Drive traffic with help of social networking

I’m lazy by nature and like to do as little work as possible. Therefore, when I have the opportunity to automate tasks, I jump at it. As I started getting heavily involved in social networking, I quickly became frustrated with having to update my status at several sites, as well as trying to figure out how to introduce my blog, my articles, and my ezine to my social networking audiences.

After much trial and error, here’s how I connect and re-purpose all of my social marketing strategies:

1. Set up accounts. Make sure that you have current accounts with Twitter, Facebook, Linkedin, MySpace, and any other social networking platforms you regularly use.

2. Open an account at Ping.fm. The Ping.fm service automatically updates your status on all of your social networking sites, 21 of them at the current count. Depending on the number of networks you use, it will take you 10-50 minutes to connect your Ping.fm account to your various social network accounts. However, once everything is set up, you simply log into your Ping account, post your status update (no more than 140 characters), and your status is automatically updated on all of your social networking profiles. Rather than posting updates directly on Twitter or Facebook or MySpace, I instead use Ping.fm as the starting place for my daily status updates.

3. Display Twitters on other accounts. If you go to your Setting tab in your Twitter account and then down to “More Info URL”, you will see a link to “Add Twitter to Your Site.” By clicking on this link, you’ll be taken to a page where you can add your tweets in a separate box (not the Status updates area) in your MySpace and Facebook profiles, on your blogger or Typepad blogs, or get the Flash or HTML widgets to add to other sites like Squidoo lenses or to your website. Just follow the instructions connected to each application. If you use Typepad for your blog, you can also do this through the Widget gallery by finding Twitter widget in the “Publishing Tools” section.

4. Connect your blogposts to Twitter. Twitter Feed, http://www.twitterfeed.com/, enables you to feed your blog posts to your Twitter account. Simply create an account, go to “Create New Twitter Feed”, and enter the RSS feed of your blog. You can control the frequency with which Twitter displays your blog post, as well as the text used to preface your blog feed. I use “Blog update” to preface my posts.

5. Connect your blogposts to Facebook. I use Typepad for my blogs, so if you use a WordPress blog, there are probably plugins that handle this, as well. When you create a new blog post, you can choose to send a link to that post into Facebook. These links will appear in your Mini-Feed on your Facebook profile, and may appear in your friends’ News Feeds.

In your Typepad account, go to Weblogs > Configure > Publicity, select “Prompt me to share new posts on Facebook.” When this item is selected, TypePad will automatically display a prompt from Facebook when you create and publish a new post on TypePad. The Facebook prompt will only appear if you have selected the option in your weblog’s publicity settings, and only when you create and publish a new post. The prompt will not appear when you save a post as draft, when you edit a post, or when you change the status of a post from Draft to Published.

6. Update your EzineArticles.com account. Article marketing is a smart and easy way to drive traffic to your site. If you’re submitting articles online to article directories, you definitely want to be using EzineArticles.com, the biggest and most popular article directory online. To connect to Twitter, click on “Profile Manager” in your account, then “Edit Author Bio” in your Author’s Area. Add your Twitter account information here. Each time a new article is accepted and published at EzineArticles, a post is automatically made to your Twitter account.

7. Update your aWeber account: I use aWeber as my email marketing service. You can now send an automatic Twitter post to all your followers on Twitter with a link to the HTML version of your ezine. When you create a broadcast in aWeber, select the option to publish a broadcast via RSS feed or to an archive, and then enter your Twitter account info, When your ezine is published, all of your Twitter followers will be notified.

There are probably others ways to connect the social networks and to re-purpose content on social networks, but these 7 steps are all I need at the moment. Take 30 minutes out of your day to connect and re-purpose your social networking, and watch your traffic and list begin to grow!

Basic SEO Wisdom – Story Time

This is a story about a poor guy with an inept domain that wanted to build a site geared for a very competitive keyword and his long, agonizing journey toward the true light of SEO wisdom.

Here’s a little foundation for what I’m about to cover here. A while back I bought a stupid domain name. It was one of those fairly useless domain names that might have been good for maybe selling cellphones or something. The thing is, though, I’m a poor guy. I don’t have time to taylor a site for cellphones with the pitiful amount of money I have. This was my thinking not long ago at least.

