Lizardwebs Search Engine Optimization Raleigh NC Mon, 25 Feb 2019 18:59:10 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Lizardwebs 32 32 Can You Optimize Your WordPress Site For SEO? Tue, 13 Nov 2018 17:13:21 +0000 Target Visitors Using WordPress SEO

Getting visitors to your website is one of the most vital things you need to do; if you have until now found it difficult to do, you should look into WordPress SEO (Search Engine Optimization). If you haven’t heard of WordPress before, you must have been stranded on a desert island somewhere! It is one of the world leaders for blogging, if not the singular leader. Why WordPress? Well, it’s mostly due to its ease of use in addition to the tons of benefits it packs such as search engine optimization features. However, you have to be fully aware of the dynamics that go into optimizing your WordPress blog before you can see any results. Used correctly, the optimization WordPress offers can dramatically increase the traffic to your site. In this article we will explore various tips that will help you get the most out of your site.

One of the most vital roles in determining how your website will be ranked will be filled by your WordPress titles in correctly. Using targeted and relevant keywords in your post titles is key, as a search engine will use these keywords to determine your ranking. These relevant keywords should be in the title as well as your content. Limiting the usage of each title to one time only will help to ensure that your ranking strategy is clearly communicated to the search engines. You’d rather have a few pieces of good content about one thing than a bunch of mediocre ones.

Alternatively, it is a good idea to keep relevant keywords listed nearby for application in creating posting titles. It will require a delicate balance to ensure that your titles are SEO friendly, as well as being clear and understandable to your visitors. Draw your audience in with an enticing, targeted headline that creates interest in the topic. The titles shouldn’t be long, but to the point and be instantly understandable to the person who’s reading it. To attain a high rank within popular search engines, the content you publish must be first rate with attention to detail and consistent use of relevant key terms.

A lot of people don’t think about categorizing their blogs, but when you begin adding categories you’ll find it makes your blog seem more approachable. Those visiting your site will appreciate it, as it will make navigating and searching for something far easier. Search engines will also find it helpful. Keep your posts ordered and tidy. When you’re creating categories, it doesn’t matter how much information you’ve previously published, it all gets its place. The category is listed in the post, as well as in the URL, when you have your permalinks feature turned on. Since most visitors are usually in a hurry, it’s a great idea to let them know about your post right there in your URL. This also allows you to have focused pages and sections getting all of the attention from specific posts, which is better for you.

When it comes to SEO in WordPress, one of the most crucial things you should do is be sure that your blog’s permalinks are customized. That means that the title of your post should also be part of the URL. All you have to do is alter the permalink structure in the options settings. The default structure is made of numbers/question marks, so you need to make changes to avoid this as SEO wise it’s not really beneficial, which will affect your ranking on the long run. It also just looks better to readers, all of those random characters scare people at times.

Yes, You CAN Get Google To Like Your Site More! Tue, 13 Nov 2018 16:51:39 +0000 Get More Google Love to Your Site – You Can Do It!

Getting highly targeted traffic to your site is one of the highest priorities you should have. And as an Internet marketer or a webmaster you should realize that Google is an amazing source to get qualified traffic coming your way. When you take a look around, however, you’ll see that most people are still struggling to get the attention, respect and high page rankings that Google doles out. There is a pretty simple reason for this: they just don’t do the right things. They aren’t doing what needs to be done to get the love of Google. So which techniques will help you reach that goal? This article will teach you what you need to know when you want to make a really strong impression on Google and get highly ranked for the keywords that you have targeted.

The success of your SEO efforts can be partially determined by your social media presence. When you’re trying to improve your Google rankings, this is even more important. If you learn to harness the power of social media properly, you can really boost your Google results and get more traffic coming to your business.

Always include sites like Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook. You need to deliver good quality content and then stay active on those social media sites. You can also increase your number of backlinks by leveraging sites like Digg and Reddit. While this might not offer you immediate results, it will definitely make an impact over the long term. Your Google rankings can be easily tweaked by working on high quality content and social media.

Getting to that number one slot is one of the components that will guide you when it comes to rankings in Google. So ensure that your backlinks come from sites that have high rankings themselves. Ensure that they have something to do with your site. You should not get your backlinks from sites that do not matter. You could still probably get a good backlink from a site with a good ranking, still continue to stay on topic with the sites that you choose. Since Google requires relevancy, this is what you should strive for. Simply put, when you get backlinks from sites that are relevant with a high page rank, this will do a lot to get a high page rank for your website. If you’re getting random links, Google is simply going to be able to tell.

The title should also be taken very seriously. If your title is whack, then Google is not going to rank you highly. A good title is a good indicator. It tells the search engines a little about your site. The title is essential for listing the search results. So if you put more attention on the title, you will have a better outcome. It also makes it easier for readers to decide if it interest them or not. Google will give a good ranking to your website when you do things in the right manner. So when these rules are observed, it will gain exposure for website and a high ranking for your specified keyword.

The niche you’ve chosen isn’t as important as understanding just how much power Google holds. It’s easier to make things happen when you know your site will be found through Google. People will start approaching you instead of things being the other way around. This is really great traffic and should convert nicely. But the point is, you first need to put in the effort to get noticed by Google. To truly ensure your reputation with Google take the information we’ve given you here to heart. So what’s keeping you back? Get to work! If you need help beyond this, then we’ve got the very best Search Engine Optimization crew around for you to work with.

