Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

Linking: Helping Others To Help Yourself

Wednesday, September 24th, 2008

One of the reasons we call the world-wide-web a 'network' is because there are relationships between sites and pages that make navigation easy, informative, and even fun. Those relationships are made obvious via hyperlinks. Hyperlinks are, of course, those clickable links that take us to a new page.

We have come to rely on links to get us from point 'A' to point 'B' in a relational context, and to provide a sum of information greater than the single page we are visiting. This concept is important in search engine marketing...

Search engines deliver a product to their customers, and that product is a list of search results based on keyword input. If you type into a search engine the words 'tooth whitening', you would expect to receive a list of web sites that are relevant to 'tooth whitening'. Search engine companies know that you will be frustrated with their results if the list does not satisfy at least three basic requirements:

  1. Relevant: The resulting sites listed have to be relevant to your keyword search request; in this case 'tooth whitening';
  2. Current: The resulting sites listed need to present information that is current and not outdated;
  3. Informative: The resulting sites listed need to be informative.

Search engine companies work very hard to satisfy these requirements. It is a hard thing to do, and it is difficult to perfect. For this reason there are a few clear leaders in the search engine market, and they are pouring millions into measuring these factors accurately so they can continue providing a good 'product'.

One important factor in demonstrating relevance, currency, and informativeness is linking.

There are two types of linking strategies you should employ, each of which is important and should not be considered without the other. One is 'incoming' links, and the other is 'outgoing' links.

We have all heard that incoming links are important, and they are. Search engines are interested in the number of other sites that are linking to yours. This helps establish a certain degree of popularity and relevance. The thinking goes that if your site is linked to from many other sites, then your site must me important to the sites within your category.

Search engines are wary of incoming link strategies because there are so many ways to 'cheat'. For instance, some marketers have essentially carpet-bombed the internet with links to their own site. There are tools and services that make this easy, but there is a risk: carpet-bombing your URL all over the web means that you will be receiving links from sites that are not relevant, and therefore dilute your site's relevance factor.

To explain: Imagine your site about 'tooth whitening' receives links from sites that specialize in 'saddles', 'hunting', and 'political commentary'. Search engines will measure these factors and may determine that your site is not relevant to any of these items, including 'tooth whitening'. Your site appears to be the equivalent of a 'dictionary' to the search engines, with no clear or specific subject (at least based on the links).

Your best rule of thumb with incoming links is to cultivate links from relevant sites, and to reject links from sites that are too disparate. Links from social bookmarking sites are the exception, and simply indicate popularity without focus on relevance.

The second linking strategy you need to consider is 'outbound' linking. Perhaps even more important that inbound linking, outbound linking considers the links you have created on your site, and to which sites they point to.

There has been general reluctance on the part of our clientele for linking to other sites based on a desire to contain visitors to their own site. This is an important consideration and there are, of course, appropriate and innapropriate times and places to place outbound links. For bloggers, who's primary product is 'information', outbound links are critical.

When a search engine measures your site for relevance, currency, and informativeness, they look at the sites to which you are linking for a 'second opinion' of who you are and what you have to say.

Most importantly, outbound links tell the search engines that your visitors will be introduced to additional relevant content that is beyond your site. Think about it: when a search engine delivers their 'product', they want to present sites that are relevant, current, and informative. How better to add value to this objective than to include additional destinations in your presentation?

Put a different way: Search engines would rather deliver a relevant starting point in a search result than a 'dead end'. Is your site a 'dead end', with no exits to relevant pages? Or are you a 'great place to get started' with lots of relevant places to go?

Which site would you rather get in a search result? ...See what I mean?

Bottom line: Cultivate lots of links from relevant external sites, and don't be afraid to create links within your content that reveal relevant, interesting places to go. You will literally help others while you help yourself. It's a network, after all.

Tip: Make sure your links open the destination page in a new window or tab so your visitors don't loose you.

New WordPress Training Videos Posted

Thursday, September 11th, 2008

We recently posted an all new collection of WordPress training videos for WordPress bloggers. Learn how to do the basics in WordPress.

You can view our recommended top ten wordpress training videos here. Just click on the headline for each numbered item to go to the video page.

You can also dive straight into our ListPipe WordPress video library from this page.

Our how-to videos are presented in high quality Quicktime on the site, and are available on YouTube if you want to see them in a smaller version. When you get to YouTube, do a search for 'ListPipe' and 'Wordpress' to find all the videos. There are currently 13 of them, covering topics such as logging in, and inserting images.

Each video on our demo blog includes written instructions on how to complete the task in the latest WordPress version. Each video is designed to teach you a specific task in between two and three minutes. For those of you new to WordPress blogging, this is an excellent way to become familiar with the basics of your WordPress system.

Take a look and let us know what you think. Enjoy!

Writing Right

Wednesday, September 3rd, 2008

I was always frustrated in English class as we learned the myriad rules to stylized writing. It occurred to me that while there are rules to writing correctly, those rules are somewhat flexible.

