Directory Maximizer

Case Study: Directory Maximizer Helps a Jewellery Site Rank on Top and Increase Sales

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I have you guys at Directory Maximizer to thank 😉 I’m so glad to see the results and my Rankings go up on Google’s Search Engines for the keywords we’ve used to link back to my shops! Been getting some really great business since the beginning of this year and this month I guess had the most orders that I ever had in the 3 years I’ve been in business!”

                                                                                                                                                                     – Cheryl Dumlao

URL

www.etsy.com/shop/GibsonGirlDesigns

 www.etsy.com/shop/TheNakedOrchid

Etsy.com/shop/GibsonGirlDesigns and www.etsy.com/shop/TheNakedOrchid are e-commerce websites focused on luxury handmade garters, hair clips and unique couture. Cheryl also customizes the order according to your requests and budgets.

 Requirements and Challenges

The site owner, Cheryl’s goal was to generate more traffic by ranking for highly searched competitive terms and to create a market reputation before expanding the business further. This site needed to rank in the top 10 for several important keywords and establish a market presence. They were clear that they needed to increase their visibility in the market.

Action Taken

There were two phases of this campaign which we ran simultaneously to accomplish our goals. We immediately started working on attracting traffic to the website. At the same time we also started to take quick and impactful steps to improve organic search engine rankings by aggressive linking campaigns.

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Helping Google Crawlers Value Your WordPress Blog

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Since a while, “getting online” and having your own website has no more been a big deal. After all, it’s super-easy to find a web host. And it is as easy to put something up for people to see, especially with the ease of installation and use of WordPress.

wordpress

However, a low barrier of entry is not always a good thing. Sure, more people can share their thoughts with the world, but it also means that opportunists (the bad kind) can just hop on the wagon and attempt to make a quick buck, without any consideration to the bad and pollution they are adding to the World Wide Web.

In order not to serve these low-quality webpages in their search results, Google continuously updates its algorithms to make it harder for them to rank and for webmasters who actually care to rank higher. However, the result is not always desirable. Many blog owners simply cannot keep up with the updates, and sometimes end up with lower rankings (and hence, lower traffic).

If you are reading this article, you are probably one of the people who care. The good news for you is that it’s not hard or time-consuming to meet Google algorithm standards. This article will show you just that!

Google’s Panda & Penguin Updates

Google PandaBefore getting into them, I feel like I need to clear a common misconception. Panda and Penguin are not the only updates that Google released. A lot of them are released, and only a few of them are even announced. Actually, even the Panda and the Penguin themselves are constantly being updated.

The reason these 2 animals get thrown around a lot in the SEO community is that they happen to be the ones that caused the most damage.

As with every other update, these 2 were released to filter out junk and low-quality websites and webpages.

Panda takes care of low-quality, thin and duplicate content, poor user experience, too many ads on the page, etc. Basically, mostly on-page stuff.

Google’s Penguin Update, on the other hand, targets webspam: low-quality links (from link exchange networks for example), blackhat SEO tactics, overusing the same anchor text, and other things that may be considered as “an attempt to manipulate search engine rankings”.

Pleasing the Panda

What needs to be done to “pass” it becomes quite obvious.

  • Only serve high-quality content on your web pages; content that provides real and useful information.
  • Make the ads you have on your page unobtrusive.
  • Delete duplicate pages, or use the rel=“canonical” tag to differentiate between multiple versions (web version, print version, mobile version etc).

 Use these SEO plugins for a stronger boost:

  1. WP-Optimize
  2. YoastWordPress SEO

WP-Optimize will get rid of unnecessary duplicate pages that WordPress itself creates, and YoastWordPress SEO will take care of the important tags, taxonomies and XML sitemap.

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Could Google Author Rank influence SEO in 2013?

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seo revolution

In its quest to push higher quality web pages up the SERPs, Google is adding one more criterion among all the usual PageRank, backlinks, keyword density and on-page SEO stuff: Author Rank.

The main reasoning behind Author Rank:

So far, the other criteria have the potential to be ‘heavily manipulated’. Author Rank, obtained with the help of Google Authorship, makes it harder for people to game the system.

This is why we (among with other reputable SEO experts and bloggers) strongly believe that Author Rank will be a pretty heavy factor when it will come to the position of a web page in the search results.

The Author Rank is simply a measure of an author’s authority on a topic. The idea is that if someone with a good Author Rank makes a post around a certain keyword, it is very likely that it will rank higher than a post made by someone with a less good Author Rank (or someone with none at all) around the same keyword.

So basically, a very informative post on your Google + profile will rank better than thousands of spun articles on low-grade sites, simply because you can be identified as the author.

