Tag Archives: seo

Move Blog from Subdirectory to New Domain using htaccess

Lets say you have wordpress blog sitting in the following domain and directory:

http://www.domainA.com/blog

But now, you want to move the blog to:

http://www.domainB.com

However, and here is the caveat, you want to maintain all your search engine pages for the blog because currently google is looking at and listing all the pages on domainA.com/blog and you need to tell google where to look for the moved pages.

Basically this is what you want to do:

OLD SITE: http://www.domainA.com/blog/cat-stories
NEW SITE: http://www.domainB.com/cat-stories

All you do is place the code below into a .htaccess file on http://www.domainA.com/blog/ and all your url’s will move to the new domain in a nice seo friendly manner using 301 redirects.

RewriteEngine on
RewriteBase /
RewriteRule ^blog/(.*) http://www.domainB.com/$1 [R=301,L]

This code basically tells everyone that the pages have been moved from site A to Site B and it will keep all the url’s in place meaning you don’t have to make individual 301 redirects.

Top 5 Qualities of Your Ideal SEO Consultant

You’ve done your research and you can’t wait to get your Internet marketing campaign rolling. At this time, you already have clear goals of what you’d like your online campaign to achieve for your business. You’re in the market for a brilliant SEO consultant who can execute your plans, help you achieve your objective, and give you ROI.

With enough initial information, you’ll be able to tell the scam-SEO services from the legitimate SEO consultancy firms. Choosing the best firm for you is the critical step.

All good SEO companies offer the same basic services. It’s the quality of relationship they build with you and your business that adds value to their technical know-how. Below are the 5 most important qualities that your chosen SEO consultant must have before you sign up.

1.    Must be willing to learn about your business

After a short introduction of your business, it is always a good sign that the SEO consultant immediately asks a series of questions about your market and shows a keen interest on your business and marketing objectives.

A brilliant SEO consultant knows that his optimization efforts begin and end with your consumer. The more he gets to know your niche market, the better the solutions he can offer your business.

2.    Must know the value of market research and data analysis

Your SEO consultant should be able to appreciate the value of market research and to translate consumer insights into optimization tools.

Successful keywords and high-value traffic depends on how well you sift through research information and how well your SEO consultant can apply your data to actual optimization.

3.    Must put content quality before website aesthetics

You SEO consultant may not be a very good writer, and this is fine as long as he can tell whether or not a piece of article is written for optimization or not. For him, the most important elements of your content should be:
·    Natural integration of keywords
·    Keyword density
·    Absence of duplicate content elsewhere in the web
·    Relevance
·    Tone, choice of words, and writing style

4.    Must know the rules, terms, and agreements of the top search engines

A good consultant must always have your website’s best interest as his top priority. Make sure that he does not even think of suggesting black hat SEO or other unethical methods.

He must be aware and updated of the top search engines’ rules and terms of agreements. He must make sure that you won’t accidentally do something that would result to having your website banned and blacklisted.

This requirement should extend to his knowledge of social bookmarking websites, PR sites, top blogs, and forums. Make sure that he does not risk your credibility in any way.

5.    Must be able to give you regular reports and suggest fresh ideas

Optimizing for the Internet is a continuous process. The only way to know what to do next and what else you can do is to study reports. Be sensitive to statistics and all the factors that cause fluctuations—don’t be misled by either positive or negative spikes.

Creativity is very welcome in the SEO arena. Encourage your SEO consultant to put fresh ideas on the table. An important mark of a great SEO consultant is if he can handle constructive criticism and take on the challenge of giving better options.

 

How Writing for SEO Can Help Your Online Business

1.    Writing for SEO naturally creates niche keyword presence in your site
Writing with an SEO objective in mind gives structure to your many brilliant Internet marketing ideas. Your desire to improve your website’s ranking naturally drives you to get to know your niche like the back of your hand.

You will be presented with a list of keywords. Remember that it is your niche market that chooses which ones you should optimize for, not you. If you listen to your market better, you will also optimize for keywords better. Going for niche keywords automatically filters the visitors of your website and leaves you with good prospects and real customers.

2.    Writing for SEO makes your website carry ONLY relevant content
Search engines rank websites according to content quality and relevance. Although search engine spiders are primarily attracted to keywords, they also check whether or not your website is informative—meaning, your website must have the correct keywords and carry good content for it to qualify for ranking.

