SEO for Small Businesses


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I explain how small businesses can use SEO (search engine optimization) to help their website get found online. Applying the core principles of SEO to your website can make the difference between attracting new customers to your business -- or not. Don't create a website without applying the best practices in SEO!!

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  • Use this tool for KEYWORD discoveryUse this tool to show Cost Per Click - what are people biddingUse this tool to show search volume / "poll the audience" as in who wants to be a millionaire!
  • Analytics* Measure your success* Improve your website thru better website* Chart how surfers become customers or not. Chart how they depart from your website / bounce* All about improving the "stickiness" of your website, so that potential customers become real customers.
  • Make your website Google friendly* Check your HTML tags for duplication* Check to see if your robots.txt and sitemaps.xml are being indexed* Some basic information on incoming search queries.* Helpful with WEBSITE STRUCTURE which we have an entire session on.
  • Fantastic FREE tool - once you establish an account* Use to get keyword ideas / keyword discovery* Use to monitor competitors* Use to monitor competitors and their ads on PPC.
  • Rank Checker* Free!* Download for firefox* Allows you to monitor your own rank quickly and easily- BY keywords- BY competitors (vs. competitors)- Over time* Can integrate with your Pay-per-click campaign to SAVE YOU MONEY by not running on PPC when you are doing well with SEO !!!
  • Use to generate an XML site map* In our session on Website structure, we learn how important site maps are - both HTMLand XML* Learn how to work with Google thru Google webmaster tools to make our site very Googlefriendly and likely to be thoroughly and properly indexed by Google...
  • SEO for Small Businesses

