SEO Terms Defined
One of the most confusing aspects of marketing your local business online is trying to understand the various internet marketing terms. Here are some SEO terms and their definition to help shed some light.
* SEO – this stands for Search Engine Optimization and is a general term used to describe methods and strategies that will help your site rank better in the search engine listings.
* On page SEO- these are methods and strategies a site owner uses internally on their own site to help their site rank better.
* Off page SEO- this covers methods and strategies a site owner uses externally on other people’s websites and blogs to help his website rank better.
* Backlinking- this off page SEO method involves creating links on other people’s websites that point to your website. These links are called back links.
* No follow links- these are backlinks that do not carry the “power/authority” of the page rank of the site they are located on.
* Do follow links- these are backlinks that have the page rank of the site they are located on flowing through them to the back linked site.
* White hat SEO – these are ethical SEO tactics used by a site owner to promote his site, that are looked upon favorably by search engines
* Black hat SEO- these are unethical SEO tactics used by a site owner to promote his site, which are not desirable and may result in getting banned by search engines.
* Backlink profile – this refers to the mixture of the different type of backlinks a webmaster uses.
* Backlink Value- this is a calculation of the power of the backlinks a site owner has build. It equals the number of backlinks built multiplied by the strength of each backlink( based on the page rank of the site where the backlink is built)
* Anchor Text- this is the clickable part of text within an article or other piece of content which when clicked will direct the user to another page or site.
* Page Rank – this is a search engines measure of a webpage’s authority on a scale of 0 to 10. Search engines rank individual web pages not websites as a whole.
* Contextual links – these are back links that are embedded within the text of piece of content and are surrounded by other content. They are the most powerful type of backlinks especially if they appear on a sites homepage.
* Keyword density- the number of times a keyword appears in a piece of content, expressed as a percentage. The ideal mark is 3%.
* Outbound Links- these are links a website owner creates from his website to external websites as opposed to a backlink that links from external sites to his site.
* Indexing – a term used to describe when a search engine finds content on the web and lists it in its search results. Some content gets indexed faster than other types.
Before I get to the epiphany I had, let me preface that my wife and I are the proud owners of The Elder-Williams Pet Sanctuary. The sanctuary houses cats (Elle, Moxy, Sissy, Kitty Kat, and occasionally Heinte), and a dog (Rocky). On the fireplace mantel rests the remains of Charlie (beloved pooch), and Angel (beloved kitty). In the backyard is a cemetery plot on a beautiful mound with plants and flowers where Mr. Bunny is laid and memorialized. All of whom were rescued from some predicament or another. All of them cried out for help looking for a place just to call home and a family to be part of. All of them taken in with love and care.
They get the best food we can give them, and one is on a diet that requires special food. Morning feeding time is 5 am, earlier if Sissy wills it. Any later than that, we have the unfortunate possibility of a kitty (Sissy), pouncing on our heads. If the victim is my wife, it ends with her pulling Sissy in closer for a morning snuggle, which allows her to get a few more minutes of rest. If I am the victim, it ends with me tossing Sissy on the other side of the bed while I pull, what I am sure of, is hair from my face and the inside of my mouth, gasping with indignation (laugh).
The last kitty taken in, we found at our sliding glass door after returning from Europe. Apparently, she got the memo that if you are abandoned and need help, our address is the place you go to get that help. I really believe my wife’s name is on a virtual care list that only critters have access to, because after vet bill we were her proud new owners and Moxie moved into the house. Now, 10 months later, Moxie has still not been accepted into the head (Elle and Sissy), and we have to keep the 2 camps apart, only integrating them under watchful eyes. Sometimes it makes meal time a hair pulling experience but always an entertaining one. Think, hungry predators circling you purring, barking, and jumping (laugh). At least, In that moment, their mission is unified, and that is to eat! I am sure you get the picture!
Their healthcare is better than people utilizing The Affordable Health Care Act. They cannot be turned down by insurance (us), they have many doctors to choose from, and they have us to worry about the level of care they receive.
That brings me to my story. A usual trip to Petco to replenish cat litter started out as normal. Browsing the aisles to see if there were interesting toys, checking out the current food selection, the newest fashion trends for Rocky, and the usual passing by the cat adoption center with me telling my wife, "Honey, the Inn is full!!!", and her getting a pouty face.
There is usually at least one kitty that stands out from the rest. It’s that one kitty that is crying out more for attention than the others. This one usually implores the "cute factor' to such a degree, you have to stop and say "ah, she is so cute”! If there are other people standing around also saying "ah, she is so cute”, it increases the cat's desirability and authority over the others in your mind. This situation usually ends up with an adoption taking place.
