Simple SEO guide for Companies in Sri Lanka – Part one

search-optimize-your-blog

The power of Search Engine Optimization is not yet unleashed in Sri Lanka. Besides the few high tech entrepreneurs and modern business owners who are practicing SEO, a large proportion of businessmen and companies are not benefiting from SEO in Sri Lanka.

If you take my company for example, we have a strong marketing consulting arm, and we do corporate training, marketing planning, market research, marketing communication, etc. So far, we have not advertised nor done any awareness program but the company totally depends on the search behavior. We always find that all the inquiries are very effective since it comes from companies who need it, or individuals looking for consulting advices and entrepreneur looking for business ideas.

For example, do a search for corporate training in Sri Lanka, marketing consulting in Sri Lanka and you will find the epitom.org website appearing on the top.

I thought of sharing some valuable insights to take your website up for search keyword and results.

All in all, to get the best search advantage, you should have a good website. Let us first take you through the technical audit part. The most important features are:

  1. Create a webmaster central account (Google webmaster central)
  2. Create a Google analytics account

Once it has been done, now let’s open the site to do a simple technical audit because well structured websites will perform well in SEO. We are not going to cover any web design or new development element. For example, if you have simple site and want to implement proper SEO, we will be covering how to do a simple effective SEO audit, the aspects to consider and the implementation of those.

First you have to do a website technical audit. When you make sure your technical side of the web is good, it will be a good indication in the improvement on ranking.

How you are going to perform a technical audit? The content of technical audit goes as follows.

1. Website Crawlability 

  • Site Search and Indexed Pages
  • Cached Pages in Google
  • XML Sitemap
  • HTML Sitemap
  • Correct Use of Robots.txt File
  • Internal Linking Structure

2. Internal SEO Health

  • Page Titles
  • Use of H1, H2 Tags
  • Meta Descriptions
  • Availability of Unique Content on Pages
  • Site Structure and Navigation
  • URL Structure
  • Breadcrumbs
  • Duplicate Content
  • Content quality and content strategy
  • Pagination
  • Site Errors /Server Errors
  • Correct Use of 404 Pages
  • Use of www and Sub Domains
  • Image Optimisation

3. Link Popularity and Link Profile

  • Inbound Links Count
  • Link Juice and its Distribution
  • Link Diversity
  • Anchor Text Profile

Website craw-lability check

1- Site search and indexed pages

Let’s start with the website craw-lability check. How you check whether your website is being identified by Google? Simply, go to Google Chrome and type site:youwebsite url. This will show you how many pages have been indexed in Google. To know more about what is indexing read https://support.google.com/customsearch/answer/4513925?hl=en

Take two situations; if it’s indexed, there are no issues and simply you have work on increasing the index numbers. If it is not, and if your site is too old or out there for sometime, then that is certainly an issue.

There are three situations in this Robot Text.

1- <META NAME=”ROBOTS” CONTENT=”NOINDEX, FOLLOW”> – Search engines can read your website, but will not list your web pages in search.

<META NAME=”ROBOTS” CONTENT=”INDEX, NOFOLLOW”> – Google bots are not allowed to come in. 

<META NAME=”ROBOTS” CONTENT=”NOINDEX, NOFOLLOW”> – Both not allowed.

Sometimes when you are developing a content management website (WordPress / Joomla) the theme would have automatically been set to No index / no follow tags. If you didn’t see anything indexed, use http://www.seoreviewtools.com/bulk-meta-robots-checker/ to see whether the pages are index and followed.

Let’s see the detailed implementation of these in the next post.

We have a large investment company as my client, and they had some good presence in the search. But soon after they re-launched the site, the presence was not as profound as before. When we checked the site, the meta robot stated “No index, no follow”. Once we changed the meta robot, all the pages were back on track.

2- Cached pages 

Cached pages indicates how your webpage looked like for Google when it visited last time. To know more about it, you can read here https://support.google.com/websearch/answer/1687222?hl=en

You can use this information to check. Google can only read the text of the website and not the entire user interface. To see how the site looks like, go to the Google search results page. Type your domain name and click on the arrow. This will give you the following information:

1- How Google reads your site (Click text only version).

2- Date and time Google bots last visited your page

3- How the web site looked like when Google bots last visited.