Cleaning your site – Part 2 – Page Structure Fri, 10 Mar 2017 13:41:24 +0000 Continuing on with our “Let’s clean up yer site” run, let’s take a look at MORE of the onsite search optimization things…

Back in the good old days, before search engines had as many smarts as they do today – and SEO was NOT a daily marketing item, things were pretty simple. We were ticked to DEATH when one of our hardware suppliers put UP a website so we could download new drivers pronto! This was WELL before the days of automatic updating were even probably conceived. There just weren’t that many sites out there. I remember being able to get updated drivers for my Creative sound card. What a joy. Didn’t have to request and then wait for shipment of those crazy disks.

Lest I get drawn off into reminiscence, the point is, back in those days, it was NOT so difficult to keep track of things. Structures were usually what those of us in the business call a “flat” structure – every page was in the “root” of the website. Very few even THOUGHT about structuring their sites. You often saw just small sites. There were NOT those thousand page+ behemoths that almost ANYONE can create effortlessly today – say NOTHING about massive sites like Microsoft or Wikipedia. There was no need to do a whole lot of structuring with your 10 page site… I could go to the Creative Drivers page and there would be my card number and I clicked on the link and downloaded the zip file and installed. Granted, downloading it at 14.4K was a lengthy process, but…

As time went along, the web became more and more crowded. Those same files that we went to Creative to get might also be offered elsewhere – maybe with a bunch of OTHER manufacturer drivers. There had to be some sort of structuring to help categorize things and make accessing finding them easier. As time went along, the search engines had to get “smarter” to better categorize things and keep track of them. What web devs discovered worked well for THEM was to categorize their OWN pages in a way that might logically make sense TO the search engines.  Not only did it make it easier for web devs and webmasters to keep track of their pages as their sites got bigger and bigger, it helped create logical relationships that the search engines could understand – parent/child relationships.

Flat Structures

Just to make sure we’re on the same page – a flat structure would give you urls like http://mydomain.tld/mypage1, http://mydomain.tld/mypage2, http://mydomain.tld/mypage3, etc… This kind of structure is easy to maintain – there is no concern over categorizing it, CSS and link structures are easy to handle even if done in manual HTML/CSS/Javascript. That can be fine if there really is not too much content, or your products are not very diverse, or maybe you only have one service / product and don’t need explanations too far.

But when you do have more than just one service to discuss? Or you need to take it further? How DO you do that? It’s simple and just like you do most other things in life – but because it’s digital, people seldom think about it. Categories or “parent/child” structures are the answer. So in my food pantry, I have 1 shelf that is pretty much canned goods. I have the shelf arranged from good ol’ Chef Boyardee on the far left, then meat products – yes even Spam 🙂 – then vegetables, then all types of tomato stuff in various forms and then finally finished and meal-ready sauces/gravies. So when the fiancee asks – “Hey where’s my ravioli?” I can immediately tell her “canned goods shelf on the left.” Inevitably she WON’T find it as she’s a stranger to the kitchen, but she likes to THINK she can…

Okay, so you cook and have an organized pantry. How does THAT apply to my website?

Silo Structures (Using Parent/Child page structures)

We always suggest setting up your website similarly. Shelf=Parent. Row=Child. Services? Unless you have one and only one service, we bet there’s a lot of “sub-services” that better explain the full SCOPE of your services or further help people understand all the things your company DOES do. And with our example, MAYBE you should think about setting up some of your cans in rows.  Let’s take a hypothetical Plumbing company. I’m about to do a plumbing website design, so this will help me work through it anyway 🙂

So our root is “”. Instead of just trying to blather it all on the front page and hope we can rank for every location and term on one page (yes, we hear people ask us to do THAT for them all the time too…), let’s put out a service oriented page. We can do this as a standalone page OR as a top level page with child pages that further outline all your services. So maybe we have the following…


This is VERY simple and was done with no research. It also neglects to figure out which one is more popular – all of these terms WITH the “s” at the end or WITHOUT the “s” at the end. LOL – yes, we DO get that picky.  Anyway, this example structure is probably NOT where I’ll end up when I build our SEO-friendly plumbing site, but… We now have a PARENT page as /home-services and a number of CHILD pages. This concept is applied over and over again throughout many sites. How about that plumbing repair page? Are all plumbing repairs the same? Betting not. Might you also have people searching for repairs in the kitchen? Maybe in the bathroom? How about we add on some additional child pages to that Plumbing Repair parent page?


So now… we have our FULL URL string as

So what does THAT tell Google? The domain tells Google, front and center, that this is a plumbing company. The rest of the entire site will be shaded by that choice. EVERY child page that contains the parent word/words WILL be shaded by that choice. So starting off with either an exact match domain (EMD) or partial match domain (PMD) as discussed yesterday is a great start. Secondly, “home-services” – obviously these are services provided BY the plumbing company. I used “home” here to differentiate from commercial level services. We COULD break it down with “/services” and then childs of “/home” (or residential) and “/commercial” to differentiate more granularly in some cases. Not all plumbers offer commercial or are interested in commercial business – and ditto on the residential services side.

Next, we have “plumbing-repair”. So we have a variety of services and plumbing repair is one of them. From a search engine optimization perspective, that page can discuss a lot of items if desired and maybe even cover the gamut from kitchen, bathroom, wells, septic, under your house, water heaters and all. IF you have a very competitive area though, you likely will NEED to devote a page to it.

Why devote a page to it?

A lot of people miss the boat here. When it’s competitive, you want and often need as much goodness and “ooomph” as you can throw to it to knock out your competitors. So if someone is looking for kitchen sink repairs in Raleigh, can you beat someone with your “home-services” page when your competitor has a domain named “” going for them? Yes, you CAN, but you better be able to just LOOK at that domain name and KNOW that your competitor is going to have a REAL leg up on that particular term. Unless they are really bad, you may have some issues knocking them out. OR you may incur/your SEO may incur some effort and costs beating them – and need to throw everything INCLUDING THE KITCHEN SINK at them (rim shot there…). It’s going to at least be easier with your URL string containing more of the appropriate words – and more focused pages.

