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Monday, December 7, 2009

Searchlight Marketing Industry Advisor: How to Build Links Google Likes

Searchlight Marketing Industry Advisor
Tools, Tips & Trends for Your Online Success
December 7, 2009
In This Issue
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Dear Gabor,
The last few  issues reviewed changes you can make to your own site (the so-called on-page factors). Today, I discuss off-page factors that can affect your search engine visibility: link building.
While on-page factors can improve your results in a few days, incoming links are essential to maintaining search rankings long-term. The effect of a good link can often take several weeks, however, which is why I recommend link-building as on ongoing marketing and Web promotion strategy.
There IS one type of link that seems to kick in fairly quickly, and that's a link from Google's favorite directory.

Since Google drives about 63% of all Internet traffic, I tend to focus on them, but all search engines measure the quality of an incoming link in their search algorithm.
Google, however, places a lot of weight on
The Open Directory Project, or DMOZ, as it's commonly referred to in the industry.
The Open Directory Project is the largest, most comprehensive human-edited directory of the Web. It is constructed and maintained by a vast, global community of volunteer editors.
Sites listed in DMOZ are used to populate Google's Index, as well as 400 other directories that use DMOZ data. Getting listed in this directory boosts your search engine rank because search engines know that if a site's been accepted, then it's undergone a hand review by a real human being.
In other words, a directory editor evaluated your site, determined it to be of good quality and listed it. Search engines don't get much more of a guarantee of site quality than that!

The Dos & Don'ts of DMOZ
Dos & Dont's of DMOZThe downside is that if your site is violating search engine guidelines, then the directory editor who reviews your site could flag your site as spam, seriously damaging your rankings.
With DMOZ, however, the editors are much more subjective. Remember, when you're submitting a site to a directory, you're asking someone to come to your site and manually review it for quality.
So make sure that your site is totally clean and compliant with search engine guidelines. Presenting a professional look and feel is equally important.
The most frequent complaint of site owners is that DMOZ will often use the directory title and description for your listing in the regular search results. And directories create pretty boring titles and descriptions, usually insisting that your title be your company name; no keywords allowed.
But there may be a hidden advantage for B2B suppliers.

Selling Advantages for B2B Suppliers

While most consumer sites are all about selling, research shows that B2B buyers and specifiers actually demand in-depth product information and descriptive content well before they decide to buy.
DMOZ's submission guidelines require that you submit an objective description rather than one filled with promotional sales copy, this restriction will actually work in your favor. Your best strategy is to make sure your description is well-written and contains your most popular, active keywords.
Your ability to write clear, concise, technical copy leading to your Home page will work to entice your visitor to click through so that they can learn more. You've also satisfied the category editor.
While it takes time and effort to properly submit your site to DMOZ (and there's no guarantee that your site will be accepted), Google considers them to be a respected, authoritative and important site link. In essence, this is the definition of a high quality link.
This exercise also prepares you to craft a proper listing for other vertical directories that exist for your industry including local search directories like Yelp and Citysearch.

Technical Writer Who Knows SEO

As a professional Web communications specialist, I'm skilled at writing copy for both people and search engines. Most B2B Web sites I review are heavy-laden with industry jargon and broad terms like "systems integrators" when a Consumer Products Company buyer is looking for "material handling equipment."
Anyone researching vendors to solve a specific problem or gather information as their first step in the buying cycle will use key terms that are relevant to him or her.
That's why writing Web copy today requires not only a deep knowledge of search behavior, but also how to conduct effective keyword research that will turn more visitors into buyers.
To learn more about my
technical writing services and pricing, visit my Web site.

Web marketing evolves daily, and it's often impossible to keep pace unless you're immersed in the field like I am. If you have a question about any aspect of online marketing - from setting a budget for your pay-per-click campaign to keyword research - just drop me a line or give me a call. My phone consultation costs you nothing except time.
But, then again, if you believe as do I that time IS money, then maybe I can help save you both.
Until next time,
search for meaning logo
Nicolette Beard, Principal
Searchlight Marketing
Web Communications
SEO Strategies

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