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A Fun Way to Increase Blog Traffic - Have a Contest!

Blog contests are gaining more popularity as bloggers begin to see the benefits that a simple contest or giveaway can bring.

Why Run a Contest?

Running a contest can double the amount of traffic coming through your site. Making sure you advertise your contest will drive more people to your blog to see and enter. Use your Twitter and Facebook accounts, and ask your followers on Twitter to retweet your contest information and they’ll gain an entry to the contest. Word of mouth is key, and who doesn’t like free stuff?
You can also list your contest at sites like these:

New Readers
New Traffic means new readers as well. People who stop by to enter themselves in your contest might also find themselves enjoying the content of the rest of your blog, and come back for more.

Giving away the right prize for your readers can produce a sense of loyalty and an eagerness to come back. Make sure you’re giving away things that are of interest to your particular group of followers, and things that somehow pertain to your particular expertise. Books, CD’s and gift certificates are popular giveaways.

Relationships with Marketers
When your blog generates enough comments and traffic, marketers will be interested in teaming up with you to promote their products, and often this means they will provide you with free products to use as prizes in your contests. This means free advertising for them, and no out of pocket expense for you to run your contest.

Running a successful contest can take time and practice, but judging from the success of other bloggers, blog contests can be a real way to help your blog become successful and popular.

We found some blogs that are currently having their own contests, check them out!

We want to hear from you! Have you run a contest on your blog? What were the results, and what did you learn for next time?

Landau Design is a web design and online marketing company. Let Landau Design review your online presence and devise an online strategy to take your company to the next level.

How to Add Share Icons to Your Blog or Website

Many Landau Design clients have asked this question: How do I get those cute share icons onto my blog or web page? It's quite simple if you're willing to do a little diving into the code. The two most popular share links are:

You'll notice at the top of this code we have the Tweetmeme and AddThis links (and if at this point you'd like to click them and share this post, we'd love you for it!)
If you're blogging in Blogger
You need to add the code for these icons into your Blogger template. If you add it as a widget in the sidebar, then the share link will go to your blog home page, and not to a specific blog post. It's better to have it go to a specific blog post so then you can reference what the blog is about when you share the link. Here are tutorials for adding these icons
If you're blogging at
Wordpress makes your life easier with simple widgets you can add to your blog template. There are several different kinds you can add, each with its own design. Tweetmeme And AddThis use Javascript, which is not allowed in blogs hosted at, so you cannot use these share icons here. The following links show you how to add the other share buttons if you are using to host your blog:
If you're blogging on a personally hosted blog
The personally hosted version of Wordpress has a lot more flexibility, and there are many social link plugins that are easy to add. Here are some links that will help you decide what to choose and how to install these plugins:
If your website is built in Joomla
Joomla offers several options for social media icons. There are ones that reside right on the page, and then there are global plugins that you can put into the header bar. We have used the following two extensions with great success:
For the traditional Tweetmeme and AddThis, you would need to add HTML code to your articles using a custom code plugin (Sorcerer is a great one). You would then follow the HTML directions in combination with the plugin syntax to put the share links onto your page.
If you have a regular HTML website
Adding the share icons is going to have to be done one page at a time. You will have to get the HTML code, and paste it into your page using an HTML editor, or by viewing the source code in your WYSIWYG (i.e. Dreamweaver) editor. Here are tutorials that show how to add Tweetmeme and AddThis icons to your pages.

Landau Design is a web design and online marketing company specializing in helping small businesses utilize the internet to get ahead. Let Landau Design review your online marketing strategy to take you to the next level.

Web Design 101: Please Don't Squish the Type!

http://www.landaudesignreview.comOne of my favorite things about web design is the flexibility it offers in terms of how to lay out text. With the arrival of CSS several years back, suddenly web designers who came from a print design background (like myself) got the control they had been longing for. Not only could we control the typestyle and color, but now we could control line spacing and even letter spacing. Wow, what a wonderful thing.