That “devoted” page can be ALL about everything on that particular topic. You don’t need it to be an “everything to everybody” webpage, it can be all about that ONE topic. So if you ARE up against, and YOUR competitive URL is – you NOW have all your keywords covered. You just need to make sure you ALSO cover as many topics as possible about kitchen sink repairs IN THE CONTENT.

Looking at that URL though, it’s getting too long. I think we would really want to trim this down to Once you GET categorizing, you CAN get carried away. OR break it down with /home-services/kitchen-repairs/sinks. There are a number of ways you CAN get your keywords in the URL and there is usually no “THAT’S WRONG!!!” or “THAT’S RIGHT!” and have it be the only solution. As you see above, there’s a few different ways that we have accomplished that – and that’s just off the tip of our noggins.

If you can wrap your head around THOSE examples, you’ll be WELL on your way towards helping out your rankings. Can you RANK with a flat structure? You CAN. Sites are doing it every day. BUT, if you want to make it as easy as possible for your site to rank, the more relevance you can give to your site, the more likely you are to GET the nod from Google. If you look back at our last example, we discussed branded domain names. With a straight branded name, like “http://zimmermans.tld”, you give NO shading to the entire site. You will have to do it further down. So maybe Zimmermans does plumbing AND HVAC. So now you would need a services/plumbing and services/hvac vertical to allow this kind structure to shine through. It presents a LOT of options.

Have fun – and look for the next segment on Image Optimization!  Does all this confuse the heck out of you? It’s really not that hard if someone explains it to you, but if you need someone to sit down with you and go over YOUR site, give us a call for search engine optimization services!

Cleaning Your Site – What you should be looking at Tue, 07 Mar 2017 17:25:53 +0000 Lizardwebs - SEO - Cleaning things upSo, most of you probably don’t know much about what goes into doing websites directly or how we go about optimizing them for search or such. Then again, if you’re showing up HERE, maybe you do. Regardless, I’ve been on the creation side of the web for over 20 years now. I’ve seen good, bad and everything in between. I have turned OUT good, bad and everything in between in that time period LOL – we all start somewhere.  We don’t turn out bad intentionally, but at different times, creativity may have run a little shy, time may have run a little shy – or a client’s BUDGET may have run a little shy. You don’t build the Taj Mahal with a doublewide budget – and we’ve seen a lot of double and even “single-wide” budget clients in the last 20 years.

That said, there are certain things that need to be done.  There are certain tenets to a good website construction – for RANKING. And what I see out of a LOT of shops – and, unfortunately, devs that are out there, is NOTHING but “pretty pictures” in the site.  It drives me absolutely crazy. A well-done site will have a nice combination of design (or at least a catchy design), good and reasonably thorough content, and a solid structure. In a well-designed site, these images will ALSO load quickly and will be appropriate to the project. We’re going to cover these topics across at least a couple of articles.

Bad Website Structure – Everywhere

I’ve got one “under the knife” now that was done by an UpWork person for one of my clients. The potential client asked me back in December if I could help him. I really didn’t have time, so he pressed on with his Upwork contractor. Who turned out a nightmarish site as far as being rankable. Looks great on the surface, but so many things were done wrong. Now we’re working on SEO for him as of last month. While we’ve made progress with them, it really is going to require some remedial work. It honestly is such a mess that I’m not sure if I’ll be able to fix it without rebuilding it elsewhere and moving content across.

We just took on another project. The guy has done great work – but as I feared, he spent his time on pretty pictures. It’s going to look GREAT – except I guarantee it won’t ever be found – unless I go back and do a whole LOT of retrofitting.  And I’m going through it and getting more and more irritable. Pretty site – it really is. But several poor choices were made. A bad choice here or there is not the end of the site, but more than a few makes ranking any website harder than it should be.  When you put pretty over SEO, you likely you will end up with a client down the road asking “WHY is this site not ranking? It’s so pretty!” Now, bearing in mind THAT is my normal role, guess who’s going to get those questions?  Yup – me.  The first thing I have to tell people?  “Pretty has NOTHING to do with your rankings. Nada. Zero. Zilch. Not. A. Single. Thing.”  People do expect to usually see some level of competence, and pretty may help in conversions, but getting them TO the site is important in all considerations.   So what does “me” have to go fix first? Poor design/development work.  I may have a month or two to get around to it, but until poor onsite work is corrected, the rankings will NOT be what they should be.

Quick things to look out for on YOUR site

Domain Names – Naming Your Site

While your domain name doesn’t need to reflect the specific business name, it does help at times. Having your domain match your company name can increase your branding presence immensely.  BUT, it does not have to.  If you happen to be “officially” something like “Zimmerman’s Old Stuff and Grandmother’s Attic Antiques”, you might just want to go with something that’s a little more pointed and direct – and a whole LOT shorter.  Maybe “ZAntiques.TLD” – which is ALSO a PMD that we discuss below.  NOBODY will ever type the OFFICIAL name in without fat-fingering it.  That’s the branded and semi-branded approach.

Full Branded – as in the above example, you can create a shorter branded name for your site like JUST “zimmermans.tld” – but that gives NO indication of what you are, what you do or any other indications as to what would be found on this site. It certainly does NOT provide any influential keywords to the domain. If you ARE well-known or have a whole lot of OTHER marketing going on where people will immediately recognize the name, then go for it.  A good example would be It doesn’t provide any indication what the name is about, but when you see commercials left and right on TV, you see Jimmy Johnson’s NASCAR ride every week with a big “Lowe’s” splattered across the hood, newspaper flyers, radio ads, etc – it’s fine.

