.

What impression is your domain giving of you?

How to Avoid the REALLY Bad “Oh My GOSH I CAN’T BELIEVE I DID THAT” Web Domain Names?

I’ll also touch on avoiding really bad ones.

Oftentimes when you search for domains you read what you want to see. I recommend you type the domain in all capital letters and show it to a friend before buying. For instance, ending a word with “s” before the word “expert” can all of a sudden be misinterpreted.

So, I’ll give you the same advice as I give my friends who are expecting a baby. Run the name by your most juvenile, dirty-minded friends – before signing on the dotted line. You’d be amazed at how something totally innocent can go bad in a big hurry.

I hope this has been helpful. I look forward to seeing YOU on Oprah!

Nicole Dean is the FUN online business coach. If you’d like to see more tips about choosing a good domain name, check out this post: How to Choose the Right Web Domain Name [2]. Once you’ve got your website up, you’ll need lots of traffic. Be sure to check out Nicole’s free course: WebTrafficBasics.com [3]


Open ID and API’s. What Are They And How Do They Work?

This is a guest post by Trevor Tye of  http://www.optionkey.ca/

APIs and OpenID: What are they?

In today’s wonderful computing world you have a number of really popular companies (such as Twitter, Google and Facebook to name a few), and they have a huge user base. To allow these users access to your web services you can use something called an API or Application Programming interface.

An API allows a programmer to integrate a product or service into their particular product or service (such as a WordPress blog). An example would be having a Gmail account and creating or accessing your WordPress account. This is made possible by their APIs (which is why you see buttons like “Connect with Facebook” or “login with your Gmail Account”).

OpenID

Plugins such as the WordPress Open ID plugin allows users to login to their local WordPress account using an OpenID. This also allows the enabling of commenters to leave authenticated comments using OpenID. The plugin also includes an OpenID provider, enabling users to login to OpenID-enabled sites using their own personal WordPress account. XRDS-Simple is required for the OpenID Provider and some features of the OpenID Consumer.

Since the focus of most OpenID providers (such as Google, Yahoo and AOL) is in identity management, they can be more thorough about protecting your online identity. Most website operators are less likely to be as dedicated to protecting your identity as the OpenID providers, whose focus is on securely hosting user identities.

A good API that most people should have integrated into their website is Open ID.  OpenID is a safe, faster, and easier way to log in to web sites.  Check here to set up an account: http://openid.net/. You will then be able to use an account you already have (so long as that account uses OpenID) to login and join your site or web community without having to fill out an additional sign up form.

OpenID is very useful when setting up a website with a CMS like WordPress as well.  The web developer that sets up such a site can then allow you to use an open ID login to access the site.

What are some benefits of using OpenID?

Most websites ask for an extended, repetitive amount of information in order to use their application. OpenID allows you to sign in to websites with a single click. Basic profile information (such as your name, birth date etc) can be used to pre-populate registration forms, so you spend more time engaging and less time filling out annoying registration pages.

Allowing the user to use Open ID will help reduce frustration and keep the user to a minimum number of multiple usernames and passwords which they may find difficult to remember. Since password recovery process is tedious the user will be more inclined to use the site that makes it easiest for them to use. However using the same password at each of your favorite websites poses a security risk. With OpenID, you can use a single, existing account (from providers like Google, Yahoo, AOL or your own blog) to sign in to thousands of websites without ever needing to create another username and password. This makes OpenID is the safer and easier method to joining new sites.

OpenID is a decentralized standard, meaning it is not controlled by any one website or service provider. You control how much personal information you choose to share with websites that accept OpenID. Multiple OpenIDs can be used for different websites or purposes. If your email (Google, Yahoo, AOL), photo stream (Flickr) or blog (Blogger, WordPress, LiveJournal) serves as your primary online presence, OpenID allows you to have a portable identity across the web.

Many web users deploy the same password across multiple websites. And since traditional passwords are not centrally administered, if a security compromise occurs at any website you use, a hacker could gain access to your password across multiple sites. OpenID is more secure because passwords are never shared with any websites, and if a compromise does occur, you can simply change the password for your OpenID, thus immediately preventing a hacker from gaining access to your accounts at any websites you visit.

