Archive for the ‘Featured Article’ Category

The Perfect Landing Page

The Perfect Landing Page – *click to enlarge*

I was driving back from New Hampshire yesterday after hiking to the top of Mt. Jackson with a Scout Troop, when I saw a U-haul truck with a very interesting advertisement on the back.  You can click on the picture to enlarge it – it’s an ad for a partner of U-Haul called “eMove”…the URL it gives is findmovinghelp.com.   I don’t fully understand the relationship between the two companies, but this advertisement was *clearly* designed by an online marketer.

In fact, it looks like a perfect paid search landing page.  Which isn’t a bad idea perhaps;  I am no expert in outdoor advertising, but human nature is probably largely the same in front of a keyboard as it is in front of a dashboard.

Many  principles ought to apply as best practices for *both* outdoor advertising and online advertising.  Let’s dissect this ad and see what we can learn. Read on »

Thinking about Outreach

“I Link…Therefore…”

Commenting in a thoughtful manner can be a great way to engage with your audience and peers, build links, and even garner click-through traffic.  I’m *not* talking here about spamming WordPress blogs with thousands of auto-generated comments using automated tools.  “Thoughtful” commenting, as I call it, adds value to the conversation, and makes the internet a better place, not a worse one.  This article will detail best practices for what can be perfectly legitimate marketing practice, done properly and with the right intentions. Read on »

Also...it goes without saying...don't use "frames" or anything "flash"-y

Also...of course...don't use "frames" or anything "flash"-y

Many of my clients tend to start out an engagement by making various website changes, and often they are even already in the middle of, or about to embark on, a complete website redesign.

There are numerous articles and books about how to optimize website designs, but for SEO and Paid Search, there seem to always be some issues that perenially come up (the “usual suspects”) – all  well worth highlighting.

Here is a standard, quick checklist I’ve developed for use with new and existing websites, to ensure the website is optimized for SEO and PPC purposes. Read on »

Provisioning a Server in Days of Yore

Provisioning a Server in The Good Old Days

SEO Tools, particularly website audit ones like Xenu Link Sleuth or PowerMapper SortSite, can sometimes take a long time to run when examining particularly large websites.  Occasionally you may even need to reboot your machine for some other reason, which then ruins some particular run of these tools, forcing you to start over.

I recently got frustrated with this (and my laptop hitting near-Fahrenheit-451*-levels when doing site audits) and began looking for cheap solutions for running Windows software remotely.

*R.I.P. Ray Bradbury!

Why Cheap “VPS” Services Seem Like a *Really* Bad Idea
My understanding of most VPS (virtual private server) services is, they aren’t necessarily virtual private servers in actuality – most are merely an *account* on a virtual private server, Read on »

No Links to Poor Richard's Almanac?   Major Fail, Mr. Franklin!

No Links to Poor Richard's Almanac? Major Fail, Mr. Franklin!

There are many ways to go about getting links;  the different methods vary widely.  I recently helped some clients with their linking strategies, and when I did, I researched a wide range of approaches from the perspective of a number of characteristics.

This article presents a massive comparison chart that may even make you reconsider certain link building practices you might already be pursuing. Let’s get a few points straight first though. Read on »

Optimization of Design Can Lead to *Big* Wins

Optimization of Design Led to a BIG Win

If you want to “Bring Back the SEO Cup”, you would do well to emulate the folks who designed and built the “Stars and Stripes” yacht back in 1986 and ensure that your website has a highly optimized design.

There are a number of SEO design principles for website architecture that have been extensively written on in the industry, including “Mapping Keywords to Content”, “Siloing”,  “Keeping Your Website Shallow”, “PageRank Sculpting”, and “Internal Anchor Text Sculpting”.  These principles are important because although you may not be able to control how much the outside world links to you, how your website is organized is completely under your own control, so you should take full advantage of your options in designing it.

This article will walk through the theoretical basis of each, so you can understand not only how to apply these principles, but *why* you should.

*Shout-out to my father, Dave Ives, who wrote an early Fast Fourier
Transform computer program that ended up being
used to help optimize
the hydrodynamic design of the Stars and Stripes ’87 – great work Dad!

Read on »

Must!.....Document!.....Googles!.....Crawlers!

Must.....Document.....Google's.....Crawlers!

Of the major disciplines in SEO, architecture is perhaps the most important of all.  This is because if you don’t take into account Google crawling behavior and Google can’t properly spider your website and discover your content, then it won’t matter if it’s the right content, whether it’s optimized, or whether you have obtained any links to it.   It may as well not exist if Google can’t discover it.

You’re probably familiar with Google’s spider program, Googlebot, but there are many other ways that Google visits your website.  This posting will attempt to pull them all together, and raises some open questions about Google crawling behavior for the community because some aspects of Google’s numerous spiders are still relatively mysterious. Read on »

These Tools Are The Greatest Invention Since This Thing

These Tools Are The Greatest Invention Since This Thing

Search Engine Tools are a dime a dozen, but most only do a very tiny micro-task; substantially useful tools are few and far between.  Here are my personal favorite free search optimization tools for SEO; some may be familiar but hopefully there’s a few surprises in here for you Read on »

We Burned a British Ship *Before* the Tea Party, and refused to Sign the Constitution until the Bill of Rights Was Added

We Burned a British Ship *Before* the Boston Tea Party, and Refused to Sign the Constitution until the Bill of Rights was Added

For an SEO consultant in Rhode Island (just as for any business), it’s important to leverage all possible marketing channels to reach potential clients.  Word of mouth and references from website design firms and various website and internet solution providers can be key.  With this in mind, I recently met with a local RI marketer who may be able to help me with some SEO consulting references, and in the process, I might be able to help him with his clients in RI search optimize their websites.  He mentioned he has been doing a lot of on-page optimization for his firm’s marketing services, and even with little to no link building, they are ranking well and getting some good leads.

This prompted me to take a look at whether I rank for any terms people local to me care about, and I don’t.  In fact, I have to confess that, while one might think I must be doing all kinds of crazy things to optimize this blog Read on »

SEO News

SEO News

For some time now, I’ve been developing a personal news aggregation website focused completely on SEO.  I’ve decided to go ahead and make it available to the community at large.

Here’s the features:

Read on »