Sunday, May 30, 2010

Giving SubmitEdge a Try

I’ve found I have little time for my amateur SEO attempts lately so I decided to start researching an affordable service provided by an SEO company. I was considering trying to improve specific keywords for my site like rankings for information such as eHarmony cost or why online dating is frusterating. However, reviewing some additional SEO information made me decide to try to improve general keywords I already rank well with. While I had found several potential sites, some small SEO shops run by a single person and others that were very large with over 100 employees.

Eventually I decided to try SubmitEdge. Really the choice came down to really understanding what services they offered and how much each of them cost. I considered using a small SEO company but it felt like more of a risk. Many of these smaller companies will point out that their site ranks well for certain keywords but these keywords are often pretty specific and I’m not convinced achieving the high rankings for these keywords. SubmitEdge made their rankings easier to verify because they had a very large number of testimonials.

So earlier this month I signed up for the SubmitEdge package for a number of guaranteed permanent directory links. I wanted to make sure that my directory links were something I didn’t have to worry about and I do worry that I bought something which was rather expensive but I’ve never really tried to get my site listed in directories so I decided on this option. It is a risk but hopefully it will be worth it.

Selecting this service will give me 400 links for several keywords. It will take until July before I have all the links since I requested having them added slowly, which seems to provide more SEO value than adding them all at once.

I’ll be keeping an eye on how this helps my traffic and rankings and will update this article as I discover more about these results.

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Adding Update Services

I've not been doing much SEO lately as I have been spending much of my time fixing GoDaddy issues (including a virus!) and then eventually moving to Host Gator, which so far seems like a good move.

Today was the first time I had to look into some SEO again and I was reading the Wordpress Codex on update services and decided to add several more of these services to my blog.

I still have more maintenance tasks on my to-do list for my site so SEO may continue to be on hold for the next few weeks.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

PHP on GoDaddy Hosting with Wordpress

Just wanted to share something I saw in regards to the PHP version on GoDaddy. By default, GoDaddy deployed my system to use PHP 4.x. Now, I could upgrade this to PHP 5 any time I chose to but never did because there were warnings about how some sites wouldn't support PHP 5 very well.

Well, since I wanted to use the W3 Total Cache but it required PHP 5 I decided to upgrade. No surprise: everything worked fine with PHP 5.x. I knew Wordpress would work fine but there is always a little bit of paranoia.

One thing I did not expect though: my site performance improved noticeably with this change alone (before even installing the caching plug-in). Now I knew that the PHP engine is always improved from version to version but I didn't think the change would be visibly noticeable!

On that note: if you're going to be hosting Wordpress on GoDaddy I would suggest that one of the first things you do include changing your PHP version to the latest.

W3 Total Cache

For the last week I've been concentrating on improving my site's speed. I've read that improving speed can improve how search engine rank you. My pages were loading around 3 to 5 seconds using the Wordpress Super Cache plug in.

I decided to try W3 Total Cache and, wow, what an improvement. I did not anticipate things to improve as much as they did! Most of the time the pages are loading nearly instantly. I'd really recommend checking out this plug-in if you are not yet.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Site Design Changes

I was reading at SEOMoz how search engines (or at least Google) will only look at the anchor text of the first link to determine ranking. This meant that my navigation tabs at the top of my page were poor because the anchor text was week. For example "Blog" was the first tab which doesn't offer the value it could.

To address this, I changed my design slightly to support a bigger navigation area and made these links more details. For example, Blog turned to Online Dating Blog.

These are all internal links so I doubt it will change much but it was still worth the time it took to improve it.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

The Cost of eHarmony

It's always surprising when particular topics become popular. This time my post on the cost of eHarmony has garnered me additional visits. eHarmony is the largest dating site (by number of visitors at least) and it is very unique in its approach but the dating service is also more expensive than the majority of other services. The cost isn't revealed until users are signed up so it turns out this is a question many singles are asking.

Trying to find the best topics (those that people are actually interested in) is something I struggle with. Most articles I write I believe are going to be interesting only to be surprised by which ones have success. Normally it is only afterwords that the reasons make sense! To put it another way: would I have thought that eHarmony cost would be a popular question? No...but now that I realize it is, it does make sense.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Layout Cleanup

I decided to remove the tag cloud from the footer of my site. It was never generating anything to speak of and most readers were never looking at the footer anyway. As a part of this, I cleaned up some of my source that had wrapped the layout in a table (two rows, one for the main body, on for the footer). Now I know using a table is horrible form but it was one of those things I added quickly and never got back around to fixing. Since I'm removing the footer now, the table was not longer of use.

I guess I hope these changes would cause Google to see my layout as a bit "cleaner". I don't expect anything noticeable from it but I'm sure it won't hurt, generally speaking.