SEO Daily Tip : What is Google’s secret formula?

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By: Brendan Fitzpatrick

Google

Hi all, there are very few people that know what Google’s secret formula is and we will likely never be lucky enough to find out what it is.. Let’s put it this way,even if a rumor was spread online that happened to be close enough to Google’s formula they would change it the next day because of the nature of it’s competetiveness.

Having over 15 years of experience with building websites, many successful (million+ unique visitors/year) and many unsucessful (0 visitors) we have a good idea of which areas of SEO are more important than others.. If we were to guess the single most important SEO practice over all others it would be ‘relevance’. Before you ask what the heck does that mean – let us explain.

Sorry, but before we explain relevance we need to make this comment.. there is no single SEO practice that will bring alot of traffic to your site. All SEO concepts are extremely important so the question is – are you continuously researching SEO and are you practicing the dozen or so top practices? If you are then we can continue on our theory of what we think is the top SEO practice. Relevance is a term that is used loosely, depending on your niche or area of interest, relevance may mean something different. Ultimately, how does Google measure relevance? we believe it has alot to do with the following:

  • Backlinks – the more quality backlinks you have, the higher google will rank you (beware of ‘bad’ backlinks), what can you do to have bloggers linking to you? contact them directly! Do not submit to directory submission sites.
  • content updates – everything advances with time, if you write an expert article and you don’t update it for 2 years then your relevance will decrease compared to a newer article. Add new content and refresh older articles on a regular basis!
  • keywords and keyword phrases in your content are important, new articles and content updates are key to make on a regular basis!
  • likes – if you have 100 facebook likes (or google, pinterest, instagram, tumblr etc.) but your competitor has 1,000 likes then they will rate higher for that area of interest. Social networking is important! Post quality messages frequently!

For an expert assessment of your website visit https://www.fiverr.com/bfitz70 for more info!

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How to advertise on the internet?

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By: Brendan Fitzpatrick

Google

Hi Folks, I have addressed this topic indirectly a few times in other articles but I think this topic alone warrants it’s own article so here it is.

I’m going to quickly turn this article around and ask YOU, what is it that you want to sell? Regardless of your answer you should check out ebay.com, for relatively low overhead you can sell almost what you want to anyone in the world and eBay will walk you through the process. However, this doesn’t answer the title of this article. I will assume that you are past eBay and craigslist and the various other sites that enable you to sell product and now you are seeking more of a direct advertising campaign to cutout the middlemen.

So back to my question, what is it that you want to sell? For all intents and purposes I will call whatever you want to sell a ‘product’. If your product sells for a profit of 50 cents USD or as high as $500,000 USD there is a wide range of solutions for you and you need to figure out what works for your product.

Typically, the CTR is only a few percent – this means for every 1000 visitors that a % of those visitors will click on a link (ie. Buy button). So if it costs you just 5 cents per click you need to figure out if it’s worth it to pay $50 USD for a few clicks to buy your product. Good luck finding a site that will only charge 5 cents per click, they are usually higher than that so if your profits are small you need to start thinking about other forms of advertising than paying for clicks.

If you’re selling mortgages and making $500,000 per sale then you can probably afford $10 per click if you receive an order out of every 1,000 visitors. The trick is to find out where your site lies and what you can afford to pay to generate paid for traffic. This is common sense but often take a trial and error test to prove your theory. Be sure to limit your spending with search engines by day, most sites will allow you to spend $100 total but no more than $10/day (for example), this is a great way to test your product.

Most importantly, view my SEO article to maximize your natural search engine results which will maximize your free traffic here.

 

How to SEO with results!

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By: Brendan Fitzpatrick

Google

The intention of this article is to give the reader a sense of what is required in order to be successful with Search Engine Optimization (SEO). To start, I will define SEO in layman’s terms – SEO is the process of coding your web site to a level that the Search engines or web crawlers can understand. What does this really mean? Read on…

The gist of this article is to let you know that SEO is not a one time thing that you can pay for and walk away from. Nowadays with Social Media the rules and guidelines of search engines are changing nearly on a daily basis. SEO is constant work, and it is hard. The top ‘performers’ in SEO live, eat, sleep and drink the topic of their web site offerings. If you’re not willing to live, eat, sleep and drink the topic of your choice then forget about being a leading web site in search engines in the industry of your choice.

