CHAPTER 6 Inbound Marketing

Getting Found in Google

How many times did you use Google to look for something today? Chances are, several times. In fact, Americans conducted over 13 billion searches alone in April 2009
using Google, according to Com Score1. Total search activity for the same period for all search engines was over 22,000 searches. It’s likely that amongst all those billions
of searches, many were related to your product or service.
Simply put, if your site isn’t being found in Google, you’re missing a major opportunity to generate leads for your business. In fact, you’re probably sending these leads to
your competitors! Other than the sheer volume of potential visitors you can draw through Google, there’s another important consideration for ensuring your site ranks well: People searching on Google are actually looking for something.
This may sound a bit obvious, but contrast this to getting traffic from blogs. Blog readers are often focused on learning something or being entertained. They don’t have a specific
goal. Google searchers, on the other hand, are looking for 1 comScore Releases April 2009 U.S. Search Engine Rankings;

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something. Sometimes they are searching for a product or service. Sometimes they’re searching for information. But,they do have a specific goal. If what they are searching for
is related to your business, you want to be found.

Paid Versus Free

When users conduct Google searches, two kinds of results appear on the SERP (search engine results page): the “organic” search results (also known as “natural” results)
and the paid or sponsored results.Generally, the paid results,or Sponsored Links, appear on the right side of the SERP, and sometimes at the top (see Figure 6.1).
These Sponsored Links are essentially advertising— which is why the Sponsored Links are often referred to as “pay per clicks ads.” Organizations can bid for placement in Google search results by purchasing Google Ad Words, a pay per click (PPC) advertising program. Here’s how it works: You offer to pay Google a certain cost per click (CPC)
anytime your ad is shown to searchers based on what key-word they searched on. You pay for how often people click on your ad and visit your web site—not how often your
ad is shown (impressions). For example, say you were a

Figure 6.1 Screen Shot of Organic and Sponsored Google
Search Results

Getting Found in Google

tax attorney in Boston and wanted to reach Google users that searched on the term “Boston Tax Attorney.” You could buy that Google Ad Word and offer $2.50 per click. This means that if your ad is shown to users, you pay Google $2.50 every time someone clicks on your ad. The price that you offer (or bid) determines whether your ad will be shown, where it will be shown, and how many times.
The price that you need to pay depends on how many other people are also interested in that same keyword. Google Ad Words is an auction that’s held in real-time. Those com-panies willing to pay more are more likely to get their ad shown in the limited amount of real estate Google has avail-able for these paid Ad Words ads. It’s important to note that
Google also uses the quality of an ad, in addition to the bid price, to determine ad placement. High quality ads that meet the needs of searchers can pay less on a per-click
That’s how paid search works. You pay Google to send visitors to your web site, and how much you pay is based on how many other people are competing for those same
On the other hand, the organic or natural results are not based on payment, but on the quality of the content and what Google believes would be the most valuable pages for
their users. When your Web page shows up in the organic results, and users click on your link and visit your web page, these clicks are essentially free (you don’t pay any-thing to Google for them). Clearly, all things being equal,you’d rather your business get visitors from Google for free, wouldn’t you? It actually gets even better than that. Not only
is placement in the organic results free, but visitors click on these results much more often than they do the paid results. Research from Marketing Sherpa and Enquiro show

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that 75 percent of searchers click the organic listings while 25 percent click on the paid results.2T his means you’ll likely get much more traffic if you can rank for certain keywords organically than if you were to try to buy your way into the paid results for those same words.
Clearly, you’d prefer to get free traffic instead of paying for it. That’s what search engine optimization (SEO) is all about. You want to increase the chances your Web pages
will show up as high as possible in the Google results when a user searches for a keyword related to your business.
By default, when users type a search term into Google,10 results or listings are shown per page. This means the first page of results shows the top 10 results, the second
page shows the next 10 results, and so on. It’s important to note that getting on the first page of Google is very impor-tant, because the first page gets a lion’s share of the traffic
for that keyword. A recent study shows that Google’s first page captures over 89 percent of the traffic, and most users will not look beyond the first page. Even within the first
page, the traffic is not spread evenly—the top-ranked result (number one on the first page) captures about 42 percent of the traffic. The higher you rank for a given term, the more visitors to your web site, and the difference between the number of visitors does not occur in small increments—it’s significant. So, you want to do your best to rank as high as possible for the keyword that you care about.
The practice of understanding how search engines work, and striving to get a web site to rank well for key-words, is known as search engine optimization (SEO). The 2Organic versus paid search;;

Getting Found in Google

rest of this chapter looks at the basics of SEO and how you can leverage this practice to get more visitors to your web site.

