The Absolute Basic Principles of Getting Traction in Search Engines
Internet Marketing is perhaps the most important part of any business’s advertising campaign these days. If you aren’t marketing online, you are allowing your competition to literally steal business from you. Every day, tens of millions of people log onto the Internet to buy products. This number is growing every single passing year. Just last year, on Black Friday, the Internet did more gross sales volume in comparison to retail outlets for the first time ever.
Think about the last time you were looking for information — where did you look for it? When is the last time you took your search to the Yellow Pages? Odds have it — you went to your favorite search engine. Whether that was Google, Yahoo, Bing, or another search engine, you most likely went online to find out information about a product or service. Perhaps you were reading reviews about a particular vehicle you are looking to purchase, or maybe you are looking for the top rated real estate agent in your local vicinity.
Whatever the reason for your search, you are bound to pull up answers. The Internet is literally the Manhattan of advertising. More people are being enraptured by the Internet on a daily basis than even cable television. The demographics are all over the board; people from all walks of life turn to the information superhighway to conduct searches, buy products, and make decisions.
If you own a business, and do not have an Internet presence, you are not being found or keeping up with the trends of today. Time and time again I speak with business owners who spend money on print ads who cannot tell me a ballpark return on investment for their efforts. With Internet marketing, and particularly with SEO, not only can you track a proper return on investment, but you can also get an exact read on the number of people who have seen your website on a daily basis. You can see what their actions were, get an idea of how many pages they viewed, and see how much time they spent on your website. From there, you can dial in your efforts and scale them to enhance the user experience.
I’m here to give small business owners some basic SEO tips that can help immediately boost search engine presence. If gaining extra traffic from organic, evergreen sources such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, and even YouTube would be beneficial for your business, follow these steps and watch your traffic increase exponentially.
If you are a beginner and need to beef up your information on SEO, this will give you the basic guidelines you will need to give your business a fighting chance to compete locally, nationally, or globally. Of course, not all SEO is equal, and hiring an expert is the logical next step, but I can show you what you or someone in your office can do in order to have the absolute basics down to a science and foster an environment where your website is viewed as healthy in search engines and can maximize its potential.
First off, search engine optimization, or “SEO,” is the function of enhancing and promoting a website to increase the number of visitors which are received by the website coming through the search engines. There are many components which are included in SEO, which range from the words on your page to the method in which other sites associate with you on the Internet. In some instances, SEO is only a problem of ensuring that your website is developed in a manner which can be understood by search engines.
Tip #1: Keep it Simple.
Use WordPress as a content management system platform for your website. It’s the most user-friendly platform currently offered and it makes updating content a cinch. If anyone in your business can use Microsoft Word or Excel, they can use WordPress. It’s easy to update the website to change store hours, update policies, or just let people know about promotions.
Search engine optimization is about developing websites which are search engine-friendly, and improving the website for viewers as well. People like to read compelling content and view rich media (videos and photos) that engage them. Does your website engage your audience? It is important to understand and comprehend that these values are linked with each other and work together.
Tip #2: Capture Your Audience with Video
An engaging welcome video goes a long way in letting your potential customers know about your home business. It also makes them feel welcome. Having a clear-cut voice behind the site provides trust. People shy away from doing business with websites that have no clear owner or accountability figure for the actions that take place on the site. Create trust by telling your visitors who you are and how you operate. While they watch the video, they are also staying on your website for a longer duration of time; something that Google loves and has factored into their algorithm is the amount of time people spend on websites.
Of course, you need to present content on your website that not only engages your audience, but that is also written well for search engines. Your keyword (you probably have multiple variations of keywords – not everyone uses the same search strings to find the same product) density must be proper and your keywords must appear on your website in order to give your business a chance at gaining search engine real rankings. Most SEO experts will suggest your target keyword appear on your website between 1% and 2% of the overall number of words.
Tip #3: Content is King
Again, your content must not only engage your audience, but it also must keep the search engines in mind. If your content lacks the proper use of keywords, you are not giving yourself a chance. When people hire an SEO agency, the more advanced tactics include using these keywords in title tags as well as optimizing images, including geo-tagging them for local relevancy.
These days, everyone must have a social media presence. Social media is quickly becoming the most important factor in whether a business will sink — or swim — online. A social media campaign not only shows Google that you “exist”, but it shows them that you are “alive and well” when you are active with social media updates.
Updating social media frequently and sharing content will create signals to search engines that notify them that you are active and marketing your home business online. Search engines do NOT like dormant businesses. If you have a website, or social media presence, and you do not update the websites frequently, you are way behind the eight ball.
Tip #4: Social Media is a Must
Here are some tips that will help boost your social media presence and clarify which social media platforms are the ones you need to have a presence on if your company wants to succeed online.
For starters, go out and get a Google Plus (Google My Business) page. This is the most important part of any campaign. Google literally mails a post card to each and every business registered on Google Plus to confirm that they are indeed at the location they mail it to. Once confirmed, the business gets extra credibility from Google.
Google Plus will also be a login you can use for YouTube. Get a promotional video on your YouTube channel and link it to your website. YouTube also allows you to use your channel to link to all of your other associated social media properties. This gives your site a massive boost as well. Do not overlook the power of YouTube, because when people “Google” your business name, your promotional video will most likely show up on page one. Why? Because Google owns YouTube.
Facebook is also a great place to not only have a presence, but to advertise locally for free. You can target people in your area with Facebook ads. Not only that, but you can announce promotions to your followers and fans.
My favorite up-and-coming way to create a following is Instagram. Not only does Google love when you have a link from these very high authority websites, but if you use relevant hashtags, you can gain followers and organic traffic to your website. Every small business can gain a following. I’ve seen gyms, bakeries, restaurants, personal trainers, and real estate agents use this platform to talk about successes, share photos, and motivate others with a ton of success. People love photos, so share them.
These are absolutely FREE methods you can utilize to boost the search engine presence of your business. If you are looking for anything fully managed and much more advanced, please feel free to reach out to our company for a risk-free proposal and full search engine analysis.
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