Your content is heavily dependent on your niche. Find out what they want and need to read from your website. Regularly updating your content gives your market a reason to come back and to recommend you to their peers. Interacting with your readers keeps your content in check, making sure that every word adds value to your website.

3.    Good writing with naturally integrated keywords will earn the respect of your niche
Information and keywords must be put together in a logical manner. You have to make sense to your niche. The primary goal of creating content should be to inform. If you keep this in mind, you will naturally integrate your niche keywords into your article. This is important so that your content won’t sound like an annoying sales pitch.

Aim to communicate with your market. This is why it is very important to understand them before you start writing. Learn how they speak and how they use words to refer to certain things. The tone of your content should reflect this understanding so as not to alienate your market.

Attention to spelling and grammar will earn you points for credibility and more importantly, the respect of readers and industry critics.

4.    Good content plus SEO makes it easier for your niche to come back
Good content and SEO know-how make a very powerful website. The SEO aspect makes your website easier to find while good content makes your niche stay and come back for more.

Always exceed what is expected from you. Your visitors should always get more than what they came for, so that you rise above your competition. Your brilliant content could be replicated tomorrow. However, the added value that you give to your market would be very hard to come by.

Make your website open to market interaction. Allow people to comment on your articles and allow them to post links. Hear them out and reply when necessary to let them know that you’re taking them seriously.

 

Business Blogging in 5 Easy Steps

Blogging for business isn’t that difficult if you get the right help and if your team is working towards the same business objective. When you decide to take the plunge, remember to devote time to planning before publishing anything that is accessible to the online public.

Unlike websites, blogs can be set up and maintained by one person. However, if we’re talking about investments, ROI and your brand, you cannot take any chances. It is critical that you lay out a strategy before doing anything.

Here are 5 important steps to help you get the ball rolling, without making detrimental mistakes.

1. Read up
Reading up doesn’t stop at How-to books and SEO manuals. Going through actual blogs will give you a better perspective of what you’re getting yourself into, and an overview of the work that a good blog requires.

Get a feel of both good and bad blogs. Read beyond the blogs in your category. Having a broader view can spark more creative integrations and ideas.

2. Get professional opinion
Although most blog platforms are simple enough to DIY, you have to remember that you’re blogging to make a profitable impact on your market. If you don’t have an SEO consultant yet, it’s time to get one. If you already have an existing website, you can get your SEO guy on-board for your blog.

It is interesting to note that there are a lot of professional bloggers out there that you can hire for consultancy.

3. Align your blog to your website’s existing SEO efforts
Alignment of all your marketing efforts—online or otherwise—is very important to preserve the value of your brand. Your blog is not an exception.

While blogs give you enough room for more unique and creative executions, you should still take the rest of your campaign into consideration. Make sure that the core message is the same despite varying delivery and executions.

4. Commission a pool of great writers
It is very important for your blog post to have just the right tone to successfully communicate with your market. The aim is for the readers to feel like you’re speaking directly to them.

One regular writer should be enough to begin. However, expanding into a pool of good writers is a great idea as varying ideas could make your blog more interesting. Make sure that your writers achieve the tone that is most effective for your readers.

Be strict with deadlines. When you promise scheduled updates, make sure that you deliver. It’s not good to repeatedly disappoint readers with delayed posts. Apologize if you can’t help a delay.

5. Track and measure
Almost all blogging platforms provide users with analytics. This requires your attention because it tells you how to make your blog successful. Each entry records people’s reactions—this is how you know what works and what doesn’t.

Be careful on how you interpret results. Don’t allow yourself to be dictated by random fluctuations. Maximize the services of your SEO consultant and hold periodic meetings dedicated to analytics.

Blog Flipping: 5 Tips to Maximize Profits

A lot of big companies have come to realize the power of blogging and what it can contribute to their bottom line. Despite this realization, a lot of companies still find it difficult to come up with their own blogs due to a lot of factors, including lack of time, lack of budget, and zero patience to learn something from scratch.

All these corporate hindrances have given rise to another Web 2.0 business—Blog Flipping.

Blog Flipping allows good bloggers to make blogs for sale. Companies are attracted to these blogs because after purchasing a functioning blog, all they have to do is update content—which they could also choose to outsource. If you want to catch the Blog Flipping wave, here are 5 things to keep in mind so that you can maximize your profits.

