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New Website For Your Small Business? SEO Is In Your Future

If you’re just starting to promote your small business’ new website, you’re going to have a lot of people trying to get your attention. They’re going to try to sell you on a variety of different ways to promote your website and get visitors to come to it. Before you say ‘yes’ to any of them, however, you should read a little bit about what they’re trying to do.

Black-Hat Crap That Will Get Your Site Nuked
If you have someone come up to you and offer you an opportunity to partake in their “link exchange”, “link ring”, “link swap”, or basically anything else that starts with the word “link” and has a second word that means either “trade” or is a form of construction like a ring, pyramid, tesseract, or some such, they’re almost always a black hat SEO guy. Black hat SEO works — and it works fast — but it’s not anything you want if you intend to be in business for more than a month or three. That’s because black hat techniques are inevitably discovered, and once discovered, they’re penalized so hard that you’ll never get a first page placement on Google ever again.

Grey-Hat SEO That Will Rank Your Site, but Not Much Else
If someone says that your small business’ SEO should consist of “backlink building”, “link building”, “link generation”, “link creation”, or other phrase that sounds like they’re going to create links themselves out of thin air and effort, you’re dealing with a grey-hat SEO company. Google doesn’t like grey-hat SEO, but they don’t nuke it. Grey-hat SEO works, but it’s not ideal — you’ll pay your money, and you’ll probably get some decent ranking, but there’s better to be had.

White-Hat SEO That Will Build Your Brand
The best SEO is based around content, not links. It’s more expensive, so for many cash-strapped small businesses, grey-hat SEO is actually preferable at first — but white-hat SEO has benefits. Because it’s based on getting high-quality content onto the Internet, it creates positive vibes through social media, builds brand awareness, and get you ranked on the search engines at the same time.

It’s possible — even normal — for a single company to offer both white-hat and grey-hat SEO, depending on what you can afford. If you want the best, ask about ‘content marketing’ and ‘linkbait content’. That’s where the gold is.

Reaching Out to Potential Clients

Reaching out to large, well established corporations can be intimidating. What are you doing to make sure you are making a bold professional call? Whether you are reaching out to a company for the first time or even returning their call it is important to make a remembering impact in order to do business and/or ensure your company’s good name.

Making a professional first impression will always be remembered. While making business calls you are representing yourself and your company. The pressure may be high but so should your presentation! Make sure the objective of the call is being delivered clearly and thoroughly. Be well prepared, say everything you need to address in the order it should be addressed in and stay confident. Perhaps pre-writing a script is a good idea. Also, plan all your details out, like whom it is you need to talk to etc.

How to start off the call:

If you are calling with a recorded voice system it is important to notify the person you are speaking with about it right away. If not, introduce yourself with your name and the company you are calling with –an additional “Hi, how are you” never hurt anyone.

Make sure the person or department you need to contact is available to have some time to talk and if not, schedule a better time and date to go over your important call. (With rescheduling, make sure you make clear note to call back so you won’t have room to forget)

Keeping it strictly business:

Using notes to help guide you through your specific points may be a good idea as well. Stick to the main target and try as politely as possible not to get lost in side or meaningless conversations. Asking if the person understands you or if you should rephrase the purpose of your call is important to guarantee you both are on the same page. Using everyday analogies are great ways to have a person understand and relate to what you are talking about.

 

End it with a BANG!

Review all your important points of the discussion and ask if there are any questions that went unanswered. Make sure you both are on the same page and if need be, set an additional call back date and time. End the call on a pleasant note, and thank the person you are speaking with for their time!

Utilize new technology: Video Marketing

 

Video media is a new technology brought to search engine optimization. Over the past few years video technology has grown to be another tool used to enhance higher visibility on major search engines.  In earlier years, the use of a video was solely another form of social media marketing. The difference between these two uses of video technology is speech recognition technology. Google audio indexing was introduced prior to search platforms in 2007. Search platforms were operated based on audio content and keyword content of title tags in order to search through videos. In relation, video SEO strategies placed a video on a hosting website, such as Google Video or YouTube in order to increase higher visibility. These videos link back to the original video page placed on client’s home page, bringing more traffic to your site.

What use to be known to digital marketing companies was, Google was unable to index media content. Uploading or creating any sort of video technology was thought to be destructive for Google’s search spiders; however now with new technology, more and more SEO companies are recognizing there is more to an online strategy with video marketing! Utilizing video SEO for search engine optimization will enable websites ahead of the game!

