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What SEO Is and Why You Need it for Your Website

SEO, an acronym for “search engine optimization”, is a series of techniques used to increase the amount of visitors to a website. There are many methods in which to do this and almost as many terms to describe it. I will not take your time up in this article on the various ways to achieve SEO — the process of SEO is very extensive and warrants its own broadcast — but I will mention the importance of website optimization to you as a business owner.

First, lets look at the term “optimization” and what it means. Simply put, optimization means to make the best use of. Thus, SEO helps your website “earn its keep” for being online by directing targeted visitors to it.

Search Engines, as I am sure you know, are basically the way that internet users find what they are looking for. When your website is positioned properly on the internet, it will be found via the search engines quickly and effectively by those searching for your product, service, information, whatever it is your goals are – for your particular website.

There are literally millions of websites on the net all competing for visitors — therefore, you need to ensure your website appears at the top of the list for your particular niche so that your business will not be lost in these masses. This is not, impossible to do for those who are in the know.

Why Websites Are Important for Businesses

Nowadays, websites are an integral part of any business’ branding and marketing programs. So not having one simply because you figure no one will see it in the internet jungle is just bad business sense.

Websites are an amazing boon to 21st century business owners! They are a cost-effective, constant entity that can easily be updated with sales, specials & announcements. Websites can also be loaded with new products and services as needed, and equally important, old inventory and information can be removed instantly from the public’s eye.

Especially pleasing to businesses of all shapes and sizes, is the fact that websites can act as a storefront for those who do not have the means or the inclination to run a brick & mortar shop — or in addition to their physical stores.

Even if a business provides a service or product that cannot be accessed specifically online, websites are still the perfect branding and business fact tool. Full contact information, hours, location, mission statement, testimonials, and other distinct details about a business can be published online and accessed literally by the millions, from all over the globe! Additionally, websites can capture leads on auto-pilot, grasping your website visitors’ contact information for you to connect with them directly either on or offline.

This is unlike most other forms of business promotion such as newspaper and magazine advertising or direct mail which can convey one message, to a limited audience, and usually gets set aside and forgotten, or tossed in the recycle bin never to be seen again.

Website Ownership & Website Optimization
Must Go Hand in Hand

So now you can see why website optimization is such an important process that every business owner should employ. Both your potential clients and your current customers can make use of and benefit from your business website providing they can find it on the web.

The bottom line is — without internet traffic (visitors), websites are simply a waste of time and money.

I just entered into a partnership with a company called SEO Miracle. This gives me access to the best SEO out there, which in turn gives my clients access to the service when they to join SEO Miracle.

This new partnership allows me to deliver excellent SEO results for you. I am able to manage and monitor the work reports and rankings for my clients as well, so that I know you are being taken care of.

SEO Miracle has gotten amazing results for hundreds of competitive search terms for clients and comes highly recommended. I have found that they are the only SEO company right now that gives transparency to SEO by creating a platform for both my clients and myself, to see the work being done on my clients’ websites. Plus, there are no contracts to be locked into like so many other SEO services require.

Let’s talk further! Please fill out the form below and I will contact you to answer all of your questions regarding this essential business service.

Your Website Spokesperson

10 Easy Ways to Get Repeat Web Traffic

1. Update the pages on your website frequently. Stagnant sites can be dropped by search engines. Many website visitors never bookmark places they have visited and simply do a quick Search Engine search each time for sites they like.

Did you know? Blogs, aka “weblog”, originally came about as a method to keep websites continually active when the products and / or other content really could not be updated very often.

You can easily set up your blog to directly help your website — simply create your blog as a page or subdomain of your website so as you write and update your blog, it will be translated throughout the internet as an update to your website.

2. Encourage bookmarking of your site by your visitors. Add a link to your home page and any of your primary pages with a Book Mark Us or Add This Site / Page to Your Favorites script.

3. Ensure that each page on your website has appropriate titles so that your customers can find their way back to your site if they have bookmarked it, but lost the location of the bookmark. When they search their Bookmarks section in their browser, if you have titled your pages well, your pages will come up in the search.

4. Offer additional value on your website. For your affiliate programs and partners, you can place links to their sites and products, plus ask them to do the same for you. You can also advertise their informational or instructional eBooks or videos if these products relate to your industry, and are not in direct competition with your own product. Be sure to add “alt” tags to your ad links and graphics when possible to help your pages get indexed properly and to add to your organic seo efforts.

