CATEGORY: Websites

SEO Series Part 4: What the Spiders Like…

Look, who’s crawling up my wall SEO How To
Black and hairy, very small
Now he’s up above my head
Hanging by a little thread

Boris the spider
Boris the spider
-THE WHO

While the Google searchbots may not all be named Boris, they do like to crawl. They are also very particular about where they crawl. When your site attracts ol Boris, then your site becomes more recognizable, branding is enhanced, and your business’s ROI is substantial. Here are three ideas for attracting the attention of those pesky searchbots:

Compelling Content – By having original content which is relevant to your business, you are making your site irresistible to Boris. It’s the easiest way to attract site traffic and retain both readers and searchbots. Just be sure that the Meta Tags, Meta Descriptions, and Page Descriptions are well-matched to the page content.

Keywords, Keywords, Keywords – While informative and engaging content is key, it is also important to use the right keywords. Current best practice suggests using 4-6% of your content as keywords. If the percentage is lower, the site will not be found. If it is higher, it will be identified as spam.

Technicalities – In addition to refreshing and updating your keyword-rich content, there are a few technical aspects to consider. For example, try to use more content and less images. Mainly because images make a site file heavy and therefore unreadable by the search bots. Check and be sure there are not any broken links within the site itself. Also be sure that any images or icons used have both an alt tag and a text link. And, finally, be sure to add a site map or even place multiple site maps.

These are simply some general guidelines to make your site more appealing. Every business is unique and, therefore, every SEO campaign is also unique. However, when you keep these three basic ideas in mind, your individual SEO campaign is sure to succeed with our friend, Boris.

Bo has been cranking out some great SEO content. Here are the first three articles.

Beer Friday Drama: Adventures of the Silver Stapler

Ryan in customer support lost his beloved stapler.

It’s hard to describe the fear, worry and stress we witnessed, and that’s just from the people he accused of stealing it. Now to say that the stapler was “lost” is a bit misleading. Ryan had misplaced his stapler, but after he lashed out at anyone with fastened paper, Nic felt justified in taking it on a two-week vacation. Those magical days are now documented on the website Adventures of the Silver Stapler!


Yah that’s a PageZen website. If you want to mess with your coworkers, or put up a business site in minutes, then go PageZen!

Adventures of the Silver Stapler

SEO Part 3: Human vs. Machine: How people REALLY interact with the search engines

(In part 2 of our series we discussed the importance of link structure. Today we seek the help of humans.)

It can be easy to forget that, at the end of the day, all SEO efforts are not just about the latest algorithms, counts per click, and bounce rates, but are really about getting the human at the other end of the machine to pay attention to your message.

Machines can get in the way of views.

While much time, effort, and energy is spent on man beating the latest machine innovations (in terms of search engines, that is), there are some simple things to remember about how people REALLY interact with the search engines. Here are a few tips:

Readable Copy – Make sure that ad titles and descriptions are targeted for each group at each point of the buying cycle. Effective copy takes into consideration competitor messaging and audience composition.

Keywords – In order to have effective copy, your site’s keywords need to be targeted and well researched. Many industries have a template list of keywords, so be sure that your long and short-tail keywords follow current best practice.

24/7 Management – Monitoring sites for performance daily is the best way to find what triggers any day to day changes. Match types, geo-targeting, accelerated delivery, and day parting need constant evaluation and monitoring. Any positive keywords or negative keywords need to be added or stopped based on performance.

Budgeting and Bidding – Make sure budgets are flexible enough to move across search engines/content networks/campaigns as needed. All strategies need to be well articulated and flexible. In addition, the bid strategy for each campaign needs to be clear – maximum clicks; most conversions, highest click-through rate, best ROI, and the highest cost per conversion are several important considerations.

Content Channels – What are the specific content network channels? Who makes the creative decisions? Copy in all content ads should be different. That way, it better grabs the attention of someone reading an article.

Lead Generation – If a company is using a lead generation site, what are the metrics for success? Also, in addition to online lead forms being filled out, phone calls should be tracked, recorded, and properly evaluated for internal training purposes. Be sure that any PPC data is synched with CRM data in order to calculate a true ROI.

Synergized SEO – Are all SEO efforts synchronized and synergized? Keywords need to be strategically targeted between organic and paid so that a site will command search engine results. Web analytics data from organic searches needs constant review in order to find the most effective keywords to add to any PPC campaign.

A picture of a human.

While there is still the attitude of “human versus machine,” when you are familiar with and use these techniques, it will not be such a lengthy battle. After all, a human touch is most certainly required for managing PPC properly and maximizing SEO results.

