The ABCs of SEO and Online Commerce – Getting Found On The Internet

七月 21, 2012 by  Filed under: SEO 
 

So you’re a small business person who recently realized that putting a webpage online is the best way for you to advertise your business and get new customers. You worked hard and/or paid good money to get the site up and running. It’s been a while now and still you have no new business. Your site is hard to find, and even when people do find it, they don’t call, write or seek to contact you. What is wrong? Where are all the customers? Most business people overlook Search Engine Optimization. SEO is the nuts and bolts of getting found in an online search.

Just getting a site on the web is not enough. To have an effective business webpage requires certain steps. Let me outline them here.

1.Getting Found. The most important factor in SEO and getting found in a web search is making sure your site is one of authority. The first step to doing that is to get inbound links to your site. This entails getting quality sites to link to you. Search engines call this “link juice”. The more quality sites that link to your site, the more authoritative your site must be the thinking goes. Getting quality sites to link to yours can be an arduous task, but it will pay dividends for you if you do it right. A few things you can try include:

  • Submitting your business to online directories
  • Building relationships with the owners of sites you would like to link to.
  • Submitting news releases
  • Creating compelling content that other sites will want to link to.
  • Leveraging partnerships

Make sure you’ve exhausted all of your on site SEO strategies. Pick a keyword for each page and concentrate on optimizing that page for that keyword. If you optimize for more than one keyword, the page will lose authority since the search engines won’t be able to tell what the page is about. Place the keyword in your headline and sub-headline. Use it in the body of the text, but keep it readable. Placing keywords willy-nilly is a sure handed way to get penalized by search engines. A good practice is to write the content first, and then go back and optimize it. If you use pictures, use the keyword in the alt tag.

Next write your Meta Title and Meta Description They are not as important in SEO as they used to be, but still carry weight and should not be neglected.. The Meta Title is the blue line of text found above a search listing. It is best if it contains 40 to 70 characters. The keyword should be embedded in the title. The Meta Description is a concise explanation of what the page is about. It should be readable, but not more than 156 characters in length. Remember to include contact information in either the title or description. Busy searchers may contact you off what they read in the description if the description is compelling enough.

Another factor in SEO that will help get you a higher place in an online search are XML Sitemaps, which is simply code that helps search engine crawlers find your pages. 301 Redirects let search engines know if you moved your site or page to another location. It reduces the chance of a visitor getting a nasty “404 page not found message” if your site is moved.

2 Webpage Design. Now that your page is getting found, you need to let your visitors know they’ve come to the right place. Like anything else, first impressions are extremely important. Some of the questions your visitors may ask while developing their first impression include:

· Am I in the right place?

· Is this business legitimate?

· Can I trust them? Are they reliable?

· Do they want my business?

You need to ask these questions while you’re designing your site. Aesthetically, your site should be attractive, but as Beau Brendler, director of Consumer Web Watch noted: “While consumers say they judge on substance, these studies demonstrate that consumers judge on aesthetics, and get distracted by bells and whistles.” This means stay away from flash players and other attention grabbing web tools. Most people are annoyed by music, so leave it out. Keep your visitors focused on your message.

3.Your website should be easy to navigate, and clear to read. Organize your pages in a grid fashion rather than randomly. Use fonts that are easy on the eyes, and avoid clutter. Leaving space on a page is not a bad thing. It helps the reader concentrate on what is important, which is content. Remember, the layout of the site will help visitors to take notice, but it is your content that will keep them coming back. Make sure it is compelling, well organized and useful.

A picture tells a thousand words. Use images, but do so wisely. They should be relevant to the page. Avoid using stock pictures. Although easy to find and inexpensive, they carry little authority according to Marketing Experiments. The best images are authentic images of you, your products, and your satisfied customers.

4. Don’t underestimate the importance of navigation when designing your site. A recent survey conducted by Hubspot found that 75% of survey respondents said “the most important element in website design is ease in finding information.” Here are some navigational do’s and don’ts:

· Keep it simple. The navigation bar should be easy to find. A good place is the top of the page or along the left side.

· Use a Search Box if your site is information rich.

· Don’t dig too deep. Three layers is plenty in most cases.

· Stay away from Flash. Many smartphones do not recognize Flash, so mobile browsing is not possible.

5. Finally, a clear call to action is necessary to move your visitors to the next step. Some things to remember about CTA’s

· Make them bigger and bolder than other elements on the page.

· Offer CTA’s that provide value. Value added offers include newsletter subscriptions, free estimates, sales on certain products, etc.

· If possible, test. Try different colors, sizes, locations, and text to see what works best.

· As always, keep it simple

By following these steps, traffic to your site will increase, and with that, more traffic through your door.

J.A. Moffitt is the President of Elvin Web Marketing. Elvin Web Marketing is a full service online marketing company. Whether it’s getting on the first page of a Google search, improving your site content, blog writing, submitting your business to online directories, or social or email marketing, we an help! Call us at 203-882-0171. Visit our webpage at http://onlinemarketinginct.com

Article Source:
http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=J_A_Moffitt

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