Search Engine Optimization Basics for Small Businesses
Every Search Engine Optimization (SEO) or Search Engine Marketing (SEM) strategy begins with the basics, including a search engine friendly website design and interface, implementation of the fundamentals of keyword research and original content development and distribution. An SEO strategy can help grow a business to the next level by combining unique techniques that help them to compete online for premium placement within search engines. It is difficult for small businesses to compete with high profile companies on a global scale for competitive search terms simply because smaller businesses have less money to allocate for public relations and advertisement initiatives which include of course, web campaigns. However, this does not mean that with hard work and determination one can not be competitive and build, and market, their brand successfully even if it exists within a highly competitive niche.
Web Design For Results Driven Online Initiatives
Have someone design an attractive and user friendly website instead of trying to build one through a “cookie cutter” type website or software program that offers cheap business site templates. The saying “you get what you pay for,” definitely applies here. It is 2010 and the average online user can tell a generic site from a well thought out nicely designed one in a split second, and yes, they will absolutely go to another site based on looks alone. Hence, one should make sure that their site looks good for that first impression when a user sees it for the first time and decides (very quickly) if they want to peruse the page or simply click to another. The site needs to be attractive, easy to navigate through, and the content and verbiage must make sense and be error free.
Spend some time with a professional web developer who has experience with consumer and website usability. It is amazing how even the placement of certain small elements in a web design, like buttons, matter in the overall site effectiveness. In addition, the navigation strategy of the site is very important if you want visitors to easily find and meet the end goals of the site. Also, if one’s goal is to make an e-commerce style site with a shopping cart or payment system, please be sure to hire a web designer with experience with programming e-commerce sites.
Creating Compelling Content that Ranks Well in Search Engines
Search engines like Google, use different algorithms to determine hierarchical placement of search results for each website. The most important way to be noticed by the search engines over one’s competition is by using unique verbiage and content. When constructing a web campaign, businesses either write and create content on their own or they hire a marketing company or freelance web writer to do this for them. It’s true that search engines harshly penalize websites (by giving them low search result rankings, hence less site visitors) that steal content from other sites and distribute or publish it as their own. Also, by using previously published materials, one is taking something that may have been written for a totally different purpose and may not even meet their SEO expectations. Poorly written copy can be just as bad as unoriginal content, so whoever writes content that will be involved in any online campaign should be both a concise, and experienced writer, and have sufficient knowledge of SEO for marketing purposes.
Keyword Research and Online Marketing for Business Owners
Determining the words and phrases that people will search when looking for something, then compiling them into a list for use on web pages, is not an easy thing to do for a beginner (and it’s very time consuming as well). A business owner that chooses to develop an online campaign has a choice to make regarding keyword research. Either they will have to learn on their own through trial and error, and suffer through the learning curve and multiple hours of training, or they can hire a marketing or SEO company to handle these needs for them. Determining ideal keywords and phrases for SEM campaigns and continually generating the most relevant search results requires careful and specific research. Keyword research is the holy grail of SEO.
Ensuring that one’s site has the proper keywords in their tags, meta tags, headers, title bars and within the content of every page on the site is imperative for effective SEO. In addition, backlinks (links from another site) are critical as well as they help demonstrate that a particular site is relevant and contains information that is recommended by other sites.
A business owner needs to realize that many web developers are great programers but are poor at web design and SEO. It is recommended that any business owner consult with a professional Marketing person to ensure that potential consumers find your website. Otherwise your site is one of millions that will get little attention and go unnoticed, thus making your web presence useless. A website needs to be looked at as an asset to one’s business not just a piece of Marketing collateral.
Aeutus Marketing focuses on providing small businesses in the Phoenix Metro area with Marketing, Advertising and Public Relations support in both English and Spanish. For more information, please visit: http://www.aeutusmarketing.com
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