As a new entrepreneur, the prospect of running your very own website may seem daunting, but in reality it’s not difficult at all. Registering for a domain and setting up your site are fairly easy to do. It’s getting your website read by others and using search engine optimization (SEO) that is the most challenging part – but we’ll help you tackle everything:
Your Domain Name Matters
Your site’s domain name is a huge part of its brand. Great domains showcase exactly what the website is about, so the visitor knows what to expect before hitting ‘enter’ on their browser’s URL bar. For example, domain names like buyfauxstone.com and motorcyclelawyercalifornia.com have very clear, focused keywords in their domain names. This gives them a big advantage when someone is searching Google for the exact words “buy faux stone” and “motorcycle lawyer California.” When you’ve settled on the perfect domain, check out sites like Dreamhost that offer affordable domain-hosting combos that are easy to use.
As the owner of a small business, you know what it’s like to have a lot on your plate. Some days, it may feel as if you need a small army in place just to keep up with the way you need to market and brand yourself – not to mention making a profit and paying attention to your customers! Well, I’ve got a secret to share with you: you don’t need an army. All you need is a thirst for knowledge. The trick is to stay on top of trends and when things move, move with them!
Working in the marketing industry, I’ve come to understand that it is never about one thing or the other, it is about how all of the pieces of the puzzle come together to form the big picture. Ten years ago, your business might have gotten by with some television commercials and perhaps an advertisement or two in your local newspaper, but times have changed – how can you compete and stay on top today?
The best businesses in the world all share one characteristic – they know that if their webpages get listed low in search engines, no one will find them when they’re searching. That’s where SEO comes in. Every business is doing their best to pinch pennies where they can, but there are some expenditures are worth every dime. It will take some budgeting, but you’ll know you’ve helped people find you with every dollar spent.
What is SEO?
SEO is the practice of strategically using keywords, metadata, links, and content to convince search engines that your webpage is credible and authoritative, and that it deserves to be listed high up in search engine rankings.
Search engines work hard to get the best content to the people searching for specific terms, and they penalize and even eliminate spammers or SEO cheats who use shady techniques such as keyword stuffing. A strong SEO strategy can get good webpages great rankings.
Anthony Karibian, CEO of bOnline
Most small businesses today have realized a website is a vital part of their marketing plan. Many have spent weeks, maybe even months, creating a professional website to convert prospects into paying customers. So why are many small business websites failing to bring in sales? In order to attract traffic to your website, it’s important to understand that the work isn’t over once your website has gone live. Thankfully, you don’t need to be an expert or a millionaire to drive traffic to your site - here are five free and easy ways:
Much of your site’s traffic will come from search engines such as Google, where your success depends on how highly your site ranks for keywords related to your business. There’s no guaranteed way to the top, but you can apply search engine optimization (SEO) best practices on your site to be in with a better chance. Think about the search terms you want to rank for and ensure these keywords are included in your website, including the header and page titles (but don’t force them in or repeat them excessively). Getting links back to your site from respected sources should also give you a boost. There are a lot of rules to good SEO, but the best place to start is with Google’s very own SEO Starter Guide, available here for free.
Which is more important to your everyday life – social networks or email?
Does your answer change when you’re presented with the fact that 188 billion emails are sent daily, compared to 140 million tweets and 60 million Facebook posts?
Does it change when you think about how fundamentally important email is to the online experience? After all, you can’t even sign up Twitter or Facebook without an email address.
How often do you turn to search engines like Google or Bing to find a product or service that you need? Have you ever clicked on anything on the 15th page of search results? Or the 50th? We didn’t think so. That’s why you need Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your small business. Ninety percent of all users click on the Top 10 search results on Google, which means that you are missing out on selling your product or service to 90% of your prospective customers. Sold yet?