There are a couple other options – exact match domains (EMDs) and partial match domains (PMDs).  If it’s NOT an exact match domain (EMD) name, then at least get one or two target keywords IN the domain name.  In the above example, we have “antiques” in our above example – which is a highly searched keyword.  What is REALLY behind an EMD is to get the MOST searched term as your domain name. You will have a natural leg up on the competition if your domain name (and thus whole site) is shaded by a strong EMD or even PMD choice. If the most commonly searched term for antiques in Raleigh NC is “antique stores raleigh nc”, there is NOTHING stopping you from selecting the domain name “antiquestoresraleighnc.tld” as YOUR new domain name.  (NOTE – this is for example only. I didn’t run and do a check on searches for it. Dont’ base your domain choice on something non-specific to YOUR situation that you read on a blog entry…)

Location Location Location

A lot of things are going to be location specific. If I’m searching for a place to go look at antiques in the Raleigh market, I really am NOT interested in someplace selling antiques in Reno NV. To further target your market – if you are going to use any type of matching domain, then you MIGHT want to include a location – either a state, city or area.  For the fictional Zimmermans, we might go with TriangleAntiques.tld, RaleighAntiques.tld or NCAntiques.tld. OR a combination of all of the above – – for example.

Go for the gusto with a SERIOUS EMD

Or you can even flat out FORGET the branding and go straight for the jugular with an EMD ONLY name.  Other things that can be good are selecting keyword rich domains – like “” would have a REAL headstart on ranking for the “raleigh plumbing repair” market.  Not long ago, the exact match domains seemed to get dinged a bit.  Everyone was charging to “branded” domains. Like my company name is “Lizardwebs.”  While the word “web” is in there, web is really secondary to what we normally do. To use an exact match domain (EMD), we might go with the “RaleighSEO.TLD” or “SEO-Raleigh.TLD” or something like that.

How about the domain extension – the TLD?

Trying out “designer” TLDs – never suggested. Particularly if you don’t have a young “hip” audience. The TLDs that everyone knows and recognizes are .com, .net and .org.  Some that have been around for a few years now are being seen such as the .co domain TLD. I have had great success with .co domains – and that’s about as far as I have personally taken it.  I don’t anticipate Google dinging oddball TLDs, but people themselves WILL have a problem with it – but not the problem you think.

The site we just got in, the developer threw the idea of using a “.clinic” as the TLD for a new doctor’s site. Now initially, if it were such a good idea, wouldn’t the front page be littered with doctor’s offices with the .clinic TLD?  I can’t find any on SEVERAL searches even in very low competition areas.  Secondarily, “clinic” in my mind is more often associated with “low cost” type healthcare services – as in “low income health clinics”.  A search in the Raleigh area immediately turns up “Free Clinics Raleigh NC ” – which is NOT the focus of this particular practice.

While that is clever and all, bearing in mind the doctor’s clientele is older, they will NOT know what to do with that TLD.  “Our site? Just go to myname dot clinic” will be the instructions.  What will the person do?  They will type in “”.  This might be good a few years from now when people understand that there are other domain names besides .com, .net and .org – maybe.  A lot of users still choke on MY domain name being a .net, say NOTHING about one of the domain name TLDs that no one has really heard before… Go over to NameCheap and take a look at a BUNCH of new TLDs that I’m sure you’ve NEVER heard of before.

Sadly, even if an idea is poor, once a client gets in their mind that something is a good idea, it’s hard to change their mind.  We’ll let it go for a while and use it as a test case.  One of those cases where once you let the genie out of the bottle, you just CAN’T get it back in.

The NEXT article will cover more about what these two sites have in common and what we’ll do to get them ready for SEO love


Bad SEO Signs Fri, 09 Sep 2016 09:40:42 +0000 Bad Website SEO Optimization methods
Bad SEO - How to get banned quickly!

Bad SEO - How to get banned quickly!

So, you say you just have WAY too many visitors – crushing your webserver and using up all your bandwidth? Put a few of these really UNHELPFUL tips into play and just watch your rankings tank. Might not happen immediately, but it will eventually. Just watch your site bomb right OFF the SERPs! And it will take forever to get that rank back! Good stuff.

Multiple Doorways – This technique involves using several pages that are optimized specifically for search engine submission. These pages usually are nothing more than huge meta tags, lots of tags containing all the search terms, text that makes almost no sense but is loaded with the search terms. Pages like these will usually then either have a javascript redirect or a page refresh that takes you to another page that wouldn’t rank very well or get much traffic on it’s own merits. If you have a site that has index1.html, index2.html, index3.html, etc, this is probably the case. This is NOT to say that you can’t have multiple versions of your page for tracking purposes. If you submit a website to Google and the URL you give is googleindex.html and you are tracking your hits via googleindex.html hits, then you are not abusing the system. Just make sure your page contains relevant information. There are other ways of examining where your hits come from, but this can be acceptable.

Script Cheats/Cloaking – also referred to as “Stealth” or “cloaking” – This technique looks at the incoming User Agent most of the time and prepares specifically created text for that search engine spider. Legitimate script techniques were heavily used when browsers were not supporting much in the way of standards several years ago. They are still used to maintain backwards compliance and to provide workarounds on certain browsers in some cases. However, if I subvert that concept to look for the “googlebot” user agent and then start feeding out a bunch of search engine spam to get my rankings boosted, that is considered a script cheat. Normally you can spot this sham by the content that is shown on the search engine brief when a search is done and then get to the site and the content isn’t even close. I lost my very high ranking once to a site that had done just that. They were selling insurance and had included my company URL in the spider spam. It included a ton of terms that had nothing to do with my company, it’s products, or anything else. They were simply usurping the power of the name and taking legitimate customers from my site by posing as an affiliated partner – which they weren’t.

