Mura and SEO

Using the Mura CMS To Get Your Web Site to the Top of the Search Engines

Search Engine Optimization using the Mura CMS.

Achieve high SEO success with mura seo. cfsnaphosting has completed Blueriver's training class for Mura and is available for all of your site building needs.Your goal is simple: Get your web site to the top of the search engine results pages for your selected keywords. And do it without neglecting your business, straining your brain or wondering if you're even doing it right. Since you're using one of the easiest but most powerful content management systems available, Mura makes applying the genuine SEO strategies easy to do. Each page of your site has it's own SEO identity and even though Mura's power is based on it's template structure it's flexibility provides you with the tools to optimize each web page for specific keywords and phrases. Remember, we aren't talking about paid advertising, this is all about constructing the many facets of your web site in such a way that you'll appease the search engines so much that your site will appear at the top of the list of search results, organically.

Wondering where to start? The tab based interface is laid out like a web page, not like a programming tool. On top of that the actual areas of your web page where SEO credibility happens is broken out so that you have a choice. You can use default values or apply specific information as you and your SEO experts see fit. Mura SEO is as much an art as it is a science; you can retrieve data and reports all day long but if you're not applying the information properly you'll stall your SEO efforts.

We won't lie to you, it requires a brief, daily commitment but it's not rocket science. About 85% of all web sites on the internet don't do any of this work, however the other 15% can be quite competitive. And results won't happen overnight, even though you could wake up one morning and notice that you're suddenly not ranking as high as you were the day before. You'll have to understand, track and manage details.Additionally, we'd be lying if we said that after a few weeks of doing this stuff you'll be sitting pretty at the top of all search results pages - it may take months - the internet is a pretty big place. However, you'll see that we offer several choices so that you can do it yourself, enlist our services for a little help or have us just handle all of this for you. If you have a web site, don't stop here. It's time you pushed your way into that top 15% of sites and got some SEO respect!

 

The 3 Steps to Using the Mura CMS to Achieve SEO Success

Step1:

Get Good Keywords

Step 2:

Use Mura to Build Great Content With Your Keywords

Step 3:

Get Quality Links With Relevant Sites

... from the domain name of your web site to the names of the images on your web pages, your keywords will attract those people looking for what your site offers.

Why? It's a simple connection. If your site's pages (specifically your landing pages) contain the keywords that people are searching for, your site is more likely to appear in the search engines' search results pages.

Benefits Connect your web site to the good keywords. Do it correctly and you'll be using keywords that have high popularity but aren't searched for quite as often - intelligently leveraging the popularity of your keywords.
 
Now that you have your keywords, build out your site's pages (especially those landing pages) in a way that the search engines (and humans!) really like.

Why? Do this part correctly and you'll attract like-minded folks who are looking for what you have to offer. Content is King! No tricks, no secrets, just your web pages geared towards those who are looking for your keywords and content.

Benefits When you tie all of your SEO efforts together with great content you'll become recognized as the leader in your area of expertise. It's kind of like a snowball, you'll get bigger and bigger....
 
Arguably one of the most important parts of the SEO effort, you want your web site to become popular. Achieve this by getting links to your site from other relevant sites (not link farms or spam services).

Why? You want your site's pages to become Prom Queen; each vote (link) from the student body (other relevant sites like yours) elevates your popularity. Getting the most votes is very important to SEO.

Benefits Your web site will place higher on search engine results pages, become an industry leader, increase your brand (site) recognition and ultimately draw more eyeballs to your web site.
We'll show you how you do this on your own, give you a little help, or we'll simply just handle it for you. All of our hosting customers get their first keywords report for free.... There are many more details to consider when building your web site's SEO strategy, but we've seen tremendous successes when the above 3 steps are put into motion.  Contact us now for a custom quote and we'll start improving your web site's SEO presence today.

 

Verifying Your SEO Data

SEO is a funny thing.

Try googling "SEO". You'll get the phone book back, I'm talking more than a BILLION results. So I was sitting around the house one day and it dawned on me, maybe one of those billion or so pages isn't correct in the information that they're reporting. It could happen. So I thought, how do I validate the actual SEO data, instructions, and courses of action to take? How do I know what I'm reading is correct? Well I thought the answer to that would come right from the source, so I got into my Google Webmaster account and poked around a little bit, and wouldn't you know it....

http://www.google.com/webmasters/docs/search-engine-optimization-starter-guide.pdf

Google publishes this guide - albeit rather broad and not full of a whole lot of specifcs - to help you understand the basics of SEO, at least as it relates to Google. The real benefit here is that this guide goes into some details about what NOT to do, which in the world of SEO is pretty important. Try employing any of the older, "black-hat" SEO techniques are you'll end up getting banned from Google. And I hear gettting reinstated to the Google search engine results pages takes a little more than a note from your mother.

