Seo Gap Analysis – Understanding What it Takes to Get Top Search Engine Rankings

Want to know what it will take to get your website ranked at the top of the search engines? It’s all about links. Links are the most fundamental building blocks of the Internet and Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

As Google explains on their technology page [], in-bound links (links pointing to your website from other websites) and Google PageRank are critical to ranking high at the Google search engine. In fact, we’ve found that inbound links (also called “backlinks”) and the keyword optimized text in and around those inbound links account for about 95% of optimizing for the “Big 3” search engines — Google, Yahoo! and MSN Search.

SEO Gap Analysis:

If you want to know what it will take to get top rankings for your keyword phrases do the following 4 steps…

1) Identify Your Keyword Phrases – Research and identify what keyword phrases your target market uses to search for products or services like yours. List them out.

2) Analyze Google’s Top Sites for Your Keyword Phrases – Simply go to Google, type in the keyword you want to rank for and see which competitor sites rank the highest. Take note of their URLs. For example:,, etc.

3) Anchor Text Analysis – Now, go to and run anchor text analysis to see what their in-bound link text says. Look at the exact anchor text they’re using by searching Yahoo! like this… link: This will display a list of the websites that link to your competitor’s site. Click the links, look at each web page and take note of the link text that is hyperlinked to your competitor’s website. You’ll want to use the same (or very similar) anchor text that your competitor’s are using. NOTE: This is time consuming! To speed things up, I highly recommend Brad Callen’s “SEO Elite” software. Simply open SEO Elite, type in your keyword phrase you want to analyze, click all 5 Search Engines and have the software find ALL the links.

4) allinanchor Ranking Analysis – Next, go to Google and conduct the following searches to see who ranks highest for these…

allinanchor: keyword phrase
allintitle: keyword phrase
allintext: keyword phrase

For Example:

If you’re a realtor in Bend Oregon, you’d like your site to rank #1 for “bend oregon realtor” right? Of course, so conduct the following allinanchor searches on Google…

allinanchor: bend oregon realtor
allintitle: bend oregon realtor
allintext: bend oregon realtor

Why Do We Do This?

This is how you research to see who has the most…

1) in-bound links that say “bend oregon realtor”
2) links from pages that say “bend oregon realtor” in the page’s title
3) links from pages that say “bend oregon realtor” in the page’s text


If your website can rank the highest for all 3, you should get top 10 ranking in Google (Usually #1!) This is basically how Search Engine Optimization works.

If your site is ranking low for “allinanchor” you need more backlinks with your keywords in the “anchor text” — links that include the keyword phrase in the text of the hyperlink.

If your site is ranking low for allintext or allintitle you need to get more “relevant links” — links from web pages that include the keyword phrase in the text and title.

Simple as that!
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5 Reasons to Outsource Software Development Projects

To satisfy the customers most of the providers are occupied in developing new programs, providing add-ons, and new versions. In these days of globalization many firms are looking for the software development outsourcing provider. One of the studies says; when new company who outsource their software development assignments to outsourcing company, has been able to save 40 to 50 percent on project. Before going for outsource software development, look carefully towards the various offerings of service provider.

Outsource software development services are mentioned as under:

Desktop Software Development

Desktop applications are generally built as query and analysis tools that access the appropriate database and convey the required information. To develop software programmers need knowledge of various languages and tools including ASP.NET, VB.NET, Java and Visual Basic. Here is some of the example of desktop application XML Parsers, customized data entry forms, Webinar Presentation Creators, and dashboards and scorecards. High accuracy, speed, and cost-effectiveness are characteristic of our desktop application services.

Website Design and Development

Websites are the key media in today’s communications world with which you are gaining more popularity. To get more income form the web you have to design and develop a website in such a way that visitor feels that they come at right place. Here are the some of the examples of the website development; static websites, customized websites, open source packages and e-commerce websites for a wide variety of clients. Also the web applications like web mail, online retail sales, discussion boards and blogs.

