Improve search engine rankings with Natural Links

One of the main factors to improve search engine rankings is the number of links pointing back to your web site from other sites (backlinks). However if the links are not from related sites this could jeopardize your rankings. The best links are natural links.

What are natural links?

These are links that relate to the subject matter on your web site. For example, I build a site all about camping showing why, where and how to camp. If a national state park web site links to my camping site it would called a natural link because it expands the locations where to camp and my camping site would provide valuable camping knowledge for their visitors.

What are unnatural links?

These are links that are unrelated to the content on your web site. Google can detect these types of links which may decrease your rankings.

Types of unnatural links

Automated link building systems

There is software and scripts that can automatically generate links. The problem with this system is that you have no control over the quality of the links. For example if you receive links from gambling sites Google may penalize your site by lowering its rankings.

Paid links

Paid links can also lower your rankings because it’s seen as gaming the system. To read more information on paid links visit:

Here’s a quote from Google webmaster guidelines:

“Don’t participate in link schemes designed to increase your site’s ranking or PageRank. In particular, avoid links to web spammers or “bad neighborhoods” on the web, as your own ranking may be affected adversely by those links.”

How to generate natural links

1. Write good content

When writing content try to place yourself in your visitors shoes. Address their wants, needs and problems. If the content helps solve their problems they will want to link to it. If you create well written content other sites such as search engine directories, blogs, social marketing services will naturally want to link to you.

2. Optimize your content

Search engines index content that contains keywords people are searching on. Before you begin writing content use the free wordtracker tool to determine how many searches your keyword receives. It will generate a list of related keywords you can weave throughout your content. This will make it easier for search engines to find the content and send visitors to your web site.

3. Participate in related blogs and forums

Visit forums and blogs by offering to answer questions or participate in conversations. If you provide valuable content readers will want check out your web site. Most forums and blogs allow you to place a link back to your web site.

4. Become a guest writer

Web site owners constantly need to produce new content. You can help them out by writing a unique article. Include your web site link in the bio at the end of the article. If it’s a high traffic web site you’ll receive many new visitors.

5. Write and submit content to article directories

The top article directories receive millions of visitors every month. You can tap into this traffic by writing an article that addresses your visitors’ problems then submit it to these high traffic directories.

For example you could write “how to” or “7 tips” articles. You can include 2 links back to your web site in the resource box at the end of the article, the first one your full URL, the second a text link.

6. Submit to related directories

This is fast way to obtain incoming links. Enter keyword+directory in Google to find directories related to your keyword then submit your site to them. Research the backlinks of competing sites. Often you’ll find a flood of web sites they have obtained links from. You can contact these same sites to get links to your own site.

7. Provide content for social marketing sites

Social marketing sites receive millions of visitors. Examples of these types of sites include Youtube, iTunes, mySpace, etc. If you create valuable content and submit it to these sites in the form of text, video or audio you’ll receive many natural links.

If you have a blog make it easy to bookmark the content by placing bookmarking icons at the end of your post. If a reader likes what you wrote they will be inclined to bookmark it.

8. Practice deep linking

Most website owners only get links to point to their home page. If all your backlinks use exactly the same text to link to your home page, this will look unnatural. Try to vary the pages you link to plus vary the link text pointing to those pages. Getting links to many of your internal pages help boosts the overall rankings o your website.


Creating well written, optimized content will greatly your improve search engine rankings. The more content you write and publish the more traffic you’ll generate. With more traffic you’ll make more sales.

Improve your search engine rankings by visiting my search engine optimization services at:

Article Writing – How to Write Your First Article

Writing lots of articles is the key to building and maintaining a successful online business because the essence is content. Your first article doesn’t have to be perfect but you do have to get it written so you can write successive articles based on that foundation.

7 steps for writing your first article

1. Select a topic

It’s easier to write about a topic you have passion for or know a lot about than selecting one you have no interest in. To help in that process visit your local bookstore to see what captures your interest. Go online to search article directories, magazines, bookstores or visit forums or blogs.

2. Write an attractive headline

The headline is what a person reads first before reading the rest of the article. Use words that grab the reader’s attention e.g. how to, guide to, simple ways to, tips of, do you, are you…etc.

3. Write an introduction

Your introduction should briefly describe what will be contained within the body of the article. It’s intention is to grab the attention of the reader. One way to achieve this is to ask a question or tell a story. The body of your article expands on the introduction.

4. List 7 tips

Create a list of 7 tips on your topic of interest then write several sentences for each tip. Your article only needs to be 300-500 words long. 3 sentences make a paragraph of approximately 60 words. Seven paragraphs gives you 420 words. If you add an introduction and conclusion you will easily create a 500 word article.

5. Write a conclusion

Your conclusion should summarize what the person read. Use different words from the article body and
make sure it’s a natural transition.