Did you know? The internet’s original purpose was for those in search of information.

So be sure to offer content on your website in the form of articles and tips that relate your your website’s topic as additional “value”. This not only encourages your visitors to spend more time browsing your site, and presents you and your business as an authority on the subject, it also helps the search engines pick up your webpages based on the article content. For this reason, be sure you have keyword rich written articles within your website.

5. Set up your site for visitors to be able to ‘opt in’ to get discounts and special offers. Place a link on your site that invites customers to ‘opt in’ to get a monthly newsletter, valuable coupons or other specials you can offer them such as frequent buyer rewards. Today’s modern internet technology allows you to create squeeze pages and lead capture forms quickly and easily grab your visitor’s opted-in information.

6. Add a ‘Recommend this site to a Friend’ link so that the visitor can email your website link along with a rewritten title such as: “Thought you might be interested in this” to other internet users they personally know who might also enjoy your products or services. Word of mouth is the best form of advertising.

7. Brand your website so that visitors always know they are on your site. Use consistent colors, logos and slogans and always provide a ‘Contact Us’ link on each page.

8. Create an ‘Our Policies’ page that clearly defines your philosophy and principles in dealing with your customers. When you have everything out in the open, folks browsing your site feel and know you are not hiding anything. Also by posting your Privacy Policy as well, your visitors will know how you handle their personal information if they place an order with you or sign up to your mailing list.

These actions create a trust factor between you and your potential customers. When people trust you they feel more comfortable spending their money with you. Chances are, if they are ready to shop for a product or service such as yours, they will choose your site or come back to it soon to shop.

9. Create a FAQ (frequently asked questions) page which clarifies any of the doubts and questions about your product or service, and your company, that are likely to be asked about by first-time visitors. This helps to resolve most of their doubts immediately, and arms them with information that they can then compare to other companies which are in the same business as yours. Many internet consumers shop around more than one website before making a buying decision so be sure to do everything you can to please them with products and customer service.

10. Never spam a client who has opted-in for newsletters with unsolicited emails. Later if they decide they want to ‘opt out’ of the mailings, be sure you honor their request and take them off the mailing list promptly. They may still come back if they like your products even if they are no longer on your list, but they will certainly not come back if you continue to flood their email inbox with mails they no longer wish to receive.


Hay House, Inc.


Keeping In Touch With Your Clients for Little or No Cost

Here’s a little money-saving branding / public relations tip:

Keeping in touch with your current customers occasionally and letting them know you are thinking about them is a great way for them to remember who you are.

Sending an anniversary, birthday or some other occasion card that might even relate to what your business offers is always a great idea.

Also, sending thank you cards immediately after they have received your service or purchased your product(s) is a wise gesture for the savvy business person.

The best way to do this is to mail them a note card with of course, all of your contact information in it just in case they lost or tossed out your business card or ad. Be sure to include a new business card or two or three so they can pass some along to their friends and family; and a coupon or discount of some type to encourage them to use your products or services again, preferably with a “use by” date to create a call to action with urgency. Do give them a fair amount of time, such as 30-60 days to use the discount by, otherwise you will have wasted your time and theirs.

~ * ~ ~ * ~ ~ * ~ ~ * ~ ~ * ~ ~ * ~

You CAN Contact Your Customers For FREE Too

Nowadays, we have the wonderful option of eCards. You CAN save a bit of time, money and trees using eCards for this important part of your marketing plan. They are fast, many are free, and sometimes even better than a tangible card because they can come animated with sound effects and music.

The only drawback is that you cannot include your business card in them, so you may wish to physically send a note card via Postal Mail once in a while to get your business cards redistributed.

But you can still include a discount or special offer or coupon code, just type it in the message area after your full name, business name and full website address. It will need to be short and sweet because eCards don’t usually allow much room for a lot of text. Your website should have all of your other contact information on it so no need to clutter your card’s message area with any additional contact details.

Also, be sure to preview the card after you compose your text and before you send it in case some of your text was cut off for being too wordy.

Plus some eCard sites save your email addresses to an address book to make it easy to send to the same people over and over, some send you an email confirmation when the card has been previewed and some even allow you to pick a date ahead of time to send the cards so you can stage them, or send them while the idea is fresh on your mind.