Why outsource software development services? Following are some of the reasons:

• It will help you to decrease your costs. This will bring your business at more profitable stage.
• You can get help of Professional Expertise without spending too much of your money. Expertise will complete software development project quickly and efficiently. Quick development helps you to increase productivity.
• You can get competitive advantage by having focus on you core activity. By this way you can grab more market share in your industry.
• It also gives you an option to pay only when you hire the services. By the time you not hiring services you can spend money on your core business activity and can make business more productive.
• You can get the right set of environment and infrastructure for you main business to get your work done effectively and efficiently.
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History of Pakistan Hockey in Hockey World Cups

Hockey in Pakistan dates back to the middle of the 19th century. It was the British who introduced the game to the Indian public when their regiments were stationed there. Cricket was not so popular then, and hockey began to be considered as the national game of India. Of course, since there was no Pakistan before 1947, everyone who represented India in any tournament was an “Indian”. The game caught the people’s fancy to such an extent, that Indians won eight Olympic gold medals (six of them in consecutive events). This period (1928 to 1980) was therefore hailed as “The Golden Era of Sub continent Hockey”. The Pakistan Hockey Federation was formed in 1948, the hockey players were given the name of “Green Shirts”, and hockey became the national game of Pakistan too. And once things were put in place, there was no looking back for Pakistan hockey!

And to be sure, Pakistan has produced many “hockey” greats over the years! The list is too long to be covered in this small article, but some noteworthy names that deserve mention are-Hasan Sardar, Waseem Ahmed, Mohammed Saqlain, Shahid Ali Khan, Shahbaz Ahmed, Shahnaz Sheikh, and Sohail Abbas. Hasan Sardar, of course, was “the wizard of Pakistan hockey”! He has been instrumental in several international wins for the country.

As far as the world cup hockey tournament in Men’s hockey is concerned, Pakistan has won the most. Pakistan hockey team has bagged 4 world cups in all. Pakistan won the world cup in 1971, 1978, 1982 and 1994. Pakistan reached the final and won the silver medal twice, in 1975 and 1990 world cup. The 1994 world cup final match was the most thrilling one. In 1990 world cup final in Lahore, Pakistan, Netherlands defeated Pakistan. Pakistan paid back the Dutch in 1994 in the same currency. 1994 world cup final was won by Pakistan on Penalty shoot outs. It was a very thrilling match. Shahbaz Ahmed was Pakistan’s captain in that tournament. The victory was overwhelming for the nation as Pakistan won two major hockey tournaments in 1994, namely World cup and Champions trophy.

Yes, they have had their share of defeats too! But regardless of any hits or misses, the Pakistan hockey team is indeed a force to reckon with! Other teams better beware! They have to really toil to be one up on all of their accomplishments over the years! For now at least, it seems to be a well nigh impossible task!

Hockey is Pakistan’s national game and Pakistanis take pride in hockey. They have a glorious history of winning in hockey. At present the hockey team’s performance has not been really impressive for past few years, but it is improving. The nation needs to bring the young talent out and to ensure that the young guns get proper training. Hockey and its victories are a glorious heritage of Pakistan which the nation would love to carry forward. We hope to see the team with best world cup hockey records to be back full force very soon.
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Attraction Marketing Training – List Building Authority, Master the Method – Fortify Your Success

Attraction marketing makes list building in network marketing so much more powerful. It opens an infinite number of possibilities for the average person, mastering these methods can make you an authority and guarantee your success, however many people will still fail in their home based network marketing business do to lack of education, training, mentoring and support.

Mastering this method of marketing allows you to stand out as an authority and position yourself in the market place as someone hew has something of value to offer.

Attraction marketing is about forward growth and how to continually keep learning and following – about allowing yourself to become the student. it is personal, it is about building a tribe of follower, it is about building trust and relations, it is gaining a customer for life.

And most importantly it is about continually evaluating yourself first, and then elevating your position in the market place. I like to call this your credibility ranking.

Attraction Marketing is about freely teaching, training giving knowledge and value before you are expecting to receive. It is also the art of becoming highly sought-after by customers, subscribers. Unfortunately, this is what will prevent people reading this right now from taking action.

This is the most definitive answer of what Attraction Marketing is: “Teaching”. That is it. Attraction marketing is all about teaching – educating your tribe of followers it is about educating and list building, this is the key to becoming attractively the hunted, rather than the hunter.

Marketing in it self is an art, so learning step by step how to apply real direct response marketing is a sure fire way to consistently build a responsive list of qualified leads, if you want to become a true master marketer it is essential that you start educating yourself and becoming a student of marketing.

By positioning yourself as a student you become the teacher, you see when the student is ready the teacher will appear. This is a sure fire way to master this method and become a true list building authority.

