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Keyword research

Written by Hamish Braddick on November 19th, 2009.      0 comments

Before you optimise your website for the search engines you need to decide what keywords and key phrases you will target in the search engines.  You will want to target keywords and phrases that your target customers will be searching on.

Try to think about keywords and phrases that are not too common. Also think about combinations of keywords such as “barbeque steak, order online, New Zealand”.

Think about your target customer– put yourself in their shoes.  If you were your customer, what would you type into a search engine if you were searching for your product or service?  Unless you have a well-established brand, they will definitely not type-in your brand name.  They are going to search for the type of product or service they are looking for, or the features of the product or service they are looking for.

Start brainstorming a list of keywords and phrases that your target customer is likely to be searching on.  Think about what your product or service does.  What are the features?

Check out your competition to see what keywords they are targeting.  You can use the Meta Tag Analyser on the Zeald website to check out the keywords your competitors use. (www.zeald.com/Resources/Free+Tools/Meta+Tag+Analyzer.html)

Think about misspellings, variations and strange ways of typing your key phrases. It’s amazing how much traffic you can receive based on words that are spelt incorrectly.

Geo-Targeting Keywords
Geo-targeting your keywords is where you target your keywords at a particular geographical region or population segment.  Remember – most search engines are global.  But if you can only deliver products or services within a specific geographical location, then consider targeting your keywords at that geographical area.  For example, if you deliver Indian meals in Albany, Auckland, then use keywords like “New Zealand, Albany, Indian Food”.

Finally, once you have a long list of keywords and key phrases it is time to do some analysis on them to see which are the best ones to target.  The best way to do this is to use a 'keyword research tool'.  An outline of the different keyword research tools is below.
  1. Wordtracker (www.wordtracker.com)
    The most popular of all the keyword research tools.  There is a simple free version and then a paid version that has more functionality.
  2. Google Adwords Keyword Research (adwords.google.com)
    Google Adwords contains a keyword research tool within it available for anyone who has a Google Adwords account.
Based on the information provided by your keyword research tool, you should be able to narrow your list down to a small set of keywords and phrases to target.

Now you should be able to produce a list of the following:
  • No.1 Keyword or Phrase - Your No.1 keyword or phrase is the priority keyword or phrase that you would like to target in the search engines.
  • Secondary Keywords or Phrases - Your secondary keywords or phrases should be a short list of secondary keywords and phrases that you would also like to target.
 

Optimising your web pages for the search engines

Written by Hamish Braddick on November 12th, 2009.      0 comments

Once you have discovered your target search phrases the next step is to saturate the content of your web pages with these keywords. Ensure that important keywords have pages of content specifically dedicated to them.

This section looks at how you can optimise your web pages to increase your chances of achieving good page rankings, for target keywords and phrases within the search engines.

Search engines rank your web page, for a keyword or phrase, based on the location of the keyword or phrase and the frequency the keyword or phrase appears in your page. Location is where on the web page a keyword or phrase is located and frequency is how often it appears on the web page, with some locations more important than others. Each of the key locations is outlined below, ranked in order of highest importance:

Theme your web pages

One of the best ways to optimise your web pages is to structure them into well defined themes.  One of the best aspects of themes is that they help keep your website well organized and on-topic - something that can become quite difficult as your online presence evolves and grows.  A correct theming structure will help you maintain a clear delineation between the different areas of your site, and allow you to target specific keywords and keyword variations to particular sections.

A themed website should follow a structure similar to this:

  • First level:  Buy Meat Online in New Zealand
  • Second level:  Buy Beef Online
  • Third Level:  Buy Beef T-Bone Steaks Online

The key is to forget about the search engines as much as possible and just write and create your site with the single purpose of reaching your target audience.  Stay focused on this goal alone.  When you are done, then you can review it in the light of the guidelines below and tweak it to fit.

Content optimisation guidelines

  • Incorporate the important key words and key phrases in the 'Heading 1', 'Heading 2' and 'Heading 3' formats.
  • Optimise your meta data so that it includes your key words and key phrases.
  • Include key words and key phrases in your internal links between pages whenever possible.

Title

The most important place to locate your keywords or phrases is in your web page titles. The title is the text that appears in the title bar of the web browser.

Headings

The second most important place to locate your keywords and phrases is in the headings of your website content. Within any web page you can have different levels of headings (heading 1, 2, 3 and so on). ‘Heading 1’ is the most important, with sub-headings having less ‘importance’.

Main text

The main text is one of the key content areas of your web page. It is the key area where you can influence the frequency of a keyword or phrase on your web page.

Graphics

Text that is inserted as a graphic on your web page cannot be ‘indexed’ by the search engines. However, graphics can include something called ‘alt’ text, which describes what the image is ‘about’, and this can be indexed. Make sure you use the ‘alt’ field to describe what each of your images is about.

Meta data

Meta data is the information that is included on a web page that is invisible to the online user, but is visible to a search engine. Meta information is designed to explain to a search engine what a web page is about. There are a number of different types of Meta information that can be included in a web page. The two most important types are:

Meta description

The Meta description in a web page describes in ‘plain English’ what the web page is about. The Meta description is very important, as some search engines will use this to describe your web page in the search results.

