Expand Your Business with the Internet

Experience the joy and freedom that other business owners feel when they use the web to realize their company's true potential. It's not as hard as you think.

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How Google's Past Can Help Your SEO

This is one history lesson that you'll be glad you didn't fall asleep through.

Stanford students Larry Page and Sergey Brin teamed up for a research project in early January, 1996. The internet was still in it's infancy, but growing.

Page and Brin likened internet search to the academic world. The popularity of an academic paper was basically defined by how often it was cited by other research papers. The more often it was cited, the more popular the paper was in the academic world. If a paper was never cited, it quickly faded into obscurity.

Well, if this applied to the academic world, why not apply it to the internet? After all, the internet was pretty new, and there was really no good way to search it yet.

So Page and Brin got together to form an idea- a way to search the internet by ranking relevant websites solely on how often they were cited by other websites. Of course, "cited" turned into "linked."

Comparing the internet to a uniquely democratic body, they likened links to votes. The more votes/links a website got, the more popular & popular it was, and the higher it ranked in their results pages.

Of course, this crude algorithm has changed throughout the years. No longer is ranking a popularity contest based solely on links- spammers changed that 5 minutes after google.com launched.

Now, links are more similar to political endorsements. The fact that you have a link isn't what's important... it's who is linking to you that matters.

For example, I could endorse any political candidate I wanted, but that doesn't mean anyone will stand up and take notice.

However, if Bill Clinton endorses a political candidate, it makes CNN and the front page of every newspaper in the country.

Google works similarly. You can get hundreds, even thousands of trash links, but it doesn't mean that Google will take any notice at all to these efforts. However, if you get that one golden link- the authority link in your niche, everything changes. Google sees that the authority site links to you, and see you as an authority, and so should they.

The moral of this story- stop link spamming. Quality links get you good rankings.

Ranking Quick- Keywords in Your Body

One of the most important on-page factors on your page is how often your keywords appear on your page. Lets face it: if you’re selling bar stools, and the term “bar stools” is no where to be found on your page, there’s no way you can rank up top on the search engines for that term.

So what do you do? Well, the easiest solution is to write… and write… and write. If you’re not a good writer, that’s ok, because I’m sure you know someone who is. Everyone has a price.

Be sure to include your keywords in your sales copy. You need at least four paragraphs of relative, informative content for your readers. Include variations of your keywords, as well. When selling bar stools, for example, include “wood bar stools” and “modern bar stools.”

The Second Most Important Factor to Rank for Free - Title Tag

Second Most Important Factor for Ranking- Title Tag

We’re continuing the most important on-page factors you can change on your website to rank quickly on the search engines for free traffic.

The last post was a doozy… the importance of keywords in your domain name. That’s important on several levels. If you missed it, I highly recommend you reading that post before you review this one.

The title tag is a pretty basic on-page function. Its just that- the title that you give that page on your website. This tells the search engines exactly what your page is about, and therefore what you’re going to rank for.

Where is the title tag in your browser? If you’re using Internet Explorer or Mozilla Firefox, the title tag is right at the very top of the page. When you’re editing your website, it’s the text between the "title" and "/title" tags. (In html code, they will be in brackets) Its typically at the very top of your page when looking at the code.

(If you don’t know html code, its no big deal. You don’t need to know any code here. Simply put, your title is anything between these two tags: , )

However, we need to know what to put there. It must be something that is specific and attainable. If you pick too broad of a keyword and you’ll risk getting lost in too much competition. Pick something too narrow and you won’t get many people searching for that term.

A great tool to determine what your title tag should be is Google’s Keyword Tool. Once you enter in a suggestion, Google tells you not only how many times that term gets searched every month, but also a whole list of related keyword suggestions, and their search volume as well. This is a great idea when researching how to reach more people on the internet (but we’ll save that for a later day).

One great thing about title tags is that you can change them very easily. One popular error that I see a lot is a title tag that says “untitled.” This is a gross oversight of the most important real estate on your page! Make sure every title on every page is there for a reason.

Also, make sure that your title tag is inviting. Its this phrase that Google uses as a link to your site in the free listings.

If you do a google search for bar stools, you’ll see that each website in the top 10 has either “Bar Stools” or “Bar Stool” in the title tag. That’s how important the title tag is- every competitive site has this term.

And did you notice that 9 out of the 10 sites actually had the term “Bar Stools” at the beginning of the title tag? Its almost as if Google gives you more of an advantage if your title tag starts with your keywords…

Rank for Free- The Easiest Way to Get Loads of Traffic

***I’d like to start off by saying that this post was meant to just be a list of on-page factors for ranking well in the search engines. However, after describing the importance of your domain name, I’ve decided to dedicate this post just to the most important factor.

There are two sides to your site ranking for free traffic. On page vs. Off page factors. On page factors are things that the search engines look for when they are viewing your page. Off page factors, in general terms, is how many links your website has pointing to it. It sounds simple, but it gets very complicated. But I'm here to walk you through it.

Today, we’ll be discussing the most important factor for ranking for free. These are things you have complete control over when creating your website. Consider this the 101 course. There are much more advanced techniques that we’ll get to in the next post.

