Tag Archives: ethical seo

How SEO Moz’s Rand Fishkin Gave Me “SEO Religion”‘

(Mr. Fishkin getting his hustle or grove or ?!?!?!? whatever !?!?!??!?! on : Tamar)

Or Everything I Learned about SEO I Learned from Rand Fishkin

One of the key search engine optimization blogs I read alot is SEO Moz. Rand Fishkin and his crew provide excellent analysis of the social media optimization and search engine marketing space. Here are some of Rand’s better blog articles he has written over the last couple months. It provides an impressive 21+ SEO tips and strategy articles from the SEO Moz blog and website. I hope they prove to be educational and helpful in your SEO journey–I know they’ve been helpful to me 🙂 :

Rand Fishkin on Keyword Research
Segmenting User Search Intent“certainly helps for creating a conversion funnel and website optimization.

Rand Fishkin on Link building and Development
In “21 Tips to Earn Links and Tweets to Your Blog Post” Fishkin delves into several helpful techniques for creating content that spreads and garners Google link juice (from the cold dead hand of the linkerati).

In “Catalysts for Earning Natural Links and Link Rate Conversions” Rand focuses on the role of the linkerati and focusing on their internal motivations to drive quality link development. (see also: ranking at the search engines)

In “21 Tactics to Increase Blog Traffic” Rand talks about leveraging analytics, speaking in a human voice, building a brand, and creating expectations and fulfilling them.

Blogging in an Oversaturated Market is Usually a Poor Decision.” Discusses niching your content and finding a unique content area to explore. Too many people make this fatal mistake (or at least realize it will take far, far, far longer to rank in this space with probably less ROI).

Rand Fishkin on Innovative and SEO Friendly Web Design
In “8 Innovative Design and UI Elements That Make Sites Better” he talks about tips like top level design narrative navigation, auto-scrolling content, conversion-funnel based navigation, dual tabs for filtering (and organization), and creating specialness for the user with unique beta invites. (see also great post by Rebecca on website design ROI and Oatmeal on web design and usability: great website footers)

In “17 New Rules for Successful E-Commerce Websites” Rand discusses important design elements for e-commerce websites to create better user experiences and ultimately far better conversion optimization.

Rand Fishkin on SEO News and Updates
Did Google Change SEO Yesterday” provides Rand’s insight into the recent shifts in the Google algorithm.

Rand Fishkin on Human Resources for SEO Hiring and Sourcing
The SEO Moz Hiring Process” is a great explanation for potential hirees of SEO Moz as well as SEO firms or non tech oriented companies looking to hire new SEOs for the purpose of bring SEO in-house.

Rand Fishkin on Strategy, Workflow, and Ethics
In “If I Could Go Back in Time and Give Myself Advice This Would Be It” Rand provides fantastic advice for SEO company owners and CEOs on vision, leadership, and strategy. Rand suggests a focus more on people and strategic vision and less on the nuances Google.

In “The 6 Goals of SEO: Choosing the Rights Ones for Your Business” Rand discusses 6 (possible) top reasons for creating a search engine optimization campaign including: raw traffic, lead generation & direct marketing, mindshare/branding, e-commerce sales, ideological influence, and reputation management.

In “Business Assets + Historical Tracking = Serious Value” Rand highlights some of the core questions webmasters and executives should look at in determining value for their company. Rand uses a SWAT analysis to provide an overall website assessment and strategic analysis.

How to Price an SEO Campaign” by Rand is another oldy but goodie. Rand provides some examples of pricing for upper end SEO services.

In “PPC Agencies Make 45x What SEOs Do for the Same Value” Rand provides insight into the ROI of SEO as well as comparative pricing for SEO services (vis a vis PPC).

In “Is social media marketing illegal” Fishkin talks about the issues of ethics and legality surrounding social media optimization with respect to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC). This is a critical article to read for ethical SEO principles.

Of course they cover a host of fundamental SEO issues including social media optimization, relocating a domain via a 301 redirect, harnessing the long tail of internet marketing, best practices for title tags, and best practices to avoid linking link equity.

