Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Death in the Park

The wine and olives and Parmesan cheese were warm from the sun and the ants were just beginning to find them as Detective Slaughter looked down upon the victim. She had short gray hair cut into a bob, delicate features that had once been very beautiful but now were marred by the years. Her dress was simple and conservative but she was barefoot. As he looked at her lifeless corpse sitting on the park bench with her rotting lunch beside her he wondered what had brought her to this point. No signs of struggle were apparent and nothing seemed amiss. Could she just have met her fate this sunny afternoon in the park or was it something more sinister, he wondered.

Image by Flickr
As he investigated the scene he saw that there were two wines glasses and two napkins with food on them. That piqued his interest. Who had her dinner companion been and where had he or she spirited off to? Taking out his notebook, he despised Blackberries and stuck with an old fashioned notebook and pencil, he began to take notes of the scene. The wind was blowing gently and he could hear children playing in the background. Somewhere a dog was barking and a couple was laughing. Not a bad place to meet your fate, he thought as he continued to make his investigation.

Suddenly he spied a note clutched in the dead woman's hand. Carefully he used his tweezers to retrieve it and after he donned his gloves he read it. "I'm so sorry for everything, Love B" was all it said. Now he was curious.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

How to Learn SEO

SEO, Search Engine Optimization, may seem like a concept that only the most technical minds can fathom. It really isn't, SEO is fairly easy to understand and it takes only a bit of research and study to grasp the concepts. One of the easiest ways to learn about SEO is to check out other blogs on the subject. There are many many blogs devoted to teaching you how to optimize your website and become an expert on SEO. Several websites even offer free courses on the subject as well as numerous videos on YouTube. I've found Google to be the best resource to learn SEO. Here's some of the links to get you started.

  • The Official Google Blog has everything tips and up to date information about optimizing your site for Google. Say what you may about the world's largest search engine, they lay it out for everyone free of charge to learn how to use their own tools to boost your page rank.
  • Google Webmaster Guidelines gives you the basics of what Google expects from your website and how to make sure it is optimized correctly. This is a PDF file you can save on your hardrive for reference. There is so much information in this section of the Google website that there is no way I could describe it. This is where I've learned the bulk of my knowledge about SEO.
This may look like a commercial for Google, but the fact remains Google is the number one search engine. They don't hide how to make your page rank increase, as a matter of fact the more you learn from Google the better it is for both you and them. Take some time and explore their site. If you don't want to do your own SEO work, contact The Cutting Edge Pros. We have experts who can help you out and increase your website's page rank. We offer free consultations and our rates are extremely fair.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Do Regular Blog Posts Really Draw Readers?

In a word yes. Case in point: I own a few websites with my business partners and one of them has been blogging on hot topics everyday at iThinkRevolution. Our subscribers have jumped from just over 20 to almost 1,000! Granted the posts are on hot topics, but it would seem that everything we've been preaching about regular posts and intelligent backlinks is working. We're all stunned and delighted that our subscibers have grown so much in just the past week. As we were trying to manage the list it kept growing and even as I write this more people are registering.

So if you ever think you're just writing your wonderful prose for no one to see, fear not. If you write it, they will come. You don't have to write a lengthy tome, as you can see this blog post is short and sweet. If you don't want to write it, hire us to do it for you. Contact us at The Cutting Edge Web Pros and let us put a package together that works for you and your wallet.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Are We Just Talking to Ourselves?

I've been in the SEO business for about a year now. It occurred to me the other day as I was thinking about work in general if we're just talking to ourselves on the internet or is anyone reading what we put out there. What I mean by that is there's a lot of blogs and articles written about the best way to do SEO and how to design a killer website. But who's reading these articles? Is it the people who want to learn how to do this or is it those of us involved in the business? Are regular people being schooled or are we just making so much noise?
Image by Renoir Gallery

I'd like to believe that people who want to learn are reading all of this information we're churning out. Take this blog for instance. I have no idea if anyone reads it or not. I have yet to build a following, but I'm doing everything I can to get it noticed. I know of blogs with hundreds of followers and many many comments for each post. What makes them different from blogs that sit there and gather dust?

Consistent posting. This is what separates the people who are serious and those that just do it for the heck of it. You have to be passionate and post at least three times a week, if not every day. It does matter what you write about, but what is most important is to have a real fire lit under you about what you're writing about. Your content has to be well written and original. We've covered all of that in previous posts but it's worth saying again. Content is king and frequent posting is the ticket to developing a following.

So are we talking just to ourselves or not? Well your website statistics will tell you along with any comments you get. Don't give up and keep writing, keep posting and stay with it. If you write, they will come.