And so I respectfully request, when designing your website: Please don't squish the type!

What does"squish the type" mean?
When you arrive on a web page you want to be able to read what is there. But users do not read online as they would a magazine or book, instead they skim. They need the text broken up into bits so they it is easier to skim, and faster to grasp the content on the page. When you squish the type, you mush all the information into long paragraphs without a lot of visual breaks between the information (see screen shot below). If you add white space between your lines, and vary type size and color, it gives breathing room for your eyes, which makes it more likely a user will skim a little slower.

Here's an example of a web page that needs help. They are really squishing the type. It's unlikely anybody will get beyond the second paragraph because that third paragraph looks intimidating!

How users read online
It has been conjectured that browsing a website is a cross between reading a book and watching TV. When somebody reads a book, their mind is engaged in actually comprehending the words through the act of reading. They usually don't have visuals (if it's a novel say), so their mind is also actively engaged in visualizing what they are reading about.

On the flip side, when somebody watches TV, they don't have to do anything mentally in order to take in the information. They just stare at this big box, and watch what is shown. Hence the term "couch potato".

Usability experts have shown through research that browsing the Internet is somewhere in between. Some users will be engaged mentally, while others want the website to do the work for them. You must plan for this when you design, because most people will not read the precious words you have written, so you must help them read it.

Lay out your type so people will read it
  • Use bold headlines.
  • Create a larger, introductory paragraph that summarizes the page.
  • Don't have long paragraphs - break up the paragraphs into more bite-size pieces.
  • Use line spacing to bring white space between the lines of text
  • Do not make columns of text more than 550 pixels wide
  • Use subheadlines as much as possible
  • Use bulleted lists as much as possible
  • Hyperlink keywords and important points so users can get more information, and so it makes the key concepts easier to skim.
Oftentime clients will have great concerns about not creating scrolling in an article, and they want to squash all the lines together to keep everything within one page length. The only trouble with this theory as while it might prevent scrolling, it also inhibits reading. So would you rather they read the first couple paragraphs and not scroll, or read nothing at all? Besides, current usability studies show that users will scroll if they are interested in the content.

What you SHOULD do
Here's an example of the same page shown above in a much more readable fashion (after Landau Design review and changed it). The user can now decide how much or how little to read.

Site referenced here:

User behavior is part of the design process
We must remember how users read content, and only then commence with the creation of that content. How type is laid out should be considered when type is written. You put a lot of effort into creating your website, you certainly want to encourage everybody to enjoy your great work!

Landau Design is a web design and online marketing company specializing in small business services. Let Landau Design review your website and help you take it to the next level!

Keywords in Content vs. Meta Tags in Code

Recently one of our clients asked:
We have a question regarding the text on the home page.  I remember someone stating that the text should contain words that are key to our service for search engines to find it. Is this true? Second question is meta tags. If the home page or other pages have meta tags, is that the same as having those same words as text on the page.

Keywords on the page are most important
You are correct that the text on your home page should contain keywords you are targeting on the search engines. It's important though that you distribute those keywords in a way that makes sense for the user, not just for the search engines. This means you don't overuse a keyword on your page. Optimally your keyword should be integrated into the headings on your page, then peppered throughout the text. if you're unsure if you have used a keyword too much, you can use a keyword density tool to determine if it is over used.

Do you have Google Analytics installed on your current site? A statistical package like this would show you what keywords people are using to find you, which might help determine the best words to optimize for. If a lot of people are finding you on one of your most-used keywords, this will tell you that you've done a good job optimizing for it. If the keyword you're working on indexing is not on this list, you either haven't optimized enough, or it might not be a keyword people use to find a business like yours. Choosing the right keywords is an art unto itself, and should be approached with methodical focus.

Should we input meta tags?

Meta tags are a different story from keywords. There are different types of meta tags that you can incorporate into your site. The 'description' and 'keyword' meta tags are the ones that get the most attention because they are thought to be used in ranking your site among search results. 