A (Brief) Introduction to How Google Works

To succeed with search engine optimization (SEO), and rank for keywords you care about, it’s necessary to understand a little about how Google works.
Google does two basic things. First, it crawls the Inter-net looking for web pages, storing these pages in its index.
Think of the Google index as a massive catalog (much like a library would have a catalog of every book). Second, it has software that processes user searches and finds the best
matching web pages from its catalog.
In order for your web page to rank well in Google for a given keyword, two things need to happen. First, Google needs to crawl and index your web page. If your web page
isn’t being crawled, you’re not even in the race! Then, of all the possible web pages that Google thinks is a match for the keyword being searched, your page or pages have to be
considered better than the other possible candidates.
Getting Google to visit a Web page and index it is not as hard to do as it once was. In the early days of SEO, it was often necessary to manually submit new web pages to the
search engines so they would know these pages existed.
Many SEO consultants and software tools offered this as a service called search engine submission. Today, manual sub-mission of pages is rarely necessary. Instead, simply getting a link to a new web page from a page that is already being crawled by Google is sufficient to get the new page crawled as well. That’s how most new pages get into the Google index today. If you do decide you want to manually submit

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your pages to Google, it’s free and easy (and should not involve hiring a consultant). Just use the Google Add URL tool (
Getting web pages indexed by Google is not the prob-lem. Getting them to rank wellis where the challenge is.
To understand how to rank well, it’s helpful to understand the basics of how the Google ranking algorithm works.


Let’s dig into how Google’s software brain works. We promise not to make it too technical, and you’ll know enough to impress your friends and family at the next holi-day party.
When a user types a keyword into Google’s search box, Google first looks through the billions of pages in its index and comes up with a list of results that are matches for the
term. For example, if you type inbound marketing into the Google search box, there are currently about 625,000 pages that Google finds related to that term. Once Google has this list of pages, it sorts the list so the highest-quality results are at the top of the list and the lowest-quality results are at the bottom.
Ranking is based on a combination of two things,rele-vance and authority. The relevanceis a measure of how close of a match a given web page is to the term being
searched. This is based on factors such as the Title tag (some-times called the “page title”), the page content, and the anchor text of links to the page. The authority of a page
is a measure of how important and authoritative that given page is in the eyes of Google.
The authority of a web page is at the heart of the Google algorithm. Google calls this authority Page Rank TM, named

Getting Found in Google

for Larry Page, one of the founders of Google. The idea behind Page Rank is brilliantly simple and based on work at Stanford University on how to measure the credibility and
importance of academic papers. The authority of a given academic paper can be determined by the number of other papers that cite and reference it. The more citations a given paper has, the better the paper. But, not all citations are cre-ated equal. A citation from another paper that itself has a high number of citations is considered to carry more weight.
High-authority papers are cited by other high-authority papers. It is this same principle that drives Google’s Page-Rank, but instead of academic papers, it’s about web pages.
And instead of citations, it’s about links from other web pages. The authority of a web page is calculated based on the number of inbound links from other web pages and the
authority of those pages. Here’s a simple example. Let’s say you’ve created a web
page about the best restaurants in Boston. If your page is just sitting out there, and nobody is linking to it, Google assigns a relatively low authority score to your page. This is not surprising. Google has no evidence that you know what you’re talking about or that your content is of high quality.
Over time, a few other bloggers find your web page and link to it from their pages. This causes your authority to increase.
The more powerful the web pages that link to you, the more your authority goes up. Now, if someday, (the web site for the Boston Globe) links to your page, your
authority goes up significantly. Why? Because itself is a high-authority web site.
So, to get SEO authority, the name of the game is to get as many links as possible from as many high-authority sites as possible. How do you get links? By creating remarkable

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Search engine optimization (SEO)when done well is not about tricking Google into ranking your web page. It’s about creating content that users would want to find and helping Google deliver great search results. The best way to rank well in the Google search results is to create content that is rank-worthy. By rank-worthy, we mean content that is wor-thy of being ranked because it is what the user who is search-ing would consider to be of high quality and relevance.

