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In January 2009 a woman told me: "You will write a book which will be published on a specific day ". This woman is gifted with the Christian gift of prophesy. I thought I would write a spiritual book and definitely not a book on the topic of SEO.

I guess you can deduct that this is going to be a different kind of SEO book. How do you keep busy small medium business owners engaged on such a well-researched, boring and digitally well documented topic?

A website would be a better platform to discuss SEO since you can embed videos. But when God is on your side why not go BIG!? This book will have a live Web version on the website www.kwikwaponline.co.za.

I have been assisting small and medium business owners since 2007 to get their business websites on page 1 of Google. I have been consulting since 1993 in the small medium business environment as an accountant, qualifying in 1997, thereafter running my own accounting firm. I know the business environment I am operating in.

Why would a highly qualified accountant become a small business website designer? (You have to read my second book to find the complete answer!cool)

How do you write a good book? How do you develop an excellent website?

You take that which makes you unique, all which you have experienced in life, and you present that to the outside world. You give your best, you give your best knowledge... that which you know best. That what differentiates you and makes you the specialist in the field in which you operate in. (And you try doing both at the same time!)

I was approached less than two months ago to write this book and at the same time I started with the website: www.kwikwaponline.co.za - as if the pressure of releasing a book on a specific date is not difficult enough! (The website was started on 27 January 2014.)

The last two months has been a very positive life changing experience for me. I don't know if I am onto a best seller here. What I do know is that it has changed my life completely and it has a whole lot to do with the topic of SEO. Those topics of SEO, relevant to small and medium business owners like you.

You see I am also a small medium business owner myself. SEO is important for my own business websites as well. I also battle with the same resource problems many business owners are faced with. That of not having enough time and or money to achieve what we know we should be achieving and more specifically what we are supposed to be achieving with our websites.

I have now identified the nr 1 relevant SEO problem for many small medium business owners.

The problem of not having enough time and or money to pay proper attention to your website.

Please enjoy my book and see how you can make more money and how you can find more hours in the day to successfully run a small medium business and perhaps grow it into a big business. It has everything to do with relevant SEO.


To understand SEO there is some terminology which needs to be understood first.

Search Engine:

A search engine is a website like Google, Yahoo and Bing. These websites have changed the way people search for things. People no longer use the yellow pages to search for things, they visit their favorite search engine to search for businesses like yours. Search engines writes programs and formulas (algorithms) to determine which web pages provide the best information.

Webpage:

A webpage refers to an individual page on a website. Each page of a website has a unique URL (Page address).

Website:

A Website is made up of individual web pages. A typical small business websites consist of the following web pages. (Home page, about us page, a couple (or hundreds of) products and services pages, FAQs pages, newsletter / blog pages, photo galleries, links pages.)

CMS:

CMS is an acronym for Content Management System. A Website + CMS allows the website owner to update the individual web pages of their website, the individual pages which makes up a complete website. Technological advances have made content management systems easy to use and affordable. Kids in primary school are now using tablets for learning. Wozaonline have already signed up more than 25,000 small South African businesses. Business owners are migrating to Websites with a CMS. (CMS Websites).

Robots and Spiders:

Robots and spiders are programs used by search engines to crawl through the internet which consists of many billions of individual pages.

URL:

URL is an acronym for Uniform Resource Locator and refers to a specific page address on the internet. There is only one webpage for each individual URL.

Links:

Links is important for the robots and spiders to function. They start off with a few individual webpages and follow the links on those pages and then follow the links on those pages and so one. Without links search engines would not be able to function. Website owners decide to which pages they want to link. On the website www.kwikwaponline.co.za I have for example linked to pages I feel would provide valuable further reading on the subject of SEO for small and medium businesses. I can link to a website's general home page or target a specific URL / a specific page or section of an "outside" website. These links are called outbound links.

Link Anchor Text:

The text which I have used to describe the links are my description of the links.

Backlinks / Inbound links

Backlinks or Inbound links are links coming into your website form other websites.

Page rank

The founders of Google, Larry Page and Sergy Brin, invented Page Rank. They rate a website according to the numbers of backlinks and more importantly the quality of those backlinks, considering the anchor text of those back links as well. Page rank is an important part of SEO and it is done off your website. (Off-site SEO)

On-site / Off-site SEO

For the bulk of small and medium business owners On-site SEO would be the prime strategy when doing search engine optimization.

SEO

SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimization and it involves things you can do on your websites as well as things which happen off your website. By linking your business Facebook page, your Google+ account to your website you are busy with off-site SEO. By working on quality content on your website, you are busy with on-site SEO. If you get the on-site SEO right you are more likely to succeed with off-site SEO. People will regard you as a quality resource on a specific subject and will link their websites to your website. The more important those people and websites are, the higher the value search engines place on the inbound link. It is similar to publishing a book and getting an endorsement by a respected well known person, or similar to producing a movie and mentioning in the press or on the DVD cover, what the New York Times said about the movie. That's how search engines see it.

Google+

Google+ is another way people can give your website a thumbs up. It is also considered by Google as an indication of the importance of your website or of a specific page on your website.

Irrelevant SEO

Making sure your website is crawlable, ensuring the correct Meta tag descriptions are being used at the right places, are some of the irrelevant SEO factors for small medium business owners as it is up to skilled professional programmers and coders developing CMS websites to make sure that these things are in place when designing the architecture of your CMS Website.

They are no less important though and it is important to discuss these factors with the web design company you engage with. Web design companies typically employs specialist PHP developers and HTML specialist. You do not need to know details about what this entails but to ask your web design company for examples of their clients on page 1 of Google.

Algorithms

The programs and formulas used by search engines to ask questions are called algorithms. There are more than 200 of them. These change on a daily basis. +- 2 per day at Google in 2013 alone. Whenever there are major changes being implemented it is given a name like Panda, Penguin and Humming Bird. These major changes can see a website drop from nr 1 to number 1000 quite quickly, like when Google recently started penalizing websites with a large number of low quality inbound links, whether the website owner was responsible for this or not.

Black- and white hat SEO

Trying to cheat search engines with practices such as keyword stuffing, hiding website text from humans but not the search engines or being involved with a low quality link building schemes are called black hat SEO. Getting caught with black hat SEO will see you being removed from the index of search engines completely. White hat SEO refers to the process of giving search engines what they want. It involves an ongoing process of adding fresh and relevant content, not duplicated information and definitely not information copied from another website. Search engines like Google fight black hat SEO and they are a company valued at +- 370 Billion dollars. They have the resources to perfect their programs and formulas and the popularity of black hat SEO is dwindling.

White hat SEO seeks rewards on the longer term which is lasting. It is the way to go.

SEO experts

SEO experts studies all of the aforementioned constantly. Considering that Google is only 15 years old in 2014 and that things change quickly, it is a daunting task, but it is a lucrative profession. Having your business website on page 1 of Google means big business for both small, medium and large corporate businesses. Whilst there are great informative websites on the subject of SEO owned and ran by the best in the industry they usually target and service big corporate businesses or the upper section of medium business. Your average small and medium business will not be able to afford the services offered by these companies, let alone a small medium South African business having to pay in Rand for these services.

The big corporate Web Design and SEO companies employs or contracts a considerable number of skilled individuals as they target big corporate clients.

Typically a small South African web designer does it all himself. Not only the web designing part (production) but also his own little business' admin, sales and marketing. Considering the web designing part comprises of graphic design, coding and programming then you understand why traditionally web design has been very expensive, out of reach for the average small business owner in South Africa.

We now have affordable turnkey CMS web design and development solutions which has changed the web design landscape in South Africa forever.

Crawlable

Before a search engine can index you in their index they first need to be able to read the text on your website. They cannot read text on Images and battle with flash. Website text is better read than text on word documents uploaded to websites. Word documents are better read than PDF documents. It is better therefore to write your newsletter/blog as website text and not PDF.

