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Ghoulish SEO Strategies for Small Business (Part 1)

I remember when I first started to hear the term "Search Engine Optimization". It was amazing to see the amount of diverse and often irrelevant information that came up in searches.
Written Oct 29, 2010, read 2291 times since then.
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SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. The SEO process focuses on increasing website traffic for a specific website or online product/service.  

For example, lets say that the company you're working for sells red widgets. When a person enters the key phrase "red widgets" into Google it would prove beneficial to have your company ranked number one in that particular search. On average, 40% of all searchers will click on the number one listing. Below are some vetted beginners' articles that will help increase your SEO knowledge.

 

Beginner Articles:

1: How does one get started in SEO?

At the moment there is no educational degree that is mandated for SEO, but I see this changing in the future as it is rapidly becoming a complex and lucrative field all its own.  My best advice is to keep reading since the field changes constantly. Here are some great sites to put in your online reader:

SEO Sites You Should Be Reading:

2: What's the job like?

Our Chief SEO guru spends the majority of his time performing these tasks:

  1. Monitor analytics programs and pull out metrics that may need to be changed or monitored more closely. This allows him to keep track of traffic and conversions for goals we have initiated on the website. He also does testing to continually try to improve the visitor's experience and try to convert more traffic to prospects. Additionally, he completes on-site optimization, such as URL redirects and dynamic to static URL's.
  2. He is responsible for NuRelm's link building campaign. He produces a lot of content, monitors what inbound links we are receiving, and keeps abreast of competitors' linking strategies.
  3. He is responsible for all social media outlets and utilizing them for online marketing and brand identity. Through these outlets we brand NuRelm and attempt to funnel these media outposts back to our epicenter/hub - our website.

3: Is it difficult to get involved?

All it takes is time. Whether you want to perfom SEO for your own business or familiarize yourself in order to be an educated consumer of SEO services, the articles referenced here will help you to capitalize on the cheapest and most effective form of 21st century marketing.

There are many reputable SEO firms out there that can help you get a leg up on the competition if you don't have the time to become your own SEO expert.

As always, watch out for Internet scams and be wary of any SEO firm that promises you the number one ranking. Think about it. If there are several competitors vying for the number one slot then it goes without saying that it's not possible to promise it to you. What if the same SEO firm was representing two competitors (as they often do)? Read the fine print and ask lots of questions. Unless you're filthy rich or hire Christine O'Donnell to cast a spell on Google, you're not always going to be number one.

Feel free to email me if you want advice on selecting an SEO vendor or if you want to discuss a specific website marketing concern. Becoming familiar with this burgeoning and ever changing field is a necessity for any forward thinking business owner or manager.

Does anyone have an SEO question or SEO case study to offer up for some free SEO advice? I'll be happy to have NuRelm's SEO guru weigh in on any questions to help guide you in the right direction.

President/COO 
Uniontown, Pennsylvania 
Mona McGraw

Mona McGraw is Founder of NuRelm, an Internet software/services firm that develops Web-based tools for business professionals.

NuRelm helps companies sell more and increase efficiency.

Free Web Assessment at http://nurelm.com/assessments.jsp.

Learn more about the author, Mona McGraw.

Comment on this article

  • Management/HR Consultant and Coach 
Bellingham, Washington 
Jack McCallum
    Posted by Jack McCallum, Bellingham, Washington | Oct 30, 2010

    Fantastic article and totally helpful for both my businesses!

  • President/COO 
Uniontown, Pennsylvania 
Mona McGraw
    Posted by Mona McGraw, Uniontown, Pennsylvania | Nov 01, 2010

    Thanks, Jack!

    I'm glad you found the article helpful. If you have any specific questions concerning SEO or online marketing in general I would be happy to discuss them here.

  • IT Consulting, IT Support 
Seattle, Washington 
James Murray
    Posted by James Murray, Seattle, Washington | Nov 01, 2010

    Thanks Mona,

    You have created an interesting article on SEO, and brought together some good resources.

    SEO seems to be moving into the mainstream but still has that Wild West feel to it. I think though that the true innovators in our market are people like your SEO who have the tools to measure and track clients and competitors. I think it's important to understand that this is not a perfect science, but somone who understands can get pretty close to understanding why or why they can't be number one in Google.

    I work with small and medium size CEO's helping them build technology strategies, including determining an SEO marketing strategy, for their businesses and you bring up some good points. There are a lot of misleading scams out there. I talk to people every day who have gotten lucky a few times and think they are experts. I am constantly guiding my clients toward legitimate SEO and other technical vendors.

