Scribe Sale Ends Tomorrow

Promo code: PROMO27

Use that promo code to get the largest available package (300 evaluations) for $27/month which is usually $97/month. Just visit scribeseo.com, select the Advanced Plan, register and use the promo code PROMO27.

It won’t work after 5:00 p.m. Central on Friday, June 4, 2010.

What is Scribe anyway?

Scribe is a search engine optimization software service that analyzes the content of web pages, blog posts, online press releases, or any other web content … all at the click of a button.

Next, it reports back and tells you how to tweak your content to get better search engine rankings and more traffic, all while maintaining quality reader-focused copy.

And you’re probably a WordPress user so you can just install the plugin from the repository like any other plugin. But now there’s also a web-based version of Scribe as well as one for Joomla and Drupal with more platforms on the way. In other words, Scribe is available wherever you publish so you might as well take advantage of optimizing all your content.

Find out more about Scribe here.

You can read my review of Scribe here.

Do you use Hybrid?

Scribe was built to work alongside other great works of SEO. One of the theme frameworks the authors deemed credible was Hybrid. If you’ve ever used Hybrid you know that it does a great job of optimizing a site’s structure and HTML. Optimizing the content is up to you.

Since Hybrid has some built in SEO features (like the ability to customize page titles and description) Scribe takes advantage of those. So rest assured that installing Scribe on your Hybrid site will work like a breeze.

Free 28 page SEO report

Go grab the free SEO copyrighting report to help you before you hit the analyze button.

By the way, affiliate links were unashamedly used in this post. Scribe is the only thing I promote using affiliate links … because I trust it enough to do so.

Scribe SEO Review

Scribe SEO Review

This is the most biased Scribe SEO review you’ll ever read. Why?

Well, for one, I designed and developed scribeseo.com. Secondly, I had a hand in the development of the Scribe platform.

That said, bias isn’t all that bad. In fact, in this case it just allows me to give you a magnified review of Scribe.

If you’re not familiar with Scribe yet, here’s a bit about it:

Scribe is an SEO software service for WordPress that analyzes the content of web pages, blog posts, online press releases, you name it… at the click of a button.

The Scribe API then reports back to the WordPress interface and tells web writers, bloggers, affiliate marketers, and small business owners how to tweak their content to get more search engine traffic, all while maintaining quality reader-focused copy.

Let’s assume you’ve installed and configured the plugin (which is pretty easy) and you’ve written a post. Now, you just hit the “Analyze” button and Scribe gives you its report…

SEO Score Card

Scribe SEO Review Score CardThe first screen you’re presented with is the score card — an overview of scoring factors and recommendations. It gives you a quick glance at things you can do to improve your copy.

The Good

Beyond a simple interface that highlights the changes you need to make, it scores a host of factors that make the score card quality:

  • Character and word count of the title
  • Title keyword usage and placement
  • Character and word count of the description
  • Description keyword usage and placement
  • Character and word count of the body
  • Body keyword usage and placement
  • Keyword density
  • Hyperlink count and prominence
  • Reading ease

The Bad

Every post/page is unique and following the recommendations blindly could hurt you. Achieving a score of 100% shouldn’t be your goal. Keep in mind that the analysis is only scanning the content you’ve just written and not the rest of the content that will appear around the post (header, sidebar, footer, etc.). As long as you remember that the score card is a guideline you’ll be ok.

Keyword Analysis

Scribe SEO Review KeywordsYou’re likely writing content with the hopes that people will find it through a search engine (duh!) so you need to be aware of what keywords people are going to use to get to your page. Its pretty tough to pull these out of the air. You never know if a word you might search for is what other people would use. So, we have keyword analysis…

The Good

There’s some tools out there that let you paste in your content and specify the desired keyword. Well, like I already said — you don’t really know what people are searching for. Scribe takes the guess work out of it finds the keywords you are using. You can see which words will likely get you ranked and then you can make a judgment call about whether you want to target that term. Fortunately, that call is easy to make with all of the data provided.

  • The keyword’s rank within your content
  • Prominence
  • Frequency
  • Density
  • Annual Search Volume

Plus, Scribe gives you suggestions for making keywords more of a primary keyword or less.

