quality home services, top quality contractors, Darek Sokol, How can you get more visitors to your website? What can you do to stimulate traffic? Here's a checklist of 37 items you need to consider. Many of these may be doing already; others you meant to do and forgot about; still others you've never heard of. Of course, a great deal has been written about this. You'll find links to thousands of articles about website promotion on our website. While I'm not breaking any new ground here, I've tried to summarize some of the most important techniques. Search Engine Strategies, Perhaps the most important -- and inexpensive -- strategy is to rank high for your preferred keywords on the main search engines in "organic" or "natural" searches (as opposed to paid ads). Search engines send robot "spiders" to index the content of your webpage, so let's begin with steps to prepare your webpages for optimal indexing. The idea here is not to trick the search engines, but to leave them abundant clues as to what your webpage is about. This approach is called "search engine optimization," abbreviated as SEO. Write a Keyword-Rich Page Title. Write a descriptive title for each page -- rich in keywords you want people to find you with -- using 5 to 8 words. Remove as many "filler" words from the title (such as "the," "and," etc.) as possible, while still making it readable. This page title will appear hyperlinked on the search engines when your page is found. Entice searchers to click on the title by making it a bit provocative. Place this at the top of the webpage between the... Ways to Promote Your Website. Plan to use some descriptive keywords along with your business name on your home page. If you specialize in silver bullets and that's what people will be searching for, don't just use your company name "Acme Ammunition, Inc.," use "Silver and Platinum Bullets -- Acme Ammunition, Inc." The words people are most likely to search on should appear first in the title (called "keyword prominence"). Remember, this title is your identity on the search engines. The more people see that interests them in the blue hyperlinked words on the search engine, the more likely they are to click on the link. Write a Description META Tag. Some search engines include this description below your hyperlinked title in the search results.The description should be a sentence or two describing the content of the webpage, using the main keywords and keyphrases on this page. Don't include keywords that don't appear on the webpage. Place the Description META Tag at the top of the webpage, between the The maximum number of characters should be about 255; just be aware that only the first 60 or so are visible on Google, though more may be indexed.
When I prepare a webpage, I write the article first, then develop a keyword-rich title (#1 above). Then I write a description of the content in that article in a sentence or two, using each of the important keywords and keyphrases included in the article. This goes into the description META tag. Next, I strip out the common words, leaving just the meaty keywords and phrases and insert those into the keywords META tag. It's no longer used much for ranking, but I'm leaving it in anyway. I think it may have some minor value. So to summarize so far, every webpage in your site should have a distinct title and META description tag. If you implement these two points, you're well on your way to better search engine ranking. But there's more that will help your ranking.... Include Your Keywords in Headers (H1, H2, H3) Search engines consider keywords that appear in the page headline and sub heads to be important to the page, so make sure your desired keywords and phrases appear in one or two header tags. In the first in a series on Marketing we’ll discuss why it is important to market, and the best methods to use to grow your brand. Marketing is one of the most important parts of your business, and for most companies, the most overlooked. let me tell you what works for a remodeling specialty company, yet doesn’t work very well for a general remodeler or design-then-build remodeler who does larger jobs. If your company is poised to do major projects such a kitchen remodels, master suites or whole house renovations, you will need a small listing in the telephone directory, but that’s all. If you specialize in services such as siding installation, door installations, vinyl windows, gutters, water heaters, handy man services, decks, sunrooms, etc., then you do need to advertise in the telephone directory and the newspaper. If this is the case, be sure to advertise Set up a plan and schedule how often and when you will send your message out. A specialty remodeler can expect to spend, typically, 10% of their budget on advertising. That is a lot compared to what a general remodeler spends. A non-specialty remodeler may spend .5 to 3% of their annual budget on advertising and marketing. But then again, they are looking for only 30 to 100 jobs each year. That’s enough for most. The net, or web, is the latest and by far one of the best advertising tools. You need to at least have a business brochure on the web (one page with company info). Sometimes this is called a Business Card web page. And it costs so much less than print advertising. I have used print advertising several time. It got some notice, but few converts. That is because my target is small, yet the advertising is being used in a shotgun fashion. You need to target your marketing to potential clients. Or, as on the web, people who are actually looking for your type of services. The reason a website is so useful is that it is inexpensive, very flexible, and very fresh. 80% of the people thinking about remodeling will consult the web first before making contact with your company. It is here that they can study your company at any time of the day or night, without bothering you or having to commit to something they aren’t ready to commit to. Using a web site you can tell people what your specialty is, where you like to work, and show them extensive photos of jobs you have done. You can show them your customer’s testimonials. On your site, you can show off your latest newsletter or a calendar of current events. Maybe even tell them what area you are working in, or what type of project you are working on. By the time they do call your or fill out your submittal form, they may have already made the decision to hire you. And you can get them to sign up to receive a newsletter. Once they are on your mailing list, you have targeted a potential customer that you can market to.