SEO Tips

Web Design Basics

You can not hope to specialize if you don’t have your basics right. After all what you build on a shaky base is doomed to shatter. Let me illustrate three very basic, but often undermined principles of web design. It will give you an idea what to look for when browsing templates or portfolios and will help you distinguish between good and bad work.

The most important tool to highlight areas of the site is contrast. Without the correct application of contrast a site often appears haphazard and difficult to read. By using the correct amount of contrast in your fonts, backgrounds, objects and styles you will incorporate a much more professional looking design. Despite what most people think contrast is more about difference than it is about colors. Use whatever tools you have to make text contrast including text tricks like bold, caps and underline where necessary so that your page has obvious “hot spots” for people to review.

A great example of this is hyperlinks inside text. Always set your style to underline and change the color of hyperlinks (preferably the default blue) so that people’s eyes are drawn to them inside blocks of text. Use color contrast between menus, logos and the main part of the page so that people can easily break these components up inside their minds. Be careful not to over do it though! High contrast pages are difficult to read (white text on a black background or purple and green are complete non no) so remember to consider practicality before creative expression.

The most important factor in a website design is the way the elements of a design are balanced on a page. The abstract layout will instantly convey a basic message about your site. Symmetrical or simply balanced sites will create a calming tone while asymmetrical or complex designs will create an excited feeling. A website is a dynamic entity, so maintaining the balance becomes all the more difficult. Your screen may view it perfectly balanced in 1280×1024 but someone’s 800×600 screens may throw it totally off. It is always a good idea to use a tool or plug-in to view your design in different resolutions before you purchase or deploy the site.

Common solutions to help you overcome balancing a site including using the “float” attribute and centering text or objects. If you want to achieve a symmetrical look be careful not to just center all elements. You will end up with a boring or flat design that they are not eye-catching and look extremely amateurish. If you are attempting to create an asymmetrical design then remember that it’s into just about piling everything onto one side, you must still create a feel of balance despite the fact your site is not symmetrical. You can do this either by placing smaller items opposite large items or even by pitting images against text or solid, dark colors against transparent or light objects.

Rhythm is sometimes called repetition and is a vital part of constructing a website as it helps your website flow between pages. It gives your visitors an easier and more fulfilling browsing experience as the brain will recognize the repetition in the template and focus on the new parts of a page. This is very important as if you keep disorientating the visitor they will quickly become fatigued and are likely to leave the site. Moreover, if your have successfully associated the website appearance with a brand then marketing have a whole new area to explore. It also means a redesign will have a big impact on the site in the future, a service that will likely swing back round to you if you did a good job in the first place.

Google in Record Time in very Simple Steps

I got into search engine optimization back in 1999. It sure has changed a lot since then. Back in the day you could use invisible text, load keywords to the point of overflowing and fill META tags with anything even close to what you had on your page. And you could do well on Google, Yahoo, Alta Vista; all the biggies. Not anymore.

Today SEO is about a 75% / 25% split between links and content, with inbound links being the most important thing. Especially on Google. When all is said and done, you can get to the top of Google in just two simple steps. Seriously. I’ve done it hundreds of times and it’s easier than you’d imagine.

Step 1: Develop Great Content
Writing great SEO content is a snap if you follow this simple 5 step formula…

1.) Write naturally as if speaking with a friend. Record yourself actually speaking to a friend about the topic of your Web page and it will all come together automatically.

2.) Limit each page to 2 to 3 keywords or keyword phrases.

3.) Mention each keyword no more than 4 times per page and split the usage somewhat equally between paragraphs. Two mentions of your most important keyword in the first paragraph is the only real exception. And be sure you mention each toward the end of the page to show overall consistency and topic authenticity.

4.) Try to incorporate the first mention of each keyword into hyperlink anchor text. The link should lead to another page of your site. (Note: The keyword would then be the clickable text leading to your other page.)

5.) Have between 150 and 250 words of text per keyword. So if you have 3 keywords on one page, you will have about 600 words on that page, in total.

That’s the quick and dirty SEO content writers course. And believe me, it works!

Step 2: Link Like the Pros (Part 1; Strategize)
Linking is a bit more involved. The main thing to remember is that you want as many high quality, topic relevant links as you can get. And you want them all using the same exact URL since Google sees URLs that begin with “http://www” differently than links that begin with just “www”. In other words, even if you have 200 links to your page, if they are split between URL formats, you are not getting full credít for the links.