After sitting on this domain name forever I decided to put a site up there and give myself to the study of SEO or search engine optimization. It seemed like an interesting subject and I knew to those that managed to learn SEO, marketing, and some web design would fall infinite riches. It really sounded good to me.

So I went for the throat so to speak. More precisely I picked out some search terms that I will probably never be able to get traffic for in my lifetime. Smart I know. This had the grand side effect of having the site sandboxed by Yahoo and Google until pigs flew.

Recently they flew, however, and I’ve come out of the sandbox altogether and hit face to face with a few SEO surprises. I did manage to get a tiny trickle of traffic but not from the terms I tried to get it from. After trying to optimize those pages for the key terms I received traffic from I got more traffic. This of course started me down a long road of speculation and hair pulling.

After many a night of such I’ve come up with a few things that I believe will give anyone the power to eventually pull traffic off the net and covert it into a good decent living. I’ll probably write an ebook and make millions one of these days.

Optimize by the page
Don’t fall into the trap of focusing totally on building this far flung and far reaching site that will rule the world or make you millions instantly. Unless you have lots of money you’re going to need to work for your traffic. Plan your site out carefully and make sure each page is a precision crafted piece of art.

I love serverside scripting and dynamic websites but I’ve come to realize there is a danger that people will overuse it. I know I have. If your site is dynamically generted, make sure every page isn’t a total cookie cutter image of every other page. It’s good to have the same navigation and same general layout but each page also needs to be special. Each page should have careful, proven SEO techniques applied to maybe a single key phrase.

Don’t try to optimize one page for a handful of phrases. Just focus on one phrase. Do your keyword research and, whatever you do, don’t haul off and pick a key phrase with 2 billion wealthy competitors in Google. Pick something that can be attained and can get you some traffic relatively fast. Select a phrase that is as specific as possible to your particlar niche and still gets a couple thousand or so searches per month from Yahoo.

Whatever you do, make sure that one web page has good, solid, desirable content that is keyword rich and one of a kind. This will help make it special. At the same time your content obviously needs to lead the customer toward your intented goal for monetizing your traffic.

Keep it simple
I’ve found to my dismay that building a complex web site with all the content management stuff and all the database thrills isn’t exactly what really gets the attention of search engines. Weirdly enough this can be true for internet surfers too. A nice, clean layout with very accessible content and intuitive navigation will be recognized by both search engines and surfers alike. If you can figure that part out you’ve just pinned down about 90% of SEO in my opinion.

Engineer your site for your traffic
When you start getting search engine traffic to your site take a very close look at what they are searching for. I assume you have some kind of statistics program and can mostly see what search terms people are using to get to your site. When someone comes in on a keyword or phrase you haven’t optimized for do a little research. Does the page they are coming to need touched up to include the search term or would this search term merit its own search engine optimized page to handle the traffic.

Conclusion
With every page you add you are gaining another potentially valuable piece of internet real estate. If you’re doing your job right then eventaully each page should get its own traffic and you should begin to attain your goals. Patience and learning are the name of the SEO game.

Google Page Rank And Alexa Rank

So, you’ve heard a few things about SEO and now you are trying to learn some more about what SEO actually is and what your goals actually are.  Well, your main two goals in SEO are to increase your websites position in the search engine results pages(SERP’s) and increase website traffic.  Google Pagerank represents how important your website is compared to all other websites and Alexa Rank is how many visitors your website gets in relation to all other websites on the Internet.  You are aiming to get a high Google Pagerank (commonly refered to as PR) and a low Alexa Rank.  What looking at these two measured elements does is give you some idea of how well, or how badly, your website is doing in comparison to all other websites.  Lets explore these two rankings in a little more detail.

What is Google Page Rank?

The co-founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, describe Google Page Rank as a tool designed to rank a website that is listed in the Google search index.  A Pagerank of a web page is given on a scale of 0-10.  0 is the lowest possible score for a website and conversely a 10 is the highest score possible.  A high Pagerank is defined by the amount, importance(PageRank) and relevance of web pages that link to the web page in question.  When a web page links to another web page, Google consider that to be a vote for the page in question and therefore of some importance.  There is a formula associated to how PageRank is calculated but for the purposes of this article it is too indepth, but if you are interested in the theory behind PageRank (PR) then a quick search on Google will provide fruitful.

