Everything listed under: Web Presence

  • Better Search Engine Rankings: Page Titles and Descriptions

    A couple of weeks ago, a small business contacted me because they weren’t being found on Google when they (or their customers) searched for themselves. This company recently had another design firm build their website but the designer failed to do any basic SEO (search engine optimization) -- the stuff they DID do was outdated and no longer relevant.

    Simply put, they did very little to help this company get found when customers came looking for them via on the internet.

    Honestly, it’s a shame that design companies don’t do more when creating websites for their clients, but often, they consider this an “add on” or “extra” that isn’t covered in the contract. Bah Humbug, i say!

    First off, the advice i’m dispensing is very simple and considered elementary in level of SEO importance. There is so much more that goes into getting a higher rank in Google -- good content, inbound links, responsive design and load times, social media, etc.

    Titles:

    Webpage titles show up in the browser's tab, search results, and when shared (w/ social media sites).

    Keywords (i.e. words that people use to search for you) need to be in your page title. Example: If you’re famous for donuts but your business is called “Drew’s Bakery”, you’d want to be sure you have “donuts” as a keyword in your title.

    Best practices for titles (as of January 1, 2015):

    1. Approximately 50-60 characters (<55 is ideal). Example: Ruryl Studios - Websites, SEO, Social Media and Consulting
    2. Main keywords need to be in title
    3. Name at the front of of title if you have a strong brand, name at the back if you have a new/weak brand
    4. Don’t look spammy! It should read naturally -- don’t overload the title with every keyword imaginable

    Use the Moz.com Title Emulator Tool to see how your page title will appear in Google’s search results. http://moz.com/blog/new-title-tag-guidelines-preview-tool

    Examples of Bad Page Titles: http://www.dmoz.org/erz/sites/title.html

    Descriptions:

    Should be <160 characters. Think about writing an ad for your webpage with your major keywords included in this section. This should sound natural and easy to read.

    Meta Keywords:

    Google says they’ve stopped using this feature for search engine rankings -- other search engines might still use this but it comes across as spammy. Stick with 20 or less keywords if you feel like you need this section filled in. Make sure the keywords are comma separated.

    That’s it. You’ve taken your first steps toward higher rankings in Google. (Let’s party!)

  • 5 websites every small business / organization needs to be listed on


    [Pic credit: "Waterlogged phonebook." by Rich Anderson is licensed under CC BY 2.0. Cropped.]

    You need to be listed online.

    Period.

    It doesn’t matter the size or scope of your business/organization, if you can’t be found (easily) online, you might as well be invisible to majority of people searching for what you offer.

    I’ve listed the top five websites (plus some extras) to help you reach the masses and are all pretty simple to set up and free (or have a free option).

    1. Search engines sites: listed below are the big three, but Google is a must.

    Google Places for Business
    Bing Places for Business
    Yahoo Local Listing

    2. Facebook Business: one billion users, half of those people use it everyday. Not to mention, Facebook is on 75% of all smart phones.

    3. Yelp: this site is the go to for millions people looking for reviews and recommendations. If you don’t list your business/organization, someone else might.

    4. Foursquare: like Yelp, it lists comments and feedback, but also encourages connections by having customers check in.

    5. Directories: even though the phone book has gone the way of the dinosaurs, online listings are still a good place for people to find you. Choose one or two (or all) of the directories below to improve your chances of being found. (Be advised, these companies have a reputation of contacting you to upsell you advertising.)

    Manta
    Yellowbook
    Yellow Pages
    White Pages
    Superpages

    One other thing you might take into consideration: create a simple website. You don’t need anything too fancy, but it should look nice and include your basic (up-to-date) info. Send me an email if you need help setting any of this up.

  • Small town web presence - Google Alerts

    Many local business owners have been ill-informed to the notion that it takes too much time to manage their presence on the web...and they’re right...if they don’t have the right tools. One of the most essential utilities available to everyone for free is Google Alerts.

    Google Alerts lets you type in keywords (i.e. your business’ name) and will email you when those words are found in Internet news, blogs, videos, real time, discussions, and mentions on the web. There are a series of filter options, but ultimately, is straightforward and easy to use. There is no reason why you should go without this any longer. 

    Google Alerts Tutorial:

    1. Go to: google.com/alerts

    2. Enter your search terms. (Uses quotation marks around exact phrases.)

    3. Click the "Preview results".

    4. Adjust the settings.

    Type: What web sources do you want them to pull from?

    How Often: Chose the time frame that works best for you.

    Volume: Do you want Google to filter out some of the findings?

    Email: Enter the email you’d like the report sent to.

    5. Click "Create Alert" button.

    This will take you less than 3 minutes to set up and will help you monitor what’s being said about your business (good and bad) on the web.

Topics

Online Neighborhood