The Small Business Owner Guide to Internet Marketing that Makes You More than it Costs

The Small Business Owner Guide to Internet Marketing that Makes You More than it Costs

by Douglas E. Nevill, Bigfoot.Marketing

Small Business Owners often spend way too much on internet marketing, and sometimes they spend way too little.

 

This SPENDING has to do with both your TIME and your MONEY.

Either way it is a problem.  You don't want to overspend or underspend.  There is a ditch on both sides of the road here; stay in the center.

WHAT GUIDES HOW MUCH YOU SPEND?

How much you should advisedly spend will be determined by a consideration of the following four factors:

  1. The scope of your geographic target.  (Is your target only local, regional, state or country-wide or world-wide?)
  2. The quantity of potential sales.
  3. The margins of your actual sales.
  4. The size of your budget.

You may have more than you need in your internet marketing budget and you may not have enough.  What you will do depends upon your priorities.  You may not be able to do everything you want to do, but you can grow your marketing budget to where you want it to be if you can increase sales.

In love for my fellow man, I am writing this article which I am calling, "The Small Business Owner Guide to Internet Marketing that Makes You More than it Costs" and making it available and free here on this page and available for download as a PDF as well.

YOUR ULTIMATE GOAL IS MORE CONVERSIONS

If you are making all of the sales that you want, then you are likely in good shape, so long as you are not spending too much to make those sales.

At first glance, some of the things you will read below may not seem to have anything to do with SEO internet marketing, but they most certainly do.

For example, you may be getting a LOT of traffic to your website that is not resulting in sales.  Discovering why and then addressing that is critical.

Internet Marketing is NOT Limited to SEO or Local Search.

Don't Overspend in Marketing

Read this article and you should be able to determine if you are overspending.  If you are purchasing services from people you do not know, it is very easy to overspend.

You can't really TRUST people that you do not know.  That being said, people that you do TRUST because you KNOW them may be "professionals" while not being "experts" or even "proficient" in their fields.

Experience doesn't necessarily matter, either.  If someone is paid for what they do, then by simple definition, they are "professionals."

Don't Underspend in Marketing

On the other hand, underspending is a sure way to waste your money. 

Think of it this way, if you want to buy something that requires $100,000 and you can only raise $50,000 and you foolishly decide to spend that money (I speak from personal and painful experience here ... 😊) you are only going to end up $50,000 more in debt.

Bigfoot.Marketing

1. ONE All-important Task That You've Got

Regardless of the vehicles you are using to market: business cards, brochures, direct mail, advertisements in conventional media (newspapers, newsletters, radio, cable tv, ect.), or internet marketing (local search, seo, ads, social media, video ...), there is an all-important, single activity that you MUST take on before you spend a penny of your money or your second of your time doing anything else.

The best practice is to start at the beginning.

If you skip this most crucial first step,
you are sure to waste
a LOT of your TIME and MONEY!

Your most important task:
KNOW YOUR TARGET.

I love you, but
if you skip this, you are acting foolishly,
and it might not just be acting!

The reason for this is you cannot effectively market to someone that you do not know and understand

  • People that are NOT a part of your target audience are not going to buy anything from you.

Therefore, it is absolutely imperative that you do take the steps necessary to IDENTIFY your target audience.

Knowing your target is the first step in crafting an powerful and effective marketing message, which will be your PLUMBLINE for ALL of your marketing efforts.

.........................................

Who is Your Target?

 

What is Your Target's Gender?

Is your target male or female?  Don't worry over the ridiculous.  They've either got male or female equipment and they are different in every chromosome of their bodies.  Males and females have specific hormones that contribute to how they handle things emotionally. 

If your target is overwhelmingly male or overwhelmingly female, the way you would convince them to buy would be very different, because males and females respond very differently emotionally.

Why this is so Important

Ultimately, sales are decided emotionally and justified intellectually

What are Your Target's Emotional Triggers?

There are two ends of the human emotional spectrum which are contrasted below in a few ways:

  • Hate or Love
  • Fear or Excitement
  • Negative or Positive

You could list every human emotional response beneath one of those headings above.

Consider what is pretty much universally considered man's two greatest drives:

  1. Self Preservation (Fear)
  2. Sex (Excitement)

Most people will agree that the greatest "drive" of all is self-preservation with its basis being protecting your own life.

In most circumstances FEAR is a more powerful motivator than EXCITEMENT.  That is the reality of the human condition.  Negatives tend to be "more powerful and persuasive" than positives.

What is Your Target's Age?

Unless you are selling something like water, you are probably not really marketing to every age, so don't try.  If the bulk of your business is coming from an age group, that is where the bulk of your money is, too.

Let's try and pick fruit from a tree that is loaded.

What is Your Target's Income?

Don't bother marketing to people that cannot afford what you are selling.  If they can only afford the most basic commodities, then don't expect them to be purchasing luxuries.

What is Your Target's Problem, Unfulfilled Desire, Nagging Pain or Felt Need?