Google has publicly stated that they no longer use keyword meta tags when ranking sites in search results. But they do sometimes use the other meta tags, such as description. So the keyword meta tags are not as valuable as text on the page, which means your time should be focused on weaving your keywords into your content, not in generating a long list of meta tags. 

You should always put in a description meta tag since this is the tagline that is shown to describe a page when Google brings up search results. This tagline should describe the content for a specific page, rather than a global description of the site. It is a good idea to weave in your keywords, but it still is more valuable to spend the time getting those keywords into your content.

30 Ways to Say Thank You for a Re-Tweet

When somebody retweets (RT) your tweets, the best thing you can do is respond by RT'ing their tweets. But saying thank you in a tweet is also a great way to acknowledge somebody for supporting you.

Some may argue it fills the airways by thanking, but I'm of the opinion that a public thank you acknowledges the individual for doing you a favor. By recognizing them, others will know they are supportive on Twitter, and in turn that may gain them new followers. So a public thank you on Twitter can boost the experience for that individual.

My favorite RT Thank You's
As I've watched conversations on Twitter, I'm struck by some of the great ways people have said thank you. Here are some of my favorite thank you's from people I've re-tweeted:

  • @Mazukins: Thank u my precious friend for the RT - ur awesome!!!! hugs mazey :)
  • @sharynread: Thank u 4 your kindness, blessings 4 your 2010
  • @MartyMisner: Thanks, I am honored and very appreciative!
  • @soulbizradio: Much appreciation for your interactions....have a magical day
  • @techjoomla: We are honoured!
  • @robertbravery: Thanks for the great plug!
The following wasn't a RT thank you, but in reply to a RT thank you. When I read this, it made me smile broadly: @JDEbberly: No prob there, LandauDesign! Love your work! Keep up those tweets - I'll be RT'ing you even more as I ply the Twitter Superhighway. This kind of a thank really epitomizes the reason we all use Twitter, doesn't it?

30 Ways to Say Thank You
I love when I get a special thank you, so I came up with a list of 30 fun ways to thank people for a RT. Please use and enjoy:
  1. I couldn't spread the word without you. Thanks for the RT!
  2. The joy of Twitter is connecting with others. I appreciate your support by sharing what I said!
  3. "The smallest act of kindness is worth more than the grandest intention." [~Oscar Wilde] Thanks for the RT!
  4. It's always flattering when somebody RT's what I said... thanks for putting a smile on my face!
  5. It's good news when somebody RT's me - that means what I'm saying here is actually heard. Thanks for the reassurance!
  6. Sharing the love is what it's about! I appreciate your RT!
  7. ~ The RT wave is how we reach far and wide ~ thank you for helping me spread the word!
  8. "It's nice to be important, but it's more important to be nice." Thanks for RT'ing my post!
  9. God gave you a gift of 1,440 minutes today -- thanks for using one to RT my post!
  10. RT's always reassure me that there is somebody listening... thanks for the RT!
  11. "Feeling gratitude and not expressing it is like wrapping a present and not giving it." [~ William Ward] Thnx for the RT!
  12. Sometimes I wonder if my tweets are like trees -- do people hear them when I post? Thanks for the RT!
  13. My mood went from this to this after I saw your RT. Thanks!
  14. Look here, folks, @coaching2win RT's -- following him would be an opportunity to start a conversation. Thanks for the RT @coaching2win!
  15. I'm all about being a real person on Twitter. Your RT showed me that you care. Thanks for the support!
  16. You're a star to me!  Thanks for the RT!
  17. A tweet + RT = my gratitude. Thanks for the support!
  18. To put it simply, I really appreciate your RT! Thanks for your support.
  19. (for somebody who RT's you a lot): You are my RT angel! I tweet, and you are there to share it with the twitterverse. Are there more where you came from? Thanks!
  20. I needed a RT just about then. Thanks for coming through for me!
  21. I thank you! I thank you! I thank you! ♩ You rock with that RT!
  22. “Kindness, like a boomerang, always returns" [Author Unknown] Thanks for the RT! 
  23. Thank you so much for RT'ing my post. It makes Twitter way more fun for me when I see others sharing my tweets!
  24. It always amazes me how the kindness of strangers is what makes Twitter work. Thanks for lending a hand and RT'ing my post!
  25. A little birdie told me that you RT'd my post. Thanks for the extra chirp!
  26. You made my day with your RT! Thanks for being part of my Twitter family!
  27. ♥ Thanks for the RT luv! ♥
  28. Thanks for being my friend on Twitter! I appreciate your RT! 
  29. You brought a smile to my face after you RT'd my post. Thank you so much!
  30. Your RT brought sunshine to my day. I appreciate the infusion! 
Tell us what you think
What is your favorite way to thank people for a re-tweet? What are some of your favorite thank yous that you have received?

