Congratulations Cheyenne Bova!!!! Winner of this months giveaway!!!

This sweepstakes giveaway is now closed, thank you to everyone who participated. Don’t miss next months giveaway and tell a friend.

 

Enter To Win a SPOT Personal Tracker!

We are excited to announce our monthly giveaway! Enter for your chance to win a SPOT Personal Tracker with a 1Yr Service agreement with a value of $300! The SPOT Personal Tracker notifies your family, friends and rescue help with your GPS location. This is the world’s first satellite messenger, ensuring you can get help when you need it, where cell phones can’t.You just simply press a button and you can notify your loved ones that you’re ok! Always feel secure while traveling in the back country with a SPOT Tracker.

Spot Satellite Messneger Tracker | Howard SEM Group's Monthly Giveaway

Click here to go to our Facebook page and enter to win. All you have to do is “Like” our page and let your friends know about us! You can also enter to win on our website at http://www.howardsemgroup.com/ by clicking the banner below.

Don’t miss out on this giveaway! We will be announcing the winner on October 8th 2011. Tell your friends, tell your friends, oh yeah tell your friends!

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Administrator on May 9th, 2011

Do you know what a blog can do for your website and business? So many business owners ask me about the different Social Media Marketing techniques like the use of  Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn etc.. Though not many bring up anything about a blog or blogging. Over the years I have seen too many companies focus their time, money and efforts on these Social Media type sites without ever adding a blog to their own site, this can be a mistake. As many website owners are starting to realize in the eyes of Google, “Content is King!”

Since the late 90’s Google has transformed the search engine industry into becoming an industry that rewards informative, resourceful websites with nice saturation within their search results pages (SERP’s). A corporate blog is the perfect answer to ensuring that Google see’s a dramatic increase in newly written unique & high quality content being generated on your website.  That’s right, even though a blog is usually a bit separate from your main website that usually has somewhat stagnant content; it views the content on your blog as coming directly from your website as long as you set it up correctly.

Search Engine Optimization tips | SEO BlogCreating or adding a blog to your site is not difficult as long as you set it up right, so that Google views it as part of your site.  An example being set-up as a sub-domain (blog.howardsemgroup.com) or a sub-directory (howardsemgroup.com/blog) these are the preferred methods. Having a blog set-up separately from your site with its own URL (HowardsBlog.com) does not necessarily write it off as long as you are using it correctly, optimizing the posts and writing regularly, then linking back to your site using keyword targeted anchor text (ex. “SEO Services” as the text link rather than “Howard SEM Group”) This will provide a good amount of Link Juice from your separated blog.

A blog that is attached to your site will help you in a few ways. 1) Shows Google that constant new content is being developed on your site baiting their site crawlers to visit often and re-index/update their search results. 2) It morphs your site into becoming an Authority in your niche/industry.  This attention helps SEO & Internet Marketing efforts tremendously, and seems to pay off faster, helping site rankings, customer conversions & trust for the long term over short term use of Social Media sites. Do not get me wrong, the Social Media sites are a great and powerful tool, though everyone should start with a blog and regular informative content before going down those paths. Using Social Media sites as tools with your blog can provide excellent results.

Some Blogging Tips & Techniques:

  • Use an SEO-Friendly Platform ( I love WordPress)
  • Ensure you target 1 or 2 keywords you want to rank for by having that keyword in the Title Tag & body of the blog post.
  • Link back to pages on your website that are relevant to the subject of your blog post, using your keyword targets as the anchor text.
  • Try not to create more than 1 link per 100 words on average.
  • Your Meta description tag should be used with a brief description of your post and a strong call to action, as this is what your sites visitors will see in the Google results pages.
  • Occasionally linking back to an older blog post that is relevant will ensure it stays fresh in Google’s eyes.
  • Write regularly, I recommend at least 1-3 post (100-300 words) a week, with 1 large detailed post (500+ words) a month.
  • Submit your blog to RSS & Blog Directory sites.
  • Have a little personality in your writing, just because it is a corporate blog doesn’t mean it has to be robotic and stale sounding.
  • Most Important!!! Write for your visitors and target consumers, DO NOT WRITE FOR THE SEARCH ENGINES.

Now Go and Blog! Blog! Blog!

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ASK an Expert….Get Your Answers FREE!

Today’s post is an answer to a few questions we’ve received on our Ask An Expert page.  When we notice we get the same question more than once, we know it is no accident.

Answer:

What is a 404 Error Code?

When someone searches and clicks on a link going to a specific page on your site that is no longer there it will return a 404 Error (Page Not Found). This can also happen if someone links to the web page address directly though they misspell it (ex. HowardSEMGroup.com/aboutus.html vs. HowardSEMGroup.com/abouts.html).  This default Page Not Found error is there to ensure the user is informed.

A 404 Error page is absolutely normal, though it can be alarming especially if you are the visitor that gets this response page.  Over the years we have found that by customizing this page toward your visitor and giving them alternative pages, links, or direction to a visitor that might receive this response you can prevent them from leaving your site altogether.

Google’s Webmaster Central Blog recently did a post regarding just this subject that is up to date, current and also worth the read. It should calm the many fears about 404 pages out there…

Can a 404 Error (Page Not Found) response hurt my rankings in the search engines?

Easy answer, NO! Though it can hurt your visitor’s experience, and after being found that is truly the most important thing for any website owner. Great User Experience = Conversions, Leads, Sales, etc.

We recommend if you are planning on deleting a page of content from your site, you use a 301 redirect (Permanent Redirect) that points to a similar page on your site, or the category or home page of the deleted page in question.  This not only will prevent a 404 Error response being provided to your visitors it will also redirect them to other options or information that might help convert them into a sale, lead etc.

This method of using 301 redirects will also help your sites search engine optimization a bit by redirecting any remaining link juice, or page authority from the old page to the newly redirected page instead of just throwing it all out with the dish water.

404 error code response | Howard SEM Group | SEO FirmIn summary DO NOT FREAK OUT if you notice a 404 Error page your site is not exploding (at least we hope not!) work on finding the cause…if it is from a misspelled link see if it can be corrected, if not redirect the misspelled URL to the correct spelled URL for that page using a 301 redirect. Remember 404 Error codes are normal when you are deleting pages from your site, just redirect them. Lastly, customize those 404 Error pages for your sites visitors to hold onto their interest and trust of your site.

Thank you to all the inquiries from our Ask An Expert page!

If you or someone you know has a website that needs to be found online don’t hesitate to contact our Search Engine Optimization Firm to get the results you are looking for.

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