Every business owner wants a website that is highly visible to the major search engines but they struggle with how to make that happen. In many cases, these business owners become overwhelmed and throw up their hands in defeat.

If you are one of those business owners, don’t despair! While achieving a high SEO ranking is critical to your business, making it happen is not as difficult as you might think. What follows are some ways to make sure your website gets noticed by the major search engines while generating more sales leads for your business.

  • Avoid overly-general headlines. Whenever possible, mention the name of your business in the headline of any content you are posting to your website. This allows the search engines to recognize what your business is all about.
  • Don’t skimp on headlines. A good rule of thumb is that for every 150 words or approximately three paragraphs, use a headline or a subhead. In other words, break up large blocks of copy. This helps with SEO because it reiterates what your content is all about.
  • Caption images. You have heard that images are important but if you don’t include a description of those images search engines will pay no attention. The more descriptive your captions, and the more they relate to the content, the better.
  • Avoid telling visitors to “click here.” If you are linking to a different page on your website make sure you specify what is on the page visitors are being directed to. For example, if you sell mufflers and you want people to visit a page on your website that lists the different types of mufflers you stock, instead of “click here” write “muffler product page.” This is just another chance for the search engines to know what your website is all about.
  • Keep it fresh. This is an oldie but a goody. The more fresh content on your website, the higher its SEO ranking. Search engines want the latest content so it’s your job to give it to them! If you can’t keep your website updated with fresh content, consider hiring a company that will do it for you. It’s that important!
  • Get social. Social media increases the visibility of your website by driving traffic to and from your website. Make sure your website includes social sharing buttons so that people can go back and forth between your website and your social media sites. The search engines love this type of activity.

If you are like most business owners, you are probably already doing many of these things. All it takes is a few tweaks and additions and you are on your way to a higher SEO ranking.

 

 

When it comes to marketing your small business, you may be tempted to take a cookie-cutter approach. This is especially true if you are worried that your budget doesn’t allow for a custom approach to marketing.

The truth is, however, that every business—no matter how large or how small—has a particular target audience it needs to reach and should tailor its marketing materials to that target audience. Further, some marketing methods clearly work better for some businesses and industries than others.

In his article, Small Business Marketing Tips for 6 Industries, Drew Hendricks explains how small businesses should fine tune their marketing approach based upon their industry. For example, Hendricks gives the following advice for plumbers, electricians, and others in the home services industry:

Search engine authority: Generally speaking, your customers give you a call when something is broken or needs maintenance, so it is critical to rank well in search engine results. Build your authority — and therefore your rankings — with on-site search engine optimization (SEO), authoritative content about your business and services.

Hendricks gives suggestions and advice for other industries, as well. And while the article is not intended to be a comprehensive marketing strategy, it definitely gives small businesses something to think about and offers them a place to start.

For years business owners have been told that they must have a website. As a result, almost every business has one.

Unfortunately, even businesses that have had a website up and running for long periods of time still aren’t exactly sure what that website is doing for their business. Some business owners have websites for no other reason than they were told they needed one. Still others understand that a website is a marketing tool but don’t know why.

While the types of websites are as varied as the types of businesses there are, all websites have one very important function: lead generation. The truth is, as important as a website is to your business, if it isn’t generating sales leads there no point in having one. (While there are particular cases when a website is designed simply to give a sales team credibility, this is an exception rather than the rule.) In fact, having an outdated website can often do more harm than good.

To be effective, your website should be constantly generating leads that allow your salespeople to close deals. And in some cases, a website is the sales team! If your website isn’t doing a good job of lead generation, you need to make some changes. Here are three places to start:

  • Always be optimizing. Website optimization needs to be an ongoing process that helps your website become more effective over time. This is accomplished by becoming familiar with the behaviors of your website visitors, experimenting with changes that will encourage visitors to do more of what you want them to do (for example, buy a product), and then evaluating those changes to see which ones work best.
  • Get personal with your calls-to-action. Statistics show that personalized calls-to-action convert 40 percent more website visitors than blanket calls-to-action. If a repeat customer visits your site, your website should welcome him or her back to your site by name and with information about products which match that customer’s interests.
  • Nurture leads. The best—and simplest way—to nurture leads is to send thank you and other relevant follow-up emails. These can include things like special offers or discounts. Remember, it is much cheaper to nurture leads than to uncover new ones so don’t miss out on this important opportunity.

Remember, your website was created to work for you. Make sure it is doing its job.

 

Social media is more important than ever to your business. However, knowing what specific aspects of social media to concentrate on can be difficult. After all, social media is a broad term that encompasses many different things.

In order to make sure that your social media strategy is as effective as possible, it is important that you concentrate on what is hot right now in the world of social media. So what is hot? The following list outlines it for you:

Social Signals: When people share your content, it sends more traffic to your website. More traffic, means a higher SEO ranking. So while social media doesn’t directly affect your SEO, without it your SEO can certainly suffer. The takeaway? Organic, high-quality content is more important than ever.

Mobile Traffic: Last year, mobile traffic overtook desktop traffic in the United States and its usage shows no signs of slowing. Therefore, if it isn’t already, mobile needs to be your number one focus.

Data-Driven Targeting: With all of the valuable insights that can be gained through social media analytics and other reporting tools, there is simply no excuse for not personalizing your marketing messages to every one of your sales leads—including those on social media. Make no mistake, your competition is approaching your customers and prospects with a personalized message so you better be doing the same thing!

Response Times: Surveys show that consumers who reach out to companies via their social media sites do not like to be kept waiting. And unhappy customers demand the quickest response—less than an hour. If you are keeping your customers waiting you can be sure they won’t be your customers for long.

Engagement Matters: Research shows that social media influences customers’ buying decisions even more than retail websites. Further, the more engaged your customers are on your social media sites, the greater your sales numbers. That’s why it is so important that you work to make your social media sites commerce-driven. While buying over social media is still in its infancy, the day will come when you will need to implement such strategies. Until then, engaging customers via social media about your products and services will make the inevitable transition much smoother.

Live Streaming: Live streaming video is believed by many social media specialists to be the next big thing. Live streaming personalizes your brand on a whole new level because it is unedited and much more authentic.

Social media has endless potential but it requires a great deal of time and attention to do it right. This is time well spent, however, as the potential payoff is huge.

 

 

 

If you are still utilizing old search engine optimization (SEO) techniques, or worse, your SEO vendor who you are paying continues to implement old SEO techniques, you may (and probably will) wake up one day and find your website is nowhere to be found within the search engines. That’s because the game of SEO and online visibility has changed dramatically. It’s not about the links. It’s about the content. Put bluntly, it’s about the value you bring to visitors when they are searching for your product.

The new rules of online visibility is about content, blogging, social media, mobile friendliness, videos, etc. Don’t be left behind. If you have positioning, don’t lose it. If you don’t have good visibility within the search engines, don’t fret. Believe it or not, it’s easier to get on Page 1 than you may think. That’s because so few companies are following the new SEO rules. Start looking at content more closely for your website, and you will be amazed at the increase of visibility you will see. And what does more visibility mean to you? More customers.

If you want to learn more about this, contact GoLeads, and we’ll be happy to speak with you about this. We work with numerous companies, managing their website and social media platforms, and helping them grow their business. We can do the same for you.