Don’t Worry About Validation
Being afraid to ask questions to your online community will only hinder your progress. Get your validation from offline sources of your life, like work, sport or hobbies.
Have a Vested Interest
Like a website with a clear commercial nature. If you don’t know what you’re trying to sell and to whom, you will flounder about in mediocrity.
Plan Your Tests
Before you start them. If you’re starting a PPC campaign for example, take the time to read up on different testing methods and the steps involved.
Keep It Simple
It’s easy to become overwhelmed. Take everything one step at a time and don’t be too fancy – you have enough on your plate.
SEO is an extremely broad term, covering topics ranging from; On-page optimisation, link building, viral marketing, conversion rate enhancement, PPC (pay per click) management, competitor analysis and link authority analysis.
Now unless you’re an absolute guru, there is no way you could be an expert on all of these topics. But there’s no reason you can’t easily get a snapshot of vital data to help enhance your site architecture and search rankings.
SEO Firefox Plugin
One of the best tools to help you find an instant snapshot of data is the SEO Firefox Plugin. You can use it to easily determine:
- Site Age
- Indexed Links
- The number of Delicious bookmarks
- Technorati and Alexa rankings
- Google cached pages
Why should I use it?
Now if you’re a blogger or run a business Website, you may be thinking ‘I’m not that interested in SEO or learning about it’. Which is fair enough, however if you’re interested in the following then it may still be a very useful tool for you:
- Growing your blog
- Increasing the number of visitors that find your page
- Directing tragetted traffic to your business site
Not all links are considered equal
Now it doesn’t take a guru to know that one of the biggest keys to a successful site is attention, and in web-terms that equates to links.
As a blogger / webmaster it’s likely you’re experienced in trying to get people to link to you, you probably also realise that it’s actually a lot harder then it sounds. If you have the funds you could outsource your SEO to a company, but if you’d prefer to try do it yourself then SEO Firefox will help you identify which links will yield you the most benefit.
Photo by Flod
Selecting a Webhost can be a daunting task, particularly if you’ve had no prior experience in the process. With so much competition, fake reviews and scams it’s hard to figure out just who to go with.
Before choosing your host, ask yourself these questions:
1. What would happen if my site went down?
2. Would I lose customers as a result?
3. What would the net cost of losing those customers be in real terms?
4. Would I be harmed in any other way? i.e. Not being indexed by search engines or losing potential incoming links
It’s worth paying for a quality host
If you’re creating a website with business in mind, then by answering the above questions it’s likely you can see the value in paying for a decent host. However, even if you’re just wanting to host a blog, or a hobby-related site it still may be worth paying for quality to save you time and energy.
Always research your host
Before making a purchase based on gut feeling or whether their site looks nice, it’s always a good idea to do research around the host you’re considering going with. Simply do some searches of “host + complaints”, if it’s a dodgy host this should quickly reveal warning signs to you.
Fake review sites
It’s a better idea to search for “host + complaints” as opposed to “host + review” because many scammy hosts will go so far as to setup a bunch of fake review sites and aggressively SEO them so they rank for the top review search results.
What should I look for in a host?
If you have specific software you wish to use then you should definitely check the requirements and ensure the host can provide those. However if you’re interested in a faily simple page or a blog then generally look for:
• the ability to create sub domains
• The ability to modify your .HTACCESS
• Cron Jobs
• Ruby On Rails
Another factor to consider is hosting with a provider in your own country. This will give you a relevancy boost for local searches.
Hosting multiple sites on different domains
If you’re just want to host a blog you may be better of going for standard web hosting, however if you plan to setup multiple sites it is worth considering going with a host that will let you host sites of different IP addresses. Although considerably more expensive you will have the benefit of being able to link between your sites and have the link equity count towards ranking, an example of such a hosting provider is Pair Hosting.
Page Titles vs Headlines
For potential readers, your headline is the first and perhaps only impression you will make. Without a compelling headline it is likely that most people will not even read the rest of your article.
Search engine’s perspective
Most search engines place more weight on the page title then any other on-page element. By not understanding how to best utilise the page title may be missing out on a great deal of search traffic and hindering your rankings for desired keywords.
Many purists believe you should always write your headlines with the reader in mind, and not worry at all about search engines. While I agree with that idealistically, for the smaller players it is simply not realistic or feasible to be able to discount or not optimize for search traffic.
This post is not about how to write a good headline, but how to write a well optimised page title to make the most of search results. It is important to understand both the human and search aspect of headlines to maximise your conversion rate, for further reading on how to write compelling headlines checkout this post.
Why is the Page Title so Important?
When writing your page title consider the following points to get the most out of your headlines:
- The page title is the first thing visitors will see and the link they will click in SERPS to arrive at your site
- When people link to you, they will often use the title as the anchor text. This is why you want to ensure it is keyword rich, so that you will rank higher in search results for those keywords
- For non-competitive terms, a page title alone can land score you top results. Chris and I conducted an experiment for a phrase ‘free blank resume’ with almost 1000 daily searches. With no content and just a link, Superuser achieved the 1st rank in google au search results.
- Think ‘what sets me apart?‘ Ranking on the first page is an achievement, but remember you are still competing against 9 other results. Your goal is to give search engines and readers an idea of what your page is about. To set yourself apart consider using the following techniques:
- Use clear language
- Have a call to action
- Ask a question
- Endeavour to have keywords in the title but still be relevant, captivating and differentiate yourself from the competition
- Ensure your brand is in the title
What Makes a Bad Title?
The worst thing you can do is have no page title at all, however you should also avoid the following:
- Using salutations or home page
- Welcome is currently indexed 30 million times, Home over 15 million
- Having the same title as your homepage
- Using untitled
- writing exclusively for search engines
Researching Page Titles
Another great strategy is to do some keyword research on the topic you are writing about before you post. There are many great free tools such as the Google keyword tool.
For example I changed the original headline I wrote for this post after doing a quick keyword search on the term ‘page title’. As you can see in the below picture while September was a bad month, there is an average search volume of 2900 for an exact match on ‘title page format’. Not bad considering I was originally going to have ‘Page Titles’ and no mention of the word ‘format’.
There is no such thing as a perfect title but by following the above guidelines you can ensure you don’t negate plenty of organic search traffic while still hooking in your readers with a compelling headline. Above all think ‘attention conservation‘, sure do as much as you can to accommodate the search engines but ensure you balance this with a headline that will intrigue and not confuse your potential visitor.
photo by insightimaging