The 7 Deadly Sins of SEO: “Hosting Viruses, Malware & Other Success Spoilers”

7 deadly sinsAlthough you probably already know this, if those little search engine “crawlers” or bots detect malware, viruses, spyware or other “nasties” on your website, there is literally no chance that your website will rank highly for your chosen keywords. In fact, your website will likely be blacklisted and removed from the search engine results, never to be found again.

Even though you think you’ll have no problems; after all, you don’t intend to host any kind of unsavory content, so this doesn’t apply to you, right? Just because you plan to have a clean, legitimate site doesn’t mean you won’t be the target of unscrupulous hackers. Regardless of how strong the security of your website is, it can still be violated through hacking, resulting in infections. Understandably, search engines and humans hate these infections – and the unfortunate truth is that your website could be hosting all kinds of malware, viruses or other infections, and you may never know it. Although it appears that everything is running smoothly and you’re working diligently on implementing effective SEO tactics, things may not be going as well as you think.

What can you do to ensure that your website stays in favor with the search engines, and isn’t the source of these internet nasties? It’s obvious that you should check your website out yourself frequently. This can be done by visiting your own site with your anti-virus working, to make sure that nothing is obviously wrong. What you may not know is that you can install a Firefox add-on known as “Web of Trust.” This add-on allows you to learn what is going on with your website (if anything) through your visitors. A ring is displayed near the browser menu; if the ring displays green, it means that your website is safe and free of infections. Orange indicates doubt, so your website could potentially have an infection. Red means “stay away!” This is an easy way to detect if there is a problem with the security of your website.

Spyware, viruses and other infections can really do a number on your website. Others who visit your site may find that their own computer becomes infected, which can lead to sluggish performance, “freezing” up, constant pop-up ads, even the hard drive crashing. It’s easy to understand why search engines would not rank your website highly if these nasties are detected. Google and other search engines want to protect those that surf the web from these risks, and therefore want to keep infected websites out of reach.

When implementing sound SEO practices, it can be easy to get off in the direction of keyword optimization, building links and other tactics that work; however, it can be just as easy to forget about making sure that your website is secure. Put checking your site regularly for malware, viruses and other infections on your “to-do” list. This will help ensure that your website stays in front of your target audience – and not banned from view forever.

SEO: Essential for Ranking, Not an All-in-One Solution

seo terminologyWhile SEO is an essential component of online success, it is NOT the be all, end all solution to all of the problems you may be facing as an online business.  Most marketers know just enough about SEO to know that it is important, however many think that if they could somehow get it “just right” in terms of on-page and off-page search engine optimization, they’d have it made.  If you believe that good SEO will solve your problems, send your website to the first page in the search results and let you lay back on the couch eating bon-bons while the cash rolls in, think again.

Incorrectly applying SEO tactics can be just as detrimental (if not more so) than helpful in your efforts to become more visible online.  When you know a little, but not enough to effectively implement all of the aspects of SEO, it’s sometimes best to let a professional take care of this area of marketing.  Even then, you cannot expect stellar results simply because you have applied search engine optimization techniques.  Too many people believe that once they have all of the pieces in place in terms of SEO, they can go look at their stats and see that hundreds of targeted visitors have flocked to their door.  It just doesn’t work that way.

So, what does it take to rise to the top of the competition?  A combination of things.  To enjoy high Google rankings, the most important factors are (indeed) effective SEO practices and valuable, original content.  You’ve no doubt heard the phrase “content is king.”  That has been true since the inception of the internet, and it’s still true today.  Content is everything, but your content must be original, informative and valuable to the reader.  Combine that with effective SEO techniques, and you’ll see that over time, you enjoy far more success.

Great content keeps your visitor on your site longer – and visit length is one statistic that search engines (particularly) Google analyze closely today.  These stats are now used in ranking websites, because Google is now focusing more on “user experience,” rather than websites that are overly SEO’d or optimized.  Simply put, Google is favoring sites that are original and offer value to the visitor, not websites that are simply a collection of re-hashed material found on every other website in a particular niche or industry.

Yes, good SEO is still essential for increased ranking, but it certainly isn’t the “whole enchilada,” so to speak.  If all of the important SEO tactics were properly implemented for every website, ranking would be meaningless, wouldn’t it?  Use legitimate, “white hat” SEO techniques in combination with killer content that is fresh and updated frequently, and you will see your ranking soar.  Don’t expect SEO on its own to deliver the results you’re looking for in terms of a first page or #1 ranking; you may be sorely disappointed if you do.

Quality Seo Article Writing Tips

seo content writingContent creation is one of the most important tools of search engine optimization. Often, webmasters ignore the fact that websites will only generate a consistent traffic if the content is worth it. By creating quality content which is original and unique, you can get targeted traffic.

However, coming up with innovative solutions and new ideas to write great articles is a great challenge especially when the competition is too intense; you can find several articles and pages talking about a same topic. So, in order to stand out, you will have to create something that fascinates the readers, as well as generates high traffic.

The real secret of writing high quality articles lies in maintaining the balance between quality and keyword usage. Here are a few quality SEO tips to write unique and great articles;

 Article topic

Choosing what to write on can be very difficult. But, if you have an interest in some specific niche, you can focus your energy on that and write about various aspects of the business. If you have no idea what people want to read, you can make a quick search about hot topics; you can check news pieces or different blogs. There are even links that will give you an idea about what is being sold readily.

Precise and relevant content

Writing to the point is getting more and more important; people really don’t have time to read lengthy and extensive material. They prefer skimming through the content and if the content is short, simple and precise, they will like it for sure.  Keeping this in mind, divide your article in short paragraphs or bullet points. Always highlight important points.

