1. Google Analytics
Google Analytics is one of the most effective tool to monitor and analyze any web traffic to your websites. It gives in-depth information about who is visiting your website, where are they coming from, and how are they reacting to your website. Every business (website) need to track and analyze their current visitors to understand user behavior and act accordingly. Some of key items to look at in Google Analytics:
•             Visits – number of visitors coming every day/week/monthly
•             Traffic Source – tells where visitors are coming from such as Direct, Referral, or Search Engine (using service specific keywords).
•             Page Views – tells average number of pages a visitor views per visit.
•             Time on Site – tells number seconds, minutes, or hours a visitor stayed on a website
•             Bounce Rate – tells how engaging is your website is, lower the number the better it is.
•             Regional Visits – tells which country, state, city – visitors coming from.
2. Google Webmaster Tools
Google webmaster is another free tool from Google. It provides detailed reports on website’s visibility in Google and it is very easy register/add a website. It provides features like sitemap submission, detailed reports on any server issues, broken links, HTML improvement suggestions, keywords visitors use to find your website, websites linking back to your site, and much more.
3. Bing Webmaster Tools
Bing Webmaster Tools gives similar features as Google Webmaster Tools.
4. Google Places for Business
Google gives a great feature “Google Places for Business” for local business to get list their services and offers. Google gives high preferences to local business listed on Google Places than those which are not listed. It helps to improve search engine rankings for any local business in Google. Some key features for Google Places are:
•             List business location
•             Full description of business services or products
•             Photos
•             Customer Reviews
5/6. Bing Business and Yahoo! Local
Bing Business and Yahoo! Local are similar to Google Places. Yahoo! Local lets you list your local business in Yahoo! Business directory for free or paid. It offers same features what Google Places does.
7. Social Accounts (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube)
Social Networks playing most important role in marketing any online business. It is must do for any online business to get listed on major Social Networking websites like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn. These social network sites allows business owners (marketers) to get real time feedback reviews and get engaged with their customers anytime and anywhere. Major search engines like Google, Yahoo!, and Bing use social signals for any business to determine its value to customers.
8. Local Business Directories (Yelp, CitySearch, Four Square, MerchantCircle)
Along with Google Places, Bing Business and Yahoo Local, there are many big local business directories to get your business listed and to get real customer reviews. Customer reviews are best to get feedback and enhance your service/product functionality.
9. Blogging
Blogging is another way to get always in-front of your customers. Blogging helps you any business to talk about their new & upcoming products, services, or features and get real time customer feedback to understand the market.
10. Discount/Deals and Coupon Websites (SlickDeals, DealMap, Groupon, LivingSocial)

There are many websites where a business can list its hot deals, coupon codes, or any discount offers – which helps to attract more customers and generate more leads/sales. In addition to customer attraction it helps a website to get links from these quality websites, which helps any website to get more sales.

Canonical URLs for SEO

Canonical URLs are very important to avoid duplicate content penalties from Google. Before explaining, how to implement Canonical URLs in different CMS platforms – Lets understand what is canonicalization?
Canonicalization, is just a term used by Google to elaborate a process of selecting best URL for a particular web page, when there are several choices. In different CMS Softwares, if you select multiple categories for a single post, it may create multiple URLs for same content. For Example: site.com/category1/samplepost and site.com/category2/samplepost. So to avoid this duplicate content (in excerpts too), using canonical URL is the best option.
How to implement canonical URLs:
  • Choose best URL (category) for a single post.
  • Add this url as canonical URL for other categories with same content (in header section).

Syntax: <link href="http://www.site.com/category1/samplepost”" rel="”canonical”"/>


How to Avoid Email Spam Filters

Avoid Email Spam Filters
Avoid Email Spam Filters
Marketers spend a lot of efforts and time to get huge list of email addresses, hoping that their email is going to be delivered and viewed by most of them. But the reality is a huge portion of these emails are going to into Spam folder.  No matter how genuine is your email is, with all these sophisticated spam filters, it is very hard to get through these restrictions. But there are legitimate ways to avoid being caught by spam filters and have your email delivered safely into the inbox.

Following are some tips to avoid spam filters:
  • Important – always have an option to unsubscribe or opt-out in your email.
  • Mention you physical address
  • Subject line should descriptive to the content inside the email.
  • Do not buy junk list of emails.
  • Do not use all caps in your email body or in subject line.
  • Always use alt text for your images, so it can be read even  if images are not being displayed.
  • Avoid spam words like Free!, Discount!, Offers! Etc. (Note: Never use “!” sign in your email subject like or body)
  • Try to use auto-color (black) for font in your email.
  • Avoid bad grammar. Use spell checker before sending email.
  • Don’t use tons of images, videos, flash or java script in your email
  • Don’t use forms in your emails, clearly mention link to landing page.
  • Offer both HTML and Text version of your email

Most important thing is to stay up to date with email spam laws and regulations, to avoid being part of a problem.


Converting Visitors into Customers

Increase Conversion Rate
Turing Visitors to Customers / Sales

If you are running a website to sell products or services online, one thing every online retailer is looking for top search engine rankings. There are variety of search engine marketing techniques to get high search engine rankings and hundreds of visits to website.

But the main motive for any online retailer is not getting visits, but sales or conversions. I have been asked many times, “I am ranking on 1ston Google for my primary keyword, but still I don’t have enough sales.” As 
I went through different products or service based websites, I found some basic problems:

Wrong Choice of Keywords: You are ranking for a keyword that very few people use to search for that particular product. Or the content on webpage is totally irrelevant to the keyword. For example, you are ranking on keyword “buy shoes” and your webpage showing content for some tech gadgets.

