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Beware the search engine fly-by-nights


You can’t buy a Rolex on the street in New York. Likewise you can’t get good SEO from a nameless, faceless email touting search engine results that are too good to be true. How can you spot the fly-by-nights? Here are some tips:

They guarantee you number one? They’re full of number two.
Any company can get you to number one on a search engine simply by combining your location with your company name. Hardly a valid search, since someone doing this search would already know who and where you are. Good SEO requires a focused, long-term effort incorporating many keywords and keyword phrases that relate to your business or service.

“We Know Google’s algorithm.” No they don’t. The truth is no one knows Google’s, or any of the other search engine’s algorithms. Even if they did know the algorithm, it changes constantly, which is why search engine optimization is constantly changing and therefore requires constant updating.

Trust us. Just don’t ask us who we are.
At Kirk, we get three to four emails a day from an “SEO” company promising premium position and quick results at very low cost. But there is no contact information on their emails or their website.

Don’t hire an SEO company. I’am an SEO copywriter! SEO copywriters are good at putting keyword phrases into text and writing Metatags. While these are important to good SEO, determining the right words and phrases, identifying off page sites, sending your web content to those sites and then linking it back to your site are equally important. It’s also important to review the code on your site every three to six months to make sure it is written in a way the complies with most up-to-date requirements of the search engines.

By Nate Tennant


New Google Feature—In Page Analytics


When it comes to analytics, Google hardly suffers from a lack of information. You can get bars, charts and graphs of just about every conceivable portion of your website. Of course, all that information can be a bit confusing when you try to equate charts and graphs with the web page it covers. Enter In Page Analytics, a wonderful new feature that Google is offering in beta testing,

In Page Analytics allows you to navigate through your website while seeing where users click on a given page. The percentage of clicks appear in little bubbles next to the clickable links on a page. Rolling over the bubble reveals the total number of clicks on that link.

In-Page Analytics can reveal many things about the pages on your site. For instance, a major design feature or a call to action might be getting minimal clicks, while a link at the bottom of a web page could be getting the majority of clicks on that particular page.

If you have a catalog site with lots of products In Page Analytics can give an immediate and highly visual representation of how your products are doing based on clicks

Google In-Page Analytics is still in the beta stage, but it’s available to English users.

To learn more about Google’s In Page Analytics view their video.

By Anarita Droukas


Use video to grab your share of the SEO pie


In many ways Google is akin to a map of the U.S. 200 years ago, at least when it comes to SEO and finding the land of opportunity. Let’s say text-based search-engine optimization occupies the “East Coast.” Like an old U.S. map, the rest of Google’s “country” is full of potential but save for a few colonies and pioneers, no one has seriously ventured inland.

In that regard, SEO video—specifically You Tube--might be considered Google’s “Louisiana Purchase.” It’s a vast expanse of cheap SEO real estate that most companies, save for a few pioneers and isolated colonies, have yet to take advantage of.

Consider the video landscape in terms of Google and SEO.
According to Forrester research, a web page with a You Tube video that has not been search engine optimized is about 50 times more likely to make page one in the Google rankings compared to a text-only site that has no SEO. That’s not surprising, given the ratio of total web pages with text only and those with video.

Considering that only 20% of interactive marketing types bother to search engine optimize their videos at all, optimizing your videos is likely to yield excellent results.

Staking your claim
How do you get started optimizing You Tube videos?  Heed the following advice from Nate Elliot at Forrester Research

  • Insert keywords into your video filenames
  • Host your videos on You Tube, and embed those You Tube videos into your own site. Google says its algorithms consider how many times a video is viewed, and any views embedded videos receive on your own site get added to the 'views' tally on You Tube. (And yes, nearly every video we saw Google blend into its results came from You Tube.)
  • Optimize your You Tube videos by writing keywords into your videos' titles, descriptions, and tags.
  • Embed videos into relevant text pages on your site. The context provided by the text on those pages (which is hopefully already optimized for search as well) will help the search engines figure out what your videos are about.
  • Create a video library on your site, so Google knows where to find your video content. (Google Video Sitemaps can help with this too.) Write keyword-rich annotations for each video in the library.

By John Decker


SEO writing. Is it good writing?


Allow me to complain about SEO for a moment. As a writer trained in ancient times (print journalism) I learned the craft one printed writing project at a time. I also learned to be sparing in my words. After all, print and pages cost money

Then along comes the web along with Search Engine Optimization and the SEO copywriter is born. If you learned to write in the print world, you’ve got to learn to add key words and phrases to your formerly pristine, crisp, tight, bright copy.

I used to think SEO was anathema to good writing. Not anymore. Turns out the very skills we experienced writers learned to make copy sing while also being lean and clean, helps us greatly in the accurate placement of SEO keywords and phrases. Witness the untold masses of websites out there with flabby, poorly written copy—only to be made even worse with key words and phrases unceremoniously shoved into the content.

If you’re adding keywords, it pays to have tight copy to start with, then when you add a few keywords, carefully placed and accurately used, the search engines will reward you with higher placement, while your web viewers are likely to reward you with a more complete understanding of your offerings.

By John Decker

HTML 5. We like it!


Then again, we have to, since we do a lot of coding for the iPad. Nevertheless, there’s a lot to like about HTML 5--the first being that HTML finally has a common markup language. Here are some other things that make HTML5 our friend:

Neatness Counts
HTML 5 lets us use cleaner, neater code. We can remove most div tags and replace them with semantic HTML 5 elements.

With Consistency Comes Understanding
As websites adopt HTML 5 elements we see far greater consistency in terms of the HTML used to code a web page on one site compared to others. This makes it easier for us to immediately grasp how a web page is structured. That’s important given how many websites we begin working on after someone else has coded it.

Semantic Value
As the elements used to code a web page are standardized, using the new HTML 5 elements, the semantic value of every web page will increase. That means it’s easy to see which parts of the page are headers, nav, footers, aside, etc. Most important, we know what their meaning and purpose is in a machine-readable format.

Improved Accessibility
With HTML 5 it should be possible for assistive technologies to expand on the features they can offer their users as they can immediately build up a more detailed understanding of the structure of a page by looking at the HTML 5 elements it contains. Could this spell the end for skip links?

HTML5 Works
HTML5 is already well supported. Firefox, Safari, Chrome, Opera, and mobile browsers already support canvas, video, geolocation, local storage, and more.

By Mona Kaur

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