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Simple Marketing Strategies Small Businesses Shouldn’t Skip: SEO

January 28, 2011

As a small business, you may feel that you are at a marketing disadvantage compared with bigger companies that have marketing budgets the size of your CEO???s annual salary. Being intimidated isn???t useful, but being innovative is. It doesn???t??? have to take a lot of money to effectively market your business, in the real world and the virtual one. Here are a few of marketing tactics that small businesses can benefit from without having to go into debt.


SEO

Let???s start at the beginning, in this day and age; any business that doesn???t have a website is already behind the curve. As the internet becomes more readily available, through portable computers and mobile devices, the web has become one of the primary ways that people seek information. If you can???t be found online, then all of the people using the internet to find your products or services are likely finding your competitors instead. For those that do have websites, but treat them as little more than online brochures, there is a huge cross section of Search Engine traffic that you are likely missing out on. If you rely solely on branded terms for your visitors, then what about everyone what doesn???t know your name? The fact is people tend to search more for keyword phrases, than names. That means if you haven???t put in any effort into Search Engine Optimization (SEO) then you probably don???t have great rankings for search terms related to your business.

SEO can be a gigantic undertaking, but it has to start somewhere. You don???t need to invest thousands of dollars into enlisting an SEO expert, at least not yet. With a few strategic moves, you may not skyrocket to the top of search engine results, but you can at least get off the ground. The most important on-page factor to consider is of course your title tags. How are they set up? Do they focus primarily on your business name, fluffy words or proprietary products and terms? If your title Tag reads something like ???Business Name ??? Proudly providing you quality service at unbeatable prices??? That???s lovely.

However, it???s not right for a title tag. While keeping your name in the title is great for branding, the title fails to tell search engines what it is you do. That means you stand little chance of ranking for it. A much better title reads ???Blue Widgets, Green Widgets and multi-colored widgets from Business Name.??? This incorporates the brand name as well as 3 major products, which will help accurately establish what it is you offer, drastically improving your chances of ranking for those phrases. The more promotional terms can be used in Meta descriptions. Meta descriptions don???t affect rankings, but they should be written to entice searchers to click on your listing.

Beyond these basic steps, there are a number of other SEO factors to consider. Among them are page content, site architecture, labels and local. It???s crucial to use words related to your products and services throughout the content of your website. It???s not about keyword density, there???s no ???right??? percentage. And it???s not even about SEO writing. This is simply about using logical, descriptive terms to represent your business. Writing text that makes sense to both search engines and people is vital, as is the use of non- targeted, supporting words. A site???s architecture should be as flat as possible, keeping important pages close to the home page, while less crucial pages can be a little deeper into the site. It???s also useful to properly label all images and to use targeted anchor text on internal links.

As far as local, never forget to register your business with Google local, and to keep your physical address in a prominent location on your website. Whenever possible include geo-targeted words in your title tags as well. Granted this is all barely the tip of a very large iceberg, but the point is, to give some thought toward the tenants of SEO when it comes to your website. Any small business can implement these kinds of relatively minor, but extremely useful changes.

Sarah is a frequent writer for the website quality logo products. They specialize in the conception and creation of unique logo products for businesses of all sizes. Sarah has been an avid blogger, freelance writer and brand consultant for several years.

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