FPRA 2009 Annual Conference: Breakout 4C, The Basics of SEO – Plus Some Affordable Ways to Market Your Business Online

Melissa Fach, owner of SEO Aware, talked about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and how you can use it effectively for your business in a session titled The Basics of SEO, Plus Some Affordable Ways to Market Your Business Online. The presentation shared how you can take advantage of free local search tools and some affordable ways to market your business online.

Melissa explained the programs, coding and key words that make it easy to get your web pages indexed at the top of search engines such as Google and Yahoo.  Meta tags. Title tags. Alt-tags and Anchor text – these are all the things you need in our web copy to make it easy for people to find your site or pages when they are searching online. There are actually classes that can teach you how to write copy for your website with these tools to drive SEO.

As Melissa described it, you want to be “sneaky” when copywriting for your website.  Meaning the site needs to be written to entice visitors through SEO. 

To get started, you need a solid foundation to optimize your website. Your domain name is important. She said she never buys a domain name for a client for less than five years. Her concern is that the competition could take it from you to drive web traffic to their site.

Melissa is a huge fan of blogging, which can increase SEO for your website. She said she saw a huge jump in visitors to her business website when she started blogging and adding backlinks to her website.  She also uses Facebook, Linked-In and other social media sites to drive people to her blog to generate click-thrus to her website. This cross marketing of your business increases the SEO of your website.

One of the questions circulating at our table was, “I don’t know what to write about in a blog” and “I don’t have anything to say.” Yes you do, according to Melissa. She says you can answer a client question. Explain what to look for and what to avoid. Recommend articles and video. Discuss changes in your industry or find a tip or tool to share on your blog.

Video is another great tool to bring visitors to your website. Melissa described how she helped a local dermatologist increase his business by uploading a video of how he removes a facial mole. The video showed the actual procedure on a patient.  While other dermatologists were seeing a drop in business because of the downturn in the economy, this Doc was getting more and more clients who wanted their moles removed. You don’t need a fancy video camera either. Flip cams and other digital recorders make the process easy. If you don’t know how to edit or upload the video, hire a teenager!

Free marketing tools are everywhere. Melissa suggested www.whostaking.com, www.123people.com, www.askboth.com.

She also suggested the following blogs to get great information on how to increase SEO – www.ductapemarketing.ccom, www.toprankblogc.com, www.problogger.net, www.sethgodlin.typepad.com, www.seomoz.org, www.searchenginejournal.com

Melissa made it clear that once your website has the number one spot in a key word search on a search engine, its hard for the competition to bring you down. This made me think of the quote by Ricky Bobby (aka Will Ferrell) in the movie Talladega Nights – “If you’re not first, you’re last.”

What is SEO?

SEO is all about your site being search engine friendly.  An SEO finds keyword phrases that are actually used by Web users to optimize your site and pages with those phrases.  SEO helps your site show up in the SERPs for keyword phrases that will bring you clients.

Key Points:

The content of your website needs to read like it was written for the user, but in reality it was carefully planned for the search engines.

The User vs. the Search Engines

Who Should You Please? Both! Google recommends you focus on a good user experience to make a sale and create trust. However, you also have to have a plan for the search engines. You need to show up in the SERPs to bring in a customer and then you have to create trust throughout the site to make a sale.

Google Analytics

It’s a free resource that gives you an idea of who is coming to your site, where they are coming from and what they are interested in.

Blogging

With blogging you can compete on a national and global level and establish yourself as an authority in your field. You can use your personality and knowledge to offer visitors information they are looking for. More importantly, you can create trust to build clients and customers online. Google wants content that is a resource for their users. If you become a resource, your blog’s ranking will increase. The higher your ranking goes, the higher your pages end up in the SERPs.

Where to Start – MyBlogLog is Melissa’s favorite blogging community. Use Facebook, MySpace, Digg, Propeller, StumbleUpon to market your articles

Local Search

If you want your business to do well in your local markets, you need to optimize for those markets.  There are several ways to do this, but most importantly you want to include your location and other cities you serve throughout your web site.

Online Video Marketing – Universal Search

Videos are very affordable and they appeal to different demographics. Additionally, if they are done right you can get a page one placement in the SERPs. You can use them on your Web site, your blog, on YouTube & other video sharing sites.

Some tips

  • Promote the video on social media sites such as Facebook, MySpace, Digg, Propeller, StumbleUpon.
  • Important to create videos someone will be interested in – review a product, show how something works, give tips or ideas and/or do something memorable.

About the speaker:
Melissa Fach has a B.A. in Psychology and a M.A from the College of Education specializing in Mental Health and Counselor Education. She owns SEO Aware, LLC and specializes in SEO, SEM, SEO Copywriting, Web Design, Web Coding, Blogging and Reputation Management. Melissa has worked with hundreds of clients both nationwide and throughout Florida.

She prides herself on consistently educating herself on the constantly changing SEO and Internet marketing industry. Daily reading is a part of the business. Melissa also runs a nationally-recognized SEO blog at SEOAware.com.

She also runs MedicalSEOTraining.com and recently launched FloridaSEOTraining.com.

One comment

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