SEM SEO Expert by Nima Asrar Haghighi - Toronto SEO, SEM, SMO, Web Analytics Consultant .comment-link {margin-left:.6em;}

SEM SEO Expert by Nima Asrar Haghighi

SEM SEO Expert” is a blog written by Nima Asrar Haghighi. Nima is an Internet Marketing Specialist with expertise in SEM (PPC Advertising), Organic SEO, RSS, Social Media and Web Analytics (Google Analytics IQ Certified). Nima holds an MBA in marketing, B.Eng. in Electrical Engineering, Project Management Certification, and CIW (Certified Internet Webmaster) in E-commerce. Contact: nima @ sem seo expert.com.

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Welcome to Nima Asrar Haghighi's blog covering Internet marketing topics such as search engine optimization, search engine marketing, Web Analytics, RSS and online marketing industry as a whole.

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SEM SEO Expert - SEO - SEM - Web Analytics - Affiliate Marketing - SMM

Sunday, May 31, 2009

SES 2009 - Search Engine Strategies Conference

Time flies...June is around the corner and so is Toronto SES 2009. It is as if it was just yesterday, I attended SMX Search Analytics Toronto and exhibited at Toronto Search Engine Strategies Conference back in 2008.

We will be again exhibiting at 2009 SES event which will be held at Sheraton Centre Toronto Hotel. This year’s SES conferences will be held on June 8th and June 9th. In addition, on June 10th, there will be some SEM and SEO training programs (more on SEM SEO Training).

I am so excited about this year’s SES conference. At a time of recession, more and more marketers are concerned about their marketing dollars. Search Engine Strategies is a great opportunity for marketers to learn more about the power of Search Engine Marketing and Search Engine Optimization.

If search marketing campaigns are executed properly they can prove to be one of the most effective channels for marketers.

I will post more updates on the 2009 SES Toronto.

Related Post: SES San Jose

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Tuesday, April 14, 2009

SMX Search Analytics – Toronto

After Danny Sullivan and Chris Sherman departed from Search Engine Strategies (SES) conference and expo series, initiated SMX Search Marketing Expo. SMX brings together some of the sharpest minds in the search engine marketing industry.

Earlier in April, I attended Toronto SMX Search Analytics Conference and Expo. The purpose of Search Analytics is to provide marketers with insight into their visitors, customers and those who bounced away. The promise of the event is to equip advanced search marketers with tools, tactics and strategies that can maximize the effectiveness of their search engine marketing campaigns.

Toronto SMX Search Analytics conference kicked off by keynote speaker, Venessa Fox and covered topics such as:

  • Analyzing & Converting Organic Search Traffic – Covering SEO KPIs
  • Analyzing & Converting Paid Search Traffic – Utilizing Web Analytics to measure PPC campaigns
  • Up Close with Google Analytics – Measuring traffic utilizing GA
  • Top Ten Customized Search Analytics Reports – Creating Custom Executive Dashboards
  • Successful Testing for Improved Search Marketing ROI – A/B and Multivariate Testing
  • Traffic Segmentation & Why It Matters – segmenting organic and paid search traffic by location, demographic and psychographics to improve ROI
  • Search Analytics & Competitive Intelligence – Analyzing competitors’ strategies and bit them at their own game
  • Creating a Data-Driven Culture – Building an Analytics and data driven culture in the organization
The two-day Toronto SMX Search Analytics program was jam-pack of information. While SES Toronto is a great source of information for marketers interested in Search Engine Marketing, SMX series are more suitable for more seasoned search marketers.

Nima Asrar Haghighi, SEM & SEO Expert

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Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Most Popular SEM SEO Expert BLog Posts of 2008

After a great and relatively long vacation in Dubai, I am back in Toronto. It's the time to ponder how another year passed, what I have achieved and what I should plan for 2009. So, I reviewed 2008 traffic to the site. Here are the most popular blog posts:

  1. SEO KPIs
  2. How to Create XML Sitemaps
  3. Outsourcing SEO SEM Services
  4. Customer Retention Strategy
  5. Landing Page Load Time Impact on Google

Also by reviewing the keywords that have sent traffic to the site, I have identified some topics that people are seeking information about. I will gradually address the issues in the upcoming posts in 2009.

