SEO 101: When Bad Title Tags Happen to Good Websites

Some search engine optimization techniques are difficult. Others are not. It’s easy to find otherwise well-built, engaging websites with really bad SEO. By “really bad”, I just mean completely neglected or overlooked. HTML title tags are a frequently neglected aspect of SEO that, when fixed, can have an immediate impact on search rankings. On most sites built with content management systems like WordPress, fixing a bad title tag takes 2 minutes and a little keyword research.

Smashing Ideas sitelinks in Google search resultsHere’s an example. Smashing Ideas is a cutting edge digital media agency that makes smartphone apps and other cool stuff. Their website looks great. It’s well built, easy to use. Information is easy to find. One way to check the health of a website – its ease of use and visibility in search engines – is to see if it shows up with sitelinks in Google search results. It does. Click the image at right to see what sitelinks for SmashingIdeas.com looks like. (Read more…) Continue reading

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Is a Listing in Yahoo Directory a Valuable Link? Yes. Worth the Cost? It Depends

Yahoo Directory - Should you pay to list your site here?

One way to improve your site’s search engine optimization is to submit it to online directories. Some directories are more respected than others. One of the most widely respected online directories is Yahoo. Should you pay $300 – $450 a year to list your website in the Yahoo Directory? Probably not. Continue reading

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Using Footer Links for Search Engine Optimization

Footer Links on McBuzz.com - an easy way to boost Search Engine Opimization

Example of Footer Links on McBuzz.com: an easy way to boost Search Engine Opimization

Can you use links in the footer of your website to improve search engine rankings? If those footer links go to internal pages on your own website, the answer is absolutely yes.

I have read on some SEO sites that footer links are not as helpful to SEO as they once were. Continue reading

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SEO Success with WordPress Presentation/Workshop in Seattle, July 7th

Google Analytics - Actionable Information and Results“SEO Success with WordPress: How to Use a Few Great Plugins and Tools to Make Money with Your WordPress Site” will be the topic of my free, live presentation & workshop at the July Seattle WordPress Meetup on Thursday evening, July 7th at TechStars in South Lake Union, Seattle at 6:30 PM.

UPDATE: July 8, 2011 – The slides for this SEO presentation are embedded below.

Here are the slides from the SEO presentation & workshop.

If you are a WordPress user – or even if not – you’ll learn how to set up your website to collect the essential information you need to find out whether your search engine optimization efforts are paying off.

For more information – including map and directions to TechStars – and to RSVP, visit the SEO Success with WordPress Presentation page on the Seattle WordPress Meetup site.

Here’s a summary of the presentation and workshop, which also appears on our Meetup.com website (link above). You do not need to be a Meetup.com user to attend, but do sign up if you would like to learn more about our very active and growing WordPress group for developers, designers, and users of every stripe, including great support for newbies. […] Continue reading

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Is Search Engine Optimization a Science? Yes. Here's Proof that SEO is a Science, Not a Dark Art

Periodic Table of SEO Ranking FactorsIs Search Engine Optimization (SEO) an art or a science? Or is it neither? Although it’s as old as the Internet itself, SEO is still misunderstood by many folks, even those who know a lot about the Internet and Online Communications. […] Continue reading

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Best Search Engine Optimization Resources for Beginners

A good comprehensive article on Search Engine Optimization for beginners is hard to find. This is a complaint I hear often. But there are a few good SEO Resources out there. Here are three.

One great Search Engine Optimization resource for beginners is the Google guide. I can’t find a link in the form of a URL, but you can get it here: Continue reading

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Search Engine Optimization 101 – How to Choose Keywords: A Lesson from the Bayer Aspirin Marketing Team

Successful online marketers understand the need to talk about their products in terms customers recognize and respond to.

Search Engine Optimization 101 - Choosing Good Keywords - Low Dose Aspirin PackagingChoosing good keywords is hard – no matter what size your business is. Sometimes it’s a challenge to get my clients to see the importance of using language in their marketing materials – including their website – that they themselves wouldn’t necessarily use to talk about their products or services.

Sometimes C-level executives don’t like using words they feel have Continue reading

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Search Engine Optimization for WordPress Tutorial Presentation

WordPress SEO – WordCamp Portland 2010 – Full-Length Video Continue reading

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Link Building Strategy: Quality Over Quantity Every Time

Today Nichola Stott posted an excellent article on Link Building and Search Engine Optimization, When Link Loss Ain’t No Bad Thing, on Search Engine Watch.

I’m buying. Along with work by Eric Ward it’s one of the best posts I have read on link building in some time. The article is well-documented (at least I take the author at her word) and well-written.

The author recommends a strategy of developing quality links from legitimate sites rather than a large volume of links from sites that are much less obviously related to the focus of the site you are trying to optimize.

It’s particularly interesting that Stott says “Anchor text [in inbound links] isn’t the signal it once was.” I still think we should always try for good anchor text, but the point of the article is that engineered links are more obvious today than they once were, and that probably includes anchor text in inbound links.

Today Google has much more information at its disposal when it determines what a web page is about, so it doesn’t need to rely on anchor text as much, just as directories like Yahoo! and DMOZ used to have much more significance for search engine optimization. Still, all other things being equal, better anchor text is better SEO.

Here’s Google’s Maile Ohye saying very recently that anchor text in internal links will influence sitelinks.

So clearly Google still looks at anchor text for important clues about a page’s content.

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Search Engine Optimization and WordPress: Mark McLaren Speaking at WordCamp Portland 2010

Search Engine Optimization - Speaker WordCamp PortlandLast year’s WordCamp Portland was two full days of WordPress joy, and this year’s is going to be even better. Sure, Matt Mullenweg and Jane Wells were there – two people who are shaping the future of WordPress. And this year not only are they are coming back, but WordPress lead developer Mark Jaquith is coming along, too. So if you have a question or a request related to WordPress, there’s pretty much no doubt you’ll be able to have it addressed right there on the spot.

I will be speaking, as well. The topic is Search Engine Optimization and WordPress. This will not be the same SEO and WordPress presentation I gave at WordCamp Vancouver. The focus will be on keywords and the importance of links for search engine optimization.

Did I mention that WordCamp Portland also features awesome food – and BEER?! How many conferences, un- or otherwise, have you been to that have kegs of killer microbrew at the snack table? Right.

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