Career 03 January 2017
SEO, or search engine optimization, is a concerted effort to improve where your website falls on a list of internet search engine results. If you have a website for your small business, it's critical to know the basics of SEO and how your business performs with certain keywords. Many tactics you can do on your own, but in some cases, you may need to hire a professional. Below, we covered some of the most important things female small business owners need to know about SEO.
1. The Basics
Optimizing your website for search engines is important regardless of which type of site you have, and the task tends to be easier the more unique and local your business is. For example, if you run an ecommerce shop that sells shoes, you are competing with every other person in the country, and even in the world, who sells shoes. In cases like these, you may want to narrow your focus and try to compete for open toed wedges, leather boots for wide feet, or other possible niche categories related to your overall business.
In contrast, if you run a catering company devoted to whole roast hogs, you are likely only competing against other businesses who sell whole roast hogs. Further, since your business is locally-oriented, you really only have to compete with people in your area. Luckily, search engines also use geolocation tools to help bring local shoppers to you.
The SEO task tends to be easier the more unique and local your business is.
2. Google My Business
Since Google is the most popular search engine, you need to pay special attention to it. Start by googling your business by name and city. When the business pops up, there should be a listing that appears to the side. If you have not done so already, claim this listing. Then, update it with your correct business name, a few photos, and a description of your business. If you like, you can also use a few keywords when creating your listing.
The words on your website are a key part of drawing internet traffic. To figure out which words to focus on, make a list of possible topics consumers are likely to search when you want them to find your business. It's often easier for female entrepreneurs to have an intuitive sense of what their customers want, and this can help a lot when you are trying to do SEO. Take relevant keywords over to Google's keyword planner tool. When you type keywords into this tool, it will show you how popular those searches are, and it suggests related search terms for you.
4. Website Content
Once you have a list of words, start rewriting your website, sprinkling in the keywords as you go. Don't stuff the words into the content. Make it seem natural, and shoot for about two to three keywords per page. Also, pay attention to your headings. You should specify a H1 heading on your web page, as it is an important feature search engines consider. Strategic H2s and H3s can help draw traffic to your site as well. In many cases, you may also want to add pages to your site — keep it well organized so it doesn't get unwieldy, but more pages typically means more naturally sounding keywords and better results.
A blog is a fabulous way to add pages to your site and beef up your content. Generating your own blogs may be easier than you think - keep up on industry news, pay attention to common customer questions, or look at competitor's blogs to come up with content ideas. When writing your blogs, remember to use keywords as well.
If you don't want to write your own blogs, you can hire writers to handle them for you. Alternatively, some SEO companies provide you with blogs as well as website optimization and other services. While it's possible to do a lot of SEO on your own, you shouldn't try to be Super Woman. In some cases, it makes sense to access small business financing to use for SEO or other marketing efforts.
As suggested by its name, the internet is an interconnected net or web of information, and the better connected your site is, the higher it will perform in the search results. To connect your site, you need backlinks. Essentially, a backlink is a link on another site that leads to your site.
You can create backlinks by offering to write guest blogs for complementary companies. For example, if you are a florist, you may want to create a blog about floral arrangements for a wedding planner or a funeral director. You may also create backlinks by listing your site on local sites such as a local chamber of commerce or any other relevant organization.
7. Social Media
Your social media accounts can also be a useful place to create some backlinks or simply push traffic to your site. Ideally, you should post interesting tidbits as well as links to your blogs on all of your social media sites. If you have social media sites, however, it's critical that you monitor them daily if not several times a day. In particular, if someone complains about your company on your social media account, you need to respond to them immediately or remove the post, if needed, so you can control your image.
SEO may be a relatively new form of marketing, but as long as search engines exist, this type of marketing is here to stay. As a female business owner, it's critical to understand the basics of SEO and have a strategy in place for making it work on your website.
3 Min Read
With a lack of certainty surrounding the future, being and feeling healthy may help bring the security that you need during these unpredictable times.
When it comes to your health, there is a direct relationship between nutrition and physical activity that play an enormous part in physical, mental, and social well-being. As COVID-19 continues to impact almost every aspect of our lives, the uncertainty of the future may seem looming. Sometimes improvisation is necessary, and understanding how to stay healthy and fit can significantly help you manage your well-being during these times.
Tip 1: Communicate with your current wellness providers and set a plan
Gyms, group fitness studios, trainers, and professionals can help you to lay out a plan that will either keep you on track through all of the changes and restrictions or help you to get back on the ball so that all of your health objectives are met.
