Monthly Archives: February 2013

Keyword selection For SEO

One of the main components that helps determine the success, or failure, of your search engine optimization (SEO) campaign is your keyword selection. Although this may not appear much, choosing the right keyword to use for your website is one of the more grueling parts of the entire SEO process, especially if you aim to find one that will be most effective for your site’s search engine optimization.

When using keywords for SEO, you just need to follow a few simple steps in order to properly find the right keyword that will do the job. There are also a couple of things that you need to look out for in order to avoid any problems when trying to optimize your web page.

Make a list

The first thing that you should do if you want to be able to use keywords effectively is to start out by making a list of “key” keywords or phrases that are relevant to the content of your site, and by doing this, it can actually lead you to create or discover more keywords or phrases that may blossom from the original one that you have chosen.

Select key phrases or words

Once you’ve made a list, try to select ones that contain a “key” keyword or phrase that can help you identify your site’s content. Let’s say your site’s content is all about cars, using cars as a keyword won’t put you high up in the page ranking of search engines, especially since a lot of sites or pages have that as a keyword. Try to avoid using words or phrases that are too general, as this will not help improve your page ranking. By adding other key terms to your chosen keyword, such as “second-hand cars”, or “second-hand sports cars” will actually help improve your chances of going up higher in the page rankings. Just make sure that these are relevant to your site’s content.

Check your competition

It also helps if you took the time to search for keywords or phrases that your competition are using so that you can narrow down which ones to use, and which ones to avoid. There is no sense in using a type of keyword or phrase, such as “cars”, which a lot or most of your competition are using as well, and if their site’s are ranked high up in the search engine’s index, then you might have a difficult time going up against that.

Use your location

You can also improve your chances of getting a much better page ranking result if you incorporate your location to the keyword or phrase that you are trying to use. Let’s say your business is located somewhere in Minnesota, by simply adding the word “Minnesota” to your keyword selection (“Minnesota second-hand sports cars”), you can fair better in your page ranking. However, this type of method usually entails that people are planning on seeing you in person when they do searches like this, so make sure that you only utilize this technique if you are open to the idea of them visiting you in person.

Use your niche

Always try to choose the keyword that you specialize in, or at least the one that offers you with the most profit. Keep in mind that you want to offer the keyword that best describes your business, but if the search volume of users is leaning towards one that isn’t your main product, then you can actually opt to use that keyword instead, just as long as that keyword is still related or relevant to your site’s content.

Keyword Density

Keyword density is an indicator of the number of times the selected keyword appears in the web page. But mind you, keywords shouldn’t be over used, but should be just sufficient enough to appear at important places.

If you repeat your keywords with every other word on every line, then your site will probably be rejected as an artificial site or spam site.

Keyword density is always expressed as a percentage of the total word content on a given web page.

Suppose you have 100 words on your webpage (not including HMTL code used for writing the web page), and you use a certain keyword for five times in the content. The keyword density on that page is got by simply dividing the total number of keywords, by the total number of words that appear on your web page. So here it is 5 divided by 100 = .05. Because keyword density is a percentage of the total word count on the page, multiply the above by 100, that is 0.05 x 100 = 5%

The accepted standard for a keyword density is between 3% and 5%, to get recognized by the search engines and you should never exceed it.

Remember, that this rule applies to every page on your site. It also applies to not just to one keyword but also a set of keywords that relates to a different product or service. The keyword density should always be between 3% and 5%.

Simple steps to check the density:

* Copy and paste the content from an individual web page into a word-processing software program like Word or Word Perfect.

* Go to the ‘Edit’ menu and click ‘Select All’. Now go to the ‘Tools’ menu and select ‘Word Count’. Write down the total number of words in the page.

* Now select the ‘Find’ function on the ‘Edit’ menu. Go to the ‘Replace’ tab and type in the keyword you want to find. ‘Replace’ that word with the same word, so you don’t change the text.

* When you complete the replace function, the system will provide a count of the words you replaced. That gives the number of times you have used the keyword in that page.

* Using the total word count for the page and the total number of keywords you can now calculate the keyword density.

Getting started with videoblogging

Videoblogging is the next generation of posting ideas and products over the internet. Everybody knows about textblogging. Now they use videos for a better way of expression. This form of communication may entail a lot of resources, but it is all worth it. If pictures say a thousand words, videoblogging exceeds that by far.

A videoblog requires larger disk spaces on websites, a faster server, and a whole new set of programs to support it. Videoblogs can be fed through RSS. This is technology of syndicating your website to other RSS aggregators.

Videoblogging works with people on the internet expressing their selves. Now if you put this on a business prospective, you are up to a lot of benefits. Think of it as a powerful tool in making showing your prospective customers your line of products or your services. It’s just like showing a commercial all for free. And if you videoblog through RSS, then most probably you are getting your target market.

People like to see what they are going to buy. Some would like to see proof and be sure that they are getting their money’s worth before shelving their dimes on it. All of us know the influence of a thirty second commercial. The effect of videoblogging is similar to that. You show your product, people watch it. If they like it, they buy it. If you present it good enough, they’ll buy the product even if they don’t need it.

Now on the web, things are pretty much static, unlike in television in which all are moving. If you post something that is mobile, it would most likely catch attention. Now imaging your product parading in all it’s royalty through videoblog. You’ll get phone call orders in no time.

If your business is just starting up, you can create a videoblog right at your own home. All you need is your web camera, microphone, video software, and lights. For as long as you know how to use your camera, then you can create a videoblog.

Invest in a good web camera. The higher its resolution is the better the output. And you like to present your goods in the optimum way so get the best one possible. Make a short story, or just capture your goods in one go. Just make sure you are getting the best profile for each. Get those creativity juices flowing.

Lights are important in a production. Make sure you illuminate entirely the area you are going to use to create videoblog. The brighter the area, the crispier the images will be. You can also use lighting effects for added appeal to the presentation.

Should you require sounds for your videoblog, you need a microphone. Record you voice as a voice over for promoting the product and its benefit to consumers. Sounds are as important as videos on a videoblog. It is advisable to make your sound effects as enticing as the video.

Your video editing software can be any program. You need this to finalize your work. You can add sounds, delete some bad angles, or insert some still pictures in there too. Some programs are user-friendly and can be used even with zero knowledge on video editing. Even simple video editing programs should do the trick. Select your background carefully too. The light affects the presentation so make sure that the background and the light complements each other.

Videoblogging is a great tool but it also has it downside. It may slow down the computer so other may steer clear of it. Download time may also be time consuming especially if customer is still on a dial- up connection.

But don’t let those stop you. Let videoblogging be an alternative for you, though it is best to still keep the text and pictures present in your presentation to accommodate all possible viewers of your site.

Nowadays, the more creative you are in presenting your product to the market, they more you are likely to succeed. Videoblogging offers an interactive way of selling. You involve the customers. You instill in them the advantage of your goods. And at times, those are enough to make a sale.

Utilizing the secrets of opti lists

Emails are replacing regular mails from the post office. Not only because it is cheaper, since you do not need to buy a stamp, it’s also definitely faster. Emails can be sent in as fast as five seconds, depending on the server, anywhere in the world.

No doubt emails are being used to distribute news letters, promotional mails, and other stuff. How then would you be able to round up email addresses to send those marketing mails you have? Here is where an opt-in list comes in.

An opt-in list is a directory of email address you can send to those mails to. Though it seems to be easy to find email addresses, if you are talking thousands in numbers, it is going to be hard. Besides, you have to determine the recipient of the email. You wouldn’t want your readers mostly male if you are selling lipsticks, right?

A good opt-in list should include the profile of the email address owner. Here are tips on how to create a comprehensive opt-in list for target market.

Create your website.

Creating a website is made simple nowadays. A lot of programs are milling about assisting regular computer users in making and maintaining websites in a real simple way. Some website creator just needs you to cut and paste, like that of a regular paint program. Several web hosting sites are available too. Some are even free. If you have a site of your own, you can ask visitors to register with you or sign your guest book as they leave.

Set up a promotion or a freebie.

Not all the best things in life are free, as they say. But you can definitely try to give something out for sure. You can see this done all over the web. Free screensavers, free games, free download of programs. And what do they need from you? They just ask for an email address, your name and a little something more about you. Then you can place a check box on the registration form for sending of email. For sure, you can think of something to give out as well.

Write and write some more.

There are some web magazines where in readers can submit their writings for a particular topic. If you had a chance to do so, add a link to your article providing information about what you are trying to promote. Some readers of your article may enjoy your work so much they’d like to contact you, so don’t forget to leave your email address too.

Pose an easy opt-out option.

People who like to join your opt-in list would, along the way may want to opt out of it somehow. People who are wary of joining may not join at all if they see that it would be near impossible to remove their email address from the listing. Show them that it is as easy to opt-out as it is opting in.

Check other’s strategy too.

It would be better if you can find a partner in generating an opt-in list. This way, you can split the expenses and both of you can share the list generated. It will be best to partner with a company that has a business similar to your own line. Both of you can profit more should that be the case.

Use offline ways too.

You can put up a small raffle preferably in a supermarket for a certain item they buy. You can place an email address opt-in part in the raffle entry to add to your list. This way, you’d also know the buying preferences of the participants if you mark the entries systemically.

Creating an opt-in list entails a lot of work and funds. You should outline how much you will spend in creating an opt-in list. People appearing at opt-in lists are sales prospects. They are those interested in a certain product that you may be selling. Obtaining an optimal opt-in list would boost your sales up so these tools are undoubtedly essential.

Acquire an opt-in list now or generate one. Either way, you are reaching to people that can be your one of your treasured customers for a long period time.

How to create a sitemap

A sitemap of a website is similar to the table of contents of a book. Sitemaps are important because it guides web surfers to the particular part of the website they have a point of interest in. With it they would save time following links and get right to the point instead.

Sitemaps are also where search engines look at if somebody is looking for a particular keyword or phrase. If you have a site map, you can most likely be searched.

Creating a sitemap, now with software technology surging in, is relatively easier than before. You need not be a programming guru to be one. All need is a notepad, a program editor, and some patience. Here’s how you do it:

Create the listing on a notepad.

It doesn’t necessarily have to be a notepad. Any word processing program will do. First off, make sure to type in all the parts and pieces of your website. Include all pages and all links you have. Create it as if you listing the contents of your book. Make a draft first. You’re sure no to miss something out this way.

Create a new page for your sitemap.

You can insert the sitemap on your website on one of its pages or you can create an entirely different page for it. Using your notepad, incorporate all tags necessary to it to make another webpage. Open up your website creator program and tag your sitemap using it. If you have created your website on your own, this will be easy for you.

Create a link for the sitemap.

You won’t be able to view the sitemap if you won’t put a link for it, of course. Create the link on the front page of your website so that visitors can view it right away and be directed appropriately.

Check your work.

It is important to validate the functionality of the links you created on the sitemap. Test each and every one in there and if you get an error, be sure to fix it accurately. Run through every single page to make sure that all are accounted for.

Upload your work.

Place the sitemap now on your live browser and double check it. It should function as smoothly as the dry run. Error should be minimal at this stage since you already have verified it locally.

The steps provided herewith is the manual way of creating a sitemap. These days, if you search hard enough on the web, you will find online programs that will do all these work for you. All you have to do it type in the URL or the link of your website and they will create the sitemap with click of a button.

Of course that method is generic. All of you who have created their sitemap that way will have an end product that is all the same, plus there’s that possibility that something else will be inserted in there too. Then again, the process is less taxing and way, way simpler.

But if you want a more personalized output, and you are pretty good with computers and programming yourself, better make one of your own. And since you made your website anyway, creating sitemap is just like creating any other page on the website. Other than you’ll know for sure the links are accurate, you can organize the links the way you prefer it to be. Major parts of the site are emphasized compared to less significant. This is important especially if you are selling products or offering services online.

Sitemap is vital to a website. People search the web a lot for something. If your website has what that particular person is looking for, and your sitemap reports it, then you have a new customer looking at your items. Not only that, they will see some other things up for sale that they might be interested in as well.

Sitemaps, be it generated by a program automatically or you made it yourself, presents the same purpose. That is to lead your visitors to where they’re likely headed, and for you to be seen on the World Wide Web through search spiders. So with these, make sure your website has a sitemap of its own, lest make one.

YAHOO! SITE MAP: A USEFUL INTERNET MARKETING TOOL

A website refers to a compilation of Web pages that can be typically accessed through a software package, commonly known as a Web browser (one example is the HTTP on the Internet). These pages, which are essentially documents that are in the HTML or XHTML format (HTML stands for Hyper Text Markup Language), are accessed from a ‘common root URL’ – or the website’s homepage (as most people know it). From this homepage, the visitor/Internet user can browse or look through the entire website either with the use of the hyperlinks or the URLs of the different web pages.

Viewed on computers and other devices that are capable of connecting with the Internet (such as PDAs and cellular phones), websites can be grouped into numerous types, depending on their use or the services that they offer. Some of them include the following:

Archive site – maintains and protects electronic contents that are valuable to the point of extinction.

Business site – promotes a business or a service.

Commerce or eCommerce site – offers goods for sale.

Community site – allows people with related and similar interests to communicate with each other (either through chat or message boards).

Database site – searches and displays a particular database’s content.

Development site – provides data and sources that are related to software development and web design, among others.

Directory site – contains wide-ranging contents that are usually divided into categories and subcategories.

Download site – allows users to download electronic contents, such as game demos and software.

Game site – provides a ‘playground’ where people meet and play.

Information site – contains data or content that have the sole purpose of informing visitors (not for commercial purposes).

News site – dispenses or distributes news and commentaries (similar to an information site).

Pornography site – shows pornographic videos and images.

Search engine site – provides general information and serves as a ‘gateway’ for other sites and resources (can also be a web portal site).

Shock site – shows images and other materials that aim to offend viewers.

Vanity site – a personal site that is run or maintained by an individual or a small group, the contents of which can be of any information that the site owner wishes to include.

Blog site or blogs – registers online readings and posts online diaries or discussion forums.

Wiki site – allows users to collaboratively edit the contents.

Yahoo! is perhaps the most famous example of a very large website. The most popular and widely-used website, Yahoo! is a mixture of the different types of sites – it is a directory site and a search engine site, among others.

Because of the enormous (and diverse) amount of information that it contains, the Yahoo! site map is an extremely useful feature in the Yahoo! website.

A site map is a web page that lists the entire pages on a web site. Organized in a hierarchical fashion, site maps can be in textual or visual form (a diagram or an image).

The Yahoo! site map serves as a blueprint for the Yahoo! website. Similar to a book’s Table of Contents, the Yahoo! sitemap makes it easier for visitors or users to find specific information or pages on the Yahoo! web site without having to browse many pages, because the site map gives an overview or a visual outline of the Yahoo! web site, with each location provided with active links to enable the user to directly move to a specific location.

In addition, the Yahoo! site map allows web developers to put out links from across their sites, making it easier for search engine robots (or engine spiders) to find these pages.

Because the Yahoo! site map improves the search engine optimization of a site, this feature can be considered a valuable tool for online marketers, whose aim is to stimulate and direct traffic to their web sites.

Note, however, that the Yahoo! site map can only give you the ‘basics’. Because it is important for web marketers to ‘rank high’ on main search engines, an effective web marketing strategy that promotes your web site is also very much needed. Listed below are some search engine strategies to consider:

1. Write a descriptive page title at the top of your webpage that avoids ‘filler’ words like “the” or “and”.

2. Incorporate descriptive keywords on your home page, along with your business name. This is called “keyword prominence”.

3. Include a Description Meta Tag at the top of the web page. This refers to the sentences (1 or 2 lines, with a maximum of around 255 characters) that describe the content of your web page.

These are just some of the many techniques that you can employ to get more users to visit your website. The important thing is to focus on keywords – and let Yahoo! site map do the rest.

Sitemap taxonomy – To classify web content

Sitemap taxonomy is a way to classify the tremendous amount of information available on the World Wide Web. Organizing web content is a lot of work that requires manpower and money. But creating sitemap taxonomy is a process that must be done in order to make information readily available to users.

Often times the information is there but users are unable to access it. With the sitemap taxonomy, web content is arranged in such a way that the user will be able to use it effectively. As it is more and more users are flooded with information that is useless to them thus creating frustration.

Impact of sitemap taxonomy to Internet marketing

Sitemap taxonomy can be a big boost to Internet marketing. The whole purpose of being on the web is to get exposure to a wider audience of potential customers. Unfortunately, the overflow of information often makes it impossible for searchers or browsers to find what they need.

Most of the time online users form searches that often turn up useless or non-relevant results. This is not only frustrating for users but also for any company advertised on the web. Users are left guessing the right keyword they need to use in order to get the information they need off the web.

Unfortunately not all users have the patience to keep guessing until they find the right keyword. More often than not, users will give up their search and go on with another search. This can mean lost sales for any company on the web that doesn’t have a sitemap taxonomy.

Building a sitemap taxonomy

Many people may think that building sitemap taxonomy is an easy simple process of putting together keywords. Sorry to say, sitemap taxonomy is a demanding task however it does have its rewards. With an effective sitemap taxonomy in place, a website is more likely to get more traffic that would translate into profits.

Working out a sitemap taxonomy is often a trial and error process. It requires using the right terms that users are better acquainted with, in order for them to find their way through the site. At the same time, using the wrong terms may make it impossible for users to find what they need within the site.

There are generally two sets of online users that should benefit from the sitemap taxonomy, browsers and searchers. Browsers often use the sitemap taxonomy to find their way within a site while searchers use online search engines to find the information they need. No matter what type of user is involved, the sitemap taxonomy should address the needs of both users. Enabling either user to find the content they need.

Do-it-yourself sitemap taxonomy

The best candidate for creating the sitemap taxonomy of a site is the company itself or the individual behind the website content. Although hiring a professional to create the sitemap taxonomy of the site is an option, it is best that someone with firsthand knowledge of the website’s content do it. There are a number of important aspects to consider before doing the sitemap taxonomy.

Keep in mind that in general the sitemap taxonomy should be extensive not profound. Putting together profound sitemap taxonomy may only make matters worse as the user will have a difficult time finding the subject matter they need. It is also best to use basic terms instead of advertising jargon that can be easily understood by all.

When structuring the sitemap taxonomy, it is important to maintain some exactness at the highest levels. This helps make it easier for users to navigate the site and find the information they need. It is also a good idea to limit the number of items under each level from two to seven subject matters. If not then it is best to combine subject matters for a more efficient sitemap taxonomy.

Take into account that sitemap taxonomy is not an exact science. It requires constant fine-tuning in order to produce an effective sitemap taxonomy. However the entire process will pay off big in the long run as users who are more likely to find what they need are those more likely to spend money.

Sitemap Creator

An important tip to remember every now and then is that people visit the site checking out for some information. These Surfers can be an unforgiving lot. Once they found things useful for them in a site they would definitely visit every now and then.

The reason why site maps are indispensable is due to its helpfulness in letting the surfers understand the site program and plan and therefore, speed up the way to onset to what the site will be showcasing. This is a part of the website created where the edifice of a web site can be visible to a surfer or visitor. These visitors can choose the link to where they want to surf with just a touch of the mouse of keyboard.

Here are Significant key pointers of a good site map, which helps visitors at finding information faster on a web site:

The site map should be the simplest page on the web site.

Keep the name “Site Map” so those visitors won’t be having a hard time looking for it.

Always avoid “dynamic” site maps. Those in which the visitors have to find their way easily to get hold of information.

If the site map is list of text links, use the TITLE attribute of the anchor tag and include keywords inside it.

Putting a sentence describing the page contents below the link for that page on a site map is always good.

It should not be the primary navigation on the web site it should complement it.

It is very important that there is a link to the site map page and all pages should carry this link. The site map link can be combined with other links in the main menu on the web site or placed at a section on the web page from which is it clearly seen.

Other important factors on a web site should complement site maps. For example, the link color for visited links should be different from that of not yet visited links so that visitors have a clear idea which pages they have already seen and thus, save time.

In addition to the advantages a site map showcase to “living” surfers, it is also significant for robot surfers from search engines . As a web developer should be aiming to get all visible pages on the web site found in the search engine database. As expected a site map, from one page to another, should carry links to all, it is an ideal form to submit to search engines . Submission of the site map to a search engine might help in getting all web pages indexed quickly by the search engine. I may be incorrect since I have no data to support this point but it just seems logical. However, on a similar note, there is still a limit to all the information that a search engine could provide a visitor. For example, if there’s a page which is not found in the directory program of the web site, it will not be detected other search engines. With this in mind, another importance of a site map it tells the search engine instantly to go to a specifc page rather than scouting through the links.

Two important questions:

1. Will the website appear as it was planned even for robots?

2. Are the pages exact and effectively designed?

Having a site map assists the creator in planning the site before he can even start creating it. Once the pages have been decided, the whole thing becomes simpler and the web pages designs are easily matched to the creator’s ideas.

There are 5 important tips in making a good site map:

Good Site Must-Have 1

The logo should be linked to the website homepage.

Good Site Must-Have 2

The Site map must be place either on top or on the upper left, under the header. Unless everything’s in order already and sure about the design, never try to alter or make changes for a while.

Good Site Must-Have 3

There must be a congenial way to go around searching the web site. Do not place the site map in a location that is different from one page to another, like if it is placed horizontally on one page, it should be placed horizontally on the rest of the other pages. However, the case is different if it is a navigation system for a homepage. This could differ in homepages.

Good Site Must-Have 4

Additionally, the logo of the homepage should be linked with a “HOME” or any equivalent sign for easy work around or navigation. There should also be a “contact us,” “about our site,” pages to be visited.

Good Site Must-Have 5

The golden rule for a good site map is that the number of a visitor’s clicks should be leading him every step of the way and not jumping to other pages. It is required that the move should be as easy, reliable and above all, very user-friendly.

Sitemaps 101 Benefits of and Tips on Designing a Sitemap

Have you ever wondered how a search engine works? It must be fascinating figuring out how this search tool could direct you to several websites that are relevant to your keywords. Or, have you experienced instances where the link that supposedly contains your keywords is not exactly what you have in mind? You would probably think that there must be something wrong with the search engine that it generated irrelevant results.

How does a search engine work?

Two things figure greatly in making search engines work effectively and efficiently: the electronic search spider and the sitemap.

What is a sitemap?

A sitemap is basically a page or pages that serve/s as a directory by listing all the links to all documents and files found in a website. It is not merely a random listing of links, but organized in such a way that it gives the web user an idea of how all the information that can be found in the site fits into an outline or framework. It is like viewing the table of contents of a book, or viewing the “concept map” of the site’s content.

What is a spider?

In SEO language, spider is not an animal found in your closet. This electronic search spider is actually a bot which collects data and copies content to be stored in the search engine’s database when keywords are fed into the search dialogue box. The spider reads the content of the site and sends another bot to follow the links and copy the content contained in them.

What purpose does a sitemap serve?

A sitemap like any other map gives directions to a navigator. It primarily targets search engine spiders so that they are properly directed to your site and to the links where keywords entered in the search dialogue appears. As such, it is actually a useful tool in search engine optimization. A well organized site map would guide the spider to find the information it needs when keywords are entered during a search operation.