First, we have to get some definitions out of the way.

Keyword- this is the term you want to rank for. If someone were to type this into Google, you would want your website to come up. For example, if you sold toasters, and someone typed in “GE toaster,” you would want your site to appear. “GE toaster” is the keyword.

Anchor text- this is the actual word or set of words that appear in the link pointing to your site. For example, in this link “GE toasters,” the anchor text is GE toasters. This is important because when the search engines see this link, the assume that the website the link is pointing to must be about GE toasters. Therefore, that website will rank high when someone types in GE toasters in Google because that site is obviously relevant.

Site links- particular listings that Google gives you when you become an authority on a certain subject.

Now, the most important factor in ranking for free is...

A Keyword Rich Domain Name- many people might argue as to why I believe this is the most important factor. It has the highest ceiling in terms of potential, but if your domain name isn’t keyword rich, it isn’t that big of a deal. There are ways around it. However, if you want to completely DOMINATE your market, you'll get a keyword-filled domain name.

Why is this important? When people link to you, they use either anchor text (defined up above) or pictures. The anchor text is always one of two things- words or your website's URL (www.yoursite.com). When they link to your site using words, you always want that anchor text to be keywords that you’d like to rank for free for. However, you don’t always have control over how other people link to you. Many always link to a website using that website’s domain as the anchor text.

For example, here is a link with useful anchor text:
Charlotte SEO Blog

Here is a link with useless anchor text:

When the search engines see this first link, they see the website receiving the link as being relevant to the keywords “Charlotte SEO Blog,” which is what I want to rank for.

The second link, however, does not have useful anchor text. No one searches for "Travis Zboch," so it doesn’t really matter if I rank first or not.

Imagine, however, if I had the domain name CharlotteSEOBlog.com. That means that all links I had coming to my site have useful anchor text. People would either link to me with the anchor text “Charlotte SEO Blog” or www.CharlotteSEOBlog.com.

That’s not even the half of it!

If you get enough links pointing to your site with the right anchor text for your market, Google will see you as an “authority” on the subject. When that happens, you practically own that particular keyword by getting “site links.” Here’s a real life example of a business picking the perfect keyword rich domain name and reaping the benefits.

MyWeddingFavors.com is a great example of a keyword rich domain. The owner of this site tries to get many links with the anchor text “wedding favors.” However, he can't control how everyone links to him. Many choose to link to the site like this: www.myweddingfavors.com. Links like these, however, still carry value because they contain keywords.

Here's another amazing benefit...

Since they’ve gotten enough links with preferable anchor text, they’ve gotten “site links.” What are site links? Well, if you do a Google search for “wedding favors,” MyWeddingFavors.com comes up first. Underneath that are 8 links that point to different pages within the site. This is significant because not only does this offer searcher more access to your site through Google, but it also pushes the rest of the results down the page and out of the searcher’s site.

Once a potential customer sees these site links, they automatically recognize that you’re an authority of this subject on the web. Wouldn't you? Once they put two and two together, the likelihood of them buying from you skyrockets!

Wow. That's enough information to jumpstart a business... and we haven't even gotten started yet! Come back often for more tips on how to dominate your market on the web.

This is What I Do

I work for my family's marketing firm. I would get more specific, but this is accessible to pretty much anyone, so I don't want to give away our marketing secrets to our direct competition. Call me overly paranoid, but I'd hate to inadvertently give away exactly what we're doing to someone who's trying to one-up us.

So we have a website that we sell different products on. Well, having a website just isn't enough... you have to get it in front of the right eyes... the eyes of people looking to buy what you have to sell.

Usually that involves the search engines (Google, Yahoo, MSN). As you undoubtedly know, if you type in a particular phrase, these search engines bring up various websites that it thinks is relevant to what you're looking for. In essence, they're trying to give you the most relevant website to help you find the information you need.

For example, if you need a new toaster, you could type into Google "GE toaster." Google will bring to you many different sites, in order of what it thinks is most relevant. This could include GE's website, other sites that sell toasters, product review sites, or coupon websites.

Well, if I'm selling toasters, I want my site to appear in front of someone who's typing in "GE toaster" into Google. Sounds simple enough, but believe me... it isn't.

There's anywhere between 10 and 100 various characteristics that Google looks at when determining which websites it displays for certain search terms. Its not only identifying these characteristics, but using them to your advantage, that you can run a successful website.
...and that's just one aspect of what I do.

Eventually, this blog will get somewhat technical. However, it will be on a level that everyone will able to understand... and if you own a website, you've come to the right place.

Contact Travis Zboch

Due to the current workload, we are no longer taking clients.

Charlotte SEO Expert

Travis Zboch grew up in the Charlotte, NC area, and graduated with a degree in Economics from UNC Chapel Hill.

After graduating, Travis returned to Charlotte to help start up an e-commerce company. In just a short time, this small internet company grew into a multimillion dollar business.

Since then, Travis has learned from the top internet marketing minds. He's obtained hundreds of top rankings for highly competitive and profitable terms.