SEO PowerSuite | Powerful SEO Software

Every business that expects results online needs some sort of SEO Software. One of our favorite professional-quality SEO tools is SEO PowerSuite. This Mac-friendly software consists of four main tools and runs equally well on Mac OS X, Windows, and Linux. The complete suite consists of Rank Tracker, Website Auditor, SEO SpyGlass, and Link Assistant. The combination of the tools offer over 240 important SEO features.

Rank Tracker will help you keep an eye on your search results. Within minutes you will learn where your pages fit into the search results relating to your critical search phrases. Over time you can quickly see if you site is moving up or down in the search engines. Rank Tracker also helps identify which phrases are important to optimize for by finding searches with high numbers and low competition.

Website Auditor is the first step to any SEO campaign. It will help you optimize your on-page SEO at each page level and optimize your website as a whole. This step alone will help you make sure your site is running well. Website Auditor checks for broken links, HTML errors, and duplicate content. It also checks if each page is indexed and generates an awesome report. Use the report to help your own site or identify quick action areas on your clients sites with a branded and customized SEO report.

SEO SpyGlass will tell you all about your competition. The quickest way to understand what you need to do with your own SEO is to identify the strengths and weaknesses of your competition. SEO SpyGlass will identify the anchor text and the number links your competitor is using to rank well by using multiple data sources. This information along with loads of other helpful details are presented in a clear report that enable you to find additional link opportunities to enable you to pass your competitors using their own information. You will probably know more about your competitors than they do.

Link Assistant is the key to building powerful links. With thousands of high value link partners, Link Assistant will identify link building opportunities. The contact details and link information is fully managed within the tool itself so you don’t need to spend hours finding links, requesting links, and placing links. Track the links, anchor text, and progress specific to each link.

As you can see each tool is pretty powerful in itself. The combination of all four tools makes SEO PowerSuite into an awesome tool for anyone wishing to perform professional quality SEO. In the next articles we will dive deeper into each tool and highlight out favorite features of each.

Which tool would you like to see us cover first? Comment below….

Backblaze Online Data Backup

Backblaze Online Data Backup

Are you backing up your data? Are you using an online backup?

Here are some alarming statistics I found today….

According to an annual survey from Backblaze conducted by Harris Interactive, 92 percent of computer users don’t do regular backups. With that in mind consider that 46 percent of people need to restore data every year! That means over 40 percent of your friends, family and co-workers will lose data permanently. That is almost HALF the people.

Granted, some loses are more significant than others, but lost data is lost data. If your data means anything to you a small investment can save you a lot of work and grief.

Backblaze online data backup is a great secure data storage and backup solution. It is easy to use, reliable and affordable. It is what I use for my personal files on my mac. Give it a try for free and see if you like it.

SocialOomph – Twitter Time Saver

SocialOomph – Twitter Time Saver

Improve Your Productivity On Twitter! The more time I spend using Twitter the more I realize that I could easily use it all day long. Fortunately, a few months ago I started using SocialOomph to manage multiple twitter accounts. This time saving tool has helped me manage followers. Managing twitter followers takes less than 5 minutes to review and respond to more than 200 new followers every day across multiple accounts. But there is so much more that SocialOomph can do!

I have drafted several frequent tweets that I  schedule and modify as I see fit. This allows me to tweet while I work at my regular day job. Why would you schedule a tweet when the motto of twitter is What are you doing right now? Well, if I know I am doing something in a few hours I can plan accordingly. For example, I might arrive at a hiking trail and tweet while I am hiking. I know it is simplistic, but you can take it to the next level in business. If you are launching a product you can schedule regular updates, set a daily countdown, and announce when you are launched. This simple automation allows you to focus on the product and the launch while keeping your followers engaged. And after you launch you can quickly review the @mentions, DMs, and other keywords.

I know there is much more that SocialOomph and Twitter can do to help my business and my fun life. I am going to scratch a little past the surface soon!

Making a Search Engine Plan

Improving your search engine ranking is an ongoing process that can take quite a bit of time. If you spend the time to build a website you probably want to leverage it and make it an asset to you, your organization, or your business. The tried and true strategy is to write great content and continually add more great content to it. If you build it they will come – as long as it is good. Unfortunately, most people want to see quick results after spending many hours (or dollars) to build a website. There are many tactics used to generate some quick results. The best plan would have some short term tactics that compliment part of your long term strategy. This will give you a quick jump in the search engines and some motivation to put in the effort to continue to grow your website and improve your search engine rankings.

SEO vs SEM – Some simple definitions:

  • Search Engine Marketing (SEM) is the work you do to lead traffic to your site. This is the off-page effort.
  • Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the work you do to your site. This is the on-page effort.

See Weberz’s article on SEO and SEM for a little more depth describing the two.

So, is SEO or SEM more important?

The safe answer is “It depends.” However, I believe that SEO will give your more in the long run.

