Tag Archives: white hat seo

University SEO | SEO for Schools, Universities, and Educational Institutions: Link bait 101

Fourteen Awesome Tips for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Link bait and Link building for Schools and Universities | University SEO That Rocks Your Socks!

Great search engine rankings are critical to your online marketing efforts. There are tons of people searching for “college” and “university” online and you should put that to use in your University SEO strategy. You don’t have to be Harvard, Yale, or Stanford to get top rankings on search engines.

But what kind of search engine rankings should you aim for? Is there a science or research based justification for marketing using seo for higher educational institutions ? Yes. Users tend to only pay attention to the results on the first page. Most studies suggest that 80% of researchers stop on the first page. This visual diagram based on eye tracking studies indicate further that getting in the top 5 is absolutely critical to your SEO efforts. What do you need to begin a search engine marketing plan for an academic institution like a university. Well, university SEO boils down to a couple core SEO principles and tactics:

• One key part of search engine optimization is content development, and specifically development of link bait. One great way to create link bait is to create a wiki like resource. For instance the Copyright and Fair Use Overview created at Stanford is amazing and in addition to having Lawrence Lessig has likely been critical in pushing Stanford to being a thought leader on that subject.
• Aggregating content is a great form of link bait. Alltop, which is described as an “Online Magazine Rack” is a great example. Here are Education, Science, and Career on Alltop (Another fantastic example of aggregating content is Seeking Alpha which aggregates investment information, in addition to providing original articles)
• Original research, especially research including data and clean diagrams serves as great link bait.
• Of course blogging, videos of course content, and releasing and announcing publications.
• Blogging + speaking at conferences + power point publication on Slideshare is particularly helpful as these tactics work well in combination. (of course you can upload course content and other presentations on Slideshare)
• Of course online and offline PR Releases can also be used to increase link building.
• User generated content like reviews on Amazon (see also: Yelp) or answers to questions onYahoo Answers is another way to help your search rankings.
• To increase your SEO for your college, you will also want to target long tail search phrases that people looking for your type of college are seeking. (for instance: online colleges and universities, online education, community college, higher learning, and e-learning. Perhaps, “graduate schools” along with the specific niches you focus in and are the best offerings for searchers.) Google’s keyword tool combined with SEO Book and the free keyword search tool at Wordtracker should be more than sufficient.
• Providing easy access to financial aid information from most of your secondary landing pages, can also help ensure your prospectus students never have to leave your site, except to go to a .gov site.
• Of course getting links from the Chamber of Commerce, .govs, and other .edu can increase your search rankings.
• Having a natural link footprint is important for increasing your link equity and ensuring you don’t sabatoge your relationship with Google.
• You will also want to look into creating a Yahoo Local Listing, Microsoft Live, and Google local listing…in addition to other key local seo best practices.
• Using Google sets to help shape your keyword choice as well as provide brainstorming ideas for developing depth to your content. (Attempt using the larger sets and smaller sets to adequately filter your results). This keyword inspiration post can help provide more SEO keyword tools.
• Mr. Clay also recommends website structure themeing your website for SEO
• Add content for your area with a
Google map is a fantastic strategy that has local search optimization advantages.

Here are several fundamentals of search engine optimization campaigns for educational institutions:

Tips for how to optimize .EDU sites:
• TITLE tags & keywords

• Research your keywords

• Optimize your H1 tags.

• Use good on-page text just like in the TITLE and H1, use good keyword text within the body of your pages.

• Use good link label text.

• Make your URLs easily crawlable if possible

• Create a detailed hierarchical site link index page/section.

• Use Sitesearch/Websearch to provide your internal site keyword search utility Google service to provide universities with their own site search engines is very useful, and some people feel that it could help get your pages indexed in Google.

• Use RSS in your news section.

• Police your own .EDU domain!

• Provide a link to us section, and provide copy-and-paste HTML code for textlinks, badge links, and banners to your university site.

• Watch your referral traffic through your web analytics program.

To focus some of the above list, the link value factors study from a group of leading SEO experts has some very informative:

Top 10 Most important factors
1. Robots.txt excluded page (DF) – 4.75
2. Anchor text – 4.56
3. Link is on penalized page (DF) – 4.50
4. Page authority (in inbound links) – 4.38
5. Domain authority (in quality of backlinks) – 4.38
6. Amount of outbound links on page – 4.25
7. Total amount of links on page – 4.06
8. Age of domain – 4.06
9. Relevant authority (in rankings on relevant keywords) – 3.94
10. Javascript link (DF) – 3.88

Inbound links, anchor text, and outgoing links to authority sites is absolutely critical to search engine ranking algorithms. For anyone interested in university marketing or university seo, I suggest taking a look at Google’s guidelines for search rankings.

