Long Term Search Engine Optimization Strategies

When it comes to getting your site to rank well in the search engines, a lot of advice you’re likely to read is the latest flavor of the week or loophole that someone’s uncovered that will help you get great search engine rankings for about a week.

It’s also true that the world of search engine optimization moves at warp speed. What worked last month may not work well this month. What worked last year may work against you now, and keeping up with all these little changes requires you to constantly be immersed in the world of search engine optimization.

So does that mean that you can’t get great search engine rankings if you don’t become an SEO expert or hire one?

No. But it does mean you’ll need to stop focusing on the little things, like tweaking your keyword density, or changing your meta tags, and focus your efforts on the factors that are going to matter long term.

Fortunately, there are some basic principles that you can apply that can help you weather the storm of constantly fluctuating search engine algorithms. These are methods that have worked for years, and will work for the foreseeable future so if you want to take this video and store it on your hard drive for a few years and play it back to see if the advice still works, I’m confident you’ll still find these methods work.

So here goes, let’s cover long term four long term seo strategies.

1) Write Great Content

Make the focus of your site on having really good content. I know that if you’ve watched any of my previous videos you already know that I continually harp on the importance of having great content. Well, the reason is that the search engines want to rank the sites that have the best content the highest. Also, people will naturally link to great content. Give the search engines and people what they want – quality content. Avoid quickly thrown together crap, and if you hire writers, make sure they know the subject matter they’re writing about.

2) Update Frequently

Your website should be updated frequently. A website that just sits and stagnates for years isn’t likely to rank well in the search engines. Make sure there’s something new for the search engines spiders to see – I have a friend who calls this feeding the spiders.

3) Make sure your site grows.

This goes along with frequently updating your site. You should be consistently putting a steady stream of new content onto your site. I like to use blogs for this purpose since they’re really easy to use and maintain, but use whatever method works best for you and your site. Forums can also be a great source of new content as long as they’re properly moderated.

4) Get Links

Build up your links. You should always be seeking out quality one way links.

The best links are frequently the ones you didn’t ask for and got simply because someone noticed your site and felt it was worthy of a link so when building your website, try to keep in mind that the quality of your content will affect the quality of the links you get.

While the methods for effectively getting links will continue to change, the fact that you need links to rank well isn’t likely to change anytime soon so make sure you’re always working to get quality links to your site even if that means you’re simply focusing on providing great content people will want to link to.

Once you start focusing on long term optimization methods, you’ll find that your rankings will improve without you having to go in and make little changes every time you read about what the search engines are favoring that month. Your content will rise to the top over time without you needing to constantly mess with it.

Be sure to take my free course, the Ultimate Traffic Blueprint 3.0, for in depth instructions.  It’s free and you can do it all online from the comfort of your home or office – what have you got to lose?

A Guide To Linkbait – SEO Lesson 12

Today I want to provide you with a guide to linkbaiting, and how you can use it to drive more traffic to your site and achieve better search engine rankings.

Just to warn ya – today’s video is almost 10 minutes long so make sure you’ve got a nice comfy chair to watch from:

Linkbaiting isn’t really a new concept – people have been using it for years, it’s really just the term describe the use of website or blog content to generate one way links to that website.

And other than well crafted press releases, there really isn’t a more powerful or effective way to drive massive amounts of traffic and get tremendous boosts to your search engine rankings quickly. So if you’re serious about getting more eyeballs to your website, then you’ll add linkbaiting techniques to your link building war chest.
While any page can be linkbait, these days it’s most frequently associated with blog posts since a blog posts tends to allow a little more interactivity with your audience. So just keep that in mind when I’m talking about some of these techniques.

Linkbaiting, just like press releases, is all about getting attention. So let’s talk about some ways that you can get attention.

