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Question for bands with websites:


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We have a bunch of related text on the site with the opacity set to zero. That way no one sees the words but Google,Bing, etc... can detect them. Works great. I do this with my band's site and my Taekwondo schools site as well.

 

 

Great idea! I never thought of that! I've got a bunch of keywords crammed into our text that I want to use that make for a bit of awkward reading, but I couldn't think of how else to do it. Simple and elegant! I imagine you can just use the smallest-font possible so that it doesn't take up a bunch of space. Google doesn't recognize font size, I'm sure. What about overlaying an image over the text? I suppose that would work as well?

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We have a bunch of related text on the site with the opacity set to zero. That way no one sees the words but Google,Bing, etc... can detect them. Works great. I do this with my band's site and my Taekwondo schools site as well.

 

What absolutely terrible advise. This "technique" will actually get your website removed from google's index.

 

 

If your site is perceived to contain hidden text and links that are deceptive in intent, your site may be removed from the Google index, and will not appear in search results pages. When evaluating your site to see if it includes hidden text or links, look for anything that's not easily viewable by visitors of your site. Are any text or links there solely for search engines rather than visitors?


 

 

Refereneces

Google's webmaster guidelines: http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=35769

What to look for in a SEO company (google): http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=35291

 

As a web developer myself for over 8 years I'm amazed at the ways people try to "trick" search engines when they could simply create a quality website using legitimate techniques to achieve ranking. My commercial web design site has had top 5 google ranking for my chosen keywords for the last 8 years using legitimate SEO techniques. Usually I'm #1 or #2. And I haven't done any tweaking in about 6 years.

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Great idea! I never thought of that! I've got a bunch of keywords crammed into our text that I want to use that make for a bit of awkward reading, but I couldn't think of how else to do it. Simple and elegant! I imagine you can just use the smallest-font possible so that it doesn't take up a bunch of space. Google doesn't recognize font size, I'm sure. What about overlaying an image over the text? I suppose that would work as well?

It's not a great idea at all. Actually you've been on the right track all along. The key is "keyword density". What I tell my clients to do is (1) Sit down and write a list of about 10 keywords that someone would type into google if they were looking for the client's website. This will be used for the website meta keywords tag (which is not really very important at all any more).(2) Write a 1-2 sentence short description of the products or services the client offers using the most important keywords from the list. This will be used for the meta description tag.(3) Keep this list in front of you while you write text for the website pages. Include these keywords frequently in the text. I think you will find the right balance if you include the keywords as many times as possible while still making it read well for humans. If humans think the text reads oddly then there are probably too many keywords or you're just a bad copy writer. :wave:Also, the kind of html tags that you wrap the text in matters for SEO. For example text used in a

tag will weigh more heavily than text in a

tag. The meta title tag and file name of the page are the most important areas of text. Use keywords!I'd go on but I like to get paid for knowing this stuff. :cop:

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I'd go on but I like to get paid for knowing this stuff.
:cop:

 

Then I'll push the limits of my free advice, and perhaps we can work out anything above and beyond that. ;)

 

The only thing I really crammed in are a bunch of city names and music types. My thought is I want to come up high on the list if anyone is doing a general search for "Lake Tahoe Wedding Band" or "Sacramento Party Band" or something similar. Since we cover so many cities and a few genres, I feel I need to cram them all in there in some manner or another. The wording on our front page is a bit cumbersome but only borderline unreadable, IMO. Any suggestions on how to improve that? i.e.--is it important that I have that stuff on the front page and at the beginning of the text? Or I would I get similar results spreading out the keywords throughout the text and/or putting them on other pages?

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http://www.google.com/support/webmasters/bin/answer.py?answer=35769

 

Google has some very clearly stated opinions about the use of hidden text.

 

"Quality Guidelines - Specific Recommendations:

Avoid hidden text or hidden links."

 

1. The main trick I use to rank #1 in Google is collect as many backlinks to my website as I can.

2. Try to analyze your code - website has to include one

tag. It's good if it's your main keyword (like your band's name) eg.

Jump Start Your Party

3. A great tip - it's good for your website to have "privacy policy" page. Google robots are raising websites with that particular page.

4. "Sitemap" is a must have. It's a simple xml file with list of pages on your website.

 

I also recommend check out www.google.com/webmasters/tools/ for further infos about SEO and website tweaking.