Nima Asrar Haghighi

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Sunday, December 07, 2008

XML Sitemap for Large Sites

In my previous two articles (How to Generate XML Sitemap for Your Website and Submit XML Sitemap to Google, Yahoo and MSN), I explained how you can generate XML sitemaps and submit them to search engines.

What if your website has a large number of pages? How do you create and submit XML sitemaps for large websites?

An XML sitemap file can contain up to 50,000 URLs and should be smaller than 10 MB. So, if your site is larger than these limits, you need to break your sitemap into several smaller XML sitemaps. You then need to list all the sitemaps in a sitemap index file. Please note that XML sitemap index file cannot contain more than 1,000 XML sitemaps.

The XML sitemap index file has a similar format to that of regular XML Sitemap file. The Sitemap index file uses the following XML tags:

sitemapindex: the parent tag surrounds the file and contains the individual sitemaps
sitemap: the individual XML Sitemap
loc: the location of the sitemap
lastmod: the last modified date of the sitemap

Sample XML Sitemap Index

Here is an example of how an XML Sitemap index file looks like:

< ?xml version="1.0" encoding="UTF-8" ?>
- < xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9">
- < sitemap>
< loc>http://www.yoursite.com/sitemap.xml< /loc>
< lastmod>2008-12-06T13:51:06+00:00< /lastmod>
< /sitemap>
- < sitemap>
< loc>http://www.yoursite.com/sitemap2.xml< /loc>
< lastmod>2008-12-06T13:51:06+00:00< /lastmod>
< /sitemap>
- < sitemap>
< loc>http://www.yoursite.com/sitemap3.xml< /loc>
< lastmod>2008-12-06T13:51:06+00:00< /lastmod>
< /sitemap>
< /sitemapindex>

You can write a script that helps you automate the XML sitemap generation and updates. The script can append new pages to the XML sitemap as they are created. However, you need to set up a rule to make sure that your sitemap does not go over its maximum size. Once a sitemap is reached its quota, a new one should be created and appended to the XML sitemap index file.

Nima Asrar Haghighi, SEO Expert

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Saturday, November 22, 2008

SEO Training in Toronto- Courses for Learning PPC

With the growth of search engine optimization and marketing and the ever growing demand for SEM and SEO experts who could help augment online marketing campaigns, more marketing and web design professionals are looking for SEM (ppc advertising) and SEO training courses to learn about the latest search engine optimization & marketing techniques.

As an early SEO and PPC adopter, I learned search engine optimization and marketing techniques by working on an online property, as I mentioned in my post: Back to the Future, and by trying new methods to improve search engines rankings and increasing traffic. As at the time, there were no formal SEM (pay-per-click) and SEO training courses, the only option was to go after trial and error methodology. The advantage of training yourself on SEO and SEM is the trill and self satisfaction of learning new SEO techniques and getting to put your thinking hat on. However, the disadvantage is that you learn at the cost of time and possible mistakes you make along the way which could potentially prove very costly in PPC advertising (AdWords, YSM, MSN adCenter).

How to Learn SEO & PPC?

Even though there are not many universities and colleges that offer SEO and PPC training courses, you can shorten the learning curve either by reading various SEM and SEO blogs online (check my blogroll for some good sites), read books on the topic (e.g., Search Engine Marketing Inc., Search Engine Optimization: An Hour a Day, SEO Bible) or talk to SEM SEO Experts to learn the basic and advanced search engine marketing techniques. Please note that there are many myths around search engine optimization. So, don’t put your trust in what you read unless you have tested the ideas and have seen their positive or negative impacts.

If you would like to learn search engine optimization and are looking for PPC & SEO training courses in Toronto, you can try search engine strategies Toronto workshops or SEMPO courses. You can always try to pick my brain as well.

Nima Asrar Haghighi, Toronto-based SEM, SEO, PPC Expert

Related Article: SEM Expertise Needed to Be an SEM Expert

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Thursday, October 30, 2008

SEO vs. PPC Promotion Strategies

Marketing SEO vs. PPC Promotion StrategiesSEO or SEM? This is a question you might have asked yourself. You have the budget to allocate either to SEO market your products and services or take advantage of PPC advertising to promote your website.

When deciding on your marketing strategies, there are many factors that you need to take into consideration.On the first look, SEO seems to be the perfect answer as it could attract as much as 70% of the searchers whereas your PPC promotion could draw only 30% of the search volume. Search Engine Optimization has other benefits as well.