1) Great Content

This is the classic way of building links. All you need to do is provide great content. But what is great content? Well, it’s not the type of content you get by buying private label articles or by hiring some cheap writer in India. Just take a look at some of the top sites for very competitive terms in Google and notice the amount of content these sites provide not just on that page but ho many related pages they link to. For example, I was recently doing research on the term chapter 7 bankruptcy for a website I was considering developing, and found that I had to temporarily shelve the project simply because the content on the top sites was well beyond anything I could simply hire a cheap writer to create. Many of these pages had several thousand word descriptions of how it worked – I think one even exceeded 10,000 words – and all would be considered genuinely helpful to anyone who stopped by to read it.

When you’re creating your content, especially if you want it to be linkbait, you need to make sure that instead of just writing to get some words on a page that a person will really learn something on that page, even if they don’t buy anything or opt-in to your newsletter. Essentially, you need to create expert quality information that’s easy and interesting to read. It takes more time – a lot more time – than just quickly throwing up a blog post, but you’ll find that almost all the best sites in every niche take the time to do this.

2) The case study

This can be another great way to attract links. Take the time to do some research on a product or service and see if it lives up to its hype. For example, you could compare spam services and test how accurate each is, then publish your results. Heck, there’s one guy who taste tests energy drinks, and publishes the results. Do some research, find something in your niche that you could do a case study on, publish the results, oh and include pretty charts and graphs – people loves charts and graphs.

3) Controversy (stir the pot)

Say something to stir up some controversy. For example, if you’re in the search engine optimization niche, and you call all SEO specialists snake oil salesmen, you’re going to get some attention.

I have some personal experience with this topic. In 2006 I recorded a video promoting a social bookmarking service, put it on video sharing sites, and went about my day. Imagine my surprise when I woke up one morning about two months after recording the video to an inbox full of hatemail. Apparently an influential blogger found my video offensive, used it as an example of what not to do, posted it on Digg.com and got a huge response for referring people to my video. Most people would consider being insulted in your niche an awful thing to happen to their business or reputation, but for me, I got a lot out of it. I got a lot of traffic to my site, a bunch of new links, several new subscribers, a new customer, and an interview request.

Saying something controversial on your site or making a video about it can be an extremely effective to generate discussion, and hence get you links.

Some people say that if you try to do this too often it can damage your credibility, but then again, there’s people like Howard Stern who’ve made a pretty good living being controversial 100% of the time.

4) Current Events

One way to get traffic is to tie your website into current events or to offer your own take on current event within your industry. The trick with using current events is to make sure they’re current. In this day of 24 hour news stations, constantly updated news websites like CNN.com, news that happened last week is already old news. Also, remember that it’s not enough to just cover the news, there are plenty of other sites that do that already. Give your own take on things and don’t be afraid to ruffle some feathers with your views.

5) Competitions

Start a contest on your site. I run an American Idol fan site just for fun, and one thing that we did to boost traffic to the site was run a competition to predict who the top three finalists were going to be, and we gave away CDs to everyone who got it right. This promotion got my site featured on several giveaway sites and was linked to in several other American Idol themed blogs. It resulted in a lot of traffic while the competition was open and we ended up getting a low more loyal readers to the site as a result. And with a fan site, you need as many readers as possible.

However, just having a competition or having great content isn’t always going to be enough, especially if you don’t already get a lot of traffic to your website.

You’re likely going to need to take matters into your own hands and do a little bit of self promotion. Also, keep in mind that not every type of linkbait you try is going to work. While I don’t like to use the term luck, since it implies you have no control, luck does play into things a little. Wildly successful linkbaiting campaigns require the right person or people seeing it at the right time.

Some estimates that I’ve seen are that for every four attempts at linkbait, not just regular blog posts, but actual attempts to create linkbait, one of them will get some links. Maybe one in twenty will be homeruns. So this is kind of like baseball you’re going to strike out more than you get a hit, and only once in a while hit one out of the park, but when you do, be ready for massive traffic and links.