Have a great link bait or search engine optimization tip for educational institutions?

Search Engine Optimization for Universities and Non Profits Guides and Resources
Check out my SEO for Nonprofits and Charities Guide for increasing your search engine rankings.


Creating an SEO Marketing Plan

Whether you are looking to create a local seo marketing plan or one for a large company, you should begin with some fundamental questions about the marketplace and your marketing strategies.

Marketing Plan Phase 1: Begin with your purpose in mind. What does a conversion look like?

Marketing Plan Phase 2: What does success look like?

Marketing Plan Phase 3: What longtail keywords can you target for SEO? What are your low hanging fruit?

Marketing Plan Phase 4: How are you going to create content?

Marketing Plan Phase 5: What is your monthly budget? How much time and how many resources are you going to devote to this project?

Marketing Plan Phase 6: How are you going to track your campaign?

Marketing Plan Phase 7: Who is your competition? What are they ranking for? What are they doing? In other words, how fast are they progressing each month and how many links are they gaining.

Marketing Plan Phase 8: What are your other marketing strategies?

Marketing Plan Phase 9: Do you have alternative revenue stream?

What other questions would you consider in your seo marketing plan?

Ethical SEO and Internet Marketing

Fora TV Roundtable on Ethics and Online Communication

I guess this all begs a simple question “does Andrew Keen know anything about ethics?!?!??!”

Landing Page Design and Optimization for Social Media Campaigns

White Hat SEO Tips: Conversion Optimization for Blogs and Websites

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about landing page optimization and conversion optimization. Increasingly issues of usability, user experience, and SEO are one in the same. Gray SEO firms which may be tempted to ignore these issues will ultimately get you know where. If you’re interested in website conversion, I think this conversion optimization powerpoint on slideshare is fantastic for demonstrating how to make a form that is optimized:

1) Simple design in the upper right hand area with minimal blanks (2 to 5).
2) Test, text, test. Multivariate testing
3) Test, test, test. Eye tracking testing.

Its always to make the design simple and easy to use and “Don’t Make Me Think”–a great book by Krug.

How do you do conversion optimization? What are your favorite conversion optimization tips and techniques? Or what are your favorite conversion optimization blog posts?

A Simple Guide to Ethical Search Engine Optimization | Ethical SEO for WordPress Bloggers

Ethical SEO Tutorial: Tips and Techniques for the Practical Small Business Owner

I’ve created this short tutorial to help business owners with SEO tips and techniques to increase their search engine rankings and targeted web traffic. At the end of the day creating amazing content that is:

• user centric
• has great design
• original
• targeted toward keywords
• and search engine friendly

is always a great formula for search engine ranking success.

Getting started in online business without a solid plan is just as dubious as. It takes time work experience of having a couple SEO flops to understand how users read, how bloggers link, what customers look for, and how search engines search to understand the unique anthropological dynamics of online communication and business. The ongoing environment of coopetition is pretty important to keep in mind.

Coding and Writing Web Content with Search Engine Positioning in Mind

Write for humans not search engines. Use semantically related phrases instead.

• Use bold and italics to emphasize key points, subjects, and keywords. This practice done judiciously will help your users and increase your search rankings.

• Use H1, H2, and H3 tags to increase your website’s ranking in Google.

Listen to User Data and Metrics for Better Search Rankings and Marketing:

• Do keyword research with the Google keyword tool.

• Look for both long tail keywords and search phrases and fat belly keywords for optimum results. Many bloggers often only target one or the other and not both.

• Learn what latent semantic indexing is and use Quintura.

Extraordinary Content Rules for Social Media and SEO:
• Extraordinary content is a genuinely new or original way of looking at things (new metaphor, new perspective, new view)

• Includes more than one perspective. More comprehensive is generally better.

• Human. Interesting. Engaging. Fun to read. Well-written.

Designing and Organizing Your User Experience for Search Engine Optimization:

• Create content themes and series. Creating content themes helps the Google spiders see clusters of information and data.

• Create a breadcrumb trail for your users. Don’t make your users think. Guide them through your website. One way to implement this practice on your website is by using a related posts plug in or manually suggesting related posts or content for your user.

• Don’t just use “click here.” Use your link anchor text to tell Google what links you are pointing to. Be specific and try to include your relevant key terms.