SEO Benefits
• Once you have a high rankings on search engines, you can start getting traffic without directly paying for that traffic.
• Generate Possibly higher CTR.
• Gain more credibility among searchers.• Once you rank high organically, more people find your site and link back to you.

However, there are some challenges with SEO. First off, there is no guarantee that your site get first ranking even if you implement all your SEO strategies. Secondly it usually takes a while to be able to gain high rankings on search engines results pages (specially on Google, Yahoo and MSN). Thirdly search engines algorithms could change and impact all your SEO efforts. Fourthly, you have less control over messaging and the selection of landing pages. Fifthly, A/B or multi variant testing would be way more complicated.

PPC Benefits
By incorporating Pay per click advertising into your website promotion strategy, you will be able to put your message in front of your audience at the exact time they are looking for. Some of the benefits of pay per click advertising are:

• Quick time to market.• Flexibility in changing messages.
• Quick measurement of response.
• Easy A/B or multi variant testing of ad copies and landing pages.
• Ability to target audience in specific locations by geo-targeting.
• Set and control daily budget.

The challenges with SEM (PPC) advertising is that you need to keep paying for the traffic. As mentioned before it also only attract about 30% of the traffic.

So, let’s ask the question again. Should you allocate your marketing budget to organic SEO or sponsored PPC ads? The answer is both. Depending on what your objectives are or how urgent your marketing needs are you might decide on how to allocate your budget.

No matter which strategy you are using it is important that you track their performance by designing KPIs to measure the success of your SEO and PPC initiatives utilizing your Web Analytics application.

In most cases, when SEO and PPC are used together as part of an integrated marketing strategy they could create a great synergy that could create your company with competitive advantage.

SEO Benefits from PPC
As I mentioned in my post on SEO and Personalization, SEO can indirectly benefit from PPC advertising. By getting more visibility through PPC advertising, you increase the chances of getting backlinks from your audience which in turns helps improve your PageRank and SEO ranking in the long run.

In addition, by analyzing your PPC campaign you will get a better understanding of what keywords contribute to your ROI best. Then you can use those keywords to optimize your website for.

PPC advertising also create more awareness and branding for your site which in turn could help you lift your response rate.

Having multiple listings on the first page of search engines you can further reinforce your message and build credibility for your business.

PPC Benefits from SEO
When your website ranks high on search engines such as Google, Yahoo and MSN, your ads could start getting higher CTR as people find your site more credible.

Additionally a well optimized page could help improve your Quality Score for your PPC ads. This is getting more and more important as SEO and PPC are getting more and more interconnected.

Before spending time and budget to invest in your SEO strategies, you can run test PPC campaign to identify the pest performing phrases.

Both PPC advertising and SEO are excellent strategies for marketing your website. However, to be successful in a competitive industry you need to utilize the synergy between PPC and SEO. The key is to know when to emphasize on one and when to rely on the other or when to employ both. SEO is most effective when you are trying to reach long term objectives whereas PPC is most effective when you need immediate traffic.

Nima Asrar Haghighi, SEM SEO Expert

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Thursday, September 25, 2008

Not for Profit Conference - 2008 NFP Seminar by CMA

I will be speaking at 2008 CMA Not-for-Profit Conference on October 7, 2008 here in Toronto. The objective of this seminar is to share with the non profit organizations ways to develop an inegrated marketing strategy and to showcase innovative concepts in the not-for-profit industry.

Non-Profit Seminar - 2008 Toronto
The audience for this event will be marketing and management teams from non for profit organizations and agencies.

In this speach I will cover how search engine marketing and search engine optimization can be a powerful tool for marketing managers while web analytics can provide executives and management teams with insight on their marketing campaigns.

I will also touch base on Google Grants for non-profit organizations can be utilized for fundraising.

Learn more about this non-for profit conference.

Nima Asrar Haghighi - SEM SEO Expert

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Saturday, September 20, 2008

How to write & optimize Press Releases for Search Engines – SEO for PR

Public Relations or PR is the practice of managing the flow of information, news and communications between a company and its stakeholders. Public relations – also referred to as PR (which is different from PageRank) creates exposure in credible third-party outlets and offers a third-party legitimacy that advertising or marketing may not have. PR can be in different shapes including lobbying, spinning news, speaking at events and conferences, writing books, working with the print and online press media, bloging, or employee communication.