More resources:
Landau Design is a web design and online marketing company. We specializing in helping small business use the web to expand their bottom line. Let Landau Design review your online strategy and help you grow to the next level.

    Free Webinar: What is Joomla & Why Should I Care?

    If you are planning on building a new website, or rebuilding an old one, you should research developing your site with Joomla. This power open-source content management system offers many benefits to the development process, and makes it a cinch for non-technical users to keep updated.

    Dynamic websites are the vogue, and keeping your site current is critical. Building your site in a content management system like Joomla gives you the control over your site. No more do you have spend thousands of dollars each year having a developer make updates. Now you have the reins, and you decide who will make changes.

    On Tuesday, January 26 at 11 am PST, Landau Design will have a FREE Joomla webinar and we will share with you why we decided to specialize in Joomla development. We will cover:

    • What is a content management system and why it's a great tool for managing a website
    • What is Joomla
    • How Joomla works to create a dynamic content site
    • How Joomla can be extended to provide complex functionality without corresponding development costs.

    This webinar is FREE, so register now and join us for an hour and learn about the hippest tools in the web world today. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at

    Already have a site in Joomla? Let Landau Design review your site and help you optimize your Joomla experience!

    Browser Friendly Fonts Make Viewing Universal

    We often get requests from clients to use particular fonts on their website. Recently the following email came into our inbox:

    My question is about the fonts. When I used the WYSIWYG editor in Joomla, I was able to play with the fonts and get it to look like what I wanted. But then when I showed my friend on her computer, nothing looked the same. I wanted to use a script font for my menus, but on her computers it was all done in Arial. What did I do wrong?

    The answer to this question relies on the need for universal fonts. Fonts on a web page are not stored within your code. Instead, they are called on by the code, but they must be present on the computer in order to display properly.

    What fonts are universal on the web?
    There are only so many fonts found in the world that typically exist on every computer platform. If you want your site to display consistently, you must choose your fonts from this list:

    Arial Black
    Comic Sans

    Lucida Sans
    MS Sans Serif
    MS Serif

    You'll notice that there is no script font on this list. That doesn't mean you cannot specify a script font when laying out your pages. It simply means if you do specify a script font, there is a good chance other people's computers won't have the font, in which case the browser will substitute Arial for any missing fonts.

    Using a graphic instead of text
    If it's really necessary to use a specific font, you might consider displaying it as an image rather than as text. If the image is too large this may slow the download speed of your web page, so take this into consideration. If you do use an image, be sure to use an ALT tag to let search engines know the description of the text in the image.

    More on universal web fonts:

    Who the Heck Cares About Usability?

    Designing a website is not all about appearance, and this often comes as a shock to new clients who think color, design and personal preference are the most important pieces of the puzzle. It is often in that first design discussion that we find ourselves in the middle of a usability lesson, explaining to our client how people who visit their site are truly viewing it.

