Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Introduction to linkbuilding

Every link, coming in from other sites, increases Your site's rating. This post is not how and where to get inbound links. 

What is quality link?
  • Your page is linked via anchor text, not just url
  • Page and/or domain, what is linking to You, has PR>3
  • Page, linking to You, has same keywords that Your page, relevancy
In general, more backlinks You got, better.

Anchor text
If the link is built using relevant anchor text, like excellent SEO site, then searh engine will find . Posting just Your hopmage url http://seoapplied.blogspot.com/ may give the backlink, but search engines are not going to value it much.

Donor's PR
Google PageRank is complex mathematical model

Image from Wikipedia

Shortly, when high-PR sites link to Your page, Your pages PR will increase. Having lot of links from PR=0 pages, doesn't increase it. Having links from black-listed sites may hurt Your page's rank.

Link age
Search engines value old links, but also link popularity trend. So, If Your page is getting more and more links, it should be quality site.

Monday, September 29, 2008

Introduction to quality of website metadata

We know, and it's said so many times earlier by many experts, website popularity relies mostly on inbound links. Still, the content is the king. Metadata is part of the content. Very ofter metadata fields are empty and not optimized at all.

SEO-relevant metadata fields
  • Title
  • Descriprion
  • Keywords
  • Headings (H1, H2 ...)
Metadata is describe in HTML code in the beginning of each web page. Usually it's filled by web page designer, but they do nothing, until told exactly what to put there. If You write web pages using WYSIWYG editors, You also might not find these fields, but they are there in page properties etc.

Title
Title data is shown on web browser title bar and in search engine results. Its good to have few relevant keywords in the title. As title is short, don't use over 60 characters, be focused. Title is very inportant meta element from SEO prospective.

Description
Description is max 200 characters long abstract descriprion of the page/website and is shown in SERPS right after the title. Description should correlate strongly with Title, Headings and page content.

Keywords
Keywords are not so important, as people tend to think, Still, add some 5-20 keywords or phrases, not more. Some sources say, that overall keyword's size can't exceed 800 bytes. Using too much keywords seems like keyword stuffing and Google does not like it. Good trick is to add some specific and original, not so universal keywords. Some keywords can be so-called "poison words", You may check them using metadata tools below.

Headings
Every page may have many H1 - H3 headings. It's important, that headings contain relevant information, containing keywords and professional words from pafe content.

Google advises -- if Your page is well written for human, focused and using good professional language, the is no need to look further. It's kind of true, but still, check meta-tags.

There is 2 ways to check meta tags:

Easy - use web tool like:

Complex
Look Your web page HTML source. All browsers enable to "view source".

Meta tags builder
Meta tag builder automates HTML code writing

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Best Link Popularity tools

Here is the list of link popularity tools, I found most convinient to use. Its quite elaborate to run between 3 search engines, type in "link:" queries and count the results. Instead, You can use 1 service what automates queries from different pages. 

My requirement is, that it should give popularity for Google, Yahoo and optionally MSN/Live.

My 2 top Picks:

+ precise results 
+ some history records
- poor benchmarking capabilities

+ 3 website benchmarking
+ history
- dont believe MBL, its just MIP (indexed pages, not backlinks)

The rest:

As I mentioned before, different tools give different results. Over the time You have to use results from one tool to get meaningful data trends. As You see fron the table, GBL data has very low standard deviation, opposite to YBL and MBL. Read, how to get correct YBL measure...

MBL MSN / Live Backlinks

MSN / Live is one of the three most important searsh engines to be presented. To check MSN Backlinks You have only 1 option, query from Live Search  link:www.yousite.ee doesnt work. So doesn't work appropriate websites, for example:

So, the only option is to set up account in Live Search Webmaster Center

Saturday, September 27, 2008

YBL - Yahoo Backlinks


Lets say that Google, Yahoo and MSN the only search engines, what You need to keep in mind, optimizing Your site SEO. Yahoo is definately one to be represented in.

1. Most accurate way is to query directly in Yahoo:

2. Some websites, reporting YBL

3. Setup account in Yahoo Site Explorer, but You have to bear in mind that its takes ages, before Yahoo Site Explorer really activates ans starts statistics.

