Tag Archive for 'search engine optimization'

Small business and the whole SEO thing

A website is your small business’ portal to the billions of Earthlings who are on-line. This thought is exciting, but before you get too worked up answer this question: Is your website structured to maximize SEO?

If you don’t know what SEO is, that means there is a great likelihood that your website is a digital wallflower wearing birth-control glasses (heavy black frames, thick lenses, circa 1960), when you need it to be partying in cool shades, 24/7, all over the world wide web.

So what is SEO, and how do you get it? First, follow me down memory lane for a few seconds.

For decades, a business relied heavily on a utility – the Yellow Pages of the phone book – to provide a gateway to prospects. In the 21st century that gateway is a search engine and, of course, the big daddy is Google, followed by little brothers Yahoo, MSN, and others. So, SEO stands for - search engine optimization.

Virtually every day search engines visit your website by sending digital probes called “spiders” which “index” the pages you have available to the public so that when someone does a search for something you’ve said or your company offers, you can be found. But search engine spiders are fickle and finicky; they like the red on their candy the way Goldilocks would: ju-u-ust right. So if your candy – I mean pages – aren’t “optimized,” your stuff will get indexed but, sadly, not very well. Think of it like this:

The late comedian, George Goble, once lamented about himself, “Did you ever get the feeling the whole world is a tuxedo and you’re a pair of brown shoes?” Well, if your website is not optimized, it’s a pair of brown shoes while your competitors’ websites are probably partying in their tuxedos.

If I’ve caused you a little discomfort, that was part of my goal. The rest of my goal is to get you to contact an SEO expert – today! These are really smart people who don’t have a life and have to be locked up at night, but they actually know what kind of candy search engine spiders like, and they can help you put a nice pair of black patent leather shoes on your website so it can be invited to more parties.

One of those SEO experts is Jim Baldwin, from NSPSO, and he joined me on my show recently to talk about the whole SEO thing. I promise you’ll learn a lot of SEO stuff by listening to our conversation. And don’t forget to leave a question or a comment.

Small business opportunities online

Here’s a sad and frankly shocking statistic that I heard recently: Half of America’s small businesses don’t have a website. It’s 2008, for Heaven’s sake, not 1998! This kind of stuff almost makes me want to cry.

If your small business has a website, good-on-ya. If it doesn’t, answer these questions: Would you even think of having a business without a listed phone number? Would you open a retail store without signage, put it in a place where absolutely no one could find it and then lock the door at all times? What is there about having access to billions of Earthlings for an investment that could be less than what you pay each year for lunch on Wednesdays that is confusing to you?

Okay, please forgive the sarcasm — I’m told I’m good at it. But today there is ABSOLUTELY no reason for EVERY small business to not have a website. I don’t care what you do!

Today I interviewed serial entrepreneur, Mitchel Rothschild, about the success of his new e-business, Vitals.com. Of course, his company wouldn’t exist without a website, but we also discussed why traditional businesses must also have a website, plus what you have to do to make it successful. I think you’ll enjoy hearing what Mitch has to say.

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