Posts tagged ‘SEO’
To understand search engine optimization, first you’ve got to understand search engines. Search engines’ primary directive is to provide answers to questions. To do so, search engines crawl and index and rank millions of web pages. The ranking is really just the order in which search engine algorithms expect those web pages to best answer the question posed by each search query, from most likely to answer the question to least likely.
When you think of keywords, the foundation of all things SEO, you’re really just thinking of search queries. These are words and phrases users type into Google and Bing with the intended purpose of finding an answer to something — like the address to a nearby restaurant, or where to find a really cool iPhone 5S cover, or who the 23rd President of the United States was (Benjamin Harrison). More…
Racking your brain for more ideas on how to grow your online business? Marketing your products and services on the Internet may seem like hard work, but it can be a breeze when you have the right tools.
In the last year media both virtual and traditional have begun to give voice to what we here at 3dcart have long known, Google + is absolutely imperative for effective Search Engine Optimization. From industry blogs to the New York Times, the message is clear, as stated by Forrester’s Nate Elliott, “The database of affinity could be the holy grail for more effective brand advertising.” More…
The world of search engine optimization is buzzing about Google’s new Hummingbird algorithm, and the question on everyone’s mind around here is, “How will this affect Google’s ranking factors?”
It’s natural to expect that a Google algorithm overhaul will bring about change in how the search engine yields results. But the more you get to know Google, the more you realize that seismic shifts in their Ranking’s Ocean often feels more like gentle waves that wash over the Web, slowly. When that happens, some sites float and others sink. So let’s find out why that is while also discovering a few ways to ensure that your ecommerce website stays afloat. Read More!
Yesterday, Duane Forrester from Bing presented a very informative webinar entitled SEO 101 for our 3dcart customers. We thank Duane for being there for our customers, and we encourage anyone who missed this exciting event to pop over to our SEO blog, and watch the recorded version of our webinar. To watch the webinar, click here. Read More!
3dcart welcomes Duane Forrester, Senior Product Manager of Bing’s Webmaster Program. Previously, he was an in-house search marketer running the SEO program for MSN in the US & Americas. He’s also the founding co-chair of SEMPO’s (Search Engine Marketing Professionals Organization) In-House SEM Committee, was formerly on the Board of Directors for SEMPO and is the author of two books: How To Make Money With Your Blog & Turn Clicks Into Customers. Duane was a moderator at www.searchengineforums.com, manages the official Bing Webmaster Blog, used to write for Search Engine Land and has almost 15 years’ experience as an SEO.
The name of this informative webinar is SEO 101. Duane will teach us techniques using webmaster best practices that are applicable to all search engines.
This webinar will be about becoming a better webmaster, and how to manage and maintain your website for the best possible SEO. This webinar will not be about paid search. Read More!
I am trying to get a better handle on our SEO. I’m being asked by other people in our company what is being done monthly in terms of SEO and I can’t answer the question. I see blog articles and Facebook posts, but why can’t you show me that I am ranking better for the specific keywords that I want to rank higher for? It gets frustrating when it seems everything I search, whether a specific item or generic (but relevant) term, we are either several pages deep or not at all.
To best answer your question, I want to start by saying that we need to remember that even from the early days of search engines, they always tried to rank websites based on “popularity”, “authority” and “trust”. This is still true today, but the playing field is different because technology and consumer behavior has changed.
Back in the early days, “authority and popularity” were determined by how many people linked to you and shared your content, and “trust” was determined basically by the “honor system”. The search engines trusted that you were writing good content, using proper meta tags, and had a user friendly site structure. It didn’t take long for people to start gaming the system. Websites popped up that sold links to help in your quest for authority, and people started using tools to count the number of keywords on their pages. Merchants learned that they could game the system by basically being an “untrustworthy blow hard”. You could build a page that sounded like it was written by a three year old, put a hyperlink on it, and it had value.
SEO firms came out of the woodwork that would promise that you would rank number one for a given keyword or keywords, and guess what – for the most part, they were right. After a few months of building content laden with hyperlinks and anchor text, they were able to achieve this goal. People in foreign countries, countries with much lower costs of labor, became paramount in building these trashy websites. Merchants were excited – just coughing up a few hundred dollars to buy these garbage links was enough to allow them to now dominate the keywords that they felt were most important.
Time moved on, technology got better, consumer’s behavior has changed, and these merchants quickly saw their stronghold on Google and Bing disappear. The search engines were able to create algorithms that were able to expose link farms (i.e. – websites that little to no value other then to provide links). The search engines were also able to determine the “grade level” at which an article or block of text was written. No longer would a link from a website of pure gibberish work to help accellerate your keywords. People began to embrace “social media”, and browse the internet while logged in to Google, Facebook, Bing, etc. This was the beginning of the search engines ability to determine real human behavior, instead of that of someone just hoping to game the system.
