Monday, April 14, 2014

SEO Tips Part 2 - SEO Today

by David Brown
SEO Consultant, Copywriter

"We're All on a Fast Track" 
In this blog we will began to explore the two top ranking factors as shown in a 2013 survey of top SEO consultants, Page Authority, and Google + 1's . Yes, we're all on a fast track, so let's get right to the important points to know.

What is Authority?

As it relates to SEO - search engine optimization, authority is a combination of factors that are considered important to Google for page ranking. These factors have been compiled by marketing companies that also have a metrics or analysis system in place to correlate all of the factors that contribute to authority for domains and for specific web pages. In my opinion, Moz has the best Domain authority metrics out there, and this is a further description of how they determine Domain Authority from their web site:

"...we employ machine learning against Google's algorithm to best model how search engine results are generated. Over 40 signals are included in this calculation."

Moz has a free online tool that calculates and displays domain and page authority. Open Site Explorer
View this powerful tool with an example of using Moz in the analysis. They have a very high domain and page authority. Open Site Explorer -  View example > 

Moz also compiled a list of search ranking factors in 2013, and Page authority was the number one choice of over 120 SEO marketing experts.

To increase your authority you need to write and publish fresh, unique content that is relevant to your field and post it on Google +, as well as other social sites including Facebook and Twitter. Your content will need to be acknowledged by third party readers who may also share the link to your web page or blog. Links are also important in SEO but the way that they are established and treated by Google have changed. This will be addressed in a separate blog -  SEO Tips Part 3 -  Link Building Schemes and Pagerank.

Another important voice in authority as developed through content marketing is Brian Clark, CEO of Copyblogger. In a recent blog he discusses 5 Ways to Build Long Lasting Authority .

Moz and Copyblogger are two of the most important programs out there that we use to develop, measure, create, and sustain authority for our clients. Of course these are tools and strategy -learning still need to do the work of creating content or contract it out to be done for you.  If you are an expert or authority in your field, you need to demonstrate that to Google and to the public in ways that will optimize your online authority for better page ranking.

Google + 1's

The  Google Plus platform has built in SEO benefits that makes it easier to get page ranking benefits as long as you play the game according to Google's rules and don't abuse them.

 High on the list of ranking factors was the number of +1's that were received as a strong social signal to published content. Google's own social network has built-in SEO value and it seems that Google rewards those who receive kudos in the form of +1's to their published content. However, this is open to interpretation. A better view is that the +1's are accompanied by a sharing of the content link that was provided in the post.

It is important to optimize the free tools that Google provides in a Google account. The important tools are webmaster tools, a Google + profile, a business Google + page, Blogger if you have a preference to use their platform, and a YouTube channel.

When you publish content in your Google + account, or anywhere else in which there is also a social sharing widget that allows for one click Google + 1's, then you are increasing your page ranking potential for the content, especially when others +1 it or share it in their network.

According to Cyrus Shepard of Moz in a recent post, "Ten Smart Tips to Leverage Google + for Increased Web Traffic",

"When Google+ was born, it was a bonanza for links, and seen as an SEO paradise. Since that time, Google has replaced most equity passing followed links with "nofollow", which pass no link equity. This includes profile links, "contributor to," and shared URLs.
There is one exception. Public +1's remain followed. For now, whenever a visitor +1s your content without sharing it to their stream, this results in a followed link as long as the visitor has +1's set to "public." This could be an oversight, or Google could remove these followed links soon.
While the value of +1s for SEO has been debated again and again, this may be the last remaining place that a +1 may actually pass link equity." - Cyrus Shepard

For SEO consultants and marketers, these also provide a checklist of priorities to focus on for helping clients. View 2013 Search Ranking Factors >

Other Google + posts that are helpful include:

Authored by

David Brown

David Brown is an award winning webmaster, copywriter and internet marketing consultant. As owner of Logion Web Design, he has been in the SEO and content marketing industry since 1999. He is the sole author and publisher of this blog, Likes, Tweets and SEO, and also is the owner of Dentist Webmaster LLC, launched in 2013. He offers consulting and is accepting qualified accounts for monthly advanced SEO and content marketing services. His dog's name is Shaman.

