Global Marketing Plus

Tips and Tricks for Small Business Success

Archive for the ‘SEO’

Keep the blog on your website!

February 13, 2009 By: Ron Coleman Category: SEO, Website Design

The biggest mistake I see website owners make is to use the free services to host your blog offered by many blog software companies.

The best way to get the full benefits of your blog is to include the blog on your own website!


Does a blog help your website?

February 12, 2009 By: Ron Coleman Category: Marketing, SEO

I have had many ask me: “A blog is a lot of work.  Does it really help my website?  Even if nobody reads it?”

I recently received proof that a blog does help… 


Strategy #11. Measure & Track Your SEO Efforts

February 11, 2009 By: Ron Coleman Category: Marketing, SEO

For many websites, Search Engine Optimization is one of those “good things to do.” Kind of like running, or eating a healthy diet. But how do you know it’s working?

How do you know if your search engine optimization is working?


Strategy #10. Avoid Industry Jargon

February 10, 2009 By: Ron Coleman Category: Marketing, SEO, Website Design

One of the biggest mistakes companies make when writing copy for a site is using industry terms that normal customers don’t think to use.


Strategy #9. Reverse Archeology

February 10, 2009 By: Ron Coleman Category: Marketing, SEO, Website Design

Archeology, of course, is the systematic method to uncover artifacts from the past that have been buried or forgotten.

What archeologists do is examine artifacts that were lost and buried, and draw conclusions about how life was lived hundreds or thousands of years ago.

When people search online, it’s a lot like sifting through thousands of years of junk and broken pieces of pottery in order to find the one intact tablet that solves your mystery.

If you’re like me, you often see a lot of non-relevant results returned when you do a web search. Google, as good as it is, isn’t perfect. You scan down the page, looking for the answer to your question. And then you suddenly see a link to a site that matches exactly what you’re looking for.

Reverse archeology, applied to the Web, is a process that allows you to plant key information for people to find and discover.

How does the process of reverse archeology work? Essentially you come up with keywords that your target audience is likely to use in a keyword search, and then you create relevant content on your site. When prospective customers “digs” through the mass of web pages in a Web search, they can find your site quickly and easily.

Reverse archeology is a different type of mindset for generating website content, but one that can be extremely successful.

Next week, we’ll discuss a unique new way to optimize your site when you have visitors coming in from a search engine.

Strategy #8. Age & Experience Matter

January 24, 2009 By: Ron Coleman Category: Marketing, SEO, Website Design

Google’s continuing mission is to deliver the best search results possible to its end users.
So how can a search engine like Google differentiate between a company that is brand new (and might be a fly-by-night operation) versus an organization that has years of experience in the field?
The answer: Google looks at the age of your domain name (along with several other varibles). If your domain name was registered last week, chances are good that your site won’t even appear in Google’s rankings for several months. (This is called the Google Sandbox.)

But if your domain name was registered eight years ago, Google uses this information as a clue that you’ve been around for a little bit.

In a nutshell, Google looks at the month and year when your domain was registered — and uses this to give more weight to companies that have been around for several years versus several weeks.

Google also looks forward to see how long you have registered your domain; if you have registered your domain for five or ten years in the future, you’ve made a subtle, yet important economic decision that you’re still going to be around and in business in 2018. Here’s an instance where being frugal with domain name registration can actually hurt your rankings.

That said, Google does place more weight on the past versus the future.

So, what can you do to increase your rankings?

First, make sure that your company’s domain name is registered for at least a few years from the present date.

Second, make sure you know who is the contact person for your domain name. We’ve recently seen several instances where the person in charge of the domain name moves to a different organization, goes on vacation, or even passes away. And then, if the domain name comes up for renewal, it can be a mad scramble to keep your website and corporate email up and running.

If you’re not sure of the age of your domain name, please let me know, and I’d be happy to have our team take a quick look.


Strategy #7. Naming Your Images for SEO Success

January 10, 2009 By: Ron Coleman Category: Marketing, SEO, Website Design

Even though search engines can’t read words inside graphics, they do use the name of the file and other contextual information to increase your rankings. One of the biggest missed opportunities is not naming images with search engine optimization in mind.

I can’t tell you how many times I see a site that has the logo named: logo.jpg

While that’s sufficient to display the logo in a browser, it’s much better to name the logo with descriptive keywords, such as: global-marketing-plus-logo.jpg (notice I seperated the words with an “-”.  This lets search engines read the words.  If I named the logo as: globalmarketingpluslogo.jpg, that is not a word and search engines will not recoginize it as a word).

If you want to further increase the relevancy, you can create a folder (also with keywords) that can help you increase keyword density on a page.

For example, placing an image in a directory like this will give you more relevancy than in a more non-descriptive folder:

Yes, it takes a little bit more time and effort for someone to type out a longer image name and keep it organized into different folders on your website.

But our research has found that increasing the relevant keywords in your images is a sure fire way to increase your search engine rankings.

Let me know if you need help with website development or email marketing.


Strategy #6. Keyword Density

July 19, 2008 By: Ron Coleman Category: SEO, Website Design

Search engines love relevant text. They want to match the keywords that an end user types into a search engine with keywords that are located on your website.

Keyword density analysis is one of the most important ratios of how often these keywords appear on an individual webpage.

What is keyword density? It’s a percentage, calculated this way: Number of times keyword appears on a page / Total word count on page = Keyword Density Keyword density is usually displayed as a percentage.

So, if you have a page that has 100 words on it, and you have a keyword appear 5 times on the page, your page would have a keyword density of 5%. (5 / 100 = 5%)

In a real life example, the search term “website design” has an overall keyword density on this page of 4.13%:


Click the graphic above to see a live sample of a keyword page.

