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Archives for February 2015

Get Your Bricks & Mortar Business Online

google search fieldYou know when you do a search for a business on Google and they don’t show up? You can access many businesses that are similar, but the one you are looking for doesn’t show in Google search results. It seems really odd, or it could be just me, but when I run into this situation my first thought is, “how good can this business be if they aren’t online?” Then I wonder if it means that they can’t be bothered because they’re redundant and maybe going out of business? Or could it be that they aren’t established yet? Or maybe it’s an old company that just doesn’t believe in the internet and social media?

Basically, I am wary. Is that weird, or is it a sign of the times? I think it is a sign of the times. People want to deal with businesses that are forward thinking and with the times. Hip and savvy are important too. We want to know that any work they do for us is going to be contemporary and current. If they aren’t online and I am, could we be on the same wavelength?

Benefits You Can Count On By Having A Website?
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Consistent Visibility

You might be offline, but your customers are online. Your customers only notice you when they walk down the street or happen to drive by — otherwise, you are very much invisible. As people spend more and more time online, it is only online businesses that get visibility resulting in products or services being sold.

Communicate Regularly with Customers

Your website is your vehicle for communication, including a venue for collecting email addresses. Most people still check their email regularly, so instead of spending money on print advertising, you could send customers special offers and discounts via email, making your advertising costs much less. At the same time, email can be used to build relationships with your customers by offering other tips and advice via newsletters.

Build Brand Awareness

Your website is completely under your control, giving you the ability to create and promote your brand image. Everything from the design of your site to the content and interaction that happens there builds the image that you want the world to see. Think of it as your dynamic billboard with which you communicate and interact with the rest of the world.

Demonstrate Social Proof

A website is one very important component in demonstrating social proof AKA as proving your integrity. People make purchasing decisions based to a large degree on recommendations. Including testimonials from customers shows prospective buyers that you are here for the long run and can back up your products. Ratings and reviews are also a way to help people make purchasing decisions; think Yelp and similar sites. By the way, your customers can leave reviews on Yelp about your business and being online gives you the opportunity to comment, give thanks, or refute a bad review.

Global Exposure

As a local (offline) business, your ability to  prospect and increase your customer base is very limited. Once your business goes online, the potential for sales is only limited by the logistics of shipping. In fact, some websites like Etsy have made it possible for even the smallest business to give the whole world access to their products.

While it’s possible to survive as an offline local business, the potential to grow and prosper is much better when you have a website. You have to be visible to customers and prospects where they are, and that is online.

Get Website Traffic Fast! 5 Quick Tips

KeyIf you are running an online business, you already know that getting traffic to your site is the single most important key to it all. Right?

In fact, you spend time writing amazing content, you have great products and/or services to offer, and you’re a great person and business owner — basically you’ve got it all. Except traffic.  And yet the more traffic, the more serious visitors; the more serious your visitors, the better your sales and profits will be.

So what exactly does an online business have to do to get noticed among the millions of other sites — some doing/selling exactly what you are doing/selling? It’s not easy, but with repeated efforts you can and will get noticed.

First, I am assuming that you have a niche (narrowed down what you sell, or what you offer for services), and you know how to determine your keywords, and your regularly conduct keyword research so you know what is popular. If not, you need to. Why? Because this is what will help your business get found online. For more information on keywords and keyword research, this is a great article
https://www.seo.com/blog/top-keyword-research-tools-exposed

Here are 5 ways to get traffic to your site, quickly

1. Use your keywords

  • in your titles. Your title is where you place your primary keyword or keyword phrase.
  • in your first two or three sentences of all pages and posts.  These sentences should describe your business/offering/service in 90 characters or less.
  • to populate any fields that are available for SEO in your theme (usually under your post/page)
  • and create a traffic and SEO strategy

2. Add content to your site as often as you can, but preferably every day

Content gets you traffic, plain and simple.  Google loves fresh content and actively searches for it so they can index it into that great encyclopedia in cyberspace. Give search engines a reason to visit, not to mention your own returning visitors. People love to read content from those they like and trust, so give it to them.

