Considering that Google's search engine algorithm ranks a single website on over 200 factors and that Google is constantly changing, evaluating and updating it’s search results, a site that is ranked #1 on Google today, may not even be on the 1st page next week. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing! This means that the possibility of your site moving up to the first page can happen in a short amount of time!
1. Google Listing
Considering that 55% of all clicks go to the first 3 organic search results, listing your business on Google will help you show up at the top AND over to the right when people search your business name. Listing your business on Google helps Google know you are in business and helps customers know how to contact you. Customers can also leave reviews which also helps you rank higher and get more visibility.
2. Domain Name
If your domain name (IE: MasonElectric) utilizes a keyword (Electric) that your company provides as a product or service, your domain will show up higher when someone searches that keyword rather than a domain that doesn’t have that keyword. Don’t fret if you’ve already purchased your domain name and it doesn’t have a keyword! You can always purchase several domain names (UtahElectric, citynameelectric, 24hourelectric, etc) and forward those domains to your main/used domain. Read more about selecting your domain name.
3. Domain Age
Be sure your domain is purchased for 5 years from now. This shows Google that you are sticking around and to take notice. Those websites that have been around for many years tend to rank higher too. Having some history with Google definitely helps.
4. Secure Site
While you’re at it, be sure your site is pointing to a secure site (HTTP vs HTTPS). You want your site to show HTTPS (the S means your site is secure). Contact your domain name provider or where you host your website for help.
Your website and where it ranks in Google search results is largely dependant upon its keywords and your competitors keywords. Evaluate your competition (or hire someone that knows how to research this) and note what keywords they are using and choose your keywords wisely.
6. Well-Built Website
If you’re taking your chances by building your own website, keep in mind that 97% of people don’t click past the first page of results. A professional website designer knows that some of the most important ranking factors include: a mobile friendly or responsive website, fast page speed, quality webpage content (at least 2,000 words/page) and optimized images are of the utmost importance.
Adding a blog to your website can increase its chances of ranking in search engines by 434%! Talk about a great return on your investment! Just be sure your website is at the same domain as your website. You don’t want to send people away to another site to read your blog - you want them to stay of course.
When you blog, it does several great things: it creates new opportunities for relative content and keywords, it allows for more inbound links, it allows for more people to find you via searching content you developed.
8. Become a YouTube Master
So you may have noticed that when you search for certain items, YouTube results will display higher. This is because Google owns YouTube. So unleash your creative genius with video or work with a marketing master who can help you with a variety of ideas to get people searching for your business.
9. Social Media
Social Media can help your website rank higher in a variety of ways. It can help with online visibility and traffic to your site, increased local results, increased brand recognition, broader content distribution and longer content lifespan. So go on - get social!
10. Quality Backlinks
Quality backlinks perform a crucial role in optimizing search engines and has a great effect on the volume of traffic you generate for your site. Without backlinks pointing at your site, it often becomes difficult to generate daily traffic. Backlinks provide the ability to drive new traffic to your site every day uninterruptedly.
Who doesn’t love to buy goods and services right from the comfort of their home? E-commerce has become quite popular over the past few years as people can shop at their own convenience, with total comfort, without the headache of beating the traffic and standing in long queues. If you too have decided to launch an e-commerce site or have already done so, to cash in on this trend, you need to promote it well to rake in the moolah.
The key to every site’s success is through good marketing and promotion. Even if you have really good and substantial content on your site, you still need to promote it to avoid getting left behind the competition. In the internet community, the best way to achieve an increase in website traffic and revenue is to take advantage of social media. When used correctly, this tool can provide a platform for brand awareness, exposure, networking, and a huge boost in traffic & sales.
Since there are so many different definitions of social media, let’s clarify what we’re talking about here. Social media are primarily Internet- and mobile-based tools for sharing and discussing information. The term most often refers to activities that integrate technology, telecommunications and social interaction, and the construction of words, pictures, videos and audio. This interaction, and the manner in which information is presented, depends on the varied perspectives and "building" of shared meaning among communities, as people share their stories and experiences.
Listening: Gathering intelligence on your market and your customer
- Build sentiment measurements – “showing how people feel about a subject and how those feelings are changing over time.” Listen on the web for people talking about your customers.
- Research into those bloggers that might care about your customer and their needs.
- Build conversation maps for your customers using Technorati.com, Google, Blogsearch, Summize, and FriendFeed.
- Search and collect bookmark statistics on social media success stories. Label them “social media stats”.
- Scan Summize.com for data listed in Twitter pertaining to your product, your space and your competition.
- Use WebsiteGrader.com as the first stop to understanding the SEO dynamics and on-page SEO quality of your website.
- Stop by Compete.com to help understand your site’s traffic. Then, compare it to your competitors’.
- Don't ask for too much information from your customers when giving away a freebie. Instead, spread it out and collect little bits of info over time.
- Track inbound links to your site. When they come from others blogs, be sure to comment on a few posts to develop a relationship with that blogger.
- Seek out those in your field and ask their opinions on your social media efforts. This is a great way to network and build relationships.
Talking: Engaging in a two-way discussion to get your message out (and get messages in)
- Build blogs and teach techniques for conversational marketing and business relationship building.
- Check out Twitter as a way to show a company’s personality. (Don’t fabricate this).
