How to Fit Tough Keywords into Your Small Business Website

puzzleWhen you’re trying to optimize your small business website for keywords, you sometimes end up with phrases that just don’t fit in to the flow of the page.

Strange word combinations, odd plurality and missing articles can make writing for exact keyword phrases a pretty difficult task, but it doesn’t have to be impossible – you just need to start thinking of it like a puzzle.

Here are a few suggestions for fitting in those challenging keywords:

1.    Break them up
Although punctuation means a lot to me and you, search engines aren’t that fussy about it. If you’re having trouble fitting the words of a keyword phrase in one sentence, break it up into two separate sentences.

Keyword phrase: San Francisco Real Estate

Looking for a new home in San Francisco? Real Estate can be hard to come by without enlisting the help of an expert.

2.    Use bulleted lists
Not only can bulleted lists be used to simplify information for your visitor, but they can also help you use keywords less awkwardly.

Keyword Phrase: Dog Training Articles

Looking for more information? See the following:

  • “Max’s Guide to Dog TrainingArticles about teaching your dog the basics.
  • “Penelope’s Puppies: All about dog trainingArticles for owners of puppies under the age of 6 months.
  • “Jane and her Litter” Everything you need to know about dog training.

Articles can help you get a lot of the information you need as a new dog owner.

3.    Quotes
Some keywords just can’t sound natural when written from the third person perspective. In that case, try including them in a quote.

Keyword Phrase: Make my own wine

See what our customers have to say about our services!

“I wanted to make my own wine, but didn’t want to spend a fortune. Grapestompers was affordable AND my wine is fantastic!”

Fitting keywords into your small business website is often a challenge, and these are just a few ways you can do it. Try to be creative and flexible without sacrificing readability – it’s important to remember that your visitor is just as important as the search engines, so be careful not to ruin their experience for the sake of fitting in your keywords.

[image by liza31337]

Lights, Camera, Action: Why Video Needs to Be a Part of Your Small Business Marketing Plan

handycamRecently I read that 34 billion videos were streamed in the U.S. in May. I’m not big on stats, but some quick grade school math indicated that it’s equal to every single person on the planet watching more than five videos! More than 14.6 billion of those videos were watched on YouTube, with each user watching an average of 101.2 videos in one month.

With YouTube being the second-most used search engine after Google, video is no longer a marketing luxury for businesses.

So how do you incorporate videos to work for your online business?

1. Testimonials

There is nothing more assuring than a real, objective person telling you how and why a product worked for them. Reach out to the customers that already love you and ask if they could put together a 30 second video testimonial if they find value in your product – and put that on your home page.

2. Education

You can find how-to videos these days on anything from online marketing to how to make a calzone. The plain fact is that people thirst for knowledge, and the best way to transmit that (aside from having a one-on-one instructor) is through a simple tutorial video. If you’re not comfortable in front of the camera, you may want to create a computer tutorial instead, using screen-capture video software. Some programs even have the ability to add captions.

3. Product Demos

This cheesy video demo for a remote car starter might not be your style (or budget), but it works. There’s a reason it has over 212,000 views! These are all people who were exposed to Viper’s branding, and they are all assured that the product isn’t a lemon. Sometimes a money-back guarantee isn’t enough – people want to actually see your product or service in action.

4. Entertainment

Sometimes you just want to show that your company has a human side – that you have a sense of humor. Recently on our staff retreat, our team ended up playing one of most challenging sports known to man: tether-ball. The sight of grown men (yes that’s me in the yellow) reduced to swinging away incompetently at an elusive ball is the kind of thing I can spare a minute to watch – and forward to a friend as well.

These are just a few ways you can start using videos for your business. If you haven’t already begun, get out there and start shooting! And, if you’ve already started using video for your business, let us know in the comments how that’s working for you!

Are You Willing to Walk the Walk?

walkThis week, Brian Chesky, the founder of Airbnb, is giving up his home to prove a point about his small business: the product works.

Airbnb is a website that helps homeowners rent out space in their homes to make extra cash. Until the end of the year, Chesky will use his company’s service to find accommodation in San Francisco, where his company is based.

While undoubtedly a great PR idea, Chesky’s move also makes a very strong statement about the effectiveness of his business. If the CEO of the company is willing to stake the roof over his head, it must work.

Now, I’m not saying that you need to become homeless or do anything quite so drastic, but consider whether there might be some way that you could make a bold statement about your product or service through your own actions.

Do you have a creative way to stand behind your product/service? Tell us how!