Being part of or creating your OWN Link Farms – These are still ranked highly by several search engines much to my disgust. These pages are nothing more than a HUGE collection of links that provide no useful information, but have a ton of links with a tiny bit of associated text. When you have 1000 links each with a little bit of text, you STILL have lots of text for a spider to grab hold of. Search engines have gotten better about recognizing this stuff, but still I think they end up ranking abnormally hgh and provide little information. One that truly ticks me off is the Superpages site. I was looking for something the other day. I kept coming up with these huge lists of links from Superpages. Now why do I need a huge page of links? I want to visit a company that SELLS the stuff, not pages of lists. In some cases maybe huge lists is a good thing, but it defeats the purpose of the search engine as far as I’m concerned. Don’t do it. If you have links, and you should, keep them relevant and complementary to your site.

Hidden text – Some clever webmasters discovered that they could include a load of search terms in the body of their html by either making the text the same color as the background or so small as to be unreadable. While the text was unusable by web surfers, it was picked up by the search engines. By doing this these webmasters just didn’t have to worry about making their content look like they even tried. Ever get to what appears to be a long blank area or whole page that seems to have almost nothing on it? Left click and hold your mouse, drag it through the area. Most likely you see all sorts of text then highlighted. Classic search engine spam.

General META spamming – It’s important to know what terms to use in your META tags. It’s important to use only words that are related to your site. Discovering what words are most frequently searched on the web allows devious webmasters to take that information and then load up their META tags with these words – even if they are completely irrelevant to their site. That’s why searching for something innocuous can still occasionally pull up all grades of porn sites. This HAS improved over the years, but still is out there.

Dummy sites – This consists of setting up a base site and then setting up several other sites, usually on free web host sites, that do nothing more than contain a lot of spammy techniques and then redirect the visitor the actual site. The dummy site may or may not contain anything useful. Either way, if you are immediately redirected or receive a “Click here” to move onto the legit content, it’s probably a dummy site.

or Danger Will Robinson!

Be aware that using some of the spammy techniques as mentioned can actually get you dropped from a search engine. There are things that the engines look for and at closely. If a search engine decides that a website is spamming or falling out of compliance with their policies, your website very well may get dropped. You will have one heck of a time getting your website back on there. In some cases, you might find it easier to pack it up, correct your content/website, get a new domain name and start over again.

If you discover that your web design company has USED some of these spammy techniques, either demand that they change the site immediately or just flat out get a new designer to clean up the mess. Great ranking for a month or two are usually not the goal of any company. Consistent good rankings are what will bring in the customers in the long run. And the goal of any business site is to generate money. Don’t fall for a quick burst of visitors only to find you’ve been dropped from the search engines the next month.

Read more about what WILL get your website banned from the biggest search engine directly – Google Don’ts Dirty Tricks That Will Get Your Site Banned

By adhering to ethical and standard practices, a site that ranks consistently in most or all search engines is possible.

Website search engines have improved vastly in the last few years. I still have no idea some of the little nuances that search engines actually look for when they spider a website, why some web pages that seem useless rank well, why web pages that seem to have the right content DON’T rank well or even show up at times on the engines or why some sites and pages will rank at the top in one engine and barely even appear on another engine. The search engines will never give away their algorithms for rankings so we’re all in the same boat.

Google Algorithms Fri, 09 Sep 2016 09:35:35 +0000 Search Engine Algorithms Change – FREQUENTLY!

mqdefaultSomething to keep in mind – algorithms for ranking your site are always changing. What worked 5 years ago – even 5 months ago, may or may NOT still be viable. Like any professional thing, ongoing testing and learning are vital to any good SEO company. If your SEO person is relying on practices that USED to work – they may NOT be getting the best results – and may actually be tanking your site. We still see a lot of companies using bad SEO techniques.

It’s not uncommon to see an algorithm change in Google or other search engines causing your site to shift many places in a short period of time. Some shifts are brief, but if your site goes down a few pages and just does NOT come back up, it’s time to try a different strategy – or SEO company. At a minimum, contact your SEO company to find out what’s going on and bring it to their attention. If they’re good, they already know that you’ve shifted and are working on it. If your site moves around a few places from week to week, that’s natural. Some sites though, we have to say, are so much stronger than competitors, that they generally do NOT shift out of first position. You know you’ve got something good going at that point!

Normal variances in your Search Engine Rankings

It is NOT uncommon to see specific rankings shift around from week to week – even day to day in particularly competitive markets and terms. We expect to see variances of a few spots in rankings. We see some pages drop 10 spots, but then another page on your site rises 11 positions for that same term – effectively swapping out positions on the SERPs.


Another common Google Algorithm that will affect your site is PageRank – find out about PageRank here

PageRank – Huh? Fri, 09 Sep 2016 09:28:39 +0000 UPDATE 2016-09-09: What WAS PageRank? PageRank was an integral part of SEO for many years. Read on to learn more about what it WAS, but its time has now passed.  We haven’t really counted on it now for a couple years – quite a while.  Most SEOs refer to rankings from or or Google still has an internal mechanism for determining how much love they have for your site, but it is no longer shared in ANY fashion with the public.

What WAS PageRank?When you start talking to your SEO company, all those terms… What the heck is offsite? What is onsite? What is this and that? And then, of course, what is PageRank?