    Your Users Care the Most
    You have only seconds to capture the attention of your users, which means you only have seconds to lose them. If your site is a challenge for them, they aren't going to stick around and muck their way through it. Usability is all about making your site simple, clear and even fun to use. Poor usability is the #1 reason you will lose eyeballs.

    How Usable is Your Site?
    To determine if your site is usable, you need to do some research. You can do some preliminary analysis of your site by reviewing some of the following usability checklists:

    Users know best
    To do some truly effective research, ask some of your current users if they would provide some input. We highly recommend that you collect a half dozen or so clients and ask them to answer some of the questions from the usability assessments presented above. This will give you a real picture of how those outside your organization see your site.

    Don't just listen, fix it
    If your users come back with critique, listen closely. Then do something about it. Don't just say thank you and continue to let your site stand as it is. Consult with a web designer or usability expert, then make the appropriate changes to bring your site in line with effective usability. Not only will this help with new customers, but it will let your current customers know that you take your comments to heart.

    How to Share Your Blog in Cyberspace

    You put a lot of effort to write your blog, but how do you get people to come and read it? Social media outlets are very effective in reaching viewers, but can sometimes take more time than you have. If you want an effective blog sharing strategy, consider using blog and bookmarking directories for spreading the news about your valuable posts.

    What is a blog directory?
    Blog directories are like a phone book for blogs. People submit their blog URL into specific categories in the directory, so all your blog content gets indexed. You only have to submit it once, which means it's a quick and easy way to share your blog.

    Once in the directory, users who are looking for specific information will come and search for content, and if they are looking for your content genre, you will have easily gained some new readers. Some of the most popular blog directories include:

    Sometimes an individual creates a private directory, and while it may not get as many eyeballs as the commercial ones, the users it gets tend to be more engaged. A great example is the Directory for Bloggers by The Brave Programmer (Robert Bravery).

    What is a bookmarking directory?
    There are many sites that are bookmarking directories, which means they are indexing specific URLs of specific blog posts. These sites you have to submit your blog posts one at a time. The advantage of bookmarking directories is that they are part of the social media world, so you can have buttons on your blog that allows your readers to submit your content as well. All these sites have submission counters, so the more a specific blog post is submitted, the higher it is ranked in the bookmarking directory index.

    Users come to the bookmarking directories and browse posts in specific categories. Again, an excellent way to gain some new readers. Some of the most popular bookmarking directories include:


    Consistently submitting your posts to the bookmarking directories is also a very effective way to continually add link backs to your blog.

    Keep track of your progress
    If you are going to utilize a directory strategy, be sure to track where you have submitted your blog. In this way you can hand off submission responsibilities to others without worrying about duplicating effort. Also, watch your traffic analytics to track how many people are finding your blog through places you've submitted. This will give you a great idea of what types of directories are most likely to bring you new visitors.

    Are People Really Using Social Networking?

    For those who have not yet taken the plunge into the social networking domain, it may seem unreal how many people are actually interacting in the multitude of virtual networks. In the past few months, several articles have been released that state specific statistics as to just how large the social media domain has grown:

    The Social Media Revolution
    If the numbers don't impress you, watching the following video might help you understand that social media is a REVOLUTION that is effecting the entire world?

    If you have a business that relies on word-of-mouth networking, social media is a something you should consider. If you're unsure of how to get started, there are many blogs to provide information. Just search for "getting started with social media" in Google.

    Landau Design also offers one-on-one social media coaching where we take you through a proven step-by-step process to create a social media plan. Through our coaching we will help you choose the most effective outlets, develop a task-by-task strategy, and then walk you through quality implementation. Let Landau Design review your website and help devise a social media strategy to take your company to the next level.

    Social media has become the new way of doing business. Are you ready to jump on board?

    Would Your Site Pass an SEO Analysis Test?

    SEO (search engine optimization) can be an overwhelming subject for website owners. There are many details that go into an effective SEO plan, but how does one sort out what is most crucial when first implementing an SEO campaign?

