Image Search Optimization

I’ve been looking into optimizing images for the various image search engines and I’ve found 4 major points to address:

  1. Keywords in file images
  2. Keywords in ALT tags
  3. Keywords in caption text below image
  4. Image size

It seems at least Google’s image search uses image dimension to identify duplicate images, so if you’re working with an image other sites also use, it would be helpful to modify the image size by a few pixles, so as to not get filtered out as duplicate.

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Trendspotting with Search: Billy Talent

You ever heard of Billy Talent?
Me neither, I just found him in wordtracker’s short term top 1000.

Turns out he’s pretty well known in Canada, but never really broke in the US. You can see that in the bottom graph on a Google trends search of all regions. If you use another, international, keyword for scale you can compare the all reigons graph with the US only one.

Big difference.

The keyword list for Billy Talent is predictable for a new artist, very high traffic first keyword, lots of song title and mp3 searches. Not so many lyrics searches. People near to hear them before they want to read the lyrics.

So as sort of an experiment I’m predicting that in some time (not sure when, but soon I think), Billy Talent is going to “break” in the US in some way. Then comparing the graphs above will tell a different story.

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Clickfraud is Really a Problem

From The Alphamarketer:

So when we use Google Adwords, or other advertising methods, we need to not only look at what we are paying per keyword, but also to build into the cost what we project as fraudulent clicks.

The problem with click fraud is not just that it artificially increases advertising costs, PPC is still way cheaper and easier to measure than nearly any other type of advertising (including direct response) if you “build in the cost”. This is ok because as a hyper efficient market adwords prices with adjust with the market, no biggie.

But when your competitors are using click fraud to give themselves an advantage in a compeitive market, that’s when things get dicey. In mature niches, bid prices will have climbed to the absolute brink of profitability, and may well have passed that point for many companies, and if your competitor can manage to raise your costs even higher (either by faking impressions to lower your CTR and hence your position, or by faking clicks to max out your budget), you won’t be able to afford to bid. This is very often the case with small businesses.

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If you stop, you’ll die

Lemme get my meta on for a second.

As I mentioned yesterday, Ming visually remixed some art and a quote I wrote.

So tonight, I’ll return the flavor, working off his Finding Nemo riff here’s what I’ve got:

oh and Ming? just FYI. For SEO purposes, I’d recommend making your post titles the link that goes to the rest of the post.

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Social Media Optimization Traffic Sources

I wrote this as support material for a speech being given by our VP. Its a list of non-SEO or PPC methods of building traffic (with an emphasis on blogs and social media)

  1. Social Networking Sites (Myspace, Friendster)
    You can setup profiles for your website or yourself and use in-network messaging and bulletin systems to promote your site.
  2. Digg
    Writing digg-friendly content, like lists and howtos, and optimize your tags to gain traffic from digg users.
  3. Delicious
    Bookmark yoursite, with optimized keyword tags and others will see your link.
  4. Wikipedia
    Write an article about your site, company, self or niche and include a link back to your site. Or just add your (useful) link to an existing article.
  5. Link Baiting Bloggers
    Specific types of content are known to attract links from bloggers.
  6. Forums
    Find industry specific forums and message boards and become a helpful member, suggesting your site wherever appropriate and including a link in your signature.
  7. Mailing Lists
    Join niche email lists and become a respected member, again suggesting your site where appropriate.
  8. Comments on other sites
    Respond to relevant posts on other people’s blogs and specify your site as your “homepage” for a link back.
  9. Tackbacks on other sites
    Respond to another blogger via your blog, and send a trackback and you’ll likely get a link back.
  10. Youtube
    Make a viral video and post it to youtube (optimize your entry) and include your URL in the video.
  11. Article Syndication
    Write useful content and offer to allow other webmasters to publish it on their site with a link back to yours.
  12. Give awards
    Give away a handful of awards to related (but non-competative) sites in your niche. They’ll link back.
  13. Get awards
    Find industry web awards and nominate yourself. If you win you’ll get links and traffic.
  14. Affiliates
    Start an affiliate program and allow others to do your promotional work for you in exchange for a commission.
  15. Link Exchanges
    Find webmasters who have one or more sites in your niche, and offer to exchange links (with keyword anchor text).
  16. Traffic/Banner Exchange Networks
    Join a banner exchange network and serve other site’s banners on your site, while they show yours on theirs’.
  17. Press Releases
    Do something newsworthy and publish a press release, make sure it is keyword optimized as news sites often rank very highly.
  18. Link Directories
    Find general and niche link directories and submit your site. Better yet: volunteer to be an editor for your category.
  19. Joint-venture/cross-promotion
    Find a related website and develop a partnership project, like awards, contests or giveaways.
  20. Craigslist
    Post an ad for your business and optimize the content for your keywords, craigslist ranks very well in search engines.
  21. Podcast
    Make a podcast and get it listed in podcast directories.
  22. Type in domain traffic
    Buy a good domain name that people actually type into their browsers (ie: widgets.com).
  23. Write a column
    Find an online or offline industry publication and offer to write a regular feature for them in exchange for a link back.
  24. Technorati
    Optimize the keyword tags on your blog and make sure you rank well for high traffic searches at Technorati.
  25. Flickr
    Take pictures of your product, post them to flickr, optimize your tags and include your URL.
  26. Buy or Rent Email Lists
    Send out huge blast emails to relevant opt-in lists.
  27. Build an email list
    Encourage your visitors to subscribe to your newsletter and email them regularly to encourage repeat traffic.

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Optimizing Blog Post Titles For SEO

Cool post from Blog Business World:

How to feed your healthy dog
Dog food: Selection and feeding

Note that the first title style is straight forward. The second title places a keyword phrase at the important front end, and expands on the topic after a colon. Both title styles are effective for blog SEO. I suggest you try using both styles on your blog. Note that this post uses the keyword phrase colon phrase format.

Personally I’d go with the second title as it contains an actual keyword phrase (wordtracker says “dog food” gets 700+ searches a day).

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Listen Before You Talk

Just had a meeting with a client who is getting into blogging as a method of promotion for his site. One of the best customers I’ve worked with in this niche. He understands that since he doesn’t have a lot of money to throw at buying traffic, he’s going to need to put time and effort in, and he’s not afraid of the work.

Once he got familiar with the technical features of his blog, we started getting him into the conversation of blogging, linkbaiting, trackbacks, comments, that kind of thing. He’s taking to it quite well, with a lot of energy.

Although the last few clients we’ve introduced to blogging have raised an interesting point in my mind: The first step to becoming a blogger is to read blogs. Its very easy to start teaching a small business owner how to make a post and send a trackback, but its putting the wagon before the horse to do all this without getting them settled into a feedreader first, and in hindsight, getting the budding blogger to subscribe to and regularly read blogs in their niche is probably the most important step. This is how they get context, and a real grasp on how this whole blogging thing works.

And of course, the most important aspect of blogging for small business bloggers to leverage is the conversation, and you wouldn’t just walk into a crowded room and start shouting. First, you listen and see what everybody is talking about.

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