Best SEO Tools on the Net

November 11th, 2009 in SEO Tools by Mark Ruttan

The best SEO tools on the net are the ones that we use every day. For me many of those are WordPress tools and other free online SEO tools. Most web pages are only willing to give you access to mediocre search engine optimization tools. I started this blog so I have a place to tell you about the best free SEO tools I have found on the web and tell you where to download these amazing tools. Many other blogs and forums will only tell you about a SEO tool, but will offer no link to that tool, that is why I will post the best SEO resources I know to date and link out to them from this site.

If you know of a tool you would like me to review (even if its your own), feel free to comment on a post or send me a tool to review to mark@semtrak.com and I will review it and create a post on this page. I am open to all tools for SEO (free and pay) and any blog software or add-on that will enhance a blogger’s experiences. I am a fan of WordPress for its amazing SEO resources and will test WordPress SEO add-ons on this page.

In the end the best tools are current technology. Look here to keep up to date on tools for mobile touch screens and anything else that is currently popular. But first let’s start at the basics. Check out this link below.

Planning On-Page SEO

Free SEO Tools blog – Original Content – November 19th, 2009 in Starting a New Website by Mark

Planning on-page SEO is a detailed process. For that reason many people get to this point and get scared. They paid someone to host and build their website or may have even built it themselves with WordPress but, now they realize they don’t know what they are doing. Here is where many people fail – they panic, but my goal is to not let that happen to you. You thought that this was all going to be easy, but now you are nervous because someone told you that you needed a sitemap and that just sounded like it would be expensive…  What’s a sitemap? What are Meta Tags? Do I need an XML site map? What do I do with it when I get it?  Fear no more I am going to walk you through all the basics and give you a resource to fall back on when you don’t know what to do.

So… in the last blog we covered the basics, setting up a few SEO sources linking back to you like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. Now let’s start thinking about how to get the search engines to index and follow you. Your keywords, META Tags and site-map will help with this and make you look like a pro to the search engines.

 

I know this next part gets techie, but trust me it will be very helpful for a new website and trust me I have found an easy way for you to do all of these steps. Here’s your SEO tip – Your new favorite new word is going to be “generator” and below you will find links to your new favorite generators.

 

When you need HTML code written and don’t know how HTML code works it can be a bit confusing. So, I have created this post to solve a few of your website or blog problems. Here’s how you start. Look up the HTML or Meta Tag word you need in Google and put the word “generator” next to it. For instance try – robot text file generator or sitemap generator (Google requires this for indexing your site) or XML sitemap generator, or even Meta Tag generator. All of these searches will take you to tools that will generate your code for your Meta Tags, site-map and any other basics you need for your website. All you need now is to learn how to write the quick simple content that will be copied and pasted into these generators.

 

Follow these steps to look like a HTML pro without ever learning a lick of code.

 

Before I get into the steps required to create Meta Tags for your website, let me say, that if you have used WordPress you will not need to follow the links below, you can just read the instructions. Instead You will want to install a plugin called Platinum SEO Pack from WordPress. It will give you everything you need for your blog.

 

Step #1 Let’s start by generating some keywords.

 

These are the words you want your customers to look up in the search engines to find you. The best tool I know of is the Google Keywords Generator. Start by search for the broadest term you can related to your business like “baby blankets” and let the generator show you the rest. It will put out a large list of words and you will want to choose 5-10 words that will fit your topic but are not the ones with the greatest number of hits. These words will be too competitive to fight for so you will likely want to pick some of the less popular words that still get good traffic.

 

Step#2 Now your website needs META Tags and here are my favorite generators from www.scrubtheweb.com.

 

You will find many resources here, but let’s first look at the generator here for META Tags. META Tags are becoming less popular for some search engines like Google, but are still important for other search engines. So let’s cover all the bases and make sure you can be found by al the search engines. Below are the basic Tags you will need and there are a few others you may consider adding that may not be as important.

 

a. META Title Tag – this must be the first tag that shows in your websites HTML code. The best way to write this is – “Your Most important keyword to find your website” followed by the pipe symbol | (you can find this symbol by holding the shift key and hitting the back-slash key just above the enter key) and then your business name.
i.e. Search Engine Marketing | semtrak

 

b. META Description – Your title tag should be approximately 150 characters in length and be full of the keywords that describe your business and is written in a sentence format. This is the description that will show in Google searches for your website in all your organic listings.

 

c. META keywords – these are your words that you will soon start optimizing for in the search engines. These should be identical to the keywords you chose in step number one and should be in order of most importance. The first word is your most important word and last is least important.

 

Step#3 XML Site Map Generator and WordPress Site Map Generator

 

 

This piece is very important to Google and other Search Engines. This file will be stored on you servers and tells the search engines how to index your page when the web spiders crawl your site. This is not a page that will be visible to your visitors but it will tell the spiders where your web pages are and how to link to them in the future.

