Monthly Archives: December 2011

Friday, 30 December 2011, 11:42 am Written by 

SEOmoz.com, a leading developer of SEO software, estimates that incoming links are one of the two most important factors impacting small business SEO (the other factor is onsite link metrics).

What are backlinks, anyway?

Backlinks are links from other sites that are directed to your website. Google estimates your Pagerank partly by evaluating the number and quality of your backlinks.

Google is on a never-ending search for quality content.  It counts each backlink as a “vote” for your content. The more votes, the better your Pagerank.

How do you get more backlinks? First, create high quality content that people want to share. It is the best long-term strategy. Good content will endure Google updates better than any other factor.

There are some additional tactics you might consider to help speed the acquisition of backlinks:

  • Reciprocal Linking- approach websites in your industry or related industries to see if they would be interested in reciprocal linking with your site. This is also known as a link exchange. Be careful, though. The links must be pertinent. If you link your dog-training site to a car wash site, it will actually hurt you.
  • Anchor Text- the actual highlighted words in a hyperlink are known as the anchor text. Google looks at the anchor text of incoming links to help it determine what a site is about. If every incoming link to your dog-training site has the anchor text “dog training,” Google sees a consistent pattern and will boost your site in the search results for the phrase “dog training.” The trick is to get that actual hyperlink phrase you want on most or all of your incoming links.

Quality content drives the web. People get on the internet for many reasons but mostly to find answers to a problem. When you provide in depth information that helps people, you are going a long way to increase backlinks and build your Pagerank. And that can only help your small business SEO.

Sunday, 25 December 2011, 09:44 am Written by 

In a tough economy, it’s more important than ever before to stay to maximize sales from all customers. Targeted email marketing is a great way to contact customers that have not done business with you for a long while. You can reignite their passions using these keys:

•    Make Customized Offers- remind customers how important they are to you and make an offer to encourage them to spend money again. You can use a free coupon for a special item, a free “service review,” or free sneak peak at upcoming sales.

•    Initiate A Customer Loyalty Program- map out a 12-month series of client communications. This can come in the form of email newsletters, real newsletters, postcards, birthday wishes, humorous cards, etc.

•    Capture Client Details- many businesses cannot start a client loyalty program because they don’t have any client contact details. Begin immediately to capture client data including emails. If the date is already in the computer system, get it out and use.

•    Provide Pass Alongs- help current customers reach out to dormant customers. Encourage them to bring in friends and family that have not stopped in your establishment in a while. Use “pass-alongs” like brochures and newsletters to help them remind other people why you are great.

•    Check Your Analytics- Web analytics can help indicate if there is fall off for any particular products, sales or promotions. Double your efforts to refresh tired merchandising efforts that no longer “motivates your base.”

•    Prevention- is your current marketing mix forgetting about your current customers? This is common. Many businesses spend a lot of time and energy getting new clients when they can make more profit by simply attending to current customers more.

•    Consider Customer Lifetime Value- once you look at the average value of a customer over the entire scope of what they spend with you during their lifetime, you can see how much you can spend to profitably return them to the fold. If they will spend $1200 over 5 years, a $20 investment to get them to return is worthwhile.

Studies show that up to 40 percent of a business’s list is inactive at any time. Employ these targeted email marketing strategies and you’ll go a long way toward preventing “lost customers.”

Tuesday, 20 December 2011, 06:17 pm Written by 

Having a quality mobile website design has become an important cornerstone of every business. In the 4th quarter of 2010, 100.9 million smartphones flooded the marketplace. That was up 87% from the same time in 2009.

Tablet computers continue to increase in popularity. In June of 2011, Tim Cook from Apple said he “sees no reason why the table market shouldn’t eclipse the PC market over the next several years.” (CNET.com)

On the other hand, the popularity of PC’s continued to wane. The number of PC’s shipped was only up 3% year to year for the same three-month period.

The problem with most company websites is that they are very difficult to read on mobile devices. Users have to scroll around clumsily just to find basic information. And that is exactly what most users want: basic information. Mobile users log on quickly to get your phone number, address, directions, and store hours.

The good news is that there is an easy solution. You can create a simplified mobile version of your regular website. There are some basic keys to successful mobile website design:

  • Simplified Graphics and Menu Selections- you should only include the most important links. It makes the site load quickly to give your customers and prospects the information they need without waiting.
  • Plenty of White Space- smartphone screens are so small they do not have room for lots of data. Use simple text and lots of white space to make it easy for people to read.
  • Consistent Look and Feel- even though you are working with much smaller space, your mobile website design should follow the colors and theme of your main site.

Whether you do it yourself or use a company skilled in mobile website design, a good mobile site will make it simpler to find your company on smartphones and tablet computers. Making it easy for customers to spend more money is always good policy.

Thursday, 15 December 2011, 04:34 pm Written by 

Local internet marketing is changing rapidly. Not too long ago you could place a Yellow pages ad once a year, maybe a couple newspaper ads for special sales, and you had plenty of customers. Now consider these facts:

  • Locally we search Google 3,387 times for every time we open up the Yellow Pages once.
  • The top three results of any search on Google get 69% of the click-throughs
  • Every month, over 3 billion search terms contain local terms like “Los Angeles dentist”
  • 74% of all internet searchers look for local information

It’s clear that people are moving away from traditional media to internet and mobile resources to get information on local businesses. The good news is many of the tactics and strategies you can use right away are absolutely free. Here are two quick tips on to become more visible in digital media:

Claim Your Google Places Page

Google Places are free web pages Google provides local businesses. You can enter all your company details: store hours, address, phone number, etc. The benefit of doing this is that Google Places often appear at the top of  Google searches. Your Places page will give web searchers a map with directions right to your business.

Only about 15% of small businesses have claimed their Google pages. All you do is sign up for Google, find your page, claim it and fill in the information.

Local SEO

Include pages on your website that contain keywords specifically for local searches. For example, if you offer dog training, your site may have a page that explains your services to web visitors. To garner more local customers, add pages that target local communities. If your dog training business is in Southern California, you might add pages for “Los Angeles Dog Training” and “Encino Dog Training” so that customers in those communities will find your site when they search online or on their phone.

Local internet marketing is the key to success for many businesses that get the bulk of their customers from the local area. Take positive steps now to make sure your business is visible online.

 

Saturday, 10 December 2011, 04:48 pm Written by 

Big and small businesses have used press release services for many years to send a basic release to get attention from traditional media for their products and services. In the digital age, however, a press release can do much more. It can be picked up by major search engines news crawlers, deliver new web visitors to your site, and build up valuable back links that can help enhance your Google PageRank for years to come.

Rather than just relying on traditional media, press release services now use dedicated sites. One example is PRWeb.com. When you post your press release to PRWeb, almost immediately a network of additional sites that tap into the PRWeb RSS feed will re-publish your release.

PR Web is a paid service. There are hundreds of others for you to use. At first, limit your activity using sites that:

  • Allow on-page optimization- use press release sites that allow anchor text links, header tags and other on-page optimization techniques. Not all sites allow this. Check their FAQ or Terms of Use about SEO. Without these features, it will be harder for the search engines to find you information.
  • Have strong Google PageRank- stick with well-established sites that have a PageRank of 4 or more. This eliminates many smaller sites that will not help your cause.
  • Eliminate NoFollow tags- a NoFollow tag is placed the code of a hyperlink that prevents search engines from following the link. You want people viewing the press release to be able to click through to your site.

Many firms will save time and money by hiring press release services to do all the work. For small firms on a tight budget, there are free sites available like PR.com and PRLog.com. However, many free sites do not allow live hyperlinks unless you pay additional fees. Paid sites charge a few hundred dollars for a basic release.

Many entrepreneurs and corporations underestimate the power of press release services in our Internet-based world. Try some of these tactics and you’ll see more web traffic, better back links, and a higher profile in your industry.

Monday, 05 December 2011, 06:44 pm Written by 

Few things are more attention grabbing than video. If you’re trying to make your website and brand stand out, a short clip or commercial can keep visitors interested once they’ve found your website. What’s more, “viral” videos on sites like You Tube can lead traffic to your site; and if those videos are engaging and memorable, they will lead to conversions. Video is a great way to garner attention and website traffic, and with search engines starting to take notice of consumer’s love of video interaction, having one on your site can help with your Organic SEO rankings.

Internet consumers expect the businesses they patronize to give them feedback: from social media to Targeted email marketing, giving customers that kind of personal attention will keep them engaged with your brand. Video, on top of being attention grabbing, is something that people like to share. Being posted on a fan’s Facebook, or having someone “tweet” a link to your website because they found your video interesting, is priceless publicity. If consumers remember your video, they will remember you—and having you in mind is they key to gaining business.

While it putting a video together might seem like a hurdle, the proliferation of inexpensive, easy-to-use software is making it less and less of a challenge. Don’t underestimate the value of a well-produced video, though: it’s money towards a good cause, and if you partner with a legitimate, Affordable SEO company, that video will do wonders towards giving your website First Page Placement. After all, the video will peak interest, but they have to find you first.

Publicity, especially for small businesses, is a challenge. The growing importance of a substantial online presence for businesses simultaneously makes it easier for consumers to find you (if you have good Organic SEO rankings and a well-produced website with quality content) or make it that much easier to be lost in a crowd (if you have a mediocre website that is impossible to find through search engines). Video is a great way to gain that attention: and with search engines beginning to take video into account for their organic rankings, it’s something well worth investigating.

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