And forget all that stuff about links to the homepage being “a must.” Sure, having inbound links go to your homepage is great but Google has smartened up. They figure your site overall is probably not that great if nobody bothers linking to your actual content pages. While it’s true that Google ranks pages rather than sites, they do still base each of your page’s worth on its supporting pages.

I won’t bore you with a bunch of techno babble. In short, if you keep this in mind, you’ll always be ahead of the game:

1.) Inbound links should be from pages containing relevant content of a similar nature.

2.) Links to your pages from outside pages with high Google PageRank (GPR) are most desirable. (Note: GPR is NOT the page’s position on Google. It is a value, from 1 to 10, that Google assigns to all Webpages.)

3.) Links from (not to) a homepage are typically most valuable, unless they have a higher GPR page to link from. Focus on the GPR. If you use software like that mentioned below, it will do all this automatically. If you do it all manually, get the free Google Toolbar. GPR is shown for every page (that has any) on the Internet.

4.) Inbound links to your pages should feature your keyword as the anchor text triggering the hyperlink (keyword is the clickable part leading to your page.)

5.) Do NOT use generic text for your link’s surrounding content. Make the sentence as relevant as possible.

6.) Use as many variations of your link’s surrounding content as possible so the search engines don’t view your inbound links as duplicate content.

Step 2: Link Like the Pros (Part 2; Do It)
As far as actually getting great links, avoid the automated script based reciprocal link services. A lot of these services link your pages to “gray barred” pages, which means your site can get kicked off Google as well. And to be honest, reciprocal links are not nearly as valuable to Google as they once were, especially the junk link pages most of these services create.

If you want the “set it and forget it” convenience of a linking service, but not the problems I just mentioned, you might want to try one like Although I’m not a fan of any linking service, this one is the best I’ve come across so far. They set it up so your page links to another, which links to a third, which links to you. There is no direct reciprocal beeline back to your page and each link is counted as a one way inbound link by Google, which is the most valuable type of link.

Of course, natural linking is the way to go whenever possible. Google LOVES links that are part of page content (see the anchor text notes above.) And getting great links like this is easier than ever with the right software so don’t sweat the time or effort. Both are minimal.

The product a lot of SEO pros use (myself included) is SEO Elite. It works great as both a full function link building tool and ranking checker for all major search engines. Even if you don’t need the app, take advantage of the free videos on the site. They explain special linking considerations, like special reserved commands such as “allinanchor” and how to find Google “Authority sites.” You can still benefit from the information, even without the tool.

Big Tip: When approaching other sites for links, try to get your link as anchor text in the actual page content, or a margin. Also do their link that way and explain the benefits and how much Google loves this type of natural content linking.

So there you have it; everything you need to get your pages on top of Google in record time. Best of luck. You’ll do great!

SEO Promote Site Ideas

Search Engine Submission
Search engine submission is very basic and everybody should do this on their sites. Search engine submission is very easy to do and it’s free. Just go to major search engines and click on, usually, their help links to find out how to submit your site to their database.
You do not need to submit to ALL search engine available on the Internet. You only need to submit to major search engines such as Google, Yahoo and MSN. Basically, All search engines share the same result and smaller search engines take their result from major search engines as well.
One site that you CAN’T forget to submit is is a free, and biggest, human indexed directory. It’s not automated, or robot, indexed directory, it’s human edited. It will take a while to get your site listed here, but once you are listed, your site will be visible to almost every search engine.

Podcasting is another creative way to promote your site. For those don’t familiar with podcast, podcasting is like having your own radio show. You record your own show about whatever the topic you are interested in, convert it to MP3 or suitable format, then post it on your site and make it available for download. Well, of course you will have to buy all necessary equipments for podcasting, such as voice recorder.
While podcast is a good way to promote your site, bad podcast can ruin you forever. Good and fun podcast will have your listeners to tell everybody about you. How successful your podcast is depend on the topic that you provided and what are the interested parties. Deep information and knowledge about the topic can help your podcasting skill. Again, the creativity is the limit here.
One thing I found out about podcasting is people like new things, such as new development, new technologies, new gossip, new discoveries, new research, latest news, etc. To provide latest update in your industry / topic is one of the fundamental keys to the success of the podcast.

Video Cast
It’s pretty much the same with podcasting. The only difference is: it’s video! So, instead of having your own radio show, this is like having your own tv show. This is what you’ve always senn on or Same thing with podcasting, video casting requires equipments too.
Fresh and new idea, deep information and knowledge, and high video quality are the keys to successful video casting. With video, you can actually do much more than just sounds. You do not have to do video of yourself, you can also do characters animation if you have the sills. Once again, the limit is your creativity.