It was in this moment that I had an epiphany. This is what I see on a daily basis when I am consulting with businesses on their marketing and Internet Lead Generation Strategies. Many businesses seem content with just slumming in their cages waiting for a prospective buyer that is not really savvy enough to notice the business's dull armor.
The problem with this strategy is that there is no correlation with a prospective buyers’ savviness and the business’s “cute factor”. You see, people buy because of emotions and justify that purchase with logic. They do not first say "logically this makes the most sense, now let me muster up the feeling of wanting it". It’s only after they have decided to buy that their savvy starts justifying that decision with logic.
It matters not whether your business is real estate, mortgage, home improvement, home repair, a restaurant, a store, a professional service, or business opportunities, the need for you to get noticed, attract potential customers and make a sale is the same.
The process of getting noticed, generating leads of prospective buyers and eventually sales, is what we call SEO (Search Engine Optimization). This entails what I call, the 5 Pillars of SEO. They are:
- Online Directories
- On-site Optimization
- Content Generation
- Link Building
Online Directories are the foundation of SEO. If your business is not showing up in the Top Online Directories, your authority typically is not very high in the eyes of Google, Bing or Yahoo and thus they are not sending your business very much traffic. Traffic turns into leads and leads turn into sales. Get the picture?
Steps To Take
To solve this problem, the first step is to check your business's online visibility with our Online Visibility Tool. This tool checks the top Data Aggregators and the Top 50 Online Business Directories to see how noticeable you are.
Online Visibility Tool (Click Here!)
The second step is to register for one of our upcoming Webinars called "Increasing Traffic and Leads Using The Power Of Online Business Directories" where I will reveal The 15 Top Online Directories, and how to submit and optimize your listings with them for maximum visibility.
"Increasing Traffic and Leads, Using The Power Of Online Business Directories" Webinar (Click Here!)
If you do not want to do this yourself you can look at our ”Done-For-You” packages that allow you to save your time while letting us do all the heavy lifting.
Done-For-You Directory Listing packages (Click Here!)
Either way, if you ever want a chance of generating traffic and sales online, this must be done and done effectively.
Wishing You Much Success,
Leon C. Williams
Targeted Lead Systems
Press releases are an often overlooked method to get backlinks because not many people have heard of them or understand how they work. Press release sites are news release sites that operate online and despite their traditional offline definition, you don’t necessarily have to submit any “news breaking content” all one needs to do is to write an article with an objective news style.
Here are a few ideas you can use to create press release articles:
* New products or services
* Industry developments
* Professional association news
* Corporate and Community Events
* Newsworthy stories from your local TV or newspaper that relates to your business
For many press release sites you can include what’s called a contextual backlink. Contextual backlinks are the best type of backlinks to get and are characterized by being surrounded by text content. Use your main keyword as the anchor text of your backlink and link it back to the URL of the homepage of your website. However, you need to make sure that the press release site allows contextual backlinks before using them.
Examples of Press Release Sites:
An important thing to note is that you shouldn’t submit the same article to all the press release sites. Instead you should submit unique articles to each site. One of the ways you can speed up your press release submissions is to take one article and spin it into many different articles, and then submit each spun article to a separate press release site.
As you go about building press release backlinks make sure you keep a list of the URLs of all the press release pages where you submitted your press releases. This helps you to build a list of Press release sites you can use in the future and to also help you build backlinks to those articles since this will help get your content indexed faster.
Leon C. Williams
Keywords are the key (no pun intended) to just about everything you will ever do to getting your business noticed on the web. Keywords affect your rankings on search engines, the effectiveness of your ad campaigns, the ease with which potential clients can locate your business etc. Therefore getting the best keywords for your local business is absolutely critical and is the number one step to implement before you do anything.
So how do you get the best keywords for your business? This isn’t difficult to do. It’s just a mixture of common sense and getting free help from keyword tools.
1. Let’s start with the common sense part.
* Take a paper and divide it into 2 columns. Name one column “WHERE” and the other column “WHAT”.
* In the “where” column, list all the possible words related to the physical location of your business, what locations your business services its clients and where your clients come from. For example, list your street address, your town, your county and your state. You don’t really need to list your country because remember we are focusing on local search terms. If you have multiple business locations, list the branch names too.
* In the “what” column, list all possible words related to the type of business products and services you sell and offer, including unique aspects of your business niche. For example, if you operate a sushi restaurant that offers karaoke and has an area where sports fans can watch live games, you would list words like sushi restaurant, Japanese restaurant, sports bar, karaoke etc.