There are slight differences in backlink number reporting, so its wise to use only one meter to analyze data over long time.

Friday, September 26, 2008

GBL = Google BackLinks


Number of Google backlinks is the most important factor, rising Your web page PR and visibility. It is important to maximise GBL number. Still, You have to keep in mind following:

- Backlinks from high PR (more than PR3) sites are valued
- Linking should be done via relevalt, keyword anchor text, eg
not http://seoapplied.blogspot.com/,
but Good SEO service site  
- No links from paid directories and link farms (with some exeptions, explained later...)

How to measure?
There are at least four ways:

1. Type in link:www.yousrite.com to Google and find the number of pages found - this is the number of GBL;

2. Use some SEO website, what gives You information about link popularity. Usually You get also backlink numbers from other search engines, like MSN Live and Yahoo. In some sites You can compare Your link popularity with other (competitor) site popularity.
Some examples:
SEO Centro (pretty good one!)

3. Download SEO software. Some examples:

4. Set up account in Google Webmaster Tools

It is very important to GBL number up. How -- in future posts.

Thursday, September 25, 2008

How to measure Quality Visits


Quality Visits can be interpreted in many different ways. In the best case, these are the visits that bring in business. In simplified manner, it's the number of visits, what last some time. eg people look around in Your website.

Google Analytics
Best free tool today to measure traffic on Your site is Google Analytics. It gives to You quite good set of traffic data, including comparisions, keyword analysis and more. 

Quality Visits = Total Visits * (100% - Bounce Rate)
If Analytics reports that You had 1320 visits and bounce rate was 72%, then  72% of visitors are not staying on Your site and "bouncing back" where they came from. Only 100% - 72% = 28% of visitors were more-or-less interested and stayed on Your site long enough.
Why is important to measure Bounce rate and Quality Visits? We had 2 different 1-day campaigns, directing potentional customers to Our web-site.

Campaign A, cost U$ 1000
21 400 visits, bounce rate 60%

Campaign B, cost U$ 1300
18 300 visits, bounce rate 23%

Witch campaign was better? Answer: B, You got 1 interested visitor for $ 0,09. Cost of the potential customer in the case of A was $ 0,12 eg 26% higher cost.

Please don't mind that I mess with visits and visitors at this point. In the future we go into it, but in our case It's almost irrelevant difference.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

How to measure Page Rank (PR)



There basically 2 ways to measure web page PR:

1. Easiest way is Google Toolbar, it shows in real-time each page PR, You open in the browser.

2. If You don't mind to install another screen-space robbing browser add-on, You can use one of following sites and there are hundreds more
http://www.checkpagerank.net/
http://pr.blfree.com/multiple-pagerank-checker.php
http://www.seochat.com/seo-tools/pagerank-lookup/
http://seopen.com/seopen-tools/pagerank.php
http://www.mypagerank.net/service_seostats_index
http://www.directorycritic.com/google-pagerank-checker.html

Keep in mind, that PR is changing quite slowly. For new sites without very good quality donor outbound links it might take 4 months to half year to achieve decent levels PR=3 or PR=4. Hot to make it grow, it upcoming posts.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

First things first

First I check few basic things:
Then I start to measure. If You don't measure, You are not going to get results. Start measuring your website CSI-i (critical success indicators).

CSI-is I use:

So, main CSI is link popularity in general

Secondary CSI-s, what I also follow, but not so important:

  • GIP -Google indexed pages
  • YIP - Yahoo indeced pages
  • MIP - Microsoft Live indexed pages

When I start new SEO project, lasting 6-12 months or so, I set up spreadsheet to record each month all these CSI-s. Usually compare them with closest competitors.

In the next post I will describe where to get these numbers.

Monday, September 22, 2008

This is all about SEO demystified

I have 2 websites, shop.it.ee and Galerii24, relying totally on good quality visits. These websites serve very little local Estonia market. Total population of whole market is about 1,3 Million. If I miss single client, I miss roughtly 250 times more business than doing business say in USA.

So, this blog tells how I rose both websites to PR4 and top-of-the search engine results in Estonia.

My sites are:

http://shop.it.ee/ Dell websop
http://www.galerii24.ee/ Art gallery in the web