Bonus SEO Tips Just for You
SEO Moz’s [rocking] search ranking factors study and Rands explanation of the Google algorithm are quite helpful for navigating some of the uncertainties associated with search engine marketing with Google.

If you want to look into the more technical aspects of search engine ranking, you might check out the on page SEO ranking tips and techniques from the whole SEO Moz gang (or rather the You Moz gang…opps). Finally, Danny Dover’s The Beginners Checklist for small business search engine optimization isn’t technically written by Rand, but I’ve thrown it into the mix for your education and enjoyment. (see also: SEO launch proposal and outline, everybody loves a web business checklist, and getting an entry level SEO job)

Rank also has some great posts about Moz Rank, Moz Trust, and the SEO Moz Pro tools that I’ll let my readers and decide for themselves about. Also “The Internet Marketing Handbook” is a great summary of some of the most helpful SEO resources, tips, and techniques available on the web according to the kind folks at SEO Moz.
Hopefully this guide will help you to go out and DO THE (Rand Fishkin) HUSTLE!!!!!!!!!!


Ethical SEO Tips for Local Small Business

Interested ethical seo or social media and social marketing optimization?

Here is my ethical SEO presentation at Barcamp Birmingham. Here is the black and white version of my powerpoint deck I did for the informal unconference section of Barcamp Birmingham 2009. Its not pretty, but pretty information rich (aka useful) for the introductory or intermediate SEO. Although some of the tips I extemporaneously added that you don’t get here–despite all this I got a request to post the presentation and lots of complements. Enjoy this ethical search engine optimization goodness.

Feel free to link to the presentation here on my blog and embedded the code, which is available at Slideshare on your blog. Also, check out the rest of my local seo and ethical seo posts as well. Check out my ethical link development tips for bloggers. For those interested specifically in issues of local seo, you will want to check out the fantastic local seo tips and techniques. Also knowing your search ranking factors and local search ranking factors is a must.

Matt Cutts, who is head of web spam at Google and guru of search engine algorithms suggests that unethical and whats called grey hat and black hat techniques may be gone from Google the near future.

If you need help with search engine optimization or if you are a social media or search engine marketing firm in need of outsourcing your seo needs, feel free to contact me at (615) 974-9662

A logical argument for hiring a recommended seo consultant

Guide to Hiring an SEO/SEM Consulting Firm

I don’t recommend DIY search engine optimization for most small businesses. Initially, it requires you to learn and track your seo efforts on an ongoing basis, which can be massively time consuming (and distracting). A lot of search engine optimization (SEO) is hard work (about 50% if fun, but 50% or greater is legitimately HARD and LABORIUS).

The changing world of the web means you constantly have to stay on top of the latest changers in the search algorithm. Second, online there are differentials of trust–you can find a TON of information, but the trust value is hard to assess. A responsible seo can help you see through the clutter and help you make the right decisions in your internet marketing efforts. The third issue you want to consider when you decide to hire an SEO or go the DIY route is the issue of time wasted. Initially, going the more independent DIY route means time wasted moving in the wrong direction and far worse a TON of time reading the echo chamber of posts (aka BAZILLION POSTS!?!??!) about “blogging about blogging” and “internet marketing” and “seo tips.” You could read for 30 straight days and not be any smarter in terms of search engine optimization. And what do you do if the so called “experts” disagree? As a newbie its hard to do that without the expertise provided by an SEO/SEM consultant. You simply don’t have time to navigate ALL the web advice on the world wide web–instead you should focus on what you do best: your business. For instance:

Which of the 100+ tools do you use?
What blog platform should you use?
Are metatags important?
Is Google stressing brands right now?
What does do-follow and no-follow mean to me?
What will get you banned from Google?
What is black and gray hat SEO?
What tactics should you avoid?
Whats the deal with Google and paid links?
Should I submit to paid directories?
Should I outsource?
What should I outsource?
Can I hire a freelancer to help me out?
Who is the best freelancer SEO or content creator?
How should I go about hiring a designer?
How do I know if the designer is ripping me off?

