SEO For a non SEO Client

What do you do when a client doesn’t want SEO?

Seriously that’s a question and I welcome your feedback.I have a few clients that work in a closed market. One sells spare parts for lawn mowers. There a limited number of mower companies in the country. He reckons he has over 98% of them as clients, so why bother looking for more on the internet? He knows who they are and there are a variety of reasons why he isn’t already selling to them. So what to do?

Well I guess not everyone actually needs SEO, and you can’t win them all.

As for the rest of the world, good SEO means free visitors to your web site and we all want that. But I want to remake a point I have made before, we don’t all need 1000 new visitors to our site every day. Surely what we really want is a 1000 new customers to our site.  This month I am launching two web stores, one is already live selling stationery products. They are both private stores so only existing clients can see the prices. I’ll write more about this soon. But back to my point… we need customers not visitors and that isn’t always done via SEO.

What we need is effective marketing for our business.

SEO and our website for that matter is only one part of that. Relying purely on one way to find customers is just plain crazy. There’s heaps you can do, here’s a few ideas

  • regular newsletters
  • cold calling
  • referrals
  • networking
  • local business association netwroking sessions

So my next question is – what have you done this month?

If you haven’t done at least one of the above then stop reading right now and go do something pro-active to grow your business.

Please post some feedback, tell me what you have done this year and what you are going to do…

More soon

Attache PRO online store

Over the past 2 months I have developed a online store interface for Attache PRO. The store is the Interspire shopping cart system which currently runs over 8000 online stores including many household names. The interface transfers customers and stock each night and fetches new orders as they are received.

Most online stores rely on a simple email to the store administrators, but if you have a large number of orders this isn’t practical.

Just some of the additional benefits from the interface are

  • Images are transferred and thumb nails are automatically generated. When you have 1000’s of products this is a real life saver.
  • Categories are automatically generated allowing browse store by category.
  • Brands can be maintained within Attache and then transferred automatically, allowing browse store by brand
  • Orders are automatically transferred and imported into Attache preventing errors from rekeying of orders.
  • Can be configured as a private store, online customers with a valid login can see prices.

If you have Attache PRO and would like to trade online I can help you get your products online quick, easy and without breaking the bank.

Client SEO work – it's a whole other world

Working in the real world offers some unseen challenges, but the experience is worth the effort and the financial rewards can compensate…

Recently I have been incredibly fortunate to work with a great client Kalamazoo on the reworking and redesign of their website www.kalamazoo.co.nz

One of the really great things about kalamazoo is the people, I have been fortunate enough to have a client that gives me virtual free rein with their project. This is meant that I’ve been able to use tools such as IBP to fine tune and quick pages and when I’m finished or at least when I get to a good break point I published a page and they provide me with some feedback. In general though they have trusted that I know what I’m doing and have left me to get on with it. It has been great for us and the working relationship is moving from strength to strength.

But it isn’t always like this,  some clients quite justifiably want to have a high level of control over the content on their website. And it pays to remember that at the end of the day, it is their website and they do have the right to choose what is and what isn’t published.

The problems start when a client simply won’t listen to your advice, you’re the expert right? And they’re paying you to your knowledge and expertise. Don’t be afraid to remind your clients of this fact, they won’t thank you when their site is nowhere to be found on Google and they aren’t getting the return on investment that they had hoped for. Just remember to keep your argument  constructive and helpful and always use facts and figures if you have them. For example, if you use a tool such as IBP it helps to educate your client, show them their ranking before and after your proposed changes and asked them to trust you for a couple weeks so that you can show them the before and after SERP. If you are right then their page rankings will improve and you will build confidence with your client that your suggestions are worth consideration.