One thing that you should do when creating linkbait is to think like a copywriter. For example, the most important element of a salesletter is the headline. If you write a compelling headline that attracts attention, you’re halfway there. Linkbaiting is the same way you need to write great headlines that will attract attention. Fortunately, it’s really easy to see what type of headlines are working, just head over to digg.com or netscape.com and read the headlines of the items that have made the popular pages.

Also, you don’t want to write like you’re trying to get in a scientific journal. Again, write like a copywriter. Use short paragraphs, informal grammar (i.e. write like you talk), use slang when appropriate, feel free to insert pictures and videos.

Also, don’t be afraid to do a little self promotion. Don’t wait for someone else to submit your post to digg or netscape do it yourself. Post in related forums and ask what people think or even email other bloggers and ask them for a critique.

And that’s linkbaiting in a nutshell.

While it’s not quite as simple as article marketing or directory submissions, it has tremendous upside, and is well worth learning how to do.

One of these days I’ll upload my hour long tutorial from my now unavailable link building course, Mission Unlinkable, but for there are plenty of good guides you can find online if you Google it or search Youtube.

SEO Lessons – Lesson 11 – Press Releases

One of the most powerful ways to bring traffic into a website and build links is to use press releases.

And when you’re using a paid online service for your press releases, you’ll find that they bring in traffic and links every single time you use them.

Even if you don’t have reporters calling or Oprah knocking down your door, press releases will still help you.

A great press release can completely change your business and bring in a flood of traffic, links, and even get you on CNBC or Larry King.

Even when given all the benefits of press releases, however, the press release remains one of the most underused tools when promoting a website despite its tremendous potential and low cost.

So why don’t more people use them, well, people have they’re excuses – I don’t have anything newsworthy; My business is different; I don’t know how to write a press release; and this one really befuddles me because someone might call me and want to interview me I’d have to *gasp* actually talk about my business to someone.

Of course, they’re just that – excuses. Coming up with something newsworthy is relatively easy. Any business can benefit from the use of press releases, they’re even relatively easy to write. And for those who are afraid you might actually have to talk to someone, though, I’m not sure what to tell you a lot of times, no reporters will call, but they might.

But if you’re convinced that you should start using press releases to promote your website, then here are a few tips for successful press releases.

1) Headlines Are Vital

Just like a great headline can make or break a salesletter, the headline of your press release can is the most important line of text you’ll right. When people are looking for stories, they’re skimming headlines, and if your headline doesn’t grab someone’s attention, then it doesn’t matter how great the rest of your press release is because nobody’s going to read it. Fortunately, you’ve got volumes of great headlines at your disposal if you subscribe to a local newspaper, or any magazine. Look at what they’re writing so you can see what works.

2) Not An Advertisement

Remember that your press release is not an advertisement. While you can and should certainly use them to promote a new product or service in your business, the actual press release should read like it’s being written by a neutral third party. Think of yourself as the reporter writing the story about the product, why it was created, and a little history. Don’t hype up the product with your marketing message. Just give ‘em the facts.

3) Quotes

Have you ever noticed how just about every article you read in a newspaper has a quote from one person or multiple people? That’s because quotes make a story more interesting. Instead of being a general story, it adds a more human touch to the writing. Always include a quote from someone in your press release and if you don’t have anyone to quote in your story – quote yourself. And you can even use the quote as a way to insert a little bit of the marketing message if you like.

With the potential benefits that press releases have to offer, you’d be a fool not to take advantage of them in your business.

If you’d like to learn more about how to write press releases with numerous “paint by numbers” examples, then you’ll want to get my free traffic generating course – Ultimate Traffic Blueprint 3.0 – did I mention it’s free?

SEO Lessons – Lesson 10 – Directory Submissions

Today I want to talk about directory submissions. I think that a lot of people get into the mindset that building traffic and links to your site is always best done by the latest and greatest new method or software.

They neglect “old school” methods of building links in favor of the “flavor of the month” method of building links.

One of the most neglected methods I see is using directory submissions.