Here are a few links to several places to send free eCards to get you started. There are of course many more companies that offer eCard services, a quick Google search will present you with scores of options to choose from. They have styles and occasions for everything:

The Nature Conservancy = share your love of God’s great gift to us = Christian themed cards

Animal Rescue Site = increase awareness for homeless and abused pets

Jacqie Lawson eCards = beautiful, animated and set incredible tones and moods

Dover Books eCards = show the art enthusiast in you by sending one of these

Evite = cards, invitations and planning ideas

Have a favorite eCard company that you use regularly? Tell us about it right here in the Comments section for this post, I would love to share your business suggestions with our readers.

Wishing you affordable and effective followups! :)

Air Flight-Takeoff10


Get a Local Listing at Google Places for Free


Free local business website traffic.

Following is a useful resource you can add to your business promotion repertoire. This seems to be a little known local advertising opportunity that has big potential for businesses, especially those seeking nearby customers. Not only can businesses be found locally, but they are also rated here by customers as well. This is a wonderful resource for advertisers and consumers.

Google Places allows you to add the regular stuff like service locations and hours plus, up to 10 photos (well actually thumbnails) and even videos! Very comprehensive for a search engine listing.

Every little bit of search engine exposure does go a long way, especially when it is from Google. According to Wikipedia, Google receives several hundred million queries per day. That’s phenomenal!

And over my last decade of online business venturing I have come to realize that Google really does offer a lot for business owners and webmasters.

That is why I would like to share with you, Google Places:, one of the many great services from Google you can use — for free — to promote your business.

I hope you utilize and enjoy this resource. Please do leave your comments here if and when you use this service to let us all know how your experience is with this.

Wishing peace and success to everyone!



How to Spread the Word About Your Business

Learning the Terminology of it All

Professional Custom Web and Print Graphic Design

Hire An Experienced Business to Ensure Your Promo Materials Are High-quality and Effective

But how to make your business seen by others to accomplish this is a daunting task to most home-based and small business owners.

Whether your business is online or offline there are some basics every business owner needs to cover to get these customer$:

You need to make it:
• easy to find
• stand out in a crowd
• memorable
• easy, manageable, understandable
• attractive/pleasant/professional so that it draws in visitors who want to stay and browse and $hop

“Okay, great!” you say, “So where do I start? What works best?” The questions go on and on…

A great place to start would be to know your types of options available to spread the word about your business. Your basic list of terms to learn about as a business owner includes, but is not limited to (sorry to tell you that!):

Public Relations (PR)/Publicity

Following are descriptions of these terms to give you an understanding of the basics of the various business promotion methods available to you. It’s a good idea to include several techniques from this list, if not all, at one time or another.

Once you read this entire article you will see the light and hopefully feel positive and excited to promote your business! I encourage you to print out this article and keep it next to your appointment calendar. This will help you create a To Do list to help you address your weekly business promotion tasks & goals.

~ ~ ~

Promotion – The dictionary defines it as: 1.) the act or fact of being raised in position or rank; advancement 2.) the act of furthering the growth or development of something, especially: the furtherance of the acceptance and sale of merchandise through advertising or publicity

Promotion is the overall umbrella to all of your efforts to keep your product or service in the minds of your customers, and to gain potential new customers, clients and sales. It is an ongoing process and includes a variety of activities. This usually encompasses your overall company vs. a specific product.

~ ~ ~

Advertising -The dictionary defines this as: 1.) the action of calling something to the attention of the public especially by paid announcements

To a business owner, this means to communicate your informative, influential and persuasive message, usually focusing on one particular product or service.

This is done in the form of announcements which are the specific item chosen to promote your business and come in a variety of media such as print advertising like magazine ads or billboards, or electronic media such as banner ads. Other advertising opportunities are brochures, direct mailings or emailings, and even personal contact which would include networking. It is also television and radio commercials, which also are sometimes considered public relations.

~ ~ ~

Branding -This is defined by the dictionary as a noun: 1.) a trademark or distinctive name identifying a product or a manufacturer 2.) a distinctive category 3.) a mark indicating identity or ownership as a verb: 1.) to mark (with) to show ownership 2.) to publicize 3.) to impress firmly

Specifically for a business owner this would be to identify and differentiate one’s products or services from others by means of a name, term, symbol and/or design.

This is the public’s perception of your business. Good branding will confirm your credibility, connect your prospects to you in mind and heart, motivate them to buy and create user loyalty.