One mistake that is really easy to make, is to tweak your page relentlessly and to use words that might give you a good search engine score but doing nothing towards helping your client win more business. Ultimately the purpose of a website can be many things but in general is there to help people do more business. It does this by explaining the product or service and taking the client through a sales process that ultimately ends in asking for an order. There’s a saying in selling “ABC — Always Be Closing”. So look at how you go about inviting the visitor to become a customer by buying your products

If your web page has been tweaked too much it also runs the risk of not being readable and that is unlikely we knew any new business. It can’t all be done over night. Most of my SEO clients pay me on a retainer basis. I offer to review the pages every week / month and check their performance. I record the SERP every week (Monday morning to be exact) and I use the results to fine tune my efforts. On the Kalamazoo site featured below I still have lots to do in terms of visitor to customer conversion. I am busy implementing an online store and that has changed how I want to tackle this. On the visitor security pass page I have a PayPal buy now button which is working really well but once the store is online, many more common products will be linked through to the store.

Here are some examples of the SEO work that I have been doing recently for Kalamazoo

http://www.kalamazoo.co.nz/index.html

This homepage puts the information that the casual browser is looking for instantly at their fingertips. There’s no need to dig through 10 pages to find out whether this company does in fact supply business stationery or cheques or continuous stationery. When a visitor comes to the site they can instantly see a summary of the major product groups covered by kalamazoo if they are interested they can drill down into the individual product pages where they will find more information.

http://www.kalamazoo.co.nz/visitorpass.html

Kalamazoo provide visitor security passbooks that cover the legal requirements to record visitors into a place of work so that should there be a fire vendor file warden will be able to ensure that everybody is evacuated and accounted for. This page has been optimised for the search term “visitor security pass”. As Kalamazoo are based in New Zealand I have optimised this site for Google New Zealand. This search term they now rank number one and this has taken about eight weeks.

http://www.kalamazoo.co.nz/printedproducts.html

Kalamazoo one of the largest independent printing companies in New Zealand. The purpose of the printed products page is to discuss business stationery printing high-quality commercial Fliers leaflets and brochures and so on. This page has been optimised for the search term “colour printing” and is steadily making its way from completely unranked and is now in the top 100 and I confidently expect it to be in the top 10 on Google within a few weeks.

http://www.kalamazoo.co.nz/businessstationery.html

Obviously optimised for the search term “business stationery” this page was quite difficult and I spent quite a lot of time getting this to rank highly. It is currently around 22 on Google but I think my recent batch of changes will have is moving onto the front page when the next 2 to 3 weeks.

Working on SEO for a client is very different from working on your own site. If you want to make changes to your own site then it’s very simple we just fire up Dreamweaver (or your preferred tool set) and off you go. Working in the real world offers some unseen challenges, but the experience is worth the effort and the financial  rewards can compensate somewhat.

Read more about Polychrome website design

Technorati code 8a4czg36m7

Ongoing SEO

This week we re-launched the Polychrome website. The new look website is far more organised and the blog has been moved to a subdomain. The primary reason for this reorganisation is that whilst WordPress is an awesome blog engine it can be difficult to get fine-grained control of the search optimisation for individual pages. We were starting to find that we couldn’t quite achieve the high rankings we wanted for as many search terms as we wanted to target.

That said, it did give us an excellent vehicle for launching their website and with clever use of the various add-ins and some hard work we have achieved some excellent results in terms of search engine optimisation.

For almost 3 months now we have ranked in the top 10 results for a wide variety of search terms such as business software solutions, accounting software Auckland and business software for New Zealand.

We could not have achieved these results if we had not been using tools such as IBP but it is important to recognise that the tool is just that and it requires lots of effort and determination to get high rankings which ever tools one uses.

Some of the keywords in the Polychrome target of very heavily contested however we have still managed to squeeze less determined sites off the front page of Google.

If you need help with your website search engine optimisation please get in touch.

New Kalamazoo site goes live

Well after a month of solid effort we finally got www.kalamazoo.co.nz live. We had more than our fair share of headaches with the people who were hosting it – mostly poor communication but we worked around that and the site is up.

The client is extremely happy which is always the most important test.

We are now three weeks on and the results of our search engine optimisation efforts are starting to bear fruit. We have been targeting around 15 key search phrases and for all the New Zealand search engine we now have at least five first page listings of which three are already ranked number one.

Obviously the higher ranked terms are for lightly contested keywords however even on the main search term which has 304,000 results we are already ranked at position 16.