Picking the Perfect Keywords

The first step in search optimization is deciding which key-words to optimize your site for. Keywords are what users type into the search box for their search query. Three
primary criteria go into selecting the right keywords to optimize your web site: relevance, volume, and difficulty.
You want to pick keywords related to your business. When crafting your list of possible keywords, it is best to think

Getting Found in Google

from the prospect’s perspective. Try to think about what keywords a prospect looking for your offering is likely to type into Google. Come up with many different variations.
Even if you get the number one spot in the Google search results for a keyword, it doesn’t guarantee you’re going to get lots of visitors to your web site. The amount of traffic you will drive to your web site is dependent on how many people search on that keyword. To pick great keywords, you need to have a sense for the approximate number of times users search for that word in Google. Check the resources section at the end of the book for information on tools you can use to help with determining search volume for keywords.
This is a measure of how hard it will be to rank for the key-word, based on the strength of the competition and your own web site’s authority. Ranking well in Google is a com-petition. Of the thousands of web pages trying to rank for a given keyword, only 10 can make it to the front page. So, if you have a new web site and are trying to break in to the
top 10, you’ll have to displace someone else. For some key-words, this is relatively easy to do, if the existing top 10 are relatively weak. For competitive keywords, the strength of
the competition may be high, and ranking on the first page may be very difficult.
Picking the best keywords is an exercise in balancing these three factors. You shouldn’t just solve for one factor.
For example, picking a relevant keyword that has very high search volume is not going to mean much if the difficulty is

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so high that you’ll never be able to rank. Similarly, picking very easy words that have very weak competition is not going to generate much traffic, if only a few people a month
use that term to search.
When picking your keywords, you should start with a list of relevant keywords for your business. Then, deter-mine what the estimated volume is for those keywords and
how much competition there is for that keyword. If you’re just getting started, you should probably begin with key-words that have relatively low competition. If your web
site doesn’t have much authority yet in the eyes of Google,
you’re unlikely to rank well for a highly competitive key-word. In addition, if you don’t make it into the first page of the search results, you are not likely to get much traffic
from those keywords. Choose keywords that have relatively low competition instead. Then, as you build authority for your web pages, and start ranking for these keywords, you can move up to higher volume keywords that have more competition.
When coming up with your initial list of keyword can-didates, it is important to think from the viewpoint of your potential customers. Don’t just think about how you would
describe your business, think about what users searching for your business might type into Google. For example, you might describe yourself as “interior design for businesses.” You’d then come up with several variations on interior design, and maybe even interior decoration (because users often confuse the two). But, perhaps some of your poten-tial customers don’t use the phrase interior design. Instead,
they might use “office space design.” The key is to put your-self in the shoes of your potential customer. A very effective way to know how your customers might search for you is to watch them. If you have an existing web site that gets

Getting Found in Google

traffic from Google, you can use analytics software to see what terms visitors are already using to get to your site. This doesn’t work well if your site is poorly optimized and the
only traffic you’re getting from Google are people searching on your company name. In most cases, looking at this kind of data yields new insights into potential keywords that you can add to your list.


If you have even a modest budget, you should consider launching a small PPC (pay-per-click) advertising campaign to determine what your best key words might be. This is par-ticularly useful if you are just getting started and don’t know which keywords will work. When you run a PPC campaign, you can pick a set of keywords and begin generating traffic almost immediately. Often, with SEO, it can take weeks or months before you rank well enough for certain keywords to see any traffic. Further, you can channel the traffic to a specific web page, such as a landing page (discussed later).
This way, you can measure what the conversion rateis for traffic from various keywords. The benefit of getting this conversion data is that you can make even better decisions
as to which keywords to pick. Remember, the purpose of inbound marketing is not just to get more traffic to your web site, but to convert more of that traffic into qualified leads
and customers.