Meta keywords

The Meta keywords in a web page outline the key words that best describe the content of your web page. The use of Meta keywords has been subject to abuse by many authors in a quest to obtain higher search engine rankings. Because of this, many search engines now disregard Meta keywords completely, so do not spend too much time on your Meta keywords selection.

It is difficult to balance the needs of writing good sales copy versus the needs of writing copy that is optimised for the search engines. It is something that you will have to work out to achieve the best balance that you possibly can. That or hire one of our specialists to do this for you.

Look to write your copy so that your shortlist of keywords and phrases appear in the elements listed above as often as possible. Try different variations and measure the results.

A careful balance

It is difficult to balance the needs of writing good sales copy versus the needs of writing copy that is optimised for the search engines.  It is something that you will have to work out to achieve the best balance that you possibly can. That or hire one of our specialists to do this for you.

Look to write your copy so that your shortlist of keywords and phrases appear in the elements listed above as often as possible.  Try different variations and measure the results.
 

Search engine submission

Written by Hamish Braddick on November 13th, 2008.      0 comments

If your website is new and the search engines dos not know about it, you need to submit it and tell them about it so they can list it.  If the search engines already know about your website it may not be necessary to submit it. You can find out if the Search engines know about your website by doing a "site:www.yourwebsiteaddress" search. The search engine will tell you how many pages of your website that they have a record of.

Please note. you do not have to submit your sitemap. The search spiders are programmed to crawl the internet in search of new content, new websites. Sometimes it can be faster to get your website in the search results by simply getting a good link to it. 

Search engine submission can be a complicated process; fortunately there is just a few search engines to submit to these days. Many of the other search engines are "Powered" by the primary ones.

So how do you submit your website to the search engines?

Avoid using automated submission services

There are many automated search engine submission services.  The best advice we can offer you regarding them is – “Don’t use them!”.  Search engines hate automated submission services as they can be used to ‘spam’ the search engines.  Most search engine submission processes differ slightly, so after coming this far with your optimisation why risk receiving a ‘black mark’ next to your website’s domain name in the search engines.

Free organic manual submission

If search engines are a key part of your website promotion strategy then we believe it is absolutely vital that you spend time submitting your website to the search engines manually.
This method has no guarantees and it usually takes a number of weeks (up to eight) before your website is indexed.  The key search engines that offer free submission are below:

Paid inclusion

Pay per click advertising (PPC) means that you pay to have your website included in a search engine.  By paying for inclusion you ensure that you are included in a search engine as a matter of priority.  Pay per inclusion programs give you no guarantee about where your website will rank on search pages. So for certain keywords or phrases, you still need to properly optimize your pages.  All that pay-per-inclusion programs guarantee is that your website will be included in their search engine’s index.

If you need your website to be included within a search engine quickly then you need to consider pay-per-inclusion. We recommend that you use both methods.

Learn more about Pay per click advertising (PPC)

Monitoring

Now that you have submitted your website to the search engines you will need to wait for the search engines to index your website.  This usually takes between two weeks and two months (unless you have paid for inclusion).  Once you have been listed it’s time to monitor your listings.  There are a number of ways you can do this:

  • Simple Monitoring - The simplest method of monitoring is to go to each of the search engines that you are targeting and type in your keywords or phrases.  Take note of where your website appears in the list.  Look at who appears above you and then research what they are doing to make their website rank higher than yours.
     
  • Web-based Tools - When you Submit your sitemap to Google, you create a Google Webmaster account. The Google Webmaster account provides a set of tools which help you monitor the Search engine listing and ranking process. Market Leap (www.marketleap.com/verify/default.htm) provides a number of free web-based keyword analysis tools.  These tools will allow you to check the rankings of each of your keywords and phrases.
     
  • Software Packages - Web Position Gold (www.webposition.com) is the #1 solution for SEO.  It provides a whole range of tools for all aspects of SEO.  Included as part of the Web Position Gold package is the ability to monitor your rankings on target keywords and phrases.  If you are serious about your SEO, and the DIY route is for you, then you should consider purchasing Web Position Gold.  The standard edition costs US$149.
 

Meta-Data - Data About Data

Written by David Kelly on April 1st, 2008.      0 comments

Metadata is the information about a data source. For example, a document contains information, but there is also information about that document such as the title, author and publisher - this is the metadata, in other words, data about data. If we compare this to the web, every webpage has a number of metadata elements that can be set for the page. Standard metadata that should be displayed for every webpage is: the page title, the description and the keywords or phrases that summarize the content of that page and which appear within it.


Metadata is not visible on the site itself but is used by some search engines and directories to gain information about the website in order to index (catalogue) it correctly. Different search engines use metadata differently and some don’t use it at all.


The following is an example of effective metadata, that could be used by the site www.currypantry.com
 

Title
Welcome to Curry Pantry, suppliers of premium Malaysian Curry Pastes.
 

Description
Visit Curry Pantry for authentic, premium Malaysian Curry Pastes and sauces. For gourmet food without fuss, see our recipes for vegetable, lamb, seafood, beef or chicken curry.
 

