SEO for Parallax

Unimpressed with Parallax SEO?

Unimpressed with Parallax SEO?

Providing SEO for a site utilizing the parallax scrolling effect may at first seem a bit challenging, given the fact that on its face a parallax site does not offer the opportunity for deep links or individually optimized page content. However, there is no need to be unimpressed – there is a solution! Here’s a hint: treat it like a Flash site.

What is a Parallax Site?

The parallax effect is typically achieved using Javascript or JQuery to create a scrolling or 3D effect when jumping between named anchors on a single web page. You can see some examples of sites created using the parallax effect here:

The navigational scheme is such that when navigating about the site, instead of going from one individual URL to another for each page, one long web page is created, which page contains the entire contents of the site. Named anchors are used to jump or scroll between pages. When the user navigates about the site, instead of a new page loading on the screen, the new page scrolls, slides, or “whooshes” in from above, below, or the side, depending upon where the user is at within the one page site’s content, and to which named anchor the user is navigating.

So a site created using the parallax site is an entire site written as one big, fat, giant web page file, graphics and all. The negative SEO implications of this are obvious, and mainly center around (a) the inability to deep link to individual pages of a site using a unique root-level URL; and (b) the difficulty in optimizing basic on page elements such as title tags for individual page content.


We were contacted by a potential client who owned a children’s entertainment center. Think of something along the lines of laser tag, or a bowling alley, or a pizza arcade, or a go cart track. The client had determined to build the site using the parallax effect, and wanted to rank well in the search engines for a variety of keyphrases pertaining to specific events that might be searched for on Google. For example, the client wanted to rank well for such things as birthday parties, bar mitzvahs, quinceaneras and the like.

Normally this would be accomplished by creating separately optimized pages for each of the specific events (title tags and such), describing the packages available for each event, and deep linking using appropriate anchor text to each of the pages. With the parallax site, this was simply not possible.

The Solution

I began to think of solutions to the problem and I found myself treating the parallax page as akin to a Flash site. There’s not much one can typically do with a Flash site – except one thing. Typically I would advise the owner of a Flash site to create a machine readable HTML version, both for the search engines, but also for purposes of accessibility and for those users who may not have the Flash plugin. This would not be considered duplicate content and would not infringe upon any of Google’s guidelines.

In the case of a parallax site though, there would be a duplicate content problem if we created separate “landing” pages for each of the children’s events, as the landing pages would be duplicative of the event content on the parallax page.

So the solution that I came up with was to organize the site content into two separate types of content: (1) Content important to the user but not likely to be searched for; and (2) Content important to the user and highly likely to be searched for.

Examples of content in the first category, that a user would be unlikely to search for yet which would be important information for the user would be such things as a contact form, maps, photo galleries, catering menu, testimonials, and the like. It is highly unlikely that someone is going to search for “laser tag testimonials”.

Examples of content in the second category, that would be both highly likely to be searched for as well as information useful to the user would be the specific events, like birthdays, bar mitzvahs, and such. People search for things like “laser tag birthdays” or even the more general “Austin birthday parties”.

By defining the schism between the two types of content, we can then begin to organize our SEO strategy and incorporate it into the site build. We decided to use the parallax effect on the home page and on all general information-type pages, such as contact, gallery, menu, testimonials, map, etcetera. We included in the parallax page a section called “Events”.

When the user eventually scrolled his or her way through to the Events page, we presented the user with a list of events typically hosted by the facility. Examples would be those given above, such as birthday parties, team parties, church parties, bar mitzvahs, quinceaneras, and such. Each item on the list was a hard link to an individual URL which contained content specific to that event (keyphrase), including optimized on page elements such as title tags, and customized content appropriate to that event.

The net result is that the user starts off on the parallax site, clicks through to a particular event, and lands on a static, or “hard” page, for that event. When clicking back from the event, onto any of the navigation buttons (Home, Contact, etc.), the user is returned to the parallax page and the scrolling effect can begin anew.

The creation of the “hard” event pages allows for individualized SEO for all necessary on page elements, customized content, and deep linking to the site.

Problem solved!