Time = money

For most small medium business owners time = money. To engage on an extensive self-help SEO learning course by sifting through all the information available on the internet will be a very costly exercise.  We do recommend further reading and on the website www.kwikwaponline.co.za we will link to other useful resources. You will encounter many irrelevant information on the subject of SEO and you will probably want to give up. Still today, even getting a website off the ground is halted by the lack of time and or money.

A lot of time is wasted on free resources like Facebook and free website builders like Wozaonline and Wix. These will be discussed in more detail in this book but the short version is that I hardly ever encounter these websites on page 1 of Google plus there is little human support.

I hope that this information and rest of this book will make understanding the internet, SEO and developing a sound Website development plan for your business a lot easier and more affordable.

I recommend that you watch the following video on YouTube to have a great understanding on how search works:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNHR6IQJGZs

Social Media Marketing

Social Media includes platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pininterest and Instagram among others.

Using these platforms to market your products and services is called Social Media Marketing.

These platforms need to offer a return on investment ROI to their shareholders so they want you to pay to advertise on their platforms.

They allow a certain amount of free advertising or benefits but they are moving to limit those free benefits so that in the end you are gently forced to consider advertising with them.

LinkedIn is a professional online network and can be a valuable tool for professional business networking.

Activity on Social Media has become important indicators for search engines as to the importance or ran of your website, similar to Backlinks.


Perhaps the first and most Relevant SEO fact for a small and medium business, any business for that matter, is to appoint the right Web Designer or Web Design Company in the first place.

Here are some basic questions you should ask:

  • Can you show me some examples of your work?
  • Can you demonstrate these websites being found on page 1 of Google for organic or natural search terms?
  • Can you supply references, client testimonies of actual current clients?
  • Will you be able to add content yourself or will you have to pay them to do the changes?
  • How long is your average turnaround time for the initial design as well as the weekly updates?
  • Can you supply me with a standard service level agreement or client charter?
  • How long have you been in business?
  • Where will my website be hosted?
  • Will my website be mobile friendly?
  • Does your quoted price include training?
  • Where and when will the training take place?
  • Will you build me a little demo website for free and let me play around with the CMS software to see if it is really as user friendly as you say?
  • Will I be compelled to host with your company and what are the monthly costs?
  • Does your company offer technical support 24/7?
  • What free training or paid training do you offer?
  • Will you include a sitemap in your design?
  • Will my website be Ecommerce enabled?
  • How often will the sitemap be submitted?
  • To which search engines will you be submitting sitemaps?
  • Will you assist in registering me with Google Webmaster and Google Analytics?
  • How will I be able to accurately measure the success of my website in terms of SEO?

The initial price is often greatly influenced by the initial required graphics and possibly photographs and assistance with website copywriting.

And nothing so far has been said about SEO consulting with an SEO expert!

Often at the initial design and development stages, first time small and medium business owners are so obsessed with the initial design that little or no regard is given how this website will be found by search engines and the web designer is happy to oblige and satisfy their Project Manager, the client. After all the client has signed the contract and paid the deposit.

Eventually those kinds of clients realize that their website is useless and they cancel their hosting contract blaming all but themselves for a failed expensive web design project.

When engaging new clients I immediately try and gain the unofficial position of Website Project Manager because I know the wrong approach will lead to SEO failure. Hopefully you bought this book because SEO is important for you.

Analyze the various quotes in the following way:

Initial costs:

Component

Company A

Company B

Company C

 

 

 

 

Graphic Design*

 

 

 

Website Design*
(Coding, Programming, Mobile Friendly)

 

 

 

Training on CMS of website

 

 

 

Website copywriting

 

 

 

Photographs

 

 

 

Any extras?

 

 

 

* These elements are always needed to start of any web design project. The rest are nice to haves but should be easy to be added later. The rest of the elements can be supplied by you the business owner. 

Tip 1:

When considering good quality content for your website do as I have done in this section. Give advice on how to select someone in your industry. Write down a checklist as I have done above. Use those questions and your answers to develop the Frequently Asked Question section on your website. (FAQ’s).

Tip 2:

Do not forget to ask for examples of client’s websites being found and the price of each example shown to you. That way you will be comparing apples with apples.


Looking back to when I started with the EBook (30 January 2014) I found the blog entry where I outlined this proposed E Book. Obviously for SEO benefits I did it on my website www.buddywebdesign.co.za.

After outlining the idea I asked some friends and experts to comment, to see if I have not missed anything. I got some valuable feedback.

You can do the same with your website and SEO. You can go around the internet, join forums and discussions and ask people to comment on your website. Google Webmaster has one such forum. There are plenty of people out there who will be willing to give free advice on your website and on the topic of SEO.

Here is that blog entry for that day:

“Somehow I got myself under huge pressure to produce an E Book for an online business building event. The idea is that you give away a valuable product (knowledge) when someone Pot’s into your mailing list. (You will then increase your potential client data base). It was somehow decided that the topic I should write about be SEO. (Search Engine Optimizations). Web Designers, Programmers, and SEO experts have a different viewpoint on what exactly SEO is to their average client, the man on the street.

They, the web design client, simply want their Website to look good and appear on the first page of Google. That's it. That is what SEO means to them.

I found this informative video on the subject of SEO on the Internet last night. (I like the video bar for the fact that the guy spends a little bit too much time at the beginning marketing his company. We all do the same in the industry since some clients actually think and ask you to show you your own results. The video is long but quite informative.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t7RzFyzU9F4

I have helped many people get business from the Internet by having their Website found by search engines so I must be some sort of an SEO expert in theory.

Have a look at my own short YouTube video (Uploaded nearly 4 years ago -):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KYIUmb-S7eg

The video must be undeniable proof that I have been right and have not changed my story for at least the last 4 years on the subject of the importance of having an up to date Website with relevant content.

In a way I am dreading the idea of putting together this book for various reasons. There is very little time, have no one on standby to proof read etc. But the real reason being that I speak to people every day on how to get good results. I train people every day. And I find the following every day:

“The McDonalds Burger Consumer”

Sadly with a lot of web design clients it is a case of:" I want to see results now, I want it cheap and without effort” - much like getting a Burger at McDonalds. There has been such an option for SEO but only ten time times worse for your health than a Burger. There are companies out there that offer Black Hat schemes where you pay a low amount and they do a massive amount of back linking to your Website. Those results were immediate, yet short lived and now those Website are being penalized by Google. There is an option to ask Google to disavow those back links but it is a time consuming process. Guess who is offering to provide these services? The same people who sold them in the first place!

A lot of people I encounter think that there must be some kind of secret and that the scenario I described above is what SEO is.

My book will be aimed at the typical lazy, and not so lazy but busy, business owner I encounter every day. The plumber, the dentist, the restaurant owner, the accountant etc. My typical customer does not have the time for too much technical jargon. I will only lose the web design deal in the first place if I get too technical with clients. But for those who want to know I will include the most relevant technical current information.

SEO changes quickly and the information becomes outdated. I basically have 3 weeks from start to finish. The big plus is that the information I compile will all be up to date and relevant.

But the book will contain relevant SEO facts. Relevant for the typical small and medium Southern African Business owner. The typical small and medium business owner will never have the time to get involved with the technical stuff so it will be excluded. That's why programmers will still have a job. So what's left? Not a lot and a lot! Only the book will fully explain.

But here is a short list of relevant SEO facts small business owners should know. (These will form the basis of the E Book I am compiling). My business associates do not know it yet but the E Book will first be made available for free on a Website for SEO purposes. Free while I am creating the different chapters. I would be the most stupid person on the whole planet to spend time sharing knowledge and experience on the subject of relevant SEO and not to use the information on my own Website for my own benefit of creating web traffic.