Keywords
Curry, curries, pantry, curry pantry, sauces, pastes, recipes, Malaysia, Malaysian, cuisine, food, history, lamb, chicken, seafood, vegetable, meat, vegetable curry, seafood curry, chicken curry, lamb curry
 

 

Writing Your Metadata

Keywords / Phrases
When preparing your metadata, prepare your keywords / phrases first. This is because they should also appear in your page description and title. They should reflect the specific content of the page that you are writing for and you should consider the following:
  • What are the key words / phrases that your potential customers might enter into search engines or directories to find your company, site and products?
  • What keywords / phrases do your competitors use?
  • How competitive is your industry (you may want to select a niche and focus upon that)
  • Keywords should be limited in number (Search engines generally only permit a maximum of 25 or so, all other keywords appearing after that are ignored)
  • Keywords / phrases should not be repeated too many times (Search engines ‘see’ both of these strategies as ‘spam’, false attempts to increase search engine rankings and will ignore the page / site.)

 

Compared to our example of effective keywords above, an example of a keyword /phrase list that would not be accepted by search engines because it is too repetitive / long would be;


Curry, curry, curry, curry, curry, curry pantry, curry pantry, curry pantry, curry pantry, curries, curries, curries, curries, curries, curries, Malaysia, Malaysia, Malaysia, Malaysia, Malaysian food, Malaysian food, Malaysian food, Malaysian Food, beef, lamb, chicken, seafood, vegetable, meat, beef, lamb, chicken, seafood, vegetable, meat, beef, lamb, chicken, seafood, vegetable, meat, food, food, food, food, recipes, recipes, recipes, recipes, recipes, Malaysian recipes, Malaysian recipes, Malaysian recipes, Malaysian recipes.


When entering your keywords / phrases they should all be separated by a comma. For example:
keyword1, keyword2, phrase one, phrase two


 

Page Description
Having selected your keywords, it is now time to prepare your page description. This is displayed by most search engines when returning a listing of relevant sites based on a specific search. Users search for sites by entering keywords or phrases into search engines or directories and the page description is displayed beneath the title in the list of results.

For the description, write one or at most two sentences describing the page content. Incorporate your page content / metadata keywords while writing it so as to increase the chance of the web page being found by search engines and directories.
 

Page Title
The page title is also used by search engines to gain information about the website and is the most important piece of metadata on any webpage. The page title is displayed in search result listings and also in the browser title bar whenever the page is viewed.


It is advisable to make the title no more than approximately 10 words long as anything longer than this will be truncated. Try to include keywords, rather than just the company name - preferably keywords & phrases that are also used in the page content, as well as in the metadata.
Below is an example of how our metadata example would appear when returned by Google as a hit.

Welcome to Curry Pantry, suppliers of premium Malaysian Curry Pastes
 

Visit Curry Pantry for authentic, premium Malaysian Curry Pastes and sauces. For gourmet food without fuss, see our recipes for vegetable, lamb, seafood, beef or chicken curry… http://www.currypantry.com - 15k - Cached - Similar pages
 

 

Summary

Metadata is an often overlooked component of many websites and many webpages. Every webpage that you have should have at least a ‘Page Title’ and ‘Page Description’. The ‘Keywords / Phrases’ meta-data is nowhere near as important as the other two as it is only used by one or two search engines – but it never hurts. All the best!!

 

 




 

“Is Your Website Producing Amazing RESULTS?”

 


If your answer is anything less than a resounding yes, then you need to learn about Zeald and the ‘Websites that Work!” program. Because results that are anything less than ‘amazing’ means you are selling yourself short!
 



© Zeald 2005 – All Rights Reserved
 

Should I use target search terms in my domain name?

Written by Brent Kelly on April 1st, 2008.      0 comments

We are often asked if including target search terms in the domain name or website address will help to improve a websites search engine ranking.
It is hard to say for sure as the search engines don't like to give away their secrets for their ranking methods, and also these methods change on a regular basis - so something that may work today might not work tomorrow. But many experts believe that using search terms in the domain name will help to give a website a leg-up in the search engine results for those search terms.

The theory behind this technique

In theory it seems unlikely that the search engines would place any emphasis on search terms used in the domain name. When you think about it, by doing this the search engines open up the domain name for abuse by website owners.

However there are other reasons why incorporating search terms in the domain name might help to give a website a boost in the search results:
  1. Often when other people link to a website they will simply use the address of the website. For example if I wanted to link to the website of Ron Giles, one of our e-business consultants, I might say: to find out more about Ron Giles visit his website http://www.website-consultant.co.nz/. This is a backlink to his website which incorporates the search terms of his domain name "Website Consultant." The search engines of course give points for inbound links, and they use the "anchor text" or the text used in the link to help them calculate the subject of the website. 
  2. By using target search terms in your domain name you might be able to fool Google into thinking that the search terms are actually the name of your company. So when a user searches for the phrase "Website consultant" Google doesnt know if you are searching for a company called "website consultant or simply website consultant in general. If you can convince Google into thinking that the name of your company is your domain name, you will improve your chances of obtaining a top rank ofr those search terms, espicially for a local search.
It does seem likely that using search terms in your domain name will give your website a slight boost in the search engine ranking process. However you will need to consider if it would be worth the hassle of changing your current domain name and risking a drop in your current ranking for a period as Google recalculates your rank.
By all means it is definitely worth considering if you have a new website that is not live yet.

Which search terms?

If you choose to incorporate target search terms in your domain name to help with your search rank, you will need to decide on what search terms to use.

Consider your Branding

This is the hard bit. Firstly you need to decide if you should target your brand  name, or theme or both. If a primary objective of your website is to build a prominent brand for your business then you should target your business name or as close to it as you can. Make it short, snappy and memorable.

