Keyword density can be a confusing issue in SEO. While some SEO companies suggest that keyword repetition is vital, others believe that it could be a detrimental practice to an otherwise excellent page. What is there to know about keyword density? How many recurrences of one word is too much?

There is no right or wrong answer, at least in terms of a general rule. The search engine company has the right to penalize a page if they believe the webmaster is using far too many keyword repetitions. On the other hand, if the subject matter is complex, a lack of keyword repetition could work against a top page ranking.

Some clients will state that 1% density is more than enough, since search engine algorithms are highly sophisticated and can easily track with keywords being highlighted naturally. However, some clients may insist upon a 5% keyword density. While this might seem like an old school tactic, some webmasters do report seeing results even when using this high density. Ultimately, it is dependent upon the competition. If there is a lack of quality sites competing against a high keyword density site, then obviously, it would not be penalized for an over-enthusiastic presentation. On the other hand, a SPAM site with dozens of keywords for a few short paragraphs would probably not stand a chance.

We in the SEO industry recommend natural repetition, which includes not only recurring keywords in the paragraph but also on the page title, in subheadings and in META tags. We believe in repetition; provided that it’s natural, conversational repetition—the type you might hear from an experienced public speaker. However, high keyword repetition for the sake of a cheap victory in search rankings, is going to disappoint you. For more on keyword strategy, contact an experienced SEO Company.

This is one of the simplest questions to ask, and yet one of the most complex answers to give. SEO, much like TV or radio advertising, is a medium that only works if you can track results. Therefore, you are not actually paying for an SEO miracle or for an SEO “tune up.” You are paying for a specific time period in which an SEO company will optimize your site.

It is important to budget your finances so that you can know precisely how much you have to spend, and what results you hope to see with the investment. Some companies literally spend tens of thousands of dollars a month on a huge SEO and social media campaign. Other companies may only spend a few hundred dollars a month. It really depends on budgeting and upon the end goal that the company has created.

So let’s say, you can afford to pay $2,500. What exactly are you paying for in terms of items? Unlike PPC advertising, you are not paying for web space or for a line of text. You are paying for the writing, for technical adjustments, and for the management, research and tracking of an SEO campaign. Organic SEO is all about writing, and this is the main expense, whether you are paying for blogs, SEO directory articles, web content or social media pages. Next, you have technical adjustments to consider (if you want to pay for this). This might involving adjusting HTML for better META results, as well as properly formatting web pages or CMS web software (like WordPress or Joomla) to make pages search-friendly. Finally, there’s the SEO campaign itself, which can be pricey, depending on the research and tracking work you desire.

The best way to minimize expenses is to do what work you can on your own, such as writing a few features if you have the knowledge, or formatting your website for ideal optimization. Some SEO firms will charge for their services differently. Some may charge a flat rate for a specific time period of work, while others may actually charge you per article, or per word. Ultimately, you are paying for services over a period of time, because good SEO is consistent SEO, and throwing in the towel is not really an option! The best search results come from a long-term strategy.

If you are ready to begin an SEO campaign, then choosing the right keywords is a very important decision. While you might assume that the Google Keyword Research tool is the first and only stop on this journey, you might want to make room for some other considerations.

Before you even start to research keywords, it is important to find out how many keywords you expect to use, and then what words are most appropriate for targeting traffic. In SEO, targeting traffic is the name of the game. It’s pointless to pay for any keyword if you can’t identify what audience that phrase is going to bring in. So for starters, create a list of keywords and then run a comparison with a keyword research tool, taking notes of how many times the search is run.

The keyword research tool will also give figures about the competition. However, there’s no reason to limit yourself to the research tool’s site. You can do some competitor scouting on your own and determine which words they are using, as well as how these words apply in targeting an audience.

You also have to put yourself in the mind of your audience and determine if anyone is realistically going to type the phrases you’re going after. Be sure to track the results so you can quickly determine if there’s been a miscalculation. Further reduce your list by eliminating words that are not relevant, and words that do not actually match any content on your page. The search engines do notice this and will penalize you for “false advertising” in SEO.

Last but not least, don’t forget about personalization. Community and location are important factors. Why, search engines are now using user web history to further focus keyword results. Study your market and your users and you will naturally be drawn to the best keyword phrases!

You may only think of Google as your target SEO search site, but don’t forget about Yahoo, the world’s second largest search engine. (And in third place, Bing now owned by Microsoft) You may wonder, are there any differences between these search sites? Is what is good for one good for everybody? This is a great theory…unfortunately it doesn’t work that way. The sites are different entities altogether and use different algorithms to determine their search results.

Yahoo has actually changed a lot over the years, and its results are now powered by Bing. So while Yahoo has the big name, Bing is the search company you should concern yourself with. Of course, you do have some advantages going into this already. For one thing, all major search engines are focusing on creating superior organic search results. What attracts search engines the organic way is creating lots of quality content that matches popular keyword phrases.

