How to boost my SEO rankings – Relevance and Dynamic Content for My Homepage

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By: Brendan Fitzpatrick

Google

How to boost my SEO rankings – Relevance and Dynamic Content for My Homepage

Just to be clear, the content in this article is a subset of what you should follow in order to help your Search Engine Optimization rankings (SEO). We will publish other topics and perhaps at some point provide more of a ‘Table of Contents’ overview but for those who are specifically interested in SEO Relevance this article is for you.

Search Engines have evolved over the years and are constantly updating their algorithms to keep up with the times. There are currently about 200 variables that factor into how a Search Engine ranks a website but we’re going to focus on Relevance which is one of the most important variables in the equation.

Relevance is an indicator of how two things are alike or not alike. Search Engines succeed if they deliver search results that keep visitors coming back for more searches. To bring more visitors back, Search Engines give higher rankings to those sites with:

Up to date content
Search Engines are smart enough to know when your content has been updated so whether it’s publishing blogs, updating stale content, posting images or adding new content you need to continually keep your content fresh. After all, how relevant can you be if your content is a few years old? We know that staying relevant isn’t easy which is the basis of why we wrote this article. We will jump into some solutions further down.

Content related to the Search Parameters
Yes, Search Engines (SE) are also smart enough to know which sites contents are a best match for a given Search Phrase. Nowadays, SE’s are using more and more Artificial Intelligence (AI) to match Search Phrases to sites with relevant content. Ever type a typo into the search box of a Search Engine and they somehow know what you’re searching for as results appear even before you finish typing? The suggested solutions below will help you move up in Search Engine rankings.

Popularity
That’s right, SE’s know how popular your site is by counting the number of backlinks to your site. They also know how many Followers and Likes you have on other Social Media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter etc. so as important it is to keep your content up to date on your website, in many cases is just as important if not more important to have a Social Media accounts with regular content (ie. posts) as well.

Let’s cut to the chase, here are 3 ways to keep your website up to date:

1. Update it as you do today – in most cases this is very time consuming, tedious and not preferred which is probably why you’re reading this article. We listed this as an option so people appreciate option 3 below.

2. Pay someone to update it – in many cases this isn’t even possible or it can be very expensive which often times isn’t the preferred choice. Most hosting companies do offer Blogging capabilities which is one of the best ways to ensure fresh content for your site. If you don’t have a blog you should look into it and at least consider it. A blog can be used for any topic and is a great way to expose your site further to the world.

3. For this option we’re going to focus on your Homepage because the statistics say that this is the most indexed page on a site by far, but you don’t have to limit this option to your homepage – you can certainly apply the same concept to any of your pages. The option we’re talking about is an RSS feed. An RSS feed is an easy way to display Titles with links to content – whether its new articles that you post on your blog and you want to put those articles names in a streaming format on your homepage – OR – perhaps you want to put Related Content with links to other sites on your homepage it can all pretty much be automated.

We first recommend that you look into what RSS is and figure out if it applies to your own website. If it does then there are plenty of free RSS scripts out there that can easily be integrated with most sites. If an RSS feed doesn’t apply to your site for some reason then you should consider pulling in an external RSS feed an putting it on your homepage.

Let’s look at an example of how an RSS feed can increase visits and revisits to your site. If for example you had a website about Birthday Gifts, perhaps you didn’t even have much content (text) because you were really only selling products and not information or ideas. What if you placed an RSS feed for ‘Famous Peoples Birthdays today’ on your homepage. This way when a visitor is on your homepage they may glance over the Famous Peoples Birthdays today list and either share it with a friend or perhaps it simply makes them smile. Small experiences like this are sure to increase revisits to your site, in many cases people will link their blog to your site (ie. backlink) simple because you’re offering a cool feature or something that your competitors aren’t offering. Over time those revisits and backlinks will cross the threshold of the SEO algorithms and pay off 10 fold.

Summary
There is no formula that will guarantee anyone the first spot on any Search Engines Results Page (SERP) but good practice and implementing tips as mentioned above is sure to improve your rankings. We strongly suggest that if you don’t already have a Google/Webmaster account and if you don’t know the details of your current rankings that you open an Google/Webmaster account so that you can measure the impact of keeping your site up to date.