On-Page SEO: Doing the Easy Stuff First

Once you’ve picked your keywords, the next step is to start using these keywords on your web site.
On-page factors that influence rankings are those con-tained within the page that you are trying to rank. These

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Figure 6.2 Screen Shot of Page Title on Google

are factors that you can control directly by modifying your web pages and as such, are the easiest factors to address to improve your SEO.


Of the elements on the page that influence Google, by far, the most important is the Page Title. The Page Title is what shows up at the top of the browser window (and is used for the text of the link in search results). In Figure 6.2, the Page Title tag is shown above the URL at the top (“Content Distribution Management software—Signiant”).
Given the importance of the Page Title tag to SEO, it’s worth spending a fair amount of time crafting great titles for your most important pages. The home page of your web
site is a great place to start, since it likely has the most SEO authority. However, don’t stop there. Look for deeper pages in your web site that are important and optimize the titles for those pages too. For most businesses, the traffic potential of these deep pages when added up is significant.


Here are five tips on writing great page titles:
1.Put your most important keywords in your Page Title. Too many web sites fail to use the power of the Page Title in helping with their SEO. This is such an easy win. Make sure your Page Titles contain your most important keywords.

2.Earlier words in the Page Title carry more weight than later words, so put your most important words first. For example, insteadof “User Friendly Inventory
Management Software,” try “Inventory Management Software That’s User Friendly.” The term “inventory management” is probably more important (from a search ranking perspective) than “user friendly.”
3.Don’t forget the humans! The goal is not just to rank for your important keywords, but to actually have vis-itors click through to your web site. If your Page Title sounds like nonsense, people are unlikely to click on it. Make sure your Page Title tag is something that users will want to click on when they see it in the search results.
4.When picking the Page Title tag for your home page, consider putting your company name at the end of the title. This allows your most important keywords to have more weight.


Similar to the page title, the meta description tag is infor-mation about a web page. It is usually a brief summary of what a user can expect to see on a page. Also like the page
title, the meta description is included in special HTML code in the page and doesn’t show up “on” the page like the rest of the content.
From an SEO perspective, the meta description doesn’t impact search rankings in any of the major search engines.
So, including your keywords in the meta description will not help your rankings. However, the meta description is impor-tant because although the engines don’t use it for rankings, they do often use it within the search results page. The

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Figure 6.3 Page Description in Search Results

description (or a portion thereof) is often included below the page title. By writing a compelling and accurate descrip-tion for the page, you are more likely to get clicks from Web users. (see Figure 6.3).
Here are three tips for writing your page descriptions:
1.Keep them short (1 to 2 sentences) and no more than 154 characters, because Google truncates long descriptions.
2.Every page should have a unique description (just like it should have a unique Page Title).
3.Use your keywords in your description. Google will often show the matching keywords from the search query as bold in the description. Having your key-words shown in this way increases the chances that users will click on your link in the results.

Every publicly accessible resource on the Internet has a unique URL which is basically the Internet address of the page. (Incase youwerewondering, URL stands for “Uniform
Resource Locator”). Here are some example URLs:

Getting Found in Google

Most modern content management systems will let you customize the URLs for your web pages. You should take advantage of this feature and optimize your URLs from an
SEO perspective. When Google crawls a web page, it looks at the URL as one of the factors it considers to determine the relevance of a web page for a given keyword. In the Visible Measures example above, note that both the words “video”and “metrics” are in the URL. If a user is searching on Google for the term “video metrics,” this keyword-rich URL sends a subtle signal to Google that this is likely what the page is about, in addition to looking at other things like the page title and content. Second, when users link to your web site, they often just copy/paste the URL into their web page and do not go to the trouble of specifying the anchor text. In these cases, the URL often becomes the anchor text. If you have your target keywords in the URL itself, you’ll have a higher chance of getting anchor text with those keywords when people link to your page.
A topic that comes up frequently when discussing URLs is the importance of the domain name. The domain name is that part of the URL that is shared by all other pages on the
site (for example, hubspot.comand are both domain names). Since the domain name is part of allURLs on a given web site, it is often useful to have a
keyword contained within your domain name. The reason is simple, since all of your URLs contain your domain name, any keywords that are in your domain name automatically become part of all of your URLs. This is why keyword-rich
domain names have become so popular recently. The ques-tion is, should you change your domain name so that it

