CATEGORY: Development

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.

hello world

We are about to do three things that should make you happy:

1- Make the site much, much easier to use. We’re systematically going through the site page by page, click by click, and making it simpler. You deserve that.

2- Give our current customers lots of new friends, so they can look back and say that all the new guys are just “jumping on the bandwagon” and that “we were customers of Name.com before everyone knew about them.” Hey, it’s cool to be first. We’re going to help make sure the whole world knows how cool you are.

3- Help you. We work hard to make sure we have what you need, but this year we’re taking it to the next level. From video tutorials and guides on every page to educational blog content to 24 hour support (this will be the last half of the year… takes a while to staff!), this is going to be a banner year… for both of us.

That’s why the title of this blog post is “hello world.” In much the same way that those words marked the start of something great, something that would eventually change not only the world but the way we live our daily lives’85 this year is the start. The start of Name.com making the internet even easier, the start of getting the word out about our legendary support, the start of Name.com as a household name’85 the start of something great.

hello world… here we come.

Name.com + Small Business Saturday

Name.com Supports Small Business Saturday! Get your small business site up in a flash with our website builder, PageZen. Now through 11/26/11 use the promo code ‘GETONLINE’ and receive 25% off.

Have you guys heard of Small Business Saturday?

All the big box retail stores cash in on Black Friday, the notoriously huge shopping day following Thanksgiving. E-commerce sites have their big day the following Monday, coined Cyber Monday. So where does that leave the small mom & pop shops? Alas, Small Business Saturday was born. American Express first created the event on November 27th, 2010 and it rapidly gained popularity. Small business owners have carried the momentum and this year promises to be even bigger than last. Just check out the 2.2 million ‘Likes’ on the Facebook page.

As a small business ourselves, we like to support small business owners in every way possible. American express has provided free tools to help businesses promote their participation in the shopping event. In reading over their promotional materials and marketing checklist, it looks like they assume all small businesses already have a website, which we know is simply not the case (that’s where we come in!). As small business owners use this event to help drive new customers in the door, a web presence is essential in connecting with those customers again. Assume your customers want to find out more about your business and services, what products you provide, if you have any special events or sales coming up – you’ll need to send them to a centralized place with all this information.

Time is ticking, Thanksgiving is this week, so if you are a small business owner and you don’t have a website, get on it!!! After registering your business name you can use PageZen to create a simple website that will include the basics such as what types of products or services you provide, how people can contact you, and where you are located. The PageZen 1 page option is always free, if you want to expand beyond 1 page you can test drive the 5 page or unlimited plans. It’s a really simple solution for establishing a web presence quickly. After you get your one page up, you can use some of the marketing materials provided by American Express to really get the ball rolling in promoting your business.

Remember to use the promotional code, ‘GETONLINE‘ at checkout to receive 25% off.

To learn more about PageZen, click here.

Check out a tips & tricks video on setting up a small business site on PageZen:

If you have any questions or need some direction or guidance hit us up in the comments of this post and we’d love to help you out. Cheers to driving new business and following up on great new leads. And if you’re not a business owner, get out there and support your locals!!!

Follow the action on Twitter using the hashtag, ‘#smallbusinessaturday’

Free your videos and win cash with Name.com and 5 Minutes for Mom

In mere moments I’m going to tell you how to win some money. But first, this announcement: Name.com has created the coolest app. It sends your smart phone videos to your family and friends from anywhere and at anytime.

Here’s how it works: No more faulty phone uploaders! No more plugging in! Cut the cord and download our new app. You simply shoot a video and then use the app to send it to Facebook, Twitter, Vimeo, YouTube or your own Name.com registered .TV domain! You can register your .TV as you upload your video for 99 cents per month. So if you have a great video of, say, your friend who has some trouble dancing, then you can own TroubledDancing.TV and share it with the whole family.

(And you domainers may have noticed something: YES you can own a .TV domain BY THE MONTH!)

You may have also noticed that we’ve been referring to our new app rather generically. That’sfree your videos from your smart phone with name.com because we haven’t been able to think of a name (Yes, there is some irony here…NAME.com and all.)

THAT’S WHERE YOU COME IN!

We’ve teamed up with the great website 5 Minutes for Mom to find the best name for our new invention. AND YOU COULD WIN! Not only bragging rights as the person who named the coolest app in the smart phone era, but these great prizes!

1st prize: $500 cash prize for the individual who names the app

2nd prize: $100 account credit at Name.com, which can be used for their website builder, easy search engine optimization, or web addresses for the entire family!

3rd prize: A random entrant will also receive a $100 account credit at Name.com.

This contest will end on November 23rd. The winners will be announced on November 25th, 2011. Until then, keep your phone in a safe place.

Name.com Daily Tut: Installing and Using Apple iTunes Match

It used to be difficult to pick which person at Name.com was the biggest Apple Fanboy/girl. Then along came Michael and, it’s clear, none of us can compete. He has every gadget and he knows everything about every gadget. That’s a big step, going from wannabe Fanboy/girl to the real deal Fanboy/girl, as many people use only about five percent of their Apple product’s potential. Michael uses it until he’s in sync, as if he embodies its technology. It’s weird, especially when he needs something and uses your face as a touchscreen. But we get many uses from Michael (I’ve heard his computer say his name like that car in Knight Rider) including incredible web design and these useful Apple tutorials.

As you can see it works!

Beer Friday: We got a Keg Cap Tap

The story around the office wasn’t so much our new gift, but that something had “cleared the war room”. The “war room” is where our dev team holes up in a small space withlegend of karate kid concentrates like a name.com developer charts, graphs, computers and the concentration of Mr. Miyagi. They stay there all day troubleshooting and brainstorming. It’s a big deal, and we’re told that those of us on the outside will never understand.

But then the the inventor of the Keg Cap Tap sent us “the perfect tap handle for every keg.” It was if the war room guys had just found out about sunshine. They wandered out into the open and gathered around the kegerator. With quiet admiration they celebrated the latest innovation in beer liberation.

The keg cap tap from Colorado inventor Matt Ferris.

Some of you may know that every keg comes with a little cap. It’s an identifier of what the keg is, and provides a modicum of protection to the valve that guards the nectar below. Until now it’s been popped off and stuck to someone’s head or flicked about in an impromptu game of table football. But now it has a new home.

keg cap tap stickers
And stickers!

Your stylish new cap-tapped keg tells everyone what they’re drinking so you don’t have to break from the courtship of your pint to field questions. Pretty dang cool, and Matt, the Colorado-based inventor who conjured this little bit of magic, sent it to us out the the goodness of his heart. Thanks Matt! This kegs for you!

Quick Apple iPhone 4S Siri Demo

When I first heard of Siri I thought people were abuzz about Tom Cruise and Katie Holme’s daughter. I read one Tweet that said “Siri is wicked” and I thought, “Sweet jeeso she’s only like five.” And her name is “Suri.” Luckily the social media outburst was all about the speech-recognizing “personal assistant” that comes with the Apple iPhone 4S. As it turns out, she (in America all I’ve heard is a female voice) is pretty wicked. Check out this demo we did at Name.com.

Bad girl Siri! Pretty cool though. With both a speech input and output, you can speak into it and Siri responds. It’s more than you get from most humans (unless it’s Name.com’s legendary customer support.)

Name.com Nature Film: In the Developer's Den

I think this is but the raw beginning of more nature films. We have plenty of animals to pursue around the office, and this swanky Cherry Creek neighborhood just begs to be exploited. I’m seeing a Whole Foods nature film and even a Nordstrom’s safari. There are cougars all over in there.

We tagged a couple of them to track their movements, but they haven’t gone anywhere in weeks.