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.
4 Min Read
Sometimes the person you have to stand up to is you! There I was, rewatching the Miss Universe 2019 competition. Which I do for inspiration from time to time. (No, seriously!) There is something about seeing women on stage, in full-on glam mode, and speaking with confident assuredness that really lights my fire!
I have seen this Zozibini Tunzi of South Africa win this crown so many times before, but something about this particular viewing, her delivery or her words, touched something inside me a little differently. At that moment, I truly believed, with complete conviction, that she lives what she speaks.
The announcement was made, the audience cheered, and the crown was awarded. The light was dazzling,, she looked stunning, almost blessed. The judges made the right call with 2019's queen.
Reflecting On Myself
Suddenly, the YouTube video ended. And I was left looking at a black screen. In the darkness of that screen, I saw my reflection and I began assessing what I saw, asking myself, "What have I been doing with my life?" It may seem like an overly dramatic question, but at that moment, I had to ask myself seriously… What have you done? The fact that I couldn't come up with a solid, confident answer gave my inner-cynic license to quickly spiral into self-criticism.
This went on for quite some time, until I got up. I stood up and walked to my mirror to have some serious one-on-one "Queen Talk." I needed to get out of that self-critical mindset, and I know that physical movement is something that help disrupt a way of thinking. I needed to remind myself of who I really was. The negative feelings I was experiencing at that moment were not reality.
Here are a few reminders for whenever you need some Queen Talk!
1.) Comparison is truly the thief of joy.
This saying feels like a cliché. That is, until it's applicable to you. At that moment, this "cliché, becomes self-evident. Comparing myself to someone on a stage with years of experience in an area I know nothing about is not only unfair but straight-up mean. A part of my comparison comes from me wondering, "Would I have the ability, if put in that position, to perform at such a level?" The answer is totally and without question, yes. I excel in the field I work in now, and I know that if I put that same energy towards something else, with practice, I could do just as well. No joy can come from comparing yourself to someone in a completely different field!
2.) Never forget the blessings that have been bestowed upon you.
Every single day, I am blessed to have the opportunity to wake up with all ten fingers and toes and choose to create the kind of life I want to live. There is so much power in that alone, but sometimes it's easy to take it for granted. Let us not forget those who are unable to make that same decision every day of their lives.
3.) Appreciate how far you have come!
I've been very intentional for some time to be kinder and gentler to myself. I need to realize that I am human. Being human means that I will not know everything, and I will continue to make mistakes.But I must let go of the need to always be right. I feel empowered when I can see the growth that I've made, regardless of the mistakes that may come in the future. I don't react to every little thing that bothers me, because I have learned boundaries when it comes to dealing with others and myself. I truly value my time and my energy, and, for that, I am proud.
4.) You Can Be Who You Want To Be
If you can see it in your mind, you can achieve it in reality. I saw myself when I looked at the women on stage, when she smiled, the way she talked, her elegant walk. For a moment, in my self-criticism spiral, I forgot that we are all connected. Debasish Mridha has said "I may not know you, but I don't see any difference between you and me. I see myself in you; we are one." I will not sit in the mentality of lack, there is more than enough opportunity and good fortune to go around for everyone. Her win was not a loss for me, but it can be a nudge from the universe for me to go ahead and dream big!
This Queen Talk was not easy. There may have been some tissues and tears involved but giving myself an honest yet compassionate talk is sometimes what I need to bring myself out of some bad head space. In these moments of doubt, you truly need to be your own best friend.When times get rough, criticism won't always come from outside sources. How you speak about yourself internally is crucial to how you see and feel about yourself. As Beyoncé once sang, "I've got Me, Myself, and I." We must put forth every effort to be there for ourselves. I look forward to more Queen Talks when some negative emotions arise. I am grateful for the person I am today, but I am excited to see the women I become.