Archive for the 'search engine optimization' Category

search engine optimization: #5 for ‘brian keith’ in google

Earlier today I advised patience as key in SEO because it can take a while to move up in the rankings, even when you are doing all the right things.

I spoke too soon in regards to getting high rankings for my name.

I am now #5 (I was #9 this morning) for my name ‘brian keith’ in google.
#5 for brian keith in google

I wrote on February 14th about the seo changes I made to start moving up in the rankings.

And this without changing the title tag… part of the lesson here is that the sites I am up against for top rankings are not working on their SEO, while I am, which puts me at an advantage.

I’ll keep you posted.

search engine optimization: patience, patience, patience

On February 14th I made some SEO changes to my blog to get a higher ranking for my name, Brian Keith. Google took 3 days to recognize my changes.

I have been in the #10 spot before, but was #12 the day I made the seo changes. These included changing the subheader of my blog from ‘the client services blog’ to ‘the client services blog by brian keith.’ Also, in the blurb on the upper right part of the nav bar, I added my name twice.

Today, I am #9, the highest I have been (that I know of).
#9 for Brian Keith

A few notes:

1. Make sure you are optimizing for keywords that really matter. Being top ranked for Brian Keith is not going to directly increase Portent’s revenue. But it will show our clients and prospects that we know something about SEO and how to use blogs to help with that.

2. I am #9. #1-#7 are all the same person- the famous actor who committed suicide. Imagine how many people are linking to stories and sites about him vs. people linking to me. It may be that the only way to get top rankings for my name is to go on a campaign to put my name everywhere and get many links based on my name. This is fine if you are a company that trades on your name, but not in my case, because that would be boring.

Choose your keywords wisely- ones you can compete on and that will bring you ROI.

seo changes to blog to get higher rankings for ‘brian keith’

I want to be above the fold on the first page of google for my name, so I just made two SEO changes to my blog.

On the right, it now says Brian Keith and Portent Interactive, where before it said More about Portent Interactive. The principle here is that people who want to find Portent by name will. Whereas on google I am #13 right now for my name, and it would be nice to be above the fold.

Second, I changed the subhead of the main title bar, which will change slightly the text that shows up in search engines.

Above the fold, here I come.

To learn more about SEO, look at our SEO services page.

title tags and description tags: a case study |

I was writing an email to Jeremiah giving some tips on his site’s metatags, but figured I would post it hear instead.

The site is, a podcasting website. See my previous post about what they do.

Right now, Podtech’s title tag and description tag are not optimized for search engines or for users. Search google for Podtech, and the first result you see is them. The title tells you something about what they do: Technology, Business, Media, and News Podcasts

But the description tells you very little:

Experience CES Las Vegas 2007 with at the Bellagio as we provide … SAN FRANCISCO, December 5, 2006 (PodTech News) — Search competition may be …

Looking through the HTML (I will save you that fun) you can see that they do not have a description tag.

How important are search engines to your business? If the answer is anything other than “not at all,” then you should put the effort in to making a title tag and description tag for your homepage. Yes, ideally they should be on every page, and all different, but that can take hours. Make those two tags for your homepage takes less than 10 minutes, and can have a long term impact on how many people click through to your site.

Consider Portent’s tags. Search for us in google under “internet marketing agency,” and our title tag reads

Seattle internet marketing and search engine optimization agency …

Read below the title, and it says

Portent Interactive, a full service internet marketing agency located in Seattle, combines web site design, search engine optimization, e-mail marketing and …

That real estate is crucial, and if you are not using it to market your company, you are throwing sales away.

What if Podtech’s read like so:

Technology, Business, and Media podcasts, served fresh daily |
passionate, authentic voices: PodTech Network is a growing network of audio and video podcasts for influencers and leaders in the global technology and media industries. Our rapidly expanding roster of top-quality programs can be easily experienced on a personal computer or portable media player.

Not all of that description would show up in a search engine results page, but you would have a much better idea of what they were about, and be much more likely to click through to the site.

Jeremiah, feel free to use that text. It is taken from elsewhere in your site, after all. And I bet you will see traffic go up as a result.

Anyone who wants a 1-minute title tag/description tag review, leave a comment, and I will post about you.

somebody thinks i am special, or, how to get mentioned on blogs

Mike thinks I am worth talking about. Because I noticed and commented a bit on why his blog Digital Agency had the top spot in Google for ‘youtube beat superbowl’ when all he really said was, hey, check out this AdAge story.

I took a look at the URL and title tags for his blog post vs. the AdAge article. I made a small point, that having your topic concisely titled in the URL and title tags is a good idea.

And this was enough for Mike to link to me.

And now me and him own the top 5 spots on google for ‘youtube beats superbowl.’

Lesson #1: Interesting content is not king. As Andy said in the comments on Mike’s blog, “Yeah, but who bothers to link to AdAge these days? We’re all interested in meta-commentary.” Content is nice. Conversations are better.

Lesson #2: Comment on other people’s blogs. A lot. Savvy bloggers notice.

Lesson #3: When you comment, say something useful. If you want to say “I love you, you are great,” that is fine, but don’t expect that to do anything other than warm the blogger’s heart. Which is good. But if you want to build traffic, comment on something that will be of interest to the blogger and to their readers.

Mike and Alice at Digital Agency say they are “Advising, commentating, consulting and creating in the new marketing world of Web 2.0.” So say something worth their time to listen to.

why is digital agency #1 in google, when ad age wrote the article?