SEO Series Part 2: Why Link Structure is So Important!

(If you’ve just shown up, click here for Part I of the SEO How-to Series. And welcome)

Links = Votes!

Links as votes is a helpful analogy to remember. Basically, if Page A links to Page B, then Page A is casting a vote that Page B is relevant to the keywords used in the link text or anchor text connecting the 2 pages (example: in the link to Name.com at the end of this sentence the “link text” or “anchor text” is domain name). In addition, votes can be stronger or weaker depending on factors like overall trust of the link, PageRank of the page it came from, and even how significant the relationship between Page A and Page B is.

In other words, the more votes that Page B gets, the higher the likelihood it will rank higher for keywords. The more internal links you provide that point to any given page on your site, the more opportunities there are for that page to rank highly for its targeted keywords. Here are three important internal “link structures” and some simple tactics to optimize them.

1. Global Navigation – The template for global navigation (including home page alt tag) is one of the most elemental starting points for SEO. This is especially true for large sites because the more pages your site has, the more votes the global navigation template is providing for you. This is not to say that you need to have lots of pages. By putting the right keywords in global navigation links like the drop-down menu, your site is more likely to get credit for any internal links. That’s why indexing the links is both important and helpful.

2. Link subsets – There can be any set of links existing on the page template which specifically targets page groups with targeted keyword phrases. This is an ideal vehicle for creating that ever-important link connectivity to the high priority pages. Typically, this is in the footer area or on the right column of the page. Sites may have buckets for “Related Topics” or “Most Popular Pages” or a similar subset which is both related to the main link and relevant. Look at the Name.com Footer for an example of how this is done.

3. Navigate the breadcrumbs – Breadcrumb navigation is an internal link structure that can enhance SEO; especially for any sub-pages that are not linked by global navigation. Any links appearing in the global navigation template will typically occur in the source code before any breadcrumb navigation or content links. This means that global navigation links supersede any other links on the page. Mainly because most search engines (like Google) only count the first link found in the source code between Page A and Page B. Any breadcrumb navigation links must be keyword focused as the primary purpose of them, SEO-wise, is to link to any pages outside of the global navigation template.

Remember that the main purpose for all three of these types of link structures is to direct users to the right information. When the link structures are keyword focused, it aids search engines and users in finding the relevant information.

Search Engine Optimization or SEO… an Introduction

“Everybody’s talking at me. I don’t hear a word they’re saying. Only echoes in my mind.” Nilsson for the soundtrack to Midnight Cowboy, 1969

When it comes to understanding the wonderful world of SEO (Search Engine Optimization), we can all feel like Joe Buck in “Midnight Cowboy.” However, when you break it down again and consider what it means, SEO is not all that difficult.

Here is a brief primer on what you need to know about SEO.

1. Content is King.

The major search engines like Yahoo, Bing, and Google interpret importance or relevance as popularity. The more traffic a site is getting, the more eyeballs are examining it, then the more valuable the information on that site must be. That is why having good content that attracts more visitors really is what matters most. Popularity online can be proven, too. There are a number of successful metrics and tools available that interpret popularity (Google Analytics is a good free start). In fact, Facebook has even come up with their own metrics and analytics to measure online traffic and popularity.

How can you be popular? With the right SEO it’s much easier than high school and without all the hassle of your hair. All of the search engine web guides agree that there are several ways, but that one area is key to increasing popularity for a web site: relevant content. Make sure your content is useful, meaningful, and maybe even a little funny.

2. Drink lots of link-juice.

Next in the hierarchy of being popular online are the number of sites linking to a site and how regularly updates are made. Although you will hear lots of news about keeping up with the changes to the search algorithm and the latest scams, err “methods” to boost online presence and popularity… the cold hard fact is that the World Wide Web is simply a network or web of sites. Much like the stops on the London Underground or New York City’s alphabet soup of a subway system. SEO is all about guiding the right passengers to your particular stop (website) and giving them proper directions about what is there. When you populate your site with well-chosen keywords and valuable content, you will soon find it being visited, linked and then “crawled” regularly and by increasing numbers of people. Obviously, I think you can guess that SEO Tutor is our favorite tool for not only measuring the number of links to your site, but also finding sites to build links on as well as getting regular updates on new links… not that we’re biased or anything.

Name.com Search Engine Optimization Made Easy

“It’s elementary my dear Watson, you need better keywords.” -Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and anyone since 1887 trying to make an obvious point

3. The key is Keywords.

The most basic foundation of SEO is how well the keywords for your product, good, or service have been chosen. It does not matter how long or short the tail on the keyword is (more on that later), what matters is that it is the most concise and specifically chosen word or words that best attracts your niche. You need to know who wants your product, good, or service. Really reflect on whom you want to attract to your site, how they talk, and what they are interested in. From there, it is easy to use an online tool like SEO Tutor to generate the most specific, relevant, and valuable keyword phrase for your site.

