Welcome to Season 1, Episode 6, Search Engine Optimization, of Web and BeyondCast. We have an exciting season in store for you, so I hope you enjoy the time we’ll be spending together.

(If you’re reading this in a podcast directory/app, please visit http://webandbeyondcast.com/006 for clickable links and the full show notes and transcript of this cast.)

This is just the beginning of Web and BeyondCast, but you have reached the end of our initial series, How to Build a Website. If you haven’t yet listened to the first four episodes on How to Build a Website, I highly recommend that you hop back to the Episode 002 in the podcast feed (which is part 1 in the series) and give those a listen. In this episode, I’m going solo here to explain to you the importance of making your site friendly and accessible to Search Engines (namely Google), so that you can get human eyes on your fledgling Small Business website.

I’m going to cover general Search Engine Optimization techniques, then touch on some of the important concepts you need to understand so that you are able to work on Local, Mobile and Social Search Engine Optimization yourself and/or with your Web designer/developer as you near launch of your website.

If you’d like to discuss this episode, please click here to leave a comment down below (this jumps you to the bottom of the post).

In this Cast | Search Engine Optimization

Ray Sidney-Smith

Show Notes | Search Engine Optimization

Resources we mention, including links to them will be provided here. Please listen to the episode for context.

Webinars on SEO

Google Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide

Check AdSense banned domains: http://bannedcheck.com/

Google Analytics

Google Search Engine Console

Google My Business

Local Listing Ninja

Yext

BrightLocal

Getting Google Reviews (and Responding to Google Reviews)

Yelp

Google Mobile Readiness and Test My Site

Open Graph Test

BONUS: Small Business SEO Checklist 


Additional Resources

Raw Text Transcript | Search Engine Optimization

Raw, unedited and machine-produced text transcript so there may be errors, but you can search for specific points in the episode to jump to, or to reference back to at a later date and time, by keywords or key phrases.

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Voiceover Artists 0:00
Welcome to web and beyond cast where of small business comes to learn about marketing and managing on the web. And beyond. With your host Ray Sidney-Smith.

Ray Sidney-Smith 0:11
Hello, their small business owners, entrepreneurs and economic development agents. Welcome to