This is the tip of the iceberg. Its important to have someone you can trust to help you navigate the landmines of dealing with Google, content creation, and link building. A responsible search engine optimization consultant can help you and put your mind at ease so you can focus on your business’ success.
A trusted guide or consultant can help open up the black box that is the Google search algorithm in way that make sense for your life, your industry, and your target audience.

To be continued….

17 Tips for Ethical SEO for Real Estate

17 Fantastic Types of Content for Ethical Real Estate SEO and Link Development

Whether you are a real estate agent or broker, in our current economic system, you know that your online marketing strategy is critical to low cost customer acquisition and creating a better relational way to create an effective online sales funnel for your real estate business. For the next 6 to 18 months, customers aren’t exactly going to be walking in the door. In addition, in order to beat your real estate competition to market as social media and real estate seo strategies ramp across the country its critically important to Carpe Diem or in this case Carpe blog, Carpe social media, and Carpe SEO. Here are a couple of on point tips for amping up your ongoing marketing efforts with real estate social media and seo:

Professional Interviews are Quality Unique Content-interviews (linked up to relevant content on and off your blog) (bonus for interview series or 1 to 6 questions asked to a handful of industry experts, your customers, or your readers) memes perform the same function.
Aggregated Visual Content Helps Real Estate Buyers-By aggregating your best house pictures (appropriately optimized) your highlight your best properties or sold properties. You can also use visually attractive photos to highlight individual neighborhoods, which helps buyers pick between local communities and geographies.
Page Rank and Trust Rank are Alive and Well-Quality directory submissions help your Google ranking. For a relative low cost you can get trusted links without having to wait on page 10 while your site grows. Paid directory submission can turbo charge your early seo efforts in a flash. However, you have to pick the right directories to submit to.
Original SEO Friendly Content-The linkerati, as the people who have websites are often called enjoy controversial, funny, useful, relevant, surprising, different, and unique perspectives. This web masters will appreciate interesting, engaging, or visually stimulating photography.
Linking to your sources is great for SEO– Researched and linked content (with citation/bibliography and block quoting). Given that Google is based on an academic model.
Diagrams Bring Life to Your Content-Original content thats researched with numbers (aka charts, graphs, or info-graphs) is also likely to garner links from readers and industry leaders. Also the linkerati are a highly technical crowd, who loves visual diagrams. Especially if those diagrams are useful for their readers.
Stories of Experiments and Personal Journeys-personal experiments (makes it automatically unique and “real”) It also says something about you as a person.
Focus on Your Best–Focus your readers on a series or aggregation (ie aggregation of the best or top 10) . Google and your readers will appreciate having the information all gathered in one easy to find, read, and access location.
Solving Problems, and Answering Questions-answer questions that are very RELEVANT to your audience. Much of what people do in the search engines is ask questions. By answering questions not only are you likely to answer a query that your customers are making, but also you are likely to gain customers trust by putting them at ease.
Free Goodies and Strategic Giveaways-free stuff thats REALLY valuable to your readers (see also: contests). Free stuff that goes beyond mere text is likely to get more links. One great example of this is ebooks or wordpress themes.
Virtual Neighborhood Comparison and Tour-neighborhood specific details (pictures, content, stats, etc..)
Community events-Its easy to rank in Google for community events and it provides a unique service to potential clients.
Local History = Real Estate SEO. history of city or community, linking to relevant historical documents or landmarks can be both interesting and increase your search engine ranking.
Everybody Loves a Top 10-how to/tips/top 10
Pictures Rock My World-how tos with pictures are better
Easy to Understand = Great Real Estate SEO-sussinct diagrams that simply explain an issue easily and simply
Personal and Authentic Content Creates Relationship-personal pictures, personal life

Bonus: guides and whitepapers (oh…and posts that have photos/visual and over deliver)
Bonus #2: Start a contest powered on WordPress and widgets and $$$. (actually just money and widgets)

Real Estate SEO and Social Media Resources:
Interview with real estate agent blogger on Search Engine Land

PS. I hope this post helped you!!!!!

