Geo-targeted Search Engine Optimization For The Local Small Business Owner

As I interact daily with local business owners, I have recently been running into the same question over and over again from small business owners across a variety of industries. The question is this: “What do I really need when it comes to the online world?” Great question, and I can see why this is such a common problem with all of today’s advertisements for affordable small business seo Services,local business seo, Social Media Optimization Consulting,Google AdWords and many,many more.

The truth is, all of these services are a must if you would like to stay in business for a respectable amount of time, but you do not have to take out a second mortgage on your home to afford them.
Your first step, of course, is to have a website built. There are many sites out there that offer “free” do-it-yourself websites like Yahoo’s SiteBuilder. I would not suggest this option unless you are aware of your long-term strategy and know exactly what you need to do. There are areas where you can cut costs, but this should not be one of those. Think about it… your website is essentially an online version of your actual business location. Your website should do a few things:

1) Make a GREAT first impression
2) Encourage visitors to take action, whether it be filling out a form, picking up the phone and calling you, physically showing up at your business or making a purchase online
3) Become a resource for them to come back and retrieve information on what they landed on your site to find in the first place
4) Make the visitor want to share your site with others

Make sure when you are building your site you keep everything consistent with your brand. Color schemes, logos, etc.. should all match one another. Remember, brand identity is huge for customer retention. Another important tip when starting out is to choose your domain name carefully. If you cannot get your actual business name, you want to get something as close to it as possible, and easy for people to remember.

After you have your site built comes Search Engine Optimization or SEO. SEO, in short, is the process of improving a website’s visibility in Search Engines such as Google, Yahoo!, or Bing, thus increasing the quality and quantity of visitors to that website or webpage. Whenever you enter a query in a search engine and hit ‘enter’ you get a list of web results that contain that query term. Users normally tend to visit websites that are at the top of this list as they perceive those to be more relevant to the query. If you have ever wondered why some of these websites rank better than the others then you must know that it is because of a powerful web marketing technique called Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Many SEO’ers will have you believe that the process is a skill set that very few can ever acquire. Although it is not something to take lightly and does require a bit of an Art-Science combination, a small business owner should not shy away from starting the process and taking advantage of the results.There is plenty of information out there, but here are a few quick tips for you to keep in the back of your mind.
1. Title tags – one of the most important keys to ranking is the title tag. Make sure each page has a unique title tag and use around 2 – 3 keywords, but make them so they create variations. If you serve a specific local or regional market, it can also be helpful to list your main location in the title tag. Using geo modifiers helps you to rank more quickly and show up for more buying keyword phrases.

2. Don’t Over Optimize – Don’t overoptimize the pages you want to rank well. I believe this is the main cause of the ‘Sandbox’ filter. The old way to get a site to rank was to have the keyword in the domain, the title, the h1 tag, an h2 tag, and the first sentence bolded and italicized. When you do this, it is obvious to a search engine that you are trying to rank for this keyword. Search engines don’t like to be manipulated, so you have to be more subtle. If your site is perfectly optimized and you’re moving up from #15 to #7 to #3 and then suddenly you disappear, then you’ve probably triggered this filter. There are exceptions. Sometimes, it is just the engine doing some recalculating. Other times, you’re getting filtered. Don’t overoptimize and you’ll be less likely to get filtered.

3. Links to links – Many people know that link building will help your site to rank better. But most people go about it the wrong way. If you want a page to rank and not fall back quickly, then you need to build links to your links. If all the pages that link to your page are brand new and have no backlinks of their own, then your page is not going to rank or it won’t rank for very long. In addition to building links to your main pages, you have to build links to your links.

4. Website Speed – If you’re website is slow, your visitors will notice, and they will probably leave quickly. Make sure your website loads quickly and doesn’t have any problems displaying in the most common browsers.

5. Unique, Engaging Content – We shouldn’t even have to say this, but to rank well and keep on ranking well, you really need to have fresh, high quality content on your site. What do you offer that differentiates you from everyone else? Make sure the content on your site is fresh and interesting, and your rankings will stick.

Finally, at least for the purpose of this article.. is a Face Book Page for your business. Since most of us, 500 Million + now, know how to use Face Book for personal pages, I won’t dive too deep into this.. but build your business page just as you would build your website. Engaging content, all brand related.
For information on how to build a successful Face Book Page for your Business.

In closing, the process of becoming successful online as a small business owner is less complicated than many will have you believe. There are How-To videos and tutorials all over the place (don’t forget about the good old-fashioned book stores.)

Spend a few hours online looking for reputable companies who can take care of all of these services for you. There are many reliable, affordable companies out there who can take care of this process from A-Z and not take up your valuable time by trying to figure it all out yourself. It’s always good to be in the loop and have creative control, but the success of your business should be your number one priority. Do your research, request a few proposals, and go for the company that is in your price range and whose services are 100% transparent. I highly recommend finding an agency that is as close to your location as possible, so that you may meet face to face and who will have a better understanding of your target audience and geo-location.

