A,B,C for SEO takers

SEO is not rocket science, it just requires some serious research and work. In an ideal world, a website would be built around core SEO principles from the start…unfortunately this is not always the case! Sometimes we have to redesign elements of the site so that it performs at its best.

Here are the key steps in optimising your site:

*Research your keywords, and write lots of content around these keywords. All search engines love content, so the more the better. DO NOT cut and paste from other sources, as this will get your site tagged as duplicate content. Update this content frequently, as again this will impact favourably on your search engine rankings.

*Make sure that all your HTML tags are utilised fully. Title tags and alt tags are very important. Too often I come across sites that have not used their tags fully, and they wonder why they are not receiving good rankings!

*Add a privacy policy, contact page, and a good sitemap page to your site. All of these add to the trust factor with the search engines. A good sitemap shows the search engine how to crawl your site correctly, and will help identify any problems within the sites’ structure.

*Submit your site to all of the major search engines. Some companies will tell you that this is not neccessary; they are correct in that eventually the search engines will find your site. Submitting your site, however, will just speed the process along.

*Submit your site to lots of good quality web directories. Start with the big directories, such as Google, Yahoo, and Dmoz. There are literally thousands of other directories out there that can be useful to you.

*Find places that you would like to be linked from, contact the webmasters, and exchange links. This is the most time consuming part of any SEO campaign, but also the one that can produce the best results.

*Implement a good analytics tool and use the data to enhance your marketing thrust. Google analytics is a great, free, tool for doing this.

*As an ongoing process, write good articles about your industry, and submit them to article sites. This will provide a link to your site, and if the article is reprinted, will result in more visitors to your site.

These are the general guidelines for successful SEO, but I also recommend using a PPC campaign, especially with Google. It will take you a while to get this right, but when you do, will result in great results for you.

Happy “SEO”-ing

View point of my dog

I woke up this morning with the sound of a strange buzzing. Uh oh it sounds like im in trouble….. Whew….He was just mad at the buzzing thing. That thing must get in trouble alot because it gets beaten every morning. Hey the big guy is getting up, I wonder if he is gonna feed me. I’ll go ask him……HEY HEY HEY I was asking for food not to be petted….Oh well I’ll just go bug mom to wake up maybe she will feed me.

SLURP SLURP SLURP… hmm she’s not budging…fine then I’ll just starve while she sleeps…Hey the big guy is leaving… let me go to the stairs to see what he is up to. HEY HE’S GOING INTO THE KITCHEN!!!! OOOOFF!!! missed that last step better check my tail. Yup it’s still there…OK hey whatcha got there big guy????? Something for me???? No no that’s fine you don’t have to wrap it up, I’ll just take it here on the floor. Hey where are you going with that?? No I don’t want to go outside..It’s WET!!!

Fine I didn’t want it anyways.. Yeah you better leave.. I would of bit ya in the butt if you stayed… Well what am I gonna do now??? HEY I thought I ate this bone already?… I am bored of this it doesn’t even run from you… Well la te da look who finally got up. It’s about time you know I’ve been waiting all morning…. Finally I’m being fed…. Hey wait a mintute, I had this yesterday… And I think the day before too. Well let me see what your having…No No I can’t see it when it’s that high move it down here…Fine I’ll just go up there…HEY this looks alot better you can have mine, I’ll take yours instead..OW what was that for? I thought we traded???

Why do you always want me to go outside??? Fine here I’m outside now let me back in. Hey Hey there’s the little play toy I wonder why he calls her mom too, he doesn’t look like me? HaHa snout up the butt…. that’s what you get for putting me outside. Why are you guys leaving now??? You always do this to me, everytime we start having fun you leave… Hey she forgot to put her toys up.. I love these things…I don’t know why she walks on them, they taste so much better when they haven’t been outside……Well that was fun, I left mom one so she could have some when she gets home, I’m so nice to think of her…Hmm why do these people always look at these round things on the wall.

It always gets them angry everytime they look at it. Well I’m getting kinda sleepy with my busy schedule so I guess I’ll take a nap. WHAT’S THAT??? HMM…What was that noise? I better bark just make sure…..Well I guess it was nothing. ZZZZZZZZZZ…hmm what?? Hey the big guy’s home… HEY and so is the Play Toy, let me at’em let me at’em… HEY hey hey easy with the collar dude….Wow he’s getting the treats out!!!! Sit???yeah I know that one see. Yeah yeah I know I’m a good dog, but I want the treat!!!! MMMM thank you thank you thank you…..Hmm peanut butter… I don’t know what it is but it sure is good!

Well mom should be home soon… everytime she’s about to be home he goes and opens that big door thing. Where she parks her toy with wheels, she wont ever let play with it though, but I like to take rides in it…..HEY SHE’S HOME SHE’S HOME SHE’S HOME SHE’S HOME..OWWW what was that for I was just happy to see you….ooooo no jumping….can do that for now, can’t make any promises about next time….. OH YEAH that’s the spot, right behind the ear…Hey it’s food time!!!! Mmmmm that was good…Hey what are you guys eating huh huh… OK ok i get the idea it’s YOUR FOOD..I was just Smelling it, thats all…OH there you are. You thought you could hide from me huh??? Well take THIS!!! SQUEAK SQUEAK SQUEAK… HaHa yell for help all you want, but your MINE!!!! Huh where you guys going??? What do you mean bedtime??? But I’m not even Tiiirreeed…Well I guess I could take a cat nap…Oh did anybody hear me say that???? That’s right…nobody did. Well gooodnight mom SLURP…………..ZZZZZZ…………………………… Hey what’s that buzzing noise??

