Monday, February 26, 2007

HTML Correctness

Generally, I like to follow rules. I also like to run a profitable business. Does it make business sense to spend time on HTML Correctness?

My homepage fails some WC3 HTML tests. Lots of them.

My use of CSS was better.

Long ago (June & July of 2006), I researched the question of whether SEO Errors Matter and how HTML Errors & SEO related. At the time, I concluded that they do not.

Any research out there to prove otherwise? I hope so since like I said, I'm looking for a business justification to clean up my HTML. I like to follow rules.

Sunday, February 18, 2007

SEO Research - link value

Is it possible that small business like myself could do original research on SEO. For instance, a terribly relevant question.

Do graphical links count more or less than text links?

Research Plan.
- Create some number of near identical sites in terms of domain names and page layout and content. Actuatly create three pairs of nearly identical sites. One page deep each.
- Split them in two groups.
- One group gets links to it that are graphical with images and alt tags that help position them. The links should be nearly identical in terms of position on the pages that they come from.
- The other group gets only text links using near identical keyphrases
- Run searches on them
- Determine if there is a pattern.

Level of Effort
- One hour to fully design the keyphrase and domain strategy
- One hour to explain to staff exactly what I want them to do
- Half day of staff time to put up the domains and place the ads
- One hour / week for 9 weeks to run searches on google, msn, & yahoo to determine pattern
Total - less than 2 man days.

At the end, I'll understand something important. I might even have a sellable report (would I pay $50 to someone who had done this reseach properly and could give me a definitive answer? I would).

Monday, February 12, 2007

Optimizing Content for SEO

Here are a few principles that I live by. I wonder if I could get some feedback on them.

1. When we create an article that is to be submitted to other sites, we first post it on our site since we like to create the pattern with google that we are the source. Does this actually matter? For instance, look at the experienced homeschoolers curriculum review or the article on Christian homeschooling or Christian homeschoolers.

2. When we submit articles elsewhere, we place about 5 links in them back to our site related to the topic and with logical links between the site where it's placed, the content, the anchor text, and the page it links to.

3. When we place articles on our sites, we mix the links so that only about half of them come back to our sites, the rest go to authority sites. We believe this establishes some sort of credibility.

4. We list all of our pages in our site index which is primarily for the spiders: the site map only get the info that we want the people to see.

5. Articles on our site are very focused and designed to answer specific questions for people (and do well on specific keyphrases in the search engines). For instance, a parent might want wonder, should I help my child by enrolling them in a Kumon Learning Center or is there another better approach?

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Marketing to Moms

The heart of Time4Learning's marketing is convincing Moms to give us a try. This is why we have Maria Bailey, author of Marketing to Moms, on our board. And why we read her books and articles. I am bringing on some new writers and so it's time to repeat Maria's lessons (which I am paraphrasing).

What Moms Want in Advertising.
How to Sell to Moms...

1. Visible benefits to using the product
2. Pictures of cute kids (women love the aspirational family picture irrespective of how little it reflects their personal reality).
3. Solutions to everyday challenges
4. Ways to enrich their children
5. Safety information
6. Useful ideas or advice.
7. Value

A relationship with Support from their vendors.