They say to become great at something you need to be consistent and the same is true when learning how to become what it is that your market is looking for. By applying real attraction marketing tactics teaching yourself and others you can truly become the hunted, doing this can fortify your success and build you an attractive list of customers.
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Six Search Engine Optimization Tips For Small Business Websites

Many small businesses work hard to generate sales leads and want to tap in to the customer and client traffic that utilizes the Internet each day. Most small business owners don’t know that many search engine companies have studied how users click through to websites listed at various positions in the search engines. Surprisingly, over 40% of all user clicks were on the first website listed on the first page of search results, and over 90% of all clicks were only to websites listed on the first page. This is sobering data, made even more surprising by noting the following: moving from position 20 to ranking 10 in the search engine results represents an incredible 888% increase in the number of click throughs to a given website. Even more surprisingly, moving from ranking 20 to position 1 accounts for almost a 14,000% increase in clicks! I think it is clear that being listed on the first page for a targeted search phrase is highly desirable, and indeed almost necessary for businesses looking to generate online sales.

The challenge for website owners, then, is to create a plan of action for generating Internet traffic that translates into sales. This is not easily done, and is difficult without help from an experienced internet marketing or Search Engine Optimization (SEO) expert. SEO pros understand the intricacies of data flow on the internet, can analyze to where internet traffic is going, can deconstruct competitor sites, and can create plans for targeting search phrases and your customers or clients effectively. Further, it is critical to create a plan for gaining website credibility through generating relevant back links to your website, and SEO experts understand how this can be accomplished quickly and effectively.

If you are new to the world of internet marketing, then you need information and strategies that will help you create more customer leads immediately. This article will give you six Search Engine Optimization tips that will help you to get the traffic you need to your internet site or blog.

SEO Tip Number 1: Fully study the most appropriate focused keywords for your website. These search phrases will effectively describe your web pages to the search engines, and should be targeted, regularly searched for and as non-competitive as possible. A good starting point for this research is to use Google’s free Keyword Tracking Tool, which allows users to research search words of interest, and learn how many searches for their phrases are being done each month. This tool also displays search keyword trends so you can make note of how internet traffic is flowing over time. This tool is essential for any SEO professional, and keyword research is, arguably, the most important step toward optimizing your website for search engines over time. Selecting your targeted keywords or search phrases will determine how your site content is written, and you should spend a good amount of time carefully doing this research. Make note of the Cost Per Click displayed for a given search phrase or keyword, as this will likely reveal how difficult it will be to rank in the search engines for that word.

SEO Tip Number 2 : Update your Page title to use your chosen keywords in the title tag of the website. This title will tell your visitors what your internet site is about, and more significantly this is the phrase that will show up in the search engine results. Many Internet marketers either do not use a title tag, occasionally they forget, or they don’t know the significance of this tag. Without this tag your web page will not have a title, it will not look professional and this will in turn limit your potential for new visitors.

SEO Tip Number 3 : Add a Description tag to your web site. Make the description keyword rich, but also confirm that it is understandable when read. Don’t just pack it with all your targeted keywords, but use it to make detailed sentences. This description will be displayed in the search results. Do not make it too long, but make it educational. You will want potential customers to click on it and visit your site.

SEO Tip Number 4 : Use the Keyword Meta tag. Search engine robots look for this descriptor to see what your website is about, and will send traffic to it according to these tags. If you’ve got more than one keyword phrase, this is the tag you should use to insert all of your targeted keywords. However, it is crucial not to over use your targeted keywords. In the past, stuffing a web site full of keywords would drive traffic to a site, but the search algorithms have become more complex over time. While the Keyword tag should still be used as part of an overall website optimization plan, it does not carry the weight it once did. Other factors have taken precedence, including relevant content, keyword density and back links to a page.

SEO Tip Number 5: Write informative and useful content for your visitors. Make your information keyword rich and with high density. The recommended keyword density percentage on a given page is between 3% and 5%. If you stuff your page full of keywords, search engines will penalize your page, and your ranking may be lowered. Google’s guidelines specify, for example, that your content should be clear and relevant to your subject. If you are interested more about Google’s recommendations, search the web for Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide. It’s an interesting read.

