Search engine optimization for small and very small businesses.

SEO Blog

SEO Your Grandma Can Understand

grandma-can-understand-SEOGrandmothers are known for being kind, loving and many other positive things, but their knowledge of SEO is not one of them. While you may not have a reason to need to be able to explain search engine optimization to your Oma or Nanna, we’re going to go over SEO in a way that even they can understand. This isn’t to say they’re dumb, but we want to give some tips that anyone in the world can comprehend – even if they’re not technically savvy.

SEO Made Simple

Here’s a breakdown of everything you need to know about search engine optimization We’ve made an effort to make sure these specific points are easy enough for your grandma to understand.

  • Who – Anyone who does business online should be concerned with search engine optimization. For the most part, search engines are the way that people discover websites. Anyone who isn’t worrying about SEO is going to be left in the dust of the competition.
  • What – Basically, SEO is a series of methods and techniques that make your content seem more valuable than all the other content available online. One of the main ways this is done by looking at what websites are linking to you. Each link to your website is counted as a vote. However, not all links are the same.
  • Why – The biggest reason you should be optimizing for search engines is that everyone else is doing it. If you don’t worry about SEO, you’re going to be passed by the competition in most cases.
  • When – SEO should be thought about before you even launch a new website. Then, SEO should always be a part of the conversation when you’re talking about doing business online. Basically, you want to always be thinking about search engine optimization and how you can do better.
  • Where – Search engine optimization should be thought about by everyone in your company. While the IT department may do the heavy lifting, every department should be aware of SEO and how it affects the business as a whole.
  • What Next – While SEO is an important part of doing business online these days, it’s actually only the tip of the iceberg. Once you have the basics covered, you want to make sure you don’t get caught in the trap of obsessing over SEO. Instead, concentrate on making your website the best designed one for people.

As you can see, SEO is not really that complicated. At the same time, it’s become more and more difficult for some websites to rank high in the search engine results. With so much competition out there these days, you really need to bring your “A Game” if you want to get noticed among all the other websites vying for the attention of consumers.

Written by: Adam Prattler loves his Panasonic tx-l42dt65b LED TV because it’s just the right size. He visits a lot of infographic sites, but he also watches a lot of television.
Photo credit: Phil Scoville

Web Design: SEO is Worthless Without You

Despite the fact that good search engine optimization (SEO) consultants seldom make good web designers (and vice versa) both are essential for any business website as one hand washes the other, SEO and web design work together synergistically. Too often companies, big and small, rely solely on SEO to attract visitors to their site, forgetting about the need to convert those visitors into customers.

Two roles helping bring you customers

The job of SEO is to bring qualified leads to your website. Once they land on your website SEO has done its job.

Then it’s up to your web design to convert those visitors into paying clients, customers or patients. It does that by:

  • Your web design needs to make a good first impression.making a good first impression (you have three seconds for that to happen)
  • providing a professional appearance
  • making sure your website looks the same on all browsers
  • making it clear what you do or what you sell
  • creating a friendly impression so the visitor will want to patronize you
  • providing intuitive navigation so the visitors can find what they’re looking for
  • providing a mobile version of your site for cell phone visitors

Your web designer helps your search engine rankings

Yes, it’s true. The design and programming of your website can help your SEO efforts even beyond the specific coding issues laid out by your SEO consultant. Some of the important things your web designer can do to help include:

  • prYour web design needs to be hold the interest of your visitors.oper URL (web address) redirects when pages change on your website
  • readable and concise URLs for when visitors type them into their browsers
  • page speed issues so that your web pages download to browsers quickly
  • easy and intuitive navigation so visitors can find what they need quickly
  • overall pleasant and professional user experience

Great synergy

Effective search engine optimization multiplies the value of your web design by exposing it to more potential customers. And a great web design multiplies the power of SEO by converting more visitors into paying customers. With both of these positive factors in play, the value of each is multiplied by the contributions of the other.

Skimp on either one at your peril.

What’s your experience been with web design and SEO complementing each other … or not? Let us know in the comments below.

Need help with the SEO half of the equation. Give us a call.

 

 

Season’s Greetings

Season’s Greetings to all our clients and other friends.

This season is rife with holidays and celebrations in many countries and among many faiths (and non-faiths). Whatever your personal preference, we hope you have a safe and healthy holiday season and a prosperous 2014.

