SEMPO Certified Advice from a Dallas SEO

As I wrote last week, I was nearly SEMPO Certified.

The tests are over with and I am now a SEMPO Certified, Dallas SEO. Take a look at the right hand column >>>

As I said in that post last week I’d write an in depth post on SEO tips. Here’s only one of many more to come…

SEO Tip: Keyword Research

Keyword Research is crucial, or rather, the usage of keywords correctly is crucial.

When writing content for your site, optimize your content for single pages. Its easy to work with the mindset that you’re using good keywords throughout your site and you should be ok with just that, however, think about how PageRank works. PAGErank is much more concerned with the content of the page than it is with the site as a whole (not that your whole site is negligent to your PageRank though).

For example, your small business is a web design firm that wants to rank well for terms like, “web design dallas”, “dallas seo”, etc. When constructing your site content, use those keywords more on specific pages, rather than throwing a couple ‘here and there’ throughout your site. Certainly use the keywords on other pages, but remember that you’re optimizing specific pages for SERP listings.

SEO Tip: Siloing or Theming

SEO Siloing or Theming is the idea of building your site in such a way that content is easily categorized by search engines. I’m using this tactic on this blog, though I plan to extend its usage further in the future.

PageRank Flow
Figure 1: PageRank Flow Due to Siloing/Theming

Figure 1 shows how theming might work. Let’s use an example to better understand:

Say your home page has a PageRank of 4, higher than the rest of the pages on your site. The link juice that your home page can send to other pages is the greatest you have. Using the PR of your home page to distribute PR amongst your other pages can aid in getting your lower level pages into the SERPs. So, your home page is TIER 1. TIER 2 is used for categories (product categories, blog categories, etc.). TIER 3 is your specific content (products, blog posts, etc.). You may have a couple different levels of categories, so your TIER 2 may actually turn into TIER 2 & 3, pushing your products to 4.

Notice in Figure 1, also, how the pages are linked together. The home page is accessible from every page of the site, as it should be because it is the most important page. The category level pages are only linked to the home page and the product pages, but NOT to each other. Why? Your categories are very specific buckets of content that should only be related to other like content. The same is true for your product pages. A practical way to link to other “product level pages” is to link to related products/posts. Find a useful WordPress plugin for similar posts.

Remember here that the idea is to categorize your site’s content so that the link juice flows between related content. Be careful when implementing this kind of structure, though. You could easily, accidentally block access to pages or the long tail of your links may be lost by spiders and they end up never getting to your product pages.

SEO Tip: Strict Guidelines

Don’t we always want to know exactly how to do things? SEO surely isn’t an industry of “sure-fire” methods to accomplish goals, but there are some things you should always pay attention to.

Keyword Frequency: Keep your keyword frequency below somewhere around 2.5% for each page.
If you were to repeat “Dallas SEO” 100 hundred times on a page and submit it to Google they would immediately recognize it was spam. So, keeping your keyword frequency to a low level assures search engines that your content isn’t purely for ranking in SERPs.

Outbound Links: All links pass link juice, so some people believe that linking out to other sites passes your link juice to them where you could have exploited it for yourself. Its true that you are passing some link value to the external site, however, Google recognizes that worthwhile sites actually DO link out to others and it proves them to be an authority themselves. When you link to pages with similar content you’re affirming spiders that content on your page is legitimate, and you’re willing to share knowledge with your visitors. Somewhere around 5 outbound links per page is good.

Word Count: Amongst the text in your navigation, footer, etc. your body copy should prevail as the “meat” of the page. However, don’t throw a million words on the page to accomplish this. On the other hand, don’t be so lean as to not give the content it’s due credibility. Write body copy that exceeds 500 words, enough that search engines will pick up on real story inside your words.

Dallas SEO

I’m excited to be part of the Dallas SEO community now. Of course, I have been, but maybe I’ve got a bit more show for it now. If anyone would like SEO tips or advice, let me hear from you. I’d love to help you out. In addition to being SEMPO certified now, I’m also a member a DFWSEM through Lead Maverick. It’s pretty cool that DFWSEM enables the Dallas SEO community to thrive.

Almost SEMPO Certified SEO Expert

In order to be an SEO expert you have to prove yourself, something I’m still humbly working at. But in my pursuit to become the Dallas SEO guru, I’ve been given a great opportunity to become SEMPO certified.

Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization (SEMPO) Mission: SEMPO is a global non-profit organization serving the search engine marketing industry and marketing professionals engaged in it.

