Best of the Web Promo Coupon for BOTW Directory Submission Discount


It's not very often that a directory offers a coupon or promotion discounting their submission fees – especially Best of the Web. For the month of October you can take advantage of this limited time offer from BOTW. Just use the promo code “SAVE20” during checkout and you will receive a 20% discount on all new directory submissions during the month of October.

Here is some of the fine print:

* Discount offer and Promo Code “SAVE20” is valid through October 2010 and only applicable to the BOTW Directory (botw.org), BOTW Blog Directory (blogs.botw.org) and BOTW UK Directory (botw.org.uk).

With a directory list price of $299 per submission these savings can add up quick. Happy submitting:)

Blogger Title Tags Optimization – Update


One of the most popular blog posts ever for the Search Marketing Blog is “Optimizing Title Tags in Blogger” with over 72 comments. The significance behind the post is simple – leverage SEO best practices by transposing your Title Tag to put the name of your blog post first.

There are a few folks using different versions of Blogger which have caused quite a few questions and misunderstandings on how to implement this code hack.

The first thing to realize is this – the suggestion below is, in fact, a hack to your design code. As a result, please make a backup of your existing code prior to making any changes to your layout (simply copying and pasting into a text file will do the trick). You'll need this for future changes to you site layout.

Once the blog title tag optimization code is implemented, moving page elements around will cause the following error

Your template is invalid because the tag 'b:section' appears inside of the tag 'head'

So, to make a long explanation simple, you cannot move page elements around with the title tag hack code in place. So, here is an alternative hack:

1. Delete the corresponding Title tag code: (Press Ctrl+F to find it within the HTML edit window to find it)

Blogger Beta

<title><data:blog.pageTitle/></title>

Blogger Classic Version:

<title><$BlogPageTitle$></title>

2. Then Paste the corresponding title tag code hack ABOVE the head tag

Blogger Beta Version:

<!-- Start Widget-based: Changing the Blogger Title Tag -->
<b:if cond='data:blog.pageType == "item"'>
<b:section id='titleTag'>
<b:widget id='Blog2' locked='false' title='Blog Posts' type='Blog'>
<b:includable id='comments' var='post'/>
<b:includable id='postQuickEdit' var='post'/>
<b:includable id='main' var='top'><title><b:loop values='data:posts' var='post'><b:include data='post' name='post'/></b:loop> ~ <data:blog.title/></title></b:includable>
<b:includable id='backlinkDeleteIcon' var='backlink'/>
<b:includable id='feedLinksBody' var='links'/>
<b:includable id='backlinks' var='post'/>
<b:includable id='status-message'/>
<b:includable id='feedLinks'/>
<b:includable id='nextprev'/>
<b:includable id='commentDeleteIcon' var='comment'/>
<b:includable id='post' var='post'><data:post.title/></b:includable>
</b:widget>
</b:section>
<b:else/>
<title><data:blog.pageTitle/></title>
</b:if>
<!-- End Widget-based: Changing the Blogger Title Tag -->

Blogger Classic Version:

<title><br /><mainorarchivepage><$BlogTitle$></mainorarchivepage><br /><itempage><blogger><$BlogItemTitle$></blogger> - <$BlogTitle$></itempage><br /></title>

Now, moving forward, whenever you want to make a widget or template change, you'll need to make 2 copies of your site code. Save a template with the code and save another template without the code. You can't move page elements around with the code in there so simply replace the hacked code with the original. Make any changes you need and then reapply the hacked code above your tag.

Yes, its an extra step to manage your blog, but the gain in search engine traffic will be worth it!

Top Blog Posts of the Year


Well, its been a while since I wrote a blog post. I've been working hard to get two of my other projects off the ground – Only Facebook and Emarketing Newsletter.

In an effort to start contributing more frequently, I figured I would kick off the New Year right by re-capping the most popular blog posts of 2009. These were measured by re-tweets, diggs, site engagement and incoming links.

Top Blog Posts of 2009:

What are your favorite blog posts of the past year? Leave them in the comments!

SEO and Organic Search Engine Optimization

I’ve had numerous requests to post a synopsis of what makes organic search engine optimization the preferred route to go when building site traffic. While organic seo doesn’t easily lend itself to a quick description (the complexity is what sets it apart from antiquated SEO methods), I put together a brief description.

Organic SEO recognizes the fact that older SEO models don’t work anymore. Instead of aiming for an overnight (and temporary) boost, the organic model uses keyword analysis, strategic inbound linking, on page SEO and a campaign tailored to each client website in order to reach a high position within 90 days and have the site stabilized and firmly entrenched in its higher position within 180 days.