3. Place links to your other content whenever you can (called interlinking)

Google bots like to follow links. If you have related content on another page, place a link to it within the content you are currently working on. The bots will follow your link to the page your are linking to so that they can index that content as well. Win-win.

4. Get incoming links to your site

Google also likes websites that have incoming links. It shows the site’s popularity, and increases the search engines’ perception of how valuable your site is.  And you know what they say about being popular. The search engines are kind of snobbish that way too.

Keep in mind that search engines give more ranking to links from sites that are popular and credible, and relevant to your site’s content.

What are links? 

A direct link looks like this: www.yourwebsite.com

A text link is, as mentioned above, embedded in the text. Readers can click on the link and are redirected to another page on your site

Encouragement might be required so try the following: 

  • Adding lots of fresh, relevant content
  • Submit articles about your niche to article directories 
  • Being active on Social networking sites.

5. Be Social!

As mentioned in tip #4, now more than ever before, internet marketing is about building a community. Whether you offer a forum on your website or you participate in social networking sites, social networking is a valuable traffic generating tactic. Sites like Facebook and Twitter are powerful tools for generating links and traffic to your site – create a profile and then post comments and ideas that generate conversation.

Outline your plan, set your goals, and then take the necessary action.

Very Simple Ways to Put Some SEO onto Your WordPress site

If you are like most small business owners, getting to the SEO for each post/page is the last thing you want to do, even though it is probably the most important.

I’ll bet that you think about it a lot. Why? Because most people do not know what to do, and they know it’s important to do, so they think about SEOit a lot. But don’t be hard on yourself — after all it is a distinct area of specialization that people get paid a lot of money to do.

If you’re not willing or able to invest that kind of money right now, and you are using the Genesis framework with a Child theme, then the following will help you make sense of SEO for your site. This really is the least you should do on your site in terms of SEO. Once you’ve done it on all of your pages, you can then take the same steps on each post as you write them.

How to add SEO to your pages and posts:

Log in and click on the Pages tab to the left. Choose a page and click on edit. Now scroll down below the editor area until your reach the following Search Engine Optimization fields:

1. The Custom Document Title field 

2. The Custom Post/Page Meta Description field

These two fields are extremely important because if you don’t do any SEO in them, Google will, by default, use the title of your page or post, and the first 150 characters of your content for your SEO. Since you have the opportunity to do a little marketing here, why allow Google to just default to what is already there? 

Field 1: Custom Document Title.

In this field you can create a whole new title. Although it does not change the title of your page or post on your site, the new title shows up in Google search.

For example, here is what I’ve found when I search for Personal Chef.

Indulgence at Home – Your Personal Chef in Calgary
calgarypersonalchef.com/
Ashlee Steinhauer is a Personal Chef in Calgary. Indulgence at Home specializes in home-cooked meals for people who are too busy to cook but still want to ..
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Do you see the length of the title? Since your page title is what creates the links on your navigation bar, I’d bet that she has changed it in the Custom Document Title.

Notice that she has also fit her keywords (personal chef) into the title. hint hint. She has also added her location, which is very important if you are a brick and mortar biz, or are known in a particular area.

Custom Post/Page Meta Description

The next field, Custom Post/Page Meta Description, is where you can write your own search engine optimized summary of what’s on your page or post. Again, this does not show on your post or page at all, but it does show up in Google Search. Again, in our example, she has fit her keywords into the summary she has written about who she is and what she does.
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Summary:

Wondering where to start? I suggest that you get creative and do this on every published page on your site. For example, on your bio page instead of using the default title, create one that uses whatever you want to advertise yourself as whether a Personal Chef, artist, coach, doctor or what have you. Remember that the title and the blurb has to relate back to that page or you will be penalized by Google. This is by far your best way of getting ranking in Google and traffic to your site so give it a try. I’m pretty sure that these fields are the most underutilized areas of most people’s WordPress site if you are the average user.