Creating an excellent website and promoting your business via seo and social media websites can be carried out in 8 steps.
In my own years online, I’ve seen the painstaking learning procedure for starting–and marketing–an web business often over. When I started my business, social media was foreign if you ask me. It’s an extension of seo and represents a robust medium: you. I am hoping that in sharing my story of discovering SEO, how it operates and how exactly to utilize social media websites to advertise a business, you can shorten your own learning curve.
Through the years, my fledgling enterprise has steadily grown–sometimes regardless of me rather than due to me. I am not really a slick, savvy e-marketer, but I’ve learned by eavesdropping, experimenting, reading books, taking part in blogs and forums, and through plenty of learning from your errors. As I’ve struggled at night first few mile markers upon this apparently endless path, I’ve frequently wished someone could have guided me. My head and heart ached for simple, step-by-step, everyday language guidance. Finally, I made a decision to leave a few trail markers of my very own by helping others through this column.
First, a few quick definitions:
- SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION (SEO) –An ingenious group of strategies and approaches for driving your site to the most notable of search engine results positioning lists. When anyone queries your keyphrases, the search engines will attempt showing your optimized website on the first page, preferably at the very top.
- SOCIAL MEDIA (SMM) –Social interaction online, and usage of MySpace, Facebook, Twitter and other internet sites to embed personal and business messages of different varieties. Create new relationships with friends and customers, building their loyalty for you and vice versa.
- Viral Marketing –Rapidly becoming the global term for taking advantage of the messaging included in the most popular internet sites, it’s done discreetly and sometimes without knowing be it a hit together with your audience–creating network messaging that rapidly spreads by the internet’s exact carbon copy of a whispering campaign.
Why value social media like Facebook? According to Social Media Statistics, 39 million unique visitors logged directly into Facebook last September, and the upstart social networking continued to narrow the gap on MySpace. In early January, a lot more than 10 billion photos appeared on Facebook; and photo traffic peaked at a lot more than 300,000 images served per second. Late this past year, using somewhat dated figures, experts estimated 20 percent of Canada’s population was on Facebook.
You understand why just a little "SMM" may be an excellent idea. But, first, I’ll retrace my steps:
- Discover how to create a basic website with freeware. Cranking up my bravery and starting my business, I visited GoDaddy.com and got myself a domain name for two bucks. "Yeah," I thought, "I’m somebody now." Using WordPress, just about the most popular open source (free) web frameworks, I built myself a website. WordPress gave me all of the tools and widgets I needed, and it i want to customize and optimize for users and se’s pretty easily. My photo, my name and my products appeared just as I needed.
Although it’s probably only a tiny footprint on an extremely large virtual beach, it’s my footprint, and I love it.
In the first about a week, my website drew a few customers and I made a few sales. Actually, I made sufficient sales to make sure me I had not been totally insane for starting an online enterprise throughout a sluggish economy. And I made sufficient sales to i want to know I needed to create a many more.
- Setup the street signs on the info highway–nixing the spam. I recall looking out the automobile window during road trips, seeing billboard after billboard, counting down the miles to another stop. SEO could be thought of as the procedure of establishing those same signs along the info superhighway.
I asked myself, "EASILY were a customer searching for my product, how would I find me?"
I started searching Yahoo and google! (Google now owns 72 percent of the U.S. search marketplace), and there I was. Seeing my business there on Google was a strange and wonderful experience. It made me feel just like a genuine businessperson. But my business and I appeared nowhere close to the the surface of the list, and folks rarely click beyond the next page of the Google listings. Even my dog knows that if you are not near the top of the Google list, you’re not there. So, how exactly to work my way up to the most notable of the charts?
SEO may be the first answer. Eavesdropping on a coffee house conversation, I hear, "SEO." Internet search engine optimization–strategies, tactics and approaches for driving your business to the most notable of the search engines’ lists.
The first SEO tactic is indeed simple it’s almost frightening. Use a keyword-rich domain where possible, place your keywords in the most notable part of your page you need to include them in the title of the page. Then, use variations of the keyword naturally through the copy. When I went from nowhere to the next page of Google’s results for main keywords, and first page for longer tail keywords (three to five-plus words) for businesses like mine, I decided to made critical steps in the proper direction. I needed to look into link constructing and pay-per-click advertising, but that learning came later.
- Drive increased traffic to your internet site. I installed site meter web analytics on my new website. Then, I set the website meter to e-mail me every week, sending me detailed reports about my visitors, their locations and what they’d viewed.
I felt comforted and reassured that folks were visiting, but how would I talk to them? I’d setup a website, but a couple of individuals had visited, and just a few had downloaded my "special" report. I knew I’d won their loyalty by their e-mail feedback. But how about all those individuals who gave me the web exact carbon copy of "Just looking, thanks"?
I used the same basic principle I’d applied with SEO: I added a web link to my e-mail and provided contact information on every page of my website. Then, visitors simply had to click one spot with their questions and I possibly could react to answer their questions and commence to qualify those answers. It worked. I had a few nice conversations, and I boosted my sales.