    1. 1. INTRODUCTION TO SEO A Primer for Small Businesses Maria Verven, Verve P.R.
    2. 2. MARIA VERVEN  Entrepreneur and owner of Verve P.R. and Vaping Vamps  25 year career in P.R., former V.P. of Piper Jaffray, Fleishman- Hillard  Lecturer at the U of MN, Teaches New Rules of Marketing & SEO classes  Passionate about helping small businesses get found online
    3. 3. WHERE WOULD YOU HANG A PICASSO? Building a website that’s not optimized is like hanging a Picasso in your basement
    4. 4. SEO DEMYSTIFIED SEO = Optimizing websites so they show up higher in the organic search engine results It is not PPC (pay per click) SEM (Search Engine Marketing) includes both SEO and PPCSEO = Search Engine Optimization
    6. 6. WHAT HAPPENED? There’s been a massive shift from traditional marketing to Internet or inbound marketing
    7. 7. THE BIG PICTURE 634 million websites 51 million websites added last year 42 million blogs, 60% of businesses have a blog 11 million publish using social networks
    8. 8. OLD SCHOOL MARKETING Yellow Pages Newspaper Advertising Direct Mail Telemarketing INTERNET (INBOUND) MARKETING SEO: Search-Optimized Website PPC & Banner Ads Social Media Content Marketing, “New” P.R.
    9. 9. Because it cuts the sales cycle in half – or less WHY THE SHIFT?
    10. 10. WHAT HAPPENED IN JAN 2012? Google Analytics
    11. 11. SEO: LIKE A BRICK HOUSE The House = SEO on every page The Chimney = Your content strategy (blog, social media, P.R., etc.) The Smoke = Keyword- rich content updates
    12. 12. ON-PAGE VS. OFF-PAGE SEO On Page SEO: 1. Pick the best keywords for each page 2. Do everything right so Google “gets” it
    13. 13. KEYWORDS  Words describing the product or service you’re selling  Keywords are a string of 3 to 5 words  The goal is for your site to rank on your keywords
    14. 14. Title Tag Meta DescriptionDomain TYPICAL GOOGLE SEARCH
    15. 15. KEYWORDS MUST MATCH Your Keywords
    16. 16. HOW TO CHOOSE KEYWORDS Use Keyword Tools Analyze the Competition  Type keywords into search engine while logged out  Research backlinks to highly ranked sites Use Google Analytics & Webmaster Tools  See which pages are driving the most traffic
    17. 17. FINDING THE SWEET SPOT  Keywords that aren’t overly competitive Keywords with good search volume
    19. 19. THE DEAD GIVE-AWAY Title tag has no keywords
    20. 20. KEYWORD CHART – Welchlin Keyword Traffic Competition
    21. 21. HOW TO BUILD A WEBSITE Build your website from the outside looking in Optimize every page for a different keyword Content, content, content
    22. 22. WHERE TO USE KEYWORDS Title and meta description (Meta tags) Headings and content (On page) Titles and descriptions for images and videos Anchor text (text with a link to your website) Internal and external links
    23. 23. META DESCRIPTION AND TITLE Meta Title  70 characters (about 8-12 words)  Use keywords, avoid filler words (like your business name)  Search engines read L to R. Include keywords first! Meta Description  160 characters  Can be more promotional Create unique meta tags for each page
    24. 24. QUALITY (ACCORDING TO GOOGLE) Original content (250+ words) Consistency and relevancy Images and videos Proper spelling, grammar, formatting Links and social shares from high quality sources
    25. 25. BEST PRACTICES FOR CONTENT 250 words per page Limit keywords to1-2 per page Content should make sense & flow naturally OK to substitute relevant keywords (lawyer for attorney) and variations (speaker/speaking)
    26. 26. IMAGE OPTIMIZATION Use keywords in Alt text to describe photos Good: wedding photographer in Maple Grove.jpg Bad: bride photo.jpg, bride with bouquet.jpg
    27. 27. LOCAL SEO Optimize location-based search results
    28. 28. LOCAL SEO  Fill out all fields with photos & descriptions (use keywords)  Eliminate any duplicate listings  Claim and verify your location  Incent customers to leave reviews  Monitor reviews & respond to negative comments
    29. 29. SEO FOR A LOCAL BUSINESS - WEBSITE Pick important location qualifiers Repeat wherever it’s appropriate: Page title tags and descriptions Site content Address in footer
    30. 30. TOOLS: #1 TOP FREE TOOL Google's own keyword tool © 2009, WWW.EG3.COM30
    31. 31. TOOLS: #2 TOP FREE TOOL Google Analytics © 2009, WWW.EG3.COM31
    32. 32. TOOLS: #3 TOP FREE TOOL Google Webmaster Tools © 2009, WWW.EG3.COM32 Bing Webmaster Tools
    33. 33. TOOLS: #4 FREE TOP TOOL KeywordSpy © 2009, WWW.EG3.COM33
    34. 34. TOOLS: #5 TOP FREE TOOL SEOBook's FireFox Rank Checker © 2009, WWW.EG3.COM34
    35. 35. TOOLS: #6 TOP FREE TOOL Sitemap Generator © 2009, WWW.EG3.COM35
    36. 36. TOOLS: #8 FAVORITE PAID TOOL Market Samurai  Keyword Research, SEO Intelligence, Rank Tracking © 2009, WWW.EG3.COM36
    37. 37. OFF-PAGE SEO TIPS Build links by creating quality content Update content frequently Do NOT invest in link-building schemes Social search (intersection of social media and SEO) is increasingly important Usability of your site is also increasingly important  High bounce rate and low engagement are red flags
    38. 38. SEO FOR PR Good P.R. is worth tons of link-building efforts Optimize the title, lead and 1st 250 words Free pitch services: PRWeb, Pitch Engine Use neighborhood media (, etc.) “Deep link” to inside pages
    39. 39. SOCIAL MEDIA
    40. 40. FINAL TIPS SEO = part art, part science. Your web developer may know the science but not the art of content. SEO = an ongoing strategy. Ranking can take months, so be patient. SEO = part analytics. Look at your web stat’s to see which pages are getting the most traffic.
    41. 41. KEEP IN TOUCH! Maria Verven VERVE