Merry/Happy/Joyous/Prosperous (as appropriate):

winter holiday logo

  • Boxing Day
  • Christmas
  • Festivus
  • Global Family Day
  • Handsel Monday
  • Hanukkah
  • Hogmanay
  • HumanLight
  • Jól
  • Jul
  • Junkanoo
  • Korochun
  • Kwanzaa
  • Makar Sankranti
  • Malanka
  • Montol Festival
  • Mummer’s Day
  • New Year
  • Saint Stephen’s Day
  • Saturnalia
  • Seol-nal (Korean New Year)
  • Sinterklaas
  • Soyal
  • Winter Solstice
  • Wren Day
  • Yalda
  • Yule
  • Zartosht No-Diso

I hope we’ve mentioned your favorite celebration.

4 Ways to Get More Readers On Your Blog

Your Blog Is an Important Asset  — If It Attracts the Readers You Want

 

Promote your blog.

Your blog is one of the best ways to establish yourself as an authority in your field and to get your brand identity known broadly. It also allows you to receive and respond to feedback from people interested in your services and your blog topics. The more people who read and like your blog, the better known you and your brand become. It’s well worth the time and effort to promote your blog. Thanks to Endurance Marketing for the inspiration for this post.

1) Promote Your Blog Far and Wide

Shameless promotion of your blog on as many venues as possible will expose it to hundreds or thousands of new potential readers. Here are the most essential things to do:

  • Get your blog listed in the top human-edited blog directories. That includes directories like Technorati, Blogarama, Blogged, Blogernity, Blog Flux, On Top List, Blog Hub, and Blogger Now, among others.
  • Include prominent links to your blog from the main navigation of your website and also in your page footers.
  • Establish social media accounts at Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn, at a minimum. Include a link to your blog in the About section of each of them.
  • Include a Facebook Like button and a Google +1 button on your main blog page and on all individual blog post pages.
  • Make it easy for readers to share your blog posts on their own social pages to expand your reach to all of their connections. The tool we use here is from AddThis. It provides opportunities for readers to very easily promote your post to all of their followers on almost any social media site imaginable.

Blog2) Promote Every Blog Post Your Write

Don’t just write a great blog post and hope people will flock to it. Promote it in social media. At the very least, write about it on Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and LinkedIn. And be sure to include a link to your post when you do that. For our clients, we typically promote each of their posts on a total of 15-17 of the best social media platforms.

3)  Promote Your Blog On Your Emails

Don’t overlook the opportunity to include a link to your blog in your email signature block. That exposes your blog to anyone you correspond with.

4) Promote Your Blog on Other Blogs

Many blogs have a blogroll  — a list of other, usually related, blogs that may be of interest to their readers. You can see an example of that over on the right, in the section called Other Blogs of Interest. Seek out blogs related to your topics and contact the owners of those blogs to suggest they add you to their blogrolls. You may be asked to add them to your blogroll in return, as well. If you create compelling blog posts with great information that’s helpful to your target market, similar blogs may be very eager to link to you from their blogrolls.

How do you promote your blog? Let us know in the comments below.

Like this post? Please Like it or share it with your friends via the links above, or +1 it in the link below. Thanks in advance for helping us promote our blog!

Need help with promoting your blog and your website, and showing up prominently when buyers search for what you have to offer? Rank Magic can help.

Why Your Page Speed May Be Sabotaging Your Rankings

Google announced back in 2010 that Page Speed  — how quickly your web page downloads into a visitor’s browser  — would be a factor in rankings. That makes sense when you consider Google’s increasing emphasis on positive user experience.If you click on a first page result in Google and the page is annoyingly slow, Google looks bad for sending you there.

Page download speed can affect your rankings.Addressing page speed problems is a task for your webmaster, but knowing and caring about your page speed is your responsibility. The folks at Moz did a study a few weeks ago which showed that the “time to first bite” does, in fact, correlate with ranking position. Full time to completely download a page doesn’t seem to correlate with rankings,  but the time it takes for the first byte of your page to be received by your browser does seem to correlate with rankings.

What’s interesting about this is the fact that what mostly controls the time to first byte is not your website design but your web host and the efficiency of the web server housing your web pages.

That doesn’t mean the other measures of page download speed aren’t important. If a potential customer gets tired of waiting for everything on your page to appear and clicks away before the page is fully loaded, you’ve lost a potential customer regardless of how highly your page ranked.

What to take away from this:

  1. Your back end web server performance can affect your rankings. If you’re using a discount web hosting service, whether their speed is worse than other web hosts is something your webmaster would have to research for you.
  2. While time to fully download your web page may not affect rankings, it can affect overall user experience on your site and impact your conversion rate: the percentage of visitors who become customers.
  3. Bear in mind that Google has always maintained that quality content is king, so improving your page speed can’t make up for mediocre content on your web pages. Page speed is only one of about 200 factors that control your rankings.

How’s your time to first byte? Let us know in comments below.