Simple Links Page Template

 

Here is a links page strategy ready to go.

Everyone knows relevant links into your website are like gold dust.

 

Not to the same level, but links within your site and out of your site can also contribute. So a simple link page is useful for your Google optimisation, and it can be a really handy resource for visitors to your website.

 

Creating a links page is not as hard as it sounds. If you are unsure on how to make links, it is well worth watching the help videos on the subject.

 

Here is a simple template for creating your links page content.

 

Do a Google search for useful Blogs, Government Sites, Information Sites.

Basically any site that doesn’t compete with yours, but is on your topic and might be useful to a visitor. You can link to any website you can browse to. As you are just pointing to them, there are no copyright issues.

 

Create a heading. 

Just a nice text heading. You can usually find something obvious on the site you are linking to. You want to make this heading into a link using the URL from the site you browsed to. Make sure you set these links to open in a pop up window. If you aren’t sure how, watch the help video on Pop Up Window Links.

 

Paste the full link in under the heading.

It helps to have the heading as a link, as it has nice SEO key phrases in it. But its nice to provide the full link below it too, so people can see where it is the link will take them. Make sure you set these links to open in a pop up window. If you aren’t sure how, watch the help video on Pop Up Window Links.

 

Copy and Paste a few lines of text from the website.

Just grab a couple of lines from the website you browsed. Something that gives a brief summary of what they are/provide. Make sure you paste this into the editor as plain text! Watch the help video on pasting as plain text. This is all good content for your links page, and Google will have something to read and store away.

 

This is how it might look:

Stuff.co.nz About Stuff

http://www.stuff.co.nz/about-stuff/22245/Background

Stuff covers every aspect of news and information, from breaking national and international crises through to in-depth features, sports, business, entertainment and technology articles, weather reports, travel services, movie reviews, rural news… and lots more.

 

There you have it. It won’t set your SEO world on fire, but it is a simple strategy for building outward bound links, and creates some nice relevant content for you along the way.

 

 

 

 


The Anatomy of a Google Search Result

 

 

 

When I get to explain the pieces of a Google search to people, it often results in an Aha! moment.

 

We take it for granted these days that we ask Google a question and it answers it. No time is spent thinking where these pieces of highly useful information come from. Why would we? We are in far too much of a hurry to get to the content we want.

 

And that word Content is the key. As a website owner, it is incredibly useful to understand where the pieces of a Google Search result come from. It’s not particularly complex, which makes the Aha! all the more fun.

 

Here are the pieces of the search result and where they come from.

 

 

 

Blue Text Link at the top of the result.
This is the Meta Title from the page on the website. Often it is the homepage that shows up earliest in search results, so it is the homepage Meta Title that is most likely to be seen. I.e. it is the most important one!

 

Green Webpage Link below the Title link.
Often it is the homepage that shows up earliest in search results, so it is the homepage URL that shows here. Something like www.yourdomain.co.nz. If your website ranks particularly well, more of your pages will show in the search results. The full URL will show. So the filename of the page will also be readable. Something like www.yourdomain.co.nz/widgets-we-sell.php. This is one reason to give your filenames nice long tail descriptive names when you create new pages on your website. All this information can be read by potential visitors as they scan search results deciding what to click.

 

Black Summary Text below the Green URL Link.
Most people assume this is a bit of text taken from the page. And that is true. Google will take a piece or pieces of the page content that matches with the key phrase searched.  However! Write a good content relevant Meta Description for the page and it will appear here instead! Think about that for a moment… Here is your opportunity to literally write your own little advert for every page on your website. Especially the homepage and popular pages that rank well in the searches.

 

These are the key three pieces of the anatomy of a Google Search Result.

 

There are of course other things that appear on the page. Below a link there may be a Google+ page link, or to the right Google Places For Business listing images and information. Google may place Google Maps and Google Images results if they are relevant. Sometimes Google plays around with the format of the search result page and things can change.

 

Hopefully you’ve had a great Aha! moment today.

 

 

 

 


Check out the competition online & undercover.

 

 

Check out the competition online & undercover.

It’s one thing to know what key search phrases you want to optimise your own site for.

 

It is quite another to know what your competitors are trying to rank for.

 

There are some clever little tricks where you can check websites in your industry to see their search engine optimisation efforts. For a start you can quickly see what their Meta Titles are on pages on their website.

 

*  In older versions of Internet Explorer, the Meta Title appears in the blue header of the window it’s open in.

 

*  Internet Explorer 9 and up, Firefox and Chrome, mouse over the tab the webpage is on. This shows the Meta Title (and the URL in IE).

 

*  Right click and select View Source in any IE version and you can see the actual Meta Title between <title> tags, Meta Description in a tag that starts with <meta name=”description”…, and also the keywords (although Google doesn’t look at this field anymore).

 

*  Firefox and Chrome you right click and select View Page Source to do the same thing.