 

Step#4 The no follow Meta Tag or Robot text file.

 

This file will tell the spiders to either crawl all of your pages and links or not to crawl certain portions of your pages. This can be important for people that have secure information on their site and don’t want it to show up in the search engines general content. I will post more information on this later.

 

Step#5 Submit your website to the Search Engines or many of you may want to ping your blog using Ping-o-Matic.

 

This last step is actually the first step in optimizing your website for the search engines. So far you have worked on making your website look good to the search engines so that you they want to send you traffic. Now it’s time to get traffic. This quick and simple process will guarantee that your pages will be indexed by the search engines and that you start getting traffic from organic searches on the web outside of your first links that we set up from LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter and your Blog.

 

And remember, when you set up your submissioninformation to use the exact same information as your META tags you set up for Title, Description and Keywords. This is very important so that Google see relevancy in your submissions and listings.

 

Here is my favorite tool to submit to the search engines. It is an automated service that automatically submits your website every month for just a few bucks and I get it free with my web host. Finally, if you are a local business with a physical address you will also want to set up your most basic local listing on Google Local, Yahoo Local and Bing (the new MSN). These listings should be set up just like the other above and I will cover this in my next blog post.

 

Drive More Holiday Traffic

December 4th, 2009 in Starting a New Website by Mark

In a previous life I was a fitness enthusiast, to some extent I still am. And from previous experience I learned that hard work pays off and training to become better at your trade is a constant process. Marketing your business is no different. It is a constant effort and if you give up on it you can lose all the benefits of your hard work. So through the holiday season you may want to consider a “personal trainer” for your website. If you have never had a trainer maybe you don’t know the benefits. If you like to know more…

 

#1 They motivate you. I found over the years that paying for training is the best way to get fit. When you pay for a service, you are really motivated to get the most out of it.

 

#2 They personally motivate you to be better through pointing out weaknesses that need attention or enhancing your strongest points. For instance, if you are already a strong company or have a great website with a great following, you will probably want to work on what you already do best. On the other hand if you are a newer business you may want to consider looking into strengthening some of the weak points in your armor.

 

Either technique will work and both will have benefits, but if you never hire the trainer you will never see the results. Many people are the do-it-yourself’er types and this is often a good start. But who can be an expert in every field? Nobody. We all need help. Even top athletes have trainers. And most likely it is not someone with more skill than them, instead it is someone with more knowledge and experience than them. That is how we learn. We get in contact with a specialist or “personal trainer” that has the experience and knowledge to improve your performance. You pay for the service, improve your performance and start the new year with greater confidence, knowing that you trained through the holidays and are not coming out of the Holiday’s fat and slow, but instead stronger and ready for the new year.

 

To find out about building a website
click here

To learn how to start a blog
click here

 

Twittering for Tw-Dollars or Tw-Followers

December 18th, 2009 in Starting a New WebsiteTwitter by Mark

Twollowers Followers – Can you say Tweet?

The hottest thing in social media is, and has been be for a while is Twitter. It is a really cool tool that doesn’t make much sense to people, so i will try to make sense of it for you. Now take to heart that seeing is believing, so you will probably need to try this to believe it, I did and have seen it work. It’s funny, before you try it you will probably be asking the same 2 things as everyone else that has not tried Twitter for themselves, who cares what I’m thinking and who is watching that matters? And in all honesty, those are 2 great questions. They are the basics of why Twitter works. Let’s address each one at a time and then I will tell you what to do to get more followers.

Tip #1 to learn – If you aren’t doing it you aren’t making money from it.

Who Cares? – The most basic answer is nobody. The better answer is – people that don’t know you and nobody if you never try it. The world is your oyster and Twitter is the the ocean. There are more than 2 million people and companies on Twitter. If it didn’t work the largest companies in the world like the Big 3 wouldn’t be spending money on it. So if you aren’t on it, nobody outside your social sphere of influence will ever know about you or your business.

Tip #2  This world is built off of luck, who you know, and extra effort.

Who’s watching that matters? Same answer… nobody is watching full time, but this isn’t about who has the time to constantly watch tweets on Twitter. It is about being on Twitter at peak times (5 am-9am PST and 5-6pm PST) the start and end of work day and meeting one extra person per day that you wouldn’t have met otherwise.

Twitter is another social world of people where you can access people you don’t know and market to them or just talk to them to learn from their experiences  and you won’t fully understand it until you take the time to experience it. But I think we have all forgotten that a large portion of  Twitter is about learning from others experiences. It is an amazing source of popular articles and the ultimate source for learning about current events – while it is happening. I watched Michael Jackson go from assumed deceased to officially deceased live through Twitter. This isn’t something great to mention, but it is something I won’t forget.