Your Small Business Needs a Web Solution Not a Website

Why Your Small Business Needs a Web Solution Not a Website???
Raise your hand if you have a website for your small business. Now keep it raised if it is generating a significant volume of prospects or sales. Not holding your hand up anymore? You are not alone.
Just a few years ago, small companies flocked to the web in droves, rushing to post their first website, anxious at the prospect of low-cost instant exposure. The web was going to be the great equalizer, putting small business on par with the big brand names, dangling the promise of visitors flocking to a company’s site to purchase its wares or partake in its services. Sound familiar? Unfortunately, for most small businesses and organizations, the promise fell short and company sales did not skyrocket from an unending march of site visitors.

So, what happened? For one, the web quickly became ultra competitive. Millions of sites sprang up in every business category making it virtually impossible to be found in the search engines. What little bit of traffic the businesses may have enjoyed when the site was first launched began to dry up. Also, as the web evolved to become a more interactive user experience, it became more technologically complex and many small business websites did not keep up. The other part of the problem was in the approach; not understanding that just putting together a website, even a pretty one, and finding some faceless company offering cheap web hosting services is not likely to make you the next great success story. A large hurdle that many small business owners and managers face is the tendency to compartmentalize the web into a few oversimplified tasks: grab a cheap domain name, find a budget small business website design and development person, look for some impossibly low-priced website hosting, and then expect their website to magically appear on page one of Google. Unfortunately, this ends up being a waste of time and money.

A Solutions-Based Approach with Professional Guidance

To create an effective web presence requires a solutions-based approach with clear ideas about what you want to accomplish and who the audience is you are targeting. The right elements have to be present; a well orchestrated website design with cohesive branding, solid technical acumen, clearly defined objectives for the organization, reliable small business web hosting services and some method of marketing your site and tracking the results. The web is constantly evolving and search engine competition is fierce. Being successful on the web requires consistently evaluating the site’s effectiveness based on your objectives, understanding the latest technologies and trends, having a dynamic website marketing plan and constantly fine tuning.

While you don’t have to spend a fortune to create real value on the web, you should also be realistic. Understand that being successful will require an investment that you should plan for and a clear vision of how your website fits into the goals and objectives of the organization. If you don’t have the experience and technical resources in-house, working with a professional web solutions provider, preferably one specializing in small business web design and development can provide great benefits. A good starting point in the process is to have an understanding of the core elements that are part of a successful website strategy and how they fit together.

The Elements of a Web Solution

1) Domain names – Choosing the right domain name is an important branding decision which impacts how your organization is perceived and also how it is found in the search engines. Purchasing from a cheap bulk registrar or choosing can spell trouble.

2) Website Design & Development Services> – Find a provider that specializes in small business web design and development. An organization that offers a solutions-based approach can assist your company in doing thorough needs analysis and in designing all of the elements to work well together. First impressions count!

3) E-mail Management – E-mail is a key communication tool for your business. The right system will help you maximize communications within the company, on the road and with your customers.

4) Social Media – Social media such as blogging, Podcasting and other web 2.0 tools can greatly enhance customer communications. Your web services company should be able to help you evaluate how social media tools can best benefit your web presence and business objects.

5) Small Business Website Hosting Services – All web hosting is NOT created equal. There are many nuances and technical consideration involved with hosting solutions. It is best to stay away from budget hosting companies. Look for a managed hosting provider who can help you select the right plan for your web solution goals, get your website up and running and support you as it grows and evolves.

6) Website Maintenance – How will your site be maintained and updated? Having both small business web development and managed web site hosting as a package is immensely helpful for maximizing web server resources, identifying problems and keeping the site maintained and updated.

7) E-Commerce – Will you be actually selling on your site or using it for lead generation or information dissemination? If you are selling products, who will create and maintain your product database. How will transactions be handled? What about web server requirements? Working with a professional can help ensure you make the right choices for your e-commerce site.

8) Business Process Interaction (database development, customer relationship management, integration with your business management systems) – A website needs to be more than just an ad on the Internet to be effective as a business tool. There are many ways the web can be used to improve your business processes and integrate with your existing systems such as accounting or contact management.

9) Website Marketing – How will people find you on the web? Will you optimize your site for organic search or employ paid marketing techniques or a combination? What directories should you list your site in? Search engine marketing has evolved to be a complex specialty. It’s critical that you understand the tools available for driving traffic to your site and if needed, know how to evaluate and engage a web marketing specialist.

10) Website Analytics and Conversion – Having a great site isn’t enough if your visitors aren’t doing what you intended; buying something, contacting your company or using your site for an information source. Does your site have usability issues? What kind of reporting will you use to track site visitors? What do you need to know and do to convert your visitors into action-takers?

It’s a Process and a Work in Progress

While there is certainly a lot to think about, creating the best possible website solution for your business doesn’t have to be overwhelming. Your website can and should be a work in progress, evolving as your business grows.Because most small businesses do not have an internal IT staff to handle the technical elements of web development and planning, working with a web solutions provider that specializes in small business website hosting services and small business web design and development is a good start. Such an organization can help you identify your goals, manage the technical aspects of your site and guide you in your marketing efforts. They can also help you work within your budget to develop a plan that combines all the elements into a cohesive whole for creating and maintaining a successful web presence.