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Search Tools and Resources Blog Post Archives

Search Tools and Resources Category

Are You Using the Right Keywords On Your Site? A Simple Three-Rule Test

What should you look for in a good keyword?Keyword research is important to online marketing efforts. But even more important than that is the keywords you select for your SEO and PPC efforts. Of course, you cannot select what you have not researched, but finding keywords generally isn’t the problem. There are tons of keyword tools available that will help you do that.

The question is, what do you do with your keyword lists once you’ve compiled them?

Just as there is no shortage of good keyword tools, there is also no shortage of metrics that you can use to determine the value of any given keyword. A few that tend to top our keyword selections lists are:

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The Value (or Lack Thereof) of Measuring Keyword Rankings

A recent discussion on Sphinn got me thinking about the value of keyword rankings in the overall scheme of measuring SEO performance. Do rankings matter? If so, should ranking reports be a part of the success metrics SEO’s provide their clients?

There are a lot of ways to measure the success of an SEO campaign and rankings can be a relevant factor, but that should not be the only factor. Heck, I’m not even sure it’s one of the top 5 most important measures of success! But instead of just yelling, “ranking reports suuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuck” at the top of my lungs, let’s look at how we can accurately measure the value of any particular keyword ranking. I think you’ll find a lot more here than meets the eye.
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Site Search Analytics: What Your Customers Want…In Their Own Words

When people come to your site, it can be really hard to know why they are there.  The truth is the average conversion rate on e-commerce sites is only around 2-3%…and that’s on sites that are specifically built to sell stuff.  So, what happens to the other 97%?  Why were they there?  Did they find what they were looking for?  If not, why not?  Is the content they are looking for even on your site?  If so, are they able to find it easily?

Keywords that bring users to the site via search engines can help, but visitors are prone to being vague when they use search engines.  But, there’s one place to go for insights into why visitors are on your site that gets overlooked.  It’s a place where your site visitors become much more precise about their browsing intent.  It’s your site search data.  No, not the keywords they used in search engines to find your site.  It’s the phrases they used to search ON your site after they arrived.Continue Reading

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Dynamic Keyword Research – Stay in Front of Your Competition

Google has this tool called Insights for Search.  At first glance, it looks like a pretty simple, fairly unsophisticated tool that just tells you if search volume is going up or down for a particular keyword or group of keywords.  Not many insights there, right?  I mean, all you really have to do for search engine marketing is keyword research with one of the many tools available to you out there and you can easily line up the keywords that you want to go after by search intent and volume, right?

But, here’s the problem with your keyword research.  It’s static. You get a number and you compare it to other numbers at a single point in time.  That’s great for that day, that month, or even that year.  But as you know, your industry changes.  There’s new advances, new challenges, new demands, etc.;  and part of winning is staying ahead of your competition. Continue Reading

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13 Must-have Plugins for Your WordPress Blog

Editor’s Note: This is a guest post written by Michael Schwartz from Vertical Measures, an SEO Marketing Company in Phoenix, Arizona.

One of the best parts about the Internet is that whenever you think of a tool that could improve your site it’s likely that tool has already been created by somebody else in the form of a plugin.

Why waste time building a script or hiring somebody to build one when you can download a plugin from WordPress and have it up and running on your site in a matter of minutes?

Plugins can solve many of your website functionality issues, particularly when it comes to on-site SEO improvement, be it through helping you set up your title tags and descriptions or sending your XML sitemaps to Google.Continue Reading

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trackur Online Reputation Monitoring Tool

I’m big on reputation management tracking. I have well over 50 Google alerts set up at any one time. I track my own name, company name, blog name, names of my employees, names of my competitors, company names of my competitors and even my articles. All via Google Alerts.

So you know I had to be interested when I got an email about trackur, a new reputation monitoring tool from Andy Beal.


Here is what I like about trackur:Continue Reading

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Code Monitor Page Spy Tool Works (Again)

Code MonitorWe’ve finally been able to work out (most of) the bugs from CodeMonitor. For our users out there I apologize profusely. I know the darn thing has been broken for a long time and we’ve been working hard at getting it all put back together after several server changes. But it looks like that has finally happened.

As always, please submit any bug reports or upgrade requests to help us continue to make this tool better.

What Does CodeMonitor do?

For those of you who don’t know what the CodeMonitor tool is or does… well it’s pretty cool, if you ask me.