Over the next few weeks we will put more effort into off-site promotion. To date our efforts are focused on on-site promotion such as page optimisation. This week we started adding the website to as many local directories as possible. These make great links as well as increasing the number of places where potential customers might find a client.

If you need help with your website optimisation is giving touch.

TemplateMonster a quick review

To Template or Not?

Choosing whether to use a website template can be a little controversial. Some website designers believe themselves to be purists and think using other peoples templates makes for a bloated website that can be difficult to maintain. Personally, I believe one of the main reasons for the introduction of CSS was to allow artistic people to handle the visual design and for technical people to handle the implementation. Besides, there are templates and there are templates – some look amazing, some look err well not so good.

For the websites are designed I’ve chosen to use templates from http://www.templatemonster.com I am not an affiliate I do love their products. What I particularly like is that after my initial consultation with a client unable to choose a selection of web designs that I think offer a good starting point. This serves two purposes, first the client can visualise what I’m trying to describe and second using a template as a starting point saves a good number of hours which translates into cost savings for the client.

Traditionally this as being any real compromise but having used several of the templates from templatemonster.com I have found them to be of a very good quality and the layout is very meaningful and obvious. Sure there’s always one for improvement and I will write a second blog on one area that I think requires particular attention, namely, handling navigation for flash-based websites for users that don’t have Flash installed.

Most of the templates on offer are around the $64 mark. When you think about the number of images, the basic layout and a starting CSS template; this represents excellent value.  Most of these templates come with a small JavaScript file that handles sizing of boxes and it works very well. There is a very good selection of templates arranged into categories and if I were being picky, I would suggest this is one area where the website could be improved. When I last looked there were over 16,000 templates to choose from and it can be rather tedious scrolling through trying to find a suitable template. However, with so much to choose from you are never short on choice.

Flash templates

These templates offer some nice visual effects and an enhanced user experience without much work required from the web designer. Nearly all of these, use Flash for the site navigation and this could be improved by allowing the page names and the button labels to be controlled via an external XML file rather than requiring a copy of Adobe Flash in order to rename pages. Whilst this is possibly just me being a little picky, I believe, this really would add value to anyone who doesn’t own a copy of Adobe Flash.

Similarly, the templates that I have used have only had a very basic text message for when Flash is not installed. For my sites I have now amended the background CSS to allow the navigation from the non-Flash version of the website to be substituted when Flash is not installed. I’ll be writing another blog post to cover how I did that for anybody that interested.

Seperate Content from Design

Layout.CSS

One thing I particularly like about the templates I have used is that the styles.CSS has been separated from the layout so that pages are laid out in one file and the visual theme is handled in another. Maybe I’m just overly organised but I particularly like this feature. I’m not a big fan of the default page names used (because my work doing a SEO has led me to believe that the page name plays a huge part in improving your Google ranking). The first thing I do is to rename my pages; however this is pretty easy as I use Adobe Dreamweaver and it handles fixing all of my links. However, when using flash-based menus you still need to update the Flash file to point to the new page names, as I said before using an external XML file would make it much easier.

Summary

To wrap up, I really enjoy using the templates from template monster.com and would recommend them to anybody. The quality of the background CSS, the images, the layout and the overall look and feel are always of a high standard. For the price, choice and quality you can’t go wrong.

Pop over and take a look http://www.templatemonster.com

I got a #1 Google Rank in just 30 days

Getting a higher ranking is easy but it takes effort

Ok so you need to check out my other SEO posts for more detail because I do a lot of indepth explanations and some of these posts are very long. The good news is that I am a business software company so I’m not even trying to get your  SEO business or sell an SEO product. I do recommend IBP from iBusinessPromoter and I am an affiliate but I want to be upfront about stuff like that.

I set out with a plan to get a top 10 Google ranking within 90 days. My friends said “yeah right” good luck with that one. Sure it’s possible but you picked a very competitive term “Business Software Solutions” up against the likes of SAP with BIG budgets. They said have a go but don’t be too dissapointed. Well that was just 30 days ago. Now to be fair on Google for pages around the world I am currently ranked 12th.

