SEO and Site Structure

seoSEO, short for “Search Engine Optimization, is important to consider when building out a new website from scratch. As I’ve stated many times, I use the Genesis Framework by Studiopress as my WordPress theme(s) and I host on WP Engine servers. Where you host is important for SEO as speed/load times are an important consideration. A good, clean theme is important, too. The Genesis Theme Framework offers a lot of “on page” optimization options.

Pages and Posts for WordPress SEO

This post is simply a discussion about the site structure pertaining to SEO practices. Whenever I start a site, I think about pages and posts and how I am going to organize them. Generally speaking, you want to have both, unless it’s just a small site with a few pages. If you build sites that have limited, “evergreen” content designed to sell products, it’s probably best to go with just pages. If you’re doing a news or information style site, you’ll probably have more posts than pages, but you’ll still have both.

Most sites have basic pages: a home page, an “About” page, perhaps a contact page, and maybe a few more. Posts, regularly written, will show the search engines your site is being updated regularly. This is very good for SEO.

How pages and posts are linked can have an SEO benefit, too. I’ll be using the site I am building with my daughter, Suncoast Fishing Piers, as an example. We have the site set up and we have a page structure in place. The pages are: Home, Fishing Piers, Fishing Gear, How To, Bait, and About. For this discussion, I’ll use the Fishing Piers page as an example.

Setting Page Structure

The concept of the site is to provide a resource for people to find fishing piers in Florida’s “Suncoast,” a stretch of coast on the Gulf of Mexico including Manatee, Sarasota, and Charlotte counties. This is our initial target area – but we could expand well beyond that in the future. The Fishing Piers Page is the main landing page for a list of fishing piers in the area.

We go to each pier, photograph it, note any amenities (bait shacks, rest rooms, parking, etc). The piers are listed by city on the fishing piers page. This is important when we are considering our page structure for SEO. The main pier page URL is “Sitename/piers.” Here’s how it looks: http://suncoastfishingpiers.com/piers/. When complete, it will link to different cities and the URL structure will be “sitename/piers/city fishing pier.” Here’s an example of that: http://suncoastfishingpiers.com/piers/sarasota-fishing-pier/. An individual pier’s URL will be “sitename/piers/city fishing pier/pier name/. ” That looks like this: http://suncoastfishingpiers.com/piers/sarasota-fishing-pier/Causeway Fishing Pier.

Why does this matter? We want to rank for a variety of “pier and fishing related keywords.” Each page is designed to have the page title as its keyword we want to rank for and the URL structure helps accomplish that goal. Someone looking to go fishing in Sarasota might google “Sarasota Fishing Pier” in their browser and, because of our page structure, the resulting URL structure will heighten our chances of getting to page one of the search results. Of course that’s not the only reason we’ll get found – the information and content of each page needs to have relevance to a search. We’ll make sure the content is high quality and relevant.

Post Structure for SEO

Individual posts on this site will highlight trips we take to each pier. We’ll have pictures and videos of the fish we caught, the bait we used, maybe even a review of a nearby restaurant. The point is, a post will be about a single day’s trip to any given pier, not an “encyclopedic” source of information about the pier itself. The URL structure would be “sitename/post title” and looks like this: http://suncoastfishingpiers.com/Catching-Mackerel-at-the-Causeway-Pier.

The URL above is not live, I just whipped something up as an example. We might want to rank for “mackerel” or catching mackerel” or whatever. The point is, the keyword we want to rank for will be in the post title. Each post will have pertinent information to the subject and will contain a link to the corresponding pier page for wherever we happen to be fishing that day. That also helps for the SEO of the individual page, particularly if we rank well for the keyword on that post.

Does any of this matter?

Google (and the other search engines) crawl websites for information using a host of complicated algorithms. Having sound page and post structure (plus QUALITY content) makes that search easier. Think of the page structure as an outline for your site. There are many other things relevent to SEO, but having a solid foundation (page structure) in place can only help.

Google Sniper 2

I don’t usually tout the latest system to make money online-99.9% of them are useless crap. This system, Google Sniper 2, is one of those .1% “systems” that actually delivers. I have been using the original Google Sniper manual for almost a year, and I have seen some very good results.

If you’ve always wanted to create niche sites, but didn’t think you had the time, patience, or knowhow to do it, then this “course” is for you. It is a practical and pragmatic guide to building websites that convert free traffic from highly targeted keyword selection to drive clicks (and sales) to your affiliate links.

I used many of the methods in Google Sniper 2 to build my Hot Dog website “empire” and I have begun to use the methods in other niches with some rather nice initial success.

The key to the system is to find highly targeted keywords with very little competition-that’s actually the most time consuming part of the process. There is an entire video devoted to walking you step by step through the process. Once you identify your keywords, all you need to do is set up a website; of course there is a step by step guide on how to do that too.

While many make money online programs make big promises while way under delivering, Google Sniper 2 actually shows you exactly what to do every step of the way. Like I said before, I have been using the methods in the original Google Sniper for quite a while and they work. I am currently using the program to create a network of sites for a variety of niches.