Simply put, it notifies you when any web page that you are monitoring changes. Now this isn’t a substitute for an RSS feed, this is something entirely different. CodeMonitor allows you to monitor select pages of a website and will email you whenever that page changes. Once you get that email you can login to see the new changes highlighted against to the previously “saved” version of the page.

Here, let me show you…Continue Reading

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Top 10 Most Useful Open Source / Free Software Programs

Buying software is so 1999. I mean seriously, who wants to buck up and spend upwards of $500 on an office suite when you have bills to pay and lattes to drink. Plus, with everyone’s exciting New Year’s resolutions in full swing, saving money may be even more appealing. Enter the world of free web-based software and open source software. This list is obviously not comprehensive, nor authoritative, however, these ten programs are the ones I found most useful during 2007.

Top Ten Free Open Source Software 2007

Mozilla Firefox

Mozilla Firefox is the greatest open-source browser available. Firefox offers users complete control over the browser featuring tabs, pop-up blocking, useful toolbars, and many themes. Firefox is W3C compliant which means developers will not have to slave to make sure CSS is rendering correctly like IE. In addition, the browser has thousands of extensions that will aid developers and SEOs alike.Continue Reading

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Social Bookmarking – A Never-ending Popularity Contest

In my last post, I linked to several helpful books and articles for anyone getting started or anyone interested in SEO Copywriting. I also included a few links to some blogs that I read regularly. Since last week’s post, those nine blogs have doubled (thank you to those who gave more suggestions).

Like many of you, I use a social bookmarking site to keep my blogs nice and neat and clean for me. I go to one site and am able to read all 18 blogs without having to go the actual blog site unless necessary. Pretty convenient, right?

Well, I thought so too, until I realized just how many social bookmarking sites there are. And it seems to me that, like the blogs I read, these social bookmarking sites seem to double in a week’s time.

Here are some non-niche-specific bookmarking sites (and I’m not even including some of the major players): A social bookmarking website — the primary use of is to store your bookmarks online, which allows you to access the same bookmarks from any computer and add bookmarks from anywhere, too.

    Digg: A place for people to discover and share content from anywhere on the web. From the biggest online destinations to the most obscure blog, …

    reddit: reddit is a source for what’s new and popular online. reddit learns what you like as you vote on existing links or
    submit your own! …

    StumbleUpon: The best way to discover great websites, videos, photos, blogs and more. Channel surf the internet and get personalized recommendations …

    Technorati: The recognized authority on what’s happening on the World Live Web, right now.

    Twitter: Social networking and microblogging service utilising instant messaging, SMS or a web interface.

While many of the above are rather general, many of the below are specifically targeting those in marketing and/or marketing-related fields:

    Marketing Lens: Love internet marketing? Each day, Marketing Lens identifies the top 15 online marketing stories and blogs of the day.

    Small Business Brief: Serving those in small business by providing resources, informative articles, current news, software directory and small business ideas forum.

    Sphinn: The place for web, online, search, interactive and internet marketers to share news stories, talk within subject-specific discussion forums.

I can’t tell you how many times I get emails asking to “sphinn” this or “fetch” that, to “digg” this or “reddit” that. It’s almost too much to handle sometimes. Then again, I do understand the want of gaining a level of notoriety through this relatively new media frenzy of social bookmarking. Who doesn’t want to be popular?

It’s a lot like high school, where you have the different cliques. Except in regard to social bookmarking and networking, rather than having the cheerleaders and the band geeks and the rebels, you have the tech geeks, the media companies, and the marketers.

This is a popularity contest.

The more friends/fans/followers you have, the more likely you are to get on the front page and be the next hot topic.

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SES San Jose – Day 4 Wrap Up

Site Clinic

The first session of the last day was site clinic, hosted by Shari Thurow and Matt Bailey. In this session, audience members’ web sites were reviewed from a usability and SEO standpoint. The site clinic brought about many good tips and ideas:

  • Always have call to actions above the fold
  • Keep higher ranking word links above the fold
  • Stay away from blue text unless using it for links
  • Give users a sense of place on every page by using breadcrumbs
  • Use benefit-oriented copy to show users what your products would do for them
  • Utilize a context rewrite module for long URL’s
  • Check your site using Yahoo! Site Explorer to discover link structureContinue Reading

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