Google Adsense – Probably the first way many people try to monetize their content. I don’t blame them, Adsense has the highest earning rates of all. It can be argued that no other ad companies can beat them. Many guides and tips you see online now are for maximizing Adsense on your blog, website, etcetera. So, I thought I’d write up a some tips for all of you forum owners out there.
SEO. The dread of most website and forum owners. That horrible thing that is always in the back of your mind, picking away at your brain with no clear way of solving the how and why. Google, while it can be your best friend is at the same time your greatest enemy. How can you truly use words to benefit your site?
The common thing I see happen all the time on blogs is an article being written to best interest the readers. This is obviously a necessity, if no-one reads the post what is the point of making it? However, once this post is written, tags are then added to it that somewhat relate to it, maybe are mentioned in the article once, but in general they are just what the writer believes should be connected to the post. Unfortunately, this is not the way it works. These tags are your most important source of SEO, but only if used correctly.
So, how do you write an article that both interests your reader, doesn’t become too repetitive and despite this uses your keywords several times over and in the correct context? It is starting to sound rather complicated isn’t it? At first it is, and it will take you a lot longer to write your articles. However, after some practice things will go a lot easier and quicker. I am by no means an expert at this, it still takes me a long time to get my articles to a level at which I am happy with them, but it is possible.
Start by selecting your keywords, but stay away from the obvious. Using words or phrases such as “successful forum” or “big traffic” are not going to get you anywhere. Why? There are just far too many occurrences of these particular words and phrases on the internet for them to warrant any attention. Google uses complex algorithms for its search ranking system and it isn’t going to list you above all the hundred of other sites with content similar to yours.
Instead you need to stand out. Look to use phrases that are a bit more unusual, or that have a greater meaning. Select a phrase to build your article around such as “value of forum currency”. Once you have chosen this phrase you can start building your article. Do not use this direct phrase more than twice in the article though, for this is where similes come in. Similes are one of the most underrated and underused items in SEO and Google does recognize them to a certain extent, as long as they aren’t too farfetched.
Once you have built your article around this particular phrase, you will want to locate keywords that are similar. For example with “value of forum currency”, keywords would be inflation, deflation and exchange rate. These are all related to currency, but you would also have to include words such as message board, threads, posts and topics. Tying all these in together within your article isn’t noticeable to the reader, but it is to Google. Have a go, experiment and explore the English language, it could be a good experience!
My whole life I have been one of “those people”. You know who I’m talking about; the ones who prefer a physical day planner over a smartphone, the ones who still use pen and paper to take notes in school instead of laptop, and who still uses a check book to balance their budget. Embarrassing, I know. Two important things happened in my life to help change my ways. First, I married a techie, a hardcore techie. Second, I got a job which consisted of throwing me headfirst into the amazing world of SEO.
About a year ago I applied for a writing position at a nearby company. All I knew before going into my interview was that they needed a writer. Lucky me, that’s what I had been pursuing in college. It wasn’t until I actually got the job, that I heard the term SEO mentioned in a sentence. It was in that same sentence that I also learned it would be my responsibility and number one priority. I had no clue what it was or even what it dealt with. My husband is the computer techie, not me.
I figured it must be some kind of techie phrase only known to the “geek community”. My boss kindly led me to SEOmoz and other such blogs, where I was able to do plenty of research about this mysterious SEO. Much to my surprise, it’s not as mysterious as I thought it was. (Honestly I was a little bummed, I was looking forward to learning a secret SEO handshake.)
Even after learning about SEO, I thought I would always have to go into an elaborate explanation about what SEO was, whenever someone asked me what I did. The reality is that most people not only know exactly what I’m talking about, but they have dabbled in it a little bit themselves. It’s everywhere. It influences everything. It helps determine where people shop, what people read, where people go and even why you buy something or go to that specific restaurant, rather than the other one down the street. It affects everyone in some way, whether they have heard of it or not.
Once I began to understand how important SEO is, I realized I needed to expand my knowledge even further. The number one thing I have learned so far, is that this line of work is very intimidating. There are people out there blogging that have been doing this from the beginning. There are even people out there who have started more recently and yet they took to it like a bird in flight. You know who I’m talking about, the gurus that redefine how it works and who are constantly figuring out new and improved techniques. They are the ones that are changing the industry while newbies like me are tripping over their own shoelaces trying to catch up. That said, you can’t quit. You eventually will catch up. You will have that moment, when you read an article full of advanced SEO strategies and algorithms when you actually get it. Your time will come. Until it does, start off with the basics.
- Stay Informed about the major changes Google makes. Several hundred changes are made every year; as a beginner you can’t get lost in the mess that surrounds algorithms. You can however be aware of the major changes that come about. Those changes determine how SEO will evolve and move forward.
- Frequently Check your page rank. Boiled down to its basics, that’s what SEO is all about, your website’s rankings. If you aren’t frequently checking on your progress you will miss out on important tendencies and information. If you are checking often you might be able to find trends, and discover what things you have been doing that work and what things don’t.
