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The SEO Rapper

January 7th, 2009 by admin

Happy New Year

Category: SEO | 102 Comments »

Boost your Web Site’s Credibility

December 19th, 2008 by admin

How can you boost your web site’s credibility?

Check out this Website Credibility report from Stanford University.  The compiled 10 guidelines for building and improving the credibility of a web site. The guidelines were based on three years of research that included over 4,500 people.

Here is a sample:

Make it easy to verify the accuracy of the information on your site
You can build web site credibility by providing third-party support (citations, references, source material) for information you present, especially if you link to this evidence. Even if people don’t follow these links, you’ve shown confidence in your material.

Show that there’s a real organization behind your site
Showing that your web site is for a legitimate organization will boost the site’s credibility. The easiest way to do this is by listing a physical address. Other features can also help, such as posting a photo of your offices or listing a membership with the chamber of commerce.

Highlight the expertise in your organization and in the content and services you provide
Do you have experts on your team? Are your contributors or service providers authorities? Be sure to give their credentials. Are you affiliated with a respected organization? Make that clear. Conversely, don’t link to outside sites that are not credible. Your site becomes less credible by association.

Read all to Web Site Credability elements.

Category: SEO, Strategy | 103 Comments »

Google SEO Guide

November 13th, 2008 by admin

A basic Google SEO Guidelines Document was released yesterday.  If you are interested in Search Optimization, its worth reading.

It’s more a less a starter guide for Search Engine Optimization, and covers these topics:

  • Good practices for page title tags
  • the “description” meta tag
  • URL Structure
  • Site Navigation
  • Good practices for content
  • Anchor text
  • Heading tags
  • Image Optimization
  • Make effective use of robots.txt

Here is what Google had to say about their SEO Guide:

Our Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide covers around a dozen common areas that webmasters might consider optimizing. We felt that these areas (like improving title and description meta tags, URL structure, site navigation, content creation, anchor text, and more) would apply to webmasters of all experience levels and sites of all sizes and types. Throughout the guide, we also worked in many illustrations, pitfalls to avoid, and links to other resources that help expand our explanation of the topics. We plan on updating the guide at regular intervals with new optimization suggestions and to keep the technical advice current.

Good show Google.  We love when we get to hear from the horse’s mouth what’s really going on.

Category: Traffic | 93 Comments »

The SEO Guru Killer

October 28th, 2008 by admin

OK, so, you have seen all the gurus advertise their learning packages for $2,000 to learn the secrets of Getting Top Google placement, or PPC Conversions.  It’s great information, but who wants to spend $2K on information, especially when your not 100% sure it is accurate.  SEO Game Plan would like to share with you 2 SEO Guru KILLERS!  This information comes direct from the 800lb Gorilla – GOOGLE!

Check out these video goldmines from 2 parts of Google you should be involved in.  Webmaster Tools, and Google analytics. 

For Webmasters
Here are 14 powerful, accurate and informative videos from Google Webmaster Tools.
Google guru Matt Cutts discusses how best to optimize your site for Google.
Here is a sample; Matt Cutts Discusses Webmaster Tools

You can find more about these webmaster resources here at http://www.google.com/webmasters/

Conversion Questions:
Here are 21 crucial videos from Google Conversion University
Learn more about Google Anaytics at the Official Google Analytics Blog.

Google Analytics Videos On YouTube

These videos will take you further than almost any of these so called GURU sales packages out there. 

Also, in case you’ve been under a rock, don’t forget to check out the Google Keyword Tool.  It’s got 2 amazing parts to it. 

1) Descriptive words or phrases – find & generate keyword suggestions
2) Website content – find out what google thinks your site is about!  (or your competitors sites)

 Good Luck and Enjoy the Videos,
SEO Game Plan Team :)

Category: Optimization, Strategy | 100 Comments »

Reducing High Bounce Rates

July 14th, 2008 by Craig

Reducing high bounce rates is a hot topic in the SEO world, and web site owners are looking for answers. I tell them not to worry so much because within that high bounce rate is a wealth of knowledge that they need to apply.

The high bounce rate itself is a direct result of the approach a web site owner is using to generate their traffic. Visitors leaving a site is not necessarily a bad thing depending on how, and why they arrived in the first place. It is important to engage a visitor and give them a reason to click another link, but understanding the visitor’s motive for being on a site is also important information.

The ultimate goal is to convert a visitor into a customer, but understanding that not all visitors need to be customers will help a site owner focus their efforts in the right place. That place is to make sure that the web site properly serves the needs of the “loyal customer”. A real customer is someone who likes the site, returns often, and purchases the product or information being sold.

So, to make sure this type of visitor remains loyal, the site needs to be perfectly designed and easily navigated buy a customer. There is nothing worse than having a visitor arrive at a site ready to learn, engage, or buy and then having that visitor leave because the site is not user friendly.

