8 Simple SEO Tips for The Not-So-Tech Savvy Entrepreneur - Black Enterprise
Black Enterprise Magazine September/October 2018 Issue

Planning to update your company website? There’s more to it then just a fancy new design. You need to make sure that potential customers are able to find your site when they are searching for services or products that you offer. Otherwise, you’ll have a beautiful web site and absolutely no or limited visitors.

How do you get prospects to your online destination? By utilizing Search Engine Optimization (SEO). Search engines like Google, Yahoo, and Bing use really complicated algorithms to determine which sites get ranked higher than others in search engine results. The algorithm is based on a combination of keywords, useful, relevant content, and cross linking between your site and others.

“SEO is like an automobile with a lot of working parts,” says Pierre DuBois, owner of Zimana, a web analytics consulting firm, which offers online marketing strategy, operations, and financial analysis. “You need to get an idea of what those part are.”

If you are not able to hire an SEO expert to enhance your website, there are things you can do on your own. Here are a couple of DuBois’ tips to get you started.

1. Add images to your site. Photos will tell a story about what your services are and the end benefits that customers will receive. Images also help increase your ranking and if you apply keywords to your photos they will appear in searches for web images.

2. Consider creating a short video to explain your business. Video is another element that increases page ranking. The video should be about two minutes long, and if embedded in an analytics-tagged website, the video should have an event tracking code included to help count plays and determine visitor engagement. Try a video editor like Camtasia, which can merge images, music files, and even add narration. Remember, visitors do not like videos that play automatically.

3. Show recommendations from past clients. Although typically shown on sites such as LinkedIn and Yelp, accolades from former clients are extremely encouraging for visitors to do business with you.

4. Consider adding a widget to show your tweets or a Facebook Fan page to show updates. Online visitors are starting to respond more to companies with a social media presence. This is particularly helpful if your product or service has a social element to it.

5. Add keywords into the description tag of each web page. Not only does the description show in Google and Bing search results, but it also appears in social media sharing sites such as BizSugar, Digg, Delicious, and Seeded Buzz as well as when pages are shared across networks such as Linked In and Facebook.

6. Look for ways to refine keywords. As you understand what your customers are looking for, their choice of words changes over time. When you type a word into Google, use the Wonderwheel tool, which appears on the lower left of the search engine results. Wonderwheel provides additional suggested results that appear as spokes from your query. Click on each spoke to see new query hub and spokes for the given word — this can tease out new, unconsidered keyword suggestions for your pay per click ad or website. Use the content dashboards in a web analytics solution (Google Analytics, Piwik, Yahoo Web Analytics, Going Up!, Woopra, etc.), to review effective keywords phrases that produced average time on site, high conversion, and low bounce rate metrics.

7. Add comments about site changes in the annotation feature in Google Analytics. This will become not only a journal, but a way to see if a site change affected the analytics data and ultimately the visitor experience. You can also comment on dates of events that can potentially drive traffic.

8. Finally, never presume that just inserting the right keywords in a site is the secret ingredient to attract all traffic. Your site can be discovered in many ways, so don’t get hung up on one feature over the other. “Generating traffic is due to many methods — tweets, Facebook likes, podcast mentions, mentions in online videos, social sharing sites, online presentations, and offline activity via attending trade shows, presentations, appearances,” says DuBois. A web analytics solution usually examines direct referral and search traffic.

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Marcia Wade Talbert

Marcia is a multimedia content producer focusing on technology at Black Enterprise Magazine. In this capacity she writes and assigns stories to educate readers about social media; digital integration; gadgets, apps, and software for business and professional development; minority tech startups; and careers in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics). In 2012, she received two Salute to Excellence Awards from the National Association of Black Journalists and was recognized by Blacks in Technology (BiT) as one of the Top 10 Black achievers in the tech arena for 2011 at SXSW in Austin, Texas. She has spoken about technology on panels for New York Social Media Week, at The 2012 Rainbow/PUSH Wall Street Summit, as well as at Black Enterprise’s Entrepreneurs Conference and Women of Power Summit. In 2011, SocialWayne.com chose her as one of 28 People of Color Impacting the Social Web, and through crowdsourcing she was listed as one of BlackWeb2.0's/HP's 50 Most Notable African American Tastemakers in Social Media and Technology for 2010. Since taking on the role of Tech editor in September 2010, she has conceived and produced five cover stories on Technology and/or STEM and countless articles, videos, and slideshows online. Before joining BlackEnterprise.com as an interactive general assignment reporter in 2008, she freelanced with Black Enterprise beginning in 2003 while working as the technical editor at Prepared Foods magazine. There she further honed her writing skills and became an authority on food ingredients, including ingredients used in food fortification and enrichment. Meanwhile, her freelancing with Black Enterprise and BlackEnterprise.com helped her stay current on issues pertaining to the financial and business welfare of African Americans. As a general reporter for Black Enterprise she attended and reported on the Democratic and Republican National Conventions, where she interviewed Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to President Barack Obama and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder. Marcia has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agriculture with an emphasis in food science from the University of Minnesota, and a Master of Science degree in journalism from Roosevelt University in Chicago. En route to her secondary degree, she served as the editor-in-chief of the Roosevelt University Torch, a weekly, student-run newspaper. An avid photographer and videographer, Marcia is one of several employees at BLACK ENTERPRISE who interned for the publishing company as a college student. She lives in New Jersey with her husband, a food scientist; her seventeen-month-old daughter; and “The Cat”, but still considers Chicago home.

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