To Get Your Business Seen Online, Start with these First Steps
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To Get Your Business Seen Online, Start with these First Steps
Kate Gingold
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To Get Your Business Seen Online, Start with these First Steps

Yes, there are many strategies to improve your online visibility. But all Search Engine Optimization starts with these steps first:

The best way to be found online isn’t to game the system, but to honestly and obviously be the best result for the customer’s search. Search Engine Optimization is sort of like ethics – rather than apply it afterwards, it should be the foundation you build on from the start.

The following tried-and-true best practices help you harvest low-hanging fruit while you plan further SEO improvements.

Write a term-rich description meta tag

Keyword-stuffing is not advised, but a well-written description meta tag in the header of your website is vital because that’s Google’s first choice when displaying your website in its search results.

Look at the screen shot below. All of the words that Google is sharing were carefully chosen and inserted in the description meta tag so that they show up appropriately.

Be straight with search engines

It’s the search engine’s prime directive to provide the most appropriate result to a user’s search. It’s your job to explain to the search engine why your website is that most appropriate result. Bait-and-switch tactics annoy search engines just as much as they annoy you so only use the terms that truly describe what your site is about.

Say the magic words

We had a client who, to preserve their anonymity, we’ll say made chairs. His website had plenty of content to discuss comfort, materials, posture, and so on. But nowhere did he actually use the word “chair.” Without the right words, search engines will have a very tough time serving your page as the appropriate result.

Research and use the terms your customer actually uses rather than industry-correct terms. Consider using misspellings, too, if that’s a common problem. You could write a little informative paragraph that uses both spellings in a perfectly natural, non-keyword stuffing way.

Get listed

Make sure everything about you online is correct and consistent by going straight to the business portals and filling in the information yourself. There are many different directories where you can claim your profile, but you should at least hit the big ones:  Google Business ProfileFacebook,Yahoo Local, and Bing Places for Business. After those, move on to other directories like YelpApple Maps, and so on.

You may find that you already have a presence on these directories because they pulled information from somewhere else. That info may be quite old and inaccurate, so check to be sure the information is correct and while you are there, make the most of any free listings by adding all the details, logos, and graphics they allow.

Link when it makes sense

When asked, Google downplayed the importance of backlinks on SEO, but they still give advice on using links correctly, so it makes sense to follow their rules. There’s no denying that web search is a popularity contest, and the goal is to make your website “popular.”

Think of it this way, it’s like the worst junior high school. You are trying to build a network with lots of friends, and you want your friends to be mainly the “cool kids” because hanging out with too many “un-cool kids” will tarnish your reputation.

Buying links is uncool, so get other websites to link to you in natural way. Maybe because your content is so good, they want to share it or because you belong to their industry organization. Links from social media platforms also help, one of many reasons to build your business profiles.

Although tedious, none of these tasks are difficult and they really are the bedrock of all your optimization efforts. We’ve gone through these steps many times for our clients, and we have the tools that make it quicker and easier for us to do than you can on your own. Give us a call to talk about how we can do it for you, too.

Photo by Moose Photos

This article is an update to 5 First Steps for Getting Found Online dated 5/22//2015.

 

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Kate Gingold

Kate GingoldKate Gingold

I have been writing a blog with web marketing tips and techniques every other week since 2003. In addition to blogging and client content writing, I write books and a blog on local history.

Other posts by Kate Gingold
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I have been writing a blog with web marketing tips and techniques every other week since 2003. In addition to blogging and client content writing, I write books and a blog on local history.

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Previous Article Poor Search Engine Results? Look at What You Have Compared to What You Need.
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