3- XML site maps 

XML sitemaps are just one tool that can help content creators to establish their stake as the content originator. XML site map gives directions for the Google bots about the site structure. Even without a sitemap, Google can still find a website, but with a map, they can get through more efficiently and make sure to look at all of your pages.

Check whether you have an XML site map installed by trying yourdomainname.com/sitemap.xml.

Similarly, HTML site map helps the site visitors to easily navigate the site.

4-Correct Use of Robots.txt File

People who own websites use the /robots.txt file in order to give directions and information regarding their website to web robots. This is known as The Robots Exclusion Protocol.

This is how it works. For example, if a robot visits a website URL, such as http://www.example.com/welcome.html, then before the robot visits the website, it will check for http://www.example.com/robots.txt first. This is what it will find:

User-agent: *

Disallow: /

The “User-agent: *” indicates that this section pertains to all robots. On the other hand, the “Disallow: /” relates to the robot that it shouldn’t visit the pages on that specific website. Read More about this 

5- Internal Linking structure

 

Different web practitioners have different terms for this, but internal linking is the term that is well understood by the SEO community. In general terms, internal linking refers to any links from one web page on a domain which leads to another web page on that same domain. This can refer to the main site navigation or the links within articles to related content. In this article, we will focus more on the latter- the editorial links within articles because it is a more commonplace SEO tactic that is controlled by the site’s editors and writers as opposed to a tech team. Read more about this

 

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INTERNAL LINKING FOR SEO- IMPORTANCE AND BEST PRACTICES

seo-internal-link-building

Internal linking is an important SEO practice for publishers. In this article, we will take a look at its importance as well as the some helpful tips for effective linking.

What exactly is Internal Linking?

Different web practitioners have different terms for this, but internal linking is the term that is well understood by the SEO community. In general terms, internal linking refers to any links from one web page on a domain which leads to another web page on that same domain. This can refer to the main site navigation or the links within articles to related content. In this article, we will focus more on the latter- the editorial links within articles because it is a more commonplace SEO tactic that is controlled by the site’s editors and writers as opposed to a tech team.

Why is Internal Linking so important?

The main reason why internal linking is important is because it’s one of the few tactics site owners can use to make it known to Google and site visitor’s that a particular page is important. From a strategic perspective, it also helps site owners to bridge the authority gap between their content that is more linkworthy with their content that is more profitable.

There are other reasons on its importance:

  • Internal linking provides your visitors with more reading options.
  • It can help you promote events and other paid services.
  • It helps Google crawl the site and index pages more effectively
  • Internal Linking helps you improve your ranking for certain keywords

There are instances where large websites like travel sites that have a huge amount of content and the differences between their landing pages are often very slight. Without correct interlinking, these subtleties could confuse Google, especially if there are no external links directing back to those pages.

How significant a role does Internal Linking play in rankings?

Internal linking is easily one of the most crucial and the most overlooked factors when it comes to achieving your ranking goals. One of the reasons internal linking is often overlooked as an important SEO tactic is because many people simply think that it’s not a concern anymore as sites today have such multifaceted navigation menus. Nevertheless, internal linking will help you drive considerable results solely on the back of optimizing internal navigation structures. Many SEO experts have now recognized that Interlinking related factors have strong weight within the Google algorithm.

How to use Internal Linking more effectively

  • If you’re using WordPress, there are plugins that will automatically turn keywords in page text to keyword relevant links directing to some of your most important content.
  • Though it’s a bit complicated, you can use pivot tables and filters in Excel on data exported from SEMRush to find the pages with the most rankings. Once you’ve recognized those pages, comb your site to find five to fifteen new links from the existing site content to those pages. The number depends on the size of your site.
  • Before inserting a link, ask yourself: what is the possibility that a user will click on it? The higher the chances are, the more effect this link will have and it will have the most value from an SEO perspective.
  • On the home page, make sure to add links to the most important pages. This could be the main categories or a product page; it depends on your SEO strategy.
  • Factors like the position of the link on a page, the anchor text, the font and color of the text, the context it’s used and its relevancy all influence the effect of the link.
  • Make sure that whenever you include new content that you are including links to relevant and important landing pages. This will guarantee that any links yourinclude in your content will also share a secondary benefit on the pages you have internally linked to.
  • Add internal links in moderation. Every link you place on a page will receive a share of the link authority of that page, so the more links you have, the less value it will collect.
  • Links included within content generally carry greater value because they are surrounded by contextual words which can have another benefit in terms of ranking for these related words.
  • Ensure that that links add value. Though SEO is a factor to focus on, links should also add value to your audience.
  • Make sure that internal links appear natural and not contrived. Links should be included along the natural flow of a piece of content and shouldn’t appear to be out of place to a reader.