 

Cheers

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The only thing I really crammed in are a bunch of city names and music types. My thought is I want to come up high on the list if anyone is doing a general search for "Lake Tahoe Wedding Band" or "Sacramento Party Band" or something similar. Since we cover so many cities and a few genres, I feel I need to cram them all in there in some manner or another. The wording on our front page is a bit cumbersome but only borderline unreadable, IMO. Any suggestions on how to improve that? i.e.--is it important that I have that stuff on the front page and at the beginning of the text? Or I would I get similar results spreading out the keywords throughout the text and/or putting them on other pages?

 

Website SEO is fairly complex to explain but not really that hard to do (with the exception of obtaining incoming links). The google webmaster guidelines link I posted above does a pretty good job of covering the basic ideas.

 

The #1 most important thing to do for ranking is to obtain incoming (non reciprocal) links to your site from other related sites. How to do that is the million dollar question. Some do it by offering products for online use that contain a link to the author's website (CMS, addons, etc.), others do it by syndicating content with author links, and the best way is to create a site that is important enough that people link to without any prompting (think facebook or official artist sites).

 

Domain name with keywords is probably second in importance after incoming links. Next would probably be subdomains, followed by file and directory names, followed by meta title and description, followed by heading tags, followed by internal link text, followed by paragraph text etc (not necessarily 100% accurate SEO hierarchy but you get the general idea).

 

In your case you might want to replace your image text with non-image text. Add image alt attributes and link title attributes. Try to use keywords on internal pages while still making them read well for humans. Keywords/keyphrases in internal links. You could even create some landing pages optimized for select regions as long as you don't create too many of them and don't duplicate content. Put links using keyword phrases in the footer linking to these pages. Experiment.

 

Now I'm bored. :soapbox: Working with computers has made me hate computers (except for recording).

 

Edit: KubaWolanin beat me to some of this. :-)

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I sort of don't understand the point of all these trickery-methods of getting more search results.

 

I mean, we're not selling shovels or fixing home networks; we're bands/artists. The ONLY people who google for you are people who already know you. NO ONE goes "Hm, today I think I'll spend a few hours entering random searches on google and look for new music."

 

IDK, I don't see the point :idk: I get plenty of website hits, and when the hits come from google, it's always my artist name or one of my songs; THAT is what people are searching for, not "indie not so indie hard rock alternative new york brooklyn new music".

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I sort of don't understand the point of all these trickery-methods of getting more search results.


I mean, we're not selling shovels or fixing home networks; we're bands/artists. The ONLY people who google for you are people who already know you. NO ONE goes "Hm, today I think I'll spend a few hours entering random searches on google and look for new music."


IDK, I don't see the point
:idk:
I get plenty of website hits, and when the hits come from google, it's always my artist name or one of my songs; THAT is what people are searching for, not "indie not so indie hard rock alternative new york brooklyn new music".

 

In the case of many, many bands, this is true. In the case of a band like mine, it is not. We're not a "fan" band. We have no real local following to speak of, nor are we particularly looking to establish one at this time. We play very few public gigs. What we are is a band that gets hired for private events by people who often have no idea what they exactly are looking for or how to do it. Say that you're the person put in charge of finding a band for your company party? Where are you going to start? One obvious place would be to simply google for the type of band you want in the area your event will be held and see what bands come up. Our website is our primary sales/advertising tool and as such, we need to get it into the hands of as many potential clients as possible.

 

For bands like you describe, I'm not sure such bands even NEED a website: Facebook is probably sufficient.

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In the case of many, many bands, this is true. In the case of a band like mine, it is not. We're not a "fan" band. We have no real local following to speak of, nor are we particularly looking to establish one at this time. We play very few public gigs. What we are is a band that gets hired for private events by people who often have no idea what they exactly are looking for or how to do it. Say that you're the person put in charge of finding a band for your company party? Where are you going to start? One obvious place would be to simply google for the type of band you want in the area your event will be held and see what bands come up. Our website is our primary sales/advertising tool and as such, we need to get it into the hands of as many potential clients as possible.


For bands like you describe, I'm not sure such bands even NEED a website: Facebook is probably sufficient.

 

Ah, very interesting! That makes sense :thu:

 

BTW, I do strongly believe original bands should have strong websites. Websites can offer a more "in-depth" look at the band, for the hardcore fans!

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In the case of many, many bands, this is true. In the case of a band like mine, it is not. We're not a "fan" band. We have no real local following to speak of, nor are we particularly looking to establish one at this time. We play very few public gigs. What we are is a band that gets hired for private events by people who often have no idea what they exactly are looking for or how to do it. Say that you're the person put in charge of finding a band for your company party? Where are you going to start? One obvious place would be to simply google for the type of band you want in the area your event will be held and see what bands come up. Our website is our primary sales/advertising tool and as such, we need to get it into the hands of as many potential clients as possible.