What are your thoughts?

Internet Marketing Maturity Models

I came across this great search marketing maturity model by ION Interactive and decided to capture all of the available 'maturity models' in one place: search marketing, seo and web analytics.

The benefit of a well-defined maturity model is that it gives practitioners a common framework by which to assess their organization, benchmark it against others, and develop a plan for improvement. Often, there is not just one achievement associated with a particular level, but rather a series of capabilities across several dimensions.

Search Marketing Maturity Model:

Ion Interactive offered this image as a “open source” project so feel free to offer suggestions. Everyone in search could benefit from a common frame of reference that systematically slices up the complexity of search into a logical, unbiased maturity model.

SEO Maturity Model:

This SEO Maturity Model above from Search Enginuity will give you an idea of what makes up each level or stage of the SEO maturity model. Most importantly, this model will show you what to look for within your organization, and how to make the leap to the proceeding stage.

Web Analytics Maturity Model:

Another way to 'read' Gartner's web analytics maturity model presented by Bill Grassman at eMetrics San Francisco is to analyze the vendors themselves in comparison to what they data they can provide. Google Analytics is a level 1, most of level-2 and some of level-3 type of tool. Omniture will cover you up to most of level 4 if you use Test & Target, Discover, Genesis and imports/exports. Level 5 goes beyond web analytics (think Davenport's “Competing on analytics“).

Enjoy:)

The Most Powerful Website Directories

A while back I wrote about the top 35 Website Directories for Link Building. As a follow up to that post, I found a great article from Paul Teitelman on the Top 25 Most Powerful Website Directories many of which weren't included in my original list. There are a number of great suggestions in the comments as well.

I thought I would post a few of my new web directory favorites below:

1.) Family Friendly Sites
2.) Incrawler
3.) Ally Web Directory
4.) Kahuki
5.) Greenstalk
6.) Rakcha
7.) Goguides
8.) Biz Lightenment
9.) Enquira
10.) The Librarians’ Internet Index
11.) ALS Links
12.) Info Listings
13.) Skaffe
14.) Premier Business Directory
15.) Dmoz Zilla
16.) Data Spear
17.) World Site Index
18.) Most Popular Sites

Now, if you are looking for the means to find 'do-follow' links, you'll enjoy reading more about the top do-follow link finding tools. As we all know another important factor in link building is analyzing the competition. Check out this link analyzer tool or try a free trial from one of the most popular SEO tools in the marketplace right now – Market Samurai!

Have any favorite directories of you own? Add them in the comments and I'll append to the list!

Update:
A good friend suggested these two additional link building resources:

  1. Strongest Web Directories
  2. How to find .edu links

PPC Management for Firefox Download

There are all sorts of Firefox plugins available for Internet marketers. If you're a search marketer specifically, this PPC Management toolbar should be a included in your 'Firefox must have add-ins'. Note* As the name implies, this tool is more for the PPC manager not the client due to the requirements (which you'll see below).

So, why is this toolbar a must have?

Here's a quick run-down of everything this tool offers:

  • Keywords Estimate Tool
  • Keyword Suggestion Tool
  • Site Keywords Tool
  • Account Statistics Tool

Double Click this toolbar for your stats to update – it may take 60 seconds to update depending on the size of your account. The data you see will be for today only.

Right click to see the tool menu and drill down into your account level statistics.

Clicks: Total number of clicks accrued today

aCPC: average Cost Per Click today

Cost: Total spent today

Conv: Total number of conversions accrued today

C/C: Cost per Conversion today

So, what are the requirements?

FF 2+ preferred but still works for versions 1.5-3.0.*

AdWords Client Center

AdWords API Tokens

Tip: Your statistics might take 60 seconds or more to load depending on the size of your account. If you still do not see data, you may need to restart FF and test your credentials again.

How to Install the PPC Management Firefox Addon?

Upon download, Firefox should automatically recognize the extension and install it.

If you get any errors:

Right click the logo, click ’save link as…’, after saving you can scan it with any Anti-Virus program, then open Firefox. In FF, click file -> Open File -> Find the file and open it -> Install

ppc management for firefox logo

Track SEO Rankings with Google Analytics

So, there are many ways to tracking keyword rankings. There are paid tools like Web Position-which was recently blocked by Google for a short period. There are free tools like Exact Factor – but the tool is limited to 9 keywords it can track. Market Samurai, one of the hottest SEO tools available is also a viable option for tracking keyword rankings. Because of these reasons as well as others, it makes sense to track rankings at the source – Google Analytics. I originally found the idea behind tracking seo rankings with google analytics at Yoast.com but decided to repost with some additional detail based on the questions I had while trying to implement.

