Small Business / Big Online Marketing.
97 % of consumers polled recently stated that they begin sourcing products and services through online means, a number that is increasing with the on surge of mobile tech.
Regardless of what business one may be in, a website is a necessity.
Creating a website is a careful balance of style and function. It needs to be visually stimulating and it needs to be easy to find.
The term SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. It is the science and engineering that goes into ensuring a website appears at the top of specific search results. SEO is all about making a website the first one a consumer sees and it can take small business online efforts from zero to hero.
Here are some simple SEO techniques any small business can do today to boost its Ssearch Engine rankings:
Basic Search Engine Optimization (SEO) Tips:
1. Develop The Website To Be Search Engine Friendly.
Almost every website platform is going to do this anyways. However if when a site is customized, several key areas should be examined. Consider your site map, the HTML or code readability and your Folder structure.
These technical aspects reside more or less in the background of every website. Many website designers are highly focused on creating an aesthetically pleasing site. The aesthetics and image are very important, however a website that is not engineered properly will seldom be seen.
The engineered background of a website is what matters to Search Engines, it is what dictates the websites ranking in search results. Better search results mean a larger audience and more traffic.
Put another way. A good website succeeds in two areas:
- Human Audience: It’s layout and content is visually appealing, and it navigates easily – customers can find their way around without any trouble.
- Search Bot Audience: It’s internal coding and structure is virtually appealing, Search Engines can find it easily and quickly ascertain what it pertains to, thus affecting its ranking.
Technical engineering does not mean sacrificing appealing design, it simply needs to be considered an equal partner. When it comes to a websites technical engineering one is best to forget about “style” and concentrate on text based descriptions, content. The more clues a website provides to the search bots, the better.
2. Determine What Key Words You Want Associated With You Website For Search Results.
This is most easily determined but quickly writing down the first half dozen ways you personally would search for your site. It is best to ask the same thing from those around you, then cross reference and determine which are the most common ways from all of the results.
A few of the results will likely be the same, those are the ones to be key in on. Once that is done, run each of the search terms and isolate where your site stands in the results. The idea is to be in the top 10 results. This may be harder to achieve, depending on the number of related sites in your industry, and how common your business name is.
Generally speaking if you site does not appear within the first two or three pages, then your site should be examined. Not many consumers have the patience to click through that many pages.
While running the test searches, examine which sites are appearing higher in the results. Are the in the same industry? Are they local or global? Small or large? Do they offer direct competition to your business?
When choosing your search terms, remember that other sites will be fighting for top ranking as well. Keep this competition in mind. You may find it useful to break the trest results of search terms into three categories and then target as such:
- Strong Search Term | Low Ranking | Minimum Competition: Your results show your site low ranked, but the search term is highly relevant to your site, and there is not much in the way of relevant competition. Start here. Prioritize them and you will begin to see results quickly.
- Strong Search Term | Low Ranking | High Competition: Your appearance in the results is low, the search terms is highly relevant, yet the competition is as well. The high competition should be an indicator that this as a strong opportunity. However your competition is likely entrenched here and it could get expensive trying to punt them.
- Strong Search Term | High Ranking: Hurrah! Your site appears high in the results, the search term is relevant and you have clearly risen above any competition. Monitor these terms and ensure you stay on top.
Choosing relevant search terms, and prioritizing your targets should have resulted in at least three strong key words to concentrate on.
3. Your Homepage Is To Contain A Textual Description That Includes 2 – 3 Of Your Top Key Words.
And so we begin melding the artistic and the technical. The content should stimulate the viewer, yet make easy climbing for the Search-Bot-Web-Crawlers.
Simply put: “If you want people searching for your key words to find you, then place the key words all over your site”
Think of your key words as little rock holds for the spidery Search Bots to grab hold of in their search. The more holds your site has, the more grip those little Search Bots will get on your site (that is a good thing).
Keep in mind that you do not want to cover your site in redundant textual info for the sake of the Search Bots as you then lose your Human Audience. It needs to be a careful blend of both worlds.
As you change and adjust your sites engineering and content, monitor the changes in your ranking.
4. Include A Page Or Blog Spot Dedicated To The Top Key Words.
This is a good idea for two reasons:
- If provides a natural text space to use your key words (again keep in mind not to overdo it, it needs to be readable).
- It provides an opportunity to show expertise and relevance in relation to your key words, and therefore your industry.
Rule of thumb write as if you had five minutes to explain to a friend or family member what it is you do.
5. Ask Colleagues, Industry Partners, Friends & Family To Post Content About You.
Search Engines view external links to a website as an endorsement of sorts. Like references on a Resume.
Asking external sources to post about your business AND include one of your key words within a direct link to your site, is known as a “Link Exchange”. While a useful SEO tool, many look at this as questionable when done in large quantities, or when exchanged with irrelevant sites or content (Ex. A Dental practice Link Exchanging with a Bulldozer rental site).
Mass Quantity Link Exchange Examined:
- Some businesses and web developers will trade Link Exchange rights with other sites regardless of their content. For instance Herp.com may ask Derp.com to allow them to place a link on their site in exchange for the same privilege – even if the sites have nothing in common.
- Others developers may go as far as to purchase the rights to share the links on other sites, or even set up a website directly aimed at nothing more than mass Link Exchanging.
There are a few schools of thought on this as an SEO strategy. Many Search Engines, like Google, do not like this type of thing – considering these types of Mass Link Exchange as misleading in relation to relevant content. These Search Engines are beginning to adapt their algorithms to give this sort of link sharing a pass.
Side Note: Google – the Search Engine with highest consumer use – has made it clear that they are geared towards search results based on relevant content, not SEO “cheats” like link exchanging to irrelevant outside sources. As such creating wide spread relevant content attached to your name is becoming important while mass link exchanging may be on the brink of extinction.
Make sure any link exchange you take part in, is relevant and provides relevant content to the reader. No misleading! That is a massive SEO party foul!
Mass Link Exchanging is frowned upon, however done legitimately, Link Exchanging is a great above-board practice for genuine websites with original content.
6. Back Link Your Website To Your Social Media.
I for one avoid Link Exchanging anyways. I prefer to develop my own content and utilize Social Media platforms for independent link sharing.
It is similar in nature and concept, to Link Exchange, in that it is positioning your link, attached to keywords, elsewhere on the web – yet different in that it is not on external source, but still on your own.
The Bonus here is that it is also CONTENT related, so it scores on two SEO levels and works within many Search Engine preferences for relevant content (it keeps the Google bots happy).
By developing a Social Media platform and link sharing your site, you are creating a larger “web presence” and more reason for Search Bots to find you and rank you.
The Search Engines will essentially crawl the content and trace it back to you. The more relevant content you have for them to crawl, the larger your presence and the higher your rank.
Transition Marketing Services. Our passion is educating and equipping small business owners with the tools and strategies to succeed. We have made it our priority to know Specialized Marketing. We keep up to date on what is new, what is available and what makes the most sense for businesses of all sizes and backgrounds.
We recognize that every Small Business is unique, and their Marketing needs to be as well. Visit us at our website and let us know how were doing or if you have any questions.
TRANSITION MARKETING SERVICES – Small Business Marketing Specialists