People around the world use search engines every day to find the data they seek. When the search results point to your website, your potential clients hope to find something useful there. They are not looking for a spam site, a desperate sales pitch or a redirect to another internet site. If you make your visitors click too often they will likely leave your website, reducing your sales. Offer relevant information and products that are helpful to the user and relevant to what he or she has searched for. This relates back to the importance of doing your keyword research correctly. Time spent up front determining what consumers want will help you create a web page that has your customers returning again and again.

SEO Tip Number 6: Create relevant back links to your site. You can spend countless hours and money creating a beautifully crafted site that is visited by no one. It is critical that your pages are written to draw targeted readers, clients or other consumers. One of the most important methods to gain further search engine ranking is to create back links to your website where the anchor text associated with your site link contains your targeted search phrase. For example, suppose you are selling Blue Widgets, but your website is named You need to associate the phrase “Blue Widgets” with your website address as much as possible, from as many unique sources as possible. The anchor text will permanently associate your keywords with your website, increasing your website’s visibility in the search engines for phrases containing those keywords. Note that you will want relevant back links to your site, ideally DoFollow links that will have the search engine robots crawling your pages whenever a link to your site is found on another site. These links, too, should ideally be from high Page Rank websites that are related in content to your page about Blue Widgets. Further articles will discuss these points in more detail.

I covered several essential on page and off page Search Engine Optimization factors that should help your business web site rank high in the search engines for targeted keywords. I can not stress the importance of proper keyword research enough, and connecting with a competent, knowledgeable SEO Professional can help your business generate more traffic quickly. Hopefully you’ll use these SEO tips on your websites today to generate new visitors, customers and sales!
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Search Engine Optimization – Impact of Hosting Location

There are many articles and books that discuss the basics of Search Engine Optimization. As a result, we already know that Search Engine Optimization can be broken down into two parts, namely a) on-page optimization and b) off-page optimization.

On-Page optimization is concerned with page structure, choosing the right keywords and supporting words (for Latent Semantic Indexing purposes), placing these words and phrases in the right places and with the right density, optimizing the title tag, meta tags, alt tags, image names, and so on.

Off-Page optimization refers to tasks that are performed external to the web page. The most important task is often said to be getting a high Google PageRank (PR). To achieve this, a search engine optimizer will try to get as many links as possible from other sites (whose contents are relevant or related to the contents of the page to be linked to) that themselves have a high PR.

However, PR alone is not sufficient for off-page optimization. The text on the incoming links – the anchor text – is very important too. If anchor text does not support a search term, then it is possible for a lower PR page to rank higher than a high PR page, even if on-page optimization has been done for both pages.

Recently, though, I came across another factor that has an impact on search engine ranking. It is something that does not seem to be written about much. At least, I have not seen any book or web site that mentions it.

Impact of Hosting Location on Search Engine Ranking

It is often said that domain extension can affect search engine ranking. A domain name with a country extension (such as or tends to do well in that country’s version of the major search engines, but not as well in the main search engines. Similarly, a domain that does not have a country extension will not do too well in that country.

But what about hosting location?

Our company is located in Malaysia. Our website used to be hosted in North America and we were getting some good rankings for many of our major keywords in the three major search engines – Google, Yahoo and MSN Live Search. However, our site was not indexed by Yahoo Malaysia.

Then a few months ago, we relocated our website to a hosting provider in Malaysia.

Following the relocation, we noticed some major drops in ranking for pages from our site on Yahoo. For example, what was on the first page of Yahoo before the relocation dropped to about number 200 after the relocation. Our ranking on Google dropped slightly. Our ranking on Live Search did not seem affected.

Then we noticed something else: our site started to appear in the SERPs for searches on Yahoo Malaysia, and has been ranking very well since then. Our ranking on Google Malaysia has improved, and recently, our ranking on the main Google site has improved too.

This seems to indicate that Search Engine Optimization should take hosting location into consideration, since it can have an impact on ranking.

Obviously, we cannot come to conclusions based on a single example. However, for us, the result of the hosting relocation is real enough.
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Guaranteed SEO For a Top 10 Ranking

How can SEO firms guarantee top 10 rankings while others bulk at even the notion that the SEO client should get anything in return other than a statement of work and at the end of the month some fancy reporting about hours spent on link building, article submission and other seemingly important search engine optimization tasks. The truth as always is between the two different camps of SEO firms who either guarantee top 10 ranking or don’t. So, why some SEO companies offer performance guarantee, while other SEO companies don’t?