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Thursday, March 27, 2014

Who Killed SEO? SEO Tips Part 1 - What is SEO?

by David Brown
Content Marketing Consultant

SEO Tips - a Series of Blogs

In this series of blogs, I will be discussing current methods, trends and issues with SEO or search engine optimization. Some are to gain better authority and page ranking, and some are to undo damage that was done by abusive SEO methods.

You will see reference to "scammers and spammers" in this blog. That is my term for those who are practicing abusive SEO. You have probably seen a few in your email inbox. The email usually only shows a first name without a company name. It has big promises such as  "500+ news websites, 100+ news blogs, and one-of-its-kind social media blast." Unfortunately these have given professional SEO and content marketing consultants a challenge as the term SEO becomes a red flag for "buyer beware". 

Who Killed SEO?

Just when SEO or search engine optimization is becoming more and more a familiar term among small business owners, law practices, and other enterprises who want to get ahead in Internet marketing, who killed the methods and techniques that made SEO a proven tool for top page ranking?

Google? With their increased vigilance on page ranking criteria?

Or "spammers and scammers", who abused the Google guidelines, trying to force stronger page ranking results, only to have it all backfire and blow up in their face? Let's start with a short definition and background.

What is SEO?

SEO is the use of a best standards approach to increasing page ranking in Google and other search engines with methods that are accepted and encouraged by Google.

Page ranking is the goal of SEO, and page ranking factors have changed over time, as Google has changed their algorithm that has hundreds of calculations programmed to determine page rank. In an important survey of over 200 leading search marketers in 2013, MOZ, a leading authority in SEO, compiled the importance of page ranking factors.  While these are a bit technical for an introduction to SEO, they show at a glance the many variables involved. We will began to explore this in the next blog post.

SEO - a Quick Background

Search engine optimization was developed to increase better page ranking for web sites using certain methods that worked at the time such as link building with keywords and anchor text, guest posting with links, link exchanges, and building out web pages with certain html tags and keywords to name a few.

The methods and strategy with SEO has changed dramatically and yet the numerous "scammers and spammers" are still out there in droves emailing and promoting outdated SEO methods that can cause more harm than good.

Small business owners are caught in the crossfire between learning about SEO and hearing various sales pitches about the top of Google that it may be hard to find good updated information.

Unfortunately, these "scammers and spammers" have given the term SEO a bad name in some circles, and many consultants and companies have changed their association with this controversial term. Some companies have even changed their business name, removing the abbreviated SEO to disassociate their business with an exclusive reference to SEO.

So much abuse occurred in this area that Google started updating their algorithm used by their Google Bot to review and update web sites and blogs and other published content. Each time that they updated, they were seeking to increase authenticity, transparency, as well as relevance to searches by the public that displayed web sites with actual verified authority in their field. Penalties were implemented that reduced or seriously blasted any web site or blog that was abusing the methods of link building and other SEO strategies.

Gradually over time, certain SEO methods were not being given as much weight as others. Example: If I told you how good our services were versus you seeing a lot of positive reviews and testimonials, which would carry more weight? Google started giving more weight to how others responded to the content rather than what the author says about the content, and to the quality of the content itself.

So ....Who Killed SEO ?

SEO is not dead, but some of the methods that have been abused are. Spammers and scammers caused Google to update their algorhithm to clear out SEO spam, and downgrade some methods that worked for page ranking, while giving more weight to others.

SEO Tips Part 2 - SEO Today

In the next blog post - SEO Tips Part 2 - SEO Today ,we will explore what the top ranking factors are as shown in the survey, and take a closer look at the current strategies for each of the top three factors: Page Authority, Google + 1's, and Unique c-blocks Linking to the Page .

Subscribe to this blog in the widget to the right, to be sure that you receive the next post by email or RSS.

Authored by

David Brown

David Brown is an award winning webmaster, copywriter and internet marketing consultant. As owner of Logion Web Design, he has been in the SEO and content marketing industry since 1999. He is the sole author and publisher of this blog, Likes, Tweets and SEO, and also is the owner of Dentist Webmaster LLC, launched in 2013. He offers consulting and is accepting qualified accounts for monthly advanced SEO and content marketing services. His dog's name is Shaman.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Copywriting for Restaurants - Evergreen Indian Restaurant

by David Brown
Content Marketing, Copy writing

How to Experience a Thousand Year Old Recipe

Ancient recipes are not easy to come by.