However, if your brand name is something quite unique, for example "Zeald" and you know that there is very few if any other examples of the term used online, then most likely you will achieve a number one rank without even trying. In which case, you could try targeting a theme, instead of or as well as.

Consider a theme

If you decide to target a theme as opposed to your brand, or as well as your brand, you will need to find and decide on a search phrase that:
  1. Makes sense
  2. is short and snappy 2-3 words max
  3. is most relevant to your business
  4. produces a high volume of searches
  5. produces a high volume of sales or leads
  6. produces good revenue for your business
  7. you have chance of competing in the search results
This is the tricky bit. How do you work out what these two or three words are? The answer is keyword research.

Keyword Research

There a numerous tools out there that will help you to determine the search volume. Try Google Adwords keyword tool which allows you to segment the searches by geographic region. When you have a shortlist, use Google Insights to compare your top phrases and check that your phrase is trending upwards in popularity. Check the competition to ensure that you stand a chance to obtain a top rank for those search terms.
Calculate the relevancy. This is the really difficult bit. Some how you need to get inside the head of your target user and understand what they are thinking and "guess" what they are searching for when they enter those search terms into Google. This is referred to as the "commercial intent."

Make it local

If your primary target market is from a specific geographic region, then focus on this with your search terms and also your domain name suffix. If your target market is from Christchurch New Zealand, then make sure your domain name is a .co.nz and consider using Christchurch in your target search terms.

Make it short

In most cases many of the obvious short names will have been taken already, so you will need to be creative with your choice of search terms to ensure your domain name remains short. For example you want to avoid a domain name that reads "www.auckland-and-christchurch-ecommerce-website-consultant.co.nz" This does not look professional and appears obviously "spammy"

Use hyphens to separate each keyword

Because you are not able to use spaces in your domain name, you should use hyphens (-) to let the search engines and users know where one word stops and another word starts.

Consider using both theme words and your company name

If you can include you business name with theme words you capture the best of both worlds. This technique can also be a way to make the domain name unique. For example: www.Ron-Giles-Websites.co.nz

Use other domain names to point at your website

Once you have decided on your keyword rich domain name you will need to set it up to be the "primary" domain name for your website. Google will only list and rank a website by one domain name. You can have other domain names for your website and point them to it, but Google will only use one to rank and list your website with. You can use Google Webmaster Tools to do this or ask your website developer. If you already have an existing domain name that already has a presence with Google you need to make sure that you tell Google that you are changing your domain name. You can do this through webmaster tools.

With the keyword rich domain name setup as your primary search engine link, you should also think about links that are easy for your customers to understand and remember. For example Ron Giles might use www.auckland-ebusiness-consultant.co.nz for his primary domain name, however this is very generic and quite a mouthful for his users to remember. So he might also secure and point a simple domain name such as www.ron-giles.co.nz

Dont sweat it

With any marketing initiative you need to weigh up the return on your investment. You need to consider the amount of time and effort you spend on it and the results you might obtain from it.
The additional boost a keyword rich domain name will give your website might be subtle. If you struggle to find a good keyword rich domain name or you are uncertain about the choice of keywords, don't sweat it. Also think about the long term benefit of building brand recognition for your business.
Could that time be better spent elsewhere?
 

How to write good anchor text

Written by Hamish Braddick on April 1st, 2008.      0 comments

Anchor text is the visible, clickable text of a "text link" on a web page and is often made obvious with an underline, a blue colour or both.
Good anchor text will give visitors and search engines an “idea” for what the page being linked to is about.

Writing good anchor text makes it easy for website users to navigate and will also help with the ranking of a web page in the search engine results.
For example if someone liked this article they could link to it with the following anchor text:
Read this great article from Zeald
Unfortunately this does not let the search engines or the users know what the article is about. A better way to construct the same link might be:
Read this great article from Zeald about how to write good anchor text

Good for the users

Quick navigation - When users navigate a website, they will often “scan” a page looking for information of interest to them. By describing the page we link to in the anchor text, we make it easy for users to navigate to the areas they are interested in.
It is not helpful when all the links on a page say “click here” The user is forced to read the context of the link, or the text around the link to learn where it might take them.....often the user may not have the time or patience to do this.

Confident navigation - Descriptive anchor text in a link helps the user feel confident in their navigation. If all the link says is great article, the user will be unsure whether it is of interest to them, or if it will answer their question. It is very frustrating for the user when you force them to “guess” where the page will take them and even more frustrating when they guess wrong.
Of course when we don’t tell users to “click here” we need to make it obvious that they can “click here” We need to ensure that the link is obvious. Nothing says “link” like electric blue text with an underline. But sometimes more subtle variations will also suffice.

Good for the search engines

Inbound links build the trust and credibility of a web page when they are “judged” by a search engine during the ranking process. The text used around and within a link is very important for the search engine to determine the subject matter of the page that the link is connected to.
A good example of this is Google bombing. Google bombing is internet slang for an attempt to raise the ranking of a page in Google search results, using the Anchor text of external links (for humorous or malicious reasons). The most famous case targeted the phrase “miserable failure” and linked to the biography page of George Bush on the White House website.
Write good Anchor Text
When a user searched for “miserable failure” on Google they could find the official biography of George Bush at the top of the results page. Due to a targeted Google bomb
 

So how do we optimise our anchor text for the search engines?