• Link to the best and most trusted sources. Also, link to your best related content. This practice both helps users and Google.

• Get a best posts plug-in for WordPress and/or add your best posts as a link on your sidebar

• Make blog navigation easy to understand and use. Additionally, these WordPress plug-ins may help with blog navigation.

• You’re trying to create a community or a tribe. Creating an email list can help you do this, also creating forums or an active Ning community can help do the same.

Expert Content Creation for Search Engine Rankings:

• Create extraordinary content. Create unique content.

• Create pillar content. Creating pillar content just means creating resources or content that people will link to. Create authority content.

• Create emotional, community, and question oriented content.

• Create link bait and list bait

• Don’t be afraid to link out. Remember, linking out to websites Google trusts is a great way to increase your search engine optimization (seo) in a very white hat way.

SEO Tactics and Techniques to Avoid:
• Avoid SPAM like tactics as much as possible, such as comment spamming and dubious link farms.

• Avoid Black Hat SEO tactics which illegitimately manipulate users and search engines like Google

• Err toward simple design when possible. User centered design is best.

• Reciprocal linking is less valued by Google that it once was. However, reciprocal linking in your marketing niche with trusted websites should help create a quality neighborhood, which will increase your ranking.

• Remember: be a good online citizen, because Google penalizes illegitimate gray and black hat seo techniques.

Moving Forward with Your Search Engine Optimization Campaign Strategy
• Consider creating regular link bait in combination with a promotion strategy for the link bait (e-mail, PR)

• Consider link building via giving interviews or getting interviewed.

• Consider the full range of social media and SEO services.

• Consider outsourcing your search engine optimization needs to an SEO freelancer.

• Decide what tools and call to action you want to use to contact the target audience for your content.

• Create a productive work flow for content creation to save time, money, and resources.

Did you like these white hat seo tips and techniques? What questions do you have about ethical search engine optimization and marketing?

Creative Fusion Media provides white hat seo consulting services and ethical search engine optimization training solutions to innovative companies and forward thinking non-profits.

White Hat Search Engine Optimization Techniques: Public Relations Release

How to create a great search engine optimization campaign for your company

Here is a comprehensive breakdown via step by step process of a search engine optimization campaign development. Its not just metatags and directory submission, which only represent 5% or less of proper search engine optimization. This campaign has 21 core components to maximize the company’s search engine exposure.

Increasingly, the driving force behind your search engine optimization campaign will be content development. In order to create a “sticky” website and a website that converts, you need to develop amazing and useful content to be engaging to your users.

Keyword Research
• Traffic
• Ranking
• Competitive Market Research

Website and Traffic Analysis
• What Keywords Are Driving Traffic
• What Pages Are Possible Conversion Pages

Professional Training
• Web Content Development and Authority Blogging
• Search engine optimization, competitive research, and link building

Onsite Website SEO Architechture:
• Development of SEO Plan
• Execution of Onsite Architechture SEO Plan. Also called, sculpting link graph.

Content Development
• Drive community around your brand and website
• Onsite editing
• Blog development
• Link bait development. Create resources. Become the online resource.
• Edit Website Content for Grammer
• Edit Website Content for Usability
• Develop Landing Pages for Conversion

Link building and Development:
• Quality Directory Submission
• PR Release
• Blogger Relations and Interviews
• Article Marketing
• External Content Development

Creative Fusion Media provides social media consulting services and ethical and affordable search engine optimization solutions to innovative companies and forward thinking non-profits. Nathan Ketsdever is the chief internet marketing and online pr strategist at Creative Fusion, which is located in Nashville, Tennessee.

Making the case for blogger relations

Current PR, Marketing, and Advertising Looks Like This

Have you ever had this experience? Awkward huh?

But this doesn’t have to be the case…Companies can be less corporate. More personal. More human.

There are alternatives to traditional advertising and media buys:

The influence of blogs is spreading to more traditional, mainstream media. Hence, effective social media and blogger relations can lead low cost media coverage (How is that for return on investment?):

Meanwhile, the blogosphere has exploded. According to Advertising Age, “There are about 15 million active blogs read by 57 million people, a number that gives bloggers great credibility, power and influence as sources of information for everything from news to corporate reputations to product purchasing.”

However, much of the talk a few years ago – that blogs would supplant mainstream media – seems antiquated now.

• A Pew Internet & American Life Project survey found 85% bloggers read newspapers, while a Fusion PR survey found 78% of technology journalists read blogs.
• While some of the most popular bloggers are being assimilated by mainstream media, 35% of technology journalists maintain their own blog.
• According to The State of the News Media 2007, “The relationship between blogs and traditional media, in the end, may be more complementary, even synergistic, as time moves on.”


