The Secret Uses of Links for SEO

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One of the safest methods of link building is to build natural one-way links.

This method is based solely on great content and resources. Search Engines look at the “intent” of links to your website, and by focussing on this method, your site will meet the SE requirements without a doubt.  However, it is also considered to be the slowest method.  Initially, when your site is new, you might want to consider launching it by submitting  it to niche web directories. Begin submitting to a few highly trusted directories, but try not have more than 10% of your overall links originating from them. Additionally, don’t ignore industry-specific directories that may be paid or unpaid. These directories usually send highly qualified traffic and can be a real bargain. Directories will get your site many natural one-way links, at a natural speed of growth. This combination of speed and type is quite beneficial. Specifically look for directory sites that would benefit from offering users your content.

Linkbaiting refers to content, images, videos, or anything on your site that is created with the intention of increasing links to it. This method is not easy, and involves a bit of creativity. But it can be worth every effort.It is probably the cheapest and most effective way of getting links, based on the cost of the “bait” you use. It  has no negative effects from the search engines, at least not for the moment, since all links generated look natural. When coupled with social bookmarking, the networks associated with these links will add even more value to them.

Potentially, paying for links or paid links can have great short-term search benefits. Essentially, these links mainly benefit sites that have tons of pages with content, and have been well established online for years. Additionally, these sites also have tons of natural links to them, because they had been well established online for years. These links are not recommended for new sites. Invest some extra time and search for sites that are highly on topic with yours, and in complementary niches. Age is another very important factor in the evaluation of these links. In the latest google slap event, sites that engaged in heavy link buying practices lost their positions and were dropped past the top 30 in the listings.

The effect of “bad links” on your website should also be of concern.  Outbound links play a big role in the way search engines define your “neighborhood”. Bad neighborhoods will affect your search engine rankings, for example, things like FFA (Free For All) link pages, links farms, etc, fall in this category. Note that this has nothing to do with your web pages going into the supplemental index. Rather, it is the volume of bad links that is the problem, Especially if the large volume of links forms a pattern which is totally unrelated to your site.

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SEO

Search Engine Optimisation

Simply put: Traffic drives results.

Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is the process of making webpages more visible to the search engines.  In this series of SEO articles, I will discuss the various aspects of SEO that go a long way to show beginners the necessities of properly organised website content.  A properly optimised website will increase visits to your site and drive results, making you more money online. SEO optimisation is an essential requirement in online marketing and without it, your websites will slide further down the rankings.  Not only that, various directories focus on key elements of  websites and the summarised data makes data collating easier and that in turn speeds up analysis.

When optimizing your site for the search engines, you should improve what is called your “on page” SEO as well as your “off page” SEO. On page SEO includes those things that can be done to your web pages to enhance their ability to rank for a particular set of terms and off page SEO (aka offsite SEO) are the techniques, like link building, that are done elsewhere.

Here are five important website factors that may affect your on page SEO:

Website Design/Coding

You may be surprised to see “web design” included in this list but it really can affect your Search Engine Optimization efforts.

This is how:

•    Your design should look great so as to keep your visitors on your site as long as possible . (this improves what is called, “visit duration.”)
•    Well coded sites should conform with the W3C guidelines and  could easily be checked with the W3C validation tool.
•    Your images and coding should be optimized to be as “light” as possible. This will improve your “page load speed” and this is good for both SEO and human visitors… no one likes to needlessly wait.