1. Pick a topic and stick to it
Take a look at the different industries, and zero in on the field where blogs are scarce. Next, pick an industry focus you want to blog about, and stick to that focus. This will make it easier for you to identify the best keywords for SEO. A blog with a focus fares well in search engines, because Google, MSN, and Yahoo appreciate good web content.

2. Develop focused and optimized content
Now that you’ve chosen a category to focus on, it’s time to start writing. You have to do a little studying to know more about the industry you’ve chosen. Internet users and search engines can tell if you know what you’re talking about. Moreover, blogs get ranked according to how relevant they are to the viewing public.

Your content should reflect expertise in at least one aspect of the industry you’ve chosen. Make sure that you regularly update your content so that your blog remains relevant and informative.

3. Study the audience you want your blog to attract
Make it your mission to know the target market of the business you aim to sell your blog to. This allows you to come up with better blog entries, the kind that really speaks to your market. Research on the way they talk and what jargon they use. Most importantly, know what’s important to them, and that’s what you write about.

Remember that you’re not just selling a blog with stuff in it. You can demand a higher price if the blog you’ve created comes with a following that is profitable for the interested company.

4. Build relationships with top-ranking blogs
On top of an instant blog community, you can still charge more if your blog comes with approval from other top-ranking blogs. These blogs rank high and stay on top because people already consider them authority figures. Getting their approval will rub off a little of their clout onto your blog.

Read what these blogs have to say, and learn how people react to each post. You’ll definitely get tips on how to write better and ultimately, how to attract more of the right people.

5. Auction off your work
The moment you appear on the first page of Google for the keywords your prospective clients optimized for, it’s time to auction off your blog. Make sure that bidders understand the value of the readership and the industry credibility that already come with your blog.

5 Things to Do While Waiting to Rank in Google

1. Rank in MSN
It requires the same optimization basics to optimize for the 3 biggest search engines. Maximize the SEO that you’ve already done with your website for Google.

While everybody—including your competition—is waiting for his website to rank in Google, it is a good idea to submit your website to MSN. The MSN marketplace isn’t as crowded as Google’s so it takes less than half the time to rank high. Although the bulk of your market remains loyal to Google, you shouldn’t alienate the handful who exclusively use MSN or those who use MSN with Google.

2. Visit top-ranking forums
Use this time to immerse yourself with your niche. Forums that host topics relevant to your website content can give you a lot of information—consumer insight, market trends, and even new niche vocabulary.

Participating in forums is an accurate way of gauging market behavior so that you can immediately tweak your website content to help speed things up with Google and for you to maintain your top position with MSN.

Moreover, being genuinely helpful and interested in what others have to say will surely up your credibility. Eventually, when you include specific links with your forum posts, people will feel better about taking a peek and giving the rest of your website a chance.

3. Visit credible blogs
Apart from forums, top-ranking blogs are also a rich source of market information. These blogs rank high due to the credibility that they already posses. If you can leave appropriate comments, do so. This shows how much interest you have for the topic, and like in the forums, you can eventually leave links when you’ve established your credibility.

The goal is to have these blogs link to your site, and you can do them a favor and have your site link to these blogs.

4. Start your own social bookmarking account
Social bookmarking has proven itself to be an important component of successful Internet marketing. Social bookmarking websites allow the public to share websites that they think are relevant or fun.

More than bookmarking your own websites, having your own social bookmarking account gives you control over which sites to share. When you’ve built a solid network, you can then start introducing your website gradually, until others bookmark them. This way, you won’t break any rules that could result to your account and your website being banned from the bookmarks.

5. Continue updating your content
Updated content is just as important as optimized content. You have to be consistently relevant and fresh to attract more search hits. Not only does this speed things up between you and Google, it also shows your niche how dedicated you are to helping them out and giving them information.

Being updated also helps you maintain a good relationship with your link network that includes blogs and other websites. Fresh content also ensures visibility in social bookmarking websites. Make sure you check for spelling and grammar errors before you publish any of your content

5 Best Uses for Your Keywords

When you’ve decided on the list of keywords that you want to optimize your website for, it’s time to decide how to apply these keywords so that you can maximize the power of SEO and get on the search engine spiders’ good side.

Here is a list of the 5 best uses for your keywords.

1. Your website’s content
Your content is the most important part of your website. This is the reason people will give you their time of day. It’s easy to naturally sprinkle your keywords all over your content as long as you make good sense.

