Dallas Business Consultant Elijah ClarkDallas Business Consultant Elijah Clark

Local Search Optimization

This article starts by introducing the reader to a two-part search marketing formula known as global search. This two part formula consist of anchor text and authority. The author includes that anchor text and authority still do matter when it comes to geographical specific searches. The overall concept is “If you can win the authority + anchor text battle, it could just be the tie-breaker in an otherwise close match (Caldwell, 2009).”

Another strategy the author mentions is to watch closely to your competitors and their local link groupings. “A local link grouping would be a page on the Internet where all or most of your competitors get incoming links from (Caldwell, 2009).” By searching your company’s keyword, you can indentify your competitors and then indentify the backlinks that they have in common.  Once these backlinks are indentified, you should include your business name and link within those same sites if possible.

In addition to link building, another important factor to remember when it comes to geographical specific searches is address citations.  Address citations include listing the company’s name, address, phone number and website wherever possible. In addition to including this information, by using the proper address brackets, this will also help legitimize the company’s membership in that geo-location, which will ultimately help search engines place higher priority and trust to that company’s specified address.

While CompanyEC (CEC) has a competing level of anchor text and page rank, it loses to its competitors when it comes to authority. Most of CEC’ competitors have been in business at least five years longer than CEC has. Because CEC still falls to the second page of Google for the search term “Dallas Web Design,” this goes to show that authority is a high factor in determining its rank positioning.

CEC has used the local grouping technique mentioned within this article to find and place its web address backlinks. This has been proven successful by CEC progressing quickly within the local search ranks. A technique CEC used to find these local groupings was by using tools such as Google, Yahoo, Alexa and iWebtool.com to search out competitor’s backlinks.

Being that CEC is an all-online business, it doesn’t get a chance to use its address very often. However, when CEC did a majority of its business offline, it did have the opportunity to compete better in the local market by placing its address within local and international online databases, which include Google and Yahoo local, Merchant Circle and the Better Business Bureau.

References

Caldwell, R. (2009). 3 Keys to success for local search seo. Retrieved June 25, 2010, from http://www.searchenginejournal.com/local-search-seo/8786/

Mobile Optimization

Some businesses have websites but don’t have a properly built website that is optimized for mobile devices. Even if you do have a mobile website, customers may complain that the website doesn’t look as good or that the website’s performance on mobile devices is sluggish. When you’re building your mobile website keep in mind that it’s on a phone, or device smaller than a computer monitor, meaning your buttons need to be bigger, some content needs to be moved, and some content needs to be removed or blocked from being seen on the mobile version of the website. A mobile website should be a watered-down version of your main website and should include only key selling points and a call to action. Keep in mind that most mobile users aren’t on your website to view your special graphics or large photo gallery. If your site is not built or optimized specifically for mobile users, your bounce rate will skyrocket and you’ll lose a potential customer over a fixable problem.

Internet Marketing and Search Engine Optimization for a Small Business

Marketing is necessary for any small business if they want to build a strong online presence. While bigger businesses are going to be successful because of their name and more money invested, small business owners can still compete in the growing Internet market. There are many different non-expensive ways to make an online business have a big presence. The keys to understanding how an online business works is by researching the industry and the target audience. “Once you know what you should be looking at, your online business will thrive with just a little effort. You’ll be less ‘in the dark’ about what is and isn’t working for you” (Hill, 2009, p. 4). There are many free and non-expensive tools to help any business within the online and offline market. Along with knowing the industry and the target audience, an online marketer must also know where to find marketing venues and an effective audience.

In a research done by writer Carrie Hill, she mentions that there are at least four important metrics when it comes to understanding the how to gain new online customers. The first of those metrics is understanding conversion rates. “By measuring your conversion rate, analyzing sticking points, and clearing the paths to and through your sales pages, you’re making sure your conversions are on their way to being the best in the industry” (Hill, 2009, p. 7). The next metric mentioned is referring sites & keywords. This consists of using popular relevant affiliate sources for marketing to new customers. It also consists of knowing what keywords to use in order to create an effective advertisement. Bounce rate is also mentioned as the third of the four metrics. Bounce rate is used to determine if a page is being effective. A great example to understanding bounce rate is someone going onto a website, not seeing anything they like and immediately leaving the site without clicking on any link within the site. The final metric mentioned is measuring the number of unique visitors. This “gives you a better idea of the ‘people visits’ to your Web site versus the number of pages they viewed on the site” (Hill, 2009, p. 18).