Use good keywords. It is a waste of time optimising a page using a search terms that no one searches for, just as it is a waste of time optimising a page for an extremely competitive search term that would be impossible to gain a first page rank.
As is the case for most search engine optimisation efforts, you need to carefully research the keywords you want to target. You need to determine the search terms that will generate the greatest amount of conversions for your website business, and of course that you will be able to achieve a high ranking for.

Learn more about how to find the best keywords. Did you see what I did there?

Don’t use the same anchor text for all inbound links. Try to use variations of your anchor text. Mix it up. Google are continually looking for “spam” websites, and nothing says “automated links” than keyword stuffed repetitive link text.

It can be a subtle difference and should fit the context of the page that the link appears on. Try replacing some less important keywords or using plural. For example:
A great article explaining how to write good anchor text
Or like this
A great article about optimising your anchor text

The links should appear natural. That is what Google is looking for.

External links and internal links

We need to incorporate our search terms in the anchor text of the links that point to the page. By links we mean both the internal links within your own website and also the external links from other people’s websites.

Internal links are easy, but getting backlinks has got to be the greatest challenge of Search engine optimisation, especially backlinks that have meaningful anchor text.

You will have more control posting links to directories, forums and paid advertising, but outside these more obvious methods, we lose that control and it becomes much more difficult to dictate your anchor text.

But that is a separate article.....
 

Key Phrase Analyzer

Written by David Kelly on April 1st, 2008.      0 comments

Key phrase density is a very important factor when search engines are determining how highly they should rank your web page for a particular search phrase.

The Zeald Key Phrase Analyzer will help you to see which words and phrases are currently used the most on your web pages.  You can also use it on your competitors web pages to discover exactly what phrases they may be targeting.
Enter a url to analyse:

Options: Text to analyse:

Ignores
If these options are selected, matching words will be ignored from the the single word phrases. They will still be used in multiple word phrases.
Ignore standard ignored words
Ignore words less than characters long

 

Meta Tag Analyzer

Written by Hamish Braddick on April 1st, 2008.      0 comments

The Zeald Meta Tag Analyzer will help you to see what meta-tags you currently have on each of your web pages.  Correct use of meta-tags within your web pages can improve your rankings on some search engines.  You can also use the analyzer on your competitors web pages to discover exactly what meta-tags they are using.

Please enter a URL below and click the 'submit' button to see how a search engine would view the specified page.

URL:
 

Search Engine Marketing - An Overview

Written by Brent Kelly on April 1st, 2008.      0 comments

Optimising your website for the search engines is only one option for generating traffic for your website. Another option is to advertise on a search engine.

When advertising on a search engine, you pay for an advertisement to appear when a person searches for a particular keyword or phrase, relevant to your website. There are three common models search engines use for charging for advertisements- in fact; these models are common across all forms of online advertising:

  • Pay-Per-Impression (CPM)
In the Pay-Per-Impression model you are charged every time one of your advertisements is ‘served up’ to a viewer. With this model you are usually charged per 1000 impressions. The amount you are charged per 1000 impressions is called your Cost Per Impression or CPM. This model is the hardest to control, as you don’t know how many people will click on your advertisements, and then purchase products or services, or even make enquiries (although you will able to forecast this accurately after you have some historical results).

  • Pay-Per-Click (CPC)
With this model, you are charged for each click your ad listing receives. The amount you pay per click is called your Cost Per Click or CPC. Pay-per-click advertising is a lot more attractive than pay-per-impression advertising as you can manage your costs a lot easier- you only pay for visitors that have clicked-through to your website.

  • Pay-Per-Acquisition (CPA)
Pay-per-acquisition advertising is the best of the lot! In this model you pay only when someone purchases something from your website. You pay ‘a commission’ for a new customer! The amount you pay is called your Cost-Per-Acquisition or CPA. This method of charging is very common in affiliate programs.


Advertising Types

There are two common types of search engine advertising:

  • Fixed Placement Advertising
Fixed placement advertising is exactly how it sounds. It is an advertisement that is locked into a specific position on a search engine’s results page. Generally, the position of the advertisement doesn’t change. Many search engines reserve a portion of space at the top or side of their page for fixed placement ads.


The advantage of fixed place advertising is that you can lock-in your advertising rates and lock out your competitors from the top positions. Unfortunately, this type of advertising with the search engines is often very expensive and is usually in the realm of larger organisations with substantial advertising budgets.

  • Pay For Placement Advertising (PFP)
Pay for placement (PFP) advertising works like this - people bid for placement in the advertising slots provided by the search engines, on their results page. The highest bid wins the number one slot, second highest bid the second slot, and so on.

PFP advertising can change day-to-day as advertisers change their bid amounts, and as new advertisers start bidding. Almost all PFP advertising utilises a Pay-Per-Click method of charging. The advertiser pays each time a person clicks their advertisement.

PFP advertising is great for small businesses as you can trial it with very little advertising budget. You can often secure visitors to your website for just a few cents. Its only downside is that it can require substantial time and effort to manage it successfully.

The rest of this section focuses on PFP advertising, as this is the form of advertising that will be most applicable to the majority of our readers.


PFP Advertising Providers


In the PFP advertising world there are two main providers:

  • Google
Google runs a PFP system called Google Adwords. Google Adwords allows you to bid on keywords. When these key words are searched, an appropriate advertisement will appear on the right-hand side of the page, under the title– ‘Sponsored Links’.