By: Matt Foster

Matt Foster is the CEO of ArteWorks SEO Austin, an Internet marketing and search engine optimization firm located in beautiful Central Texas. For more information, please visit

What You Shouldn’t Change in 2013

SEO 2013

A new year is something to celebrate! It’s a time to start fresh, make resolutions, and strategize for another successful (or more successful) year of business. SEO had quite a few changes in 2012 and the new year allows us to question and/or predict what changes might occur over the course of 2013. The many updates by Google had the industry on its toes fixing problems, reevaluting strategies, and trying to new ways to enhance or improve our campaigns for clients. While a new year offers a lot of opportunities and challenges, there are some tried and true SEO strategies that you shouldn’t change in 2013.

First and foremost, you should always have a solid foundation from which to build your search engine optimization campaign. The foundation begins with a fully optimized site. SEO your site, but do not over optimize. A site is for the user and should be built to be user-friendly. However, there are onpage elements that should be properly optimized. One change that you might want to consider for 2013 is ensuring that your site is mobile friendly. Last year we all saw the effects of mobile search and how it has increased with the addition of smart phones.

Content will always be king in the world of search engine optimization. This I feel will never change. High quality content both on the site itself and through blogging is useful and a very integral part of a campaign. Social media content, status updates and such, should also remain at the top of your list for continued practices in 2013. Content should continue to remain fresh and posted regularly. Fresh content could consist of social media updates, videos, and/or blog articles. Promote content in a natural way and build links without black hat practices.

Staying up to date with social media platforms is another practice you shouldn’t change in 2013. Social has been a proven technique for increasing traffic, brand awareness, mentions, links, and the like. Popular social media platforms in 2012 included Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google +, and Pinterest. Post regularly and stay engaged with your target audience.

About the Author: Krystle Green is the Vice President of ArteWorks SEO, a full service search engine optimization Austin firm located in Texas. For more information about SEO, SEM, or social media please visit

Reputation Management and Search Engine Optimization

Every successful company understands the importance of reputation. People buy based on an expectation of quality and service. If your reputation takes a hit, you can bet that your sales will feel the pain. Unfortunately, for some companies, their reputation can be damaged through slanderous or untrue statements, and rebuilding their image can take months or even years.

While reputation management is not a new concept for companies, many companies are realizing that the internet has made their clean-up efforts more difficult. One negative incident among years of dedicated service can nearly take a company down, especially in a rough economy, where competitors are watching your every move. For this reason, many SEO companies can help you clean up your online reputation, by highlighting your years of quality service and reviews.

Strike While you’re Hot – It’s important to get started as soon as your online reputation has taken a hit, because you will undoubtedly be releasing your own press releases regarding the negative accusations. Embedding links in these press releases will help highlight your response to the negative incident, and how your company plans on handling it. Most consumers are forgiving with a company’s mistake, as long as they take responsibility for the damage and move forward to correct it.

Keyword selection is key – Selecting the right keywords is the most important factor in repairing an online reputation. Even if your company is using a reputable search engine optimization company and highlighting select keywords, you will need to readjust your strategy. Since the negative press is most likely popping up when consumers search your company or brand name, those are the keywords that you need to focus on. Your SEO Company’s goal will be to continue driving brand-friendly hits up, while pushing the negative press down.

Build Up and Push Down – Link building is extremely important to clear up your reputation, since your negative press has already pushed itself to the top of your company’s results. Your SEO Company should be continuing with the positive SEO, while minimizing the negative. It’s important that your website and blog are being constantly updated, especially if you are in the works of correcting any harm. Another great way your search engine optimization company can build links is to go to the source of the negative press and ask them to include updates of your press release and the steps your company will be taking to remedy the situation.

About the Author: Allison Schnur is the Marketing Manager of ArteWorks SEO, a full service Austin SEO firm located in Austin, TX. For more information about our top rated search engine optimization company please visit

Will Google Glasses Forever Change How We Look at Computers?

Google is planning to release a high-tech set of display glasses by the end of 2012. These glasses are a revolutionary concept in computers, and will take the idea of the mobile computing one step further. The glasses are rumored to have an outward facing camera, whose job is to record your movements and gestures. Supposedly, the technology will also allow your hand can reach out like a computer mouse and control the glasses’ navigation. The best part about these glasses is that the lenses are clear, which allow you to stay in touch with the rest of the world, instead of the traditional tablets, that can become all-consuming. The glasses will be Android based, and will have flash and voice input capabilities.

