Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Choosing the Right Keywords

One of the most important parts of search engine optimization is selecting the right keywords (the terms that you expect search engine users will type in the search box to find your page). I was thinking about this today when I saw a billboard of St. Pauli Girl beer in one of Miami's main highways. Around here, they call that brand of beer "La Muñequita" (or "The Little Doll"), in reference to the picture of the blond girl in the beer bottle label. The makers of this beer noticed that most of the hispanic population around here calls Becks beer "Cerveza Llave" or "Key-brand beer", in reference to the picture of the key on the label. So, they followed suit attaching the monicker of "La Muñequita" to their St. Pauli Girl beer, which should make sales among the hispanic market soar. What does all this have to do with selecting the right keywords for your web pages, you may ask? Everything. Selecting the right keywords is not about how you call your stuff. It's about how other people call it and how they look for it. To learn how to select the right keywords for your web pages you can read my Keyword Selection article, or for more help with search engine optimization in general you can read my SEO Tutorial.

Keeping Websites Simple

I've written often about the virtues of minimalist web design. What users want is content, good navigation and speed. Good web designers should know that the objective of a web page is not just to look pretty but to make sure that nothing gets in the way between users and their objective. This is especially important when the website's main objective is to sell something. Vincent Flanders, the author of Web Pages that Suck also advocates keeping web design simple (although I have to admit that he is much more entertaining than I am!) in these two articles: Everything I know about web design I learned in 1964, and Don't confuse web design with sex.

Monday, February 14, 2005

How to Get Links the Right Way

Patrick Gavin, from Text-Link-Ads has published an excellent tutorial that explains everything you need to know to get quality links to your site. As you know, links from other sites increase your link popularity and your site's chances of success with the search engines. However, there is a wrong way and a right way to get links. The right way is to make your link profile appear natural to the search engines. With the techniques that Patrick shares for free in this Link Building Tutorial you will learn how. While this tutorial was made with "link buying" in mind (after all, Patrick runs a link buying service) you can substitute the words "link buying" for "link getting" and the advice is equally valid.

Friday, February 04, 2005

Website Branding Tip: Use a Favicon

A favicon is a small 16x16 pixel icon that you can see on the left of the URL in the address bar of your web browser (Internet Explorer is still not very good at displaying favicons, but Firefox and Netscape have no problem). Favicons have become powerful website branding elements, to the point that many web users admit that, in their eyes, websites that don't have a favicon enjoy less credibility than those that do. There are some sites that have even created galleries of favicons where you can see many examples of favicons that other sites are using. To create your favicon quickly and easily I invite you to read my article on how to create a favicon.

Thursday, February 03, 2005

Newsletters and Blogs

Newsletters are still a great tool to market your business and stay in touch with your customers. However, they are beginning to experience some tough challenges:

  • 50% of all measured email is considered spam. (Brightmail Probe Network)
  • 70% of all email messages will be spam by 2007.(Radicati Group, Feb 2003)
  • 10 out of 12 messages reviewed are considered spam. (Postini.com 10/19/04)
  • An average user now receives 42 unwanted pitches a day.(Jupiter Research)
  • Even opt-in ezines are being sent to the junk folder in record numbers by spam filters.
Blogs are emerging as the web tool of choice to communicate with customers. Debbie Weil, the author of the 'Beginners Guide to Business Blogging' gives us some good advice by recommending that we start using a combination of blog and newsletter to start introducing our newsletter readers to the blog format, and eventually to RSS and RSS readers.

Tuesday, February 01, 2005

No-Follow Tag and Link Popularity

Google has decided to support a 'no-follow' tag for links originating in blog comments and signatures files. The measure means that getting easy links by posting comments in blogs will become a thing of the past and that webmasters will have to work harder to achieve link popularity. Read our take on the no-follow tag and its effect in link popularity.
Now that we're talking about blogs, you may want to check out 'Beginner's Guide to Business Blogging', by Debbie Weil. This is a concise, to-the-point and fun to read compilation of articles and links to help you understand the power of blogging for business.


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