Greg picked up this great video released by Google - “SEO for startups in under 10 minutes.”.
Grab a coffee, sit back and enjoy! (and learn! )
Greg picked up this great video released by Google - “SEO for startups in under 10 minutes.”.
Grab a coffee, sit back and enjoy! (and learn! )
While the keyword meta tag has join the likes of the dinosaurs, ‘keywords’ are still valid for your site but just not in the form of a meta tag. They are important in the general text of your site. When you are structuring content for your home page, product page or design page consider using keywords your customers may enter into Google. But, how do you know what keywords people are using in Google? Well, a simple tool provided by Google to identify useful keywords for their AdWords advertising product can also be used to help you identify different variations of keywords your customers might use to locate your product or service on the internet.
This tool shows you the number of times a keyword has been searched in Google for a particular region or globally for an average month. However, it also shows you alternate keyword ideas and their popularity.
Head to https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal and add a keyword of phrases in the form provided. Ensure you select the “Advanced Options and Filters” and choose the regions you want to limit you results for.
Try “t shirt” as an example. You will the number of times that keyword has been searched plus other suggestions such as “t-shirts”, “create t shirt” and “funny t shirts”.
Take note of the other three columns in this result:
Competition: refers to the number of Google AdWords using that keyword in their Google ad and varies from high to low. It does not relate to the number of websites using that keyword however you can make a fair assumption if they keyword is used in their ad it would also be used on their site.
Global Monthly Searches: refers to the average number of Google users that search that query globally for each month over a 12 month period.
Local Monthly Searches: refers to the average number of Google users that search that query within the local region you specified each month over a 12 month period.
Consider using some of these other variants of keywords within your site content. “T shirt” is a good example. The first time you use it use “t shirt” (the most common way its used by Google users) then other times you use this word use different versions such as “t-shirt”, “tee shirt” and “tshirt”.
BUT a word of warning : Avoid keyword stuffing, which according to Google “refers to the practice of loading a webpage with keywords in an attempt to manipulate a site’s ranking in Google’s search results.”
Google has recently tweaked its search algorithm to detect websites that blatantly stuff their site with keywords.
Continuing our SEO topics we’d like to add a little more information about building great content for your site.
It’s quite depressing to see the massive effort and revenue poured into a website while the website owner ignores the most important element of ‘SEO’ which is great content.
Yes, you can tweak your website title. Yes, you can strategically place proper HTML headings on your site. But the ultimate goal of a search engine is to find the best content on the web. Therefore it makes absolute sense to have the best content to improve your search engine ranking.
In the end Google can be quite forgiving for ‘brain dead, stupid’ HTML and coding mistakes on a site IF the content is really awesome! (Source: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0JD55e5h5JM).
Before we jump into what good content is let me clarify some myths and bad habits that some website owner’s use in an attempt to trick Google and other search engines.
When it comes to content Google is basically referring to text on your site. Text it can read and text it can add to its giant search engine database. When a Google user searches using a keyword such as “t shirt” Google returns websites that contain the searched word. “In theory” the more the word is used on a site the more chance the site is about the word. So following this theory some rather silly website owners attempt to trick Google by using what’s referred to as “hidden text” on their site.
In Google’s view hidden text is:
Using white text on a white background was an old trick to flood the bottom of a website page with hundreds of keywords in white text so it would not be visible to the user on a white background but, as the theory went, would be visible to Google. Well, they were right about that. Google will see the white text on a white background AND Google will remove you from their index. That equals REALLY BAD!
I covered this in a previous post which you can read here. But essentially the keyword meta tag is no longer used by Google and the description meta tag has limited use. Read my previous post for more information on this topic.
The content should match your products and service and suit your audience and what you expect your audience to search for. As much as possible the content should be rich text on your site. Don’t go overboard and produce a novel, but consider what people might want to search for. i.e. “custom t shirt printing”. “t shirts sydney”, etc.
Here are some tips for writing content that can assist Google and Google users in locating you website and learn a little more about your products and services:
Who are you? “We are a custom t-shirt printing business…”
What do you do? “…specializing in t shirt, hoodie and custom apparel DTG digital and screen printing.”
Where are you? Remember many Google users include a town or city in their search queries so mention the local area you service. “We are located in Whittier, California…”
Where do you serve? Include names of local towns and cities that some of your local customer may search “… and ship nationwide from Los Angeles, Hawaii to New York and Florida.”
What do you sell? Mention common products and brands you sell. “Gildan, Hanes and American Apparel…”
Why are you good or important? Customers like assurances so give it to them! “With 30 year’s experience, we guaranty to ship your product within 3 days from order.”
Be truthful, concise and ensure it reads well. While the content you create will be used by Google it should be designed for the humans that visit your site.
Most important of all – SPELL CHECK! Copy and paste you text into Word and run the spell checker. Once you created the content on your site get other people who were not involved in the content’s creation to read it over and tell them to be brutally honest about what they read. You want to make sure it’s perfect!