I’ll split this conversation into 2 topics – the first being best practices when it comes to ‘coding’ your site, the somewhat static piece of the equation. The second being the social aspect of SEO or the dynamic piece of the equation. I will not deep dive into either area, again this article is to point you in the right direction.

As far as the static piece of the equation goes, good coding practices – you (or your web site designer) really need to follow the basics. Make sure that you have your META-TAGS configured properly and customized appropriately to the industry that you are in. Follow the basice STRICTLY. YOU really have you spend time on this, 99.99% of the time your designer is useless when it comes generating content (YES, your META-TAGS are content), they can code the information but YOU must tell them what to include. If you are unfamiliar with META-TAGS then you need to read up on them and make sure that they are accurate to your area of interest. Even more important, you MUST make sure that your content is relevant! If you are selling shoes, then you should have content on why your shoes are better than others, how to care for them, describe the various shoe types for different applications (ie. snow, running, walking, hiking etc.), if you do not – then your competitors will likely surpass your site by miles! The more content that you have with the highest relevance to educate your visitors will land you higher in the search engines. For the most part, you should spend ALOT of time on this area, but once done you should not have to spend much time unless your content changes frequently. Don’t forget about Description length, alt tags etc.

For the dynamic part of SEO – this is huge. More than ever, search engines are relying on the social existence of a web site, it’s authority (how many articles are published) and how many followers one has. To be at the top of the game you have to eat, live and breath the subject matter of your site. It’s not enough to simply post text on your social network accounts, you need to start thinking about enticing graphics that stand out above other sites. They say pinterest is the number one threat to Google in the future when it comes to searching for ideas (what’s that saying.. ‘a picture is worth 1,000 words?). When you perform a google image search, think of how many image results it returns and which ones you look at. If you’re like me, you scroll through dozens of images at a time and you stop on those that you catch in the corner of your eye. I’m starting to use Pinterst more than Google and that says alot! Relevant images are key!

You can have 10,000 postings on a ‘company facebook page’, or 20,000 tweets on twitter or 50 articles published on Google+ but if you have no followers then your social existence will be close to zero! You MUST publish content that is relevant that people will read and want to follow and share! Not every social network works the same way, people check facebook at certain times of the day, linked in at during other hours, google+ and twitter during other hours. You need to know when to publish content to which networks if you want to maximize your reader shares. This is where SEO has evolved and now requires a constant presence if you want your site to be at the top.

The most successful sites have great static SEO web sites and a great dynamic presence, think of your competitors are machines who constantly pump out articles with great images, tweets and stories and if you take a few hours off (much less days) then you will simply start falling behind in your search engine rankings.

As a side note, there is something to be said about niches, by definition you won’t have as much competition BUT you have to LOVE that niche and if you do then you will have higher potential then a non-niche subject or product.

The most important note, if you’re like me – a one man shop, you can’t do it alone but there are resources out there that you can take advantage of.. If you haven’t heard of these sites then you need to seriously look at them:

fiverr.com – cheap services, find cheap provides of graphic solutions, content writers and more

elance.com – relatively cheap services but VERY professional services

I suggest you build a network of providers and stick with the best that you can find. Don’t forget, these sites are ‘cheap’, most providers are looking for connections so they are willing to do some initial work at a cheap rate. If you like their services then you should pay them more – or what you feel they are worth or their is a good chance they won’t stick around for long.

Good Luck!

*feel free to contact me with any questions or comments

How to make $1,000 or more per month online from affiliate marketing? An intro to an upcoming exciting CASE STUDY video session.

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By: Brendan Fitzpatrick

Google

There are many ways to earn money online, you can sell products on ebay.com or craigslist.org, sell multiple products using a storefront solution such as osCommerce.org or by opening a virtual storefront by one of the 1,000’s of solutions online.

Another way to earn lot’s of money is through affiliate marketing, in general the more traffic you receive the more money you will earn. I won’t differentiate between niche sites vs. high traffic general sites – I will focus on Google’s Adsense solution which is smart enough to target your visitors. So whether you want to target users interested in a single topic or product (highly targeted traffic) or you want to bring as much traffic in as possible (with no particular interest) the concepts in this article equally apply.