Ethical SEO Company Services

I’m going through a transition in my services and think this is probably the best breakdown:

• Training (e-training, by phone, and on-site on search engine optimization and social media)
• Strategic Consulting (SEO, content optimization, and link building strategy)
• Market Research (professional keyword research, backlink, content, competitive market research, crowdsourcing)
• Online PR
• SEO and Linkbuilding
• SEO Copywriting, Content Development and Article Writing (expert content outsourcing)
• Web Design and Development Outsourcing
• Better lead generation
• Directly targeted marketing funnel
• Usability and Conversion Consulting

The 12 Best Value Adds of Social Marketing Optimization and Ethical SEO:

• Trust
• Relationship
• Ranking
• Listening
• Innovation
• Learning
• Networking
• Lifestyle marketing
• Word of mouth
• Timing
• Engaging Web Pressence
• Qualifying leads

All of these are especially important for the travel marketer, the local small business, or the real estate agent.


Why pay for an ethical seo consultant or social media marketing?

Why pay for a social media consultant or and seo? What value or ROI do they deliver?

This is a question that small business owners and big brands in the Fortune 500 are perplexed with.
Here what I believe you are paying for:

• What to do and how to coordinate it
• How to set it up and maintain it
• How to structure it strategically
• How to see the systems and trends at work
• How to make smart media buys and how to save your money
• How to work efficiently and productively
• Overall to save you time and to ramp up your campaign far quicker
• Avoid marketing missteps and avoid misconceptions.

So why pay for social media marketing and ethical seo?

Travel Marketing, SEO, and Keyword Research

How do you do keyword research in the travel industry for your tourism and travel SEO?

Warning: This post is in beta…will revisit soon…

Aim for the longtail. What does that mean exactly? What is the long tail of SEO keywords?

• Aim for the right travel niche
• Aim for pricing related keywords for your hotel or travel destination(affordable, budget, luxurious)
• Aim for seasonal (Christmas, summer, spring, or whatever season is the bread and butter of your industry)
• Aim for recent, ongoing, or upcoming changes (ie new restaurant launches)
• Aim for questions users and potential customers will type into Google, Microsoft, and Yahoo.
• Aim for product and travel service based differentiation
• Aim for branding and branded terms associated with your travel destination

Don’t forget to do your research in Google keyword tool. You will want to take that research and cross reference it versus Microsoft’s keyword tool which provides you with actionable market data about user intent to purchase. You will also want to take these fantastic keyword secrets into account. Alternatively, to save you the hassel, you can hire a pay per click team for $500 to $1000 to find which words convert. This won’t dictate your whole strategy, but will tell you which keywords convert.

Once you have your keywords assembled, you will want to create social media and seo friendly content.

If you enjoyed this post, you may also be interested in travel seo and destination marketing and likely to also understand the value of travel and hotel seo.

Any other suggestions for travel and tourism seo? What do you see as trends in tourism and travel seo?

Ethical SEO Tips | Online Media Relations + Link Development with Bloggers

I’m working with a client who is a mid-range competitor, however because the organization’s name isn’t what searchers would be looking for loses some relative value from links. (This is a problem I’ve experienced myself because I don’t have “SEO” in my URL and will hopefully rectify in the near future, but its hard to change just switch domains on a dime without losing my built up link equity with Google).

One way to rectify this is to have a blogger relations area. What would a blogger relations area have ideally?

• It could have a feed of your PR releases, but thats not really what most bloggers want unless you are in the startup space. They don’t want to read dry copy and know their readers don’t either. So a small RSS widget may be sufficient. If you aren’t a major brand this PR aspect may be less important.
• A list of your most important posts somewhere between 3 and 15 is ideal. Anything more is overkill and will get lost in the shuffle.
• A suggestion about how to link to you so you can direct and encourage more specific anchor text. Jacob Morgan a social media consultant uses this as his contact and central location for blogger relations. Its certainly a delicate balance. I might soften some of his language, but I think the direction is very strategic from an SEO perspective.
• Adding a widget that demonstrates credibility, suggests affinity or membership in a larger tribe, or if you’re into the punk marketing aspect of social media, then something thats funny.
• If you can add a unique feel or a unique offering (ie exclusivity) to your blogger relations area thats critical.
• Throwing in a well placed and phrased RSS ask is probably a good idea too. If people want updates from your insight then the blogger relations area is one intuitive place to do that.