As an additional beneficial consequence, sitemaps have proven to be useful even to web users. Since a sitemap displays all the links to information found in a website, it helps the user to search for a particular topic in mind. Many users also use the sitemap to navigate between pages in a site.

What are the benefits of having a sitemap for my website?

1.No page would be left unturned

Going back to the purpose of sitemaps, having one would mean faster and easier tracking and crawling of spiders all over your site. As a result, search engines would surely get to the view all the pages of your site and not just the pages containing random keywords.

2.Easier navigation for site visitors

Once a web user has accessed your sitemap, they need not go back to the search engine page to look for what they need. If what they are looking for is in your site, then they would have an easier and faster way of locating it.

3.Potential advertising value

If it so happens that a relevant product or service company reaches your site, then it would be easier for them to see how best they can position themselves in the different pages of your site as a paid page advertisement.

4.Encourage greater traffic to your site

If your company website has a sitemap then potential buyers would have an easier time in accessing your latest products and services. Moreover, they would not miss out on any product that might be off future interest to them since the sitemap would display all information found the site.

How are sitemaps formatted?

There are at least three major types of sitemaps: indexed, full categorical, and restricted categorical. An indexed site map appears as an alphabetical listing or directory.

A full categorical map displays all links classified into categories; while a restricted categorical sitemap displays all links listed in a chosen category at a time. The full and restricted sitemaps are very similar except that the former displays all links in all categories all at once in a page, while the latter focuses only the links under the selected category for easier and less eye-straining viewing.

The most widely used format is the full categorical. Based on the results of a 1999 SURL study on sitemap designs, the full categorical format is most preferred by users since it is easier to search for topics within the site and it allows easier comparison between and among categories.

Some tips in setting up your sitemap

1.Link the sitemap only to your homepage.

This is to ensure that the spider starts searching from your homepage down to all the pages listed in your sitemap. In this way, no page would be left unvisited by the spider.

2.Do not go beyond 30 pages for a sitemap.

Large websites having 50 or more pages should not go beyond 30 since this adds more pages to the site, and might make search engines think that the sitemap is a link farm. Also, this prevents overcrowding of links which could be tiring to view.

3.Check all the links listed in your sitemap.

It can be discouraging when you click on a link only to find out that nothing is displayed. Test your sitemap; click all links in every page to make sure that all links are indeed linked to the right page.

4.Give keyword-rich titles to sitemap links.

Keyword-rich titles give your site more advantage in being searched properly under the right category. But be sure to have this sitemap link linked back to the sitemap (e.g. back to sitemap).

5.Provide a short description for the links in the sitemap.

Doing so would give readers a better idea of what to find in the link and save them time on surfing.

6.Be consistent in designing your sitemap with the other pages of the site.

Employ a recurring design and the same HTML template for all pages to establish identity and build character to your website.

Now that you have learned basic things about sitemaps, maybe it is time for you to build one for your site.

SEO Sitemaps Give Websites a Boost

A lot of web pages will find an SEO sitemap useful in improving their performance. SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization”, the process that aims to create or revise Internet sites so that it can be better found by search engines. The objective of SEO campaigns is to have websites appear in the top listing or first results page of search engines.

Internet search engines, such as Google and A9, maintain a very large database of Web pages and available files. To do this, they devise a program called a web crawler, or spider. This software automatically and continuously surfs and hunts content in the Web. Pages that the spider finds are retrieved and indexed according to text content, giving more weight to titles and paragraph headers. Spiders never stop navigating the web from page to page, to index the relevant content of the Internet. Besides looking at the text of titles and headers, some programs are able to identify default tags and keep a library of these page keywords or key phrases in the index.

When a user connects to the Internet types a query, which is automatically interpreted as keywords, the search engine scans the saved index and creates a list of web pages that is most appropriate to what the user is searching for.

SEO will use all the combined techniques of keyword analysis, smart code, good content literature, link popularity study and website organization to place the subject web page as high as possible in the list of search results in search engines. Web pages displayed on the top of results pages are assumed to get the most attention, and therefore, opportunity for earnings for web businesses and pages with sponsor links.

Search engines usually return a list of results ranking pages according to the number of Internet sites linked to them. Results can be classified as organic, or sponsored links. Sponsored links are shown prominently because their creators or agents paid the search engine. Sponsored links are the main source of income of search engines. “Organic” search results are the lists of actual results from the engines index and are directly related to the keyword typed in the request.

One of the more effective techniques of SEO is the creation of a well-organized site map in a website. Since the site’s main page and other content are directly linked to a site map, spiders can more easily move through the website, identify the key words of the content, and index these for a search engine. This is where the SEO sitemap helps the website creator or administrator.