Unknown 0:14
season one, Episode Six

Ray Sidney-Smith 0:17
of web beyond cast, we have an exciting season in store for you. So I hope you enjoy the time will be spending together. This is just the beginning of web and beyond cast. But you have reached the end of our initial series how to build a website. If you haven’t yet listened to our first four episodes on how to build a website, I highly recommend that you hop back over to episode to episode 002 in the podcast feed, which is part one in the series of the five part series and give those a listen in order. In this episode, I’m going solo here to explain to you the importance of making your site friendly and accessible to search engines, namely Google so that you can get human eyes on your fledgling small business website, I’m going to cover general search engine optimization techniques, then touch on some of the important concepts you need to understand so that you’re able to work on local mobile and social search engine optimization yourself and, or with your web designer developer, as you near launch of your website, what I’m going to first do is kind of define search engine optimization, what I’ll call SEO From now on, and why it matters. And then we’ll talk about positioning, optimizing and monitoring yourself on Google through generalized SEO, local, mobile. And then social search, what is search engine optimization, what is SEO, in the context of your small business website, when you’re launching a new website, you really want to start to get found by the various search engines. What it is, is the process of making yourself more appealing to search engines. Now search engines, Google, Bing, Yahoo, and all of the other search engines that exist in the world, they are servers that have software were that go out there and look at the various websites that exist out there on the World Wide Web. And when they do that, they are looking for certain factors that indicate to them that your content is relevant to the people who are coming to their search engines to find things out there on the web. So in a lot of ways, while your website may exist on the World Wide Web, it doesn’t really exist to people unless it’s actually found via search engines, because that’s the that’s the primary access point for so many people, when they go ahead and are looking for something on the World Wide Web, what you do is the you actually have to optimize on up multiple different layers of your website, so that you can be found through what we called SEO. And this is the idea of changing the way in which your website is published, so that it is more appealing to those search engines. that’s it in a nutshell. So let’s start off with kind of the top line thing that you need to do. And we’ll work our way down. And again, this conversation is really to give you an overview so that you can get comfortable with the with the concepts and then what will happen is at the end, I’ve got a little giveaway for you so that you can go ahead and take this information and make it much more actionable. First and foremost, you got a domain at some point in the process of getting ready to launch your website. Or if you’re thinking about launching your website, you’re thinking about domain names. And I’ve done a couple of webinars on search engine optimization, and domains. And I’ll put a link to that in the show notes. And again, I’m going to be talking about a lot of different things today. And all of the links are there in the show notes. So you can hop over there to web and beyond cast calm forward slash 006, and you’ll be able to find all the links to everything that I’m talking about. So don’t you worry. So one of the first things that you’ll want to do is you want to check that your domain is currently being indexed if your website already exists. But if your website doesn’t already exist, then when you do this, you may find nothing. If your website does exist, and you don’t find anything, then that’s probably an indication that you haven’t been indexed by Google and or you have been banned one really great resource to start with. And as I said, All these things are linked to in the show notes is Google’s search engine optimization SEO Starter Guide. And what it does is it goes over some of the basics of what you’ll need to do in order to be able to be found. So if this discussion wasn’t hard enough, you can head over to the Starter Guide, and it will walk you through, you can print it out. And you can go ahead and review the glossary of terms and really dig into some of the deeper things here, what I’m really talking to you about is the idea of launching the site. And hopefully you’re using WordPress or another website builder that is going to be doing a lot of this heavy lifting for you. And you’re just checking to make sure that these things are being done so that your site can be found by Google and the other search engines if you want to roll up your sleeves and, and work with a web designer, do some of this stuff under the hood. That’s great. There are more resources for you there in the SEO Starter Guide from Google. So go check that out in the show notes. What we have here is the necessity for you to be able to make sure that your domain is either going to be indexed and hasn’t been banned by Google in some way, shape, or form one. One way that you can test this is by going to band check. com ba n Ed ch. e k.com and seeing whether or not Google has banned you from AdSense, which is their publisher monetization platform. And it’s not a definitive but if someone has been doing some bad things on your website, before it was your domain name, then its potential that it’s been banned by AdSense. So it’s one way that you can look for that kind of material. I want to cover just the basics of SEO for you so that you have a strong understanding of how to either know what to look for when you move forward with your own website launch, or at least knowing the right questions to ask of your web designer and developer as you are working with them to get it launched. Or if you’re using a website builder, like Squarespace, as we talked about in past episodes, we can go ahead and ask the website builder platform, you know, ask their customer service and technical support are these things being done so that you’re able to better make informed decisions and informed queries about what needs to happen SEO wise, let’s just start off with Google, right, Google is a behemoth in the market, because they dominate most of they, they dominate the lion’s share of traffic, both desktop and mobile that’s being driven to websites. So we want to really pay attention to what we’re doing, I always recommend that businesses start out with the the two basic tools of optimizing their website. One is actually a data traffic tracking tool. One is actually a data tracking tool, Google Analytics, and I’ll call it GA, from now on ga allows you to be able to put a little bit of code on your website. And then it starts to help you understand who is visiting your website, and how they’re interacting with your website. This will help you make more informed decisions as you move forward in optimizing your site in the future. So it’s not going to do anything for you now. But it’s really best for you to be able to set it up now, so that you can start tracking that data as soon as possible so that you can learn from it and optimize your website over time. Next up is Google Search Console. Google Search Console, is Google’s way of showing you how Google sees your website. So what happens again, is you put a little bit of code, or you verify your website against Google Search Console, which you get to by going to google.com forward slash webmasters. And again, links to all this in the show notes. When you go to Google Search Console, it will tell you what it has indexed, what it hasn’t indexed about your site by submitting what’s called a sitemap. So your website needs a sitemap make sure that you go out there and get your site map, your designer developer, your website builder or otherwise should be producing that site map. If not, then you need to figure out how to get one created. And then you will then submit that to Google Search Console. And then it will start to send you information. Now Google Search Console does a whole bunch of other really great stuff. It tells you if there’s for some reason your site is down, it can, it can send you a notification, it