Branding should be instituted at every point of public contact. This is the cornerstone of your communication to the public, therefore it is very important to invest the time to research, define and build your brand.

~ ~ ~

Marketing – The dictionary defines this term as: 1.) the act or process of selling (or purchasing) in a market 2.) the process of promoting, selling, and distributing a product or service 3.) an aggregate (mass) of functions involved in moving goods from producer to consumer

Marketing for a business owner consists of going through the process of a variety of activities to meet the demands and needs of their targeted market thus turning their prospective customers into satisfied buyers.

Precisely, this includes such steps as market research, pricing, distribution and promotion to satisfy these objectives.

~ ~ ~

Public Relations – The dictionary defines this term as: 1.) the act of establishing and promoting a favorable relationship with the public 2.) the methods and activities employed to establish and promote a favorable relationship with the public

Publicity – This is defined in the dictionary as: 1.) the quality or state of being public 2.) an act or device designed to attract public interest; specifically: information with “news value” issued as a means of gaining public attention or support

Publicity is one of the few things that a business owner can generally receive at no cost to themselves. It is a result a business owner aims for, but cannot be guaranteed, and once achieved it has great credibility.

It is information about you, your company/business and your products or services which appears in the media. Yes, it is hearsay and testimonials, reviews and comments. The good… and unfortunately, can be the bad.

To keep your public image a positive one, always offer something for others in a pleasant, positive and professional manner.

With the advent of the internet, business owners have a wealth of resources to gain free publicity and do it quickly. From submitting articles to websites, to posting comments on blogs, plus there are forums, networking sites & groups — the list goes on. You can also get yourself profiled or interviewed relatively easily because many other website owners are always looking for new content for their own websites.

And the great thing about all these techniques on the internet is that most of them stay published for the life of the site they appear on. So eventually the search engines begin picking up on “you/your business” making you even more in the public’s view.

Some offline publicity techniques include getting interviewed by television or radio news reporters, or newspapers, magazines or other publications. Also, attracting attention by the media through public endorsement or sponsorship of others’ products or services, publicity stunts or hosting news conferences are among other ways of creating public awareness of your business. Donations, community participation, volunteering… this list goes on too.

Basically any positive thing you do in front of others, in the public’s view, is a public relations act creating publicity for you/your business.

~ ~ ~

Prior to beginning any business promotion endeavor, you need to research your market to understand the needs and wants of your prospects. Jot down notes as you think about who is buying your products and services, where will they be most likely to look for your goods, what income range are they and what are they willing to pay for your offerings.

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Make Yourself Clickable

Here’s a quickie tip that helps you get a bit more traffic to your websites:

When you send emails, post messages online, contact online help and support systems, always include your URL to your website(s) — generally after your name as part of your signature.

But make sure the URL is clickable so the viewer can get to your site instantly without any copy and pasting tedium involved.

To do this, simply include the ‘http://’ part of your URL and the ‘www.’ if that applies also.

Most online systems now a days automatically turn full URLs into clickable links. Anytime a URL is presented without the prefix characters, it will not be recognized as a URL and therefore will not automatically turn into a clickable link.

Use this everywhere you can, it’s the norm and people won’t get offended.

Welcome to My New Blog

Professional Freelance Web and Print Graphic Designer, Illustrator and Writer

I have been working in the print and web design field for over 25 years. I specialize in custom, creative and quality business promotional materials and services for businesses of all sizes and all industries. I also have a degree in Illustration and enjoy being able to actualize my image ideas through computer generated illustrations or via traditional media as each project requires. I absolutely adore Adobe Photoshop and wish I could spend nearly every waking hour creating Photoshop collages, images and effects.

My goal for this blog and ultimately for you — is to provide resources and articles to help you present your business in a professional and memorable fashion.

I will be providing a host of common sense and original, branding, advertising & marketing ideas, tips and resources to help you sustain and grow your business.

Please be sure to subscribe to this blog (see the top left hand sidebar) and also bookmark the home page. I hope and trust you will be glad you did.

And, feel free to forward the URL ( ) to your business associates, and even friends and family, who have or are working towards having, their own business.

Wishing you peace and success to you in all that you do,

Claudia Beck
Owner & Artisan
Sunflowers and Seagulls Promotional Services

Sunflowers and Seagullls Promotional Services