Its also a great way to create ethical search engine optimization. It beats SPAM and other black and gray hat SEO strategies with a stick.

Social Media Batting Practice: Grocery Store Chain

Online Brand Engagement via Social Media Communities:

What would you do if you were a grocery store chain to create a social media campaign? Whether they were a high-end niche boutique or a mass market grocery store, some of the key aspects of the campaign.

• Create an online show like Winelibrary TV for cooking and dietary needs. Allow host interaction and questions.
• Aggregate dietary information
• Aggregate recipes.
• Create a social network for dietary info and recipes. Make is super easy and social bookmark recipes on your profile.
• Easy to create shopping lists based on recipes
• Allow shoppers to buy online and pick food up for an reasonable fee
• Aggregate local community news and events
• Feature video and transcribed interviews with dietary and food experts.
• Encourage user created and recommended recipes. Add a digg-like ranking feature or thumbs up, thumbs down, or 5 stars rubric for enhanced user engagement.
• Encourage user created photos of recipes.
• Create a budgeting feature
• Include online only discounts, coupons, and specials
• Collaborate with affiliates who already had some of the above content and web applications
• Include a web based call to action on in store flyers and receipts
• Mobile announcement of weekly specials + when the online show goes live.
• Include twitter and a customer service platform as part of the online brand strategy.
• New feature roll out via corporate blog, blogger relations to targeted and influential blogs, and online public relations
• Roll out niche features and that cater to shopping dads, shopping moms, and the Gen X/Gen Y audience segment.
• Optional: create affiliate based advertising with current clients within the scope of the current corporate branding strategy.
• Optional: Easy to use and access Facebook application for ordering online

A strategy that engaged in three or more of the above would also have the byproduct of enhancing the search engine optimization of your website, both in relation to local events and happenings as well in relation to a host of food related queries online.

Ethical Imperative in Social Media | Building Ethics, Trust, and Engagement

Successful Social Media Principles and Best Practices:

How do we create more effective and ethical social media campaigns. Basically it boils down to connecting and engaging better. Steve Rubel point out that some social media campaigns fail because they lack collaboration. Rubel posits:

The key reason is they ignore the Collaboration Imperative.

People who participate on social networks, blogs and other similar venues are there for a reason – and that’s to connect around shared areas of interest and passion, often with an outcome in mind. This is why advertising, to date, hasn’t been a home run here. Most of it doesn’t add value to what people are looking to accomplish on these sites.

Social media marketing works best when it’s integrated into the experience and takes a “win-win” approach. It’s action oriented, transparent and built on…Public Engagement.

Steve continues:

Over the last few years we have all watched the remarkable rise of Google. It’s such a force in our lives. I have family members who aren’t Internet addicts like us and whenever I start talking about Google the remark how they could never live without it. It’s quite amazing for a site was hardly on people’s radar even just five years ago.

We live in a world of die-hard Googlers. And what we’ve seen over the last five years or so is that search engines increasingly favor what some call socially-connected, high-quality content. The great rewards of visibility go to those who create quality content that legitimately earns links – and do so daily.

Steve correctly points out the importance of trust and ethics to social media:

Thus, I need to bring my ethical A-game online every day and it’s something all of us in marketing, SEO or PR need to consider, even if you don’t have an issue this dramatic.

Finally, there’s the current global economic environment. We all know it’s not pretty. However, I remain very optimistic about the prospects of the PR industry and view it as a safe haven in this environment – if we, once again, come to the table with our public engagement A-game. Ethical behavior is key here. Ethics create trust and trust is king.

Unlike previous recessions and depressions, we now live in an era of great transparency. It’s very hard to hide in a world where everyone has a camera-phone, a Facebook page or a blog. Accounts of corporations doing good and doing bad will surface quickly online thanks to an intricate global network that includes social media, traditional media and search engines.

The transparency and trust trend-lines – which are directly linked – remain evergreen.

Finally, Rubel concludes:

Still, we have a long way to go in addressing ROI in a measurable way. But relationships and trust can be tracked over time and it’s directly linked with public engagement, action, transparency. Further, it’s also hooked into search since, for billions of us, Google is our window on the world.

Wow that’s powerful. What do you think about what Steve said? How can you use social media to bring openness, connection, community, and trust to your brand?