PR is a great business tool to build rapport with customers, government, general public, employees, corporate investors, voters, unions or search engines. That is right! Press Releases can be used to build rapport with search engines.

Search Engine Optimization for Press Release - SEO PR
Reasons to write PR for Search Engines:
• Press Release has been traditionally used by SEO practitioners to generate traffic to websites. However, with the introduction of Google Universal and blended search, search engine optimization utilizing PR is more important than ever. If a press release is optimized properly for search engines, the chances are it shows up on the first page of search results through Google News or other news aggregators.

• PR can also be used for the purpose of link building – a building block of search engine optimization. By making sure that the press release is optimized for the targeted keywords not only you can get high rankings for your PR but also you can utilize anchor texts and contextual links to build quality links back to your site and improve your PageRank and generate traffic to your site. Additionally as lots of journalists and bloggers subscribe to online press release distributors (e.g., PRWeb), they will most likely read your PR and write blog postings about you and might link to your site.

• Corporate Press Releases are traditionally used for reputation management, spinning the negative business news and conveying a company`s point of view of an event. As the Internet has removed the barriers in publishing and sharing opinions, it is very easy for an individual or organization to get criticized on the web. These criticisms can find their way to the top of the search engines results pages. Releasing keyword rich and optimized PRs can be a way to push those criticisms down the search results and make sure your audience get the chance to hear your side of the story.

Online PR Distribution Services
It`s one thing to know how to write a press release and it`s another to know how to market your PR. If you do not want to hire a professional PR firm, you can look at the press release templates and samples to get ideas and use PR distribution software applications out there. However, in order to be successful in launching your PR marketing campaign, you need to take a more personal approach to it.

To write an SEO friendly Press Release you need to provide unique value proposition that is news worthy. Then you can utilize wire services and online PR distribution tools to market your PR. Traditional wire services distribute press releases to various outlets such as traditional media like newspapers, magazines, TV and radio stations and news agencies whereas online PR distribution services target bloggers and journalist who are more into digital media and are signed up to receive press releases from a particular industry from various news aggregators such as Google News, Yahoo News and Blogsearch. The advantage of digital PR distribution tools is that they use the pull rather than push technology.

Whether you are using PR for marketing purposes, reputation management or search engine optimization you can utilize some of the best PR distribution services such as PRWeb, PR Newswire, Business Wire, Marketwire, openPR and PRLog to get your content distributed. Some of these tools are free while other distribution services charge by blocks of 400 words (including title, summary, body of press release and contact information).

It is crucial to keep copywriting for SEO in mind and do not forget to utilize Anchor Text and back links in your press releases and create an archive of all your press releases to make sure your PRs are SEO friendly.

By Nima Asrar Haghighi, SEO Expert

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Monday, August 04, 2008

SEO Expert in Toronto - Hiring Again

In my previous post, Professional SEO Specialist - Toronto, I mentioned that we were looking for SEO experts in Toronto to join our expanding team. We are hiring for another SEO expert again.

Some of the qualifications we are looking for in the potential SEO expert we are planning to hire are:

  • Research key words that best meet the target market of people who are searching for products, services or information relevant to Client offerings.
  • Provide ongoing reports to Clients that measure performance and that provide detailed analytics.
  • Bilingualism (English/French) will be considered a strong asset.
  • Post-secondary education, preferably in business management/marketing
  • Demonstrated strength in Internet and Media Sales.
  • A proven understanding of web advertising business with specific knowledge of Search Engine Marketing and Optimization.

The SEO Expert will be part of a team that offers:

So if you consider yourself an expert in SEO and live in Toronto area, feel free to contact me or visit our site.

Nima Asrar Haghighi, SEO Expert

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Tuesday, February 19, 2008

How to Generate XML Sitemap for Your Web Site

In my earlier on XML Sitemap, I explained how you can make sure search engines such as Google, Yahoo and MSN find your XML Sitemap by referring to it on robots.txt file.

Recently MSN launched its own version of webmaster tool, Live Search Webmaster Center. It allows webmasters submit their XML Sitemap to MSN Live Search.

