This Week in SEO

 Pure-Ecommerce has a specific target market.  Our market is the “beginner entrepreneur.”  Our clients, while not exclusively, but the majority of them are new to not only being an entrepreneur but have never heard of SEO until they get started moving through the consultation process. That’s one of the reasons our CEO, Jen Varner, founded Pure-Ecommerce.  She wanted to help others avoid the pitfalls she encountered when she started her first online business.

There is so much to learn about when you start an ecommerce website and it can be very overwhelming, particularly when you hear about something as complicated and as important as SEO.  Where do you start?  What do you do? How do you keep up?

 Pure-Ecommerce teaches you where to start and what to do when you purchase on internet business for sale from us.  One thing our clients struggle with is keeping up with SEO.  It changes constantly with updates to the algorithm and it can be challenging for a solo entrepreneur to keep up with it all.  In an effort to continue helping our clients succeed, we’ve decided to begin a weekly blog post titled “This Week in SEO.”  We will highlight current changes, recommendations and best practices to assist small online business owners with SEO efforts.

One of the best things a small business owner can do is know where to go for information they can rely on.  With SEO it seems everyone you talk to is going to have a different opinion and that just adds to the confusion but knowing where to get reliable information can help!  Here are a few blogs we follow to stay current and recommend that you add them to your list as well.  You don’t necessarily have to spend hours reading every article but you can scan for anything that talks about algorithm updates and anything you want to learn more about.  In no particular order, the following blogs may prove helpful:

Search Engine Watch – provides tips and information to site owners about how to improve their optimization efforts.  It covers everything from SEO to Mobile Marketing.

Search Engine Journal – began in 2003 and focuses on helping site owners optimize their search marketing efforts.

Matt Cutts:  Gadgets, Google and SEO – Matt Cutts is the head of Google’s Webspam Team.  He works on search quality and webspam for Google and following his blog is a good way to stay in touch with what Google is doing and the direction they’re headed.

Social Media Examiner – is a blog focusing on social media.  The world of social media is ever changing and this blog can help keep you up to date on current best practices.

This is by no means an exhaustive list, but it is a good start to cover most bases.  You should always be aware of the webmaster guidelines for each of the major search engines as well.
With the recent updates to Penguin and Panda it is more important than ever to be vigilant in your SEO efforts.  Google is promising another Panda update by fall.  Here are some tips to navigating the recent algorithm updates:
  • Content is still KING!  But more so than ever, content must be directed to the user’s experience.  What we find now is that not only are the search engine’s more sophisticated when determining quality content but our users are more sophisticated in how they search and with what they determine to be quality content.
  • Don’t however get caught up in thinking if content is good then more content is better.  Having a 100 quality pages is great.  Having 20 quality pages and 80 low quality pages is not!  Look at your analytics.  What are the CTR’s (click through rates)?  How long are people staying on your pages?  If they’re not getting decent CTR’s and decent duration times then reconsider having them or improve the quality. 
  • Speak to your consumers through your content.  We always advise clients to develop a voice or a personality for their site and to speak directly to the consumer through it.  Keep your content natural.  Have a conversation through your content with your consumer – as if they were in the room and you were just chatting with a friend.
  • Avoid anything that appears to be a poor link.  Forget directory submissions.  The best links are the ones that are earned.  Write great quality content and you will not have any trouble attracting links.  
  •   Unless you are appearing on Oprah or being visited by the President, don’t worry about press releases right now.
  • Build a strong foundation with your social media.  You want to attract consumers to your site through your social media.  Let them find you on social media first and then find your site – it makes for a stronger relationship.

Of course, we also hope you’ll add our blog to your list to follow and tune in each week to find what we feel is the most relevant “news” on SEO.  We’ll do our best to translate the technical into everyday understanding.  We believe SEO doesn’t have to be hard.  After all the intent behind it is to make the most relevant and the highest quality sites easy to find for the consumer.  The search engines have the same goal – to return the most relevant and highest quality sites to the user.  The search engines are just charged with protecting the integrity of the process.  We always advise when small business owners get confused about what to do for them to put themselves in the shoes of the user. What would you want to see and how would you want to find it?  If you can answer that and provide it – that will be your best SEO!

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