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Chris LoCurto

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February 7, 2012

Don’t Skimp on the SEO!

February 7, 2012 | By | 8 Comments">8 Comments

Here is the part two guest post from Matthew Egan of Image Freedom about internet marketing done right. You can follow them on Twitter. You can guest post as well! Read how to here.

3. Don’t Skimp on the SEO!

SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization.” It’s the science and the art of setting up a website so Google can index your pages. You can then rank on Google for keywords that will drive new customers to your business and grow your revenue. Most website developers say that they offer SEO service, but only about 5% of them know their keywords from their title tags!

Two parts power SEO: the on-site optimization and your off-site reputation. On-site, you want to include your most valuable keyword or keywords in your pages’ title tag, in the front. You need a minimum of 250 words on your homepage. If possible, those words should be very “on topic” for your keywords. If you sell tennis shoes, talk about tennis, talk about tennis balls—don’t use overly generic language. Bold your primary keyword once or twice in your page copy if you can. This highlights those keywords for Google. SEO “experts” will tell you that SEO is this crazy complicated process, but improving your Google ranking is really very basic.

Off-site, the name of the game is links. When Google “crawls” the web, their robots go to one website, follow links from that site to other sites, follow links there to other sites, etc. Every time a website links to your website, they are building a valuable path for Google to follow to your website. As more people link to your website, as more paths are created for Google to reach you, your rankings will improve. If no one is linking to your website, Google will not index your site very often, and you’re not going to show up in the rankings.

You can’t just do the on-site stuff, you need people to link to you in order to move onto Google’s first page.

As a consultant and a blogger, I wanted to be known in my industry as an expert—I wanted to be one of the elite. What I found was that helping business owners make sense of the multitude of internet marketing opportunities was my true calling. I was pushing myself in one direction, to be one of those speakers you see at the marketing conferences. But what I learned was that those speakers only really seem to be preaching to other speakers. They’re early adopters, they’re excitable, they’re ready to jump on the latest social media bandwagon and take risks.

If I’ve learned anything from Dave Ramsey and Chris’ EntreLeadership podcast, it’s that you can’t afford to take too many risks, especially when it comes to spending your marketing dollars. I don’t have 20 years in the trenches like Dave, but I have owned Image Freedom for three years now, and I’ve worked with dozens of businesses who have grown their revenue by millions of dollars each year by following simple advice like you see above.

There isn’t some big secret. Sometimes the best marketing is simple and obvious. Be consistent, stay in control, and you will reach your goals.

Question: How does this change the way you look at SEO?

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  • http://www.SevenPillarsOfSuccess.Net Louise Thaxton

    Great post! I will have to sift through this – print it out -and think about it. I realize the importance of SEO – but I suppose not enough to go into it deep enough. Your passion however is contagious – Thanks for sharing!

  • http://about.me/jonedlin Jon Edlin

    Great post Matthew! How do you get other websites to link to yours? Do banner ads count as a link?

    • http://twitter.com/ImageFreedom Image Freedom

      Hi Jon, thank you. This guest post is a great example of a way that I earned a link from Chris here to my site. Guest posts are a great way to get out there and get linked to.

      Banner ads, anything that you pay for, TECHNICALLY violates Google’s Terms of Service and is considered a “paid link” or what some call Black Hat SEO. Any kind of paid links out there SHOULD be flagged as “no follow” by the site owner which indicates that it’s a paid advertisement and that website is not vouching for the targeted website.

      In practice, some sites roll the dice and hope that Google doesn’t find out about these paid links as they can get penalized or even de-listed from Google all together.

      A great tool to finding out who is linking to you is a website called OpenSiteExplorer.org. With OSE you can see who has linked to you, and who has linked to your competitors, or sites that are similar to yours. We often use OSE to “reverse engineer” a competitors backlinks as it gives us ideas as to how we might get sites to link to us.

      It’s easy to be seduced by link acquisition and spam websites or create crap that contains links, but I find that creating value on the web allows you to EARN your links vs. trying to trick Google and game the system with black hat paid links.

      You can find other great articles across the web with Link Building ideas by Googling “Great Link Building Ideas” or “Link Building Examples”. Good friends of ours at a company called Distilled also teach a 2-Day workshop in Boston called Link Love that is all about Link Building tactics, we attend that every year.

  • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

    Matthew! I like your idea of “on-site optimization and your off-site reputation.” As an individual, I have always thought of on site optimizaton alone. The concept off site repuation never struck my mind. Thanks for the thought today.

    • http://twitter.com/ImageFreedom Image Freedom

      There are so many web designers who preach about their skills as a designer and they often say “Oh yea we do SEO” and I always smile because that usually means they put Keywords in their keyword tag or something like that. Truth is, Google doesn’t even use the Keyword tag any more so spending any time or energy on it is a waste of time.

      A proper pairing of On-Site keyword targets, title tag, relevant related page content, etc, coupled with a healthy link acquisition strategy, which means EARNING and DESERVING the links, not just gaming the system to get linked to wherever you can, goes a very long way.

      We have employees who’s core job is just going out onto the web and finding link opportunities to grow our clients reputation with Google. They’re the cold callers of the web, they have to keep digging, looking, reading, etc, to get as many links as they can and get those links without violating any of our ethical standards, or Google’s terms of service.

      • http://uma-maheswaran.blogspot.com/ Uma Maheswaran S

        That’s great Image!

        Subject: [closblog] Re: Don’t Skimp on the SEO!

  • http://www.bluebridgecomm.com/ Joel Fortner

    Love this, Matthew! As a fellow marketing and PR dude, its great to meet someone else who is passionate about helping others market better by, to be blunt, cutting through much of the crap out there! It’s no wonder so many people struggle with developing a good marketing plan…there’s so much inaccurate info out there that sounds good that’s competing with solid info and advice. Look forward to connecting more!

    • http://twitter.com/ImageFreedom Image Freedom

      Thank you Joel! I know that people mean well, they do their best to provide good information, to help their clients, but sometimes people are still learning and they wind up creating things that their clients didn’t need, or failing to get exactly what they did need. It breaks my heart when I see it.

      We do our best to put out the most accurate information that we can to help those less technically savvy make the right decisions and not waste their marketing dollars.