Use of APIs to share content

source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Api

The practice of publishing APIs has allowed web communities to create an open architecture for sharing content and data between communities and applications. In this way, content that is created in one place can be dynamically posted and updated in multiple locations on the web.

  1. Photos can be shared from sites like Flickr and Photobucket to social network sites like Facebook and MySpace.
  2. Content can be embedded, e.g. embedding a presentation from SlideShare on a LinkedIn profile.
  3. Content can be dynamically posted. Sharing live comments made on Twitter with a Facebook account, for example, is enabled by their APIs

If you have any questions or comments about APIs or OpenID,  please tweet them to me @trevortye on Twitter or email me here

Profit with Your Niche Blog (site)

Having an online presence is vital for any enterprise you engage in order to connect with the widest variety of people.  There isn’t a bigger forum than the Internet. If you want to show off your expertise and also make a little money doing it, a niche blog is a great place to start.

What is a Niche Blog (or site)?

16 Augmented Reality Business ModelsA niche blog is a chronological ordered series of posts with information and/or products for your niche or target market. It’s purpose is to get traffic so you can eventually make money either as an affiliate, with Google Adsense, writing and selling e-books and/or selling advertising.

How to Attract Traffic to your Site

  • Have updated and fresh content for those who visit your blog
  • Market your site to attract traffic
  • Use any and all of the tools on the net that are at your disposal

(For a more indepth article about specific tools to attract traffic, click here to read this article )
For tips on optimizing your posts for the search engines, sign up here for my Free Simple SEO for WordPress 6-part Tutorial


Name
Email

We’ll never sell, rent, or lend your email.

How to Start

Before you start posting, decide who your audience, theme, and niche will be.  It is said that if you sell to everyone, you sell to no one. You need to narrow your niche to the slimmest possible group.  A jack-of-all-trades blog doesn’t do well — you need to be focused toward a particular niche (group of people).

(For a more indepth article about niche markets, click here to read this article)

If you are interested in crafts, let this be your niche. You could create posts that discuss how to craft, what to craft, how to make crafting profitable, and so on. After deciding on a subject and who the people are that would be interested in your content, you can begin to write (great content) about it.

How Can You Make Money?

To make money with your blog, you need to have a lot of traffic. To get traffic, you will have to market your site and get it known out there on the internet.  There are many ways of doing this, and it takes time and patience.

Money comes only after you have built a strong readership by offering interesting posts to people who are interested in reading them. You’ve probably heard it before, but this cannot be said enough: Content is king!  Give lots of free information.  Give hints and tips to help others when they are stuck. Offer free tutorials.  Do whatever you need to do to get people to come to your site and then return over and over for your latest content.

Although Google Ads aren’t recommended for a personal business site,  if you intend to run your blog as a niche site, then you can add some or all of the following programs and/or products:

  • Google AdSense
  • Selling Advertising
  • Affiliate Marketing
  • EBook Marketing

The simplest to set up and use is Google AdSense. These are targeted advertisements (targeted based on keywords that your niche would be using) to create revenue for your blog. You are paid if someone clicks on the complimentary ad that Google has placed on your site.

You can also become an affiliate for products and/or services sold by others. Most businesses on the internet have some sort of affiliate program that you can join. You are paid if someone clicks on your affiliate link (on your site) and they purchase the package, program or service you are an affiliate for.

The best possible case for being an affiliate is when you have tried the product or service yourself and would recommend it to your niche. You can lose credibility quickly by recommending shoddy products or services, so be careful in your affiliations.

E-books are downloadable electronic books that you can create yourself and sell on your website. You can turn your expertise into written work that your niche is willing to pay for.  E-books should contain your best possible content, as there are millions of people writing ebooks, often substandard. Don’t be tempted into thinking that you can ask money for badly written or uninteresting content. It must be information that is new and helpful to your customers.

So that is a summary of several ways you can make money with a niche blog.

Do you have any tips on attracting traffic to your niche site?

If you are looking to have a niche site built, are new to online business, or you want to move your existing site to WordPress, contact me. I’d love to help you get your business rolling. Call me today toll free at 800.921.4812

I am known for:

1. overdelivering on my promise to you
2. for being able to take complex ideas and making them easy to understand
3. I can put together a pretty snappy looking site too