5 FUNDAMENTAL SEARCH TRENDS THAT WILL DOMINATE ONLINE REVENUE IN 2016

What do search marketers need in order to stay focused and ahead of the online marketing arena in 2016? Below are 5 key trends that every marketer needs to watch closely.

Search-engine trends are constantly evolving and 2016 will certainly see innovative new developments. 2015 already saw tremendous changes in the search and content marketing world and the stage has been set for a brand new era of search engine trends.

Producing content has seen a shift from its traditional ways and instead, a new trend is being developed towards using search and social data to guide content creation. Speculated to be a major development process in increasing engagements for business brands, this trend will certainly help attract the perfect target audience.

While we all know how important a role content plays in online marketing to drive customers, the more technical aspect of search optimization must not be underestimated. The evolvement of the online industry has vastly affected the mindset of how and where brands need to focus their efforts in order to develop quality content that will shine in the spotlight.

So, the basics aside, below is a look at the top five SEO trends that businesses have to play close attention in the New Year, 2016.

Optimization of Mobile Apps

2015 was a revolutionary year that saw a massive increase in mobile apps and we all saw how effectively mobile searches overtook desktop searches. In 2016, it is expected that mobile apps are more than likely to become an even more significant factor for search and brand exposure and mobile apps will become absolutely vital for an effective mobile user experience.

If doubtful about the value and importance of mobile apps, this statistic will certainly put your doubts to rest: 52% of all time spent in the digital media is consumed by mobile apps and 42% of all mobile sales generated by the top 500 merchants were brought about through mobile apps. As a brand, if you want to keep your customers engaged, mobile apps need to be optimized. This of course, relies largely on designing the perfect mobile app that reflects on the organization and the message your brand is endorsing.

You also need to remember that when searching for mobile apps on the app store, users are initially only going to see icons that relate very few information. This makes it extremely important that icon images are visually appealing so people are encouraged to click and find out more. Also, customer feedback is very critical; keep a close eye on reviews and ratings and if users begin to complain about any errors or other usage issues, then set about to correct the problem straight away and make sure that other customers are aware that the problem has been addressed to.

Structured Data will become more important

Google announced the usage of the new machine-learning system called RankBrain in 2105. This groundbreaking A.I technology was designed to better comprehend the intent of searches and Google says that this system has been significantly helpful when search engines face a question it has not encountered before. This ranking factor has become increasingly prominent as Google claims that it is the third most important ranking system in Google’s algorithm.

The developments in this technology show that A.I can become a very important feature in 2016. While Google and other search engines introduce new concepts and incorporate machine learning in their algorithms, they can also develop an intellectual algorithm technique that can learn what users are searching for, thereby maximizing user experience by showing up the best websites.

As far as the technical aspect is concerned, brands have to focus on structured data to anticipate this development. Structured data markup, like the one found on schema.org, helps websites communicate with search engines by accurately describing what is on the page as opposed to leaving it up to the spiders to interpret. This paves way for search engines to display the site more precisely.

Previously, inaccurate or missing structured data markup would generally pass by unobserved or with hardly any impact on brand performance. As search engines became more intelligent, it also become more dependant on this extra data and failing to do so correctly would adversely affect the success of your website.

When using the schema.org markup, you should also use Google Webmaster Tools to ensure that the markup has been used properly. The Structured Data Testing Tool will prove to be easier for business brands to make sure that they have included everything perfectly. Brands must also be certain that their markup has been used consistently throughout the website, predominantly for rich content on the site, such as videos. This will make sure that rich snippets appear where possible, like in video search results. The importance of this is that it can increase the click-through rate for your website by making it look more engaging on the search engine results pages.