Let’s think about this for a minute. . .

To illustrate this let’s assume you have to choose one or the other. I know it is crazy, but bear with me for a few paragraphs.

What if you spend hours on SEM?

In a future article I will cover each of the SEM items in more detail. A basic SEM plan will include:

  • Search Engine Submission – Submitting your URL to the search engines – At least the top search engines
  • Creating Press Releases – Writing, submitting and publishing Press Releases about your website.
  • Off-Site Article Writing – Writing articles for other websites that reference your website in some way.
  • Blogs – Creating a blog, writing blog entries, and commenting on blogs.
  • A link campaign – Convince or beg other websites to link to your site using either reciprocal links or one-way links.
  • Web Directory Submission – This is part of a link campaign. Add your website to free and paid directories.
  • Purchasing Text Links – Pay a broker to add your links on many different websites.
  • PPC Campaigns – Paid advertising using Google Adwords, Yahoo Search Marketing, MSN AdCenter or other search advertising.
  • Banner Advertising – Create a banner and influence others to add it to their site.

It is easy to see how you can spend many hours and a lot of money spreading your links around the internet to increase your google page rank. This will get you results but it won’t last forever.  For example, Press Releases and article writing take time and actually improve other websites. You are adding great content that they will benefit from.

What if you spend hours on SEO?

In a future article I will cover each of the SEO items in more detail. A basic SEO plan will include:

  • W3C Validation, good source code, proper html, etc.
  • Proper naming structure of files for search engines
  • Proper phrasing of the page title
  • Inclusion of a robots.txt file
  • Creation of a sitemap
  • 404 error handling page
  • Meta tags
  • Relevant site copy to page title
  • Site navigational structure
  • Keyword inclusion in your text

If you were to spend the hours to make your website content great you will get to a point where your personal link sharing effort will level out. You’ll spend less time spreading your links around the web since others will do it for you. If you have good content your readers will share it on Facebook, visitors will digg it, subscribers will tweet it on twitter, and much more.

I am not promoting that you just splatter your website all over the web and direct searchers to some junk-infested content. That will work for a short time, but in the long run the good content will always win out.

Why a Church Needs a Simple Website

In my constant review of Church websites I continue to notice a trend. Sadly, I see so many church web sites that are outdated and full of blank “coming soon” pages. Yes, there are the exceptions, but most times these exceptions are larger churches with a web staff (of dedicated people). Many of the volunteer-driven church sites take off with great starts but quickly go stale.

If you are planning to build a site for your Church (you are the volunteer) think about where the site will be in a few months or a few years. Will YOU be satisfied creating, begging for, and cut-n-pasting content on a weekly basis? You must take this continued task into consideration before you make the plunge. You could spend hours design a sweet, up-to-the-minute, dynamic, streaming church website only to find that it becomes a mess and has nothing new and exciting to entice people to return on a regular basis. Even worse, it might cause confusion with old event and service times and old addresses.

If you are the church asking for a volunteer’s help (rarely the case), are you relying on the volunteer to do all of the work? Will you regularly provide fresh content to your web volunteer to keep the site current?

A website does not need to be a lot of work, but you need to determine what you want on a site before you choose to publish one.

Here are a couple considerations in choosing a direction for your website:

  • Do you want a fresh dynamic site with regular updates? If you design a site intending to publish a weekly audio file (podcast), video file, pastor blog, events, etc. then you must be prepared to continue down that path. If the path is overwhelming and too much work then the content will not be available. Visitors will see your site and notice that it has inactive areas.
  • Do you want a clean simple site that provides the basics? If you choose a site that is more like a brochure you might find the site is more fitting and manageable. The content will require infrequent updates and should require minimal maintenance. This site could be static HTML pages with some pleasant graphics and pictures. A simple static church website may serve your purpose now, but you need to consider the chance of growth in the future.

WordPress and Joomla are great tools to get you started. There are numerous free templates and themes readily available. The community support structures are well established and very friendly. While both WordPress and Joomla are powerful, you can easily setup a simple site with either one. Your simple site will become the foundation you can build on in the future.

If you would like some help getting your web foundation in place, please let me know. I’d love to help you through the process.

Calendar Plugins for WordPress

There are several calendar plugins for WordPress. You can find most of these plugins using the WordPress Plugin Directory Calendar tag.

Events Manager

This event manager attracted my attention with a few cool features. It has Google maps integration, an RSVP mechanism and recurring events.

Events Calendar

This calendar has a nice look, but it is lacking recurring events. It is hard to convince churches that Sunday Service needs to be added to the calendar each week. Of course, one could argue that if it is truly a standard weekly event it may not need to be on a calendar. I don’t know which way I fall yet…I can argue both ways.

ICS Calendar

I like this calendar because it can use a Google Calendar. I don’t always convince users that Google Aps is the way to go, but when I do this is a great option. For those using a different calendar program, this plugin works with most common calendar programs.