When you are adding words to your website, whether in a blog post, an article, your home page, product descriptions etc, you are creating “content”. You will often hear me talk about “keyword rich content” – what I mean is, use the keywords you want to get listed in the search engines for as many times as appropriate – but don’t use them so much that your readers will be irritated.
If you use this as a guide you will insure long term success. Here are some basics about letting the search engines know what keywords are important on the particular article (product description, blog post etc):
Use Title Tags and Alt Tags on your images and links – include your keywords (if it makes sense) but don’t use the same title and alt tags over and over again on the same page. (I’ll talk more about title and alt tags in a future post)
As the search engine computers get programmed for more and more accurate analysis of the millions of pages they are indexing and listing, it will become more and more important to “do the right thing” on your website and not just use your keywords a gazillion times.
Inbound links from relative, authoritative (meaning the search engines see those sites as consistently offering valued information) are becoming critical. The way to get these inbound links is to provide content on your website that makes people that have relevant (complimentary) websites (blogs, review sites etc) want to link to you.
Another way to get these quality inbound links is to provide the tools for people to share them on “authoritative” websites. My earlier post about the Facebook “like” button is one way to do this, but there are others I will discuss in future posts.
While the big boys are spending big money to set up shop and keep visitors on Facebook, spending money for ads on your Facebook Fan Page and Facebook Profile pages you can be driving traffic away from Facebook to your website!
At least until Facebook figures out that we’ve got their number :-D. The beauty is, you don’t even have to have a Facebook account (at least not yet) to do this!
How? It’s pretty simple really… add a Facebook “Like” or “Share” button to your site.
How easy this is will depend on how your website is built but a “Like” button can be added to just about any website if you are allowed to add html code to your pages.
If you would like to do this for your own website you can create the button here: http://developers.facebook.com/docs/reference/plugins/like. You can create one button that is a link to your primary URL and insert it in all or any pages on your website or you can create a button for each link you want people to share on your website.
If you have one of our dynamic content sites, we can add a feature to your website that will automatically add “like” and/or “share” buttons to your blog posts or pages.
Need more help? Give us a call at (888) 595 3098 or visit our Contact Us page.
With companies like Best Buy “setting up shop” on Facebook my clients are in somewhat of a panic to compete. First of all, as I’ve said since the beginning, you cannot compete with big business on their level. If you could you wouldn’t be a “truly small business” any more – and wouldn’t need my advice.
Instead, be the best you can be and win because you are a small business that knows people buy from you because you offer better service and truly care about each individual customer. (We all know that at Best Buy and other stores like them we’re just a telephone number :-D). People shop at big stores because they are looking for the best deal. As a small retailer you are not going to have that. Instead you will have the best selection for your customers!
“Social Commerce” is going to happen – there is no way to avoid it. But instead of using the tools that are provided to “make you dependent” on Facebook (or any other social site) do the work yourself and drive your customers to your website to browse and then encourage them to “chat you up” on FB via their own profile. You can also put a “post a review” link on your site that takes them to your Google Places page and lets them post a review. Where else are you listed where people can post reviews? There are tons of local shopping sites where you can have a free listing and people can comment on your service etc – make sure you’re leveraging these free services. Granted, your site may not yet have the “rate this product” feature but you can still generate buzz on Facebook and other sites about it by introducing it as a post on your Fan page – people can still comment on Facebook about it but the link takes them to your website and doesn’t keep them on Facebook like the FB “shop” tab is designed to do.
Again, I’m not saying ditch FB – just don’t let them own you.
Having been in the website building business for more than 10 years now I’ve seen a lot of things. In the early days, when many hosting companies were still being run out of garages, it was not uncommon for people to call me ‘desperate’ because their website was down and the hosting company had “vanished”. To my amazement many of them didn’t have personal backups, and most of them weren’t listed as the owner of their own domains – which made it extremely difficult to reclaim it and theyoften had to start from scratch.
Surprisingly, I still get those calls today. Fortunately – most of the time we can at least build a new site on their original domain name. However, a recent experience reminded me that many people, including my clients, simply trust their webmaster to manage that information for them. But you should also check this yourself. Like I tell my clients it’s my “drop dead clause – If I drop dead these are the things you need to know”.
Often, it is not your web master’s intention to put your domain under their ownership – it’s just that we have all these tools that we use to support you and if we forget to make some edits – suddenly we find that we are the owner of your domain and not you – which is all fine and dandy until something happens to the webmaster (or you get really mad at them). So, here is what you need to do – check your records – do you know where your domain is registered? Do you know who the underlying wholesale provider is – for example I sell domains to my customers for convenience. But I purchase them from a wholesaler called Enom – so if something were to happen to me, my customers could actually go out to Enom and manage their domain. As a courtesy, I provide my clients with the information they would need to access that resource should something happen to me.
To find out if you are truly the registered owner of your domain (and where it is registered) you can go to DNSStuff.com – they have a tool called “who is” type your domain name in there (just the domain.com part) and you will get something back that looks similar to what I’ve posted below (scroll down for further explanation). Unless your domain was registered with Network Solutions – in which case you will be told to go to Network Solutions to look things up – but once you find the place to look it up you should see something similar to this:
Registration Service Provided By: Coburn Enterprises dba SiteBuilder Now
Domain name: yourdomain.com
Your Name ()
12345 NE 162nd Ave
Vancouver, WA 98682
12345 NE 162nd Ave
Vancouver, WA 98682
Harmony Coburn *****@sitebuildernow.net)
12345 NE 162nd Ave
Vancouver, WA 98682
Creation date: 20 Nov 2004 02:27:00
Expiration date: 20 Nov 2012 02:27:00
The most important part of what you see here is the Registrant’s information – as long as you are / your company is the Registrant – you can recover management of your domain even if you don’t know how to access it – it’s work but a website consultant could help. If your webmaster or hosting company is listed as the Registrant, you have no legitimate “rights” to your domain so you need to get in touch with them and get that changed as soon as possible.
For convenience I am often listed as both the Administrative and Technical contact for my clients – that way I can manage the tasks that are required to make sure the “internet” knows where to find their website – as long as you are the Registrant you’re ok. However, you should also know where and how to access your domain so that you can change things at any time – if you get mad at your webmaster, it is best to make sure they no longer have access to your domain and that you have full control before you notify them that you are leaving them – all hosting companies and webmasters are not necessarily as ethical as one would hope.
A final thought on this subject – LEGITIMATE REGISTRARS DO NOT SEND RENEWAL NOTICES IN THE US MAIL!If you get a notice in the mail that your domain is going to expire – contact your registrar or your webmaster or your hosting company and ask them about it – do not send money. Although most registrars have a default setting of “locked” these days, which prevents the transfer of your domain from one registrar to another without your permission, if yours was not locked, you could inadvertantly give your domain to someone who would take it over and put spam links on it or worse! In most cases, you will just be out the (ridiculous) fee they tell you to send.
As a small business advisor, specializing in helping truly small business determine the most effective use of their marketing dollars, including their website, I have helped many clients recover from unexpected losses of their website and domain. But it is difficult at best. If you don’t understand this or your have more questions feel free to contact me. I’ll be glad to help.