Tag Archives: SEO

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.

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

Monday Morning Quickie – Check Out The Competition, With Compete.com

There are a number of helpful tools for analyzing online traffic. I think Compete.com is intriguing since you can compare multiple sites against each other. This means you can also look at your own site to see how it stacks up against the competition.

First of all, many thanks to Angelea Walkup, founder and ‘chief equine officer’ of HorseGirlTV, for sharing this resource with me.

While Compete.com has a paid, ‘Pro’ version, they also have a free version you can try out, and even the freebie has some interesting features.

I’m still exploring the site and its capabilities and applications, but by entering a Web site URL, you can view any site’s unique visitors (a better judge of traffic than ‘hits’), and see how that traffic has either increased or decreased over the past month and the past year. Compete.com also gives you the top five search terms (what people enter into a search engine such as Google or Bing in order to find you), and what ‘referring’ sites they find you from, such as Facebook or Twitter.

Here’s a graph for one of my clients, The Equine Chronicle, showing the increase in their Web site traffic over the past year:

Compete.com graph for The Equine Chronicle on June 7, 2010

How might you use Compete.com for your horse business? With the free version, you can identify your own improvement in terms of traffic, identify the most-used search terms and incorporate those into your online content, or even analyze media outlets to find out what might be the best fit for your advertising dollars.

If you’re interested in checking out Compete Pro, here’s a very thorough review of the Compete Pro version by Melanie Nathan at Sugarrae.com.

Have comments, thoughts, or questions about Compete? Please Leave a Comment below – thanks!

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Filed under Equine Industry Marketing, Technology, Uncategorized