Website Layout will be more significant

Engagement is bound to take the center stage in 2016. Brands have always had to focus heavily on the extremely competitive content field to increase engagements and keep visitors to the website interested, and coming back for more. This is why website features such as the layout will be a very important aspect of rising above today’s content battlefield. When users have trouble in finding the information they are seeking on a website, they would click back to the search engine and an estimated 50% of potential sales are lost as a result of this.

This is precisely why you need to make sure that your website is optimized for visitors and one of the decisive factors for conversions is that your website is easy to navigate. Carefully examine your website data and keep close tabs on how visitors are reacting- are there any pages that are not being visited? Are there many people who click on many pages in quick succession and then click off the website? Attending to these questions would lead to the conclusion that people were looking for something in particular but that they couldn’t find it. So, in order to counter this impact, make sure that your website is properly organized. Your website must have subcategories and easy navigational features. Drop-down menus are extremely helpful as well and also consider adding an internal search bar. This is especially important for e-commerce websites so users can find what they are looking for must faster.

These factors aside, it’s also important to remember that the website layout and optimization also applies to mobile. To achieve this effectively for smart devices, it’s important to understand what your customers do on your website. For instance, providing the contact information and click-to-call buttons up front can be very helpful. At the same time, look at your mobile data to have a more thorough understanding on what customers are doing on your website so you can ensure that your mobile pages offer the perfect on-the-go user experience.

Links will still hold the limelight

The first Penguin Update of more than one year is expected to hit the online arena within a few weeks and this update has assured that it will clean up the link struggles that have been affecting websites ever since the launch of the last Penguin release in 2014. This eagerly awaited update has kept many people excited about how it will impact link building.

Business brands have to take full advantage of this update and not get caught back with penalties that could get your New Year’s marketing resolutions on a bad footing. This means that you have to take a very watchful look at the current profile link and look for variances in the number of backlinks for your web pages.

Brands must also focus heavily on earning backlinks that will impact your web page positively. Links from trustworthy websites can definitely impact a backlink profile, and these are the ones you should be targeting.

All good websites know that linking to other sites is as good as a vote of confidence. It must be noted that these sites will only link to pages that match the quality and value of their pages, so it’s important to build a quality backlink profile. For this, you need to focus on the following:

  • Offering unique and high-value content
  • Promoting content through social media platforms for more exposure
  • Designing an effective, easy-to-navigate website
  • Guest posts on reputed, quality web pages

On the other hand, brands must also review their backlink profile in order to identify any problematic links, if any. If you happen to notice any spam sites linking to your website, immediately reject them through Google. You really don’t want to run the risk of having these in your backlink profile with the new update just around the corner.

Search will be based heavily on overall content and online presence

It is expected that 2016 will be an era of maturation in online marketing and it is likely that success will have less to do with website ranking and will depend a lot on the overall online presence of the brand. Due to this reason, your website should have an imposing online presence and it should be well integrated with social media platforms.

Facebook, in particular, has been developing better search experiences for users and it is expected that this might become more sophisticated this year. What this means is that brands must now be geared up to optimize their online presence on social media, and this trend will be especially significant with the growing use of mobile apps such as the Facebook and YouTube app. People browse more often through their mobile devices so you need to make sure that the content posted on social media sites are ready for these searches.

This optimization process needs to be carefully studied as it requires close attention to both, the social media profiles as well as the posts. Brands and companies must ensure that they describe themselves as perfectly as possible in the About Us description sections, complete with data-backed keywords. The posts should be unique, engaging and interactive while the images must be high-quality ones. You can also use the Open Graph Protocol to take full advantage of your control over how your content appears when it eventually gets posted online. Your content should be mobile-friendly and it’s also advisable to link your posts across various platforms and include links to your website and blog.

In a nutshell, website development and social media marketing needs to stop being treated as two different things; rather treat both as two parts of the brand’s overall online presence and you can reap the best out of your online campaign.

Conclusion

We all know how rapidly the online marketing industry continues to grow and improve and it’s natural for marketers to sometimes feel the pressure getting to them as they struggle to stay ahead in the latest developments and ensure that their online campaigns are successful. But through these struggles, we are sure that we will see how much more the internet still can offer in terms of marketing.

While 2015 was indeed an exciting year for marketers, this year has some wonderful new trends in store as well. Lets look forward to seeing and experiencing the developments that are set to take the online world by storm in 2016.

