Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Website Content Guide Pages

I read over at SEO-Theory about "Using Content Page Guide Optimization", and realized that I had completely quit using content guide pages. I have been having a bit of trouble holding my rankings for Goatsmilktavern Studios and I was looking for a way to make it a bit more stable. A content guide page may be just what I was looking for.

Content guide pages are pages on your website that act like a table of contents for the site. You have a link to each page on your website and a short, 25 or so word description of the page. These descriptions need to be very keyword dense in order for it to be any benefit to your rankings, however, I always encourage people to remember to write for the users, then write for the search engines. Content guide pages can be a great deal of help to users when you have a large site with many pages, but for the most part and for my purposes I will make it for the search engines.

On the users end, content guides give the reader a rundown on what each page on your site is about and why they should go and read it. Content guides are not the place to make sales pitches, but they are the place to stuff some good keywords. These descriptions should be much like your meta description, only more compelling.Make your descriptions clear and concise so the reader will easily be able to find what they are looking for on your website.

Another good use for content guides is they are a possible solution to the problem Google has created by devaluing Supplemental Results Pages in its search results. If you have a site with supplemental results, you need to get them into the main index to make the effective pages on your site, there is no use having pages that don't rank on your website.

Sunday, November 4, 2007

Links: Visibility & #'s

There are 2 approaches to link building, quality visibility and sheer numbers. Both are helpful to the web site, but which is best for the stage of the SEO campaign you are currently in. Separating your campaign into stages, or surges is important for building an effective SEO strategy.

I like to start my SEO campaigns with an increase in sheer numbers. A large quantity of links will help a web site establish its weight in the SERPs, but will rely heavily on the user finding the site. The best place to start amassing links is with directory submissions. Sit down and start a spreadsheet of all the directories you can find and start submitting your butt off. Directories are still a big part of SEO, but they are, sadly, mainly for link purposes rather than for the users. A directory may have a high PR that will show up higher than the site for specific keywords. When you submit to directories, make sure and use effective key words in the submission and you may be able to beat a high ranking site with this "piggy back" to the top. By gaining a high volume of links you are establishing the web site's presence on the web, but they may come from irrelevant places, therefore, becoming just numbers. When choosing directories to submit to, I choose them all, if you are too irrelevant, they will deny your submission, oh well. Remember to make clear titles that are keyword rich and that draw attention to the listing.

Set up a reciprocal link script on your site and start writing some link bait. Make sure you advertise that yo offer free reciprocal links on your site so other SEOs can find it. Just watch who you are link in to, stay away from "bad neighbors" and link farms. Contact web-masters that put your link on pages with more than 100 links on them and tell them to please move it to another page.

For more links you can start a site in your particular niche and do some "link laundering". I have said this term before, and I will get into laundering in another post, but I am sure you can find some information about it on the web.

Now that you have your troops behind you, it's time to give them tanks. Relevant, quality , traffic building links are the big guns to your SEO campaign. These will be links that may not help you in the SERPs, but will bring quality traffic to the site, after all we are trying to build traffic, not just good rankings. This is where your email writing skills come in, you have to ask for links in order to get them. Write a few press releases and articles with links to the site and submit them to syndication sites. Pay a little extra and have your press release on Google news and submit everything you do to the social bookmarking sites.

My idea of SEO is to get my clients away from PPC and into the SERPs. It is also my job to drive quality traffic to the site, which doesn't mean they have to be on the first page, just an increase of customers that spend money on the site. This approach will achieve both results. Build your easy numbers first, then send the buyers to the site.