For New Zealand where most of my customers are I am now in 1st place – look see 1st out of 46,200 – Google me if you want – it jumps around a bit but it should stay up there.

1st place for NZ pages

And for Google.co.nz searching “the web” OK so 12th isn’t first page and the goal for 90 days is 1st page on Google.com but I have 60 days left and 12 out of 114,000,000 is pretty good don’t you think? Also, as at now Google thinks I only have 10 links to me but when it re crawls it will find that I have about 150 so I am expecting a big jump!

Google position 12

Read the 90 day project blog because it steps through week by week and sometimes day by day what I actually did
So much of the content on the web stops short of this vital info or they charge a furtune to still tell you nothing much other than what you have got wrong. I know that at the end of the day they are running a business and I feel for them because they would give away info to their competitors but I believe that if you are open then people see “you” as the expert and trusted advisor and want “your” help first.
Then read my review of IBP – it’s fair to say that I worked really hard on this but I could not have done it without this software.
I’m just new to the web as a business and I had a real baptism of fire, the self doubt, the – “hello is this thing on” I mean someone is reading this right? Well my web stats seems to be saying YES so thanks for coming by and please add some feedback – good or bad.

My number 1 tip for getting a high Google Ranking

Well I’m not putting that out in the public domain but if you email me I promise I will reply with the answer – no strings I just want to know if anyone is reading this. This week I stumbled upon one change to my site that made a dramatic change to my page ranking. SO much so that when I carried out the change on my other web site www.odbcexport.com it instantly jumped to position #8 on Google.com for the search term ODBC Export which is kind of useful and for me it’s kind of a big deal.
Update
It’s now August 4th and I’m still Ranked #1 of 73,600 in NZ for Business Software Solutions and now for the world I am Ranked #5 of 112,000,000

Website SEO – My 90day Project

The Experiment

In case you didn’t read my previous blog, my plan was to try and get ranked in the top ten for Google.com for the term “Business Software Solutions” in 90 days. If you skip to the bottom you’ll see that I made it but here’s the time line.

My IBP Software SEO Scorecard Timeline

Nothing done – new site, installed WordPress and that’s about it

June 5 2009 = 30% – first run, site is live but that’s about all

  • choose my keywords Business Software Solutions – (hey why not put it on this page, it’s legit right?)
  • Added heaps more content,. 5 large blogs, new product page, added keywords to existing site and description to home page that was missing
  • I have created a free piece of software and submitted it to www.tucows.combut I am waiting for them to publish it and don’t have a backlink yet.
  • Added a paid advertisement with www.finda.co.nz which is a New Zealand business directory that includes www.ubd.co.nz – These sites rank very well in NZ and allow me cheap access to local, potential customers.
  • Submitted my site to www.Google.com and www.bing.com and www.yahoo.com and paid for annual site search option with yahoo.com
  • created an account with www.cnet.com and I am now able to upload my application to upload.com – they check your entries so it takes a few days.

June 13 2009 = 35% – a nice jump for week one but I did do alot of the ground work this next week will be tougher but then Google will start ranking me and I should see some progress without doing too much – pretty please Mr Google

OK so a couple more days and still not seeing any global links form the search engines and I am getting pretty disappointed so I start looking more closely at what else I can improve.

I notice that I don’t have my keywords in any body test on my home page. Hmmm, so I figure that’s OK I can just create a new post and it will show there but the way my theme works it doesn’t so I start looking at my theme options and one in particular is widgets, I hadn’t played with these until now but they killed birds with one stone. I turn on the tag cloud in the spot where I have a place holder for advertisements that I am not using.

Next I look at key words in H1 headers and I have a suggestion in my IBP report to add software to at least one H1 tag so I do, Run the report again and BAM!

June 16 2009 = 59% and I haven’t even got links on Google yet! I love IBP so I’m going to head over there now and see if I can get a link to this review….