If you can't find a problem (desire, pain or need), you cannot sell them your solution.  Define their problems.  Write them down.

What EMOTIONS is Your Target EXPERIENCING due to their PROBLEM?

You are in business simply because someone else has a problem that you can solve and they will exchange money for "problem solved."

KNOW YOUR TARGET?

Talk to Your Target

Once you have successfully defined your target, you can begin crafting a message to get their attention.  Before you spend a single penny or a single second sending or attracting your target to your website, be sure your site is ready to CONVERT THEM.

Don't waste your time and money working hard to get traffic to your site if you don't have a carefully crafted call to action in place.

A "NO Fish" Story!

They will be "the big ones that got away" and you won't even be able to tell the tale!

Otherwise, you will be failing to land a lot of fish.

This would be like you out on a lake fishing and you:

  • trying to catch fish without a hook
  • trying to land a fish without a dip net
  • having someone secretly cut the line whenever you got a fish close to your boat

What?  Why?  How?

The single most important element of communication is CLARITY.

Your conversion message must clearly and simply answer these three questions:

  1. What is It?
  2. Why do I Need It?
  3. How do I Get It?

PITCH VIDEOS ARE HARD TO BEAT

When it comes to urging action, it is hard to beat a pitch video.

Here is one below that we use when we do a website demo with Best Way Websites.


 

... and the pitch video for Bigfoot.Marketing (this website) is below.

 



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2. TWO Components of Search Engine Optimization that You Must Understand

Fundamentally, internet marketing can be divided into two parts:

  1. What is done on your own website. (25%)
  2. What is done on other websites that link back to your website. (75%)

What Is Done On Your Own Website

These things probably add up to 25% of your overall website ranking success.

Start here.  Do you best to dot every i and cross every t that you can.  This is the component over which you should be able to exert complete control.

On-Site SEO is the Foundation for Off-Site SEO

Don't think that it is not as important as off-site SEO because it is 25% of the weight, leaving 75% for the off-site SEO.

For example: you would be a fool to try to build any home, and even more importantly a multi-level home without addressing the foundation first.

The things that you need to cover for on-site SEO are CRITICAL and under your control.  Don't skip them!

What Is Done On Other Websites That Link Back To Your Website

These things probably add up to 75% of your overall website ranking success.

Once you have your foundation built, you can start working on the framing and finishing of the SEO process.

It is now time to look at Off-Site SEO.

The majority of what it takes to rank truly well in the organic search results for generic keyword searches is not on your own website and this therefore not fully under your control, but it is certainly under your influence.

You should control as much of it as you can.

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3. THREE Simple Steps to Good Website Performance

There are three steps or aspects of website development that must be properly addressed in order for a your website to do what you want it to do.

  1. Proper Development
  2. Qualified Traffic
  3. Effective Conversion

Proper Development

Your website needs to be properly developed.  There are many things to be considered under this topic, but here is the most important one of all: if your website is not 100% mobile responsive, it should have been redeveloped YEARS ago now.

For almost ALL websites nowadays, over 60% of browsers are via a mobile phone.  For salons and restaurants and other service companies, it is well over 90%.

If you are not addressing this, you are MISSING MOST OF YOUR TARGET.

Qualified Traffic

Traffic (visitors) to you website will not help you if they are not QUALIFIED VISITORS.  A qualified visitor is a prospect for your company.  They will be in your target and will be interested in the products or services that you provide.

The essential work of useful, external SEO is to effect the result of leading more people to your website that will potentially buy your products or service.

Effective Conversion

If your site content and marketing efforts are not grounded in a well-thought marketing message and a clear and compelling call to action, your efforts in proper website development and qualified traffic will not result in the leads and sales that you want.

Before you spend another PENNY in internet marketing, especially in any kind of internet ad or PPC (Pay Per Click), make SURE your site is ready to convert those qualified visitors FIRST.

You'll be putting your money in to a bag full of holes if you don't.

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4. FOUR Components of Successful Internet Marketing

These for things are true of ALL marketing, especially when your target is the USA and internet marketing is a part of that.

  1. Confidence
  2. Convenience
  3. Choices
  4. Communication

Confidence

Confidence is the single most important factor in cultivating and lead and completing a sale.  Another word for confidence is TRUST. 

Anything and everything that you do that increase the consumer's confidence in your company will result in more sales.

To KNOW you is to TRUST you.

Be sure to have an about page that enables your website visitors to learn about you and your staff or team, not just about your products or services.  Build this page in the first person and talk to your target directly EVERYWHERE on your website.

Leave the third person voices for other websites that are talking ABOUT you, use FIRST person on your own site.

Tell them how long you've been in business, your experience and your credentials and accolades there, too.

Be sure and feature your most powerful USPs.  (Unique Selling Propositions).  What is it about your company that is different from the competition.  What makes you a better choice for them?

To HEAR from others is to TRUST you.

People will ALWAYS tend to believe what others say about you more than what you say about yourself.