Sources say the glasses will be priced similar to a smartphone, and could cost anywhere from $150 to $600, with some sources say closer to $250 for a pair. The glasses may look a little geeky in their first versions, but will supposedly look similar to a pair of Oakley’s Thumbs MPS player glasses. While the screens are transparent, the heads up display is only for one eye, and will supposedly not even take up the whole screen.

Google is still unsure if they will find a market for this product. The glasses are considered a pet project, to see if the world is ready for a new form of computing. The idea was thanks in part to Google’s ‘Google X’ laboratory, where they trial experimental, “out there” ideas. Google has always allowed it’s engineers to devote 20 percent of their time towards these experimental projects and have tested out products as wacky as talking refrigerators and robot workers. There is even a rumored ‘self-drive’ vehicle in the works that could change the future of transportation. Google proudly admits that they have invested quite a bit of money in very speculative Research and Development projects; some of which have been more successful than others.

If Google can find a market for their Google Glasses, they could potentially change everything we know, from marketing and advertising, to the way we do business and operate in our personal lives. Adding a fully functioning computer to our already expanding human capacity could elevate our society to a completely new level. Buyers, however, will be the ones to accept or reject this technology, and it may prove to be only a first step in introducing a revolutionary product from Google. As a top 5 search engine optimization company, ArteWorks is excited to see what kind of response this kind of technology will receive.

Matt Foster is the CEO of ArteWorks SEO, a full service Internet marketing firm, who has been active in the SEO industry since 1995. Mr. Foster can be found on Twitter @ArteWorks_SEO. ArteWorks SEO can be found at

Full Service SEO

It seems the world has finally recognized search engine optimization as one of the leading forms of online marketing and advertising. Now that companies are beginning to understand how important SEO is for their website and the success of their business, it seems that a new SEO company pops up each day. A very important question becomes ‘When searching for an SEO company, what should you be looking for?” And what, exactly, is a “full service” company?’

SEO – Search Engine Optimization is one of the most important keys to getting your website noticed and being competitive on the search engines. Engaging in an effective SEO strategy can get your site placed near the top or at the top of a major search engine’s results, which can result in hundreds or even thousands of visitors to your site each day. To optimize your site, an SEO firm must first do a careful analysis of your current ranking, the strategies used recently, the content of your site, and review code for any crawl errors. Next, your SEO firm should be researching the most beneficial keywords for your company, and which words will get your site ranked the highest with high search volume and quality traffic.

SEM – Search engine marketing increases your web site’s traffic and visibility in search engine results pages through a mix of contextual advertising, paid placements and paid inclusion. SEM can be used as an umbrella term, and while it could technically fall under the category of SEO, it’s important not to confuse the two, as SEO should focus on a your organic ranking whether for a local or national listing. Search engine marketing can include but not be limited to social media marketing with Twitter, Facebook, and/or Pinterest, widgets/buttons, online contests, guest blogging, PPC and the like.

PPC Management – A successfully managed pay per click campaign can be expensive, but an unmanaged campaign can be a downright waste of money. Many people are willing to spend money on pay per click advertising, thinking it’s the most “hands off” form of online advertising. Unfortunately, this isn’t true, and when it comes to thousands of dollars of marketing money, it’s always best to analyze where your money is being spent and if it’s being used as effectively as possible.While SEO has a longer lasting effect from its efforts, PPC allows you to “rent” an online space for a desired search term. If you do not monitor your ROI from a PPC campaign, we suggest that you focus your efforts on a search engine optimization campaign.

Website Promotion – Website promotion is very important. Climbing the search engine rankings is nearly impossible without a bit of website promotion. Your full-service SEO company should consider your competition, the keywords and key phrases used by your target audience, as well as the various search engines’ interpretation of your site to really promote your site effectively.While you are not currently ranking at the top of a search engine, promoting your website can help with increased traffic and visibility. This will also help in reputation management as you control what content is created in regards to your website or business name.

Matt Foster is the CEO of ArteWorks SEO, a full service Internet marketing firm, who has been active in the SEO industry since 1995. Mr. Foster can be found on Twitter @ArteWorks_SEO. ArteWorks SEO can be found at

Why Use an SEO Company?

