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Strategic Web Marketing for the Alternative Energy Industry and other Forward Thinking Businesses

The surge in public awareness about renewable energy comes at a time of rising energy costs and an improving political environment. The demand for solar, wind, and efficiency systems is changing our industry and the companies that serve it. Selling renewable energy systems getting tougher as competition and technology increases. Your website can be a key to success.

Search Engine Optimization

This page reviews technically-oriented search engine optimization processes.

 

Learn about Search Engine Optimization and Web Advertising:

 

Some quick tools you can use now to check your site:

Google Link Pages that link to this page link: www.<your site>.com
Google Site Indexed pages in your site site:www.<your site>.com
Goggle Cache The current cached version of this page cache: www.<your site>.com
Google Info: Information Google has about this page info: www.<your site>.com
Google Related Pages that are similar to this page related: www.<your site>.com
Google Robots.txt www.<your site>.com/robots.txt
Google Mobile - Images What page looks like in mobile device Mobile: www.<your site>.com
Google Mobile - No Images What page looks like in mobile device Mobile No Images: www.<your site>.com

W3C Validation Checks the markup validity of Web documents in HTML W3C Validation: www.<your site>.com
W3C Link Check Checks for broken links W3C Link: www.<your site>.com
W3C CSS Checks Cascading Style Sheets (CSS) W3C CSS: www.<your site>.com
W3C Mobile Checks for validity for mobile phones W3C Mobile: www.<your site>.com

Search Engine Optimization Analysis

Purpose: Drive targeted traffic to your website by improving your exposure and rankings on Google and other search engines.

Strategy: There are thousands of tricks and techniques to improving search engine ranking. Unfortunately, search engines constantly update their logic to weed out sites using these tricks and techniques, sometimes penalizing sites for using them. The best strategy is to look at the overall mission of the search engines:  “To provide quality answers to users searching for information.”
Although an understanding of the way search engines see the web is necessary, the first principle of search engine optimization is to have a well-organized site with quality content. Each page of the site, focused on a specific topic, is presented to the search engine as an independent source of information. Not only does this add search engine visibility, but it also provides a quality experience to your site visitors.

Typically, there are several areas where sites can be modified to generate quality traffic.

  1. Identify keywords and optimize your site for those keywords. Create Link Partners Establish dynamic content for your site (News, etc) Monitor progress
  2. Evaluate Web-Based keyword advertising
 
Process Stages: Generally the process follows these stages:

1Preparation for conference and telephone conference to begin identifying and selecting keywords (2 - 3 hours)
Appropriate people in your company will choose the keywords you want to target and the pages you want them targeted to. Often, during this conversation, we will identify the keywords used by customers and major successful competitors. We may also want to do inventory searches on entirely new words you develop. Once keywords have been identified, time estimates for your next steps can be generated. Preparation for this meeting involves identifying successful competitors, researching your industry’s presence on the web, and reviewing your existing site, or plans for a site. 

2Develop a Keyword Matrix (2 - 3 hours)
Search engines will provide analysis of similar industry keywords. For example, if your site is about solar energy and you begin to create a matrix, other frequently searched, related keywords will be presented. This allows us to identify the words we should use to optimize your website. See sample below. 

3Page Optimization            
Each page will need to be re-written with the principals of search engine optimization in mind. Often, this involves working with your web designer to layout the pages in a search-engine friendly way and great the appropriate meta-tags needed for effective indexing. 

4Select additional aspects of the optimization such as pay-per-click advertising, link exchange, blogging, and more. 


Guarantees:
Search Engine Optimization is a moving target and there are no guarantees that anyone can give around ranking and position. Changes to search engine policies around acceptance of new sites (called ‘sandbox’) and their methods of determining rank are a factor in your placement and may not be possible to manipulate. In this case, a focus on long-term placement can be set up and immediate traffic can be generated by pay-per-click programs.

Background and Qualifications:
Mark C. Robinson has been an innovator and a leader in the computer industry for over thirty years. He has started several successful computer-related companies including a magazine publishing company, regional consulting firm, Computer Empowerment Training Seminars, and software publishing. Robinson has been a featured speaker at events like Laptop ’88, Comdex, and several regional conventions.
He created and currently operates a top-rated eCommerce site in the pet industry, HandicappedPets.com, as well as 30 other related sites that all benefit from top rankings and placement in search engines. As a search engine optimization consultant, Robinson is highly knowledgeable, experienced, with excellent references available on request.