Well, this is very much and old school method and it does take some time and work to do well. Also, there isn’t a lot of money in the directory business, so it tends to not be in the limelight when people talk about how to build one way links to a website.

Which is really unfortunate because using directories can be a great way to improve your search engine rankings.

First of all, with just about all directories you get a one way link to your website. Some directories will want you to pay a one time fee or annual fee for the link, and for really popular directories, the fee is definitely worth it, but there are literally thousands of other directories that you can submit your site to for free. So if you’re short on cash and you want a way to build links to your site for free, try this one out.

Now let’s talk about the benefits of using directory submissions.

Now I try not to get too hung up on Google Pagerank, but for a lot of people, having a higher Pagerank not only means better search engine rankings, but it’s simply a matter of pride. Getting links from directories can be an easy way to boost your Pagerank up a notch or two.

Getting in the higher quality directories can also help you get a better Trustrank score with Google. This is one of the algorithms that Google uses to rank your site, and it’s especially important if you want to rank well for competitive terms. While most directories won’t help you get a better Trustrank score, the best ones certainly seem to (Google never says which sites are in their list of “trusted” sites so people don’t try to manipulate them). I’d recommend getting yourself a Yahoo Directory listing and trying for a DMOZ listing until you get one.

And while you’re not going to get rich off of traffic from the directories directly, you can get a nice little stream of traffic flowing into you site from directories if you are consistent and keep getting your site in more and more directories over time.

So if you want better search engine rankings and more traffic to your website, then be sure to add directory submissions to your war chest of link building methods.

If you really want to ramp up your traffic, sign up for my free traffic course – Ultimate Traffic Blueprint 3.0.


SEO Lessons – Lesson 9 – The Link Building Paradox

Today I want to talk about something I like to call the link building paradox.

When it comes to getting your site to rank better in the search engines, the most important thing you can do is get more quality links to your site. Now there are a lot of ways to get links to your website, but the major search engines like Google will tell you to do this by providing quality content on your pages and people will naturally link to you over time.

It says so right on their website.

The only problem is that if your site is new and you have no links, it doesn’t matter how much great content you have if you don’t have any links nobody’s going to see it.

It’s like building a shopping mall in the middle of Siberia.

Which brings me to the paradox. If you have a site that ranks well in the search engines, other people are naturally going to link to you if your site has good content to offer. By having a high ranking website, it’s easy to get more links to your website since when people are doing searches in the Internet, your website will show up. Next time they’re writing about a topic the site covers in their blog or in a forum, the high ranking site they found by searching in Google is going to get that coveted link, and that high ranking site gets even more links – it’s the rich getting richer. Conversely, if you have a site that doesn’t have any links, your ranking in the search engines is going to be low, if not non existent. Nobody is going to link to your site naturally over time if they don’t even know it exists, the poor get poorer. Hence what I call the link building paradox.

This is why I don’t like such conservative views on how to build links to a website – the just provide great content and the links will come method. This view may be in the best interest of the search engines, but it’s definitely not in your best interest especially if you have a new website that you’d like to get the search engines to notice and rank well.

This is where hiring a link building company or doing the link building yourself comes in. Think of it just as you would any other promotion for your website. You don’t usually expect a TV reporter to just randomly call you up and ask if they can promote your business – no, you buy ads on their network. You also don’t expect to see anybody writing about your business in the newspaper if you haven’t done any type of promotion.

The same goes for link building, if you’re not willing to promote your website then why should anyone else care and link to you?

For the do it yourselfers, here’s a couple strategies you don’t want to be without when promoting your website.

The first is the press release. You can do this yourself or hire a pro. If you have a brand new site, then be sure to write one and let the whole world know that your website is open for business. Even if you think you have a boring and normal website, an experienced press release writer will be able to come up with a press release that will get you more links, traffic, and sales. Anytime you do something new or launch a new product or service, be sure to send out another press release. This is a surefire way to work your way up in the rankings.