Your Sitemap for a URL could look like this:

< xmlns="http://www.sitemaps.org/schemas/sitemap/0.9">
< url >
< loc >
yahoo-and-msn.html< /loc >
< lastmod >2007-12-16T02:20:20+00:00< /lastmod >
< changefreq >monthly< /changefreq >
< priority >0.60< /priority >
< /url >

Some of the attributes that you can include in your sitemap are: urlset, url, loc, lastmod, changfreq and priority. For more details you may visit Sitemaps Protocol at sitemaps.org.

Weather you create your Sitemap using a free XML Sitemap Generator tool (e.g., xml-sitemaps, Gsitecrawler)or manually, make sure that you give more priority to most important pages of your site. Also make sure the code is written correctly by validating your code by utilizing an XML Sitemap Validator.

By Nima, Toronto SEO Expert
Similar Articles at www.semseoexpert.com/search-engine-optimization.

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Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Toronto SEO Copywriters & Search Engine Optimization

Writing for the Web was once just about writing a content that grabs the attention of Internet surfers. However, as SEO is getting more and more attention by Internet Marketers, website copywriters should also keep search engines in mind while writing content.

This has created a new industry and you can see many Toronto companies or freelancers offering SEO copywriting services.

Copywriting for search engines optimization is a challenging task. SEO Copywriters not only should take into consideration the content they need to deliver, but they also should pay close attention to their choice of words. If a writer just writes for visitors and not search engines, s/he might fail to use the keywords that people are searching for and as a result miss on the potential traffic. On the other hand if the copywriters just write for search engines, they could deter visitors from reading on.

The trap some of SEO copywriters fall in is that they keep repeating the same keywords over and over to please search engines. When I deal with freelance copywriters, I always have a tip for them: understand LSI and conduct keyword research before putting your pen on the paper (or finger on the keyboard).

Search engines use Latent Semantic Indexing when they are trying to understand the content of a website. If copywriters take LSI into consideration while optimizing their content for search engines, they will be able to write content that is attracting to visitors and is optimized for engines.

By Toronto SEM SEO Expert

Similar articles at: http://www.semseoexpert.com/search-engine-optimization

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Friday, January 25, 2008

KPIs for Measuring SEO Success

Measuring the success of Search Engine Optimization process for a website beyond the ranking reports is a must. SEO experts do their best to optimize sites for high rankings for keywords with high effectiveness index. However, with the new developments in search personalization, relying only on ranking reports to evaluate the effects of organic search optimization is not enough.

That is why web marketers should think of other metrics and indicators that help them evaluate the performance of SEO initiatives. That is where Web Analytics comes to rescue.

Mike and I are working on a project together and we came up with some possible "Key Performance Indicators" for measuring natural optimization for websites. Mike has written a great article called “The KPI of SEO” on this topic.

For those who have not yet clicked through to Mike’s blog, here are the SEO KPIs:

• Change in Visits/Visitors from Organic Search
• Change in Number of Organic Search Keywords
• Change in the Number of Entry Pages
• Change in the Number of Branded Keywords

Of course depending on the objectives of a site (selling advertising, e-commerce, lead generation, technical support) we can define other Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) to compliment these metrics.

By Nima - Toronto SEM SEO Expert
Similar articles at: http://www.semseoexpert.com/search-engine-optimization and Similar articles at: http://www.semseoexpert.com/web-analytics
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Sunday, November 18, 2007

Google Wages War against Paid Text Link for SEO

After months of speculations about Google punishing sites that sell links and discounting the value of paid text links for SEO purposes, Matt Cutts from Goolge revealed that they see paid links against their terms and conditions and quality guidelines. Here is a video from an interview Danny Sullivan did with Matt Cutts in SMX Advanced search engine optimization conference.

Video - Matt Cutts Comments on Buying Links

Shortly after, Google updated its PageRank data, apparantly with some adjustments to algorithm, and as a result many sites that were involved in buying and selling links have lost some PageRank.

This is another phase in Google's war against those who try to get higher ranking by buying links to manipulate Google's algorithm.

This is another reminder to all Search Engine Optimizers need to look at optimizing sites through organic and natural efforts. The short term gains might be achieved by trying to play search engines; however, if you are looking for long lasting high rankings, you would need to think outside the box and develop unique content that people love and link to.

By Nima - Toronto SEM SEO Expert
Similar articles at: http://www.semseoexpert.com/search-engine-optimization/

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Sunday, November 11, 2007

Link Building Strategy - Are blogs treated differently?