Google is obviously the largest site and the most elaborate in terms of searching the entire Internet. Immediately, you should note that Yahoo / Bing will not present as comprehensive a search return as Google. Other webmasters have noticed a few quirks about Yahoo:

  • Many users still report using reciprocal links to their advantage
  • Yahoo has a lot of internal content as well as a paid inclusion program. This results in some bias when returning search results.

The disadvantages of Google may well be its greatest assets. Whereas Yahoo seems to be easy to influence through linking strategy, Google looks for natural link growth over a period of years. Google also prefers informational resources and trusts “senior” sites…sometimes more than it should. On the other hand, Google is far more aggressive in filtering out scraper sites and duplicated or plagiarized content. Assuming of course, that Yahoo will even “see” low quality sites that cut and paste in the first place.

Ultimately, both major search sites are worth a separate strategy. Yahoo is constantly creating new features and tying it in with major news stories. A entirely different audience may use Yahoo Search and you would be missing the boat by not reaching out to them.

Having said that, don’t forget that there are hundreds of search engines out there – each with their own specialty or quirk. Different search engines can be popular in other countries. Search engines like Alexa, Excite, Altavista, Ask, AOL, Yandex etc may be more effective in cerrtain niches or countries.

For more information on SEO, try discussing the issue with an SEO consultant.

Google’s “Panda” algorithm struck the Internet in a huge way back in February 2011. Officially, Google’s updated algorithm technology was said to be a protection for quality sites, and a penalization of “low quality sites.” However, many legitimate sites were shocked to discover that the algorithm update actually destroyed their rankings. On the contrary, according to reports from CNET, many traditional news websites and social networking sites experienced an increase in rankings and traffic. Reportedly, 12% of all search results were affected.

Unfortunately for Google, not everyone was pleased with the results. Forget the class-action lawsuit, what about the fact that users flooded Google’s webmaster forums, complaining that scraper sites (sites that repost material without permission) were receiving higher rankings than original content sites? The algorithm update was a major undertaking, and there’s no way Google could introduce such a great change to an established order without expecting some glitches.

You may have already heard about Panda, but what you may not know is that Panda has actually been updated a few times since the beginning of last year. In response to the many complaints, Google published an advisory on its blog, offering advice to startled webmasters complaining about a rankings dive.

What does this mean for you, the merchant using SEO in everyday sales? It means that now is the time to focus on original content. While you may or may not be able to get a news classification, you can increase your Google-friendliness by adhering to the following:

  • Posting only the best quality, researched articles.
  • Reducing the number of ads per page.
  • Avoiding keyword stuffing and other SPAM practices.
  • Focusing on creating a quality presentation, similar to a traditional news site.

If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

You may know that you can use Facebook and Twitter to your advantage. However, don’t stop with the basics. You can use plenty of social media and Web 2.0 tools to help increase your search rankings. Consider two other options: Facebook Places and Google Places. While setting up a social media account can help to establish your domain name, the Places option can really help improve your local web presence.

Not only can you create additional links for your company, but you can also benefit from local, targeted traffic. These websites allow you to list your company for inclusion in locally based searches. It’s the new “phone book” for the modern age, though it is a far more interactive feature than you remember from the old Yellow Pages.

When you use these site tools, you can expect great SEO benefits in the way of profiling data, a large database of existing traffic (who are looking up terms on the Places option), as well as easy viral sharing features and unique advertising potential. In addition, you can also benefit from the newness of these Places pages, as they are not being as widely used as general SEO. Local targeting is truly the way of the future. Now, the latest mobile devices are allowing users to search locations that are nearest in proximity to their SmartPhone.

This is customization at its finest. Best of all, listing your business on sites such as Google Maps, Google Places, Facebook Places and even Yelp or FourSquare is free! When you focus on an Internet campaign it’s so easy to get lost in all the national possibilities. Remember though, that local advertising is one of the most cost-efficient and time-efficient ways to find new clients. Talk to an SEO consultant about how to incorporate social media marketing into your SEO campaign!

One of the reasons so many clients distrust SEO firms is because the term SEO is sort of confusing! What does Search Engine Optimization really mean? Many who specialize in this field actually say that SEO is a misleading term. They prefer a term more specific as to tasks, such as online presence manager or search engine marketer.

Indeed, the word optimization is somewhat limited, because actual work involving search engine marketing includes writing, managing, researching, publishing, and communicating with many parties. Search Engine Optimization, in theory, means the building of content meant to increase site rankings in an “organic” way.

The term “organic SEO” means that only quality writing and strict adherence to search engine-listed rules will be pursued. All sorts of SPAM and SPAM-related techniques are grouped under “black hat” practices and are often times penalized by search engines. Whereas most clients today wouldn’t think of doing anything illegal or frowned upon, many would be oblivious as to what practices are acceptable.

For instance, two popular notions in SEO today are that you should use your keyword rapidly and throughout the article, perhaps reaching a 10% density; and that you should get busy buying and exchanging links. However, these notions are not necessarily true. Keyword density is strongly recommended to stay around 1-5%, whereas randomized (as in irrelevant link trades) or “paid” link exchanges are usually penalized by search engines.