The second is to be sure to write articles. You can use articles to get the word out about your website and post them on hundreds of sites that will give you a link back to your website just for allowing them to use the article. You could even take an article and turn it into a video just like this and get even more bang for your buck.

Want to learn how to build links quickly and effectively?   Then please take my Ultimate Traffic Blueprint 3.0 course.  It’s 21 lessons of pure traffic building goodness… for FREE!

Don’t want to learn, want it done?  Head on over to the waiting list, sign up, and I’ll be in touch soon.

SEO Lessons – Lesson 8 – Deep Linking

In this lesson I cover the concept of deep linking.

So what is deep linking? Well, for our purposes, I’m going to refer to deep linking as any link to your website that doesn’t go to the homepage, i.e. it’s a link you’ve got that points to one of the internal pages of your website.

Now why is this important?

Well, for just about any good website, there’s more pages that are interesting enough to link to besides the homepage. And Google knows this, so if every link you get is pointing to your homepage, well, that looks unnatural, and Google get suspicious. They want to see links links pointing to internal pages on your website. If you write a particularly good article, if you site has some really interesting threads on its forum, if you site offers a free tool or piece of software, those are pages that people should find interesting and they should have links pointing directly to them.

So when you’re out getting links to you site, identify pages that you think are interesting or that you want to rank high for their keywords. Now, next time you’re submitting an article, or you’re bookmarking your site, or even issuing a press release, point a link to that page instead of your homepage.

Once you start getting links to your internal pages, you’ll find your position in the search engines taking a nice bump up.

Of course, it helps if the pages you’re getting links to are actually good enough that people will want to link to them, but that’s all I’ll say about quality in this video.

Well, that covers deep linking – that wasn’t so hard was it? Now go out and start getting some links. And I’ll just hang out here, and see you for the next lesson.

Not sure how to go about getting new links? Then you my friend need to take my crash course on getting traffic (and links), the Ultimate Traffic Blueprint 3.0 – 21 delightfully delightful lessons on how to get streams of traffic flowing straight to your website.   The only way it could be any better is if it was free… wait a second… it is FREE!

SEO Lessons – Lesson 7 – How To Use Article Marketing For SEO And Traffic

Today I’m going to cover the topic of Article Marketing and how it applies to search engine optimization.

This is probably one of the most popular methods for building one way links to a site. So popular, in fact, that some marketers exclusively use it. I think using it exclusively is silly, but it’s definitely worth using.

Writing articles isn’t hard. You simply pick a topic, write 400-700 words about it, and then submit it to the article directories you want your article to be seen in.

When the directories publish your article, they also link back to your site. The real power of this method, however, comes from the fact that other website owners can reprint your article on their website as long as they provide that link back to your site. So instead of writing one article to get one link, writing one article can get you dozens of links, hundreds if you write a popular article.

Writing articles not only results in links to your site, which helps improve your search engine rankings, but it can also result in a lot of traffic to your site. I’ve had sites where 1/3 of all the visitors to the site were coming directly from people clicking those links in my articles.

Which brings me to my next point. Quality matters. I know I harp on this quality thing a lot, but for some reason this seems to be the first thing people forget so I figure if I keep bringing it up, everyone will remember.

If someone reads your article and it’s well written, they’re far more likely to visit your site and spend money on your site than if you have something that is full of errors and clearly took you all of five minutes to write.

Okay, now that we’ve got the obligatory mention of quality being important, let’s move on to one of the most common questions I hear about writing articles – coming up with ideas.

Sure, writing 2 or 3 articles on a topic is usually a piece of cake, however when you’re writing new articles every week, you might struggle with coming up with new ideas all the time. Fortunately, there’s a few simple tricks you can use to come up with new material. First, get out a notebook and a pen, and just start brainstorming – write down any idea that pops into your head. You can usually come up with a pretty good list then and there so anytime you need a new article and you don’t already have an idea in mind, you can return to that list.