Make sure that your reviews (testimonials) are prominent and as current as they can be.

Consider using the program that I have created called Local's Reviews.  It is also available via Best Way Websites and is discounted as a part of your service.

You can't have too many reviews and they should be visible on your own page.

Take control (claim you business) on every reviews platform that people are using for you business and respond promptly to EVERY review, good or bad.

Convenience

Inconveniencing an American consumer is a sure way to lose their business.  People will pay more for what they want when you make it convenient for them - for example, "convenience" stores.

Anything and everything that you do that increases the consumer's convenience in conducting business with your company will result in more sales.

Ever hear "the three most important thing about your business is location, location, location".  If you have a physical business that is difficult to get to and you rely on that business, you've got to do a LOT to overcome the lack of convenience.  This is why businesses that continually fail at the same location do so.  It is a bad location.  The business might have done fine otherwise.

  • When it comes to selling online, be sure to apply the convenience rule!

The Convenience Rule

The convenience rule is always make things as easy as possible for your target.

Make it harder for you and easier for your customers.  Do the extra work to make things easy.

  • Make your website EASY to navigate.
  • Make it easy to contact you.
  • Make it easy for them to purchase from you.

I used to get asked this question a lot; "Should I accept credit cards?" to which I would also reply "Never make it hard for someone to give you their money."

Choices

American consumers expect choices.  Giving US consumers only one option is a sure way to sell nothing.  We are used to having choices in size, colors, quantities, contact methods, payment methods and more.

Make the choices that you provide EASY to see.  Comparisons are helpful.

Anything and everything that you do that increase the consumer's choices with your company will result in more sales.

Give them EVERY OPTION that THEY WANT if you can.

Allowing people to pay for my website development services via an installment plan quadrupled my business the first year I offered it, and it cost them more to do it that way.  They didn't care, they either didn't have the cash on hand or wanted to spread their payments out.

Give 'em choices.

This is another reason to participate in the social media platforms that your target largely uses.  If they want to communicate with you via social media, give them that choice!

Communication

The more your products or services cost, the more frequently people will check you out and compare other companies before making a decision.  They will probably NOT buy something from you the first time they visit your site.  Make sure you have a mechanism (Call to Action) that enables you to collect their contact information so you can start a conversation with them.

Anything and everything that you do that increase your communications with your prospects, leads and customers will result in more sales for your company.

Build and Work Your Prospect's List

Your website needs to compel contact in addition to making sales, simply because some people are not ready to buy.  If they are only "shopping", don't you still want to talk to them?  You would if they came in to your physical store!  Do the same thing on your website.  Create an easy path to start a conversation.

You will collect their contact information and create a followup routine.

It would be great if your website was an automatic money making machine ... but it's not!

Utilize Permission Marketing

Ask them how they would like to hear from you.  Do they WANT to get emails from you?  Would they LIKE to get SMS messages and updates?  Would they APPRECIATE an occasional phone call?

Ask them how and how often they would like you to contact them.  That is PERMISSION marketing.

If they are on your email newsletter list, for example, and the platform you are using is CANSPAM compliant, like my program: A1 Email Marketing, they will be able to UNSUBSCRIBE with a single click from any email that they get.

You'll get fewer unsubscribes, by the way, when they KNOW how often they will hear from you BEFORE the signup or "opt in."

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5. FIVE Critical Components of ON-PAGE SEO

These are things that you should check to make sure you've got them properly covered.

On page SEO, as cited earlier in #2, is perhaps 25% of the equation, but it is the only one that you should be able fully and directly control, and it should be done first.

Web Development Programs Make It Easier To Build Websites

People RARELY develop websites using direct coding anymore and the truth is they shouldn't.  It is simply inefficient.  They are most likely to use one of these popular programs: Wordpress, Weebly, Wix, Squarespace or a domain-supplied builder like Godaddy.  They simply don't know that they should be using Best Way Websites instead!

Web Development Programs Usually DON'T IMPROVE On-page SEO

The website development programs have shortcuts that make building a site easier, but they simply focus primarily upon DESIGN.

They were NOT BUILT FOR SEO!

This is not a problem if you don't care about having proper HTML markup (which impacts your on-page SEO).  Many websites get all of their traffic via paid advertising and paid marketing.  This works for them, too.  So long as you are getting your target to your website and they are purchasing and you are making great profit, why does it matter whether or not your small business has proper on-site SEO?  It may not.

However, if you want your website to be discoverable via generic keyword queries, you need to pay attention to the following.  People should have no problem finding your site if they know the name of your business or they have your domain name.  You don't need SEO to tell people these things.

NONE of the popular programs that are listed above do a great job on on-page SEO.  Some of them are TERRIBLE!  Wordpress is the most prominently used program.  It was developed as a blog tool.  They have plugins (many that are dangerous to use) that enable it to be used to create regular websites, but the pages are still published as a blog.  A PLUGIN is added to address the need for on-page SEO.  Wordpress developed sites are popular and they can look really nice and be mobile responsive, too.

