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How to launch a successful mobile app

Once Abraham Lincoln said: “Give me six hours to chop a tree and I’ll spend four hours grinding my axe”. He surely knew that planning is essential for any successful business. And your mobile app is such a business. Very often developers release their apps without due planning and as a result get disappointed in seeing bad results or no result at all. In this article I’d like to share some ideas about successful app launching.

Know your goals and KPI

Mobile app business is a full of competitors. It doesn't matter whether you’re a big company with money or just two friends developing an app, you need to have clear goals and a plan on achieving them. To be successful at the mobile apps market means to understand what happens to your application once you’ve launched it. Here’re four recommendations to consider when planning to release an app in the market. You can also take help from Internet marketing company like ITC to populate your app in the market.

Track your app’s performance

For launching successful and profitable app you need you need to track its performance and user experience. You need to use both qualitative and quantitative methods for tracking these data. Quantitative methods are the data from such analytical platforms as Flurry or Kontagent, which track certain actions and offer binary data. Qualitative data are direct reviews from users which express their emotions, level of interest and non-binary data.

Concentrate on the first-time experience

Here I mean the process when a user launches an app for the first or second time. Many successful developers pay more than 50% of their efforts to the first-time experience. It’s important to track every action in during this period with the help of precise data and beta-testing.
Very often it is difficult for developers and manufacturers to find out the problems about the app they’ve developed. That’s why you need clear goals to see if you can stick up to the plan.

Involvement indices

Before starting a big campaign many developers determine the main involvement indices for measuring app’s KPI. These indices include time spent in the app, number of sessions per day/per week, number of repeated actions.
You may consider these indices to be simple and uninformative, but they are important when planning your campaign. High involvement index is the key factor in success.

Concentrate on conversion

If you’re planning to release an app, it’s important to estimate the expected CLV (Customer Lifetime Value). If you launch a paid app then this parameter won’t work until you introduce payments within your app. But it’s important to determine CLV before entering the market. This is a very important factor.
You may determine your initial CLV by testing your apps on beta-territories. It’s becoming a common practice for developers to test their apps on such beta-territories as Canada, UK and Australia. These are English-speaking countries and their population reflects demographic characteristics of other English-speaking countries.
It’s hard to find out KPI without testing it on a large user database. So you need to try to launch your app on 1-2 non-English-speaking territories. If your initial rates are low, then you’d better concentrate on improving your app. If users can’t adapt to your app, then you need to change this situation. If users quickly adapt in the app but also quickly abandon it, then you need to improve your involvement index.
And finally, try to estimate your Customer Lifetime Value. If your CLV and involvement indices are high but users still don’t buy your app, then re-consider your monetization strategy.

Ten Tips to the Top of Google

Ten years ago, creating a website and getting found in Google wasn't hard to do. Choose a domain. Learn some basic HTML code. Do some keyword research. Create some title tags and meta tags. Write about 250 words. And for the most part, you were done.
With Google's more recent quest for quality, authenticity, authority, and usability, however, many of of the tips that could help get your site to the top of Google 10 years ago might not produce the same results today.
Here are 10 top tips on how to optimize your site for Google's algorithm today and beyond.

1. Learn & Implement Marketing Basics

Start with a plan, not a prayer.
PlanNo matter how many buzzwords, new paradigms, disruptive technologies, or innovative inventions are introduced, search engine optimization (SEO) at its most fundamental is marketing. Marketing on the web, with efforts, outcomes, metrics that matter and competition for marketing dollars.
It doesn't matter if it's SEO for a mom and pop store, or a national online retailer. Attacking SEO without a plan is like trying to row a boat with no oars – you might eventually get somewhere, but it won't be where or when you wanted to arrive.
When I hired my first employee at my agency in 2002, the first thing I did was have them read the excellent "Marketing for Dummies" book, that lays out some basic principles. (they have a great marketing cheat sheet for reference)
Answer (at least) these questions:
  • What is your expertise?
  • What is your differentiation?
  • Why should users care?
  • Which users (age, locations, interests etc.) should care?
  • What is the message and / or media that is going to connect with them?
  • Who is your likely competition?
  • Why should Google rank you higher than your competition?
Conduct research. Segment your audience. Set realistic goals for your SEO efforts, and then ensure tracking is in place to measure your efforts versus results.
Plan a strategy for your content, including; topics, timelines/editorial calendars, distribution (don't forget PR), and schedules and frequency. The goal is to exist with a "sizzle"; a reason to rank and/or some expertise worthy of interaction.

