Reviews, SEO

Optimization for Social Media Integration

Optimization for Social Media Integration
SEO and Social Media optimization are pretty much integrated these days.

As promised, though delayed a bit, here is the follow-up to SEO & Social Media Integration with some tips for optimizing your social media and integrating it into your overall SEO mix. Naturally, the more social links you have, the more you’ll be noticed (Hey, I’m here!) and linked to and crawled, natural SEO in any book.

  • Complete your profiles and put your web site or blog URL in ALL of your profiles. Including your web site link should be a no brainer, but LOTS of folks forget this. Social content is definitely showing up in search results. For instance, a search for my name in Google comes up with several of my profiles (LinkedIn, WebPro News, Plaxo, etc.)  as I write this. Include jobs, use keywords, never turn down interview or podcast opportunities that can be included.
  • Check industry trends through services like Google Alerts. Jump into breaking subjects with blog and social media posts.
  • Promote blogs, social media and RSS feeds of those who link to you through your own RSS feeds. This has a viral effect that sends more links to you.
  • Develop a series of “How to” videos and post them on video sites like YouTube (now 25% of Google searches). People LOVE these and will embed the videos or link to them. Post them on your own blog and in the social sites, too.
  • Content is king on Twitter, just like in standard, run of the mill SEO, so use keywords and hashtags (like the #bsg tag for Battlestar Galactica fans).
  • Utilize Facebook fan pages. These can have unlimited followers and can be optimized.
  • Subscriptions are gold! Social Media Content = Subscriptions + Links!
  • Transcribe your podcasts and post them on your blog.  Include keywords and links.
  • Create widgets that will pull your RSS feeds from blogs, social media and news feeds. As a rule, links in RSS feeds are direct links without redirection or the dreaded “nofollow” tag!
  • Re-optimize blog posts after their “shelf” life. Rework them and monetize them for breaking subjects. Any given blog post URL or page has history and links, so update them to keep current, ranking and posted in the social media.

OK, as always, these just scratch the surface, but you can see the optimizing for SEO and social media are pretty much one and the same these days. What you do with one totally effects the other.  Anyone who thinks they can be an SEO and ignore social media is, well, NOT an SEO.

Next up: Optimization for Social Media Integration: News


SEO & Social Media Integration

Social Media and SEO are both about search

Take a look at the following and see what you think:

  • Create great content, including articles
  • On page optimization
  • Links from authority sites
  • Get content on industry sites, providing contextual links
  • Get noticed in Social Media
  • Get noticed in search
  • Get into niche sites

Sounds like the basics of SEO, right? Well, these apply to Social Media, too. Any SEOs out there who are still avoiding the Social Media bandwagon are, well, stuck at the bus stop without a token.

Social Media and search engine optimization have become so integrated that you can’t really separate them anymore. Social sites like Twitter, which many of us laughed at when it first came out, are pushing a revolutionary shift in how information is found on the Internet because they add interaction and community to the equation. In addition to the basics above, they throw in features like:

  • Participation
  • Voting
  • Comments
  • Friends
  • Trust

That last one, Trust, is a BIG one. Social sites are working more like search engines these days and there’s a huge difference between they way they dish out results and the way the search engines do. The social sites look at what your friends think about a subject and their results are based on that. You trust your friends, right? A perfect example is Twitter search. It’s based on tweets from folks you can check out and follow or who can follow you. And, look out Google, it’s really fast! And, it’s immediate. You can catch what is happening right now. Wanna see what the fans of Battlestar Galactica are tweeting? Check it out in real time (Or, if you’re a real Twit, check out by the hash tag #bsg).

The search engines dish out results based on the trust of folks you don’t know (PageRank, back links etc.).

Which begs the question, will trust kill the algorithm?

So, think of Social Media sites more like search engines that can help your visibility in, well, search engines.


Don’t be. It’s simple. The more social links you have, the more you’ll be noticed and linked to and crawled. It works pretty much the same way as SEO.

Next, Optimization for Social Media Integration. Look for this post soon!


SEO Today: Adapting and Evolving

Keeping up with SEO today is not for the faint of heart.
Keeping up with SEO today is not for the faint of heart.

There’s one thing that I can say about search engine optimization (SEO) today – it’s not for the faint of heart.

