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Archive for July, 2007


Learn How To Do A Keyword Analysis Part III

Posted by Jane on July 27th, 2007

This will be the last post of the Learn How To Do A Keyword Analysis series.  I left you with part II of doing a Keyword Analysis where I explained the differences and opportunities there are by having misspelled words.   Today I want to briefly talk about other keyword considerations as you are finalizing your keyword list.

Hyphenated words

Let’s go back to your list of keywords that we’ve been working with throughout this series.  Take a look at it and see if you have any hyphenated words on your list that could be used without the hyphen, or vice versa. Some terms are commonly used both ways, so find out what people are searching most for and stick to that one.  Here are two examples:

Two terms that come to mind are ecommerce and e-commerce.  Both of these words are fairly similar in how many people search for these terms.  A little over 50 percent of searches using the latter term.

The dash in “e-mail” is far less frequently used, with “email” being the most common term.

Essentially, find hyphenated words, add both forms to your list, and decide which one is more common because search engines treat them as different searches.

Web Tip:

Search engines generally treat a hyphen as a space. So searching for sock-puppets is the same as searching for sock puppets. However, there is a real big difference between e-commerce and ecommerce.

Geo-specific terms

Geo stands for Geography.  Is you website or business heavily reliant on geography? Are you selling shirts in Seattle or socks in New Mexico? Don’t forget to include terms that include your city, state, or other nearby cities.

A good example of this is Nate Whitehill.  He’s based out of Arizona and advertises his Infinfx web hosting business as Scottsdale Web Design & Hosting.  If you do a google search for “Scottsdale Web Hosting” Infinfx shows up #2 for that search.

Other company names

If people will likely be searching for companies similar to yours, add those companies and products to your list. That’s not to say you should use these keywords in your pages. But it’s nice to know what people are looking for and how often they’re looking.  It’s a competitive analysis sort of speak.

If anyone else has different strategies as to how they do their analysis, I’d love to hear about them.  I am always learning new things everyday :-)

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Learn How To Do A Keyword Analysis Part II

Posted by Jane on July 25th, 2007

I’ve received a lot of great feedback on the Learn How To Do A Keyword Analysis post I wrote about a week ago. I want to expand on that post and take a closer look at your keyword list once you have actually put it down on paper. Now that you have done your brainstorm, looked at access logs, looked at competitors, and asked friends for their feedback on what they would search for, lets get down to business.

After putting together that initial list, you should go through it looking for more obvious keywords to include. Don’t dwell on this if you’re struggling because all you’re doing is creating a draft list to run through a keyword tool. This tool will show you how many people are actually typing in those keywords that you have on your list into search engines. The higher the number that shows up on those results, the more people are searching for that keyword and the more popular it is.

Obvious Spelling Mistakes

Scan through your list and see if you can think of any obvious spelling mistakes. Some spelling mistakes are pretty important, with 10, 15, or even 20 percent of all searches containing the word being misspelled, sometimes even more! For example, the word calendar is misspelled a lot! About thirty percent of all searches on the word calendar are misspelled!

Web Idea:

If the traffic from a misspelled word is high, you may want to create a page on your site that uses that misspelling. Or even better, create a separate domain for that specific misspelling and use it as a landing page for some sort of affiliate marketing campaign. Some sites contain what I call “Duh” pages. Basically, Duh pages are those that have misspellings in the TITLE tags, which can work very well. These don’t have to be pages that tons of people see. After all, the only people who will see the misspelled titles in a search results page are those who misspelled the words in the first place! So they’ll never know its wrong :-)  Kinda evil huh..hehe


Sometimes similar words are easily missed. If your business is a home-related business, for instance, have you thought about the term house? Americans may easily overlook this word, using home instead, but other English-speaking countries use the word often. Still, add it to the list because you may find quite a few searches related to it.

Split or merged words

You may find that although your URL name is one word — SockPuppets, for example, most people are searching for you using two words, Sock and Puppets. Remember to consider your reader’s point of view.

Also, some words are used in two ways. Some people use the term knowledgebase, while others use knowledge base. Which is better? Both should be on your list, but knowledge base is used around four to five times more often than knowledgebase (and if you type into a Word document, most likely it will be underlined as one word. If you optimize your pages for knowledgebase, you’re missing out on around 80 percent of the traffic!  Pretty big!

Web Tip:

You don’t need to worry about upper- versus lowercase. You can use sock or Sock or SOCK, for example. Most search engines aren’t case sensitive. If you search for sock (and probably almost 90 percent of all searches are in lowercase), virtually all search engines will find Sock or SOCK— or sOCK or SOck, for that matter.


