Posts Tagged ‘SEO Tips’

Static URLs over Dynamic URLs: A Brief Overview

Wednesday, August 11th, 2010

If you have been in the world of SEO you would probably have heard that search engines, all the prominent ones, prefer static URLs to dynamic URLs. Why and how? Before going to that let us start from what they are.

What is a static URL?

Static URL is one that doesn’t change. It won’t have any URL parameters and would be quite simple. These are the favorites of search engines. Updating such URLs are time consuming. This is so in the case of shopping websites and blogs that stores a lot of information and frequently needs to be updated. In the case of such websites, webmasters normally go for dynamic URLs.

What is a dynamic URL?

These URLs are created from searching a database-driven website. They are generated from specific queries to a website’s database. Here the date is changed in the database instead of in the HTML code. These URLs normally contain many variables and are difficult for the users to understand.

Why are static URLs preferred to dynamic URLs?

Search engines rank and index static URLs better than dynamic ones. Besides, static URLs are visibly more pleasing for the users as they are more simple and understandable. A brief glance through a static URL gives the reader an idea of what the page is all about. Whereas a dynamic URL contains variables and does not make much sense to a non-technical person. For this same reason users are more likely to click on static URLs that they understand than the dynamic ones.

Dynamic URLs take the last positions in search engines for another reason. That is, they normally do not have any keywords in them. Major search engines like Google, Yahoo and MSN give a lot of weight to URLs with their main keywords in included in the domain name. Google now has made some progress with ranking dynamic URL, but if the webmasters try to make the URL look static and hide the parameters, it makes crawling difficult. And this might have an adverse effect.

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How well do you know your target audience?

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

What is the first step in creating a business website? Is it the designing of the layout? Creation of content? Insertion of images and videos? No. To do these all steps the first thing you need to decide is who you are doing all these for. In other words, you have to find out who your target audience is. Suppose you are planning on an online bookshop, you would know that your target audience is a reading group. So, is it enough that you make a website with only some images of many books and their prices? Not at all. Your audience would want to know a thing or two about the books, their authors, their reviews, previous customers’ comments, etc. In short, you need to give them a lot more information than just a few images.

Recognizing your target audience is crucial to your business much more than you realize. Doing a little bit of research to know this is going to be absolutely worth your time. Here are a few details that you need to know about your prospective visitors aka customers:

  • Which locality are they from?
  • What is their age range?
  • What language do they speak?
  • What information would your site visitors want to know?
  • What would be their online behaviour?
  • What kind of products are they looking for?

Once you decide and research on the target audience you could design your website with all these details in mind. Make sure you have an inviting layout that would encourage the visitors to take a tour further in the site. The content has to appeal to a broad audience and at the same time cater to the specific purpose the website was built for. Once the website is created you could give it a “mom’s test” as formulated by Jennifer Laycock of Search Engine Guide.

Mom’s test is where you get someone, probably your mom, who represents the user community to browse and purchase a product from a website. Get her in front of the monitor and ask her to purchase a product or fill up an enquiry form. There needn’t be any instructions other than the main goal. Now check out what are her steps to reach there.

  • Which is the search engine she uses to browse?
  • Which are keywords she uses to find what she wants?
  • What does she do when she enters a website?
  • Which page does she go to when she enters the site?
  • Does she find it difficult to find the product she wants?
  • Does she come back to the search page quickly?
  • Does she go through the product specifications or descriptions carefully?
  • Does she check out other related products?
  • How easily does she find the conversion button?
  • Are the payment and delivery conditions clear to her while purchasing?

If you find her struggling with any of these steps you know you have to rework on your site to make it friendlier for the users. Most often, your users are going to be just like that. They would know just to use the Internet and click the button that they can see easily. This makes it necessary for you to keep all the important buttons right under the visibility span of the visitors.

Next time you feel that you are not getting enough of conversions in spite of doing everything possible to make the website inviting and visible, check whether you are providing exactly what your target audience is looking for. Or, make sure your analysis of your target audience is accurate. Once you do that you could see the increase in the number of conversions and thus an amazing growth in your business.

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Creating effective tweets is not a myth

Monday, July 26th, 2010

When Twitter was launched in 2006 it was meant to be used for a small group of people. However, within a couple of years it became such a rage that it is sometimes described as the “sms of the Internet”. It got so much popularity worldwide that now it enjoys 100 million users. It didn’t take much time since its launch to find its scope for marketing. Now several big and small businesses use Twitter to do their marketing – huge, established businesses to retain their customers and small businesses to find new customers.

It’s a miracle how a small tweet that has to be confined to 140 characters can bring so much revenue. But the truth is there are companies and businesses that find their customers through Twitter. And with some knack and common sense you can also find the customers that you are searching for through Twitter. Here are some factors that you can remember while tweeting to get more followers and eventually more customers:

  • Have a professional profile that is impressive as well

When you are tweeting for business the impression you give has to be the best. This profile is what represents your business online. Keep a profile that is informative, impressive and professional. Add your company website in the profile so that users who check your profile get to know your products or services. Adding your company logo also gives you an identity of your own in Twitter.

  • Have clarity in what you say

Because you are forced to say what you want in 140 characters, you might give your messages in short forms, abbreviations or just some random mix of words with hidden meanings. This is not going to help when others check your tweets.  Your followers are not going to spend time decoding what you have said. Hence, be clear and precise.

  • Provide information

There is no point tweeting just anything so that you could stay in the loop. Provide information for that is what your followers want and that is why they are following you. Tell them about your latest products or events. Tell them what their next action should be. Tell them why they should buy from you. These details are what followers are looking from you.

  • Be brief

Brevity is of course the only option you have in Twitter as your characters are limited. In fact, it is even better if you can bring it down to 120 as in case someone wants to reply, their message wouldn’t be cut short with your name coming in front of the reply. Also, make sure you shorten your links using shortening tools that you can find plenty on the Internet.

  • Keywords

When users search for you they use keywords that are related to business. Hence, make sure you use the important business keywords in your tweets that let users find you fast.

  • Provide user friendly links

It is common practice to add a link in your tweet when you have something descriptive to tweet. Make sure this link is not directed to a blank page or a non-existing page. It should load fast. Similarly, the content in the page that the link leads to should be easy and interesting to read.

  • Give importance to your followers

If you go on tweeting only about what you do or what you are planning to do, followers would lose interest very soon. Make sure you are talking about them too. Add “you” in all your tweets. Tell them why they should listen to you and what is their benefit if they do so. Provide space for them to reply with their queries by shortening your tweet to 120 characters or lesser.

  • Do not protect your tweets

For your personal account protecting your tweets is sensible. However, for your business that would be stupidity as the main reason for your presence in Twitter is spreading your word. So keep your tweets open for users to find them and follow them.

Today, absence in Twitter puts you down in the business world when your competitors move up higher due to their efficient social media marketing. So, what are you waiting for? Create an impressive profile in Twitter and watch your business grow. Happy tweeting!

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