Stephan Spencer

Stephan Spencer
SEO in the World of Web 2.0

Wouldn’t it be great if all the whiz-bang Web 2.0 interactive elements like Asynchronous JavaScript and XML (AJAX), widgets, Flash, RSS feeds, podcasts, video blogs and so forth were all search engine optimized? Unfortunately, that’s not the case. In fact, many of these technologies are inherently unfriendly to search engine spiders. So, if you intend to harness Web 2.0 technologies for increased conversion, improved usability and greater customer engagement, you’d better read on or you’ll end up missing the boat when it comes to better search engine rankings. The discipline of search engine optimization (SEO) is evolving to better meet the challenges presented by a

Make Blogging and RSS Pay Off by Driving Traffic and Sales Through Optimized Blogs and Feeds

In the intensive session I led during the ACCM in Boston on May 21, the overriding theme was that search engines judge a site’s worth on its inbound links. Translation: No links = no rankings. Blogs, meanwhile, are great at attracting links from the blogosphere, because bloggers are rather cliquish and mostly tend to link to each other. So you’ll earn links as a blog that you wouldn’t normally earn otherwise. Nonetheless, intentionally work to boost your link popularity; don’t just expect links to your blog to come on their own. One of the best ways to do this is by building relationships with

How Cabela's Tests Its SEO

Outdoor sporting goods cataloger Cabela’s tracks overall SEO program performance by comparing, week-to-week, the percentage of keywords ranked in Google’s top four, along with the percentage in the top 10. The keyword sample includes 90 “tail” (product-specific) keywords and nearly 2,000 general keywords. During and after the migration from SearchDex to GravityStream, this metric was watched very closely to gauge performance. “GravityStream caught right up and quickly blew past,” says Derek Fortna marketing programs manager for Cabela’s. The collection of additional metrics began once GravityStream migration was complete. These include the following: 3 keyword yield per page runs between eight and 20; two to

How to Test Your SEO With Rigor

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an art as well as a science. As with any scientific discipline, it requires rigor. The results need to be reproducible, and you have to take an experimental approach — so not too many variables are changed at once. Otherwise, you won’t be able to tell which changes were responsible for the results. You can glean a lot about SEO best practices, latest trends and tactics from SEO blogs, forums and e-books. But it can be hard to separate the wheat from the chaff, to know with any degree of certainty that a claim will hold true. That’s where

SEO Measurement and Game Plan

Test the following: 1. the title tag 2. the headline (H1) tag 3. the placement of the body copy in the HTML 4. the words in the body copy 5. your keyword prominence 6. the keyword density 7. your anchor text or internal links to that page 8. your anchor text or inbound links to that page from sites that you have influence over 9. the URL structure, including occurrences of keywords in the URL, number of directories om the URL and complexity of the URL (i.e., number of parameters in the query string) Then measure the following: 1. traffic to the page being tested 2. traffic to the site overall 3. backlinks to the page being

Help Your Customers Find You in Cyberspace

9 ways to get your site search-ready for the holidays. The clock is ticking. Holiday shopping season is just around the corner. More customers will turn to your Web site than ever before. That means it’s time to tune it up for maximum search engine visibility. Here are nine traffic-building tips that’ll make your site sing “Happy Holidays” long after the season is done. 1. Link Building Links are the currency of search engines. Improving the quantity and quality of your inbound links will pay dividends. Add a handful of links from high-PageRank, relevant sites and you’ll see an impact within weeks. (PageRank