Tag Archives: SEO

Getting Google to Know You

Jennifer Tanzi

Jennifer Tanzi

Here is a helpful article for novice small business operators looking to understand the impact of SEO on their sales as written by my guest, Jennifer Tanzi of Buydomains.com:

Using SEO to Court Search Engines

Ever since Google became a verb, small business owners have wondered about guaranteeing prime placement when prospective clients go a-typing in their search engines. Times have changed since you simply added “AAA” to your business name and scored first place in the yellow page listings. Marketing yourself is more complicated in the digital age, but with a little bit of insight and a few simple steps, you can catch the eyes of those search engines, and propel your businesses name up those prospective clients’ lists of results.

You know how people use name repetition (sometimes relentlessly) to remember yours? (“Hi, Sandra, so good to meet you, Sandra. Can I get you a beverage, Sandra? Sandra, let me take your coat.”) Search Engine Optimization — SEO — works kind of the same way. Repeating key phrases in your domain name and throughout your website pages makes your business more appealing to the search engines. Once they find you, so will all those new clients. You just need to put some thought into choosing the right keywords, and some craft into your copy so your message sounds fresh, and not repetitive.

First, figure out your key keywords. Let’s say you sell organic lavender, tended and harvested on your own pristine acres of New England farmland. You’ve done your homework on choosing domain names that attract type-in traffic and landed one that screams “organic lavender” right there in the URL. Now, how can you ensure that every person looking for your product sees your business name in lights when they go Metacrawling?

Perhaps your website boasts glorious photos of lavender plants so vivid you can smell them through the screen, and describes memorably the many attributes of your farm — the perfectly tended soil, the soothing scents of the lavender as you coax the shoots from the earth. But when Elinor the Florist needs a supplier for her tremendously successful hand-tied organic bouquets, what words will she type into her search engine? Organic lavender. And, since she wants to go local, maybe also, “New England.”

So there you have ‘em. New England. Organic. Lavender.

Your new SEO keywords, New England organic lavender, should appear five or six times on each page of 500 – 600 words of copy. So your site needs to describe the perfectly tended soil of your New England organic lavender farm, the soothing scents of your New England organic lavender plants as you coax the shoots from the soil. Placement of the keywords is critical, too. You should include them in <H1> header tags, in your first paragraph and in links throughout the site.

As you master SEO, there are a few pitfalls you’ll want to avoid. Vary the titles and meta data of your pages, so that if several different pages of your site pop up in the search results, customers see difference slices of information about your business from your site.
When you’ve mastered the SEO strategies, test your efforts. Cruise the web yourself to see which sites your keywords bring up, and what your competitors are doing differently to place high in the results. And be sure to use web analytics on your site so you know exactly how your visitors are finding you.

To small business owners, those search engines might at first seem a fickle bunch. But once they get to know you — through SEO — they are really going to love you.

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Filed under SEO, Small Business Marketing

Use WordPress for Your Website, Not Just Your Blog

wordpress-logoGreat post written on the value of using the free WordPress platform not just as a blog, but as a website. I’ve talked to many startups and small business owners that don’t have a website to just use WordPress for their site. So many advantages including the fact you can get something up in minutes! But, more importantly, there is so much functionality and control built into WordPress, along with it being very search-engine friendly, that it can’t be ignored. Here is an excerpt from the post “Why Settle for a Blog When You Can Have a Blogsite“:

Blogging tools have evolved significantly due to the tremendous popularity of blogging in general. Because of this evolution blog software has actually become one of the best ways for small businesses to easily build feature rich, simple to edit, search engine friendly web sites.

I would urge anyone without a web site or with a boring static brochure site to take a good hard look at free piece of software called WordPress. The current version of the software can be downloaded from WordPress.org (They have a hosted blog version at WordPress.com but you want the download from the .org site.)

You can use this software to create your entire website whether you have or want a blog or not. (But, of course you need a blog too.) One of the best functions of this set-up is that anyone in your organization with the proper login permission can update and edit the site including adding pages, text and images without any knowledge of HTML or web design software such as Dreamweaver.

On of the core elements of WordPress is something called a theme. This is essentially the design template that controls the look and feel of all of the pages throughout the site. There are lots of places you can get pre-designed templates for blogs, but recently designers have started creating themes for the type of web site implementation I’m talking about in this article. Using these themes your web site looks like, well, a web site, instead of a blog.