(10 instances of the keywords / 242 total words on the site = 4.13%)

However, not all keywords on a page are treated the same. Keywords in the title tags, page name and section headings are often given higher weight than keywords that appear in the regular content area of the page.

Here’s how the keywords break down in the different areas of the site:

Description: Keywords: Total: Percentage:
Title Tag 1 6 16.6%
Page Name 1 1 100%
Linked Text 4 83 4.8

So, how much keyword density is too much? It depends on which study you read, but it’s generally best to keep your keyword density between 3-6%. Anything more, and you’ll be penalized for trying to spam the search engines.

As a general rule of thumb, if the copy of the site makes sense to a human reading it, you should be fine. But if you repeat the same keyword five times in a row (Website Design, Website Design, Website Design, etc), then you can be banned from search engines or penalized.

Let me know if you’d like us to do a keyword density analysis on your site…

Strategy #5. Why Sitemaps are Baby Food For Search Engines

July 18, 2008 By: Ron Coleman Category: SEO, Website Design

When websites were brand new, a sitemap was used to help people find their way around a disjointed site. As websites became easier to navigate, sitemaps fell out of favor.

But now they’re back… because they are the equivalent of baby food for search engines. Just a few years ago, the philosophy about sitemaps went something like this:

If your customers need to use a sitemap to find their way around your website, you haven’t done your job organizing your content and creating a   navigational system that is easy to understand.

But sitemaps are now back in favor. Why? It’s less about human visitors and more about search engines.

What is a sitemap? A sitemap is page that lists all of the other pages on your site, usually in a bulleted list.

Here’s an example of a sitemap:


As I’ve discussed before, search engines are easily confused. Many pages of a website are often ’hidden’ behind tricky menus or drop-down lists. Or, the links to reach a specific page are too deep (i.e. more than a couple of pages down from the home page).

A sitemap, linked from the home page of the site, will list every page of your site in one convenient place.

When a search engine visits your site map, it’s very easy for them to then get a list of every page on your site, and then crawl, digest and include all of your content in their system.

We generally recommend having the link to your sitemap on the bottom footer navigation of your site.


But you need to make sure that as your site changes, your sitemap is updated.  Otherwise, Google and others may not index the latest pages placed on your site.

And even better than an HTML sitemap is an XML sitemap. An XML sitemap is a sitemap that is specifically formatted for search engines like Google. It’s a machine-readable version that allows you to specify all of the pages of the site.

Click the graphic above to see a live sample of an XML sitemap.


Adding an XML sitemap ensures that a site will get indexed much more quickly and more rapidly than not using this method at all.

For my new sites, the XML sitemap allows the sites to be indexed in 3-4 days vs. the usual 3-4 months.

Let me know if you need help with a sitemap or XML sitemap for your site. We’re here to help.

Strategy #4. What does a search engine look for?

July 13, 2008 By: Ron Coleman Category: Marketing, SEO, Website Design

We’ve discussed local search, and how to make sure you don’t confuse search engines with graphics and flash animation. We’ve also talked about the all-important title tags.

This week, we’ll take a higher-level view to discuss what search engines look for when ranking your site.

At the end of the day, a search engine is in business to help you find the most relevant results possible when you conduct a search. Search engines make their money by selling relevant advertising to supplement the natural, organic search results.

Because a top ranking in Google or another search engine can translate into a great deal of business, it’s important to know how search engines determine who gets placed at the top of the list.

The two biggest ways search engines rank you are based on:

  1. Relevant Content: Search engines are really good at reading text. The more relevant copy you have on your site, the better chance you have getting your page indexed. Search engines love pages that have more than 500 words of text on them.

    Why? A page with a lot of content is usually more beneficial to the end user. (Though for every rule like this one, there are many exceptions.)

    Adding articles, press releases, detailed information about your products and services all can help quickly increase the amount of relevant content that you have on your site.

  2. Inbound Links: The more sites that link to you, the more important your site becomes to search engines. If sites that link to you are very relevant and/or important, those inbound links worth more. And domains that end with .gov, .edu often perform better than .com for inbound links.

    It’s kind of like a high school popularity contest. If the most popular kids all point to you and say that your website is better than anyone elses, in the eyes of the community, your ranking is elevated.

There are many other things as well that affect search engine ranking. I can’t go into great detail for the entire list, but even small changes can translate into higher rankings.

  1. Title Tags: See last week’s email.

  2. Page Names: Keywords in page names in crease the relevance of the search and are displayed in a Google search result.

  3. Image Names: Putting relevant keywords into image names helps your ranking.

  4. Alt Text for Images: If you hover over an image, this is the text that appears; also used by the blind to understand what an image represents.

  5. Keyword Density: How often specific keywords appear on a page as a percentage of all of the words on a page.

  6. Section Headings: In the HTML code, section headings like H1 or H2 are treated as more important content than the information on the rest of the page.

  7. Words contained in links: A link like: “Global Marketing Plus offers Web Marketing and Search Engine Optimization Services” can help boost rankings.

  8. Clean HTML code: Search engines are easily confused if your websites’ code is a mess.

  9. How often pages are updated: Search engines like new conent, but also have a bias toward pages that have been up on the web for a long time.

  10. Site Map: If you have a site map (and an XML site map as well), it’s easier for search engines to crawl through all of the pages of your site.

  11. Keywords in your domain name.

  12. The age of your domain name: Older domain names are perceived as more relevant than something registered last week.

  13. Keywords in subdomains

  14. Keywords in file directory structures

In the coming weeks, I’ll delve into many of these points in more detail. Let me know if you’d like me to discuss specific areas, or if you’d like to discuss your site with our team.