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5 Keys To SEO and Your Home-based Business

Posted August 28, 2013 by fran @ 11:56 am

When operating any home-based business, it is vital to establish an effective Internet presence. This takes more than merely building a website. Before a customer can view a highly informative and well-coded site, the customer must reach that site. One of the best ways to achieve unique views and generate leads is to maintain the top position for a relevant search engine result. Driving business becomes much more difficult as the site decreases in its rankings.

When a search engine crawler gathers information about a site, the site owner wants that crawler to tell the search engine that that site best matches a particular set of keywords. Optimizing a site for search engine results is called search engine optimization (SEO). If you own a home-based business and you want to optimize your own website, there are several things to keep in mind.

1. Seek professional help to optimize success

SEO is an industry in itself. Countless service providers ranging from sole proprietors to dedicated professional enterprises like http://www.eversparkinteractive.com/ will ensure that a site obtains and maintains a high site ranking. Unfortunately, marketing budgets for home-based businesses are often nonexistent. Hiring a qualified expert in SEO can cost thousands of dollars. As a result, many business owners will attempt to go it alone.

This is usually a mistake. SEO requires a fine touch with respect to keyword densities and relevant content. The ideal techniques for optimizing a site for search engine results can vary between search engines; for example, different sites will respond to different keywords densities and content levels. To the crawlers, sites with too few relevant keywords appear to be irrelevant while sites with too many appear to be spammy. Hitting these narrow ranges is a job for a professional, as is structuring the site.

2. Not all “experts” are created equal

There are a variety of techniques that some SEO professionals use to improve their clients ratings. Some of these techniques can lead to short-term gains at the expense of long-term placement. Link building networks and software that can instantly produce thousands or millions of new links can raise a site to the top position quickly; usually, this is long enough for the “expert” to cash the client’s check.

However, without quality connections, the purported gains will not last. The site may actually be penalized for attempts to “bomb” the engine, reducing its ranking further than had nothing occurred. Most crawlers will look for quality links and only maintain sites with those results. Any professional organization that you choose to do business with should have a history of maintaining and optimizing successful web sites.

3. Optimized sites require maintenance

Search engines periodically change how their crawlers operate. Even without an update, SEO experts often discover new techniques to improve a site’s ranking, which can push down sites using older techniques. Additionally, site owners routinely move around content or discover that certain wording resonates with their customers more effectively, which can negate prior work or make the site effectively invisible to crawlers.

4. Target the SEO focus

The Internet is a worldwide phenomenon and anyone can look at any site from any location. Unfortunately, a homeowner in Miami is unlikely to require the services of a plumber from Seattle. For a service business targeting specific markets, optimizing the site for customers looking for relevant businesses in that location can save money and trouble. Targeting based upon location improves the relevance of the results, leading to improved rankings and a higher likelihood of greater traffic.

5. Uncommon keywords are key

Specific keywords are less competitive than generalized keywords. This will usually mean a higher success rate and an improved chance of achieving a high ranking if the site is properly optimized. Spending the same money to obtain a high ranking with a slightly less common search phrase is much more likely to drive business than spending money to achieve a second-page result for a more generic phrase.

Whether your business involves international shipping or localized services, having a website is necessary in the modern world. Any site that exists to drive business should be optimized for search engine crawlers looking for results relevant to specific search phrases. What those phrases are will vary between industries; blue-collar businesses may target searchers looking for “24 hour” service in that particular industry in that particular location, while white-collar businesses may target customers looking for “cost-effective” solutions. As with any other marketing activity, SEO requires business owners to understand their customers and their market.

Author Bio: As a home-based business owner, writer LaGeris Underwood Bell can attest to both the importance of establishing a strong online presence and to the vital need for SEO-savvy professional help as keys to entrepreneurial success.

 

Photo credit: http://www.flickr.com/photos/sepblog/3657122566/

Filed under: Company Headlines

The AdMedia Team Hits the Ice

Posted August 20, 2013 by fran @ 10:57 am

It was a hot, sunny, 90 degree Friday in Southern California. With so many options of fun things to do in the LA area, the team at AdMedia went with the obvious choice — we went with the traditional LA activity of ice skating!

Ice skating isn’t the most synonymous activity associated with Southern California, but there are still a handful of ice rinks in the area. And it just so happens there’s one right next to our office. It was a simple one block walk to our local ice skating rink where the AdMedia team got together and hit the ice.

 

For most of that Friday morning, the AdMedia team skated, glided, raced, slipped and fell around the Pickwick ice rink in Burbank. Unfortunately, we did not find the next coming of Katarina Witt or Brian Boitano. Nor did we find the next Wayne Gretzky or Sidney Crosby. What we did find was a great way to hang out and blow off some steam at the end of a busy week. A lot of team members got to skate for the first time and some actually knew what they were doing. And for a few of AdMedia team members, it was a humbling experience falling on the ice in front of colleagues.

 

At the end of our special fun day, we had gourmet pizzas waiting for us in the conference room. Tomato & Basil, Pesto, and Chicken Barbecue were just a few of the flavors that the team got to enjoy. It was a perfect day to take a couple of hours out for ice skating and pizza. You can say it was the perfect ending to a fun team building day and a hard-working week at AdMedia.

 

Why Publishers Should Think About Advertising Too

Posted August 14, 2013 by fran @ 1:19 pm

If you’re an online publisher then you’re probably familiar with serving up ads on your site to earn revenue, but have you ever thought about buying ads of your own to do the same thing?

It may seem counter-intuitive when you come across the idea. After all, you’re producing content to make money, not spend it all on online advertising, right? Here’s the thing though, in the business of online marketing and advertising, you often have to spend money–at least at first–to make money.

You need to invest in a lot of things, including yourself, your education, technology, and getting your name out there. Let’s focus on the last point. When starting from scratch, getting your name out there can be an uphill battle. Building an audience takes a lot of time and resources, and you need to produce awesome content often and at a consistent basis.

Say you’re already doing that. What if you’re already exerting a ton of your time and effort in producing great content, but it doesn’t seem to be paying off?

If you already have a great website with useful content in it but you aren’t getting the amount of traffic that you know it deserves then you probably need a boost to improve your numbers. That’s where advertising comes in.

When done right, online advertising can pay off tremendously. As long as you know your target audience and where to find them, you stand a good chance of reaping the benefits of your advertising investment.

See, online ads can bring in more traffic, which could then translate to more readers and revenue (either through ad clicks or with the purchase of your products / services). Serve up relevant, targeted ads to in front of users that you know will love you’re content, and you’ll start seeing some improvements in your metrics in no time.

They key is serving up those ads to users that count. What’s the use of a million impressions if those users have absolutely no interest in what you have to offer? If you haven’t done so yet, conduct market research on your audience and determine where they hang out online and what ads and messages appeal to them the most.

By the way, before you start thinking that market research involves dropping a ton of cash on focus groups and what not–stop. In this day and age, even a one-man team can conduct effective market research without spending a dime. How?

Below are a few ideas:

– Send out a quick survey to your subscribers and ask for feedback’

– Read comments on your blog to get an idea of what types of content resonate most with your audience

– Turn to social media. Check out the pages that your target audience likes on Facebook, join relevant groups on Linkedin, and see who they follow on Twitter

– Conduct surveys using free tools such as Google Docs or GoPollGo

– Tweet out a question / post it on Facebook and take note of the responses

Doing the things above should give you a wealth of data and insights about your target audience. Take those insights and use them to create engaging ads that would drive more traffic (and eventually revenue) to your site.

Filed under: Blogroll,Company Headlines

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