The Bad

Despite what any analysis tells you, there aren’t any hard and fast numbers to determine what the golden number of keywords should be. So, the suggestions Scribe gives are based upon industry theories, but like most SEO advice, they need to be taken with a grain of salt.

Tags

Scribe SEO Review TagsCategories and tags are used in WordPress for organization which helps users just as much (or more) as it does search engines. Sometimes its hard to remember to add tags. Even more difficult is to come up with tags.

The Good

Scribe gives you semantically relevant terms that you can use as tags. These are terms that the plugin as determined to be good search keywords and are relevant to the content of your page or post.

The Bad

Scribe should give you an option to add tags to your post. Maybe a check box and an “Add to post” button? Its not all that bad, but would be a time saver.

Conclusion

I’ve left out a handful of other features (SERP example, SEO best practices, integration with WordPress themes and plugins, etc.). Although, I’ve covered the meat and potatoes of what make Scribe SEO what it is.

Scribe for WordPress is an excellent plugin that can be used by anyone and is especially helpful for those that already know what they’re doing but just need to save time.

Just remember that SEO can’t be completely automated and it requires some common sense. With that in hand, I give Scribe two thumbs up. But don’t take my word for it.

By the way, affiliate links were unashamedly used in this post. Scribe is the only thing I promote using affiliate links … because I trust it enough to do so.

Using Header Tags Correctly

In search engine optimization every detail matters. Details are what set apart the successful search engine optimizers from the mediocre. Much like everything else in life, if you work a little bit harder and a little bit smarter you’ll get further ahead.

So let me explain the use of the header tag. You know, H1, H2, H3, etc. What’s it for and where do you use it for the best optimized content?

SEO for Dummies

Header tags show a great level of importance for text. While putting text in a header tag won’t make you king of the search results, it’s another detail that adds to the many other details you’re hopefully keeping up with.

Headers Make Big Fonts *sniff*

Yes, sometimes wrapping text in HX tags makes the font bigger, but that’s not WHY the header tag exists, and thus that’s not why you should use it.

Never mix page markup with style. Don’t count on your H1 tag being Arial, black, and 36pt font. Styles, nowadays, are set by the style sheet and should never be left to the browser to decide what page attributes will look like. I could go on and one with this, but the point is not to think of HX tags as looking any different than regular text.

Instead, think of header tags as…drumroll…section headers.

Outlining Your Pages With Headers

So this tag was created with the intention of marking a page with tags that signified some sort of organization. Headers outline the page. So the H1 tag is the title of the entire page, and each child header breaks the page down into it’s various parts.

Remember, each page on your website is a separate entity. Treat each page uniquely, tailoring your content around the title of your page.

What To Put In Your Headers

More easily, here’s what not to put in your headers. Don’t put things that are irrelevant to the topic of the page.

WordPress defaults to displaying sidebar widget titles as H3 tags. Some of these widgets are, “Recent Posts”, “Search”, “Tags”, etc. Are you competing for any of those keywords? Probably not. Put those titles in DIV tags.

Yes, they do organize the page, BUT if you’re building your pages correctly the sidebar should be at the bottom of the source code. Right out of the gate that means the sidebar is less important than the body content.

It’s your body content that needs the organization.

When writing your headers out make them easy for users to get the point and try to use some keywords at the same time.

“My H1 Is My Site’s Name” – Bad Idea

Well, it’s a good idea…for your home page. When searchers actually search for your website’s name your goal shouldn’t be to have results for any page on your site. Your goal is have your home page come up in results.

Your website’s name isn’t the main topic of every page on your site either. So why tell search engines every page’s most important information is your name?

So, put your site name in an H1 tag on your home page and in a DIV tag on all the rest.

For WordPress users, you can use something like this:

    

<a href="/">

All that says is that if the page is the home page use an H1, and if it’s anything else use a DIV.

Enjoy Your New Header Tags Knowledge!