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contains one or more of your most important keywords? It depends. For a business web site, the domain name should likely match the name of the business. If the business hap-pens to contain a descriptive keyword, then you’re fine.
If not, it’s unlikely that you want to change the name of the web site and the business, simply to get a keyword-rich domain. Further, if you do decide to change your domain
name, it will take some time and effort to reclaim any SEO authority you have built on the old domain name. Tread lightly here. We’ve gone through this process several times
and it always has its challenges.
If you do want to use adomain name that has one or more keywords in it (which may be the case if you’re a startup and have not decided on a business name yet), keep these points in mind: The best domain names are those that are relatively short and memorable . If you’re running a business, you want to focus only on .com domain names. Though there are other top-level domains, such as .net, .biz, .info, and others,
the .com extension is the de-facto standard for businesses.
A noteworthy exception is international domains such as .ca (Canada), .in (India), and others, which are common for businesses within the respective countries.
The pool of unregistered, high-quality .com domain names with specific keywords is very limited. There’s now an after-market for domain names, where you can acquire
domain names that have been previously registered by someone else. If you’re looking for a very high-quality domain name, you’re likely going to have to pay more than
just the registration fee. Prices for domain names can vary significantly from $100 to over $1 million. If you’re starting a new business and traffic from search engines is extremely critical, you should consider creating your business name
arounda premium, high-quality domain name.

Getting Found in Google

So far, we’ve talked about the Page Title and the page meta description. Both of these are stored in a separate part of the web page because they describe the page. Now, let’s
discuss the page content itself, the body of the page. There are several considerations to keep in mind here too, from an SEO perspective.
When creating a web page, you can put headings in the page content. Much like the headings in a book or news-paper article, a heading in a web page is used to help
organize information and to help make the content easier to read. When a visitor is scanning through an article, the headings act as visual cues as to what she might expect
to see. For example, an article in the Sunday paper about the most popular things to do in town might have sub-headings such as “Museums,” “Theatre,” “Restaurants,” and “SportingEvents.”As you scan through this article, your eyes would quickly see the sub-headings and know what you’d expect to find in the article. Google does something simi-lar when reading your web site. It looks at the headings in the page to determine what the page is about. This is why you should include your important keywords in the head-ings. When Google finds headings in your web page, it sees keywords in these headings as a signal that these words are important. Just because some words look like a heading to people doesn’t mean they look that way to Google. You must “tag” words on your pages so they look like headings to the search engines.

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Follow these three tips for writing headings:
1.Use your important keywords in your heading.
2.Keep headings as short as possible so keywords get maximum weight (same principle as in the page title and URL).
3.Use a single h1 header on each page, and use multiple h2 and h3 headers.
Many web pages also include images. Images are a great way to illustrate a point and make content more attractive and appealing. This is particularly true for long pieces of content with a lot of text. From an SEO perspective, one important thing to understand is that Google can’t really “see” images, or any text that’s in the image. For example, in Figure 6.4,though the words “Wall Street Journal” exist, they’re part of a larger image so Google wouldn’t really see those words.

