The third of a four part series designed to help the average website manager learn and apply some important fixes that are guaranteed to help any website’s ranking. Many of the techniques described here are easily researched to learn the how-to. I just don't have room in one article.
In the 1st installment we discussed the initial website cleanup process and the basic steps to take with your site to get everything in order. The 2nd installment dealt with search engines and how to interact with them. In this segment we explore some external options for marketing your site and increasing its desirability to both search engines and public.
Also known as Back Links, these are links pointing into your site from other sites. Good links are great, bad links are poison. Quality over quantity rules the day; I’d rather have one link from Huffington Post than 50 links from Johnny’s flower shop and the local baking club. Getting links takes time and effort but is well worth the work, provide that they are quality links and gained in a natural fashion. A good article on easy to find links called Low Hanging Links is worth checking out.
Directories expand your visibility exponentially. Pick 10 and get listed with consistent NAPI across all the directories. Remember, your NAP must match your website info. This takes time to clean up across multiple directories and get consistent. If you don’t have time and follow through then hire out to a pro. Be aware of two important things. All the directories get their information from one of a handful of top level data aggregators such as LocalEze, Neustar, InfoGroup and Factual. If you don’t fix things there then the bad information will simply reappear again and again. Second, It pays to have it done right. If you are hiring someone to do this for you find out what their experience is. Hiring a temp worker with no experience to handle it is just asking for trouble. Get a company or professional who makes this a constant part of their business.
Locate mentions of your business using site:yourwebsite.com query. Make a list of places where your business is mentioned and then reach out to them. Thank them for mentioning you and ask for a link back to your site. They may or may not be willing or able to but if you don’t ask you won’t get it.
Establish a business account. Interact. Put a badge on your pages. Put a +1 on your pages. Along these same lines I strongly suggest that you get a Google My Business account set up. This is the summary product of several years of Google experimenting with things like Places, + and more. My Business brings everything together in one neat package and gives you a powerful presence across the Google platform, which in turn translates to more visibility. A recent webinar by Heather Wilburn of Google provides some great tips for managing this. Check out the webinar PDF.
Ask good clients for a review, spread them out across time and directories. Those little gold stars are like gold. Just don’t try to manipulate them, many directories have very sophisticated algorithms which can identify bogus reviews and delete them. Worse than that though is that your business gets the reputation for bogus reviews and you may well find there are other ways the directories punish you for that activity. Just ask for honest reviews from your clients and customers. There are some services which can help you do this. If you want some suggestions drop me an email.
There are tools to create these. Make them fun, useful, informative, attractive. Make sure they only link to relevant content. There are infographic creating templates and websites online. Just search “Create Infographics” and you will find a wealth of tools to help you create neat, nifty and stunningly brilliant infographics. Really….
Video is a powerful tool, in case you haven’t heard. Introductory videos, How-to videos, Demonstration videos, the list goes on. These are a great way for you to give prospective clients a taste of you and how your business operates. Be professional, comfortable and keep the videos to a finished length of 2 to 3 minutes max. SEO it fully and add a transcript via a tab or expanding div.
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