2. How to Structure Your Site

Plan your site for topical expertise, organized in a well-siloed, easy to navigate structure.
structure-iconAlthough the initial plan sounds like a lot (and it can be!) the goal isn't to overwhelm and under-deliver on your marketing plan. There are, though, fundamentals in strategically building and/or organizing your site. Leveraging research into your audience, define the topics where you have expertise and/or differentiation (remember, this is marketing 101).
Research your keywords! Read this article on keyword research.
Structure your site around intent-based topics, ensuring content is siloed and distinct (cross-link to relevant and related topics only). Dividing up your site into relevant content topics gives both users and search engines an easy way to identify your expertise, and relevant topics to rank for.
Unless you're Amazon.com, it's difficult to be an expert at everything. Better to dominate a niche than try to be everything to everyone – at the beginning at least!
BONUS TIP: If you're always fighting with designers developers and marketing managers over how SEO ruins usability, don't despair! Demonstrating successes in SEO often quash the naysayers, so save some gray hair and first shoot for the "least imperfect" site feasible, and then work toward the perfection you desire once you've convinced your detractors of SEO value!

3.Build a Digital Footprint

It's not just about search engines. Embrace traditional marketing, outreach, partnerships, social, guest blogging, inspired mentions, and good old-fashioned relationships.
Digital FootprintApart from SEO is dead (again) chat, the next most popular SEO discussions is always on what SEO should actually be called. "Inbound marketing", "IMS", "Search Science," I've probably heard them all, but few terms capture the essence of what SEO should be doing.
With that in mind, I took it on myself to relabel SEO as "Search Everywhere Optimization" because as SEO folks we are hoping to affect the visibility of our clients sites in many venues on the web, which then creates better visibility in the search results, and more search clicks organically.
With the Search Everywhere mantra, SEO practitioners can finally expand beyond just traditional SEO responsibilities and dabble or partner with PR, social, partnerships, sponsorships and other traditional offline opportunities that get people talking online about brands and their expertise. This includes great events like SES Conference, working with nonprofits and in-store promotions, all of which can fuel the content machine and distribute content and create connections organically: a Digital Footprint.
The goal of a Search Everywhere strategy isn't to replace traditional marketing agencies, however. It's about SEO professionals working with them to ensure that every marketing initiative considers the opportunity of creating share-worthy content that can be placed and amplified online via outreach, social and/or PR channels.
The Digital Footprint you create isn't just for inbound marketing though. Google, as a massive "connections engine," uses connected entities to assess the trust and authority of sites, companies, individuals, and brands (which really encapsulates all three), leading to the earning of greater topic visibility (i.e., relevant rankings/traffic).
NOTE: It's not just about links, it's about citations, connections, mentions and associations. Who you're 'seen' with online matters!

4. Design for Multiple Screens

Create a user-friendly site design that works well and fast across all devices – especially mobile and tablet.
Responsive SearchWith so much focus on usability, the demise of the desktop browser dominance, and the prevalence of mobile devices, Google's made it very clear that no mobile experience, no love from Google!
What's often forgotten in the race to comply with a scary (for some) Google mandate, is that Google isn't saying every site should be using the same technology, solutions or share the same usability elements. Google understands that some sites need to have a mobile version (this is a site that has it's own URL structure - normally hosted on an m. sub-domain or within a mobile sub-directory or a main site) and some need a responsive website design (RWD) that adapts to the device used to access it.
NOTE: Responsive design isn't a brand new idea, but having (almost) ubiquitous browser support is!
There are various resources that provide the hows and how tos, (even Google gives some good details) but the process must begin with a site review on different devices to see if:
  • Different screen sizes present obvious and usable interfaces
  • Mobile or tablet users see views customized to their devices
  • Interface changes based on platform or device are logical and maintain *some* consistency across platforms
  • From an SEO standpoint, best practices are followed so that Google / Bing recognized the difference between device specific sites (if different sites exist) and this mitigates potential duplicate content issues
The Search Agency (full disclosure that I work there!) recently published a Responsive Web Design whitepaper that goes in depth into the pros and cons of the technical aspect of RWD.