A couple of weeks my boss gave me a credit towards one of the three SEMPO courses offered to build skill in SEO and SEM. I’m about halfway through the Advanced SEO Specialist Training. Of course, anyone can take a class, wear a badge, and flaunt a certification (well, almost anyone).

Fortunately, my job allows me to constantly review our site’s SEO. Had we not been sidetracked by some other higher priority things, we’d be in the middle of a six week plan to significantly alter various aspects of our website specifically for search engine optimization (some of which we have thankfully gotten to).

My side projects have also been teaching me useful SEO tricks (not the bad kind!). Some recently launched sites have been heavy on consideration of the architecture and layout concerns of SEO. What I’m learning, though, will really show itself in my future projects.

Some SEO qualities I’ve really been able to refine and affirm recently:

  • Keyword Research
    • Planning the targeted keywords and using them correctly within the content and links of the page
  • Copy Writing
    • Writing content to be noticed by search engines first and compelling to users second
  • Site Architecture
    • Organizing pages in an understandable way for categorization of content by search engines
  • Navigation
    • Linking structures are crucial to how content is understood by search engines

So, I’m not SEMPO certified yet, but I’m well on my way and should have an update for you in couple of weeks. After my certification, I’ll have an in depth post of some things I’ve learned. Hopefully you’ll be able to put them into practice, as I’ll try to keep the post more practical than philosophical.

Make sure you’re subscribed to my RSS feed to get the in depth SEO post.

Launched: The Well at DBC Church Website

This week we launched The Well website, a media and resource rich (or at least it will be!) website for my church, Denton Bible Church. The Well is the evening service at DBC. We accomplished several things with the site that prove the flexibility of WordPress.

Link: The Well of Denton Bible Church

Home Page

The home pages consists of a featured section that scrolls through however many featured posts you want.

We’ve also got 3 “ads” that display next to the featured posts. The point of the “ads” is that they are much more static parts of the site that need constant attention, so we’re using the “ad” terminology, but in reality they’re just important posts.

Below the featured posts is a photo stream from an internal WordPress gallery, and below that are two columns of recent sermons and recent resources (books, blogs, songs, etc.).

To its right is a list of upcoming events that are being picked up from a Google calendar.

A lot of things are going on on the home page, and mostly in part to using the loop to call specific categories.

Pages

Many of the pages have unique sidebars, achieved by adding unique IDs to the widget code and allowing site administrators to add and remove widgets of their choice for specific pages. Some of the pages take advantage of unique templates as well.

Because there are many administrators of the site, those writing their own content have their own author pages to display biographical information as well as a list of their content.

There pages dedicated to photos, audio and video. The photo management was all achieved using the NexGen Gallery WordPress plugin – I strongly suggest using this for your photos!

Coming Soon…

I’ll be recycling this theme, adding to it, cleaning it up, changing the design, and optimizing it even further for release as a premium theme. Stay tuned!

The Well of DBC

The Well of DBCThe Well is the evening service at DBC. The intention in building this site was to provide a platform for a media rich website. The Well records and podcasts sermons weekly and needed to organize these, make them even more accessible, and align them with other media resources like video and photos.

Some things to note about the features included in this website are the “featured post scroll” on the home page, a calendar of events managed by Google Calendar but displayed in a custom design, and the galleries for all the types of media.

Website: No longer online

Platform: WordPress

The Well is the evening service of Denton Bible Church. Established in 2008, this service was birthed to further the mission of our church in “equipping the saints for the work of the ministry” (Eph. 4), namely among a new generation of families, singles, and collegians in our community.

Office Ultimate for $60!!! Expires tomorrow!

So Microsoft, in their desperation to distribute their new software, is selling Office Ultimate 2007 for $59.95. The only requirement is that you have an .edu email address. It retails for $680! Crazy.

You can pay $13 extra get a DVD mailed to you, $6 extra to have 2 year access to download as many times as you want, or just pay the $59.95 for the immediate download. There is NO catch.

Buy Office Ultimate 2007 for $59.95.

Nofollow Entire Div!

Ever wanted to add rel="nofollow" to an entire div? Me too.

Say, for instance, you duplicated your navigation in your footer and you want to nofollow the links, instead of adding a rel="nofollow" attribute to every link, it would make much more sense to add it to the containing div. This wouldn’t hide content and prevent content from being indexed or anything crazy like that, but simply prevent following of links inside of 1 div.

Anybody in tight with Google and wanna suggest such a feature? Maybe Yahoo! would take us up on the offer now that they’re beginning their semantic search support.

Would there be any reason not to allow this?