Saturday, August 29, 2009

How to Improve Your Website's Google Ranking

Google's search engine,, uses a variety of methods to determine which pages are displayed first in the results. Their exact formula is a secret, but there are a few things you can do to improve your positioning. The term for this is Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

These tips may not make your website the first one to appear in the list, but they just may help you move up a little.

Ignore spam and websites that offer to submit your website to hundreds of search engines. At best these are wastes of time or money and at worst they can actually hurt your ranking.

Keyword Phrases

Rather than focusing on a single word, try adding a few words to make a keyword phrase. You may want to read about effective Google searches to see how keyword phrases help with searches.

If you were searching for your own website, what keyword phrase would you type into Google for each page? Would you look for super fast widgets? Would you look for cooking with widgets? It may be helpful to get a different perspective. Ask someone else to read your page and suggest what they think your keyword phrase might be. You can also check Google Trends to see if one phrase is starting to gain popularity.

Try to stick to one subject per page, and stick to one keyword phrase per page. That doesn't mean you should write stilted text or use odd phrases. Clear writing is both easier to search and easier to read.


One of the things Google looks for when it catalogs pages is the density of the keyword usage. In other words, how often the keyword occurs. Use natural phrasing. Don't try to trick the search engine by repeating the same word over and over or making text "invisible." It doesn't work. In fact, some of that behavior even get your website banned. Read more: Google Dont's - Bad Tips and Dirty Tricks That Will Get You Banned.

Give a strong opening paragraph. Google may or may not search beyond the first 200 words or so of your web site, but it definitely looks at the first paragraph for keyword density.

You can check your keyword density with Google Toolbar.

Name Your Pages

Give your pages a descriptive name with the tag. This is vital. Google displays search results as a link using the Web page's title. A link called 'untitled' isn't enticing, and nobody is going to click on it. When appropriate, use the page's keyword phrase in the title.

Learn more about why titles matter.

Link Early, Link Often

One of the biggest factors Google looks at is the hyperlink. Google looks at both links to and from your website.

Google looks at the words you use in links to help determine the content of your page. Use links within web pages as a way to emphasize keywords. Rather than saying, "click here to learn more about SEO" you should say: Read more about SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

Learn more about why hyperlink names matter to Google.

Links from other websites to your website are used to determine PageRank. You can use Google Toolbar to check your current PageRank.

You can improve your PageRank by exchanging text links with other relevant websites. Banner exchanges are not as effective. You can also improve your PageRank by making sure your website is listed with important directories. In other words, check the PageRank of the home page of the directory.

Submit Your Site to the Right Directories

Submit your website to the open directory project, if possible. Google considers this directory to be an important link. Be patient. A real human has to check your site, before it's listed in the Directory.

Submit your site to specialized directories. For instance, a work at home mother owned business (WAHM) should submit her site to WAHM directories. A site on butterflies should be sent to biology or entomology directories.

Don't get too submission happy, though. Google, in an effort to combat click fraud, often filters out websites linked from link farms, or pages with nothing but links to other websites. This is one reason why free services to register your website may hurt you. Stick to specialized directories and organizations. They're more likely to help and not hurt your rankings.

Social Networking

Social networking sites can be a good way to promote a site, but not all of them will affect your rank directly. Digg and are social linking sites that could potentially have the most impact.

Make Your Graphics Search Friendly

Keep the Flash to a minimum. People may enjoy reading Flash, but search engines tend to skip right over it. Google has gained some ability to read Flash, but it is still limited. If your menus are in Flash, they might as well be invisible. Consider making plain text links in addition to or instead of Flash.

Give your images tags. Not only does it make your website more accessible to the visually impaired, it also gives you another chance to place your keywords where Google can see them.

Good Design Is Popular Design

In the end, strong, well organized pages are pages that Google tends to rank higher. They're also pages that tend to become more popular, which means Google will rank them even higher. Keep good design in mind as you go, and much of the SEO will design itself.


Friday, August 21, 2009

Can Duplicate Content Still Get Ranked?

Does Google still rank duplicate content? How about the other search engines?

With all the talk of duplicate content and penalties and such and such, you’d think the search engines would have just stopped ranking it completely. But they haven’t. And all the evidence you really need that they haven’t is Google’s recent (within the past 6 months) announcement of a new recognized tag - the canonical URL tag.

The canonical tag - attribute, if you will - is a relationship attribute that you can append to your URLs so that Google knows which one you want indexed. That is, which version of duplicate content on your own site that you prefer to be found in Google’s index. If Google wasn’t still ranking duplicate content then such an URL wouldn’t be necessary.

Of course, it could be argued that the canonical URL is necessary so that Google doesn’t make the decision for you as to which duplicate content is more important, and that would be true. But I’ve actually seen cases where the same content is indexed multiple times across several websites.

The question for webmasters is this: How do you position your content so that it is ranked higher than any duplicate content that might appear elsewhere on the Web?

First, I’d suggest that you publish your content on your own website before you publish it anywhere else, or allow someone else to publish it elsewhere. The search engines do try to find the first instance of publication and index that before indexing the duplicate content. So if you publish your articles on your own website before you publish them in other places then you stand a better chance of those articles being indexed on your own site first.

An alternative to publishing on your own site first is to only distribute unique content when producing off site content. Instead of submitting one article to 100 article directories, just submit it to one directory and write another article to submit to another directory. That will cut down on chances of your content being duplicated.


Monday, August 17, 2009

5 Quick Ways To Increase Website Conversion Rates

Here are 5 quick ways you can tweak that bond of trust:

• Return Policy. Make your return policy prominent and clear. Place links on your website where your visitors can see them. It has been proven that the longer your return policy text is, the more sales that you make. Interestingly enough, the longer your return policy, the lower your number of returns – generally speaking.

