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SEO Tips of 2008

Since 1998 I've spent the first several months of each year looking for the very best search engine optimization (SEO) tips of the previous year's end. This year I've come across the best SEO tips yet.

SEO Tip #1: Make Google Alerts Your Personal Online Spy

Google Alerts is a great way to let the world's biggest search engine be your personal online spy. This takes search engine optimization insider info to whole new level. Here's an excerpt straight from Google....

"Google Alerts are email updates of the latest relevant Google results (web, news, etc.) based on your choice of query or topic.

Some handy uses of Google Alerts include:

* monitoring a developing news story
* keeping current on a competitor or industry
* getting the latest on a celebrity or event
* keeping tabs on your favorite sports teams"

As you probably guessed, it's the second one we care about most, "keeping current on a competitor or industry."

Here's how it works... Each time Google finds a reference to the query or topic you request you will be sent an email with the details. This is like having an online spy to make sure competitors are not using your protected keywords (trademarked names, company names, etc.) It's also an instant identifier to know when your site or product is mentioned in a news story or even when a topic is hot so you can take advantage of the situation. It's the easiest way in the world to stop competitors' dirty tricks and identify trends that you can take instant advantage of.

It's fast, free and works every minute of every day. Let Google Alerts ( do your most time consuming legwork while you reap the rewards!

SEO Tip #2: Optimize Your 404 Page and Always Be Found

"Error 404: Page Not Found" is a blessing that most Webmasters curse. Why? Getting a visitor on any page of your site is fantastic! Don't blow the opportunity. Not only can you make your "404" page a valuable sales tool, you can use the following search engine optimization techniques to attract customers in droves.

A.) Use your main keyword in your title, add a "pipe" (usually above the Enter key) and then use your secondary keyword. Here's as example for an SEO site "SEO - Search Engine Optimization Tips"

B.) Add some keyword rich content using one to two keywords for the page. If you have less than 250 words on the page, just use one keyword and use it no more than three times total. Bold the first use and italicize the second or third use. Keep in mind this is an "inactive" page so simply tell the visitor what your site is about and whet their appetite with a good description. Something like this works well... "Thank you for visiting SEO (bold) Group, Inc. We are sorry you landed on a missing page but don't worry, if you're looking for the very best search engine optimizations tips (bold), you're at the right place..." This will go on for a couple paragraphs or as long as you'd like then end it with something to the effect of "Please Click Here (link) to visit our site map or click any link to the left."

C.) Add your site's standard navigation system (bar, column, etc.) as mentioned above.

D.) Make the look and feel of the customized 404 page match your main site as closely as possible with a template, matched palette, cascading style sheets, etc.

E.) Create a link to the site map page if available, and make the link easy to find. You want your visitor off the 404 page and into your main content as quickly as possible.

Setting up a custom 404 page link usually takes less than five minutes on most major Web hosting companies like But whatever it takes, it's worth the effort.

SEO Tip #3: Get (Even More) Serious About Linking

I saved the most important for last. If you want to do well on any search engine, especially Google, linking is THE single MOST important thing you can do. It's that simple.

Here are the five things you MUST do to make your site #1 on Google:

A.) Find the highest page rank sites linking to your site AND your competitors' sites.

B.) Run monthly link campaigns and snatch up the best of the above identified Web sites.

C.) Run regular checks on what pages are still linking back to your site. Alsomake sure they did not move you from a high page rank page to a lower one (don't get cheated!)

D.) Eliminate any penalized sites you link to; ASAP!

E.) Check your search engine ranking AND your competitor's for each of your keywords every week. Do this, at the minimum, for Google, Yahoo, MSN and Alta Vista.

Inside Tip: Keeping up can be a lot of work so a lot of SEO Consultants (myself included) use SEO Elite ( to do all the most difficult and time consuming work.

One last thing to know is that Google was originally a college student's project created for the sole purpose of defining a Web site's value by the sites that link to it. Twelve years later this is still it's main job. Linking is EVERYTHING to Google

How You Can Save A Fortune On Pay Per Click Campaign

Finally there is an alternative answer to expensive pay per click campaigns and getting your web site promoted. The good news is that you do not have to pay a fortune to get good visibility. You also do not have to pay exorbitant amounts of money every month to Google AdSense and sponsored link programs to pop up in the top ten of the search engines.

You can actually achieve great rankings in Google and Yahoo organically. This means that the search engines actually come looking for you. The great news here is that you don’t have to spend a mint on getting to the very top. Not only can you get there in the top ten but you can actually get 8 out of the top 10. Sound impossible? For Ted Cantu it’s quite easy.

“This is something I started doing for my fellow Dan Kennedy IBA members in Brighton, Michigan. I started to test out new theories in practice on my coaching group members and we started getting some phenomenal results” explains Detroit area based Cantu. “The key for us was to use all of the tools that Google has to offer”.

Google has really led the way when it comes to buying Internet technology. In the recent months it has acquired Feedburner and its RSS technology which allows web surfers to subscribe to its favorite content on the web. It has also acquired Blogger which enables Internet web geeks to post to an easy to use blog format. You can combine these tools together and have them work together promoting your web pages. But that is just the tip of the iceberg.

Google has purchased more tools for its users and therefore has really led the way on the web. Yahoo hasn’t followed through with these types of acquisitions and in some sense has lost its popularity. Just recently Yahoo has given up its Podcast platform which allowed its members to post audio shows and messages on the web.

You can begin to create some really great things when you combine these things together. When they work hand in hand incredible things can occur including high search engine rankings.

Blending In All The Right Ingredients

You want to make sure you use all of the tools that the web has to offer. There are an abundant of tools out there now that you can use including blogs, RSS feeds, podcasting, audio messages, and web video just to name a few. The magic ingredient that holds all of this together is good solid sales copywriting to lure in your prospects.

Keep in mind that the web was originally created to share information. Your potential clients do not sign on initially to buy stuff off of the web. They will first research their material on the web first before making any kind of commitment to buy something. But once you get them to commit to you the real money making magic can begin.

So what kind of results are possible by using all facets of the web?

Try putting your web pages at the very top ten on the web. Results have varied but some of the top records placed some clients at the very tip top of 17 million pages. This was all done without the aid of pay per click and sponsored link programs.


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