5. Conduct Keyword Query Research

Research keyword queries leveraging social, web stats, paid media and industry research to help understand user goals, purchasing cycles, and needs.
QueriesAs noted in the keyword research article above, traditional keyword research needs to evolved to focus more on the Consumer Decision Journey and less on search volume.
What does this mean?
Search engines are interpreting each search through a lens of intent and context.
  • Intent: What does the user mean based on previous searches, their search behavior?
  • Context: Where are they? What device are they using?
  • Both:
    • Machine learning: What do I know about this and similar users who have searched for this term (e.g., click behavior, engagement signals)?
    • Connections: If I can identify this user, what information from his connections would help or influence click and / or search behavior?
SEO professionals must understand how these factors influence search results and present the most relevant content for each of the intents and contexts that a user in a specific mindset is experiencing.
For example, a user searching using the query "price of tea" might be looking for an online tea purveyor, spot price in the commodities markets, Starbucks price list, or, if they're standing outside a Teavana store, a comparison of their prices. If you're Teavana, you want to make sure that a "price of tea" pages is optimized around comparisons – mentioning advantages over Starbucks, value proposition of loose leaf tea, and details of how to purchase online (or in the local store), and not commodities!
At the same time search engines improve their abilities to understand search query intent based on behavior and context, users are becoming more sophisticated and expect answers to the search queries they enter.
Google and Bing are both trying serve up the best answers feasible, and to present a quick path-to-answer improved "direct answers" with those answer appearing within the search results themselves.
Keyword query research is a fundamental need for any SEO campaign. Thinking through the lens of a user query, as opposed to just focusing on keyword volume, can help drive more valuable organic traffic.
By connecting user intent to website content, SEO practitioners can enjoy – potentially – a higher level of relevant search engine traffic that both engages and converts more efficiently.

6. Write Just Enough Content

There are no "ideal lengths" of content, only enough to satisfy user intent and the context in which they're querying.
WordsI remember when everyone had their favorite best practice of word count. It was a time of keyword density and keywords meta tag stuffing. They were good days, but they had to come to an end (though some still live in that dismal past!).
Here's the real truth about word counts:
Write just enough and not too much!
There really is no ideal length, but there isan ideal question: "Should this page exist?"
The answer should consider primarily:
  • The page's uniqueness (based on other pages on the site).
  • Its uniqueness (based on other pages on the web).
  • Its value to users (does it answer a question they may have? FYI, analytics is your friend for engagement metrics!).
  • Its accessibility from a site's homepage (via clicks).
  • The content's ability to provide value with the correct media (image / video / text) so users are potentially inspired to share it!
Nowhere in these criteria does it mention the number of words, the ideal type of media, the density of keywords, or any of the other traditional optimization tactics.
Also, with Google's launch of "long form" modules in the results page, the need not to count words, keywords, paragraphs, and characters is underscored!

7. Tag Your Content (Standard, Social, Schema)

Standard tags such a meta description, title, and header tags are still important for user engagement and core SEO optimization. New and necessary tags, OG for Facebook, Twitter Cards, and schema.org microdata formats are no-brainers.
TagsIn the late '90s when I was getting my feet wet in online marketing, there were few techniques and far fewer websites, leading to an ease and confidence in getting almost anything to rank for almost anything. Tags we swore by were titles tags, meta description tag, H tags and, of course, the meta keywords tag. The tools of a trade with few tools.
Fast forward to today and there are many more tags, markup and necessities to enable better crawling, indexing and viability to rank. Through all this, the title tag has remained above most of the bickering, continuing to be the primary clickable link in the search results and (by all consensus) an important part of search engine ranking algorithms.
These "oldies but goodies" - with the exception of the black sheep keywords tag - are still important from a blocking and tackling standpoint, but alone won't fundamentally rocket you to the top 10 of Google. These are the "Standards" which every SEO should understand, and also understand that Google may or may not decide to consider when presenting a result in the SERP.
Social tags are often overlooked, but Open Graph (OG) tags have gained importance (and will continue to) as Facebook's Graph Search continues to build and improve to a usable state (sorry Facebook). Other social tags that look to materially help SEO from a visibility standpoint are the Twitter Cardsthat "gives users greater context and insight into the URLs shared on Twitter, which in turn allows Twitter to send more engaged traffic to your site or app." (*love* social organic traffic!)
Schema Markup is probably the most exciting development over the past few years, and one gaining traction slowly, despite the protocols being backed by the major (and minor) search engines. At its core, schema markup allows search engines to better identify the structure of data, to facilitate more efficient crawling, indexing and presentation of search results. Google offers an excellent Schema Q&A – far more than even this article can contain – and the Schema website gives even more detail to assist in definitions and implementation.

