Creating Website Content For SEO – Quick tips

On-page optimization is a major aspect of SEO. Once the search engine spiders crawl your website and index the pages they will determine the keywords that that your pages should be listed for. As such, your textual content is vital.

Conducting keyword research should throw up some good keywords. For the majority of sites, the best approach is to start with less competitive keywords and progress to the higher-traffic, but more competitive keywords, in time.

Keyword density is not as rigid as it once was. In fact, Google and other major search engines prefer to see more organic content. Pages that include keyword stemming and keyword variants tend to perform better than the more traditional approach of keyword crammed pages.

One final note, an SEO campaign should treat every page as being independent. Each page needs its own keywords and should be promoted separately.

Creating Website Content For SEO

SEO Factors – Quick tips

In its most simplistic form there are essentially two sections to an SEO campaign – on-page and off-page optimization.

  • On-page optimization helps to ensure that the search engine spiders can effectively (crawl) navigate around your site, index each page, and determine the relevant keywords for each.
  • Off-page optimization improves how well your pages perform when searches are conducted for your keywords.

An effective SEO campaign will concentrate on both on-page and off-page optimization and should be an ongoing program. Even in a niche market, your pages will be competing with numerous other sites to gain that coveted top spot – as soon as you let up the pressure, there is a very real chance that another page is waiting in the wings to overtake you.

Setting up an On-Line presence: The process

The local on-line presence situation

A few years ago business owners did not consider the setting up of a website as a priority, mainly due to their market being a local one and many people just used to call or go to their shops and offices to see what services they offered. However, this scene in the last years started to change a lot.

Nowadays, people are searching for products and services they have interest in on the Internet, where they can easily compare several offers from different competitors, and then make the decision from home, and only after deciding going to the business for buy or order the service or product.

Also, by using a website, you are opening a window to the International Market. People from all over the world can easy see information about your products and services and purchase online. This gives local businesses the chance to increase dramatically their markets.

How to start

For micro to small enterprises, I suggest, at a minimum, to establish a web presence even with a simple site, that can consist of 5 to 6 pages, describing the company, what services or products are offered, a way how to receive feedback back, regularly updated news regarding new products or services, and other company related information.

For medium to large enterprises, or any business, that wish to provide a substantial amount of information available from the website, I do recommend the use of a content management system, which will organise all information in a way that is easily categorised, updated and searched.

Any business that wants to sell its range of products and/or services on-line, an E-Commerce system is a must. An E-Commerce system can be classified into two general categories:

  1. A bespoke solution, where the entire system is developed from scratch for your particular needs. This will offer you the highest level of customisation, enabling you to decide what features you want and how you want the system to process information.The disadvantage is that it can be quite expensive to produce.
  2. A customised, off the shelf, solution, is the ideal solution almost for everyone. An off the shelf solution will come with several features, which can be customised according to the customer requirements.
    New features can be added, or existing features can be removed. The cost of implementing this system is very low when compared to a bespoke solution.

When you decide to do a website, you should first sit down and think for what you actually need it, what are you hoping to obtain from it.

Then, with a clear idea in your head, you can contact your web design agency of choice, and start planning your website project. When you meet with who will take care of your website project, do not> hesitate to ask any questions you might have.

On-Line presence

Planning

What you will get at the end of the project must be clearly written and agreed prior to starting the project. This will avoid any problems at the end. You need to consider important aspects, such as how you are going to update the website. Are you going to sub-contract the updates to the web design agency, or are you going to do them yourself? In each case, you need to have clearly defined this prior to starting. If you are going to do the updates yourself, the agency should provide you with a minimal content management system, that is a system where you can log-in and make the updates through a simple to use on-line interface from your browser. If the agency is going to take care of your updates, define the costs and how fast the updates will be done.

Project Development

You as the client must be highly involved in the decision making activities during the course of the project development.  There must be a clear channel of communication between you and the project manager, so you are always informed what is happening. You should have access to several prototypes which you will check and approve before any work is continued. This will avoid the duplication of work, and a more satisfying product at the end.