I have now let you in on the biggest secret of SEO. It should not be a secret but to the ignorant it is.

SEO is mostly about CONTENT.

Imagine Google being a person and being able to read all the books in the world which gets submitted to it. All the books in the world with all the different chapters and different topics. Imagine all the books get edited and republished on a daily basis yet Google keeps up with the knowledge out there and the edited versions.

Like a super human librarian, whose actually read all the books and not just the index cards (hope my audience still remembers what a librarian used to be), the super librarian will be able to point you in the he right direction when you require information on a certain topic.

This super human librarian will get less people asking for help if he or she does not point the visitor to the library to the right book or piece of information. But our librarian has a trick up her sleeve.

She will often recommend a few alternative books to the best books. They are not the best books but they are paying the librarian for each time a customer picks it up and looks at it.

(I have been describing an analogy of How Google Search works and the PPC (Pay per Click) revenue system of Google.)

Here is Google explaining How Search Works (My favorite video on the topic and used in nearly every session with a new client)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNHR6IQJGZs

Topics I want to cover in my book:

General:

Budget and plan for SEO (Regular content creation and review)

Google paid advertisements:

How it works, how to look at the cost of advertising with Google versus the cost of traditional advertising / employing sales people. Where to go for that service.

Important technical stuff clients should check this with their web design companies:

  • Websites should be mobile friendly
  • Websites should be crawlable
  • Sitemaps should be submitted
  • Website Servers should be accessible at all times

Things clients should do themselves:

The blog should be on their website
Do not use duplicated text
Use videos
Use images
Research (Google and have a look at your competitions websites)
Use Google Webmaster or ask your web designer do it for you
Consider professional copy writing
Be unique
Be bilingual
Avoid Black Hat technique's (Keyword Stuffing; Hidden text)
Quality photographs but more importantly text
Importance of URL
Use of Keywords in Titles
Importance of Home Page and About us text

Tips for creating content with examples:

Information in emails
Asking who, what, when, how, why, where + guarantees
what makes you unique (Location, skill) and focusing on that

Importance of Social Media and other:

Google Places
Google +'s anticipated rise in importance
Facebook, Twitter, Linked In , Pin interest and integrating Social Media with your website

I will be editing this list and start forwarding this to industry experts and ask for comments below so as to make sure I cover the most relevant topics. Relevant for the typical small, medium business owner in South and Southern Africa. ”

Now you have an insight look at the mind of one web designer talking to another web designer.

And here is the replies I got from friends and experts:

 

Comments

Add Your Comment 

Shane Crause
2014-01-30 12:34:36  

Hi After scanning over your page one thing that is highly important now days and that will get you ranked higher much quicker is to add your business to google places, it does influence your seo/rankings. If I think of anything that is imperative I will let you know. Regards Shane Crause Technical Department PHP Developer  

 

Francois Marais
2014-01-30 10:57:44  

Thanks Alfred for that valuable input. The share buttons are at the top. I will included your suggestions thanks. Great point actually!  

 

Alfred Schmid
2014-01-30 10:44:03  

Hi Francois Well done. I would like to add the importance of naming the videos/pictures the correct name also a weekly newsletter is of high importance as the content is directly related to the actual business. I see a lot of my clients spend a huge anmount of time on facebook/twitter/linkedin etc. I tell my clients to rather have all that content on the website and then share it with our share button option it will save lots of time to maintain this social medias. By the way I see your share buttons on your website is not activated Regards Alfred  “

 

Tip 1:

Ask experts on the internet to give advice and comment on your website and SEO. You might get some quick, good free advice!

Tip 2:

By enabling comments on your newsletter / blog or on other places on your website you are getting help from other people to add content to your website. More on generating content in this EBook.

Tip 3:

After having written that blog entry I also asked a few of my friends on Facebook to comment. They are
reminded every now and then that I am an expert at what I do. I have done a lot of business with friends from the past, many of whom I have connected with trough Facebook. They and their friends do notice my website. Lately I am very careful not to target or spam my Facebook friends with business related ideas. It is just not cool. But even though I have been extremely busy with the new website www.kwikwaponline.co.za and this EBook I have still been getting new clients. When I am done with this EBook I will give it away to friends and ask that they share it with friends who might need some good SEO advice. But I prefer to do it one by one. Facebook is about online relationships and I am careful not to forget that.


Websites are great time savers and as we have seen that for the small and medium business owner, time means money, it is important to consider how a website can save you time. It is also important to remember that your client or website visitor is not the search engines but hopefully potential buying clients.

In 2006 I was employed as the Financial Manager of a bread factory, a FMCG company, (Fast Moving Consumer Goods) namely Blue Ribbon Bakeries in Middelburg, Mpumalanga.

We produced bread on such a large scale that we were making it near impossible for small bakeries to exist. When dealing with FMCG you better have your systems in place. (Large companies usually have departments like Sales, Productions, General Management, Maintenance, HR, and Transport and of course Admin and Finance all having to cope with a 24/7 operation)

The sales people are usually the most loved people in the company because without sales you will not have a need for the other departments. Consider your website as a 24/7 sales department and you will know just how important component of your small medium business it should be.

The website www.kwikwaponline.co.za is being developed at the same time off writing this book. I am also a Franchise Holder of Kwikwap South Africa and I need to appoint and deal with new sales people, website CMS trainers, general training issues, web designers, and clients among others.

We are now producing websites on factory scale with the associate cost benefits for the South African consumer.

How then can a website save you time?

There are a number of ways:

  • You do not need to email a company profile every time you want to quote for a specific project.
  • Prospective clients should be able to get enough information from your website to the point of buying.
  • You can have training material for clients and people within your organization to use. (The specific purpose of www.kwikwaponline.co.za).
  • Your goods can be ordered and paid for online while you are sleeping.
  • If you have a clear policy on price you do not need to quote individually each time someone shows a possible interest in your business.
  • You can use your website to get feedback from clients and staff by using forms and surveys.
  • You can use your newsletter to stay in touch with potential clients and not need to phone a potential client every second day thereby managing a large number of potential leads at any given time without giving it thought. (A fresh newsletter / blog is a great tool for generating fresh content for your website one of the most effective and important on-site SEO activities.
  • You can have a recruitment section on your website and have potential employees complete application forms online.

A small medium business owner needs to work hard but also smart.

Here are some more benefits of investing serious time in your web design and development project:

Working towards a good informative website will force you to think strategically about your business like you would do when doing a business plan. It forces you to put pen to paper. You will more carefully consider who you are, who your target market is and what products will you be selling / producing. Small businesses who figure that out early on in business are generally more focused and productive and avoid time wasting exercises.

You can have a member section to your company website where you upload important company policy documents which you do not necessarily wish to share with clients but make it accessible to staff.

You can use your website as a tool for gathering and sorting important press releases, documents applicable to your industry like business owners in the Auditing and Accounting industry would do with policy and press releases from SARS and SAIPA. Now everyone in the company and clients will have an easy to find place important documents.

You can use your website to have people make bookings online if you are a mechanic or dentist.

Prospective new clients can be guided into downloading and completing important information before visiting you. Medical doctors are known for those general forms their patients have to complete on first consultations.

Specialist medical doctors can have valuable information on their website for referring general practioners.

These principles apply to almost any small and medium business and their business website. You do not want to receive phone calls from the wrong customers who take up your time. A website should show the wrong customers they are at the wrong place and the right customer that he is at the right place.

Initially a website will take up your time but in time your website will start working for you and not you working for the website.

It is important to consider these factors when considering the content for your website. Consider the practical use of the information by potential customers and employees. Forget SEO for a moment. You will be practicing white hat SEO 100% when you follow these principles.

Maybe the best advice for any small, medium business owner looking for advice on SEO is to completely forget about SEO.

