Local SEO Tips PT 4 of 3 - “san diego seo”

Meta: October 02 2008 // Local SEO // 9 Comments

Almost a month ago I created a website called SEO by the Hour. I created this site because I am in the SEO/internet marketing community and I felt the need to possess a website that represented my resume or skill-set. I love my current job and make plenty of money to get by. However I figured it couldn’t hurt to create a site adverting my skills (it would also be nice to be the #1 SEO Specialist; at least according to Google & Yahoo.)Two weeks ago (between 2 of my Local SEO posts Off-Profile SEO Linking & Finalizing Your Profile) I decided to apply everything I blogged about by creating a page targeting “San Diego SEO” and here are the results if you Google search “san dego seo” (at least w/my ip);

San Diego SEO

Let me explain to you exactly what I did:

Referencing my San Diego SEO Business Profile on Google & my San Diego SEO Web page on SEO by the Hour.

One Page Optimization

  • Title Tag: San Diego SEO: SEO Specialist in San Diego, California

  • META Description: Freelance SEO San Diego - James Harrison; a San Diego SEO Specialist has been providing excellent customer service and superior SEO services to many local San Diego companies. Contact SEO by the Hour today for a free SEO quote. - San Diego SEO Specialist -

  • META Keywords: seo in san diego, san diego seo, southern california, san diego ca, 92109, seo specialist, seo, james harrison, sunny san diego

  • Headings: <H1>San Diego SEO Specialist</h1> <h1>Call SEO by the Hour Today!</h1> <h1>Where in San Diego Am I located?</h1>

  • Under the 1st H1 I mention San Diego in bold in the 1st sentence (prominence). I also mention San Diego in the 2, 4 and 5th sentence also with the last San Diego bolded. I also tried to add content that supported San Diego like ‘Sea World’, ‘California’, ‘beach’, etc.

  • Under the 2nd H1 I made sure San Diego was in my first sentence and I bolded SEO (because SEO was in the 2nd H1 tag. Get it? SEO heading San Diego SEO content). I also mentioned 2 phone numbers, both with San Diego area codes. I made sure these numbers matched my business profile.

  • Under the 3rd H1 I mentioned San Diego and surrounding areas just above a map from my local business profile.

  • ***Notice how I keep bolding phrases that relate to the H1’s. Also note that the map is a Google map ;)

  • Under the last H1 titled “Where in San Diego Am I Located“, I have a link pointing to my SEO business profile, a “where” link pointing to my business profile map and an internal link to another SEO page with “SEO” in the anchor text.

  • In the Footer I added my address and made sure the zip code was listed.

Off Page Optimization

  • I linked to it from my San Diego SEO blog. The link’s anchor text was “SEO Specialist located in San Diego, CA.” The title of that post is “SEO Specialist“. The URL is http://blogoptimizer.blogspot.com/2008/09/seo-specialist.html
  • I linked to it from the home page of SEO by the Hour with a link titled “San Diego SEO“. Simple, right?
  • The domain has several SEO and San Diego SEO related links pointing it and some of those pages have ’san diego’ in the title tag.
  • You can visit my SEO Business profile on Google to see how I optimized it.

So, there you go. If you are a business with an actual company location, build a page strictly for local biz and start getting biz through Google fast!

I’ve done this for several websites, but I never done it this fast, it was pretty awesome though, to see positive results so quickly.

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Keyword Placement: Thinking of Places to Place Your keywords

Meta: October 02 2008 // Keyword Placement // 2 Comments

I’m still all about ‘Old School SEO” especially when it comes to Keyword Placement.

Keyword placement is basically what it sounds like; placing your targeted keywords in various locations on your web pages. Ideally you’ll pick 1-5 keywords to target per web page. If  you are ranking well for those terms, you could be ranking for 100’s of other long tail terms (per page). However, correct placement of keywords on your website is imperative. Check out my past post on Keyword placement, it’s all about locations to place your keywords on a web page to optimize your site.

There are a couple key points I left out on those videos, for instance, if you want to rank well for the term “keyword 1″,  in 2008 and for the rest of search engines lives, you need to be the most relevant site to ‘keyword 1″. In other words, if a searcher is looking for keyword 1, the top positions on the SERP should answer what is keyword 1, how much is keyword 1, a description of keyword 1 and some examples of keyword 1. Content, content, content. If you have already realized this the next step is finding the prime location to place your keyword, unfortunately there’s truly no ‘best’ location to place it. However, here are a few ideas to think about when deciding where to place your keyword.

Keyword Placement Idea #1 (Heading Tags)

Hx Tags: H tags (heading tags) can be used in a variety of ways. You can have an h1, h2, h3, and so on. (I will refer to all of the headings as Hx’s for the remainder of this post.) Hx structure and placement can be hard at times. You can look at other sites ranking for your term and see where in their site their Hx’s are located, which ones they are using and the structure of all them in relationship to the actual content. Where on the web page visually is their Hx’s located? Where are their Hx’s located in the page source?

One way I learned to use Hx’s is to place your 2 most targeted keywords in the H1. Then right under it, write 2 paragraphs of content (of course with those keywords prominent in those paragraphs). 1st paragraph H2 titled keyword 1 and the 2nd paragraph H2 titled keyword 2. So it would be 2 paragraphs with H2 headings under/about the H1.

Keyword Placement Idea #2 (Using Quintura)

quintura and keyword placement

Using Quintura to help you determine/imagine where to place your keywords is one of my favorite creative ways. Sometimes I just search the keyword I’m looking to rank well for and just look at Quitura’s algorithm, visually. Surrounding your search queries are good keyword supplements that can give you ideas of what to write about so that your content is composing of all the words related to that term; LSI SEO.  For some keywords you’ll see that common terms are in packs. Long tailed keyword variations of your keyword can be made and broken up into different parts of the pages. After all, most engines do use block level algorithms. For example, you can place ‘keyword’ prices and content related words like cost, deals, specials, etc. in one area of the page (ie top right quarter) and place keyword definition type phrases like what is, about, defining, history of, etc. on the whole left half, then maybe in the bottom half, your 3rd through 5th targeted keyword phrases with terms relating to them.

quintura and keyword placement 2

Keyword Placement Idea #3 (Competitors)

Looking at all of the places your competitors are placing your keywords visually and in the source code is an awesome way to study keywords’ importance and weight. Check out the top 10 rankers for your term and look at their source codes. (ctrl+U in firefox) Highlight (record) your targeted keyword phrase every time you see that term on all of your competitor’s ranking pages. Sometimes you’ll see similarities like 7 out of 10 of them have it as the 2nd word in the title tag or 8 out 10 of the have it in the h1 or h2 tags. Or, 4 0f the top 5 have the keyword mentioned at least 20 times before line 200. (Those were just examples.)

Or you can check how it looks visually to visitors. Maybe right away you see that that targeted keyword is the biggest phrase on the whole page of 1/2 of your top competitors’ sites. Best believe the spiders can recognize how a site looks to a visitor. Maybe 8 out of those 10 have it bolded within 500 characters of content. The point I’m trying to make is, sometimes all your competitors are placing their keywords in places you’re not.

Google has a great exercise to help you see where the top sites are placing your targeting terms. It’s “An Excercise for Students

*Please don’t take any of this literally. This post was not meant to tell you where to place your keywords (exactly). This was just some thoughts or brain exercisers to help spark that one place you forgot to place your keywords and to help you understand that your top ranking competitors are placing it in places you’re not. Just make sure you keep your keyword density in line with the competition.

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Reconsidering Using a Cell Phone for Google Local Search

Meta: September 25 2008 // Local SEO // 1 Comment

I’m not sure why I thought of this. But what if Google Local Business Listings checks to see if your phone number matches your business address? Google could check local listings and directories to see if your numbers match up right? However, if that listing is the only listing mentioning your phone number how would Google be able to tell if that number matches your business address?

When you think about it, it’s quite easy, Google has in a built in Geolocator that can match numbers to locations.

San Diego Location - East

This is a picture of where in San Diego the GeoLocator says I’m located.

Location San Diego - SEO by the Hour

This is where I really live. The complete other side of San Diego.

If you are using a cell phone as your business listing number, chances are the location will point to the location where you bought the phone or the closest cell phone tower location  to wherever you activated the phone.

So if it mattered to Google if your phone number matched it’s location, then stay away from 1-800 numbers, 888 numbers, cell phone numbers and restricted numbers. But like I said earlier, I don’t even know if Google cares about this. Just somethig to consider.

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Microsoft SEO - From Them Themselves

Meta: September 23 2008 // Microsoft Live MSN // Comment

Microsoft has always been one of the easiest engines to rank high on. I remember years back, MSN was the only engine I could check back to a week later and see results from keyword META changes and a little bit of keyword stuffing. Microsoft’s Live Search algorithm is a little more sophisticated now, however it still remains the easiest engine to rank on.

This post isn’t about me shedding my opinion on how to rank well on MSN Live. This post is strictly a MSN SEO summary from Microsoft’s very own Live Search Optimization Document.

So, lets dig into it. Here is what Microsoft says you should do to optimize your web site for their search engine.
MSN SEO

1.     Good content is #1 for Microsoft. A site should have unique content written in words that the visitor would use and understand. The content should be naturally linkable and provide content that is entertaining and/or useful. Don’t ‘lock’ up content in flash or java script unless you don’t want the content to be read by the spiders. All content and URL’s should be easy to link to. Make sure you use descriptive text in your HTML title tag, header tags and URL anchor text

2.     Setup a logical URL/website structure that allows the spiders to easily crawl deeply into your site. Avoid URL’s with 3 or more parameters because the bots will not crawl URL’s with 3 or more parameters for fear of falling into an “infinite loop”(Kind of like putting the line over.33). URL rewriting to make URL’s easier to read by users and to better describe the content/index the page is highly recommended. Canonicalize your domain for consistency, bookmarking and link building. “Use HTTP redirects appropriately (301, 302) instead of JavaScript or Meta Refreshes.”

3.     Microsoft recommends you “embrace an HTML standard”. validate your code and use it the way the web authors intended. It’s easier for spiders to crawl common standard sites. Avoid surrounding your content with codes because this could make it harder for the spiders to read. If you want to link to pages that you don’t want the spiders to crawl, it’s OK to create javascript links or robots.txt files. MSN doesn’t parse JavaScript (yet?). “Make sure you put the best content on the top, and the code at the bottom.”

4.     MSN understands that you can’t wait for someone to find your site. You must submit your content. They say submit your site to the search engines and to appropriate communities. They recommend creating a sitemap for when submitting to the search engines. http://sitemaps.org. Also, create a XML sitemap that references the robots.txt file. Submit your site to all of the engines, directories, local listings and places that allow you to provide information about your website/company. http://webmaster.live.com.

5.     No keyword stuffing. No duplicate copies of websites on different hosts. No content cloaking to trick users and/or robots. No hidden text that spiders can read but the user cannot, and don’t even come close! Do not participate in link farms. Do not find yourself in a lot of link farms and only link farms. Don’t create link farms or pages to lure links.“Links that are not relevant will not be counted as part of our ranking.”

As I said in the beginning, this post isn’t for my 2 cents. THIS IS REAL MSN SEO. Microsoft does boil down to that fact that it is a popularity contest. It’s about what you say about yourself and who and what others have to say about you.  If you would like to read the Official MSN SEO Best Practices document, you can find it here: advertising.microsoft.com/seo-optimization

*Disclaimer - Have nothing to do with MSN, Microsoft, Live, Hotmail or Xbox.

 Microsoft SEO Specialists

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13 Search Operators for Ultimate Link Building

Meta: September 18 2008 // Link Building SEO // 24 Comments

Every once in a while and depending on what website I’m working on, I’ll use different search operators to find easy links relevant to the keywords I’m targeting on the SERP’s. There are many search engine query cheatsheets and SEO Blogs that give huge list of search operators to use. So I’ve composed a list of all the search queries I could find to help you build a nice list of relevant sites to get backlinks from.

(You can copy this list to an excel spreadsheet or edit pad text editor and replace “keyword” with your targeted phrase)

  • add comment “keyword”
  • allinanchor:keyword
  • allintext:keyword
  • allintitle:keyword
  • allinurl:keyword
  • directory keyword
  • favorite links keyword
  • favorite sites keyword
  • intext:keyword
  • intitle:blog keyword
  • intitle:directory “keyword”
  • intitle:forum keyword
  • intitle:group keyword
  • intitle:keyword
  • intitle:post keyword
  • intitle:tag keyword
  • inurl:add-link
  • inurl:submit-link
  • inurl:blog)s)
  • inurl:blog keyword
  • inurl:directory “keyword”
  • inurl:forum(s)
  • inurl:forum keyword
  • inurl:tag(s)
  • keyword “add a url”
  • keyword “add site”
  • keyword “add url”
  • keyword “add website”
  • keyword “add your site”
  • keyword “advertiser testimonials”
  • keyword “favorite links”
  • keyword “favorite sites”
  • keyword “leave a comment” / “leave comment”
  • keyword “no comments”
  • keyword “notify me of follow-up comments”
  • keyword “powered by wordpress”
  • keyword “recommended links”
  • keyword “recommended resources “
  • keyword “recommended sites”
  • keyword “related sites”
  • keyword “related URLs”
  • keyword “submit a url”
  • keyword “submit site”
  • keyword “submit url”
  • keyword “submit website”
  • keyword “submit your site”
  • keyword “suggest a url”
  • keyword “suggest site”
  • keyword “suggest url”
  • keyword “suggest website”
  • keyword “suggest your site”
  • keyword “wiki” (site:.edu)
  • keyword blog
  • keyword bookmarks
  • keyword directory
  • keyword discussion boards
  • keyword donate
  • keyword donations
  • keyword donors
  • keyword forum
  • keyword group
  • keyword join
  • keyword members
  • keyword resources
  • keyword sites
  • keyword sponsor charity
  • keyword sponsors
  • keyword sponsorship
  • keyword tag
  • keyword websites
  • list keyword
  • list keyword sites
  • list of keyword sites
  • post comment keyword
  • post comment keyword
  • recommended links keyword
  • site:edu
  • site:gov
  • site:org

But check this out, all of these search operators can be used together. You can mix them up. You can use 2 of them, 5 of them or even all of them (for keywords like web, site, page etc. ;).

Imagine you are a webmaster for a hotel in New York city and you’re looking for more ways to obtain links from sites relevant to yours. Here are a few examples and explanations of how link building search queries would look if you mixed them up and played around with them.

allintext:keyword site:.edu - allintext:new york hotel site:.edu

  • This will bring up all the .edu sites that have “new york hotel” anywhere in the site’s text.

allintitle:keyword “links” - allintitle:new york hotel “links”

  • This will bring up all the pages with “new york hotel” and “links” in the title tags.

directory intitle:keyword - directory intitle:new york hotel

  • This will bring up all the directories with a page that has “new york hotel” in the title tag.

intitle:keyword “favorite links” - intitle:new york hotel “favorite links”

  • This will bring up all the “favorite links” pages with “new york hotel” in the title tag.

intext:keyword site:.edu - intitle:new york hotel site:.edu

  • This will bring up all the .edu pages with “new york hotel” in the title tag.

intitle:keyword inurl:keyword inbody:keyword - intitle:new york hotel inurl:hotel inbody:new york hotel

  • This will show all the the web pages with “new york hotel” in the title tag, “hotel” in the url and “new york hotel” somewhere in the body content.

inurl:keyword site:.edu - inurl:hotel site:.edu

  • This shows all the .edu webpages with “hotel” in the url

keyword “favorite sites” site:.gov - new york hotel “favorite sites” site:.gov

  • This will display all the government sites with “favorite links” pages and “new york hotel” somewhere within them.

keyword “suggest url” intitle:keyword - new york hotel “suggest url” intitle:new york hotel

  • This will display all the pages with the phrase “suggest url” somewhere on the page and with “new york hotel” in the title tag.

links “keyword” intitle:blog - links “new york hotel” intitle:blog

  • This will show all the pages with “blog” somewhere in the title tag and the phrases “links” & “new york hotel” somewhere within the site.

intitle:keyword “forums” site:.edu - intitle:new york hotel “forums” site:.edu

  • This will dislpay all the forums on educational sites with new york hotel in the title tag.

keyword “sponsors” site:.edu - new york hotel “sponsors” site:.edu

  • This will show all the .edu pages with ’sponsors’ and ‘new york hotel’ somewhere in it.

keyword “links” intitle:keyword site:.gov - new york hotel “links” intitle:new york hotel site:.gov

  • This will show all the government sites with “new york hotel” in the title tag and with the phrases ‘links’ and ‘new york hotel’ somewhere on that page.

I wish I could tell you guys about some other good ones. But I’m afraid I have to keep some to give me that edge when competing with other SEO’s.  But, I’m sure some of y’all could come up with some good ones yourself. So mix those up, change them around and create ones of your own. Feel free to comment some other good SE operator combos if you have or made any.

Some operator combos can be a gold mine. You’ll see

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