These are the six core components I see for online media relations and blogger relations. Its arguable that you should separate the PR and blogger relations components and thats probably a function of design, intent, and usability.

Thoughts on online media relations with citizen journalists and bloggers?

The Value of Outsourcing SEO

What is the value of outsourcing SEO?

As an SEO freelancer who coordinates content production, link building, and consequent increases in search engine ranking I’ve been thinking about the ROI of outsourcing SEO. There are a couple advantages I think that many companies overlook:

Time– It takes time to learn SEO. How long did it take you to learn how to write? SEO is similar as a learning process, especially without someone to guide you and your company. Time is a very, very valuable commodity. In business time is the difference between success and failure.
Human Resources– The need to create more content often can’t be filled internally, especially if you are one of the Fortune one million: the small businesses that are the engine of our economy. Outsourcing SEO saves you time and experience, and resources that can be better spent focusing on your sales and bottom line.
Media buy Value Add– Search engine optimization and content development is in many ways analogous to a media buy. However, in the case of SEO its a far more targeted and far more trackable transaction than a 30 second spot you fun before the Superbowl or the local news.

If you have SEO outsourcing needs, Creative Fusion Media can provide content development and linkbuilding for a very affordable rate to suit your budgetary needs.

What do you think? What do YOU think is the value added or return on investment from search engine optimization? Feel free to weigh in with your opinion in the comments section

SEO Optimization Tips for PDFs

Search Engine Optimization Strategies Tutorial for PDF Files

I’m working with a client who has a plethora of PDFs and wanted to make sure we did a bang up job on the SEO for the files because their packed with great content for users. In doing my background research this article from Matt ranked high in the Google SERPS and I think three of his tips were particularly helpful from an SEO perspective:

1. PDF optimization is similar to optimization for a regular content page. Try this: good use of keywords/phrases, appropriate headlines and sub-headlines, solid content that reads well to a human eye, etc. If the PDF will include images, a caption underneath each image would be a good idea, especially if the caption includes a targeted keyword/phrase. (Of course, don’t overdo it.)

Also, take advantage of the document meta data that PDF-creation software or Adobe Reader itself offers.

2. The most important thing where PDFs and SEO is concerned is how the PDF is created. Don’t use Photoshop to make your PDF, because when you do that, you’re actually making a big image file, not a true PDF — and the spiders cannot crawl or “read” the text from that image file. The PDF should be created with a text-based program, like MS Word or Adobe Pagemaker, so that the final product is text-based and can be crawled.

Matt also suggests using a keyword friendly title. Additionally (although Matt talked about it in #1) you will want to pepper your key phase such as “improving search engine results” in various forms throughout the document. Equally important, remember to focus on longtail keywords as per Aaron Wall’s advice for search engine optimization:

Longtail keywords are easier to rank for. If you can pick off mid-tier phrases and rank at the top of the search results then you can build a revenue stream from them, which can be reinvested to further buy marketshare and distribution.

There is more value in…

* using your core pages (and link anchor text) to target lower competition variations of your core keywords (like best credit cards or compare credit cards) rather than targeting just the core competitive keyword credit cards
* ensuring that each particular deep page is well optimized and can pull in relevant traffic

than there is *almost* ranking for credit cards.

Core keywords require domain age, good anchor text, trusted links from a variety of sources, and perhaps links from within your topical community. It takes time to build all those external signals of quality. You can rank for longtail keywords much faster, because you control your on page optimization.

I think Aaron’s right on 95% of the time, especially when starting out a website. At the very least it helps the ego when you rank for a couple of key terms instead of just floundering on page 2 or 2,000 on the search engine results pages. Its also critical to keep in mind the other SEO link factors Aaron talks about in the second paragraph. An SEO strategist who forgets those will likely have their business strategy crushed, at least in the short run.

How do you find long tail keywords and how do you determine which ones are best? That is a discussion for another day. Feel free to add your tips about SEO for PDFs and long tail keywords in the comments.