Writing organic SEO copy is flexible to the extent that you can write just about anything you want, however there are points to be gained for technical correctness.

With search algorithms becoming more and more sophisticated by the minute, it is becoming ever more important to include proper sentence structure and punctuation to set yourself apart from the masses. Proper punctuation, in particular, will not only help your readers get through your ideas, but will show the search engines that you are writing something more important that a love note to a high school crush.

And as you can imagine, Google and the other search engines are interested in understanding the difference between a silly note and a serious article.

Take care to include punctuation in your content. Punctuation will help you get your point across in a meaningful manner, and will appeal to the search engines as they digest your sentences and organize the keywords. Take care, too, to add highlighting. Highlighting is also recognized by the search engines, and when used properly can provide a little extra credit to specific keywords and phrases.

I have be reading an excellent book titled Eats Shoots and Leaves. This hilarious book is a great introduction to punctuation and proper use of language. Give it a try, and make sure to include punctuation in your organic content.

Geotargeting; What Does It Mean?

Thursday, July 3rd, 2008

Geotargeting is an SEO strategy used to focus keyword optimization for a specific geographic location. If you have a geographically centric business such as a real estate office, insurance company, or a local car lot, you should be putting some effort into creating geocentric content for your website or blog.

The basics of geotargeting are relatively easy; you are selling to a specific area, so market to that area with specific keyword modifiers. For example, instead of discussing your new 'hair style shop', make sure you modify your keywords with your local city, or nearest large city. Here is my comparison using this example...

Don't use: 'We just opened our new hair style shop, and we invite you to come to our open house.'

Do use: 'We just opened our new Detroit hair style shop, and we invite you to come to our open house.'

By including the location in your copywriting, you are helping your local customers find you more easily, and filtering out all those people who are searching for a style shop in another part of the country.

Additionally, you are reducing the amount of competition you have for the keyword term. There may be several million sites vying for 'style shop', but only a relative handful competing for 'detroit style shop'.

You can combine geotargeting with specialty modifiers to reduce competition even further. For instance if you are a style shop that specialized in hair coloring, you might pitch yourself as a 'detroit style shop for hair coloring'. In this way, you reduce the number of people who compete with you for the key phrase.

Note that by getting so specific, you are also reducing the number of people who will be searching for you to a specific set of customers who may search for a hair color style shop in Detroit. Don't worry; what you have done is target your optimal customer, which means you have increased your rate of conversion because you have attracted a very specific search to an exact match.

The more general your terms, the more people you may attract, however you will also have to weed through a lot more searchers to get a single conversion. The more specific you can be, the fewer hits you will get, however the hits you do get will be more valuable.

Geotargeting is an important tool in web marketing, especially when you are a geocentric product or service.

Beehive Credit Union Blogs Discovered

Wednesday, July 2nd, 2008

Beehive Credit Union is getting some big attention on the web this week. We are pretty excited about it.

NetBanker, a leading online finance and banking blog dedicated to reporting news about banking innovations, branding, financing and analysis found our Beehive Credit Union blogs and gave them a pretty exciting writeup. You can read the article HERE.

Of particular note, they mention the Beehive Credit Union blogs as evidence of two particular trends:

  • Developing a full Web presence from a blogging template
  • Creating custom websites for geographic areas or individual branches

We couldn't agree more; we are seeing more and more customers turning to blog websites as their one and only presence on the web. Blog technology has come a long way and lends itself well to customization. As you have heard us tout many times: blog software such as WordPress makes it easy to conduct organic marketing on the web with Powerful Custom Content™.

Secondly; creating custom websites for each geographic area of your business is becoming an essential tool as marketers realize that consumers search the web specifically for local services.

An example I will expand on in a future blog is my 'haircut' scenario. In a nutshell: you wouldn't go to a search engine and type in 'haircut' because you know it would return every style shop from New York to L.A. Most people know to perform a search including geographic location so that you get only places that offer a 'haircut' in 'yourtown'. This is how consumers search, and how smart marketers are found.

Beehive Credit Union is going at their marketing in a smart way: they have created individual blogs for each of their geographic locations, and customize their content for each location. This will ultimately raise their appeal for geographically localized searches. As a banking service, Beehive knows that their service appeals to a geographically oriented customer. Their personalized hometown approach makes this even more important for them. Delivering content in this way helps them get localized attention; the kind they want.

The NetBanker article about Beehive Credit Union is a great example of how a blog can garner attention for your business. In a case like this, blogs give news outlets something to talk about, and thereby spread the word. Our thanks to NetBanker for running a great story.

Notice, too, that NetBanker gives credit to Jeffry Pilcher at The Financial for actually finding the Beehive Credit Union blogs. The Financial Brand found the blogs and posted a link on their Branding Briefs for June 26th.

Take a look at the article by NetBanker. You can find the article here:

Check out the link from The Financial here:

You can see the blogs we are talking about by visiting our previous posting about them, here.

Ready to start your own web marketing campaign? Give us a call at ListPipe.

Is Page Rank Important?

Wednesday, June 18th, 2008

One of the goals of ListPipe is to improve your page rank. Page rank is a number between '1' (low) and '10' (high) that Google assigns to your webpage based on a range of criteria. Among those criteria are the quality and relevance of your content, the density of keywords, and the popularity of the site.

From the Google explanation of Page Rank, we learn that:

PageRank relies on the uniquely democratic nature of the web by using its vast link structure as an indicator of an individual page's value. In essence, Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote, by page A, for page B. But, Google looks at considerably more than the sheer volume of votes, or links a page receives; for example, it also analyzes the page that casts the vote. Votes cast by pages that are themselves "important" weigh more heavily and help to make other pages "important." Using these and other factors, Google provides its views on pages' relative importance.

Of course, important pages mean nothing to you if they don't match your query. So, Google combines PageRank with sophisticated text-matching techniques to find pages that are both important and relevant to your search. Google goes far beyond the number of times a term appears on a page and examines dozens of aspects of the page's content (and the content of the pages linking to it) to determine if it's a good match for your query.

Some argue that PageRank is no longer as important as it once was. This is not true, and Google's explanation is good evidence that page rank is still an important factor in your placement in search results.

Google, and the other search engines, are delivering a 'product', which is 'search results'. The better the search results they can deliver, the happier their customer (you and all the other searchers in the world) will be. It makes sense for search engines to rank your site based on its relevance and popularity, for these are good indicators of the quality of your site in relation to the search terms.

The higher your page rank, the higher you will place in a search results page.

A great way to improve your site's search engine page rank is to create regular content that is highly relevant and well written. If you are interested in attracting an audience of viewers to your site, do the following:

  1. Start blogging at least once per week at a minimum;
  2. Concentrate on including keywords in your content that are relevant to your topic;
  3. Make sure that your posts are 'human readable', and well written;
  4. Be sure to include links to relevant sites and pages, both internal and external to your blog.

And in case you hadn't noticed: this is what we do for our clients at ListPipe. If you are interested in widening your web marketing, please give us a try; we're here to help!

Click Here to read Google's definition of 'Page Rank':

Real Estate Marketing Blogs

Tuesday, June 17th, 2008

Real Estate Blogs DirectoryListPipe is designed to help real estate agents create a web presence, and to expand real estate marketing across the web in a search engine optimized strategy.

We are continuously doing research to learn more about marketing our blogs to the real estate marketplace, and working to improve the exposure we bring to our real estate agents who are using ListPipe to widen their web marketing.

If you have a real estate blog, you should be listed on the Real Estate Blogs Directory. You can get their via the link below. I encourage all our real estate marketers to take a few minutes to list your own blog on this remarkable site. It is really quite an opportunity to get your site listed in a busy community.

Real Estate Blogs Directory
- Directory of real estate blogs and blogs of industries affiliated with and
serving the real estate industry.

Dental Blogs

Thursday, February 14th, 2008

James Hull DentistryListPipe has recently completed an installation project for James Hull Associates in the United Kingdom. We installed nearly 50 blogs on an independent server, and connected each blog to its own ListPipe account. With the ListPipe pluggin installed, we are able to deliver Powerful Custom Content to each blog, every week, even though they are not part of the domain.

The results we are seeing at this early stage are terrific. Within the first 5 days we were indexed by Google. We are now tracking our performance for the UK dentistry market and are watching to see how quickly our Powerful Custom Content is indexed for each of the James Hull Dentistry practices.

Take a look; you can find a few of the blogs in the list below (once you get to a blog, use the blogroll to bounce around and see other blogs in the James Hull association):

ListPipe Receives New Page Rank

Sunday, January 13th, 2008

ListPipe received a higher page rank from Google this past week, confirming that our SEO content continues to appeal to search engines.

ListPipe Page Rank

We made our search engine debut at an impressive ranking of '3'. A ranking of three is difficult to achieve and can take years. In our case, it took about a year. We have worked with some sites that have been up for multiple years without any ranking whatsoever. Our outstanding blog system and Powerful Custom Content helped us climb through the ranks in a relatively short period of time.

In the last week, Google released new page rankings. We saw the ListPipe page rank jump from 3-out-of-10 to a solid 4-out-of-10. Gaining another point in our page rank indicates we are on the right track and doing what it takes to garner the attention of the search engines and maintain positive growth.

ListPipe Powerful Custom Content for blogs provides a strong strategic advantage for companies wanting to achieve a higher page rank. We provide custom content for blogs once each week. We also provide blog training and consulting to help writers and bloggers develop powerful content for search engine marketing.

This latest increase in our page rank indicates that out strategies work and the search engines are taking notice.

If you would like to see how ListPipe can help you increase your page rank, Get Started today.

If you have comments or feedback, click here.

To check the Google page rank of your webpage (or ours), use this Google pagerank checking tool. It's free.