So this week was a bit busy, well quite busy, well actually I can’t think straight because my head hurts. So I didn’t spend the tim eon this I had planned  that’s OK because I am a realist and because desptie my week I still got stuff done. Plus I really believe that now I won’t see much improvement until Google stats to crawl my pages and others and finds some back links to me. But here is this weeks activity report

Created a pad file for my PowerSlave give away and used a submission program to post it to some 200+ sites. The pad file is basically a common structure fore storing the details like where is the file located, a description, a screen shot etc. Each day I am starting to get confirmations of acceptance as the submissions are check.

So this week was a bit busy, well quite busy, well actually I can’t think straight because my head hurts. So I didn’t spend as much time on SEO as I had planned but that’s OK because I am a realist and because despite my week I still got stuff done. Plus I really believe that now I won’t see much improvement until Google starts to crawl my pages and others and finds some back links to me. But here is this week’s activity report

  1. Created a pad file for my PowerSlave give away and used a submission program to post it to some 200+ sites. The pad file is basically a common structure for storing the details like where is the file located, a description, a screen shot etc. Each day I am starting to get confirmations of acceptance as the submissions are checked.
  2. Added a new product SUN2Outlook that allows people to view their SunAccounts contacts  in an address book panel within Outlook. I still feel that content is king so I am really pushing the content angle.
  3. Added product pages for a suite of integration options I made for Attaché 7 acocunts
  4. Created YouTube videos showing each of my products and made sure the descriptions on the YouTube site link back to my site
  5. This one is AWESOME, I emailed IBP and asked about getting a link to my review. Rather sensibly they said they couldn’t because I was and affiliate. That’s fair enough but they said that they had seen the review because they were using Google Alerts. I didn’t even know about Google Alerts but I’m sold. This has been so useful. It is another FREE Google service that lets you define terms of interest and it will send you a daily digest of new content posted that refers to those terms. ( actually there’s so many options you could do a whole blog on that separately)
  6. So now, everyday I get a summary email from Google listing posts and articles on the web that refer to Power Saving and I scan them for suitable candidates. When I find one I jump to the site and post a feedback comment about how my product is relevant and then link to my site. I reckon I am creating2 good links a day, which doesn’t sound like much but my second biggest competitor only has 300+ links. If I can get 100-200 from software submissions (point 1) then I only need 2-3 months of this alone to catch them up.
  7. Started joining user groups and forums and posting feedback that links to my site effectively direct marketing my products as well as getting links as I always have my site linked in my response.

Despite all of that (WOW I got a lot more done than I thought) I am still at 59% actually it jumps around and some days it says 58%. Still my biggest issue is global link popularity as “none of the analyzed search engines returned a different domain that links to your web site” that message is starting to haunt me already. The thing is that I know that there are dozens already and growing daily but still patience never was my strong spot hmm. So for now that’s me and I guess I will need to stick at it. I just got a message from one of the shareware sites I submitted to offering submission to another 500 so just maybe…

June 23 2009 59% – Still need to get those global links sorted

Quick update – I just noticed that today Google started ranking my pages and on my keywords I am at position 91 out of 119,000,000 – not bad for 2 weeks.

My Google ranking June 24 2009

My Google ranking June 24 2009

Also Bing is now listed in IBP as having 7 links to my site, that’s not enough to affect my IBP score but then it isn’t showing Google links that are listed in Google Webmaster tools – strange

June 24 2009 – IBP = 59% and Google Ranking = 77 of 119,000,000

So curiousity is definately getting the better of me. I have been busy building link and today Google finally found the first 2 – yay! my IBP score just jumped to 64% but U need at least 70 for it to really move. I don’t mind because I know that I porbably have at least 150 now but it links back to me. What is cool is that this little change has also bumped me up to position 77 of 119,000,000 up 14 places since yesterday. So I am steadily climbing and once Google starts finding all of thos links it’s going to really move fast. I think I am on track so far with my 90day target and the best bit, is that this is less work than I expected.

Two key things, Google Alerts is helping my really build good quality links and IBP software is REALLY steering my in the right direction.

