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SEO For Businesses – Back to Basics

People who are starting a business on the internet for the first time hear terms like search engine optimization (SEO) and feel they might be getting involved with something that’s highly technical and best left to the professionals. They think that SEO might be the domain of experts like web programmers.

Whilst there are lots of different aspects of website promotion and search engine marketing that the average Joe will not even begin to think about or be aware of, there are a number of basics that any company doing business on the internet should make it a priority to understand.

The truth is the basics of SEO are nothing more than making sure that your website is being seen as more favorable than your competitors. Assessing your sites optimization using an algorithm is a way big search engines like Google use to categorize your website and place it in a ranking system so that people can find it more easily. Of course there’s a little more to it than that, but that’s the nuts and bolts of what some people feel is a complicated term.

Once you dig a little deeper, it’s even easier to understand what SEO is all about. Following are a few of the things you can look at on your own websites to make sure you’re presenting your selves to the search engines in the best possible way.

=> Content Is King: Although you might have heard that phrase before it’s one of the axioms on the internet you need to be aware of. It’s important to have a steady supply of original content on your website that also has keywords in it so the search engines like Google will take notice. The keywords you have on your page need to be the ones you customers are looking for so make sure you research this thoroughly.

=> Internal Linking: Internally you also need to take a good look at the kind of the links you to have on your website. These are the keyword phrases that light up when you point your mouse at them and take you to another page when you click. Terms like click here and more info will not help you, use anchor text that is relevant to the page you are pointing to.

=> Backlinks: It’s important here that you get as many relevant back links as possible to your website because that creates the kind of online spider web important to SEO. It’s important to have quality anchor links as well that represent the services or goods you offer for example, if you offer construction services a link that says Joe Blogs and Son is weak where as a link that says Joe Bloggs and son Construction Services is much more powerful. Make sure you site is reasonably optimized though before embarking on large link building campaigns.

=> Company Blogs: Try using blog marketing. If you have a website where the content is quite static and you don’t want to change it to a content management system (CMS), you might want to try using a blog on you site as a way of increasing your SEO potential as these tend to draw the attention of the search engines. They are also an excellent way of keeping your site up to date and also to provide news or business wins and case studies to increase customer confidence.

When you’re focusing on keywords and links, as a business owner you should be able to work SEO to your advantage as you understand your business better than most, but the reality is any small business owners who run Internet based businesses don’t have the time to look after the SEO themselves so they find a search engine marketing company that can do the work for them. If this is you then try ensuring that any SEO company you employ has at the very least an understanding of your particular market sector.

Your E-business – Back Up, And Back Up, And Did I Mention Back Up?

Unfortunately at one time or another everyone runs into the nightmare of hard drive failure, or some other computer disaster in which the end result is that your computer has become nothing more than a really large paperweight. Do you have a back up?

In the event of this happening what are you going to do? If do not have some sort of back up program in place you are going to be dead in the water. If you are operating an online business then that can mean certain death for your business or something close to it.

So what is the solution to this dilemma? Everyone is aware of the need to back up, but up until now nobody has come up with a really “set it and forget it” process to make backing up your system something easy to do. Nobody wants to think about the dreaded crash, so they put it off to the back burner and continue on with the ten thousand other things they need to do, and keep their fingers crossed and hope for the best.

Well I want to tell you how I have solved this problem. This may seem like a plug for this company and I guess it is. But they have saved my butt on at least 4 occasions now since I signed up with them and in my opinion nobody who owns a computer should be with out this service. And it’s cheap enough that anyone who can afford a computer can afford it.

The company is called Carbonite. Carbonite offers unlimited online back up protection, for $49.95 a year. You heard me right $49.95 a year. That comes out to about .13 cents a day! You just head on over to their site and sign up, download the software, install it, run through the set up choosing what you want it to back up, set it, and you are done. They even offer a 14 day Free Trial.

Carbonite runs in the background and initially it will take a day or two to back up your system depending on how much data you have to back up. Then after that it just does incremental back ups on new or changed files which only take a short period of time each day. And that’s it. You just go about your business and forget about it. How much simpler could it be?

And if you have the dreaded crash, or say you break down and buy a new computer, ever wish there was a simple way to transfer all the stuff from you old computer to your new one? You just log into your account with Carbonite, choose the option re-install Carbonite on this computer, download and re-install the software, it automatically puts you in recover mode, you say HELP restore my files, and that’s it. It once again may take a day or two to completely restore your system. But you will get all your files, pictures, etc. back.

You won’t see an affiliate link anywhere in this article for Carbonite or in the author box below. I just want people to know there is a solution out there. For unlimited back up, at $49.95 a year, that you can set it and forget it? In my opinion this is one service / program that should come pre-installed on every computer sold. You can just Google Carbonite to get to the site address. Go check it out, don’t wait until that dreaded disaster happens to you!

Is Your IT Holding Your Business Back?

Despite the ubiquitous presence of technology in our lives, few businesses take full advantage of the possibilities that it offers them in terms of increasing business efficiency. Very small businesses have a tendency to rely more than they should on manual processes, on the grounds that they are too busy to switch to automated systems or do not have the funds to invest in them. I tend to steer people away from this approach, because automating the core processes for most businesses is not as difficult, time-consuming or expensive as it first appears.

Furthermore, the benefits are substantial, because once these systems are in place, you won’t have to worry about them again, which means you and your people can concentrate on more important things.

Larger businesses have different problems. Quite often, they are quick to invest in technology but slow to put the other essential procedures in place. This means that they often ‘throw money at the problem’ rather than assess the business benefits and the value of any business efficiency gains created by the introduction of new technology.

There are four key questions that any business should ask. First, what is your strategy for technology? You should consider what processes could be aided by technology and what business efficiency and financial benefits this would provide.

Second, what equipment, systems and software would you need to provide to your people in order to introduce technology in line with your strategy? This would include assessing how and where your people work.

Third, what infrastructure would you need to make your strategy work? Too many businesses take a piecemeal approach and fail to capitalise on the full range of features that most technologies provide. They are, for example, more likely to carry out a like-for-like replacement of a system rather than use it as an opportunity to re-think the systems.

Finally, what training and support would your people need to use the technology effectively and thereby gain the benefits of the investment? Another common mistake made by a large number of businesses is to invest in the technology but not show people how to use it effectively. This can lead to significant reductions in business efficiency as well as frustration on the part of the people involved.

As you explore the possibilities of business technology, don’t allow yourself to be tied down to one particular solution. Ultimately, the deciding factor for any business technology decision should be whether or not it will improve your business efficiency and customer experience.