How do I get found on Google?
…that was the question somebody asked me at a networking event last Thursday. Hmm, I had prepared my Elevator Pitch, but wasn’t quite ready to answer this complex question in 30 seconds ! Instead I said: “I can help you, give me a call and we’ll discuss it”. In order to prepare for that call, I thought I’d write a blog post and share it with my readers.
As most of you know, I’m not a professional Search Engine Optimizer, but I can share my tips and tricks with you, and I know that they work. Just Google “bilingual Virtual Assistant Switzerland” and have a look at the results.
So let’s start with first things first:
Submit your website and company info to website and local directories
It’s not the most interesting task, but there is no way around it. You will have to spend some time (or money if you have it outsourced) and submit your website to major website directories. The main one is the dmoz directory, which is free. Then there are thousands of other ones, some free some not, some general some industry specific. You can find them all here. All submissions take at least 4 weeks until they are confirmed. So you need an extra dose of patience …
I also recommend you submit your company info to local directories such as Google Places, Yelp, Yellow Pages etc, especially if you are a brick and mortar business. Research which ones are the most relevant in your area and submit your company info.
Good online content
Content is king ! The Search Engine spiders are hunting and crawling through your pages in search of good content. So if you want to make the first page of Google, you will have to supply good online content. There are many ways how to do that:
Write regular blog posts
In blog posts you can share your expertise about your industry and create trust towards your company. Blog posts are very well indexed on Google and if the blog is hosted on your website, they create big traffic to your site. If on the other hand you are using a hosted blog version (such as blogspot.com) there’s less direct traffic to your site but it does present an advantage from the link building point of view.
Write a monthly press release and distribute it online
Today press or news releases can be used even by small companies, and the whole wide world has access to them. By distributing your press releases online (for example on pitchengine.com) you will be reaching out to a huge audience and therefore increase your website traffic (and hopefully your sales!). Don’t forget to create a “Media Room” on your website and also post your releases there. The spiders love new content on your website !
Submit articles on article submission sites
Another great (and free) resource to increase traffic to your website is via article marketing. You write compelling, informative articles (or repurpose previously written texts) and post them on article marketing publisher’s sites (such as ezinarticles.com). They get free content that can be employed by others looking for great information to post on their websites. Every article contains a so called “author resource box” where you post a short bio and a link to your website or a free e-book.
Scribd, Slideshare and Posterous
You can upload your content in pretty much any format: PDF, Word or Powerpoint and share it with the world’s largest community of readers. Those sites are ranked highly in Google searches.
The use of Social Media is also recommended to complete your online presence and increase your chances to figure on the 1st page of Google’s search results. Social Media content is instant and it’s everywhere. If somebody “googles” your name to find out more about you, he/she should find at least those 5 links with your name: the “about” page on your website, your Facebook Page, your Twitter profile, your Linkedin profile (and/or Xing and Viadeo) and your Google profile. So how many of those do you already have ?
Keyword optimization and SEO
As I mentioned before, I’m not an SEO specialist. What I do know though is how to target specific keywords and implement them on your website and throughout all your internet marketing strategy. So before you start with the SEO, take some time to brainstorm and come up with at least 3 very specific, very targeted keywords or key phrases. Once you have done that, move on to the SEO:
Use unique title tags (containing your keywords) for each page
When you look at your website in a browser, you’ll find the title tag on the top left hand side of the screen. Each page should have a unique title tag that tells the search engines what that page is about.
Create a unique meta description for each page
The search engines index the meta descriptions to learn what your page is about and some will display your description in the search engine results. The meta description should not be more than 150 characters.
Use Alt text for images and integrate your keywords in the image file name
When inserting images into your website, make sure you use your keywords in the Alt text attribute and in the image file name. Example: if I upload a portrait of myself I would name the file:”Sarah Santacroce, bilingual Virtual Assistant” and put the same text in the Alt attribute.
That’s all, folks. I hope you have found value in these tips. Don’t forget to leave a comment (they also increase your online visibility !)
I have also created a free e-book called “21 Proven Ways to Increase Your Website Traffic”. You will find the above and more information in a handy pdf format. Get it here !
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