If you have ever thought of doing SEO (Search Engine Optimization) for your company’s website, you have probably heard of building reciprocal and one way links to your site.

Weather you conduct SEO in house or outsource it you cannot afford to overlook an advanced link building program. While working on your backlinks you need to consider link popularity, link quality, link relevancy and anchor text.

The link building campaigns became part of the optimization of website for search engines after Google revolutionized the way search engines were ranking websites by introducing PageRank.

As a result marketers with SEO expertise work on building valuable and viral content that add value to their audience and entice them to share the content with their community by providing links to them.

Some people tried to manipulate the search engine results by starting building and fabricating links.

As part of their quest to continuously improve their search technology, Google started incorporating other factors such as TrustRank, disregarding spam links, discounting reciprocal links and one way links that were not created organically.

Google even pioneered the use of no-follow tag and introduced ways to report paid links that are trying to manipulate PageRank algorithm and search results.

Many individuals and companies use blogs as a way of creating ongoing content and sharing information with their audience. Given the very nature of blogs and the fact that their purpose is to create ongoing multi-directional communications, they were embraced by search engines as a source of valuable and unbiased content.

In the early days of blogs, all you needed to do was to write an article on a blog and link to a site or a new page and search engines were following those links and that site was getting value for it.

Overtime, like any other linking strategy, link building through blogs has been affected by changes to search engines algorithms; however, blogs have not yet fully lost their mojo. It seems that links from blogs with a high authority and relevant and topical content are still useful.

By Nima - Toronto SEO Expert

Similar articles at: http://www.semseoexpert.com/search-engine-optimization

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Saturday, July 21, 2007

Personalization & Google Universal Search Optimization

On the second part of my article on One Degree, Personalization and Universal Search Optimization, I covered different tactics and strategies on optimization of a website for personalized Universal search.

I argued that the first step in optimization is to make sure your site has a wide reach and has high visibility. Some of tactics I recommend are chasing the search long tail, utilizing Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) concept, optimizing images and videos, writing high quality blog posts, building a presence on Google local search and news while keeping viral marketing in mind.

On the third part of the universal search optimization article, I cover two other strategies:
  • Being persuasive to take advantage of your rankings and luring traffic to your site.
  • Building a sticky and interesting website that keeps visitors coming back.

Some of the tactics covered here are optimizing your site using internal search, making it easy to bookmark your site, set up link baits while monitoring the performance of your initiatives utilizing Web Analytics applications.

The concluding section of the article I cover the effects of personalized search on Pay Per Click advertising. Here I argue that the rise of personalization can also boost PPC advertising on search engines.

I also suggest that the branding campaigns will have a crucial impact on the performance of your website in a personalized search era.

By Nima - Toronto SEO Expert

Similar articles at: http://www.semseoexpert.com/search-engine-optimization

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Saturday, July 07, 2007

Optimizing for Personalized and Universal Search

I recently wrote an article on how to optimize your web site for personalized and Google universal search. I have tried to analyze the impact of personalized search and universal search on Search Engine Optimization.

The article is going to be posted in four parts on One Degree. You may read the first part at Impact of Personalization on SEO.

By Nima - Toronto SEO Expert

Similar articles at: http://www.semseoexpert.com/search-engine-optimization

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Saturday, June 09, 2007

Should You Outsource SEO / SEM Services?

If you are asking yourself whether outsourcing SEO / SEM services is the right decision, you are already ahead of the curve. Why? Because the chances are many of your competitors do not even know about search engine optimization and marketing.

You have recognized the benefits of optimizing your site for search engines and positioning your site on top of the SERPs. You are dealing with a dilemma that any website owner deals with: Should I outsource SEO / SEM services or should I have it implemented in house?

There are pros and cons for both approaches and the answer is totally depends on your objectives, type of business, budget and resources.

Unless, you have the resources, full time staff and expertise to conduct SEO and SEM in house and spend a huge budget on these initiatives, you would be better off with outsourcing the search marketing and optimization of your site to an SEO vendor.

By outsourcing the service, you will be able to save money while taking advantage of a team of professional SEO and SEM experts who are always up-to-date with the latest industry trends.

