Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

SEO for Small Business

Small businesses in small towns have been the backbone of America for centuries. In the early days the most common way to find a business was through word of mouth. In later years, as technology advanced, tools like the printing press, radio, television and other resources were used in promotion. When people wanted to find a product or service right away, a vast number turned to the yellow pages.

the yellow pages

Search Engines Have Replaced the Yellow Pages

Today, when people want to find providers of goods or services, they go to the search engines. This has been going on for years, but it has become more dominant as the use of smart phones has increased. Businesses need to be found in these searches.

There are two ways for a small business to get into the search results that they don’t have to pay for. First, they can open an account on the search engine and sign up their business. This will list their location, their website and their contact information. The search engine also gives preference to local business websites in the rankings below the local results section. Second, they can target a niche market. With a specialized good or service it is easier to get ranked due to the lack of competition for the phrases that describe the good or service. Not all small businesses have a niche market they can target. So they need to focus on the local listing features of the search engines.

Small businesses can be found in local searches many ways.

Business Websites Must Go Mobile

With the majority of searches taking place on mobile devices and the sale of desktop computers going down, a business today must have a website that will work well on mobile devices. There are a surprising number of businesses that do not have pages that will accommodate the smaller screens. They need to redesign their websites.

Business Website Redesign

For small businesses to get the maximum benefit from the web and the search engines, they must have pages that work on all devices. A website can be redesigned for a fraction of what it cost to build it. The website designer already has the content from the existing site to work with. All that has got to be done is to put that content in a different code format that will work with mobile devices.

This is an example of the redesign of a business website.

Let us redesign your website.

SEO and Website Redesign

For a business that has an outdated website, redesign has two benefits. First, the site is easier to view and use on mobile devices. Second, it shows the search engines that you are targeting the mobile market. That will improve your search engine ranks for both mobile and desktop searches. Website redesign will pay for itself many times over for a small business.

Local Businesses and SEO

Local businesses sometimes feel pushed out by big companies in the search engines. But this shouldn’t be the case. The search engines have done a lot to accommodate local businesses in their local markets. They favor local websites for area searches and they have created local maps that focus strictly on the businesses in the local area. All a business has got to do is work with the tools available in Google and Bing to get into those searches. If you want help getting your website working in these searches then just contact us.

Websites Viewed on Mobile Devices

The Web Viewing Shift

It was not long ago that most Americans felt they needed a personal computer in order to stay in touch with the world via the web. Today, most of them are able to do everything they want on a tablet or a smart phone. So why should they spend their money on a desktop computer?

Website designers are creating sites with this in mind. They know that over time more and more sites will be viewed on smart devices while fewer will be viewed on desktops. So the place they need to invest their time is in the mobile design. Today this is done in the “mobile first website design” format.

What is Mobile First?

For years all of the sites we have designed have been mobile friendly. That means they have pages that will operate on mobile devices. As the share of website views has shifted from desktop to mobile, the primary method of website design have shifted to mobile first. A mobile first design begins with the layout of the website in a mobile device. After the mobile design is completed, the site is modified to accommodate the desktop screen.

Our Mobile First Website Design Example

We recently finished a mobile first business website for a new client. J & J Marine asked for a new website. They knew that most of their visitors would use mobile devices. So we approached their site with mobile first website design.

Boating Business Website

We designed the J & J Marine site in the mobile first format. When a website is designed in mobile first format the designers focus on the layout and look of the site on mobile devices. Then they modify the design to accommodate desktop screens. This is a good way for businesses to create their websites today. The reason is that most site visits today are made on mobile devices.

Mobile Focus Will Increase

In the near future the share of devices sold is expected to increase for mobile devices and decrease for desktops. Take a look at the predictions made by statista:

device share of website views

Old Sites Need a Mobile First Website Redesign

There are still many small businesses that have websites that are not mobile friendly. In order for their websites to live up to their full potential, they need to be redesigned in the mobile first format.

We offer mobile first website redesign services. If you have a website that needs to be redesigned, then give us a call. We will review what we can do that will make it mobile friendly.

Websites and Social Media

Websites can be managed to work with social media so they both complement each other. A business can provide links from its website to Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and other social media resources. This can increase the credibility of the business and can give the website visitors more opportunities to find information and learn more about what the business offers.

Social media logos

Different Businesses Need Different Social Media Resources

There is a wide range of social media tools that help businesses in their promotions. Individual businesses can choose what tools will best meet their needs. Information can be shared on Facebook, images can be shared on Instagram, and videos shared on YouTube, just to name a few of the possibilities. Below are some of the most popular tools.

Blog Sites

More and more today, websites need blogs to increase their value and their traffic. While the blogs are designed to serve visitors, they can be set up to automatically post on other social media assets, such as Twitter. This multiplies the value of the time invested in the blog posts.

Facebook

According to CNN, Facebook reached over 2 billion users in February (CNN website 02/01/17). Giving your business the ability to connect with customers and prospects all over the world, Facebook is an absolute necessity for social media marketing. It is a communication tool that is very easy to use. With a connection from posts on your website, it can complement the sites content.

Twitter

Used with limited content, Twitter posts can include links to outside content that can expand the message being communicated. Skillful use of the tool can cause messages to go viral and spread to a wide range of viewers. This can increase the number of followers a business has. The value of a short and sweet message to thousands of followers can exceed the cost of the time invested many times.

Instagram

To show photos and short videos to followers, Instagram is an ideal tool. Businesses can promote events, products and people by posting images on the service.

LinkedIn

This B2B social media tool is ideal for connecting to business professionals in any industry. LinkedIn has a feature called LinkedIn Groups that are established and used by business in specific niches or markets.

Pinterest

Businesses can upload, save, sort and manage images on Pinterest. These images are known at “pins.” This tool has been known to serve as a more powerful sales generator that other social media tools. If a picture is worth a thousand words, then what are hundreds of pictures worth? Pictures can generate sales and that makes them worth a lot!

“In one case study of a fashion website, users visiting from Pinterest spent $180 compared to $85 spent from users coming from Facebook. These users spent less time on the company’s website, choosing instead to browse from the company’s pinboard. Further brand studies have continued to show Pinterest is more effective at driving sales than other forms of social media. A study carried out by Wolfgang Digital study found that site traffic originating from Pinterest Business pages was more engaged spending up to five times longer on site.”

Wikipedia.org

YouTube

If a picture is worth a thousand words, then what is a video worth? More businesses are beginning to see value in YouTube. It is owned by Google and is the second largest search engine. Businesses use it to promote their products, educate their market, train employees and do many other things.

For a look at how powerful a video can be, take a look at this video on social media:

Keep a look at our future blogs. We will cover many of these tools individually.