Website Doldrums: the flat horizon.

On a sailing ship, you could only make progress when there were winds of blowing into your sails pushing you over the horizon. In a storm, huge gales could launch you miles off course or push you quicker towards your goal. Hundreds of thousands of sailors have died over the years from these storms. But worse than the storms are the doldrums that follow. Flat seas, with no wind… stranding you in a desert of undrinkable water.
The journey you take on your website can be similar. Creative winds push you in the direction you want to go, and uncontrollable storms may sweep across the electronic seas. The most difficult part is waiting out the website doldrums. You’ve already added your content, got your inbound links, reviewed your meta tags and feel like you’re ready for business. Then nothing happens… You check your stats…. and the odd visitor here,a keyword there… the trickle of traffic is nothing more than a ripple in your sails. You check you stats Google Sitemap account, check your stats again….

The important thing to do when you’ve hit that wall, is to just keep on making small improvements on your site. Add subtitles to your pictures. Adjust your alt text on your pictures, add a bit more content to your homepage. Just hang on, the wind will come sweeping into your mast soon enough.

Geo Keywords – Geographic Placement and Search Engine Placement

The thing that I love about search engines is that common sense rules the methods they use to determine value. It’s common sense that if you’re providing valuable content for website visitors about a particular topic, the search engines will view that positively and increase your relevancy to the keyword.

Geo Keywords

Geo Specific Keywords
This brings us back to the concept of keywords specific to a geographic area, I’ll call them Geo Keywords for short. When your business is based around a Geo keyword, you have a open door for content writing that you shouldn’t ignore. Your opening is that when you have a Geo keyword, you aren’t competing against all of the people across the world for the term.

Look at the term “Content Writing Advice“, the search engines are going to look for information relevant to Content, Writing, Advice, Content Writing, Content Advice, Writing Advice, and other terms that are relative to that area of information on your website. This means that anybody, anywhere who posts information to the world wide web that the search engines see is going to be competing for that keyword.

Now lets take a look at “Riverside Content Writing”, now the search engines are going to look for content writing, but also for your relevance to Riverside. The advantage is that you have now narrowed down your competition from a international scale where large companies are most likely going to dominate, to a more local scale where your competition less fierce.

Relevance to specific area

The second advantage to Geo Keywords is that you have a term of relevance that has large amounts of information available to you to use. You can go to city hall and pickup a fly-er on the city, pick up a book from the library and like we learned in our public school system, paraphrase to success! This approach makes writing content half as difficult to achieve, because the research is done for you already.

This also applies to your strategy for your site visitors. If your a real estate agent, and are trying to get people to buy homes in your area, having unique relevant content about the community they will be moving to is paramount to capturing out of state buyers. Having that content at your fingertips just makes it easier for you to build up your content.

Good Night and Good Luck

Meta Content Writing Advice

Most people don’t realize that every page they have gives a description of the content of the page to the Search engines, and that is used for the “Snippets” that appear on their results. It’s ironic because it’s actually one of the few things that should be straight forward…I’m talking about your “Meta-Description”. The reason that most people forget about their meta descriptions is because they do not appear to the regular visitor to the page. They only appear when that page gets indexed by a search engine and then it will display as a snippet under your Meta-Title.

My advice when writing this meta content, is to keep it simple. If you look at the snippets in Google, you’ll see that it only reads so many characters before it gets cut off. Be sure that your snippet accurately describes the page, in a different way from the meta title. This is a very important step because you will only be doing yourself a disservice by duplicating the title.

It is important to note that this strategy will definitely assist in getting more click through on your snippets.  A well thought out description can attract traffic that might have just passed you by if you hadn’t provided a description and the search engine generated one from random text pulled from the page.


Swallow Your Pride: How To Take Advantage of Constructive Criticism

Expectations are dangerous:

I received an I today from one of my colleges who had a chance to look at my blog. I was very proud to share my blog with my friend, because he himself is a seasoned SEO blogger. I know that being new to the “Blogosphere” or whatever it is kids are calling it today, I could use all the advice i could get.
I was surprised when he hit me with some serious issues with my blog right out the gate. I had made the mistake of using a Mac with safari to make my first posts, and it didn’t allow rich text formatting. This made my blog very bland. So he suggested to use formatting to spice up my text. Also, in my haste I had made some elementary spelling errors, which I have since cleaned up.

Be Open to Change

I think it’s very important as site owners to remember that your content on your site should always be under scrutiny. You should be adding or revising your content on a regular basis. You may get some good advice, from your readers, or your friends. Don’t let your pride get in the way, let others good advise help you on your quest for the perfect site.

It’s Worth It!
Content writing for your site does take an investment of time, but it is one of the activities that will definitely give you the largest gain in the search engines. It may take you 2 hours to get those tables lined up within the 2 pixels that you want and to orient that graphic in “Just the right spot”, but imagine how much content you could have typed out during that time! Think of your website as a work in progress, and not as a onetime activity and you will reap the fruit of your labor.

Content writing for Geographically Specific Industries

“Location, Location, Location” is a mantra has been applied to marketing strategies for years and it’s still something you need to keep in mind for your digital marketing campaign.

Understanding Industry & Relevance To Local

It seems like there are a category of keywords that are specific to an area. Certain industries are tied almost exclusively to these “Geographically Specific Keywords”, like the real estate industry for example. Realtors obviously are only able to service certain communities, and so their keywords become something like “Riverside Real estate”, or “Riverside homes”.

Once you have determined what keyword you’d like to get placed for, you want to target your website to get rankings under that word. How does Google pick what websites are relevant to “Riverside” and to “Real estate”. The primary element is going to be what verbiage actually appears on the site. Like it says in the Google Webmaster Tools, “Try to use text instead of images to display important names, content, or links. The Google crawler doesn’t recognize text contained in images.” So, posting up hundreds of images of “Riverside”, and “Real Estate” won’t get you anywhere.
First, you should ensure that if your hosting company has given you any default content, be sure to remove and replace it with your own unique information. This content is by it’s very nature “duplicate content” and will give you no benefit whatsoever in the search engines because so many other sites use the same text. You can of course use the default text as an “idea” to base your verbiage off, but be sure that you COMPLETELY rewrite the text, and don’t just modify a word here and there.

Second, make sure your homepage includes your keywords. I know this seems simple, but you need to actually look at your page and make sure that actual text, and not just fancy JPG images contain your keywords.

First Post- Content, Content, Content

Howdy Folks!

Thanks for tuning in! I am a Customer Support Supervisor for a large web hosting and design company in the real estate industry. Every day I see the winners, and losers of the industry. I see well built websites, I see stock websites that haven’t been modified from their default content.

Day in and day out I talk to beginning website users completely lost and bewildered by all of the conflicting information out there about how to make your website visible to the search engines.
Over time I began to realize that there are always some “sneaky” things you can try to slip past the search engines, but they always catch up, and setup penalties for such actions. As Gollum from Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” would say “Nasty, Tricksy, False!”
Getting good rankings comes from understanding what search engines product is that they sell. They sell results. or rather, accurate results. They profit when people find what they are looking for, because that will increase the likelihood that the user will stay on the search longer, and eventually utilize the built in advertising.

I know this is of course a simplification, but the basic idea is that search engines need to display results that match the “keywords” that a user inputs. So then logically, all you need to do is provide content that matches those keywords, and you’ll get recognized.
Easier said than done.
There you are, your homepage open….a huge overwhelming blank space. My goal is to provide you with tips, tricks and ideas to help fill in that blank page with valuable, search engine, and user friendly content.

Thanks for stopping by, and
you stay classy…internet.