Sep 21, 2009

Keywords tag and Google

Google announced – they don’t use the keywords tag in their search engine. Here is a video explaining why:

Keywords tag is meaningful only in the world of search engine optimization. It tells the search engines – "hey, this site is related to these words". Some webmasters use tons of incoherent and misleading keywords to get more traffic so most SE drop it some years ago.

Further reading:
Matt Cutts: Google doesn’t use the keywords meta tag in web search
Google Webmaster Central Blog: Google does not use the keywords meta tag in web ranking

Good on-site optimization

What is on-site optimization?
On-site optimization is the SEO process of improving the quality of a website for better position in SE. If you want more traffic you need to work on your site optimization.

Basics of the on-site optimization:

  • Title tags
    Optimizing the title tags is the most important part of the on-site optimization. Make sure your title tags are context-related, short and meaningful. Use unique title text for each page. Include one or two related keywords with high search volume near the beginning. (Don’t confuse keywords with high search volume with high paying ones)

  • Page content
    Focus to have high quality articles designed for human readers. Keyword stuffing isn’t good idea. If you want returning visitors make useful content. Optimize the articles with bold text, H1, H2, H3 titles, lists and so on. It must be easy for the reader to find, what he is searching for. Don’t use Frame and iFrame tags for your text and articles.

  • Site architecture
    Use SEO oriented website architecture. Each article must have its own page with optimized and relevant title and URL. Use tag clouds and categories. Use shallow link trees – every page must be maximum three clicks away from your primary one.

  • SEO friendly URLs
    The URLs must be as optimized as possible. The category and article link must be meaningful. It is better to use http://website/seo than http://website/category3 . The same is valid for the articles’ URLs.

  • JavaScript, Flash
    JavaScript and Flash are bad choice for menus and navigation. Web robots are not good enough in working with them. Some Search Engines can crawl Flash content in a certain extent but don’t rely on that. Optimization for a Flash website is very hard work.

  • Links and Menus
    Use meaningful text with keywords for your menus and links to inner pages. Use full URLs to your inner pages rather than short ones. For example it is better to use href=http://website/books/fantasy.html than href=”books/fantasy.html”. Many web designers use the second because it is easier for their work. Insist on having the full URL in all your inner links.

  • Images
    You need to optimize your images to get traffic from image search engines. Keywords in image URL and alt text are the basics.

  • robots.txt
    Robots exclusion standard or in other words robots.txt file tells the crawlers which pages to include and which to omit. It’s important to have correct robots.txt with the desired information in it. Consider that some bots ignore it.

  • sitemap.xml
    Create a sitemap.xml file and submit it to the biggest search engines. You can submit your sitemap to Google here and to Bing here.

  • Custom 404 page
    Create custom 404 (not found) page with link to your main page.

  • Google Tools
    Use Google Webmaster Tools, Google Analytics and Google Keywords Tool to optimize and validate your site and to track its stats and traffic.

  • Fresh Content
    Don't forget to upload new content daily.

Search Engine Optimization is a constant process. You need to update, optimize and analyze your site constantly. SEO successes are result of many efforts.

Sep 20, 2009

Make money blogging

How to make money online? How to make money from my site? Can I earn from my blog?

Internet is a great place to make money. You can meet different people and make deals without leaving your home. There are many ways to earn money from a website. I’ll try to systematize the basics in this list.

Ways to make money from website or blog:
  • PPC advertising
  • CPM advertising
  • Selling links or banner space
  • Affiliate Marketing Programs
  • Paid blogging
  • Donations

  • PPC and CPM advertising
    PPC stands for Pay per click. It is an advertising model, in which publishers get paid only when an ad is clicked. The ads are served depending on the website context. The advertisers usually bid on specific words called keywords. The ads on your site appear according to your site context and keywords.
    There are many PPC networks available. Some of the most popular are: Google Adsense, Yahoo! Publisher Network (YPN), BidVertiser, Microsoft adCenter.
    CPM stands for Cost per thousand impressions. It is similar to PPC advertising, the difference is that the advertiser pays for impressions not for clicks. CPM advertising is suitable for popular but low paid niches or image hosting websites.
    Some CPM advertising networks: Adsdaq, Right Media, Tribal Fusion, Value Click Media.