Getting your website on the first page of Google is not everything in life. It can be valuable yes.

The term SEO in itself is a mechanical, engineering word. Search Engine Optimization. It does not sound natural at all.

Google is only 15 years old yet it is valued at over 370 billion dollars at the time of writing. Yes Google has replaced the librarian but essentially still plays librarian. She offers you, in her mind, the best possible information on a subject you were searching for while at the same time presenting you with alternative answers you could consider as well. That is a little biased in itself isn't it?

Getting your website to page 1 of Google without paying is possible yes.

There are two different things to consider: Things you can do on your website and secondly things you can do off your website like ask another website, preferably a popular website to add a link on their website to your website. (On-site, Off-site SEO).

Sounds fancy these words.

You will be forced to clearly define and think about your business model and the image you want to portray to the outside world. You do not need SEO for people to find your website. You can market your website with your business card or with a brochure.

A good SEO idea is to write a regular newsletter. Forget about the SEO benefits. Completely forget about using certain keywords an x number of times. Your website will be read by some of your potential customers and they are the ones you need to cater for. I use my newsletter once a month to remind people who have shown interest in my services of me. I write to my potential clients. When a client signs up I remove him from the Buddy Web Design mailing list. (The smaller my mailing list the better, the less chance of my emails ending up in a Spam filter.)

The monthly newsletter forms part of my website content but before someone reads it on my website, a real valuable possible client is reading it in his email inbox. For me it is a practical way of staying in touch with prospective clients. I tend to concentrate when writing those monthly newsletters so the content generally seems to be good. Good in terms of SEO namely, fresh and relevant!

I get asked the same questions by possible clients on a daily basis and my websites, like www.kwikwaponline.co.za serves the purpose of answering those frequently asked questions. I often simply email someone something which has been explained on that website. The knowledge base will be expanded as we get the questions.

 A website forces you to have one policy regarding price. That helps when people request a quote from you.

You don't have to think on the answer but simply refer them to your website.

If there is one term which does more harm than good, it is that of "Web Designer". Being successful on the internet requires a lot more than designing. Assuming you found the right Web Design Company as discussed in previous chapter, you will need to regularly schedule future appointments or checkups, just like you would do with your dentist or with your accountant. Getting a website is not a once of process. Doing it yourself with free resources like Wozaonline will lead to failure. Simply visit www.wozaonline.co.za and see what the websites look like in the first place. Secondly almost all of those websites have fundamental errors. And thirdly, do you really want the outside world to know that you are too cheap to pay for a
website? You need to schedule future appointments with your Web expert.

At the outset of the web design project it is a good idea to automatically schedule future follow up visits and consultations with your web designer. Ask your web designer to register your website with Google Webmaster Tools and / or Google Analytics and to give you access to it yourself.It is important that registering with Google Webmaster and Google Analytics is done at the initial design stages, soon after launching the new website with its own domain.

You will most likely get busy with your normal business activities and you will most likely forget about your website until you either start getting business from the website and get excited about that or when your business quiets down and you start wondering why your website is not working.

Agree with your Web Designer or Web Development Project Manager to meet at future dates where you will meet and analyses the actual results of your website using the free analytical tools provided by Google. Agree with your web designer on a specific fee for these ad hoc or scheduled consultations.

This will enable you to revisit and make changes to your website or to reconsider your website's marketing strategy. Your Web Expert, call him your Web Designer or Web Development Project Manager will be keen to assist and will remind you of upcoming appointments as he will know that there is a consultation fee waiting for him.

You should be happy if your Web Expert arrives in a new Mercedez and if he remembers to pitch for your appointment. If you chose the cheapest quote you are more than likely to find in the future that your web designer conveniently forgets the appointment or that he has closed shop. I have seen some web designers complaining of not having airtime or fuel for the ride or the car broke down. (I was that web designer when I started out!)

You could also start using Google Webmaster and Google Analytics from day 1. It is not that difficult to master. Alternatively you should ask for frequent reports from these tools if your CMS software does not automatically give you these reports.

Tip:

There are easier ways to measure the success of your website earlier and without much technical fanfare. Simply Google for a few search terms you would like to be found for and see if your website appears. Do that with variants of the search terms you want to be found for. (Remember it takes time for Google to index your web pages and it is not guaranteed that Google index your content or keep it on their index - Prime reason most always being: Useless, outdated or duplicated information)


When setting out with a new web design and development project or when you are considering to revamp your website with the purpose of improving SEO do the following:

Write down a list of words or phrases you would like to be found for when people search the internet. These words or phrases are known as keywords.

These words or phrases should be descriptive of your business.

Google has started using predictive text when you start searching for things!

For example when I type in "keyword" in the search bar Google predicts the following words:

Keyword tool
Keyword planner
Keyword research tool
Keyword research

The average small and medium business owner will not have the time to do this research. In my opinion once you become too technical you also become too mechanical. You either work slow or you end up paying someone a lot of money to work slowly on your behalf.

Once you have finished reading this EBook I recommend that you do just this on any topic covered in this EBook you want to know more off. Search Engines sometimes even intervene manually when it comes to ranking Websites. If there is one area of which they will really be interested in it is those websites that discuss them. Websites that provide the best advice on SEO. Websites that promotes good SEO practices.

Be the SEO expert!

Let me tell you quickly where we are heading with this book. You are unique. You are probably one of few businesses in that city or town, quite possibly one of only three in a certain suburb, definitely the only business at a specific address. There is definitely only one you. There must be things which makes your business unique which is easy to summarize. That is the least information you should provide Search Engines via your website to be found by at least one or two customers on Search Engines. Maybe you are a dentist specializing in the fields of Root Canals. That makes you even more unique. If you are new and starting out with your Dentistry practice you will be keen to get new clients. Sometime somewhere tonight someone is in serious pain suffering from a terrible Root Canal and they will be searching for things like "Emergency Root Canal Treatment Pretoria" They could be on holiday and only have a cellphone on which they search.

I know nothing about emergency root canal treatment. You the Dentist knows best. Advances in software technology have made technology cheaper and easier. There are cheap software available. If it is so easy to open a Facebook profile, create a Facebook Page and hit the update button then why should this process of web developing be so difficult. Spend a little time and finish reading this book. Apply the knowledge gained and get started on your website or improve it. Use the free resources available at Google Webmaster.

You will soon become the SEO expert in your relevant field of business. You the business owner. All we need is for you to take that specialist knowledge and give it to us via your website following some guidelines. No one else is really interested in your business or as passionate about your business as you are. No one has all the knowledge you have.

Using those same keywords you want to be found for within your website text is important and should be common sense... You cannot expect to be found for a search term like "Cape Town Web Designer" if these words do not appear in your website text. More about the most common SEO mistakes people make later.

After writing down the list Google for those search terms. Look at the websites appearing on page 1 and 2 of Search Results. You will be looking at the websites owned by your competition. (Or owned by directories where your competition is listed. You may even be listed on those directories. Directories are popular in the tourism and accommodation industry and a nightmare for a small guesthouse owner in terms of SEO. Often you are forced to list your website on those directories. In South Africa we have Where to stay and Safari Now. Listing on these directories is an alternative to your own websites SEO as a marketing strategy or it can be used simultaneously.) More about alternative marketing techniques later. 

You will also notice that some of your competition advertises on Google. Why are they doing it? Because it works. A new Guesthouse owner asked me yesterday how much should she spend on Google Adverts. I replied to her that it is going to cost her a whole lot more if she does not advertise with Google. More about advertising with Google or other Search Engines later.

Spend a bit of time studying these websites and take note of the different sections you see on their website. Bookmark your favorite websites. Do not consider blindly copying their website text. That practice is seriously frowned upon by Search Engines.