Anyone in the trenches these days knows that you can’t dominate with SEO by tweaking title and meta tags and has known it for a long time ago. With universal search, personalized search, social media, a global economy and a little thing called Twitter (who would have guessed?), keeping on top of things on a daily basis takes almost Kryptonian endurance.

Rather than going the way of the bell bottom, SEO continues to grow and expand into previously unknown territories, adapting with each. Anyone who says SEO is dead must be hiding in a cave waiting for the economy to revive. Those of us not hiding and continuing to fight the fight know that, if anything, SEOs are busier than ever in this economy, some even passing up business because they can’t handle any more work.

What’s keeping them so busy? Continue reading


Palm Springs Beginner SEO Workshops

As mentioned on my SEO Workshops page, I offer search engine optimization workshops for businesses in the Palm Springs area.

Palm Springs beginners SEO class
Coming soon to a palm tree near you, Beginner SEO 101 Workshops.
SEO 101 Training Workshop
for Businesses
This is a basic SEO training workshop for beginners, perfect for do-it-yourself businesses, advertising firms and web designers looking for ways to make their sites stand out for both visitors and the search engines. This two hour session includes:

  • On page optimization (Meta tags, navigation, etc.)
  • Off page optimization (Links, competition)
  • Site clinic (I critique YOUR site)
  • Image Optimization
  • Social media, universal and personalized search overview.
  • Lotsa good tips!
Price: $100 per person, minimum group of three (Larger group discounts are available). I will come to your conference room or office in the Palm Springs and Coachella Valley area. Internet access is required. Contact me for more information.

I am available for SEO consultations in the desert (Palm Springs, Cathedral City, Rancho Mirage, Palm Desert, etc.). Contact The Web Optimist for more information.


LinkedIn Tip for SEO Job Seekers

Example of the LinkedIn Job is a terrific resource for networking, keeping up with folks and finding resources. For me, it has become a tool that I use in my day to day work and is, well, indispensable.

But, it can also be a powerful tool in your job search. And yes, there are a ton of SEOs out there looking. I found this out first hand when the company I work for advertised for an assistant for me. LinkedIn already provides the option of a customizable Job Search application for the right navigation area of your account (image left). For example, you can plug in your job title (SEO in this case) and your zip code to find local opportunities. So, for instance, today I find 10 jobs in the LinkedIn network and 453 on the web for a non-localized search.

However, to expand your search even more, don’t limit yourself to this application. Instead, try the Search Jobs section of the search field at the top of every LinkedIn page (image below). Searching for “SEO” as a keyword will bring a wider range of results. As I write this, I get 101 LinkedIn network jobs and 3,274 on the web (again, a non-localized search).  A big difference!

Where to find the LinkedIn Job Search

And, by using the Advanced Search option, you can customize your search to include different criteria like industry, language, etc. It is a quite powerful tool.

Good luck!


100 Quick SEO Tips Even Mom Would Love

Even Mom Could Cook With These Tips!

Even Mom Could Cook With These Tips!

Everyone loves a good tip, right?


Here are 100 quick tips for search engine optimization that even your mother could use to get cooking. Well, not my mother, but you get my point. Most novices with some web design and beginner SEO knowledge should be able to take these to the bank without any problem.

(Note: This list of tips is an update to the original post 55 Quick S E O Tips Even Your Mother Would Love. I am republishing this expanded version for the attendees of a local Palm Springs SEO training class that I am doing. It is also available as a downloadable e-book.)  

1. If you absolutely MUST use Java script drop down menus, image maps or image links, be sure to put text links somewhere on the page for the spiders to follow.

2. Content is king, so be sure to have good, well-written and unique content that will focus on your primary keyword or keyword phrase.

3. If content is king, then links are queen. Build a network of quality backlinks using your keyword phrase as the link. Remember, if there is no good, logical reason for that site to link to you, you don’t want the link.

4. Don’t be obsessed with PageRank. It is just one isty bitsy part of the ranking algorithm. A site with lower PR can actually outrank one with a higher PR.

5. Be sure you have a unique, keyword focused Title tag on every page of your site. And, if you MUST have the name of your company in it, put it at the end. Unless you are a major brand name that is a household name, your business name will probably get few searches.