So, the first steps are to setup a filter in Google Analytics. There will be a total of 3 filters needed to implement this Google Analytics SEO tracking. Filter 1 and 2 will take care of filtering out everything other than organic traffic. The 3rd will provide the tracking filter. This is important: you will also have to create a new profile to apply these filters to otherwise it will screw up your main profile's tracking! Now, onto the filters!

Filter 1: Google Analytics SEO Keyword Tracking

This filter will allow only Organic traffic into the profile. Create a new filter, choose filter type “custom filter”. Then choose the “include” option, set the filter field on “Campaign Medium” and the filter pattern on “organic”. A screenshot is below:


Filter 2: Google Analytics SEO Keyword Tracking

The second filter tells Google Analytics to capture traffic from Google, Yahoo and MSN. Create a new filter, choose filter type “custom filter”. Then choose the “include” option, set the filter field on “Campaign Source” and filter pattern on “googleliveyahoo”.

Tracking SEO Keyword Rankings with Google Analytics

Filter 3: Google Analytics SEO Keyword Tracking

Set up the 3rd filter as an advanced filter like so–>

Google Analytics Tracking SEO Rankings
The SEO Keyword Ranking Results:

After a while the “User Defined” report will look like this (ignore the language):

Track SEO Rankings With Google Analytics
What you see are not the actual rankings, but the number of the first result of the page the keyword was on. So when you see 20, it means the keyword was on the third page, and a 50 means the sixth page. (Yahoo and Live Search will report 21 and 51 in stead of 20 and 50).

There were a number of questions in the comments surrounding about not seeing a number but only “(page: ): it means the keyword was on the first page – a good thing:)
Got any additional tips? Suggestions? Share in the comments!

Quick & Easy SEO Tips to Improve Your Website Ranking

Google recently posted quick and easy tips for the holiday rush and, after reading back over it, I quickly realized, these tips aren't just for the holiday season nor should they be recommendations limited to Google search.

As a result, I have compiled a list of quick and simple tips for websites to increase traffic – whether it's to make the sale online or to increase foot traffic to your brick-and-mortar location, your web presence is a critical part of your business plan. The tips below are fast, free, and can make a big difference in your organic SEO! Best of all, they were inspired by Google:)

Verify that your site is indexed (and is returned in search results)
Check your snippet content and page titles with the site: command [site:example.com] — do they look accurate and descriptive for users? Ideally, each title and snippet should be unique in order to reflect that each URL contains unique content. If anything is missing or you want more details, you can also use the Content Analysis tool in Google's Webmaster Tools. There you can see which URLs on your site show duplicate titles or meta descriptions.

Label your images accurately
Don't miss out on potential customers with poor or missing alt text. Good 'alt' text and descriptive filenames help search engines better understand images, make sure you change non-descriptive file names [001.jpg] to something more accurate [NintendoWii.jpg]. Image Search has the potential to send significant search traffic, so you should take advantage of it.

Know what the search engines know (about your site)
Check for crawl errors and learn the top queries that bring traffic to your site through Webmaster Tools. You can use Google's diagnostics checklist or MSN's crawl issues tool to aid in this process.

Have a plan for expiring and temporary pages
Make sure to serve accurate HTTP status codes. If you no longer sell a product, serve a 404. If you have changed a product page to a new URL, serve a 301 to redirect the old page to the new one. Keeping your site up-to-date can help bring more targeted traffic your way and provide an overall more useful visitor experience.

Increase foot traffic too
If your website directs customers to a brick-and-mortar location, make sure you claim and double check your business listing in Google Local, Local.com, MSN's Local Listing and Yahoo Local.

Usability 101
Test the usability of your checkout process with various browswers and ensure the coding is valid. Ask yourself if a user can get from product page to checkout without assistance. Is your checkout button easy to find?

Tell the search engines where to find all of your web pages
If you upload new products faster than the search engines crawl your site, make sure to submit a sitemap and include 'last modification' and change frequency' information. A Sitemap can point searchbots to your new or hard-to-find content. Both Google's webmaster tools, MSN webmaster central and Yahoo!'s Site Explorer allow for sitemap submissions. You can read a quick question and answer on Google sitemaps for more details. Additionally, be sure to utilize robots.txt to funnel the search bots to content you want crawled and content that should not be indexed.

So, that's all for now. I know there are many, many more tips but these should help capture some low hanging fruit. Have your own tips? Feel free to add them in the comments section!

Be sure to check out PPC For Hire's SEO Basics series on Title Tags, Meta Description, Hx tags and Link Building.