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This blog post focuses on how Search Engine Optimization (SEO) tips and increasing page ranking of your website. Due to Google’s popularity as the top search engine, this article focuses on tips to improve SEO and page rank via this venue.

‘Content Of Value’ is Key:
When setting up your website, generate content of value for your site by authoring your own original information. Avoid using the same content from other websites (such as directly copying and pasting from another site to yours) as this is a negative indicator to Google, which frowns upon this practice. Aside from charges of plagiarism and copyright infringement that this can bring from the owners of the original works, duplicate copy will cause your page rankings to drop in their search engine rating system for lack of originality. This can affect your site traffic because according to Google, the value of your website is not as important as the value of other websites similar to yours. This leads to poor organic search traffic and makes it more difficult for people to find your site. A “poor” site in Google can also affect your ability to use their pay-per-click (Google AdWords) program, so it is essential that your content be of value – original, insightful, and resourceful.

The best way to develop content of value is to know about the product(s) you are promoting. Research, by going to the manufacturer’s website and learning as much as you can. It is also important to view your competitor’s pages (both those who carry other brands and those who sell the same items you do) to find out how they are advertising their products. In fact, the best way to find your biggest competitors and match up to them is to go to Google and find similar sites that come up first and emulate what they do – after all, they must be doing something right if they are ranking high from a search. Know all you can about the product, your market, your competitors, and your demographics, then start writing down in your own words what you’ve learned. This keeps your content original and ensures that you will not be affected negatively by Google for plagiarism.

One helpful way to start writing is to jot down a bullet point list about what you have learned, then start forming complete and informative sentences from your list of points. If you need additional help, generate a list of questions about your product and start writing answers to those questions.

When a search engine goes over your site, it looks for certain keywords in your copy, matches them to your article, and catalogs the results and ranks them against other sites by order of value and importance. The more important your site or content, the higher your result will show in an organic search. Here’s an example of how to use keywords in your content: let’s say you are selling mini cameras, it’s always good to use the term mini-camera somewhere in your content because of the strength that term can provide to your ranking, after all, mini-cameras are what your site is about. If you are selling X10 products, use the word X10 in your copy because of the strength that the keyword can offer your search results because of how it relates to your page. The key is to find keywords that relate and to use them to your advantage.

Also, you can enhance the value of these keywords by bolding them or anchoring them with links or title tags. However, it is important to note that its only recommended to include these keywords in your copy where they would make sense – ie, if you are writing content about video senders, then reference the word video sender and avoid over using the word spycam, unless it fits the purpose of the copy or page. Your keywords should be strategically placed in a way that helps your page results, not hurt it.

It’s also good to find keywords to use in your copy that are not so broad. Be as specific as possible. For example, although you are selling spycams, it might be good to narrow down to a type or brand. You may get better results from using the keyword Xcam2 (X10’s signature camera) versus spycam, as chances are there are many more people using the term spycam on their site versus Xcam2, so there is more competition that you will have to go up against for better search results. You are also targeting those who are searching specifically for the Xcam2 so should get stronger rankings due to less competition. Your goal is to try and gain exposure through higher rankings on Google to increase your site’s traffic. Use it to your advantage.

Your links should always be relevant to your site. Links can help, but they can also hurt if used improperly. However, having GOOD LINKS is crucial to increasing your ranking. A website in which all of the links lead to outbound resources is not good because Google places so much emphasis on the content of your page to create its rankings. If you are “outsourcing” your readers to other websites instead of trying to keep them on your own page, this is a factor that Google considers a negative.

So what do I consider good links? Good links are links that stay within your site and also direct your readers to other links within your site. A menu that directs your readers to other pages within your site is a good link. It’s also a good thing (as mentioned earlier) to links your important keywords within your copy that can direct users around your website.

Link Exchanges:
Good links are also inbound links from other websites to yours. Especially links that lead directly to content, articles or products that you offer. This leads me to my next point about link exchanges, or adding outbound links to your page of other websites in exchange that they add your URL to theirs.

There is a current belief that link exchanges are always positive. However, as there are pluses to engaging in this practice, there are also minuses involved that you should look out for.

Google evaluates all of the links (both internal and external) that you include on your page. Your site can rank higher when others add your site to theirs, increasing the traffic of your page. The more traffic your page draws, the more important it will appear to Google.

However, it’s good to keep in mind that adding external links in reciprocation can also hurt your rankings. Sure it’s nice when others add you. But let’s say you have reciprocated and added their site in exchange. Now for example Google rates their site poorly. Google will take this into account your “link” with this other site, and as result can drop your rating just for being “affiliated” to this site. So it’s always best to be careful about the sites you link share with. Make sure that your affiliation can strengthen and improve your ratings and not cause them to drop instead.

Tags/Attributes that Help:
When designing your site, it’s crucial to have certain tag components in your page. Effective tags are important for search engine optimization and cataloging in Google. Proper tags will also assist in your page rank.