This article is for people with medium to advanced skills in HTML and SEO design. I will touch on the major areas that impact earnings but this article is also an introduction to a free interactive video series that I intend to offer in the near future.. so write down your questions and follow my blog to see how I try to double my monthly earnings by creating a second web site following all of the same rules that I applied to my first website.. it took me 8 years to earn $4,000/month on my first site ($0 profit first 8 years, all traffic building and then exponential profit on a monthly basis for past 12 months) and I’m trying to do the same with my second site in 6 months and I will keep nothing private or secret about it.

Valuable Information from here onward (I promise):


 

To start, if you want to make any kind of serious profit ($1,000 or more per month) I highly suggest that you find a good domain name. You don’t have to buy a domain from someone and it doesn’t have to have any traffic coming to it, it should be name that people can trust.. otherwise you are only limiting your traffic before you get started. For example, a domain name such as ‘product-delivery.com’ looks like spam and something that many people have learned to steer away from. Something like ‘productcentral.com’ would be much better than the first since it doesn’t have a dash ‘-‘ and comes across as a ‘central’ place to find information for a given ‘product’.

Secondly, if you limit yourself to a single product then you are limiting your profits long term. For example, choosing ‘1970sRockAndRollRecordCollection.com’ is a great domain name but very limiting to ‘rock and roll’, why not chose something like ‘AwesomeRecordCollections.com’ and offer all all genres in every decade? You can start with Rock and Roll but down the road your domain name will not limit you to just that genre.

As you’re trying to figure out a good domain name with maximum potential you have to consider how the idea itself and the options you have to create a website around it will impact your online presence. For example, if you chose ‘1970srockandrollrecordcollection.com’ you might build a table on your website that lists each year in the 1970’s and the most popular band that year. You may not realize this but if you were to do this you would likely show up #1 in google for ‘1970’s best rock and roll album’ and 100’s of other phrases that will become the foundation for your success BUT ‘1981 best rock band’ will be irrelevant as far as the search engines are concerned. Don’t worry about ‘keywords’ and start thinking about ‘phrases’, a domain such as ‘awesomerecordcollections.com’ allows you to target all years, all genres and an unlimited number of phrases which will gain you an exponential online presence in the search engines.

Everything that I’ve spoken about so far is in preparation for you to chose a great domain name with as many options as possible. It is probably more important to chose an idea that interests you than a domain name that gives you more options for profit. Trust me, I’ve been doing this for a while and sometimes I hang up my hat before I even get started on promoting my sites because of limited interest. You really need to love what you’re doing and be passionate about it as it requires a lot of time and work as well as many frustrations. I’ve walked away from too many profit generating sites because of boredom than I care to discuss, your level of interest has to be a top priority weighed into your decisions.

I have a lot of topics to dig into when I start my video sessions but I have given you a taste of where I’m about to take these sessions so I hope this interests you and you follow me so that you can participate and start making money on your own with some basic concepts. This is not intended for beginners or experts for that matter.. I want to inform you how I have been able to be successful but not educate anyone on basics. I want the feedback about the options I haven’t explored yet but it should be constructive vs. criticism as the intent here is to share what I’ve had success with.

If you’re interested in other preparation work that I’m doing to prepare for the  sessions then take a look at http://birthdaysbyyear.com and start thinking of the opportunities and or questions for the sessions!

As for the timing of these sessions it will be dictated by the number of followers.. I’ll prepare the sessions but I won’t start them until I have 30 people participating so I’m guessing that I need approximately 100 or more followers to make it worthwhile. Spread the word!

I sell online but I don’t know who my competitors are and I don’t know how I compare to them!

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By Brendan Fitzpatrick

Google

Who are my competitors and how do I compare? Every web site writes data to log files, these log files will tell you alot of informaiton about who your visitors are. Until you know your own site it will be hard to compare it to others. Get your logs from your hosting provider and get them analyzed by a free web analyzer such as webalizer.org or analog.cx. Most hosting providers will already have these reports for you, you may have to enable the log analysis feature before you can view the results.