Most facilities and providers are setting plans to provide for their clients and customers to accommodate the unpredictable future. The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C. An enormous amount is on the table for this coming fall and winter; if your gym closes again, what is your plan? If outdoor exercising is not an option due to the weather, what is your plan? Leaving things to chance will significantly increase your chances of falling off of your regimen and will make consistency a big problem.
The key to remaining consistent is to have solid plans in place. This means setting a plan A, plan B, and perhaps even a plan C.
Tip 2: Stay active for both mental and physical health benefits
The rise of stress and anxiety as a result of the uncertainty around COVID-19 has affected everyone in some way. Staying active by exercising helps alleviate stress by releasing chemicals like serotonin and endorphins in your brain. In turn, these released chemicals can help improve your mood and even reduce risk of depression and cognitive decline. Additionally, physical activity can help boost your immune system and provide long term health benefits.
With the new work-from-home norm, it can be easy to bypass how much time you are spending sedentary. Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity. Struggling to find ways to stay active? Start simple with activities like going for a walk outside, doing a few reps in exchange for extra Netflix time, or even setting an alarm to move during your workday.
Tip 3: Start slow and strong
If you, like many others during the pandemic shift, have taken some time off of your normal fitness routine, don't push yourself to dive in head first, as this may lead to burnout, injury, and soreness. Plan to start at 50 percent of the volume and intensity of prior workouts when you return to the gym. Inactivity eats away at muscle mass, so rather than focusing on cardio, head to the weights or resistance bands and work on rebuilding your strength.
Be aware of your sitting time and balance it with activity.
Tip 4: If your gym is open, prepare to sanitize
In a study published earlier this year, researchers found drug-resistant bacteria, the flu virus, and other pathogens on about 25 percent of the surfaces they tested in multiple athletic training facilities. Even with heightened gym cleaning procedures in place for many facilities, if you are returning to the gym, ensuring that you disinfect any surfaces before and after using them is key.
When spraying disinfectant, wait a few minutes to kill the germs before wiping down the equipment. Also, don't forget to wash your hands frequently. In an enclosed space where many people are breathing heavier than usual, this can allow for a possible increase in virus droplets, so make sure to wear a mask and practice social distancing. Staying in the know and preparing for new gym policies will make it easy to return to these types of facilities as protocols and mutual respect can be agreed upon.
Tip 5: Have a good routine that extends outside of just your fitness
From work to working out, many routines have faltered during the COVID pandemic. If getting back into the routine seems daunting, investing in a new exercise machine, trainer, or small gadget can help to motivate you. Whether it's a larger investment such as a Peloton, a smaller device such as a Fitbit, or simply a great trainer, something new and fresh is always a great stimulus and motivator.
Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine.
Just because you are working from home with a computer available 24/7 doesn't mean you have to sacrifice your entire day to work. Setting work hours, just as you would in the office, can help you to stay focused and productive.
A good night's sleep is also integral to obtaining and maintaining a healthy and effective routine. Adults need seven or more hours of sleep per night for their best health and wellbeing, so prioritizing your sleep schedule can drastically improve your day and is an important factor to staying healthy. Make sure that when you do wake up well-rested, you are getting out of your pajamas and starting your day with a morning routine. This can help the rest of your day feel normal while the uncertainty of working from home continues.
Tip 6: Focus on food and nutrition
In addition to having a well-rounded daily routine, eating at scheduled times throughout the day can help decrease poor food choices and unhealthy cravings. Understanding the nutrients that your body needs to stay healthy can help you stay more alert, but they do vary from person to person. If you are unsure of your suggested nutritional intake, check out a nutrition calculator.
If you are someone that prefers smaller meals and more snacks throughout the day, make sure you have plenty of healthy options, like fruits, vegetables and lean proteins available (an apple a day keeps the hospital away). While you may spend most of your time from home, meal prepping and planning can make your day flow easier without having to take a break to make an entire meal in the middle of your work day. Most importantly, stay hydrated by drinking plenty of water.
Tip 7: Don't forget about your mental health
While focusing on daily habits and routines to improve your physical health is important, it is also a great time to turn inward and check in with yourself. Perhaps your anxiety has increased and it's impacting your work or day-to-day life. Determining the cause and taking proactive steps toward mitigating these occurrences are important.
For example, with the increase in handwashing, this can also be a great time to practice mini meditation sessions by focusing on taking deep breaths. This can reduce anxiety and even lower your blood pressure. Keeping a journal and writing out your daily thoughts or worries can also help manage stress during unpredictable times, too.
While the future of COVI9-19 and our lives may be unpredictable, you can manage your personal uncertainties by focusing on improving the lifestyle factors you can control—from staying active to having a routine and focusing on your mental health—to make sure that you emerge from this pandemic as your same old self or maybe even better.