Search Engine Optimization is not always as easy as it seems. In order to achieve a lasting result and to optimize your website ranking, you must devote hours of work each week over an extended period of time. Not only is the actual SEO process tedious and time-consuming, but you must conduct sufficient research in your current ranking, as well as your competitors’.

Many times, you may have the knowledge to do your own SEO, but you end up devoting much of your time to the process and slow your productivity on your own company’s work. If you’re considering undertaking the SEO responsibilities for your company yourself, you may want to consider these factors:

Time-Consuming – Like we said, SEO can take anywhere from 10 to 40 hours a week, and if your company is small, that basically boils down to one job devoted to SEO only. Hiring an SEO in Perth company requires little supervision, and many SEO companies have become fully-integrated and can offer you social media services, as well as website development and design. Hiring an SEO firm instead of paying someone in house to do a full time job, you have the luxury of an entire team of professionals working towards your rankings. Hiring a firm can be more cost effective than hiring a full time employee requiring a salary and benefits to work on your SEO campaign.

Scams – Unfortunately, like most things on the internet, if something seems too good to be true, it may just be. If you plan on teaching yourself or an assistant how to do your own SEO, you may find different sites that promise you certain results for one small payment. Always keep in mind that a real SEO company cannot guarantee rankings, as it’s a complex analytical system, and requires time to build. There are different sites with many approaches to SEO and you have to be sure not to engage in black hat activities that will leave you unranked and penalized by Google. You can not learn enough to be fully aware of the proper techniques in one day or from a day training seminar from an “SEO Guru.” You must understand the history of how to rank, what the search engines look at when ranking one’s sites, quality link building, how to write optimized content and the like.

Lack of Consistency – Optimizing your site takes consistent weekly, or even daily effort. What would happen if your office had a busy week? A busy month? It’s very easy to put SEO off when it’s not your source of income, and you can lose ranking quickly if you are in a competitive market. An SEO company can work daily; weekly or even monthly based on your budget, and can work much more efficiently. Let the firm you hire do what they do best, and you stick to being the best in your field as we help your business to grow and succeed.

Get a Boost – Even working with an Austin SEO Company for six months can help boost your rankings. SEO is a constantly changing business, so what worked for you a year ago may not work today. Try testing out an SEO company for four to six months, and allow them to help your website get a boost on the search engines. Being number one on a major search engine can certainly help boost your business as the number one position is likely to garner most search volume for a particular keyword.

About the Author: Allison Schnur is the Marketing Manager of ArteWorks SEO, a full service Austin SEO firm located in Austin, TX. For more information about our top rated search engine optimization company please visit

How Does SEO Work?

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) has become an intrinsic component to online marketing. How do you expect to market your product or service, when your website is buried like a needle in the haystack of the top search engines? Many people are just now understanding the importance of SEO, and that websites don’t just magically appear at the top of the results page.

So what is exactly is SEO? Search Engine Optimization is just that; it’s an optimization of the domain itself and your search engine placement, not just by your company’s name, but by the services or products you may offer. In other words, if someone types in your company’s name and you’re first to appear, your site may still not be optimized. The fact of the matter is that if someone knows your business’ name in the first place, you are not gaining new customers. SEO helps promote your business by being searchable by keyword. If someone is looking for a dry cleaner in the Manhattan area, your site can be one of the first results found.

SEO can be complicated if you don’t know how to do it properly and it is time-consuming and requires the right techniques. Sometimes inexperienced businesses can spend hours on the wrong techniques, and are not fully optimizing their time and effort. A small business owner can do their own SEO, but since the industry is constantly changing, most businesses find that hiring an SEO company is a better use of their time and money.

Here are a few important SEO components:

Keywords – Keywords are the terms or phrases that you would expect someone to use while searching for a product or service that you offer. That New York Cleaner would want to pick phrases like “Manhattan Dry Cleaning” “Dry Cleaner Manhattan” and so forth. For local businesses, SEO can work somewhat quicker, since the keywords for local search tend to be less competitive than a general search term. Larger, more national or international brands will have higher competition with their keywords. Choosing the right keywords will make or break your campaign. Optimize for keywords that have high search volume and that are relevant to your products or services. Don’t let a snake oil firm fool you into guaranteeing a #1 position for keyword that has little to no competition and only 15 searches per month!

