Archive for August, 2012

SEO Can Make Or Break Your Business

Wednesday, August 29th, 2012

Nothing new in this post if you are a veteran of the SEO game and were involved in the Google wars of 2012 (namely Penguin and Panda). But if you are new to the game and wondering if SEO is a worthwhile investment of time and money, here are some things to consider. If you feel like you are ready to take the plunge and see how search optimization can help your business succeed, give us a call at BigOakInc.com, 804-741-6776 or email us at contact@bigoakinc.com.

If there was one thing that could increase your profits if done correctly or that could drop your online business off the map if done wrong, wouldn’t you want to know what it is?  Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is one of the most important things businesses can do to boost their online visibility.  Many people have worked with SEO, but with the Panda and Penguin updates by Google, it is more important than ever that it is done correctly.  If SEO does not meet the criteria of the search engines, your site can be penalized.

Increase Traffic to Your Site

One of the biggest reasons to use SEO is so that you can increase the volume of traffic that comes to your website.  You want people who type in keywords that relate to your business to see your company’s website pop up in the search results. If your site is not within the first couple of pages, most people will not keep searching to find you.  SEO is the process of improving your search engine rankings so that your company will move up in the rankings or maintain a presence on the first page of search results. If your site is listed on page 100 of the search rankings, you can be pretty sure no one will find it from a search.

Effective Keywords

When you work with an SEO provider, the goal is to understand how to select keywords and keyword phrases that will provide results.  The words selected must relate to your business.  There are generators to help a person select keywords, but working with an established SEO company can be even more beneficial.  The professionals understand how to select a variety of keywords to target different aspects of your business.  They know what has worked in the past and what is not likely to work.  Most importantly, they understand how and where to use the keywords for the greatest benefit.

SEO for Website Design

The design of your website needs to be visually captivating so that your potential customers will want to stay on the page and purchase your product or service.  At the same time, your website needs to be optimized for the search engines that rank sites.  From the design phase through completion of your website, it is important that SEO is being incorporated.  While your goals include a professional look and user friendliness, they must also include tried and true SEO techniques.  Some of the things that your SEO provider should do are to include appropriate title tags and meta tags in addition to careful keyword placement.

Content is King

High quality content is absolutely critical for effective SEO. The first place you require high quality content is on the pages of your website. One reason for this is the fact that prospective customers will be reading the content on your website and you want them to like what they are seeing.  Your content should be well-written and should follow proper grammatical rules.  There is nothing worse than trying to read a page full of spelling and grammatical errors; most people will quickly exit out of that kind of poor content.  In addition, your content needs to be informative and engaging.  Keeping your content up to date is also important.  Your readers will know if your information is old or incorrect and will look elsewhere for something new and accurate.

High quality content is also very important for the links that are created by your SEO provider.  Often, content is used for this purpose.  You want to be sure that your SEO provider is using high quality content, whether the content is placed in blogs, articles, or even press releases.

Building Backlinks

One of the cornerstones to effective SEO is the building of back links.  The more high-level links that lead back to your website, the higher your site will move up in the rankings.  You need to be sure that your SEO provider understands the importance of the kinds of links that are being used.  You don’t want to be penalized because the back links are from questionable sources.  Generally, the more recognized back links that connect to your site, the easier it will be for your site to be found.  Your back links also need to be natural or “organic” so that the search engines will know that they are not spam.

In a nutshell, effective SEO strategies include well researched keywords, high-quality content and back links, and a well-optimized website.  By working with an experienced SEO provider you can get your website to the top of the rankings and increase the volume of traffic coming your way.

How to Create a Great How-To Article

Monday, August 6th, 2012

The Internet is fast becoming a preferred way to get information. This may help explain the proliferation of how-to articles across the web – they help satisfy a person’s curiosity and, more importantly, they often supply quick solutions for everyday problems. However, some of them are better than others. Follow these tips to create a great how-to article

Pick a solution-based topic that will benefit your readers

How-to articles appeal to readers, in part, because they offer useful information quickly and teach a skill. Some of the best articles isolate a part of life that burdens many people and explains easy ways to alleviate it. They are usually packed with tips that someone can apply to his or her life immediately. They offer implementable solutions, in other words.

In order to create a great how-to article, you need a great idea. Pick a topic that is accessible and solution-based. Readers flock to those kinds of articles.

Research well

Once you have lured people in with your great topic, you need to provide good advice. Many will simply leave an article that, while based on an interesting idea, seems to be full of shoddy, under-researched information. Use the Internet and books; if the article calls for it, secure an expert opinion. Solid research will help you develop a solid article.

Give your ideas time to form

Not all writers have the luxury of time, but if you do, use it to your advantage. Allow ideas for your topic to bounce around your mind for a day or so after you have wrapped up most of your research. That extra time to reflect can allow new, creative ideas to form out of the information you recently absorbed.

Create a title that matches search queries

If you have invested time and energy into a great how-to article, you want people to find it. Increase the odds that interested readers will find it by incorporating relevant keywords into your title. In other words, make sure your title contain words that potential readers are likely to enter into search engines when researching the subject. Your article stands a better chance of ranking well and those searching are more likely to click your link.

Write clear instructions

Make it easy for readers to take something valuable from your how-to article. Divide instructions into clearly defined steps with subheadings. Ask yourself whether someone could take your tips and, without confusion or hesitation, use them as a solution to a problem. If not, you may need to rethink your tips.

Revise your article

When you have finished your article, step away from it for at least a few hours. Then, with fresh eyes, make sure that the ideas in your article flow together well. Double check that the tips you share are accurate, easy to understand, and logically structured.  Eliminate grammatical errors and spelling mistakes, as they can be distracting.  In short, make sure your article is polished and professional.

Add images

Not every how-to article needs images, but many would benefit from at least one or two. That especially holds true for articles on the longer side. Images can break up extended segments of text and, if selected well, reinforce the ideas in your writing.

In an Internet swarming with how-to article, you need to separate yours from the pack to get noticed. One way to catch readers’ eyes is to make your article great. Accomplish that by giving ideas time to form, writing clearly, sharing useful solutions, and incorporating relevant words into your title so interested readers can find it.

David Kendall contributed this guest post on behalf of WebHostingHub.com- see here for more information on their hosting reviews. David is a freelance technology writer who enjoys writing for various online publications.

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Big Oak SEO Blog

This SEO blog is provided by Big Oak SEO, a SEO Company. Most blog posts are related to search engine optimization, short reviews, SEO tips and increasing site conversions. Email us at contact@bigoakinc.com or give us a call 804-741-6776 to see how we can help your company. More

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