Before start our investigation, we have to set some ground rules here of course to make sure we compare only reputable SEO companies with at least 3 plus years in business and a customer portfolio of at least 2-3 dozen clients a year. Oh, and of course the SEO companies we compare have all achieved decent rankings results for their clients and their clients would not hesitate in recommending them to their friend, business partners or family members.   Now that we got these important benchmark out of the way, let’s examine what is at the heart of the SEO guarantee and the sometimes very heated discussions surrounding it.  

The issue is quite simply trust.   The trust by the clients placed into the hands of the SEO companies to do the best they can to achieve the first page ranking results they were hired to deliver. So, it comes down to which company can sound more convincing on their website touting their SEO services with fancy graphics, customer case studies, testimonials, badges of affiliations with SEO organizations and being member of better business bureau. But does this really make a difference in how competent a SEO company is?  

If the company can’t convey enough trust to the potential SEO client on their website, they might as well close the shop, but sadly even when a potential clients feel in their gut there is something inherently wrong with forking money over for services that don’t have a tangible outcome, they still sign on the dotted line. How sad, but it doesn’t have to be this way. You have the right to demand to know what your hard earned dollars buy.   So, here is where the guaranteed SEO services can truly make or break a deal from a reputable SEO company, but there is more to a SEO guarantee, than simply writing a few over used slogans on a webpage and hope visitors will listen. These are the criterias you should use to hire an SEO firms who guarantees results in writing.  

Get references from as many previous SEO clients as you can. The SEO company should give you a list of previous clients’ contact information cheerfully and with lots of pride. After all they are going to be only as good as the last client they have dealt with. The most important questions to ask previous clients is, how long it took the SEO company to achieve the results and were they able to hold onto those rankings long term. No money up front. You should not pay a dime for any type of setup costs or other silly administration costs. It takes nothing more than 1 hour for seasoned SEO to come up with a thorough analysis of your site and to create a proposal for you. The cost of this should be not be coming out of your pocket, so never every pay for any type of site review or report up front. Specific ranking results for Google. Google is still the king of the online searches with over 60% of the total worldwide search market and you should not accept a guarantee that includes any mention of Yahoo or Bing (MSN,Live) in the contract. You should simply say you are only interested in Google natural results. Verify rankings independently. Always find out what type of ranking report generation tool the SEO company will use. The rankings have to be checked daily and a history of the rankings must be available to you at any time. What constitutes a SEO guarantee being fulfilled? In other words how many days of the month do the rankings have to in the top 10 or top 5 for the ranking guarantee to be fulfilled. Ask for a minimum of 15 days of each calendar month for the site to be in the top 10 or top 5. Don’t pay for all the SEO fees when the rankings are achieved in the first month. Once you agree on the total SEO fees, you should demand that you pay over a minimum of 6 months as long as the site remains on the first page of Google during that period. If the site drops from Google’s first page for more than 15 days in the previous calendar month you should not have to pay and roll the contract term forward another month. Ask them how much their maintenance plan will cost you, once they achieved the top rankings and the contract expired. Be careful if the SEO company wants to charge you the same rates they charged to get you on the first page of Google in the first place. The link building and optimization effort needed will be substantially costly and you should get a decent break on the SEO fees, if you choose to extend it. Transparency of what they plan to do to get you on the first page of Google. Ask very direct questions if it’s not spelled out already in their statement of work or contract, what methods will be used to get you in the top 10 on Google. If all you see in the contract is optimizing page content and some directory submissions, it’s most likely not going to get you what you want. You want to see in the contract specific references to one-way permanent link building, not rented, permanent links only. Ask them for a sample of links they have acquired for other SEO clients.
SEO can be extremely effective to increase leads, sales, whatever you objective may be, but too many times decision makers in businesses blindly accept SEO contract terms put in front of them simply because they don’t know the questions they should ask. It’s your duty to exercise due diligence and part of your research when choosing a SEO provider is to know what you get in return for your money, and what are your options if the promised results are not achieved.
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SEO Techniques Turn Your Site Into an Authority Site

Authority sites are trusted by visitors and search engines as providing reliable informative content. That trust translates into sales. Unfortunately authority sites don’t happen overnight. A well thought out Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Plan involves several SEO techniques.

