E: Hello [@] CreativeTraction.com | T: @DuaneBrown

Free Tool Builds 100+ Long-Tail Keywords for SEO & PPC

Keyword Tool uses Google’s Autocomplete to generate 750 relevant long-tail keywords based around a set of words you type into the search box (it’s free). If you’re involved with SEO, PPC or content creation then you know how useful these keywords can be. You can also find out searches for Google Play, which I’ll get into next month when I write about the Basics of App Store Optimization (ASO).

About Google’s Autocomplete
As you type in Google’s search box, you can find information quickly by seeing search predictions that might be similar to the search terms you’re typing. For example, as you start to type [Canadian], you may see other popular Canadian-related searches.


Read more…

Redesigning A Website

A client asked me to take a look at their website and give my opinion of it. The client is in the video game space and trying to gain a mixed balance between male and female gamers, which can be hard for some sectors and games within our industry. I think they can do it if they focus on creating a great experience for each of their customer.

I get a few web projects a year from clients asking if I handle that on top of my work I do with them in strategy and research. Using what I know about usability and reading; 10 Useful Usability Findings and Guidelines , has given me the creative ideas I need to put together a mock up for the client tomorrow. I’m going to show them how I re-envisioned the home page and make better use of the space, colour and common human behavour.

Search Engine Optimization Methodology

Goals of SEO
The goal of the Search Engine Optimization Methodology is for you to understand the process and why we go about it this way. The end goal of Search Engine Optimization is to help increase the number of people who go to your website after doing a search on Google/Yahoo/MSN..ect. Search engine Optimization (SEO) is a process that evolves over time as we learn what is and isn’t working for your website. Below is based on a set of slides I’ve been working on the last few months for clients and work out a process internally for myself. Please leave and feedback, good or bad, and let me know what you think.

Client’s Ideas & Goals
The 1st mission is for us to determine the goal(s) you are trying to achieve:

  • Raw Traffic
  • E-Commerce Sales
  • Mindshare/Branding
  • Lead Acquisition & Direct Marketing
  • Reputation Management
  • Ideological Influence

If we don’t understand the goals, we will struggle in achieving and measuring them in the end. Measuring your goals will help you find out what is and isn’t working on your website.

Target Market
The 2nd mission is to determine the market you are targeting.

  • What is the search volume across the major engines for the key terms associated with the client’s product?
  • What competitors are targeting the same terms and phrases?
  • What keywords have the highest saturation and difficulty?
  • What long-tail results can return the highest ROI

Knowing who your target market is will help form your plan of attack. Teens vs moms vs seniors are all different in how they use the web and tailoring your website to them will be key. It’s about developing relavent content in the end.

The Tools
The 3rd mission is to determine what markets (i.e.: search engines and social networks) we will use.  Choosing the right market will return the highest ROI. We’ll focus our optimization efforts towards that market.

Current Content
The 4th mission is to determine the standing of the current content, if there is any, or the proposed content.  After looking at the target market, and goals, we may need to rewrite our content to help achieve our goals and hit our target market.

Rework Content (if Necessary)
The 5th mission is to collaborate together with the client to help optimize the content  This will help in maximizing on-page factors that will influence search results. This will help increase the number of people coming to your website in the end. It’s not perfect but content is a big part of how and where your site is going to rank.

Site Structure
The 6th mission is to look at the structure of your client’s website.  We want to make sure all your links are working and nothing is broken. Starting to look at link building for your site is another area that can be looked at. We’ll seek out and arrange non-reciprocal link relationships that are relevant and high enough in influence to positively impact the site. Link building much like SEO is a process and not a project and evolves as you grow your website over time.

Analyze & Optimize
The 7th mission is to analyze previous efforts and adjust your approach to maximize effectiveness. There will be a strong emphasis on conversion and retention, where these factors are applicable.

In the end, it’s about educating your client and making sure they understand that SEO is a process and not a project, which is like social media at the end of the day. You can’t just start and stop doing it one day. That’s going to hurt more then it helps you at the end journey.

The Power Of Search And How I Didn’t Get Scammed On Thursdays

Last Thursday I was having lunch before I headed off to the MEIC3 mobile event. For those curious, I went to Mission Burrito across from OCAD (it was a tasty burrito). Just as I was about to sit down and sink my teeth into my lunch, I got a call from an American number. I answered the call and a nice sounding guy named Chuck told me I had won a “free” 2 nights cruise to the Bahamas. He told me everything I wanted to hear and said I would just have to pay taxes of $217USD in relation to the government down in the Bahamas. At this moment a little red flag went off, but I continued to listen to what he had to say. As the conversation continued Chuck said I would have to pay with my credit card right then and there and couldn’t call back, after I requested if this was possible. I wanted to think about this to good to be true offer and make sure I could finish my lunch and hit the OCAD event.

Chuck went on to talk about an extended stay package he could offer me as I mentioned I was going to visit my aunt in Florida next month at the early outset of the call. He played up this angle with a very nice $2,700 USD Florida package that I could get for $250USD per person. Now it was at this moment that my little gut check from before was screaming total scam. However, I had no proof other then my gut and an offer sounding to good to be true. I politely put Chuck on hold and asked my friend Simon who I was having lunch with to run a search on this company. We looked up their name and found nothing. However, running a search on their phone number brought up more scam reports then a kid in high school who everyone knows sells weed.

When I went back to Chuck I found out he brough in help.. by the way of his manager. I told his “boss” the situation and politely said I would pass on the offer. I don’t like to make rash decisions and if I can’t call back later. That’s a deal breaker for me… especially if you gave me your phone number to begin with. I wonder if this was 30 years ago and the Internet isn’t what it is today, would I had taken this to good to be true sounding offer?

Also, what list did they buy my phone number off of?

Are You Optimizing Your Images?

Optimizing your images may seem like a straightforward process and in many ways it’s quite frankly. However, it’s one of those processes that I find many over look when they are looking to perform search engine optimization on their site. People know they should be doing it but they don’t for many reasons (laziness being the number one reason I find).

I’m going to walking you through the process I use when optimizing Images across the 3 websites I run. When optimizing your images you want to look at two key parts: Title & Caption. However, this is already taking into account that you’ve chosen a relevant image for your article and that you are using a file type (JPEG, GIF, PNG and BMP) supported by most of the browsers out there today.

Title: This is the title that shows up when you hover your mouse over the image. If I’m placing an image of the movie poster for Superbad in my article. I would use the title: Superbad Movie Poster

Caption (alt text): The “alt” attribute allows you to specify alternative text for the image if it cannot be displayed for some reason. Our “alt” text is a brief but accurate description of the image. If we continue with the Superbad Movie Poster example. I would have the “alt” text as: Poster for Superbad movie starting Michael Cera & Jonah Hill.

By making sure you’ve the title and caption (alt text) filed out on your images. You’ll sleep safe at night knowing that search engines like Google and people using alternate technology like screen readers will be able to gain information about the image. One other item to remember is to store images in a directory of their own. You never want to have your images spread out in  numerous directories and subdirectories across your domain. You may want to consider consolidating your images into a single directory (e.g. YourDomainName.com/images/). This simplifies the path to your images and keeps your site nice and organization. Clear and consis organization is a key success factor in search engine optimization in my opinion.