If you are using a Wordpress site and it is using an old theme that is not mobile-friendly, switch themes to one that is!  If you are paying someone to manage your site and they have not been BEGGING you to change themes already, FIRE THEM.  They don't know what they are doing.

In contrast to ALL of the other popular programs mentioned above, my program (Best Way Websites) was developed from the ground up for small business owners that are concerned about their sites being found for generic keyword searches. 

For Best Way Websites, SEO was not an afterthought, it was a foundational element. 

Tap Here to Learn More About SEO and Best Way Websites!

Five Best Way Websites Priorities

1) SEO

This was the #1 consideration in the development and continued development of the Best Way Websites website builder and content management system.  As we continue development, we will NEVER allow anything that will weaken the on-page SEO of our program.

Search Engine Optimization (the on-page component) was the #1 priority in the first roll-out of the CMS and it continues to be so today.

2) Easy to Use

We get converts from all of the other popular programs routinely and one of the main reasons is our program is super easy to use.  The main reason for this is we developed it LISTENING to our users.  We did not create our GUI (graphical user interface) for ourselves.  We created it for our users.  We think this was an extremely smart move.

You can get a free account to experiment with it.  You will see it is much easier to use than whatever you are using now.

3) Affordable

Website editor subscriptions start at just $15/mo and include: the CMS, support via video, guide & ticket system, popular plugins, and a free domain and free, unlimited hosting account. 

One Size does NOT fit all.  Get the plan that fits you.

Other popular plans are $25, $50, $75, $100, and up to $500 monthly.

4) Supported

All users get unlimited support via our on-screen videos, searchable user guide and ticket system. (for plans starting at $15/mo and includes a free domain and free hosting account along with the website editor subscription)  Plans that are $50/mo and higher all get unlimited phone support directly from the company.  This is never outsourced.

Our most popular plan is a bundle that is available for $100/mo and it includes: website editor subscription, free domain name and free hosting account), unlimited phone support, unlimited email @ domain with SPAM filtering, local search marketing, locals reviews program and all popular plugins: store, photo gallery, slider, media gallery (audio & video) and more.

5) Functional

For function, we included everything that a typical small business owner would want and need.  From the beginning, we had integrated a support ticket system that empowered users to requested additional functions and features.  This continues.  If we get a new client that needs a function that is not yet supported, we will add it for them.

Plugins?  Yes, we've got plugins, but we develop all of them ourselves and keep them secure.  We don't allow outside contributors.  We simply don't trust them.

Unlike ALL other programs, which are limited, if you ask the question, "Can I do ________ with Best Way Websites?"  The answer is YES.

Tap on the button below to take a test-drive of Best Way Websites.
You won't need your credit card and we won't send you a bill!


Here are the FIVE Critical Components of ON-PAGE SEO

Note: the Best Way Websites is an easy website builder that will take care of most of these things below on the fly!

Some website developers would argue that these things are no longer important.  They are simply wrong.  They are fundamental.

  1. Website Body HTML Markup
  2. META Tags
  3. MICRO Data
  4. Volume of Content (includes growth, change)
  5. Logical Site Structure

Website Body HTML Markup

Each page should make proper use of Heading Tags (H1-H6).  The best practice for most pages is that there should only be one H1 tag, which should be the title of the page and it should be on the very top.  If the page content is over a thousand words, you could use it to divide the page into sections, but I'd still advise against it.

You can always use other Heading Tags: H2, H3, H4, H5, H6.  Use them logically to outline your page, just like you learned in writing papers in English composition in high school. 😊

The First Paragraph

The first paragraph should include a sentence that uses ALL of the major keywords that are in the page title.  I suggest that you conveniently couch it in the very first sentence.  It is fine as the beginning, middle or end of the sentence.

If your page content is longer, use this phrase similarly in other paragraphs.  Once per 100 words is probably a good guide.  If you change the semantics of that phrase adequately (using synonyms of your keywords, you could use it once per every 50 words).

Bold and underline this keyword phrase.  Alternatively, use italics, bold italics, bold, or even bold and underlined italics.  In HTML, this is referred to as TEXT DECORATION.  Search engines pay attention to these "decorated" keyword phrases, especially when they are included in the page title, heading, page subject, and as an ALT tag on the primary page's image.

Powerful Use of Images

Rename your images to match the page, using the same keywords.  The best practice is to simply rename them before uploading them for use on your website.  This is not only powerful for your SEO, it will help you when you are searching for them to include them on your pages.

When someone takes a photo with a digital camera, it will typically give the photo a file name with a few letters and an bunch of numbers.  For example: DSC_23432423424.JPG or IMG_23423_2324234.PNG.  Search engines will index your images if they have real words in their file names.  Rename your images!

Use keyword rich ALT tags for all of your images on the page.  Ideally, those same keywords will be included in the text that is very near the image.

You should have at minimum 1 image on each page with a proper ALT tag, in very close proximity to paragraph text that includes the exact same keyword phrase as the ALT tag.  A smart consideration is to use another image for every 150-250 words.