2. Getting help from Keyword Tools
Now that you have two keyword lists that describe the where and what of your business, its time to get help from keyword tools that will tell you which keywords are more popular or more likely to be searched for. You want to know the best keywords to use. For example, you would want to know which of two keywords is more important- sushi restaurant or Japanese restaurant. You can find this out by going to Google Adwords.
* You simple type in the entire list of “where” keywords into the search box,
* Tick the box called “ideas containing my search terms”
* Click advanced options and choose your country. Click search. Your results will appear.
* Now on the left hand side of the screen click the phrase box so that your results reflect only the specific phrases you keyed in. Your final results will appear
* If you click on the column titles “local monthly searches,” it will sort out the results from the highest volume to the lowest. Of course the phrases with the highest search volume are the most important keywords for your business.
* Simply repeat this exercise with your “what” words
In our example Japanese restaurant yields more results than the term sushi restaurant (165000 vs. 40500) so it is a better keyword to use. Scrolling down the list we pick up very important information about the phrase “Japanese restaurant in” which has 27100 searches. This shows us that we can append our best “where” keywords to this term too.
Combining the two lists will give you long-tail keywords such as “Japanese restaurant in Boston.”
This 2 step process will complete your keyword research, yielding two lists of powerful and popular keywords for your local business to use in all your web content. Even better is the fact that you can combine these two lists to create a longtail keyword list for even more specific and targeted search results.
If your business doesn’t have a YouTube Channel, you need to read this article and head on over to YouTube and create one.
YouTube channels are like personal TV stations where you can broadcast to the world anything about your business that would interest them. It’s a great medium for product launches, demos, public relation communications, interviews, advertisements, tutorials and so much more. They also provide one place to store all your video files and provide backlinks from your website, blog and social media sites. This improves your business’s SEO ranking as you can also tag each of your videos with keywords. Finally you can get viewers to subscribe to your video channel increasing your base of your local fans.
Here is a step-by-step process how to create a YouTube channel.
1. Go to youtube.com
2. At the top right corner of the homepage, click on “Create Account”
3. You will arrive at a sign-up pages where you need to input the following details:
* Email address
* Date of Birth
* The option to allow those who have your email address to find your YouTube channel
* The option to receive product-related emails from YouTube
* Your acceptance of YouTube’s term of service
4. Now check your email address for a confirmation email
5. Click on the link provide in the email to activate your registration
6. Go back to YouTube homepage at youtube.com
7. Click on the “sign in” link using your username
8. Note the url of your business YouTube channel as you will use this in your links
9. Upload your videos
After creating your channel and uploading videos, you can embed relevant videos on your website, blogs, Facebook pages and so on.
Leon C. Williams
A business website takes time and money to set up, so it’s really frustrating when it just doesn’t seem to be bringing in the bacon. What most local business owners often overlook are the basic facets that convert traffic into cash. This article takes a look at the most critical sales conversion features your website needs to have.
Specific sales pages and squeeze pages
You’ve worked hard to drive traffic to your website yet you link them to a home page full of general information about your company. Your website should have specific sales pages and squeeze pages where your traffic lands. If you were promoting a free gift in exchange for email address in one of your articles on an article directory, your visitors should land on your squeeze page and nowhere else. If you had a product launch video on YouTube, then your URL link should land viewers directly onto your sales page. In this way you give your prospects no chances of getting distracted by other content.
Sales copy refers to the way you write your pitch on your sales page that drives people to buy from you. Your traffic needs to be further convinced to take action to buy. Remember it’s not what you say, but how you say it. If you don’t know how to write good sales copy, you can simply learn from the best for free. Read the sales copy for bestselling products and services in magazines, direct mail letters, websites, newspapers, videos etc. What words do they use, how do they lay out their text, what colors do they use, how does the content flow, how many words do they use, what compelling phrases and titles do they employ ? etc. You may also go the route of hiring a copywriter but its best to first educate yourself on what good copywriting looks like so you’ll know if they have done it right
Always include a feedback area in your website. This is usually located at the bottom of the webpage. Sometimes we need to hear things from other people’s perspective and that feedback area allows visitors to tell you things about your website that probably you never realized. They may alert you to broken links, problems they are having with loading content like videos or with your payment processor, or even give you ideas on how to improve your products and services through their complaints, questions and comments.
Social Media Links
It is often said that web users need to be exposed at least 5 times to a website before they actually buy something, so one way to keep your business on their mind is to add social media toolbar. This toolbar has the icons for the popular social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, Digg, Technorati and others. This allows them to join your fanpage or share your web content with others. Also include RSS feed icon that alerts them to new updates on your website. All this allows your business to be remembered by the user and increase the likelihood of them purchasing from you in the future.
