Articles written in September, 2011

September 19 2011

How to Maximize your PDF Visibility


The truth is: search engines love PDF files. It may be a different file type than HTML, but crawlers are able to index and understand the information they contain with relative ease. It’s really not uncommon to see PDFs holding a 1 or 2 ranking in SERPs.

Unfortunately, they do not usually work as strong drivers for SEO campaigns. All too often, PDFs are used because they can be more convenient, faster, and easier to build than an HTML page. But in the rush for this convenience, PDFs don’t get optimized the way that they should to boost your main website and brand.  
Follow these basic tips to help maximize the SEO return you get on your PDF files:

Include links: This is a very common mistake — you open a PDF and it contains only information with no links to the original source. This is bad for two reasons. Firstly, you’re not giving the people who find your PDF a way to learn more about you or visit your site. The second is that you are missing out on back links. Remember, crawlers understand the text in a PDF the same way they do for an HTML file. This means they can see and account for the links included in your PDF.

Make the most of your title: PDFs are files, but they do not deserve standard file names like “Report2627FINAL.pdf.” Both crawlers and users will not think highly of such a non-descriptive title. Give your PDF files descriptive, keyword-rich titles to increase their SEO impact.

Don’t go overboard: It can be all too easy to load a PDF with images, styled fonts, and other design elements. However, the more you add, the longer it takes to load — which is not good from a usability standpoint or an SEO standpoint. Try to use a streamlined design for your PDFs and always compress them when saving.

PDFs are convenient web elements with a wide variety of applications for your online presence. It’s worth it to take steps to optimize them, just like you would for the rest of your web pages.

September 14 2011

SEO Copywriting for B2B


B2B copywriting can be quite challenging. Instead of your regular consumer marketing lingo: “Everything you need, all here, and 20% off today,” B2B copywriting requires your message to be crafty, intuitive, and all the while persuasive. Now, copywriting for SEO in a B2B market can be even tougher. If this is where you find yourself, here are a few tips to help you succeed.

Watch the lingo – Seek to use generic terms on the page. In most cases, B2B searchers are more likely to use generic terms than brand names. Branded names tend to be unusual and unique to your offer, so a user looking for one of your brand names will likely find your site quite easily.

Focus page copySearch Engines seek to classify a page by its main focus. After you have determined the keyword or phrase for your web page, keep the content focused on that keyword. If you have multiple products or offerings, it is better to create multiple pages to focus on each. You will just spin your wheels if you try targeting multiple keywords on a single page.

Don’t forget long-tail key phrases — If you decide to target a page to multiple, themed keywords, look toward a broad keyword and an exact phrase (i.e. long-tail). While the keyword focus of the page may be “green energy,” your target prospect for that page may also be entering words like “solar panel,” “environmentally friendly,” and “renewable” when searching for their solution. Good B2B SEO copyrighting seamlessly includes these long-tail words.

Detailed copy is good – In the B2B arena, having detailed, on-page content is a good thing. It gives you the opportunity to explain the features and benefits that may distinguish your offering. Also, longer copy is good for the search engines. It gives them a better opportunity to determine the focus of the page, and they really like that.

Keywords in the headers — Search Engines place emphasis on H1 headers. It gives the search-bots the opportunity to get a better idea about the content and focus of the page; thus, when possible, it is a good idea to incorporate your page’s keyword in the header tags. In some cases, the keyword may not work in the header, so incorporating an image underneath the header with your keyword in the ALT tag is a good alternative strategy.

Internal linking and anchor text – Internal linking is a good tactic. It helps bots find other pages on your site, and, in doing so, the anchor text used for text links can help with SEO. Before you start writing, know what pages can fit with the content you are about to write. Then see if you can craft your content to incorporate related keywords of your other pages within the anchor text of the hyperlink. Remember, you want to make it seamless, so ensure that you are not just stuffing in keywords. Good B2B copywriting flows smoothly through the desired anchor text.

Using the above mentioned methods should greatly support your B2B SEO copywriting.   Above all else, make sure you lay out a plan for your on-page content beforehand. When in doubt, defer to your company’s message to communicate with your target audience. A site that reads well should always be the top priority.

September 12 2011

Making the Most Out of your Testimonials


Online testimonials are a great way to market your business. Fortunately, you have a number of options and venues to solicit and display testimonials and reviews to promote your website and business.

  • Local Review Sites and Directories: These are great, classic ways to begin collecting testimonials. Directories like Google Places and Yelp tend to attract testimonials on their own, without as much promotion on your part, when compared to other testimonial collection methods. As an added benefit, Google tends to aggregate the reviews from these sites and incorporate them into search results. If you keep your accounts on these sites active and are able to collect numerous testimonials, you may improve your positions in the SERPs.
  • Facebook Profile: Facebook now offers an easy and straightforward way to collect testimonials. When you set up a business profile, you will get a “Reviews” tab on your page. Make sure this tab is visible to visitors and encourage your customers to leave reviews via your other social media accounts (including prompts on your Facebook wall). This is a great way to easily collect reviews that you can use or display elsewhere, such as a testimonial page on your main website.
  • YouTube Reviews: Video testimonials are a dynamic way to show off the quality of your product or service. Ask customers who are taping their testimonials to share a link with you, so you can promote the video through your own channels. Soliciting video testimonials via the web may be trickier than asking for written ones. If you have a lot of face-to-face business with clients, ask if they would be willing to let you tape their testimonial for your YouTube channel.  

It’s important to remember that if you decide to make a strong push toward cultivating testimonials, you must be able to respond to your customers. Thank customers for taking the time to give you a testimonial, and always be sure to address negative comments, should they arise. If potential customers can see that you took steps to remedy problems with another customer, it can make a negative review look quite positive.

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