Once you understand how many visitors are visiting your site, where they are from and what they are looking for you can then start asking how that compares to your competitors. Always optimize your HTML per standard SEO (Search Engine Optimization) practices, if you’re not a coder/designer then you may have to pay someone for this. It’s not too expensive to optimize a few pages and it shouldn’t cost more than $100 or so, if you have a good designer then they should already have optimized your site as a best practice for next to nothing. You should definitely get used to terms such as ‘Meta Tags’, ‘Keywords’, ‘Description’ and ‘Title’ for each of your pages.

To find some answers about your competitors traffic just google them. Google “<competitor.com>” and see how many results you find – how does that compare when you google “<mysite.com>”? Search for your keywords and see which sites come up – those are your competitors! Even if they’re not competing by selling the same products – they are your competitors for traffic. There are many sites out there that will rank sites that are general ideas of how your site may rank.

Remember, you may have a higher ranking in a search engine than your competitor for 1 keyword but they may be higher for 10 other keywords.

Always try to analyze your traffice and competitors yourself first, you need to learn the lingo before dealing with web designers or you risk getting ripped off. There are too many people over charging promises of making money to honest hard workers out there, the internet is filled with sharks so be aware.

I have an business plan to sell products but I don’t know how to execute on the internet!

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By Brendan Fitzpatrick

Google

If you have a business plan then you are likely way ahead of a beginner and may need at least a mid-level type storefront such as a hosted solution. You’re also likely to be ready to spend more than the average person to get your business up and running on the internet. We would be foolish to advise that you skip any steps in the assessment process so read the following recommended steps and serious consider each, it may help you uncover gaps in your business plan or it may reinforce the position that you believe you are at:

1. What is unique with my business plan that sets me apart from other companies?

2. How long have I been planning this business and how solid is my plan? Have I considered ever possible failure point and considered all recovery options?

3. What is my impact if this completely fails? Will I or my family end up on the street?

4. My business plan is foolproof, what do I do when Google offers the same solution?

If you already have a business and you are trying to get on to the internet then I’m going to assume that you have good business sense and that opening up storefront online is a small percentage of risk to your current business. If you don’t have a business but you are working full time then I’m going to assume that you’re not putting your entire salary into a storefront in desperation. I’m also going to assume that this is not an idea that you thought up at a bar 2 weeks ago and your now putting your life savings into.

With this said, it is very important to understand how business works on the internet before you just jump in. The lure of high profits on the internet is too easy to sucker in anyone looking to make a dime. You must research your industry and then e-commerce on the internet. You have to be able to speak Internet language to avoid getting ripped off.

If you want to test the waters then open up a free storefront from amazon.com. If you already have a web site then see if your hosting company provides free storefront software such as oscommerce.. If you’re beyond both of these options then you may need a custom storefront which can cost from a few hundred dollars to tens of thousands of dollars.. You have to put your business hat on and determine how much makes sense to spend on a custom storefront. There are many companies that will customize a framework for you such as a Drupal.org solution. This is an excellent scalable option for any new business idea online, small or big.

How do I know if my store is secure?

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By Brendan Fitzpatrick

Google

If you don’t know then read this closely!

There is a major difference understanding if your site is secure if you hired someone to build your site vs. coding your own site. I will assume that you hired someone that understands the basics of coding and security compliance. If you are more interested in technical concepts and risks then I will publish another article based on my personal experience with being hacked!

If you are taking credit card orders online and don’t know the technical details such as “am I saving credit card information in my database?” or “is my site safe?” then you may want to temporarily shutdown your web site until you feel comfortable with the details of how your site works.

First off, you should navigate to the page where your users enter their credit card information, look at the URL (Universal Resource Locator) at the top of your browser, if it does not show https:// (note the “s”) then your site may have major issues. If you have the ability to submit a test transaction then do so – if the results page still indicates http:// (instead of https://) then you have just confirmed serious security issues. If you see https:// in the browser then you can feel safe that the information such as your credit card and personal information has been encrypted (ie. cannot be stolen while in transit, within reason).

If you determine that your transation proces is secure (https://) then the next is to know whether or not if you are storing credit card information in your database.. You should be using an e-commerce solution hooked up to your bank which avoids you from having to save credit card information.. If you are actually saving credit card information to your database then get rid of your development company IMMEDIATELY. It is illegal to store credit card information and the chances of you doing it properly is close to NILL. If you need to perform recurring billing then start with paypal services, otherwise make sure that you and your developer completely understand and comply with all options for your bank!