6. Fresh content can help improve your rankings. Add new, useful content to your pages on a regular basis. Content freshness adds relevancy to your site in the eyes of the search engines.

7. Be sure links to your site and within your site use your keyword phrase. In other words, if your target is “blue widgets” then link to “blue widgets” instead of a “Click here” link.

8. Focus on search phrases, not single keywords, and put your location in your text (“our Palm Springs store” not “our store”) to help you get found in local searches.

9. Don’t design your web site without considering SEO. Make sure your web designer understands your expectations for organic SEO. Doing a retrofit on your shiny new graphics-based site after it is built won’t cut it.

10. Use keywords and keyword phrases appropriately in text links, image ALT attributes and even your domain name.

11. Check for canonicalization issues – www and non-www domains. Decide which you want to use and 301 redirect the other to it. In other words, if is your preference, then should redirect to it.

12. Check the link to your home page throughout your site. Is index.html appended to your domain name? If so, you’re splitting your links. Outside links go to and internal links go to Ditch the index.html or default.php or whatever the page is and always link back to your domain.

13. Frames, Flash and AJAX all share a common problem – you can’t link to a single page. It’s either all or nothing. Don’t use Frames at all and use Flash and AJAX sparingly for best SEO results.

14. Your URL file extension doesn’t matter. You can use .html, .htm, .asp, .php, etc. and it won’t make a difference as far as your SEO is concerned.

15. Got a new web site you want spidered? Submitting through Google’s regular submission form can take weeks. The quickest way to get your site spidered is by getting a link to it through another quality site.

16. If your site content doesn’t change often, your site needs a blog because search spiders like fresh text. Blog at least three time a week with good, fresh content to feed those little crawlers.

17. When link building, think quality, not quantity. One single, good, authoritative link can do a lot more for you than a dozen poor quality links, which can actually hurt you.

18. Search engines want natural language content. Don’t try to stuff your text with keywords. It won’t work. Search engines look at how many times a term is in your content and if it is abnormally high, will count this against you rather than for you.

19. Not only should your links use keyword anchor text, but the text around the links should also be related to your keywords. In other words, surround the link with descriptive text.

20. If you are on a shared server, do a blacklist check to be sure you’re not on a proxy with a spammer or banned site. Their negative notoriety could affect your own rankings.

21. Be aware that by using services that block domain ownership information when you register a domain, Google might see you as a potential spammer.

22. When optimizing your blog posts, optimize your post title tag independently from your blog title.

23. The bottom line in SEO is Text, Links, Popularity and Reputation.

24. Make sure your site is easy to use. This can influence your link building ability and popularity and, thus, your ranking.

25. Give link love, Get link love. Don’t be stingy with linking out. That will encourage others to link to you.

Continue reading


SEO/PPC Partner Needed

I spoke with these folks earlier this week and thought I’d pass this opportunity on to any SEOs out there looking for contract work.

BryantBROWN communications, a full-service ad agency in Los Angeles, is looking for an S E O partner to provide S E O analysis and link building, as well as pay per click campaign management and conversion optimization, for a growing client base of healthcare, financial services, and entertainment companies. The ideal partner would have experience working with agencies on a project basis. Virtual consulting is okay. Please refer to our website for more information about our agency, If you are interested, please forward your resume, relevant experiences, and fee structure.


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The Best of The Web Optimist 2008

Richard V. Burckhardt, aka The Web OptimistThe year has passed so rapidly that I can’t believe we’re already at the end of 2008! The Web Optimist blog is an outlet for me to pass on things that I learn in my real job as an SEO (as I have the time) and I’ve published a total of 90 posts this past year, some in-depth articles and some just quicky “did-you-know-this?” items.

Here’s what I consider the best of The Web Optimist over the past year (in no particular order). You might not agree, but hey, it’s my blog. 😉

1. S E O Tools & Tips Want a look at what I consider essential tools for my day job as an SEO? Here’s what I use in my personal arsenal.

2. Robots.txt: Powerful but Picky! – The robots.txt file is a powerful tool, but you’ve got to be extremely careful with it. This post discusses one of it’s little idiosyncrasies that could easily trip you up. That’s my Lost in Space toy robot in my back yard in the photo. Yep, I wanted to be Will Robinson growing up! Such a geek!