Blog / Blogging
Blog, or blogging, is to write journals, whether it is about yourself, your job, or anything, and post it in your blog. This about this when you do blog: what people really interested to read? For example, blogging in latest news will have less readers than if you are writing about American Idols contestants’ stupidity. What people like the most? What is most popular?
Of course you don’t have to always write something that people like the most. Providing deep information about your topic can also be the key to your success. Blogging requires high skill of writing because there are millions of bloggers, people that do blog, out there. If you can’t bring your readers’ emotion through your writing, you are most likely out of the list. Good skill of sending the message, bringing the emotion, telling the stories and putting feelings to words are some of the keys to successful blogging.
If you are not good at blogging / writing, don’t worry. Blogging skills is something you can teach yourself, it doesn’t require you to born with blogging skills. Just keep writing and practice makes it perfect. As you write more and more, more vocabularies and ideas will come to you just like that. Soon you will find yourself do endless blog and have no space to fill it anymore. Reading articles or other blogs will also help you to possess good writing skill.
Not only blogging will help you promote your site, but blogging can also help you build links. Links will eventually help your PageRank in Google and many other major search engines. When you do blogging, include some links that will refer to your own site. This case applies if you have separate blog from your main site. For example, your main site is Your blog’s site can’t be something like It’s better if you have separate domain for your blog site. You can find many free blogging site such as

Article Submission
In addition to blogging, you can also write articles / tutorials for your own site. Post this article / tutorial in your own site and SUBMIT the article to other websites. For example, you are writing a recipe how to make Delicious Blackforest Cake. After you have your recipe on your own site, you can submit the url of your recipe to others webiste that focus on baking.
Do not limit your articles / links submission to websites only. If you like to hangout in baking / cake / recipes forums, submit your recipe to that forum too. Put your recipe / link to your website as your forum’s signature. Just remember to sumit the link, not the recipe. Most websites and forums will keep the links for long time. This is good for your search engine recognition.

Content Writing
Content writing is about the same as blogging. The difference is content writing usually more focus on the topic it’s presenting. The information usually deeper and contain more useful information about the topic. Blogging is usually short story / news that doesn’t require very much time to read, maybe about 5 minutes. Content writing is more focus article and usually discuss the sub topics as well.
You can also submit your content writting to any related websites. Content writing will expose yourself and show your experiences and knowledges about the topic. It will also show to others your professionalism. Good content writters will yield recognition in the community / industry you are in.

Free Stuff, Newsletter, Software, Wallpaper, Ringtones, etc
Admit it that you like free stuff. Yes, everybody else does too. People like free stuff. Giving away free stuff can help to increase your site’s traffic. Anything that you can give away for free. The catch is it’s not free / cheap to give away free stuff. You will have to spend money, most likely, in order to provide free stuff. Giving away free stuff is just one of marketing promotion.
I remembered when Microsoft gave away free keyboard about two years ago. When the site was launched, people were rushing to sign up to get free keyboard from Microsoft. As a result, the site freeze up and I didn’t get one. This is one of the example that free stuff is not always free for you. You will have to spend some money. But, you can use the chance to promote your product and maybe generating sales through the traffic.

Holding a contest with promising prize can help promote your website too. Contest can also in form of Scholarship. The only thing with contest is, again, you have to spend money. Contest can drive interested parties to your website and, thus, generating traffic, or maybe income / sales, to your website. Another thing about the contest is you have to promote it. This is easier part because, firstly, many websites provide this service for free. Secondly, every human being have a nature to compete with others and prizes stimulate their competition skills.

Fresh Idea
This is hardest one. Create your site with fresh idea that no one has ever done before. Then, find your way up to get some visitors and recognition from media, such as TV, Radio Broadcast, newspaper, or online website. Once you are recognized, your site will rocket up just like that. But, before that, find a good, fresh and simple idea that everybody likes and can take a benefit from. This is not easy at all. Good example is

Test your webpage in different browsers

While most people use Internet Explorer, a sizable portion of your users will use other browsers such as Firefox or Safari. Therefore it’s prudent to check your web design on different browsers to ensure all users view the webpage as it’s intended.

