Search Engine Optimization Basics for Small Business Owners | Larry Aiello | Skillshare

Search Engine Optimization Basics for Small Business Owners

Larry Aiello

Search Engine Optimization Basics for Small Business Owners

Larry Aiello

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4 Lessons (21m)
    • 1. SEO for Small Business Owners and Enrrepreneurs

    • 2. Search Engine Optimization Basics

    • 3. On page versus Off page SEO

    • 4. Local SEO

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About This Class

Are you a small business owner looking to figure out the basics of search engine optimization (SEO) for your website?  

This class will teach you all that you need to know about search engine optimization that is important for a business owner.

We will discuss the difference between on page search engine optimization versus off page search engine optimization.

And if you have a local brick and mortar store, we will look at the importance of local search engine optimization.  

It will give you an overview and it will also give you some tips whether you should do this yourself or whether you can outsource this task.

Come join me in the class and you will find out what you need to know about search engine optimization from a small business owner's standpoint. 

Meet Your Teacher

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Larry Aiello


Hello, my name is Larry Aiello and I am an accounting professional with 30 years accounting experience and a graduate of the University of Florida.

My experience covers a wide variety of industries including real estate, healthcare, financial services and doing a lot of different tasks related to the business world. And I’m also a big geek in figuring out how the computer can improve our lives.

I really enjoy teaching and sharing my knowledge with others no matter what the subject matter.

I grew up speaking Italian at home and developed a love for the Italian language at a very young age as we would travel back-and-forth every year to visit my family and friends. Early on I realized that knowing another language is indeed a gift. It allows you to have relation... See full profile