Before the website is launched, it is

Linux Distributions – An overview

There are many Linux Distributions available, and it’s quite confusing for somebody that wants to try out Linux to decide on which one to install. In this article we give a brief summary of the most popular distributions available.

First, we need to distinguish between two different types of Linux distributions available:

  • Bootable Linux CD / DVD – This type of Linux distribution allows you to insert a CD/DVD in your drive, and boot Linux from it without installing anything on your hard disc. It is a very good way to:
    • Try Linux for the first time
    • Test if your hardware is compatible
    • Troubleshoot a damaged Linux installation
    • Analyse a system with security concerns
  • Installable Linux Distribution – The most popular type of Linux, you will install and boot the distribution from your hard disc. This sort of installation gives you more flexibility, as you can customize what you want to install and how.

Most Linux distributions are available for free to download, and some will even send you a CD/DVD with a copy free of charge. A good resource is www.distrowatch.com that gives you news regarding the latest distribution versions and the links to where you can download the specific Linux distribution.

Another way to try out Linux is install it in a virtual environment. You can use software such as VMWare Workstation (www.vmware.com) to install a Linux distribution in a virtual environment without risking of loosing any data.

In this article we will give brief information regarding the major installable Linux distributions available.

Fedora Core and Red Hat Enterprise Linux

Before 2003, the leading Linux distribution was Red Hat Linux. The last version released was 9.0. Then, Red Hat took two directions – Red Hat Enterprise Linux is not free, and offers more stable, supported operating systems. The Fedora series is free. The Fedora is mostly aimed at encouraging open source developers interested in helping developing software that will in the future be included in the commercial Red Hat Enterprise Linux.

For home users, Fedora Core is an excellent operating system. It’s based on the Red Hat series, and has contributions from both the open source community and also by Red Hat. It comes with a graphical installer (Anaconda) and is very easy to use.

A good place for help with this distribution is the Fedora Forum available at fedoraforum.org

The Unofficial Fedora FAQ available at www.fedorafaq.org also provides very relevant information.

And naturally the main websites are fedora.redhat.org for the Fedora distribution and www.redhat.com for the commercial versions.

Linux Distributions – An overview

Debian GNU/Linux

Debian GNU/Linux was created by the Debian Project, founded in 1993 by Ian Murdock. It is a free operating system developed and maintained by the community. Debian is a very stable Linux distribution. There is a wide variety of software available for this distribution using it’s own software packaging technique available through the APT (Advanced Package Tool).

Consider the Debian GNU/Linux as a desktop operating system for a programmer, and an ideal server Linux distribution. Though it can be used as a normal home desktop operating system, there are other distributions that serve a bit better for this purpose.

The official website for the Debian distribution is available at www.debian.org

www.debianhelp.org offers connections to a vast range of information about the Debian distribution, such as Debian forums.

SUSE Linux

SUSE is one of the most popular Linux distributions, both as a home operating system, on workstations used in business environments and as servers. Novell, Inc. purchased SUSE in November 2003, in order to compete with Red Hat. In fact, Novell now offers similar products to Red Hat.

Similar to Red Hat’s Fedora, Novell’s SUSE has OpenSUSE Linux which is available free. It’s a very popular choice for first time Linux users, as it is very user friendly. It comes with a very easy to use graphical installer, and the YaST tool allows powerful administration through a graphical interface.

Most operations can be done easily from the graphical interface, and this attracts many people migrating from Microsoft’s windows.

You can download OpenSUSE from www.opensuse.org and you can get more information about Novell’s commercial Linux versions from www.novell.com

Yellow Dog Linux

Yellow Dog Linux is one of

Brief introduction to the vi Editor

The use of VPS/VDS (Virtual Private Servers or Virtual Dedicated Servers) on the Internet is becoming quite popular, and the large majority of these run Linux distributions.

The normal, day to day administration is done through browser based interfaces, such as Plesk, however, you also can use shell access to administer the server, where you can have total control over the server via a secure SSH connection using a program such as Putty. (available for download free from http://www.chiark.greenend.org.uk/~sgtatham/putty/download.html)

This type of server administration is also very popular, allowing for work to be done remotely across the internet in a safe way.

