Social Media Basics

You’ve built your website, you’ve optimized it, you’ve even invested in some paid advertising and your site is doing well, but now you are looking for other avenues to bring traffic and customers in. Social media can be a huge boon for any website, but knowing how to conduct yourself and your business on each channel is nuanced, too. Social Media Channels There are anywhere from three to six social media channels that can help a given business attract good attention to themselves while building a loyal fan base. Facebook Brief aside: Facebook just announced that they have over 2 billion monthly users. Which is about a quarter of the world’s population. Given that about 40% of the world’s population … Read More

PPC Basics: Search and Display Networks

Paying to appear at the top of SERPs can be a great way to get traffic to your site quickly while you work on your content and link building. Depending on your site, there are a few different ways that you might want people to notice you. Luckily, Google offers two main networks for your ads to appear: the search network and the display network.   Search Network The Search Network ads are the ones that you are used to seeing at the top of the SERPs. These are the 2-4 ads that generate most of the attention and more than likely bring in lots and lots of traffic to sites, especially when they are competing for a highly competitive … Read More

PPC: SEM Basics

So you’ve optimized your site. All your content is keyword focused, you registered your business with the search engines, you’ve gone through every single image and added alt text and descriptions with keywords, and all of your pages have meta descriptions. But you still aren’t ranking in first in the SERPs. SEO is a long game, it takes proven site health and all of those little things like alt text and meta descriptions as well as good links to your site to boost your standings in the eyes of search engines and all of those things take time. When you need to get to the top of SERPs fast, there is always pay-per-click ads and Search Engine Marketing (SEM).   … Read More

Local SEO Basics for Small Business

Search engines are like free advertising. When you search for something broad like “shoes” there are several options for results: paid ads, local results, and the large online shoe retailers as well as some Google shopping options. Now, a small business is going to have a hard time competing in a space like this, but search for something like “house painter portland” and you end up with a couple ways to appear in SERPs without having to pay a dime.   SEO for Small Business Chances are pretty good that you are focused on a narrow bottom line, so any chance to save money is good. Advertising can be extremely expensive, but with SEO there are ways to get your … Read More

SEO Basics: Site Architecture

We’ve talked about the SEO basics of crawl spiders and users; what is visible and invisible to both and what you can do to help make your page more visible to both. One thing that helps immensely is good site architecture. A clean, easy to follow, and simple site layout makes it very easy for users and spiders alike to find useful information on your website.   Site Architecture: A Tale of Two Cities I grew up in Minneapolis where the streets are, for the most part, laid out in a grid. Named streets run North and South and numbered streets run East and West. Streets run alphabetically starting at A and moving to Z from Downtown outwards – except … Read More

SEO Basics: The Middle End

While it is true that Google cracked down on keyword stuffing a few years ago, there are still plenty of ways to ensure that your web pages are filled with the types of keywords that will attract the right users to your site.   Middle End SEO Basics These changes are not the front end, visible content that we talked about yesterday, and they aren’t the types of SEO that requires coding knowledge in the back end of a site. So I will call them middle end SEO. This is where things like alt tags and text, title text, metadata and meta descriptions live. Most platforms, including the Businesstastic platform, include fields for these bits of information when you are … Read More

Quality Content and Links: SEO Basics

Last year, during a now famous Google Hangout, Gary Illyes let the SEO world know that the three most important ranking factors for Google were: Content Links RankBrain With the first two appearing in no particular order. We are not going to touch on RankBrain, but we will talk about how quality content and links can boost your SEO rank.   Quality Content Let me stress the quality part of this section. I am not talking about keyword spamming, or content mill fodder. What I am talking about is good, quality content that potentially helps a searcher find what they are looking for, that answers a question, or that directs a query to somewhere helpful. The combination of Google trying … Read More

Tech Week and Small Business

Yesterday we wrote about the Technology Week summit in Washington D.C. and how the Trump administration is looking to update the government’s technology. The government also has yearly budget of around $80 million for its technology and some of the biggest names in tech like Jeff Bezos, Tim Cook, and Eric Schmidt are vying for a piece of that pie. While the government is more than likely to contract to these big names for the biggest projects, there is potential for small businesses to reap some of the rewards as well. What Tech Week Means for Small Business One of the discussions happening revolves around immigration. President Trump has been transparent in his efforts to tighten up the borders and … Read More

Top Technology Executives Meet with Trump Administration

Silicon Valley Execs in Washington   It seems strange that the Trump administration would be able to call the top Silicon Valley execs to Washington when so many have been critical of him, but he’s done it twice. Yesterday, a meeting, organized by Jared Kushner, between 18 tech execs and the administration took place in order to discuss the future of technology for the government.   Cloud based computing and data storage were among the focal points during the day’s workshops. Most notably, Jeff Bezos, the CEO of Amazon, pushed the government to use Amazon as a contractor and move their 6,100 out of date data centers to the Amazon hosted cloud. How out of date are some of the … Read More

What is SEO?

SEO Basics Search Engine Optimization is how websites let Google know what exactly is on each page. This is done through both visible content and things that live behind the curtain. So when you write a blog – like this one about SEO basics- that is a foot in the SEO door. Visible Content Google, and all of the other search engines like Yahoo, Bing, Yandex, Baidu, and Amazon use spiders to crawl websites in order to figure out what is on each page of each website. These spiders are extremely good, and getting better all the time, at reading the words on a page and deciphering what that page is about. For instance, when this blog post is submitted … Read More