 

Sample Agenda, First Meeting:

  • Explain SEO
  • Discuss existing site from SEO standpoint
  • Introduce my qualifications. Discuss what I can do and what I have done.
  • Why does your company want more traffic?
  • Who are your targets?
  • Who do you want to attract?
  • What are they looking for?
  • Identify 10 key search terms
  • Examine the terms with a keyword inventory.
  • Expand the terms as needed, Identify the top 10 if different
  • Keyword analysis
  • Who currently shows up for these terms? How? Why?
  • Examine competitor’s sites.
  • How are they optimized?
  • Plan of action
  • Meta Tags; Titles, Keywords, Descriptions
  • Search Engine Friendly aspects of the site
  • Site Content
  • Formatting of content
  • Link Exchange
  • Article Exchange
  • Google Adwords
  • Google Adsense
  • Other
  • Roles: Who will do the work
  • Budgets, deadlines, and milestones

Other Opportunities

These are called Google Adsense. Choose one now and click on it (then come back). These ads are here because I am a part of the Google Adsense Program. The ads you see are from websites that are a part of the Google Adwords program. By clicking on that targeted ad, Google made some money, and I made some money. Have you noticed that the ads are about stuff you're interested in (because you're reading this)? People can make a living off this.

Sample Keyword Matrix

Searches done in March 2006 Searches done in March 2006 Searches done in March 2006
Count Search Term Count Search Term Count Search Term
 13049  heat exchanger  148  heatexchanger manufacturer shell tube  409  micro turbine
 891  heat exchanger tank  112  heatexchanger manufacturer  140  micro hydro turbine
 862  plate heat exchanger  99  heatexchanger  113  micro turbine generator
 712  heat exchanger tube cleaning  37  heatexchanger manufacturer shell stainless steel tube  64  micro wind turbine
 640  shell and tube heat exchanger  31  heatexchanger manufacturer pipe tube  56  micro gas turbine
 474  heat exchanger cleaning  26  heatexchanger tube  42  micro steam turbine
 458  heat exchanger design      36  micro turbine jet engine
 453  heat exchanger tube      36  micro turbine engine
 396  heat exchanger gaskets        
 375  heat exchanger inspection        
 374  cleaning exchanger heat marine        
 358  cleaning equipment exchanger heat        
 350  air cleaning exchanger heat water        
 342  heat exchanger descaling        
 279  air to air heat exchanger        
 225  geothermal heat exchanger        
 213  heat exchanger calculation        
 206  fireplace heat exchanger        
 202  heat exchanger coating        
 195  cladding exchanger heat        

 

Weeding out the hype



Among the plethora of emails about enlargements, blue pills, low cost mortgages, and Russian wives you’ve no doubt noticed the promises of “Top Placement on All Search Engines!” Prices as low as $29.95 promise you untold riches from front page exposure.
Couldn’t hurt, right?
Wrong.
Recently we saw the discovery of a hot search engine ‘cheat’ called “noscript tags". The noscript tags are used to define an alternate content (text) if a script is NOT executed. People have been taking advantage of this and filling it with content that visitors don't see but search engines do. The reason this is appealing is that you could stuff you page with pages keywords without having to worry that site visitors would see it as gibberish.
Trying to manipulate a search engine involves doing anything that tries to get a better ranking than your content rates. There are definitely some gray areas here, but if you cross the line you risk waking up one morning to find yourself invisible as far as the search engines are concerned.
There is no phone number to call, your emails go unanswered, and traffic to your site drops off overnight. As far as I have seen, there is no legal recourse, either. It can take six months or more to undo the damage and, in some cases, it's permanent. The major search engines are always on the lookout for new cheats. When found, they may program the search engines to ignore the cheats and, possibly, to drop the sites using these methods. Without warning, you're gone. I have heard instances where a competitor has reported their rival’s cheats to Google.
For long term success on the internet, you need to be ethical in your promotion. The goal of search engine optimization need to be around making your site the Best Answer when someone asks a question of Google.

