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Dummy’s Guide: How a small business is ranked 5th on Google for “Business Blogs” beating CNN.com

Word of mouth is the most powerful marketing tool a business can ever wish for so if you can increase the amount of recommendations then your customers will do the marketing for you including talking about you on Facebook, Twitter, forums etc. That’s zero cost to you and with third party endorsement – is there anything better than that?

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This post is for small businesses that need clear and simple advice on SEO for their business.

Before we start I want you to ask yourself this question – how do the bulk of your customers find you?

Is it via word of mouth? Is it via the local community newspaper? Is it because you are on the main road of your town?

If your answer does not include the Internet then have a good think about how you can leverage your current channels before looking at SEO.

Word of mouth is the most powerful marketing tool a business can ever wish for so if you can increase the amount of recommendations then your customers will do the marketing for you including talking about you on Facebook, Twitter, forums etc. That’s zero cost to you and with third party endorsement – is there anything better than that?

Don’t get me wrong you need a website even if it just shows your contact details and opening hours but you may not need SEO services.

SEO is expensive

SEO is expensive either in terms of your effort or paying someone to do the effort for you.

SEO can also be a complete waste of time and money for some businesses. For example if you have a local hardware store where all your customers live in the same area as you SEO is not going to give you ROI. In fact you might end up completing for search rankings against the major national players who spend millions on online marketing regardless of localized search terms.

SEO attracts dodgy people

SEO is at best confusing and at worse considered magic for most non IT people therefore you will find some of the most unethical dodgy cowboys you will every come across selling you the promise of getting your business on page one of Google. These cowboys target small businesses because they know most do not have the skill to find out if the service is actually working. They will charge you thousands for basically nothing.

Some SEO ‘experts’ are not dodgy but come from other IT skills such as web design and think that adding meta-tags to your site makes them an SEO ‘expert’. They are not experts and can do great damage to your brand due to their lack of knowledge.

Just to show you how dodgy they can be let me show you how I could charge you $990 for ‘SEO’ and spend $15.00 to show you some huge stats that you will be well impressed with.

So lets head over to Fiverr.com’s “Social Marketing” section where I think many IT sweat shops in India, Philippines and Malaysia, USA sell their services on the cheap. Fiverr is like a one-stop shop for dodgy SEO ‘experts’. Don’t get me wrong Fiverr is a great site and has a good screening process for offers but the social marketing section in my opinion holds alot of crappy offers.

So just looking at the front page I have located services for Facebook, Twitter and link submission. See below.

I will submit your website or blog url to over 500 high quality backlinks, directories and search engines for $5

I will promote your business,brand,website,product, etc to more than 14,000+ members on facebook for $5

I will tweet your message link website anything to my 12,000 twitter followers for $5

The sweet part is that each one will send me a screen capture of your site being listed on their Facebook account and Twitter and also a couple of screen captures of your web site link appearing of some link directories.

The bummer for you is that most of these offers for social marketing are crap. They are crap because these accounts on Twitter and Facebook hold fake accounts and the link submission sites are mostly crap because Google could possibly have de-indexed them or just ignores them.

Have you ever wondered how some obscure business has 30,000 followers on Twitter and 25,000 fans on Facebook? Well now you know – head over to Fiverr and pay someone 5 bucks to get 1000 followers of which 100% are fake, of course this is my opinion and it may not be correct so just have a look and apply commonsense and make your own conclusion.

So for $15 USD I will send you the screen captures from the IT sweat shops and charge you $990 for the effort. Most small business owners will be well impressed even though it will have ZERO impact – but try and prove that.

If you question me about the lack of extra visits to your website I will come out with the typical SEO classic – ‘Look this is very complicated and takes months to come through. If you want a result faster then you need to pay more’.

How we approach SEO

SEO is not complicated but it requires lots and lots of effort because you are fighting against all your competitors and anyone else who wants to rank with the keywords.

Here are some tips direct from our own SEO strategy.

The domain name must contain keywords

Look at our domain name – ‘BusinessBlogsHub.com’ – look at our keywords “Business Blogs”. Simple.

Have relevant content to your keywords

If you are an interior designer have some articles on your site such as ‘simple tips to spruce up a room’, ‘the basics of color design’ etc.. That way people can share your articles with their own friends online. This is the start of having a ‘social presence’ that Google now takes into consideration for rankings.

Important! Make sure the title of your article reflects a common search term your prospects would use. For example ‘How to protect your Intellectual Property: 4 easy ways to protect your Intellectual Property’ – this article has one of our highest hit rates. Guess what the main search term is that brings people to our site?

I must emphasize how important it is to have good quality content on your site demonstrating your skill – Google loves it and your visitors will rank you higher than your competitors because of it.

Link Build – But Wisely

When another website has a link to your web site that is called a ‘backlink’.

Backlinks are good for SEO only if the website that contains the link to your site is considered by Google to be of high quality and if its relevant to your business sector.

Dodgy SEO ‘experts’ don’t worry about the quality bit because its far harder to get your website link on high quality sites so they just go for the crap link directories that are not even indexed by Google.

What is quick way of getting quality backlinks?

Create press releases and submit them to quality press release distribution sites such as PRWeb.com, OnlinePRNews.com and others – get the best distribution package that you can afford. These services should not only distribute your content to websites but also social networks as well.

Optimize your website for SEO a little

Don’t go overboard here. Google has stated years ago that it does not consider ‘meta-tags’ or excessive keyword-to-anchor ratios anymore as this strategy has been abused too much. BusinessBlogsHub.com only uses the absolute basics for site optimization as it is mostly ignored now and a waste of time.

A quick word on how to locate a good SEO expert

When you are looking at professional help for your SEO strategy ask for references but ignore the recommended keywords the SEO expert states the site has been optimized for.

Now look at the referenced website and ask yourself what search term would you use to locate their services online. Enter that into Google and see if they come up on the first page of search results. If they do then start contacting the references seeking feedback.

Also run a search on the SEO experts full name and also the business name and see what Google sends back. At the very least they should be ‘taking their own medicine’.

Summary

SEO services is the latest way for scammers and dodgy Internet cowboys to make a buck and you are the target.

If you want only one thing to take away from this post take this -> ‘content is king’. Google loves good content – content that is written for humans and shared and talked about by humans. If you write great content SEO will come naturally via people talking about you.

BusinessBlogs is the popular online Hub for quality business articles. We publish unique articles and share them with our social followers.

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