However, at Evergreen Indian Restaurant not only can you choose among ancient recipes, you will experience a taste that is both unique, delicious, and considered by some as the best food in the world.

The menu is the heart of every restaurant's life. At Evergreen Indian Restaurant, it is an experience just to browse through the unique menu items. The exotic names and descriptions are from both North and South Indian cuisine, which reflects the differences in a country so vast and diverse. They also fresh grind their spices and herbs for every recipe.

Personal Favorites
Some of my personal favorites are Saag Paneer, a creamed spinach and cheese dish with spices that has a unique taste completely different from any other dish. The Chicken Makhani is boneless chicken cooked in a tomato sauce. However, this tomato sauce is also unique and different from anything that I have ever had that has tomatoes in it. It is my favorite item and is usually always served during their lunch buffet. The lunch buffet itself is my favorite way of tasting different dishes. They have a nice selection of choices with names over the dishes and after you discover your favorites you can come back for more if you have room.

Tandoori Specialties
The Tandoori Specialties are dishes that are prepared in the famous Tandoori clay oven and served sizzling hot. The tandoor is a cylindrical clay oven that has been discovered to be used as far back as 3300 B.C. through archaeological finds in India. Imagine how the recipes in India were refined through trial and error over the centuries and then the best of the best became a part of a classical cuisine tradition.

This is how you can experience a thousand year old recipe; even more than one, when you enjoy a meal at Evergreen Indian Restaurant.

Experience the Thali Dinner
This type of food is not meant to be eaten quickly, but savored slowly, especially with all of the subtle flavors that seem to be present in each bite. They have a yogurt based side dish called Raita which acts as a neutral "cleanser of the palette", so when tasted in between dishes, it helps to separate the distinct flavors of each dish so that you can enjoy each one even more. It comes as a part of the Thali dinner which is an option when you order an entree. The Thali dinner allows for a full tasting experience of not only the entree that you choose, but also small side dishes of Daal, a thick Indian stew, usually made with lentils, Sambar, a traditional Indian soup, and the vegetable curry of the day. Dessert is your choice but I always order the home made Mango ice cream which words cannot describe!

Reviews and Yelps
With all of this wonderful food what are other people saying about Evergreen Indian Restaurant that has locations in both Corvallis and Eugene? If you visit Yelp for the Eugene restaurant you will see a 4 star rating from ninety five reviews. One review states that the "food is spectacular and the place is clean". From the Corvallis Yelp page, there is a four and a half star rating out of five, out of seventy reviews.

One review from Corvallis :
"I am an Indian from India. Travels have taken me far and wide and lucky for me, it's easier to find Indian cuisine around the world now. I need a go-to Indian restaurant to fend the home sickness and to celebrate times worth celebrating. Evergreen is amongst the finest, most authentic Indian food I've ever had. This includes the countless restaurants in over 30 cities across India that I've tried at some point in life." Prashant P.

Authentic Ambiance and Atmosphere
In addition to excellent food and reviews, the atmosphere of a restaurant is also important to have a completely satisfying eating experience. At Evergreen Indian Restaurant, traditional attire is worn by the serving staff. The women wear sari's that seem to be made of colorful silk. Classical Indian music is playing in the background which usually includes the sitar instrument accompanied by tabla drums. Authentic pictures on the wall are classical Indian themes, including architecture and images of the gods or goddesses that are a part of their religion. Don't be surprised if the owners, Usha or Meerali, greet you with a warm smile and sincere heart, or if they stop by your table to see how your meal is, or answer questions about one of the recipes. You are never rushed to complete your dining experience here.

 Web Site Design
Even their web site provides an ancient visual and auditory experience when you see the home page. A woman's picture next to their logo in the upper left corner greets you with closed eyes and joined hands in prayer. A large image of the Taj Majal takes up the majority of the page and ancient Sanskrit letters with the English translation that greets you "Namaste - Food to nourish your body and soul". Four smaller photos also show the variety of food choices including an a mouth-watering entree, a full Thali dinner, steaming Tandoori chicken, and the lunch buffet that is very popular.

David Brown

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Kick Ass with Google + SEO

Content Marketing Consultant

Let me guess.