 

 

 

Link Exchange Services

 

Similarly, you may be seeing frequent offers for Link Exchange Optimization. Link Exchange is an important part of search engine optimization, but also a potential pitfall.Imagine the web as network of white strands going from site to site. A 'web' (if you will). If websites throughout the web link to you, Google knows that you are important. If you have thousands of 'white strands' leading to your website, you become a bright white beacon on the web.That was the original idea -- but like most good ideas, people started taking advantage. People started collecting huge numbers of links from anybody and everybody, counting on becoming important sites through link exchange. There are "Link Farms" that have thousands of links to everybody they can. Google reacted by paying attention to the Quality of incoming links.If a pet-related website has incoming links from shelters, rehab centers, and veterinarians then it could indicate that the site is important. If it has links coming in from totally unrelated businesses, it could be trying to cheat.The way Google deals with this is by looking at the number, and the quality of links on links pages that include you. For example, if you are a renewable energy company and BP Solar has a link to you on their page, that's good. If BP has a score of 10, then their link to you would be worth 10 points in your favor. If, though, they have you, and a thousand other companies listed on the same page, the point value to you would be 10/1000 - or almost nothing.

 

Here's the secret of good linking:

  • Exchange links with sites that will be of value to your readers. Remember -- it's content that counts.
  • Link only with companies that treat links the same way. Avoid sites that have untold pages of links. They are worthless to your readers and Google knows it.
  • Make sure that the text of the link that they provide to your site includes one or two of your keywords.

Ideally, consider trading articles about one another on your sites. You have an interesting article about them and they have a worthwhile article about you. This is part of a deep linking strategy that adds content to your site. Link exchange adds value to your site if done properly. It cannot be easily accomplished, though, by automated link exchange services or programs.

Basic Elements of Search Engine Optimization

 
Meta tags Meta Tags are special labels that go inside the HTML code. The three tags we’re concerned with are Title, Keywords, and Description.
If you look at the HTML code behind a well done page, you’ll see something like this toward the top.
<title>Handicapped Pets - For Elderly, Disabled, and Injured Pets - Products, Services, and Support</title>
<meta name="keywords" content="dog cat pet animal injured handicapped disabled care elderly old diaper hurt health healing cart wheel wheelchair k9 canine">
<meta name="description" content="We carry the products, and have the services and support for caretakers of special and handicapped pets. We can help you care for them. There are thousands of people caring for pets with special needs that include senior, geriatric, disabled, injured, recovering from surgery, terminal illness, or handicapped pets. This site offers products, services, support and resources for our best friends and their caretakers.">

 

 
TitleThe title tag determines what appears at in the blue line at the top of the browser. It also determines the first line shown when most search engines list your page. The title tag is extremely important. Make it a descriptive title, begin with the most important word and have the title contain some of your target keywords. If someone types in “Injured Pets” in Google then not only will the title be shown, but the words “Injured Pets” will be bolded, adding more power to your listing.

 

 
Keywords When the search engines were being created, Keywords were the most important aspect of a site. But people quickly began using keywords to get high rankings on subjects that their pages were not about. Most search engines no longer use keywords to determine topic. The best reason, though, to use keywords is to remind yourself what the page is about. As you create contact for the page, continually refer to your keyword making sure that they are repeated a few times in the text and headings of the page and that these keywords is what the page is really about. The other reason to use keyword is that many of the site-based search engines (“Search This Site”) do use keywords.

 

 
DescriptionThe description will appear in the Google listing. It should be the best possible description you can write, about 80 characters long, using several of your target keywords.
Headers: Headers are large bold titles that appear at the top of most pages. In HTML, these titles are surrounded by <h2> and </h2> tags. When search engines try to figure out what the page is about, they assume that these headers probably have something to do with the topic. Don’t cheat here, though. You’ll get caught.
Alt Tags: Google can’t read graphics (yet). It can’t tell the difference between an egg and an elephant. For this reason, the graphics on your page need an “ALT” tag. You’ll see the alt tag of a picture when you hold your mouse over it for a moment.

 

 
ContentLast, and probably most important, is content. Google hires the worlds bet mathematicians and theorists to help the engine understand what a page is about by reading it. If your page isn’t about pets, Google stakes it stock on the fact that it won’t come up when you type pets – no matter what you have in the meta tags. The best way to get the highest ranking for a subject is to be the best webpage on that subject. Content is King!

 

Tools I use

RoboForms - This is how I remember all my passwords and fill in forma automatically. Great program!

Domain Hosting: I host most of my domains here. Low Cost (5.99/yr)

 

Adsense - Earn money from people clicking on ads that google puts on your site

 

 

Adwords - If you can't get top rankings for a word, buy top placements

Search Engine Optimization: Extremely expensive, Almost $900. Because I use this for many clients, it pays for itself.

The Energy Grid - 105 Route 101A, Suite 18, Amherst, NH 03031 - (603) 413-0322 | Toll Free: (888) 310-4523 | Fax: 801-665-9162