 

 

Try to avoid clicking on content and images, click in space or on the background outside the website. Take a look at multiple pages and you should get a feel for what they are trying to optimise their site for. Then test those searches in the search engine and see where they turn up. If their Meta Titles are short, or all the same, then you know they aren’t doing a great job. Likewise if their Meta Descriptions are short, all the same, or non-existent, they shouldn’t be hard to beat!

 

 

 

 

 

 


Is Facebook for your business – take the test.

 

 

Is Facebook for your business - take the test.

Facebook isn’t going away anytime fast. And what we call ‘more mature users’ are joining at the fastest rate. So with this normalising of Facebook amongst your target customer base, the question needs to be asked – is Facebook for your business? Take this test.

 

i) Social media is about online communities. People like to talk to each other about things they have in common and are interested in. Appropriate clients of ours that pop to mind would be doing things like fixing high end brand scooters, fashion designers for ‘mother of the bride’, road and mountain bikes sales and service. Are your clients likely to form an online community and chat on your Facebook page?

 

ii) Facebook can be a natural place for testimonials from clients thankful for the work you have done for them. An example might be a wedding planner or wedding photographer; clients might naturally come and add a comment and some photos. An indication might be you already receive a lot of testimonials naturally from clients. Are your clients likely to provide feedback and testimonials on your Facebook page?

 

iii) You will struggle to get Facebook friends if your service or product is something clients would rather keep private. This largely covers all medical services. I think my dentist is on a hard road to build friends on Facebook. I’m unlikely to discuss this with my friends in normal life, never mind have it posted on my Facebook wall and friends feeds when I ‘friend’ or ‘like’ or comment on their Facebook page! Is your service something your clients would be likely or willing to refer and discuss in normal life?

 

iv) Facebook is one of many opportunities to put together your company profile for display in the digital world. You only have so many hours in the day, and other online options may make more sense as a priority. Some of these options are Your Website, LinkedIn profile, Google Places page, Finda directory listing, Google+ business page etc. Have you completed your website onsite optimisation and are you consistently creating quality content for your site?

 

v) Facebook for businesses is only appropriate if you can generate content on a consistent basis. You can’t set it up and just leave it. This content needs to be targeted correctly. There is good evidence people don’t respond well on social media to direct hard core marketing. You must respond to contributors. Do you have the skills and time in your business to create appropriate content in sufficient volume?

 

 

If you answered Yes to all or some of these, Facebook could be for your business. Make sure you re-read point v).

 

If all you heard was a resounding No, you have your answer! The one thing that is certain in business is that things change. So while Facebook may or may not be for you right now, we will keep you informed as things change on the internet and social media landscape.

 

 

 

 


What key search phrases are important to you?

 

 

What key search phrases are important to you?

People say they want to be on page one on Google. That’s a reasonable request, but it’s missing a step.

 

The first question should always be “On page one for what key search phrases?”.

 

To properly optimise a website you need to know the target key phrases. Do you have a plan of attack when it comes to optimising your website?

 

There are some questions to ask that might help you.

 

Q: Are you looking for ‘new’ clients who are randomly searching the web for your service? For many business people this isn’t the case. For many of us the website is there to support existing clients, and to support specific marketing or referral clients. Someone is referred to you, they check you out more online to see your product or service, and your team. To see how credible you are before making the next step. In this case the answer is simple. You really need to make sure you rank well for your company name. You should also try to rank well for the owners name, or key staff. There isn’t space here, but to do this read the SEO Guide we gave you at training, or any of the Search Engine Optimisation blog articles and videos we provide. Everyone should at least optimise for their company name, it’s just sensible.

 

Q: How broad is your target market online. We typically don’t focus on Key Search Words. You will hear us talk a lot more about Key Search Phrases. The reasoning is as follows. Say you decide to optimise your website for one word, for instance ‘builder’. For a start common single words are usually very competitive so you are going to struggle to get on page one anyway. Secondly it is very broad. You would essentially be fishing for anyone searching the word ‘builder’ and that could include searching for ‘train to be a builder’ ‘website builder’ ‘boat builder’ ‘building courses’. You might get large amounts of traffic, but it won’t be target market. This is just like the SEO specialist email offers that arrive in your mailbox everyday, making claims about huge traffic increases. What they don’t tell you is that most of it is useless traffic.

 

Q: How narrow is your online target market? Let’s say you do one thing and you know who you want to reach. Optimise your website for something more specific and something longer. For instance ‘house and land packages’ will pick up very particular people looking for a very particular thing. Your search traffic may be lower, but it will be better targeted.

 

Q: What is your target market searching for? There are Google tools to see what is being searched across the web. You can start typing a search phrase into the Google search engine and the suggestions that appear in the drop down indicate most common searches. However this is internet-wide. This doesn’t tell you about your target market. The key to the answers above being effective, is matching them up with actual phrases being searched by potential clients. We all tend to live in our own industry jargon bubbles, but get out there and talk to some clients. If they call it a ‘sandwich board’, or if they think of you as a ‘computer technician’, then those are the phrases you need to optimise for.