Our friends over at Wikipedia have it something along these lines…

PageRank is a link evaluation algorithm, named after Larry Page and used by the Google web-search engine, that designates a numeric weighting to each component of a hyperlinked group of files, like the World Wide Web, together with the purpose of “measuring” its relative significance inside of the set. The formula may be applied to any collection of entities with reciprocal quotations and references. The numerical weight that it assigns for any given element E is denoted by PR (E and known as the PageRank of E). PageRank is not Google’s only formula that establishes positions in serp’s, but simply one of several elements utilized to establish ranking sites in search results pages for any specific search. Find out more at their site – PageRank Explained

In short, if you didn’t follow all of that, it’s a system named after Larry Page (one of the Google founders) to help decide just how important your website actually is based on the content, links and other various factors specific to your website. Higher is better. The rankings go from N/A to 10. It is usually referred to as simply “PR” – not to be confused with “public relations” type PR.

Quick PR Ranking Breakdown

  • N/A: Google has no clue who the heck you are. If you have been around for a while, it really doesn’t like your content – scraped or just nothing of any real note. If you’re just starting a website, this is normal.
  • PR 0: Google acknowledges your existence, but doesn’t see much value yet, but it has some faith in you. Still not a desired ranking.
  • PR 1: Now you’re getting somewhere. You have content and some value in Google’s eyes. You’re not setting the world on fire, but you have relevance.
  • PR 2: Okay, not shabby. Google likes you. You’ve got some decent content.
  • PR 3: Good for a local website – much like the ones that we create. You’ve got content that is good, and you’ve got some clout. With a PR 3 site, you can usually launch a page and get pretty quick love from Google on it.
  • PR 4: Now you’ve got some heat. PR 4 and up is pretty powerful medicine if you’re doing either backlinking or buying expired domains for reuse. This ranking indicates some good solid traffic (at some point), relevance, and a good number of backlinks – again, at SOME point.

The rough breakdown is that each successive increase in PR is an order of 10. So a PR 0 is your starting point. A PR 1 is 10x more impressive than that, a PR 2 is 100x more impressive, and a PR 3 1000x stronger. Etc.

What does this mean to MY website?

I’m sure a larger company than Lizardwebs could identify better the higher PR ranks and all that, but once you get moving up the ladder, you want to be PR 1 or higher. For SEO, PR N/A or PR 0 is crap. If you’re creating your own sites from ground up, you will have those rankings for a while. To get to the next level(s), you need to be moving on up the pipe all the time by increasing your unique and useful content, and of course, backlinks. It is NOT a requirement to HAVE a higher PR to rank for a specific search term, but it helps. If a PR 4 site puts up a new page targeting a particular term, it usually has a great chance to rank for that term quickly vs a PR 0 site.

Other terms that you’re likely to hear bandied about when chatting about PR are “google juice”, “link juice”, “google love”, etc. With each increase in PR ranking when a page/site is linked from one of these sites, the PR indicates how much “love” is being passed on to your site. Thus if I want Google to rank my site higher, with the help of some good links, I want to be using some higher PR sites as much as possible. It’s going to take about 1000 PR 0 links to do for my website what just 1 PR 3 link will do. While this is a bit of a simplification, it’s the basic idea. And a good PR 5-7 link? Heck, that can pass on the love of a whole year or two of backlinking from PR 0 sites LOL.

A lot of “splogs” – spam blogs – have the PR N/A or PR 0 designation due to lack of unique or useful content and other factors. With recent Google updates in place, it is generally not advised to be linking from anything less than a PR 1 site. Though…

I see PR 0 sites all day long ranking for keywords, so it seriously is NOT a big issue in many cases.
Additionally, while it is believed that Google does have a real-time PR value for each website/web page, they actually only release those updates quarterly or even semi-annually. If you’re PR 0 today, don’t worry yourself looking up your PR every day – you’re likely going to be disappointed 99% of the time.

Check your PR

Check Page Rank of your Web site pages instantly:

This page rank checking tool is powered by Page Rank Checker service

The Evolution of SEO and Digital Marketing Fri, 01 Jul 2016 17:16:59 +0000 Summer is here and so is the national holiday that brings Americans together like no other, Independence Day, the 4th of July. Everyday billions of people celebrate the world wide web without even knowing it.

After more than 20 years in the digital industry we’ve seen the growth of digital marketing first-hand and there’s really only one thing we can say for certain: to the internet and beyond!

Digital Evolution: Let’s Reflect

With the advent of Gutenberg’s printing press in Europe in 1450, the ability to mass-communicate and sell gained such epic momentum that it’s barely slowed down in over 500 years. Magazines first emerged in the 1730s, radio advertising in 1922 and then in 1941, the world’s first ever ad was for Bulova watches and was broadcast on American screens in one of the most groundbreaking moments in marketing history.

When Connection Changed our World

In 1965, a computer in Massachusetts connected with another in California via dial-up and in 1973 the first hand-held mobile phone call was made by Martin Cooper (the former Motorola vice president). But it wasn’t until the early 1980s when the first commercially available desktop PCs (The Programma 101, produced by the Italian company Olivetti) started filtering into homes, that a tidal wave of new digital marketing possibilities crashed onto the scene.

Digital Moves Incredibly Fast-By the time LizardWebs Launched in 1997:

â—Ź Domain Name System (DNS) institutes the .host names we are now familiar with such as .com, .gov., .edu, etc.
â—Ź Symbolics Computer Corp., originally a manufacturer of single-user computers and software, becomes the very first registered domain name.
â—Ź Sir Tim Berners-Lee, a graduate of Oxford University and a computer scientist, invents the world wide web.
â—Ź The world wide web is open for business.
â—Ź The White House, as well as the United Nations, are now online, along with 600 other websites.
● Burgeoning eCommerce begins. Today’s eGiants, like and eBay go live.
● The “browser war” begins and Microsoft and Netscape battle it out.

Since Our Launch

â—Ź Google Got Smarter
â—Ź SEO Grew Up
â—Ź Digital PR Became Incredibly Powerful
â—Ź Social Media Keeps Us Connected
â—Ź Marketing Became Less Aggressive

Google Got Smarter

Early search engines like Yahoo!, InfoSeek, AltaVista, Lycos and WebCrawler made significant strides in the digital evolution of search but let’s be honest, the golden years didn’t start until Google launched in 1998. With the birth of today’s most popular search engine and its development of tools like AdWords in 2000 and content targeting services in 2003, everything changed online. In 2004, search engines started using advanced ranking algorithms and browsing online became more personal. The impact this had on business is immense. Being able to target browsers and develop strategies based on search patterns led to a whole new way of selling and communicating. These days a Googlebot crawls and indexes trillions of pages on the web and makes the most relevant ones instantly accessible via traditional or voice search. A brand can reach anyone, anywhere at any time, and that’s powerful.

SEO Grew Up

Optimising sites for search engines began to mainstream in the mid-90s and by 2004, SEO has become an essential marketing tool used on a global scale. In the early days, techniques like keyword stuffing, article submissions and link spamming were recommended by guys who mostly just didn’t know better. No one cared about the impact of social media and usability didn’t even come up in conversation – SEO was an island and keywords were embarrassing. But you learn. These days SEO is less of a loner and more of an essential cog in a greater machine powered by other strategies and channels.

Digital PR Became Incredibly Powerful

A long time ago traditional PRs would use media tours to do press meetings and secure exposure for their clients in print, radio and on TV, often sending out reports and questionnaires afterwards to gather info from the contacts and to find out whether they’d even be featuring their clients. Today a digital PR specialist can find out everything they need to know about a contact before even making a pitch. By working with SEO research and trends, Digital PRs are able to back all of their decisions with data, leading to better targeting and more quantifiable results.

Social Media Keeps Us Connected

In 2004 people still used MySpace. Little did anyone know at the time that Mark Zuckerberg and his Harvard roommates would release a colossal giant to crush all that came before. It was the start of a new era for digital marketing. Social media stopped being a way to just chat with friends and started becoming a way to connect with brands, complain, spread news, shop and even influence other shoppers. Businesses took notice and online reputation management became more important than ever. Today, with channels like Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Pinterest, with billions of users, targeted advertising and a digital landscape that never sleeps, social media has become one of the most vital parts of any marketing strategy.

Marketing Became Less Aggressive

For the longest time marketers used tactics designed to interrupt potential clients, contacted us without permission and blindly targeted everyone in the hopes of reaching someone interested. In short, communicating with potential customers hasn’t always been as sophisticated as it is today. Fortunately, thanks to better research, statistics and higher quality content and targeting, a new way of digital marketing began to find its stride. HubSpot co-founder and CEO Brian Halligan was credited with creating the term, inbound marketing, and later author Seth Godin took it a step further by introducing the idea of permission marketing. Today’s content marketing is based on all these principles: understanding the consumer better so you can appeal to their interests and needs with tailor made content and information. These days, we know we have to earn attention with great content, conversations, transparency, opt-in email lists, word-of-mouth brand building and viral marketing. And that’s just one of the ways the internet changed marketing.

To the Internet and Beyond!

Don’t get left behind – speak to us about an integrated digital marketing plan to stay on top of your game and ahead of the competition. Fill out the form below or call us at (919) 404-9327.

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SEO Spam Revisited Thu, 16 Jun 2016 21:14:21 +0000

I was surfing through your Website and realized that despite having a great design; it was not ranking on any of the search engines (Google, AOL and Bing) for most of the keywords relating to your business.

what SEO advice are YOU getting?Oh my God. If I had a buck for every email that I have received that uses EXACTLY this same line. The lack of creativity. The cut and paste laziness. The sheer audacity of pretending to know what ANYONE is actually trying to rank.  SEO is NOT for lazy people. Some people must bite on this though or this particular email would STOP ending up in my email on a daily basis. I keep asking myself “Why?” To me, I see a copy/paste bit of blather indicating someone that has never visited my site is trying to act like they know what they’re doing. Of course, when you try to sell SEO TO an SEO company, it’s almost a foregone conclusion that they have never visited your site.

“Yes, sir. How are you doing today?”
“Great! What can I get for you?”
“Well, I’m actually here to bring you a DELICIOUS bite of our brand new Whopper™!”
“You DO realize you’re at the McDonalds™ drive-thru window, right?”

That said, I AM an SEO company and I personally have been playing in the world that would become the internet since back in 1983. At that time, I first connected to the CANDE Burroughs 3600 at East Carolina University through a 300 baud modem jacked into a Commodore 64 computer from the Village Green Apartments in Greenville NC. It was so slow that you could easily out-type the screen – tap a whole sentence in and it would take several seconds to send to the university and then come back to the screen. Long live COBOL. But I digress…

The ploys of online SEO companies – both solid/legit and your average spammer types – have evolved and changed.  Something that still remains is that someone is looking to get business from you in a so many ways.  I so love ruining a script reading person’s day.

“How about I put $100 per day in YOUR pocket next week?” (And of course, they are expecting an immediate “Yes!”)
“Oh man. Do you know the tax implications of that? I don’t think so. No thanks.”
and crickets ensue…

You can tell people that know what they’re actually talking about when it comes to legit search engine techniques when you throw them something like that. They have enough wherewithal to break out of the pitch and legitimately address the problem. The doofuses will just repeat themselves with absolutely no comprehension of what was just said. Sure, it’s probably evil on my part, but so is the amount of time in my day that gets wasted dealing with that crap either directly or indirectly.