Learn How To Do A Keyword Analysis

Posted by Jane on July 17th, 2007

With any blog or website that is trying to increase their traffic there has to be a keyword analysis done. What is a keyword analysis? Well, it’s a check of what keywords people use to search on the web. If you don’t do this, you are losing on some valuable potential traffic. Imagine spending hundreds of hours optimizing your site for a keyword you think is good and you find out that another keyword or phrase gets two or three times the traffic. I don’t know about you, but that would tick me off.

What to do first

Identify the obvious keywords. Start by brainstorming the keywords that first come to mind. When brainstorming, include keywords that you have already thought of, or, if you haven’t started yet, the ones that come to mind first. After you write them down, take a few minutes and look the list over. Is there anything else you can add? What similar terms come to mind? Add them, too.

When you do your analysis, you’ll find that some of the initial terms you think of aren’t searched for very often, but that’s okay. This list is just the start, what else are brainstorms for right :-)

Look at your site’s access logs. Take a quick look at your web site’s access logs (this is usually found on your stats program. It is often called hit logs). You may not realize it, but most stat tracking programs show you the keywords entered into a search engine that brings people to your site. Write these keywords and phrases down because they are the ones that are bringing people to your site.

Here’s an example:

Sample Access Log

If you look at the Query, that is what someone entered into Google before coming to Daily Web Ideas. This is great because I know what people are searching for and I know what keywords to target. From this example, I would consider using “Web Idea” and “Network” as some potential keywords for this site. And having Web Ideas in the domain of this website, that can only help.

Examining competitors’ keyword tags. You probably know who your competitors are, if you don’t you should. Know what is popular in your niche and what to emulate. What you want to do is go to their sites and open the source code of a few pages at each site. You do this by choosing “View Source” from your browser’s menu bar to get a sneak peek. Look for the <META NAME=”keywords”> tag and see if you find any useful keywords there. If the blog has an All-in-one SEO plugin, this is where you will see it. Often the keywords are garbage, or simply not there, but if you look at enough sites, you’re likely to come up with some useful terms you hadn’t thought of.

Here is an example of what a source code and keywords looks like (if you can see it):

HTML Source Code


As you can tell, this information isn’t seen on the actual web site, but only in the coding. So a human eye can’t see these keywords, but robots sure can.

Brainstorming with colleagues. Another method of identifying keywords is by talking with friends and colleagues to see if they can come up with some possible keywords. Ask them something like, “If you were looking for a site (what ever site you have), what terms would you search for?” That should get you to a good start.

How do some of you identify your keywords and how do you do your keyword analysis?

I will be continuing this post in Part II. Stay tuned.


7 Ways To Increase Your PageRank

Posted by Jane on July 16th, 2007

PageRank. The illustrious tool from Google Stanford University that formed the basis of Google. A man (and a women. Sorry Jane!) should always know the tools with which they work, so a little background info before I carry on. ‘PageRank’ is the brain-child of Stanford student and Google founder, Larry Page. Hence the name PageRank. PageRank wasn’t initially intended to be used on the World Wide Web. In fact, it was PageRank which sparked the idea of Google. A new form of search engine, which allows it’s users to rank content and therefore control search results (Web 2.0 in 1995, anybody?).

PageRank is a link analysis algorithm that assigns a numerical weight to each hyperlinked document. Kinky, eh? Maybe Jeff Kee may think so, but I don’t. At least not on the face of it. But what we really have with PageRank is a tool that allows us, the Google users, to control the results that are outputted by the search engine. That means, unlike the general conscientious, Google isn’t operated by robots that crawl our Web sites. Quite the contrary. It is in fact controlled by us. It is that reason, that targeted humans really control the results, that Google is the No.1 search engine on the Internet. No robots guessing at what the best results are. No humans sat in a cube guessing what results are best. The results are driven by real world recommendations from targeted Web site users. But as bloggers, how do we use this complex yet powerful tool?

Links Links Links

PageRank is all about incoming links. In short, the more Web sites that link to your Web site, the higher your PageRank is going to be. But that’s just the start. Each link to your Web site is given a particular “weight” (value). This value is determined by the PageRank of the Web site that is linking to you.

For example, a link from a Web site with a PageRank of 6 which links to your site will carry far more weight than a Web site with a PageRank of 2 which links to your site. The more each link weighs, the higher your PageRank is going to be.

As we have come to expect from Google, it doesn’t even stop there. As well as looking at incoming link volume and the PageRank of those incoming links, Google also uses text-matching techniques to determine how relevant the Web site linking to you is to your Web site. A PageRank 5 Web site about football linking to a Web site about football is far more useful, in PageRank terms, than a PageRank 5 Web site about football which links to a Web site about real estate.