Putty’s normal use is text based command line administration, although remote graphical interface administration is also possible.

Definitely when you are administering a Linux (or UNIX) server remotely through a command line interface you will need to use a text editor. Linux comes with a wide range of text editors, however, the most popular are vi and emacs. This article gives a very brief introduction to vi.

The vi editor was developed in 1976 by Bill Joy at the University of California. An enormous amount of text based and graphical based editors came out from that time, however, the vi is still very popular amongst the Linux / Unix users.

To open vi there are several ways. The simplest is to type ‘vi’ and press enter. This opens vi and creates a new file. The second way of opening vi is to type ‘vi filename’ where filename is the name of the file that you want to edit. This opens vi, and then opens the file you want to edit in it.

When you open vi, you will have a box at the top, representing the cursor. The line in the bottom will give you useful information regarding what operation you are currently doing. Empty lines are marked with a starting ‘~’ character.

There are two operating modes, command and input. When started, vi will be running in command mode. In command mode, vi will consider your input as commands, and when in input mode, vi will consider what you type as text in the file. Always remember that you are working in a case sensitive environment – heLLo is different from Hello.

Brief introduction to the vi Editor

To start inserting text, you can use the following two commands:

  • ‘a’ – Add command. Text will be inserted to the right of the current cursor position
  • ‘i’ – Insert Command. Text will be inserted starting from the left of the current cursor position.

Pressing the ‘Esc’ key will take you back into the command mode once you are ready inserting/editing the text in the file.

To exit from vi, use the following commands (remember to press the ‘esc’ key first to go back to command mode) :

  • ‘ZQ’ – Exit without saving the changes
  • ‘ZZ’ – Exit and save the changes

To go around in a document, go in insert mode and use the arrow keys. Most versions of vi also support the PgUP and PgDOWN keys to scroll multiple pages.

To delete text, in insert mode use the normal ‘DEL’ and ‘Backspace’ keys. In command mode, you can use the following:

  • ‘x’ – deletes the character under the cursor
  • ‘X’ – deletes the character before the cursor
  • ‘dw’ – deletes from the current character to the end of the current word
  • ‘d$’ – deletes from the current character to the end of the current line

Other useful commands:

  • ‘u’ – Undo previous change
  • Ctrl+R – Redo previously undone change

To search for text:

  • ‘/example’ – Searches forwards from the cursor position for the word ‘example’
  • ‘?example’ – Searches backwards from the cursor position for the word ‘example’

Other resources

http://www.cs.rit.edu/~cslab/vi.html provides a list of commands available for the vi editor.

Why SEO?

We often face a situation, where a person or company decides to build a website, thinking that once online, it will immediately receive thousands of hits per day and sales jump up.

Unfortunately, the situation is not like that. You can have a fantastic website, but if people do not know about it, nobody will come to see it.

When a company decides to build a website, and they reserve a budget for that, few are those who reserve part of that website budget for proper search engine optimisation and On-line marketing. It is far more better to have a smaller website that generates traffic (and revenue) than a big nice website that nobody knows about.

Let’s speak for example regarding Flash only websites. Many people want a Flash based website because it looks nice. Sure it does, but search engines cannot index what is inside a flash animation. That means you will loose most of the search engine traffic.

Why SEO

What I’m trying to say is to basically focus on what is important for your company. If you want people actually come and visit your site, and have a good experience, then these are some basic guidelines that both you, as the owner of the website, and your webmaster, should follow:

1. no big fancy graphics that make it impossible to visitors with a slow internet connection to see.

2. Keep Flash animations only for banners, graphics, or video, where it is replacing a part of the website that could be represented by an image only. Never write content inside a graphic.

3. The website should have a clear linking structure/navigation structure. It should be very easy to find a page on your site, and each page should be accessed with not more than 3 clicks. (i.e. no more than 3 levels in the website structure)

4. validate your work through w3c validator. yes, i know that sometimes it’s almost impossible to validate new work especially when using some new technologies, but the validator may catch simple mistakes in html and css and it’s quite useful

5. your website should provide unique, new, content. and lots of it. The more content you can put online the better it is.

