Last week I published the first part of this article containing the first three steps that I think you'll find incredibly valuable in strengthening the overall presence of your business online. Here is a link to last week's article.
Today I will (obviously) give you 3 more things that you can do to give your small business that extra boost it may need - not only in the search engines, but also in the brains of all those around you!
4. Learn to manage the content on your own website
Don't get me wrong, I understand that not everyone has an eye for design and that it may actually be a muuuch better idea to pay someone else to do the initial design of your website (if it doesn't already exist) - in fact...I know a guy ;). That being said, you as the small business owner, should have some general knowledge about your website including how to make simple modifications and additions by yourself. In fact, if your web designer does not bring this up with you and makes you think you'll have to call him or her any time an update or additon needs to get done - look for another designer.
"But why should I learn to do this?"
For the simple reason that no one (at least no one should!) know your business as well as you do. If you have a great idea for a way to change or update an existing page on your site, you should have the ability to do so immediately. If you have a great idea for an article to add to your website in the form of a blog post, you shouldn't have to wait until your "web person" has the chance to get around to doing it for you.
The more actively involved you are with your own site, the better! This is true for both for you AND the website!
5. Learn the bare minimum SEO strategies
Don't gasp! When I say the "bare minimum" I mean just that. And, this step works hand-in-hand with step 4. What do I mean?
Say that you are the owner of a fitness facility for the sake of example. One day, you get an idea for a fantastic blog post you could add to your site; something that all of your current, and even potential, clients could benefit from. An article about your latest training technique perhaps?
You know enough about the the backend of your website to add a blog post and do a few other things - but adding a new piece of content to your website on your own should be accompanied with the knowledge of a few extra things such as:
- A basic understanding of keywords
- What an (SEO) page title is
- What a meta-description is
These may sound like very "techie" terms, but I assure you that they are nothing to be intimidated by. With a simple SEO plugin installed on your website you can handle this like a pro!
6. Learn a little about Paid Advertising
I balk just a little bit with this one. Not because paid advertising doesn't have value. It has a ton of value, otherwise I wouldn't even mention it. It's just that I believe that a lot of businesses get carried away with it and can't see the GLARING cons through some of the obvious pros.
Let me give a quick overview from my perspective...
Paid advertising is FAST! You can get a link to your website in front of peoples faces in record time. That is a huge bonus and the most obvious "Pro" to using paid advertising.
That being said, DO keep the following points in mind.
- The general public has become savvy. You PAID to show up in the search results, you did NOT earn your way there. 10 years ago, not many people really knew the difference. Now they DO know the difference - and many don't like this and won't click those paid advertisements!
- Paid advertising can get expensive. Make sure you are prepared for this!
- Paid advertising can cause laziness. In other words, once you see your site at the top of a google page, it may cause you to not be as motivated to have worthwhile content on your site. If this happens to you, remember points one and two above!
Of course there are many other pros and cons to using paid advertising as a strategy to beef up your business's presence on the web, but these, in my opinion, are worth considering first.
It is my belief that you should use paid advertising as part of your initial strategy as you are creating the real meat and potatoes within your website and elsewhere. This way, people are made aware of your business as you work diligently on the backend to build its reputation.
Now that we have covered what I think are six great ways to boost the presence of your small business's website, keeping in mind that putting in the effort is KEY, what are your thoughts? Do you have additional ideas? I'd love to hear from you if that is the case! Leave a comment below.
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