It's actually an easy read, it's only about 32 pages long and is laid out in small chunks, so just about anyone should be able to comprehend this document. It even has some entertaining illustrations with Google's "Googlebot". Remember Microsoft Help's Paperclip? Yup, that.

My understanding is that Google updates this document fairly often and I think it was last updated earlier this year (Spring 2011?) So the next time you read someone's blog posting about a trick or a clever way around a Google problem, try looking at this PDF first. You may save yourself some time but more importantly you may avoid doing something wrong, very wrong....

Building Links

Summary: Each link from another site to your web site is considered a "vote" by the search engines; the more votes your site gets the more popular your site becomes. Therefore, do everything you can to get relevant sites just like yours to link to you. Ideally, a site that links to yours will have a higher Page Rank than yours, extending your landing page's credibility all the more. However just make sure your links are coming from other sites that at least share your subject matter interest - no link farms! You want to become a respected authority in your area of expertise, so if you're an accountant trying to improve your site's rankings amongst other  accounting web sites then more than likely a link from a hot dog vendor won't carry much weight with the search engines.

One way to build out your online parade of followers is to build a link directory on your site - "you first". I've found it a lot easier to request - and get - a link back to your site if you make contact with a potential relevant site's webmaster if your communication includes something like the following:

Dear Webmaster-

My name is Joe and I run www.joesaccounting.com. I'm interested in building some site traffic as well as contacts in our industry and I was wondering if you'd include the following link to my web site from yours:

<a href="http://www.joesaccounting.com/myLandingPage/">Joe's Accounting - Corporate Accounting Experts</a>

As a show of good faith I've already added a link to your site on my site's link page, you can view it here:

http://www.joesaccounting.com/links/

Just let me know if you'd like me to change the link to your site or if you'd like me to include some different keywords.

When do you think I might expect to see my link appear on your site?

Thanks very much,

Joe

This is what I mean by "you first"; you've already built and posted the link to your requested web site. Now a few things could happen:

  • Nothing. You don't hear back from the person you communicated with, so after a month, your link to his site comes down.
  • You get a polite "no thanks". No problem, for whatever reason that site doesn't want to link with you. Maybe they feel threatened by your level of expertise or they live in a vacuum. In any event, your link to his site comes down.
  • You get a "... sure! would love to link back to you, here you go!" You check his link page and sure enough, there is the link to your site. Awesome!

Sadly, in this day and age you have to regularly monitor and manage your links, just in case the link from his site to yours suddenly but mysteriously goes away (it happens).  If that happens then your link to his site comes down.

This can be a rather arduous process since there are a lot of details to track and manage, and it's why I like using Link Assistant to either manage this for my clients or at least help them with it.

Links are important and you should always be looking for sites that you can request links from, or at the very least requesting a link exchange. Of course, if you focus on generating regularly awesome content then folks will simply want to link to your site anyway....

Here is the link page for www.cfsnaphosting.com: Resources

Google Webmaster Tools

Like it or not, if you're managing the content of a web site then that makes you a Webmaster. Which also makes you responsible for ensuring that your web pages, your content, your domain... continues to work normally. You may feel that everything looks and runs just fine in YOUR eyes, however the judge, jury and executioner on that subject rests with a higher authority. Yes, I'm talking about Google, and if you break something, cause an error or simply piss it off then you run the risk of penalizing your site's success, regardless of how great a "http masterpiece" you feel you've composed. 

The good news: A Google Webmaster Tools account is free. The amount of data that you'll receive about your site is voluminous and can be very helpful. If there is anything - and I mean anything - wrong with your site, Google Webmaster Tools is going to let you know about it.