About /robots.txt – Search Engine Optimisation Sri Lanka

People who own websites use the /robots.txt file in order to give directions and information regarding their website to web robots. This is known as The Robots Exclusion Protocol.

This is how it works. For example, if a robot visits a website URL, such as http://www.example.com/welcome.html, then before the robot visits the website, it will check for http://www.example.com/robots.txt first. This is what it will find:

User-agent: *

Disallow: /

The “User-agent: *” indicates that this section pertains to all robots. On the other hand, the “Disallow: /” relates to the robot that it shouldn’t visit the pages on that specific website.

There are two very essential points to consider when using the /robots.txt. It is outlined as below:

  • Robots can sometimes pay no attention to your /robots.txt. This is specifically if malware robots run a thorough scan of the website for precautionary reasons or if the email address was used by spammers. If that is the case, then the robots will ignore your website altogether.
  • The other instance is when the /robots.txt file is a file that is openly accessible. This means that anyone can gain access and see whatever sections of your server that you do not want robots to use.

All in all, you should not try to use /robots.txt in order to conceal any information.

Details about /robots.txt

The /robots.txt is an authentic standard that is not in possession of any standard organization. The historical descriptions are illustrated below:

Additionally, there are exterior resources as well:

It should be noted that the /robots.txt standard is not developed actively.

How to make a /robots.txt file

To put it shortly, the /robot.txt file is created in the top-level index of your website server.

To elaborate further on this, when a robot searches for the “/robots.txt” file for URL, it breaks down the path constituent from the URL (which includes everything from the very first single slash), and then puts the “/robots.txt” in its position.

For instance, in the “http://www.example.com/shop/index.html”, the robot will take away the “/shop/index.html”, and substitute it with “/robots.txt”. This will result in “http://www.example.com/robots.txt&#8221;.

Bearing all these in mind, if you own a web site, then you need to place it in the correct place on your web server for the resultant URL to actually work properly. Generally, that is the similar place in which you place your website’s main “index.html” landing page. To know where precisely that is and how to actually put the file in that place, it all comes down to your web server software.

Keep in mind to use all lower cases for the following filename: “robots.txt”, not “Robots.TXT.

What should you put in it?

As a text file, the “/robots.txt” comes with one or more records which typically consists of a particular record such as this:

User-agent: *

Disallow: /cgi-bin/

Disallow: /tmp/

Disallow: /~joe/

Three directories are barred in this particular case.

It’s also important to remember that you would require a different “Disallow” line for each and every URL prefix that you would like to keep out because you will not be able to simply say “Disallow: /cgi-bin/ /tmp/” in just one line. Additionally, you might not have empty lines in a record because these are used in order to restrict several records.

At the same time, it’s important to note that globbing and customary terms are not maintained in the User-agent or Disallow lines. The ‘*’ in the User-agent field holds a very unique value of meaning to any robot. Distinctively, you can’t afford to have lines such as “User-agent: *bot*”, “Disallow: /tmp/*” or “Disallow: *.gif”.

Typically, whatever you should leave out depends heavily on your server. Everything that is not clearly prohibited is taken to mean a fair game. Following are some examples:

To eliminate all robots from the complete server

User-agent: *

Disallow: /

To permit total access all robots 

User-agent: *

Disallow:

(Or simply build an empty “/robots.txt” file or don’t use one)

To reject all robots from a fraction of the server

User-agent: *

Disallow: /cgi-bin/

Disallow: /tmp/

Disallow: /junk/

To leave out a single robot

User-agent: BadBot

Disallow: /

To permit a single robot

User-agent: Google

Disallow:

User-agent: *

Disallow: /

To reject all files besides one

Because there is no “Allow” field, this becomes a little difficult. The simplest method is to put all files that should be disallowed into a different directory that is named as “stuff” for instance, and leave the other file in the level on top of this directory:

User-agent: *

Disallow: /~joe/stuff/

On the other hand, you can also plainly reject all disallowed pages:

User-agent: *

Disallow: /~joe/junk.html

Disallow: /~joe/foo.html

Disallow: /~joe/bar.html

Google Personalized Search Engine Optimization (SEO) ?