Need professional blog posts or website content? Contact the pros at The Cutting Edge Pros Web Service to set you up with a package you can afford.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

How to Increase Your Web Presence Simply and Easily

To get noticed on the web you need to have a powerful web presence. But if you're like most site owners you're not sure how to do this. It's really quite simple and anyone can do it. One of the easiest ways it to have several incoming links to your site. You can do this with what is known as the "hub and spoke" method. Sounds sort of Western, right? Well what this refers to is having your main website (expertly SEO'd and glowing) and several spokes out on the web with links leading back to your main site.
For example, I use this blog as a spoke for a web services site that I own with two partners. Each post has at least one link back to our site and a call to action to visit it. Shameless self promotion, well yeah, but also smart SEO. The more links you have pointing back to your site, the greater the network you build and the better Google's search algorithms will work for you and the higher your page rank will be. In other words, the more spokes the stronger your wheel. There we go back to the Old West again...

In his recent blog, Five Pillars of an Internet Marketing Strategy, Harvey Rivet uses this method as one of his pillars to increase your web presence. This is a great article by the way and worth a read. A Facebook page and a Twitter account are also great spokes as long as you keep them active and well maintained. You can use the other major blogging sites such as Squiddo, HubPages, Huddle and a new one called iThinkRevolution. (Shameless self promotion warning!) 

If you need some more spokes, get a free consultation from the experts at The Cutting Edge Pros. They can set up and maintain blogs, Facebook and Twitter accounts for your business that will draw visitors and get your page rank increased. Contact them today and become a force to be reckoned with on the web.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

How to Kill Your SEO Juice and Suck the Life Out of Your Website
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the backbone of getting visitors to your site and turning them into clients, customers or regular readers of your blog. Like I've said before on this blog there really isn't a magic formula that will garner guaranteed results, but there are some basics that every site owner should know and practice. But sometimes knowing what NOT to do is as important as knowing what you should do. Here is a tongue in cheek list of practices that guarantee to kill your SEO juice and suck the life right out of your page rank. (If I offend anyone...too bad you shouldn't be doing these things anyway!)
  • Have crappy content. Copy and paste from other sites, in other words steal content and post it as your own. Never mind that Google will flag your site as a dupe and kill your page rank, go right ahead and do it if you're too lazy to write your own or too cheap to pay a writer to do it for you.
  • Don't worry if your links work. Never test them and don't be concerned if they lead to completely unrelated sites. 
  • Stuff your pages with keywords. Write your content around your keywords and make sure you get as many as you can in there. So what if it doesn't make any sense, no one reads your content anyway and you're just writing for the search engines.
  • Make your site as hard to navigate as you can. Keep your navigation a mystery. Everyone likes a maze right? If you visitors get lost it will just expose them to more of your pages.
  • Spam forums and comments. Post totally unrelated comments and have as many links as you can in your comments and forum posts. Copy and paste a form-letter type comment on all the blogs and forums that you find. 
  • Use Black Hat SEO. Use hidden text, misleading links, have one link for the search engine spiders and one for real people. 
These are just a few things to do if you want to kill your SEO juice. Don't be fooled into thinking that you can cut corners. Black Hat SEO may give you immediate results, but these results won't last and you'll end up killing your page rank or getting your site banned completely from the search engine's databases. A few posts ago I said that if that happens, you might as well be singing in a windstorm - no body is going to hear you. Real SEO does take time and diligence. Anyone who promises quick results doesn't know their facts. To be sure that you aren't doing anything that is going to hurt your site, get a free consultation from the experts at The Cutting Edge Pros. They offer complete SEO packages and can tailor one just for your site and budget.

Sunday, January 2, 2011

Increase Your Web Presence - 5 Easy Steps

We all want to have a hefty web presence. It's what makes people find us and want to be on our websites. Did you know that there are 5 easy steps to accomplish this? It takes dedication and a bit of work, so don't go looking for a magic wand or miracle formula. Just like everything else in this world, if you want results you have to work for them. But don't dispair, you won't end up working 60 hours a week or 12 hours a day. The internet moves quickly and if you keep up your efforts, you will see results.
  1. Make sure your site is optimized to the fullest. Is your content sharp and original? Do you have relevant incoming and outgoing links? Are your meta descriptions on target? If you answered yes to these questions you're on your way. If not, get busy and get your site some SEO juice. 
  2. Do you have a Facebook and Twitter account and if you do are you active on them? Do you have social bookmarking accounts like Digg, Diggio, Stumble Upon and Delicious? If not you need them. Bookmark each and every update, article, Facebook status and Tweet that you do. Post interesting links on Facebook and Twitter, not just promotions for your website. Invite comments and interact with your friends and followers.
  3. Use a blog either on your website or at one of the major blogging sites such as Blog Spot, Hub Pages, Word and Squidoo. Your blog is your voice and you can use it to build community, get links, point people back to your website through links and link with other bloggers in your industry. Post entries at least three times a week. They don't have to be long, just interesting.
  4. Use article directories to post interesting articles that give away your knowledge about your industry. Invite comments and have at least one link back to your website.
  5. Do you have a signature file on your email messages? This is one of the easiest ways to increase your web presence. A simple signature file with links to your sites reaches everyone that you email.
These are just 5 simple ways to get you noticed on the web. Think out of the box and you can discover different ways to market your site. If you don't have time to do these 5 steps, contact the professionals at The Cutting Edge Pros. Consultations are always free and they guarantee results.