Landing Page Optimization: If the keyword is on right track, next thing could be wrong is the landing page (where visitor coming after clicking on search engine ranking page). The problem with landing page could be:
o   It does not have enough content or information about product or service.
o   If content is there, it is not good enough to retain a visitor to read
o   No or Improper use of “Call of Action”

No use of Secured Server Layer (SSL), which makes it real hard to anybody to trust on a website
Following are some suggestions to improve conversion rate:

Know your market– look what your competitors are offering for same product or services, to attract more customers, such as return policies, shipping options, multiple payment options.

Offer clear contact information. Try to use toll free numbers, avoid long contact forms
Have your website secured from an authorized security provider, such as SSL certificate from Symantec Verisign.

Offer Something: Offer Discount Coupons, Gift Cards for product based websites, and offer some utility services for service based websites such as maintenance for some time.

Ease of Use: Offer multiple login options using social network websites such as Facebook Login, Google Login etc.

Social Sharing: Add social sharing buttons to be more interactive and get customers from customers.

Source: IIDEA Blog


Google Disavow Links Tool – Caution!

Matt Cutts recently announced Google Disavow Links Tool, which is now available through Google webmaster tools. During this announcement Matt Cutts warned webmasters to use this tool with extreme caution.

What this tool will do?

According to Cutts, this tool will allow you upload a text file (in Google webmaster tools), containing URLs per link, for links you want Google to ignore. Google will take links in as a “strong suggestion”, so use it very carefully.
Google Disavow Link Tool will help clean website (old or newly bought domains), which has some bad links (paid or non-seo friendly).

How to use it?

  • Sign-in to Google Webmaster Account
  • Select website (you want to remove links for)
  • After getting a prompt to upload text file, with the links you want to disavow.

Video Tutorial by Matt Cutts:

Following is the link to access Google Disavow Links Tool: https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/disavow-links-main


Marketing outside Google

Google latest penguin update, to block spam websites, has made it difficult for small business to get traffic through Google organic search. But there are always options other than Google, not just search engines but social networks and blogs.
There are few most effective options to increase website traffic without Google:
  • Social Networks: Keep on creating fresh informative and effective content and share this content through Facebook pages, Tweets, LinkedIn profiles and other available social networks. People are not just replying on Google anymore for what they are looking for, but on social networks. Keep posting something fresh on social profiles to make it active.
  • Blogs: Try to get connected with bloggers related to your market, keep conversation going on with such blogs, forums. Ask for suggestions and give suggestions to show expertise in that niche.
  • Use more images and videos to engage your audience, to make them listen what you are trying to say.
  • Start Pinning: Pinterest has become third most popular social network, after Facebook and Twitter. So start pinning your images to drive more traffic to your website.

There are many different options to drive traffic to website, other than Google. Look around for choices you have to market your product or service and Go Socialize…!


Website Competitor Analysis for SEO

A complete analysis of competitor is one the most important and most effective of search engine marketing strategy. A in-depth competitor analysis can help you rank higher on major search engines, by just doing a little better than your competitors did.

Following are some basic steps to find and analysis your best competitors:

How to find who are your best 5 (or more) competitors?

Just simply decide your keywords, you want rank on. Search those keywords (Google) and collect 5 (or more) common websites coming on top.

Now you have your best 5 competitors, next step is How to analyze your competitor’s strengths?

Take any competitor website (xyz.com) and check website structure thoroughly. Check for keywords usage in content, links, headings. Navigation structure and URL patterns are also important to put your main keywords.

How your competitor’s doing off page marketing?

Just Google for your competitor’s URL (xyz.com), it will show you list of websites, social networks, and directories – wherever it has links from. Now you have an idea what to do next. Just go for same approach in a better way.

Never forget to check for your competitors’ weakness, this is where you can have edge our competitors.


Tablet Friendly Websites – WHY?

Year 2011 has been the year for the tablet as an increasing number of users have begun browsing internet on tablets like ipad, amazon kindle, etc. and many companies have conducted surveys to find out what is the effect of tablets on internet browsing and online shopping behavior. These surveys showed how people are getting addicted to use tablets (obviously majority is iPad users), and different people have different reasons for buying these tablets. Some of them like it to use for gaming, music/videos, others like to use it for emails, social networking and last but not the least are users who are using their tablets for online shopping.

So what these studies actually show to webmasters, web marketers, and business owners???


Using Images and Videos for Search Engine Friendly Web Page/Blog

If you are reading this post, it is definite that you are curious about secret of making a web page or a blog post a search engine friendly content. Before, we used to hear all about using keywords in your content (text), making keyword rich titles, anchor text etc. but these days Google and other major search engines giving priority to media content, such as images and videos too.

I have noticed on one of my blog (fiz1.com) most of my visits are coming from image search in Google and YouTube videos I have on my blog. Even on some keywords I am getting top rankings in Google images search.

Here are some tips to make Images and Videos to make your website or blog search engine friendly:

  • Start using more images in your websites – by images I mean images related to you web page content, product, service and good quality images.
  • Use your most prominent keywords in images names, attributes (title, ALT), link
  • Adding relevant videos to your pages is another to make your page more informative for users and search engines.
  • Adding videos also helps you increase visit time on a page.


Google Upgrades on Punctuation Search Results

Google has updated its search results for searching symbols and punctuation marks like, comma, full-stop, carat, and many more. These punctuation marks will now return search results. For now all I can see Wikipedia on top search with definition and details for particular punctuation mark.

But there is one symbol, asterisk (*), for which Google does not show any result.