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How Small Business Owners Can Succeed At SEO

February 8th, 2015

Local SEOSEO work can seem very complex, but in reality involves very many tasks that are very simple to accomplish. Even without hiring an SEO firm, a small business owner can participate in the process in several ways that will make them feel more they are making headway in their investment. Here are a few tips that we picked up from a Winnipeg SEO company that business owners interested in SEO can follow to feel more involved.

  • Small businesses tend to be a tad over ambitious when it comes to what range of SEO activities they should undertake in order to attract their target audience. Many will try their hand at any and all tasks, and invest in overdone websites that are complicated to navigate. It may look flashy, but most online users prefer a simply designed site that clearly indicates what it is about and how to find what they want. Too much of graphics, video and other unnecessary content may discourage them from returning. Keeping the site simple and using good clean codes is best.
  • Carry out good keyword research. Many make the mistake of pursuing keywords of their content that already have highly ranked sites associate with them. It is preferable to focus on what local consumers in your target market will look up, but do not have as much competition. Fine-tuning your keyword research will help build your rank within the niche and make for good visibility and relevance.
  • Build worthwhile links. Many small business try black hat techniques to build rank that often result in penalties form search engines once detected. Rather than pay for a provider who will provide links from thousands of unrelated and lowly ranked sites, hire a competent SEO firm that will create quality content and position reputable sites that can link back to you. This should be done steadily over a long period to demonstrate to search engines how much you value your readers and like to keep them updated with new content.
  • Review your comments and analytics. The best way to learn what your audience wants and appreciates most is to keep reviewing. Make use of analytic tools that can tell you which content is receiving the most feedback and views. See which content is also generating more natural backlinks actually read the comments left behind. Where possible, respond appropriately to feedback that comes directly from readers. The information gathered here can be used to craft your future content, with the intention of ensuring they keep coming back. Being responsive is something readers enjoy and will earn you their loyalty.
  • Outsource. Small business owners, without additional help, can carry out some aspects of SEO work without too much input from SEO specialists. Work, like posting small content on social media, guest posting on other blogs and authoritative sites, is not difficult. After all, the businessperson should be knowledgeable about their business and can easily create informative content that is in tune with current trends. However, many other SEO tasks are time consuming and would take them away from their primary business. Outsourcing to a good SEO firm will free them up to focus on other important issues, like production and service delivery. Let the SEO firm do the heavy lifting in building rank so you do not have to.

If you’re considering doing SEO yourself we strongly recommend that you read up on Google’s SEO guidelines.

Building Your Online Reputation On Review Sites

December 20th, 2014

It is now commonplace for consumers looking to buy a good or service to look up businesses online. When they have identified likely candidates, a good number then proceed to establish the online reputation of the business. This is not just about evaluating the quality of the business site, but seeing what other consumers and experts have to say about it. There are numerous online review sites to be found online including the likes of Yelp!, Google Reviews and Angie’s List.

These independent review sites have a very strong impact on the success of business, especially those that offer services such as restaurants, hotels and so on. It has become important in online marketing to be very concerned about online reputation as it can drastically impact the ability to promote the brand. Bad reviews tend to draw a lot of attention and if wittily put, can result in the content being shared virally across multiple social networks.

In order to limit the problems that can result from negative publicity, it is a good idea to have a strategy on how to handle online reputations.

Reputation On Review Sites

  • Encourage reviews

When you know you are running a good business, you need to try and encourage your clients to post reviews for you. A good way to achieve this is to provide links on your website to these review sites, asking visitors to post their ratings. Periodically make similar requests to your followers on social media sites. Highlighting these positive reviews in your marketing and directly thanking the clients may also encourage others to follow suit. Also find out if these sites can allow you to make use of complimentary reviews posted on your site or social media accounts. Some actually permit this re-posting.

  • Choose relevant review sites

Do not just link to any old review site. Focus on those that you believe will have the most impact on your reputation.  This will likely depend on what kind of business you run and where. For instance hotels in major travel destinations will need positive reviews on TravelAdvisor to attract foreign clientele.

  • Respond to negative reviews

Even with the most well run businesses there are likely to be a few bad reviews made. Do not ignore them. Demonstrating that you are paying attention to client concerns can help turn opinions around. Respond politely to the complaints lodged and find a way to appease the client. Making this effort will help ensure you are viewed in a more positive light. If you are unable to salve the problem, at least ensure you have documented on the site how you went about trying to fix things. Sometimes not all problems can be resolved.

  • Monitor your online reputation

Make sure to bookmark review sites that have the biggest impact on your business and ensure that you schedule regular checks to see how your ratings are performing. The timelier you are in responding to reviews, the more positive a reputation you will acquire. This is also a good way to catch out any competitors lodging fake negative reviews to sabotage your business.