6. updates – the website, like everything else, should be maintained and updated regularly (at least one time a week if possible). Often people get confused regarding what updates should be done, mostly because the information on the website does not change regularly. Try to keep a ‘news’ section maybe, where you can add company news, special offers, etc.

7. Create an HTML sitemap and an XML sitemap, and submit these to search engines.

8. Submit your website to relevant directories in your industry. Do NOT submit to all the directories that you find, but only to relevant directories. (i.e. submit to the major ones – dmoz, yahoo, stpt, botw) and industry specific directories.

9. A company blog/forum keeps the website always updated, and keeps your customers closer.

10. Ensure that your webmaster develops the website according to major search engines guidelines. Use of free tools such as google webmaster tools will help you detect any mistakes.

11. Get incoming links – Get links from your business partners, or from your other websites, in order for search engines to give importance to your new website.

12. New websites tend to stay in a ’sandbox’ for 6 to 12 months. A new website is less trusted than a website which is a couple of years old. So, new websites will have a slight disadvantage in search engine rankings. That means you will have to work more in the first year to get your website to rank good in search engines.

Search Engine Optimization – An Introduction

Once you do a website, and are happy with it, you want that people actually visit your site. There starts the challenge of bringing traffic to your website. Many people think that by simply doing a website sales will boost, everybody on the internet will come to their website, and loads more. Well, that’s not the real life situation. Once you do a website, without any promotion potential visitors will not even know that it exists.

So the first thing that you would want is the search engines to index your website. Focus on three – Google, Yahoo and MSN. The others will index alone as your website grows and starts to get incoming links.

However, even before submitting your site to any directory and search engine, there are some things that need to be done.

  1. The most important thing for a successful website is content. Quality content, related to the subject of your website, and lots of it. Focus on providing your visitors with valuable information. Forget any fancy graphics, as websites trends are going, the era of nice, bulky graphics is slowly diminishing in favour of plain, easy to navigate, websites, which provide the information needed fast. Also, remember that search engine crawlers cannot read what is written on graphics – what they want is text.
  2. Generate a list of keywords and key phrases related to your website (a good tool is located at http://freekeywords.wordtracker.com/ and another at http://freekeywords.wordtracker.com/. Do searches for those keywords, and see what websites rank in the first 10 places. Those are your competitors. Analyze those websites, and see why they rank good. (a good tool to do this is at www.zippy.co.uk)You have to do better to get your website to rank on top of them. A good place to check if your keywords are good is https://adwords.google.com/select/KeywordToolExternal. This is a free tool by Google, which allows you to see if people actually search for your keywords, and also suggest other possible keywords that you can use.
  3. With your list of keywords in hand, go to the most popular search engines (Google, MSN and Yahoo), and do a search for them. See what websites are in the top 10 positions for each keyword in each search engine. Analyze them, and see why they rank this good. To check how many back-links each website has, select ‘advanced search’ available on every search engines and you will find an option to see how many back-links a website has. A good free tool to help you with this is Webceo, available from www.webceo.com. This company offers a free version that offers some very interesting features available in commercial versions.

So for now you have your list of keywords that you want your website to rank good for, and a list of competitors websites.

Search Engine Optimization

Next come the website optimization. You need to include your keywords as often as possible in your website, however, do not exaggerate. Keep in mind that you must first optimize your website for normal people, not search engines. However, try include some of your keywords in the page <title> tag, and meta description and keywords. H1 to H6 tags are to be used as often as possible, and when you have a chance do include some of your keywords inside these tags as well. Last but not least, you need to include your keywords in the website content. The easy way is to add content relevant to your keywords/website topic. This will provide you with natural content, that includes your keywords, and should be interesting for your website visitors. I do suggest the use of free tools to help you in this task. Webceo, the same tool I mentioned above, will automate most of this work for you and provide you with the analysis results. Commercial tools such as Addweb also help in this task, and are normally worth the small initial investment.

Yahoo and MSN consider website updates as very important, so, take care to update your website regularly and add fresh content at least one time a week (ideally daily). Using a blog or a forum will help you in offering updated content.

