Category Archives: Business hints and tips

The absolute basics of SEO.

basics of SEO wordcloud

There’s an awful lot of nonsense spouted about search engine optimisation, as if it’s a difficult topic. It’s not. Here are the basics of SEO as I see them. Your mileage may vary.

A post should be 300-500 words. Good content is written for people, but works for search engines too. A good post summarises the topic in the title, and in the first paragraph, talks about in the main text and summarises in the final paragraph. It’s the tell them three times principle – tell them what you’re going to tell them, tell them, tell them what you told them.

Stick to the point – don’t wander or go off topic. This gives you naturally keyword rich text. (If you’ve got something else to talk about, write another article!)

Use a good platform, like wordpress, which lays the article out well for you. You can use a plugin like wordpress seo from yoast, which will check your text for you and make sure you’ve got the words you need in the right places. WordPress also promotes good site navigation, allowing your readers, and visiting spiders to find all your content easily.

Lift relevant content into your current article by deep linking to related articles. This promotes your authority as having a bank of material on your topic.

And after that, it’s about the promotion, which is where the social media and social search is increasingly coming in. You need to set up authorship, so that search results have that smiling face in them. Brands/ businesses probably also ought to have a page, (facebook and g+) so that they can have a unified presence, but authorship is about individuals.

There’s also something possibly coming in about author rank, which is about authority of that author, but that’s not confirmed yet, so may or may not be worth worrying about. If you’re doing content building and authorship well, author rank should flow naturally out of it.

People will tell you it’s all about the backlinks. Once upon a time that might have been the case, though that can be argued. It’s increasingly less so. Good content will promote inlinks and sharing, which will do the same thing anyway.

So there you go. The basics of SEO coming down, as always to good content, presented well.

Work smarter – mobilise your domain email with Gmail.

First of all, what do I mean by domain email? I’m talking about email addresses associated with your domain. So maybe spammersgoaway at technology-solved dot co dot uk, as an example. When you’re in business, or even if you’re wanting to look like a slightly more organised blogger, your own domain is a great way to go, and email addresses associated with it look more professional.

However, managing email addresses in lots of different places can be a bit of a headache. If you’re wanting to manage things on the go, you’ll probably want to be doing things on your phone. My Android can manage a pop email account (which is what you often have with a domain – it simply means that the email collects on the server where your hosting is, and then is collected from there by an email program) but then there’s the question of whether I also collect it on my netbook and so on.

Life can start to look a little complicated right then, and that’s what we are all about avoiding.

Why not let gmail take the strain? You can manage up to five pop email accounts via your gmail account, without wandering off into the realms of google apps for business. This also means you get the fantastic spam filtering of gmail, and you can access it from whatever desktop/netbook/phone/tablet takes your fancy.

So, how to do it.

First of all, you will need a gmail account. I’m guessing most of you already have one. At least.

Then you set up your domain email, or get your friendly hosting company to do it for you.

Next, you connect the two. In gmail, go into settings (circle icon thing in top right corner) and then Accounts and Import.

Scroll down to Check mail from other accounts (using POP3) and select add a POP3 email account you own. Put the account into the pop up box, and continue.

You get to a settings screen that looks like this.

managing pop email through gmail

You will need to put in the username of the account – this is usually the email address. Then the password, and the details of the server. If you’ve any confusion here, you need to check with your hosting provider.

If you’re planning on using gmail as your email handler, DON’T tick leave a copy of retrieved messages on the server. If you tick it, you need to make other arrangements to clear down the server, or eventually your mailbox will fill up and you will stop receiving mail.

The google tutorial for this set up is here and if you want to explore the wider world of google apps for managing email, there’s a tutorial over here for that.

The second part of the setup is to organise to send mail from your google interface. This is the Send Mail As setting. Don’t set it as an alias – you don’t need that. (Or read through the help and decide for yourself :) ) And here:

When replying to a message:
Reply from the same address the message was sent to

tick this one as it means the person you’re emailing with won’t ever see your gmail address.

And there you go. You’ve got your domain email all set up and handled through Gmail with no one the wiser, they’re handling your spam and you’re good to go mobile.