Why Small Businesses Need to Catch Up on Search Engines

Small Business Search Engine Optimization-the name says it all. Ten years ago, a business would have allocated hundreds or even thousands to the promotion of their business in bold, attractive advertisements in every yellow pages book-but who uses yellow pages anymore?

Today, one is hard-pressed to find an instance of a consumer pulling out his or her “handy dandy” yellow pages book when they need to find a plumber, electrician, or any other business. Instead, prospective customers either flock to their PCs or pull out their smartphones to perform a quick Google search-and why shouldn’t they?

The internet has rendered the world of information accessible at any time and place. In the modern marketing milienium, businesses need to make their online presence “flashy and bold” on results yielded by search engines rather than in printed listings. Simply put, the new “flashy and bold” is search engine optimization.

Further still, rather than developing a gaudy listing, the businessman must realize that the consumer instinctively trusts the ratings of search engines like Google; the closer to the top of the search results your business listing appears, the higher the likelihood that your business listing gets a hit, and higher the likelihood that the advertising effort will result in a sale. There are many methods and options for getting your business ranked higher on Google, Bing, and Yahoo search results. However, some of those options can quickly drain both your wallet and your time.

For the computer novice, outsourcing search engine optimization is usually the wiser choice. There are countless variables and a vast array of knowledge about the intricacies of SEO, and one can often run into problems a novice computer user cannot solve, particularly a poorly designed website that one does not have the resources to optimize correctly.

The first step in building your online presence or SEO is to simply have a website. Amazingly almost 50 percent of businesses still do not have a website, even in 2013. You might think that this is impossible, but if you actually search online for a large sample size of small businesses, you will find that many of them don’t have websites, especially sole propierterships that lack time to invest in an online presence.

I would hire a professional web design firm that has search engine optimization skills and task them with building the website or cleaing up your website if you already have one with on page search engine optimization standard procedures. Make sure to provide the company with robust content and images, otherwise your website will not represent you, and you may have to pay extra to get stock images, graphics or have content written for you. Once all the on page search engine optimization is done, then it’s time to start with off page search engine optimization.

Getting backlinks to your website from other websites is one of the primary off page SEO methods to make your website show up higher on organic listings on the major search engines.

The first step in this process is to claim all of your local listings such as Google places, superpages.com, yellowpages.com, yellowbot.com etc… When this is completed, there are thousands of other search engine websites to get great back-links from that may not be as big as Google, Yahoo, or Bing, but nonetheless can really help you overall online presence.

Social bookmarking and article submissions are another easy way to generate backlinks to your websites. However, they can take hours and hours of time, so if you don’t have spare time to spend on SEO outside of your day to day business operations, hire a professional search engine optimization firm to do so rather than struggling to keep up with search engine updates and local search sites that fluctuate in and out of relevancy-a nightmare for business owners who have no time for internet browsing and SEO updates.

Social media can also dramatically enhance your off-page SEO if you make sure your Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Foursquare, and all the other relevant social media platforms are efficiently integrated into your website. This is essential if you want to be competitive on tough keywords such as “restaurants New York” or “women’s clothes.”

Blogging is another component that most business owners do not take into consideration. Every business has its own niche, and if you can find an effective way to blog about this, the effort can greatly increase the relevant traffic to your website as well as helping you obtain more high quality back links from other popular websites. If you do not feel comfortable blogging, you may want to consider paying an SEO or blogging firm to assist you with building a blog for your business.

Video is also a great way to get more traffic to your website and to keep users on your website for a longer period of time. This improves what is called your “bounce rate,” or the percentage of visitors who arrive at your page and then “bounce” from website without viewing its other pages. A video can dramatically decrease your bounce rate and improve your search engine optimization rankings.

Last but certainly not least is refining your mobile accessibility. Converting your website to a mobile website for iPads, tablets, Androids, and all other smart phones is essential in today’s increasingly mobile world. Smartphone sales are exploding, and more and more people gain mobile internet access each year. Additionally, search engines are weighting mobile versions of a website more heavily on their search results, and they know whether a searcher is searching from mobile or not. So, make sure to your website has mobile capacities for both tablets and smart phones.

Finding the right professionals for search engine optimization is difficult. Often, a company will only hone one component of its search engine optimization techniques well such as back-linking, social media, or blogging. If you can find an SEO firm that plays to your weaknesses, it may offer the best strategy for improving your company’s website rankings. For instance, if you lack strong back-links, an SEO firm that specializes in back-linking may be right for you.

