Purge the Crawler and Ghost Referrer Spam that Attack Your Analytics

ghost and crawler referrer spamA week after we launched Paula Gould’s new website for her photography business that involves children and babies, she called in a panicky voice. Why was she getting referrals from a porn site?

Paula was right where spammers wanted her. In her panic, she would click the link to see what this was about. There wouldn’t be an answer, though. No reference to her site or any of her photos. Another case of web crawler referrer spam!

In the past year or so, we have seen a big increase in [Read more…]

Local SEO Takes A Little Elbow Grease

Local SEOIf you have a brick and mortar store, a service area business or a home-based business, sit up and pay attention. Even though I wrote about this important topic a couple of months ago, Rich Owing’s presentation at WordCamp Asheville titled SEO Goes Local SEO was full of details I didn’t know—as well as things that we may know but need pounding in a few dozen times before we help ourselves by doing them.

In his previous incarnation, Rich had one website, all about GPS devices, and it let him live in style with a six-figure income. But don’t think Rich sat around on his keister eating bonbons or laid out under a tiki hut in the Seychelles working four hours a week.

One reason his site did well was that people wanted and needed information on [Read more…]

The Secret to Coming up at the Top of a Google Search

Urban Oasis on top of google search pageDo you want to come up on the first page of a Google search? For a lot of businesses the competition for their main keyword phrase is so steep that it can be difficult to rank on page one in the organic search results. That’s where having a Google Local Business Listing comes in handy.

Businesses that work with or service customers at an actual location can get a Google+ Listing which has a good chance of coming up on a Google Map and can appear in a Google search above the organic listings. How great is that?

My husband and I have a loft bed and breakfast in Atlanta. One evening a man named Jim, was in town from Chicago on business, and taking clients to dinner at the steakhouse down the street.

When Jim checked Google Maps for directions to the restaurant, our Bed and Breakfast listing also popped up. Since he had work in Atlanta that required him to be here for several days most weeks, he liked the idea of staying someplace called the Urban Oasis rather than an anonymous hotel. [Read more…]

Is Your Website Mobile Responsive?

responsive siteWhat is a mobile friendly website and why should you care? In February of this year, Google announced that starting in April they are going use “mobile device friendliness” as a new variable in their search ranking algorithm.

If you care about how your website comes up in a Google search, then you should know what this update means for your website, and what you can do to fix it. Mobile friendly, or responsive, websites are designed to provide an optimal viewing experience across screens of various sizes. [Read more…]

Has Your Website Traffic Dropped Dramatically?

sad panda If your website traffic dropped dramatically in late September, it could be you got bit by Panda 4.1, Google’s latest algorithm update. This update specifically downgraded sites with poor or no content, duplicate content and  keyword stuffing. It did this on September 23. Check your analytics and see if you are safe.

A couple of people I know got hammered. One man came to me yesterday to redo his site after he experiences a dramatic drop in business on his very profitable e-commerce site. The problem is he has very few words on his site which was created in Microsoft Front Page quite a number of years ago and was completely discontinued. Because of that he can’t easily go in and update his content.

We are going to [Read more…]

Check Your Google Local Places Pages – Before it is Too Late

Google-Maps-iconIf you have a Google Local Places Page and want to keep it, you should go check it out. Google is making a lot of changes to the Local Business Pages over the next month and they want everyone to go review and confirm out listings.

A lot of people have been receiving the following email:

Due to changes in Google Maps, we’d like to inform you that unless you review and confirm the information in your Google Places account, we will no longer be able to keep and show it to Google users after February 21, 2014.

If you wish to keep your listing active, follow these three easy steps:

1. Log in to your Google Places account
2. Review and update your information
3. Click the “Submit” button

The Google Places Team

If you have a Google Local Business Page and haven’t received this email yet, it might have gone into your spam folder. You know what a pain it was to claim your page in the first place so go and check your page so you don’t lose your place and your reviews. And If you don’t have a page or haven’t claimed yours, now is as good a time as any. Do it Now.

8 Steps to Improve Your Local Business Placement in Google’s Search Engine Results

buylocalI have a friend who started a service business and I created her website. When we were finishing up, she told me emphatically that she was not going to blog or be on any Social Media platforms. Of course I gave her my spiel about all of my reasons why this was a terrible idea in terms of her business being found on the Internet, but she was adamant that she was not going to do any of that.

Instead, my friend said that she felt like their business was going to come mostly from referral and marketing calls and that her goal for the website was to [Read more…]

Become More Relevant with Internal Links

ChainlinkThis week, I heard Dan Morris speak about building a blogging Empire. He had some gems in his presentation.

One thing I know, but I totally forget to do for SEO, is to build in internal links from a post I am writing on a particular subject to some of my other blog posts on the same subject.

What does that mean and why should you do it? Google gives your post search engine ranking on the basis of relevance. It crawls your site to see [Read more…]

Find Your Magic Keywords and Optimize Your Content

Picture of a KeyAbracadabra! Keywords are the magic words you will need to come up for to be found by your potential customers on the Internet.

Yet like other magic words, it is amazing how many people don’t know what they are or how to use them.

Here are some basic SEO tips:

  • Your keywords are most likely going to be phrases rather than single words since the single words are too general and very competitive. If your business is new and is selling shoes, you are most likely NEVER going to come up for the word “Shoes”. But you may come up for the keyword phrase, “Cool Shoe Store Atlanta” or “Women’s Tango Shoes”.
  • Make a list of the 10-20 Keyword phases you would like to come up for in a search. You might ask people you know how they would search for your product or service.
  • Once you have your initial list. You also want to make sure that people searching this term would actually be looking for your services, not just for information about that term. Create an Excel spreadsheet of your terms.
  • Take a sheet on this spreadsheet and in the first column make a list of each of your website pages. In the second column, write a description of what that page is about. In the third column, match up a specific page with one of your keyword phases that you will then optimize that page for. In another column make a note as to the date and the placement in the search that your page currently comes up on for each term so that you can track your success.
  • Optimize the content on each of your pages for a particular search term. You should have between 300- 500 words on the page (not including the sidebar or the footer) in order to optimize it properly. Use the Focus Keyword phrase in the Title Tag. Use the phrase towards the beginning of the Meta Description.  Use the term in a Header. Sprinkle the term several times in your content without having it sound spammy. Add the term or phrase to the alt tag of your page or post image.

In the pursuit of finding your magic keywords, these steps should make a big difference especially if you are in an industry that is not too competitive. Remember you have to be doing more than the people ranking above you. In some industries that is not very hard to do.