It is important to keep your niche market in mind as you write. Your keywords will be made more visible to search engine spiders if the tone of your writing suits your market and the information you provide is relevant. Remember to check your keyword density. You want to stay between 3% and 8%.

2. Your pages’ titles
Page titles appear on the topmost bar of the window. Your page titles are considered text content and search engine spiders also crawl over them.

However, make sure you don’t just put a garble of keywords on this part. Google is very strict on content relevance and it will know if your title doesn’t have anything to do with your website. You could be labeled as spam and be booted out of Google’s index.

3. Your blog entries
Maintaining your own blog that is linked to your website is a brilliant idea. This gives you more room to talk about a variety of things related to your product or service.

Less formal writing with appropriate humor is highly encouraged. Using the right keywords in your blogs also follows the keyword density rule. Having the right blog posts will get you noticed on the blog sphere and the social bookmarking websites. Keep it up and your blog will achieve good rankings, pulling your website up as well.

4. Your video description and photo captions
Videos and pictures help you get your point across and help visitors make sense of your content. However, search engine spiders only crawl over text content.

Maximize both keywords and your visual aids. Put descriptions to accompany your videos and put captions on your photos. Make sure that your photo captions are placed as separate objects. Don’t Photoshop the caption into the photo—this would make it an object file that spiders can’t crawl over.

The great thing about this is that even if your site or blog ranks lower, your video or your photo could rank first if it becomes really popular. This will pull everything up!

5. Comments and answers you leave in other blogs and forums
This is the way to spread your keywords beyond your website and blog. Commenting on other people’s blogs and sharing relevant information on forums brings attention to your expertise and people will start wanting to check you out.

If you craft your responses and posts really well, you can naturally integrate some of your keywords and search engines would be able to pull up specific posts that contain your keywords.

5 Warning Signs That You Should Walk Away from an SEO Company

While there are SEO companies that provide valuable suggestions and brilliant solutions, there are some companies out there that seek to make SEO—and the whole idea of Internet marketing—sound so complicated.

Dubious companies prey on misinformed decision makers. Starting their sales pitch with a very complicated picture of SEO, they end with attractive (yet misleading) solution packages that offer “instant rankings, thousands of visitors daily, and presence in hundreds of search engines!”

Legitimate SEO companies know that successful optimization takes time and a certain amount of discipline. They advise you on what options you have, showing you the pros and cons of each in a manner that you can understand. This is why you shouldn’t completely drop off SEO companies from your list.

To help you make informed decisions, we are sharing with you the 5 signs that warn you of bad SEO companies.

1. Promises a high keyword density
Keyword density measures the frequency of your keywords relative to the entire body of your content. Some SEO companies promise to deliver a 15% keyword density.

Note that the acceptable percentage is between 3% and 8%. Having a density higher than 8% will make search engines think that your website is just spam—all keywords and no useful content.

2. Promises a big link network in a very short period of time
SEO miracle packages also offer mass link building. Keep in mind that link building is important. It allows search engine spiders to crawl over more of your pages. Moreover, a good link network makes it easier for prospects and clients to find you.

However, link building is building your credibility online. Mass link building—without knowing who you’re linked to—can negatively affect your image. Unknowingly, you can “accidentally” get linked to sites that have illegal or questionable content. It is best to build your own links, so that you control to which sites you are associated.

3. Promises website submissions to thousands of directories or search engines
Your niche customers spend most of their time using the top 3 search engines—Google, Yahoo, and MSN. There is no need for you to spend money on other search engines or directories that your target market doesn’t even visit.

Presence in hundreds of search engines is not a determinant of improved rankings. Channel your efforts towards creating better content. Remember that spiders crawl over text. This is what matters the most.

4. Promises of getting you on the front page of all major social bookmarking websites
Social bookmarking websites are a great way to connect and interact with your market. You can receive constructive feedback and act on them immediately. BUT, there are rules and standards that you have to abide by, the foremost being not to post duplicate content.

Having others work on your social bookmarking will give you the same control problem as automated or third-party link building. Moreover, if your site has been tagged as self-promoting, you will be banned.

5. Offers unethical SEO techniques
Unethical and black hat SEO techniques will give you short-term benefits. However, your market will immediately discover your dirty tricks. You could risk being boycotted. SEO is an art that needs time and nurturing. Just give it the time it needs and you’ll soon reap the many benefits

5 Things to Consider When Deciding on Your Blog’s Host

You determine what you want your blog to do, but your host determines your blog’s capability. It is critical to decide on a good host that can accommodate the work that you and your readers expect your blog to produce.