3. Shopping Site Essentials Got an ecommerce site and think you can do it on your own without product listings on shopping search sites? If so, you are missing out on a MAJOR opportunity to expand your product and brand exposure around the globe. Yes, it costs money to be in most of them, but you can strike gold if you know what you are doing. This post gives you some tips to get you started.

4. Beginning Viral Marketing Want to get a campaign started that will spread like a virus but don’t have a clue how to start? Videos? Social sites? Freebies? Here are 14 clues to help you get going.

5. Grabbing the Longtail – No, I’m not talking about a cat, here. In this article I point you in the direction of ranking for multi-word search phrases, getting cheaper PPC traffic and increasing your site visits without a lot of work.

6. User Content GenerationUser generated content basically turns your customers and site visitors into SEOs for you while generating fresh keyword rich content for the spiders to devour. You just need to know how to get them to contribute and this post provides some great pointers to encourage the process.

7. Online Retail Optimization: Will It Blend? You can’t just post your product pages on the web and expect them to rank as well as they did in the days of ten blue links on the search results pages. There’s a lot more competition now that Blended Search (another term for Universal Search) has become the norm. To compete, you’ll need to optimize images, videos, feeds and more.

8. Google Personalized SearchThe search giant has put a new spin on rankings by personalizing search results when you are logged into your Google account. To rank well for users who are signed in, you’ve got to get sticky and this post shows you how.

9. Annoying Speed Bumps on the Information SuperhighwayC’mon, folks. Using the Internet should be easy. So why do hotels, software, hardware, web sites and even the search engines make things so hard? This is one of my rants on things that should be simple but aren’t.

10. Brand With Your Head, Not Your GutUsing past experience with the local tourism bureau, I discuss online branding and how politics and misguided reliance on a name rather than a brand can trip up a campaign.

11. Will Trust Kill the Algorithm?I’ve heard a lot of comments about whether Google is going social lately. The answer is a resounding yes and I blogged about it a year ago.

12. Is Universal Search Harder?Despite the big push towards including everything AND the kitchen sink in search results, Universal Search can actually make finding what you are looking for more difficult. Sure would be nice to have an off switch!

And, I left the best for last because it wasn’t originally published on The Web Optimist, rather I guest posted over at Search Engine Journal. My 55 Quick S E O Tips Even Your Mother Would Love has been reposted here as Free eBook: 65 Quick S E O Tips Even Your Mother Would Love featuring ten more tips and a downloadable PDF file. Look for that to grow to 100 tips very soon when I update Mom’s tips in 2009!

I add to the blog as I have time. Thanks to all of you who have come back as return readers, commented, e-mailed and joined as Twitter followers. We’ll see what 2009 brings!

Happy New Year, folks!


Maybe We’re All Web Optimists?

Maybe we're all web optimist - what?It appears to me that “SEO” is going to have to be replaced by something else in the very near future.

No, it’s not that some folks who are not very Internet savvy think it stands for “senior executive officer.” Nor is it because one not-too-popular geek decided to try to trademark the term.

Search engine optimization, for which it stands, is, well, no longer just about search engines.

In the old days, everyone just wanted to be at the top of whatever search engine was the biggest at the time and we’d all merrily tweak and link and hold our breath whenever updates happened. In recent years, thie focus has been on Google updates, but several things are happening that are taking the “search engine” out of the picture. Among them:

    1. Although Google is still the biggest and baddest, ranking at the top is going the way of, well, Yahoo (as I duck and run for cover). Google’s increasing use of personalized search results means that a site can rank #1 for you when you are logged into Google, but #25 for someone else. Heck, you can even customize your own Google search results with their new SearchWiki.

    2. Search very often has nothing to do with search engines these days. Frequently, searchers are finding what they want through what are perceived as trusted sources on social media sites like Facebook, StumbleUpon, Digg and so forth or through product reviews on shopping sites like Rather than take what the search engines dish out, they get their information from friends or peers.

    3. Even Google thinks you want to socialize. For instance, Google Reader allows sharing with friends. Then there’s Knol, kind of Google’s version of Wikipedia.

Anyway, my point is that the web is heading away from searching through search engines as the primary way of finding information. Yes, we’ll still be using “Google” as a verb for years to come, but we as Internet marketing professionals will need to adapt. We need to know how to not just optimize for the search engines, but the entire web.