Hiring a search engine marketing firm to perform SEO and/or pay per click (PPC) advertising is not an easy task. Both SEO and SEM have proved to be successful; however, a bad experience with an outsourcing vendor can result in resentment toward these channels. So, it is important to take the following steps:

Decide on Your Objectives – First decide on what you would like to achieve from your site. Clearly understanding your objectives not only helps you decide on metrics to measure your success but also help you in evaluating the potential outsourcing SEO vendors and set the expectations with the selected vendor. It also helps you decide on evaluation factors for awarding the business to the right vendor.

Educate Yourself – Try to learn about SEO and SEM as much as possible. This will help you in vendor selection process. Feel free to use potential vendors as a resource. It is always a positive sign if a vendor takes the time to educate you. It shows how open they are in collaborating with you to improve the results.

Research the Capabilities of Vendors – Now that you understand your needs and objectives, you are in a better position to handpick the vendors. Depending on your business needs, in addition to SEO/SEM, you might also need to outsource creative design, web analytics, database development, e-mail and Web advertising.

So, make sure that the vendor you are considering to outsource your SEO work to has the technical expertise and the man power to cover all your needs as it will save you future grieves.

Outsourcing is a life saver because you can reduce your workload and focus your energy on your main business. However, please note that the key to successfully outsourcing your SEO / SEM services is to do your due diligence when selecting a SEO / PPC vendor and keep communicating with your search vendor to keep the quality of work high.

Please remember: No matter how good your vendor is, nobody knows you your business better than you do. So, it is important to keep a close relationship with your vendor to convey your knowledge to your vendor and make sure you and your outsourcing vendor reach your mutual objective: a successful campaign!

Nima - SEM SEO Expert

Similar articles at: http://www.semseoexpert.com/search-engine-optimization and Similar articles at: http://www.semseoexpert.com/search-engine-marketing

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Wednesday, June 06, 2007

Public Speaking - Maximize Your Magazine's Online Presence

Yesterday, I presented at 2007 Magazines University - The Magazine & Internet Publishing Conference together with Don and Debbie. The topic of the presentation was Maximize Your Magazine's Online Presence.

The presentation covered topics such as Search Engine Optimization, Search Engine Marketing, Blogs, Social Networks and viral marketing. The objective of the presentation was to show case how publishers can effectively improve their presence online, increase their traffic, generate leads or sales online, maximize their ROI, make their visitors keep coming back and monetize their online traffic.

The audience from both editorial and circulation sides of consumer and business magazines.


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Saturday, April 14, 2007

Submit XML Sitemap to Google, Yahoo and MSN

As part of their quests to provide their users with the most accurate answers, search engines such as Google and Yahoo have been trying to gain a better understanding of site and link structures. Google introduced its Webmaster tool, Yahoo introduced and enhanced its Site Explorer and MSN provided Live Webmaster Center.

These tools help webmasters submit their XML sitemaps to search engines and better understand how search engines see their sites and optimize their sites accordingly.

Despite their fierce competition, Google, Yahoo and MSN search engines decided to collaborate together and introduce a unified sitemap protocol last year. This year Ask.com joined the group.

What is news worthy is the addition of a new XML sitemap auto-discovery protocol. Webmasters can now create their xml sitemaps and place it on their root folder. Instead of manually submitting it to the search engines, it is now possible to instruct bots to the sitemap by adding "Sitemap: http://www.site.com/sitemap.xml" code to the robots.txt file.

Even though customization might be necessary, it is possible to write an script or use an XML sitemap generator that runs on the server and creates and updates the sitemap on appropriate intervals. This can be proved useful for dynamic sites that keep changing their content/offers.

Nima Asrar Haghighi, SEO Expert

Also read "How to Generate XML Sitemap for Your Web Site" and "XML Sitemap for Large Sites"
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Saturday, February 03, 2007

Back to the Future

Recently, I went to visit my family back home. It was a great trip and I enjoyed the time I spent with my family and the friends some of whom I had not seen for over 8 years. This trip had another advantage. It reminded me of where I started and how I got to the field of Internet Marketing.

The very first site I seriously worked on was an e-commerce site (with the tag line of the first online shopping mall in the region). The site belonged to a large trading company with a forward thinking leader. He had seen the importance of the Internet and launched the site. However, the site was not generating much traffic or sales.