A proper look into the factors of a site’s bounce rate can reveal a gold mine of information. The information should be used to help the owner of the site strengthen their position among the competition. Some of that traffic leaving the site is extremely valuable in branding the site as an authority on a particular subject. If a site is packed full of good information, some visitors will scoop up some knowledge and leave. That is alright too. A site owner has to learn to let go of the tire kickers and use them for the value they provide. That value is an increased awareness of the site, and if built properly, an increased search engine ranking due to the site’s relevance and popularity.

It is really up to the web site owner to make sure they are making the most of information provided to them by their bounce rate. A high bounce rate is not always bad, and a low bounce rate is not always good. When I see a low bounce rate, I’m happy for the success but realize there are other things that need to be done to bring in traffic. A high bounce rate is simply an indication that tweaks need to be made to the design of the site in order engage the visitor. As long as the site is serving the needs of its targeted customers, everything else is just icing on the cake.

Real customers are brought in by the search engines. These people are actively seeking information. If the bounce rate on those visitors is high, serious work needs to be done to better optimize the site and provide more benefit to a visitor. It is this type of visitor that needs to be converted into a customer to insure short term success. Traffic coming in from other sources can be converted but should be looked at as potential customers.

Way too much attention is focused on the behavior of visitors brought in by social networks like digg and stumble upon. These visitors are great because they increase traffic but by their very nature, they are just the there because they are reacting to information they receive as part of their social networks. These visitors are very low value. They didn’t search for a product or service and if those visitors bounce it does not really matter. They get a glimpse of the site, and there is a chance they might click around and become interested. There is also a chance they might bookmark the site and return at a later time.
The important thing to remember here is to learn to let go of these visitors and see them as merely a bonus.

Another trap people are falling into is worrying too much about the traffic created through direct links to other sites. Again, the number of visitors that come in this way is terrific, but those visitors just arrived because they were on a different site. It does not mean that they are in the market for the product or information being provided. The chance to expose the web site to them is awesome. But they can only be thought of as those “potential” customers. It is not fair to say that anything was lost by not converting that traffic into a sale. This traffic is also best looked at as a way to increase the presence of the site and make it more valuable to people using the search engine.

Perhaps the most misdiagnosed information from a bounce rate study is the behavior of those visitors that are already loyal to a site. They come there because they like it. The content and design of the site is geared toward keeping them as customers while new customers are groomed. However, the simple fact is that these people will not purchase something every time they visit. They may return several times without any sort of real conversion but the key is to let them come and go as they please. Do not be discouraged by this type of visitor’s behavior.

So even though there may be a high bounce rate on a site, the origin of the incoming traffic has to be analyzed before any real conclusion can be drawn. There are many reasons why a visitor might come to a site and as long as a site owner is serving the traffic that comes in from the search engines, there is no need to panic. A high bounce rate is an opportunity to look at the information and make changes when appropriate. It is not a call to abandon ship or do anything drastic.

Category: SEO, Traffic | 118 Comments »

Want More Traffic – Understand the Google Patent

May 29th, 2008 by admin

Google Patent

For many clients and business owners looking for ways to get traffic, they quite frankly don’t understand the rules of the “Google Game”. And that’s because there’s no rule book. A great way to find out what the rules are is to look at the actual patent that Google has filed. (Filing date: Dec 31, 2003)

The patent, entitled Information retrieval based on historical data is an interesting document, and well worth a read if you are interested in how Google determines ranking, and the many factors involved.

This document which was submitted in December of 2003, and is as close to the actual rule book for how Google determines page rankings as you can find. If you want to know the rules of how Google is determining who gets number one page rank, have a read. Here are some interesting points from the patent. We have added our own interpretation for a few of the more relevant items:

A method for scoring a document, comprising:

6. determining an amount by which the content of the document changes over time
READ: Google likes Fresh Content

8. scoring the document based, at least in part, on the frequency at which and the amount by which the content of the document changes over time.
READ: Google likes Continual Fresh Content

24. the appearance of one or more links relates to at least one of a date that a new link to the document appears, a rate at which the one or more links appear over time, and a number of the one or more links that appear during a time period, and the disappearance of one or more links relates to at least one of a date that an existing link to the document disappears, a rate at which the one or more links disappear over time, and a number of the one or more links that disappear during a time period.
READ: if you are Buying Links in an effort to gain inclusing into the Google index, and get links from sites with high PR value, when you stop paying for the links, Google can potentially be tracking this information.

40. the domain-related information is related to at least one of an expiration date of the domain, a domain name server record associated with the domain, and a name server associated with the domain.
READ: IF you buy your domain names for 1 year in an effort to test the market, Google might view your domain with less authority than a business that has invested for a domain for 10 years.

Read this patent. We believe reading this document will help you on your path to understand exactly how Google does what it does.

Category: Blog, SEO, Strategy | 102 Comments »

SEO Tools you can use

May 9th, 2008 by admin

We have started bookmarking some of our favorite SEO Tips and Tricks.  We will be adding to this.  Enjoy.

SEO Game Plan Tips and Tricks

Category: Linking, SEO Tips, Strategy | 112 Comments »

Web 2.0 – Astonishing, isn’t it?