(The Best Way Websites CMS is a champion here as well)

For example, I just took this photo of myself using my android smart phone, and here is the filename: IMG_20191207_122356759. 

You can tap here to open this file in full resolution.
Note: it will open in a new tab and with most browsers, you will have to tap on the opened image to see it's actual size.
(The file size is 1614kb or 1.64mb - which is WAY to BIG in file size for a website.

I optimized this image (reduced it's file size to make it faster loading) to 29.5kb.  This is 54 times smaller in data size as the original.

This makes it better for the user (faster download) and better for SEO, because load time for your web pages is also a component of SEO.

I renamed this file to: affordable-search-engine-marketing.jpg so it will reflect the content of this web page.  See the image below.

Affordable Search Engine Marketing

You can tap here to open this file in full resolution.
(Before it was optimized for the web)

Note: it will open in a new tab and with most browsers, you will have to tap on the opened image to see it's actual size.
(The file size is 1614kb or 1.64mb - which is WAY to BIG in file size for a website.

The reason I am laboring this is ALL of those popular website development programs (with the exception of Best Way Websites) by default takes your image regardless of file size and allows you to "shrink" the display size of the image, but NOT actually OPTIMIZE the image for websites.

Best Way Websites warns you of the data file size and suggests a display size and will automatically optimize the image upon upload.

META Tags

META tags are in the HTML code of your site, but do not print to the screen.  You should see them if you VIEW THE SOURCE CODE of any of your web pages.  The most important of these is not exactly a META Tag.  It is the TITLE of your page.  Theof this page is:

The Small Business Owner Guide to Internet Marketing that Makes You More than it Costs - Small Business Marketing Help

You will find that the title above is also the ALT tag on my goofy caricature.  Search engines will pay attention to this.  If you "hover" over my goofy caricature, the ALT tag will display for you.  Notice that this ALT tag on my #1 image on this page is an EXACT MATCH to theof the page.  This is on purpose.

Meta tags are always located within the...on the top of your HTML web pages.  They are not visible to browsers and their use is for search engines to find pages to add to their indexes.

Your Webpage Title

Your webpage's titles are the first and most notable tag that the search engines will read.  It is not actually a META tag because it does not have the designation like the other META tags have (like meta name =).  Using the title of this page, the syntax for a page title looks like this:

<title>The Small Business Owner Guide to Internet Marketing that Makes You More than it Costs - Small Business Marketing Help</title>

Using most browsers, if you hover your mouse over the tab, you should see this:

The Small Business Owner Guide to Internet Marketing that Makes You More than it Costs - Small Business Marketing Help

You will note that the first section of the title above is an exact match for the main heading of the page and that this phrase is also included in the first paragraph of text and is also the "alt" tag on an image that is close in proximity to the text.  This is ALL on purpose.

The title should be first HTML element following the tag in the HTML page.

The other two most important meta tags on your page are the keywords and description.  The examples below are extracted from this page:

  • name="keywords" content="The Small Business Owner Guide to Internet Marketing that Makes You More than it Costs,Small Business,Marketing,Help,Learn">
  • name="description" content="The Small Business Owner Guide to Internet Marketing that Makes You More than it Costs - Helping Small Businesses Market Effectively.">

The keywords MUST have a matching component on the page!  Don't say something is a keyword if it doesn't show up at least one time on the page.  How can it be a keyword if it is not even on the page?

The description should also include the basic name of the page, of course.  To follow best practices, it should read as a complete sentence.  Search engines will often provide this description to website browsers.

MICRODATA (Schema Markup)

Microdata is a refining tool, actually an expansion of meta tags that was rolled out with the introduction of HTML5.

  • Schema.org provides a collection of shared vocabularies webmasters can use to mark up their pages in ways that can be understood by the major search engines: Google, Microsoft, Yandex and Yahoo!

Your web pages have an underlying meaning that people understand when they read the web pages. But search engines have a limited understanding of what is being discussed on those pages.

By adding additional tags to the HTML of your web pages—tags that say, "Hey search engine, this information describes this specific movie, or place, or person, or video"—you can help search engines and other applications better understand your content and display it in a useful, relevant way. 

Microdata is especially helpful for sites when visitors are using mobile devices to browse their sites.

Open Graph Protocol

The Open Graph protocol enables any web page to become a rich object in a social graph. For instance, this is used on Facebook to allow any web page to have the same functionality as any other object on Facebook.

While many different technologies and schemas exist and could be combined together, there isn't a single technology which provides enough information to richly represent any web page within the social graph. The Open Graph protocol builds on these existing technologies and gives developers one thing to implement. Developer simplicity is a key goal of the Open Graph protocol which has informed many of the technical design decisions.

Open Graph tags are automatically generated for you if you are using Best Way Websites for your website's content management.  You can also define specific, additional og elements for particular pages, for example, instruct social media which image use if someone is sharing your page via a social media post.