There are a lot of hosts out there to choose from. Each of them hypes a particular set of capabilities, and there won’t be one that is perfect. However, all good hosts should be able to provide you with good service on the most basic blog requirements, and these are the first things you should check before you spend time evaluating the more complex functions and services. Below are 5 of the foremost things to consider before you decide on a host.

1. Search engine friendliness
Before going any further, check first if your host has good standing with the 3 biggest search engines. You wouldn’t want to anchor your brand’s publicity on a host that is on the black list of Google, MSN or Yahoo.

Also make sure that the host’s platform is accessible to search engine spiders. The easier you make it for spiders, the better they can crawl over your site and identify keywords.

2. Ease of customization
How relevant your content is depends on how often you update. Everyone who has anything to do with creating and updating content should be comfortable with how your host handles content management. If your team finds it complicated, chances are, less updates will happen and your content will fall behind. Make sure you always give your market a reason to come back to your blog. See to it that your host doesn’t make it difficult for your team.

Ease of customization doesn’t stop at content. This should also include aesthetics and special features for your blog to become truly unique, which brings us to the next point.

3. Space for uploading photos, videos, and files
Another basic service you should look for is provisions for data file and media file storage. Having a good storage and retrieval system in place can help your team plan content timelines.

Remember to have text content accompany each media file. Search engine spiders only crawl over text, so it’s important to have video descriptions and photo captions in text so that these also turn up as search engine results, ultimately driving traffic to your blog.

4. Room for comments
Most blog hosts now offer an optional comments section. You can opt to turn this section off or on, depending on your blog’s direction and objectives. For SEO purposes however, it is advisable for you to maximize this feature.

Comment posts are considered text content and will be crawled over by search engine spiders. It is also ideal for you to reply to your readers’ comments to promote interaction.

5. Availability of blog activity reports
Blog reports are a good way to measure and track your blog’s performance. When you implement updates and changes, you can see how these affect your blog’s popularity and you can adjust accordingly.

Make sure that your host can give you regular reports so that your team can have valid and relevant data for analysis.

5 Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Pay for Search Engine Submission Services

There is a huge presence of online ads that advertise search engine submission services. Appearing on almost any website, these ads promise you that your website will be indexed in 5,000 search engines or even a million search engines—depending on the monthly fee you choose to pay.

These ads actually sound good, as they claim to be able to do your job for you. A lot of Internet marketers fall for these ads, only to realize very late that they have wasted a lot of money without getting the results they have been promised. Let’s take a look at the top 5 reasons why search engine submission services are destined to ruin your online campaign.

1. There are only 3 major search engines that people use
First of all, the total number of search engines that exist does NOT reach a million. And even if it did, people only use the top 3 search engines: Google, Yahoo! and MSN. How can people find your website in the other 999,997 search engines if they don’t even visit these search engines?

You shouldn’t be paying for a million if you only need three. Quality trumps quantity, even in the virtual world.

2. Search engine spiders rank according to content relevance
All search engines work under the same crawling principle, whether or not they belong to the top 3. No matter how many submissions your website gets, your ranking still depends on how the search engine spiders like your content.

Remember that spiders only crawl over text, so you might want to focus on textual content. The more relevant your content and keywords are to your niche, the more that spiders will suggest your content to the users (as a hit).

3. Search engines won’t delete you from the index—unless you break rules
Companies that offer your submission services often instill fear, saying that search engines will delete your site from their indices unless you submit your website over and over. This isn’t true.

Search engines will not delete your website unless you their break rules and the terms you’ve agreed on. The best search engines actually penalize websites that repeatedly submit themselves. In effect, by purchasing the services of submission companies, you set up your site for being banned.

4. Your money is better spent on actual site optimization
The Internet and your market consistently fluctuate and keeping up with both could be challenging. However, if you concentrate all your efforts and resources on the foundations of Internet marketing, you’ll have less and less to do as time passes—without the monthly bills of submission companies.

Content and link building are two of the most important aspects of successful Internet marketing and SEO. Getting the hang of these plus consistent updates will make you rank higher. Moreover, getting to know your market as best as you can will definitely make everything easier.

5. Search engine submission services charge you for nothing else but luck

You’re better off spending the same amount at the lottery.