Figure 6.4 Screen Shot of Multiple Images on a Web Page

Getting Found in Google

If your web page content consists primarily of images that have text on them,Google will not really be able to inter-pret the text embedded in those images. As such, they’re
not signaling to Google as to what your web site is about.
A quick tip to determine whether certain text on a page is an image: Try to highlight the text with your mouse, as if you were going to copy/paste it. If you can’t highlight
the text, chances are it’s an image and Google can’t see it.
To help with this, all important images on your web page should include what is known as an “alt” attribute. This is a special code that allows you to describe an image with
text in a way that Google can see it. Also, like the URL of your web pages, the URL of your important images should contain your keywords

Off-Page SEO: The Power of Inbound Links

Although the on-page SEO factors we discussed earlier are important and relatively easy to do, to make any significant improvement in rankings for your keywords you’re going to
need to address off-page factors as well. Off-page factors are those that are not on the pages you control but on other web pages. The most important off-page factor is inbound links. An inbound link is a link on another web page that points to your page. As discussed earlier, Google places a great deal of emphasis on the authority of a web page in determining search rankings. Authority is calculated based on the number of inbound links to your web page, and the authority of those pages linking to you.
The most effective way to get inbound links is by creat-ing remarkable content that is useful and interesting. And, getting inbound links is the most effective way to get better
rankings in Google.

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One way to get links from other people is to contact them and request that they link to your site. This is often done as an e-mail to the web site owner for a site that you’d like
to get a link from. Although this can work in some situ-ations, we’re not big fans of the link-requesting model. It’s hard to get great, high-quality links by requesting them from
other people who don’t know you. Like most site own-ers, we get requests for links all the time. We treat these link requests like spam messages—we delete them. Having
said that, if you’ve created some exceptionally good con-tent that you think would be beneficial to the readers of a particular site or blog, it is fine to reach out to them. When
reaching out to bloggers or site owners, make sure the e-mail is highly personalized. Demonstrate that you read their site and understand their audience. Send a link to the con-tent you think would be relevant for them. Usually, this is not your home page, but a deeper page, like a blog article.
Finally, don’t explicitly ask for a link. You’re basically sharing information that you think they might find useful. If they do,they might link to it.
With the proliferation of blogs and the comments left on those blogs, Google ran into an issue. Most blog comments allow the commenter to enter a URL that links back to a web
page of their choice—usually the comment author’s blog or company web site. The problem was that this feature allowed any user to create an inbound link for themselves
on any web site that allowed user-submitted content, mak-ing life difficult for Google. The search engine could not distinguish legitimate inbound links, which were seen as a

Getting Found in Google

endorsement, and which could be used as a signal of qual-ity for the page being linked to, and potentially low-quality links that the web site owner didn’t really create. To solve
this, the “no-follow” attribute was created for links.
The no-follow attribute is information within the source code for a page that can be included on a link.WhenGoogle sees a link that is marked as a no-follow, it treats this as a signal that the site owner does not wish to pass SEO credit to the target page. Though users can still click on the link (it looks like any other link), it does not help the page being linked to from an SEO perspective. Today, most blogs auto-matically mark all links left within comments as no-follow. In fact, most software that allows user-generated content (con-tent created by the general public, not by the site owner)
will mark the links within this content to be no-follow. It’s important to recognize that spending lots of time creating content on other people’s web sites with the sole
purpose of getting SEO value doesn’t work very well. Most

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of those links will be no-follow and, as such, will not pass SEO credit.
So, how much is a given link worth from an SEO per-spective? Many factors that go into determining how much SEO authority you will receive from a given inbound link.
There are four factors that affect link value:
1.The authority of the page that the link is on. The higher the authority of the page, the more of this authority it can pass on to your web page.
2.Whether the link is a no-follow or a do-follow as dis-cussed above.
3.The number of other links on the page linking to you. The more links that are on that page, the less SEO credit each link passes.
4.The anchor text of the link. This is the text that the user sees on the page and that is clickable. By default, anchor text shows up as underlined on most web pages. Links that have your desired keywords in the anchor text are the most valuable to you in terms of
ranking for those keywords.