8. Don't Over-Optimize

Overdoing internal anchor text, linking, and excessive footer links. "Too much of a good thing" can end up being a bad thing. Keep it simple and user-focused, especially in-content anchor text links.
Over OptimizationUnfortunately, a disproportionate number of SEO folk are also terrible online marketers, still living in the past. It doesn't take much to see the efforts Google is putting into mitigating webspam, meaning many of the tactics we used to love and use are now obsolete.
It still pains my colleagues and I when we come upon a newly updated site that displays many SEO tactics that belong in the same era as Webkinz and High School Musical (the original movie), not least of which is over-optimization and massive challenges around internal linking.
Today's optimization should be much more around creating a user-friendly experience, with internal linking and content that benefits users first and the most discerning of users, Google, second.
Footers with massive link counts aren't always beneficial on every page if top or in-page navigation provides a better experience, and definitely spammy-looking keyword rich anchor text all over a page looks... well spammy.

9. Optimize the User Experience

Post-click engagement sends the signals that your site rocks, not only do users provide metrics through trackable usage, also through social signals - shares, likes and +1s
UserWe used to look at site traffic, cheer when it went up and cry when it went down. We used to treat users as faceless entities that proved our worth as SEOs and when we boosted the key metric of "organic site visits" we expected our clients to bow down before us and call us geniuses.
The user was a metric to a means, rather than a real "metric that mattered" and for this SEOs suffered. They suffered because the rest of the marketing world scoffed and eventually asked us to justify our existance. our fees and the time it took to get nominal results.
And then "eureka" some savvy SEOs realized we weren't all that difeferent from paid search, and display, and email marketing, we could leverage data to better understand the user and to ensure they did what we wanted them to do once they arrived at our sites, and we made sure we attracted not just more, but "more better" traffic.
And then we became user-cetric in our marketing approach. And so did Google.
Now... we need to look at what people do once they get to our site, and we need to optimize their experience, not just because Google demands a speedy site, user-friendly layouts, less 'dead end' 404s and onsite engagement, but because both Bing and Google say the users experience, their bounce back to the SERPs, their consistent times of engagement, and – for those trackable users – their behavior during a site session matter!
SEO doesn't stop at the visit any longer, thinking beyond the click has become the norm, inspiring shares, mentions, interaction and satisfaction *is* a new (and welcome) paradigm of recent SEO strategies.

10. Keep Link Building Practices Natural

Create and seed great content in venues where it makes sense. If it is truly great, and you bolster its discoverability and visibility through social media mentions, you may just inspire links, and more importantly relevant traffic!
"The Only Thing That Is Constant Is Change." – Heraclitus
Moving ForwardSavvy SEO practitioners know change will come, the challenge is both in planning for when and for what!
With the recent changes to link strategies, e.g. links from guest blogs, widget links and press release linking, SEOs are going to have to adapt to less rich anchor text, user focused linking, and nofollows in many cases.
"Natural" link building doesn't appear just a Google recommendation anymore, with the introduction of Penguin penalties and frequent manual reviews, Google the 'link police' is a 2013 reality.
Though the best advice often repeated by Google's Matt Cutt's is "create great content", SEO still needs to rely on outreach to introduce brands to relevant websites in the hope of negotiating content placements, partnerships, sponsorships or story mentions to expand digital footprints and potential traffic sources.
In this sense, the question becomes "should I still include links as part of content distribution or partnerships" and the answer is probably "sure", as long as links or anchor text traditionally designed to manipulate PageRank are nofollowed.

3 Bonus Tips

11. Build a Brand

Do this online and offline through associations, connections, citations, and engagement. And most of all... be special!
Going UpSince Google's Vince update, Google's preoccupation with brands has them flying higher in the SERP
What is an online brand?
An entity that inspires, creates or demonstrates an expertise in certain topics so that other trust entities quote them, link to them, discuss them, interact with them, and show trust in their topic expertise.
A brand online can even be "created" by Google itself, through the association created by results in the top three positions on Google's paid and organic results.

12. Use Authorship to Build Your Personal Brand (Authority)

Claim and master Google+ through their relatively easy process and correct markup of your site.
User-CentricBrands are not unique just to companies, just as expertise is not unique to a few industry figureheads.
Personal brands – individuals that demonstrate expertise, trust and interaction – are also favored by search engines, with Google especially looking at the web as a web of people, connected and interacting with brands (which could be other people) they trust.
The connections created between brands, their expert content, and their 'trusters,' is really key to both providing relevant trusted results, and personalizing those results so that individuals see additional trust signals in the search results specific to them.
Authorship, Google's content verification and content association methodology ensures that connections are recognized, organized and associated with authored articles, comments, opinions (+1s), and other content attributed to specific writers(s).
Why bother? Authorship manifests in author's photos appearing alongside content results in the search results – improving click-through rates significantly!