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Creative content sources for individuals and small businesses online.

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By: Brendan Fitzpatrick

Google

Do you have your own blog or website, or maybe a small to midsize company struggling to stay relevant on the internet? Let me start by defining relevance as it applies to improving your presence on the internet first and then I’ll share some ways that I’ve found to be successful.

Relevance – what is it? Relevance it THE single most important feature of a web site or blog that you need to keep on top of if you want to increase your presence on the Internet, ie. increase new and recurring visitors coming to your site. In simple terms, relevance is what it takes to catch your visitors eyes such as appealing graphic ads. You should use graphics and catch phrases that pique the interest of the visitors you want to come to your site. You should use phrases as ‘Must have’, or ‘Top 10’ or ‘The best’ so that internet users feel they need to click on to learn more about that subject.

Second, your blog or your web site should be user friendly. You shouldn’t have too many graphics or too much content that overwhelms someone or they will immediately move onto a new URL. Create catchy infographics.

Third, another important piece of Relevance is to keep your content engaging. Hire someone to write articles if you cannot write good quality articles – and do it frequently. Your visitors will only remember your site if they leave feeling that they learned something or found something interesting about what they were originally searching for. It’s important that your SEO be inline with your content or you will have a major disconnect with your visitors and you will most likely reach the point of frustration like many others that don’t have a strategy. Research your competitors and try to offer more than they do.

Here are some resources that I’ve found extremely useful. Since I do everything myself (graphics, html design, layout, programming and more) I was very skeptical about using any service provider but I jumped into these and I wish I had done it sooner.

Canva.com – a great site for free infographics. For a small fee you can use a plethora of graphics in their graphic library. A must try!

eLance.com – a great site for everything professional, from site design, graphic and content providers and more.

fiverr.com – I can’t vouch more for this site, I’ve ordered customized videos, graphics and more for $5. I’ve also combined multiple services for scripted videos with voiceovers for as little as $10. If you’re swift enough you can combine services from multiple providers and earn a lot of money!

everypost.me – an amazing new tool for free that will enable you to manage all of your social media centrally. Check out their site and review their features. Be aware though that they are constantly updating this tool, it has limitations but they’re constantly getting better.

Inkscape – for those of you looking to do your own graphics without paying for Adobe Illustrator, photoshop and the like, this is an amazing free graphic solutions which competes (if not outshines) most commercial solutions – if you are you willing to put the time in to learn it. If you’re used to Illustrator or Photoshop but don’t want to purchase an upgrade then Inkscape may be for you..

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!

Successful SEO – SEO is a never ending project, not a one time thing!

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By: Brendan Fitzpatrick

Google

Hi all.. in this article I will attempt to describe what you need to do nowadays vs. years ago to build traffic to your site. Years ago just about anything you did for your website gained you more traffic. Whether it was adding links to link directories, created tons of content (in some cases ‘invisible’ content!), adding tons of keywords you would jump up in search engine rankings.

Nowadays the search engine crawlers are alot smarter, you have to worry about adding too many keywords (spam), being in the wrong directories (blackhat issues), content not loading for above the fold content (what?) but more importantly relevance and fresh content. The purpose of this article is not to educate or help you with SEO concepts, it will provide you with some basic guidance on the areas that you need to focus on daily to stay competetive, each website will have it’s own unique version of daily activity to boost it to the top in search engine listings!

Here we go, if you do not have a daily plan similar to the one listed below then chances are you will never catch up to your competitors:

Daily routine:

Every day (7 days/week):

1. 2 new website updates (can be anything, the more relevance the better, ie. add new products, add a news article, blog entry etc.)

2. 2 social media posts (1 in afternoon, 1 in evening)

Monday
1. competitor analysis (30 mnutes, what keywords/phrases are your top competitors beating you with?)
2. think of something new/unique for site to increase traffic (new social network, new section etc.) – focus on beating our competitors keywords/phrases that they are out performing you with
3. Review google and bing /webmaster, fix issues and follow their recommendations
4. QA site – review trends, html, duplicate titles, META tagging, nofollow & alt tags etc.
5. improve advertising (google adsense etc.)