- Blog about your passion, and do it consistently. When I started my business, I also started a paper journal about any of it therefore i could remember all of the thoughts and worries that ran through my head as I wrote my daily "ideas, frustrations and what worked" notes. Once more, strategically eavesdropping on the coffee house hot shots, I overheard them discussing how these were driving sales with their blogs. Of course, I thought. I’m not self-conscious–I’ll put my journal on a blog using my little SEO tricks, some search-friendly WordPress plug-ins, and begin posting each day.
I came across Blogger.com, a niche site owned by Google. Establishing my blog there, I came across how frighteningly easy it had been to establish another web presence–three clicks and I was there. Following a advice of Problogger, I knew I had a need to update frequently and stay consistent. I began updating your blog first thing every day and developed an excellent little network of loyal readers who became regular visitors. The conversation expanded broadly from there. The counters on my site meter increased, and I saw more visitors each day and an extended stay for every visit.
- Get connected through social media sites. Everyone in my own family includes a Facebook, MySpace or Twitter page. From what I’ve seen, I’d bet even dogs are establishing "walls" on Facebook and so are using them to meet up French Poodles. As always, I numbered among the last to catch the wave. Actually, Facebook is greater than a big wave; it’s an internet tsunami–in a great way.
I worried that Facebook were teenage hang outs–the internet equivalents of the coffeehouses on weekends. However when I saw that CNN had teamed up with Facebook, I reconsidered. Facebook gives me another tool for updating the world about my business, and it offers me a robust tool for updating family and friends about developments in my own world. I shamelessly built my Facebook profile and pages with seduction at heart. EASILY were going there to meet up people, I would make an effort to seduce them. Just as, easily put my business there, I’d want my services and products to seduce clients. Facebook makes it simple to create pictures and add little blurbs about cool new stuff, and tell others.
Most significant, Facebook gave me an instrument allowing you to connect to old friends, and friends of friends, and friends of their friends who used to be friends. You get the theory. Several my Facebook pals had downloaded its mobile application with their PDAs, plus they got text messages every time I set up a post on my page. So, I added Facebook posts to my daily to-do list. Immediately after I blog, I post something on Twitter and Facebook. They both alert my multiple networks that there surely is something exciting happening in my own world.
- Stay static in Touch. Be helpful, and present simple but useful answers. I found another valuable tip from CNN: Many of the newscasters invite viewers to create their opinions via Twitter. They run the comments in a crawl in the bottom of the screen, so when I read viewers’ comments, I start to see the feedback appears almost instantly–as if the individuals were there in the studio adding to a conversation.
Twitter asks you just, "What exactly are you doing?" I keep things fresh at the web site and Twitter when I could.
Twitter also helps me begin word-of-mouth promotions–the internet exact carbon copy of whispering, "Hey, perhaps you have heard . ?"
- Update or redesign your original website to add tantalizing new features. The word-of-mouth concept posed a little little conundrum: Whispering campaigns require salacious little secrets. If there is no sensational, useful content that’s helpful or interesting, there’s really no point in whispering. Nobody really wants to know that you merely had lunch. Therefore, I came across myself scratching my head and wondering how exactly to create something interesting and useful. For me personally, video was the answer, and a straightforward one, too. Try animoto.com, and you will see why about video creation being easy. You can upload it right to YouTube, adding more content to your channel; JingProject.com and ScreenToaster.com certainly are a bit more work, but very powerful. They’re tools to create new videos of your desktop tutorials, presentations and personal videos.
I’m not really a great videographer, but I’m focusing on it. I created a cute little three minute video of individuals using the best products. It ended up being pretty good, so when I posted it, it certainly did bring my site alive. Now, when people select my page, they see others who look nearly the same as them, plus they watch them using my products.
I put out the term on my networks: "Cool new video–check it out." Traffic soared. Clearly, YouTube can be my next marketing destination.
- Invest in providing excellent customer support. When I started my business, I promised myself I’d maintain my focus on service. Whichever new tool I’ve added and adapted, I usually used it to improve my service. The majority of my tools empower me to focus on my customers, so when I focus on them, I make certain I follow the time-honored principles of good customer support: I listen a lot more than I talk, and I question a lot more than I answer. I respond rapidly to requests, I discipline myself as part of your to check out up after sales, always say "Thank you" and usually offer some incentive for a buyer to come back.
Obviously, the web gives us far more tools for inviting and engaging traffic, but all our technological sophistication should never carry us too much away from the fundamentals: People still want good products at fair prices, delivered by trustworthy and charming characters who know their stuff and how it operates.
Jon Rognerud is Entrepreneur.com’s SEO columnist and the writer of Ultimate Guide to SEARCH ENGINE OPTIMISATION, available from Entrepreneur Press. He has a lot more than twenty years experience creating and managing internet marketing projects, including positions at Yahoo!/Overture.