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Filed under Blogging, Design, marketing, Web 2.0

Exactfactor, Another Cool Free SEO Tool

exactfactorIdan Factor of Exactfactor sent me their cool free SEO tool that his company offers. I’ve tested it out and found it to be easy to use and more importantly, useful in checking your position in search engines against your competitors. You can also get regular email alerts and weekly reports. There is a full online presentation on the service that you can review. Very nice! Have a try and see for yourself. Thanks for sharing, Idan.

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Filed under Business, Google, Internet, Online marketing tactics, Search Engine Marketing, SEO

Free SEO Tool Ranks Your Website Against Competitors

reviewmyweb_logoI get a lot of emails asking me to post, discuss or review a service and rarely have I found one worth sharing. This is one of those rare moments. Sam Cabal asked me to take a look at his free search engine optimization (SEO) tool called reviewmyweb.com that provides a fairly detailed report of how well your website ranks against your competition. Simply submit your website URL, along with up to two of your competitors, and within minutes a report is emailed back to you. It takes into account Google page ranks, backlinks coverage, site content, and blog coverage. I just tried it and found it very impressive. So much so, I’ve just sent a copy of my report to my Senior Web Developer as we’re in the midst of optimizing our new PEER 1 website which went live a few days ago. This is a handy tool for web marketers that I encourage you to try out… and the price is right. Sam, thanks for sharing and good luck.

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Filed under Google, Internet, marketing, Marketing Research, Online marketing tactics, Search Engine Marketing, SEO, Small Business Marketing, Social Media, Web Sites

Internet Marketing Key to Obama Win

Barack Obama wins Democratic nominationParticularly interesting post on the Wired blog that illustrates how Barack Obama’s branding and marketing campaign usage of the Internet played a key role in propelling him victory of the Democrat nomination. Below is an excerpt with a link to the original post:

“It’s impossible to imagine Barack Obama’s rise without the modern methods that his campaign used to organize itself, particularly around the internet,” says Simon Rosenberg, president and founder of the nonprofit think tank the New Democratic Network. “This really was the most successful campaign of the 21st century.”

“This is what happens when you have a charismatic candidate, and you organize on a scale not seen before,” he adds. “Literally, the size and scale of this is unprecedented in American political history, and it wouldn’t have been possible without the money, and passion, and support of millions of American people.”

The campaign came up with a number of innovations on the internet. It used wikis — online collaborative software — to coordinate and churn out precinct captains in both California and Texas. And it created a counter-viral e-mail campaign to combat the anonymous e-mail smears that question his religious faith and patriotism. It set up policy pages that solicited ideas from supporters, and at one point, the campaign solicited letters from supporters over the internet to lobby the undecided superdelegates.

And Obama’s campaign constantly updated its YouTube channel to keep its supporters around the country up to speed on his latest speeches.

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Filed under advertising, Barack Obama, Blogging, Branding, Communications, Internet, marketing, Online marketing tactics, Public Relations, Search Engine Marketing, SEO, Social Media, social network, Technology, Viral, Web 2.0, Web Sites, Word-of-Mouth, youtube

Marketing Metrics: Measuring Events over Page Views

Insightful post from Steve Rubel at Micro Persuasion who questions the value of popular online marketing metrics “page views”, “unique visitors” and “time spent” – all metrics I currently use to measure our sites. The questions he raise are the same questions I continually ask myself when reviewing these stats – particularly how valuable a page view metric really is? We’ve done campaigns which have spiked our traffic but had little impact on quote requests coming through our sites, which is a metric I use to measure how effective our traffic is. Sites that use Ajax and Flash and that are highly interactive and could be delivering a better and more engaging user experience, don’t even show up as a page view. Steve mentions how Google Analytics (available for free btw, like you don’t already know) delivers a metric around events which measure the amount of interaction a user has within a page. As a marketer, this is more meaningful. High, meaningless traffic is useless for a business selling products and services to a targeted audience. Gaining a better understanding on how interested visitors engage with my sites, is much more meaningful. You can read more at Steve’s site.

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Filed under Business, Internet, marketing, Online marketing tactics, Search Engine Marketing, SEO

Yahoo! Launches New Search Features

Yahoo! New Search Features

Paul La Monica at Media Biz writes about the new search features at Yahoo! Now, like Google, searches will integrate video, images and audio in a single search. More interesting is their new Yahoo! Search Assist box that provides related search items to the keyword entered. Read more

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Filed under Search Engine Marketing, SEO, Yahoo!, Yahoo! Canada