Two factors that impact how search engines determine the authority of a site are the domain age and the coding within the site.

Domain Age
Domains that are older are considered more authoritative than newer domains. An older site with the about the same number of backlinks, number of pages and relevant quality content will be ranked higher than a newer site of a similar nature.

The age of a domain begins when it can be seen online. Registering a domain but never uploading it as a website doesn’t cause the clock to start ticking. Buying an older established domain is possible.

Coding of the pages is important to search engine spiders. Most people think of the home page of a website as the most important page. However, each page should be optimized for the specific content on that page. Spiders don’t see the pages through browsers like humans do. Some html codes such as meta tags, titles, keywords, and description, which don’t show up in browsers, have an impact on the search engines’ indexing of the pages and the site.

Different keyword phrases should be used for each page, concentrating on one phrase for the page. For example: The keyword for a page within a weight loss site, could be “lose weight fast.” Other pages would be titled and named “quick weight loss,” “how to lose weight quickly,” “fast ways to lose weight,” and so forth. The keywords should be used in the html code in the meta title tags, description, in the first headline of the content and several times throughout the content.

Indexing is the listing or recognition of the page by the search engine. Engines crawl from one page to another. If a page has no incoming links it won’t be indexed. The incoming link can be from the site’s home page or from an external site.

The age of the domain can’t be controlled. Its age is determined by when it was first uploaded to the Internet. That factor can’t be manipulated. The age can be determined through The Way Back Machine, The coding of the site beyond the most productive usage of keywords is best left to programmers.

Correct coding and an aged domain are two SEO techniques that boost search engine rankings.
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SEO Tips For Beauty Business Owners – Main Components For Organic SEO

When creating a search engine optimisation campaign for your salon’s website you need to set in place a series of steps to really make it work for you.

If you already have a website you can modify some of the sites components and within a short period of time, you will see your organic rankings rise.

However, if you are just starting out with a new website you can set all these components in place immediately and again you will watch your website ascend in the search engine rankings.

Before we go any further let’s just imagine you own a beauty salon based in Yorkshire, in the UK and one of the services you want to push is Semi Permanent Make Up.

So in terms of SEO the keywords for this services that you would want to target would be:

Semi Permanent Make Up Yorkshire

So, the main components of your site that you really need to focus on for SEO are:

Your Title Tags – each web page’s Title Tag should include your target Keywords (search term) and in this case you would want to make sure that the Title Tag or your Semi Permanent Make Up page starts with your keywords:

Semi Permanent Make Up Yorkshire

The Meta Data – This is the ‘behind the scenes’ descriptions and keywords for each page which helps the search engines determine if your page is relevant for the words people are searching for, again you would want to include your keywords here.

Body Text – this is important as this is the text people & Google see, so it’s a must, your keywords need to be on your page several times, the keywords Semi Permanent Make Up Yorkshire would need to be in the headlines on the page and in the main body of the text a few times, but don’t overdo it, keep it natural looking as you want people to be able to read the text properly.

Links – the internal links on your website are very important, make sure you at least have a static text link from your home page linking to the pages you are optimising, for example, in this case you could have the words Semi Permanent Make Up linking to your SPMU page, Google will value this a lot, you should also have a quantity of quality incoming links to your site from other websites. And make sure that when another website links to you they link to you using your keywords, not your website address.

When you embark on a search engine optimisation campaign, if you combine all these elements it will certainly give you a very strong foundation on which to build your SEO and rise up the search engines as quickly and as naturally as possible.

To see an example of exactly how you could incorporate your keywords into your website visit the following page Semi Permanent MakeUp Yorkshire
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Get Me a Google Number 1 SEO Rank!

Over the last couple of months we’ve had a lot of interest from individuals and organizations with existing websites keen to reach the Holy Grail of internet marketing, or to put it into my customers words “getting to the top of Google (…and making money from it)”. There are numerous “SEO, or Search Engine Optimization experts” out on the web and some 37 million entries in Its a hot topic and now more than ever with the global downturn, businesses large and small are looking to the digital world for a cheap quick fix.

