So, you want to start with this "SEO" stuff - getting my site noticed on the internet...
BUT - you know nothing about it, you're not a web guru and you certainly don't have the money to hire a big firm for thousands of dollars.
How do you get started, then? How can you make a difference with your new or small business?
Try these on for starters:
Make sure your and/or your web developer are up to date on the latest techniques to access search engines and directories. This means your web site can be easily found from anywhere on the Internet. Make sure that your site is listed with the most popular search engines and directories. These include sites like Google, Yahoo!, AltaVista, InfoSeek and many others.
STRATEGY: Visit the search engines and look for the link and directions on 'how to add your URL'. It's free and it's easy. Also make sure to list in DMOZ.org - the directory that most other search engines get their info from.
Adding Value To Your Web Site
Repeat visits and referrals are important to the success of your presence. Find the items and information that will bring your clients back to your web site and your products.
STRATEGY: Offer regular promotions, updated news & content and offer incentives (frequent customers get discounts or free gifts)
Detailed Statistic Analysis
Your Website should have a comprehensive, real-time statistics package available. By tracking the movement through your site, you can determine which of your products or services stimulates the most interest. Statistical user information such as city, country, browser type and operating system can help us determine target market areas and users to help increase traffic and sales. You can also see where your visitors are coming from - whether it's a search engine, an ad or an online directory - great for targeting your efforts.
STRATEGY: If you don't know how to access your stats, ask your hosting company. If your hosting company doesn't provide them, get a new hosting company!
In the online world of information, many web sites are strictly functioning as web "directories". These directories provide information to the public about various industries, and provide links to those sites that do business in that industry. Having your site listed on these directories will not only help to increase traffic to your site, but will increase the "popularity" of your site by having it linked on yet another page. Costa Pacific can find and request links to sites that complement your business.
STRATEGY: Do a search on the search engines for your industry, as though you're looking for your own type of business, you'll be surprised how many directories come up that you can get your business listed on! Many of these directories are free, or are very low cost, for just a few dollars a month.
Cross Link Marketing
Cross-linking is a standard practice in the Internet world and is one of the fastest and most cost-effective ways to drive traffic to your website. By providing a link to someone else's website, they in return provide a link back to yours, so every time you link your website to another, you add one more avenue of exposure. This can be accomplished in several different ways. Any website that you provide a link to, or advertise on your website, should promote you as well.
STRATEGY: Approach all of the people that you currently work with. Ask them if they would add a link from their website to yours, and that you'll do the same for them. Explain that you are paying to advertise your website wherever possible and that the more traffic you drive to your site, the more traffic they will receive. Also, contact sites who's services or products you really would LIKE to show on your site along side your own, and ask about reciprocal linking.
Next week, we'll get into pay per click advertising and the very inexpensive way to increase your site's rank and popularity!