For the average small business website, which type of search results are the most important? Maybe a better way to phrase that is: Where are your customers? If you run a restaurant in Ocala, are you going to get more customers from Summerfield, or from Hahira, GA?

Local businesses have local customers. It stands to reason that a local business website needs to have its strongest presence in local searches. So how do you give your business website greater search appeal for local users?

Mobile search is bringing about rapid change in local online marketing. The exact number varies depending on the source, but it’s a safe bet that at least 800 million location-relevant searches are conducted from mobile devices each month — and the number of mobile searches is growing every month as more people begin to use mobile digital devices. […]

In last week’s blog post, I wrote about structured data markup. That brings up the question of why you might want to consider adding some elements of this markup vocabulary to your website’s code.

I’ve read a few articles in prominent, non-technical publications that promote the use of structured data markup — using the Microdata format sponsored primarily by Google, Bing and Yahoo — as a method of improving SEO. Unfortunately, that’s not quite accurate. In fact, the major search engines have made it abundantly clear that using an extended markup like Microdata (or any of the other vocabularies) has no impact on a page’s search ranking. […]

If you’re very observant, or if you just spend a lot of time poking at Google or Bing, over the last year or so perhaps you’ve noticed that the search engines are returning results that are a lot more informative than they used to be. “Old” style search are familiar and straightforward; they’ve got a page title, a URL and some text (usually from the content). […]

Does your business really need to have a website that’s mobile-friendly, or perhaps even a separate version of the site that’s dedicated to mobile device users? That’s a question that a lot of business owners are wrestling with as they watch the mobile operating system (OS) market continue to grow at an amazing rate.

There’s no big secret to understanding the utility of a mobile-friendly website. When mobile device users search for goods or services in your market and find your website, you want to provide them with the information they need to do business with you. If you don’t help them out with pages that work for their mobile device, it will take them about two seconds to move along to one of your competitors who does. […]

So you’ve heard that YouTube is the second largest search engine in the U.S., second only to Google (who owns YouTube and includes YouTube search results in Google SERPs as well), and that 20 million visitors search YouTube every month.  A savvy web marketer would jump on the opportunity to corner search results on YouTube. But just uploading a digital version of the commercial the cable company produced for you will probably not result in more website visitors and increased sales.  Follow these steps to create and promote effective online videos that generate business. […]

Search engine experts and online marketers agree that the key to attracting search engines and customers to your website is useful, unique, relevant content that can’t be found elsewhere.  Therefore, content creation is the most important task for all website developers and owners. Unfortunately it is also the most difficult.  It is very tempting to recycle content available elsewhere on the web (like manufacturer descriptions of products), or to provide bland, dated material that doesn’t engage your website visitors.  However, there are a few content types you can focus on that will drive engagement, higher search engine ranking, and conversions on your website. […]

Pay-Per Click, or PPC, is an online advertising strategy offered by the major search engines. Basically the premise is to have a sponsored link that you only “pay” for when somebody “clicks” your ad. In this post I’ll discuss how to tell if PPC is right for you and/or your company. […]

In this installment of our “Improve Your Website” series, I’d like to focus on one of the invisible elements of your website that can have an impact on your site’s success. I’m talking of course about the creation of an XML Sitemap, which is one of several SEO best-practices employed by web developers in the know to help your site get fully indexed by the search engines, ultimately helping your ranking and traffic numbers.  First I’ll give you a brief overview of what the heck they are, and then we’ll talk about some of the benefits and how to add one to your own site. […]

In this installment of my “Top Ten” tips to better Search Engine Optimization, I’ll be reviewing “10 Things to Avoid When Optimizing Your Website”.

SEO isn’t easy! Let’s just call it what it is, Hard and Time Consuming. A major mistake that a lot of people make, in an attempt to make things easier, is looking for short cuts to optimize their website. Many of these shortcuts provide short-lived result, but can harm your rankings in the long run (or even get you black-listed from search engines!). This is where I like to refer to a couple of old sayings to help remind people to stay focused:

–          “If it’s worth doing… It’s worth doing right!”

–          … and, “If it’s too good to be true… then it probably is!”

Keep your eyes on the prize folks! Don’t let other people take advantage of you and your business. Avoid bad neighborhoods, link exchanges and farms, don’t keyword stuff and… well… just keep reading, and Good Luck!

[…]

Google is running a business.  Their business depends on returning the most relevant and useful search results to web surfers, so that they’ll continue to use the Google Search Engine, click on Google ads, and generate revenues.  Because quality search results are so important, Google takes people who try to cheat the system very seriously, and they have very well-documented rules that they use to identify search engine “spammers.”

Break any of these rules, and your rankings will suffer, or even worse, your site can be black-listed… removed entirely from Google.  You may benefit from a brief boost in search engine rankings, but Google always catches up. Trust me; you do not want to fight Google in order to get your website re-listed. […]

So you have decided to do your own Search Engine Optimization. Then you have most likely come to the realization that it’s nowhere near as easy as you initially anticipated. You have also found that it is extremely hard, if not impossible, to cover the gamut of SEO without the help of some sort of tool or software. So today I’m going to go over some of the free SEO tools available online, that I have found to be extremely helpful over the early years of my SEO education. Some of these tools I still use even today, so take notice… and good luck on your endeavor. […]