Why Having a Website May Not Be Enough – The Importance of SEO & SMO!

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)When deciding to write this article, I found that it may be rather interesting to hear from a web designer on why having a website may not be enough. I mean after all we make our living designing websites, so why in the world would we want to put out the idea that a website may not be enough to build your customer base?

I decided to write this article after speaking to a handful of friends that have started their own small businesses. Like any good networking business owner, I reached out to these small business owner friends and asked if they were interested in having a custom website built for their company.  A few mentioned that they did, at one time, have a website for their company but they didn’t see any customers coming from it. They decided that the cost of maintaining their website was not worth it keeping it up.

After hearing this sentiment from several business owners, I realized that this may be the time to put something in writing to help educate our clients and future clients on what exactly goes into having your website successfully work for you. First and foremost, having a website for your company is one of the smartest decisions you can make for your business.  Unless you are a company that does not rely on a customer base to survive, then you NEED to have an online presence.

Gone are the days of the good ole Yellow Pages book! A recent report from Fleishman-Hillard found that 89 percent of consumers turn to Google, Bing or another search engine to find information on products, services or businesses prior to making purchases. If your business doesn’t have a website then these consumers are not finding you…PERIOD. Now on to the matter at hand…why your company website may not be enough.  Let me compare this to something as simple as having a business telephone.

You researched phone companies for the best rates, you signed up with the telephone company you thought offered the best deal, you picked a number that is easy to remember and you went out and purchased a telephone.  Now what…you sit back and wait for it to start ringing? Unless you gave that phone number out to someone, listed it on your business cards and handed them out, signed up with the Yellow Pages or paid for advertising that includes your company number, you’re going to be waiting for quite some time for a phone call.

Having a website for your business and having it operate to it’s maximum potential has the same thought process behind it.  You can go out and research web designers, pick out a crafty website name and put your website live but without promoting your website it’s likely that very few people are going to find it.

This holds especially true in fields that have a lot of competition such as any locally operated business. Lets use local landscapers as an example.  We must have about 30 local landscaping companies where we live. If I go online and search for a landscaper in Sussex NJ I’m going to find the websites of the businesses that promoted their websites before I find the website of the new company that did not promote their website. I’m also not likely to go past page 1 of the search results to find the services I’m looking for. I’m going to call those landscapers first and they are going to get the job…all because you did not effectively promote your website.

Thus the reason why promoting your website is so very crucial to your business’s online success. Ok, so how do you promote your website so it is found by potential customers?  By utilizing Search Engine Optimization and Social Media Optimization you are ensuring your website is going to be found online.

Search Engine Optimization (or SEO for short) is the process of considering how search engines work, what your potential customers are searching for, the actual search terms or keywords typed into search engines and which search engines are preferred by your targeted audience. Optimizing a website involves editing its content, HTML and associated coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to make it easier for search engines to find your website and decide whether it’s relevant to your potential customers’ search.

SEO also includes submitting your website to search engines, submitting and optimizing your website on Google+, Google Places, Yahoo Business, and the many other free listing sites available and listing your website on local business sites that will build back links to your website. These back links will rank your site higher on search engines as well as gain online exposure for your website. The more credible places your website is found will equal the more important search engines perceive your website to be.

Social Media Optimization (also known as SMO) is in many ways a technique of Internet Marketing where word of mouth is created not through friends or family but through the use of social networking websites. Social networking takes place in social bookmarking, video and photo sharing websites such as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, YouTube – and many more. The main focus of Social Media Optimization is to drive traffic to your website from sources other than search engines. As a bonus, improved search engine ranking is also a benefit of successful SMO.

So there it is…having a website for your company is definitely, by far, one of the smartest decisions you can make for you business.  Effectively promoting your website through the use SEO and SMO is the second smartest thing you can do to see your business grow. When SEO and SMO are properly, search engines are able to tell that your website is relevant and this will lead to your website being found when customers are searching online.