  • Selling links or banner space
    You can sell banner space to advertisers directly. It is one of the easiest ways to make money from your website. The biggest pro is the direct contact with the advertisers, without the middleman.

  • Affiliate Marketing Programs
    Affiliate Marketing is a marketing practice in which you earn money through other people’s products.It is a common way to earn money online.
    Affiliate Programs: Commission Junction, Azoogle, Pepperjam, Amazon, ClickBank, Chitika.

  • Paid blogging

    Many bloggers write sponsored reviews to pay their hosting fees or earn some fast money. On the other hand paid blogging is considered relatively bad way to make money online. Again you can contact advertisers directly or join an advertising network.
    Popular networks for paid blogging are PayPerPost, Sponsored Reviews, BlogVertise.

  • Donations

    Don’t be shy, ask people to donate small amount of money. If you work on a popular product or open source software, donations can be your gold mine.

This is not a complete list. In fact a complete list on how to make money from a website would be enormous.

Sep 15, 2009

How to get more traffic – 15 easy and free ideas to drive targeted traffic to your site

Getting more and more traffic is the main goal for every webmaster. Getting enough real traffic sometimes is very hard to achieve. Your niche may be overpopulated or not so modern any more. Anyway there are people who need your information and services; you just need to find them. Here is a short list of ideas how to get more targeted traffic.

  1. Submit your site to search engines
  2. Submit your site to web directories
  3. Write articles and submit them to article directories
  4. Write press release
  5. Make a blog and post regularly with reviews of latest updates
  6. Update your site regularly - search engines like regular updates
  7. Make promo videos and submit them to YouTube and other related services
  8. Make cool channel with many related videos on YouTube
  9. Participate in social media websites like twitter and facebook
  10. Participate in Digg, and other social bookmarking and voting services
  11. Use email marketing
  12. Comment in blogs in the same niche
  13. Post in forums in the same niche
  14. Make freebies and give them away
  15. Make a contest related to your site

Related posts:

Sep 7, 2009

Landing page – how to create and optimize them

What is a landing page?
The landing page is the page that appears first when a person clicks and follows an advertisement. As such it has great importance for the visitor impression and further actions.
The landing page is critical for an advertising campaign conversion. Even if you spent a lot of money and time in advertising your product, if your landing page is poor, you won’t receive much profit of all this.

Several tips for better landing page:
  • Make your landing pages easy to navigate. Make sure your visitors can easily purchase the offered product or do the required action without any complications. There is no point to have fancy and complicated landing page where no one can do the required action – purchase your product or service, register for your newsletter or anything else.
    Make your landing page fast enough – don’t put big images or other media that will slow the page loading or load it gradually. Your landing pages must load fast or your clients will got bored and will navigate away.
  • Provide enough information for your product either by information on the landing page or link to the information page for it. Be creative when describing the product and don’t forget that people hate to read long, boring documents.
  • Use images to describe your product. The first thing people see on a new web page are the images. Choose appealing images of your product or people enjoying it and you will be the winner.
  • Hire a professional designer to create your landing page template. First impression is very important when you work with people. Your landing page template must be good enough to ensure that you are serious enough about your product, service, etc. Don’t dirty your landing page with popup windows. Focus the visitor’s attention at one point – your offer.
  • I’ve met some landing page tutorials that suggest you to remove the navigation from your landing page. The idea behind this is that your visitor won’t have options to navigate away from it and will do de required action. By my opinion it is a little harsh – people can always close the browser window. It is better to offer full and reliable information rather than removing the navigation.

Further reading:
Wikipedia article - Landing page
Google Landing pages guidelines