Google Adwords allows you to target your advertisements to the New Zealand region without including the region in the keyword. What this means is that you don’t have to include the geographical region in the keyword that you are targeting, i.e., ‘New Zealand Meat’. Instead, you can just tell Google to only ‘serve’ advertisements to New Zealand-based searchers.

Any advertisements that you set up using Google Adwords will be displayed in these search engines: Google, Ask Jeeves, Teoma, Netscape Search and AOL Search.

  • Overture
    Overture is the biggest supplier of PFP advertising. Similar to Google Adwords, Overture allows you to bid on keywords that when searched show an advertisement on the right-hand side of the page under the tile – ‘Sponsored Results’.

Overture only allows you to target your advertisements to the Australasian region. The only way to target specifically to the New Zealand region is to include the region in the keyword. We are expecting Overture to upgrade their systems to include the New Zealand-only feature in the very near future.

Overture advertisements are displayed in these search engines: AllTheWeb, AltaVista, MSN Search and Yahoo.


There are also a number of smaller PFP providers:
  • FindWhat (http://www.findwhat.com)
  • LookSmart (http://www.looksmart.com)
  • Kanoodle (http://www.kanoodle.com)
  • Enhance Interactive (http://www.enhance.com)
  • Mamma Media Solutions (http://www.mammamediasolutions.com).



“Is Your Website Producing Amazing RESULTS?”


If you answer is anything less than a resounding yes, then you need to learn about Zeald. Because results that are anything less than ‘amazing’ means you are selling yourself short!



© Zeald 2005 – All Rights Reserved

 

Directory Submission & Advanced SEO Techniques

Written by Brent Kelly on April 1st, 2008.      0 comments

Directory Submission


Directories can have a serious impact on the results that you achieve in the crawler-based search engines. Submitting to the directories is a good idea – but they can take a substantial amount of time to list you. So start early!


One of the most important things that you must prepare before submitting yourself to a directory is an objective description of your website. Directories will frown upon any description that seems promotional in nature and will reject your listing. Make sure you prepare an objective, well-written description of your website before you start.


The key directories to list in are:

  • Open Directory Project (http://www.dmoz.org/add.html) – Free submission
  • Yahoo (http://au.docs.yahoo.com/info/suggest/splash.html)
     
    All commercial website submissions to the Yahoo directory attract a fee. This is currently AUD$495 annually. This is expensive and you will need to carefully consider its importance before proceeding. Our recommendation would be to do everything else and if you are still struggling to get good search engine rankings then consider submitting your site to Yahoo.


 
If you are a New Zealand-only business then it may well be worthwhile submitting to a number of New Zealand-based directories:

  • NZPages (http://www.nzpages.com) – Free submission
  • NZWebsites (http://www.newzealandwebsites.com) – Free submission
  • NZSearch (http://www.nzsearch.co.nz/addsite/) – Free submission
  • NZS (http://www.nzs.com/cgi-links/add.cgi) – Free submission.

 
 

Advanced SEO Techniques


If your search engine optimisation is vitally important, you may want to consider some of these more advanced SEO techniques:

 

  • Theme-Based Sites

     
    This technique involves creating a separate website that focuses on providing information that is related to the product or service you sell. If you are selling meat you could create a site that explains the details behind all the different cuts of meat– where they come from, what their characteristics are, and so on. Theme-based websites generally rank very well in the search engines because they are keyword rich! The theme-based website can then be used to channel visitors through to your main sales site.

 

  • Single Product or Service Sites

     
    Single product or service sites are websites that focus on a single product or service. This allows you to focus on the keywords and phrases that you want to target for that product or service. You can build a separate website for each of your products and then link between each of the websites (thus increasing your link popularity). This sort of approach can also have benefits for your sales copy, in that it enables you to write copy that is completely focused on the product that you are trying to sell.
     
    Single product or service sites can work well when you have between one and ten major products.
 

 


 

Professional SEO

 


In this section we have covered the fundamentals of SEO, which is an extremely dynamic and forever changing ‘science’. There are numerous sub-topics that we could have covered in this section– but SEO is a topic that could fill books.


If SEO is a crucial element of your website promotion strategy then you should seriously consider getting some help from a professional SEO company. SEO companies specialise in this area and are current with everything that is happening in the search engine world.


Talk to your E-Business Consultant or the Support Team if SEO is a crucial part of your website marketing strategy. Your consultant will be able to take you through the different professional SEO packages available.

 

The Importance of Links in Search Engine Ranking

Written by Hamish Braddick on April 1st, 2008.      0 comments

Links are currently the single most important component that a search engine uses to rank a website. Incoming links (links to your web page from another website), are highly valued by search engines, as they are difficult for a Webmaster to control and manipulate the ‘results’. Because of this they are considered by the search engines to be genuine indicators as to the true nature of the content of your website. There are three key things that a search engine considers when assessing your incoming links:

 

Popularity

How popular is your website? Do you have a lot of people with links to your site? You can check your link popularity by going to:

http://tools.marketleap.com/publinkpop/  or

http://www.linkpopularity.com

 

Relevancy

How relevant is the website that is linking to your website? Is its content in some way relevant to your website’s content? Is it in a similar subject space, but slightly different? Is it targeting similar keywords and about similar subjects?