• Generous contact information and availability. Your clients don’t want to go digging for your contact information, so make your phone number, street address and email highly visible on your main webpage. Incorporate good customer service protocol. Answer emails promptly and make sure your live chat rooms are staffed.

• User reviews. These are one of the most powerful ways to increase trust and conversion rate. Use positive feedback and (PAY ATTENTION) include negative reviews too. Although we are not fond of them, they lend credibility. Not everyone is happy all the time! That’s reality. If potential users of your product are visible, your lead will see that others value your unique product or service and care enough to comment about it.

• FAQ. A question-and-answer section is quite valuable. It builds trust and rapport, because customers see that others have the same questions they do and that these issues are being addressed. Take a look at how I handled this by going to: This particular format might not work for your market, but in this example I show you how you can go beyond answering basic questions in the traditional way.

• Credible copywriting. Use caution. Monitor your hype level. Make sure your grammar is correct and that the level of adjectives and adverbs you use is appropriate for your market. If you go overboard, you will break their trust.

This article will not have any power unless you integrate the great ideas I have shared. Make a promise to yourself and your business to integrate at least one of these bonds of trust strategies into your business in the next 30 days. If you make more than one of these changes, you’ll see your conversion rates increase even faster.

If you like to know of more ways to easily and quickly increase your website conversion rates visit www.ezbusinessgrowth.comundefined

Yvette is an execution-oriented business coach. She is known for being an out-of-the-box thinker, doer, high achiever and she combines a unique blend of innovative, no-fluff strategies that really work.


Saturday, August 1, 2009

How Tobe Number one in Google 2

This is one of the best and easiest methods of getting traffic and links, yet it is also the one that is most often done wrong. All too many blogs for ecommerce sites are nothing more than "product posts."

So, let me say emphatically that:

People don't care about you, your cat, or your products!

That may sound harsh, but it's true, they don't. What your potential customers will care about is their problems, wants, and desires. Therefore, your posts should play to the customer but target the niche to which you market.

Blogs should contain articles that will be of help and interest to your target market. They should contain links to interesting news stories or bits of information. In other words, your blog should be a valuable resource to your target market independent of what you sell. Additionally, you should post to your blog every day (and twice a day is better).

Once you're doing that, you need to make sure that your blog is also "pinging" and that each article on your blog can be submitted to Digg, Reddit, and/or

The reason for this is simple. Those services will help to get your blog articles read, and therefore improve the number of links to your site. Pinging your blog will help to get it indexed by the major search engines that much quicker.

However, if you really want to rank well (and particularly rank well quickly), blogging isn't enough. You need to go to the next step and embrace Web 2.0.

But just trying to dive right in to social network marketing is likely to be a waste of time unless you already are heavily involved and active in one of the big services.

You see, before just trying to submit something to one of the social networks, it helps to know what works.

Sittin' in Front of the 'Tube

My favorite traffic and link generating service on this front is YouTube. Now, just submitting funny home videos may result in you getting your videos looked at, but it may not result in your site getting any traffic, let alone any links, so let's talk about a strategy that does both.

First, I'm not a big fan of trying to put together my own videos as a general rule. Instead, I want other people to do it for me. This is largely because creating a truly viral video requires an odd imagination and more than a little skill ... so I leave it to them (time being money and all that).

So what I do is create a contest around the "best," "funniest," "sexiest," or whatever I'm going for with the market. Videos are posted to YouTube, but you have to visit a location on my site to vote for it (and I have the software for this which I'll give you free; see my site for details). The video with the most votes wins. I usually give the winner a few hundred dollars -- enough to make it interesting but small enough that I'm not breaking my own bank in the process.

Of course the page where the voting occurs also contains some "ads" for my main site.

What's happening with this technique is more than you might think. You're turning your company into the "cool" site that is playing with web 2.0. Links will come if for no reason than because the folks that submitted videos will want others to vote for their video.

And you're tapping into the power of viral videos without ever needing to know how to create one yourself ... how great is that?!

Now, if you stopped there, you just might make it. However, you really should go one step farther.


How Tobe Number one in Google 1

This article started as a challenge. I have a membership site with an enormous amount of information on SEO, traffic generation, sales conversions, and so on. A friend of mine however made a bet. He bet me that I couldn't show the steps to ranking well in Google in 45 days or less, and do it in less than 2,000 words. Now ordinarily I'm not really the betting kind, but let's just say he made the bet interesting.

Before I go into the actual techniques to getting a #1 listing in Google in 45 days or less, let me say something that should be obvious: "It isn't easy." Also, please keep in mind that this is not a scientific dissertation on the subject meant to cover all angles of the subject.

Don't think that getting a #1 spot that fast is something you can do working on it only five minutes a day. You can't, not anymore. There's simply too much competition and EVERYONE is trying to rank well.

However, the rewards for getting to the #1 spot on Google are enormous, as I am sure you are aware.

With the preliminaries out of the way, there is an important thing to know about Google; it's that Google is very "link centric." In other words, ranking well is determined largely by who is linking to you and who you are linking to. There are other factors which we'll get into later, but that is the bulk of it.

Therefore, if you want to rank well, your site has to be "link worthy." Or better put, your site should have reasons why someone would want to link to you (and if you have a plain ecommerce site we'll get to how you do this).

You see, unless you want to spend a small fortune buying links (which largely don't work), the only way to get them, and therefore the only way to rank well, is to have something on your site worth linking to. This of course brings us to: