Entries in SEO (4)

Thursday
Mar182010

YouTube the New Google?

It was announced last week that YouTube is the #2 most searched site, second only to Google.  What does this mean for you, as an entrepreneur?  Well, it means that a LOT of people are going to YouTube to search for answers/ content.  More so than Yahoo or Bing, or any other search engine for that matter. 

So, it's high time you introduced some video content for your business.  Actually not as hard as it might have once been, video content is a high priority for those businesses who desire to be found online.  There are a number of video production companies out there who specialize in video for web, or you can delve into online do-it-yourself.  If you search on YouTube, you'll find quite a lot of crap.  So, you just have to make a relevant, content-rich, less crappy video. 

Once this information came out about YouTube being so highly searched, I was charged with the task of getting one of my clients on YouTube.  For Sale by Owner Homes already had videos on their site, as a lot of folks do, so we just had the team that created the videos combine several of the short clips into six informative YouTube-ready videos.

Take a look at one of their videos:

This is a great example of offering relevant, informative information while still promoting your business.  Not a straight up commercial, but you'll find the company's contact information subtly on the screen. 

Adding videos to YouTube is quite easy- don't forget to add a title, description and tags for your video to make it easily found.  These will affect your video's ranking on YouTube initially, but your ranking will ultimately be driven by incoming links, number of comments, subscribers to your YouTube channel, views of your video and number (and quality) of sites that host your video outside of YouTube.

Wednesday
Mar102010

My Title is Cooler than YOUR Title

Okay, not really.  This is somewhere that I could actually use a little work.  So, because I'm enjoying learning quite a bit about search engine optimization (or SEO) these days, I thought I'd share a little insight on how you can continue to improve your business's crawl towards to top of Google's rankings.

Today's topic: Title Tags

Title tags are just that- a title for your web page. 

I pulled a screen shot of my website home page to show you exactly what I'm talking about- the part circled in red in your title tag.  What's important for you to know is that title tags are really important when it comes to SEO.  As in, it's one of the first things that Google sees, and should tell them exactly what a user will find when they visit this page.

So, what I'm saying, is that using "Home" for your title tag isn't the best option.  Really, instead of using "Home" I should tell Google a little more about what can be found on this page.  Some options would be:

"Fresh Look Creative - Boutique Creative Services Marketing Shop"

OR

"Creative Services Marketing Shop - Fresh Look Creative - Plano, TX"

Or something to that effect...  Being as descriptive as possible (in a very short amount of characters) is the goal, and trying to ensure that you're using highly-searched terminology is important too.  That's why 'boutique' may not be the best term for me to use- even though that's a pretty commonly used term for us marketing folks, clients more than likely won't be using that as a search term.

Also, your title for each page within your site should be different.  So, whatever I decide to use for my home page title, I should use something different for my 'About' page.

So, how do you change your title tags?  Well, for me, I've got a content management system (or CMS) that allows me to just fill in a little blank.  If you don't have a CMS built into your site, you will have to alter your title tags within your HTML.  (Get with your webmaster if you have any questions about this.) 

My hope is that little tips here and there will help you consistently improve your SEO.  But, it is a full time job, as there are ALWAYS little (and big!) things that you can be doing to move your site up in the ranks.  If you have any questions, let me know!  Good luck!

Wednesday
Feb242010

Copy & Paste: an SEO NO-NO

I'm an SEO ninja, in case you didn't know.  I've been doing quite a bit of research lately, figuring out the ever-evolving, seriously convoluted world of search engine optimization.  And here's what I've figured out- there's a heck of a lot of stuff out there that affects how your site is ranked on Google and other search engines. 

If you are dying to know all my serious ninja moves, you're going to have to pay me to go all Jackie Chan on your site, but here's my free tip of the day:

Don't repeat content on multiple domains.

Sounds pretty simple, right?  Well, apparently not.  One of the clients that I'm working with has three different websites that draw quite a bit of traffic.  My job is to get in there and make the sites work even harder, and as I was digging through every inch of his content, I got some serious deja vu.  I was reading the same stuff over and over again.  To save time and effort, (let's face it, we all have to find some shortcuts somewhere) my client had copy & pasted content from one website over to another one of his sites.

Big no-no.  To Google, you're (A) Not adding any value with your site since Google's already read this on one of your other sites, and (B) Google doesn't love plagiarism.  (I actually don't know about that last part.  I'm just guessing that this is one of the ways they prevent people from being rewarded for stealing content from other's sites.)  Makes sense, though, right?

So, yeah, it stinks- if you have several domains that cover similar topics, you might be tempted to copy and paste.  DON'T!!  Remember, in SEO, content is king- original content, that is. ;-)

Monday
Nov172008

Blogging- what's the big deal??

Upon the creation of this blog, I've had several of my clients ask me what the purpose of our blog is. Very simply, it's a great way for our clients and contacts to see a new, more personal side of our business. It's an excellent information provider. It also adds to the original content of a business's website (as you may or may not know, original content is a great way to improve your Search Engine Optimization.)

The really cool thing about blogs is that they aren't meant to be stodgy or extremely professional (although they can be). They truly are meant to show a more personal side of business. A CPA who starts a blog to answer his client's tax questions is a perfect example... The stereotype of CPAs is that they don't have much personality, and are "strictly business". While some CPAs are in fact "strictly business," others may have more of a fun side. Sure, accounting is what they do, and let's face it- it's all about numbers! I know an accountant who's a blast. She cracks jokes with her clients while she's meeting with them. She jovially points out where the client may have made some "boo-boos". She makes the process a lot more fun than most accountants do!

She's the perfect candidate for a business blog. Her ability to add a little of her personality into accounting is something that can set her apart from other accountants. And, this, after all, is the point of marketing!

Fresh Look can help you design a really cool blog that fits with your business "style". It can be fun and crazy, or it can be really professional and built to mirror your website look.

The design, however, is the easy part. There's no point to building a blog if you're not going to use it! You should post to your blog no less than once weekly. Any less, and your clients and contacts will stop checking your blog for new posts and information. This is a time-consuming commitment. Don't invest in a blog design if you're not also committed to the time it will take you to post to the blog.

I've also had clients ask me about "rules for blogging". Here are some quick rules to live by for a business blogger:

1) Use good grammar!! This means punctuation, spelling, fragmented sentences, etc. This, after all, is supposed to be a reflection on your business, and you'd NEVER have a brochure out there with a misspelled word!!

2) Don't try to sell your products or services via your blog. This sounds counter-intuitive, but you should use your blog to try to be perceived more as an expert in your field. If you're perceived as an expert, the business will come.

3) No bad language!!! (Most of you are saying "Duh." right now, but you'd be surprised how many business bloggers will use distasteful language in their blogs.) DON'T. DO. IT.

If you have blogging questions, let me know. That's what I'm here for!!