So let’s see. What can we call ourselves? How about web optimists?

I like the sound of that!


Happy holidays!


Back to Basics SEO

SEO Ranking & Conversion BasicsNaturally, if you rank at the top for any given search phrase in an organic search, people assume you are an authority for that subject. The worst thing you can do is disappoint them. Not only will they leave, you’ll lose the opportunity for a conversion, whether it’s a sale or a simple e-mail subscriber.

So, here are a few back to basics tips to not only help you rank better, but also to drive some conversions and, hopefully, attain or maintain your “authority” status.

1. Content is still king. It’s been said before and it’s still true. Generating good content is circular. Great keyword-rich content attracts spiders which pulls your page up in the rankings where people find it and add to the content through comments and ratings which adds more content providing longtail traffic which brings more visitors to the page to create more user generated content and so forth. Whew! Never doubt the power of content for SEO!

2. Make site navigation easy for users and spiders. You want your site visitors to be able to find what they are looking for with as little effort as possible. You also want the link structure of your site to allow the search engine spiders easy access to all pages on your site. Hint – check your source code for any legacy or left over code that might include links that are invisible to the user, but visible to spiders. I know from experience that sometimes web developers/programmers leave invisible code on pages that not only bloat the size, but can contain links that only the spiders see. This can get you into trouble as it looks like you are hiding content whether you mean to or not. Clean up your code and offload any CSS or javascript that you can to external files (See On Page Factors).

3. Blog, blog, blog! – Yet another form of user generated content creation as mentioned above, blogging attracts readers and fresh content. Spiders love fresh content! See Advanced Tips for Optimizing Your Blog.

4. Get a keyword rich domain name – If you are just starting out with a new domain, this will give you automatic keyword rich inbound links. Let’s say your primary keyword is “widgets” and you snag as your domain name. This means that whenever someone links to your domain, you’ve automatically got a keyword (widgets) anchor link in it.

5. Quality inbound links – Speaking of inbound links, quality is usually better than quantity, though Google has been known to still rank sites with a ton of junk inbound links well (See Reciprocal Linking for Ranking is Anything But Dead). To be totally white hat, Google tells us to get quality back links and that a few of those will do better than a ton of link-farm style links. Although reciprocal links appear to work for some sites, relying on them will probably not work forever, so look for quality first.

6. Electronic press releases – These are still great for helping you rank well. Don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. In the old days, the archived releases provided forever links to the pages linked to from them. You’ll still got some of that link love, but even more than that, good press releases can generate links from other sites that pick them up and can even generate some separate stories about your site. For instance, when the FramesFinder Virtual Eyeglass Try On was introduced by, I wrote the press release and submitted it through We got several news stories written about the online eyewear try on software, including TV reports that are still live on the web.

If you are still sending press releases by fax and mail, join the 21st Century!

Just be sure what you submit in the way of press releases is legitimate news. Too many releases are just junk and it’s easy to get the reputation of being a trashy self promoter.

7. Make sure your database is spider friendly – The last thing you need is to spend time, money and effort developing your site only to find the database or shopping cart functionality is not search engine friendly. Test before you commit. Use online tools like S E O Chat’s spider simulator tool or client spidering tools like the one built into iBusiness Promoter (IBP) to test spidering.

8. Get visitors to take action – Include clear calls to action on the page (Buy Me, Shop Now links) and make them obvious and easy to find. Make the offer compelling with incentives (free shipping, bonus items, etc.) and make ways to contact you easy and upfront (800 number, e-mail link, address, online chat). Too many online sites make contact too difficult by hiding behind a contact form and providing no other way to be contacted. That’s not a recipe for trust from either the visitor or the search engines. And, to be an authority, you need trust.

If you’re like most SEOs, you’re wearing a lot of hats (Creative, Developer, Writer, Tech, Marketing, SEO, etc.) and trying to pull so much together from so many different directions can result in some missing pieces in the puzzle. After all, the brain can only be pulled in so many ways at once. It’s easy to lose sight of obvious optimization techniques.

But, if you’re not an authority at optimizing your site for ranking and conversions, who is?

Hopefully, getting back to basics will help you to fill those empty spaces in the puzzle. A review of these basics can help put things back into perspective with any SEO campaign.