June 26 2009 – IBP = 61%  and Google Ranking = 77 of 119,000,000

Did some more work on the content and keywards in actual body text but also removed some over use of my search term mainly the landing page and my links are starting to kick in but I need to add more “relevant” outbound links as this is well withing my control. I am very happy that within 3 weeks my IBP score is now over the 60% mark especially as IBP only sees 2 links to my site and Iknow that there are actually 122 and more on the way. In my competitionlist links on google I am 9/10 but if it was seeing all of my links I would now be 4/10.

This weeks big effort has really been about using Google Alerts but I am planning a seperate post on that .

June 27 2009 – IBP = 67% and Google ranking 75 of 119,000,000

So I am in New Zealand and when I check saturday morning here it seems like somewhere else in the world Google and Bing have done a bunch of crawls or updates because that’s when my score seems to jump up.

June 30 2009 – IBP = 70% and Google.com 73 of 116,000,000 (should I be worried that google dropped 3,000,000 pages?)

small update because for whatever reason I just tried my local google which being in New Zealand is google.co.nz and I am in position 4

Holy crap I can’t quite believe it!! Position 4 in under 4 weeks I am amazed!!!!

google_nz_june_30_2009

July 3 2009 – IBP = 70% and Google.com 70 of 113,000,000 (another 3,000,000 – what gives Google?)

I just tried changing my preferences and searched only for pages in English and I get position 19 of 113,000,000 not bad for 4 weeks

Stop the press on my local Google.co.nz for pages in New Zealand I am in pole position – roll out the banners yee haw

google.co.nz

In just 4 weeks I got to position #1 for my local search engine

July 10th – IBP = 67% and Google.com needs some explanation

So I noticed some odd behaviour (at least I think it’s odd). I use Vista and IE8 and have my default search provider set as Google.com. If I run Google.com as a site rather than the search bar I get different results and if I run Google.co.nz and search the web its different to google.com – So here are my detailed ranking.

  • Google.com – 11 0f 1040,000,000
  • Google.co.nz – search the web – 9 of 116,000,000
  • Google.co.nz – pages from NZ – 1st of 46,300

Well a very busy week for me as I added a new product Onlooker for Outlook and the PowerSlave links keep pouring in 227 Links to Polychromenz.com now. My IBP score has dropped but that is because I am now also targetting a second search term “Accounting Software“.

So I am VERY happy that I am still moving up the Google.COM rankings especially as I am now 11th for the world and so very nearly in the elusive top ten and still have over 50days left in my challenge.

July 31- IBP 62% – I tweaked things to score higher on another term

In reality I should optimise different pages for each term but I have my reasons

  • Google.com –  – 12 of 121,000,000
  • Google.co.nz search the web – 8 of 121,000,000
  • Google.co.nz – pages from NZ – 1 of 74,300

Not too much happening on the SEO as I focussed on my Onlooker for Outlook it reminds you if you forget to add an attachment in Outlook. I released it onto hundreds of shareware sites and it had 120+ downloads in the first 24 hours.

For reference here are some other terms I am working on

Google.co.nz pages from NZ

  • Accounting Software – 26
  • B2b – 39

August 7 – IBP 62% – still very much focussed on other keywords

Been updating the site alot thispast two weeks whilst developing a new website for a customer at the same time.

Business Software Solutions

Google.co.nz – pages from NZ #1

Google.co.nz – pages from the web  #6 of 107,000,000

Some of the other terms I am targeting

  • google.co.nz pages from NZ
  • Google.co.nz – nz pages
  • Accounting software #27
  • Business Software #10 (I was nowhere 3 weeks ago) IBP 67%
  • B2B #43 up from 77 only 2 weeks ago
  • B2b software #4 from nowhere two weeks ago

Website SEO Search Engine Optimisation – Review of IBP Software from iBusinessPromoter.com

It would be unfair to develop a series of website optimisation posts without mentioning iBusinessPromoter. Now that I have my website up and running I bought a copy of IBP (www.iBusinessPromoter.com) and created a top 10 optimisation report. The IBP software is amazing and if you can afford a copy I thoroughly recommend that you go get a copy now. Whilst this series of guides is giving you the broadest overview of the major steps that you need to take in order to ensure that your website is spotted by the search engines and stands a chance of being listed, I cannot even begin to go into as much detail as the report from the IBP software. The report for my website runs to 60 pages. I hope that by outlining the results I can offer some opinions as to their meaning and what to actually do. IBP is literally overflowing with information and suggestions on what to do. It does an awesome job of telling you what it is reviewing and from that the actions are usually obvious.