Client: Eric, I’m not ranking real well.
Me: You’re in the maps. You’re #1 for several keywords like on your last report you got 4 days ago. #2 for another bunch. We have you on front page for EVERY keyword you’ve indicated.
Client: Well, this guy just called and said that he couldn’t find me when he searched for me.
Me: What did he search for? Tibetan llamas in Australia? We have you covering over the entire front page with your website, Google My Business, your Facebook page, your Twitter account, some misc other posts from other social sites, have a few references from the press releases we have done in the last few months. How could he POSSIBLY have not found you?
Client: Oh. Okay. Well, he said…
Me: No worries. It is what it is.

I, unfortunately, can’t say that this is a one off conversation with a client. Most of the time after a client has been ON the front page for a while, they get used to these calls and emails promising the world and ignore them. Usually people on the front page for search results are already spending money on SEO. If you can convince them that you can keep up those rankings or improve them – and save them money – then you might break them away from their current provider. It can be short-lived when the rankings drop and the true expertise of the original company shows. I actually had an old client who went price shopping on me a couple years ago standing on my back porch a few days ago and acknowledged that he had made a mistake and would I take him back. We had to straighten a few things out, but told him I would. When someone can drive you TO the top, get you in the maps (or keep you on the front and in the maps) solidly, is it worth the risk of finding out the grass is ALREADY greenest right where you were at?

It is a nice feeling though getting a new monthly search engine optimization client that is already paying too much for their SEO, lingering on page 2 and 3, getting a song and a dance from their current company, and busting them up to page one and getting those Google maps in play for them. It can make a HUGE difference for a small business. We’re about to bust loose on a website for a plumber in Selma that I suspect is going to see exactly that in a few weeks.

Want to know if the SEO Expert is legit?

So, when they tell you that you’re not ranking for the keywords you should be or they couldn’t find you when they did a search – “Then how did you end up calling me?” That is always a great one. Then there’s the ever-popular, “So what keywords did you actually search for me with?” If they were all that and a legit “I was just surfing around…”, then they would quickly know the answers to those questions.

Most likely, you will get the repeat of the statement, “You are not ranking for the keywords..” or some similar variant. Now don’t take this as throwing rocks at salespeople because we ALL need salespeople, but if someone’s going to take time out of MY day, they better darned well have a solid reason to do such.

If WE call you?

We actually will have looked at your site. We likely will poke around it legitimately and see that there is a problem. WE often even give you some ideas when we’re talking to you. “Hey, if you actually reworded the title on your home page to , you will very likely see an improvement pretty quickly for your website!” If you’re #1 or sitting above the fold on page 1 already for something relevant, then your SEO company or webmaster is already doing a good job. If you’re on page 2 or 3 for everything, then it might be something that we might call on. We realize that sales is a game of numbers for companies. The thing that’s always annoying is having to talk to people that know nothing about what they are selling.

And SEO is no different. When you need a real company, with real experience, talk to us at Lizardwebs. We’d say “wait until we call you…” but, we don’t really do much of that – could be a bit of a wait 🙂

Want to learn more about what DOES make your website good or bad? What can I do to improve my website?

How to Dominate Local SEO Mon, 06 Jun 2016 23:13:38 +0000 Let's fly!Investing in local SEO is crucial as it helps reach potential consumers. Businesses, especially startups should start by marketing themselves locally before entering the any type of larger market. Controlling the most nearby locations gives companies the ability to get the most bang for the buck right out of the gate.  Shorter trips, less time spent traveling to and fro OR making your local brick and mortar known to your neighbors – regardless of your business model / needs, local SEO is almost always going to be your best first step.

Hire a local SEO expert

To get excellent results, it’s a whole lot more efficient to hire an expert to do it for you.  Short of spending weeks/months, even YEARS learning all the ins and outs of SEO, just get someone to do the job.  While SEO is not a mind-numbing, dark magic kind of thing, most people will be MUCH better off sticking to making their business operations successful and leaving the internet marketing to companies that do it all the time.

Just like so many other things in business, yes, if you spent a lot of time learning one or another aspect of it, you could do it yourself. The pinch comes when you realize that in order to do what an expert can do in an hour will require considerably MORE time if you do it yourself.  For the same reason we have a “lawn guy”, most companies are better off with their own “SEO guy” (or gal). They have all the knowledge and tools to do it quickly and efficiently.  Successful local SEO requires proper analyzing and research when choosing the strategies to implement. Experts know how to go about these processes so as to achieve a good ranking on the search engine results.

Some of the important parts of SEO – be it local or even a large global campaign include:

Keyword research

Keywords play an enormous role when it comes to search engine ranking. All the content you post on the website should contain certain keywords. The company you hire will do research and come up with keywords that will make your website more discoverable. They will also research on the keyword density that will be used in blogs and articles for your business.

Link building

Building links to a website is another strategy that experts will use to help you to get high rankings. Bad link building can have a very negative impact on your website. This happens if links are made to wrong websites. An expert will help you come up with quality links to the right websites.

User-friendly websites

Users have to be able to access your website well both on computer and phone screens. Our Raleigh SEO experts will help you in designing your website so that it’s mobile friendly. This will give you an advantage since search engines especially Google tend to prefer websites that are mobile friendly.

Social media

Local SEO also uses the social media to build links to websites. Use of social media improves a business’s online presence by a big percentage as a majority of the adult population log into social media sites every day.

Not sure how to get your company on top of local SERPs? Let Lizardwebs guide you through this with a minimum of fuss. Contact us today!