13. Be Social

Claim your social profiles, connect on networks relevant to your audience, and remember no platform is, or should be, an island!
Be SocialYour social footprint consists of a few components:
  • Claiming your relevant social profiles
  • Optimizing your profiles for your topic expertise / location expertise
  • Posting interesting content or relevant information, content and form factor for each platform / audience
  • Connecting with your optimal audience
  • Interacting with your audience
  • Amplifying interactions (ensuring no platform is an island)
Social interaction and amplification has progressively become more important for SEO given the ability to deploy or promote shareable content to both "connected" and "potential" audiences, empowering both groups to engage and generate trust and topic association signals, links, citations and mentions that search engines can recognize, catalog and leverage to improve both the personalization and relevance of results.
Recent patents and experience alludes to sentiment being a factor search engines are considering as additional indicators of trust and brand... ensuring positive mentions, reviews and interactions are available, crawlable and indexable may eventually be a key component of trust signals for ranking! Engage!

3 Reasons Why Responsive Web Design is the Best Option For Your Mobile SEO Strategy




As smartphone and tablet adoption rapidly increases, so does the importance of mobile-friendly websites.

If SEO is a core component of your digital marketing strategy, having a mobile–friendly website is becoming essential.

Mobile sales have already overtaken desktop sales, and mobile Internet usage is predicted to overtake desktop internet usage by 2014. It is only logical that mobile search will overtake desktop search at some point in the near future as well.

Since 67 percent of users claim they are more likely to purchase from a mobile-friendly website, companies that rely on SEO are wise to begin making the transition to mobile-friendly websites, and responsive web design specifically.

The argument between whether to choose a responsive website or a separate mobile website is a highly debated topic. However, the truth is that both options have their pros and cons.

The option that is best for your business depends on many factors, such as the purpose of the website, the intended target audience, and whether SEO is a factor.

If SEO is a factor, here are three reasons why responsive web design is the best option for your mobile SEO strategy.

1. Recommended By Google
With 67 percent search market share, when Google speaks, search marketers listen. Google states that responsive web design is its recommended mobile configuration, and even goes so far as to refer to responsive web design as the industry best practice.

This is because responsive design sites have one URL and the same HTML, regardless of device, which makes it easier and more efficient for Google to crawl, index, and organize content. Contrast this with a separate mobile site which has a different URL and different HTML than its desktop counterpart, requiring Google to crawl and index multiple versions of the same site.

Additionally, Google prefers responsive web design because content that lives on one website and one URL is much easier for users to share, interact with, and link to than content that lives on a separate mobile site.

Take for example a mobile user who shares content from a mobile site with a friend on Facebook who then accesses that content using a desktop, which results in that user viewing a stripped down mobile site on their desktop. This creates a less than optimal user-experience, and because of the large emphasis Google is now placing on user-experience as a ranking factor, this is essential to take into account with regards to SEO.

2. One Website, Many Devices
One of the most appealing aspects of responsive web design is that a responsive website can provide a great user-experience across many devices and screen sizes. This is an important characteristic, since it is impossible to anticipate all the devices and screen sizes searchers will use to access your site. A site that works well regardless of these variables will provide a better and more consistent user-experience than a separate mobile site that is designed for a specific device and screen size.

Let’s take the following example. Someone searches for a product on their smartphone during a lunch break at work. They find a site that has the product they’re looking for, and decide to continue researching this product on the same site when they get home. Except, when they get home, they will use their desktop instead of their smartphone.

If the site in this example is responsive, this person will have a positive user-experience when transitioning from mobile to desktop because they will view the same site on their desktop as they did on their smartphone. On the other hand, if the site is a dedicated mobile site, this person will become frustrated with the fact that they have to locate the desktop version of the site, and find the product all over again.

3. Easier to Manage
Having a separate desktop and mobile site requires having separate SEO campaigns. Managing one site and one SEO campaign is far easier than managing two sites and two SEO campaigns. This is a key advantage a responsive website has over a separate mobile site.

That being said, there are benefits to having a mobile-specific SEO strategy, such as optimizing for keywords that are more likely to be searched when someone is on their smartphone.