Take your notes with when you meet your new Web Designer. It makes it easier for Web Designers and Graphic Designers to know what you are looking for in terms of design, the industry you work in etc. You can now start working on the copy writing for some of the most basic sections of any website. This is discussed in the following section.


There is a price in life for everything we do. Life is a tradeoff. If we work too hard and neglect our families we might end up successful in business but fail in our personal life. The time spend compiling this EBook means less time spend on my actual business that of web design.

Above describes the relevant cost of your time. The small medium business owner understands the saying time = money better than anyone else. Especially where you are responsible for everything in your business, from selling, marketing, to actual production or service delivery, the admin function etc.

The relevant cost of the decision not to outsource some of those components means you will remain in small business mode.

A similar concept exists in the financial world but it is a different relevant cost concept, the relevant cost of expenditure.

A current client of mine owns a Guesthouse. She has recently invested more than a million rand in fixing up the house and cottages and refurbishing the house. She also got her website done by us. She is one of 17 accommodation establishments in a particular area. Competition for front page exposure on Google is fierce in that industry even in high season. She ran out of money just before the project was finalized and so there was no money left for advertising. She did have the foresight to start a website even before being finished with the refurbishment project.

I told her that she needs to advertise with Google now. She asked me how much should she spend on advertising to which I replied with the following:

Not advertising now with Google will cost her more than advertising with Google.

Whether she advertises with Google or not does not influence the fact that she still has to pay salaries to staff or not. She still has to pay interest on her bond. She still will have to maintain the gardens and swimming pools. So those costs are irrelevant to her decision whether to advertise on Google or not. Once she advertises with Google she will be able to fill beds and she will start earning more revenue. These costs are not relevant to the amount she spends on Google advertising. Whether she fills her beds or has empty beds these costs will remain.

The decision whether to advertise with Google will always have a direct impact on your turnover. The amount spend on Google ads and other advertising avenues will impact her turnover. Your turnover is decided and impacted by your selling and marketing efforts which includes the amount spend on Google advertising.

Once she does start filling beds because of her advertising spend she will have to consider other costs which directly relates to turnover. Costs like food for the guests. Bigger businesses watch and consider these relevant and irrelevant cost factors closely when making a decision on their marketing spend. Unfortunately small and medium business often do not undertake these studies. It is easier than you think and it does not have to include your accountant. Else that cost would also become relevant if you have to pay your accountant to calculate how much to spend on say Google advertising. An accurate calculation would require historical facts like number of bookings on your website per R1, 000 spend on Google AdWords.

A calculation would at best boil down to a thumb suck exercise but the different scenarios could look like this:

Item

Option 1

Option 2

Option 3

Option 4

 

R

R

R

R

Advertising on Google (AdWords)

0

3,000

5,000

10,000

 

 

 

 

 

Revenue

5,000

15,000

25,000

50,000

Food costs

(500)

(1,500)

(2,500)

(6,000)

Gross profit

4,500

13,500

22,500

44,000

 

 

 

 

 

Less: Fixed Overheads

(20,000)

(20,000)

(20,000)

(20,000)

Net (loss) / profit

(15,500)

(6,500)

2,500

24,000

It takes years of actual experience and analyzing these kinds of figures before accurate estimates can be made. Small and medium business owners should consider relevant costs concepts when deciding whether to spend money on advertising. Over time one can fairly accurately calculate your conversion rate when using Google Analytics.

One of the biggest mistakes in the SEO world is not having a website at all. The relevant cost of not applying some of your money and time to get a website in the first place (if time is money) and some more time to develop it and keep it up to date with fresh content will create the exact same scenario as the above illustrated scenario . That is if the time you save to duck and dive you’re Website Designer and the follow up effort is not invested in time spend doing other marketing exercises like meeting new clients or cold calling on possible new clients.

A medium business owner in Cape Town yesterday informed me that 30% of their sales is now attributed to Google AdWords spending. In my own business I am in the process of appointing full and part time sales representatives who will get the bulk of my initial web design fees. (I benefit on the long term from hosting revenue) I can avoid going that route if I can increase my Google advertising spend.

I have forever wondered where all my years of studying and working in the financial industry would benefit my young (6 years) Web Design Career!

Tip: To create great content on the Web you need to provide information which no one else provides. Look at your business and what makes you unique. What makes your service offering so different? Focus on putting those unique qualities on your website and you will have SEO success. Search engines love quality information!

Very important tip! :

Look at the 3 different scenarios above. Consider it the next year or the next 5 years in your business. Now replace the advertising cost with the value of your time invested in your website. Exactly the same result!

 


Sometimes the most relevant SEO fact for a small medium business owner is to know when to quit on SEO as a marketing strategy for marketing the website. Just to recap on what SEO is.

1.) It is the method of studying search engines and changes that happens at search engines and to adapt the technical structure of your website. (Usually taken care of by professionals and of little or relevance to small medium business owners)

2.) It is the diligent process off adding good quality content to your website plus considering the way you present that quality content. (Considering Titles /Headings in your website text, placing a little more importance on introductory text and avoiding bad SEO practices (black hat SEO) like hidden text, keyword stuffing or making the mistake of duplicate content. (Copying from other websites.)

3.) Other off site practices like getting good quality inbound links. (Beware) (Not really relevant to small medium businesses) Who is going to link to the local dentist, plumber, or mobile petting zoo anyway?) This will be a different issue if you have a really quality informative website.

Point nr 3 illustrates perfectly why there is a need for small business SEO information. The current resources cloud these business owners with totally irrelevant information and they give up before they start to study SEO. That's why the future looks bright for me! (Had I had the intention to sell time consulting and move from my current business model?) .

But sometimes it is best to give up altogether on SEO as a marketing strategy for your website.

I am using the newsletter / blog functionality of my new website www.kwikwaponline.co.za to write the content of this very EBook I am preparing for publishing on the 20th of February 2014. It takes times and a lot of creative juices to write a good quality book. While I am writing I thought: "let me create some great content for www.kwikwaponline.co.za ". Practicing what I preach while I am preaching. That is one of the reasons I am writing the EBook in this way. Each time as I am creating content for the EBook I am at the same time creating content for the website www.kwikwaponline.co.za. In theory I might be busy doing something brilliant but let's ponder on it for a while.

Search Engines know about SEO. The world is a big place and as I have quickly noticed there are companies that employs professional copy writers / bloggers to do exactly the same. Doing well on search engines is big business all over the world. Here I am in South Africa putting in a great effort at writing a good EBook on SEO. Reality is: I am a small web design business. My target market has always been small medium businesses. I am busy competing with big corporate companies when it comes to competing for space on the first page of Google. They employ and spend thousands of dollars on creating content for their own websites with the intention of ranking on page 1 of Google for search terms like SEO. They have been doing it for years even though their target market is mainly big corporate businesses. My target market is small medium business owners.

It might take a long time for my SEO strategy for www.kwikwaponline.co.za to bear fruit. This specific strategy of writing about SEO and hoping to be found for that important search term. This is one area where you might expect manual intervention from Search Engines companies where a human actually reads the content of your website.

But search engines will win eventually, and if they get it right they will bring people like you to my websites. I am creating good unique content. The challenge is theirs not mine to realize it. If they get it right they will have me on the front page of Google pretty soon for search terms like "SEO for small and medium businesses" etc. I have no control over their actions so I cannot rely on them getting it right.

But all is not lost. The EBook is also marketed through platforms such as Facebook and Twitter. That is not SEO as it has nothing to do with a search engine. If you are reading this then possibly a friend passed it on or possibly I left a copy at your place of business because I really want to do business with you. You have my website details now. That has nothing to do with SEO.