Its interesting to see that Google always changes the way it operates. Time to time search engine results vary and recently I observed another change (possibly I might be late).  I’m also not sure how to name it, but seems like “Personalized SEO”. I would say this would bring more and more benefits to the firm if handled and used carefully.

My blog is always ranked high in Google Search Engine for important keywords, drives me several visitors per day. Whenever I update my blog the post quickly get scrolled and showed in the top position in the Google ranking. For some keywords I wondered how it got ranked up. Later I identified Google has linked the Gmail and SEO together. If the person in your Gmail contact searches for a keyword which is relating to your post / site then the respective post / site comes up in the ranking. Lets try an example and see.

Step one – I logged in to my Gmail from other account, which has already my main Gmail contacts saved.

Step Two – I had written a post about invest in Sri Lanka in this blog, and searched for the keyword “Invest in Sri Lanka”, where my blog appeared in the first page as 8th and 10th result. Please see the screen shot:


Then I logged out from Gmail and again searched for the relevant keyword, where I couldn’t see the same results. So I’m not sure about my guess on these, however I can see that Google tempting people to use Gmail more and giving more personalized search results.

When I see this I got an idea, it’s good for Sri Lankan firms in the following ways:

1-    Use Gmail for communication with customers (Specially travel firms)

2-    When they reply it will be saved as contact

3-    At the same time they should share their online presence such as website, blogs etc etc. Both should be killer content.

4-    Now when they search for relevant keywords since the firms are in the contact list with shared content the relevant content will appear in the first page, which might surprise them and create credibility.

(But using Gmail for customer contact may not represent professionalism since people may worry about the trust).

These are just my observation and the ideas are totally with predictions. If I’m wrong please correct me. 🙂

Power of Internet- Important tactics for Sri Lankan firms

power of internet

I always wonder about Sri Lankan firms; still they are less aware about the power of internet. Most of the firms still depend on the traditional marketing methods to undertake their marketing activities. In my graduate research I interviewed managers of several big organization in Sri Lanka those who have web marketing as part of their marketing tactic and strategy. They all claimed that Sri Lankan consumers are not towards online purchasing and they totally believe in the offline purchase. They wanted to buy things after physically looking at the items. But when I interviewed consumers those who have a credit card, they mentioned they are not aware about firms selling online in Sri Lanka except they purchased services like e-channeling. The respondents said they are ready to purchase online. Anyway I believe to some extent the online trust and privacy issues have an impact on the consumers mind set.

This is a recession time. But the behaviors of Sri Lankans are changing. Based on the recent statistics, internet penetration in Sri Lanka is grown by 252.3% and still predicted to grow in future. So I believe it is time for Sri Lankan firms to adapt e-marketing as a part of their marketing mix.

Why they can do?

1-     Currently most of the firms have just informative web sites except some major players. But firms need to concentrate on conversion focused web site with highly analytical system implemented.

People may arise question then what next? They should implement some good tactics to ensure that their web is in the organic search and paid results. In Sri Lanka the search engine behavior is showing a big rise as well. http://www.alexa.com/siteinfo/google.lk

So following tactics have to be followed by to ensure their online presence is strong and fair enough to change traffic to conversions.

  • Search Engine optimization – Convert their site into more search engine friendly. For any keywords their result has to be shown in the organic search results. Rather than outsourcing a firm to do this, training employees internally will be a good investment. All the dynamics of SEO need to be done.Generally SEO is all about getting top in the search engines organic results. Creating a web that is search engine friendly is very important. Except that what Sri Lankan firms can do? Rather than going deeper SEO tactics they can follow some in-house tactics which will bring them a good result. There are 19 very essential SEO technique firms that need to first consider on
    1. Commit yourself to the process. SEO isn’t a one-time event. It has to be an ongoing process. SEO techniques. logics, search engine algorithms always change. Keep updating yourself every day.
    2. Be patient. SEO isn’t about instant gratification. You can try something today but all will work tomorrow. Do not expect results today. All the work you do will give you a result tomorrow.
    3. Become a student of SEO. Always update you knowledge. Personally hiring a SEO company in the early stages would be an advantage. But having an in-house SEO team will give you greater cost saving and develops skills.
    4. Have web analytics in place at the start.
    5. Build a great web site.
    6. Include a site map page.
    7. Make SEO-friendly URLs.
    8. Do keywords research at the start of the project. Think about your business and develop site contents based on the keyword.
    9. Use a unique and relevant title and meta description on every page. Try to give your visitors some valuable content. Update your site content regularly.
      eg- If it is a Hotel web site make quality contents related to travel. Give the visitors tips about travel. Add new contents every day. Then search engines will find your site value and bring top of the searches.
    10. Write for users first. First think about your visitors
    11. Create great, unique content.
    12. Use your keywords as anchor text when linking internally.
    13. Build links intelligently
    14. Use press releases wisely.
    15. Start a blog and participate with other related blogs.
    16. Use social media marketing wisely.
    17. Take advantage of local search opportunities.
    18. Take advantage of the tools the search engines that  give you.
    19. Diversify your traffic sources.
  • PPC – Firms in Sri Lanka can target Sri Lankan audience with pay per click advertisements. Currently sometimes there may not be potential, but in future there will be a boom in e-commerce in Sri Lanka. So adapting these ad words will give an edge to Sri Lankan firms.

