Tag Archives: seo

Marketing Dos and Don’ts

dos and dontsWhat is worse than not marketing your website?  It is getting bad backlash from doing the wrong thing.  At least if you aren’t marketing you still have the opportunity to do so.  When you are getting a bad rap, people may avoid you like the plague.  Here are some marketing do’s and don’ts to keep in mind as you go forward from this point.

DOs

1.  Keep the name of your website short and to the point.  When it comes to reading something on the Internet, shorter is better.  People lose interest quickly and a long name will not be catchy enough to stay on their minds for very long.  This is a business that you want to keep going for a long time.  Choose your words carefully.

2.  Use your signature line in forums and on emails.  The signature line is not just for your name anymore.  Include the name of your business, a brief description of what it is about, and the website link to find your main business page.  Be sure to check with the forum administrators to find out what you can and can’t do as far as trying to get free advertising.

3.  Do advertise offline to the local community.  The local community is another sphere of influence that will help the word spread about your business.  If money is an issue, advertise in church directories, newsletters, advertising books for special events, and the word of mouth method.  Talking to people in the beauty shop, barber shop, church, and the Rotary Club meeting can earn you hundreds more visitors to the site.

4.  Learn all that you can about search engine optimization.  The idea is to be ranked somewhere on the first page of search results for as many search engines as you can.  Most people only look on the first page because they assume correctly that they are the best places to find the information needed.

DON’Ts

1.  If you ignore the rules of posting information about your business on forums, they will boot you out.  This type of blatant solicitation is prohibited on most forums.  They let you use your signature line but adhere to the rules of what you can say.

2.  Adding a lot of extra frills to your website page will not make it more attractive to the search engines.  People who visit may like the bells and whistles but they won’t find you to admire them if you are consistently placed low in the page rankings.

3. Take a long time to respond to customer service issues.  When customers send you email about a broken product or have a question, answer promptly.  If you do not they will tell everyone that they know about your rotten service.  That type of word of mouth marketing you can do without.

Marketing strategies will either help or hurt you.  It takes time to see what works best so try as many as you can.  Remember that the object is to attract customers, not anger them.

julianne-wish-avatar15Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, homeschooling mom, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of The Wish Place. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.

Setting Up Your Site

website designIf you have never set up a website, you may not realize how tricky it can be to keep things organized. It can be especially difficult if you plan to have a lot of content. Starting things off in an organized manner will help you keep track of things later.

One item that has been up for debate is whether to create subfolders or subdomains. If your domain, or URL, is http://www.yourname.com, a subfolder would look like this http://www.yourname.com/subfolder. A subdomain would look like this: http://subdomain.yourname.com. The following are some tips on deciding when to use each type of organizational method.

You will want to name each of your pages as descriptively as possible, without making them too long. Of course, keeping things descriptive will help the search engines find you. You will also want a person who only sees your URL to have a good idea of what content they would find if they clicked on your link.

Most people can organize their site info by simply using subfolders. If you have a site with information on family vacation ideas, you may choose to organize your site into folders by geographical region or by activity. If you have a site devoted to household organization, your folders could be named after rooms of the house.

Each subfolder can also have its own subfolders. Using the example of the family vacation site, the geographical region and activity folders can be further divided by cost. If you were going to have a content page that described budget friendly options for traveling to Florida, your page might be named something like: http://www.familyvacationideas.com/florida/budget.

If you want to create a bit of separation between your content, yet still create brand recognition, you would want to add a subdomain. For instance, if you have a website that contains information about raising children aged 5 – 8, and have been thinking about adding content about home schooling, setting up a subdomain may be your best option.

The search engines will treat your subdomain as if it is a separate website. By having incoming links to your main site, you can add to the traffic coming in to that site, as well.  If someone is familiar with your main website, they will automatically relate your subdomain to your main domain. Yet, they will also understand exactly what type of information the subdomain has to offer.

Another reason to use subdomains is if you are creating a special event for your main website, such as an expo or class. Again, people that are already familiar with your main site will see that the site is affiliated with you.

There is no concrete evidence that one method works better for search engine traffic. It is simply a matter of preference over which way you would rather organize things.

julianne-wish-avatar15Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of The Wish Place. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.

The Magnificent Seven: 7 Tips for Successful SEO Writing

seoAs you may know, adding content to your website increases your site’s search engine optimization, also known as SEO. Search engines will scan your web pages and index the information that they find. When someone performs a search, using the terms on your webpage, your page will come up in the search results. This will keep traffic coming into your site.