tells you if there’s malware on your site, it can analyze your site and send you those kinds of notices, so that you’re able to better manage your website and stay abreast it. I know that a lot of small business owners publish their websites, and then don’t visit them frequently. And you should. But knowing reality Google Search Console gives you that ability to be able to direct you back to the search console and to your website to check out things if something does go awry. Those two tools are just really requisites, set them up, get your sitemap published, and really get going. One of the other things in Google Search Console is the ability to to manage and review what’s called your robots. txt file. Now, as its name might imply to you. A dot txt is just a simple text file that sits inside of the root of your website. So that is the main folder where your website is public, to the world to the World Wide Web. And this robots. txt file actually tells a search engine when it comes to your website, what it should look at it what it shouldn’t look at. Now, sometimes when you are developing a website, it’s forgotten the designer developer or whatever you’re using. Or if you’re di wiring, it just doesn’t get done, you need to make sure that you have a robots. txt file. And you just do that by going to your domain. com forward slash robots. txt. And you can also see this in the search console and make sure that the right things are being seen and not being seen. For example, you might not want at admin pages on your website being published to the search engine. Or you may decide that you don’t want other things to be shown. Now, this is not for security purposes, you can’t you shouldn’t restrict things where you want it to be secure. If you don’t want it to be on the web, don’t put it on your website. If you want it to be secure, you should put it behind some kind of authentication protocol. And you should talk to a designer developer to make that happen. This is just for things that you just really don’t want indexed by the search engine necessarily. But you do want to be available on your website. So say, if you have something that you put up on your website, and you want to share that with a select group of your clients, but not with people who just generally visit your website, you would go ahead and make sure that that was no followed. And you do that through the robots dot txt. So those are some just general things that you need to do on a website level, sort of a macro level when it comes to the website. We will then now drill down to some of the more important local website items more generalized and local website items that I think are really important. As you’re developing your site, you really need to think about the search keywords and phrases your customers will use on Google and the other search engines to find your business. This list of search keywords and phrases can be general industry or product or service related terms. Or if your are a local business, then those terms will be localized, there’ll be local search keywords and phrases, the difference would be you selling a product that you can buy anywhere, versus a product or service that you want someone to come into for retail traffic, that is dentist in Brooklyn, New York, or birthday cards in Brooklyn. Those are terms where people know that it’s a localized search, and you want to be able to drive someone locally in person to that destination to that retail space or service provider space, you want to make sure that you create that list of keywords and phrases so that you can start to identify what pages you need on your website. And that each of those search keywords and phrases certainly the the most important ones each need individual pages on your website in some way, shape, or form, we start out with that list. Creating that list is a topic all on into itself. And we’ll probably have a topic about creating that in the future. But you’ll need to create that list of search keywords and phrases for your website, let’s cover a few things that you’re going need to know about when it comes to local search optimization. So as you’re launching your site, you won’t have a lot of content on your site yet, you could. But generally, new websites don’t have a lot of content yet. And so as a as a small business, and with the intent to be found locally, you should really start to optimize for the local traffic that’s brought to you predominantly that’s going to be through Google. And we have a wonderful tool provided by Google my Google My Business. And this is the listing that is actually syndicated to Google Maps, so that when someone does a search on Google, and you are a business that’s local, providing a product or service locally, you are then matched up with the people who are searching for those products or services because of your geographic proximity to the person doing the search. This is really important. If you go to google. com forward slash business, you will be taken to the Google My Business portal where you can create an account if you don’t have a Google account. Or if you don’t have a G sweet account, you will then go ahead and create one and then log into the Google My Business dashboard, you will then complete all of the information that Google asks from you, so that you have a full and complete Google My Business listing at that point, you are literally on the map, you’ll have to confirm, they’ll verify your address, and so on, so forth. And some businesses are actually not capable of being on Google My Business. So if you’re one of those few people, if you’re one of those few businesses that are not allowed on the platform, I’m sorry, you’ll have to just use other means that takes us then to the other means there is a service called local listing, Ninja. And there are other services out there Yext is among them and others that allow you to pay a regular fee for having access to putting your business Listen, getting into many different local directories so that they can be managed, I tend to like and fall on the side of using the service called local listing ninja. And it’s several hundred dollars, not several hundred dollars, actually, I think, at the time of recording around 600, or $700. And what it does is it actually has the, the staff of this company goes in and manually hand creates the profiles across all of these directories for your business. And they create the username and passwords and all that other fun stuff. And then they hand over the keys to you, they give you the usernames and passwords so that you have access to update them in the future. And you want to keep those things updated. I’ll talk a little bit about what those things are that you want to keep updated, I like that a lot better, that use the business owner, hold the keys to your local listing kingdom, as opposed to having some other company, like Yext or otherwise bright, local and forth having those companies hold the keys to the to your to your world. And when you disconnect from the service, then they retract all the information, I just feel like it’s much better for you to be able to have it to each his own, you could choose the opposite and, and go with the extra and other tool like that. totally understood. But just remember that that’s an ongoing cost that you’ll have to, you know, put into your marketing budget, the things that you need to manage. So say that you do go with local listing Ninja, you pay them the six or $700 and they go out there, and they register you with Apple, and Yelp, and all the other various, you know, Yellow Pages, and so on, so forth. And now you are fully listed on all the directories Fantastic. Well, you need to make sure that these things The following list of items is always kept up to date, so that you can get the best billing when it comes to local search traffic. One is your name, your busine

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006 How to Build a Website, Part 5 – Search Engine Optimization – Web and BeyondCast
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Web・Social・Mobile Strategist. Webinar Archives. Productivity Technology Consultant and Trainer. Author, SoLoMo Success and Podcasting for Small Business (on Amazon). Hootsuite Global Brand Ambassador. Evernote Certified Consultant. Google Small Business Advisor, Productivity (Free trial of G Suite).

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