So what does this all mean for SEO today? Here are ten tips and suggestions… (of course, there are hundreds, if not thousands of points to consider, but here are a few to get you started)…
- Any SEO firm that promises that you will rank higher for specific keywords is not playing by the rules and you should run, not walk away.
- For SEO purposes, 2013 and beyond is all about QUALITY and NOT QUANTITY.
- Do not attempt to measure your success by keyword ranking. Measure your SEO success by increases in traffic over time.
- Do not expect to be an overnight sensation. Pretend your website is someone you just met – how long does it take for that person to earn your trust… Exactly. I thought so.
- Work on your website’s content a little bit every day. The search engines look for trends that appear abnormal. It is not normal for a person, or even a group of people to update 2000 pages in one day. Be real.
- Link building is very important, (I.E., trying to build popularity) – but do not purchase links. Look for bloggers in your area of expertise that are willing to do product reviews, or be a “guest blogger” (share your experience and ask others to let you share your experience on their blogs, or websites).
- Embrace social media. Websites such as Facebook and Twitter are wonderful vehicles that allow people share your content, but don’t forget – these are real people on the other end of your posts, so posting useless information or posts that are commercial in nature are not going to help you. Every “like or share” is a vote.
- Even though the person who is doing your SEO is performing “tasks”, you are paying this person for their knowledge. Make sure you hire someone who is knowledgeable, and let them do their thing. You obviously do not do SEO for a living, there is a reason why you hired them. If you know how to do SEO better yourself, then do it yourself.
- SEO is a strategy. It is about how you are going to make your website the most popular, most authoritative, and most trustworthy place on the web where people want to go for products or information. SEO is a work in progress. It is never complete! If you expect instant results, you will be disappointed. At the same time, if you don’t have someone in charge of your SEO, you will be even more disappointed.
- If you feel the need to “buy your way to the top” for instant gratification, use Google AdWords or Bing AdCenter. Nothing good in life comes for free. On the same token, if you do pay for advertising, make sure your website looks good, is easy to navigate, and looks trustworthy – otherwise, you’re just wasting your time, and money.
If this post helps even one person understand that in order to be successful on the web, you need to be patient and work hard – I’ve done my job. We also have a team of professionals here at 3dcart that can help you and your website succeed. You can always learn more at http://sem.3dcart.com, or email your questions to sem (at) 3dcart.com.
P.S. If you like my post, share it It helps our SEO.
This Friday (January 25, 2013) from 3 PM – 5 PM, 3dcart will be hosting a “Search Engine Optimization” Meetup here in our Fort Lauderdale, FL office. Click this link to learn more about our Meetup http://www.meetup.com/3dcart/events/97674632/.
Our meetup will be in our new Training Center here in South Florida. Some of the topics we will cover are:
- The latest changes to the Google Search algorithm.
- Why social media is becoming more important than ever.
- How to leverage social media to improve your store’s organic ranking.
- The importance of correcting old “black hat” search optimization from the past.
- And more!
Light snacks and refreshments will be served. If you’re in the area, come visit us! You do not have to be a 3dcart customer to attend.
In yesterday’s SEO webinar, I received several questions on whether it is better host your blog on your store’s domain or on a hosted platform like WordPress, Blogger or Tumblr.
So which is better? While there are some pros to using Tumblr like gaining in-site traffic through tags & networking, on the whole hosting your blog on the same URL as our store is better for your business’ branding & SEO. But why?
All blogs are great for SEO, but self-hosted blogs allow you more control over SEO. Hosting your blog allows you to add SEO friendly plugins and other SEO features that make your blogging efforts much more effective. Hosting your blog on your domain also tells Google that your site offers fresh content ( which it loves) where as your blogging platform would reap all of your fresh content benefits if you hosted it with them.
.Hosting your blog on your domain reminds users that you are a business not just a blog, and helps build brand recognition. Being a content creator gives your store credibility & authority with customers, but that connection is not as easily made when your blog is hosted on a separate URL than your store.
3. Content Control
When you host your own blog, you have full control over the type of content you publish but if you use free blogging platforms, you are restricted by their guidelines. If you publish mostly promotional content or only write about your products, you could be flagged as low quality or spam. You could even get banned which would mean all of your hard content marketing work would go to waste.
4. Functionality Control
If you host your own blog, the only limits to functionality is your imagination. Key branding tools like social media widgets & buttons, newsletter sign-ups and coupon-codes are hard if not impossible to implement on free platforms.
5. Design Control
Design is a huge part of brand recognition, you want your readers recognize the look & feel of your blog from your store and vice versa. Free platforms do not offer the same customization options as self-hosting does.