May
27
Filed Under (Business) by admin
It seems like times are always tough for small businesses, but no time is worse than during a recession. During a recession, many businesses try to cut back on as much as possible, but when does cutting back start to hurt the company? One of the places this question is most often applied is to the question of SEO. Should a small business pay for SEO when money is tight?

Unfortunately, many small businesses axe their advertising budget first. While this can be a good place to save a little bit of money, if businesses completely cut their advertising, they will not be able to attract new clients. Without new clients, there’s little they can do to make more money. While word of mouth may help somewhat, it’s not as effective as a marketing blitz.

While web marketing is cheaper than doing offline marketing, there are still costs involved. However, you may get a much higher return on your investment since you’re able to more deeply analyze how well your marketing is doing. Since websites allow users to track where their traffic comes from, it’s easier to identify and cut any online marketing that is not working. To this end, small businesses should not immediately cut their SEO budget when times get tight.

Some small businesses may not have even invested in SEO yet, and these businesses may be asking why they should spend the money. However, those small business owners may not recognize just how great a return they can get on their SEO. A huge return on investment is everything in a recession, and doing SEO is ranked as one of the top ROI solutions.

By selecting specific keywords and phrases, you’re very specifically targeting your audience. While ads in magazines may get a lot of attention, you never really know if your target audience is viewing the ad or if it is being viewed by someone who will never purchase your product. SEO, however, makes certain your website is being viewed by those who are looking for what you offer. It brings in more than just quantity; it brings in quality visitors and provides them with information about your website right away.

When it comes to dealing with SEO, small businesses have a few choices. They can either handle the SEO themselves or they can hire a professional SEO company. The first is obviously the most budget-friendly; however, if you and your employees don’t understand the basics of doing SEO, you may end up wasting your time. Fortunately, you can learn the basics of SEO fairly quickly.

Paying a company to do SEO, especially if the company is thorough and completely redesigns your website from the ground up to be fully optimized, may be out of your price range. Many small businesses simply can’t afford this. However, having an expert in SEO look at your pages can be helpful. Outsourcing only part of the SEO process can be helpful. For example, you may want to hire a professional SEO writer to create content for your website after you determine the keywords yourself.

By: SEO Sapien

About the Author:

SEOSapien is a SEO Company. Find all our Services and SEO Pricing at http://www.seosapien.com.

seo

 

In internet marketing, Search Engine Optimization or commonly known as SEO is among of the rising trends in internet marketing. SEO makes use of search engine algorithms for targeted keywords to raise the rank of a web site. This in turn, generates higher volume and quality of traffic in a web site. But because of SEO’s popularity in internet marketing, many have decided to employ its advantages in marketing, which in turn makes SEO efforts a lot more complicated.

More and more, big and small businesses are starting to use SEO strategies and techniques to improve their marketing efforts on the internet. And some are searching for a proper way to use SEO in their campaign. Here is a short list of Do’s that one should do in an SEO campaign.

The First DO: Do a Commitment and Patience Check

SEO is like getting married, you must be fully committed before starting an SEO campaign. One of the main reasons is that search engine algorithms constantly changes, which means tactics or techniques used in last month’s SEO campaign may not be enough to make the cut for the top 10 SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages) this month. SEO requires a long-term outlook and commitment.

A patience check is also important before starting an SEO campaign. Patience is important in this type internet marketing campaign because of the long wait that you have experience before actually getting results. Results often take months to see, and this is especially true the smaller you are, and the newer you are to doing business online.

The Second DO: Do Your Study on an SEO Company

Now before you hire yourself an SEO Philippines, you should first check on the tactics and techniques that the SEO Company uses in their SEO efforts. You should ask for the specifics and risks involved in an SEO campaign. It’s also necessary that you should do your own research about the company (has it been in operation for more than a year now or has a good record in providing SEO services on their previous clients) and learn about their SEO processes.

It is also important that you should do your own research about SEO efforts. You’ll have to become a student of SEO and learn as much as you can about SEO processes and campaigns. Luckily, there are several sites such as Optimind Technology Solutions, which provides some information about SEO campaigns.

