What are Keywords?

Keywords

As you dive into your website, you may hear about keyword a lot. But what, exactly, are keywords? Keywords are single words or phrases that people are searching online through search engines. Google ‘spiders’ (as they are called) ‘read’ the site to decide on ranking how relevant the site would be to the searcher. The process of this is called Organic Search Engine Optimization or Organic SEO.

Because the Google spiders can only read what is literally on the page, keywords associated with your business or industry must appear prominently on the page.

Where Should I Use Keywords?

But where should these keywords appear? They need to be included in headings of all the content on your site, within blog posts, page names, and menu items. One caveat: only put the keywords in these places if they feel natural. Do not put them in menus if it does not have a natural flow to it. Though keywords should be represented well as a reflection that your website is relevant to that concept, words should never feel overly forced.

No matter your business, you should have a blog on your site. This blog should contain information that a visitor to your site would find helpful or interesting. A blog is also a good way to include keywords within the posts to appeal to the Google Spiders. If a blog is a bit outside of your comfort zone, you can work with freelance content creators to write the content for you.

The most important part of writing for a blog is to know your audience, what their needs are, and what you are trying to solve for them. As you narrow that down, the brainstorming list for content will become easier. Good content can also be a great way to get your name out in the public by sharing it with like-minded industries where your ideal customer is already at.

What NOT to do With Keywords

As you consider who your audience is and how to attract them to your site, there some big no-no’s when it comes to keywords. Under no circumstances should you “keyword stuff”.

Keyword stuffing looks like having keywords appear so many times that it is a clear obnoxious attempt at shifting Google’s search results. It can also look like putting clear text on the page with the keyword repeated thousands of times. If Google finds this out, they will blacklist your site. It is not worth it. Don’t do it.

Keyword Conclusion

There are many other ways keywords should be used on your site to provide you the optimal Organic SEO results. Things like using keywords in meta tags and alternative text for pictures is essential. There are good plug-ins for websites that streamline this process a bit. When using a self-hosted WordPress site, the plugin options are excellent. If you are needing help with keyword lists or making your site get found more easily on a search, please reach out.

 

Picking a Domain Name

Domain Names

You’ve decided it is time to purchase a domain for your business! It’s so excited until it may become a bit overwhelming. Sometimes you haven’t solidified your business name if you are starting out. Or perhaps your business name domain is taken. So now what? In this post, I am going to talk  about some of the key points of picking a domain: your business name, domain lengths, geolocations, and service industries.

Business Name and Domains

One ideal scenario is that you go to bluehost, type in your domain, and voila! It’s available! Hooray!

But sometimes it isn’t.

Now what?

A list of do nots:

-Do not start adding random letters or numbers to your domain

-Do not change words in your business to odd spellings unless that is how your business name is. Ie) BusinessSolutions.com becomes BizNassSolutions.com

Ideally, you would have decided on a domain and business name at the same time, finding it available and purchasing it right away. Consider some other options.

Should I use .org, net, .co, etc in my domain?

The holy grail is .com. It just is. It’s what customers will search first, therefore it is best.  If you can work a good solution to include .com, do it. If nothing related can be worked, then branch out into the other .org, .net, .co, etc.

But before that, consider including keywords and geolocations in your domain.

Keywords and Geolocations Within Domains

The best domains include keywords and geolocations. What are keywords? They are the words that people are actually searching. Geo location is the area in which they are searching.

For example:

Susan sits down at her computer and types in, “Salons in Idaho Falls”.

That keyword and geolocation should be a consideration when choosing a domain name.

Search engines read what is in black and white. The more times you can get your keywords, and if relevant, your geolocation to appear, the better. A search engine will see your site as more likely to contain a relevant answer to the searcher’s request.

Geolocation is so important to many service-based industries. As someone who specializes in keywords, I know how to search out how many people in a targeted area are currently searching for certain keywords. If you have a service that people will constantly be searching for with a location attached, that needs to be a heavy consideration in your domain name choice. Industries like: hair, dentists, doctors, HVAC, electricians, plumbers, lawyers, and any other service-based industry needs to give inclusion of the location some serious thought.

Domain Length

As you are evaluating business name and including the service and location, you must always keep in mind your domain length. An ideal domain length would be no more than 15-17 characters. The domain should also be memorable, which means NO WEIRD SPELLINGS! If your average ideal customer would often misspell your domain name, you need to reconsider your domain name.

I hope this post gave you some good direction on what the most important considerations to take when picking a domain name. If you need help picking a domain or compiling a list of keywords, please reach out.

Business Branding Basics

Branding Your Business

When you start or are revamping your business, branding is essential to consider. Whether you are a one-person operation or a large corporation, identity is important. Today, we are going to go over why branding is important, what items should be considered for branding, logos, and where to find help.

Why Branding is Important for Businesses

Branding is the foundation of the representation of your business. When businesses are branded, they feel more legitimate, are trusted more by first time visitors, and often compel people to feel as though they are getting a higher-end experience. This higher-end experience raises the perceived value of the consumer. The service you may be providing may be the same, but with branding in place, the business is perceived as elevated.

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Branding also differentiates from competition. A business owner should take on the task of having all branding uniformly communicate what the business is about and what value it is providing. Branding a business presents an experience to the customer. This is why narrowing down what your business is and creating a profile representing your ideal customer is essential.

If you are unsure on how to go about creating a snapshot like this with your business, consider searching the topic of business plans or customer profile. If you need a bit more help sorting this through, the SCORE organization through the Small Business Association provides free mentorships for small business owners.

Considerations for Branding

Once you navigate through creating a brief summation of your business core values and an ideal customer profile, you can think a bit more about branding your business. Most people think about business cards or a logo in general, but there are some other aspects to consider:

-Any decals for doors or windows

-Embroidery on shirts

-Business cards

-Letter head

-Social Media headers

-Website

-Literature

-Logos

-Your place of business

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All of these items must work together to present one unified front. When a person searches your business online, drives by you building, or sees a pamphlet they must quickly interpret that it is your brand. The colors, styling, written content, and logo must be consistent. That is not to say that all must be identical, but they have to feel like part of a consistent collection and belong together. It is that feel that makes a business feel branded.

Branding and Logos

When a designer creates a logo, they consider a lot of applications. They want to know if you logo looks great as both a favicon (the teeny-tiny picture on the browser tab) all the way up to a huge banner. A good logo will translate to many applications. It is also why most good designers will not incorporate many colors or thin lines within a logo. They know that with additional colors comes additional costs of printing for the business owner. They also know that while thin lines within a logo may look okay in a small format, the logo would have to be reworked for a larger item.

Save yourself some money and ensure that all your logos are applicable for many sizes and able to save on printing.

Where to find help

Branding can be a large process, but it pays off to have that added perceived value to your business. There are numerous tutorials online that can be searched about branding, good logos, typography, and social media marketing.

Keep in mind, however, that perhaps your time would be better invested doing what you do well and outsourcing at least some of the items. To have a truly polished brand product, a designer will work together with a team to create a comprehensive Style Guide to be implemented for every aspect of your business so your brand is always one unified front.

If that doesn’t sit within your budget, consider hiring out for your logo or proper social media banners that are not pixelated and that represent your brand well. If you need some direction on who to connect with for any of these steps, feel free to reach out to me.