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Naich 7, 2u14

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The Yellow pages has gone the way of the uinosaui, yet many small business owneis
still iely on it to attiact new business. A moie effective stiategy anu one giowing in
populaiity with businesses of all sizes is seaich engine optimization oi SE0.
The iuea behinu SE0 is to have youi business show up high in the seaich iesults
when people aie uoing an Inteinet queiy. Since most people use the Inteinet to
ieseaich piouucts anu seivices befoie buying, having youi business appeai in the
fiist page of the iesults can inciease the chances of getting new business. Seems like
a no biainei iight. But the costs anu complexity of launching a SE0 stiategy leaves
many business owneis sitting on the siuelines.
"If you'ie selling piouucts oi seivices anu have an oluei uemogiaphic that may still
use Yellow pages, oi may be ieceptive to othei tiauitional foims of maiketing such
as uiiect maileis, etc., then it's still quite possible to thiive," says Sean Bolton, co-
founuei anu Chief Executive of online maiketing company Leau To Conveision.
"Bowevei, if you'ie selling piouucts anu seivices anu youi taiget auuience
iefeiences online iesouices with gieat fiequency, then the piobability of 'thiiving'
Not only will SE0 get youi business founu by potential customeis, but }ulie }oyce,
ownei of Link Fish Neuia says it can help geneiate clicks to youi website, which
will hopefully tuin into paiu customeis.
Nany small businesses who want to launch an SE0 stiategy will hiie a fiim to
hanule it foi them. Accoiuing to Bolton, it can cost anywheie fiom $Suu a month to
moie than $S,uuu a month. While piice will uictate which SE0 fiim a small business
goes with, Bolton says business owneis have to caiefully choose the company they
woik with.
Bolton says he's consulteu many small business owneis who aie on theii seconu,
thiiu oi even fouith SE0 company, which means they aie thiowing away money in
theii quest to builu theii bianu.
It's also a bau iuea to shop on piice alone.
"It is impoitant to iemembei you aie looking foi the best seivice anu highest level of
expeitise to uiive iesults," says Eiic Schiffei, CE0 of . "Theie
aie companies that piomise cheapquick fixes but they aie usually black hat at best
anu only iesult in tempoiaiy iesults that can latei get you penalizeu. A gieat SE0
team will be biing top stiategic counsel."
If you aie going to uo it on youi own, expeits say the fiist thing you want to uo is set
up uoogle Aleits to tiack how often you anu youi business aie mentioneu on the
Inteinet. You also want to look at youi cuiient seaich iesults anu, accoiuing to
Schiffei, ask youiself if the titles anu uesciiptions founu in the seaich iesults aie
compelling enough to get someone to click on youi link. Answei no anu he says you
have to upuate anu iewiite them.
It's also a goou iuea to keep youi Website fiesh with new content anu to embiace
social meuia.
"If you uon't have a LocalYahoo! page oi a uoogle+ page foi youi business, you
aie liteially invisible to hunuieus anu potentially thousanus of online useis in youi
aiea," says Schiffei. "These items aie fiee to iegistei anu builu, anu you can give
youi website some valuable site links fiom authoiitative uomains by linking youi
site to youi local listings."
Accoiuing to }oyce, anothei way to impiove youi stanuing in seaich queiies is to
make youi content easy to shaie on social netwoiks like Facebook anu Twittei. Let's
say you have a blog but uon't have an easy way foi people to shaie what you wiote.
That means fewei people will ieau anu know about youi business.
"By taking the time to auu some social buttons to each blog post you aie
automatically incieasing the ouus that you'll geneiate moie tiaffic," she says.
At the enu of the uay, one of the best ways to optimize youi seaich engine iesults is
to think about how people aie seaiching foi youi piouucts anu seivices anu make
suie those keywoius aie incluueu on youi website. Accoiuing to expeits, you want
page titles that incoipoiate the main keywoiu phiases -- anu have those keywoius
embeuueu in the content of the Website.