So it is vitally important that you consult an SEO expert before you start experimenting with your own content production. Knowledge in this regard will protect you from some common mistakes, and will help you achieve higher rankings through honest methods. In the end, playing the game by their rules (The Search Engines’) will lead to the greatest rewards. Talk to an SEO firm today to learn more!

If you’re not sure where to start with Internet marketing, then it’s important to create a plan of action and prioritize the various steps.

Establish a Budget and Timeline

It’s imperative that you know what you want to do, as well as how much money or time you can afford to invest. Try to establish measurable outcomes so that you can track your success. To begin your SEO strategy, create a plan of action, including what results you hope to see.

Selecting The Appropriate Avenue

While you may find banner, video or Pay-Per-Click advertising useful, they are very different from a traditional SEO (Search Engine Optimization) strategy. Instead of attempting to attract broad demographics, you are identifying and pursuing targeted traffic. You can research, analyze and optimize keyword phrases so that you can find targeted viewers and customize your presentation through effective keywords.

Of course, developing your SEO campaign can be challenging. If you’re not organized, this can easily turn into a free-for-all that ends up costing you more than you make out of it. The next step is to identify your target audience and then determine what keywords to focus on in order to reach them.

Appropriate Keyword Research

Keyword research (statistical results of actual keyword searches) is important for this step, but you must also consider other factors such as what words your competitors are using, what words your audience is likely to type in, and what words best qualify your traffic.

Optimized and Engaging Content

The next step in SEO strategy is to create the keyword-optimized content for your website, for blogs and for article directories. The more you do this, the more often search bots will find your content and index it for instant retrieval. As you study analytics month to month, you may decide to customize and tinker with your SEO campaign, perhaps choosing new words, or trying different link-building strategies.

Be Consistent

This is the key to a successful SEO strategy: You need to be consistently following your SEO strategy. The worst mistake you can make is to publish a few paragraphs of text a few times a month and expect a major payoff. Successful SEO strategy requires that you build a name for yourself and you participate in this massive arena called the web.

Whenever you create a new website for the first time, whether you’re investing in a huge new site with great artwork and animation, or even a simple CMS site (like WordPress or Joomla) one of the most important steps in finishing up the design is adding SEO-friendly web copy. Web copy refers to the words you publish on your site, the “pitch” you make to your viewers.

Most people think of web copy as “salesy” writing, with lots of Internet screaming(!!!!) and with all sorts of empty promises. Actually, it’s very important that new website content be balanced in terms of objective and instructional writing, as well as a few pages of, shall we say, “company culture.”

Search engines constantly “crawl” websites, and will take note as to whether a website is updated on a regular basis. So while adding a few pages of web copy is important, do not forget the necessity of blog writing and web content writing. The more words you offer to the search engines, the better chance a popular keyword search will request your content.

Always make your web content and sales writing exciting and conversational. Rather than focus too much on hyping up your services, instead, take the time to explain what your business is about, what your company intends to do, and what the value of your services are to customers.

In other words, write content for your viewers…but never underestimate the importance of writing for search bots, the programs that work day and night to find new content on the Internet. If you are thinking that keeping up with so much SEO content is difficult while running a fulltime business, you are correct. This is why many companies outsource this job to SEO firms. In Internet marketing, the most rewarded companies are the ones who strive for consistency and quality. Make sure your small business website does all of the above!

You may know that consistency wins the game in Search Engine Optimization. However, you may be uncertain as to how to start this “race.” How can you apply the lesson of “long-term SEO solution” to your own business and online campaign? Here are five tips to keep in mind.

1. Focus on long-tail keywords first

You may be running an uphill battle by going after popular and broad keyword searches too soon. Instead, go for long-tail keywords, the long phrases that don’t have as much competition, and then slowly broaden your keyword selection as you build experience.

2. Build links slowly and consistently instead of quickly

Many people still don’t understand that cheap and fast links are almost as worthless as quick and fast traffic. Overly-aggressive linking can actually cause search engine sites to penalize your company. So instead, create a sustainable schedule and keep it up, rather than buying a huge number of links.

3. Create quality SEO content instead of third-rate content

Search engines are coming down hard on “content farms”, which seek to create a flood of pages that have little to no reader value. If your link structure is intact, then the search engines will find you sooner than later. So pay close attention to what you’re sending them.

4. Anticipate landing pages in advance

Remember that some search engines assign value to older pages, so don’t wait until the last second to publish good content. Some designers will actually publish a keyword-friendly page, link it, and optimize it later, just to benefit from the aging factor. While this may not be your personal choice, it illustrates the point well: plan SEO page by page.

5. Re-Optimize Posts to Benefit from Good Traffic

Rather than obsessing too much over keyword phrases you thought you would be ranked for, instead focus on the searches that are bringing regular traffic and re-optimize your posts, or add a series of articles on similar keywords and subjects.

If you’re in this for the long-haul, then approach SEO with a runner’s discipline – eager to begin, but ready to pace yourself for a long journey.

As always, if you have questions, feel free to fill out the contact form.