A current hot topic in the Geek world is the topic of quitting on your Facebook efforts as well. It comes down to that both Facebook and Google is looking for revenue and we operate in a world of supply and demand, a free market. Facebook is useful and fun for everyone. Google is great for finding information. But they too are in business and so they are forcing business owners to consider / change to paying them instead of only opting for the seeming cheaper routes like SEO like a free Facebook Page for your business, like a free listing on Google Places. These marketing strategies are not free at all! It takes a good effort to create quality content. Sometimes a person like me must decide if I am a good enough content creator, a specialist in my field and do I have the guts and determination and resources to see it through. I must calculate the costs of neglecting my main business, that of selling and marketing websites to small medium business owners.

I cannot quit mainly for the reason of finishing this book and completing the project. I have already been using free Social Media freebies to create awareness, have been using Social Media and not SEO to market my services. I will lose face if I do not finish and my Social Media efforts will bite me in the ass!

SEO as a marketing strategy for some businesses is a walk in the park. I have a new client, a mobile farm animal petting zoo. There are not many of those around. They will have no problem being on the front page of Google pretty soon. I have another client who is one of 17 accommodation establishments in Constantia. For them to rely too heavily on SEO as a marketing strategy for their website will be a stupid costly mistake. They will need to list on the directories that already occupy the first few pages of search engines, for the medium term at least. They still absolutely need to have a website but not rely on SEO alone as a marketing strategy for their business.

Getting lost in the wrong marketing strategy can become a very costly exercise!

Know when to quit before you even begin!


Any web development plan should encompass a short, medium and long term goal. These are hopefully achieved by initially executing it. Some web development projects fail because they are never executed. (Quite common in the small medium business world where resources are limited and other pressing problems like cash flow management kills creativity)

Any business need a website even if not for SEO purposes.

You need a plan to meet your short, -medium and long term goals regarding your websites SEO marketing strategy.

I see far too many websites where there exists an FAQ section with one or none FAQ’s. It is better to not have those sections than to have them on your website at all. I have seen too many instances where we open an FAQ section and show a client one example of a FAQ only to find years later that, that is still the only FAQ to be found on the website.

If today’s relevant SEO is to be part of the marketing strategy of any website, then you will never be finished with working on your website.

Effective SEO planning for the small medium business owner essentially boils down to planning be actively adding and improving the content of your website.

But for a start, with a new web design project, at least plan to finish the initial phase of the web development project. If you started with a testimonials section or an FAQ section then build on it. If you activated a monthly specials section on your website then add the monthly specials to your website.

Having a deadline, like I have with publishing this EBook will guarantee that you finish the initial web design project. You will, like me, make a few mistakes, leave room for improvement but you will at least have started.

If the initial response is favorable I will rewrite this EBook and get professional help with proof reading and editing. For now I rely on my spell checker! Eish! (South African word meaning…meaning Eish!)

I will continue to rewrite and proceed to publish a hard copy as it would be a valuable tool which can be used for marketing and training. The same applies to my latest web design project www.kwikwaponline.co.za. I will get both right and perfect but for now I will have at least started.

The rewards are lasting and I will in future afford the professional services of the right people in the
industry.

 “At the outset of a new web design project it is important to realize that it is going to require resources to start and to finish the project so that it can at least be an average website. That is all you will start off with in the beginning. Nothing awesome is created without effort. "


So far we have been talking a lot of theory in this EBook on Relevant SEO 2014.

Let me first be specific on why I chose such a grand Title for the EBook and included 2014 in the title.

Search engines have been changing since the inception and there is even a website on the topic called search engine watch. They keep themselves busy watching what is happening at search engines because that is required to offer search engine optimization services. Things can happen quickly at search engines and search engines implement changes in their algorhytms without first informing SEO experts or the web design industry.

Google will get what it want in the end. That is what the future of search will be.

So: stay away from unnatural link building schemes or boosting schemes and avoid trying to do funny things like keyword stuffing, hiding text on your website and be wary of an over confident SEO expert offering you instant results.

Having your website removed from Google's index could cost you dearly.

Where would a good starting point be when planning for your new website or redoing your website. You. It starts with you the business owner. You have to be sure of the specific type of client which you would want to attract to your website. You have to start thinking what they would be looking for when search the internet.

Buddy Web Design would like to be found for search terms like:

Cape Town Web Designers, Kwikwap Consultants, Kwikwap Training, Affordable Websites, CMS Websites, Website Training, Website Design, Small Business, Website Developers

We are more website development project managers than website designers but that is not the way our clients thinks. They have and will call us website designers.

You have to know who you want as clients: Small businesses or big corporates, Specific Industries like Restaurants, Guesthouses etc.

It will not help you to get the wrong traffic to your website.

It helps to be specific on the services you provide.

The titles of your web pages will always be important. Use some of the search terms you want to be found for as your page headings, whether it is on a newsletter / blog , whether it is the titles of your products and services. Be wary in very competitive industries. If you are the 30th person on the web who advertises the same product chances are that you will never be found for those search terms.

You must study the actual results of the web pages that search engines present when doing research on your keywords by searching for those search terms. This will give you +_ 100% of an idea of what search engines think provides the most useful information on a specific search term. Scan through the first 3 pages of Google. Study those websites and learn from the best but do not even consider copying text from those websites.

You need to present this list of keywords to your web designer. It will help in focusing your attention. There are free resources like Keyword Planner and lately a quick indication is the predictive text when doing a google search.

But before all of this you need to visit your business. If you are doing laminate floors but now also considering to do curtains if the opportunity arise be careful if you have been doing well with search terms for laminate floors and now you decide to do a similar amount of text for curtains. Search engines definitely favor specialist websites focusing on a specific service.

It might do you better to start a new website if you are considering a new division. Around the corner from me is Eddles Gas. They supply gas but now has also started selling fishing tackle. That is quite confusing from the outset and will even confuse humans. I used to do accounting work and business plans for small businesses. Nobody wants a website from a Jack of all trades.

I would rather start a new website if the services are completely unrelated. It will be ok to mention it somewhere on your website but it may even be better to completely forget about it. If I were to be found for search terms like SEO services it would be better if I had a website offering specifically SEO services. That word would be used repeatedly in various places in a natural way and may even form part of your URL (web address).

You should have an FAQ section on your website and it could address only SEO related questions. Your monthly newsletter will include those words in the titles. This will all happen very naturally as you will be focused on a specific service you want to provide.

You must always remember not to be too mechanical about this process as this could lead to writing for search engines and not for humans which is why search engines check if you are using synonyms for those words.

There are tools to research what people search for. I don't favor this kind of approach as it is mechanical and unnatural and time consuming. You should know what the industry languages are but when you do make use of keyword tools and look at Google's predictive text it may point to some recent changes. You are busy and your time is valuable.

The amount of effort needed depends on the toughness of the competition. Make notes of the results of your research. An experienced web designer would be in a better position when you arrive with those precise words or search terms and help you develop a marketing plan which could in fact avoid relying on SEO too much in the beginning.

Yes you can be a little more specific and analytical. That kind of intense research and tracking belongs to the corporate world where time and money is more freely available.

It all starts with clearly defining what products and services you want to offer as a business owner long before you consider getting a website. Being specific in life and focusing can be good for success under pressure situations. Sometimes you need to break away from that focused mindset and revisit your business model. You will also then have to revisit the process described above.


The real SEO problem for small and medium businesses is the costs. The costs of your time away from work or family, the cost of paying someone to do it for you or making use of industry experts. To really understand this you need to have a look at the following website: http://www.bluemagnet.co.za/ . That looks like a very professional website on the topic of SEO and I wish I could afford the course fees and 4 days of my time to attend to one of their courses.

That is the real SEO problem facing small and medium business owners. The direct costs associated as well as the indirect costs of spending time optimizing your website. But there is a simple solution and that is to get the technical details of your website sorted and for you to do what search engines asks us all, big and small businesses, to do.