What is Alexa Rank?

The Alexa Rank is different to Google PR; Alexa rank websites based solely on traffic to the website.  Alexa rank websites in descending order towards 0, where the most highly visited website on the Internet is given a rank of 0.  At this point in time the top three ranked websites (most visitors) on Alexa are, 0 – Yahoo, 1 – Google and 2 – MySpace.  According to Alexa these 3 websites get the most traffic on the Internet.  Alexa Rankings vary from 1 to a billion.  Every web site in the world is included in the Alexa Rank, so the scale on your Alexa ranking is constantly changing in relation to other websites on the Internet.

10 SEO Tactics to bring huge traffic to website

No matter how hard some people try to mystify SEO, it is not as complicated as many would lead you to believe. Despite all the techno jargon that many in the field will throw at you: SERPs, SEM, PageRank, Keyword Density, Vertical Search, Algorithms… SEO is really simple to do if you understand some basic concepts and follow some easy steps.

Search Engine Optimization is getting your content listed in all the top positions in Google, Yahoo and MSN for your targeted keywords. When someone does a keyword search in a search engine for your particular subject or niche – you want your site or content to be at the top of the list.
Here are 10 SEO tactics that have worked and are working for me at this moment in time.

1. Quality Content is and always will be your number one factor for getting high rankings and keeping them. You must understand search engines are simply businesses who supply a product like any other company. That product is information. They must offer quality results to anyone using their service to solve a problem, answer a question or to buy a product. The more relevant, the more targeted the search solution they return, the higher the overall quality of their product and the more popular their search engine will become. Providing quality content is vital for SEO success.

2. Keywords are your number one tools for achieving high rankings. You must understand keywords and how they work on the web. You must know how many searches are made each day for your chosen keywords. Sites like Wordtracker and Seobook will give you a rudimentary number of searches. Design your pages around your targeted keywords and don’t forget to do some deep-linking to these pages on your site. Find and build backlinks to these interior keyword pages and not just to your home page or domain URL. Picking keywords with medium to low competition has worked out well for me. So too has using the more targeted and higher converting “long-tail” keywords been very beneficial for me.
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Black Hat SEO

Black Hat search engine optimization is usually defined as techniques that are used to get higher search rankings in an unethical manner. Either by tricking visitors or search engine spiders.

The most common forms of black hat seo are:

Keyword stuffing: Keyword stuffing is the overuse of keywords in a piece of content. Generally, this is repeating the same keywords over and over just to achieve a higher search engine ranking.

Invisible text: Quite a few cheap sites use this tactic, which involves making keywords to be the same color as the background, so readers can’t see the massive amounts of keywords, but search engine spiders can.

Doorway pages: These are pages that regular visitors cannot see, but search engine spiders can. They are used to trick the search engines so that the site gets a higher ranking. Not only do they go against the rules, but they also hurt the visitor’s experience. Who wants to see a site stuffed with keywords?

Cloaking: Its a deceptive method used to cheat search engines in order to rank well for certain keywords. A user identified as search engine is shown a specifically prepared and optimized website with only purpose to rank well for desired keywords. If a user is not a search engine they are presented with the “real” websites content which is often spammy and of lesser quality.

Cloaking is also used to trick users to visit websites based on their description in search engines. For example a user searching for a particular product could click on a website in search engine due to its description and title. The site in question will not be the one described in SERP’s. It can be totally different or irrelevant.

RSS Spamming: I recently noticed more and more people using their RSS feed in comments instead of their blog’s URL. What that does is tricks people into subscribing to your feed when they only wanted to visit your blog By doing so people don’t realize they can get their IP black listed from any site in a click. So don’t try it, it’s rude.

Does Black Hat SEO Work?
Yes is it does but only temporally. Eventually the search engine spiders catch on and your site can get permanently banned from search results. It might look like a good idea to the novice but it hurts your site and its credibility on the long run.

Why is Black Hat Unfair?
Black hat practices do not not follow the rules and regulations of search engines. Black hat tricks spiders and users into clicking and viewing content with poor quality or content. This in turn leads to a poor user experience, what Google is striving to avoid. Lets keep the web a fun place filled with useful information.

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