Meta Tags – Meta tags provide a wealth of information about your website. They essentially are instructions about your website directed to browsers, search engines, and more. To learn how to optimize your meta tags, sites such as Scrubtheweb.com, offer free meta tag builders and optimizer services for your page.

Title Tag– Title tags sum up a description of your site in one sentence. According to Searchengines.com, it is also the first thing a search engine’s spider sees on your page. When thinking up your title tag, use keywords that describe what your site is about. Consider having unique titles for every page of your site. Avoid using numerical or illogical file names and remember to plug in those important keywords.

Heading Tags – Heading tags (ex: <H1>) are given more weight by search engines than regular body copy according to the stephanspencer.com blog on SEO. Use your header tags to reinforce your page’s overall keyword theme.

NOFOLLOW Attribute –According to the Official Google Blog, “From now on, when Google sees the attribute (rel="nofollow") on hyperlinks, those links won't get any credit when we rank websites in our search results… It's just a way to make sure that spammers get no benefit from abusing public areas like blog comments, trackbacks, and referrer lists.”

The nofollow attribute can be added to any of your hyperlinks leading to any external page outside of your site, especially sites that you would like to link to because your readers can find some value from (but you do not have a link exchange agreement with). So when would you use the nofollow attribute? Let’s say you’ve written copy but need to link to an external site to reference your point, this would be a perfect time to us it.

But be forewarned, use this attribute wisely, and be careful when using on a link exchange, because you will be reciprocating unfairly. Although not illegal, it can be seen as unfair and unethical. If someone has added your site to theirs in a fair manner, they expect the same in return. The best way to avoid any issues is to stay clear of sharing to sites that pose no advantages for you.

Alt Attribute – The Alt attribute should be added to your image <IMG> tags. The alt attribute is used primarily to describe what an image is about when the reader places the mouse over it. It’s other purpose is to display this text in the event the image does not load correctly or can not be displayed. Its good to make sure that all of your image tags possess this alt attribute. Use effective keywords in your alt descriptions.

Pages That Help:
Your website should always include the following pages as they can have a positive effect on search engine optimization:

Sitemap - Effective websites always offer a sitemap. TopRankResults.com says that a site map is useful for SEO to make it easier for indexing spiders to find all content of a site.

Robots.txt - This is a file hosted on your server that helps direct search engine crawls where to go and how often to go there. For more information about using robots.txt files, visit SEOConsultants.com. You can even find a free online tool to help you generate your Robots.txt file at Globalpromoter.com.

Site Cleanup and Maintenance:
How many ads are you running on your pages? A lot of these ads lead to external links that can hurt your site’s performance. Reduce the number of units by finding which ones generate a low click-through-rate (CTR). For those with high CTR, take a look at your conversion to find out how successful the ads really are.

Do you host content or copy that is also on other sites? You’ve worked hard to create your own content. Has someone “borrowed” your work and is using it on their site? Look for duplicate copy using free sites such as copyscape.com, which scours the web looking for duplicate information.

Remove redundant links that aren’t necessary. Do all of your links lead somewhere? Maybe you have broken or outdated pages? Are those links duplicates? Clean up your page by removing or reducing these links. There’s no point in leaving them on your site.

Other things that can help:
Here are some other features that can help to retain a customer base or generate sales for your site.

Bookmark Site – A bookmark site link won’t necessarily increase your page rankings, but it will help to bring back returning customers, especially those who want to recall your page. This is also a good way to retain some of your customers. Make the Bookmark site visible and add it to an appropriate area of your page. Usually, the best spot for this link is on the top part of your website on all your pages.

Newsletters – Newsletters are a great way to keep in touch with your readers/customers. They provide the readers the latest updates and information for what is happening to your site and will even draw them back to your page. You can build a great and loyal readership/customer base with your newsletters.

Forum – A forum is recommended only if you are able to generate a fair amount of traffic and can capitalize on it. If your traffic is low, a forum is probably unnecessary. If you choose to operate a forum, be prepared to spend the time managing it by replying to questions, generating topic starters and maintaining Q&A sessions. Use the forum, as it’s a great opportunity to interact with your readers/customers.

Blog – Weblogs (blogs) are great for several reasons. One reason is that there are blog search engines and resources such as technorati.com or digg.com to help you draw traffic to your site. There are even blog submission sites that will send out your latest updates to blog engines everywhere for free such as pingoat.com. Here’s a world of free advertisement at your fingertips! If you are looking for a free blog to setup, take a look at blogger.com. Why blogger.com? Because they are owned and operated by Google. This means your blog will get immediate top-ranked exposure. Post to and update your blog often. Many affiliates are unsure of what to post about. If you need help, take a look at the products you are offering. How would you describe them to your buyers who may be interested? Let them know why they should buy your product, and don’t forget to encourage them to visit your site to learn more!


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