Category Archives: SEO

7 Elements of a Killer Business Blog

Blogging has become one of the most effective ways for small businesses to connect with their customers online, spread their company message, and build trust and credibility with their consumers. Blogs a great way to retain and energize your customers and they’re also an effective way to interact with customers and drive website traffic. Blogging can increase your sales, leads, and optimization online but if you want to maximize the success of your business blog. It’s important that you implement these 7 crucial elements of a killer business blog.

1. Consistency (Schedule) – Keeping up with a consistent schedule of posting will probably be the biggest challenge for most beginning bloggers. It’s important that you post on a set schedule (once a week minimum) so customers can rely on getting information from you in a consistent way. A consistent stream of articles will encourage more people to read and subscribe to your blog.

2. Design – Staying on the topic of consistency, you want to make sure that the design of your blog meshes with the color and design of you company’s logos and website. The layout doesn’t have to match your website exactly, but the color scheme should be correct and all logos and branding should match. You also want to make sure your design is professional and eye-grabbing. Remember, you’re one of millions of blogs out there and you want to do what you can to stand out while still appearing credible.

3. RSS Subscribe Button – When people want to be notified every time your blog has a new post, or if they want to include a feed from your blog in their “reader” program, they need to subscribe to your RSS feed. You want to make it as easy as possible for readers to do this so make sure that your blog has a prominent RSS feed button somewhere on the front page. If your blog is missing that orange RSS Feed button it’s not going to be as successful at gaining subscribers as it should be. This is important.

4. Social Media Info – There should be clear and easily navigated buttons that let users follow, like, bookmark or friend your company on their favorite social network site. Make these buttons appear on your front page and encourage customers to connect with you on social sites they use. This way they can stay updated with your company blog using the social network site they’re most comfortable with.

5. Social Share Buttons – One of the best ways to get more views for your blog and build an online following is by having social share buttons at the bottom or top of each post that allow the reader to share your articles on the social site of their choosing with just one click. (See the buttons at the bottom of this post marked “Tweet” and “Share”)

6. Authors – You want to put a face behind the content you’re providing. Build professional online profiles of your contributing authors (even if it’s just one) and put it on it’s own page within your blog. (The “about” page is usually the best place for this)

7. Optimize Your Posts – Another important part of business blogging is making sure that your articles are optimized for search. This means that they are full of relevant keywords and properly tagged in the “tags” section of your blogging program.

It’s Your Turn – Do you have any other key elements of a company blog that should be added to this list? Leave us a comment or contact us with your key element to a successful business blog and we’ll post it in a follow-up blog.

Small Business SEO Basics

Search engine optimization (SEO) is all about making your website more easily found on search engines like Google, Bing and Yelp when people type in keywords related to your business. Small businesses with professionally designed, search-engine-friendly websites can compete in a real way with larger competitors because their site appears as or more favorably in search engine results pages (or SERP).

SEO encompasses many very technical elements, but just understanding some basic concepts will help you considerably when it comes time to develop your website.

Domain Name

Your domain name is the internet address that is attached to your site (http://www.yourbusiness.com) and it’s a very large part of deciding how high up on the Google results your business appears. For instance, if a person is searching for “Wichita Dry Cleaner” and somebody has a website with the domain “wichitadrycleaner.com” then they will likely appear at the top of the search engine results. So , if possible, be sure to register the most relevant keyword-rich domain name possible along with your company name.

Title Tag

The title tag is the group of words that appears at the top of the title bar of your website and in the blue link that appears on Google results. They are one of the most important factors in getting a high Google ranking for your business’ website. You should include your company name as well as relevant keywords and phrases to ensure higher results. In fact, if you fix your title tags you will likely see some instant improvements in your company search results ranking.

Meta

Meta tags are elements of your website’s design code that specifies certain information like your website description, keywords, author of the document and other info. These tags will not appear on the website itself but are identified by Google and other search engines looking for specific keywords. The meta tags are always placed in the <head> section of the website’s code and they play a very large part in your search engine results.

Keywords (research)

Keywords are words and phrases that search engines crawl the internet looking for when people type them in to the search box. While the art of implementing the right keyword strategy for your website can be a little complicated. The basic idea is that the more a word or phrase shows up on your website (in fair and relevant ways) the higher the website’s Google ranking when those keywords are searched for. You should do some research on what keywords and phrases your customers use when looking for your type of business and make sure your website is s filled with them.

Links

The links on your website also play a big part in determining your Google ranking. The words of the link itself along with the alt text contribute to the relevancy of your website on Google results pages. As much as you can, create links with keywords and phrases related to your business and its functions.

Social Networks

Social networks have become a large part of a company’s SEO. By having profiles on sites like Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter, a company is able to appear more frequently on search engine results pages through these profiles. Also, linking your profiles to each other as much as possible along with linking to your website on these pages helps increase the relevancy of your business site in Google.

Local Listings

For storefront businesses, the local listing (your company listing on sites like Google Places, Yelp, and Yahoo Local)  has become one of the most important parts of their online existence. Not only do customer reviews on these sites greatly affect people’s decisions in choosing your business, the description and link to your website on these pages play a large part in your websites SEO. Be sure to claim or create your listings on these various services. For more information read my article on Why Local Listings Are Crucial For Your Small Business.

Understanding your company’s SEO is the first step for you in the development of your company’s online strategy. Armed with this information, you should be able to take more effective steps in building your online presence so that you appear higher on Google results, get more traffic to your site and, ultimately, get more more customers.

Please leave us comments if you have any other ideas about SEO basics for small businesses.

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