Add Notes to Google Analytics

It wasn’t until today that I thought it would be really nice to add notes to Google Analytics. For example, on a specific date I could make a note, “Changed background color.” From now on I’ll have an easily accessible record of site changes and be able to see how traffic was affected.

Well, I did a search and came up with a nearly perfect solution. Google Analytics Notes is a Firefox Extension that allows you to add notes via the GA interface.

The developers admit it isn’t perfect yet. For instance, the notes are only viewable in a spreadsheet format with no signification on the graphs themselves.

I made a significant change to a client’s website today that could really improve their search rankings and instead of having to remember when I made this change, it’s so nice to be able to have it in front of me each time I check their stats.

Hope you find it useful!

.COM vs .NET vs. ORG

I see this question alot:

Is .com better for SEO?

The short and sweet of it is NO. But of course there’s much more to learn!

Top-Level Domains

A Top-Level Domain (TLD) is the part of any URL that follows the domain name. For example, the common TLDs are com, net, org, gov, and edu. Every once in a while new TLDs are created to fulfill the need of creating more domain possibilies as well as creating TLDs specific to an industry, country, organization, or media type.

Why Do People Think .com Is Better for SEO?

We tend to think that because most people use .com it must be better, or at least it’s safe to use because it’s the norm. The fact is, though, that for SEO is doesn’t matter what your TLD is unless it’s a sponsored TLD like .gov or .edu. For those of us not maintaining websites for government agencies, there’s no need to debate about which TLD you choose because of SEO concerns.

However!

While the non-sponsored TLD you choose doesn’t matter one iota, the concern you should have is with branding. .com is the most trusted TLD you can get right now. Companies operating off of a .info domain name or a .biz domain name should be a bit concernced. It can come across as unprofessional. Your best bet, for branding’s sake, is to use a .com, .org, or .net.

Bots Really Like Me Now

I have no clue what happened, but two days ago Yahoo! and MSN started crawling my site like crazy. I didn’t do anything out of the ordinary but it seems like something clicked on my site. So its been like this for about two days; I’ll see how long it lasts…and hopefully Google will join in the Develop Daly craze!

Hyperlocal SEO Tips

Struggling to beat out your competitors on a national scale is tough to do – taking them on locally ain’t so tough!

You just have to know what to do.

Optimizing your content, but especially the markup of your page, is crucial to succeeding in dominating your local search results.

GeoRSS

Adding semantics to your page puts you leaps and bounds ahead of your competition (in most cases). geoRSS is great because it’s SO sepecific.

Example: Your company services 10 surrounding cities. Create a page specific to each of those cities and explain why your service is helpful to that city in particular. Add some GeoRSS meta tags to the header and now search engines know exactly what is meant to be going on.

Benefit: Search engines pick up on the standard keyword phrases that signal it to be about a certain geographic area but at the same time they are certain which area it is about because of the GeoRSS tags. AND there are lots of sites out there that crawl the web looking for GeoRSS tags so they can aggregate local news, entertainment, and companies and display them on hyperlocal dashboard-like sites. Make it easy for them!

GeoRSS also has a WordPress plugin called GeoPress that makes blogging and local optimization a breeze. Check it out.

Duh, Use Your Address

Put your company’s address somewhere on every page of your site. Google can be certain they’re plugging you into the right locality if you provide them it.

Business Search Engine Submission

Make sure you manually submit as much information about your site as possible to Google, Yahoo!, Live, and Yelp so they can return your company as a result in local searches.

Other Options

outside.in outlines a few more methods of making known local connections your page has. They suggest linking to a Google map even, or just categorizing or tagging your content with a zip code. SEO Igloo Blog has some copyrighting tips to help and so does James Harrison. HyperLocal Blogger outlines some strategy.

The 25 Best SEO Tools

Also, see WordPress Tips 2009.

Accessibility Checker

Accessibility Check

Make sure your page validates for handicapped users and increase your site usability while ensuring the use of standard SEO practices.

Backlink Analyzer

Backlink Analyzer

Wondering what your inbound links’ anchor text is?

Check Server Headers

Check Server headers

Make sure your pages are returning the correct headers (i.e. 200, 301, 302, 404, etc.)

