Staying Sane in the Digital World – SEO Edition

As small business owners, getting found online has to be a priority. There are over 100 billion Google searches every month. We know that people are looking for our businesses online and yet so many sites are still launched with no thought to search engine optimisation and marketing.

Staying Sane in the Digital World – SEO Edition

To get more targeted visitors to your site, SEO has to be in your playbook. Here’s where to start.

  1. Who is your audience and what are your goals of your site – Do you want people to buy items from your store, book an appointment, or perhaps fill your contact form. It’s good to know this up front and take this into consideration when crafting your navigation and META  tags.
  2. Be selective when it comes to the words you use – SEO tactics that worked 5 years ago can be bad now (like keyword stuffing).  It’s hard to rank for narrow term words (like social media for example – you’re competing with over a billion other results) so choose longer ones that your specific audience are more likely to use.  Include location, your niche services, or other terms that differentiate your offering.
  3. Ask to your customers which words they would use to Google you (write them down!). Keyword tools will help you further determine if these are the right words given volume and competition.
  4. Google’s alogorithms change regularly and it is good check in with your site a few times a year to see how you are doing on to make any changes that might be required. Google Search Console is a great tool to diagnose any issues.
  5. Your site should work on mobile devices – more people search using their phone or tablet so plan to make your site responsive as soon as you can.
  6. Content – dynamic websites sites that share valuable content tend to rank higher. Add new content regularly – a blog is a great way to do this.
  7. The more links back to your site the better but these have to be from trusted sites that are pertinent to your industry or location. Internal links are valuable too – make sure these are logical and make sense to the reader.
  8. SEO is one online marketing strategy and should line up with your over digital plan. Words you use in META tags should be similar to the words you use in your social feeds. This is especially true when posting to sites that show up in Google search, like Twitter or Google+.
  9. Track the traffic to your site. Google Analytics is free to install and helps you to tell how much traffic you are getting, where it is coming from, which pages people read and how long they stay.
  10. If you don’t know what you are doing then it’s best to work with someone who does. SEO can be a minefield and there are lots of people out there who will promise you the world (first page ranking guaranteed!). Take that with a pinch of salt. SEO is a long term commitment and a tricky discipline to get right.

It’s Time For a Digital Detox

This weekend at PowHERhouse speaker series in Sechelt, I spoke for 9 minutes about how important it is to take a digital detox. As a digital marketer I’ve learned this lesson the hard way (and take it from me, I am still learning). I was surprised by how many people came up to me after and thanked me for putting this in perspective for them too. My message seemed to resonate so I am sharing it with you here.

We now have access to more information than all previous generations combined. The ubiquity of digital technology can be a blessing and a curse. One the one hand we can connect with practically anyone in the world and find the answers to our questions in an instant but on the other our faces are stuck in our phones and we’re distracted by frivolities that don’t really matter.

I’m on a crusade to help people put digital technologies back in perspective and put us back in control.

  1. Turn it off! – do you really need to take your phone to bed and keep it on all night – what’s so important that it can’t wait till morning?Time for a Digital Detox
  2. Leave it behind – going out for a meal or a walk – leave your phone behind and focus on the people in front of you.
  3. Stay focused – know what is it that you want to use digital media for. Whether it be for growing your business or simply keeping in touch with your friends, bear your goals in mind when online.
  4. Be selective – about who you connect with (quality is better than quantity!), which tools you use (you can’t use them all well and grow a business too!) and when you use them (see 1 above!).
  5. Listen out for what matters to you – you don’t need to read every single post in your timeline or any of them even. If you are using social media for business hone in on replies, likes, comments and shares (RT’s).
  6. Keep this in mind when posting: If its not worth saying out loud its not worth saying online.
  7. Set some ground rules for you and your family. No phones at the dinner table is one of ours.
  8. Take a digital detox – schedule a block of time (not during sleep hours!) or better yest, a day, to turn of all devices and make some real world connections (with your family, nature, yourself…).

Leave a comment below and let us know when you digitally detox and how you feel when doing it.

Blanket Drive – Help Us Collect Even More this Year!

Help Us Spread the Warmth

Announcing our annual blanket drive to support Blanket BC. Last year we were able to collect a whole car load of donations and with your help we hope to collect even more this year. Once again we’re doing this in conjunction with Marc Smith’s Thirty Days of Kindness project (have you signed up for your act yet?).

20141128_182316On December 4th we will be collecting warm items in and around Vancouver: gently used or new blankets, hats, gloves and coats. If you have any of these items that you no longer use or have grown out of or if you would like to donate a new item please let us know – you can leave a comment below if you like.

Blanket BC is a local charity that has assisted more than 50 other charitable organizations, shelters and Churches that open their space to the homeless and families in need of help.

Donate

Please contact info@out-smarts.com to arrange for pick up on the 4th. Thank you for helping us spread the warmth!

Stay Sane in the Digital World – Join Us at SWAN

Is your smartphone taking over your life? Do you find it hard enough to stay on top of all of the latest developments in social media never mind using these forums to grow your business? You are not alone!

On Thursday September 10th 2015, Mhairi will be presenting ‘Staying Sane int he Digital World’ at SWAN in North Vancouver.  Come along and you will learn:

• How digital technology has changed over the last 10 years (and our attitudes too).
• 10 Rules to Help You make the most out of your digital presence in a manageable way, including:
• Which tools should you use (you can’t use them all!)
• How to stay focused and make the most of your time online
• How to listen effectively
• How to find and share great content
• Smart tools and tips to help you take back your time

SWAN Logo

Registration and Event Details