6. Call to action

The resource box at the end of your article is where you place your call to action, who you are and a link back to your website. The call to action should directly relate to the content you wrote. Don’t offer a product or service that is unrelated. You want your readers eager to read more of your future articles.

7. Check your spelling and grammar

Misspelled words, omitted periods, commas or bad sentence construction makes your article appear unprofessional. Run the article through a spell checker and get someone else to read through it before submitting it for publication.


Don’t worry about getting your article perfect before publishing. It’s more important to spend your time writing more articles than laboring over one article. If you constantly submit your articles to the top article directories you’ll generate a consistent flow of visitors to your web site.


Get my complete step-by-step guide for
Highly Effective Article Marketing Strategies
to boost traffic generation to your web site.

How to Create a Favicon

You’ve probably seen a favicon displayed in the beginning of the browser address bar. It helps to visually display a web site.

A favicon stands for “favorites icon”, also known as a website icon, shortcut icon, url icon, or bookmark icon. It is a 16×16 pixel square icon associated with a particular website or webpage.

Creating a favicon

1. Reduce your logo (or whatever icon you wish to use) to 16×16 pixels and save it as a transparent png or gif. If your image is not square add space around it.

2. Save your icon as favicon.ico. Visit to create your favicon.

3. Add the favicon to your web site. Upload favicon.ico to your web site. Verify it’s there by typing in your browser. If using wordpress upload it to your theme folder.

4. Add this code to the head section of your home page.

<link rel="shortcut icon" href="/favicon.ico">

In wordpress insert this code in your header.php file.

<link rel="shortcut icon" type="image/ico" href="<?php bloginfo('template_directory'); ?>/favicon.ico" />

5. Save and upload file. Upload your home page or header.php to the server with FTP. To view your new favicon, clear your browser’s cache (F5).

That’s it!


Inline CSS – How to style text within your web pages

Do you need to quickly style the text within your web pages with CSS?

Answer: Use css inline tags

Normally the best way to use CSS is an external style sheet. It allows you to easily style the web pages throughout your whole site by editing one file however sometimes you just need to style one heading or paragraph (not the whole page or pages).

Why use inline css?

Recently I had to do a quick update to a WordPress web site. Unfortunately the standard WP web editor does not allow you to enlarge the font and I had no time to search/edit the external style sheet.

Here’s the css inline styling I used to create large text:

<p style="font-size:20px; font-weight:bold; color: #000;">Introduction</p>

Here’s how it’s displayed:


Features of inline css

* Allows you to insert the CSS within the HTML code.
* Overrides the styles that are defined in an external CSS.


Do you monitor your web site statistics?

website statistics
The 3 questions you need to ask in order to monitor your web site statistics are:

* How many unique visitors are coming to your web site?
* Where are they coming from?
* What keywords are visitors using to find your web site?

Your hosting provider usually includes these stats with your hosting plan. Alternatively create a Google Analytics account or get a stats counter to place on your web site from

How many unique visitors are coming to your web site?

After viewing these figures create a marketing plan to boost your visitor count each month. More traffic means more sales.

Where are your visitors coming from?

Observe which web pages are receiving the most traffic then monetize them with a product or ads. Often your internal pages receive more traffic than your home page.

If you want to increase the rankings for a particular web page optimize it, then work on building more links to it.

What keywords are your visitors using to find your web site?

Look at the top keyword phrases people are using to find your site. Create a search engine marketing plan to target other keyword phrases to generate more traffic and sales.

Monitoring your web stats shows you what’s happening behind the scenes of your web site. You can then plan a strategy to improve its performance.

Visit: to review my search engine marketing services. – 7 reasons to use Ezinearticles to generate web traffic

Article marketing is one of the best ways to generate a consistent flow of traffic to your web site. This is because content is King” on the Internet. People are are always looking for information online so if you write articles that satisfy their needs you will always attract readers. Instead of submitting your article to hundreds of directories (this could be viewed as spamming) why not submit them to the top article directory on the Net.

Why (EA) is the top article directory on the Net

1. Receives the most visitors

In January 2009 EA delivered 5.1 million clicks to member sites. If you write a great article or submit lots of articles you are going to receive some of those 5.1 million clicks to your web site. The EA staff are constantly creating new ways to deliver more traffic to your articles.

2. Highest non-search engine referrer of highly pre-qualified traffic.

One of the stated missions of EA is to be the highest non-search engine referrer of highly pre-qualified traffic. The beauty of article marketing is that it’s free (except for writing time), saves money that you could spend on pay per click campaigns and will send you traffic for successive years as long as your articles remain online.

3. Human editors

Your articles are reviewed by live humans (not machines) before being published. People looking for free content to place on their web sites or ezines can be confident the articles are not full of spelling and grammatical errors. If they are they will get rejected.

