Tag: SEO

What you don't know about SEO can hurt you! 28 Mar

What You Don’t Know About SEO Can Hurt You!

Hate to be the bearer of bad news, but you can’t hire someone to do just SEO [Search Engine Optimization] for you like you before. Prior to the Google algorithm changes, you could easily hire someone who knew how to “cheat” the search engines to get you on the first page of the SERPs [Search Engine Results Pages]. They used what’s known as “black hat tactics”. Today, using these tactics actually works against you and will get you flagged by Google as SPAM. To get un-flagged, you basically have to build a new website.

Today's SEO is keyword-centric. Sure you can still hire someone to do SEO for you, and what they’ll do, for a hefty monthly fee, is monitor your site’s page ranking in several services (which you could do yourself) and play with the keywords.

They may offer a blogging service, which is fine, if they know your industry and they don’t use a cheap service like Fivver. You may end up with duplicate content (articles that appear elsewhere on the web) and that will hurt you.

You can’t have word-for-word duplicate content. Be careful if you subscribe to a “newsletter service”. This is popular in the financial and legal fields. Sure they save time, but how many times is that article published online? Do a test: copy the first sentence and paste it in the Google search box and see what comes up. If there is even ONE other instance of that article word-for-word, that will hurt you.

You can also use PPC [Pay-Per-Click] advertising, but searchers actually ignore those paid ads and go straight to the organic (unpaid) search results. And you’ll notice that Google, in most instances, eliminated the right sidebar ads. No one was clicking on them!

Google, is looking for fresh, relevant content written for the human reader and that will give you good SEO.

So what do you need to do in today’s digital world to get on the first page of Google?

  1. Make sure your website is optimized for the search engine. Everything is keyword-centric. Put yourself in your target market‘s shoes. What are they going to enter into the search box to find you?
  2. Blog at least once a week! 2-3 times a week is the charm. If your website is stagnant, Google will ignore it!
  3. Get active on social media. Google+ is Google’s social network. The more active you are, the more Google rewards you with higher SERPs. Tweets appear in Google search, so get active on Twitter. If someone Googles your name, what comes up? Your LinkedIn profile should be there in the top 3 organic spots.

Here’s an extra tip: Don’t use those free or easy drag-and-drop websites. To make it easy to use, it takes a lot of code in the background. The search engine hates that code. So much so, that it will not index the good material under it. I recommend a WordPress website where your website and blog are in the same place.

Also make sure your website is mobile friendly and mobile responsive! If it’s not, it will not come up in Google mobile search! Click here to here to test it.

 

About the Author:

Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media WizGiselle Aguiar, founder of AZ Social Media Wiz is a social media, inbound and content marketing strategist & trainer helping business owners learn how to leverage the power of social media marketing, increase traffic to their websites, generate leads, increase brand awareness and establish themselves as experts in their fields. She’s the official social media, newsletter and blog manager for Greater Phoenix SCORE and offers Social media classes at the new AZ Social Media Training Center. 602-738-1700. You can connect with Giselle online at LinkedIn or on Google+.

 

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Today's Content Marketing 3 Nov

Video: Content Marketing for Startups

Are you using Content Marketing to promote your business? The more fresh, relevant content you produce or publish, the higher your changes of getting on the first page of Google.

In this video, Susan Su, explains how people read content online and gives some cool advice on how you can get your content seen!

  • Paid advertising isn’t what it’s made out to be. Internet users have “banner blindness”. They don’t pay attention to paid ads or banners that look like an advertisement.
  • There is no such thing as free traffic – you either pay with money or time.
  • 50% of your energy goes into creating the content and the other 50% goes into its distribution.
  • There are many types of “content”.

Any type of marketing requires a marketing plan – even so with today’s digital channels.

A SCORE mentor can help you by reviewing your marketing plan for free. Click here to schedule your appointment.

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Video: The Rise of Content Marketing

Technology is changing quickly and constantly. It’s definitely changed the way consumers find what they want and the way they consume content. It’s important to understand how content marketing works and to figure out how your company can start putting out good, quality content that your target market will want.

Consumers are completely in control.

This video showcases what encompasses the new content.