The open graph protocol is a particular use to interact with varying social media platforms.

Volume of Content (includes growth, change)

All things being equal (even though they are not), it is generally better to have more text content rather than less, when it comes to the best organic indexing in search engines.

Just be sure that your content is easily readable and understandable by human visitors.  Search engines are smart enough now to know the difference and they do check for this.

Just adding a gob of unrelated text is not going to help you.

Balancing Between Search Engines and Human Visitors

If you don't want to overwhelm your visitors with text, what you are wanting is good.  A lot of website development is using a minimalist approach as it relates to the length of text.

To deal with this, make use of columns and iconic navigation in the body of the page and link out to more information from there.  You may link farther down the page or to another page that has more complete content.

Doing so, you deal with both the aesthetics of your pages for your target and through enough "flies" into the search engine's web so the  "spiders" get the signal that their is something to "eat" on the page.

Logical Site Structure

Following what has been described directly above about balancing between search engines and human visitors will necessitate a logical site structure.   In particular, google LOVES sites with broad content.

If you provide a LOT of content, make sure it is logically organized.  This is useful for search engines.  They will reward you with indexing multiple pages if you do this!

SiteMaps?

The ordinary HTML sitemap has largely been abandoned as a part of current standards for development, but search engines still look for it.  

The HTML sitemap (which was visible) has been updated to use an XML sitemap instead.  This is published for your website, but is NOT for humans.  It is for search engines exclusively.

HTML Sitemaps and XML Sitemaps and Best Way Websites

We recommend using the Best Way Websites html site map generator and the Best Way Websites xml site map generator.  The Best Way Websites website building program AUTOMATICALLY creates both an HTML sitemap and an XML sitemap for you on the fly and continues to update it as you add and remove content from your site.

Current, Common Site Structure Conventions

The best practice is to have your pages organized as a logical outline, with the main pages at the top of the structure and related content "nested" beneath the appropriate pages.

Drop-down navigation is most commonly used.

You want to be sure that you are not using some plugin that is only "printing" your navigation to the pages using javascript that results in dynamic content that is not "crawlable" by search engine spiders.

Sub pages linked in the body of the pages.

Adding regular links in the paragraph (body) text of your pages will also be LOVED by search engines.

You are probably wondering ... how does Best Way Websites deal with this?

Best Way Websites is a Small Business Owner's Website Content Management Dream Come True ... that's all!

If you want a powerful, affordable and easy to use website editor, you should try Best Way Websites!

You can easily arrange you pages with a drag and drop function.  The website editor supports UNLIMITED pages and sub pages and sub pages of sub pages and so forth.

The Best Way Websites CMS has a built-in tool that will automatically insert sub-navigation into the body of your pages and keep the links updated for you.

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6. SIX Significant Segments of OFF-PAGE SEO

Google states that it has over 200 things that it looks at to decide how it is going to rank any particular page.  I don't think Google is an avid truth-teller, but for sake of argument, we'll accept this premise.

So, the Google "pie" has 200 slices, but the are NOT all the same size.  Some things are far more important than others.  We are going to cover what I believe to be six of the most important things to Google as far as off-page SEO.

  1. Inbound Links
  2. Data Aggregation
  3. Social Media Participation
  4. Reviews
  5. Youtube
  6. Articles

Inbound Links

Each inbound link is a "vote" for the value of your web page.  Search engines today (google and others) are all use site "reputation" as a significant component of their engine's algorithms.   Earlier versions of search engines were "testimonial."  Here's the difference:

Your Website's Testimony

The content on your own pages is what you are "saying about yourself" and that is your site's testimony.

Your Website's Reputation

Your site's reputation is not dependent upon what you "say about yourself", but what "other's say about you."  When you have a link that comes to your site from another site, it boosts your site's reputation.  These links don't work like reviews.  Just about all inbound links are good.

Search Engines Don't Want you to Buy Links

If your links come from "link-farms" the search engines will ignore them, so don't waste your money on them.  If you are getting them free, you are wasting your time.  That doesn't mean you should completely avoid paying for inbound links as a part of your internet marketing budget, however, it is far better to focus upon being "link-worthy" via great content, so others will link to your site naturally.

If you seek out sites that you would like to have links from yourself and contact the site owners, this is the best practice, though it can be quite time consuming and frustrating if you don't have the temperament to endure some tedious work.

The Quality of In-bound Links

Quality links are more important than the quantity of links, albeit, the best thing would be to have a LOT of quality links.  Regardless, focus first upon the quality of your links.

What Makes a Quality In-bound Link?

