What exactly is SEO (Search Engine Optimization)? Basically, it’s what Google and other search engines use to find your small business blog. What is the point of having a blog or business website if when people Google you, they can’t find you?
Here are a few tips you can use in order to help yourself get found which will hopefully bring you more clients and readers.
First, write your blog posts in a text editing program rather than directly online. This way when you go to transfer it to your online presence you’ll be forced to re-read and eliminate typos, and make sure what you’ve written is on point.
Second, make sure your posts are relevant. Assume you have around 2 seconds of eye time before the person makes a decision if they are going to stick around or not. Use your most powerful keyword words first. If you’re a coffee house, make sure the word coffee is one of the first your visitor will see.
Third, put the interesting and pertinent info first. Don’t end with that great special offer, lead with it. No need to prep us for exciting information, blast it in our face.
Fourth, use images. Text is boring, and you will need to grab people’s attention. White space, such as line breaks and writing short paragraphs is good too. When using an image, make sure to use the alt text option to add a description of that image, and make sure to use good keywords. When you hover your mouse over an image, you should see that alt text and if you used the right words it can help with your SEO.
Fifth, build an online presence. It’s going to take a lot of hard work. You’re not going to wake up one glorious morning and find you have 10,000 followers and glass slippers where your ratty gym shoes used to be. You want to make sure your social media profiles are up to date (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc) and you just want to get yourself as much of a online community as possible. Don’t worry too much about this one now, it comes in time, and as long as you keep up with your blog and your online profile, it will happen mostly organically.
Sixth, get yourself a subscription to Google Analytics. It’s free. And powerful. Here is a pretty in-depth article on how to use it.
Seventh, make sure to tag your blog entries. Up to 10 tags, but only one category. You’ll hear different advice from different people, but I think one category is best. You don’t want to have your customers searching for vitamin C, but you’ve labeled every post as vitamin, so they all pop up.
Eighth, remember that it all comes down to content. The more content you have, the more information there is for search engines to index, which means more indexed content, which means….more people will visit your site!
For more info, check out this article by Modish Biz Tips.
August 3, 2010
Google and other firms offer “paid placement” ads with SEO subscriptions – so that when someone enters specific words which you can purchase, you will be one of the banner or sidebar links that show up. Is there any evidence to indicate that making this sort of investment is worthwhile to a small business, or does it come down to how frequently the searched words are? (i.e. if someone wants to use the words “Chicago” and “coffee” for a search term to market their coffeehouse, would a paid link benefit them more to stand-out?)
August 3, 2010
Paid placement ads are actually pretty reasonable, all depending on how “searched” your key word is. I think at least trying out paid placements is a fine idea for a small business, as long as your don’t neglect the organic parts of SEO as well. If you want further paid placement reading, check out this link: http://www.shoestringventure.com/2010/07/30/promotions-marketing-and-sales-8-6-search-advertisingpaid-placement/