Black Hat SEO: How to Get Your Site
Banned by Google

The terms “blackhat” and “white hat”were derived from old western movies where the bad guys generally wore black hats and the good guys wore white hats. SEO experts con-stantly debate as to what practices are considered white hat

Getting Found in Google

versus black hat. In ourmind, the big difference is that white
hat SEO helps Googledeliver quality results tousers by work-ing within existing guidelines. On the other hand, black hat SEO involves exploiting current limitations in Google’s soft-ware to try and trick it into ranking a particular web page that would normally not have ranked. Whatever you call them, you should avoid SEO practices
that rely on tricking Google and distorting search results.
Here’s our rule of thumb: If a given technique is not improv-ing the experience for a user, and it can be detected by a human doing a manual review, then it’s probably a bad idea.
It’s safe to assume that if you try to exploit a hole in the Google software today, your advantage is going to be tempo-rary. More importantly, you carry a significant risk of having your web site penalized or banned completely from Google.
The risk is not worth the reward. Here are the techniques you should stay away from when optimizing your site for Google.
There’s general consensus that one of the strongest influ-ences on search rankings is the number and quality of inbound links to a web page. A link farm is a group of web
sites created for the primary purpose of creating a high num-ber of links to a given web page. These web sites are not real, and the links on the mare not genuine signals of quality. They are often generated automatically by computers and their content is of minimal, if any, value.
Search engines like content. They particularly like fre-quently updated content. Unfortunately, creating unique

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content takes time and energy. In order to try to trigger search engine spiders to index more pages from a web site and do so more frequently, some may try to auto-generate
content or scrape Web content from other sites and repub-lish it. This technique often goes hand-in-hand with link farms. That’s because if you’re creating thousands of sites,
you need some content to put on them. Google has got-ten very good at determining what is natural content versus content that is computer-generated gibberish with no value. As for duplicating content on other web sites without per-mission, this is not only penalized by Google, it is often in violation of copyright laws.
This practice involves over-populating certain portions of a web page with a set of keywords in the hope that it will increase the chances that Google will rank the page for that keyword. Search engines caught on to this trick years ago, and it’s no longer effective. Of course, this doesn’t keep people from trying it.
This practice involves delivering different web site content to Google’s spider than what is delivered to human users.The usual motivation for this is to send the search engine
crawlers content for ranking on a certain term—but send different content to real users. It’s pretty easy for the search engines to detect this. If you’re suspected of using cloaking,it’s easy for someone (like a Google employee) to simply visit your web site as a human and check if you’re cloaking.This technique, when discovered, is one of the most reliable ways to get a site banned.

Getting Found in Google

This technique hides text on the web page. The idea is to include text so only Google can see it, but humans cannot.
The simplest example is some variation of white text on a white background. This combination is not easily visible to human users, but from a computer’s perspective, the
content still exists. This technique is a bit harder for Google to detect, but not by any means impossible.
This practice is similar to the cloaking technique. Instead of dynamically delivering different content to Google, a doorway page involves getting a given page to rank well
in Google, but then redirecting human users to a different page. Clearly, this is not in the interests of end-users, as they don’t get the content they would have expected.
It’s not smart to try to outsmart Google engineers.
Just about all of these questionable tactics presume that the search engines will not detect them and are based on exploiting currently presumed(and perhaps even non-existent) limitations of search engine algorithms.We’d argue that Google as a company is pretty smart and spends considerable resources updating its algorithm. An Internet
strategy that’s predicated on outsmarting Google is not a smart one.
For most marketers, the time and energy spent on trying to take these short-cuts is much better invested in improving the company web site so that it deserves to be ranked highly and helping the search engines discover this content for the benefit of users. Working with search engines instead of trying to exploit them is the only approach to SEO that works in the long-term.

Inbound Marketing

The Dangers of PPC

We’ve talked a fair amount about organic rankings and how to do SEO. But, we haven’t spent a lot of time talking about paid search via PPC.
PPC advertising has proven to be an effective way for many marketers to drive targeted traffic to their web sites.
However, there’s long-term risk in becoming too reliant on PPC for traffic. The problem is that because PPC programs like Google’ sAdWords act as a real-time auction, it is possible for the cost per click (CPC) to rise unexpectedly.
Let’s look at a concrete example of this. Say you’re buy-ing clicks for “wedding caterers San Francisco” and you’re paying about $2.50 a click. You’ve analyzed the data and
have determined that at this price, the clicks are worth it because the value of the leads generated from these clicks exceeds the cost. Now, things are going along just fine and
then one morning, you find that your CPC has risen to over $3.00, a 20 percent increase. This can happen for a variety of reasons, but the most common is that there is suddenly new competition that is interested in that same word, and they’re willing to pay more. Even if you’re a PPC expert, there’s little you can do to prevent others bidding up the price. You are vulnerable because the price changes constantly based on
competition. Your prices can spike and do so very quickly.Contrast this to how SEO works. If you make an investment in ranking for your top keywords in the organic listings, it is much less likely that a new market entrant that doesn’t understand the business is going to be able to displace you quickly and take away the traffic you are getting. Organic
listings are usually not achieved by new entrants that are just getting started. Even throwing money at it (as they can do in PPC) doesn’t work very well. And, even if this new