For example, someone performing a mobile search for a local restaurant may be more inclined to use the word “nearby” in their search query. However, a separate mobile site is not a requirement for a mobile SEO strategy, and there's no reason why mobile-specific keywords can't be incorporated into a responsive design site as well.

Conclusion
Responsive web design is recommended by Google, it allows one website to provide a great user-experience across many devices and screen sizes, and it also makes managing your SEO strategy easier. For these reasons, responsive web design is the best option for your mobile SEO strategy.

Why does Google Love Responsive Web Design?

Google is often very helpful, in that it offers valuable advice to web developers and designers who want to optimize their websites and get the best rankings on the search engines that are possible. Recently, Google has begun to champion the concept of responsive web design, yet many people still remain confused about what this approach entails, and how useful it can actually be. In simple terms, Responsive Web Design can be described as a method of approaching web design with a specific focus on providing optimal experiences – both in terms of navigation and reading, for visitors.

This means that whether your audience comes to your website on their computer, tablet, or smartphone, they should be able to read your content, click links and access the information they need as easily as possible. The primary advantage of responsive web design is that it allows website owners to use a single content source and URL, meaning that you don’t have to design different websites for every device in use today. Why is it Useful? There are a number of reasons why Google, and website owners alike are starting to show their love for Responsive Web Design. Perhaps the first benefit is that this approach is incredibly flexible, allowing content to move freely across various screen resolutions and different devices. Both the images and the grid used are fluid, meaning that no matter where your customers are viewing from, they’re always getting the best experience. Although content may be king, and it is important to think about how your audience will discover your content if you want to improve your search ranking, it’s the experience that your consumers get that ensures your visitors will keep coming back to consume more content.

 Responsive web design is largely about providing the best possible experience for your user, regardless of whether they’re logging into your website from a smartphone, computer, or even their smart-TV. Responsive web design accommodates the busy lifestyles that many people struggle with today, from the college student trying to access information on his smartphone, to the professional business man drawing up data on their tablet to prepare for a presentation. Why Google recommends it The biggest positive that Google sees in regards to responsive web design, is that one site has the same HTML, and URL, regardless of the device in question.

This makes it far easier for Google’s bots to crawl through, index and organize the content that your website is providing. Compare this to separate mobile sites which come with different HTML and URLs, and you see the amount of extra work Google has to do in order to index various versions of the same website. Google also appreciated Responsive Web Design because the content that lives on a single URL is far easier for users to share, link to, and interact with, than content that exists on a separate site. For example, imagine deciding to show your friend a link to a mobile site from your smartphone. When they access it from a computer, they will receive a stripped-down version of the page, rather than the optimal user experience that they were expecting.

Checklist for your website- A must to-do for your website

There are lots of web design companies in Nepal. Some companies offer standard services. Following are some important points you need to check for your website.

Check the following points thoroughly

Website loading time: Most important point for a good website. Everyone is busy and nobody will have any special interest for your website.

Check for effective use of the banner portion or upper half portion - Users don't read but usually scan the page. Depending on the upper half portion of the website home page, users decide whether to browse further.

21 Essential SEO Tips & Techniques

Businesses are growing more aware of the need to understand and implement at least the basics of search engine optimization (SEO). But if you read a variety of blogs and websites, you’ll quickly see that there’s a lot of uncertainty over what makes up “the basics.” Without access to high-level consulting and without a lot of experience knowing what SEO resources can be trusted, there’s also a lot of misinformation about SEO strategies and tactics.

1. Commit yourself to the process. SEO isn’t a one-time event. Search engine algorithms change regularly, so the tactics that worked last year may not work this year. SEO requires a long-term outlook and commitment.

2. Be patient. SEO isn’t about instant gratification. Results often take months to see, and this is especially true the smaller you are, and the newer you are to doing business online.

3. Ask a lot of questions when hiring an SEO company. It’s your job to know what kind of tactics the company uses. Ask for specifics. Ask if there are any risks involved. Then get online yourself and do your own research—about the company, about the tactics they discussed, and so forth.

4. Become a student of SEO. If you’re taking the do-it-yourself route, you’ll have to become a student of SEO and learn as much as you can. Luckily for you, there are plenty of great web resources (like Search Engine Land) and several terrific books you can read. (Yes, actual printed books!) See our What Is SEO page for a variety of articles, books and resources.

5. Have web analytics in place at the start. You should have clearly defined goals for your SEO efforts, and you’ll need web analytics software in place so you can track what’s working and what’s not.

