Yesterday, SaveTheInternet.com celebrated its first birthday. This is the organization fighting to keep Verizon and AT&T from stripping away your right and mine to the use of a free Internet. These large communications companies want to create a high band Internet for government and people willing to pay the price and then a slower “lane” for everyone else – that is, small business owners, non-profit organizations, and people who won’t be able to afford the elite steak dinner along with the keynote address. Simple WordPress premium Themes includes one year of support.
There’s a great article in today’s WebProNews on one senator, Byron Dorgan, who is criticizing his colleague Ted Stevens and AT&T head cheese Ed Whitacre for their evil scheme. Essentially, good guys like Dorgan want to keep the Net open to everyone while the bad guys want to build a wall between the haves and the have nots. And if this happens there will be more have nots than haves, but there won’t be power in numbers – unless numbers refers to the number of dollar bills you carry in your pocket.
I encourage you all to swing by the SaveTheInternet website and sign their petition, if you’ve not done so already. And while you’re at it vote for them for the 2007 Webby Award. They’re in second place right now. Voting ends today.
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With the speed of the internet and the rate of growth we have been seeing, it is very difficult to keep up with everything never mind taking the time to actually analyze your own website surroundings and linking structure to see what websites are linking to you from a structural stand point. It is important to take the time to really understand the linking structure of your website so you know where to make improvements and where to ratchet things down. Let’s take a look at some of the important areas the Google webmaster will show you for your website:
Links to Your Site: This is a great area to be familiar with because it will show you all the links that are pointing to your website along with all your internal website pages as well. It is nice to be able to look at who is connecting with you so you can estimate what direction you want to take your link building into. Your links should be evenly spread out throughout your entire link building campaign. You don’t want to be top heavy on any one effort.
Crawl Errors: Google webmaster tools will also show you in detail any crawl errors that are occurring on your website. This is important because you want to know if certain areas of your website are having a difficult time to be read by the search engine crawlers.
Keywords: It also shows you what keywords have a significant focus on your website. This will allow you to diversify or shift your focus in order to utilize a variety of different keywords throughout your website.
Sitemaps: Having a sitemap is just SEO 101. It will show you how many pages are being indexed currently by your existing sitemap. If your sitemap has any issues this is where you will see it.
Make the effort to install Google webmaster tools on your website. This also gives Google a heads up that you are open and willing to let them in so they can understand everything about your website. This is important from a ranking and trust factor standpoint. This tells the search engines that you have nothing to hide from them and you don’t mind them seeing how you build your links and market your website. If you have nothing to hide this will help you in the long run.
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For a newcomer, stepping into the area of search engine marketing can be quite overwhelming especially if they haven’t really ventured into the online marketing space before. It is bad enough for those individuals to try and learn how to do many of the items themselves but to analyze the raw data and dissect it in order to understand how it is working for them could be a lengthy learning curve. There are many good analytics software packages out there, but I highly recommend Google analytics for most websites. It is easy to use, free and reliable.
Let’s take a look at some of the most important areas to view in your Google analytics account:
- 1. Visitors: In this section of your Google analytics software you can see a variety of information specific to your visitor. You can see what types of browsers people use to find you along with things like connection speeds and what kind of mobile devices people use when they are on the go to find your business. Often times a website or functions of a website will appear different in other browsers. This will give you a better understanding what elements you need to work on with your website to make sure things are consistent across the board.
- 2. Traffic Sources: This section will be your best friend. This is where it shows you what keywords are driving traffic along with which referring sites are bringing over traffic. You are going to want to look at this information on a regular basis in order to see what is going on with your marketing. If a website posted a link about you and it is delivering traffic to your website you are going to want to know this type of information. Once you get going with your online marketing and SEO this section of the analytics software is going to be your best friend. It will show you what is actually working and what isn’t. If you spend a great deal of time in a certain area that almost never delivers any type of traffic than this information will be valuable so that you can make the proper changes so that traffic does find their way to your site.
- 3. Content: This section allows you to go through the pages of your website along with any blog posts you might have to drill down to specific page data. This will allow you to target various elements on those specific pages in order to maximize their overall efficiency. If you notice a certain page get a great deal of traffic but the bounce rate is quite high you can make the necessary changes to reduce that bounce rate.
Google analytics is very important and will be even more important when times moves on and your SEO becomes very robust and comprehensive. Learn it now while you are getting started. You will have an easier time to understand the data down the road.