There are several places you can add value-building content to you site.
The ‘Website Pages’ section of DecoNetwork is a great first place to start to edit the content on your site.
Content does NOT need to be on the homepage of your site. If you want to boost your website with great content about your printing processes don’t flood your home page with text that will be distracting to your website visitors. Make a secondary page (or landing page) dedicated to your printing process which will benefit you in different ways:
Spend some time on your websites content and don’t worry if you don’t get it right the first time. Your site is organic and can change at any time. Keep tweaking your content and monitor your website traffic to see if your changes lead to improvements.
So you’ve invested hours and hours into building a beautiful site packed full of bright, inviting images but when it comes to website visitors and sales you have crickets. Silence… Zippo… Nada…
So what went wrong?
Putting aside the obvious such as bad products, prices and reputation, you should take a real hard look at your site and find out how much your site’s most important visitor, Google, knows much about you. And it all comes down to content.
In April 2012 91.7% of us searched using Google globally. This was followed by a chirpy 3.5% for Bing and 3.36% for Yahoo!.
For the US alone the numbers were:
So the old saying if you’re not in Google you don’t exist is not far from the truth. But as far as Google is concerned there is being in Google, then there is ‘being in Google’.
Browse to www.google.com and enter you full website address in Google such as “www.yoursite.com”. Does it appear? Great! Google knows about you. But how much does Google really know about you?
I’m going to run a small test on an Australian embroidery company based in Melbourne whose website from a visual point of view appear to have a good website with nice content that may attract potential buyers. I contacted this company and they gave me permission to use their site but for the privacy of the company I will not disclose their website details and have blurred their company name and contact details.
As you can see the site has some nice content. It lists the products and services they offer (caps, t-shirts, polo’s, etc) plus has important selling points such as no minimums, quick turnaround and discounts for businesses. Why wouldn’t I use them? Well, I would if I could find them.
Doing a Google search for these terms in http://www.google.com.au (Google’s Australian website) turns up nothing. Try it yourself by searching for “embroidery service t-shirts”. Any of the websites you visit on that first page will not resemble the site above. Try searching for any other words on their site and again they will not appear.
There is a simple answer and it may surprise you. All the words on this site are not actual words. They are images. Pixles, dots of colors. And from Google’s perspective they mean nothing.
The site owner may still be able to attract users by advertising but that is a very expensive and narrow way to attract visitors. Once their daily limit is reached their website will vanish from view and their competitors will enjoy their absence in the search results.
Now let’s look at a site that has done it right. www.tshirt123.com
This DecoNetwork website has been designed for Google to love it as much as its Australian human visitors. It is visually rich, contains bright images that clearly show what the service offices, but also has rich text that Google will love. Its content and optimization has been designed to attract Australian visitors. Let’s put the site to the test.
Browse to www.google.com.au (Google’s Australian website) and enter “on demand printing hoodies”. Tshirt123 appears (at the time of writing this blog). Now search “custom t shirt printing”. Once again Tshirt123 appears. They appear because these keywords are actual text written on their page, and not just images.
So you think you’ve done the right thing but you’re not too sure. There is a quick test you can do to test if Google knows anything about your site.
The website should appear as below:
Next mouse over next to the website title and two grey arrows will appear. Select this to review the preview of the site:
In the preview section you will see a link “Cached” next to the site URL. Select this to open a cached view of your website in Google’s database.
On the top far-right select the link “Text-only version”.
This will display the website in a form that Google understands – text!
Scroll down this page to experience you website as Google does. Any text on your site should appear as text on this on this page. Images will probably be missing. (though there are some tricks you can do to improve this).
Let’s go back to our first test case from Melbourne. I ran that same test on their website and this is what Google saw:
As you can see, not much at all. Only their email address, website address, and copyright statement can be seen as only these elements on their site was actual text.
All those juicing keywords used to describe their products, services and benefits are missing so this website would need to rely 100% on paid advertising to draw Google traffic to their website. Expensive and unnecessary.
While heavy use of images can pose the problem above, however you can help improve your sites SEO performance by using an image ALT tag in your HTML. An ALT tag provides alternative information for an image and is typically used when a user cannot, for whatever reason, see the image. Google will also index this alt tag and it can be used to help you sites SEO ranking.
However this said, Google’s Webmaster Tools guide recommends you “Try to use text instead of images to display important names, content, or links. The Google crawler doesn’t recognize text contained in images. If you must use images for textual content, consider using the “ALT” attribute to include a few words of descriptive text.”
Work on real content for your site. Make as much of that content text on your site. Through the use of Google Fonts and other font services you can still make that text visual and appealing, but more importantly that text will help drive organic visitors to your website increasing you website traffic and reducing the reliance of paid advertising to draw traffic to your site.
Good luck and have fun!
The term ‘Google Juice’ refers to the value (or love) Google gives your website based on a number of factors such as links and good, original content.
