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50 web marketing tips for small business owners – Part 2

February 6, 2012

Here is our final set of web marketing tips to help small business owners compete on a level playing field with their larger rivals on the web.

You can read part 1 here.

Web Marketing Tips – 26-50

26. Why not create a “site map” – not only is this useful for your visitors, but will also help the search engines find their way around the site.

27. Make use of “header” tags (H1, H2, H3, etc.) to break up your site content and create some order to your pages. Search engines will see text contained within such tags as being relatively important and will rank pages accordingly. As ever, don’t overdo it though.

28. There’s no point optimising your pages unless you know what people actually search for on the web. Use tools like wordtracker.com and the Google AdWords keyword suggestion functions to see what people are searching for.

29. Vary your TITLE and DESCRIPTION tags across your site’s pages. If your site pages are similar in content, try to focus on different aspects of each page’s contents rather than using the same keyword phrases each time.

30. If your site merits it, try to get included on news aggregator services like newsnow.co.uk and Google News. Each time your site is updated, these engines will spider your latest news and you should gain new visitors.

31. Age seems to be a very important factor in the way search engines rank websites. You might consider buying an older domain and benefiting from this longevity factor.

32. Try to get your site listed in the “Open Directory” at www.dmoz.org, as well as the Yahoo Directories (UK and Worldwide). These are believed by many to have a strong impact on how “important” you site is seen to be by search engines.

33. If you contribute to web forums or bulletin boards, why not include your site URL in your signature.

34. Blogs are seen as a good and fast way to promote content-rich copy onto your website. They tend to be easily indexed by the major search engines and, if updated frequently, will add value to your site as a whole.

35. Always spell check your content before publishing online. A great article will suddenly become “poor” if you include poor grammar or spelling.

36. Don’t use too many different fonts or colours within your site. Try to keep everything simple, uniform and fast loading. It’s no good attracting hundreds of new visitors to your site with excellent web marketing practices only to see them leave right away because your site design is rubbish.

37. Include your site URL in your email signatures. Potential clients and visitors may just click on those links.

38. Use copyscape.com to see if your site content has been reproduced anywhere else on the web. You don’t want your content to be duplicated elsewhere as your pages may be penalised. Bytestart’s content gets copied on a regular basis, and this tool is an invaluable help in clamping down on content thieves.

39. Try to keep your internal directory structure from being too deep. 3 levels is often the recommended amount of depth, e.g. site.com/news/local/todays-news.html

40. You can update your robots.txt file (in your file root) if you want to prevent the search engine spiders from visiting certain areas of your site.

41. Try to keep your URL’s short and meaningful. Don’t try and cram 20 words into each URL – everything should be done in moderation.

42. Avoid link farms and FFA (Free for all) links pages. These are frowned upon by many web marketing experts and are often referred to as “bad neighbourhoods”.

43. Try not to use “dynamic” URLs as some search engines have trouble indexing such pages.

44. Some SEO experts recommend buying domains for the maximum time period possible as this would indicate that you’re serious (and not a “spammer”). UK domains tend to last 2 years anyway, so presumably such wisdom would apply to .com domain names.

45. No problem if you pay someone to do your web marketing for you. But beware – if someone promises to get your site to “No.1 in Google” within 48 hours – this will mean you will be paying to ADVERTISE via Google Adwords. You will not be ranking organically for anything within 48 hours!

46. When building external links to your site, always think QUALITY, not QUANTITY. One good quality link from an established, authority site could do far more for you than hundreds of links from irrelevant so-called “directory” sites.

47. Don’t feel obliged to reciprocate links with other sites simply because another site owner has requested it. Have a good look at the other site before exchanging links.

48. Using “Bold” HTML tags not only tells your readers that the enclosed text is important – search engines will also take this into account when analysing your page content.

49. Keyword density is important. Without overdoing it, make sure your chosen keyword phrases appear a reasonable amount of times within a page. Your keywords should always be faithful to the genuine content of your pages if you want to rank well. Write for your audience first, and consider your keyword density as of secondary importance.

50. Search Engine Marketing is an ONGOING activity. You should constantly review your search engine rankings, add new fresh content on a regular basis, and build up good quality links with similar sites to yours. And, don’t expect to rank No.1 within a few weeks. Whatever you do, don’t cut corners, as you will be rightly penalised for unethical web marketing techniques.

All the best with your web marketing effort.