Code to Text Ratio

Code to Text Ratio

The higher your code to text ratio the better your site may look to some search engines.

Crawl Test

Crawl Test

Are your pages getting crawled? Make sure!

Disable Personalized Search Plugin

Disable Personalized Search

Google personalizes search results so when you’re doing your keyword research your results will vary on several factors. Eliminate those factors with this script.

Duplicate Content Check

Duplicate Content Check

Is your content being ripped off on other sites?

HTML Validation

HTML Validation

Your site is always better off if your pages are validating for correct HTML markup.

Keyword Extraction

Keyword Extractor

Find out what your page is really
about with this extensive tool.

Link Check

Link Check

Broken links are dumb. Find ’em.

Page Size

Page Size

Is your page too big for spiders to index? Find out the size.

Rank Chcker

Rank Checker

Get the rank of your chosen keywords accross multiple search engines.

Redirect Checker

Redirect Checker

Are your pages redirecting correctly?

Robots.txt Syntax Checking

Robots Syntax Checking

Robots.txt files are extremely important to directing the flow of bots – don’t screw it up!

RSS Validator

RSS Validator

Validate your RSS feed and ensure that other services can interpret it correctly.

Search Status

Search Status

Semantic Data Extraction

An assortment of incredibly useful tools installed as a Firefox plugin.

Semantic Data Extraction

Semantic Data Extraction

How well do the search engines really know your site?

SEO Book Keyword Research

SEO Book Keyword Research

A few different tools that can help in keyword research

SEO for Firefox

SEO for Firefox

A plugin that reveals all kinds of stats about a page in search results.

SEO Link Analysis

SEO Link Analysis

Google, Yahoo!, and MSN allow webmasters access to link data – using this plugin really makes that data come to life.

Site Link Analyzer

Site Link Analyzer

Check your internal and external links’ anchor text.

Technorati Reactions

Technorati Reactions

Find your blog and see how many people have “reacted” to it.

Text Analysis

Text Analysis

Is your writing style too intelligent for most searchers?

Trifecta Score

Trifecta Score

An awesome summary of how well your blog, page, or domain score based on a flurry of factors.

Track the Crawl Rate of Spiders on Your Blog

Anyone can figure out how often bots visit their site by sifting through their log files everyday and organizing each bot and checking on the timespan between crawling, etc.

But who wants to do that?

Patrick Altoft created the Crawl Rate Tracker for WordPress. It does the grunt work to 1) visually display the rate at which Google, Yahoo!, MSN, and Technorati crawl a site and 2) provide data about how often each page is crawled and how many links that page has pointing to it.

Patrick Altoft's Crawl Rate Tracker

The crawling of my site seems consistent with other web sites using the plugin. Yahoo! seems to crawl websites more often than any of the other bot, especially in cases where there are lots of incoming links.

My most crawled page is “WordPress 2.5 Almost“. It isn’t a particularly interesting post and it only has one inbound link. Why then is it so popular with Yahoo!?

When I wrote that post I referenced the screencast that Matt Mullenweg created and linked to the post. WordPress placed the trackback reference on WordPress’ PageRank 7 blog post. I know PageRank and Yahoo! don’t go together, but at least from Google’s perspective that page is pretty important, so surely Yahoo! thinks so too. Yahoo! crawls that page, on average, every four hours. The page is from March, has little content, and wouldn’t really be useful to anyone now, but maybe I can take advantage of that.

Taking Advantage of Crawl Rate Tracker

So if I know which pages are crawled most often, and subsequently which pages seem to have the most authority (at least with a particular search engine) then it would make sense to put that data to use.

On my most crawled pages I can now go back and add links that point to less crawled pages or pages I think that need to receive more authority.

We also learn that referencing other popular blog posts can be a great way to attract bot attention (maybe not from Google) and have your site indexed more quickly and possible receive more authority in the process.

There could be many more features to this plugin to make it even better, but what Altoft created is already leaps and bounds beyond what we had before. Go checkout his plugin. I’m hoping his plugin will allow for me to have much more control over the authority of pages and link juice flowing between those pags.

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.