My Three Favorite Backlink Research Tools for SEO

Backlink Research Tools For Search Engine Optimization

One of the most important factors in off-site Search Engine Optimization (SEO), is backlinks. A backlink is simply a link from another website, to your website. Search engines see links as “votes”, so the more links, and quality, relevant links at that –  you have pointing to your site, the better. All else being equal, if you can get better backlinks than your competitors, you can outrank them. Given its importance to SEO, it’s frustrating that there isn’t one solidly reliable (free) tool with which to do backlink research. Backlink research can help you :

  • Find out what your website’s link profile is looking like, and what progress you’ve made
  • Do some competitive analysis in your niche – how well are competitors’ sites performing
  • Assess how much better you have to do in order to outrank your competitors.
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Facebook Timeline For Profiles and Pages – Get Ready!

Facebook Timeline for Pages

Facebook is getting ready to complete the rollout of Timeline to all business Pages on March 30th. So no matter what, your page will have Timeline on March 30th, whether you like it or not!! As with all things Facebook, there’s good and bad to these changes. My personal biggest peeves are that the huge image space at the top, while pretty,  clearly favors creative types and puts us regular, creatively-inept types at a disadvantage. Secondly, I also find the layout hard to read. The traditional stream reads easily from top to bottom in a straight line. The Timeline stream jumps back and forth from left to right, which is pretty unnatural to the eye.

From a business point of view, since switching my personal profile Timeline, I’m noticing that when I, as an individual, “like” a Facebook Page, it seems to get very little exposure on my Timeline which is a bit unfortunate.

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Handy Web Design Resources For The Non-Designer

Web Design Resources for Non-Designers
I consider myself creatively impaired when it comes to visual design. I know generally what I like and what I think works, but I’m not good at actually creating it from scratch. I leave that type of stuff to the pros and absolutely think that just because you can use Photoshop, or make a website, that does NOT qualify you as a designer!

But once in a while, I need to sort of cheat and pull off some design-y type things and I have found several online tools that help me do this in a competent way. Plus, most of these tools are just super-fun to play with!

Web-based Color Palette Tools

Need to pick a font color for a website that will match the overall look and feel? Or maybe you need to introduce an additional color that will match. These handy tools will let you upload a logo or any image and generate a color palette of complementary colors.
Color Palette Generator
This is very simple to use – just paste in the url of a logo or image and it will generate some colors.
Adobe’s “Kuler”
tool does a few more things. It has some preset color schemes which can be useful if you’re starting from scratch, or you can create your own based on a color you select, or an image. It also presents versions of the color schemes based on mood or other criteria.

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Planning Your Website Effectively- WordPress Is A Tool Not A Strategy

Planning your website effectively- WordPress is a tool not a strategy

One of the reasons why WordPress is so awesome is because it makes building powerful websites pretty easy. Pick a theme, add some content, hit Publish and there you have it. Lack of technical know-how is no longer a barrier, and the array of shiny, sexy themes that are available along with the inexpensivenss of it all can make it dangerously easy to under-think the process of building a website. But while WordPress and its eco-system have made many parts of the process simple and taken the grunt work out of making a site, the one thing that YOU still have to do, is the analytical thinking and planning behind your site.

For your site to be an effective business tool, it must reflect the core goals and missions of your company. Whereas many of us start the planning of a site by looking at the available WordPress themes and letting those designs sway our decisions, we really need to be starting from a more strategic point of view and making decisions about themes, plugins etc, based on the bigger picture.

So before you put pixel to screen, or start buying themes, consider the following.

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Treat Your Blog Like A Business – Slides From San Diego WordCamp

Treat Your Blog LIke A Business - Monetization Strategies

Below are the slides from my San Diego WordCamp talk on “Treat Your Blog Like A Business”. I discussed a few common monetization strategies, and the ins n’s outs of each. My overall premise is that in most cases, monetization doesn’t just happen to you, you have to be prepared and have a strategy that will help you take advantage of opportunities that may arise. The more value you build with your blog, even before thinking of monetization, the better prepared you will be. Don’t wait until you actually want to make money before building an email list or developing your social networking efforts.

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Learn A Step-By-Step Approach to Search Engine Optimization – Class – July 14th

Step-By-Step Search Engine Optimization For Your Blog/Website

Thursday July 14th, 7:30pm – 9:30pm, $40
Register for Step-By-Step Search Engine Optimization For Your Website or Blog in Los Angeles, CA  on Eventbrite

5405 Wilshire Blvd (2 blocks west of La Brea)
Los Angeles,
CA 90036
free parking is available – see Blankspaces website for details.

You’ve set up your website, now what? How will anyone find you? How will you attract the targeted traffic you need for your business? Search engines are one of the most powerful sources of traffic if you know the basic principles. This class will teach you the fundamentals of search engine optimization so that you can develop a thriving and effective business website or blog.

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