How To Guide for Small Business Owners
If you are a small business owner, you are probably like I was 7 years ago: wearing too many hats. Before I started Greencastle Web Design, I ran (and still run) another small business: Jakoter.
Managing Jakoter required me to be:
√ Accountant √ Sales Person √ Secretary √ Manufacturer
√ Designer √ Webmaster √ Marketer and on and on…….
My Website is Where I Got Stuck
In 2004, I did not know that my website would mean more to my business future than most anything else. I thought then that how my website looked was the most important thing, so I focused on getting a website made with the design I wanted.
I did not want to invest in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for my website back then. I thought, “if it looks pretty, people will come.”
It needed SEO
Guess what? Pretty websites aren’t enough! I learned from experience that what was missing in my website was the most important thing: good search engine optimization. If your website is optimized properly, people will come – whether it looks good, bad or ugly, people will come!
My pretty website wasn’t getting found by anyone — least of all, the people I wanted to find it: my ideal clients and prospects who could benefit from my product.
The only people finding my website were my friends, and a few chance guests.
What is Search Engine Optimization?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of making sure that your target audience can find your website fast online.
There are many tasks involved in optimizing a website. One set of tasks involves “on-site SEO” – making sure that your pages have correct titles and descriptions, and that the content of your pages matches up with a relevant keyword or keyword phrase.
Another set of tasks involves “off-site SEO.” This is the process of building backlinks to your website — the equivalent of getting other websites to “like” or approve your site as an authority in its field.
The goal is to ensure your website appears on page 1 of search results in Google, Yahoo, or Bing search engines. The higher up your website appears on page 1 of search results, the more likely your chances of attracting a high-value prospect to your website.
Written content, photos, images, and videos can all be optimized for the web and can all help improve your website’s search engine rankings.
Poor Choice of Domain Name
My first mistake was my choice of domain name. Jakoter. Does anybody know what a Jakoter is?
Not only did customers not know what is was but neither did the search engines.
Lesson learned: When choosing a name for your website, be sure to choose a domain name that is relevant and has a keyword or two!
Now my site is known to others and Google as jakoter health organizers.
No Meta Tags
I remember being asked to pay sooooo much for optimizing my pages. I had just spent thousands of dollars to get a website. How could I put more money into something I could not see and did not understand???
No On-Going Content
In 2004, I didn’t think about whether I would want to update my website – or how I would do it. I learned too late that I would have to pay my webmaster every time I wanted something added, changed or deleted in my website.
If I wanted to add a new award I would submit it to the webmaster and wait . . . and I would have to pay!
Your website needs to be updated frequently with fresh content to maintain its high ranking in Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines.
Do you have a plan to keep your website updated with fresh new content on a regular schedule?
No Social Networking
Twitter and Facebook weren’t around in 2004 — but when they became available, I did not jump aboard. I had too much else to do.
Today’s business needs to have a social media presence to “be a player” in our connected world. Do you have a Social Networking strategy?
I missed out on a lot of opportunity, trying too hard to wear too many hats.
Now that I am more experienced, I have given away some of my hats to others.
I do better when I do what I do best — and let others do what they do best for me!
What I do Best
I love creating affordable websites fully loaded with SEO to help small businesses grow.
Are you ready to hand over your webmaster hat to someone who knows what it takes to succeed online?
If you are . . . or know someone who can benefit from my know-how — give me a call.