SEO for Small Business

Dear Professor Bruce:

We are a small business launching a new, real estate website. I want to make sure that people see it up front when they search. What do you recommend?

Search engine optimization, or SEO, is a huge part of building online awareness. And as a new business owner, you are probably inundated with email messages from various services stating that they can put you at the top of the search rankings. While it can be easy to turn this process over to one of these services, there are a few things you should be aware of according to SEO copywriting strategist, Melanie Rembrandt of Rembrandt Communications.

“SEO today is all about providing value to your customers. If you want your website to show up at the top of the search engines for specific keywords, it’s essential to create content that your customers can use and will want to tell their friends about,” Rembrandt said.

Many services will simply add keywords to your site, and you may not see the results you are looking for. Also, if you don’t understand the coding and tagging that needs to be in place on your site for the search engines, you may pay for SEO services without knowing whether or not your site is optimized accordingly.

Search engines like Google, Yahoo!, Bing and others regularly change their algorithms, or the way they search for online content. Instead of trying to write for the search engines and keep up with their changes, write for your customers. Provide valuable tips and information they can use without sales language.

Research the SEO keywords that your customers use and incorporate them into your headlines and copy. And if you are not a writer, look into hiring an SEO copywriter to help you. This person can provide interesting content with the appropriate SEO keywords, links and coding. Plus, your SEO copywriting expert will be able to provide you with reports on what is working and what isn’t so you can get the best results possible in your SEO efforts — and save time and money in the process.

Rather than just using the “easy” SEO software service everyone seems to be using, conduct some research. In addition to helping you get to the top of online search results, an experienced SEO copywriter (hired specifically for your needs) can help you provide valuable information to potential customers on your website and use the SEO copy to create email campaigns, newsletters, white papers, and more to increase sales.

SEO is not just about getting to the top of the search engines with special keywords and coding; it’s about giving your customers the information and content they want any time, anywhere.

For further information, please visit


(Bruce Freeman is president of Proline Communications and co-author of “Birthing the Elephant.” He teaches at Seton Hall and Kean universities. Email Follow Bruce on Twitter @SmallBizProf and his Facebook page.)



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