Content Marketing:

  • It’s the new way to communicate with each other.
  • You can’t rely on the media, you have to become the media.
  • Your unique point of view cannot be duplicated.
  • Brands have to be about more than themselves.
  • The more you tell people not to share it, the more they will share it.
  • Everything has changed.
  • If you don’t focus on content marketing, you won’t be relevant.
  • You’re not going to get attention if you don’t.

Greater Phoenix SCORE holds a Content Marketing class regularly so you can learn how to do it properly and effectively. Click here for the latest class schedule.

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Is Your Website Mobile-Friendly?

by Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media Wiz

Mobile device usage is going up!If your website isn’t mobile-friendly, you have till April 21st to get it that way!

On April 21st, the Google search engine is changing their algorithm yet again. If a website is not mobile friendly, that is it looks good and can be navigated easily on a SmartPhone or a tablet, it will lose Search Engine Results Page (SERP) rankings!

Yes! Your website will be demoted in Google search!

Is your website mobile-friendly? How do you know? Click here to test your site.

If it’s not, you have a few choices.

Responsive Web design for mobile

  • If you have a WordPress site, switch to a “Responsive” theme (there are many free ones) or the WordPress plugin, JetPack that has a mobile enhancing feature. JetPack is free and the quickest fix.
  • Contact your web designer to have them do an update.
  • If you need a new site, contact the folks at GoDaddy and they can help you. (GoDaddy is a SCORE Strategic Partner and sponsor of SCORE’s newsletter.)

Why such a major change?

Here are some stats from eMarketer:

Millennials Mobile Usage
Hispanic Mobile Usage

Future Mobile Penetration

Not convinced yet? Click here to read more mobile related data articles on eMarketer. Here is some more information on Mobile SEO from Google and a blog post on Google’s blog.

SCORE is planning seminars and more articles on mobile marketing. Stay tuned!

Related Articles:

About the Author:

Giselle Aguiar, AZ Social Media WizGiselle Aguiar, founder of AZ Social Media Wiz is a social media, inbound and content marketing strategist & trainer helping business owners learn how to leverage the power of social media marketing, increase traffic to their websites, generate leads, increase brand awareness and establish themselves as experts in their fields. As with anything in business, using the right tools in the right way and at the right time are critical parts to your success. Learn from someone who’s known the Internet since it’s infancy. Official Social Media, Newsletter and Blog Manager for Greater Phoenix SCORE and Adjunct Faculty at Phoenix College. Social media training – 1-on-1 or for groups. http://azsocialmediawiz.com 602-738-1700. You can connect with Giselle online at LinkedIn or on Google+.

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5 Tips for Choosing a Dependable Website Partner

5 Tips for Choosing a Dependable Website PartnerLet’s face it. Business relationships sometimes end unexpectedly. And when that relationship is with your website partner, you might be left with an unfinished, unattended or hijacked site.

What’s a small business owner to do?

Choose your host

For starters, make sure your developer approves of you being involved in choosing a dependable hosting provider. Why not just host wherever your developer chooses? As a business owner, you need assurance that all website files will be safe and accessible when the relationship with the web developer ends. If the only party with access to those files is suddenly no longer your partner, you might find yourself locked out.

Own your domain

Next, insist on being the legal registrant of your website’s domain name. Just as you wouldn’t let your accountant own your bank account, your web developer shouldn’t own your website address. If a dispute arises and you are not listed as the legal registrant, you might be in for a struggle. Unless you’re the owner you won’t be able to renew your domain or protect it from hijacking. If a potential website partner is reluctant to let you register your domain, it might be time to look elsewhere.

Set expectations

In addition, set clear expectations up front—from start to finish. You can do this by asking targeted questions:

  • What work will be done?
  • When will it be done?
  • Is Search Engine Optimization included?
  • Who will have access to make updates, and how often will updates be required?
  • Will there be extra charges for maintenance?
  • Who will own copyright?
  • Will copywriting or editing be provided, and if so, how much will those services cost?
  • Will images or graphic design be included? If not, what is the process for obtaining and sharing suitable photos?
  • What’s the exit strategy, should either partner decide to move in a new direction?
  •  Will your designer need hosting or a server to do a custom build or use a popular content management system such as WordPress or Website Builder?

5 Tips for Choosing a Dependable Website PartnerWhy does it matter? If you don’t have a clear direction, you won’t be able to tell if you are on track. It’s also important to know if there are application passwords you need to record and whether the option you’ve chosen together allows you to make updates on your own or whether it will require a professional.