My previous post gives you the link to a blog, and that blog gives you the link to Ad Age, who wrote the story.

But if Ad Age wrote the story, why did I go through a blog to find it?

Here is the title tag and URL of the Ad Age story:
Advertising Age – Better ROI From YouTube Video Than Super Bowl Spot

The same data from the Digital Age blog entry:
DigitalAgency: YouTube beats SuperBowl:

I mentioned the story to Ian, who asked for a link. So I went to google. Did I type in “Better ROI From YouTube Video Than Super Bowl Spot” or “youtube beats superbowl”? Of course the latter- much easier to remember, and gets the point across in the least possible words.

Which is why I saw Digital Agency as #1 in google, while the Ad Age article is not in the top #30.

The title tags and the URLs matter a lot to search engines. Look at the URLs I listed- one includes “youtube beats” while the other has no relevant data.

This is why most blogging software puts the title of the blog post into the URL. To see for yourself, click on the title of this article (to get to unique page where this article is, as opposed to the main blog page.) Now look at the title at the top of your browser screen.

Something like that should not be hard for Ad Age to do, but because they don’t, I go to a blog to find out what Ad Age has to say.

Lesson: a) write news, b) when you build a site, make the title tags short, sweet, and relevant, and c) write news.

news=authority, part 2

What google thinks of my blog:
#1      100 fastest growing companies puget sound
#1      100 fastest growing companies puget sound business journal
#11      100 fastest growing companies
#1      100 fastest growing companies psbj
#1      100 fastest growing companies wa
#1      100 fastest growing companies washington
#8      100 fastest growing
#6      one hundred fastest growing companies
#1-#4      one hundred fastest growing companies puget sound

So go to wordpress or blogger and start reporting the news in your industry today.

news, search terms, and search engines

Keeping in mind that my blog still gets very few visitors, I am getting a fair amount of traffic from search terms, almost all for the 100 Fastest Growing Companies list I posted here. The only post that beats that out for views is my post about why wordpress is not good for business blogs.

The lesson for bloggers is a) make sure your post titles get in to the url, b) talk about news or c) talk about continually important issues, like wordpress and business blogs.

Notice that most of that traffic is not dependent on whether I am saying anything smart. It is dependent on who is talking about the same thing. Do a google search on ‘100 fastest growing companies puget sound.’ I am the top link. Now, not many people search for that phrase, but for those who do, they see me as the expert.

A first place in google means someone knows what they are talking about, right? In this case, yes, I give the list of 100 companies.

The challenge for you is to find those unusual search terms that can yield highly qualified traffic. Overall, 10% conversion may be acceptable for a PPC (pay-per-click, as in search engine advertising) campaign. But find a niche keyword, and you can get 25% and above.

practicing what you preach

Go do a google search on “internet marketing agency” by clicking here. Notice the third search result (not the paid ads). If your internet marketing agency is not one of the two that gets higher rankings than Portent, then maybe you need to use a different company.

“But my internet marketing company doesn’t care about such generic terms, and besides, they like to work with local businesses” you say. Okay, so do a google search for seattle search engine optimization, or seattle internet marketing agency. You’ll notice we are #1 in each.

Not sayin’ there are not other good firms out there. Just saying you should choose a firm that practices what it preaches.

what i do

Start talking about the marketing side of things, the part we get to after main site design is done, and I start smiling. At least that is the evidence from a recent meeting. The big boss noticed that I was grinning like an idiot. I thought (afterwards) of how best to explain what exactly I do.

During the design and development stage of rebuilding a site, I keep the clients up to date on what is going on. I manage expectations. When they have low level questions, like “How do I make my CMS do this?” I answer them. Actually, if it is a fairly technical question, I find the person who knows, get the answer, make sure it is in plain english, and then relay that answer to the client.

If the question is high level, like “Should I try to compete in this particular market over here?” then they talk to Ian, and I get to listen in and offer my thoughts.

In this first stage, I am performing a function. And it is fun, because I get to help people understand what is going on. At that meeting, we talked about URL redirects and how they should be. The boss claimed he was an idiot with this, and wanted it in plain english. So I said:
“I call person A, she answers, I find out who she is. I call person B, the code routes me through to person A again, but I am expecting person B, so I am not happy. That is what you have now. What you want is, when I call person B, their message machine says that I should really be talking with person A, and gives me their number.”

And he was happy. Because, when put in language you understand, URL redirects are not complicated- it is more of a language barrier thing than a requires technical background thing.

So design and development is fun because I get to help people understand stuff.

But then, when the site is mostly finished, we get to work on the marketing stuff. SEO, PPC, maybe landing pages… and here I both get to help people understand what is going on as well as play a direct part in making them money. Also, I understand a lot more of this aspect of what we do. I don’t have to ask anyone about what a landing page is supposed to do, so I can answer client’s questions immediately.

And I get to see a direct impact on sales. Did this ad work? Did that landing page work? How can we tweak this? These are all questions I can sink my teeth into. And, more than being a conduit and a translator of information, I can have a greater impact.

So what do I do? I help people understand their project during all phases, and I help make them more money.

Now that is fun.

Go to the new blog

I'm now blogging about internet marketing at

Red Beard Consulting

At Red Beard Consulting I work on internet marketing primarily for speakers. I also work with Infusionsoft.