Thus, we close the first in our series on SEO with the simple question…what words do your customers use to find you?

Click here for Part II!

Is your website safe?

Last week a string of domain hijackings caught the attention of many. Perhaps because the victims of the hijackings are all well established, technologically savvy individuals. The three notable cases where css-tricks.com, davidwalsh.name, and designshack.net each of them have written their own blog posts detailing their experience of finding out their domain was stolen and the ugly road to recovery. We won’t speculate too much on what happened but we do want to give everyone a heads up on security features that you can put in place to insure that this won’t happen to you!

If you are not currently a Name.com customer, you should be 🙂 We are running a $7.39 COM/NET transfer special from now through the end of December. You can click here to start your transfer and then follow the instructions below to keep your domain safe by adding NameSafe -a free service!

What is NameSafe VIP?

NameSafe VIP service adds an additional layer of security by using the VeriSign Identity Protection (VIP) credential system. It will generate a unique six digit code every 30 seconds that is required to access your account. So you’ll log in using your username and password as usual, then enter the unique 6 digit code. It’s a super easy way to keep your account secure. The service is FREE unless you do not have a SmartPhone and need to purchase the FOB that will create the credential (the 6 digit ever-changing number).

How do I get NameSafe VIP?

Log in & Set Up NameSafe Now

From within your Name.com account you’ll see a link on the left hand side for ‘NameSafe’ (see below)

Simply click, ‘NameSafe’ then click the link ‘Signup for the NameSafe service.’ If you’re using your phone to generate your credential, you’ll set it up at m.verisign.com but don’t worry, we’ll email you activation instructions that are really quick.

Setting up 2 factor authentication keeps your domain safe and secure, out of the hands of the bad guys. NameSafe is quick to set up and free of charge. You don’t have much to lose setting up extra security precautions but seems you have everything to lose by not being proactive when it comes to security of your domain names.

Log in & Set Up NameSafe Now

amazon.com registers multiple domains defensively

More and more businesses are registering web addresses defensively.

DomainNameWire.com reports that online retailer Amazon.com has registered several domains related to holiday shopping. See DomainNameWire for the list.

Looking at Who.Is we found that Amazon’s legal department registered the domains for one year. This gives us reason to ponder something about their future. But first, why should your company register domains defensively?

1. Defensively registering domains can add to your search engine optimization. If you link your peripheral web addresses (domains) back to your main site, you rank higher with the likes of Google, Bing and Yahoo!.

2. It essentially builds a virtual fence of similar URLs around your brand. It keeps competition away from your trademark, while letting in customers from multiple locations.

3. Protects your brand from your detractors. Just ask United Airlines about Untied.com. A simple mistype and your potential business is reading horror stories about your service.

So about Amazon and their newly registered domains: The ones we saw were only registered for one year. If you’re going for SEO on your defensive domains, then register them for longer blocks of time. You’ll get more respect from the Googles of the world. In Amazon’s case, we think they may be waiting it out until they can own Amazon.Amazon, Kindle.Amazon and all the other second-level domains they can attach to their new dotAMAZON. Those pricey new dotBRANDS look to be available in January of next year.

For the rest of us, a good bet for protecting trademarks and brands will be buying the right (and competitively priced) domains.

Advice for your business: make sure your video is keyword Rich

It’s just a rumor, but one that should make us all more conscientious of what we’re putting in our videos. What we’ve heard from some of our SEO friends is that Google uses audio detection of video (YouTube for ie) to find keywords. So instead of being able to tag your accounting seminar with “bosoms” and “fatal crash” and “Bieber” to get more views, the world’s largest search engine will analyze the actual audio to ascertain the content. They do this anyway to seek out copyrighted material, so it very much could be a reality.

However, as a major global company, we’re not shaken by mere rumors.


It’s a good idea anyway to make sure your script and talent is enriched with your message, branding and products.

PageZen is Easy. Really easy.

The one-pager is FREE and it’s free to start the total PageZen package. So if you want to see how easy it can be to build a website for your business or your hobby or your cat, then please take our 14-day trial run.

You’ll note in your account that your domains come with a free trial run of PageZen and SEO Tutor. Give ’em a whirl and let us know what you think. We even have some even easier Tips and Tricks to help out. Oh, and nice work Otto, Quin, Name.com staff and the baristas at Ink! We couldn’t roll out top-notch production without you.