Getting Found in Google

competitor does ultimately beat you in the organic rankings,it will likely happen over time. You can watch the rankings for your top keywords and see if competitors are gaining ground.
So, our advice is to appropriately balance your invest-ment in PPC and SEO. In the early days of building Web traffic, it might be necessary to buy traffic. Or, you might
be running a short campaign to collect valuable data about which keywords work. However, over time, you should work towards establishing your organic rankings. This
investment has a better rate of return in the long-term and is much more defensible.

Tracking Your Progress

Tracking your progress in terms of rankings is an important part of SEO—and it’s relatively easy.
Use the freeWebsiteGrader ( tool and create a custom report for your web site. It will give you a lot of useful information, find problems, and give you
suggestions to fix them. Make a note of what your score is, follow the suggestions, and regularly monitor your grade over time. Website Grader looks at several different factors
and gives you a higher-level view of how your web site is doing.
One of the data points you should check is how many of your site’s pages are in the Google index. If the number of indexed pages seems lower than you expect (or zero),
there’s likely some problem with your site architecture and Google is not seeing all of your web pages. Monitor the number of inbound links you are getting to your web site. As we’ve discussed earlier, your Google rankings depend a lot on the number and quality of links

Inbound Marketing

you are getting. You should be working to get this number higher and higher.
Track a list of your favorite keywords (those that have the right mix of relevance, high search volume, and low difficulty) and see how your rankings are doing. You’ll find
that you do better for some words than others. Start looking for patterns. Pay particular attention to which web pages on your site are starting to rank. These pages are important assets because Google is sending you a message (by ranking
those pages) that they are gaining authority. Most importantly, track your actual results. How many visitors are coming to your web site through organic search?
How many became leads? For bonus points, implement a closed-loop reporting system and track how many of these leads converted into customers. (Closed loop means you
track a new customer from initial inquiry to closed sale.)

Inbound Marketing at Work: DIY Shutters

T Kestrel, based in Pennsylvania and in business since 1989,is a global provider of fine-quality shutters, which people can purchase at the company’s web site One of the broad but relevant terms for DIYShutters is the keyword “shutters.” As expected, this is a highly competitive keyword with approximately 18,000 searches done for “shutters” every month and over eight million pages that contain this word. According to owner and manager Jim Lapic, to buy an ad for this keyword in Google AdWords, the company would have to pay Google about $3.22 for every click. Thanks to SEO, DIYS now ranks number 20 for this word, and has been gaining ground steadily. Although the site’s ranking for this key-word is relatively low, “shutters” still generates hundreds of

Getting Found in Google

visitors a month for the company. By capturing these leads organically, the company is saving thousands of dollars and the site also ranks well for many keywords related to
“shutters,” such as “exterior shutters,” for which they have a number one ranking in Google. According to Jim, the company focused on SEO basics.
They made sure they had proper on-page SEO, including optimizing page titles and ensuring the site had a clean and simple design so that users (and Google) could easily find the content. They also started a blog in order to offer useful information to their target market. Interestingly, although the blog is new and the site has been around for a while, the blog is already quickly gaining ground in terms of SEO authority. And, Jim spent a lot of time picking the right key-words to optimize his site and tracking his progress on these keywords.

To Do
1.Run your web site through the suggestions.
2.Discover which of your pages are themost powerful.
3.Optimize the page titles of your most import pages
(like your home page).

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