Tuesday & Thursday
1. 1 article idea, purchase & update site (content .. content .. content .. relevance.. relevance.. relevance…!)
2. research new backlinks.. contact sites to add links to your site

Wednesday
1. video idea, purchase
*could be for a specific product or set of ideas, how-to’s, skits etc.
2. review your advertising ads, replace those that are underperforming
3. come up with new graphic content – for articles, better layout etc.

Friday
1. add 3 internal links
-about us page, links page, article updates, homepage rotation of links
2. review social presence and statistics
3. submit new sitemap.xml to search engines
4. review backlinks, remove bad backlinks

The biggest change in SEO in recent years is your social presence, the reason why we recommend at least 2 social posts every day. Even more important is your content relevance which is why we also recommend daily content updates. Every website is different and needs different updates depending on it’s topic, but think of it this way, if you’re making 2 content updates a day and 2 social posts but your competitor is making 4 content updates and 5 social posts a day they will beat you in that area as far as search engine rankings are concerned, so your competitor analysis should help you define the actual number of updates on a regular basis that you should be performing.

For a professional review of your website SEO at a veryy cheap rate you can order my service on Fiverr.com here  https://www.fiverr.com/bfitz70

SEO Today!

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By: Brendan Fitzpatrick

Google

Gone are the days of simple content, keywords, description and links to your site! Nowadays search engines are much smarter then they were years ago. If you are trying to get back into or simply trying to master SEO here are the top 3 areas you need to work on.

1. Focus – if you have more than one site or idea, pick one! If you’re in the game to seek success on more than one idea then pick your best idea and pursue it. See the next point!

2. Relevance – what does this mean? After several year of chasing multiple ideas it’s clear that the most successful websites are people who are passionate about their product. You have to live, breath and eat what you’re looking to promote. If you’re focusing on SEO then you may going down the wrong path. As Matt Cutt’s explains – if you’re not creating content on the product or service that you’re offering then you’re going about SEO the wrong way. Google is getting smarter and smarter every day, they are truly seeking out ‘authorities on specific subjects’. In the old days, backlinks, content and internet presence was everything. Today it’s all about quality and expertise on subjects that truly get you ranked higher in the search engines. To do this you need to focus on expert content and your internet following (ie. social existence). A site that has 1000’s of social followers proves to google that your site is trustworthy and has some level of authority and relevance. Without this your site has a lower relevance factor. Produce expert content on your subject matter and search engines will rank you accordingly.

3. Dedication – it takes a long time for search engines to find you and rank your site accordingly, it also takes a long time to produce enough content to make a difference. If you’re website if not your life where you are living, breathing and eating it every day then it will be very difficult to find your site in the top 1% of the search engine ranking, much less the top 100 or top 10 (where you need to be to make a difference) search results.

I know these points are generic, but the bottom line is that it’s becoming much harder if not impossible to spam your way to the top search results. Today the search results are becoming all about expert content created by experts. You really have to have focus, relevance and dedication to see significant results. If you’re paying for backlinks then you might as well give up, google is now penalizing sites for spam backlinks (ie. paid backlinks). If you’re an expert on a given topic then chances are you have a blog, a website, a google+ page, facebook page and perhaps a pinterest, instagram, tumblr account and maybe many more avenues of inbound social networks. If you don’t then you’re playing Major League Baseball with a whiffle ball bat.

Read my article on SEO tips.

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 do I create a new web site and receive lot’s of traffic?

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By Brendan Fitzpatrick

Google

There are many ways to build a web site that receives lot’s of traffic. However the first things you need to figure out are “what does lot’s of traffic mean to you”, “what kind of traffic are you looking for”, “what do you intend to do for that traffic” and “how much is this traffic worth to you?”.

What does lot’s of traffic mean to you? Are you looking for dozens of unique visitors per day, per week, per month? Are you looking for 100’s of unique visitors per day, week or month? Or are you looking for 1000’s of unique visitors? Depending on what your site has to offer, any of the above quantities of users can be considered “lot’s of traffic”.