To learn more about Keyhole Graphics’ effective Search Engine Optimization Services on your website visit: http://www.keyholegraphics.com/SEO_in_NJ/

To learn more about using Keyhole Graphics’ Social Media Optimization Services to your advantage visit: http://www.keyholegraphics.com/SocialMedia_in_NJ/



Social Media Optimization – Facebook Tips All Business Page Owners Need to Know!

Social Media OptimizationTip #1: Brand Your Page with Images

Make sure you’re using all of the photo “real estate” Facebook offers you.
Cover photos are 851 pixels wide and 315 pixels tall. If you upload an image that’s smaller than these dimensions, it will get stretched to this larger size. The image you upload must be at least 399 pixels wide. To get the fastest load times for your Page, upload an sRGB JPG file that’s 851 pixels wide, 315 pixels tall and less than 100 kilobytes. For images with your logo or text-based content, you may get a higher quality result by using a PNG file.

Page profile pictures are square and displays at 160×160 pixels. The photo you upload must be at least 180×180 pixels. We recommend uploading a square image of your brand’s logo. Rectangular images will be cropped to fit a square.

Page profile pictures display next to your Page’s name around the site, so yours should stand on its own to represent your Page. You can also be creative with how your profile picture and cover photo go together. On your Page’s cover, the profile picture displays 23 pixels from the left side and 210 pixels from the top of your cover photo.

Tip #2: Use Timeline to Its Full Advantage*

When Facebook rolled out Timeline last year they added new features that were designed to make it easier for users to engage with a business’s page. The three biggest features include the cover photo, highlighted posts and the ability to “pin” a post to the top of your Timeline for seven days.

Highlighted posts
Highlighting a post is a great way to bring awareness to an important status update. Add in a big, attention grabbing image that stretches across the whole Timeline and it’s even better. To highlight a status update hover over the top right corner of a status update and click on the “star” icon. This will expand the post across the width of the Timeline.
Pin Feature – Pin feature

We recently used the “pin” feature to highlight our 3 Page Website Giveaway, which can be found here: http://statictab.com/34xx7dc. The post is relevant for several weeks so by pinning it to the top of our Page, our users will be reminded of it every time they visit. To pin a post hover over the top right corner of a status update and click on the “pencil” icon. A drop down menu will appear and you can click on “pin to top.” This will pin the post to the top left hand corner of your Facebook Page for seven days.

Cover photo
Change out your cover photo on a regular basis. Changing your cover photo keeps your page fresh and the change announcement appears in your followers’ news feed, reminding them of your presence. You can feature different sides of your business and get creative to go along with holidays and special occasions.

Tip #3: Integrate content*

Don’t feel pressured by trying to post original content to your Facebook Page several times a day. Instead, tune in to some other experts and thought leaders in your industry and share some of the information they’ve generated. The key is to find a nice balance between information pulled from your business’s resources and outside tips and articles that will benefit your fans. Successful business pages either create or find the best information for their users and provide it to them in one easy-to-find place.

Tip #4: Use Facebook Apps*

Facebook apps can help you take your engagement and marketing efforts to new levels. Apps are a great way to get more content and information in front of your fans and can be created for virtually any marketing effort. Here are some ideas to get you started:

  • Photo/Video Contest
  • Voting Contest
  • Coupon giveaway
  • Welcome Page
  • Newsletter integration

The list goes on and on. But essentially, Facebook apps can boost your brand awareness, generate traffic to your site, help you engage with your customers, generate leads for your business and build customer loyalty.

Tip #5: Show up on a Regular Basis*

To have a rewarding presence on social media you must attend to it. You can’t post on Facebook once a week — or tweet or blog for that matter — and expect to get anything of value out of it. There are conflicting reports about the times of day that are optimal for posting, but according to Facebook, restaurants that post between 7:00 am and 2:00 pm get the best engagement and same goes for retailers that post from 8:00 am to 2:00 pm.

Keyhole Graphics provides Social Media Optimization and Design. Visit http://www.keyholegraphics.com/SocialMedia_in_NJ/ for more information or drop us an email at Jay@KeyholeGraphics.com for help with any of the above!

*Tips #2-5 can be found at: http://www.business2community.com/facebook/8-must-know-facebook-tips-for-small-businesses-part-1-0404392