You are a small business owner who just has a few extra minutes to search for Google + ideas, but really does not have the time to research it, develop it, and use it to effectively increase your business. You are concerned about what the competition is doing on the Internet, and do not want to be left behind. In fact, if you could, you would really enjoy kicking ass against the competition. That is why you saw this title and clicked on it.

Your Business vs The Competition
What would happen to your local competition if you were able to use a unique, amazing, stunning content idea and leverage your reputation, influence, and authority on the most powerful social platform out there in regards to links and Google page ranking?

Would you like to use a service that includes Google + power tools, advanced copy writing skills, and SEO metrics, that converts an inactive Google + account into a powerful tool for content marketing?

Maybe it won't "blow away the competition", but it will give you the edge to take your business to the next level. This is what we are doing for our best clients - those that are way too busy to do this for themselves.

The Mercedes Benz of SEO
Of all the many tools and programs out there, we use the best ones that stand out with regard to maximizing your time for results with Google + . The combination of tools and services is like the Mercedes Benz of SEO.

Are We at the Top of Google? 
Are one or two of our web sites at the top of Google? Yes.  Have we used Google + to get it there? Yes.

We have seen how Google Plus posts, combined with authorship, and keywords, have driven content to the top of Google Page ranking. We have used this effectively in our own target marketing. Search for Portland webmaster on Google and see what shows up at the top. Then close the browser window and return to this blog and the section below: "Let's Get Started" for some free benefits !

Here's a link to make it easier: Google Search  - Portland Webmaster 

Let's Get Started

If you are a business owner and need help with your Internet marketing this is a great way to get started:

1. Receive a free consultation with a creative webmaster, to discuss your needs.
2. Receive a 30 day free trial of an advanced metrics program, that helps with page ranking.
3. Receive a free site audit, of links and authority, compared with up to five competitors.
4. Receive free resources that discuss the amazing benefits of using copy writing to increase business.

Contact Us for Our "Let's Get Started" Package 

Contact: Logion Web Design , award winning SEO , content marketing

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

What's Up? Facebook Buys WhatsApp for $19 Billion + Stock

by David Brown

Have you ever heard of WhatsApp?

450 Million are using the mobile service every month, and they are on target to reach over 1 billion people.

That's why Facebook decided to buy them according to Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook CEO.

Instant  messaging is hot, and 70% of the 450 million WhatsApp users are active every day.

Facebook has established itself not only as the top social network, but also a partner and owner of other cutting edge social media programs such as Instagram. By adding the talent and resources of other strategic companies to their overall business plan, they are following the path of Google who bought Youtube, Blogger, Feedburner, and other companies.

This is not the last of the social media acquisitions that we will see. It's an exciting time for growth and expansion in this industry.


Tuesday, February 18, 2014

SEO - The Times They are A Changing'

by David Brown
Content marketing consultant

When Bob Dylan wrote the song "The Times They are a Changing' in 1963, he may not have known how it would help to spark the social and political protests at that time. Indeed, it was a turbulent time and many things were "a changin'".

The SEO world is also changing. The acronym SEO means search engine optimization. With all of the abuses that Google has had to deal with in terms of "scammers and spammers", trying to take shortcuts and use unethical methods for page ranking, the new acronym for SEO could be "start everything over".

What Does Google Really Want? 
Google wants authenticity in authorship, credibility in depth of content to demonstrate authority, and not content that is so full of keywords and phrases that it is obvious that it was written "for Google" rather than the public. The search results are changing, and Google has changed the rules on how and what they will display with searches. Top organic listings that were always under the Google Places listings are now shown above them. Relevant images shown as a carousel are streaming across the top of the page. Knowledge graphs show to the right of a search, drawn from Wikipedia or Google Plus.

In a recent webinar by Cyrus Shepard of Moz, he stated that there are six shifts in SEO that are happening. Here's my take on some of the changes and how we can adapt to them in our content marketing plans.

1) Keyword Groups, Long Tails, and What are They Asking ?
Keywords are being grouped together in Google Adwords keyword tool, not only to increase their revenues from related keyword ad search results, but to reflect the real world where there are thousands of "long tail" keywords searches being done that relate to the same concept. To optimize, we need to consider using those longer questions that people type into Google when they are looking for answers on products or services, especially locally. Use the Keyword tool to explore the many 'variations on the theme' in creative uses of keywords for SEO copywriting.