Site maps are usually pages filled with links. These are shown as tables or lists, although lists are generally more effective. Writing code for SEO sitemaps is very easy and simple to format and maintain. These are ideally basic HTML pages with default tags, logical titles and keywords scattered in the Meta description. Introduction areas can contain more of the keywords. The site should have a main heading for every directory.

A simple list layout helps reduce unnecessary tags that might “hide” your keywords. Some spiders give more weight to the following, than text in the normal body of the webpage: heading text, content within link elements, text nearer the top of the page and the text written for a link. Therefore, writing the keywords and links in these areas could somehow move up the web page’s ranking. This goes for SEO sitemaps as well.

Web sites should be designed consistently, so navigation models should follow the flow of the site map. Therefore, the first section in the site map should be the first link in the navigation bar.

In an SEO Sitemap, and most pages, the headings contain title attributes where more key phrases in the site map can be added. Keywords are generally well chosen and written in the body of a webpage. However, in an SEO site map with little text, key words should be added as much as possible. As much as possible, web links should follow web page titles, and must undergo SEO during coding. Care must be exercised not to cram the page with keywords and links, or the page will be interpreted as blatant spamming and not receive any traffic at all.

There is no way to guarantee that a website will be shown in the topmost ranking of “organic” search results for an extended period of time. However, smart and responsible SEO sitemap techniques can be used to place the website high up in the search position. Regular monitoring and adjustment of the SEO Sitemap and search results would ensure that a website is kept near the top ranking and receiving lots of web user traffic.

THE ADVANTAGES OF “RSS WEBSITES”

RSS – or what is now known as “Really Simple Syndication” – is a file format that is incorporated by Internet users in their websites to allow for ‘web syndication’, making their web content available in a format that can be universally understood by other people.

In essence, RSS is a ‘mini database’ that contains headlines and descriptions (a summary or a line or two of the full article) of your web content, including hyperlinks that enable users to link back to the full article of their choice.

RSS websites – that is, websites that contain RSS ‘feeds’ (articles or postings) – typically have colorful graphics to indicate to users that the specific web content is available through RSS feeds. These graphics are usually depicted by orange rectangles that are usually marked with ‘RSS’ or ‘XML’.

With its increased popularity, RSS is now being adopted and used by more website owners or publishers. Today, numerous resources are now available that aid Internet surfers (and even beginners as well) on how to set up and use RSS.

Setting up RSS feeds and adding them to your website can be a simple process that does not involve a lot of time or any money. Listed below are some simple and basic steps that you might want to follow:

1. Have your web content and/or news in an RSS feed format, such as XML (appropriate and ‘ready-made’ feeds are also available from other sources).

2. Click the orange graphic – this is the RSS feed icon. Take note of the URL of the RSS feed; this will be displayed in the address bar (for Internet Explorer).

3. Input the feed URL on your RSS feed creation program.

4. Click on the “Generate Feed” button. This will generate the RSS code for your web content.

5. Enter the RSS code in the appropriate place on your own website.

Having created an RSS feed for your website, next comes the task of publishing your web content and news and having them displayed on other sites and headline viewers. This is made possible with the use of RSS readers or aggregators.

RSS readers or news aggregators are used to view particular web contents. RSS readers contain the collection of ‘feeds’ or RSS files from content providers, and they are generally classified into 3 types:

Desktop RSS readers – also known as standalone desktop application, they generally ‘run’ in the background and are similar to an e-mail client, collecting the feeds and refreshing items automatically as they are updated.

Web-based aggregators – these are online services that enable users to personalize web pages, refreshing them each time the page is accessed or each time a person logs in to the service.

Plug-in aggregators/readers – these make use of either web browsers or e-mail clients, which allow users to view RSS feeds while inside an existing program.

Having an RSS-enabled website provides Internet users (especially those who are website owners) with the following benefits:

Allows users to generate up-to-date news and postings, as information and content in the RSS readers or aggregators are automatically updated each time the RSS feed is ‘refreshed’.

Allows users to have control over the information that they wish to view or receive, as they can remove a feed of their choosing any time they want to.

Aside from these benefits, RSS websites are also useful for people who conduct their business in the Internet, particularly in Internet or Online Marketing. RSS can be an effective marketing tool for your website, especially in the following fields:

E-mail marketing and publishing

Search engine marketing and optimization

Business blogging

Internet advertising

Digital public relations

Branding and e-commerce

In addition, RSS can ‘power’ your website, providing you with the following:

Valuable, updated, and relevant resources for site visitors and potential clients – RSS is ideal for websites that contain (and syndicate) a lot of information that has to be changed or updated regularly.

Search engine optimization for the website.

Increased traffic for the website – your website can ‘harvest’ and display information from other sites, driving more traffic to your own website.

A wide selection of ‘channels’ for content distribution, such as PDA’s, cellular phones, voice mails, and email ticklers.