Ensure that you never plant your own fake reviews. Some of these sites take this offense very seriously and do penalize businesses severely. These sites can easily catch you by tracking IP addresses and other techniques. Work to boost the number of ratings as many consumers are wary of a few high ratings as compared to thousands more that make up an average result.

Tips To Encourage Online Visitors To Explore Content

November 27th, 2014

Online marketers have discovered that most people who land on their webpages do not often bother to scroll down. This means that the bulk of online content that is published is not even read through to the end. People set up websites in hopes that online visitors will not just explore the varying pages, but also go through the content posted within. A failure to do this means that the message they are attempting to communicate is not being received.

People have less of an attention span now than they ever did before because there are just so many other distractions around them. From beeping smartphones to incoming emails, they tend to skim the least amount of content. To help ensure that your visitors absorb more of what you are trying to communicate, there are a few strategies you can adopt.

  • Mix It Up

While articles are the easiest kind of content to create and tailor for SEO, it can help keep online visitors longer on your webpages if you offer more than just the written word. Consider inserting some more images, video and infographic content. This tends to capture more attention from flighty online visitors and encourage more engagement with the content.

Visitors To Explore Content

  • Jazz Up Your Titles

In as much as you may be sharing very useful information, you need to start off by securing the interest of your reader. Avoid bland tittles to your content. Try to make the content sound intriguing to try to impress as well with your opening paragraph.

  • Link Up With Niche Celebrities

Every business and every niche has renowned experts or other influential opinion makers. Reaching out to these people can be a big help in encouraging readers to want to read more. You can collaborate with them on content and feature their name prominently at the top of the page, or even interview them for a piece. Their brand recognition will work well in your favor.


  • Know Your Audience

A common mistake some marketers make is in not properly understanding the interests of the demographic they are targeting. Visit the websites of your fiercest competitors and industry leaders. See the kind of content that attracts the most interaction with readers and formulate your own along the same lines. There is no shame in imitation, just duplication.

  • Eliminate Clutter

When you clutter up webpages with advertising and other irrelevant links, you cause part of the distraction and discourage visitors from wanting to see more. Keep your webpages tidy and simple so that the content is the focus.

Some people think that a good solution to these problems would be to crate shorter content that visitors can get though quickly. In reality it is very hard to create any meaningful and informative content that is just a couple of hundreds of words. The more words you use, the more depth there is to your content. There is also the problem of search engines giving better ranking to sites that have more words per page. This means that even if you managed the feat of creating relevant shortly worded content, you may end up sacrificing your ranking just to please online visitors with a short attention span.

How To Select Relevant Keywords For Your Website

October 12th, 2014

All SEO work is based on the keyword use. These words are what online users will type into search engines in search of information, products and services. They are the thread between the online user and the business. With a majority of consumers now opting to base their purchasing decisions on what they find online, it has become vital to ensure that your business is amongst the first that they come to when they input those precious words.

Select Relevant Keywords For Your Website

The keywords you select will be how search engines will identify your site. The site that makes the best use of these keywords is the one that will sit at the top of rankings. Keyword research is the start of any SEO campaign and should follow certain guidelines to ensure correct selection of the most relevant keywords.

  1. Think of words or phrases that best define what your business is about and what it offers to clients. Do not think about it in terms of being the owner, but rather focus on what your prospective and existing clients think of when you come to mind. This will point you in the right direction.
  2. Use free keyword research tools. Major search engines like Google and Bing provide tools that can help you identity popular keywords that online users use when trying to track down your products, services or business. From this listing, you can already begin to eliminate keyword options you initially started with.
  3. Go local. Most consumers have a preference for businesses that are within easy reach. When defining your keywords, you will likely find that they have a global inflection. Adding a location specific tag is a good way to make you more visible to local consumers. Not to mention that you will face less competition with such keyword phrases when trying to build rank.
  4. Scope the competition. Virtually all businesses have to deal with competition. Seek out the more established businesses in your field that have highly ranked websites. Explore their content and see what kind of keywords will recur.
  5. Choose correct wording. Some SEO professionals come up with complicated phrases that become very hard to naturally insert into content. Remember that your audience an search engines will want content that is coherent so ensure that whatever ay you string together these words, they make sense.
  6. Vary your wording. Not all your phrases have to be about buying XXX product. Some of your traffic will come from prospective clients, while the rest will likely come from those researching your industry. Ensure that your keywords can serve various interests in order to maximize on opportunities to grow online visitor numbers.
  7. Monitor your keyword performance using website analytics and conversion funnels. The number of conversions recorded can help you eliminate less useful keywords and focus on those bringing in better leads.
  8. Consider spelling. Make sure that the words you choose are relevant to the language applied by your target demographic. For instance, a realtor in U.S. should focus on ‘apartments’ while one in the U.K. should use the term ‘flats’. Different regions may offer the same product or service, but use different words to describe it.

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