For bands like you describe, I'm not sure such bands even NEED a website: Facebook is probably sufficient.

 

 

Same with us, we play mostly private gigs with one or two public a month so I would love to have Google point everyone to my site when they were looking for acoustic music in New Jersey!!! That is worth paying for! Anyone?

 

Rod

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...I would love to have Google point everyone to my site when they were looking for acoustic music in New Jersey!!! That is worth paying for! Anyone?

 

Think about it, if someone could guarantee that they would get websites top ranking they would be filthy rich. And then what happens when your competitor goes to the same SEO company wanting the same thing?

 

No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.

 

 

Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a "special relationship" with Google, or advertise a "priority submit" to Google. There is no priority submit for Google. In fact, the only way to submit a site to Google directly is through our Add URL page or by submitting a Sitemap and you can do this yourself at no cost whatsoever.


 

I highly recommend reading the page at the link above before spending any money on SEO.

 

SEO is a process. And the process never stops because there will always be some jostling with your competitors for top ranking not to mention constant algorithm changes for the search engines themselves.

 

If top ranking is really important to you find a reputable SEO company and be prepared to pay a lot of cash or spend some time reading up on what you can do yourself to help your website SEO. Otherwise write good copy for your website pages including good keyword density and watch your ranking over time. Tweak as needed.

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Side-note: In the course of my day-gig business, I get random calls from companies offering to improve our Google ranking, "we're only looking to work with one company of your sort in the area", and other similar offers that mostly sound like bogus BS to me. And even if they weren't, I wouldn't know how to judge the BS from the real stuff, or know what is a fair price to pay for such a service. So I just shine them all on.

 

Is there any value to any of these sorts of service-providers, or is it all as bogus as it sounds?

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Is there any value to any of these sorts of service-providers, or is it all as bogus as it sounds?

 

 

 

Be wary of SEO firms and web consultants or agencies that send you email out of the blue.


Amazingly, we get these spam emails too:


"Dear google.com,

I visited your website and noticed that you are not listed in most of the major search engines and directories..."


Reserve the same skepticism for unsolicited email about search engines as you do for "burn fat at night" diet pills or requests to help transfer funds from deposed dictators.


 

 

Some of my clients use dedicated SEO companies and are very happy with the results. I've seen some of the consultation documentation and there's definitely value there. But the ones I've seen are not what I would call inexpensive.

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Think about it, if someone could
guarantee
that they would get websites top ranking they would be filthy rich. And then what happens when your competitor goes to the same SEO company wanting the same thing?


No one can guarantee a #1 ranking on Google.



I highly recommend reading the page at the link above before spending any money on SEO.


SEO is a process. And the process never stops because there will always be some jostling with your competitors for top ranking not to mention constant algorithm changes for the search engines themselves.


If top ranking is really important to you find a reputable SEO company and be prepared to pay a lot of cash or spend some time reading up on what you can do yourself to help your website SEO. Otherwise write good copy for your website pages including good keyword density and watch your ranking over time. Tweak as needed.

 

 

I get it, I was just exagerating a point...

 

I will work on a strong text to add to the site ASAP. Does it matter where it is on the site, for example, landing page versus any other one?

In your oppinion, is there a mid level way to help with ranking or is it an all or nothing thing? I don't mind spending money on it within reason but we are not a "busines" we are part time musicians.

 

Thanks for all the helpful info!

 

Rod

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Some of my clients use dedicated SEO companies and are very happy with the results. I've seen some of the consultation documentation and there's definitely value there. But the ones I've seen are not what I would call inexpensive.

 

 

No, these aren't either. Well, depends on what one thinks is expensive, I suppose. But these are offers (phone solcitations, not emails) in the few-hundred-dollars a month range. A lot of money for a small firm like mine but, then again, I get a couple of extra appraisals a month out of the service, and it pays for itself.

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I will work on a strong text to add to the site ASAP. Does it matter where it is on the site, for example, landing page versus any other one?

In your oppinion, is there a mid level way to help with ranking or is it an all or nothing thing? I don't mind spending money on it within reason but we are not a "busines" we are part time musicians.

 

Any good web designer/webmaster should know the basics of on-site SEO. It's obtaining incoming links that is most difficult for a non-specialist. Something bigger companies can probably provide through a large network of sites.

 

There is a kind of hierarchy in html pages and tags. Homepage is normally considered more important than internal pages for SEO. Higher on the page is considered more important. Heading tags are more important than paragraph tags, etc... Personally I would use keywords on any page where it made sense and link your own website pages internally using keywords as the link text.

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