:: Browsershots is the most comprehensive service, offering multiple versions of browsers for various operating systems.
:: BrowserCamp focuses on Mac browsers.
:: BrowserCam offers a 24 hour free trial period.
:: Litmus cover Windows browsers.

Importance of effective web content for SEO

You have a well designed website with perfect usage of flash banners and graphic designs, with proper site navigation and easy accessibility. Still do you feel that you are not getting the desired visitors and sales to your site? I suggest you probably need to work on the content in the site. I believe it is essential to have effective web content in a website, to attract the search engines.

Search Engine Optimization
Search engines ranking or position websites based on two factors:

1. Is your site relevant to the search words? (Optimized)
2. Is your site important? (Many links back to your website from other websites)

Only when you address both of these are you guaranteed of making an impact. Your degree of success depends on how hard you try and how many other people you’re competing against and how hard they’re trying. This is the process that we follow at Doug Williams and Associates.

So how can one write effective content for their websites? Read it as “effective writing” and not “lengthy writing”. Out of my experience as an SEO consultant and professional content writer, the more crisp and easy to understand the content is, the greater are the chances for it to become a hit among the readers. Also I am of the opinion that regularly updating your website with data that is useful for the visitors would divert more traffic to your site. When do you think one needs to consider re-writing their website content? I have come across the following observations that I have mentioned below:

* Traffic inflow is good, but the conversion is not as expected, because the visitors are probably not getting what they expected out of the contents.
* When the content is very less and the site is filled with only graphics and Flash designs
* The content in the website is not explaining more about your business and gives irrelevant information to your visitors.

I have found the following tips highly helpful in maintaining effective SEO web copy for websites:

* Know your audience: Understand who are your audience and write keeping them in mind. Also write stuff that they can relate themselves to and what is realistic.
* Give a clear picture of your business: The content in your website should give exact details of your business. This helps in your audience getting a better idea of your business, thereby encouraging an inflow of website-relevant traffic.
* Make the content heading more appealing: Now that you know your audience well, next try writing stuff that will appeal to them. For example, if your visitors are going to be more of careful and budget-conscious family ladies, then you could write articles like “Top 8 ways to organize your household budget effectively”(Gosh! Am sure I myself would be interested to read it as well, and am not even married!) The heading has a striking impact to attract readers and wins a main part of the battle of bringing in traffic.
* Give them some useful information: Well you have clearly understood who your visitors are going to be and you have catchy headings as well. But what if the content inside is of no use to the audience. Write stuff that contains utilitarian information to your clients.
* Choose apt keywords: You have got to think from a normal layman’s point of view, who is searching for products. Choose probable keywords that your audience would search in the search engines.
* Use Keyword phrases: Bank on phrases and not single words as keywords, because the probability of searchers using phrases of words is more.
* Keyword phrases in Meta tags, links and headings: Now that you have frozen on the keyword phrases, use them in Meta tags, link them with text links, so that the pages get related to one another. This increases the probability of search engines spotting them out. Also use these phrases in headings as well
* Check and re-check! And more importantly, check and recheck whatever you have written, to overrule any spelling or grammatical errors.

According to me, these are certain ideal steps that you can follow from the SEO point of view, to optimize your site. I am sure, if written smartly and relevantly, web contents would help give a boost to your website, thereby increasing relevant traffic and sales conversion.

Search engine optimization process:
* Understanding your marketing plan, products / services, competition, etc. prior to the start of any work.
* Choosing the right keywords or phrases that describe your product or service.
* Using these keywords and phrases with the right prominence and frequency throughout the text. Having the right amount of text to satisfy the search engines.
* Placing these keywords in meta tags, and alt tags with the right prominence and frequency in the HTML code.
* The analysis of the HTML code and the debugging for errors that many sites have.
* Creating links from other relevant websites to yours to improve your link popularity and therefore improving of your ranking with many of the search engines

Estimates are that only 2-5% of the websites today have been optimized. With the growing number of websites being added by businesses and individuals, the only way to stay visible in the World Wide Web is SEO. Optimization helps your site to obtain top rankings.

Website optimization is not cheap, it requires many hours of analysis and investigation by experts. But the results can be astounding. Your website visibility can increase dramatically, saving you a lot of money that you would constantly need to spend on advertising otherwise.

Remember SEO is not using trickery to fool the search engines. It is not using spamming techniques that will only improve your chances of being dropped from search results altogether. It does not involve the use of “throwaway” domains or “shadow” domains. Such tricks will cause you to be dropped completely and at best only work for a short time.

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