Take your time in finding the resource that best suits your goals, and don’t feel pressure to sign a long term contract when there are many options available. I would also suggest finding a local team, because an SEO firm in India is going to be building your off-page presence with websites and poor English, and Google knows this. Go local-it’s the best way to get truly organic results.

Optometry Web Sites – Unleashing the Power of Search Engines

If you already have a website or are planning to get one, now is the time to understand exactly how people can find your site. Optometric websites aren’t simply stumbled upon. You can always send out your website on everything you put out in your office, such as the letterhead, newsletters, business cards and any advertising you send out. Unless the web address is written out before them, customers will soon forget them.

The other way to get people to your optometric websites is to pull people into them using well-written websites that draw the attention of search engines. Search engines involve indices of information available on the web. They employ spiders or crawlers that record everything they come across on the internet. Key words and phrases are recorded and pages are ranked as to how relevant and prominent the keywords are.

You have the ability to impact how your site is ranked by the search engines. More people will click on highly ranked sites than on the lower sites. The more visitors you have to your site, the more potential new customers you’ll have at your office. Designing a website that is search engine-friendly is the key to growing your practice at a low or no extra cost.

Keywords in Optometric Websites

Businesses who do websites well will understand the best keywords for their business. Programs like WordTracker can show you the words that are the most searched for related to your site. It might be “optometrists Boston” or “eyeglasses” or “contacts”. Use one of the top keywords in the title of your site and within the text of your site’s web pages.

Remember that getting to the top of a keyword site that has 25 million other hits on the search engine won’t be easy so focus on those website keywords that are relevant but not readily used by others. And just creating content that is key-word rich may not bring you to the top of a search engine’s list. If you use generic keywords like “optometrist”, it puts you on a really long search engine list in which you will definitely not be at the top.

The keywords you use for your optometric websites depend entirely upon your practice. If you’re an optometric practice specializing in pediatrics, then “contact lenses” wouldn’t be a proper key word for you. Instead you might use “kids’ eyecare” as a keyword. Such a keyword will bring you to the top of the search engine results page for that particular keyword. The idea is to judiciously use keywords that are the most relevant to your business.

There are several tools you can use to choose the proper keywords. Besides WordTracker, Overture.com is a large pay-per-click online advertiser. It is owned by Yahoo and has a specific tool designed to help you select a keyword based on how often it was searched within the last month. You can find this tool at Overture’s site. Through the strategic use of keywords within your headings and text, you can turn your website from a low ranking to getting hundreds or thousands of visitors per month.

Keywords to optometric websites must be imbedded in “relevant material.” You can’t create poor content and expect the search engine spider to accept it and include it as part of your rankings. The actual page ranking depends on three important things: “tags” for page titles and description tags; how many other sites have linked to your site; how rich your keyword content is.

If your practice is local, include the locale in your title headings and in your keywords. You can also use pay-per-click advertising which is centralized to the local level. People from Miami won’t be searching for an optometric practice in LA.

Having a good website is important for your page ranking and therefore is important for your optometric practice.

Choosing Business Cards That Will Promote Your Business

The promotion of your company is important to its success. There are many ways by which it may be promoted. One simple way is to have business cards that can be passed out in a number of places and situations. This option is a good one, but it really must be the right piece for it to work correctly. You should be sure that this form of marketing is informative, directional, and eye-catching.

Having business cards that are informative is very important. They should be like poetry – short and to-the-point. They should offer your name, the name of the company, the address, phone number, email address, web address, and even Facebook page. The heading should somehow let the one who accepts them know what the company is all about.

Directionality is another consideration as you are making up this marketing tool. You could put a small map on the back and/or put the contact information where you can best be reached. This is in addition to the company’s contact information.

The appearance of your business cards is another consideration to look at when you are having them designed. They should be eye-catching. They should not be gaudy, but classiness is catchy in its own way. It needs to be true to what the company is. If it is a party store, then it can be a little more colorful than if it is for a wedding planning business.

There are websites that offer great deals for business cards. This route is okay to go with, but there is one problem with it. Because many people go to these websites, many people may have ones that look like your design. This could be detrimental to your company depending on what people see before they see yours.

After looking at all of these areas, you will need to decide on the best company to make them, the best design, the best information, and the best way of laying it all out. You will also need to consider the cost before you go forward with them. Take your budget into consideration to make sure that you do not purchase something that is exorbitant. You will want something that will make your company look good, but you also need to use wisdom and common sense.

Take the time to research all of your options for business cards, and you should be on your way to being able to offer something to those you meet that will help them to know what your company has to offer. This marketing tool could dramatically affect your company’s popularity.