Local Internet Marketing The Google Way: With Professional Help

The first thing that a small business owner needs to do to take advantage of the plethora of new Google-based local search marketing is to make sure that their website is in good standing with Google. Your Google Plus Local listing needs to match up with your details on your website perfectly, and your site needs to be abiding by all of the content rules of Panda and all of the linking rules of Penguin.

If you make a commonplace mistake, like keyword stuffing your site’s description, it can cost you valuable traction with Google’s ranking algorithm. That said, Google makes mistakes of its own surprisingly often, so make sure when your Places listing gets merged with it’s Plus Local page (which may have already happened) that it’s correct.

The most difficult problem to resolve — and yet, one of the most common — is having your business listed multiple times on Google Maps or within Google Places. This happens most often when Google finds a citation somewhere on the website that gives your business, but with a different phone number, address, or name. If you’re “Tea Leaf II” in Lacey, WA, but someone’s website lists you as “Tea Leaf 2” in Lacey, WA, you can end up with two separate listings for the same business. Google penalizes you for this even though it’s not in any way your fault. Even having your hours updated incorrectly can mess you up.

If you’re not following Google’s local internet marketing forum and their email list, a lot of these things can escape you. It’s a full-time job just to know what kinds of things could be causing problems, much less to keep them from actually penalizing your listings. Even many local search experts have been boggled by the rapid-fire changes and mistakes that Google has made — you could hardly be expected to keep up with them and run your business at the same time.

That’s why we suggest getting a professional to help you with your local online marketing — it’s just about the only way to do it right.

What Are the Modern Website SEO Standards?

A modern website’s SEO standards look very little like they did when we first got into the game several years back. But rather than reminisce about the olden days, let’s look at what you need today to make a website rock.

Content
Content breaks down into a few different sections. First, it needs to be formatted properly, with proper spelling, grammar, and vocabulary. It needs to be concise, feature a variety of formats (i.e. not just 800 “top 7” lists), and yet be consistent in it’s quality and the material it covers across the entire site. The content must be high-quality in that it should cover the depth and breadth of the topic appropriately, and it should be very close to 100% original.

Content should also have elements that are stable, including company mottos and their ilk, but also content that is often-referenced or important to the site’s theme, and other elements that are updated or transient. This reflects that the company is both offering value and keeping itself up-to-date.

Code
The code must have all of the critical elements in the right place (no broken pages). It should also have all noncritical elements correct (no stupid errors). It must be as simple as possible, with no redundant code. It should also have perfect HTML semantics (i.e. no unclosed tags, tags nested properly).

Hosting
Hosting is simple: the site should be hosted by a service that has a fast connection, and as close to 100% uptime as possible.

URLs & Internal Links
The domain should be old and trusted, as should the homepage. Internal pages should range from older to newer, with ‘background’ pages like the About Us, Privacy Policy, and other similar pages being older and content being updated more frequently. Internal links should never be broken and should avoid redirects (though redirects are a very minor issue.)

Backlinks
Backlinks should come from authoritative sites within the industry or niche of your site. They should come from the largest possible variety of unique root domains, and they should be as old as possible.

Most SEO efforts go into that last heading, but in reality, backlink building should only be prioritized after the other elements are satisfactory.

Organic SEO Is Worth the Effort

Laboring as we are under the black and white tyrants called Panda and Penguin — Google’s updates that have invalidated a good chunk of what website SEO people used to do for a living — isn’t actually as bad as it sounds. Sure, we’re not building backlinks like we used to, by submitting automated requests to hundreds of directories, portals, and other link-gathering sites, or by outsourcing hundreds of thousands of words of content to our favorite Bangladeshi writers. But what we’re doing today, while it takes significantly more effort per link, is worth it.

A Level Playing Field
A good part of that is because everyone is playing by more-or-less the same rules. It used to be that there were people who believed in paying for quality and putting together profiles with a limited supply of high-quality backlinks — and then there were people who were a little less conscientious about the quality of their links, and made up for it in quantity. These days, the high-quantity/low-quality crew is gone, but all that means is that everyone’s backlinks profiles are easier to compare.

Still The Best Investment In Town
Because everyone is playing the same game now, there’s a lot fewer people offering — and a few less people even looking for — “secret SEO tech” that can boost their sites. Everyone knows what you’re supposed to do now:

  • Create content.
  • Put that content out there.
  • Link that content back to your site.

It really is that simple — there are a lot of variations on that plan, but essentially, that’s it. You may be creating content in the form of words, content in the form of videos, content in the form of infographics (or just plain old graphics). You could be creating content for marketing, content for social networks, content for linkbait, content for specific links, or content for specific end-user intent. But organic SEO is all about content, and getting that content in front of the people who want to see it.