- Link! Link! Link! Take advantage of everything that guest posting has to offer. Go at it from both sides, writing and as a blog owner. Get good content information out there and link back to your site. Link to others as well, you have to give a little to get a little in this business.
- Create Social Media Accounts and use them! Social media is an amazing tool that you have at your fingertips. There are tons of platforms out there that you can join: Facebook, Linked In, Google+ and Twitter, just to name a few. Set up accounts and start posting. Add links to your articles and outside articles. Inform customers or readers about upcoming events, pertinent news reports and website announcements. There are several ways you can use social media to your benefit.
- Add Images to your blog. You can take advantage of using alt tags here. You will also be more likely to have returning readers if you post images on your blog and website because it makes it more appealing. Just make sure you follow all copyright laws. You can’t just use any image you find on Google.
- Keyword Research is necessary. Notice how I didn’t say, “using” keywords is necessary. Many beginners make the mistake of just using any keyword, at any time, anywhere. Do your keyword research. Find out what is popular right now. Learn how to use keywords to your advantage. It’s a lot more involved than just typing 3 important words in a little box.
- Be Consistent and Reliable. Post when you say you are going to post, update as needed and keep in touch with your readers. Be the blog they want to go to when they hop on the internet for a few minutes. You readers should always know they can count on you to provide unique, useful, entertaining and important information.
While I have gained a lot of experience in SEO, I’m still in the learning stages when it comes to advanced methods. I’m not that guru I hope to be, but someday I’ll get there. I just have to remember these basics, continue expanding my knowledge and roll with the punches.
SEO is exciting and fun. It never gets boring because it’s always changing. Some people find that frustrating, I consider it a challenge. If you’re a newbie like I once was, you’re in the same boat as all those gurus out there. They had to start somewhere. So don’t give up. Don’t get intimidated. In the infamous words of Dory, “Just keep swimming!”
This is a guest post by Kathryn Mott who enjoys writing about SEO. She works as a content creation assistant at Professional Marketing International. Read more about how we help entrepreneurs here http://www.youtube.com/user/pmieducation.
How to Add Google+ Comments to Your WordPress Blog
Not too long ago Google announced Google+ comments for their blogging platform, Blogger. Even though it was only for blogger, there were a lot of WordPress bloggers out there who would have liked to have Google+ comments too. A bunch of WordPress developers saw a demand and created a nice amount of plugins that make it easy to have Google Plus comments on your blog. So, today I’m going to recommend my favorite “Google+ Comments for WordPress,” by Brandon Holtsclaw.
One of the best ways to know what to do in life is to first learn what not to do. If you think about it, the reason for personal growth is through our failures, mistakes and mishaps along the way. It’s very easy to struggle and be tempted to follow that inner voice telling us maybe this wasn’t what we were meant to do but trust us, Google penalties definitely aren’t the end of the world. They can actually turn into a positive experience. However we understand the last thing anyone wants to do is slip and fall unnecessarily. So, here are a few of the main reasons peoples’ websites get negative attention from Google. This should help you stay one step ahead of the game and keep your eyes on the finish line, instead of finding yourself stuck back at square one trying to rebuild the mess you’ve made.
Spam is a No-No and Faking it is a No-Go
Search engines are adamant; they don’t want spam to be a part of their representation. Often times, newcomers to the online world may think they are simply promoting but there is a fine line between showing off what you’ve got and over sharing. Not only should you be cautious where you discuss your website (signing up for every forum and blog you can find and posting a link to your site is probably going to annoy people rather than grab their attention), but you should also consider how you wrap your gifts before sending them out into the cyberspace.
Your content is your gift to the world. Create interesting, to the point, unique titles and keywords without cramming the page full of too much information. Search engines don’t like when you try this hard and it doesn’t leave the best taste in your visitor’s mouths either. The same can be said about purchasing links or trading with just about anyone – low quality promotion will get you low quality results, no matter how good your intentions.
Keep a Close Eye on Your Members
If you have a website that features a blog or forum, it’s important that you watch what’s written. Many people don’t realize that what other people post on their site can affect the overall quality, not only for other readers but in terms of SEO as well! If many of your comments or replies are filled with gibberish or excessive linking, this can quickly catch the attention of search engines. If need be, require all comments, threads and replies to be approved by you or a moderator or add more people to your team who can quickly remove such content.
Don’t Scrap Your Hard Work
Being penalized can be frustrating and a time consuming situation to come out the other side of, but don’t trash your current site for a new one simply because Google wasn’t happy with something you’ve done. Having a website is a learning experience and you are bound to stumble here and there. Think of fixing the problem now as a long-term investment in the future of your online career. Be attentive of search engine rules and tips and we guarantee your site is going to end up much better than you’d ever anticipated. Change is a good thing in the online world – sometimes those changes just don’t happen according to our timeline.
- License: Creative Commons image source
- License: Creative Commons image source
- License: Creative Commons image source
- License: Creative Commons image source
This article has been written by Keith Terrell, who is the proud owner of Orp media in Australia. His company specializes in offering Google penalty removal and recovery services. You can find him winding up on a cup of coffee in his free time.