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PROFIT Tips – Google grabbers 2.0. SEO Paint by Numbers

The May 2009 issue of PROFIT magazine includes a story, “Google grabbers 2.0,” that presents five proven search-engine optimization (SEO) tips from RankHigher.ca shared exclusively with PROFIT’s readers.

As promised in that story, here are the details about how you can boost the Google rankings of your company’s website if you post a video on your site, provided it uses the Flash player. Following that is a bonus SEO idea to help your firm gain a competitive edge in local markets.

1. MAKE A SPLASH WITH FLASH: how to insert your keywords in a video that uses Flash

Please note that this tactic will be effective only if the video’s content is highly relevant to the keywords for which you’re trying to win a high Google ranking. Also note that there are limits to what you can achieve by using a single SEO tactic; your best results will come only by employing several effective tactics in combination.

Flash videos include a text box with a message such as “buffering buffering buffering” or “loading interface elements” that runs while the video is loading. If you replace those words with your keywords, you will see a substantial boost in your Google rankings. A Flash programmer can do this for you in less than an hour by following these instructions:

In order to effectively insert keywords into a Flash player for video, you must have an original authoring file. If you are using a generic player from the Web that uses XML or any other method to stream your FLV or H.264 file, it is impossible to insert your keywords into your player.

Instead, you should use components from Flash or custom-build your own player that can play in FLV or a H.264 file. Have the Flash player components or custom actionscript and video object on the _Root level of flash, keyframe number 2.

Build your pre-loader for the SWF (Shockwave Flash file format, i.e., the player that will stream your video from the server) on keyframe number 1; the player controls will load before the SWF navigates to keyframe number 2 and streams the video.

Insert a static text field somewhere on keyframe number 1, then write your keywords into this text box. Google can index this text. Do not put any other text in this keyframe. Most people will never even see this text — or the pre-loader message, for that matter. The graphics on keyframe 2 are of minimal file size, and the SWF loads quickly.

Open up the Document Properties for the authoring file. You will notice Title and Descriptions text boxes. Fill in your keywords here, where Google will see it.

2. BONUS: how to use Google Places to stand out in local markets

Many people prefer to do business with a company that has a location close to them — and not just if they’re ordering in a pizza. So it can be an important competitive advantage to make prospective customers aware that you have a store, office or other location in their community.

More and more of those customers are finding local businesses using Google. But few companies have realized the importance of ensuring that their firm ranks highly when customers use the search engine to seek out a given product or service from a business that’s close at hand. Here, we explain how to maximize the chance that when potential clients go looking, they’ll find your firm.

Google gathers information on businesses from numerous websites, such as the Yellow Pages directory, to populate the Google Maps search results. However, individual businesses can easily enter their information in Google Places. The best part is that it’s free!

Instructions:

  1. Visit Google Places at www.google.com/local/add.
  2. If you already have a Google Account, sign in with your e-mail and password.
  3. If you don’t have a Google Account, sign up for an account at gmail.google.com.
  4. Follow the instructions to create a listing.

Points to Remember:

  • The street address you enter will be shown in the Google Maps search results.
  • If you already have an AdWords login address and password, you can use it to log in to Google Places.
  • Once you’ve submitted your business information, you’ll need to verify the listing before it goes live. You can do so using a touch-tone phone, text message or personal identification number (PIN) that will be mailed to your business address. Once the listing has been verified, your information will usually appear in Google’s search results soon after.
  • You must be able to receive regular mail at your business address if you are unable to verify your business information by phone or text message. You can register using a post office box. The address you enter in Google Places will be the address it will send your PIN to.
  • Once you have verified your listing with a PIN, you’ll be the only one able to edit the information displayed about your business through your Google Places account.

Want to add more than 10 business locations? You can submit your information as a bulk upload through Google Places. For information on creating a bulk upload, select “Upload a Data File” in your Google Places account, then follow the instructions. There’s no charge for Google Places listings, and Google doesn’t accept payment to include listings or sites in its search results.