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How to choose the right SEO for your business

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Thinking about increasing the internet presence of your small business? Good idea. Most small businesses have a web presence, one out of five of which are now mobile accessible. If you already have a website, you may be thinking of ways to increase your internet visibility (Search Engine Optimization). But how should you increase your SEO? Should you develop a paid strategy or utilize organic SEO techniques? The answer may be both.

Organic vs Paid SEO: When you are developing your SEO strategy, consider available resources such as time and money. While paid SEO management is more time feasible, an organic strategy may be easier on the income report. The Majority of small businesses (66 percent) report they maintain their website internally, while 30 percent—down from 41 percent three years ago—pay an outside company.

Why Organic? Organic SEO attracts 94% of internet search traffic. While imperative for your business, organic SEO can be a strategy you customize yourself or allow a paid consultant to do for you.

Do it-yourselfers: If your desire is paid organic SEO consulting, choose from a plethora of SEO consultants. If you decide to do some or all of your own organic SEO, here are some tips to help you increase your small business’ overall internet presence over time with little or no out of pocket expense:

• Maintain pages on social media sites. When you are developing your organic SEO strategy, ensure you are utilizing the best social media sites to feature your business’ brand. Here are nine terrific sites that can help you own the top organic rankings for your brand: A website, Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, LinkedIn, Google+, YouTube, Tumblr & Slideshare. Exhibiting your personal or company profile (brand) on these and other social media websites can help boost your organic search results. Be sure to actively post or blog on these sites. For added veracity of your brand, you can link pages together to boost organic search results.

• Article linking. Write (or hire a good copywriter to write) well-written articles, relevant to your industry, to post on your site. Be sure the articles are original, as Google and other search engines have tracking apparatuses that help them root out duplicated material. Try marketing your articles on other sites with article marketing sites such as www.goarticles.com or www.ezinearticles.com.

• Link Exchanges: a link exchange is a process by which you offer a website your site as a link to theirs in exchange for the same privilege. Note: this is only useful with sites that have a higher page rank than yours.

• Free and paid directory listing: Listing your site on directories can increase your SEO over time. Some sites may charge for this service, while others may take time to access. Start with free directories, such as Google, DMOZ and Yahoo’s non-commercial site. Paid directories are numerous, and include: Gimpsy, JoeAnt and GoGuides.

• Blogging: While this can be time consuming, as blogs should be updated daily or weekly, blogging is an excellent way to keep your business relevant, while increasing your SEO. You can blog yourself or pay a good copywriter for blogs; just be sure you’re blogging on the right sites. Be sure to register your blog with all available sites, including DMOZ and Google. Once your blog is well established, build in-bound links.

Desire a paid SEO strategy? Remember, you can pay a consultant to develop an organic strategy for you. If you decide that pay-per-click advertising is appropriate, be sure to develop your pay-per-click campaign to achieve the highest click through rate. Click through rate is the number of times a paid on line advertisement is clicked on divided by the number of times the ad appears. This non organic SEO technique has diminished in success over time. Incepted with banner ads, it was common for banner click through rates to hover around 5%. Now, however, banner and other ad click through rates have decreased to below 3%.

Only use non-branded keywords in your organic SEO. Why? Because branded keywords yield results to the brand name 99.9% of the time. So, the utilization of brand keywords is not really considered SEO. When a consumer types in a brand name they are most often looking for a specific brand’s website.

If you’re utilizing a pay-per-click campaign, be sure to implement pay-per-click advertising in websites which have the best pay-per-click results. Invest in industry websites that have the best vertical click to open rates (click through rates as a percentage of messages opened). Currently, the industry with the highest vertical click to open rate is Healthcare (33%), while the highest unique open rate belongs to the Consumer Products industry with a median unique open rate of 25.4%.

Is pay-per-click advertising for you? The problem with pay per click advertising is that it is becoming increasingly more expensive. In 2012 about 96 percent of pay-per-click advertisers spent less than $10,000 a month, according to AdGooroo, a research company that watches the pay-per-click market. On the contrary, big-budget advertisers could spend hundreds of times that. In the first half of 2012, Amazon reportedly spent $54 million on pay-per-click advertising. Big-budget advertisers drive the price of pay-per-click advertising up, squeezing the little guy out of the picture.

Use effective pay-per-click advertisers. When developing your pay-per-click ad campaign do your research. Find out where your primary demographic (consumers) are perusing the net and for what purposes. Here are six pay-per-click advertising networks that can help you get your internet ads appropriate viewership: Google Adsense, Media Net, Infolinks, Chitika and Clicksor. Of course there are others that may be appropriate for your business. Remember, pay-per-click advertising works both ways. You can pay for advertising and get paid for others to advertise on your site. Utilize these networks to help you customize the perfect pay-per-click campaign for you.

-Dawn Henderson, Owner.Writer, RolandWrite Coywriting Services: www.rolandwrite.com

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