A reliable way to have your web content delivered to Internet users and potential clients – RSS ensures that your site is viewed by the people who are interested in them, without having them blocked and ‘cleaned’ by ISPs or Spam filters.

These are just some of the advantages that RSS can give your website (and your business). The possibilities are endless, as more and more comes up almost everyday. Do not be left behind – take the advantage of the marketing and publishing power of RSS.

Reading RSS Feeds with an RSS Aggregator

RSS or Really Simple Syndication or Rich Site Summary is the latest information management tool that is gradually earning popularity among web users and website owners. With RSS technology, it is possible to get the latest postings from your favorite websites. But clicking on the RSS or XML button in a homepage is not enough to give you the service you need. An RSS feed or code displayed in the pop-up screen if not on the main page is composed of symbols and words that would only make sense to advanced RSS users and computer programmers and software enthusiasts. Another software tool called an RSS aggregator or reader is needed.

An aggregator works by scanning the worldwide web with latest postings based on the RSS code (containing the website’s URL) provided or added by the user. When it finds a new posting, news, or update, it will publish the RSS feed on your home page containing the title of the posting, which also serves as a clickable link to the website source. This RSS feed may or may not contain the whole article, a summary, and photos, depending on what RSS aggregator you are using.

Aggregators come in two types: the downloadable program or desktop-type and the online or web-based type. The desktop aggregator usually charges a certain amount for its services; this would include regular updating in the form of upgrades or patches to the original version. This type of RSS reader allows more customization of RSS feeds as well as page format or design over its on-line counterparts. But of course, price can be a drawback.

On-line or web-based aggregators are free of charge. All you need to do is register an account with them then you can start enjoying their services. Depending on the “brand” of the aggregator, customization is more limited. Some even do not allow you to customize at all.

Product and service advertisers are realizing the potential of RSS aggregators in internet marketing. In fact, several submit RSS codes to several popular web-based aggregators to reach the growing technophile and internet-based market. My Yahoo has been instrumental in popularizing RSS technology to both users and website owners and advertisers.

At present, there are many aggregators to choose from and newer versions of the same aggregator are constantly developed by its programmers.

Below are some of these desktop and online aggregators:

Desktop Aggregators

1.AmphetaDesk

Advantages:

-free

-supports Linux, Mac, and Windows

-easy addition of RSS feeds

Disadvantages:

-not maximized use of screen display

-few options for customizing

2.FeedDemon

Advantages:

-user friendly

-free trial version

-contains prepared popular feeds

-allows filtering of RSS feeds

-configurable “watch list” to manage junk RSS feeds

-search channel feature that incorporates other RSS services e.g. Feedster

-allows feed storage for future use

-tabbed browsers for channel navigation

-built-in podcast receiver

Disadvantages:

-supports only Internet Explorer (embedded)

-paid software (`$29.95)

Online Aggregators

1.Bloglines

Advantages:

-all major browsers supported (e.g. Netscape Navigator, Internet Explorer, Firefox)

-user-friendly especially for beginners

-free, web-based aggregator

-easy registration

-no advertisements

-contains its own directory of RSS feeds of thousands of websites

-personal email account for subscribing to newsletter emails (optional)

-allows privacy adjustments for personal blogs

-allows saved searches

-mobile version available

-10 languages supported

-Additional add-on tools for automated blogrolls and subscription buttons

2.NewsGator

Advantages:

-free (consumer-standard version)

-provides personalized news channel

-allows translation of RSS articles into email format

-synchronization of feeds in several devices possible

-browse and search feed capabilities save time on surfing

-allows keyword filtering

-blog headlines

-button-click automatic subscription to news feeds

Disadvantage:

-Outlook-based thus limited to Windows

3.My Yahoo

Advantages:

-Free web-based aggregator

-user-friendly

-customizable home page design

-button-click subscription to RSS feeds

-built-in directory and search tool for feeds

-wide variety of feeds e.g. news (science, technology, local), weather

-connects to all Yahoo features and services

Disadvantage

-banner advertisements

There are also lightweight RSS aggregator extensions which are actually plug-ins to existing internet browsers. An example of which is Sage aggregator.

Advantages:

-free of charge

-beginner-friendly

-reeds both RSS and Atom feeds

-allows feed discovery

-can be assimilated to Firefox bookmark (storage and live)

-allows OPML feed lists imports and exports

-customizable style sheets

-supports a wide range of locales e.g. Catalan, Italian, Japanese, Spanish, Korean, Polish, Slovenian, etc.

-easy installation

Disadvantages:

-good for about 12 RSS feeds

-limited use to Mozilla-Firefox and Mozilla-Firefox supported browsers

RSS developers promise better features in future versions of their aggregators. Microsoft is planning to include a built-in aggregator in their next Windows version. These developments are definitely something to look forward to by all internet aficionados.