2) Are Links Still Viable?
 If it is true that Google is caring less about links that we create and more about links to our content that others post with comments, sharing, endorsements, or posts, then we need to adjust to their newer "social algorithm", that is giving more credibility to links that are shared rather than created by us. This alone turns the SEO world upside down. You may ask " Does this mean we have to take our quality of content to the next level so people will want to share it and get links that way to optimize with Google?" Yes.

3) What About Authority? 
Authority is a hot buzzword for SEO these days. The way to increase authority with Google is to publish authoritative news, and articles more frequently and with more depth, and link the published content to you as the author. Content marketing has overtaken SEO in this regard, and good SEO is now becoming good content marketing.

4) Markup, Meta Data, Schema - the new "Keywords"? 
Schema is a newer buzzword for coding a page to increase better SEO. It has been around for a while but has recently gained more attention as search results have started to show meta data more frequently across all major search engines. An example is article markup. If the schema for a blog or article is included in the code, then there is a chance for better search engine page ranking assuming all else is equal in content. Meta data are the new keywords for SEO.

Here is a sample of the meta data that have used in the code on this blog.
<div itemscope itemtype = ""></div>
<div itemscope itemtype = ""></div>

Use the article and blog schema for all published content.

Check Markup with Google Rich Snippets Tool (in webmaster tools)
Testing the schema markup is easy with Google webmaster tools. Use the rich snippets tool to test your markup for any errors.

5) Show Your Authorship

The author photo that you see next to web site in the SERP (search engine result page) enhances the response of users and increases the number of clicks through. Example, if you did a search for Portland webmaster, you will see my author picture in the search results, ranked number one. Use the author code strategy from your Google Plus account to have your photo rendered in search results. Refer to these blogs for details: 1)  Webmaster Tools Author Information   2) How to Link the Google Plus Profile to the Content that You Create 

6) Improve User Experience of your site or blog to increase "Stickiness" 
It used to be said that a web site was "sticky" if people stayed there for a while. Current metrics such as Google analytics measures the bounce rate (how many just left the home page), time on site, number of pages viewed, etc. They have also expanded this metric to social metrics; i.e. how often was it shared or mentioned, how engaging is it based on user experience and actions?

A lot of web content is just blah, blah, blah. What about engaging titles? Subtitles? copy writing? We will be seeing more sassy and creative content as web sites and blogs compete for the users attention, interest, subscriptions, and eventual conversion to buying products and/or services.

In this blog, instead of just having Bob Dylan's picture at the top, I have added engaging images, as well as important educational information, to keep the reader interested, and hopefully engaged to read until the very end. Thanks for visiting !

There is a great need by small business for SEO professionals to be retained as consultants to improve their authority, content, and page ranking, whether they are competing locally or globally.

The times they are a changin' !

Friday, January 31, 2014

Superbowl Ads - Content Marketing Unplugged

by David Brown

Unplugged. Brash. Weird. and always engaging.

The Superbowl Ads are anticipated as much as the game. The advertising playing field is a contact sport. Engaging ads need to score a viral touchdown or else the ad agency may be tackled and fired. 

The previews, advanced hype, Internet tweets, blogs, news, and YouTube traffic are a part of the game. It seems to be getting bigger and better every year. It's all one big Sports Mardi Gras, as we experience a unique annual American experience called Superbowl. 

Let's see how some marketing folks are working it.

Sodastream's ad that was NOT a Superbowl ad, is going viral now (7 million views) and did not cost the $4 million + for a 30 second paid ad. Maybe they did not want to get tackled by Coke and Pepsi if they actually ran the ad. Smart play. Looking good, Scarlet !

CNN shows previews of Superbowl Ads, that may be aired or not ?

Yogurt Steps Up to Beer
Hey folks, we have healthy minded people watching the Superbowl, not just the beer guzzling Bud crowd. So why not a healthy yogurt ad? Here's one that may air from the NPR blog.

Going viral on the Internet is a marketing goal for Superbowl ads. Well, yes, at $134,000 a second of air time, that needs to be built it - a given - in the goals of the content marketing. Since the ads are unique and engaging, it would seem that they would all go viral.

We will see what goes viral after the game. Content marketing unplugged.

Go Seahawks!