Consistency – SEO is a constant process. You can’t just sign up for a directory or build some links and be done. The most effective SEO is performed a few times a week, at the least, and acquires building up the authority of one’s domain. SEO companies are great for this reason because they can focus on your domain consistently. If you are trying to run your business and do SEO on your own, you will not be able to dedicate the time and effort that an SEO firm will on your behalf. Do what you do best and let your Internet marketing firm do what they are known for.

Timeframe – SEO does take time. Some of your competitors may have started much earlier than you, and have links built up for months or even years. Don’t let this discourage you! Like we mentioned before, SEO requires consistency, and many times your competitors have stopped using SEO services thinking they outranked all of their competition. While it isn’t possible to guarantee a ranking with SEO, it’s much better to be on the first page of results than the tenth, so the sooner you get started, the faster your website will start showing up.

It’s important to realize that not all SEO companies are the same. For more information on search engine optimization techniques and Austin SEO companies, visit us at ArteWorks SEO.

About the Author: Allison Schnur is the Marketing Manager of ArteWorks SEO, a full service Austin SEO firm located in Austin, TX. For more information about our top rated search engine optimization company please visit

Where is the Best Place to Put Your Blog? (Or, What URL Structure Should You Use?)

Blogging for SEO

Blogging for SEO

One of the the first things we look at upon commencement of a search engine optimization project for a client is whether or not the client has a blog and, if so, where that blog is located (the URL or Internet address of the blog). There are typically three main URL structures for a blog, only one of which is the best way to handle things from the standpoint of SEO.

1. Blog hosted on a third party server or free hosting site. Examples: or

Oftentimes people know enough about blogging just to be dangerous – to themselves, that is. They have read up a bit on the importance of content, typically in a blog, to serve as link bait, and how relevant, inbound links can increase search engine presence. So, they go out and set up a free blog with a URL similar to those given in the examples above, and think they are set. The problem with this type of setup is that while the content in the blog certainly may serve as link bait, the links that are “baited”, or in other words inbound links gained to the blog content, point not to the user’s site, but to the free blog hosting or third party domain. Hence, no benefit to the client site is gained, from a link juice perspective, from any inbound links to the content on the third party site. This is perhaps the worst way to set up a blog if your goal is to obtain inbound links for search engine optimization purposes.

2. Blog hosted on a subdomain of the user’s primary domain. Example:

While there remains somewhat of a split in the SEO community about whether a subdomain is treated as an entirely separate domain or can inherit (or pass) some authority from (or to) the primary domain, most are in agreement that, at best, a subdomain can only partially pass or receive authority from the primary domain. (For an excellent, albeit somewhat technical, explanation of this, see, e.g., “Multiple Domains vs. Subdomains vs. Folders” by WebSEOAnalytics). Therefore, for the purposes of passing link juice to the primary domain we do not recommend this type of URL structure for a blog. The idea, again, of blogging (at least from an SEO perspective), is to attract links to the primary or Top Level Domain that you want to rank well in the search engines. The use of a subdomain will, at best, only partially aid you in this effort.

3. Blog hosted in a subfolder of primary or top level domain. Example:

This is by far the best way to ensure that links to your blog content pass authority to your primary or top level domain. Installing the blog in a subfolder of your primary domain attracts links to your specific website url, which in turn should boost your performance in search engines. Happy blogging!

About the Author: Matt Foster is the CEO of ArteWorks SEO, a full service search engine optimization firm headquartered in Austin, Texas. He has been active in the industry since 1995.

When is the Best Time to Begin Search Engine Optimization?

search engine optimization

Quizzical about when to start SEO?

The short answer is: yesterday. And that applies no matter what stage of development your online business is in. If you have been online for months or years, you have been missing out on a wonderful opportunity to use that time to develop your online presence. One of the most often asked questions I get from potential clients is “how long will SEO take?” The answer is, it will take time. And depending on your budget and your competition, it may take lots of time. Don’t believe the charlatan, fly-by-night, snake oil, so-called “search engine optimization” firms who claim to guarantee rankings in days or even a few weeks. These types of guarantees often come with unbelievably low prices. If it sounds too good to be true, it is! But even if the price sounds reasonable (and by reasonable I mean the price would support a decent working wage for an educated individual doing a heck of a lot of work on your behalf each month), any short term “guarantees” should be avoided.

