SEO Series – Part 7: Strong links are the backbone of your site!

Get caught up on the rest of the SEO series or get right into this quick lesson on backlinks.

Not only are strong links the backbone of your site, backlinks are what the SERPs (Search Engine Results Page) love to find. When you have a basic understanding of what backlinks are, how they work, what they do, and how backlinks are one of the most important factors in getting your bidding directory rank high, then you are definitely on your way to cracking the code that is SEO.

When you have a strong backlink campaign for your site, it is much easier to rank high in the SERPs. As you may or may not know, a backlink is a link from another site that points to your own site. It is important to choose wisely in determining who/which site to get backlinks from. You need backlinks from sites within your niche’ which also contain the keywords you are highlighting. In other words, be like Mr. Spock and use logic!

Search Engine Optimization backlinks

Backlink your way to the top.

To begin acquiring backlinks you can use, it is imperative that your keywords are chosen specifically for their long and short-tail value. Ideally, your keywords will become the anchor text for any backlinks you are attempting to acquire. For example, if you are looking to rank high for the keyword phrase “Daisy Hill Puppy Farm,” then you need to find other relevant sites to put a link labeled “Daisy Hill Puppy Farm” on their sites. The idea being that if enough backlinks are built, a web site will rank #1 for that specific term.

The next consideration of successful backlink building is the page rank (PR) of the site you will be placing the backlink on. The higher the PR rating, the stronger that site will be in the SERPS. Obviously, a backlink from a PR 1 site will be weaker than a PR 7 site. You want your site to be ON page 1 of the search engine browsers, but you do not want a PR 1 rating. If you are able to receive 10 to 20 backlinks pointing to your site, but they are all from a PR 5 or higher site, then you can easily expect your SERP rating to improve and your own PR score to go up.

Acquiring the higher PR backlinks can be a tricky process. Sites with a high PR score,

Larry Page, inventor of Page Rank

PageRank is named after it's founder, Google guy Larry Page.

know and understand how valuable that truly is. That is why many people begin building backlinks from sites with a lower PR. The good news is that when you place a link on a lower PR site, then, depending upon the backlinks the site already has, that site may improve their PR ranking by having your link on it. So, your link helped get you a link to a higher PR site.

The starting point for any successful backlink campaign is to research thoroughly and find a PR 1 site that has backlinks on higher PR pages. Then, when you decide to put a link on that PR 1 site, you are placing it on a site that is fertile ground for a higher PR. So, get out there! And start researching your keywords to build the strongest possible backlink campaign.

Stay tuned as we continue our series on Search Engine Optimization, now made easier with’s SEO Tutor.

SEO Series – Part 6: Holy Toledo, Batman! We need some juicy data!

Get caught up on the rest of the SEO series…and then get into this pep talk about Data.

Let the Google Bots find your Data

Like a hot centerfold of the Information Age.

Data governs everything that occurs on the web. No matter how minute or gigantic the topic, there is an unfathomable amount of information available. The internet has opened all kinds of barriers and, nowadays, the discovery of new knowledge or information occurs instantly and is shared by millions. That’s why it’s critical to have both good data to put online and use solid data to measure what is put online.

Search engines demand a steady stream of high quality, high standard information that is constantly being refreshed in our Web 2.0 world. Yet there is constant scrutiny of how it is being used. Information is now dynamic, fluid, and processed and managed constantly.

Once this process is understood, it is easy to measure and quantify the information that is flowing. When you know how to use the data properly, it is simple to understand the factors behind this information explosion. Then, it is also easy to project long term implications of this phenomenon. The good news is that both the cost of producing and moving data is being reduced. So is the cost of data storage. That is because the amount of data that is produced and used in consistently on the rise.

With analytics so easily available and easy to use, there is no reason why all companies, businesses, and industries are not using them. Information is no longer only the bits and bytes of data, but is also the right metrics and analytics to show where all this data is flowing.

Your website is part of this data chain. Now, instead of growing indiscriminatingly (and often ridiculously with overwritten attempts to snare the most of SEO), growth is being managed deliberately and purposefully. That is because internet users are more savvy and demanding about their quality. The search engine algorithms change regularly to ensure the quality of online information. That is why it is incumbent upon you and your website developers to provide authentic and accurate data.

humans for search engine optimization educational series

These humans are keen on the Internet.

But it is also key to remember the humans! The bots are great, but why would an actual flesh and blood visitor come to your site?

There are many specially developed instruments to provide the right statistics, metrics, and analytics to determine the number of visitors a site gets and what specific content they are looking at. Knowing that data is important is the first step. The next step is finding the right reports that will give the best information about how to increase traffic and improve your site organically.

SEO Series – Part 5: The Visible (online) Man

We’re already at Part 5? Catch up with all of our series on SEO!

Having online presence is different from having charisma or stage presence. Online presence can actually be taught and even enhanced with specific techniques. Maintaining visibility online is easy, once you know how! It just takes knowing the necessary underpinnings to get it all going on.

Are you visible online?

Are you there? Increase your online visibility.

The backbone of any online efforts is having the right hosting service. Your hosting service should be able to provide many different components and capabilities for your website, all while allowing you to stay connected to others online. The first critical function is to have the right domain name through your IP, so that your presence is always successfully online. That way, continuing on with extra services like database management and back end programming is easy to do. In addition, there are other online enhancements, which are included like: security systems, marketing tools, and payment gateways to further boost online presence.

Web acceleration is a tool which many hosting services offer. This is software that allows a website to load in a much quicker period of time. That way, the time it takes for your site to load moves more quickly. If your site has an excessive number of images, Flash presentations, and other “bells and whistles,” then it may be difficult to connect with customers due to slower loading. Web acceleration is just one of several tools that will help in reducing load time while increasing online reputation.

flash enterprises


In addition to web acceleration, enhancing the overall look and feel of your website in an attractive, integrated design. When there is faster upload time, there is the ability of adding in whatever your site requires to create a brilliant first impression. That way, customers can see that your site is legitimate, professional, and easy to access. When this is taken care of, it is much easier to add in extra materials through the main server and onto the site.

the yes button from


Having the right backbone and foundation of a website is just the beginning of taking the right approach for full online visibility. By adding in the right services and opportunities, you will be able to have even more options for increasing online visibility and enhancing your online reputation. When you have more options for your site, it allows you to take approaches that are more creative with your online presence and further enhance brand reputation and reliability.

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

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.

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 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 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. 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! registers multiple domains defensively

More and more businesses are registering web addresses defensively. reports that online retailer 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 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.

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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, staff and the baristas at Ink! We couldn’t roll out top-notch production without you.