April 23rd, 2008 by admin

What is Web 2.0? Watch this video. It’s a cool way to see the evolution of the web and understand a bit more about Web 2.0.

 

“A piece of information is really defined only by what it’s related to, and how it’s related. There really is little else to meaning. The structure is everything. There are billions of neurons in our brains, but what are neurons? Just cells. The brain has no knowledge until connections are made between neurons. All that we know, all that we are, comes from the way our neurons are connected.” – Tim Berners-Lee

Category: Definition | 94 Comments »

SEO Hosting

April 18th, 2008 by Craig

Choose a C-Class Host

Choosing a proper host should be the first step in your SEO GAME PLAN. Website owners are becoming more SEO savvy and more and more website owners are seeking SEO-friendly hosting. As a result, many providers sell hosting plans with multiple Class Cs, but they share IPs with multiple customers. Website owners need to watch out for this it can be dangerous for a website owner.  If a hosting fee for a Class C IP address seems too good to be true you may be getting what you pay for. For instances, if you get an IP from a Bulk hosting provider you maybe on an IP with 1,000’s of other website owners some could be “shady” and you run the risk of having the entire IP banned, instantly losing your search credibility.

It is best to go with a web hosting provider like SEO GAME PLAN which assigns each website account holder its own different Class C IP Address. Website owners who have multiple websites will benefit from SEO GAME PLAN Hosting because they can link each site to each other and receive credit from interlinking between the sites because they are on different Class C addresses.

SEO GAME PLAN observed that although only small percent of websites are on dedicated IPs, well over 80 (+) percent of the top-10 results in the search engines are sites having dedicated IP numbers. SEO GAME PLAN confirmed this by running a test that included moving a site from a shared IP to a dedicated IP and noticed “measurable ranking increases.”

About SEO GAME PLAN: SEO GAME PLAN is a Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing and SEO Hosting Company— We are premier provider of Class C hosting and leader in SEO, SEM and hosting services. SEO GAME PLAN’s portfolio includes nearly 12 years of Internet development and marketing experience.

Category: Optimization, SEO Services, SEO Tips, SEO Web Hosting | No Comments »

SEO benefit of XML sitemaps

March 27th, 2008 by Craig

Today we are exploring the SEO benefits of XML sitemaps.  We already know Google, MSN, Yahoo and Ask.com jointly support the Sitemaps protocol.  But does having a XML sitemap on your website affect your ranking in the search engines?   Let’s take a look…

What is a XML Sitemap?
Unlike traditional SiteMaps which act more as a human friendly contents page, an XML SiteMap uses an XML schema to provide a Sitemap protocol as defined by SiteMaps.Org.  In short a  XML Sitemap allows webmasters to submit a master list of all their site’s pages to Google, Yahoo, MSN and Ask.com for indexing. Information about the website is stored in an XML file along with other relevant information as specified by the webmaster. It is best practice to have your XML sitemap include, last modified date, update frequency, and priority. The purpose of this Sitemap is to have the most recent version of your URL’s indexed in Google and others and at all times.

Do you need to have a XML Sitemap?
XML sitemaps can generally help any site needing to be indexed; however, small static sites may not see the need for this. For example, if you have a small 5 to 10 page website that seldom sees any of its pages updated and your entire site is already in Google’s index, the XML Sitemap is not necessarily going to help much. It is best used when trying to keep the latest versions of your pages current in Google and the major search engines. Large sites with 1,000’s of URL’s will also benefit, especially if all of their pages are not appearing in the index. Google XML Sitemaps will benefit you if you have either a dynamic or large site.

Will using XML Sitemaps improve my Search Ranking?
In most cases this can improve your rankings especially if you have a new website. By having the most current version of your site in Google’s index, this can speed up your ranking in the results pages. This is because if you make an update to a page for optimization purposes, Google’s index will have this page updated more quickly than without a XML sitemap. What this essentially means is that with more frequent spidering you can help influence what version of your site is in the index, and ultimately, increase your ranking.

How do you create the XML Sitemap?
You can create your XML sitemap manually or use widely avaialble automated tools. There are a number of available solutions for this. One of the simplest methods of creating XML sitemaps is through the use of Blackwoodproductions Dynamic XML Sitemap Creator (Spydermap). This is a free, easy to use tool that will help you create your XML sitemaps with ease. The Spydermap then re-updates your sitemap page for you automatically. The XML based Spydermap is a hands-freeservice for any serious webmaster.  There are also number of downloadable and online tools listed on Google’s site which cater to both beginners and seasoned professionals alike.

Submitting your XML Sitemap to Google is relatively straightforward. After the file has been created the first thing you want to do is upload the file to your server, we recommend at the root level. Log into the Sitemap console using your Google account. From here you can add a site to your account. Simply enter your top level domain where it says “Add Site”. This will add the domain to your account and allow you to then submit the XML sitemap.

So… the answer to today’s question: Does having a XML sitemap on your website affect your ranking? I say YES!  They can help you to achieve up to date indexing in Google, and can be of significant use in the ranking of many websites.

Category: Optimization, SEO Tips, Strategy | 113 Comments »

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