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1. SEO for Small Business Owners and Enrrepreneurs: if you are a small business owner and you want to learn more about search engine optimization or S CEO from a layperson's perspective, and how it might help you in this course will help you focus on what you need to know. Many people believe that there are some tricks or some magic, voodoo or wizardry involved and showing up high in the search engine rankings. That is not the case. Once you understand what Google is looking for, you can greatly increase your chances of ranking highly for the search terms that your customers may be using to find you. The first lesson will be an overview of what search engine optimization is and how it plays a role in potential customers reaching your website. The second lesson will cover what the differences are between on page search engine optimization and off paid search engine optimization. You will learn tips on what you need to do to set that up properly, or how you Congar Oh, about outsourcing this task. The final lesson will go over a subset of off Page S CEO, known as local search engine optimization. This is important if you have a local brick and mortar business, and you are trying to show up on Google's map. When a customer is searching for your product or service, you will learn what Google is looking for and what steps you should do to take to maximize your chances for success. So join me inside the course and learn how S CEO can help your business thrive and prosper . 2. Search Engine Optimization Basics: Welcome back in this lesson, we will learn about getting traffic to your website and search engine optimization or S CEO . When it comes to getting traffic to your website, there are basically two ways you can do it. Number one. You can buy it. You can buy it with advertising from Google or Facebook or a number of other sources, or number two. Google consented to you by placing your website at the top of the search engine rankings. This type of traffic is called organic traffic. This is Google's way of saying, Hey, we think your site is worthy and relevant when someone types in a search term. So we are going to send people to it. Think of it like a beauty contest with Google being the judge. In essence, you are getting this traffic for free monetarily, but often it takes a lot of time and effort to become worthy enough in Google's eyes to get you placed at the top. There really is no such thing as free traffic. The rest of this video will deal with the second way of getting traffic organically through Google, and a whole industry now exists where people try to get your site to the top of the Google rankings, and that is called search engine optimization or S E O for short. Once your site is set up, be aware there are ways to optimize your site so it shows up in the search engine rankings . When someone performs a search on Google. As you can probably imagine, most of the traffic will go to the search results in the number 123 or four. Position the closer to the top, the better. There are usually 10 results on the first page of a search result, along with the advertisements. After that, the chances of someone finding you if you are on the second page or after are practically zero. How many times do you go on to the second page of a search engine query when you type something in on Google, probably not very many times. Think about it Google, along with being and Yahoo and all the search engines, they have a tough job to do there, like a librarian that needs to categorize every single page of information that is on the Web. That has to be billions and billions of pages. They have to send out spiders or computer programs to fetch information, to search the Web for information, to categorize it in their library so it pops up in the search engine results in a proper manner. There are over 200 factors to Google's algorithm, and they keep that very guarded for obvious reasons. So no one can game the system. They hire some very smart people from places like M. I. T. And Stanford PhD types toe work on their algorithm. The good news is there are ways to optimize your site so that it has a better chance of showing up higher in the search engine rankings. We know what some of the main factors that help in S e O. And by focusing on a few of the important ones can give you a huge leg up on your competition. So, in the next lesson, we will continue on to the various types of S E O. And what you should be focusing on as a business owner. So we'll see you in the next video. Thank you. 3. On page versus Off page SEO: welcome back. So in this video, I'm going to explain the two basic types of search engine optimization so you can better understand what someone will be doing for you with this task if you decide to outsource it or what you can do yourself if you are so inclined and have the time to do it. So basic search engine optimization falls into two categories. Number one will be on page optimization and number two will be off page optimization. This is going to sound a little simplistic, but on page optimization is the items that are on your page. It's the stuff that you can see, like the categories. Menu path, proper use of English keywords, the articles, videos, etcetera. It involves the practice of optimizing the items that are on your page, the internal signals that comptel Google what your keyword is, how often it is used. Is it bold ID menu navigation, etcetera? But it's also the other stuff on your page that you can't see like proper coding. Proper use of html PHP JavaScript, different computer languages that help what websites perform and display the way you want them to. So here are some tips for on Page S CEO. If you are using WordPress software to power your site, try to find a theme that is well coated and search engine friendly. I like to use the Genesis framework, which can be found on studio press dot com. There are other frameworks as well. Thesis is another popular one. Think of a framework like a frame on a car, for example, of Porsche. The seam would be the particular model of the car like a Porsche 9 11 Once you pick out a theme and get it modified to your liking and get your site up and running, then you need to install either the Yost S e O plug in for your site or the all in one seo plug in. Those themes are well coated, and the plug ins will guide you in getting your on page. S CEO on point off Page Seo refers to the external signals about