Meta Title
Your “meta title” information is added to the page source (i.e. your website coding) and is displayed to visitors in the topmost portion of the browser window.  Generally speaking, your meta title should include the two-to-three keyword phrases you are optimizing the page for and be kept relatively short (i.e. about 60-80 characters max).
Meta Page Description
How much your meta page descriptions affect your SEO is up for debate but there are other benefits to writing a good meta page description as well.
As a general rule, I suggest that your meta page description read well, contain the primary keyword phrase you are targeting and be kept to no more than 156 characters, including spaces.
Most of the time, the search engines will use your meta page description text when creating your search engine listing. The more exciting the text is, the better your chances of “getting the click.”
On Page Content
There is a popular saying in Internet Marketing circles that “Content is King”, but that is not entirely correct. Poorly written content, or content that is “stuffed” with keywords will do much more harm than good. For best results, your on page content should be well-written and unique to your site. It should also be tightly focused around the 2-3 keyword phrases you are optimizing for. That’s not to say that you should repeat your keyword phrases over and over, but that each page’s content be more focused than broad.
Your Web Page URL
If at all possible, it’s best to see that your urls include your primary keyword phrase. For example, if you were targeting the term, “seo expert,”  it would be best if the url were something like: domain.com/seo-expert.  As your url now includes the phrase, “seo expert,” you help the search engines better understand the relevance of your page’s content.

Want To Know More?

I recently came across a great site that offers free SEO training.  Well worth a visit if you want to optimise your website and drive up your profits.

Ten Tips To Build Your List

If you have been an internet marketer for a while or had any type of online business, you will no doubt have heard the expression, the money is in the list!  So what does this mean?  Basically, with an online business, your customers come from far and wide to visit your website.  Ideally, you need them to register their email address with your site so that you can send them the latest news special offers, sales alerts and other valuable advice from time to time.  So, in reality, your list is  your very important customer list that becomes your biggest business asset.  Without a list, you have no customers.  It took me a while to fully appreciate this fact.  My only regret now is that I didn’t start list building  sooner.
There are many different ways to build an opt-in list. By definition, the opt-in list is a collection of email names and addresses from customers signing up to your website offer. The type of business model you have chosen will determine which method of list building is more suitable to you.  With that in mind, I have decided to share seven of the most powerful strategies to build a targeted opt-in list.
So without further ado, here are ten tips for building your opt-in list, in no particular order:

1) Free Report, mp3 recording, webinar replay, video -­ Offering a free report or video recording, audio recording  from your website is one of the most common, and effective ways to start building an opt-in list. It is also one of the best strategies for building your list.  How does it work?

Pack your report/video/audio recording full of useful information, free resources, tips, tools, and anything else your subscriber list will be interested in. Also, be sure to make it fun and presentable in an easy to understand format. Then your subscribers will enjoy it and get to know you at the same time.

2) Make It Easy to Subscribe -­ To maximize your free report/video/audio sign-ups, you must also have a quick and easy way for people to subscribe to it. The best way to do this is to put an opt-in form on the top part of the right hand column of your websites home page, and all other pages, if possible.

Put a quick sentence or two telling them why your report would benefit them (i.e. freebies, tips, tools, etc.) then have a way for them to add their email address and name below it. This opt-in form will bring in a lot of your subscriber list.

3) Quality Content -­ Packing your website full of great content will bring in a lot of visitors. Many of these visitors will want to visit again and will subscribe to your report/video/audio recording. Your list will grow naturally and so will your search engine rankings, which, in turn will bring more visitors who can join your list. It will eventually turn into a list building, productive cycle.

4) Market your unique website. Use blog directories, rss directories, social networking, offline search engine optimization and other marketing tactics to drive traffic to your blog and build a bigger, stronger readership.

5) Forums -­ There are literally thousands of forums and discussion boards on the internet where people go to discuss all sorts of things and ask questions. All you have to do is find forums related to your particular business and participate in the discussion.  An easy way to find these forums is by searching google for ‘forums:golfing’ for example, and this will generate a list of golfing websites that have a forum or chat room dedicated to that topic. Easy, isn’t it?  You can join various forums and register your details.  Then, when you come across a thread or post that you know you can make a valuable contribution to, do join in the conversation and respond to the post.

Most of the forums allow you to put a signature line under your post, which is where you can put a link back to your website, or any other special offer that you are promoting. One rule you absolutely must follow is not to spam the forums in any way. Make absolutely certain you offer legitimate posts, with useful information, or you will ruin your online reputation and the moderator might cancel your membership.

