Making SEO Work for Your Small Business

This week’s Just out of the Box blog post is brought to you direct from Distribution Direct’s trusted e-commerce consultants – Andrew Hagopian and Josh Putnam. 

bigstock_Solutions_2750008In the coming weeks, we’ll be bringing you several tips surrounding e-commerce marketing strategies.  There are countless books and blogs that dive into each topic in great detail and, while we won’t be able to do that, we will hopefully give you a better understanding of some of the fundamentals.  We’ve found that sometimes big words or confusing technical language can make some relatively simple topics appear much more complicated than they need to be.  And so, with this in mind, we’ll try to make these topics as understandable as possible.

This week, we decided to start off with one of the core aspects of the online world – Search Engine Optimization, or SEO as most people refer to it.  Simply put, SEO is how your business gets founds on the Internet.  Before diving into a little about SEO, we want to make a quick distinction between SEO and SEM, or Search Engine Marketing.  While closely linked, SEM refers to paid tools like Google ad words and banner ads.  Conversely, SEO is not something that can be purchased.  Instead, it comes down to the content and organization of your website.

Now SEO is not an exact science; there is a little guess work and always a few changes along the way.  In fact, search engines, such as Google and Bing continually tweak the algorithms necessary to ensure that one company doesn’t “game” the system and have an unfair advantage.  That’s a great thing but also means you have to stay on top of it or you’ll fall behind.

So where do you start?  Well first of all, you want to effectively guess what your potential clients are searching for.  While the concept will always remain the same, this will look a little different for each company.  Let’s say your company sells the equipment necessary to store and reuse rainwater.  Now pretend for a moment that you’re searching online for a company such as your own.  What kind of search terms would you use?  Maybe you’d search for “reusing rainwater in a house” or “using rainwater to water my garden.”  We’re all human and therefore think a little differently.  Brainstorm a little though and create a list of terms your potential clients will be searching for.

Next, you’ll want to organize your website content in a way that tailors to your client.  This entails updating your page titles, meta descriptions, heading hierarchy, alt descriptions and incoming links to your site.  Sounds like a big task, right?  It definitely is, but it doesn’t have to be overwhelming.  Remember in science class how we divided animals into categories using Kingdom, Phylum, Class, Order, Family, Genus, and Species?  While we probably don’t remember the placement of every animal, it helped bring a little structure to the entire animal world.

In the same way, think of your website as a kingdom that needs structuring.  As you begin creating tabs for your website, think from large to small.  For example, let’s use the company reusing rainwater again.  Say they have a particular bolt needed in order to fasten a hose to a gutter.  They probably don’t want to have that part featured on their home page, right?  However, they might want to create a page title called “Rainwater Equipment” followed by “Fasteners and Small Parts.”

Finally, you’ll want to increase your page rank and social media presence.  That’s a completely different topic, right?  Well, not exactly.  See, your page rank is an algorithm used by Google to determine the importance of a website.  Your page rank directly links to how greatly a search engine values your site and the links coming into your site.  A search engine not only looks at the quality of your site’s content, but the amount and quality of traffic you have coming into your site.  That’s why getting the word out about your company is so important.

There’s a lot more surrounding SEO, and we will be going into detail on a few more topics in the coming weeks.  Next time, we’ll be diving into Social Media, another key component of e-commerce marketing.

Andrew & Josh, NinjaVision, LLCDistribution Directs trusted e-commerce consultants

If you have any questions, or would like a more in-depth analysis of your company’s SEO strategy, feel free to reach out to use at http://www.ninjavision.com/contact/.