52 Fridays – #10 Some Things You Can DIY, But For SEO, You Might Want To Hire a P-R-O


52 Fridays is a year-long series for equestrian professionals and equine business owners and managers, with marketing and public relations information, ideas, tips, & resources shared here each Friday. New EMAIL blog subscribers receive a ’52 Fridays’ PDF when they sign up; existing subscribers and new RSS FEED & WORDPRESS subscribers can send a request for their own PDF here.

There are many things the average horsebiz can do on their own when it comes to marketing and promotion. But, while I often advocate DIY (do it yourself) strategies to stretch your marketing budget, I think when it comes to search engine optimization, or SEO, if you want your business to be found on the Internet it’s worth the money to hire a professional. The stakes are just too high, especially when most searchers simply don’t go beyond the first page or two of results (I know I don’t!).

Search Engine Basics

Chances are you’ve searched for something online using Google, Yahoo!, or Bing, but do you understand how search engines work and why keywords are important? If not, here’s a 3-minute video explanation about how search engines work from MyInternetTutor.com. After you watch it you’ll see why it’s important to understand, and use, the best keywords for your business.

Search engine algorhithms are closely guarded trade secrets, and how search engines search changes all the time, so keeping up on the latest developments can be an enormous time commitment. Did you know that last fall Google launched Google Instant, which anticipates what you’re searching for as you type and offers suggestions that could change a searcher’s inquiry in real time? What horse business owner or manager has time to re-learn the best SEO strategies every time there’s a new SEO development?

As for the most popular search engines, Google is of course the ‘big frog in the pond,’ but it’s interesting to see how other search engines have come and gone over the past few years.

Things That Affect Your SEO

I was at an equestrian new media meeting last weekend, and there were two SEO experts there from Web marketing consulting company SiteLogic to help the group better understand SEO.

Sheila Miklos is VP and managing director at SiteLogic, and Jackie Baker is Web marketing manager; Jackie’s an equestrian, and she also blogs at RegardingHorses.com.

According to Sheila and Jackie, if you’re writing your own content and managing your own website and social media, here are a few things that might be hurting your SEO results if not done correctly:

  • Duplicate content: If your site has multiple pages with the same written text, the search engines don’t like it and can lower your rank. This also applies to the same content on multiple websites (e.g., syndicated content or when sites are re-using your content without authorization), or, for example, using manufacturer’s descriptions for products sold on your site instead of writing your own descriptions.
  • Reciprocal link exchanges: Linking to high-quality sites that are complementary to yours can boost your SEO rank, but can you tell what sites will help you versus hurt you?
  • Metadata: Search engines can’t ‘read’ images and videos, so filling in the ‘metadata’ sections in each image and video file with your keywords and links is important if you want those files to help improve your SEO rank.

The Bottom Line On SEO

Having a good SEO consultant as part of your marketing from the beginning is ideal, but they can help you retool and refine your efforts at any stage you’re in. As for how to find these experts…look at other successfully-ranked businesses, whether horse or otherwise, and ask them who guides their SEO. If they use an outside consultant, you might be able to get a bigger slice of the SEO pie by hiring that person or business for your own horsebiz.

____________________

Thanks to Sheila Miklos and SiteLogic, we’ll have a bonus coming soon! SiteLogic’s founder, Matt Bailey, has written a book titled Internet Marketing: An Hour A Day, a ‘start-to-finish guide to Internet marketing.’ The book has a March 29th release date, and we’ll be getting several copies to share. Subscribe to No Biz Like Horsebiz or come back in early April to find out how to get a copy.

Do you know of any good SEO consultants or resources? Share them by clicking on the Leave A Comment link below. See you here next Friday for 52 Fridays #11!

You can read all the 52 Fridays posts by clicking the Sort Posts By Topic dropdown menu and selecting 52 Fridays.

 

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2 Comments

Filed under 52 Fridays, Equine Industry Marketing, New Media, Uncategorized

2 responses to “52 Fridays – #10 Some Things You Can DIY, But For SEO, You Might Want To Hire a P-R-O

  1. Enjoyed your post. I’d have to admit I don’t want to touch this subject as I prefer to share, share, share, be consistent in my identify (who I REALLY am), and provide, over a long period of time, things that are interesting to my readers on my websites so they get to know me and organically want to see what I am up to. I use the internet for sharing purposes. I am doing what I love, and my desire is to help as many people along my journey as possible; I am not doing what I do to sell my services. This strategy truly works for me and brings wonderful opportunities, almost daily now, to share the knowledge I have gained. However, it takes time, diligence and patience. We all have to determine what works for each of us, individually. I do agree SEO is important; however, for me, I love the personal results I’ve seen grow, especially since I signed on to Twitter in 2007. You know I’m a Twitter girl!

    • Right on, and you do a wonderful job of sharing the info you find – you’re providing a great service to the equine industry! As you probably know, what you’re describing is all the work, dedication, consistency, and commitment ANY horsebiz needs to carry out in order to build a strong ‘brand’ and reputation, something that happens over time as their audience (and customers) get to know them. Until we’re a cashless society, most of us will need to have products and services to sell, and there’s nothing wrong with either approach (selling/sharing), however I’m right there with you on the importance of finding what works and loving what you do. Life’s too dang short to hate to go to work every single day.

      Thanks for chiming in on the conversation, Susie! Keep on keepin’ on! LK

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