The Art of White Hat Linkbuilding


Guide to Creating Amazing (Link worthy) Online Content for Blogs:

Writing link worthy content is certainly an art and buying links is the opposite of what you want to do. Without further ado, here are some great link building tips to help increase your search engine rankings:

• Offer a niche-specific blogroll, tool, How-To, or compilation of news stories.
• Post a scoop.
• Expose a story as flawed or a fraud
• Be a contrarian about a story, product, or prominent blogger’s opinion.
• Be humorous. Good topics include a bizzare pic of your subject, “10 things I hate about…”, and “You know you’re a when…”
• Publish or commission some original research
• Creative-Commons-license photos you made of an event you’re blogging about
• Make available for free a theme, plugin or piece of software
• Start a meme that others can replicate and that links back to you (e.g. buttons/stickers/tools for bloggers/webmasters to post on their sites, contests, quizzes, surveys, etc.)

Another list encourages companies to do ethical and natural link building by:

• Get a Delicious badge, and display the number of bookmarks as well as the tags
• Offer a badge of honor, something like “a carbon neutral site”
• Offer a button for voting to install on other websites & blogs
• Offer a widget for bloggers, something useful that will spread by itself
• Stage a contest, it should be fun and the prizes should be worth it
• Organize a blog carnival choosing a topic that matters for many people
• Link out plenty, especially to bloggers, some will link back others will bookmark, some links will appear directly as ping and trackbacks
• Contact people who might link to you (I do not mean a reciprocal link request)

To this list I would re-emphasize or add:

• natural on site link building
• linking out to quality resources and similar stories
• commenting on similar stories in the comments
• creating a project or experiment
• creating a daily or weekly themed post (like a news segment)
• the creation of humorous content
• visual communication
• amazing photograph or design
• insightful photograph or design
• simplicity in design
• interviews with unique content
• expert content (the TED talks, Google Talks, and Stanford MBA videos are a great example)
• create a community effect
contests work
• top 5, 7, 10, 12, 15, 25, and 101 lists tend to do well (Copy Blogger and Problogger are proof)
• content that is appealing to the social media communities at Digg, Reddit, and Stumbleupon
• Going to real world events or virtual events and connecting via Twitter, Facebooks, and blog comments can be helpful.
• Longtail strategies like nichifying your content by appealing to a specific group, especially when no one else is covering the topic.
• Audience centric content is critical to your link white hat building efforts (WIFM?)
• Tailored appeals to check out your post via email to people in your niche or who might otherwise be interested in your content.

Additional White Hat Linkbuilding Tips and Resources for Search Engine Optimization (SEO) : and Creating Link Bait and Finding Linkbait Hooks
101 Linkbuilding Tips at SEOBook by Aaron Wall
7 Types of Blog Posts that Always Seem to Get Links at Problogger
Seven Search Engine Optimization Experts on Link building and SEO from SEOish
How to Get Blogs to Link to Your Posts at Problogger
Link bait hooks outlined by Stuntdubl

Thoughts? How do you get great content for search engine optimization (SEO) and social media readership? How do you create linkbait?

If you would like to know more about my white hard link building, social media, or search engine optimization services I would be glad to help you. For more social media resources, white hat link building , and social media case studies check our social media lab.

Ethical and Christian SEO Services | Search Engine Optimization Strategy and Solutions

Helping You Understand the Value of Search Engine Optimization:

You might be wondering “What is search engine optimization?” “What can increasing my search rankings do for me?” Or at least, “What can the right SEO do for me?”

It can increase your brand awareness, your brand reputation, and dramatically increase your web traffic. You can increasingly get target for not just your name, but the massive level of traffic surrounding your work’s passion and what you do.

This opens up the ability to take advantage of online communication, the dramatic upswings in web traffic and average user engagement over the last three years. This trend will only increase as traditional print advertising dies on the vine and social networking like Facebook and YouTube experience explosive user growth.

Why choose our Christian Search Engine Optimization (SEO) company:

• Our passion for help you and your team
• Openness and honesty
• Commitment to building quality relationships
• Focus on quality links over junk links, unlike many SEO firms
• Ethical, hyper-white hat SEO
• Consulting for other marketing and technology services your firm or organization needs
• Very affordable rates
• Value and Return on Investment (ROI)

These principles are fundamental to our company’s ethic of doing business. And now is a critical time for your Christian business, non profit, or church to take your website and online communications to the next level with a integrated and strategic social media marketing, social networking, and search engine optimization campaign.

If you want to know more about ethical SEO, SEO for churches and Christian organizations, or social media services, please contact me at (615) 594 – 2095. Have a great day!