6. Build a great web site. I’m sure you want to show up on the first page of results. Ask yourself, “Is my site really one of the 10 best sites in the world on this topic?” Be honest. If it’s not, make it better.

7. Include a site map page. Spiders can’t index pages that can’t be crawled. A site map will help spiders find all the important pages on your site, and help the spider understand your site’s hierarchy. This is especially helpful if your site has a hard-to-crawl navigation menu. If your site is large, make several site map pages. Keep each one to less than 100 links. I tell clients 75 is the max to be safe.

8. Make SEO-friendly URLs. Use keywords in your URLs and file names, such asyourdomain.com/red-widgets.html. Don’t overdo it, though. A file with 3+ hyphens tends to look spammy and users may be hesitant to click on it. Related bonus tip: Use hyphens in URLs and file names, not underscores. Hyphens are treated as a “space,” while underscores are not.

9. Do keyword research at the start of the project. If you’re on a tight budget, use the free versions of Keyword Discovery or WordTracker, both of which also have more powerful paid versions. Ignore the numbers these tools show; what’s important is the relative volume of one keyword to another. Another good free tool is Google’s AdWords Keyword Tool, which doesn’t show exact numbers.

10. Open up a PPC account. Whether it’s Google’s AdWords, Microsoft adCenter or something else, this is a great way to get actual search volume for your keywords. Yes, it costs money, but if you have the budget it’s worth the investment. It’s also the solution if you didn’t like the “Be patient” suggestion above and are looking for instant visibility.

11. Use a unique and relevant title and meta description on every page. The page title is the single most important on-page SEO factor. It’s rare to rank highly for a primary term (2-3 words) without that term being part of the page title. The meta description tag won’t help you rank, but it will often appear as the text snippet below your listing, so it should include the relevant keyword(s) and be written so as to encourage searchers to click on your listing. Related bonus tip: You can ignore the Keywords meta tag, as no major search engine today supports it.

12. Write for users first. Google, Yahoo, etc., have pretty powerful bots crawling the web, but to my knowledge these bots have never bought anything online, signed up for a newsletter, or picked up the phone to call about your services. Humans do those things, so write your page copy with humans in mind. Yes, you need keywords in the text, but don’t stuff each page like a Thanksgiving turkey. Keep it readable.

13. Create great, unique content. This is important for everyone, but it’s a particular challenge for online retailers. If you’re selling the same widget that 50 other retailers are selling, and everyone is using the boilerplate descriptions from the manufacturer, this is a great opportunity. Write your own product descriptions, using the keyword research you did earlier (see #9 above) to target actual words searchers use, and make product pages that blow the competition away. Plus, retailer or not, great content is a great way to get inbound links.

14. Use your keywords as anchor text when linking internally. Anchor text helps tells spiders what the linked-to page is about. Links that say “click here” do nothing for your search engine visibility.

15. Build links intelligently. Begin with foundational links like trusted directories. (Yahoo and DMOZ are often cited as examples, but don’t waste time worrying about DMOZ submission. Submit it and forget it.) Seek links from authority sites in your industry. If local search matters to you (more on that coming up), seek links from trusted sites in your geographic area — the Chamber of Commerce, local business directories, etc. Analyze the inbound links to your competitors to find links you can acquire, too. Create great content on a consistent basis and use social media to build awareness and links. (A blog is great for this; see below.)

16. Use press releases wisely. Developing a relationship with media covering your industry or your local region can be a great source of exposure, including getting links from trusted media web sites. Distributing releases online can be an effective link building tactic, and opens the door for exposure in news search sites. Related bonus tip:Only issue a release when you have something newsworthy to report. Don’t waste journalists’ time.

17. Start a blog and participate with other related blogs. Search engines, Google especially, love blogs for the fresh content and highly-structured data. Beyond that, there’s no better way to join the conversations that are already taking place about your industry and/or company. Reading and commenting on other blogs can also increase your exposure and help you acquire new links. Related bonus tip: Put your blog atyourdomain.com/blog so your main domain gets the benefit of any links to your blog posts. If that’s not possible, use blog.yourdomain.com.

18. Use social media marketing wisely. If your business has a visual element, join the appropriate communities on Flickr and post high-quality photos there. If you’re a service-oriented business, use Quora and/or Yahoo Answers to position yourself as an expert in your industry. Any business should also be looking to make use of Twitter andFacebook, as social information and signals from these are being used as part of search engine rankings for Google and Bing. With any social media site you use, the first rule isdon’t spam! Be an active, contributing member of the site. The idea is to interact with potential customers, not annoy them.