What kind of traffic are you looking for? Global traffic, regional traffic, geo-located traffic, product specific targeted traffic? You need to assess your objectives and goals and then weigh the various options that might work best for you. Not every option below will work for everyone, here are some key ways to generate significant traffic for your situation:

1. A great Domain Name – depending on what you are looking to offer it may be very easy or very difficult to find a really good domain name. Domain names that people type into the browser directly without searching in search engines (ie. cars.com and loans.com) are diminishing daily in the registrars. If you have a niche product or idea then there is a chance that you may find a domain name that receives some traffic just by owning the domain (ie. organicguavadrink.com and superbowlboulevard.com) but more common products and ideas are very competitive and will cost you $100’s if not $1,000’s of dollars for a domain name that receives direct traffic.

Note: a friend of mine bought SuperBowlBoulevard.com in October 2013, really good domain names are out there if you look hard enough. Another way to find really good domain names is to try and predict future domain names such as an up and coming professional athelete or movie title.

2. A fad – depending what you are looking to do with the web site if you are just trying to make money and you really don’t care what type of traffic you receive you can copy an existing fad and place Google Ads or Amazon.com’s affiliate ads on your site. For example, when AmIHotOrNot.com came out I created iGotLooks.com and I received so much traffic in the first month that it brought my server down, it received hundreds of visitors per hour and 1000’s of pages per hour. I added banner ads to dating sites and I was making a couple of hundred dollars per month without lifting a finger.

Note: creating a site like iGotLooks.com would normally cost a few thousand dollars, I didn’t know how to build the site but I learned over time and built many custom features which eventually led to me earning ALOT of money per hour by fixing and building other sites. I found work using eLance.com and craigslist.org

3. A well designed site – back to reality here.. Most people cannot purchase a great domain name for their site because most of the domains are either taken or too expensive to purchase from someone and most people cannot piggyback their ideas onto a fad. If you fall into this category then you have two options, either design and build your own site and learn EVERYTHING about SEO along the way or you’re going to pay someone good money and then you’re going to have to cross your fingers that they don’t rip you off AND hope that they know what they are doing. I’m not going to go into the details of how to design a great site as that is not the purpose of this article, the purpose is to make you aware of options. I will say though – that even if you can afford for someone to design and build a great website, you really should try it on your own so that you can at least talk with a level of authority with your designer. A well designed website will be found higher in the search engines  than poorly designed sites generating organic traffic. You need to understand topics such as META-Tags, keywords and the content of your site.

You don’t need to be a mechanic to talk to your mechanic but you should have a basic understanding of how many miles you can expect out of your tires and brakes so that you’re not replacing them too frequently.

Note: my wife had no knowledge of building a website but she designed and built WeddingRice.com which receives a good amount of traffic which brings in a good amount of side business for us. The biggest Bridal magazine in the United States eventually found the site and voted her product as #36 out of their top 100 products in their September 2007 edition. It truly is amazing how far a well designed web site can take your business.

4. Paid advertising – this is an extremely complex discussion but I will attempt to simplify an example. No matter what you can afford to spend on traffic you must educate yourself on topics such as CTR and your conversions to sales. Depending on your average profit it may be impossible to earn money using Paid advertising. Example:

Keyword: candy

Keyword cost per click: $0.10 (10 cents)

If 10 people click on your ad before one of them buy something it will cost you $1.00, if your average profile it $0.90 then you are losing $0.10 every sale. 

Keyword: loan

Keyword cost per click: $3.25

If 1000 people click on your ad before one of them purchases a loan it will cost you $3,250 BUT if you are making $150,000 per loan then you have just struck gold!

Paid advertising should always be tested with an amount of money that you can afford to lose. You’re best bet is to find websites in the same category as your products and pay a fixed fee for an ad on their site – but be cautioned that you should require proper evidence of the traffic they expect to send you.

Note: Just because a website doesn’t advertise that they sell banner space shouldn’t deter you. Email sites directly and you are bound to find a great advertising opportunity for your site. I sell ads on AnniversariesByYear.com that brings 1,000’s of unique visitors per day and people contact me all the time and I work out custom ad agreements at incredibly low rates.