For small businesses looking to generate more leads and sales, the Internet is a virtual goldmine. Billions of dollars change hands each year online. The Internet has made shopping for goods and services as easy as the click of a mouse, which is why savvy business owners are learning how to use basic search engine optimization (SEO) strategies to help their website get the online exposure necessary to succeed in today’s competitive market.

With a little time and energy, a business’s website can rise to the top and eventually dominate their market using proven SEO techniques that can garner more traffic and set a business apart from competitors.

Here are three such techniques:

1. Use WordPress. Any SEO industry insider knows that WordPress is the best platform for setting up a website. With its clean coding and up-to-date programming, WordPress is the platform of choice for those hoping to rank a website in Google. If you are just starting, build your new website using WordPress. If you have an existing, established website, consider moving it to WordPress.

2. Use a URL that Includes your Targeted Keyword. The first step toward a high rank in the major search engines is having your keyword in your URL. Many business owners spend time developing catchy names and then buy their URL with the name in it. That’s fine for companies with large marketing budgets, but small business owners operating on a limited budget will get better results by choosing a simple URL with their keyword in it. If you already have an established website, consider redirecting the traffic from a “keyword-friendly” URL to your established site.

3. Blog Often. There are two major benefits to blogging. First of all, Google loves content and filling up your pages with lots of great content ensures that Google will come back to your site again and again. This helps get each page of your site indexed. In addition, each time you write a new blog post, you give your business another chance of being found by potential customers interested in your product or service. Be creative and write lots of good, quality content so that people can find you. It may take time, but eventually you will slowly gain followers and generate more traffic over time.

 

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If you spend any time on Twitter, you know that the micro-blogging giant has had a busy few months launching a redesign, an open-source Android security tech, and Tweetdeck as a Web-based application. Now Twitter is offering a new way to make your website or blog more interactive with easy-to-embed tweets.

This new feature will allow your website visitors to interact with embedded tweets, as well as view certain details, such as replies and retweets. This new feature can improve your small business website or blog, with just a minimal amount of coding.

One exciting feature of this new service is that any tweets with a photo will embed that photo within any text in the tweet, as long as the picture was uploaded to pic.twitter.com. Photos uploaded using any other service won’t work.

The New Twitter

Twitter has changed dramatically. Icons for “home,” “connect,” and “discover” are now at the top left of your profile, if you have the new design. If your account isn’t yet active on the new Twitter design, be aware that you won’t be able to get the code to embed tweets.

If your Twitter profile doesn’t have any of the new features listed above, be patient, as the new version of Twitter.com is still in progress. If you have downloaded the new version for your Android or iPhone, you will get earlier access to the new Twitter when logging in on your PC.

Embedding Code and Finding the Permalink

If you’re already using the new Twitter design, then you’re ready to roll.

To get the code, go to your tweet’s permalink page. The permalink is hidden within the timestamp on the tweet. Click the timestamp and you’re there. On your Tweet’s permalink page you have to click on “Embed This Tweet,” copy and paste the code into your website or blog, and you’re done.

Embedded Tweets Make Your Content Permanent

Now, more than ever, you have to think before you tweet. While people once could take a screenshot of an incriminating tweet and post it to a website, they now have the option of embedding tweets as well. Deleting a tweet does not make the tweet go away if it has been embedded in a website or blog.

On the positive side, permanent content is essential to search engine optimization (SEO).

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If you are reading this article, you probably already have a website for your business.

This is good news because it means that your website already allows access from any mobile device that has a web browser. The bad news is that your site probably looks pretty bad on most mobile devices.

Just like the need for business websites exploded after the Internet revolution of the late 1990s, most businesses are realizing that more people are using their mobile devices to access information and make purchases of goods and services online.

If your website isn’t mobile ready, you are not getting the traffic you deserve. For example, websites that are not optimized for mobile use typically load more slowly when accessed using a mobile device. Also, the content on your page is probably too small to read. These are the types of things that will turn a mobile visitor off and send them searching elsewhere for the product or service that you offer.

In fact, a recent survey found that nearly 40% of respondents passed over a company as a result of a bad mobile experience, yet most businesses still haven’t optimized their sites for mobile.

According to Google, only 21% of its advertisers had launched mobile versions of their websites as of early 2011.

The thing to recognize, however, is that optimizing a website for mobile or creating a new mobile site from scratch isn’t really that big of a deal, especially since Google has stepped in to help out. Recently, Google launched GoMo (www.howtogomo.com), an initiative aimed at helping businesses go mobile. The website offers information about going mobile and also includes a feature that lets you see how your current site looks on mobile devices.

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