I did an interview with people in charge. They had done some banner exchange and some off line advertising. However, they were not sure where they were getting the traffic from or what people were doing on the site. I requested to see the web logs to get a better picture. That was my fist step to the world of Web Analytics.

Surely, the technology has come a long way from the early days of log files and the Web Analytics applications now provide much more robust and user friendly reports. However, something has stayed intact and that is the need for informed decision making.

This is nothing but putting Total Quality Management (TQM) into action by turning the Deming Wheel, having the continuous improvement as the ultimate goal. This principle is true in customer service, production as well as marketing.

Search engine marketing and optimization are not exceptions to the rules. That is why for any SEM and SEO project, it is important to set the objective,
  • Plan in advance by defining the right KPIs,
  • Act to reach the objective,
  • Check the performance by measuring the KPIs, and
  • Do as needed to continuously improve.

Thanks to the efforts of WAA and UBC more and more search engine marketers and SEO/SEM tool developers are embracing the importance of Web Analytics. As a member of WAA, I would like to welcome the new passengers to the train I call Prosperity.


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Saturday, December 16, 2006

Keyword Research for Web Marketing, SEO and PPC

With more and more people using search engines to search for the products and services they need, making sure your website appears on top of search engine results is becoming crucial. However, as you are usually limited in the number of keyword phrases that you can optimize a site for, the question is which keyword phrases to optimize a Web site for.

Effective keyword research is the process of researching and selecting keywords that are relevant to your site and used by prospects on search engines to find the products and services you offer.

Selecting the right keywords can make or break a Search Engine Optimization (SEO) project. So, it is very important for web marketers to select keywords that are not only related to their product offerings, but also are generating enough traffic to worth the SEO optimization efforts. Here is where having access to a robust keyword research tool/software that provides different variations of searches done in the real life by prospects, the number of times they are searched for and how competitive those keywords are can prove handy.

Having access to paid or free keyword research tools even though a necessity, it is not enough. Understanding how to utilize a keyword research tool in the context of a SEO project is the key to success. It is also important to integrate the keyword research results with the copy writing and designing a website for maximum impact.

Keyword research is also integral to the success of PPC (SEM) campaign as finding the right mix of keywords can contribute to the ROI and marketers' bottom line.

As you can use a larger universe of keywords in an SEM campaign than that of SEO and you can measure the ROI for all those keywords, you can use the PPC campaign to find the best converting keywords. Then you may utilize those keywords to optimize your site organically. Even though visitors coming from different sources (organic vs. paid) might behave differently, this approach is much better than shooting in the dark.

So, in short, proper keyword research helps you discover new opportunities, tackle the misconceptions and increase conversions. However, it is important to keep in mind that keyword research should be a dynamic and ongoing process as the Web, people and trends evolve.

By Nima - Toronto SEM SEO Expert

Related Article: Google Search-based Keyword Tool
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Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Professional SEO Specialist - Toronto

After almost two months of preparation, we officially launched our Search Engine Marketing Company in January of 2006 with the objective of becoming the best and largest Canadian Search Engine Marketing firm.

It definitely was not an easy target given the fact that we had to start everything from scratch, designing our SEO & SEM methodologies and strategies, deciding on the search engine optimization pricing model, developing necessary infrastructure, and developing marketing collateral.

Our hard work seems to be paying off. Just within 7 months we reached the milestone of 50 clients who are fuelling their business with our affordable SEO & SEM services.

Since the launch of the Search division, we have hired, trained and added more SEM specialists to our team and our exponential growth mandates us to hire another professional SEO specialist.
So, if you are reading this article and you think you are up for the challenge, drop me an e-mail or post a comment.


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Friday, September 30, 2005

Yahoo Search - Site Explorer

Yahoo Search rolled out its Site Explorer tool. It allows you to check which pages of a site are indexed by Yahoo search engine. It might seem that it does not add much value as it was already possible to do so through their advanced search features. However, there is much more into it, especially for SEO and SEM purposes. You could export the results to a tsv file, submit a URL to Yahoo for paid inclusion and connect to API services.

By tracking the tsv file, you could keep track of which pages are included in Yahoo search engine. Nevertheless, the most interesting feature, IMHO, is that if you enter a URL of yours which is not indexed, it might give you the reason why it is not cached in the index. It also provides a direct link to the URL submission to the engine.

More on Yahoo Site Explorer.

Nima Nima - Toronto SEO Expert

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