How to Make Your Website Work Better

I’ve always concentrated on just building websites and when I started out first it was nearly enough to just have a website. There were fewer sites around, less competition and more room for success but the internet is so crowded these days that you really need to work at getting your new site noticed and having it bring in revenue.

I’m hoping to move more into the “Performance” side of web design so if you feel you need help with any of the following for your existing website, give me a shout:

  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO),
  • SEO Reports,
  • Keyword Research,
  • Competitor Research,
  • Google Analytics,
  • Sitemaps,
  • Internet Marketing/Online Advertising,
  • Social Media/Networking Integration,
  • Blogging,
  • Website Upgrades/Added Functionality,
  • Content Management Systems (CMS),
  • Email Marketing/Newsletter Systems,
  • Viral Marketing (Image & Video),
  • One to One Mentoring.

Leon

Avoid Affiliate Link Penalties

Some quick and simple tips on how to at least try and avoid getting penalised by the search engines for selling links on your site. None of them allow it but some of us, including me like to try and make some income out of doing a bit of this on our otherwise useful and totally legitimate blogs, right!? Why should we be penalised?

Nofollow

Ad the rel=”nofollow” tag to all external affiliate links either manually or by using an automated WordPress plugin like Pretty Link  or one that will do it sitewide, individually or on a per category basis. For example, most of my affiliate links are in my “Reviews” category. Having nofollow on affiliate links should prevent Google from following them and stop you leaking page rank.

Redirect

Use a redirection or url cloaking wordpress plugin like Pretty Link to create your own url visible as just another link to your own site that when clicked, redirects to the proper affiliate link. This also has the effect of hiding the fact that your url is affiliate to real people who might be wary of such things. If you’re using this method then it might be wise to exclude the redirection script or folder from search engines via Robots.txt.

Too Much

Don’t totally fill your site with affiliate links, just the odd one here and there and make sure you have a good pile of relevant, honest content on it too to balance things out!

Leon

Take Advantage of Content Scraping

Firstly, a definition of “Content Scraping”. My own:

Content Scraping is the process whereby your website content is copied, usually via RSS feed pulling, and re-published at another URL, usually for financial gain.

Secondly, an admission. I currently engage in some content scraping myself but completely for the right reasons, ie – local resource creation and with no ads plastered all over the place. I also provide credit and back links to the original sites.

So what’s the best way to deal with scrapers who steal your content for all the wrong reasons? Most would say, search for exact copies of your content or post titles in Google to find scraped articles then contact the site owner to have it removed. There are technical ways you can block scrapers too but my favourite idea is to use the scrapers for your own benefit. Here’s how.

Internal Linking

While writing posts, simply include a few ‘key worded’ links to other pages on your own site. When your content is scraped, so too will be the internal links so the scraping site will automatically give you some great key word back links and real readers will be pushed back to your site too. SEO benefits all around!

Affiliate  Links

If you are an affiliate marketer, add some affiliate links in your post content and if those links are clicked on the scraping site, you’ll earn dosh!

RSS Manipulation

Since your RSS feed is probably the means by which your content is scraped, why not edit your feed layout to include links back to your site or include affiliate or ad banners? This is easy to do if you use the WordPress SEO plugin.

Leon

How To Add Your Google + Profile URL & Image in Search Results

Google have just started recognising the ‘rel=author’ tag on sites which means you can use it to show your Google + profile photo and url on any google search results showing pages/posts from your site. I think it’s a cool thing because it kinda highlights your result among others..at least until everyone starts doing it! It also gives your result/business a personal edge or a bit of branding right in the results page:

Google+

Here’s how to set it up, not rocket science: Add the following line to the ‘Head’ section of your website html:

[html]<link rel="author" href="<a href="https://plus.google.com/xxx/posts">https://plus.google.com/xxx/posts</a>"/>%5B/html%5D

Where the ‘href’ url is the url to your Google + profile. Next, make sure you have a link pointing back to the site you’ve added this tag to, in your Google + profile. It should go in the About – ‘Other Profiles’ or ‘Contributor’ Section. Finally, make sure your Plus one’s are public in the Google + profile settings and that you have chosen a suitable Google + profile pic! You can test whether it’s set up right or not here – Rich snippet test. Leon

SEO Heading Structure for your Site/Blog

I’ve just recently re-coded my main site and blog to take Heading Tags into account. I thought they were added okish to begin with but an article from WordPress guru Yoast de Valk made me have another look. I’d like to try paraphrase his article here and simplify it so it’s a bit easier to digest both for me and for you.

Basically, you can endear yourself to Google and the other search engines a little bit more if you write your markup/code semantically which basically means being tidy, adding code hints and most importantly perhaps, adding the correct Formatting and Heading tags to the content you want highlighted the most/least. The idea is to make the most important keywords on the page your H1 heading, the next most important H2, and so on so when the Google bot visits your page it can then see at a glance so to speak, the most important areas and hopefully index same.

There should be only one H1 tag on a page and this should be your Page Title, Blog Title, Business name, etc..Your H2’s might be the titles of the individual sections on the page or perhaps your Article titles if you have a Blog. H3’s would be Sub-headings, H4′ s might be sidebar headings, etc..etc..

It’s important to style your headings accordingly so people too (not just Google bots!) can easily scan through longer pages of text and pick out the important parts but also that the heading tags actually contain valuable keywords. There’s no point having headings if you don’t follow both rules. If you do it correctly your page will be nicely ‘outlined’ for both search engines and real people.

Here’s a couple of screenshots from my main site and blog to explain things better and show how I’ve personally set things up.

Main Site:

Main Site Headings

Blog Headings:

Blog Headings

Leon.

Website Effectiveness

Well done on having a website for your business but is it doing what it should, ie generating hits and sales leads? Here’s a few things you should really be doing to measure and improve your website’s effectiveness if you feel its not doing anything for you: Continue reading Website Effectiveness