Best wishes to all of you small business owners. Get excited about your online Marketing Campaigns. You’d be surprised at how powerful the Web can be for your business, and the cool things you’ll learn from participating in the process

The truth is, all of these services are a must if you would like to stay in business for a respectable amount of time, but you do not have to take out a second mortgage on your home to afford them.
Your first step, of course, is to have a website built. There are many sites out there that offer “free” do-it-yourself websites like Yahoo’s SiteBuilder. I would not suggest this option unless you are aware of your long-term strategy and know exactly what you need to do. There are areas where you can cut costs, but this should not be one of those. Think about it… your website is essentially an online version of your actual business location. Your website should do a few things:

1) Make a GREAT first impression
2) Encourage visitors to take action, whether it be filling out a form, picking up the phone and calling you, physically showing up at your business or making a purchase online
3) Become a resource for them to come back and retrieve information on what they landed on your site to find in the first place
4) Make the visitor want to share your site with others

Make sure when you are building your site you keep everything consistent with your brand. Color schemes, logos, etc.. should all match one another. Remember, brand identity is huge for customer retention. Another important tip when starting out is to choose your domain name carefully. If you cannot get your actual business name, you want to get something as close to it as possible, and easy for people to remember.

After you have your site built comes Search Engine Optimization or SEO. SEO, in short, is the process of improving a website’s visibility in Search Engines such as Google, Yahoo!, or Bing, thus increasing the quality and quantity of visitors to that website or webpage. Whenever you enter a query in a search engine and hit ‘enter’ you get a list of web results that contain that query term. Users normally tend to visit websites that are at the top of this list as they perceive those to be more relevant to the query. If you have ever wondered why some of these websites rank better than the others then you must know that it is because of a powerful web marketing technique called Search Engine Optimization (SEO).

Many SEO’ers will have you believe that the process is a skill set that very few can ever acquire. Although it is not something to take lightly and does require a bit of an Art-Science combination, a small business owner should not shy away from starting the process and taking advantage of the results.There is plenty of information out there, but here are a few quick tips for you to keep in the back of your mind.
1. Title tags – one of the most important keys to ranking is the title tag. Make sure each page has a unique title tag and use around 2 – 3 keywords, but make them so they create variations. If you serve a specific local or regional market, it can also be helpful to list your main location in the title tag. Using geo modifiers helps you to rank more quickly and show up for more buying keyword phrases.

2. Don’t Over Optimize – Don’t overoptimize the pages you want to rank well. I believe this is the main cause of the ‘Sandbox’ filter. The old way to get a site to rank was to have the keyword in the domain, the title, the h1 tag, an h2 tag, and the first sentence bolded and italicized. When you do this, it is obvious to a search engine that you are trying to rank for this keyword. Search engines don’t like to be manipulated, so you have to be more subtle. If your site is perfectly optimized and you’re moving up from #15 to #7 to #3 and then suddenly you disappear, then you’ve probably triggered this filter. There are exceptions. Sometimes, it is just the engine doing some recalculating. Other times, you’re getting filtered. Don’t overoptimize and you’ll be less likely to get filtered.

3. Links to links – Many people know that link building will help your site to rank better. But most people go about it the wrong way. If you want a page to rank and not fall back quickly, then you need to build links to your links. If all the pages that link to your page are brand new and have no backlinks of their own, then your page is not going to rank or it won’t rank for very long. In addition to building links to your main pages, you have to build links to your links.

4. Website Speed – If you’re website is slow, your visitors will notice, and they will probably leave quickly. Make sure your website loads quickly and doesn’t have any problems displaying in the most common browsers.

5. Unique, Engaging Content – We shouldn’t even have to say this, but to rank well and keep on ranking well, you really need to have fresh, high quality content on your site. What do you offer that differentiates you from everyone else? Make sure the content on your site is fresh and interesting, and your rankings will stick.

Finally, at least for the purpose of this article.. is a Face Book Page for your business. Since most of us, 500 Million + now, know how to use Face Book for personal pages, I won’t dive too deep into this.. but build your business page just as you would build your website. Engaging content, all brand related.
For information on how to build a successful Face Book Page for your Business.. check out FaceBook’s help center here: http://www.facebook.com/help/?page=721

In closing, the process of becoming successful online as a small business owner is less complicated than many will have you believe. There are How-To videos and tutorials all over the place (don’t forget about the good old-fashioned book stores.)

Spend a few hours online looking for reputable companies who can take care of all of these services for you. There are many reliable, affordable companies out there who can take care of this process from A-Z and not take up your valuable time by trying to figure it all out yourself. It’s always good to be in the loop and have creative control, but the success of your business should be your number one priority. Do your research, request a few proposals, and go for the company that is in your price range and whose services are 100% transparent. I highly recommend finding an agency that is as close to your location as possible, so that you may meet face to face and who will have a better understanding of your target audience and geo-location.

Best wishes to all of you small business owners. Get excited about your online Marketing Campaigns. You’d be surprised at how powerful the Web can be for your business, and the cool things you’ll learn from participating in the process

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