A New Approach to Administrative Support Services

March 9, 2010

Improve your website’s traffic with Search Engine Optimization (SEO)!

Are you familiar with Search Engine Optimization? Have you ever submitted your website to the search engines such as google.com or yahoo.com? Did you even know that you could?

If your website is optimized for the search engines, you could see a dramatic increase in your website’s traffic. This could easily translate to MORE BUSINESS for you since people are finding your website on the internet. With millions and millions and millions of websites on the Internet, it is very easy for a website to get lost in the shuffle. How could your “little medical information” website compete with webmd.com? Can your internet pet store get the same traffic as petco.com or petsmart.com? Probably not, but you can claim your share of the internet IF you write good quality copy, and you optimize your website.

What is Search Engine Optimization?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the use of search engines, such as Yahoo, Google, and MSN to generate traffic to a web site. SEO is accomplished by making changes to your website’s code to make it more relevant and more search engine compatible. This process is achieved by using good, strong, and relevant content (copy) of web pages, keywords, HTML Meta tags, ALT tags, and manual submission to search engines. Other important factors that will help to determine your ranking with search engines are the architecture of your site, the strength of your website content and how your site appears to the search engines.

What are Meta tags and do I need them?
Meta tags are elements that are placed in the head section of the HTML document that are used to provide the Search Engines with crucial information about your website.

The Meta keywords tag allows you to provide additional text for search engines to index along with the copy that you have written for your site. You want to reinforce the keywords and content in your website copy, so the Site Optimizer would insert those keywords and phrases into the Meta tags to reinforce the important text of your website.

The Meta description tag provides a brief description of your site that is used by search engines and/or directories. This description is extremely important because this is what will appear in the results of Search Engine and will determine if a user clicks through to visit your website.

What are Spiders, Robots and Crawlers?
A spider, robot, or crawler is actually just a program that follows, or “crawls” (“spiders”) links throughout the Internet, grabbing content from sites and adding it to search engine indexes.

Spiders can only follow links from one page to another and from one site to another. That is the primary reason why links to your site (inbound links) are so important. Links to your website from other websites will give the search engine spiders a greater chance to find your website. This is especially important with Google because it relies heavily on its spiders to create their massive index of listings.

Top Ways Websites are Discovered *

Banner Ads: 1%
Targeted email: 1.2%
TV Commercials: 1.4%
By Accident: 2.1%
Magazine Ads: 4.4%
Word of Mouth: 20%
Random Surfing: 20%
Search Engines: 46%

*Target Marketing Magazine— April 2000

Why do I need Search Engine Optimization for my website?
If you want your site to be found by internet searchers, then you must optimize it for their search. This means you must make it visible to search engines. Web sites in today’s competitive business market that are not optimized for search engines do not have much of a chance of being found by potential customers. This is also true for non-business sites as well.

If you go through the trouble of having a web site designed and hosted, then your intention probably is for that web site to be found. SEO is the process that helps this happen.

What kind of results should I expect?
Your results will depend on several factors that are greatly influenced by good web page content (copy), unique keywords, and pertinent phrases that pertain to your website and its overall subject.

Unfortunately, Search Engine Optimization does not offer immediate results. After being submitted to the Search Engines, your website will not appear in searches immediately. The Search Engines will “crawl” your site. This takes time depending on the individual search engines.

Effective January 1, 2006, here is the current length of time that it takes to for your web site to get listed in the major search engines once it has been submitted.

Yahoo: Up to 2 months
Google: Up to 4 weeks
MSN: Up to 2 months
AOL: Up to 2 months
ASK: Up to 2 months
DMOZ: Up to 4 months

On the average, you should begin to see your website appearing in the Search Engines within 4–6 weeks. However, there is also no guarantee that a particular Search Engine will index your site.

If your website is new to the Internet, you should expect to wait 2-3 months to see respectable rankings in searches, provided that you have good website copy with the recommended 250 words of text with keyword rich content per page. Obviously if you do not have good website content, you cannot expect to see good results in searches.

Can you guarantee a top position for my website?
No one can guarantee that you will receive high rankings or top positions. The search engines alone control the way they rank websites and these ranking rules are always changing. This is especially true for businesses that have very competitive markets. These businesses are competing with many other companies for the same rankings, while using the same keywords and search terms. It is important to establish specialized keywords in your website copy so that your site will be unique among all the others out on the internet.

SEO experts cannot guarantee a placement in the Top Ten (first page of a search) for a website on any of the search engines. This is simply a marketing ploy, and we will never take a on a client who insists on appearing on the first page of a search for any of the keywords which they have chosen for their website copy. Good search results come only from page content and unique keywords that pertain to your website, as well as link popularity.