your site, such as the number of links that are pointing to it and, more importantly, the quality and relevance of those links. Back in the early days of the Internet and S e o. The more links pointing to a site the better All other things being equal if you had 1000 links, even if you manufacture them yourself, pointing to your site, that was better than if you had 500 links. Think of each link as a vote for your site. Back then, it didn't matter if you were a dentist and you had links coming from a gardening blogged food blogger, knitting blogger, etcetera. But Google has gotten a bit smarter, and now they look at the quality of the links. Now, if you're a dentist, it would be more valuable to get one link from the American Dental Association, as opposed to links from 1000 gardening blog's and social media signals. Now play a big role in off Page Seo by looking at number of Likes Your business page has retweets Yelp reviews, etcetera. In fact, Google will probably penalize the dentist because it wouldn't make sense for a dentist now to get links from 1000 gardening blog's. So here are some tips for off Page S CEO. The bottom line for Off Page Seo is to produce good quality information that people will naturally want toe like Retweet or linked to help your customer. Find what they're looking for. Explain what you do, Help them build a report with you and help them build trust with you. Post good quality stuff. If you have a passion for what you are doing, it will be easier than if you don't do not try to game the system. Do not purchase other links that point to your site. Google frowns upon that. If they feel you are trying to manipulate the search engine results, they don't mind when you buy links or advertising from them, but they don't like it otherwise. Unfortunately, they have a lot of control in the search engine world. They are the £800 gorilla that runs the show. So basically, with that in mind, the bottom line is a business owner. You need to make some decisions. Number one. What is your advertising marketing budget going to be? Come up with a monthly budget Number two. If it's big enough, do you want to allocate any money for S E. O? If you do make sure the S e o person you hire has a track record, asked for recommendations and try to ask for testimonials from current clients realize a good S CEO campaign could take many months before you see any results, and oftentimes there are aspects of it that need to be ongoing. But the good news is, once you get good rankings on the search engines, that could stay that way for a very long time. If you don't want to spend any money on S CEO, there are other options. You can create the content yourself if you are on a tight budget. If you have the time, you can do it on your down time. Focus on quality as opposed to quantity. Try to keep a consistent schedule Posting a block post or a new video on your site once a week is good enough for most businesses to stay relevant. If you want to be the next Huffingtonpost, obviously, once a week won't cut it. But most other businesses once a week, will be more than good enough if you got time to do more than great. If you only have time from once a month than do that, the key is to be consistent. Number three. Would you rather allocate money toe advertising such as Google ads or Facebook ads? The good news is with these campaigns, as you can see and track results very quickly, you can tell if you spent $500 on Facebook advertising and it generated X dollars in revenue. Hopefully X will be more than $500. The bad news is that there is little. There is a little bit of a learning curve toe. Learn those advertising platforms. Tim Ferriss, the author of The four Hour Work Week, which is a great book, by the way, started a business. I think it was importing shirts from France, but don't quote me. He experimented with Google ads, and he found the formula that worked and scaled it up accordingly may be worth setting aside some funds for testing the market. Number four. You may decide to try other options. Craigslist is a very viable way to get leads for some businesses. And remember where the mouth is still huge. In many industries, it's hard to be good quality products and service. The guy I use for plumbing repairs doesn't post anything on his website. He doesn't even have a website. He gets most of his business through word of mouth. I found them because I saw his truck on my street. Shaking hands and networking are still great ways to build up many of business. So that will wrap it up for this lesson. For on page vs off Page Seo, The next lesson will focus on a different flavor of S e O called local s CEO, which is relevant when you want to geographically target your S E O and we will continue in the next lesson. 4. Local SEO: welcome back to another lesson. This lesson will focus on another aspect of search engine optimization which may or may not apply to you, which is called local S C. O. This would be applicable if you are relying on the geographically targeted modifier or location in the search term for trying to find customers. This is when the location, which could be a city name or a certain area, let's say the Bronx or North Detroit or New Orleans. French Quarter becomes part of the search term. So, for example, if you are a barbershop in Seattle, one of the search terms you probably would want to rank for would be Seattle Barbershop, etcetera. It's mostly applicability to brick and mortar businesses with a physical location. Local CEO has some special, unique circumstances that apply, as opposed to General s CEO. For example, if you were selling tea to customers all over the world, you still have to focus on the other aspects of S CEO that I discussed with you in a previous lesson. You're on page and off. Paid S e o are still important, but you need to factor in local s CEO. If you are relying on the geographic modifier of a search query and you have a physical location. And nowadays I hear estimates that 40% of Internet searches involve some type of localized search. So it's becoming more and more important than ever to be cognizant of your local s CEO strategy. And so much of local searches now are done on a mobile device. So if local s CEO is going to play a factor for your business, you need to be cognizant of these few things. Number one. It is imperative that you make sure your site is responsive. That means it will adjust to whatever device it is being viewed upon. You want your visitors to scroll up and down and not horizontally and not have to pinch or stretch out the display on their device. You start out making a site today. More than likely, it will be responsive if you use any of the newer WordPress or Juma themes or have one custom made for you. If you are purchasing an existing business, take a look at what their site appears like on various devices. This site will tell you how it appears on all different devices it's court tools dot com slash screen fly. I will put the U. R L in the supplemental material for this lesson. Be aware. If it is not responsive, you may need to do a complete redesign. Get with an expert to do that because an existing site should have existing traffic and you'll need to make sure all the pages and links are redone properly so the traffic can continue from whatever source it is coming from. If your site is not responsive, that's fine. You can still show up in the local search results, but your job will be tougher and get tougher as new competitors come on board with responsive sites. Let's take a look at a local search result and see what pops up. So the first thing you see is this localized map three pack or sometimes called snack pack from Google. They used to show seven results. Now it is down to three. We're probably all familiar with this. It has an interactive map that you can scroll and zoom, and it's pretty and it naturally draws you in. This is where you ideally want to be for local s CEO. So how does Google get all this information. They get this information from data aggregators and other various sources, but they can also get it from you. Therefore, the second thing you should do when you start out is go create a Google my business listing . It's a free service that helps business owners like you with the information that appears in Google for your potential customers. They want to know about your business. So go ahead and set up your Google my business listing. They may already have your business listed in their database. If they do, then you need to go claim it. If you are not listed, then go ahead and create a new listing. They will then mail you a postcard as verification, and then you can enter in the code to verify receipt. After it's verified, go ahead and pictures hours of operation and fill out as much as you can. Hire a photographer and get some good pics that you can also use on Yelp, Facebook, your website and other social media. On a 3 60 photography is applicability for you. Go ahead and get that done as well and do the same thing for being places along with Apple maps and Yahoo business. Then you will see the directory listing such as Yelp, Angie's List, Trip Advisor, etcetera. After that will come the organic search results where your general s CEO comes into play. So the third aspect of local S CEO that you should focus on is creating what's called citations. A citation is information listed on the Internet about your business that includes three pieces of information, sometimes known as nap in AP or name, address and phone numbers. Sometimes it may or may not include a link to your website. Adding your name to various directories is a way to create a citation. Focus on your local city directories along with any industry specific ones you confined. This is a task you can outsource to someone, or perhaps do it yourself on your down time. Come up with a list of them and knock out 345 a day. Whatever works for you, it is imperative that you keep a spreadsheet or some type of list to know which ones you've submitted to, along with the log in information and password. That way, if you passed, if your phone number changes down the road or your address changes, you'll be able to make all the necessary updates. Make sure you keep a consistent name when you submit toe all your local directories. If you're starting out of coffee and tea shop, for example, this is not what you should do. Have various listings for John's Coffee and Tea shop. You should be consistent as much as possible in the address as well. You would think the search engines would be smart enough to figure out they are the same, but it quirks them up. They could think those listings belonged to four different businesses for John's coffee and tea shop, so help them keep their job easy for them. Even your address should be as consistent as possible. 123 Main Street Abbreviated is different from 1 to 3. Main Street spelled out. This could cause problems for you down the road, and you should also fill out the same citation information on Facebook linked in Twitter and all the other social profiles that you use. This website right here has a list of some major directories where you can add your business along with its information. I will also reference the link in the materials. As part of this lesson, the fourth aspect of local S CEO comes down to reviews Reviews are a major aspect of how potential customers will evaluate your business, and it is also a big factor in what results pop up in the local search results. The best way to get reviews is toe. Ask your customers for reviews, but do not incentivize them. Do not pay for reviews. Email your customers with auto responders. If you have a system to do that as gentle reminders, just like I'm going to ask of you now, if you could be so kind enough to leave me a review for this course, it would be greatly appreciated. It will help others when evaluating this course, and it will help me improve it for future generations. A little self promotion on my part. If you have to pick one, ask for Google reviews first, then go for Yelp. Facebook, Angie's list, etcetera. Google will naturally favour their own platform for S e o purposes, but if your customers are mostly on Facebook, that's fine. And the more informative and detailed the review, the better a review that reads awesome service is not as good as Joe's. Barbershop provides great haircuts for men at a reasonable price. The fifth and final thing you should also focus on which is an aspect of on Page s CEO would be the key words that you should that should appear on your website. Make sure your site has some local geo targeted keywords in the copy of the pages that appear on your site for what you think searchers would be searching for If you are a barber in the French Quarter of New Orleans, thes maybe examples of some of the key word phrases that you would want to optimize for, so that will wrap it up for discussion on local s CEO and we will continue on to the next lesson. Thank you.