Not being the one to bite the hand that feeds, I have come to realize that a bit of gnawing actually does no harm either. What do I mean by that you ask?! Well let’s just say that in my experience a certain amount of realigning of customer expectations needs to happen when it comes to SEO. Whilst yes it is possible to get a site ranked highly in Google (and we have demonstrated this with our customers) there really is no quick fix and no cast iron guarantee either. Whilst the customers search for their elusive number ones so too do the SEOs, keen to tap into the secrets of the Google search algorithm. Sites offering immediate rankings and guaranteed results really do need to be approached with caution: a case in point is the Google Money Tree, which unlike its name has absolutely no affiliation with Google whatsoever. But still people have been duped and will continue to be when the product or company offering the service looks genuine, has a nice professional site and says all the things you are looking for. It’s marketing…dubious marketing, but it appears to work.

I have spent many hours trawling through people’s websites, looking at analytics and lines and lines of website code, and at the end of the day I cannot stress how important the content really is. Take the Alkimi site for example, it’s really simple, no flashy graphics, no “we will get you to number one” and no “25% off when you buy now” offers. But would it surprise you that in the last few months the average time on our site has gone from a couple of minutes to 10+ minutes? Why? Well content has a huge part to play, we kept our product pages as simple as possible to start with. There is no reason to put random garbage on the site just to fill up space, but there is a reason to add useful and interesting content.

The Alkimi blog and news releases are getting the big hits, and indeed are driving the calls into the business. This SEO game really shouldn’t be about just getting someone to find you, but more about getting someone to find you stay on your site and get something from it. The only way to do that is via your content. Give people what they want, give them something interesting, and rather more importantly drive them to the outcome you require. It’s the typical sales funnel just in a digital format. What makes a good sales person? Someone that can close the deal. Unfortunately too few sales people close, and likewise too few companies drive their desired outcome on their websites.

I’ve spoken with lots of startups over recent months, people looking for a brand new website and above all else I hear the same thing, people want their site created cheaply. OK so most designers can do a £200 website or less. The point is that if you aren’t technically savvy the chances are you will be lumbered with a site you can never update. By that you are automatically forfeiting the SEO benefits of blogging, news releases and updates. Technically you want to ensure a number of things when you create a site for the first time, putting the forethought in at the beginning will save you a hell of a lot later on when it comes to optimization down the line. My mind is boggled by companies that still manage to sell static brochure sites to customers looking for a cheap deal, the world really has moved on and you’d be surprised at how “cheap” a non-static, content management enabled site really can be. If you don’t believe me or if want to find out more about this CMS stuff give me a call or email me.

For those who already have sites and are looking to optimize its important to analyze carefully both the technical on site elements of the pages as well as the off site elements. In plain English that means that you need to look at technical elements such as meta tags, robots.txt files, sitemaps (the list goes on!) and off site things like inbound links from other sites. Again there is no point doing anything if the content isn’t hitting the right spot, so careful website copy writing is just as important and also works hand in hand with the analysis that takes place for technical side ie relevant keywords and page title tags etc.

I will leave this blog with a call that was made into me by another “top digital marketing” agency the other week. I picked up the phone and was told by an enthusiastic sales person they can guarantee me a place in Google. I told them that I did SEO for a living; they told me this was better than SEO and that it would give me the results I needed. I asked if this was advertising, they said no it’s not advertising but you get to the top of Google, guaranteed. “This isn’t AdWords is it?” I asked, “Yes you know about AdWords?” he replied. “Yes I do, and it is advertising, and it would require me to pay a monthly fee for to you to manage. The moment I stop paying you, my position in Google will disappear won’t it?” …Phone goes dead.

So just to clarify, getting to the colored boxes at the top and right hand side of a Google search can be done easily, but you have to pay for the privilege. Its definitely worth it for some customers but there is a difference between SEO and AdWords. SEO requires a commitment from the website owner, its a long haul but worth more in the long run than quick fix advertising. Being at the top of Google naturally with good content and by adhering to Google Search Engine Optimization [] undoubtedly gives a site much more clout than via any high position due to advertising. Don’t get confused with the two though, its a common misconception and one which many AdWords resellers are happy for customers to be confused over. Another misconception is that they have to manage it for you…if money is tighter than your own time , and the cost benefit works out in your favor then I’d encourage you to manage your own AdWords campaign.

In the coming weeks I will write a little bit about the importance of on site and off site elements for those interested in a crash course in SEO. I will also point out some of the common errors and pitfalls people make when trying to get that high Google rank.? The aim of this is to at least enable you to make an informed decision when it comes to optimization and not fall into the same traps as others before you.
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