What is Pay-Per-Click?
Pay-Per-Click or PPC is an advertising method. With search engines, pay-per-click advertisements are usually text ads placed near search results; when a site visitor clicks on the advertisement, the advertiser is charged a small amount. Pay per click is also sometimes known as Cost Per Click (CPC).

Depending on the search engine, minimum prices per click start at US $0.01 (up to US $0.50). Very popular search terms can cost much more on popular engines.

Some of the major pay-per-click search engines include:

  • Google Adwords,
  • Yahoo Search Marketing,
  • Microsoft adCenter, as well as,
  • Facebook Ads

A Special Note from Google

No One Can Guarantee a #1 Ranking on Google. Beware of SEOs that claim to guarantee rankings, allege a “special relationship” with Google, or advertise a “priority submit” to Google. There is no priority submit for Google. The only way to submit a site to Google directly is through their Add URL page.

What other things can I do to rank higher in the search engines?

  1. Write keyword rich content for your website and make sure that each page covers a specific topic. If you are not good at copywriting, hire a professional to do it. It will pay off in the end.
  2. Exchange links with websites that have a similar audience.
  3. Avoid flash animation for basic site functionality, such as navigation. The search engines have trouble indexing these types of pages.
  4. If you post at forums, newsgroups, and the like, add a signature that includes a link to your website.
  5. List your website on business directories.
  6. Write a Blog, create an online newsletter, or write articles. All of these methods will increase the traffic to your site.
  7. Submit a Press Release about your company and submit it to the free submission companies online.

For more information about our Search Engine Optimization Services, please visit our website. We would be happy to provide you with a FREE website evaluation and quotation.

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March 5, 2010

Spelling, Grammar, and Syntax! Oh my!

Over the years, I have become a stickler for spelling and grammatical errors. I wonder how people can write and publish something without proofreading it first. Specifically, I am referring to business websites. On MANY occasions, I have visited a company’s website only to see spelling errors, grammatical mistakes, and poor syntax.  I am not talking about the design or layout of the website since that is a completely different issue. I am speaking about simple errors that should have been corrected before the website went live! It reflects poorly on the website, and the company who owns the website.

Recently I joined a Facebook Fan (Business) Page of a business who was offering copywriting services. I visited the website of the business, and on EVERY single page, I found the same poor sentence structure. I also found MANY spelling errors. I understand that we are human, and we do make mistakes. If you are advertising that you do copywriting, I would think that you would want your writing style to make the best impression possible. It was obvious to me that the website copy was never proofread, nor was the text run through a spell checker! This immediately turned me off to the company that offered these services. The website was the only means I had to see the copywriting that this business offered. I feel that if they could not proofread and spell check a website that represented them, what would they do with their customer’s projects? That was a road I was not willing to travel.

Now I do not pick apart every website I visit, but certain words (and errors) just stand out — especially when they are spelled incorrectly. I have often thought about contacting the company or the webmaster to report errors that I have found. I have never done it though. I just do not know how to tell someone that their website is riddled with errors. It might be the nice thing to do, but how can you do this in a diplomatic way without stepping on someone’s toes? It would be a lot easier if it were someone that you know who would understand that you had his/her best interests in mind. A stranger might not feel this way.

As someone who offers proofreading services, I may be more conscious of the errors that I find. It may be that my brain and eyes look for this type of thing. I have to wonder if, in this busy world, proofreading and editing have simply taken a back seat. Yet, if I am turned off by these blatant errors, I have to believe that other people are too. That can cause a business to lose money, sales, and web traffic. I think it is important to read your website (or your brochures, flyers, newsletters, or other printed material), and do your absolute best to be certain that all words and sentences are spelled correctly and the content makes sense.

Almost all computer and web design programs come with a built-in spell checker (and possibly even grammar correction) that will catch many of the errors that are overlooked. Another good idea is to ask someone else to review your work. Another set of eyes can notice things that you do not see.

Spend a good amount of time reviewing your content throughout your entire website (or other printed material). Check it once…. Check it twice! Perhaps even check it a third time. That third time could be the charm! You might find that one error that will turn off a customer to your business. Other than a little bit of time, you have nothing to lose. However, the gains can be tremendous!

If proofreading and editing is not something you are comfortable doing, then find someone who is a “stickler for spelling and grammatical errors” who can help with this task.

Does your website contain errors? Do your printed materials need to be proofread or edited? Are you unhappy  with your current business marketing media? Then contact us for a FREE, no obligation quotation. We can give your business a completely new … and professional image!

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