SEO Basics For Small Business Owners

SEO is short for “Search Engine Optimization.” It’s a collection of tactics designed to help your web pages rank better for the keyword phrases you’re targeting.

The main difference between SEO and say, Pay-Per-Click advertising, is that the visitors you receive from your listings will not cost you anything. These free listings are also called “organic listings” and there are usually ten such listings per page.

Your listings are triggered whenever someone searches for a particular term (aka keyword phrase) using a search engine. The search engine does its best to return the most relevant web pages for the search performed.

Your goal, then, is to help the search engines understand what your web page content is most relevant for. The clearer you communicate your relevance, the more likely it is that you’ll receive good search engine rankings.

Generally speaking, there are two main SEO techniques to perform to each page of your site. They are:

On Page SEO

On page optimization includes anything that is done to your actual web page. As each page is under your control, you can ensure that it is optimized for the keyword phrases you believe are most relevant to your content.

Off Page SEO

Off page SEO is more challenging as you can only control so much. Any webmaster can link where they please and if they’ve linked to your site using an undesirable bit of text, you may suffer the consequences.

However, you can control the majority of the off-page work to be done and it’s important you do. Linkbuilding is generally considered to be the most important “off page” factor and ignoring it will hamper your ability to rank well for the terms you are targeting.

SEO also needs to take place for your Google Places listing. This is an entirely different set of criteria.  To be sure that both your website and Google Places Lising are optimized, contact me for a free 15-minute consultation.  Email

Isn’t My Web Designer Supposed To SEO My Site?

This post isn’t likely to make me many friends from those in the Web Design community but you know what they say… “sometimes, the truth hurts.”

The problem is that the “left hand” generally has no idea what the “right hand” is doing and as a result, important details are left undone. In this case, the left hand represents the web designer and the right hand represents the client.

Most client’s assume that their web designer will be SEO’ing their website. Most web designers assume that the client will hire a specialist to handle the Search Engine Optimization tasks.

Do you see where this is going?

After the web designer has finished their part, they put the site live. The client reviews the work, marvels at the beauty, and makes the final payment. The problem is that the site has not been SEO’d at all and the client is completely unaware of this fact.

I’ve seen sites that have been live for years that still have “meta titles” that read, “Untitled Document.” This is a sure sign that no SEO work has even been done and the site’s traffic rankings are usually hideous.

Now, I’m not blaming the web designers of the world because I don’t think it’s their place to SEO the sites they build in the first place. I do, however, believe that they should communicate that fact with their clients. Some web designers perform basic SEO to the sites they are building and some outsource the work to a SEO Consultant.

Regardless of what is done in terms of SEO, the topic should be discussed with the client. This way, the client will understand what it is they’re paying for and will know to look for a SEO Consultant if that work isn’t being performed.

SEO Myths Video – What is Really True about SEO?

Have you heard of that TV show, Myth Busters? Well, this short video discusses three common SEO Myths and their corresponding truths.

If you need help with getting your website on Page 1 of Google, then send us an email or give us a call. We provide SEO services  and reputation management services for Wilmington NC in a face-to-face manner, but we service clients around the globe.   Call 910-233-9517  or email us at

SEO Basics Video – How to Make Your Webpage Rank in Google

Do you have a WordPress-run website or are you thinking of creating one?

WordPress is a great platform for building both blogs and websites but there a number of things you can do to improve the on-page optimization.

SEO is critical for your mobile sites as well, so be sure your web designer is getting this right.

If you need help with getting your website on Page 1 of Google, then send us an email or give us a call.

We provide SEO services for Wilmington NC in a face-to-face manner, but we service clients around the globe.   Call 910-233-9517  or email us at

SEO Terms Video – What is SEO, SERP?

Do you find SEO jargon confusing?

As Search Engine Optimization is highly technical, there are many specialized terms used when discussing this topic. As most of my clients are confused by these terms, I decided to write a blog post that explains a few of them in plain English.

WordPress SEO Basics

WordPress is a great platform for building both blogs and websites but there a number of things you can do to improve the on-page optimization.

If you only concentrate on improving three things, these top the list:


The Permalink structure controls how WordPress dynamically creates the url to your Pages and Posts and the default structure isn’t that great.

Here’s an example…

Let’s say you publish a Page named, “Contact Us.” By default, the generated url would look something like:

Do you see the “?p=2” portion after the main domain name?

That portion is called the “Permalink” and is generated dynamically by WordPress as soon as you publish the Page. The “?p=2” looks a bit strange to human visitors and doesn’t tell the search engines anything about the on-page content.

While there are a number of Permalink structure options, I prefer using the custom “/%postname%/” structure.

After making this change, the “Contact Us” Page would now get a website url structure like this:
This makes more sense for visitors and will improve the relevance for the keyword phrases contained in your Post/Page titles.

Improving Your On Page SEO

The most popular SEO Plugin for WordPress is called the “All In One SEO Pack,” by Michael Torbert.

Installing it will give you a number of benefits including:

•    The ability to control the “meta title” for your homepage and for every Page/Post you create.
•    Control over the “meta page description” for your homepage and for every Page/Post you create.
•    Control over the “meta keywords” for your homepage and for every Page/Post you create (if you’re still in the habit of entering meta keywords).

Website Performance Improvements

The “WP Super Cache” plugin, by Donncha, will help your pages load faster for visitors and search engine robots (aka bots or search engine crawlers).

How it does this is a bit technical but I will do my best to explain…

Instead of serving up the dynamic WordPress pages the plugin generates static html files. After it generates the files, your webserver will serve those files instead of the WordPress PHP scripts (which are heavier and slower loading).

As this criteria now plays a role in the search engine algorithm, you enhance your ability to rank in the SERPs.

If you need a website designed or optimized for the search engines, be sure to contact us as

We serve Wilmington NC and surrounding counties “face-to-face” but we work with clients nationwide.

What Affects My On-Page SEO?

When optimizing your site for the search engines, you should improve what is called your “on page” SEO as well as your “off page” SEO. On page SEO includes those things that can be done to your web pages to enhance their ability to rank for a particular set of terms and off page SEO (aka offsite SEO) are the techniques, like link building, that are done elsewhere.

Here are five (of the many) website factors that may affect your on page SEO:

Website Design/Coding

You may be surprised to see “web design” included in this list but it really can affect your Search Engine Optimization efforts. Here’s how:

•    Your design should look great so as to keep your visitors on your site as long as possible . (this improves what is called, “visit duration.”)
•    Your site should be well-coded and should validate with the “W3C validation tool” whenever possible.
•    Your images and coding should be optimized to be as “light” as possible. This will improve your “page load speed” and this is good for both SEO and human visitors… no one likes to needlessly wait.

Meta Title

Your “meta title” information is added to the page source (i.e. your website coding) and is displayed to visitors in the topmost portion of the browser window.

Generally speaking, your meta title should include the two-to-three keyword phrases you are optimizing the page for and be kept relatively short (i.e. about 60-80 characters max).

Meta Page Description

How much your meta page descriptions affect your SEO is up for debate but there are other benefits to writing a good meta page description as well.

As a general rule, I suggest that your meta page description read well, contain the primary keyword phrase you are targeting and be kept to no more than 156 characters, including spaces.

Most of the time, the search engines will use your meta page description text when creating your search engine listing. The more exciting the text is, the better your chances of “getting the click.”

On Page Content

They say that “content is King” but that’s not entirely true. Poorly written content, or content that is “stuffed” with keywords will do much more harm than good.

For best results, your on page content should be well-written and unique to your site. It should also be tightly focused around the 2-3 keyword phrases you are optimizing for.

That’s not to say that you should repeat your keyword phrases over and over, but that each page’s content be more focused than broad.

Your Web Page URL

If at all possible, it’s best to see that your urls include your primary keyword phrase.

For example, if you were targeting the term, “seo expert,”  it would be best if the url were something like:
As your url now includes the phrase, “seo expert,” you help the search engines better understand the relevance of your page’s content.

If you need to have a mobile or standard website designed or optimized for SEO, contact us for a free phone consultation.  We specialize in getting your small business on Page 1 of Google search results.  For web design or website SEO, email us at

We are located in Wilmington NC but handle clients internationally.

Common Search engine optimization Terms You Must Know

As a top consultant for local businesses in Wilmington, NC, we are frequently asked “what is SEO and why is it important for my website to be optimized for SEO.  If you are planning to develop a website, either a standard website or a mobile website, it is critical that they be optimized for the search engines.  This article will introduce the key terms involved in Search Engine Optimization.

As Search Engine Optimization, or SEO,  is extremely technical, there are lots of specialized terms utilized when discussing this topic. I’ll list a few of the most frequently misunderstood terms beneath, beginning with SEO/SEM (and the difference between them).


Seo stands for “Search Engine Optimization.” It is a set of methods employed by an Seo Advisor to enhance your website’s rankings within the search engines like google for a specific set of key phrases, or keyword phrases.  There will be far more on this subject later.  SEM stands for “Search Engine Marketing” and it is becoming utilized  more and more by search engine professionals. In addition to the regular Search engine optimization strategies, SEM Consultants also specialize in:

  • Creating Pay-Per-Click Campaigns on the search engine of the selection… predominantly Google, Yahoo and Bing.
  • Buying compensated “inclusions” from search engines like Google. This is paying a search engine corporation to  assure that your web-site will be included within their search results.

2)  SERPs

SERPs stands for “Search Engine Outcomes Pages.” It’s the page that’s returned when an individual conducts a search by means of a search engine. Search engine optimization techniques are used to enhance your internet page’s ranking amongst the other “organic” listings inside the SERPs with the greatest objective of growing targeted website traffic.

3)  Keyword Phrase

It is really significant when you grasp the idea on the “keyword phrase” as it is the backbone of Seo. A keyword, or keyword phrase, may be the phrase(s) entered to the search box by an world wide web consumer. Since the search engines return the internet pages they believe to become most relevant for the keyword phrase entered, it is important which you recognize the idea and do your very best to optimize your pages for the keyword phrases you would like to be discovered for.

4)  Backlinks

Finally, we will discuss backlinks. Most Seo Consultants agree that the creation of backlinks (aka hyperlinks, website link constructing, one-way links, and so forth.) that stage for your pages really should be your main objective. You need to create high quality hyperlinks, that include your targeted keyword phrases and you have to do this on an ongoing basis. Search engine optimization is not a “once and done” sort of activity, it requires continual improvement/management to be really effective.

Contact us today if your website needs help.