Leon C. Williams
There are certain SEO factors that are not looked upon favorably by the major search engines and that can ruin your search engine rankings.
1. Keyword Stuffing- this is the worst practice to do as it results in an artificial keyword density of over 10% and may result in getting your site banned from the search engines.
2. Keyword dilution- this is when you are trying to SEO for an excessive number of keywords and most of the time the keywords are unrelated to one another. For example if you run a local bakery and your main keyword is “bakery in Tulsa”, trying to target 500 keywords on one site and targeting keywords such as includes “shoe stores in Tulsa” is keyword dilution.
1. Try to avoid having too many outbound links from your site to other sites because the search engines will think you are involved in link buying or spamming. One outbound link per article to an authority site is about right.
2. Outbound links to suspicious or unethical sites will tremendously hurt your rankings.
3. Cross linking is a big no-no as far as SEO is concerned and will result in getting your site penalized. Cross linking is when your site links to site A and site A links to site B and site B links back to your site.
1. -Duplicate content is one of the most negative factors that can result in penalties. You should never have the same content on several pages of your website.
2. If you use Flash for movies on your site, remember that search engine spiders can’t index this content so provide a written description to accompany the movie.
3. Do not use Flash as the sole content on your homepage or any other page. Even though it looks artistic and beautiful, it is SEO suicide since those pages will not get indexed.
Domain and URL Factors
1. Redirects such as 301s and 302s are sometimes seen as black hat SEO techniques and can hurt your rankings
2. If you have a poor hosting services provider with a downtime below 97-98%, your content will have lower indexing rates and your pages will not get ranked.
This is an article Mike Cooch wrote for Entrepreneur.com.
I’m just like most other entrepreneurs I know – I have at least three new business ideas before I get out of bed in the morning. And the ideas just keep coming throughout the day.
Thankfully, after years of trial and error as an entrepreneur, I’ve learned to evaluate my new ideas carefully to determine if they are actually an opportunity, instead of just an idea.
Even more importantly, I’ve learned to evaluate if it’s a good opportunity for me and the lifestyle I want to create for myself.
I do that evaluation by asking twelve questions that I’ve found are critical to determining if a business is right for me. If I have more than a few ‘No’ responses, I can immediately cross the idea off of my list and forget about it. If it’s all ‘Yes’ responses, I know I have an idea with real potential.
Here’s the list of questions, with some of my thoughts explaining why each is important to me:
- Will this business support the lifestyle I want (income, ability to travel, flexible work time, etc.)? I work to live, not live to work. I also love to travel and have flexibility in terms of when I get my work done. That immediately disqualifies many businesses.
- Is there proven demand for the product I am going to sell? Creating demand is hard, slow and expensive. I’d rather capture my share of already existing demand.
- Is there a clear value proposition that will make my product unique in the marketplace? Business is no fun if I don’t have some sort of competitive edge.
- Is there a very clear way to market and sell my product or service through existing channels? Leveraging existing sales channels is the fastest and easiest way I’ve found to get a business off the ground profitably.
- Can I leverage online marketing and social media to grow this business? These are two of the most powerful business-building forces of our time; I want to be sure to take advantage of them.
- Will this business have gross margins of at least 50% and/or net margins of at least 20%? At the end of the day, a business has to make money.
- Can this business become a sellable asset? The big win often comes from being able to sell and exit your business when you are ready, but not all businesses are easy to sell.
- Can I automate the majority of the operations of the business? I try to take advantage of as much automation as possible to reduce the overhead of operating a business.
- Can I easily find someone to successfully run the business for me? Eventually, I’ll likely want someone to run the business for me.
- Is this a business that can easily be handed over to someone else, or does it require my specific knowledge and talents?
- Is this a business that I’ll find fun and interesting to run today? Yes, life insurance is very profitable, but it’s not fun. Profit is not enough; I want to be in businesses that I actually enjoy.
- Is this a business that other people will find fun and interesting? I’ve found that it’s much more enjoyable to be in a business that other people think is fun and interesting.
- Is this something I’ll still be willing to run seven years from now? The reality is that most businesses don’t grow as quickly or as profitably as I’d like.
- If I am still running this seven years from now, will I still find it enjoyable?
Use these Fourteen questions to evaluate your business ideas. You should be able to answer ‘Yes’ to the far majority of the questions.
If not, drop the idea and be thankful that you didn’t invest your time and energy into something that ultimately wouldn’t fulfill your entrepreneurial dreams.
Now, go build something!
Thinking of starting a business? Already have one, but haven’t created the lifestyle you’re looking for? Download our free guide to creating a business that gives you the freedom to decide where, when and who you work with: