Tips For Hiring an SEO Consultant

According to comScore, Internet users make approximately 1 billion searches a day on Google, Yahoo and Bing. Hence, it is no wonder that more and more companies are increasingly including Search Engine Marketing in their campaigns. But as competition heats up, the cost-per-clicks (CPCs) for Google’s Adwords, the most popular online advertising platform in the world, quickly crept up and to a point where it became difficult to justify, especially for small businesses in competitive sectors. This is evident in Google’s 2010 Q1 financial report, where it had stated that the average CPC had risen 7% from a year ago.

This situation is driving the more savvy business people towards Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

However, SEO consultants are a dime a dozen these days. A search on Google reveals hundreds of companies offering such services, and that is excluding web hosting and web design companies that offer SEO as a value-added service. Some of the SEO consultants charge on a per project basis, while others charge annual fees and some even offer money-back ranking guarantees. So how do you know who to hire?

Here are some tips for hiring an SEO Consultant for your business:

Firstly, make an effort to read up a little on SEO. Learn about keyword analysis, factors that affect a website’s rankings, on-page optimization techniques, link-building methods, etc. There are many free, self-help SEO resources on the Internet like blogs and forums. At worst, attend one of the many SEO bootcamps available at your area.

Run a search on Google for the keyword “seo” — the coveted keyword that all SEO consultants aim to rank tops for. Visit the websites of the top 10 SEO consultants. Check out their website design and page content — a good SEO consultant is able to strike a nice balance between writing for human visitors and search engine spiders.

Next, study the shortlisted companies’ background and look out for things like how long have they been providing SEO consultancy, the company staff size, list of past clients, results achieved for client websites, etc.

Pick up the phone and enquire about the SEO packages, specifically the consultancy fees, the extras to third parties for link submissions, payment terms, job details, work process and duration, cost of maintenance post-optimization and what is required from your end. Some SEO consultants, especially freelancers, only provide on-page recommendations and you need to engage your own web designer to implement them.

And if the company provide ranking guarantees, ask in detail for the specifics because some SEO Consultants have been know to provide guarantee to unsuspecting clients for “junk keywords”, i.e. keywords that have little to no search volume.

Finally, ask yourself if you are comfortable working with that person and whether you feel assured that the consultant knows his/her stuff and has the resources to do it.

Above all, never hire an SEO consultant based on price alone. In a worse case scenario, a bad implementation can get your website delisted from the search index. As the saying goes, “pay peanuts and you get monkeys”.

Get First Page on Google Searches – SEO (Search Engine Optimization) Basics and Tips

Do you want to get first page on Google? If you have a web page or blog, you likely already are first page for some searches. With a bit of SEO, you can gain first page on more searches. And its simple.

The first and most obvious step is think about what words or phrases you want to be first page on.

Once you have that list, determine how many people are searching for those terms. To check how popular a search is you will need a tool. I use Wordtracker (there is a free online version). The higher the number, the more popular the search. No point in trying to optimize for a word or phrase that is rarely searched.

There is also no point in trying to optimize for a word that is too popular because getting a high ranking there will be almost impossible.

Think about “long tail”

Think about how people will search. People often search with a question. EG where do I find X? Or where do I find Y in Canada. The longer the string, the less competition you will have for it so the easier you will get ranked.

So make the list of phrases you want to “own” and ones that are realistic to “own”.

Now it is simple. Just put these words and phrases in your titles, picture descriptions, videos and in your text. The titles are the most important. That is why a blog called “Shrimp Fish Soup Recipes” will get good Google juice on all 4 words. So searching “Shrimp soup” will get first page. Or “fish soup recipes” or “Shrimp recipes” etc.

Yes you want to repeat your words and phrases often in the text. This said – write naturally. Never let SEO be a substitute for good content.

So you do this and you still are not first page. That is because you do not have enough credibility with Google. You need another free tool to check this. I use a free Firefox plugin called searchstatus. It gives me both the PageRank and the Alexa rating of any web page. Higher PageRank numbers are better. High credibility is your ultimate goal as that is what gets you ranked first and Alexa tells you traffic (a lower number is better)

How do you increase your PageRank?

It is all about quality inbound links. You want people with a high credibility (PageRank 4+) to link to you – eg Wall St Journal would be great. More is better and link rank is almost logarithmic so a PageRank of 6 is worth 10 times one of 5 etc.

This said, for you to get a link from an 8 rated site like pornstars.com would not increase your rank in the business genre. Sites are ranked for relevance.

The best inbound links are contextual. So someone blogging and saying I heard time management guru John Doe speak and hot linking from “Time management guru” is great for John Doe. Second best, hot link from “John Doe”. Third is just having a link on a blogroll without any context.

You get a higher rank if you update your content regularly. That is why having a blog on your site is a good way to increase your ranking.

Moderate cross linking within your own material will also increase your rank and clarify for Google what it is that you do.

3 ways to get links to your site:

1 – Ask politely. You might not always get a link but it never hurts to ask.

2 – Comment on other relevant blogs (and have your PageRank on so you ignore low PageRank and high alexa). Note that most comments in themselves do not constitute a link. But being out there gets people to look at you. You need people to look at your stuff for them to be inspired to link to it.

3 – Have good material. People link to quality. But of course they have to see it so promote your content:

Have your URL on all your print material, cards, letterhead, email sig file etc

Write guest articles and blogs in the right (high traffic) places (check the Alexa).

PR – get written about

Contribute to other sites. EG write reviews on Amazon, join the conversations.

And a word of warning. Never play games (like buying links).

In the end it is about having good quality material. And being out there so people look at your material. People link to quality without you asking as long as they know about it.

7 Tips to Have Your Website Listed On The First Page On Yahoo

Yahoo is one of the biggest online search engines. So, if your campaigns are not targeted at Yahoo, you are making a big mistake. By optimizing your website for Yahoo search engine, you can get a lot of valuable traffic. Given below are 5 tips for optimizing your site for Yahoo.

Know the Fundamentals of SEO

SEO is a powerful process that can help you improve the rank of your blog or website on a search engine. In fact, SEO is an effective, inexpensive and reliable way of making your web site available to potential visitors.

Today, online searchers look for their required information through search engines. If you are not present on the World Wide Web, you will miss out on a good deal of profit.

Know the Search Share

According to statistics, around 11.7% of Americans use Yahoo to look for their desired information or product.

In 2014, an announcement came from both Mozilla and Yahoo that the default engine in Mozilla would be Yahoo.

Although Google has the highest share of search queries, Yahoo is the next big competitor. So, you don’t want to drop your rankings on this search engine either.

Given below are a couple of effective tips that can help you to achieve a higher rank on Yahoo.

What You Should Know About Yahoo! SEO First

As far as Yahoo SEO is concerned, it’s important that you know some key differences between the SEO techniques used for both of the search engines. Read on to know more.

Competition Is Lower

On Yahoo, the competition is not as stiff as on the leading search engine. For instance, if a website is on the first page for a certain keyword or phrase, it may not be on the first page for the same phrase or keyword on Yahoo.

So, if you try to rank for that phrase or keyword on a different engine, you may get a better ranking in a short period of time with a little bit of effort.

YAHOO! Is relatively simpler

Without any doubt, it’s much more complicated to rank higher on Google than on any other search engine. So, you need to consider fewer factors when running your optimization campaigns.

Over the past few years, the leading engine has made a lot of algorithm changes., but no such thing has been done by Yahoo.

There Is No Big Difference Between YAHOO! AND BING

As far as SEO is concerned, both Bing and Yahoo are quite similar. Therefore, one strategy can work for both. So, you don’t have to have separate campaigns.

Yahoo Gives More Importance To Links

As far as backlinks and inbound links are concerned, Yahoo gives them much more importance to them. In other words, if you have a lot of inbound links, Yahoo will give you a higher rank on its search engine.

In short, these are a few things that you can do in order to improve the rank of your website or blog on the second big search engine called Yahoo! If you follow a few good techniques the right way, your chances of getting a better rank will be higher.

Best Search Engine Optimization Tips – 5 Simple SEO WordPress Techniques

In this article, you will learn the best search engine optimization tips for WordPress. WordPress is the most effective traffic generation program to use. However, some none-techie small business owners shy away from using WordPress because they think it’s a difficult application. But, it’s not. WordPress is quite easy to learn and you can have a WordPress Blog up and running in a matter of a few minutes.

Now although the search engines LOVE WordPress blogs, you still need to learn some key points when it comes to search engine optimization (SEO) so that your blog posts can be found on the internet. And you do not have to be an SEO expert to execute these simple SEO strategies for your blog. You just simply need a little knowledge and the will to apply what you learn so that you can start seeing results.

Here are 5 Simple SEO WordPress Techniques

1 – PERMALINKS: When you create a new page or a new post, WordPress will generate a standard URL which consists of a question mark followed by numbers. When you use these raw links, it’s hard for the search engine spiders to attach themselves to it. As a result, the site will not be listed in the directories. So, to avoid this, a special permalink code is needed. The code should be placed in your permalinks custom section of your WordPress admin. Simply go to ‘settings’, then ‘permalinks’, then choose ‘custom’ and put this code in the field: /%post_id%/%postname%/ and click save. Now, instead of having a long ugly URL, you will have a URL with whatever keyword you assign to it when creating your post.

2 – TITLES: When creating your blog posts, make sure that you put the keyword that you are using for your post in the title. Since the spiders read from left to right, It is best to add your keyword first and then your title for the blog post. For example: Let’s say your keyword is “best search engine optimization tips”, write your title to look like this: “Best Search Engine Optimization Tips: 5 Simple SEO WordPress Techniques”. Always start the title off with your keyword and then put your actual title next to it. And try to come up with catchy titles to entice your target readers to click on your post.

3 – BODY: As you write your content for your blog post, be sure to start your first sentence in your first paragraph off with your chosen keyword. Then as you continue to write, simply incorporate your chosen keyword no more than 3 times throughout the article. Do not over do it because it will look spammy and the search engines to not like that.

4 – TAGS: WordPress has a section on the right side of your post section called TAGS. Here is where you will put your keywords for your blog post. The best thing for you to do is to not put more than 2 or 3 relevant keywords. Anything more than that will confuse the spiders when it comes to indexing your content. The first keyword tag should be the keyword that you are using in your title. So, for example, if your keyword is “Best Search Engine Optimization Tips”, then that should be the first keyword in the TAG section. And the other 2 keywords would be perhaps “Best SEO Tips” and “Simple SEO WordPress Techniques”. Again, just be sure that it is relevant to your post.

5 – PING SERVICES: Using ping services such as pingomatic.com or pingoat.com allows you to send signals to the search engines to inform them that you have posted new content on your site. When you alert them, they send the spiders to your site to crawl your content to index it accordingly.

So, as you can see, optimizing your site on WordPress is not as difficult as many people think it is. You can also install a free SEO Plugin for additional optimization within WordPress. The 2 best ones are ALL-In-One-SEO and HeadSpace2.