Here are a few things that will guide your understanding of quality in-bound website links:

  • The rank or popularity of the site that is linking to yours
  • How closely the page that links to yours matches your content.
  • Links that proceed from text rather than images.
  • How the link is "couched" on the website from which it proceeds.  (Is there text around the link that matches your site's keywords?
  • The structure of the site that links to yours (static html pages are far more valuable than blog sites, for example)
  • Links that are not using the "nofollow" attribute.  (When someone posts their own content to a another website (or blog), typically the "nofollow" attribute is automatically applied.  This is done to prevent "spammy" links so users don't win from their attempt to artificially manipulate their site's reputation by making lots and lots of posts, simply to get more links to their site.
  • Links from pages that proceed from other data centers.  (This prevents "incestuous" link building)
  • A link that does NOT reciprocate.  ("You link to me and I'll link to you ... google devalued reciprocal links in 2004 ...)

The Quantity of In-bound Links

So long as you don't violate the things above, the more links you can get, the better your site's rank will rate. 

The Syntax of In-bound Links

We have already discussed nofollow links above.  In order for your links to "count" as a reputation vote, they must NOT have the nofollow attribute attached to them.

The best possible syntax for an inbound website link is for the anchor text of the link to match the title of the page that it links to.

Here is an example for you:

Looking for Affordable Search Engine Marketing?

Small business owners need an effective and affordable way to market their businesses via the internet.  They need affordable search engine marketing.  Bigfoot.Marketing provides services as well as free educational articles on their website.  

(Tap on the link in the paragraph above to see these things all done in a powerful way).

Data Aggregation

Just like on-site SEO is the foundation for off-site SEO, having your company's NAP (name, address & phone number) or your business's CITATION submitted and up to date to the major US data aggregators is the foundation for any external SEO program. 

The major US data aggregators are: acxiom, factual, infogroup and neustar.

There are many companies that provide management for these services for small businesses owners, or you can do it yourself.

Bigfoot.Marketing provides professionally managed data aggregators management as a part of our Local Search Marketing program.

Ensuring that these aggregators have your correct business information is your FIRST step in an effective off-site SEO program.

Social Media Participation

Google has included a businesses' participation in social media as one of the metrics that it is looking for as well.  Connections AND activity in the popular social media platforms will impact your rank in search for the organic search engine results pages.

Most importantly will be those that google owns, of course, which are Google My Business and Youtube.

Other than that, you should have a page and participate in any of the social media platforms that are used by a majority of your clients. 

Reviews

Having reviews is not only a vital factor in winning the trust of potential customers, it will also impact your rank in the organic search engine results pages, too.  You should have reviews and you should respond to each and every one.

CLAIM your business in ALL of the most important reviews platforms as they relate to their business.  I will provide a list below that identifies what are typically the most important ones in order of importance by traffic they receive.

  1. Google
  2. Facebook
  3. Amazon
  4. Yelp
  5. TripAdvisor
  6. Locals.Reviews

Google will pay attention to whether or not you are responding to the reviews that are left for you.  This is true of all reviews platforms, not just google reviews.

Locals.Reviews is the new, "up and coming", premier feedback and reviews program for local businesses.  It's focus is upon locals and it boasts some unique features that make it especially powerful and attractive for small businesses.

Locals.Reviews is a development of Bigfoot.Marketing.  laughing

YouTube

YouTube is a website that actually includes several four roles:

  • video service
  • search engine
  • social platform
  • advertising platform

YouTube is the second most popular search engine in the USA.  This reveals something important for small business owners: you should be using YouTube!  It is still free to get a YouTube channel.

What Google will do with this in the future is unknown.  I think they are likely to start charging for this.  They have already published that they are reserving the right to disable or delete channels that do not generate ad revenue, and this is becoming more and more difficult to do.

If they do monetize it, I'm thinking it will be a fairly low fee (maybe $5/mo?) or something like that.  They have a track record of marketing this way.  They roll out something for free, maximize it's subscribers, and then make them pay to keep it once they are dependent upon it.  This is a bit "gangster" but it happens.

There is a very particular way to make get the most out of YouTube videos.  Here is an overview:

  1. First, create a page on your website that matches the content of the video.  Name the page to match the title of the video.
  2. Next, upload your video to YouTube and copy and paste the content from your page as the description of the video.
  3. Add all relevant tags (keywords) in YouTube for the video.
  4. Add a link back to your specific page that you created in step 1 and put it at the top and bottom of your description in YouTube

Articles

It is a great idea to have at least one article about your company / business and more as you can use them.  If the article is well-written and properly SEO'd and contains links back to your site proceeding from anchor text that matches the destination page on your website, this can be very powerful.

There are companies that provide article writing services and article distribution services, of course.  Bigfoot.Marketing provides this service as well.

The Best Practice

The best thing you can do is find the sites that you want to host your article and work directly with them.  If you can provide valuable content for them that is of interest to their audience, they will be glad to post your article for you (that links back to your site) if they have a site that needs related content. 

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7. SEVEN Key Usability Factors for Human Visitors

  1. Responsive Design
  2. Form: how does it look?
  3. Function: does everything work?
  4. Complete Content
  5. Use of Videos
  6. Dynamic Imagery
  7. Clear Call to Action

1) Responsive Design

If your website does not utilize a 100% responsive design, it needs to be redeveloped YEARS AGO!