- Couple your email newsletter content with additional website content on a blog for improved commenting.
- Try out a short series of audio podcasts or video podcasts as content marketing and see how they draw.
- Experiment with the value of live video like via YouTube or Facebook on a cell phone.
- Don’t forget early social sites like Yahoo groups and Craigslist. They still work remarkably well.
- Practice delivering quality content on your blogs, so that customers feel educated, equipped, and informed.
- Turn your blog into a mobile blog site with Mofuse.
- Ensure you offer the basics on your site, like an email alternative to an RSS subscription. In fact, the more ways you can spread and distribute your content, the better.
- Research how NOT to pitch to bloggers. A great source of info: Susan Getgood.
- Try your hand at video interviews, video press releases and podcasts to build more intimate relationships.
- Use your creative vision (or enlist someone to help you) experiment with different lengths and formats for you video. Is a brief and entertaining video better than a longer but more informative one? Test features in more than one hosting platform, browser, OS, etc.
Energizing: Letting your customers give testimonials on your behalf (viral, word of mouth)
- Add social bookmark links to your most important web pages and/or blog posts to improve sharing.
- For every video project purchased, ensure there’s an embeddable web version for improved sharing.
- Learn how tagging and other metadata improve your ability to search and measure the spread of information. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Metadata)
- Download the Social Media Press Release (pdf) and see what parts you want to use in your traditional press releases.
- Help customers and prospects connect with you on your various networks. Consider a Lijit Wijit or another aggregator widget.
- Help spread good tips, articles, solutions for customers; Retweet, Digg, or Bookmark them. Others will thank you.
Supporting: Getting your customers to support each other
- Build community platforms around real communities of shared interest.
- Help companies participate in existing social networks, and build relationships on their turf.
- Experiment with Flickr and/or YouTube groups to build media for specific events.
- Start a community group on Facebook or Ning or MySpace or LinkedIn around the space where your customer does business. Good source of information is, Jeremiah Owyang.
- Learn what other free tools might work for community building, like MyBlogLog.
- Remember that the people on social networks are all people, have likely been there a while, might know each other, and know that you’re new. It’s important to try new territories, but tread gently.
- Voting mechanisms like those used on Digg.com show your customers you care about which information is useful to them.
Embracing: Building better products and services through collaboration with clients
- Investigate whether your product sells better by recommendation versus education. Use wikis and widgets to help recommend, or use videos and podcasts for education.
- Try using the same tools internally that your already using externally and learn how this social media can impact your business.
The bottom line is that you want to have a clear objective, be a valuable resource, and use the social media services in the ways they intend to be used. Anything else will get you filtered out, unfollowed, banned or blacklisted and ultimately be a complete waste of your time.
Social networks are a hot topic. With over 70% of consumers using online resources to find what they are looking for, it makes sense to step up your online presence. Many business owners have a website, an email address, and may have even started blogging. Networking is an important step to opening up your true professional potential.
Which site should I use?
What is the goal or problem you are trying to solve? The answer to this question may even mean that you completely change which social networks you take a look at. It may make more sense to create your own social media site or network (check back later for information on how to build your own social network). But for those of you interested in joining the pre-existing ones, here are a few of the more popular SNS, to serve your business well:
- Reddit - Upload stories and articles on reddit to drive traffic to your site or blog. Submit items often so that you'll gain a more loyal following and increase your presence on the site.
- Digg - Digg has a huge following online because of its optimum usability. Visitors can submit and browse articles in categories like technology, business, entertainment, sports and more.
- Technorati - If you want to increase your blog's readership, consider registering it with Technorati, a network of blogs and writers that lists top stories in categories like Business, Entertainment and Technology.
- WikiHow - Create a how-to guide or tutorial on wikiHow to share your company's services with the public for free.
- LinkedIn - LinkedIn is a popular networking site where alumni, business associates, recent graduates and other professionals connect online.
- Facebook - Facebook is no longer just for college kids who want to post their party pics. Businesses vie for advertising opportunities, event promotion and more on this social-networking site.
- Xing - An account with networking site Xing can open doors to thousands of companies. Use the professional contact manager to organize your new friends and colleagues, and take advantage of the Business Accelerator application to find experts at the click of a button. Market yourself in a professional context and open up new sales channels.
Image-Based Networking Sites
- Pinterest - Pin content from your website and repin others pins! Network by requesting others add to your boards, follow others and comment on pins.
- Instagram - If your business can deliver consistenly exciting imagery and content, Instagram will love you!
Set up your profile
Communicating works better when you have a good idea who it is you're talking to. Make it a point to add logos, company information, a bio or “about me” piece that identifies what your company does. Remember, social networking requires dedication. Most people set up a profile and then forget to go back to the site, to add friends, or to make use of it at all. Social networks are effective when you utilize them to the fullest. Your first objective in making your profile work for your business is to add friends; this virtual intro may take a little time but is well worth it if you are looking to grow your network. The second order of business is to use the site as your marketing resource. You should be active in posting blogs, commenting on profiles, and advertising your business.
Now that you know which sites to use, and understand what to do once you set up your site, keep in mind, that if you just jump into an established community with messages about how great you are, it can have exactly the opposite effect of what you’re saying. People inherently trust their peers more than messages from companies, so you’ll need to take the time to understand the community and the people who frequent it.