The Third DO: Do Your Website

Now if your site did show up ranking number one in any search engines, but your website looks as if it needs to be analyzed by those guys on extreme makeover, then your SEO efforts will be for nothing. Just think, is this site really appropriate to belong to the world’s Top 10 in this topic?

If ever you’re targeting the highest of all ranks on a specific topic, you should be able to provide the users with an appropriate design of a website that really reflects the information the user wants.

Site maps are also important in an SEO campaign. A site map will help spiders find all the important pages on your site, and help the spider understand your site’s hierarchy. This is especially helpful if your site has a hard-to-crawl navigation menu. If your site is large, make several site map pages. Keep each one to less than 100 links.

It is also important that your URL is SEO friendly. This is done by using your selected keywords in your URLs and some images and files. But don’t overdo it, though. A file may be “very” SEO-friendly, but a file that has 3 or more hyphens tends to look spammy and users may be hesitant to click on it.

Another thing about your website is the title of the page. The page title is the single most important on-page SEO factor. The meta description tag in your page title won’t help you rank, but it will often appear as the text snippet below your listing, so you should include the relevant keyword(s) and be written so as to encourage searchers to click on your listing.

Check out what the SEO Philippinesof Optimind Technology Solutions has to offer about your website being an SEO-friendly website.

The Fourth DO: Do a Copy That Sells

Now before you make a web copy, you should first do a keyword research on what keywords you would like to include in your copy. There is a lot of paid internet software that can make it easier for you to choose your keywords. But if you’re on a tight budget, there are also some free versions of Keyword Discovery or WordTracker that you can use. Both of which also have more powerful paid versions.

Now that you have your keywords, you or your hired SEO Company should get started in making a great and unique content different from your rivals. You should first make an observation about your competitors. If you’re selling the same widget that 100 other retailers are selling, and everyone is using same the boilerplate descriptions from the manufacturer, then this is a great opportunity for you to make your own unique copy of that same widget. Using the keyword research I talked to you about to target actual words searchers use, and make product pages that blow the competition away. Plus, retailer or not, great content is a great way to get inbound links.

But before you start your web copy, you should always remember that humans are the one that will read your copy, not the search engine robots. It may be very helpful if you stuff a lot of keywords in a single web copy, but this could make it less readable for humans, which will then loose their interest in reading more about the article.

Check out what the SEO Philippines of Optimind Technology Solutions has to offer about creating SEO-friendly web copies.

The Fifth DO: Optional: Do a PPC Campaign

Doing a PPC or a Pay Per Click campaign in an SEO campaign is an optional choice. But if you have the budget for it, then this is a great way to get actual search volume for your keywords. It’s also the solution if you didn’t like to wait for too long.

The Sixth DO: Do Your Link Building Wisely

In building your link partners, it’s important that you choose where you want to put your link. Trusted directories such as Yahoo, DMOZ, Business.com, Aviva, and Best of the web are among of the most popular link partners that any websites would have. Seek links from authority sites in your industry. If local search matters to you, seek links from trusted sites in your geographic area, such as the Chamber of Commerce, etc. You should also analyze the inbound links to your competitors that you can also use to be your link partner.

Check out what the SEO Philippines of Optimind Technology Solutions has to offer about link building.

The Seventh DO: Do Press Releases and Blog Participation

One of the most important parts of an SEO campaign is through building a relationship with a media that covers most of your industry. Setting up some Press Releases on this media can be a great source for your exposure, including getting links from trusted media web sites. Distributing releases online can also be an effective link building tactic, and opens the door for exposure in news search sites.

Starting up blogs is also an important part in an SEO campaign. Search engines such as Google love to crawl on blogs for its fresh content and highly-structured data. And beyond that, joining discussions on a blog can really provide the exposure that you really want, and the opportunity to build a community about your industry. Reading and commenting on other blogs can increase your exposure and help you acquire new links.

Check out what the SEO Philippines of Optimind Technology Solutions has to offer about press releases and blog marketing.

The Eighth DO: Do a Social Media Campaign

If you have some photos on your business, you should join communities such as Flickr to talk about things about your industry. If you’re a service-oriented business, use Yahoo Answers to position yourself as an expert in your industry. But whatever you do, don’t “SPAM” on them. Be an active, contributing member of the site. The idea is to interact with potential customers, not annoy them.

