How Often to Update Your Website

One of the most popular questions and comments I get is how often should I update my website? The answer is it totally depends on the industry and site you are looking to maintain. Some ultra competitive areas might need an article a day or week while smaller areas only take a new article every month or so.

On most of my minisites I tend to update them every one to three month with a new article or two. Many times I do not just add the article I will add a picture, update them theme, add a widget. The goal is just to change things up and see if you generate any results like an increase in traffic or revenue.

With a large number of sites it is often hard to remember to update posts, so I use the scheduled post feature in wordpress and I am able to set up a few post to automatically be posted to the site over any length of time.

Normally if I add a great article I will begin to see the results in about two weeks with traffic coming in from the search engines. It always helps to do a small link-building effort around the new article. If my rankings have already dropped I know that I waited too long to update my sites and that I need to get a new one up soon.

If you are looking for ideas for a topic for your next article look at the most popular pages on your current site and also look at the analytics and see exactly what people are searching for to find your site, if there is nothing there try some of my favorite keyword tools.

If you need any help or have questions about updating your site please ask away and have a great weekend!

Alternatives to the Google Adwords Keyword Tool

The Google Adwords Keyword tool is one of the most useful tools on the web. I almost always have it open in one of my many tabs in chrome. I have begin to also use a few other tools when doing researching for article, domain names, and competitor research. Keyword research is so useful in many parts of domaining and development.

The google adwords keyword is of course only limited to google's data so there are other tools you can use to see other types of data.

SEMRush Keyword Tool

I really love the SEM Rush website and if you have not already checked it out you really need to. One of my favorite parts of the site is being able to research what terms companies are advertising for via PPC. I use this information when I am trying to pitch them domain. Their keyword tool is limited in the free version, but is much easier to read and provides more data than the google tool. From a simple keyword search you can see the CPC, trends, and also the top organic and paid results to see who you will be competing against or who you should be selling you name too. You can also export the results easily.

SEO Book Keyword Tool / Wordtracker

SEO Book also has a great keyword tool that utilizes wordtracker and gives you combined search data from Google, Bing, and Yahoo. We all sometimes that there are tons of people searching on places other than google. In many cases Yahoo and Bing rank exact match domain better than google so their visitors will be easier to grab. It provides the wordtracker estimate, plus the google and the yahoo + bing combined. This is just more data to look at, because the more you know the better decisions you will be able to make. Like SEM Rush you can also export the results easily. You do need to register for a free account to use the tool at SEO Book.

LSI Keyword Tool

This is not your traditional keyword tool, it is completely free and what is does is you search a term and it will scan the first number of results in google and see what other words and phrases come up most often. I really like this tool because it can give you different results that normal keyword tools might miss.

None of these replace the Google Adwords tool, but make great additions to your tool bench.

Does Developing Domains Hurt Their Sales Potential

To put it simply Yes and No.

Most people know that I have developed out many of my domain names into small and medium sized websites. But like almost all developers I have more names that I have time to develop so I keep a number of them parked. On my parked names I have a standard "This name may be for sale" link that goes to a contact forum.

More offers on parked names

Over this year on the parked names I had many more offers and questions asking if the name was for sale or to list a price. Most people know that parked pages are not real websites and might be for sale. So on the surface it would seem that developing domain names decreases offers.

Quality Offers on Developed Names

Build out the sites into online brands does have benefits, because even though I received less offers to buy my developed out websites the few times that people wanted to buy one of my websites the offers were much more serious and larger. People see the websites and can tell that the owner has put time and work into the site. This makes sense because the buyers are not only buying a domain name, they are buying an existing brand with traffic, search engine rankings, and customers.

The presence of a website no matter the size seems to deter people from making initial offers and inquiries about the name because to a casual buyer the site seems to be in use. When a serious buyer comes around they want the site they will be willing to pay more because of the established brand.

As a way to get more offers on my developed sites I may try to add a top banner that says "This website may be for sale" which leads to a sales page. I will track and see if it takes away from my adsense and other revenue just to make sure it does not negativity effect them.

In Conclusion

If you are looking to sell a name quickly and get the maximum number of offers development might not be the best idea, but if you are looking at adding value to your long term investment develop away.

What have you seen on your parked and established sites with the offers from buyers?

Simple Guide to Writing SEO Friendly Articles

Recently I was trying to explain basic search engine optimization practices for writers to a friend and freelancer and I could not find a good guide on the internet so I figured I would put something quick together. I am by no means an SEO expert, I just wanted to share what I think could help many writers.

First and foremost content is for the visitors so write it for them not the search engine spiders. As long as you write quality content that provide value to the visitors the rankings will come. That being said there are a few things you can do to help yourself out.

Beyond Keyword Density

There is always a huge debate over how many time the keyword should be used per article, and my view is that main keyword should be used however many time it naturally comes up. If the exact keyword is used over 4% that would sound bad, I like to keep the density under 2%. Keyword density is no longer very important to search engines, because now search engines can identify related keywords and phrases. But, it is still an easy way to check an article and there are many tools to do so with.

All content writers should use the SEM Rush Keyword Search, Google Keyword tool, and LSI Keyword Tool to find keywords to add to their articles. All they have to do is type in their keyword and find a few related terms to use. Pick some with high search number and a few low hanging fruit terms with only a few searches. Then just add them naturally into the writing and the article will be more targeted and useful.

Using Sub Headings

When starting a new section give it a sub heading. People one the web love to skim content. Search engines also place more weight on headings so make sure they are relevant and contain an important phrase.

Be Bold

As with sub headings, bolding important keyword makes it easier for people just to skip to a part they want to read. Search engines also place more importance on bold text. So bold a few keywords and important facts of the article.

Stand out with Images

If each freelancer I worked with added an image they found from a free stock photo site, I would love them forever.  It would save me a ton of time and would really make them stand out from the rest.  Readers love images and it makes the site and article look much better.

Include a Meta Description

Another thing that all writers should include is a description with their article. A meta description is the box that comes up under the page title on google each results. It is only 160 characters long and should include the keywords on the page and tell visitors what they will find on the page and why they should click on your link.

Learning to Link

If a freelancer knows the site they are writing for well they should start to link out to older content on the site. If a keyword comes up that you know has been covered in the past, link out to the old article. Also if there is relevant link to another site it is fine to include it as long as it adds value.

What else would you like freelance writers to know when writing for you?

9990% Flip with Godaddy Premium Listings

Since 2009 the stock market (DOW) has moved from 8,000 to around 12,000 which is a huge increase in value. Also in 2009 I purchased the domain PoopBeGone.com for $10 on namepros. Over the 3 years which I owned the domain I received 8 emails about the name with a few leading to small offers that never amounted to anything.

Although the offers were small they did tell me that the name was worth something so I listed it on Godaddy's Premium listings for $999. I list many of my names on their system that I think are suited for end users hoping that one day someone will type it in and buy it.

Would this name have ever sold on Sedo or Afternic for this price?

Possibly, but I doubt it. They may have better systems and much lower commissions, but Godaddy has the eyeballs.

Godaddy's system is not great, they take 30% of the sale so make sure to price your names with that factored in. They also take quite a long time to send the check. I just got mine and this name sold in early November.

In three years my $10 name purchase turned into $999 ($665 in my pocket after the fees). Is it not a huge sale, but looking at the percentages the return on investment is unmatched. In my small portfolio I have a handful of names that I did not buy to develop, but with the sole plan to sell to final users.  It seems that a few of them sell each year passively. I'm a much bigger fan of development, but sales are never a bad thing!

Have a great weekend!

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