19. Take advantage of local search opportunities. Online research for offline buying is a growing trend. Optimize your site to catch local traffic by showing your address and local phone number prominently. Write a detailed Directions/Location page using neighborhoods and landmarks in the page text. Submit your site to the free local listings services that the major search engines offer. Make sure your site is listed in local/social directories such as CitySearch, Yelp, Local.com, etc., and encourage customers to leave reviews of your business on these sites, too.

20. Take advantage of the tools the search engines give you. Sign up for Google Webmaster Central, Bing Webmaster Tools and Yahoo Site Explorer to learn more about how the search engines see your site, including how many inbound links they’re aware of.

21. Diversify your traffic sources. Google may bring you 70% of your traffic today, but what if the next big algorithm update hits you hard? What if your Google visibility goes away tomorrow? Newsletters and other subscriber-based content can help you hold on to traffic/customers no matter what the search engines do. In fact, many of the DOs on this list—creating great content, starting a blog, using social media and local search, etc.—will help you grow an audience of loyal prospects and customers that may help you survive the whims of search engines.

Why Nepal Is Still Being Hit by Earthquakes?

A second major earthquake struck eastern Nepal on Tuesday, less than three weeks after the country was devastated by a quake on April 25 that claimed over 8,000 lives. According to the U.S. Geological Survey, Tuesday’s quake measured 7.3 on the Moment Magnitude Scale, which succeeded the Richter scale in the 1970s, and struck 50 miles east of the capital Kathmandu, close to Mount Everest. Tremors were felt in several Indian states, Bangladesh and China.

At least 42 people have been killed in and more than 1,000 others have been injured. Here’s why Nepal has been struck again and what to expect next.

What is an aftershock?


Large-magnitude earthquakes tend to be followed by several smaller magnitude earthquakes known as aftershocks.

Aftershocks look and act exactly the same as earthquakes, except that they are smaller than the mainshock and defined in their relation to the main event. The only difference is that an aftershock occurs in the same basic location, within an ‘aftershock zone’ and should occur before the rate of seismic activity returns to its pre-mainshock level.

Is Tuesday’s Nepal earthquake an aftershock?


Some aftershocks can occur on nearby faults outside the normal ‘aftershock zone’, but Tuesday’s quake could be seen as separate quake. Whereas the April quake’s epicenter was west of Kathmandu, the May 12 one struck east of the capital, near the Chinese border.

Tuesday’s quake has also sparked off another round of seismic jolts in its wake. Just 30 minutes after the 7.3 quake, an aftershock of 6.3 magnitude hit. There have been another five major aftershocks of magnitude 5.0 or higher.


Thousands of Nepalese Pray for Earthquake Victims - Our team also participate

Thousands of Nepalese dressed in white offered prayers and flowers at home and in temples Thursday in a Hindu ritual marking the end of a 13-day mourning period for those killed in the country’s massive earthquake.

Families and friends also published condolence messages with photographs of victims in local newspapers.

The mourners gathered amid piles of stones, mud, bricks and wooden beams that once formed centuries-old temples, palaces and structures toppled in the April 25 quake, which killed more than 8,000 people. The main ceremony was held in the ruins of Kastamandap, a temple for which the capital, Kathmandu, was named.

“There are so many people and so many buildings we have all lost in the earthquake. I am here to show my support for these families and to say that we are all here for you,” said Alok Shrestha, a banker holding a bouquet of marigolds.

During the customary mourning period, close family members stay at home, do not touch outsiders and refrain from eating salt. No entertainment is allowed.

Nearly 500 people gathered at Kathmandu’s historic center, Basantapur Durbar Square, where temples were reduced to rubble, to offer prayers.

The central bank announced Thursday that people whose houses were damaged in the quake can obtain loans at a 2 percent interest rate. The average commercial loan rate is about 10 percent.

How to help Nepal earthquake victims - Web Creation Nepal

Aid groups are rushing to get crucial supplies to survivors of Nepal's devastating earthquake, which has killed more than 8,000 people. Here's a look at humanitarian efforts under way in Nepal and how to donate online:

PAYPAL GIVING FUND
The web payment company announced it was waiving fees for donations to the Nepal relief effort. It was delivering donations through its PayPal Giving Fund to several of the aid groups listed above, among others.

https://www.paypal-donations.com/pp-charity/web.us/campaign.jsp?cid=35#sthash.F8d1Fw5h.dpuf

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