    What is an SEO Analysis tool?
    SEO analysis tools are an excellent way to determine where your website needs help. Each tool analyzes your site and provides evaluation in specific areas of SEO. While not all tools cover all areas, each tool will review one or more of the following aspects of SEO optimization:

    • Keyword frequency
    • Keyword optimization
    • Meta tag optimization
    • HTML compliance
    • Inbound links
    • Interlinking within site
    • Page errors
    • Page rank
    • Search engine indexing 

    What do I do with the information from these tools?

    After reviewing the information, you will have a good idea of how optimized your site is, and where it needs work. You can then make a list of what needs to be improved upon, which you can prioritize and implement in your SEO plan. You should analyze your site at least once every month in order to gauge the effectiveness of your SEO implementation.

    Free SEO Analysis tools you can use:

    High Profile Sites Show How Well Joomla Performs

    Many clients wonder how something given away for free could possible be worthwhile. Fortunately, the addage "you get what you pay for" does not apply when it comes to Joomla. It is open source software and free to whomever wishes to download (although they do appreciate donations for their efforts), but Joomla is a very robust and powerful tool for managing your web content. 

    Website performance is dictated by many things, including:

    • the amount of traffic you get
    • the server the site resides on
    • how well the site is optimized for performance
    • the speed of the user's computer processor and/or internet connection
    Even on the best of servers, a very high-traffic site may experience some performance issues. A person’s Internet connection can also influence performance, so the same site may perform differently on different computers. A Joomla site will perform very well if it has been built and optimized for performance.

    Big Companies Relying on Joomla
    I have pulled some higher-traffic sites that use Joomla so you could see who else might be relying on its capabilities:

    You can see a whole directory of Joomla sites by visiting the Joomla Community Showcase at

    How to Schedule Posts in Blogger

    We've discussed the benefits of blogging for business and SEO, but how do you find time to write all those blog posts? If you're required to input the blog post every morning, then you have to put it into your schedule. Alternatively, you can post your blog ahead of time, and use the scheduling feature to launch your posts at the chosen time.

    Steps to schedule a post:

    1. Create a new post and write your copy (or you can write it in Word and paste it into the editing window).
    2. Add any images/graphics you would like.
    3. Add in the labels it should be categorized under.
    4. Click the Post Options link in the bottom left of the window (see figure).
    5. Click the Schedule at radio button in the bottom right.
    6. Write in the date and time you want the post to publish.
    7. Click the Publish Post button.

    Now in your list of blog posts there will be a "scheduled" label next to the post's name. This tells you that the post has been input into your system, but it has not yet been published for public view. The system will then launch your post at the assigned time.

    Using this scheduling method, you can pre-write all your blogs for the week, month or whatever time schedule you prefer. So you can set aside larger amounts to time to write your blog, rather than spending every morning making sure it gets launched on time.

    Tweetmeme is the Way to Get Tweetseesee

    If you have a blog or website, Tweetmeme is an excellent way to make it super easy for your readers to Tweet you. With two button clicks reader can select to tweet your posts, and they don’t even have to write anything. A blog without Tweetmeme is missing out on a great opportunity! Don’t believe me? Click on the bright green rectangle at the top of this post, and you’ll see how easy it is to tweet this post.

    The other advantage of Tweetmeme is that every post that is tweeted gets indexed in the Tweetmeme directory. That gains you SEO points plus more eyeballs reading your work.

    What do I need to use Tweetmeme?
    In order to use this service, you need a Twitter account and you need to sign up for a Tweetmeme account. Once signed up, you can install it on your blog. You can also install it on pages on your website.

    How do I get Tweetmeme?
    You need to visit the Tweetmeme site to get the appropriate code for the retweet button. The code you use will be specific for your blog application or your website format. If you visit the Tweetmeme Retweet Button page, you’ll see the code is neatly organized by how you’re going to use it. The page where you grab the code gives specific instructions on how to use it.