Back to the website of Blue Magnet. Blue Magnet has a very impressive portfolio page of clients they have serviced in the business of SEO in South Africa. They themselves seem like a big corporate business.

Google is only 15 years old. Facebook much younger. People are moving away from having real relationships to having online relationships. Companies like Blue Magnet are cashing in, the corporate market in South Africa not nearly saturated enough with enough skilled service providers. The same scenario is playing out in the small and medium business world with web design companies like Kwikwap South Africa offering an unbeatable and affordable solution aimed at servicing small and medium businesses. (Technology advances generally make things cheaper.)

In both worlds (Corporate and small) companies are targeting the easy pickings, the low hanging fruit first. If a potential customer says no then you move on to the next customer.

The real cost to the small and medium business owner is the time needed to have a great website ranking on the top of search engines.

To illustrate the real problem I will use a practical example: In an effort of doing research on SEO and in an effort to market my own business website I approached someone I consulted last year for a testimonial. On my advice she did a website revamp for R900 (Graphics), she attended a cheap training course for R150. She also bought some of my time. R900. Small money to any SEO expert.

This morning the testimonial came back in.

"Francois came in and spent some time with me to improve my websites google presence and increase traffic flow. He did very simple things like add a "make an appointment" and "call to action" on many of my pages. He also helped me define my keywords clearly. He also gave me advice on my content and what kind of information to include to increase my website hits. Since doing these few things I have definitely seen an increase in the traffic flow to my website as well as my google ranking being very high. The advice was great and the results have been awesome! Thank you Francois!"

www.mellowlaser.co.za - Briony

It took Briony time to write me that testimonial. It took me time to ask Briony for the testimonial. The real reason behind Briony's success is that she was not afraid to spend a little bit of money and a lot of her time investing in her website. She still has to run her business as well.

Briony invests her time on quality content on her website. We have a follow up scheduled meeting with me acting as her SEO expert. She still has her original Kwikwap consultant who is backed by a team of specialist programmers and developers. Besides paying me for the consultations, paying hosting and software rental fees, she also has to pay with her time. First the time when we do the consultation and then the time she needs to spend after I had left, to create the content on her website.

During all that time she is spending time away from clients and quite possible spending time away from her family. That becomes a very expensive exercise for any one.

But the results are clear. She is all over the front page of search engines for the products and services she sells, at least in the geographical area she is targeting, the area where she is delivering her products and services.

She has ensured that her marketing efforts, which drives the selling efforts, fuels the production department, which satisfies the financial departments affording management time to take a break, to have a holiday for strategic planning sessions. Briony is functioning like a big corporate company.

It started with SEO as a marketing strategy for her website. First with planning and then executing and following trough. Now it has become natural.

I have been neglecting my Google+, my Google Places as well as my Linked In accounts for years. Now suddenly these things are becoming more important for SEO for small business owners as well. I have noticed from then and now that the technologies have improved tremendously, the functionalities having become more user friendly.

It is daunting to have to manage all these different mediums of marketing it may seem. But there is a simple answer. Give all of these service providers what they want. The way they want you to use their systems:

Google: Great fresh information on your website which they can supply to their readers

Facebook: Connect with family and friends. Ok to make use of casual freebies and have a free starter edition Facebook Page

Linked in: Great for professional networking. Keep it professional.

Kwikwap: Concentrate on quality content. Develop your website in an ongoing manner.

The first three service providers get the opportunity to earn advertising revenue by also displaying advertisements.

Facebook having the distinct advantage of delivering to a very select distinct defined target market. (They know you better than you know yourself)

Google having the advantage of delivering your add while some is actually searching for services like you are offering.

Kwikwap earns hosting revenue which is reinvested in offering a great business tool.

We can include Twitter and Google Places and more. (I simply cannot keep up with the Pins and the Instagram’s.)

Somewhere along the line those who invest time and money in the right manner and use these resources in the right manner will end up sitting on the beach drinking Pina Colada while those who don't will still be chasing the ever elusive Pie in the sky. (The never to be found golden pot at the end of the Rainbow.)

You the small medium business owner will remain jailed by your own narrow minded mindset, a slave to your business and not the executive officer thereof.

'' No website / no effort = no growth / visibility = no boost in sales = status quo ''

Important:

Social Media are becoming stronger SEO indicators for search engines. You need to make use of these. Social Media is all about real relationships as well albeit online. But do take some time off. Hit the beach with the family. Phone or visit a friend or make a courtesy call at a client’s place of business. Like we used to do in the old days. Spamming friends with all your cool tools is not cool. There is a real person on the other side.

And while you are doing old school style networking and social media remember to ask for the names of a few businesses / friends who might make use of your services. Retro is cool!

Now to find the love of my life on the beach and phone my kid. Hopefully soon she will join me on the beach sipping Pina Colada. SEO or anything worthwhile always comes at a price!


An attempt at Guerilla marketing – example:

Let me quickly explain what I did yesterday. I attempted to be the next overnight viral sensation on YouTube. After a poor night of sleep I sat down and created a "movie script". Now I am also a small business, medium business owner so time is also important for me.

I recently ran into a client of mine, John Hishin from www.drumbeatphotography.co.za. We plan on doing this professionally in future and maybe even offer it as a combined service to our clients. (Funny entertaining marketing videos which people will share on YouTube.)

I went ahead on my own a demonstrated the concept via a 50 minute video. 6 days ago. (20 video views is a far cry from going viral!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QoXILOl-lsc

(Guess a sleep deprived web designer is not funny.)

The video revolves around the website www.kalk-bay.mobi and the input I need from local clients of mine to make that website work for all of us. The video did take 50 minutes to record but hopefully I had a meeting in cyberspace with 3 clients and a potential associate, a local social media expert, all at the same time. The idea is at least clear for everyone to understand.

I tagged my Facebook friends in that posting, after first describing the plan and technique on my website of course. People are sensitive about being tagged on Facebook so I am sure they would have watched the 50 minute video, at least up until the point of noticing where they were being mentioned.

Guerilla marketing is an alternative to SEO marketing. For a real successful SEO strategy you need to plan on getting quality backlinks in the long run. You need to carefully plan and consider how your information will be valuable and how you will be different. What will make you unique?

Here is an example of 3 of my own websites:

Here is my goals for www.kwikwaponline.co.za:

  • To offer the best information on SEO for the average, small and medium business owner in South Africa and the world.
  • To offer the best information on running your Kwikwap Consultancy.
  • To offer the best information on being a Kwikwap Sales Representative.
  • To be the go to resource for Kwikwap Clients for quick help on how to do things.
  • To be the living agenda for Kwikwap Group Training Sessions.
  • To provide an alternative means for learning how the Kwikwap Content Management System work.
  • To develop a program where, step by step, you can become successful on the internet by using your "quick, easy, powerful" Kwikwap Website in the right way, to implement a Web Project Development Plan for each client at the start of the initial design phase.

The website www.kwikwaponline is not even a month old but it has a lot of content. It can already be found for search related to Kwikwap and training which is the primary purpose of the website.

Here is my goal for www.kalk-bay.mobi:

To be the best informative website on the town of Kalk Bay in South Africa, to be a useful resource for any visitor to Kalk Bay South Africa. A working, living information brochure which can be read on a cellphone. I want the best blog on the topic of Kalk Bay.

Here is my goal for www.mykrugerpark.mobi:

To be the most comprehensive guide on the greater Kruger National Park, available in Afrikaans. I want the best blog on Kruger in Afrikaans.

I have a little roadmap in my mind on how to do both. I shared some of my ideas on how to do that with Kalk-Bay.mobi with the people I am hoping who will assist me in the project.

