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SEO for Small Business Websites Part 2: Design for Better SEO

When people think of Search Engine Optimization, they tend to think of things like links, keywords, and meta tags. Those things are all very important, as you’ll know if you read part one of this series where we got into content optimization in detail. What some people don’t know, however, is that Google cares about design, too, and high-ranking websites use good design for better SEO. No, Google doesn’t judge you if you have too many pictures of cats on your site, but they do care about things that make your site easy for people to use and sites that make it simple for people to find the information they’re looking for. So right here in part 2 we’ll find out how design affects the SEO of your small business website.

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SEO for Small Business Websites Part 1: Content

Search Engine Optimization (“SEO” to its friends) has been around almost as long as Search Engines, and Search Engines have been around almost as long as there has been information to search for online. The World Wide Web as we know it is a quarter century old and the Internet itself is almost old enough to join the AARP. So why is SEO still seen as a cross between witchcraft and a pyramid scheme? And where is an entrepreneur to go for good information on implementing SEO for small business websites?

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How to Get the Website Your Small Business Needs

This isn’t backed by any hard data, but I’ll bet that if you asked artists, makers, and small business owners what the the most dreaded items on their to-do lists are, “find someone to help me get the website my business needs” would be right up there with “ask my accountant about my taxes” (or “find an accountant to ask about my taxes”).

Picking a web designer has a lot in common with buying a car: it can be a big financial commitment, the options are overwhelming, and at the end of the deal you often aren’t sure whether you got what you wanted to buy or what the person on the other side of the deal wanted to sell you. Fortunately in both cases it’s pretty easy to pick out the good guys, because they’re the ones asking you the most questions.

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Building your Small Business Website: DIY or Hire a Pro?

There’s a scene in the movie There’s Something About Mary that has Ben Stiller’s character picking up a hitchhiker. This hitchhiker brings with him a duffle bag that is suspiciously similar in size and shape to a human body, and a scheme to hit it big by shaving a minute off of the popular 8-minute abs workout: Seven. Minute. Abs. He is convinced that people will be falling all over each other at the chance to save a minute. And he was right: according to an unscientific Google search the fastest ab workout out there today is 2 minutes. Now we’re talking.

I promise, this is related to building small business websites.

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The 3 Steps to Getting the Right Website Hosting Provider for Your Business

It’s become almost a matter of faith that every business needs a website. It’s so easy, there’s really no excuse not to have one, right? I agree that the vast majority of businesses can benefit from having a presence on the internet that they control, with the tiny little stipulation that a bad website can be worse than none at all.

Your website needs to reflect the strengths, values, and unique selling proposition of your business; it needs to be kept up to date and be filled with content that is valuable to your customers; and its design needs to meet the expectations of your customers. This is beginning to sound less and less easy.

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Four Ways a Website isn’t Enough: Why your Business Needs a Domain Name

There are so many ways to get your business online today that it can be easy to overlook one of the most basic, and most important things you can do to make your website work for your business: getting your own domain name.

When you can get facebook.com/yourbusiness, yourbusiness.sqaurespace.com, or yourbusiness.wordpress.com for free or for no extra charge, what makes getting www.yourbusiness.com worth it?  Continue reading “Four Ways a Website isn’t Enough: Why your Business Needs a Domain Name”

Choosing the Best eCommerce Platform for Your Handmade Business

If you’re trying to decide what the best eCommerce platform is for your handmade business, I’ve got good news, and I’ve got bad news. Let’s start with good: if you make things and want to sell them online, these are your salad days, your golden age of opportunity. It seems like every day there’s a new eCommerce platform out there designed to help artists and makers put their wares up for sale online and build a business with a global customer base. All you need to do is pick the best one. Oh yeah, I forgot to tell you, that’s the bad news too.

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The Surprising Secret to Staying Successful

OK, it’s not such a huge secret. Aspiring writers are told to “kill their darlings”; that is, to not get too attached to clever turns of phrase that don’t fit with the rest of the piece any more. A business has to be prepared to do the same, because today’s breakthrough innovation will inevitably become tomorrow’s dinosaur. A Business Design that is successful now isn’t likely to survive the next market disruption if you’re not prepared to pivot. Just ask BlackBerry.

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