Small Business and SEO

Small business owners are becoming more aware of the need to understand and implement the basics of SEO (search engine optimization). At the very least, you MUST know the basics but, then you run into, “what are the basics?”. That answer is only defined by the person answering it. And SEO is like most other forms of information — there is a lot of misinformation concerning the “how to” in building a campaign. So what do you do?
First of all, you MUST understand Search Engine Optimization is NOT a one-time event. Instead, it is a on-going for as long as you want to remain in the top searches on engines. Your work will be, at the very least, weekly and you will not see the fruits of your labor the next day or the week or maybe the month. Patient is the key as good results sometimes takes months to appear. That is not to say that some efforts will not be seen within days or weeks. Depending on your campaign you will begin to see some changes within a week. These changes will be your work in progress like backlinks added or new visitors to your website.
Staying current on SEO changes is necessary so that you can adjust your campaign. Search engine algorithms change regularly, so the tactics that worked last year may not work this year. Google made their latest change in April 2011. Learn as much as you can through online articles, blogs and resources.
Be sure to check you website analytics weekly if not daily. Both Google and Yahoo have excellent free programs. This will help you see what is working and what is lacking.
With all the SEO in the world it won’t help much if your web presence is not top notch. Bounce rate happens when a visitor visits your website and leaves after a few seconds without going any further. Ask yourself, “Is my site really one of the 10 best sites on this topic?” Be honest. If it’s not, make it better — the front page has to reach out a grab the visitor.
Things to include in your website:
– Include a site map page. Spiders can’t index pages that can’t be crawled.
– Make SEO-friendly URLs. Use keywords in your URLs and file names, such as (notice the “-” between the words).
– Determine your keywords which is the life blood of SEO. The basic question is “what would you type in a search engine if you were looking for your service/product”. Test out your keywords with actual Google, Bing and yahoo searches to see what is pulled. Look at the page source of the top listings to see what they place in their meta description, H1, H2, H3 tags, and anchor text.
– Organize Google AdWords suggestion tool or WordTraker to find keywords from website.
– Each website page should have it’s own group of keywords (don’t want pages competing for attention). Rule of thumb is if you have 30 keywords then you must have at least 10 pages to spread them out).
– Keyword density is the number of times the word is use – do not over do it. Text used in anchors also affects the density.
– Anchor Text is text within your linking or what you refer to this is your anchor text.
– Use basic headers and they must be located between and tags.
– Meta Title use some keywords and keep under 55 characters.
– Meta Description keep under 255 characters and must be a TRUE representation of website.
– Meta Keywords don’t stuff it as Google pay more attention to “description”.
– All JAVA scripts must be within tags, saved in a file called when calling lines of code.

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