Stay involved

Once your website has been launched, let your website partner know you plan to remain actively involved. Then follow through. Visit it often to make sure it remains online. Just because no one has intentionally made changes to the site does not guarantee nothing has changed. Not being aware of issues can be disastrous if backups have become stale or unavailable by the time someone notices a problem.

Often, something as simple as an automatic update to core WordPress, Joomla! or Drupal files or an update that has been missed can cause all sorts of issues. Some errors have easy fixes. Others require the eye of a professional. Make sure you know in advance if your developer is qualified—and willing—to handle such things as they occur.

Maintain backups

Finally, before a single page is created, insist on full website backups. Will they keep them current? How will they keep them safe? Will they be within your reach? A backup is of no use to you if you cannot deploy it if your website goes down or has issues and your partner is suddenly unavailable. Even if you and your website partner’s relationship remains intact, you never know when your site might be hacked or some other unexpected disaster might arise. If your developer declines to maintain backups, it’s time to find someone who will.

In the end, only you can decide who is best-suited to build and maintain your website. Make sure it is a mutually beneficial arrangement and always be ready to adapt if necessary.

Your website visitors will thank you.

By RuthAnn Hogue, GoDaddy

RuthAnn Hogue, GoDaddyAbout the Author

Award-winning print journalist and traditionally published nonfiction author RuthAnn Hogue now spends her work days immersed in technology. When she’s not helping people with their hosting as the Hosting Support Agent for GoDaddy, RuthAnn volunteers her time as Marketing Director for Rag Collection. She also spoils four energetic Jack Russell terriers.

 

 

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3 First-Steps to Get Your Business Found Online

3 first steps to getting your business found onlineAll small business owners want their websites to rank high in search engine results. And, while there’s no way to guarantee your business will land on Google’s coveted first page of results, there are a few primary steps  you can take to improve your search ranking.

On-page SEO: Keywords

It’s a good move to start by making sure each page of your website is as appealing as it can be to search engines. This is called on-page SEO (search engine optimization). Begin by doing some easy keyword research. The goal is to create website content that naturally includes the words and phrases people search for online when they’re looking for the kind of stuff you offer.

Spend 10 minutes jotting down all the words you think people might enter into a search engine to find your business. Then, go to Google’s free Keyword Planner to find out if people are actually searching for those words and phrases. (The tool is part of Google AdWords to help set up online advertising  campaigns, but you also can use it for on-page SEO research.)Google Keyword Planning Tool

Next — and most importantly — write remarkable web page content using the most relevant keywords and phrases. As a rule of thumb, include one keyword per every 100 words of content. You’ll want to write between 300 to 1,000 words per page. Use the primary keyword or phrase in the page headline and five to 10 times in the body copy. Keep your writing natural, avoiding the “keyword  stuffing” that is a red flag for search engines.

Social media: Make friends

Engaging with your customers and prospects where they spend a lot of their time — on their favorite social networks — is key to reaching your target audience online. In fact, seven of the top 10 search engine ranking factors now involve social media. You want people to share info about you and your products and services on Facebook, Twitter and other social platforms. Even better? Getting them to link to content on your business website. To search engines, this kind of activity indicates trustworthiness and relevance.

Creating shareable content is the most vital thing you can do to market your business through social media. Be sure to include interesting images and videos, which people love to share. Add social widgets to your website to make sharing your compelling content as simple as a click.

Get local: Maps and directories

Where do people today turn to find a new plumber, pet sitter or pizzeria in their city? The Internet. Make sure your business shows up when they search online for the type of stuff you offer by getting your business listed in online maps and directories. Start by signing up for Google My Business.

This are just the first, baby steps you can take to get your business found on the web. There’s  always more you can do to boost your site’s ranking potential. A few great resources for more information including The Moz Blog and Search Engine Land.

About the Author:

Andrea RowlandA former small business owner and newspaper journalist, and a published nonfiction author, Andrea Rowland helps craft compelling communications for today’s go-getters through her work as a copy editor at GoDaddy. Connect with Andrea on Google+. The world’s largest domain name registrar and Web hosting provider, GoDaddy gives small business owners the tools to name their idea, build a beautiful online presence, attract customers and manage their business. To get more tips for your small business—including articles, videos and webinars—check out the GoDaddy Training Hub.

 

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