For 90% of websites, over 60% of their users are on a mobile device now and for many of them it is their only option.  They don't even own a pad, laptop or desktop computer.  If your business provides personal services like eateries, salons and other personal services, well over 90% or your potential target is using a mobile phone to search for products and services.

A responsively designed website will optimize the user's view regardless of the screen size being used regardless of whether it is a desktop, laptop, notebook, pad or smart phone.

If your site is responsively designed, no user will ever need to use their fingers to "pinch or spread" content in order to read it.  Links from text or images that are "clickable" will be large enough to touch them with your finger and get the resource you want.

Mobile Functional is NOT Mobile Responsive

The fact that you can VIEW your website on a mobile phone is not enough.  If your site is WAY OUT OF DATE, your site will display but it will be shrunk down to fit the screen.  If you serve this up to people, MOST of them will click away.

Mobile Friendly is NOT Mobile Responsive

The next step up from not responsive at all would be a site that is known as mobile-friendly.  Oftentimes, these sites will actually look better on a mobile phone than they do on a desktop, laptop or pad, but there are still only have way there.

A "mobile friendly" site is typically accomplished by some software (webware) program that is manipulating the the site for mobile viewing.  These sites certainly work better than those that have no mobile function at all, but they typically have several awkward components.

To deal with this weakness, you will usually see some link at the bottom of the screens inviting you to view the whole site.

Mobile Responsive Sites Provide 100% of Site Content

On the other hand, if your site is fully responsive it will also be mobile responsive and will deliver ALL of your site's public content to your website's users.

2) Form: how does it look?

  • Is it appealing to the eye?
  • Is it cluttered?  (How much of this you can get away with depends upon your target.  If you are providing a lot of information and people are using your site for research, or you are posting articles or blogs, you can get away with a bit of clutter without it hurting you.  Otherwise, the minimal approach with links to more detailed content is advisable.
  • Are you using professional, clear images?
  • Are you providing a photo gallery?
  • Are you using video?
  • Do you have a videos page?

3) Function: does everything work?

  • Do you have flash plugins that will most often no longer play on most browsers?
  • Do you have missing images or broken links?
  • Is the navigation clear and logical? 

4) Complete Content

  • Does your site use easily readable fonts?
  • Can people find your about page to learn about your company?
  • Are your reviews visible on your website?
  • What about your social media links?
  • Do you provide adequate content for those that want it.  (We recommend using drill-down mechanics to give people as much content as they are interest in.)

5) Use of Videos

A "pitch video" is the very best thing to use to communicate your call to action (Step 7. Below).

The very best thing you can do is to have videos embedded towards the top of your pages.  Most US consumers would rather watch a movie than read a book, and they would rather watch and listen to you than read your content.

You need the text content for good on-page SEO and you need the video for HUMANS; so do both.

As you can, write your page content first and then create a video that covers the same content. 

6) Dynamic Imagery

By dynamic I am referring to "MOVING".

Having a moving slide show on your home page is a great idea.

Having a video on your home page is imperative.

If you have a lot to "show and tell" make sure you are using an attractive photo gallery as well.

7) Clear Call to Action

As explained in #3, there are three simple steps to good website performance.  The third step is Effective Conversion.  Effective conversion is getting your website users to take the course of action that you want them to take.  

The imagery and/or language that you use to bring them to this is your "call to action."  It is often a graphic or button, such as: "Learn More", "Get a Free Quote" or "Buy Now."

They must not be looking for your call to action.  Your call to action must find them and arrest their attention.

by Douglas E. Nevill, Bigfoot.Marketing

The pitch video for this site and call to action is below ... 

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Affordable Search Engine Marketing

Note: this section at the bottom of this page is an example of good, on-site SEO (Search Engine Optimization).  The example below shows how a portion of a page would be "SEO'd".

Affordable Search Engine Marketing

If you are looking for Affordable Search Engine Marketing, you should get in touch with Bigfoot.Marketing.  Bigfoot.Marketing is a company that was founded and is owned and operated by the architect of the Best Way Websites website builder (website generator) and website editor (CMS or Content Management System).

Many small businesses are paying way too much for their SEO services and most of them are being SCAMMED.  There are times when they are wanting search engine optimization service performance that they simply don't need and sometimes they cannot realistically afford.  Regardless, search engine marketing must be affordable for small businesses.

Note These Things:

  1. The Heading: Affordable Search Engine Marketing is using a , specifically the (h2) tag.  If this were the heading of the page (instead of a section down the page), it would use the (h1) tag instead.
  2. The same keyword phrase shows up in the first sentence: (Affordable Search Engine Marketing).
  3. This keyword phrase takes advantage of "text decoration" - it is bolded, an indication to search engines of it's importance on the page.
  4. This keyword phrase also is used as the ALT tag of the photo.  However over the photo to see this.  (Tap here to see example - will open in new window).
  5. This keyword phrase is also used for the TITLE of the linked URL from the photo.  This one is only visible via a look at the html on the page.

 

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