You don’t need to have a huge SEO budget to have a strong web presence. If done correctly, even the smallest of businesses can push their websites out to the right audience. All they need to do is follow some simple advice.
This is a follow up post to yesterday’s “Link Building For Your Website – Some SEO Advice.” I was doing some thinking last night and came up with a few more simple tips that anyone with a website can take advantage of.
1. Make your web page attractive – Back in the day, this was difficult to achieve. If creating your own website, you either had to have a very artistic mind or needed to simply know how to make things look good. Even then, you had to have the ability to translate those thoughts into code. Believe me, when I used to develop website professionally, my greatest challenge was coming up with the initial design and layout. Couple that with persuading the client to fall in love with it – I’m not sure how anything ever got off the ground.
These days, things are so much simpler. In general, if you decide to move away from using Facebook as your primary website, you’re most likely going to take advantage of one of the hundreds of content management systems, WordPress being one of the most popular. If you decide to install WordPress on a server, you will have hundreds, of not thousands of great looking pre-made themes to choose from. Some cost a few dollars while many others are free.
Plainly put, these days, having an aesthetically pleasing website is not out of reach. You may even be able to set the whole thing up for no cost. Remember the virtuous circle? Nice looking site, visitors are inspired, they link to you, etc…
2. Take advantage of social media – I talked about this yesterday, but wanted to reiterate some of the finer details here, one being the “set and forget” benefit of social media.
I like to think of myself as a creatively lazy person. Any chance I get to put the work in ahead of time to enjoy its benefits later, I’ll take that chance. I love to see things working for me. To help you understand what I’m talking about, I’ll use the post you’re reading as an example. Follow this chain of events:
– I do a bit of research to conjure up a topic to discuss.
– After I’m done with that, I write the post. This takes the most work and usually lasts about an hour.
– Once written and I hit “Publish,” the post automatically gets sent out to multiple ping services. Within seconds, hundreds of websites know that I’ve published something.
– A moment after the ping services receive the post notification, it’s automatically sent to my new Facebook page. All my new friends see that I’ve written a post and are totally enthralled with its content. They share it with their Facebook friends.
– The post is also sent to my Google+ circle, who’s participants are as equally enthralled.
– The post is then stored, awaiting the next day’s FeedBurner release. When that happens, everyone who signed up to receive my posts by email will receive a link that’s easily clicked. They can also forward the email to friends and family.
– I use a service that updates my Twitter account any time I post something on Facebook. Since Facebook is updated automatically, Twitter is as well.
– If someone happens to visit my site via search results, they have every opportunity to share the post with friends using the share button located towards the top of every page.
– If I post a video, my Youtube channel is updated as well. The channel is searchable by the world’s second largest search engine (Youtube) and is linked to by my blog as well.
All of these things are social and by using them, I am taking advantage of free social media.
3. Optimize for local search – Over the past few years, the larger search engines really have stepped up their game when it comes to local search. So if you operate a local operation, you really need to incorporate localized keywords into your page titles, meta areas and copy. You should also use the search engine’s free local services. I know that when I’m looking for a restaurant or something of similar nature, local search results oftentimes appear first in results.
4. Make friends locally – I mentioned this in my previous post, but it deserves attention here as well. When you are in a niche market, much of your website traffic is going to come via links from similar websites. When someone is searching for something in particular, they really drill down into the finer crevices of the internet. You’d be surprised how people may find your business.
To capture this audience, you need to put together some sort of system where your site appears any place these people may turn. If you are partners with someone, ask them to link to you. If someone is in a similar market, but doesn’t directly compete with you, ask them to feature your business and you’ll do the same in return. These types of things go far in your local market.
5. Use the basics to optimize your site – give your site a once over and check it for functionality and user friendliness. Do all the links work? Are your page titles all unique? Grammar? Category structure? Can any of your smaller pages be combined into one? Your goal here is to make your site as intuitive as possible for anyone who decides to read what you’ve written.
6. Ahh, your page copy – Speaking of reading what you’ve written, you should be sure to write what people want to read. You know what I’m talking about here because we all spend a good portion of our days reading web copy. We know what’s valuable and what isn’t. And their isn’t much leeway here because those who browse the web today are very sophisticated. They can sniff out a phony from a mile away. So my point here is to take your time and really think about what you’re putting on your site. Prepare, proof read and let someone else take a gander at it before you post. It can go a long way when it comes time to make a conversion.
If you know of some great SEO tips for small business, please leave them in the comment area below. Also, if you’re interested in reading more about SEO, click the SEO link at the top of this page.