your link to better business solutions

How to Choose the Right SEO Vendor: Responding to Rand

Rand Fishkin of SEOMoz fame just wrote How to Choose The Right SEO Vendor. It’s solid, but I’m going to take advantage of my additional age experience and point out a few issues:

“Start with your Goals”

Absolutely. If you know what your goals are. If not, I suggest that this is a great opportunity to evaluate your potential SEO vendor. If they say something like ‘get a high ranking’ show them out.

If they say ‘increase sales’ or ‘improve visit quality’ or ‘increase non-branded search traffic’, say ‘hmmmm’, furrow your brow, and put them on your short list. They’re a keeper.

“Connect with your Social Network”

Yup. No arguments at all. Just remember your ‘social network’ includes some unique devices: The phone and face-to-face meetings.

“Get Advice from SEO-savvy People You Trust”

Again, no argument.

But make sure ‘SEO-savvy’ means ‘knows about SEO’ and not ‘Read an article in an airline magazine and now understands how important the keywords meta tag really is’.

“Ask for a List of Past Success Stories (not just clients)”

Bingo. This is the key. Listen not just to the success stories, but how the SEO discusses them.

Do they talk about advice and strategy? Good.

Do they talk about tricks and sneakery? Bad.

“Talk on the Phone or (if possible) Get Together”

A must. Do not hire an SEO until you’ve spoken to them.

SEO is like any other marketing. Chemistry matters.

“Present a Few Initial Issues Over Email”

I’m ambivalent about this one. You probably don’t know what the real issues are.

Instead, ask the potential SEO vendors what they’d fix.

“References?”

I agree with Rand. References are worthless. You think I’m going to refer you to people who hate me?

“Get an Informal Proposal from your top 2-3 Vendors”

Again, no arguments. Especially on the price. You get what you pay for. Don’t forget it. You want to make $500,000 on your web site? You’d damned well better be willing to spend more than $15,000.

“Have Smart, Sensible People to Review the Contract”

Hmmm. Put a contract in front of the smartest, most sensible people and they start acting like George Bush at a press conference.

Try it if you want, but remember: This is your decision. Look out for contracts that:

  • Lock you in for a year with no termination clause.
  • Let the vendor retain ownership of keywords and/or content.
  • Make sure they include some basic deliverables and a timeline.
  • Please, god, don’t get a lawyer to review it unless you really have to. I guarantee weeks of haggling. And the most airtight contract won’t prevent the vendor from flipping you the bird. It’s about finding people you can trust.

“Go With Your Gut”

Amen. Obey this above all else.

10 Coolest Strategies To Increase Blog Reach

Blogging is not only publishing the content and sharing over the media. It should be an strategy to build blog readers, links for your blog and authority of blog and establishing a brand name. In the last post Manish has described 10 newest ways to increase blog traffic. Which are really helpful for any blog or site. I am discussing here some of other strategies which can be also helpful in increasing you blog traffic.

Well content is most important thing in the blogs but way of presentation is also important. Some people use images, podcasts, videos to promote their site and blogs. These are always beneficial in the blog traffic. Now you will think that only these strategies can help your blog traffic then it is not true, these strategies will help you when you apply these strategies to generate useful and resourceful content.

I am going through a list to describe these strategies. We are also interested to apply these strategies here on SEOmegaCorp and I hope you will find good results after applying these strategies for your blog.

  1. Cover Various Topics on Blog: Blogging about various topics will obviously send you different types of readers according to their interest. You have to cover various topics on blog then you will find the different type of content regularly and it will help you when you are not writing regularly according to your blog theme.

    There are various blogs which are using this tact and some of them created sub domains for their podcasts and video categories. I liked how Boing Boing set up a sub domain for video posts and gadgets.

  2. Content By Various Authors: It is very popular strategy for creating regular content on site. If there is only one writer then it is not possible to generate new content on regular basis. Hire or provide open submission on the site from other users which should be moderated by the editors of the blog. If you are doing so then you will get various types of new stories that will justify the categories on blog. And it will best practice when your blog will publish at least one story for each category each day.
  3. Use Language Which is Easy to Understand: It is other way to attract the peoples who are visiting your site. If you publish content in easy language then it will better for your blog readers. The readers like the those content which are easily understandable, why the posts which contain images are generally liked by peoples? The Reason is they easily understand the post by relevant images. So, use easy language and write content in a good manner.
  4. Create a Forum for Social Discussion: Provide a forum for the readers where they can discuss social issues. It will provide stickiness, means readers will come again and again on your site forum for discussing issues and also for help from the community forum.
  5. Social Communities Are Really Helpful: Specific Niche based social communities as forums Social Media News Sites are really helpful for getting targeted traffic for your blog and they are also beneficial for you to build relationship and network.

    Invest some time on the social media when you are free from blogging. It is great way for building reputation for you and for your blog. There are various number of members on the social sites who have done this as on Sphinn Annie of SEOsmarty.com and AndyBeard of andybeard.eu may be example.

  6. Social Media Optimization: Social media can help to increase your blog traffic. In these days it is very popular way to market your blog and establishing a brand name. Generate the content which are sharable on the social media and manage to share it on the social media by a potential users. For the success on the social media firstly create an account on the social media sites and make good friends.
  7. Sell a Product or Service: Putting ads on your blog is an easy way to make money but you’re leaving money off the table by not having a paid product or service you can promote as an add-on. Think about it. Every new visitor that streams in daily to your site is a potential customer or client.

    They aren’t only subscribers or pageviews to be counted. Create a product (ebook, software) or office a service (consultation/design) on top of what your blog. Freelance Switch’s book on freelancing is a good example of how to sell a product alongside your blog.

  8. Provide Premium Content: Premium content refers to exclusive content not made available to the public. They can be given for free or on a paid subscription basis. Create a members only private blog or subsection on your site and promote paid subscriptions alongside your free content.

    Detailed tutorials, tools, free members-only products (ebooks), user generated content and efficient customer support on your end will make premium content attractive. SEOmoz’s premium content section is an good example of something that would work.

  9. Setup Your Site For WAP: Many of the readers ecess the web by mobile, PDA’s so make your blog mobile so that these users may access you blog any time. It’s not too far fetched to imagine someone reading your blog article on a PDA and then showing it or sending it to a couple of friends. So, make your site mobile friendly.
  10. Create Resourceful Videos and Podcasts: Video blogging will allow your blog to reach new audience and so increase your readers and traffic. Social video websites like Youtube, Dailymotion and Metacafe are high traffic venues which can bring you not only sales conversions but new readers.

Always think about new and creative things for your blog. Creativity is a thing which will distinguish you from others. Why readers will prefer you on others? It is simple that when they think that you are different from others and you provide new, different and good information on blog.

SEO Guide for Designers

Leadin Image

According to a poll I conducted, just over 1 out of 10 people don’t think SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is mandatory as a designer; and what really surprised me is about 24% don’t even know what SEO is! If you’re among the quarter of people who don’t know what SEO is or understand how it can help you, you should really read this article. This is an SEO guide for designers who want to learn about making it easier for websites or blogs to be found by search engines. I’ll explain the common mistakes made by designers and developers. Then I’ll provide some basic tips that you should be practicing to optimize your site for search engines. (more…)