Links and Link Anchor Text… Vital Info

Another gem from SEO guru Tony Roocroft, a mentor and friend.

Critical to SEO Success: Link Popularity and Link Relevancy.

  • Links: You need them.
  • Links: You need lots of them.
  • Links: You need lots of RELEVANT or RELATED links

Links on a web page enable the visitor to move around within and without a website easily.

A significant proportion of any website’s visitors will probably arrive at the site or page from a direct search query. By this I mean if a searcher types in good cheddar cheese he will be taken directly to a page about good cheddar cheese. On the other hand the searcher may have come from a link elsewhere maybe the searcher had been looking at a completely different site about English cheeses and saw a link to the site about good cheddar cheese.

When I review my own websites logs I find that about 60% of all page views come from search engines. The rest from other links or bookmarks.

Continue reading “Links and Link Anchor Text… Vital Info”

Incoming search terms:


The Problem with Single keywords

All About Keywords… Keyword Basics

Note: As keyword concepts are explored in these article you will see reference to Google Adwords and PPC. The reason for this is that an in depth understanding is of more importance to a paid search campaign than to an SEO campaign. In fact one of the “secrets” of success in keyword research for SEO purposes is to run a Google Adwords campaign before starting an SEO strategy. You will be able to subscribe to both the SEO and PPC series if you wish at a later stage.

As was discussed in the introductory articles on keywords the first point to understand is that a keyword as used in internet terms is not necessarily a single word. A keyword in the context of this discussion is more often than not at least 2 words and probably more. In fact the average search term on Google now exceeds 3 words.

Keywords are most commonly used in references to a search being made on a search engine. For example if someone types “Cape Town Hotel” into Google search then the 3 word phrase, “Cape Town Hotel“, is the keyword. Google will return all the search results that are relevant to those 3 words. It’s conceivable that Google could return a web page that does not contain the 3 words in exactly the same order as entered by the searcher. For example a page which might include the following words… There is a fine hotel in the famous suburb of Simon’s Town which is the last place to explore before reaching Cape Point.

It’s probable that such a page would not meet the searcher’s intent or motivation. By simply entering the 3 words into Google this way a BROAD keyword match was returned by Google in its SERP’s (search engine results pages).

By doing the same search with the 3 words surrounded by inverted commas such as “Cape Town Hotel” Google will return only those pages that have the 3 words exactly as typed and in that specific order

This type of search is using a concept known as PHRASE Match. Clearly this type of search will return more relevant results to a searcher looking for a hotel in Cape Town.

Broad, phrase and exact matches are the backbone of Google AdWords strategies we’ll discuss in depth in our Google Adwords PPC sereis..

The Problem with Single or 2 Word Keyword Searches

When a person types a keyword into Google that searcher is identifying, at that precise moment in time, a need.

However if only a single word search, Cape in this example, is made it’s impossible to guess or understand the searcher’s intent or motivation. Even when Cape Town becomes the search term we still don’t understand enough about the motivation of the searcher. When the third word Hotel is Added to Cape Town then the searcher’s intent, need or motivation starts to become clearer. As a hotel owner in Cape Town with rooms to sell I am possibly interested in my website being found by this searcher.

If the searcher extends this keyword to Cape Town Hotel Hout Bay then we know almost exactly what the searcher’s need is.

Now if we have a hotel in Hout Bay then we definitely want the searcher to see our offering. This searcher has shown us exactly what the need was at that instant in time. The converse might also be true… if I don’t have a hotel in Hout Bay then I don’t want my ad to be shown to this searcher. This exclusion opportunity is made possible by the use of NEGATIVE keywords which will be discussed in depth.

The keyword Cape Town Hotel Hout Bay is known as a Long Tail Keyword.

The average keyword in Google now exceeds 3 words.

The Long Tail

Savvy searchers use long tail keywords.

The vast majority of searches made are long tail keywords. For many markets more than 90% of all searches fall into this category. For example on one of my main websites the top 10 keywords account only for 5.6% of all traffic to the website.

It is a major mistake to focus only on obvious single word keywords. For example to bid on a keyword like hotels is guaranteed to lose you money in AdWords.

Despite this it is probable that far more money is spent trying to compete for broad terms such as Cape Town Hotels than for the more specific terms such as:

  • Hout Bay Boutique Hotels
  • Hout Bay Guest House
  • Hout Bay B&B Less Than R300

Google AdWords makes it possible to target these long tail keywords with complete precision.

