I’ve said it before – heck, I say it often. Fresh content is needed to help drive SEO success. But how true is it?

I haven’t updated this site in over 4 months, and before that there was a rather long content drought as well. Yet, as of today this site remains in the #1 and #2 spots on Google for the targeted term of “purple widget”!

I think all of this simply goes back to my original point in creating this site, at least one of my points. The term “purple widget” has low competition and very little search volume so a site dedicated so extensively to ranking for that term can continue to do so, even without daily, weekly or even monthly new content. It was relatively easy (please note – I am a professional, do not try this at home) to get ranked to begin with and is relatively easy to stay ranked – for this insignificant term.

But if your site is competing for a term with any competition and that has any potential value to your business or traffic then to answer the question (more…)

This is not likely the last (maybe not the first) off the wall post. Afterall, without a sense of humor life can kind of suck sometimes.

There is a lot of talk about links (aka “inbound links”) and link building in the world of search marketing and when talking SEO. I’ll skip the commentary and common reasons/need for inbound links to your website and just leave it at – you need them.

But not all links are created equal. And if you can remember back to high school – neither are prom dates.

So let’s take a quick look at some common types of links.

Bad directory links – There are a lot of lousy directories out – A LOT! Google knows it and you should know it. This is the girl that doesn’t really want to go to prom but her Mom is making here and since your Mom is making you go this is who you go with.

Good directory links – Okay, so you have to go to prom. This is the slightly cuter girl who doesn’t really want to go but knows she may regret it someday if she doesn’t so (more…)

Another slight detour from widgets – purple ones, green widgets and SEO. But not completely off track this time. A bit about personalized marketing and e-mails.

Every morningwhen I wake up one of the first things I do is pick up my smartphone (currently a T-Mobile G1, previously a Blackberry Curve, before that a Palm Treo) and take a quick look at my e-mail. My wife used to think this very odd. Until several months ago I got her a Blackberry Curve – now she does the same thing. E-mail on this phone, at least the e-mail I’m looking at is personal e-mail plus some of my many part-time business effort e-mails – none stunningly successful (or they wouldn’t be part-time) so not a ton of e-mail. So in other words, not work e-mail. Not e-mail from my real job (the one that pays the bills). I’m not sure why I make this distinction it’s really not important.

Most mornings I have about 17-21 e-mails. No big deal, about 1/2 are to be deleted, about 1/4 to be read later (maybe) and a (more…)

Although Purple Widget still ranks #1 on Google for the search term “purple widget” and #19 for “SEO Experiment” as well as #16 (with no extra SEO effort for that page specifically yet) for “green widget” I admit I’ve been a bit lax on keeping fresh new content on this site. As I’ve pointed out before, that’s a no-no. But PurpleWidget.com remains a back burner project and time simply doesn’t always permit the effort needed to produce great (or at least marginally good) content.

So today I take a quick detour. There is a 1983 movie, Malice, that has a great – although lengthy – quote in it that I’ve liked. Here is my SEO version of that quote:

I am a Google expert, I am Yahoo certified in pay-per-click and search marketing, I have been awarded citations from seven different search marketing organizations, and I am never, ever sick at sea. So I ask you; when someone goes into that chapel and they fall on their knees and they pray to God that their website will be ranked # 1 on (more…)

What happens when your SEO finally starts to work?
You’ve been creating great content and fresh content for several months now. You’ve been building links and all your page titles are keyword research driven and page focused. And maybe you’ve seen some small increases in traffic and better rankings. But are you ready when your SEO efforts really kick in?

SEO is an ongoing process with several pieces coming together to work over time. And it can certainly take time to really start working – but when it does you can see some very quick growth. The more exposure your site gets, the more new exposure your site will likely get. So when SEO starts snowballing new traffic and new conversions to your site – are you ready?

Can your servers handle the traffic? All that work can lose its value if your site performance goes down quickly or the site crashes.

Can you handle the orders? Can you fill the orders? When orders start increasing – can you keep up? Do you have the stock (more…)

I haven’t checked it everyday but less than 3 weeks after putting up a single page with an optimized page title, file name and content my PAGE (not site) dedicated to Green Widgets ranks #6 on Google for the search term ‘Green Widget’!

So just that quickly a page specifically designed to rank for a keyword – worked. So another example that SEO does work.

Like is the point of this entire site, this particular example has little value as nobody is searching for Green Widget but the principals remain the same. It just takes longer for highly competitive keywords.

In the next several weeks I’ll start working on some specific techniques to improve the ranking for Green Widget, as I did with Purple Widget when the main site first launch (still #1 on Google by the way).

As an SEO Specialist dealing with clients I have often said “there is no magic bullet for SEO” and then go on to explain that as many as 200 individual factors determine where you may rank for any given search, that those factors change often in both what they actually are and how important any single one might be in realtionship to any other factor. SEO is a process that evolves slowly over time.

As an SEO Specialist dealing with clients I have often heard “I need a magic bullet for SEO” and then I go on to explain that as many as……okay, you get the picture.
And it’s possible I was a bit overly literal with what clients say – they may never have used those exact words; it was for effect – cool wasn’t it!

What I hear most often after providing an excellent list of recommendations, best practices and SEO ideas is “great list….but….” and that’s usually followed by “what should we do first?” or “can you prioritize this list for us” which really means – we aren’t going to spend (more…)

I’ll keep this brief. Mainly because I already said everything I wanted to say on the new page I’m about to introduce.

I am excited to announce that we now feature a Green Widgets page!

Why would a website dedicated to purple widgets need a green widgets page you ask? Simple, to continue proving my point and see just how smart I really am.

So learn more about why green widgets have invaded my little SEO experiment!

Maybe I should be paying closer attention to the road when I drive but seeing a common irritant once again this morning as I completed the final 1/4 mile of my drive to the office put another SEO analogy in my head and how could I resist putting it on Purple Widget.

First, what happens at least a few days a week in front of where my office…it probably happens more but I see it a few times:
There’s a long stretch of a state highway that feeds into downtown from an area of town that has really grown the past several years so what was once kind of a nifty shortcut into downtown away from the Interstates is now a major artery into the city and traffic can back up quickly as it ends at a stop light at the edge of the city.
Since this road crosses the river there are little opportunities to get off and bail out when traffic gets particularly bad. The only exception (2 actually) is access to a frontage road (access road, service road) that is a public road and allows you to zoom along (more…)

Of course this site, Purple Widget, is sort of an SEO case study in itself but I have a specific example of an e-commerce site I’ve done work on that is finally starting to pay off.

The site started from the ground up – new domain name and all in the fall of 2007. It’s built on an e-comm software package that does an OK job of automating SEO but far from great and offers no manual editing of page titles, meta tags on product pages. And changing landing pages takes some HTML coding knowledge and getting under the hood. And since the owner of the site – a one man show – has no ability to do this himself my ability to do a lot of this coding helped out. But still, I was facing (and still face) some challenges from the software. But we shall overcome.

He had no real SEO on the site for the first several months and was literally selling nothing. Tens of thousand of dollars to get the site designed and set up – no sales. Nowhere to go but up. And, by the way he had no budget for (more…)