 

Link Text

The text that is used within the link that is linked to your website is also very important (especially to Google). Try to include your keywords or phrases into the text that is linking to your site. Also think about the text that surrounds the area ‘linked-to’ on your site.


Search engines place a lot of emphasis on high numbers of websites linking to yours (if they’re all ‘deemed’ relevant to what yours is about).


If search engine optimisation is a crucial part of your website promotion then it is well worth spending time and effort on increasing the number of links to your website. The best way to do this is to set up a great website that attracts the interest of other website operators.


Build up a list of target websites that you would like to receive links from and then send an email or letter to their Webmaster or owner. A template for this email is provided below.


Expect a low response rate to these emails. Many Webmasters are very busy and sometimes they are just not concerned with their search engine rankings. However, the results that you can achieve from the extra links to your website can still make the effort worthwhile.

 

Link exchange template


Hi [Target's Name],

My name is [Insert Name] from [Insert Business Name]. I am currently in the process of working on the search engine rankings for our website and I noticed your website.

We have a website that [insert what your website does here].

I was hoping that you might consider linking to us and would like to invite you to review our website here [insert website address].

Many of the search engines currently place a lot of emphasis on link popularity, and since we both cater to a similar target market, but are not competitors, I believe that we can help each other to gain a better search engine rank by linking to each other’s website.

If you decide that a link to our website is appropriate and worthwhile, then please link to us. Perhaps the following link and description might assist you:
[Your site name and address] - [Your site description].

Please let me know if you would like to proceed and I will set up a link to your website from ours.

Thank you for taking the time to consider this. If you have any further questions or queries please don’t hesitate to contact me.

With regards,
---
[Insert email signature here]

 

Web Page Optimisation

Written by Hamish Braddick on April 1st, 2008.      0 comments

This section looks at how you can optimise your web pages to increase your chances of achieving good page rankings, for target keywords and phrases within the search engines.


Search engines rank your web page, for a keyword or phrase, based on the location of the keyword or phrase and the frequency the keyword or phrase appears in your page. Location is where on the web page a keyword or phrase is located and frequency is how often it appears on the web page, with some locations more important than others. Each of the key locations is outlined below, ranked in order of highest importance:

 

Title

The most important place to locate your keywords or phrases is in your web page titles. The title is the text that appears in the title bar of the web browser.

 

Headings

The second most important place to locate your keywords and phrases is in the headings of your website content. Within any web page you can have different levels of headings (heading 1, 2, 3 and so on). ‘Heading 1’ is the most important, with sub-headings having less ‘importance’.

 

Main text

The main text is one of the key content areas of your web page. It is the key area where you can influence the frequency of a keyword or phrase on your web page.


Graphics

Text that is inserted as a graphic on your web page cannot be ‘indexed’ by the search engines. However, graphics can include something called ‘alt’ text, which describes what the image is ‘about’, and this can be indexed. Make sure you use the ‘alt’ field to describe what each of your images is about.

 

Meta

Meta data is the information that is included on a web page that is invisible to the online user, but is visible to a search engine. Meta information is designed to explain to a search engine what a web page is about. There are a number of different types of Meta information that can be included in a web page. The two most important types are:

 

  • Meta description

The Meta description in a web page describes in ‘plain English’ what the web page is about. The Meta description is very important, as some search engines will use this to describe your web page in the search results.

 

  • Meta keywords

The Meta keywords in a web page outline the key words that best describe the content of your web page. The use of Meta keywords has been subject to abuse by many authors in a quest to obtain higher search engine rankings. Because of this, many search engines now disregard Meta keywords completely, so do not spend too much time on your Meta keywords selection.


It is difficult to balance the needs of writing good sales copy versus the needs of writing copy that is optimised for the search engines. It is something that you will have to work out to achieve the best balance that you possibly can. That or hire one of our specialists to do this for you.


Look to write your copy so that your shortlist of keywords and phrases appear in the elements listed above as often as possible. Try different variations and measure the results.

 

Search Engine Optimization & Keyword Research

Written by Hamish Braddick on April 1st, 2008.      0 comments

Search engines can be a powerful way to channel targeted traffic to your website. But, generally people will only click on websites that are shown in the first couple of pages of the search engines results. Search engine optimisation is the process by which an individual can optimise their website so that their web pages rank higher in search engine results for certain keywords or phrases.

There are two major areas that search engines use to rank your website:

  • Keywords & key phrases
  • Links

We are going to look at each of these areas in detail, but before we do – the rules or algorithms that search engines use to rank web pages, change constantly. If search engines are a key part of your website promotion strategy and you are in charge of it, then it is imperative that you keep up with what is happening in the search engine world. The best resources that we have found on the Web for keeping abreast with changes are:

We are not going to look at any of the more advanced forms of search engine optimisation as these methods can change quite drastically over a number of months.

In this section we will cover the fundamentals of search engine optimisation. It is recommended that you look at the sites above for a detailed view of the advanced concepts of search engine optimisation; even better, hire a professional. Talk to the Support Team for our recommendations for a search engine optimisation specialist.

Keyword Research

Before you optimise your website for the search engines you need to decide what keywords and key phrases you will target in the search engines. You will want to target keywords and phrases that your target customers will be searching on. 

Try to think about keywords and phrases that are not too common. Also think about combinations of keywords such as “barbeque steak, order online, New Zealand”.