The use of long tail keywords by a searcher is a strong indication that the searcher has completed the research necessary and is close to the buying point.

Short keyword phrases suggest the searcher is just browsing. Short keyword phrases with words such as review, or compare or list probably indicate someone who’s shopping with intent to buy later.
A long tail keyword searcher is a highly motivated searcher. These are the searchers we should aim to sell to.

The challenge is to discover these relevant keywords because it’s quite obvious that the possible permutations and combinations increase dramatically as the number of words in a search phrase is increased.

Google notes that more than 50% of daily searches are unique or have not been searched for within the last 90 days. This just confirms the importance and variety of long tail keywords.

Keyword research is the name given to the process of discovering all types of relevant search queries.


Google Real Time Search Comes to Town

Once again without too much of a fanfare Google announced another significant change that will have a serious impact upon free SEO ranking as time roles out. Announcement made on Dec 7th. The new way of representing search results is to place up to date news content above the free results and just below the paid results.

For example I did a search for Julius Malema and the number 1 result was a news post as follows:

News results for Julius Malema…
Malema’s power diminishes? – 13 hours ago
Justice Malala: The booing of Julius Malema by the SA Communist Party and the … However, the truth is that the political death of Julius Malema has been …
Times LIVE – 230 related articles »
Nationalisation not fatal: Malema? – Times LIVE – 20 related articles »
We are not afraid of the IFP: Malema? – Independent Online – 10 related articles »

Notice how fresh the result was (13 hours ago)

I know it is not fashionable to point out that SEO is going to become more and more difficult but here is yet another example of how the optimised results (especially those optimised to get rankings without due consideration to great and outstanding content… ie vast majority of SEO’d sites)

I strongly suggest you read Google’s announcement on this important change

Here’s what was said on Webpro News…

Will Real-Time Search Results Drive PPC?

“Much like with Google‘s recently launched (for everyone) personalized search results, or any other universal search results for that matter, the addition of real-time results is just one more element that can add to the challenge of getting organic results to show up high on the page. As iEntry CEO and WebProNews Publisher Rich Ord noted when talking about personalized search, this could give marketers more cause to focus on PPC, where they have more control over their campaign. This notion seems to be becoming a more common theme.”

“I certainly think this will have a more profound impact on results sitting below the Twitter feed and those above,” says Peter Young of Holistic Search, as quoted by MediaPost. “The scramble for the top positions will become fiercer. That may mean more people invest in PPC to gain more control of their presence.”

Not yet completed the survey?

Here’s that bit of a bribe again to encourage you to complete the simple survey.
The Bribe is…

Every website with a need to achieve an outcome must measure the conversion rate to the outcome. Conversion rate is defined as Number of Conversions divided by Number of Times the offer or web page was seen. In the case of a PPC campaign conversion rate is number of conversions divided by the number of clicks. A conversion can be anything you like… the 2 most common are sales and web form (lead) completion.

I am often asked 3 questions about running an Adwords PPC campaign:

  1. What is a good conversion rate?
  2. What is amount I can spend on a click?
  3. What should my daily budget be?

There are no simple answers to these questions and all are interrelated anyway. BUT and this is important…

Click here to take short survey… thank you for your time

Tony Roocroft
Tel +27114540105 or


Are you being held hostage by your hosting company?

Last week I had a small crises when my hosting company disabled this website and several others due to a PHP error on the server. I had been travelling and missed several emails they sent me warning me to take action and resolve this problem, which on the shared hosting platform was causing problems for everyone else. This whole episode reminded me of a lesson I learnt from Tony Roocroft about 3 years ago.

The basic lesson was never to host your website with the same company who controls your domain. I took it very seriously and always started using Godaddy for registering all my .com domains while in South Africa I registered my domains directly with Uniforum. However, I have realised even hosting all my domains with one company is still a weakness because all websites are impacted being hosted under one account. So I’ve moved my personal blog to PowWeb. I may move some more domains to them to share my risk. And I advice you to consider this situation if you are heavily investing in your online business. There are many different hosting providers. There are several comparison websites available like Top 10 Independent Website Reviews website. And if you insist on hosting in South Africa one of the best ones are Hertzner and Afrihost. Avoid MWEB and Telkom Internet as these hosting solutions are either very expensive or severely limited.