Of course, all of this information is useful because Google uses PageRank to determine the results it displays when somebody searches for a key word or phrase. All other variables aside, if somebody searched for “football”, a Web site about football with a PageRank of 5 will rank higher than a PageRank 4 Web site.

How can we improve our own PageRank?

  • Write Blog Comments – There are an ever increasing number of blog owners who are removing the “nofollow” tags from links in comments. By posting comments on these blogs, your PageRank will increase (There’s another business idea, by the way. A Web site which displays a list, split in to topic categories, of blogs with “nofollow” removed from comments. I’ll let somebody else start that one!).
  • Purchase text link ads – Purchasing text link ads doesn’t have to be expensive. Spend $30 a month to get two or three links from some PageRank 4/5 Web sites. Web site owners will often publish adverts on forums such as WebHostingTalk and SitePoint to try and find new advertisers for their Web site, so keep an eye on the forums to find new places to advertise.
  • Order a Review – Not only are these great ways to generate targeted traffic, but they are also a great way to get a good link to your site.
  • Exchange links with related Web sites – Contact Web site owners and ask to exchange links. This usually works better when you already have some established PageRank, because you’ll have more to offer.
  • Post on Forums – Most forums allow links in signatures to be followed by Google. Post enough on a relevant forum with a good PageRank, and you’ll reap the rewards.
  • Web Site Network – If you have several Web sites, link to each site from all your Web sites. I have about five main Web sites which I link to each time I create a new site. By doing that, I usually receive a PageRank of 4 straight away.
  • Quality Content – Eventually, writing quality content is going to generate a buzz and other bloggers will link to your site without you even asking.

What’s a good PageRank?

Generally, a PageRank of 4 is relatively easy to achieve and is what most people end up at. A ranking of 5 isn’t too far fetched for the average user, but probably qualifies as being just above your average PageRank. A rank of 6 puts you on par with John Chow. Generally, the step from five to six is very hard, and the step from six to seven and above is almost unheard of unless you’re the New York Times, MSN, Amazon etc.

Now might be a good time to generate those incoming links. Apparently, Google is on the verge of doing another public PageRank update. If you’re looking to get a prediction of what your PageRank will be next time an update occurs, check out the IWebTool.com PageRank Prediction tool. Nobody is really sure how accurate it is (Google don’t release all its information about PageRank, so we can only go on what very little we know). However, Kevin at BloggingTips aims to find out how accurate this tool is. Even if it doesn’t come close, it makes for some good fun.


3 Blogging Mistakes To Avoid Like The Plague

Posted by admin on July 13th, 2007

In my experience as a blogger, I have learned the hard way of the common mistakes that many bloggers do when they are beginning or when they are trying to make money online from their blog.  I want to list a couple and save you some time trying to figure out why your traffic isn’t consistent or no one is returning to your site.

1. Inconsistent Publishing.  Establishing a goal for yourself prior to writing your first post should be the first thing you do.  Nobody knows when you will be publishing your next post other than yourself.  Having people guess when you have new content is an extra obstacle you are putting in front of your readers blocking the way to your site and being engaged.  You want it to be as easy for someone to come to your site and read new content as possible.  Readers should be able to anticipate when and how often updates occur.

For most blogs, daily updates are probably best, but weekly updates work as well, depending on your topic.  Keep in mind that the less frequent you post, the better quality your posts have to be if you want your readers to return.  That’s like you promoting a party for next Friday; people show up on Friday and they see you sitting on the sofa, party hat on your head, popcorn dish in your hand, and an alarm clock for a radio.  Not much of a party if you ask me.  And you can bet I won’t be coming back to the next one you have.  In either case, pick a posting schedule and stick to it.

If you usually post daily but sometimes let weeks go by without new content, you’ll lose a lot of readers.  A way to battle against writer’s block is to use the time when you are motivated and have tons of ideas to create drafts for future posts.  That way you have them in your manage folder and you can just time-stamp them for those stagnant times.

2. Having A Wide Range Of Topics.  If you haven’t really focused on a niche yet and you’re across the board with different topics, you probably are less likely to attract and maintain a loyal reader base. You might hit on a topic that interest many people, but unless you have similar content that retains the reader and encourages them to come back, that’s probably the last time you’ll ever see that person on your blog.  You may luck out and you may attract those people with too much time on their hands. I wouldn’t mind having those people here on my blog, but the more focused your content, the more focused your readers. The more focused your readers, the more influence you have in your niche. If you have the urge to write about both American politics and the affiliate marketing, then establish two blogs because the same people are not going to like the other topics.