    How do I set up Tweetmeme?
    While the Tweetmeme site has some excellent information, other writers in the blogasphere have written some excellent tutorials on how to set up Tweetmeme and customize the code:
    Improve Your Tweetmeme Setup For Better Results
    A Fully Customized TweetMeme ReTweet Button for Your Blog Post
    Add A TweetMeme Retweet Button To Blogger
    Generate custom Tweetmeme code for Blogger

    If you add Tweetmeme to your blog or website, be sure to post a comment below so everybody reading can come take a look and give you some tweets!

    Follow Landau Design on Twitter.

    The Golden Design Rule: Usability Before SEO

    When designing websites for clients, it often amazes me how many clients consider SEO (search engine optimization) more important than the needs of a user. They want to stuff pages with keywords or deviate from web design standards in order to accomplish what they feel is more important -- attracting more users.

    Why put SEO before Usability?
    Whether building a new site, or rebuilding an old one, all site owners have the same dream: to bring on a drove of users who will roam their site and hire them or purchase their products. After all, this is why you have a site, isn't it? And most believe SEO is the key to obtaining more eyeballs through organic search. But attracting the users is only part of the puzzle.

    A high jump rate tells the story
    If they come but don't stay, you've missed the opportunity to convert a new client. If for some reason your site isn't user friendly, then you're going to have a high jump rate that proves it, and then you might understand why you have a lot of people visiting, but very few inquiring about your services. The jump rate is the percentage of people who leave your site immediately after landing on a page. You can refer to your analytics software to measure your usability rating for your site.

    Optimum usability keeps the eyeballs
    When designing your site, the needs of the user should always come before SEO implementation. For example, if you are organizing your information architecture and trying to include your keywords into the headings, make certain it will make sense for your visitors. If your menu tags are long, or the terms don't make sense, then you need to reconsider how it's organized.

    For example, let's say you have a company that is in construction. You know many people search for construction under specific terms such as home construction, commercial construction, public works construction, etc. You should not create a menu structure that addresses each of these types of construction. It would be overwhelming for the user to navigate through all these words. Instead, you should have a menu item that talks about your construction services, and within the body of the page, describe the specific services provided. Or, have a primary menu item labeled construction, and have a sub page for each type of construction.

    I have gathered together several articles that talk about usability. Many point to usability vs. SEO choices which you should consider on your site. Just remember the golden rule: Usability before SEO.

    Why Fast SEO is Not Good SEO

    When it comes to SEO, one the biggest keys is getting links coming into your website. Getting these links can take time and effort, but there are several techniques that have been shown to be very successful. Many people have chosen to not spend the time, and instead pay a company to generate their SEO links for them.

    You must be very careful if you choose this latter strategy. Buying links for your website is risky business. Not only may the links qualify as spam links (Google's opinion on spam links), but too many links too fast is also seen as suspicious by the search engines. This methodology could get you de-indexed! Google takes this so seriously, they have quality guidelines for link building and write about it in their blog.

    What's the key to avoiding building links too fast?

    • If you hire a company to build links for you, make sure they spread out the number of links over time. For example, if you buy 5,000 links, have them do 300-500 per week until complete.
    • Make sure the links you are gaining come from a variety of sources. For example, if all your links are related to blog comments, that might be seen as suspicious.
    • Make sure you research any company you are going to hire. Referrals from friends are best, but at least do a search them on Google with "reviews" as one of your keywords and see what their online presence says about them.
    • If you have an in-house SEO plan, schedule and track the number of links you add each month.
    • Research your online presence every month to track what links are coming to your site. Do what you can to clean up the spam links.
    • Consult with an SEO expert to develop the best strategy for increasing your incoming links.
    If you're interested in SEO for your website, Landau Design teaches Do-it-Yourself SEO courses which will take you through a step-by-step process for creating and implementing your SEO strategey.