But what if you still want more topics or you didn’t come up with much from your brainstorming. Fortunately, we’re not done yet – not by a long shot.

Start reading posts on peoples blogs that on the topic you want to write articles on. Usually, you can find ideas for more topics. Don’t copy them, but feel free to use them as inspiration and put your own spin on something. And if you need help finding blogs, just use google blog search, technorati, or icerocket, and you’ll have more blogs than you care to read at your disposal.

You can also do a news search in your favorite search engine and see what comes up. And just write about what’s new in your industry.

Or hop on some message boards on your topic and see what questions people are asking. If you see a question that you could easily answer with an article, then write it down Heck, you can even use the article you write to answer the question.

And once you’re done with all that you’ll probably have more ideas than you know what to do with.

When it comes to the actual writing of your article, just focus on writing the best darn article you can. Don’t think about things like keyword density. You also don’t need to get too uptight about being grammatically perfect. Just as long as your article flows and makes sense, you’ll be fine.

Now, once you’ve got that writing part done – where the heck do you submit it? Here’s what works well for me, but feel free to experiment and see what works for you. I only submit my articles to two places – the first is EzineArticles.com and the other is Isnare.com. Isnare is an article distribution site, so when you submit an article to them, for $2 they’ll submit your article to several hundred article groups and several other article sites. You get a lot of bang for your two bucks, so I always recommend using it. And the reason I recommend using EzineArticles is because Isnare doesn’t submit their articles to them. Since EzineArticles is the most popular article directory on the web and can send you a lot of traffic directly, you’ll definitely want your article there.

***Update – Don’t use iSnare (it may not even exist anymore), EzineArticles.com is sufficient for getting your article out there.  If you need more than that, read my Advanced Article Marketing Guide***

And when you’re writing the about the author section for your article, keep two things in mind. First, remember how I talked about anchor text in my last lesson? Well, be sure to use anchor text for your links whenever possible. And don’t always link to your homepage. Find some other pages on your site to link to.

Okay, that covers this lesson on article marketing. Just remember, that article marketing helps your search engine optimization efforts best if you do this on a regular basis.

I was going to use this sentence to plug my free Ultimate Traffic Blueprint course, but by now you’ve probably seen me mention it so many times that you’ve already signed up and been through it twice, right?

How To Make Your Forums Search Engine Friendly

No video on this one (not until I get my mic fixed – need to do a screen capture video for this one) yet.

Today I want to cover the topic of making your forum search engine friendly, specifically PHPbb, since it’s a common open source forum and is easy to modify.

Why would you want to optimize your forum anyway? Simple. To get more traffic from the search engines. And that’s what we all want, right?

You see, forums the way they’re setup aren’t all that search engine friendly. The urls look something like this – yoursitehere/forum/viewforum.php?f=1 and the ? character is a red flag for search engine spiders. They look at a url like that and get scared, don’t crawl much if any of the forum, and hence the forum doesn’t rank well. (Major search engines have improved their ability to crawl these types of URLs, but it’s still better to go with static urls instead of dynamic.)

So basically you want your urls to look something like this yoursitehere/forum/topic-of-post/ instead. When search engine spiders see a url like that, it looks like any other static page on the Internet and they will easily and happily crawl those pages. And as a result you get your forum pages indexed and ranked well by the search engines.

While a forum isn’t likely to rank well for any competitive terms, it is likely to rank well for very specific, long tail searches. For example, if you search Google for the term “seo mod phpbb forum” you’ll get a forum result giving you directions – a forum that’s been modified to rank well in the search engines.

So if you’re ready to get started, I’ll give you a few places to go checkout on how to do this. One tip – make backups before you start making any modifications just in case you make a mistake.

Here are a few good resources that can help you make these modifications to your forum. If you’ve never done this before, I’d recommend setting aside at least an hour. The actual modifications don’t take that long, but you’ll want to take some time to carefully read all the directions.


Happy Modding – see you for the next lessons.

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