Relevancy is all about writing according to the topic and staying focused on the main theme. Mae your article relevant to the topic or the niche you are writing for. Moreover, relevancy also counts when you are posting your article on some other website; it should match with the website niche or idea.

Original and informative content

Never copy content from other websites; Google discourages this and downgrades sites with duplicate material on them.  Readers look for pure and authentic information; whatever your topic is, provide credible and reliable information about it. You can even provide links to authentic resources you used to gather data.

Keyword Usage                

This is probably one of the most important SEO tips on writing quality content. When including keywords in your article, they should not look unnatural; they should form an integral part of the content instead of being something that looks forced in. Moreover, over using a keyword is also not a healthy SEO practice. Use them as many times as they come natural. Further, keyword positioning also matters; do use your keyword in the beginning and at the end. And again, relevancy is important in keyword usage as well; your keywords should be relevant to your article.

Layout and presentation

Many people ignore this aspect but layout counts. Be sure that your article language is simple, fonts are easily readable and layout is clear.

If your content is original, authentic and has just the appropriate keyword usage, it will for sure attract lots of readers.

Can Quality Writing and SEO Come Together for Great Content?

content-seoIf you understand the principles of SEO, you know that it’s important to use your keywords often throughout your content. However, you also know that it’s sometimes difficult to say what you want to say, and include your key terms and phrases in a way that flows and sounds natural. The more you use the right keywords (to a point), the better your chances of being awarded a high ranking from Google. Recently, Google has begun penalizing websites that are overly-optimized, so you want to keep your keyword density within reason. You still need keywords, though, or search engines cannot determine what your site is about in order to deliver targeted visitors to your website. Is there a way to achieve balance between good keyword density and great content? Absolutely – your content must be worth reading, or visitors aren’t going to hang around to become customers or leads.

A keyword density of about 2% is acceptable to Google, which essentially means that within a 500 word piece of content, keywords would be used about 10 times. So, can you include your keywords that many times within a 500 word length and still keep your content sounding natural and flowing well? Your content should offer value to your readers, persuade them to take the action you want them to take – and most of all, be coherent. No one wants to read content that has keywords packed in repeatedly, such as in every other sentence. Essentially, you need to insert your keywords in areas where they sound the most natural, and not forced.

How can you accomplish this? Analyze your keywords to determine where they sound natural. There are some keyword phrases that simply do not sound natural in mid-sentence, and are better placed at the beginning of a sentence. For example, the phrase “affordable TV repair” may sound a bit forced in the middle of a sentence, but sounds completely natural as the start of a sentence. The point is, you don’t want your content to sound mechanical; it can also sound grammatically incorrect, especially when you are optimizing your content for what are known as “long tail” keywords, which are simply keyword phrases that are 2, 3 or more words long.

Here’s a tip you may want to keep in mind. Consider your primary keyword, along with secondary keywords. By using your primary keyword once in 100 words of content and your secondary keywords 2 to 3 times for every 200 words of content, you are making your pages effective in terms of SEO optimization, but they also flow and read naturally to your visitor. Here’s an example of primary and secondary keywords:

  • Lose weight fast (primary keyword phrase)
  • Quick ways to lose weight (secondary)
  • Rapid weight loss (secondary)

Additionally, it’s important to place your keyword (particularly your primary keyword) as close to the beginning of your content as possible, preferably in your first sentence. Also consider the use of “stop” words, such as in, all, an, also, etc. These words are essentially “invisible” to search engines when used in the middle of your keyword phrase, and will not compromise the integrity of the phrase for keyword optimization purposes.

You absolutely CAN write quality content your readers want, and still combine effective SEO.

Can You Over-Do SEO? If You’re SEO ‘Tunnel Visioned,’ You May Want to Re-think Your Strategy

seo over doneUnfortunately, many people’s idea of good SEO is filling a page of content with keywords. While keywords are essential in order for search engines to determine what your website is about, today it’s more important than ever to include original, informative content that your readers will find valuable. How many times have you visited a website that was obviously overdone with keywords to the point that the content was almost unreadable? Today, this is known as “keyword spamming,” and the search engines may penalize website owners by way of dropping rank in the search results. Besides, visitors aren’t going to hang around on a “keyword stuffed” site for long, so what’s the point?

Many web masters (or their SEO firms) seem to be tunnel-visioned when it comes to SEO. If a little SEO is good, then more has got to be better, right? Not necessarily. Search engines – in particular Google – now have the ability to analyze your website, although you may not even know it. Google can analyze how long a visitor stays on your website, the pages they visit, and more. They are now using this information to rank websites, along with proper optimization. What does this mean for you? That your website should be inviting and informative for your visitor. Search engines are now trending toward favoring websites that offer an exceptional user experience.

While it is true that keyword density is used to rank websites, the surrounding text is just as important. Your content should offer an overall context that lets search engines know what your site is about, which may include LSI (or Latent Symantec Indexing). What’s that? LSI is simply a method of letting search engines know what your site is about by using other terms around your primary keywords that help them send the “right” kind of visitors to your site. For example, “plates” may be one of your most important keywords, but are you talking about dinner plates or license plates?

Not only is it important to offer great content because that’s what search engines want, you’ll likely achieve higher rankings naturally – because other sites like to link to those that offer quality content. Think about it for a moment. If you were to do a search for a particular topic and visited two websites, one that was “stuffed” with keywords but offered little value, and one that answered your questions and compelled you to keep reading, which would you prefer? Pretty obvious, isn’t it?

Ideally, your content should be well-balanced. While you want to optimize with your chosen key terms and phrases, you never want to over-do it. SEO isn’t just about keywords. It’s about creating original, valuable content that mingles all of the elements together in just the right mix.