Also Sri Lankan targeted PPC market is not competitive. Even for less bid firms can come up in the search results position. Recently I wanted to buy a phone for my use. To get information about phones I searched in Google. I didn’t come across any suitable Sri Lankan firms in the search list.. (Both organic and paid results). Firms can sometimes argue that people behavior are not towards search when they plan to buy a product. But now the case is different. In other 2 years time definitely online purchase will become boom in Sri lanka.

Content advertising is also other way to reach the target audience.

  • Video Optimization – This is the best way to get your leads online. This is the growing trend in online marketing as well. Firms in Sri Lanka can make use the power of video sites. Create channels in about 10 video sites those are popular. Eg- YouTube,Dailymotion,Google video,Yahoo video, AOL videos and upload your product mix video, create some videos with contents. Optimizing videos with proper titles will get you up in the search results.
  • Social Media – This is the time and power for social media. People spend more time on networking with others. Sri Lankan firms need to make use the power of social media such as Facebook, Myspace,bebo etc. Recently I can remember Mobitel Lanka launched their social network promotion on Facebook. What they can actually do with these Medias?

1 – Making use the Social Media flyers in Facebook,  they can create targeted ad flyers. It won’t cost them much. Suitable demographic target will give an edge for firms. Not only ads they also can promote their groups, pages in Facebook. Anyway this will grow in future as well. In Sri Lanka Facebook is the Social Networking site used by many people. But in other countries there are influences of other sites as well.

Social book marking sites are also a great way to communicate with their audience. But in Sri Lanka the awareness of these sites are very low. But in future it can grow significantly. The popular sites are propeller, digg, stumbleopon, twitter etc. The growth of Twitter is also seems to be great since in my twitter there are Sri Lankan entrepreneurs promoting their business. But still the Sri Lankan do not know about the power of twitter.

  • Blog Marketing- Blog marketing is a good way to come up in the search results. Especially blogs like wordpress, blogger are more search engines friendly. If you can update the blog continuously with quality contents the search engine crawlers will identify your blog as a useful one and show in the top results. Make sure you give your blog visitors to read something. Always publish some good writing about your industry trends, tips, products etc. Update the blog regularly and submit it to all the blog directories.Especially word press contents are crawled regularly by the search engines. For example if your firm is selling iPhones then update about the new iphone models, how to use the iphone, useful applications, games, wallpapers and other contents will drive traffic to your blog.
  • Article marketing – In the web there are many article sites which can drive  traffic to your web site. With the help of content writers companies can upload articles by leaving their web address as signature. An accurate way of article marketing will give you significant amount of traffic. But in Sri Lanka it may be not easy since people are not well aware about these sites. But the growing generation is now well aware about the internet. In future they are the potential customers for the firms. So it is better to target these tactics now onwards. Because if you start all of these it will take time to give you a return.
  • E-mail Marketing – It is always questionable to what extent Sri Lankan firms are using e-mail marketing effectively. I have signed up with many Sri Lankan retailer, but hardly I never or rarely receive mails from them. But Sri Lankan firms can enable newsletter options in the site and also can take the customer e-mail at the point of purchase.  Sending well designed e-mail will also work well.

There are many tactics Sri Lankan firms can use apart from the above, but these are some basics they need to concentrate on.