Archive for February, 2011
We are always looking for opportunities to guest blog and we also welcome topical guest bloggers.
If you guest blog for us, you need to provide high quality, original content. You can get one link in the body of the post and another link at the end, in a bio or resource box.
Relevant topics include things like SEO Search Engine Optimization, Local Search Engine Optimization, Content Marketing, Keyword Analysis, DIY Search Engine Optimization, Process Analysis, User Experience Design, User Interface Design, Online Community Building, Email Marketing, and more.
Local Internet Marketing and local Search Engine Optimization can be done more efficiently than optimizing for a country or the whole world.
This article will give you 10 ways to get started doing search engine optimization for your local business website and get you started marketing your business on the Internet.
- List your business on Google Maps and Google Places. It’s free. Follow the local business instructions at Google.
- Add special offers to your Google Maps local business web listing.
- Add your city name to the <title> pages of your web site. If you’re in a small suburb, consider adding the nearest major city name, depending on the geographical region you want to bring business in from.
- Make sure that your web site has contact information with your address. Consider adding it to every page of your web site.
- “Claim” your profile on Merchant Circle, Yahoo Local, local.com, and anywhere else you can find.
- See if you can get links from your local Chamber of Commerce, local business groups, local business directories, local newspapers, and see if you can get links from your vendors.
- There are many yellow pages-like sites that let you update or add your business information for free. These sites get a lot of traffic and tend to rank well. So at the very least, visit all you can find, claim your profile and make sure they are linking to your business web site. Here’s a list of sites that will let you claim your business on the Internet.
- See if you can exchange links with businesses that serve the same market as you do, but don’t compete with you. Don’t like to sites that are entirely irrelevant to your site!
- Start a blog! Nowadays, content is king. And if you can develop your web site into a trusted resource, potential customers will seek you out. You can establish yourself as an authority and at the same time, you will be optimizing your site for search engines. Your blog can be part of your main site, or can be a separate link.
- Make a video! You don’t need a big budget or a video production house to do it for you. If you have a video camera, point it at yourself and just talk. Tell people what you do. Express your passion for your business. Mention your website a few times. Then put the video on Youtube and also insert it into your own website. If you want a more polished video, look into services like www.spotzer.com, walkonsite.com, www.mixpo.com, www.turnhere.com
If you prefer to outsource your internet marketing and have someone else do your local search engine optimization, contact us at 702.530.9393 or by emailing us at kblock
Flash can make web sites look beautiful. Many businesses that don’t know a lot about technology, get sucked into having Flash-based web sites, because they look cool. But there are major problems with Flash and unless you provide an alternative, you may be locking out your customers.
The Problems with Flash
- The iPad and iPhone do not handle Flash, and support for other cellphones is limited or non-existent. If your website visitors ever use mobile devices to access your web site, you don’t want to lock them out.
A typical scenario: a customer is on their way to your office. They forgot your address. They look for your web site on their phone and they get nothing. Don’t let this happen!
- Flash is not accessible. Blind people browse the web using screen readers. These screen readers cannot interpret Flash content.
- If you want to be found on Google and other search engines, Flash will be hugely detrimental. Googlebot can’t read your Flash files, and neither can any other search engine spider. You cannot do Search Engine Optimization (SEO) on a site that is built in Flash.
- Flash will not generally let anyone bookmark a specific page on your web site. Most Flash sites have one url. There are some workarounds to this but many sites don’t implement them. Again, this is one of the many ways that Flash interferes with Search Engine Optimization.
- Someone trying to search for something on your page, won’t find anything. Ctrl-f (on Windows), can’t find anything on your Flash based page.
- Flash is slow! Have you ever visited a web site and seen the flashing words, “loading…” You’re waiting for Flash to load and so are your customers. Not everyone is patient enough to wait for your Flash based web site to load.
- Your web site visitors have no control over text size. If you’re under 40, you may not have ever realized that with HTML based web sites, you can adjust the font size. For those with failing closeup vision, this may be mandatory in order to view your site. There is no way for your website visitor to change font sizes if your site is Flash-based.
If you love the look of Flash, HTML5 can give you similar functionality and appearance with full compatibility for Apple devices and friendly Search Engine Optimization. Check out the portfolio of sample HTML5 designs.
In sum, Flash is great for games. It can be great for small widgets. But if you want your web site to be usable, you want it to be findable, and you want people to be able to access it, tell your web site developer that you don’t want your site built in Flash!
Crawling the Web
Search engines use a “robot” or “bot” to crawl the web. The robot is sometimes referred to as a “spider.” The robot will look at the words on a site, minus words like, “the”, “a”, “and”, and create an index of what it finds. The spider will also follow the links it finds on a site to build the index even further.
When someone enters a query into a search engine, the search engine needs to figure out what results go to the first page and what order to display the results in.
On most search engines, at the top of the results page, you will find Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertising as shown below.
Just under the paid search engine results, or Pay-Per-Click results, you will find what are called “organic search results.” Organic means that the results were not paid for, but obtained by the page having enough influence for the “keywords” that were selected, to show at the top of the results list.
So how do search engines determine what to show at the top? How do they determine relevancy?
Every search engine has its own unique algorithms or unique ways of calculating what to put at the top. That’s why searching on Google may give you different results than searching on Bing.
But there are things we know will factor in:
- How many other pages link into the site? If other pages think this page is important enough to link to, it must be important!
- Are the keywords that someone searched for, highly relevant to the page? Remember the spiders have crawled the site and they are looking at things on the page like how often the keyword is repeated on the page (keyword density), whether the page has optimized metatags (HTML markup that is seen by the spiders, but not seen on the page), and look for the names of images, page title, and even the domain of the name itself.
Above, you can see that practicing Search Engine Optimization (SEO) techniques, brings www.MakeupDealOfTheDay.com to third place when someone searches for “makeup deals” on Google.
MARS utilized SEO techniques to get Makeup Deal of the Day to the top and we can do the same for you.
Getting to the Top: Page Rank
Some things to build page rank include:
- Having quality content that people want to read (and don’t forget the content will also be indexed by search engines!)
- Having links to the pages of the site from other sites that are related. (So a link from a page about automotive parts to a makeup site won’t do the makeup site much good. But a link from a page about eyeshadow would increase the page rank.)
- Keep pages relatively short and stick to one or two topics.
- Include words on the page that might be linked to a user search
- Make sure each page is accessible by at least one text link or url.
- Images are not as well indexed as text. Though you can use some additional HTML to help, important words should be in text for ease of indexing by the spiders.
Marketing and Research Services understands how search engines work and we understand how to get you found on the Internet. Let us work with you to create and implement a strategic Internet marketing plan for your business.