With Google Sniper 2, I don’t have to worry about:

-PPC
-page rank
-backlinking
-using shady “black hat” SEO tactics

The key is finding the right keywords and following the system from there. You can try the system out for only one dollar too! Just go to the Google Sniper 2 site, read all about it, then, when you’re ready to order, close the window. A little pop up will appear- just click “stay on this page” and you can pick up Google Sniper 2 for only $1. It’s a very good deal on a fantastic program.

Link Love

Do you want more visitors to your site? Then you need TRAFFIC. Let’s face it, without traffic, nobody is reading what you have to say. On the internet, as you know, LINKS =TRAFFIC. Links are an essential thing for any website, blog or otherwise, to get noticed by the search engines. People sell links, buy links and exchange links in order to get to the top of the Google page. There are many good programs that explain ways to get more traffic, this one is the best (I have been implementing these strategies on several of my websites).

A few years ago, I started a group on Blog Catalog Called Link Love. At the time, I had the best of intentions and I even highlighted some of my members’ sites on my Hot Dog Truck site in the Link Love tab. It was an effective way to help promote fellow bloggers and to get some visitors to my own site. It worked very well. New readers were introduced to the Hot Dog Truck and I found many new, interesting and useful blogs as well as a host of like minded bloggers. As the focus for that site evolved, I got away from doing those types of posts and, unfortunately, did not promote the Link Love Group the way it should be promoted. PLEASE FORGIVE ME! (forgiveness is an essential component to Love, Link Love or otherwise).

I have decided to resurrect the Link Love community and try to make it what I wanted it to be before I went in other directions. I have linked EVERY MEMBER of the group here and on the Hot Dog Truck.

I have a few simple Rules for Link Love:

Must have an Active BlogCatalog account
Must be a Member of the Link Love Community on BlogCatalog
Must actually have a blog/website-I won’t link to profiles
Any sites that get a “Malware warning” don’t get linked
No hateful, mean, hard core pornographic or overly spammy sites allowed

There is no need to reciprocate with a link if you don’t want to, but it is appreciated! As the Beatles said: “The love you take is equal to the love you make.” That includes Link Love!

You can copy and paste the link list to your site-in a post or elsewhere- or you can announce your Link Love affiliation by downloading the Badge. Simply copy the HTML in the box below and put it on your site!







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To URL or not to URL

That is the question! For those of you who don’t know, URL is short for Uniform Resource Locator. Simply put, it’s the website’s address. The URL for this site is www.hotdogmoneyonline.com. If you want to know all about URLs, check the Wiki. I am not a computer science professor, nor do I want to be!

When you start a new blog, you won’t have your “own” URL. If you host on Blogger, your URL would be www.YOURWEBSITE.blogspot.com. You will have a sight and you will be able to have your site recognized by search engines. If you want a “professional image, however, your own URL is a must. A blog without it’s own URL is like a 1989 Chevy Malibu running in the Indy 500: you’ll get around the track-you just won’t go as fast and you won’t look as good!

The two biggest benefits of having your own URL are branding and SEO (Search Engine Optimization).

Branding is what sets you apart from everyone else on the web. If you have a catchy URL that readily identifies what your website or business is, it can only help with branding. Take my Hot Dog Truck website for instance. The name of my business was “The Hot Dog Truck.” Not very original, but that’s what everyone called it anyway! Having my business AND my website share the same “name,” increased the brand awareness for both. The Hot Dog Truck is easy to remember, so folks knew what to look for. Look at Campbell Soup (you know what that is), their website is Campbellsoup.com; Crest toothpaste is Crest.com; Toyota vehicles can be found at Toyota.com. Get the picture? The right URL to match your business reinforces and increases BRAND AWARENESS. Your website’s URL should do the same thing.

SEO is another reason why your own URL can benefit you. Search engines crawl the web looking for keywords to match up to search terms. There are many ways to be found by the search engines, the right URL is one of them. Google “Hot Dog Truck” and see where my site sits. Top of the page, baby! I also rank “above the fold” on Google with this site for a number of other search terms for other reasons we will get into in another post. Having the right URL doesn’t guarantee you’ll be on page one of a Google search, but it helps. Even when my sight was in it’s infancy, the URL got my site recognized faster. Guess where Campbell Soup, Crest and Toyota sit on the Google search page? Number one, baby.

Now I’m not saying you can’t have a successful blog without an URL. There are many blogs I read that still have .blogspot or .wordpress URLs that are quite successful. It becomes a matter of risk and reward. An URL from GoDaddy.com, the World’s No.1 Domain Name Registrar , costs less than eight bucks per year. If your blog can’t make eight bucks over the course of the year, then you are doing something wrong! If you spend nothing else on your blog (you won’t have to), the worst thing that can happen is you are out eight bucks and you can brag to all your friends that you have your own URL!

So I say, get an URL for your blog. DO IT NOW!