The bad news: A Google Webmaster Tools account is one of the least user-friendly tools I believe a non-technical user can be thrown into. I've gotten emails from clients who initially attempted to run and manage their own site pleading for mercy. Ultimately just about everyone figures it out, but at first it will eat your time and leave you scratching your head. Which brings us back to the concept of being a webmaster, a person who runs a web site. A tool like Google's Webmaster Tools will offer a sobering reminder that successfully running a web site is so much more than just posting a few articles and blogging. You have to manage details, and for the first time you may finally be introduced to some technical details about your web site, the internet and the http protocol. Here's what you do:

  1. Don't avoid the Google Webmaster Tools, embrace them. Jump in with both feet. Sign up for your free account at http://www.google.com/webmasters/tools/. You may need to validate your site and there are several ways that can be accomplished, select the way that best suits you.
  2. Add your web site to your account. I'll tell you right now - do all you can to add the fully qualified name for your web site the first time. For some reason Google wants to only accept "http://yoursite.com" instead of "http://www.yoursite.com". Highly irritating.
  3. Don't throw stuff and keep your cursing to a minimum.
  4. These tools may need a few days to collect your site's data so be patient. In the mean time, be sure to generate and upload your site's sitemap.xml if you haven't done so already.
  5. Refer to step 3, often.

Once your site's data begins reporting use and react to the data accordingly. If you see any errors address them quickly. If you see Google interpreting something about your web site differently than you intended make the necessary changes. I honestly believe almost anyone can figure out Google's Webmaster Tools but what catches almost everyone off guard is just how much time it takes to get cozy with the tools. It's all part of being a successful Webmaster.

Sitemap.xml

... wow, I can't believe I almost forgot about this one!

Although some will debate the importance of it, you can't go wrong by generating a file called "sitemap.xml" which you should place in your website's root (top-most folder). This is a XML file that describes your site's contents to the major search engines (mainly Google) and details each page, its importance and its likelihood for being updated (so the search engine should check back about that often to make sure it stays up to date).

Practically speaking this file represents another small amount of regular overhead. You'll need to add every web page in your web site to this sitemap.xml file which means that every time you add a new web page you'll need to regenerate your sitemap.xml. Luckily, there are many easy to use and free tools (the Mura CMS has a free plug in that will automatically create it for you). However since not everyone uses Mura (yet ;-) ) I found an easy to use, free sitemap.xml generator that is web based. Visit http://www.xml-sitemaps.com and fill in the easy to use form. This site will send a crawler out across the internet and do a Matrix-esque crawl through your site and automatically build the xml file for you. You can then download the file or copy and paste it, and it's all free! I'm not married to this particular site so if you  Google "xml sitemap generator" you'll get a whole bunch of links to other good sitemap.xml generators.

If all you do is generate the sitemap.xml file and then post it in your site's webroot you'll be just fine, however a slightly more pro-active effort would be to tell Google that you have such a file and that it needs to take a priority in looking at it. Don't have a Google Webmaster account? Look for it in the next blog post....

Optimize Your Landing Page

Armed with my carefully selected keywords (“Mura”, “SEO” and “Mura-SEO”) the next step in my 90 Days to SEO exercise is for me to build and optimize a landing page for these keywords. I’ve tried this in the past and sometimes succeeded but more times than not, I simply got “close enough” and called it good. I knew full well that I had not optimized my landing page better than the rest of my competition who had also optimized landing pages for the same keywords.  However since finding WebSite Auditor the reason(s) for my half-hearted approach to page optimization have become very clear. There are so many little details that need to be addressed to optimize a landing page correctly that trying to do this manually can make you crazy. I have to confess that WebSite Auditor did almost all of the heavy lifting for me when it came to optimizing my landing page. It breezed through the arduous, detailed tasks like counting the total number of words on the page, calculating keyword usage (keyword density), analyzing the length of my page’s title and it even counted the number of keywords that I used in my img tag’s alt attribute. This tool is smart, it looks at how your competition got to the top of the rankings and then lays out a roadmap for you to emulate your own page’s construction to match (and hopefully exceed) that current standard.


Here’s a link to a screenshot from my WebSite Auditor report.

I have to admit, when I see data presented like that it’s a tough thing to beat.

Armed with this information the task at hand was simple. Build your landing page using your keywords, let WebSite Auditor loose on it and then fix what the report says you’re weak on. Too many words? Trim down the length of your content. Not enough bolded text? Go and bold some text, but be careful not to bold too many or too many keywords, because WebSite Auditor will let you know about that too (what I'm saying is, it's easy to lower a score in one part when improving another until you get the hang of it). Essentially you just need to fix what the report details for you and watch your percentage of successful optimization rise above your competition.  Finish your changes, post them to your site and run the report again. Rinse and repeat. This process used to take me the better part of half a day to do  manually but thankfully now I can bang out a landing page in an hour or two.

By the way, since the web is so dynamic and is always changing, this reporting (and potential fixing) really needs to be done on a regular basis, ideally - daily.