And it’s all in here, I’ll give you an overview of what the software gives and some of the responses for the day my website was ran thorugh it but if you are serious about running your business on the Internet then you really should go get a copy.

  • Report overview — in this section the software contains your site to other websites that use similar search terms it gives examples of their homepage and the descriptions used looking at this is obvious that WordPress does not have an easy place to create your website description meta tag and this is something I need to do. [update] There is a great plugin All in one SEO Pack that covers this properly 🙂 I love WordPress plugins.
  • Ranking score — before adding this content and tackling my meta tags my ranking score was 30% after a bit more work I’ll run this report again and post some comparisons below. What I particular like about this is page is that it shows a variety of factors and where you pass and where you fail. Currently I fail on 29 ranking factors.
  • Keywords — the report outlines the various search terms and keywords used on my site and on the comparison websites in shows me what I do well and what my keyword density is. This is one section that I think could be improved because my keyword density is deemed to be okay but I know that this is purely because I don’t have much content. I would really like to see some attempt to compare entity with volume of content to show how much work really needs to be done on my website.
  • Global Link popularity — obviously is a new site I’m not expecting amazing results yet but it is kind of depressing to see that I have zero links and some of our competitors are into the thousands in one has over 8000.
  • Inbound links — again I don’t have any links and so this makes for rather depressing reading.
  • Keywords in body text — again we see that my keyword density in some areas is reasonable and again I know that this is only because I haven’t got much content in still at least this is an area that is totally in my control and I’m confident that I can add good value content in a reasonable timeframe.
  • Age of website — Google and other search engines like websites that have been around for a long time and if you are like me and have a new website there really is nothing we can do about this. However when you are registering your domain this might be a good reason to buy a domain name that has been around for some time from another person however when I looked at this, the pricing was kind of ridiculous.
  • Keywords used in H1 — When I ran the report I didn’t have any text marked as H1 but this is also something that I can control. What I particularly like about this section is that it compares my site to that of my competitors in shows me what I can do about it.
  • Keyword use in domain name — this section compares where I managed to include keywords in my domain name to the success of my competitors.
  • Keyword use in page URL — now I’m learning something there is a value in having your keywords embedded into the name of the page URL. In WordPress there is an option to manage the way the permanent links are created. By default WordPress uses a page number or post number naming convention and whilst these are short I think is better to use a month and name combination and always ensure that your posts are named to include heavy hitting keywords. Man I love this software.
  • Links from social networks — the software obviously knows about a whole host of social networks and shows the links back from del.icio.us and Digg. Some good news for me here, only one site has had any real success and another has had marginal success. This is an area where I should be able to easily outperform my competitors and boost my ranking.
  • Service speed — the report didn’t seem to work for me here, I think it may just be that there were many pages on my website, maybe not enough for a reasonable benchmark. As I add more content compare these reports and see if I improve. Although I had my suspicions because many of the competitors have also not return a school.
  • Keyword use in subsequent headings — looking at other headings from two through to six, I really like this section it shows that my competitors are pretty poor at managing subsequent headings and with a bit of work that is somewhere I can really outperform them. It also shows me that at the moment I have a lot of work to do.
  • IMG ALT attributes — we use images on your website the alternate text is used by Google to determine the relevance. A lot of people make the mistake of being quite lazy when inserting images (it’s just a picture right) but it pays to be ever vigilant. So far it looks as though I’m doing a good job, and my competitors have been pretty weak in this area.
  • This is great I’m already starting to see that my competition might have nice websites that look good with lots of pages that they had not thought much work into optimising their website and I can clearly see a way forward.
  • Top-level domain — a simple check that we registered at the top level. I passed this test of this kind of pointless and is only here for the sake of completeness I feel.