This is why the best time to begin an SEO project is always yesterday. It does take time. And each day that you wait, you are losing ground and opportunity to your competition.

But I haven’t even launched my site yet – it is still under construction!

Well, the song remains the same. You should have begun your search engine marketing campaign yesterday. We’ve had clients, and I’m sure we are not the only SEO firm who has seen similar results, rank on the first page of Google for competitive keyphrases before the client site was even live! Then, when the site is launched, ta-da! Open for business!

One way to go out this is to first go ahead and purchase your domain. Have your SEO firm throw a placeholder page up with some good title tags and a paragraph or two of content related to your future online business. And let your future customers know the full site is coming soon. If you are an established “brick and mortar” business, go ahead and include contact information such as your address and phone number. Maybe include a map.

Then, and this applies to brick and mortar business with a physical address, go ahead and get listed in Google Places. This provides you a free listing on Google Maps. In fact, you don’t even need a website for this. Either way, your SEO firm will know how to do this.

Now, for all businesses, brick and mortar or otherwise, let’s get back to the placeholder page. Include on the placeholder page a link to your blog (yes, you will need a blog, whether you knew that or not). A good SEO firm can install your blog at, while the front end, final version of your site is still under construction. Your SEO firm can then begin creating content on a regular basis on that blog, promoting that content, and building links to that content. Following this methodology, you can get on the first page of Google prior to the launch of your final site. Even if you don’t get on the first page of Google prior to launch, you have that running start for when you do launch.

So the time to begin your search engine marketing efforts is now. Oops – I mean yesterday. Good luck!

About the Author: Matt Foster is the CEO of ArteWorks SEO, a full service Internet marketing firm, who has been active in the industry since 1995. Mr. Foster can be found on Twitter @ArteWorks_SEO. ArteWorks SEO can be found at

Tricking Google is a No No

black hat seo

Black Hat SEO

While some have tried to figure out or manipulate Google’s search algorithm, others have referenced Google itself and have used the many tools available to optimize and enhance their sites. Free tools such as Google Analytics or Webmaster Tools are invaluable and should not be looked down on because they are F-R-to the double E.

People think they have SEO figured out because they took a one hour webinar or read an article about how to become an SEO guru. I’m sorry friends, but you just don’t have it. There is more to it than listening to a guru. Do your research, practice, live and breathe SEO. But always refer back to the search engine itself. Google tells us what it is looking for and what it frowns upon. Don’t waste your time trying to pull one over on Google because it is just too smart for that. Tricking Google is a no no and it’s time you’ve learned a lesson.

Here are some of the quality guidelines and things that you should not do that Google has specifically outlined for you to improve your sites’ ranking on its search engine. For more detailed information from Google’s Webmaster Guidelines please go here

Here is a condensed version:

The first basic principle that has been said over and over is to make your site for your users and not the search engines. “Cloaking” or presenting information to your users that is different from what the search engines see is frowned upon. If your users can interpret and easily navigate your pages, so will the search engines. Keep in mind that you will need to fully optimize title tags and meta descriptions as well as other basic search engine optimization “onpage” elements for the search engines to see.

The second basic principle is to not trick Google. Trust me, it is a matter of time before you will get caught and you will pay for your trickery. Some tricks that people actually think help them are: creating domains with duplicate content, using hidden or invisible text, using hidden links, and/or throwing up a bunch of keywords that have no relevancy to your site. These tricks won’t cut it.

This should go without saying, but too many people just don’t want to listen…do not participate in link schemes! Link exchange programs or link farming is not respected by Google and it is not what it wants to see. Links should be built naturally and you shouldn’t have to build or obtain links by doing something sneaky. If you are participating in a link scheme you will likely be linking to bad neighborhoods that will hurt your position on the SERPs. If you have good content on your site and/or blog posts, people will link to you. The links will come!

Finally, do not fall for the myth that SEO is a one-time thing. Making “onpage” changes or modifications should only happen once. However, the ongoing blogging and social media optimization is what is of most importance in the long run.

About the Author: Krystle Green is the Vice President of ArteWorks SEO, a full service search engine optimization firm located in Austin, TX. For more information about SEO, SEM, or social media please visit