As I said in the first paragraph, this is going to be hard to manipulate, unlike backlinks for example where people would openly buy, sell and trade them on the so-called “high PR” domains. The Author Rank kind of forces you to keep your integrity, just like your identity in the real world does (you wouldn’t want your name to be associated with murder, drugs or prostitution, right? You would do these things anonymously; just like things on the Internet have been up until now).

Some factors that may influence the Author Rankgoogle-author-rank

Of course, Google itself doesn’t disclose this. This list has been written based on what several analysts have ‘predicted’.

  • Quality of posts by the author
  • Domain age of the author
  • Number of people in author’s circle
  • How many people have the author in their circle
  • Social comments and shares
  • Author’s profile relevance to the niche

There are several issues that may arise though. What if 1 author is a professional in accounting and finance but has a deep passion for weight loss? Can he write about both? If he does, how seriously or “authoritatively” will his posts be considered? Hopefully, the ranking will not only be “user based”, but also “niche based”; so 1 author may rank high for 1 niche and low for another (his authority will then not be diluted by his posts on other subjects).

And what about co-authoring? How are 2 writers going to share the credit? And if you have a website and are currently have an author writing for you, what happens when he passes away and you hire another one? We really hope that Google will address these issues down the road. But still, these are ‘minor issues’ that will not stop the Author Rank from becoming a strong measure of authority in search engine optimization.

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How To Take On Local SEO As A Small Business

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Just like ‘mobile’ and ‘social media’ are products of the evolution of the web that keep getting more and more attention, ‘local SEO’ is one of those products as well. This is especially applicable to small businesses.

local_seo

The major search engines are taking into account the fact that when people perform a search about a product or service, they are probably looking for something in the area. This is why, as a small business, it is important (I would even say crucial) to get involved in local SEO.

This article is a mini-guide to local SEO for small businesses. Hopefully this will remove the ‘alien factor’ of this new ‘thing’ and will help you dive into it.

Local SEO is not a lot different from regular SEO. It can still be divided into 3 main components:

  1. Research
  2. On-site optimization
  3. Off-site optimization

Research

SEO ResearchWhat are you targeting? Who are you targeting? What are people looking for? Are you providing what they are looking for?

You need to identify your target audience and their needs.

There are a lot of keyword tools that are helpful at this stage. There is the free Google AdWords Keyword Tool, the paid service Wordtracker, as well as other tools like Market Samurai or Traffic Travis. It really comes to personal preference for this selection.

You need to gather a list of keywords that local people are typing in the search engines. Let’s suppose that I have a small business in Knoxville that provides a 24-hour plumbing service.

A 2-minute search on Google AdWords Keyword Tool got me these interesting keywords: Knoxville plumbers, plumbing Knoxville tn, emergency plumbing Knoxville, plumbers in Knoxville tn.

Digging deeper would get me even more. These keywords are relevant to my service, so I will want to add them to a list of keywords I want to target.

The next step in this phase is to see who else is ranking for my desired keyword phrases; I am talking about competition analysis. I will want to make a list of my competitors and their backlinks. For this purpose, I can use Google for the actual search, and the various link research tools available for finding their backlinks.

On-site Optimization On page optimisation

While this article is about local search engine optimization, I would feel terribly guilty if I don’t at least say something about the overall design and layout. Your content might be great, but if your design is repulsive, chances are people will leave your website as soon as they see it. SEO will not be the issue here. Actually, a high bounce rate will hurt your rankings.

That’s it about design (for this post); now back to SEO.

There is no big difference between on-page optimization for local SEO and general SEO, except maybe for 1 thing: Your company’s name, phone number and address. Search engines can recognize them. So it might be beneficial adding them on all your pages (maybe in the footer, sidebar or even header!).

And of course, you will have to take care of the other ‘regular’ stuff as well, for example:

  • Page title
  • Meta keyword
  • Meta description
  • Keyword between H1 tags (and maybe H2 and H3 as well)
  • A good keyword density
  • URL optimization
  • ALT tags for images

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Directory Maximizer Launches new Website Design

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We are super excited to bring you a new look and feel for Directory Maximizer. While we have been proactive in updating the way we work to adjust to the ever changing search engine algorithm updates, we have not touched our site design for a while now.

The new design is engineered to provide a user-friendly experience with a clutter free fresh look. The simple and clean site design is part of the company’s business philosophy to continuously meet the needs of customers. The improved website contains the following new features:  a home page that gives a better overview of how we can help our customers, an easy to navigate services menu that walks the customer through various link building services we offer, well structured services page to give more information on each service and how each service can be used.

Check out the new design. We would love to hear your feedback on the new design. If you have any questions, comments, or technical issues, please do not hesitate to contact someone from our experienced team via our contact page.

Old Homepage Design of Directory MaximizerNew Homepage Design of Directory Maximizer