  • Keyword use in bold body text — okay I have talked about this before, and when we ran the test I was doing a pretty poor job but hey at least the good news is that so were my competitors and I’ve been working really hard to ensure that my keywords are highlighted in bold.
  • Number of visitors — okay no surprises here my visitor numbers suck it in their website. The report however is awesome it uses the Alexa.com traffic rank information to show me just how bad I am doing. I really like the advice at the bottom of this page “your website does not appear to have many visitors. This could be disadvantageous to your rankings on Google.com”. Yeah right, tell me something I don’t know. Oh well I guess only time can help me now.
  • Keyword use in same site link texts — maybe I’m not really reading this right but  think this relates to the relevance of shortcuts within my site and whether those links contain useful keywords. When I built the report I was still using the post ID for my naming, and I’m now convinced that this is a bad idea because none of my links contained keywords. Having changed to the month and name convention I should be able to improve my stats on this one.
  • Keyword use in outbound links — so again if I’m reading this right, any links we make to the outside world will improve our ranking if they include our keywords so I intend to start creating some links to my site on pages that have my keyword in their title.
  • Keyword use in same site link URLs — OK these are where links in my site to other pages in my use have my keywords in them – oops I was using post ids and that means no keywords – ok lesson learned.
  • Keywords use in outbound link URLs — okay so the obvious flipside is that we need links to external websites and we need to use our keywords in those links. I scored pretty poorly on this one but I think the answer is fairly straightforward, linked to similar to some relevant websites and make sure I use the term business software solutions.
  • Keyword use in meta description — each page has a meta description tag and it’s clear from the report by have not used my keywords in these descriptions. I’ll go back through my pages and add meaningful descriptions and try to ensure that the relevant keywords are used in each. I really must say that doing this manually would be a real chore and I can’t imagine trying to do this without IBP.
  • Number of trailing slashes in URL — a case of if I understand this some web search engines don’t like subdirectories that don’t link to the rest of your site. I seem to have a clean bill of health.
  • HTML validation of webpage to W3C standards — have now moved into the sections that are deemed slightly important by IBP. Apparently I have an HTML error this is where a tool like this really pays dividends. No one would have the time to do this manually, and would you even know where to start?
  • Readability level of webpage — I really like this section are maybe it’s because I scored well (I had to do well somewhere) my website scored 70/100 with the sweet spot considered to be between 60 and 80.
  • Keyword use in meta keywords — this section is testing if I remembered to put my keywords into my meta tags. I scored really badly but I know that’s just because I ran the report before I’d done this work. You can guarantee I’ll be coming back to this one.
  • Keywords used in HTML comments — to add comments using WordPress I assume that you would use the HTML editor rather than the visual editor. I guess it makes sense that if I put most myself in my webpages that refer to the keywords I am targeting then Google will be more inclined to think that this page is genuine. This is something I haven’t done yet, but the good news is that neither had my competitors.

The next section of the report focuses on search engine compatibility and give some general feedback and advice on things that you should and shouldn’t do. So far my site looks to be doing things by the book.

The next section is advice on factors that could be preventing a top ranking, the choir loft content in here and too much to go through in a review especially as you should really buy the software rather than read my review if I’m to be fair to IBP.

Subsequent pages of the report for a summary of your results and scores in a tabular format at this early stage this is possibly irrelevant for me but later on I can compare the results and short on track in the right direction.

My IBP SEO Scorecard Timeline

I moved this section to it’s own blog, it was getting kind of big and we are only onw week 2 or 3 so I thought time to make a seperate post http://polychromenz.com/2009/06/website-seo-my-90day-project/

Conclusion

OK so I have been playing with a bunch of different products such as keyword country but iBusinessPromoter wins hands down for simplicity, functionality and completeness. I really cant find anything I don’t like yet. One area that deserves a special mention is the checklist, I really like being able to step through an answer questions to see how much I’ve got left to do. And with general tips and tricks scattered amongst the list you are always been prompted to cover everything. I’m pretty sure they have an affiliate program and so I’m off now to sign up.

Thanks for reading

My score = Essential business tool 10/10 buy it today.