The Ninth DO: Do Take advantage on Opportunities

People researching for offline buying is a growing trend nowadays. This is a perfect opportunity to make your “physical” business known. Optimize your site to catch local traffic by showing your address and local phone number prominently. It’s highly preferred if you write a detailed Directions/Location page using neighborhoods and landmarks in the page text. Write a detailed Directions/Location page using neighborhoods and landmarks in the page text. You should also encourage those that visited your site to leave reviews of your business on these sites.

There are also some tools that search engines give you to learn how search engines work on finding your site. Tools such as Google’s webmaster Central and Yahoo’s Site Explorer are a good example. This is to learn more about how the search engines see your site, including how many inbound links they’re aware of.

The Tenth DO: Do a Flexibility Check

As I said before, search engine algorithms constantly changes, which means tactics or techniques used yesterday may not work today. You must be flexible enough to get things around and stay at the top. Other strategies such as Newsletters and other subscriber-based content can help you hold on to traffic/customers no matter what the search engines do.

In fact, some of the things I said to you (creating great content, starting a blog, using social media and local search) are ways not only to improve the traffic of users to your site, but also a way for your rank to stay always on the top ranks. This will also help you grow an audience of loyal prospects and customers that may help you survive the whims of search engines.

If you want to get on an SEO campaign, then visit SEO Philippines of Optimind Technology Solutions at www.myoptimind.com for more details.

By: Wendy Ang

About the Author:

Feb
10
Filed Under (Seo) by admin
hinking about hiring an SEO?

As more and more small businesses look for opportunities to grow, the term SEO (Search Engine Optimization) always seems to come up. Someone has a story about some business who made millions off tweaking a meta tag, and people get very excited. But before you go running out and hiring someone, there are a few things you need to know.

Don’t fall for the get rich quick story.

For one thing, let me be the first to tell you that a lot of stories about SEO are either exaggerated, or simply untrue. Yes, you can make a lot of money from SEO, there is no doubt about that. But in talks with people at parties, or other social gatherings I hear more and more "SEO stories" that sell a too good to be true situation and you should be aware of it. If they are unaware of my SEO background, they even tell me this stuff. They talk about some kid who tweaked a few tags and made millions of dollars off his blog, or a company who boosted their profits 300% in a month from a little SEO. I’m not sure where these stories originate, but you must keep in mind that SEO is new, but the same old rules apply. There is no get rich quick method, and you won’t get something for nothing. SEO will certainly be a positive addition to your business, but it requires hard work and sacrifice just like anything else. Which brings me to my next point.

Manage your own expectations

SEO is good, it’s obviously what I base my SEO website on. It’s what I do for a living, and I don’t want to try and downplay it’s importance. However, it is by no means a silver bullet that will make any business successful. It’s not the "secret trick" to make you rich. It’s something you do to grow your business and it works, but don’t expect millions to pour in every night.

SEO takes time

SEO is a long, continuous process that requires work and maintenance. Gone are the days where you could hire someone to tweak some code, and sit back to collect the riches. It takes a long time to get going, and requires maintenance. It could be months, or longer before you see any improvement in traffic and sales. Many times I’ve seen people talk in forums about hiring an SEO, seeing no immediate results and feeling "ripped off". While it’s certainly true in some cases, in other cases the person or company actually did positive things for your site, and it took a while to kick in. It can take days, months or even years for the effects to be seen, so be patient. Content has to be spidered, links have to be built and indexed, and the major search engines do this at their own pace. While there are anomalies here and there, for the most part top rankings come with time.

There may not be a crowd of people waiting to find you.

This has been the hardest point for me to sell to a customer, and something I’ve personally been involved in before. Let’s say your business sells webkinz. If I work hard, and get you ranked up high, you’ll get thousands of new customers a day, because webkinz are hot. There are 7 million people a day searching for webkinz of some type. This is a hot term, and will get a lot of traffic (and will also have a lot of competition). But what if your business sells heating elements for clothes dryers? If I manage to get you a top spot, should you expect 7 million people a day? Of course not, in fact around 1,900 people a day search for this, and at best you can expect 10-20% of those people if you have a number one spot for it. Then, you have to convert those 190-300 visitors into sales. It may not yield the results you were expecting. That’s why you need to analyze your business, and your market. Are a lot of people searching for your product?

