In the brick and mortar world success depends on three things, "Location, Location, and Location".
In the virtual world this translates into "Indexing, Indexing and Indexing".
- Domain Name Planning
Unless you have deep pockets to build and test a PPC, (Pay Per Click),
marketing program, and/or build a linking program, you will want to
get top organic search listings.
One of the main factors in this process is the domain name.
A keyword rich domain name goes a long way toward winning a top position
in the Search Sweepstakes.
If the same keywords can be incorporated into the logo, so much the better.
If you are set in having your branded (no keywords), business name as your domain name, buy it as a
domain name and forward to your keyword rich URL.
- Buy your domain name yourself.
Do not trust a hosting company* to buy it and include it in your hosting
We will do it as a separate process in your name using our credit card and
then remove our card, leaving you to do the renewals.
We charge $25 for the service.
- Make certain you host* on a fast server.
Google judges loading time in it's ranking process.
Our 4 CPU "Carrier Class" server is on multiple optical (OC192 + OC12)
The data center sports biometric login and 72 cameras feed a 3 man security
- Host your server in the country* your market segment targets.
Foreign hosted servers can take a long time to access from another
country, triggering a slow loading flag for Google.
- Get a unique IP address* for ecommerce.
It will cost you a few dollars more but it will guarantee that any activity
on the IP address is yours, and not generated by the other domains sharing
- Make certain the host* supplies site metrics.
SEO is all about knowing how you get, keep, and convert.
- Make certain the host* can handle a sudden jump in interest (traffic)
as would result from a mention in Yahoo news.
We have a high overall bandwidth and can give you a choice of paths to
follow to accommodate the burst of traffic.
We won't shut you down and you can weather the rush.
- Buy your domain name yourself.
- Software Considerations
Considering that a custom developed content management system/shopping cart
will run you in the thousands of dollars, it is worthwhile doing
evaluations of "boxed" website management products.
The days of the static website are over.
For ease of management, efficiency, features, and support consider a product
developed and released under an Open Source license.
This will also assure you of copyright. You own the code, you can use it
Database driven websites are powerful and incorporate business building
and management processes*.
*Ask me about CRELoaded.
- Layout Choices
Don't deviate from the results of eye tracking studies.
There is a definite preferred place for page elements based on numerous eye
Being "creative" and stepping out of the box here can do you more harm than
The "Golden Triangle", is the area of a page that people are
most likely to read is positioned right under the left aligned logo.
top of the left column is the hotspot that should contain your primary navigation.
Off to the right is an area that decreases as you look further to the right.
This incorporates about most of the vertical screen, (excluding the
header), and 1/2 of the space to the right of the primary navigation.
The red bars are scrolling stops.
The rest of the page is pretty much dead space UNLESS you capture the
visitors intention using your relevance hierarchy.
Just because it "looks pretty" does not mean that it converts.
- Presenting Relevance, Images/Flash/Text Content
Relevance starts in your domain name.
It continues into the file name, the Title, and in the on page display.
Get a SEO expert that understands the visual presentation of relevance.
It is one of the key factors.
Search is driven by text, not graphics.
Too much graphic / flash content and the page becomes too slow to load.
Keep your graphics to illustrate a point and keep them small with a
Some mobile platforms do not play flash content.
Accessibility standards dictate 100% comprehension in a text only
Content is read differently form a monitor than it is from hard copy.
Learn to write for the web.
- Marketing. -> Start Locally. Build on your physical location.
Target Organic Search Listings.
Link on local directories. People often search locally before going
SEO -> If the market is strong, with a large number of aged and/or
authority sites predominating, then pick a keyword phrase that suits your
service/product and fits between their main categories. Something that they
are not optimized for. Something that you can anchor text. Something that
you can promote. Something that is distinctive. Something Branded.
The primary function of marketing is to build links to boost your views.
Getting the visitors to your site is the first step.
Building links falls into a number of categories.
Before the changes in PageRank and the calculation of links brought on by
the Mayday update, it was thought that links improved search positions.
To this end we were told to not use paid links, watch out for nofollow
defaults, avoid bad neighborhoods, and not to link to non-relevant topics.
Mayday changed this.
For search term ranking, links do not
affect positions with any degree of importance anymore. They do count for PageRank but the formula has changed.
PR used to be assigned on a mathematical process. Simplified, the formula
was .85 x the PR of the site divided by the number of links on the page.
This is no longer true.
The new process is that PR assigned is based on the relevance of the linking
page to the linked page.
Google is presenting two different metrics.
Relevance, (SERPs), and Authority, (Page Rank)
In the previous calculations of PR it did not mater if relevance was
followed, and a link on a high PR website transferred more PR than a low PR
site, regardless of relevance.
Understanding that Authority does not necessarily define relevance, Google
changed the PR rating algo to determine scores based on relevance,
drastically altering the previous method of calculation.
This and the separation of PR from SERPs has changed the playing field for
Do not worry if the links are paid, or no follow.
You are placing them to attract real visitors, not build a search
Some of the paid sites have large audiences and can send you qualified
One of these I use for one of my Canadian clients promoting his vacation
cottages is "petfriendly.ca".
It seems that a lot of people vacation with their pets.
Build your links for traffic reasons.
If you want to build your PageRank, place your links on pages that are
relevant to your page, without consideration of the linking page's PR.
The 2nd step is the conversion process.
This can take place immediately or over several visits.
The site and the content should be presented in a way that leads your
visitors through the relevance using visual hints and synoptic connections*.
*Synoptic connections are developed from patterns established in
core experiences. (Shopping on line is one).
If we shop at Amazon a lot we are used to seeing products in the hotspot
with the basic navigation to the left.
A quick check of major commercial sites shows the same basic layout. (Header
(Across the top)-> Left Column -> Main Body ->Right Column -> Footer (At the
As this is exactly the same path a search engine uses in reading your page,
it determines the importance in the positioning of elements.
To convert, a site needs to lead the visitors through the relevance
hierarchy, presenting conversion points, (Action Calls), at
In summation, a successful site needs to:
- Define their market through the use of keyword phrases.
- Put these phrases in front of those searching for them by
using on page SEO and SEO friendly software.
- Present these phrases in the form of relevance that both
human and robotic visitors understand.
- Employ "information silos" to build on relevance.
- Market without regard to SERPs.
- Focus on building links for PageRank on pages with relevant content.
- Focus on building links for traffic purposes. Ignore
- Terminate your pages with calls to action for best