Friday, April 18, 2008

Moving your Site to a New Domain Name - Scary!!

The Google Central Webmaster blog has posted "Best practices When Moving Your Site"; and it confirms everything my team and I have been preaching for years and adds some additional good stuff. A summary in my own words:

- Use a 301 redirect on a file by file or directory by directory basis (this is really hard)
- Check to see if the new pages are in the index and the old pages are being taken out
- Don't change too much at once. Move the entire site, let it settle and then throw up a redesign or vice versa
- Watch to make sure pages aren't ending up in 404s unless absolutely unavoidable
- Make sure all internal links are pointing to the new domain
- Try (this is really, really hard) to get external links pointed to the new domain
- Keep the old site up and running for a while (Google suggests 180 days). [I would never give up control but I might take it offline]
- Submit a sitemap to all engines that accept the standard

They suggest using Google Webmaster Tools on both domains to help track 404s and to ensure that 301s are working. Some great questions and comments follow the posting.

Thanks for the validation and the great information Google.

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posted by Barbara 'webmama' Coll @ 3:42 PM     Permanent Link

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Google Ads on Yahoo - Screenshot as proof

On the East coast my colleague has seen our client advertising campaigns on Yahoo switch from Yahoo/Overture to Google AdWords. On the West coast I can not duplicate the appearance. Here is a screen shot from the East.

Search yourselves for VMware or Vonage and send me what you see. DON'T CLICK unless you are interested in the product ;) We measure everything!

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posted by Barbara 'webmama' Coll @ 7:46 AM     Permanent Link

Tuesday, April 15, 2008

The Definitive List of Resources for Keyword Analysis

Determining what keywords to use for optimizing a website is the first step in the SEO process isn’t easy. Here the WebMama team gives you our list of sources for information for this critical stage in all Search Engine Marketing projects. Hope they help make you more successful.

Tools

1. WordTracker [info , free trial]
2. Google AdWords [tool – no account required]
3. Google Trends [tool – relative volume analysis]
4. MSN Keyword Focus [tool - volume analysis]
5. MSN Keyword Group Detection [tool – no account required]
6. Keyword Discovery [infofree trial]
7. Thesaurus
8. Overture [tool – times out regularly]
9. Answers.com

Informational Online Sources

Inside the Client Properties

10. Corporate Blogs
11. Blog Tags
12. Press Releases
13. Current website content
14. Marketing creatives for banners, etc
15. Email campaign content
16. Personas developed for the site

Outside the Client Properties

17. Industry forums
18. Product/Service reviews (and comments)
19. Online magazines
20. Competition’s sites and marketing campaigns
21. Relevant social media group discussions

Non-Online Sources

22. TV ads
23. Radio copy
24. Print ads
25. Focus groups “what would you put in a search box to find our products and/or services”
26. Magazines/newspapers
27. Video advertising
28. Other forms of marketing, especially those of competitors
29. Sales training materials

Data Sources

30. Paid search statistics from all campaigns
31. Organic traffic statistics
32. Internal site search

People in the Company

33. Executives
34. Product Managers
35. Web Developers
36. Web Producers
37. User Interface Designers
38. Customer Experience team
39. Direct Sales
40. Inside Sales
41. Call Center
42. Customer Service
43. Content writers
44. Marketing brand managers
45. ‘whomever hired us’

Use your source information, filter it through the VCR edict that all keywords need to be a balance of Volume, Conversion and Relevancy, and the result will be the right keywords for optimizing your website and increasing visibility and converting traffic to your website.

This list is available in a Word document called KeywordResourceList.doc should you want to spread the word.

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posted by Barbara 'webmama' Coll @ 10:36 AM     Permanent Link