SEO is not always the answer.

I may get rotten tomatoes thrown at me, but there are times where you shouldn’t hire an SEO. If you are a small business that runs on a shoestring, and you have a small market, and an extremely limited niche market, it may not make sense to pay thousands for some top SEO company to get you a ranking. You may be better off grabbing a copy of SEO for dummies (which is actually a decent book for beginners) and seeing what you can learn on your own. Another option is, finding an SEO that’s "creative" enough to find other search terms and streams for your business. The final word on this is, don’t expect too much but make the best of what you can get. I have worked with several companies who were fully aware that only 300 people a day were searching for their product, but wanted to dominate the listings anyway for branding purposes. As a business owner this is your choice to make.

Ask up front

If you’re hiring an SEO, ask up front what they are planning to do, and what it’s going to cost. Make them go into detail. If they are concerned with trade secrets you may have to sign a non-disclosure agreement. But ask them specifically "what are you going to be doing to get these ranks". And do a little research. If they say they are going to buy 1000 links from various sites, look up some things on google, or SEO forums to see what ramifications this method has. Ask the SEO for this information, and if they aren’t totally up front and honest with you, don’t hire them. I tell my customers exactly what I’m going to do, and why I do it, if they are concerned. Transparency is key, if they are trying to hide it from you it might be something sinister. Note: Don’t ever let a company tell you they can guarantee rankings. Nobody but Google can guarantee you a spot. Keep that in mind when talking to your sales person.

Ask about their rankings.

Ask them what rankings their company has. Check on them, and see how well they do for SEO. Because after all, what kind of SEO company wouldn’t employ their own tactics for themselves? Presently my website sits at the number one spot for "Portland SEO" on the big three, and has for quite a while. But am I the busiest SEO in Portland, Oregon? Not by a long shot. There are companies who are doing 10 times the amount of business I am, and they are nowhere to be found in the search engines. They employ traveling salesmen and cold calling to sell their product to hundreds of customers. Think about that for a second. If they are so great at SEO, how come they aren’t able to squash the rankings of a "little guy" like me? Why do they spend so much money on print ads and telemarketing? I’ll leave that up to you to decide. Would you hire a painting business who had a building that looks like it was painted by a group of preschoolers? If the answer is no, then don’t hire an SEO person or company who isn’t able to get their own site in the rankings (without paying for google ads).

Understand the Process

I can definitely sympathize with the business owner who doesn’t have time to learn SEO. You’re a business owner, a lawyer, insurance agent or painter. You’re not a marketer or computer programmer, and that’s why you hire an SEO. If you had the time, you’d do it yourself but that would take away from your own role. I have heard this from customers before, and I understand completely. However, knowledge is power. The more you understand what’s going on, the more you can control and contribute to your own site’s success. Browse through some SEO forums or websites in your spare time, or pick up a book on it. You can still hire an SEO but at least you’ll have a better understanding of what they’re doing, and maybe even be able to pitch in some valuable ideas. Who knows your own business better than you?

Be prepared to contribute

In a perfect world, you would be able to hire and SEO, throw them a small amount of pay and sit back and watch the numbers go up. But it’s not that easy. Be prepared to contribute and help out. Make sure your SEO knows everything you know about your customers, your business, and your market. The standard marketing rules apply here. Know your product, why it’s great and how it helps people. Know what makes you stand out from the competion, and know who you’re selling to. Then turn that information into power for the person doing SEO for you. Bounce ideas off them, answer their questions and help them out. You’ll get a lot more bang for your buck.

Treat SEO like any other service based investment.

To conclude, treat this like any other business investment. Take care to make sure that you are being treated well, and getting the most for your money. Get as much information as you can, and use common sense rules when searching for an SEO. If you can do this, and you get the right company or person you will go far and grow your business. Good luck to you all.

By: Jeremy Morgan

About the Author:

Jeremy Morgan is an Internet Marketer and runs an SEO Blog in his spare time. Want some SEO tips? Sign up for the SEO insider today!