Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
1. What is your website's objective? Is it to capture leads? Close sales? Get tons of visitors? Knowing this drives everything else.
2. What is your USP - Unique Selling Point? What sets you apart? What is your unique value proposition? Identifying this will help you pinpoint who you want or need to reach. Knowing who you need or want to reach will guide the design and content of your website.
3. Knowing your competitors will help you understand what keywords and contents they rank for, then you can determine if you will compete within the same keyword/content space or if you'll carve out a niche for yourself.
4. Keep your website regularly updated! Even better, include timely and topical content as often as possible. Great content can also include topics that don't go stale. For example, how to grow spinach vs an article on the iPhone X - the former is relevant today, tomorrow, next year and next decade, while the latter is relevant for only a period of time.
5. Including the year in your page title can really help get the clicks. Why? It identifies on the SERP whether or not the link is relevant to the search. For example, if someone is searching for how to back up a smartphone, they're most likely going to select the SERP item that has the current year vs a previous year. It can also be true that if someone has an older model smartphone, they may choose a SERP item from an earlier year.
6. Featured Snippets can get you in "position zero" above organic search results. Featured Snippets provides Google with clear information about elements of your page or article. Spend some time understanding this feature. You can go here to learn more.
7. A solid technical foundation means a properly indexed site, optimized page-load times, and a well-organized site.
8. Links-in. Links-out. When you can, add external links to your pages. Even better, work on obtaining backlinks (external links TO your website/page). How? If you have shareable content or elements that would entice organic back linking, that is the best - podcasts, infographics, surveys, etc.
9. E.A.T. - Expertise. Authoritativeness. Trustworthiness. - These are important indicators to Google regarding the quality of a website, and they become more important with the perceived sensitivity of a topic. For example, an article on health or finances, might have Google assess the E.A.T. of the source, your article/page/website.
Another Similar Way of Addressing SEO
Before jumping into the mechanics of SEO, understand basic principles of SEO. A big part of this is asking who would visit my site, why would they visit my site and what do I want visitors to do once on my site?
First, identify your sales funnel and the buying funnel. How does your SEO support each step.
Be aware of consumer phases:
Know what you want to track beyond search rankings, traffic and leads.
For example, tracking engagement activities like number of downloads, amount of content consumed, time on the website, returning visitors, bounce rate, new/returning visitors, and newslettter signups.
This may not be the most relevant destination to send visitors, or it may not be properly designed to be an optimal landing page.
For example, if you sell pens, brushes sketch pads and school notebooks, and your SEO or advertisement is targeted to artists, you would want artists to land right on your brushes product page.
Let's talk search terms and SEO. There can be and should be a range of keywods and landing points. A minimal grouping follows and consumer phases must be combined with these groupings when mapping out a search strategy.
Consider your goals and objectives and plan your search strategy accordingly.
If most of your search terms are related to your brand, then you're missing out on getting in front a good chunk of your market. This is true whether you have a strong brand or are new to the market.
Consider the Coca Cola example. If they focused primarily on their brand for search, they would miss opportunities in the general cola market.
If you are a new brand, then ask yourself, "If few people know my brand, why would I invest in a search strategy that relies on brand recognition?"
Understand your business and brand, your sales and buying funnels, and your market. Decide who in your market you want to send where. Map it out and have this be crystal clear. Once you have this completed, then applying a search strategy, advertising and SEO plan will be easier, clearer and more effective.
1. Declutter your office - hardcopy files and digital files
If you work from a home office, or can get into your regular office, now is a time of opportunity to declutter and organize your office files. Toss out what is not needed. Organize what is needed. Make your space an environment conducive to productivity and success!
2. Focus on strengthening or developing your relationship with your local business community on social media
Promote activities and efforts going on with local businesses and organizations. Besides being a team player, this will position you as an important member of the community and may provide some ROI on your efforts. At a minimum, it's a really solid thing to do - being helpful during a time that is challenging for most.
Here's an example of members of our local community who are reaching out to help residents of a nursing home. Giving them additional exposure, or even helping their cause, is a great way to foster a tight sense of community --> FB post. See the intro video for the campaign here.
3. Stay connected - Send a card, email or message to past and current clients.
This is straightforward and a card, email or message will go a long way, plus it's just a nice thing to do, at any time.
4. Engage or double-down on business networking - online
Many business networking groups are continuing their meetings online via Zoom, Hangouts, Skype or other tools. Many are also increasing their outreach to get more business people involved. Business networking is a tremendous opportunity to develop great relationships that may pay dividends down the road. Stay engaged!
One business networking organization that is seeing an increase in participation is a Connecticut-based organization, the Breakfast Club Networking Group.
5. Analyze your market(s) - there are businesses and organizations that are spending money during this time!
Yes many, if not a majority of, small businesses are getting hammered, but there are businesses and organizations that continue to spend and invest, which presents opportunities.
One organization you may want to explore is state and local government. They already budgeted for projects and they are going to spend those budgets. Be aware, though, that bidding on government contracts can be time consuming and costly, but it can pay off.
6. Go through your business's online assets and listings - website, social channels, etc
Now is a great time to update your website, write some articles, review your social media accounts, and ensure your online business listings are up-to-date and accurate. AKA - Digital housecleaning.
7. Review and update your financial forecasts and your financial reporting systems.
This may seem like a no-brainer, but it's not for too many business owners and marketers, including self-employed. If you haven't adjusted your sales and expense forecasts, accounting for this coronavirus economy and market - you DO have a sales and expense forecast right? - then get on it right away! If you need help and you have some available budget, speak with an accountant if you need help.