    Just to continue the dialogue I thought I’d ask for your opinion. When looking at an SEO type marketing strategy, do you have thoughts on when an SEO strategy is optimal and when it’s a waste of time?

    Thanks for the great article

    James Murray

  • Product Improvent -  Electronics Design, Process & more. 
Redmond, Washington 
Jerry New
    Posted by Jerry New, Redmond, Washington | Nov 01, 2010

    Thanks for this article, great information. Just a shame that the effort/expense has to be afforded instead of spending it on real business.

  • Washington Federal Assistant Manager 
Bellingham, Washington 
Susan Templeton
    Posted by Susan Templeton, Bellingham, Washington | Nov 01, 2010

    I'd agree with you Jerry, but knowing you have a relevant product or service is 50% of being in touch with your audience. Finding them first is #1 task of any company. Media used to be so simple.....or so we thought!

  • SEO Web Content Developer | Copywriter & Conversions Strategist | Professional Brand Consultant 
Bellingham, Washington 
Laura Crest
    Posted by Laura Crest, Bellingham, Washington | Nov 02, 2010

    Thank you, Mona, for this excellent article with sound advice for SEO newbies. As a fellow SEO copywriter (certified through Heather Lloyd Martin's course), I am duly impressed how very well you know your stuff!!

    I would add http://www.seocopywriting.com to your list of SEO resources to bookmark and reference.

    I write two guest blogs for SEO Copywriting.com twice weekly, including a Monday "how to" for SEO beginners and a Wed. "roundup" highlighting the week's SEO Copywriting & Content Marketing news and links- she plugged shamelessly :-) Heather, as the recognized pioneer of SEO, is a most generous & responsive source to tap. She also manages an SEO copywriting group on LinkedIn - you should check it out! (If you're not a member already?) I'll send you the link if you'd like.

    Would love your Twitter address...and thank you, again, for one of the more authoritative and (ahem) factually correct articles on the subject I've seen here on Biznik!!

    p.s. It should be mentioned that Google Adwords is no longer a viable, free keyword research tool. It's now skewed for the "big boys" with highly competitive keywords and deep pockets. They've gone for PPC dollars, as it is its largest source of revenue...but unfortunately this move has come at the expense of the small biz owner/SEO copywriter.

    Many of us small biz SEO folks have headed over to WordStream for their free SEO keyword research tools. Slightly different from Google's, a little less intuitive and involving a learning curve, but the best free option out there right now! And Wordstream is "good people" :-)

  • President  
Douglaston, New York 
Steve panzella
    Posted by Steve panzella, Douglaston, New York | Nov 02, 2010

    The field of SEO is full of non-performers. We at SEO Impressions.com offer free keywords to prove we are super fast at getting page 1 results!

  • SEO Consultant 
Jersey City, New Jersey 
Elvis Arias
    Posted by Elvis Arias, Jersey City, New Jersey | Nov 02, 2010

    I use many of the sites you mention with my automotive clients. Great advice for seo and web advertising practitioners. keep the articles coming!

  • Writing & Publishing Coach, Business & Marketing Consultant 
Bellevue, Washington 
Deborah Drake
    Posted by Deborah Drake, Bellevue, Washington | Nov 02, 2010

    Really appreciating this simple and straightforward article and have recommended it to many more!

    Awaiting Part 2 with anticipation and enthusiasm.

    SEO and Content are very inter-related. The art of being natural as well as writing good copy for search engine recognition is one of the key themes I find myself discussing with clients.

    Thank you Mona!

    Deborah Drake

    Authentic Writing Provokes

  • President/COO 
Uniontown, Pennsylvania 
Mona McGraw
    Posted by Mona McGraw, Uniontown, Pennsylvania | Nov 02, 2010

    Hey James,

    To answer the question you presented, I really can't see when an SEO strategy wouldn't be optimal. I believe there are better starting points to establish one, inception of a website would be preferable rather than after launch. The reality is true SEO should be a full online marketing strategy. Yes SEO deals with the technical on-site optimization but should include reputation monitoring, link acquisition, online public relations, etc. If your business is online why wouldn't you want to develop strategies and witness actionable results? Therefore I feel at all times SEO strategies should be implemented. That's why Nurelm offers SEO consulting packages, we council and teach clients so they can do these actions for themselves. As for the "Wild West" view, I believe that is caused by scam artists creating a sense of mysticism around SEO in order to sell their services. Sadly there is nothing mystic about SEO, it just takes an individual who is able to be juggle analytics, content creation, coding, link acquisition, etc.

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