Create A Keyword List: One of the most important steps in increasing your SEO is creating a list of keywords. You can use a service such as wordtracker to identify what words and phrases people are using when they search online. For instance, if you are creating a website containing information about pet care, you can enter the term “pet care” into wordtracker. It will let you know how many times people are searching for those words, as well as the related words and phrases people are using.

Create Keyword Density: Once you develop your list of keywords, plan to use two to three of your chosen key words and phrases at least three times each within the body text. You can use other variations of those keyword throughout the page. Keyword density measures the amount of keywords used in content. Keep your content full of keywords yet natural looking to maximize your SEO.

Separate Pages Need Separate Keywords: Each page should have its own set of keywords, based on the content found on that particular page. If you have a website about crafts, containing separate pages devoted to knitting, scrapbooking, sewing, etc, using the same keywords for each page would limit the amount of search engine traffic you would otherwise receive.

The More, The Merrier: When you are writing your content, try to include at least 250 words. It is true that many people only scan web pages, rather than read them. Search engines love content, and the more you have, the better. To enhance the overall look of your page, and make it easier for your reader to scan through, you can break the content into small paragraphs and use bulleted lists to highlight important areas of text.

Use Headings and Titles: When writing “keyword dense” content, it can be easy to sound like a broken record, repeating the same phrase over and over again. Use page titles, headings, and subheadings throughout your page.

Let Keywords fill In the Blanks: If you write your copy while focused on your keywords, your text may sound strange when read back. Instead, when you site down to write, write a non-optimized draft first, and then look for places to put keywords.

Remember That You Are Writing For People, Too: While it is important for the search engines to be able to find what you have written, your copy still needs to be interesting enough to hold your readers’ attention. If it is boring and dull, no one is going to want to read it.

julianne-wish-avatar15Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of The Wish Place. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.

 

Local SEO

Ranking for area specific terms can be a big boost to your business. Many people don’t think local SEO makes a big difference, but this isn’t the case.

The good thing about it is that it’s usually quicker to rank for local terms. This is because you have so little competition. While there might be tons of sites going for the keyword “weight loss,” there are significantly less going for the term “Orlando weight loss.”

So how do you get ranked for local terms? Here are four tips to make it happen:

#1) Use the keyword in your title and content

This is the most important factor in getting ranked. You should put the keyword at the beginning of your title, as well as in the content a few times. This lets Google know what the page is about. Therefore, it will make it more likely you will get ranked.

#2) Use anchor text to your advantage

When you do get links to your site, make sure the anchor text (the actual link text) includes your main keyword phrase. Google looks closely at the anchor text to let them know what the site being linked to is about.

So if you have one hundred links pointing to your site, and seventy of them say “Houston condos”, they will be able to surmise what your page is about.

However, you don’t want to have every single link to say the same thing. Google likes natural link building. So if 100% of the links say “Houston condos, they will view this as unnatural, and this may affect you in a negative way.

#3) Get links from quality sites

Every link is not created equal. Google puts more weight on the links from quality sites a lot more.  Therefore, be sure to target legitimate sites for your link building efforts.

#4) Geo-tags

This is not a new strategy, and it’s been around for a long time. However, many internet marketers aren’t familiar with it.

Basically, geo-tagging is where you put metadata in your HTML code. This lets the search engine spiders know where your site is located. You can do the same for pictures you put on your site. This will help you rank for localized searches.

The metadata includes your latitude and longitude coordinates, and sometimes other variables like altitude. If somebody is doing a search with geotagging enabled, your site might show up.

While geo-tagging does work, you can definitely rank without doing it. However, there’s no reason not to use it, as it definitely couldn’t hurt.

The bottom line is, getting ranked for local SEO terms is a great way to get more business. Implement these four tips and you should see results from your SEO efforts shortly.

Julianne Alvarez-Wish is a military wife, mother, business owner, professional writer, blogger and legislative advocate. She is the Director of Communications for Our Milk Money, the Colorado State Leader for the National Association for Moms in Business and the owner of Buy By Mom and Buy By Mom Blog. She is the Colorado Springs Stay-at-Home Mom Examiner for Examiner.com. She also blogs at A Wishful Thought. Her passion, purpose and goal is to help parents work from home so they can be home with their children.