3. Remember Your Kids Will One Day Read Your Posts.  Whenever you post anything to the Internet, regardless of where it is (blog, forum, MySpace), think about how it will look to your children ten or fifteen years down the road. Once stuff’s out, it’s archived, cached, and indexed in many places that you might never be aware of.  Years from now, a college picture you took of yourself while running the “naked mile” across campus might turn up somewhere unexpected.  Why risk having some offensive nasty flames published under your name?  Keep it safe to attract readers.  Although there are plenty of websites out there that are not safe and get tons of traffic.  It’s all about image and the image you want to portray online.Think twice before posting. If you don’t want your future (or current) kids to read it, don’t post.

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Silly Rabbit, Tricks Are For Kids

Posted by Jane on July 7th, 2007

In this case, there are no rabbits or kids, there are search engines that don’t like tricks played on them.  I gave you some Pearls of Wisdom in regards to gaming google not to long ago.  I wanted to follow that post up with some of the things that search engines dislike and can be considered “Blackhat” when talking about Search Engine Optimization.

The search engines know of many sneaky ways that webmasters try to get undeserved ranks. If they discover that you’re trying to do this, I wish you luck!   Some possible things that may happen are having your rank downgraded, or even your whole site could be banned. This most certainly will change your “earn money online” mentality right away!  Even if your site is never caught and punished, over time your tricky techniques might eventually stop working.

A couple of reasons why search engines can blacklist you include:

Duplicate content.  You might think to yourself, if one website brings you sales, why not make a bunch of identical websites with different names and get even more sales? The problem with this kind of thinking is that it ignores the big headache it causes for searchers. If the search engines listed identical content multiple times, it would destroy the results, which would destroy their usefulness to the searcher. So, if the search engines catch on to duplicate content schemes, they’re likely to knock you down in the ranks.

Keyword stuffing.   Repeating the same word or words over and over again so that your page looks like an industry-specific grocery list is another great way to get noticed by the search engine cops.  Even if you don’t get noticed, it’s pretty horrible to see lists of the same words over and over as a reader.  There’s a place for your keywords list, it’s called your meta keywords tag!  Or better yet, download the SEO plugin and you’re on easy street.

Invisible text.  One sure way to get yourself spotted by the Google cops is by making a ton of keywords invisible by making them the same color as the background. The search engines caught on to this one a long time ago, and they’re not likely to let you get away with it.

Hopefully you all know this stuff by now and you haven’t gotten blacklisted.  But if not, there are and infinite number of domains you can buy to start over again.  I’d like to hear from some of you if you’ve experienced getting banned by Google for a dumb reason or if you heard of someone getting blacklisted.


Common SEO Misconceptions

Posted by admin on July 5th, 2007

If you’re new to blogging, the internet, or to online marketing, you may have come across the term Search Engine Optimization (SEO); and heck, you might have even dabbled a bit with it.  As I get more and more emails about people trying to SEO their website I have noticed that there are many SEO misconceptions out there.  Now let’s get them out of your head now so that you don’t spend a lot of wasteless time following false assumptions.

What are some of these SEO misconceptions? 

Here are some examples:

“We’ve got to get more sites to link to us so that our ranks will improve!” There are so many reasons for you to get inbound links.  But if the only reason you set out to get more links is so that Google will rank you higher, you are missing the big picture. Inbound links are access points that help people visit your site.  In other words, it increases visibility of your blog.  They can be excellent, direct sources of targeted traffic!  And we all love targeted traffic, some pay lots for targeted traffic :-)

“Our site is doing great! We ranked #1!” Ranked #1 for what? Starting now, forget about having “We ranked #1” in your vocabulary and replace it with “We ranked #1 for the term ______”. Ranks aren’t too important unless they are tied to a meaningful target keyword.

For example, I just did a search for Jane May and I came up at the number 1 spot for all the major search engines according to Shoemoney’s SERP tool.  That’s great, but who is really going to search for Jane May and do I really want those people finding me????  Hmmmm…Good question.


“We’re only going to promote our home page.” SEO is not about your site’s homepage, it’s about every page of your blog. Every single page in your website stands on its own and they can either sink or swim.  If you approach SEO as a page-by-page endeavor, you will be on a surer path to success.  Focus on unique and relevant titles with keywords in addition to having them in the text.

“We’ve filled in our meta keywords tag…we’re good to go!” The meta keywords tag carries very little influence with the search engines, and it’s certainly not going to do much for your ranks.  If you do want to focus on the meta aspect of SEO, then stick with the description tags, they carry more weight.

Our site gets a ton of traffic! We’re so popular, we’re destined for top ranks.” Search engines don’t have insider information about your overall web traffic, so they don’t know exactly how popular your site is. But they can count up how many sites link to you, and this is a way to measure your site’s popularity.