In this article I will be discussing SEO and WOM (Word of Mouth) geared toward the small business owner. Today running your own small business is anything but small, you are expected to be so many job titles, owner, worker, bookkeeper, and now web savvy tech person, oh boy! It almost goes without saying that you need a web presence in today’s world, the size or nature of that web presence is your choice.
My advise is to start modestly. Yes you can do it yourself, but having a webmaster to design a good site for you, one which you can take control of makes more sense in the long run. And you know what I am gonna say next, yep, WordPress all the way, it will allow for a tailor made design but gives you flexibility to add your own content easily. Now I better get back to the topic in hand, Marketing your website and SEO.
To begin, I will discuss WOM or (Word of Mouth), something I feel many people over look while they rely on their website’s SEO to do the job for them. But I think you need to let people know you have a website and to help drive traffic to it.
- is your website’s URL listed on your business cards, signage, print ads, letterhead, brochures, etc.
- in the last week have you directed anyone to your site.
- do you have links to other sites for your clients to have a more robust experience at your site. ie: you may only paint cars, but know of a great guy that paints large trucks, so you would have a link to his site.
- do you list any of the professional associations you belong to or the charities your business supports.
- ok, so you have a website, but have you consider having a blog. Seriously, you may not want to blog in the typical sense, but you could be showcasing individual jobs with a few paragraphs about the work and some photos. So each post would be about an individual job. Simple but effective !
- don’t make the mistake of thinking too global, keep your marketing directed at you local market, yes that’s right the actual people who are going to buy your products or services.
- do you have any special offers and/or promotions, they need to be on your website! This is something you could have geared on a monthly basis.
- do you have additional information for your customers and clients to use on your site, such as: if you are a Real Estate Agent you may want to have a Mortgage calculator on your site, if you are a Contractor, maybe a few estimating or measuring calculators.
- other additional information you can have is a tips page, or new product featured page.
SEO – (Search Engine Optimization)
We all want a site with a successful presence on the search engine results pages, who wouldn’t. Getting there does take a little work on our part. First and foremost is creating content that your viewers are looking for and linking to authoritative and relevant off site information for your viewers. What I mean by this if I’m in the business of installing custom made sunrooms then I would have links to the manufacture of the specialized window glass I use in that sunroom.
Enabling Trackbacks for your site will allow links to be created in your comments section to anyone who links to your articles. They are a great way to encourage people to link to you which in turn will help to build your site’s authority. Having internal links in your sites helps Google know what your articles are about, plus they are a terrific way to increase page views across your site by inviting your viewers to click through to read other articles.
Optimize the URL Structure, we call these pretty permalinks and they provide much more information about your page to search engines. By default a page on your website will show as: http://www.yoursite.ca/?page_id=14, well who the devil can tell what that is about! Let’s make it look pretty: http://www.yoursite.ca/sunrooms-built-for-you looks a lot better! To edit this goto the Setting tab in your Dashboard, click on permalinks.
Having a site with good clean code – WordPress has you covered on this one, since search engines like clean code.
Keywords should be used throughout your content and also in the page titles and post titles. Choosing the right keywords for your business and using them in your site’s content. Always have fresh content on a regular bases.
Another great plugin to have is Google XML Sitemap it will generate a special XML sitemap that allows your website to be easily indexed with Google and the other search engines. This plugin does all the hard work for you and automatically updates every time you add new content to your site.
By following these helpful guidelines your site will begin have a more positive position on the search rankings, but please keep in mind it is not an instance process. There is no easy instance recipe for SEO success. It takes times and effort.
[Blog by Chrissie ]