Many factors can have a negative effect on you Google juice such as poor content (of course) and duplicate content on multiple websites. A common cause of duplicate content from Google’s perspective is multiple domain names pointing to the one site. i.e.www.mysite.com, http://www.myothersite.com or even myothersite.com (without the www) all point to the one website and Google will index all URLs. Google see’s the content and knows they are the same. This is a problem for Google, as Google does not like to show duplicate content to its users so in some cases will rank the URLs lower.
As DecoNetwork provides you with your own domain name (i.e. yoursite.deco-apparel.com) you may have two active domain names on your site (yoursite.deco-apparel.com PLUS http://www.yoursite.com) therefore it is critical for you SEO that you attend to this problem.
The end result is you will have two URLS for your website. i.e.:
There is a way around this by telling Google which is your primary and main URL by using the rel=”canonical” tag.
But don’t worry, as a DecoNetwork website owner you don’t need to do any coding! Simply follow these instructions:
This will ensure anyone (or thing such as a Google crawler) who browses to your non-primary domain will automatically be redirected to your main domain and therefore reduce the problem of duplicate content on duplicate websites!
It’s a cold, dark night and you’ve sat down to write the perfect collection of keywords to use in your website’s <meta name=”keywords”> tag to work your way up that elusive and exclusive club of the first page of Google search results.
Well, I hate to burst your bubble but it would have been more constructive to watch re-runs of Bold and the Beautiful. When it comes to your page rank in Google <meta name=”keywords”> has zero affect!
Now the reason.
In the ‘old days’ a nasty group of websites used to stuff their <meta name=”keywords”> with keywords that were completely irrelevant to their site. You’d enter a search phrase in Google such as “cheap t-shirt printing” and then select a result to view only to be surprised that the website is not about t-shirts or printing, but rather something you’d really rather not see…
So Google decided to ignore this useless and highly misleading tag <meta name=”keywords”>.
Don’t worry, not all is lost! Take the keywords you once used in your <meta name=”keywords”> tag and create real text content on you website that contains these keywords.
Next is <meta name=”description”>. This is not used by Google to rank your website. In other words, if you enter “cheap t-shirt printing” in your <meta name=”description”> and someone types that in Google your website will not appear.
However Google will use the <meta name=”description”> as the website preview text if there is not enough actual text on your site. Unlike <meta name=”keywords”> which his essentially useless, <meta name=”description”> has some relevance but only for display purposes and again plays no part in actually improving you websites Google rank.
To modify your DecoNetwork websites <meta name=”description”> browse to Manage Store > Store Settings > General Settings and select the “Keywords” tab.
Finally, don’t take my word for it. Check out Google’s official announcement in September 2009:
Extra! Extra! Read all about it!
Google has been experiencing an issue with their Analytics tools which collects statistics and information relating to visitors of your site.
A service statement from Google says:
We therefore decided to disable the Google Analytics widget in DecoNetwork until we have confirmation that the Google problem has been resolved. We will keep the GA widget disabled for approximately 48 hours to ensure browsers and cache has time to clear.
By disabling the Google Analytics widget you site will function normally however the visitor traffic will not be recorded in Google Analytics.
As Google states you will see a drop in your traffic data but rest assured your customers are still there, just that Google is not recording that they are visiting.
You can see Google’s official take on the problem and their service status here: http://www.google.com/analytics/status.
Google have rectified the problem and we have restored all Google Analytics services to DecoNetwork websites. [Service Update]
You’ve all see the news reports of retailers seeing a slow and steady decline in sales. Laying off staff, closing stores, and slashing prices to attract shoppers. But you’ve probably also heard the news that internet retail is bucking this trend and seeing a steady and healthy growth in recent times.
Google Australia commissioned a recent report that shows the internet economy in Australia was worth about $50 billion in 2010 which equates to 3.6 per cent of Australia’s gross domestic product but is expected to climb to $70 billion by 2015.
Williams explains that retail sales took a higher than expected dive of 0.6 per cent in May whereas “PricewaterhouseCoopers tipped online spending to grow at least twice as fast as the total retail sector over the next four years, with online spending by Australians to jump from $13.6 billion this year – 44 per cent of which would head overseas – to $21.7 billion in 2015.”
Unfortunately though some businesses see the internet as the ‘new economy’ and like to treat it differently or see it as a threat. That’s not the right way to look at it. As Jim Collins says in his book Good to Great, there is nothing new about the new economy, making reference to earlier technology innovations such as electricity, the telephone, and the transistor. These technologies produced new economies that reaped massive rewards for those who embraced and not feared them.
There are some things you can do to ensure you are not left behind in the ‘new economy’:
Gmail and Wilcom DecoNetwork are both examples of cloud computing applications meaning they live and breathe on the web. The benefits are many but to name a few:
But at the moment most of us are ‘casual’ cloud users. We still use physical desktop software such as Windows or Mac OS to access our cloud applications.
Well all this is changing and Google are leading the charge with the release of their Chromebook.
Check out this short video from Google showing how they believe you can live 100% in the cloud.
Visit www.google.com/chromebook for more info.