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.
After nearly 10 years of “helping small businesses compete on the world wide web” we have come to realize that our roll is much more than being a website builder or web design company. What we have discovered is that we are actually small business advisors.
It is not uncommon for a client to contact us for a website and, through our initial questioning process, discover they are not really ready to launch a website. This is because the market we service – the “Truly Small Business” or “TSB” – consists mostly of individuals or a small team of people that have a great idea for a product or service but limited life experience in starting or expanding a company and launching their product. Unlike the well know “Small to Medium Business” or “SMB”, a TSB is usually a self-funded, self-managed company that is not looking for venture capital and/or large start up loans. I find it ironic that I read about “small businesses” and they are companies with 50 employees generating a few million dollars a year in revenues. Whereas, a truly small business generally has less than 10 employees (if any) and often generates just enough revenue to pay their expenses – on a good day. Yet, this sector of business is what really makes up the majority of “small businesses” in our country. Thus, at Coburn Enterprises, we have decided to promote the phrase TSB – Truly Small Business – to help this market sector gain recognition in the marketplace and gain a voice in our society.
With these ideas in mind, we are relaunching our company under Coburn Enterprises. This is the name we have been using for a few years now for our EIN number, merchant services account and other critical business activities. Although we will keep the branding of SiteBuilder Now for our “do-it-yourself” product group, we feel that Coburn Enterprises is more fitting for our current services.
Coburn Enterprises helps truly small businesses compete – not just on the world wide web. As small business advisors, we help companies, and individuals hoping to start or grow a company, ask themselves critical questions and make educated business decisions. We help our clients match their short and long term goals to available products and solutions – from what type of website to start with or upgrade to, to merchant service providers. We help them understand how these decisions will effect them today and in five years. We also help our clients filter through the bombardment of opportunities that come their way as soon as they register their dba or domain name.
Depending on the type of business and where they are at in their development process, we can help them with marketing channels, finding vendors, public relations and content development. We help companies determine revenue channels, pricing structures and new marketing strategies. For our clients that are at that crossroads between “staying small” and “taking it to the next level” we help them look at the advantages and disadvantages of their choices and opportunities.
When necessary, we also help our clients find outside consultants and resources. We help them write policies, hire employees and find the best accounting solutions for their needs.
And, of course, we are experts in website marketing, search engine optimization and search engine marketing.
In the coming weeks you will see some exciting announcements including an introduction to our new product set and the official launch of our new websites. CoburnEnterprises.com and BetterEverything.net (http://www.bettereverything.net) a blogging system that will be part of our web marketing solutions and SMS – Social Media Synergy concepts.
Questions? Ideas? Fears? Don’t hesitate to contact us.
As always, although I love making money doing what I love, I want to always hold true to my core values. I started this business with the goal of empowering other small businesses by helping them navigate the (sometimes overwhelming) information highway and find their place on the World Wide Web. Yes, I sell the services to do this for you – but I try very hard not to offer a service without reminding you that you can do what I do for yourself if you are willing to. So I generally don’t announce a new product or service without first putting together a “how to do this for yourself list”. So, here is my answer to the latest trend in search engine marketing (we have branded this Search Engine Dominance):
Too tired or too busy actually running your business to do all of this – no problem, we can do it for you :-). Learn how Coburn Enterprises helps customers win the Search Engine Dominance challenge!.
Social Media refers to sites where visitors can interact with each other in one way or another. Also referred to Web 2.0 (a term I still haven’t seen fully embraced), Social Media is not a new product, in fact it’s been around longer than I’ve been on the web (and that has been since dinosaurs roamed the lands and AOL was the be all and end all of “you’ve got mail” connections.
I actually gained the foundation of the knowledge that has allowed me to make a business out of my love for technology from a guy that my Mom met in an “online forum”! She posted a question about something and this guy had a great answer – so she emailed him and thanked him. They started “chatting” via EMail and he introduced her to ICQ – this was pre-Instant Messaging from AOL.
So, social media is definetely not “new”. What is “new” is the attention it is getting from the search engines and the hype it is getting from the media – all of this is driving traffic to sites like FaceBook, LinkedIn, Twitter and, oh, let’s not forget MySpace (although oddly enough I haven’t heard MySpace be mentioned in the media outside of cyber bullying in almost a year!).
What you may not know is “social media” also refers to things like Blogs, Forums and other online communities. When you are getting “hyped” about the importance of Facebook and other social marketing sites, keep in mind, Facebook wants you to be hyped because they want to sell ads to people that want to know everything about you (which you provide when you set up your profile). Facebook is not your “friend” it is a business designed to bring traffic in so that they can provide statistics to potential advertisers that say “Hey, I want to sell to 50 year old women – can you help?”.
Do I still think you need a Fan Page – absolutely – but don’t think that a FaceBook Fan page is going to give you long term success. View it as only one tool in your tool box. Especially keep in mind that if you are making money off of that fan page and Facebook isn’t getting their share of it – the program will change.
When I “sell” a client on an SEM (Search Engine Marketing) program I do the things listed in my post Steps to Search Engine Dominance – but you can do these things for yourself!
A hundred years ago, when I first decided to make my “profession” sales, I took a Dale Carnegie class. One of the things I carry with me to this day is that statement. The point the instructor was making was – don’t go into the sales presentation so excited to tell the customer all the reasons YOU think your product is great. Instead, give them just enough information to make them beg you to make the sale.
Years later, I applied this same principle in resume writing and job search coaching. I helped my clients sort out their skills and capabilities and decide which ones would make it so the person reading the resume couldn’t stand it – they just HAD to meet you! I would remind them that the resume was not supposed to get you the job – it was supposed to get you the interview. The ones that “got” this did extremely well.
I have found this theory applies to websites too. The goal with (most) websites is not to close the sale. The goal is to encourage the visitor to want to do business with you. Of course, if your intent is to sell products on line you might think this isn’t really the case… but it still is – they may come to your site looking for one thing but why not make them interested in learning about the rest of what you have to offer?
Don’t try to be all things to all people on your home page. Instead, provide “grabbers” and insights that will interest the variety of customers you may have and make it easy for them to drill down into the meat of what they are looking for – on ecommerce sites this is pretty easy – you can use product categories as a navigation system – but that idea can cross over to any website. In fact, this is one of the reasons blogs are so popular – it’s easy for the blogger to create navigation tools for their visitors. For example, the title of this post is Don’t spill all of your jellie beans in the lobby – but I gave it tags like “Getting people to your website is only the first step”, “How do customers find my product or service”, “Design Vs. Function” etc etc. This is becaues different people look for answers in different ways.
What do we need to tell our customers right way?
How do we support our the claims we make about the products or services we deliver?
Create a call to action….