This is also a good time to review your financial reporting. If don't have a system that provides you with a financial health snapshot for your business, then look into one. Quickbooks and Xero and other accounting applications, have these built into them. If you're doing by spreadsheet, either build some report or consider moving to an accounting app.
8. Go through that To-Do list of items that accumulated.
There are probably items on that list that are no longer relevant. There may be items that deserve a higher priority now. Whatever the case, go through the list and perhaps evaluate your system of capturing To-Do's and how you catalog and prioritize them.
9. Review and update your business plan and budgets for the year.
This coronavirus economy is markedly different from the economy that preceded it. The post-coronavirus economy is going to be markedly different from both. You need to review and update your plans and budgets.
10. Stay in contact with your local and state elected representatives - You do have a voice and they need to hear from you.
These are people that are deliberating on decisions that will have impact you, your work and your business/organization. They need to hear from you. You may not believe it makes a difference, but they do listen and you can influence their decision making.
They don't know what they don't know. That's why communicating with them is so important. When you communicate with them, they are being given more information
You can opt to not act on this tip, and that is A-OK. Just know that others are communicating with your elected representatives.
If you have tips to share, please comment below. Feel free to share this article with friends, family and business associates.
We at Digital Marketing Partner wish you good health and success!
Bluehost offers a few choices for solid web hosting service. Their basic plan starts at only $3.95 per month!*
* Promotion valid as of the writing of this article on 12/14/19. Below is an example of one of their ads you may have seen.
Digital Marketing Partner (DMP) chose, from all available hosting partners, Bluehost as our preferred hosting service provider and is a proud affiliate partner. DMP will receive small compensation for any referral to Bluehost who signs-up and stays with Bluehost for a period of time. We design and develop websites, and if we are going to backup our work we demand reliability and security. for our clients This is why we are proud to refer hosting to Bluehost.
Bluehost is a great web hosting service provider for a WordPress site, if you are a do-it-yourself web designer, or professional web developer looking for a solid hosting platform.
Whatever your level of experience, Bluehost has a platform and package that is right for you.
Today we are going to cover what you need for a basic website, which is all that is needed for the majority of businesses. With that in mind, we will focus on their Shared hosting product and Basic plan.
The majority of businesses can save money and opt-in for their Shared hosting product plans - new websites/blogs. This product does not require a lot of technical knowledge.
For websites with or expected moderate to high traffic volumes, a need for scalability, and server control, the VPS product will be for you.
High traffic, resource intensive sites, requiring tight security, control, and strong performance, the Dedicated hosting product will be the correct solution.
Plans Under the Shared Hosting Product
There are four (4) plans under this product: Basic, Plus, Choice Plus, and Pro.
If you require two or more websites, unlimited storage and unmetered bandwidth, then Plus, Choice Plus or Pro is what you should be looking at.
The majority of businesses, hobbyists and users will be well served by Bluehost's Basic plan in their Shared product.
All 4 plans offer a free SSL Certificate (https), at least one domain (YourBiz.com), and sub-domains.
You can compare and contrast the differed Shared product plans here.
How to Get Started
Begin by heading over to Bluehost.com and select the Get Started button.
You will see the 4 plans available under the Shared product. Choose the "Select" button under Basic (far left column).
Now you will be presented with two choices: "Create a new domain" (comes with the plan) or "Use a domain you own".
If you do not have a domain, then choose "Create a new domain" Even if you have one, you can select another one and change it later. For example, maybe you own BestBurger.com and perhaps having BestVeggieBurger.com will be an asset to your online presence.
If you own a domain, you can choose either option, as mentioned above.
If you chose "Create a new domain" and the domain you wanted is available, the next step is to create your Bluehost account.
There are four parts to this section:
Domain Privacy - (In our view, optional)
If you do not want your name and information to show-up in a directory like WhoIs.com, then select this add-on. If you already own a domain, then this may be offered from your wherever you purchased your domain. Here is an example by Bluehost of what your information will look like with and without Domain Privacy.
SiteLock Security - Find - (For informational or blog sites, in our view, optional)
This may be an important add-on if you're requesting personal information from visitor or transacting any business on your site. What you get is a trust-badge based on your business's verification along with, Spam, Malware and Blacklist monitoring. More information about this add-on at Bluehost.
Codeguard Basic - (For informational or blog sites, in our view, optional)
If you will be doing heavy coding/customizations to your site and need more than the basic Wordpress backup offerings, this is an add-on that will give you peace of mind with daily backups, restores to select versions, redundancy and monitoring of your site for changes.. More information about this add-on at Bluehost.
Bluehost SEO Tools Start - (For everyone except absolute newbies, optional)
If you know nothing of SEO, then get this.. More information about this add-on at Bluehost.
1 Office 365 Mailbox - (For purposes of this article, optional)
Basically, you can get a personalized email address based on your domain. For example, JSmith@TheBestVeggieBurger.com. An integrated calendar is included, plus other items. More information about this add-on at Bluehost.
Provide your Payment Information and you are on your way to getting your awesome website and idea up for the world to see.
If you are not feeling confident about the sign-up process, Bluehost has excellent help and guidance via their live Chat or via phone. It's right at the top of their website at BlueHost.com.
Digital Marketing Partner is a proud affiliate partner with Bluehost.
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