Think about your target customer– put yourself in their shoes. If you were your customer, what would you type into a search engine if you were searching for your product or service? Unless you have a well-established brand, they will definitely not type-in your brand name. They are going to search for the type of product or service they are looking for, or the features of the product or service they are looking for.

Start brainstorming a list of keywords and phrases that your target customer is likely to be searching on. Think about what your product or service does. What are the features?

Check out your competition to see what keywords they are targeting. You can use the Meta Magic (http://www.siteowner.com/system/meta.cfm) website to check out the keywords your competitors use.

Think about misspellings, variations and strange ways of typing your key phrases. It’s amazing how much traffic you can receive based on words that are spelled incorrectly.

Geo-Targeting keywords

Geo-targeting your keywords is where you target your keywords at a particular geographical region or population segment. Remember – most search engines are global. But if you can only deliver products or services within a specific geographical location, then consider targeting your keywords at that geographical area. For example, if you deliver Indian meals in Albany, Auckland, then use keywords like “New Zealand, Albany, Indian Food”. 

Finally, once you have a long list of keywords and key phrases it is time to do some analysis on them to see which are the best ones to target.

WordTracker (www.wordtracker.com) is a tool that tells you how often people are searching on a particular keyword or phrase and how many competing websites are targeting those keywords or phrases. WordTracker is a paid service, but it does have a ‘demo’ option that allows you to check the search results of the ‘AltaVista’ search engine only. Often the demo option will be enough to give you a good overall idea of what is happening with each of your keywords.

You can also download a free tool called “Good Keywords” (http://www.goodkeywords.com/). Good Keywords works in a similar way to WordTracker.

Based on the information provided by WordTracker or Good Keywords, you should be able to narrow your list down to a small set of keywords and phrases to target.

Now you should be able to produce a list of the following:

  • No.1 Keyword or Phrase

    Your No.1 keyword or phrase is the priority keyword or phrase that you would like to target in the search engines.

  • Secondary Keywords or Phrases

    Your secondary keywords or phrases should be a short list of secondary keywords and phrases that you would also like to target.

 

Types of Search Engines

Written by David Kelly on April 1st, 2008.      3 comments

Search engines are an extremely powerful way of promoting your website online. Consider them your silent Public Relations firm, quietly working in the background. Many studies have shown that between 40% and 80% of users found what they were looking for by using the search engine feature of the Internet.


According to Search Engine Watch (http://www.searchenginewatch.com) – 625 million searches are performed every day!


The great thing about search engines is they bring targeted traffic to your website. These people are already motivated to make a purchase from you- because they searched you out.


With the right website optimisation, the search engines can always deliver your site to your audiences.
 
 

Crawler-Based Search Engines


Crawler-based search engines use automated software programs to survey and categorise web pages. The programs used by the search engines to access your web pages are called ‘spiders’, ‘crawlers’, ‘robots’ or ‘bots’.

A spider will find a web page, download it and analyse the information presented on the web page. This is a seamless process. The web page will then be added to the search engine’s database. Then when a user performs a search, the search engine will check its database of web pages for the key words the user searched on to present a list of link results.

The results (list of suggested links to go to), are listed on pages by order of which is ‘closest’ (as defined by the ‘bots’), to what the user wants to find online.

Crawler-based search engines are constantly searching the Internet for new web pages and updating their database of information with these new or altered pages.

Examples of crawler-based search engines are:

 
 

Directories


A ‘directory’ uses human editors who decide what category the site belongs to; they place websites within specific categories in the ‘directories’ database. The human editors comprehensively check the website and rank it, based on the information they find, using a pre-defined set of rules.

There are two major directories at the time of writing:


Note: Since late 2002 Yahoo has provided search results using crawler-based technology as well as its own directory.
 
 

Hybrid Search Engines


Hybrid search engines use a combination of both crawler-based results and directory results. More and more search engines these days are moving to a hybrid-based model. Examples of hybrid search engines are:

 
 

Meta Search Engines


Meta search engines take the results from all the other search engines results, and combine them into one large listing. Examples of Meta search engines include:

 
 

Specialty Search Engines


Specialty search engines have been developed to cater for the demands of niche areas. There are many specialty search engines, including:

 

  • Shopping

  -  Froogle (www.froogle.com)

  -  Yahoo Shopping (www.shopping.yahoo.com)

  -  BizRate (www.bizrate.com)

  -  PriceGrabber (www.pricegrabber.com)

  -  PriceSpy (www.pricespy.co.nz)

 

  • Local Search

  -  NZPages (www.nzpages.co.nz)

  -  SearchNZ (www.searchnz.co.nz)

  -  NZS (www.nzs.com)

 

  • Domain Name Search

  -  iServe (www.iserve.co.nz)

  -  Freeparking (www.freeparking.co.nz)

 

  • Freeware & Shareware Software Search

  -  Tucows (www.tucows.com)

  -  CNET Download.com (www.download.com)

 

About Zeald

Zeald was formed in late 2000 by three young guys from the small New Zealand town of Mangawhai Heads. 14 years later, Zeald is one of the largest and fastest growing website design and e-business consultancy companies in New Zealand. This is the Zeald story …

Contact us

New Zealand

0508 932 748

Australia

1800 224 032

Zeald, 42 Tawa Dr, Albany, Auckland 0632

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