4. Innovative strategies to generate visitors

One innovative strategy recently implemented was integrating Twitter with EA. Every article you submit to EA gets automatically published to your Twitter account. If you have a thousand subscribers on Twitter they will instantly get notified when a new article is published.

Other strategies

RSS Feed – webmasters receive immediate notification when your articles are added to EA.
Email alerts – articles get sent to over 400 niche daily email alerts. These alerts notify email list members when new articles are available that match their unique interests.

5. Include a comprehensive author bio

Readers of your article often want to know more about the author’s expertise. Your author bio at EA allows you to include a photo of yourself, description of your business and numerous links. ie.
Blog URL
Business URL
Personal URL:
Ezine URL:
Business/Social Networking Links
LinkedIN URL
FaceBook URL
Twitter URL

6. Active Blog and Forum

The Ezine Articles Blog keeps you informed of the latest developments plus provides tips how to improve your article marketing strategies for generating more traffic. You can interact with the staff and other EA members by participating on their forum.

7. Build your brand, exposure and expertise.

Millions of visitors use EA every day to find new content. This means your articles get exposed to a large variety of people. If one of your articles gets published in a newsletter with thousands of subscribers you’ll instantly receive a boost in traffic. By constantly writing and submitting articles to EA, visitors will recognize your brand because they view you as an expert on your subject.

Get my complete step-by-step guide for
Highly Effective Article Marketing Strategies
to boost traffic generation to your web site.

Traffic Generation – 7 ways to generate web traffic with article marketing

If you don’t attract visitors to your web site you won’t make any sales. One of the best free methods for traffic generation is to write lots of articles related to your business then distribute them through multiple channels on the Net.

1. Write highly effective content

There’s lots of content on the web which is not uniquely written. It may be copied from other sources, contain lots of spelling and grammar mistakes or doesn’t provide information the reader can use. A uniquely written article stands out from thousands of others on the Web. Find your own unique style of writing so you’ll naturally get people looking for more of your articles.

2. Attract the search engines

Search engines spider keywords contained in your article. Include them in the headline, body and anchor text. Use the h1 tag for the title of your article if it’s for a web page. Search engines place more emphasis on this tag than the body tags.

If you’re writing about dog collars, include the phrase “dog collars” in the link text (anchor text). of your web site. Your site will rank faster than if you just used the URL of your web site in the text.

3. Link building

Links are crucial for attracting web traffic. The quantity and quality of links determine how high your rankings will be. Links can be included in the resource box at the end of your articles, so the more articles you write and distribute on the Net the more links you’ll receive.

Links from high traffic web sites, directories, or search engines will raise your rankings faster than low traffic sites. Therefore look for web sites that already get tons of traffic. Offer exclusive rights to your article. Web site owners know they need to consistently write unique content but often don’t have enough time. You can help them out.

Article directories such as Ezine Articles already receive millions of visitors per day. Submitting articles to this directory on a constant basis will produce a constant flow of traffic to your web site.

4. Repurpose your content

Not all people like to consume content in written form. Some prefer to listen or watch. Take the articles you’ve already written and repurpose (convert) them into audio or video files. You can also use your articles for e-courses, teleseminars, web site and blog content etc. By repurposing
your content you’ll attract a wider audience which means more traffic.

5. More articles = higher traffic generation

Not every article will attract visitors but some will attract thousands. You never know which one or ones will generate the most traffic. Your chances increase by writing more articles. As long as your articles remain on the Net they will keep sending traffic to your web site for years to come.

6. Become a guest writer

Offer to write an article for an online publication, newsletter, blog or web site owner. If your article gets published in a very popular publication you’ll receive lots of traffic.

7. Create a list of ezine publishers

Ezine publishers are always on the lookout for unique content. Enter ezines+keyword or newsletter+keyword in the Google search box to find and contact ezine and newsletter publishers you can send your articles to. Often individual newsletters will attract more visitors to your article than submitting it to general directories.

Get my complete step-by-step guide for
Highly Effective Article Marketing Strategies
to boost traffic generation to your web site.

Starting a Free Online Business with Article Marketing

Starting a Free Online Business with Article Marketing
All online businesses constantly require content. If you can write an article, you have the capacity to start and build a profitable online business. Choose a niche or topic you are passionate about then start writing.

7 Strategies for Starting an Online Business with Article Marketing:

1. Web Site Content

An online business needs a web site to sell your product or service. You need content for these web pages that persuades visitors to purchase from you. An article can easily be converted to a sales page or content for web pages. For ecommerce websites selling many items write an introductory paragraph or two before displaying the item images.

2. List Building content

Building an email list is essential for building relationships with your visitors. Your newsletter helps you to stay in touch with your visitors so they will trust your recommendations for purchasing future products and services. Offer your audience your best written articles first before distributing them on the Net. If you build a large list of 1000s of subscribers you can send one email to this list that generates instant sales.