Writer Michel Martinez mentions search engine optimization tactics consisting of Visibility, which he mentions “is an intangible aspect of search engine optimization” (Martinez, 2006, p. 2). Another mention is organizing the websites content to help the visitors and searchengines better understand the site. Almost all websites have embedded keywords in them and Martinez mentions that keywords are relevant but that they are “meaningless until you know how they fit into the big picture” (Martinez, 2006, p. 4). He continues by stating that “keyword research is fundamental to understanding what potential visitors need to draw them into a site” (Martinez, 2006, P. 16). His study also shows that site links are most important and should be organized just as well as the site content. He mentions segue points as being incidental content that is not indexable. This includes images, tables and boxes, which can clutter a web site and drive potential customers away.

Michael Rappa has a great article on the topic of running a business on the web. His article discusses that “a business model is the method of doing business by which a company can sustain itself — that is, generate revenue. The business model spells-out how acompany makes money by specifying where it is positioned in the value chain” (Rappa, 2009, p. 2). His research further states that many web marketer’s work together to create a broader range of customers. This includes using affiliate programs and advertising on one another’s site. An example of this would be one site owner being a web design company and the other being a search engineoptimization company. They can both offer the others services to their customers.

According to writer Jon Rognerud, he believes that social media marketing is a great way to better market an online business. He mentions how getting out in the social network arena and interacting with potential customers is a great way to get a business name out on the market. “Social media marketing (SMM) is a form of internet marketing which seeks to achieve branding and marketingcommunication goals through the participation in various social media networks”. Rognerud believes that “you can convert traffic if you target appropriately (research needed), and do not spam” ( Rognerud, 2008, p 10). This method can be very time consuming and can ultimately be a fulltime job with the extensive maintenance and updates that need to be made.

A Writer from Thomas Reuters website says that “Business owners should carefully plan their marketing strategies and performance to keep their market presence strong” (Reuters, 2009, p. 1). Without planning, there could potentially be lots of time and money wasted targeting the wrong audience or not targeting effectively. “Marketing is based on the importance of customers to a businessand has two important principles.

1. All company policies and activities should be directed toward satisfying customer needs.

2. Profitable sales volume is more important than maximum sales volume” (Reuters, 2009, p. 2).

“Market research will also identify trends that affect sales and profitability. Population shifts, legal developments, and the local economic situation should be monitored to quickly identify problems and opportunities. It is also important to keep up with competitors’ market strategies” (Reuters, 2009, p. 4). Keeping up with competitors strategies can be very effective and can save from potentially wasting time and money. This can be affective, not only by studying what competitors are doing right, but also what they are doing wrong.

There are plenty of ways to better market any business online. Most programs that can help do this are free of charge and have a very reliable technique that can only help any business. These methods aren’t just used by small businesses, but they are used by anyone who is looking to better market their online business. Even with the amount of tools to help market these businesses, it is very time consuming. There is no one method to use to create a flawless online marketing plan. The most effective method that any business can use to better their business is to take the time by researching and staying updated on the market and the target customers.

 

Credits

Hill, C. (2009). Taking the fear out of web analytics for your small business. RetrievedNovember 8, 2009, from http://searchenginewatch.com/3634179/

Martinez, M. (2006). Four fundamental principles of seo. Retrieved November 15 2009, from http://www.seomoz.org/blog/four-fundamental-principles-of-seo

Rappa, M. (2009). Business models on the web. Retrieved November 8, 2009, from http://digitalenterprise.org/models/models.html

Rognerud, J. (2009). Social media marketing beginner’s guide. Retrieved November 14, 2008, from http://www.marketingpilgrim.com/2008/04/social-media-marketing-beginners-guide.html

Thomson Reuters. (2009). Marketing basics. Retrieved November 8, 2009, from

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