Search Results

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.

5 Tips to Get Your Ailing Business Back on Track

When you started your business, you likely had a plan.

You were eager, enthusiastic, and couldn’t wait to change the world! The business owners you met were as eager, enthusiastic and inspired as you were. You were thinking “business ownership must be amazing! Why didn’t I do this sooner?”

As time went on, you put your plan in a drawer (or another similar place that you don’t reference often enough) and continued running your business. You knew what you wanted and where you wanted to go – you had your plan in mind, and were plugging right along.

Things went along fine. The business was functioning, money was coming in and work was getting done.

Over time, you were so busy running your business that your wants, dreams and desires went on the back burner (I mean, seriously – how would you have time for yourself and to run your business?).

But that was OK, because the small business owners met were as tired, overwhelmed and disillusioned as you were. You were thinking “business ownership isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Why did I do this?”

Sound familiar? Are you nodding along as you read, identifying fully with this scenario?

I am amazed at how many business owners know things aren’t working – they know it in their head, or maybe in their gut – but they don’t do anything about it. The result? Poor team morale, low productivity, unsatisfied customers. Not to mention the affect on the business owner, which can range from poor physical health to personal relationships that are deteriorating.

Here’s the Million Dollar Question – what are you doing about it? Here are some tips:

1. Go back to your plan. Remind yourself of the passion you once had. Find that old feeling that got stuffed in the drawer with the plan.

2. Write a new plan. What parts of the original plan are still working, and what parts need to be shifted? No, I don’t mean what parts should be changed to justify your current business situation.

3. Identify where things went off track. Be honest – you know where it happened. You felt it in your gut, but passed that feeling off as too much coffee.

4. List the things in your business that aren’t working. It’s okay to admit your baby isn’t as cute as you think. If you don’t acknowledge the areas that aren’t working, you can’t fix them.

5. Find support. A mastermind group, a trusted colleague, even better would be a business coach. It should be somebody who will hold you to task and support you through the changes you know you need to make. Even the best business owners/mentors/athletes have their own coaches. How do you think they stay at the top of their game?

Don’t bury your head in the sand. Don’t be afraid of the tough questions, of seeing your business for what it is, of having the difficult conversations and doing the hard work.

Get real – get to it. I know there is nothing you can’t do. Remember, you started a business and you loved it. You can again.

Business Cracks Will Break Your Business’ Back

Do you remember what we used to say as kids, “step on a crack, and break your mamas’ back!”? Well, now that we are all grown up, the old adage still rings true – to an extent. As adults in the business world, we are discovering that actually stepping on your business cracks without repairing them can really break its back.

Are there cracks in your business? Not just your foundation, but in other areas, as well?

Business cracks come from errors. Errors come from a lack of knowledge, a lack of resources and a lack of cash. In all honestly though, errors can result from a variety of things.

The problem occurs when we focus on quick fixing the crack. Quick fixes happen when we fail to determine the true cause of the crack (error, problem, challenge, etc.). It all boils down to re-learning the simple equation of cause and effect related to your business.

We spend so much time on fixating on the error rather than actually eliminating the cause of the error that our businesses begin failing.

Try to imagine it this way. Imagine your business is the earth and you are out in space orbiting your “business earth,” looking for rough areas, soft areas and smooth areas. The smooth areas are good to go but the rough and soft areas need work. Taking a birds-eye view of your business is ok but taking the “business earth” view of your business is taking how you operate your business to a completely strategic level.

For example, a rough area indicates a bumpy path or a bumpy area of your Small Business System.™ So, maybe the way you are going about managing your daily administrative tasks takes up all your time and you never get a chance to actually do what you planned to do on any given day. You answer phone calls, you check emails, you create your to do lists, and so on. All these administrative tasks are getting done but they are the only things getting done. The marketing, selling, planning, managing and other strategic work is being pushed to the side. As a result, goals are not being met, existing customers are not being serviced, new customers are not being acquired, important deadlines are being pushed back, and before you know it, it is the end of the year and your cash flow is still in the red.

This is a business crack that needs fixing. But do not begin repairing this crack by changing your hours or turning off your email. Rather, begin repairing the crack by determining the root cause of the crack.

Attack the cause first – not the effect of the cause.

Begin repairing the cause of your business cracks with these four steps:

1. Determine if it is the rough areas that need to be worked on first or if it is the soft areas that are ready to cave in and that need the attention immediately. How do you know which crack need your immediate attention? It is based on your culture and strategic goals. Are you meeting your own expectations? Are your strategic goals set and are you on track to meet them? Only you can decide what needs immediate attention first; think long-term versus short-term fixes.

2. Begin breaking down the soft and rough areas within the key functions of your business and rank accordingly, based on what you need to work on first.
Compare these to the goals you have already set; are you doing what you say you are going to do or do you keep doing the same things over and over again and getting less than stellar results? Are you the main cause of the cracks in your business?

3. Make a list of your top five business cracks and prioritize them.
Take your list and put your business cracks in order of importance and emergency. There may be some cracks that need fixing in order for you to stay in business! Put those at the top of your list.

4. Take on each crack one at a time.
Determine the cause of these cracks and create a strategy to alleviate them. This will take a little time but not too much. The best way to do this is to list out the action steps that need to happen to fix the cause of the cracks – put them in order and determine a schedule of completion.

Stop quick fixing your business errors and start with correcting the root cause of the error. Your business backbone will thank you with consistent cash flow and profits!

Remember, business cracks can break you business’ back!

Copyright Efficio, Inc.

by Sherese Duncan, president & CEO, Efficio, Inc.