Twitter is a game of luck and increasing your chances. Twitter is being there to respond to them. Twitter is teaching the world at an exponential pace. And Twitter is more about giving back than selling.  Nobody can guarantee that Twitter will work for your company, but just like in Texas Hold-Em, if you never stay in to see the flop you will never have a chance to win a hand.

Step-by Step Build a Business with Twitter

Step-by Step Build a Business with Twitter

 

December 18th, 2009 in Starting a New WebsiteTwitter by Mark

Day 1 When you first start a Twitter account, unless you have done a lot of reading, you probably don’t know what to do or what to say to get followers using Twitter. In my experience building a Twitter followers list isn’t too hard if you follow a few simple guidelines and don’t break Twitters rules. Twitter does have rules that you will want to follow and take warning now, if you go overboard Twitter can shut down your account and delete your followers. But this is not something to panic about unless you plan on spamming your new followers.

 

If you plan on building a followers list quickly here are a few things to consider before you start going crazy with Twitter.

 

Tip #1  Make your Tweets informative

 

First of all, when you open your account you will need to Twitter on your account first before you start following. It is good to get about 20 tweets out there to let people know what kind of things you will be twittering about. A good tweet from a newbie is usually retweeting other people that you like or possibly sending out links to popular articles on the web or articles of your own if you will be writing articles and posting on the web.

 

Tip #2 Make them short

 

Twitter gives you 140 characters to write a tweet and that’s not much. I will say make sure you write your tweet in 120 characters or less. Remember, people will be reading these on their phones and at work. They don’t have time to try and understand what you are trying to say. You are only writing headlines for a link.

 

Tip #3 Know your audience

 

If you are building your follower list be focused. You will want to RT (retweet) articles that focus on your audience. If you sell IT, send out usefull articles and tips that would interest your clients or peers. ANd it never hurts to e intersting and funny.

 

Tip #4 Remember, this is just SEO

 

When you are building a list it is like everything else you do for SEO. It’s not rocket science. Take a little and effort to get a good follower list that is focused on your market. It will give you credibility and it will also give your readers a list of valuable followers to follow.

 

Bottom line, get a list built. Don’t do it too quickly and when you have questions on what to do next consider reading the article on Tips to Get Twollowers.

6 Steps To Building Your Best Links Ever

January 6th, 2010 by Mark

Link building – a no nonsense approach to finding quality links. Recently I have been receiving comments asking for an article on link building. So here you go. As usual, my readers can decide what should be on this blog and I will give you a 6 step strategy that is proven to work. Recently in fact I read another article on getting your videos on page one of Google and it made me think that this could also be a great strategy for building links. So check this out for another way to build links or to get your videos to rank high.

 

Link building is one of the most important strategies to making a page rank, a video rank or an article rank. Here is a quick strategy on how to rank your YouTube channel high in Google free organic search results on page one in Google. If you don’t have it already you will want to download SeoQuake. It’s an add-on tool for Mozilla Firefox. SeoQuake is a tool for web masters and others that do search engine optimization to promote websites. SeoQuake works inside your Google searches and lets you dig deeper into the stats of your search results telling you things like page rank and number of links of pages.

 

Now for the steps to make this work.

 

1. Find the YouTube video or article that you want to promote and make sure you already know your keywords.

 

2. Create your article’s or video’s title with your subject in the title. Make sure the title grabs attention so that people will click on.

 

3. Go to Google search and click on the advance search and fill in the areas below.

 

a. Find web pages that have…

all these words:  “put your general topic here”

this exact wording or phrase: => Channel Comments (use this for YouTube) or – comments (for articles)

one or more of these words: => Leave blank

This will take you to all the YouTube user pages or article pages that have to do with your keyword.

 

b. Go down to:

Need more tools?

Results per page: => 100 results

Language: => any language

File type: => any format

Search within a site or domain: => YouTube.com/user or article sites like ezinearticles.comarticledashboard.com orarticlecity.com (these are all page rank 6 sites)

When your done click “advanced search”

 

4. Now use the SeoQuake bar just below the Google ads. It’s near the top of the page. You’ll see a spot that says “sort” with a bunch of arrows and question marks. Now look for the letters “PR” next to the Google symbol and click the “?”. This will load the page rank of all the pages in search.

 

5. Now click the one with an arrow going down. This will bring the pages with the highest ranks to the top.

 

6. Click on the each result that has high ranking.

 

If you are doing this for videos this will take you to their YouTube channel and you can see there are no follow links thoughout the channel except for where you can leave a comment.

 

a. Now leave a comment here about their channel and what will happen next is that you will get all that page rank to pass back to your YouTube channel videos that you are trying to get rank on Google.

 

b. Or if you did this for an article the same will happen. Their page rank will boost yours.

 

Thanks to everyone for asking for this article and I hope it will get your pages ranking as quickly as possible.

 

Your friends at the Free SEO Tools Blog