5) Write Articles -­ This is a great method of establishing yourself as an expert in your field and getting inbound links to your site.  If you are not confident about writing articles, you can also pay someone to write for you or you can buy plr articles and edit them to suit.   Article marketing is very effective for building your opt-in list. All you have to do it put a link to your website/special offer in the byline of the article and submit the article to websites, directories, and ezines.  One of the best ezines to start with is ezine articles.  Just remember to have your article published here first before you submit the article to other directory services, lest you be accused of having duplicate content.

6) Market your articles. Use article directories, rss directories, social networking, offline search engine optimization and other marketing tactics to drive more traffic to your website.
I am of the opinion that article marketing is one of the best ways to build your  list as readers already see you as a subject matter expert. They will think of you as a knowledgeable individual and someone they can trust before they decide to join your list. Profits will roll in much faster from these subscribers.

7) Write an E-book -­ Internet marketers are always looking for freebies to give away on their websites, as a bonus, or to send to their lists. This is a great opportunity for you to help build your own list. All you have to do is write an e-book and let other internet marketers give it away to their list.

The e-book doesn’t have to be perfect, you can just make it a collection of your best articles, business tips, and business resources. Of course, you must put links to your website. Then, give it away, and watch it turn into a viral list building machine.

Yet another variation to this strategy to visit a site like viralebooks.com that provides you with ebooks to rebrand and publish as your own.  By doing it this way, you don’t have to do the writing at all!

8) Market your E-book.  Encourage your subscribers fill in the names and email addresses of 3 of their internet friends before you send them the free e-book.  Another variation of this plan is for each subscriber to tweet your special offer to their twitter friends, in return for the free e-book.

9) Pay for it!  Some marketers will happily publish your special offer to their list, for a fee.  Some will even introduce you to their joint venture (jv) buddies, thereby creating a wider circle of influence.  Quite often there are bonanza sales being organised by a group of internet marketers.  If an offer of this kind happens to pass your desk, join up and build your list.

10) Advertise! – Did you know that you can pay for advertising space in some ezines and websites?  For a small fee you can advertise your website for a period of time and drive visitors to your site.

And there you have it, ten powerful strategies that are sure to build your opt-in list. Putting these list building strategies into action as soon as possible will quickly increase your list numbers, and increase your profits, more than you could have ever imagined.

Plan Your Success in 2011

With the Festive season out of the way, I’m back on deck, focusing my energy on the new year ahead and my project pipeline.

I spent some time last year (sounds like a long time ago), developing a project pipeline to monitor my important projects and help me stay focused.  My challenge this year is to lose the queen of procrastination crown and kick some goals.  I’m feeling excited about that!

Trying to make money online can be a daunting prospect when there is so much “noise” out there with so many market criers guru’s competing for your attention whilst promising you instant riches – really, if the product was so good, would you have to promote it so much?  Talk about flogging a dead horse!

Not all marketers are bad, there are some ethical ones about.  One such young man that I have been following has published a new report about his experience with internet marketing – and I have to say, this is quite a gem.  It is well worth a read. You can download it here, or you can visit his place. Don’t forget to come back and leave a comment if you like his report. I plan on introducing you to all my online friends this year – so you can see how ordinary folk are making money online – by doing it their way.  Have an awesome day!

Focus on Success – 2011

“What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.” ~Ralph Waldo Emerson

As the year draws to a end and we take stock, I acknowledge that it has been a challenging, busy year with heaps of offline activity. Perhaps more than I could afford, but a necessary process associated with moving house. Fortunately, I was able to pick up the pieces and continue with my internet lifestyle once the move was completed.  Along the way, I encountered a few challenges and solved a few problems.  The most important lesson for me is that FOCUS is the key, along with consistent, planned action.

So for me, the year has been exceptionally good, and I know 2011 is going to be even better. I have lots of projects in the pipeline and I look forward to my new launch.  Smart Money Projects is all about helping you make money online and to this end, I will be rolling out new products in 2011 – so stay tuned. My goal in 2011 is to connect you to the best make money online methods available online.

From all of us here at Smart Money Project, we wish you and your family all the very best for a great 2011!

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