Google also gives importance to

Malta SEO

“SEO–short for Search Engine Optimization–is the art, craft, and science of driving web traffic to websites.” – Harold Davis, Search Engine Optimisation, May 2006

You have an excellent website, invested a lot of time, money and resources in it. Good, but what is the use of a website is people cannot find it?

That is why here at ANG Malta we offer full professional SEO services for your website. It’s through proper Search Engine Optimization that you can improve your website ranking in search engine results, and drive more visitors to your website.

The SEO service includes:

Keyword research

Using several sources, and latest databases, we will research keywords and key phrases that are mostly searched for in the most popular search engines, and the competition on each keyword / key phrase found. Together with you, we will select a list of ideal keywords that the SEO campaign will target.

Competitive Analysis

Your ‘competitors’ are all those websites that rank for the choosen keywords and key phrases. We will analyse the top 10 websites, where this process will present you with an enormous amont of information that can show why they their website is successful, from where they are getting the current backlinks, SEO techniques and key phrases targeted. These competitors will be monitored for the rest of the SEO Campaign, presenting you with a clear picture of how your website is performing against your top competitors.

Website re-engineering

How the website is built and structured is one of the most important factors in the SEO process. We will analyse all your pages, check all the code, and ensure it meets all search engine guidelines and built with proper SEO techniques, which are often overlooked by website desginers and developers. The internal linking structure will be analyzed and optimized in order to promote your most important web pages.

Content Analysis

Your website content will be analyzed and optmized for your targeted keywords and key phrases. The website content should be relevant to your industry, and totally original. Extra content will be created if needed

Off-Site SEO and Link Building

The website will be submitted to search engines, directories and social media websites, in order to start getting important backlinks. The list of directories and websites that will be targeted will vary according to your industry, as we keep the links as relevant as possible.

Website Analytics

Website analytics software will be installed, in order to monitor the performance of your website, and the SEO effect on it. This will provide you with a huge amount of data regarding your website performance, including your top content, visitor’s contries, average time on page, number of visitor per day, traffic sources, and a lot more. We can even track off-line advertising mediums, such as newspaper advertising and radio/TV advertising

Website Ranking reporting

Once the targeted key phrases are selected, regular search engine ranking reports will be performed, so that we can monitor the progress of your website in search engine rankings. According to this data, further SEO work can be also carried out in order to fine-tune your website’s SEO.

Conversion Rate analysis and optimization

Through the analytics system, we can monitor the conversion rate for your website. The SEO campaign will bring more traffic to your website, but we must also ensure that these visitors are converted into customers.

Our Guarantee

We guarantee is that we will maitain your website in accordance with the major search engine guidlines, and optimize it using the techniques that we have developed, in order for you to take the full potential possible from your website. After the SEO process, you will see an improvement in your search engine rankings and in traffic to your website.

ANG Malta offers both SEO Consultation, if you would like to carry the work in-house, and hands-on SEO work, where we will directly work on your website to optimize it. There is no pre-set package, since all projects are different.

Feel free to contact us and we will be happy to give you a free, no-obligation website analysis and quotation!

Keywords And Keyword Research

In SEO, along with various other forms of Internet marketing, a lot of mention is made of keywords and keyword research. They do all play an important part in any SEO campaign, and it is important to understand exactly what they are and where their importance lies.

Literally speaking, a keyword is a word within a body of text that is most relevant to the topic of that text. In web content development and SEO, the term keyword is typically used to mean either keyword or keyphrase. A keyword is the word or phrase that an Internet surfer uses when searching for relevant pages or websites. If your page is deemed to be relevant and useful to that word or phrase then it will show up in the search engine results.

Keywords And Keyword Research

Choosing keywords for your pages that match the phrases that surfers use can help to increase traffic. Typically, though, the keywords and phrases are more competitive in terms of the number of pages that are competing for the coveted top spots in the search engine results.

Keyword research, typically involving the use of online or offline software, identifies the keywords that surfers use. Keyword research also indicates the number of sites that are competing for that term. It consequently identifies the best keywords for you to target, whether they be niche keywords with fewer competing sites but fewer monthly searches, or more generic keywords with lots of potential traffic but a lot of competition.