3. Traffic generation content

For your web site to succeed it needs constant traffic. Writing lots of articles, submitting them to article directories, blogs, social marketing sites and including them on your own web site will attract lots of visitors. The amount of traffic you receive is proportional to the number of articles you write.

4. Multimedia content

Content on the web these days is not confined to text only. Video and audio is being used to appeal to a wider range of visitors. Some folks prefer to listen or watch to consume content. Some prefer all three methods… read, listen and watch. You can satisfy your customers’ needs by repurposing (converting) your written articles into video and audio then distributing it all over the web.

5. Search engine friendly content

Search engines spider content containing keywords people are searching for. For instance if you write a series of articles on “dog training” that includes keyword phrases such as dog training equipment, dog training collars, dog training collars, search engines will find your content and deliver visitors to your web site.

6. Autoresponder content

Autoresponders are essential tools to keep in touch with your visitors. A customer sometimes needs 7 exposures to your message before purchasing your product. Offer an email course from your web site or to newsletter subscribers by writing a series of 7 short articles. Load these up in your autoresponder then send a different message for alternate days of the week. Each message should conclude with your product offer.

7. Link building content

The number and quality of links pointing to your web site determines your ranking in the search engines. Include your web site links in the resource box at the end of the article. People reading your article will link to it or place it on their web site, blog or in their newsletter. If your article gets placed on many web sites your rankings will increase dramatically because there are many links pointing back to it.

If you apply these 7 strategies consistently, you can dominate any niche. Now go ahead and choose the niche you are passionate about and start writing lots of articles.

Learn how to start and build a profitable online business with

Highly Effective Article Marketing Strategies

Herman Drost is the Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW)
owner and author of Affordable WebSite Design

Safari Browser Compatibility

Traditionally I test all web sites I design with Internet Explorer and Firefox browsers. Recently a customer pointed out that an image on her website did not display correctly (it looked fine in IE and FF). I downloaded Safari for Windows XP
to view her web site. I had to alter the CSS to make her web site compatible for Safari.

Features of Safari

1. Blazing Performance
2. Elegant User Interface
3. Easy Bookmarks
4. Pop-up Blocking
5. Search any text on any website with the integrated Find banner.
6. Tabbed BrowsingTabs
7. Instantly snap back to search results or the top level of a website.
8. AutoFill Forms
9. Built-in RSS
10. Resizable Text Fields
11. Private Browsing
12. Secure

Windows Requirements

* Windows XP or Vista
* At least 256MB of RAM
500Mhz Pentium-class processor or better

Pros and Cons of the Safari Browser

Here’s one persons experience after using the Safari browser for some time.

My Recommendation

When designing web sites always validate the xhtml and css first before checking them in different browers. This will eliminate 99% of the errors. Finally check your web site in Safari, Internet Explorer and Firefox then adjust the CSS accordingly to correct display errors.

Attract 1000s of NEW visitors to your website with

Effective Article Marketing Strategies

Herman Drost is the Certified Internet Webmaster (CIW)
owner and author of Web Site Design

Free Market Research Strategies – Know Your Customers’ Needs

If you don’t know your customers’ needs your sales and marketing efforts will be like throwing mud at a wall hoping it will stick. The more you know about your customers, the more profitable your business will be because you have a clear focus.

7 Strategies to Know Your Customer’s Needs

1. Know where your customers gather online

Find the forums, blogs, discussion groups they visit and participate in the conversation. Communicating with your customers will give you insights how they think.

2. Conduct a survey

Some forums allow you to run a survey or poll. Ask questions related to the product or service you wish to offer. If there is no interest choose one that people are excited about.

Use to create a survey to send to your subscribers.

3. Create a Google Adwords campaign

Set up different ads that contain keywords related to your niche. The beauty of this method is that you can receive feedback within a few days. You can also tweak your ads to see which one generates the most clicks.

Use the copy of your profitable ad in the content of your web site because you already know it will attract visitors.

Pick up a copy of: “The Definitive Guide to Google AdWords” to learn the fastest and correct way to set-up and run a Google AdWords Campaign

4. Research online stores

Visit the large online stores such as ebay,, to get an idea what products are big sellers. Visit the largest bookstore in your town to see what books are featured prominently in the store.

5. Subscribe to Google Alerts

Google Alerts provide email updates of the latest Google results based on the topic of your choice. It also allows you to keep current on a competitor.

6. Observe industry trends

Sign up for Google Trends to follow the trends in your market.

7. Research the cost per click of your main keywords

Enter your main keywords in to view how much advertisers are willing to pay for a particular keyword. SpyFu shows how many advertisers there are, cost/click, clicks/day and the number of search results.


Knowing where your customers gather online, how they think and what they buy, will help you make a more informed decision what niche or topic to invest in for the long term.

For more information on how to conduct market search and write articles to start an online business please visit: Article Marketing Strategies.