I wanted some people to sit and take notice and watch a 50 minute video presentation. I mentioned them on a video which I posted to YouTube and I told them that on Facebook. I "Guerilla" marketed my idea to them and all they have to do is watch a 50 minute video. I introduced them to the website www.kwikwaponline.co.za. I am hoping that some of their friends on Facebook notice it too. I try and always first create content for my website and then to share that on Facebook. Information on Facebook quickly disappears trough the other news and because Google Robots have a problem accessing Facebook information, the information created on Facebook does not have a lasting impact. Information on your website however might be indexed by Search Engines and presented to searchers for years to come.

That is called Guerilla Marketing your website. Forcing people to take note, hoping it goes viral.

Right know was the first time I purposely wrote down my goals for these 3 websites. Websites which have taken up a lot of my time during the past few years.

Why are all these factors relevant to SEO in 2014 for the small and medium business owner?

Because time is the one commodity we don't have a lot of. Time is needed to be successful on the internet. Time is needed to make SEO work for you. I want these three websites to be the best. I want to be the best online resource for specific information.

Quick success story:
Since www.mykrugerpark.mobi is in Afrikaans I get a lot of the Afrikaans search traffic. That is one way of being unique. I decided to market the idea to a large private lodge in the Kruger National Park and I created a website from scratch in Afrikaans and even registered the .co.za domain. This all was done within 6 hours.

I then proceeded with an advertisement of the new website on the existing website and within 30 minutes I had the first booking enquiry! That shows you how powerful page 1 of Google can be. I plan on revisiting this website but only after getting professional people to help me write, photograph , re design etc.

These websites all need to be the best.

When I arrive at that destination then I will be liked by search engines. I will be liked by businesses in Kalk Bay. I will be liked by visitors to Kalk Bay. (By “I”, I mean the websites). I will get people liking and sharing these websites on Google+, Facebook. I will be mentioned in articles by important websites like Hubspot, Search Engine Land and I might even get other people to link to my website.

To expect Google to rank your website as the number 1 website you need to be number 1.

What does all of this mean for you?

You, the website owner, need to focus on having the best content available. That should be your main concern.

The rest will happen naturally. People will link to your website. Google views people linking to your website as an indication of the popularity of your website but also considers where the link comes from.

Their technology has now recently been adjusted so that they will actually penalize you if you took part in unnatural link building schemes. That is where a lot of low quality websites link to your website. That is good because these schemes undermines what search engines try to be. They are also trying to be the best. They simply want to provide the best information available on the internet to the people who visit their websites.

I will keep on developing this website and I will eventually attain my goals. That means I have to stay on top of my game, I have to do my own research. I am not competing with big corporate America, not even with the big consulting firms in South Africa. I have to get all the knowledge and create the best resource for my target market.

I want to be number 1 in my field. I want this website to be number 1. That is not going to happen overnight. I do have a chance that I get noticed by someone like Matt Cutts and that in one of his 3 minute videos he simply says. Hey. Here is a great resource for the small business owner. Francois Marais from Buddy Web Design explains some SEO concepts in a brilliant clear manner on his website www.kwikwaponline.co.za. The day he says that I will be a rock star in the web design world and I will be worth a pretty penny.

This website also aims to help cope with a new way of us conducting our business, growing our business.

We are thinking out the box and not like a small web design company.

This year 2014 I want to attract the best salesman for our business. I tested the waters on a Saturday morning where I offered an easy money making opportunity and invited people to share the job opportunity. That quickly went viral. I advertised the jobs on a free local platform Gumtree and I got a lot of enquiries. I do not have time for the interviews. The website and the Online Training Program will show me who has what it takes. They will be required to open a demo website and follow the introductory course. I need to know that they will understand what they are selling. The website have a lot of how to videos explaining and detailing our product in detail.

Besides not having time to do numerous interviews I now have started a training resource to train the sales people.


Eureka! And then the lights went on! I have been presenting Kwikwap Group Training Sessions from the earliest of days (I am on my way to do present the Cape Town Kwikwap group training sessions as I write this.)

I am feeling a bit of pressure with the book which is due for release on 20 February 2014.

I have always been using this one specific video in the group training sessions to explain to people how search works:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNHR6IQJGZs

At 1:36 Matt starts discussing page rank and how it works.

Now the bulk of our clients are really small businesses. It is real exciting and rewarding to see small business owners get together on Saturdays, either in Pretoria or Cape Town. I have while writing this book really done my utmost best to make sure that I do not miss something important.

I do have some experienced Kwikwap Consultants, who can do things with their clients websites which I cannot do, turn up at these group training sessions repeatedly and I wonder what I can teach them more.

I never really discussed page rank and people linking to your website since it is quite often not applicable to the local florist, plumber or dentist or so I thought:

Two specific people I do know are really specialist in their fields and they do have real quality content on their website, the third immediate person I can think of is myself, this very website one it is completed by 20 February 2014, together with the EBook. (First edition)

This website will be the best website, the go to resource for small and medium business owners in South Africa.

Another website is that of my brother Dr Koos Marais a dentist from Pretoria. He is highly respected in his field of work, dentistry and he has an EBook on his website. He is an academic with published books in his field. I am battling to convince him to pay R600 for a website revamp and now have offered to pay it for him. (I don't know how much I "owe" him for free dentistry services over the years). It is not about the money. I think he is sentimental about his websites look and feel.

Another website is that of Hospitality People Connected. (Friends, clients, my landlord in Cape Town who I see every day). Tana Breytenbach is a specialist in the hospitality industry and a hard worker. She has recently have had some of her training programs accredited.

What do we all have in common? We have something unique and valuable to offer the outside world. Yes these websites do, do well but they are supposed to do much better.

Few people blog as much as I do and when I do the same research as I tell people to do I find that websites which contains a whole lot less information than me occupies the nr 1 spot. (Page 1 nr 1.)

Another of my clients Constantia Manor in Pretoria has the same problem and he too cannot figure this out.

We have not been paying attention to offsite SEO and particularly that of getting good quality inbound links to our websites.

The first thing I will be doing with this very website, when I feel it is good enough, is to approach the right people and to get big businesses like the Department of trade and Industry, Banks in South Africa, Large Auditing and Accounting firms etc. I will approach them and ask that they study my website and the advice contained herein and if they agree I will ask them to link from their websites to mine. That would be a sure signal to Google that this is a quality website, the go to resource for small and medium businesses.

The people I have mentioned in this newsletter should do the same.

Signals are very important to search engines like Google. The world is a big place, there are billions and billions of pages on the internet. Quality inbound likes are very important and if you are the leader in a certain field and if you have some valuable information on your website, then you should ask the best in the industry to tell Google that, by linking to your website. That is like giving a thumbs up to a specific resource, like I have done on this very website. (We have links on www.kwikwaponline.co.za to some of the best resources for small and medium business owners interested in SEO.)

Google+ performs a similar function for search engines.

Now to quickly publish this entry and share with these friends mentioned.

I would not consider sharing this Eureka moment with them, had I not known the quality and specialty of the information on their websites. (Please Google plus and link back to this newsletter and tell Google that this is good information if you think it is.)

I offer the world free information. My payment is my position on search results, my page rank.

It will really help to ask the real authoritative websites to give you a thumbs up.

First impressions last so first make sure you have a professional looking website, which is easy to navigate and user friendly filled with the best possible information in your respective fields. Even if you have a home industry and you supply platters for some larger corporate company’s private functions. Ask them to link to your website and give you a thumbs up. After making sure you have the best website for the home platter industry.


Google+ is Google’s version of Facebook. In South Africa I have noticed that it is slowly starting to take of here as well. If I can get some influential Google Pages to plus my websites it will also be a strong indicator to search engines that it is a useful resource. It is one of Google’s products so I expect Google to be a little bit biased to get Google+ going in South Africa.

What you share on Google+ gets included in some search results. We will be making a lot more use of Google+ and our Google Pages to network with possible clients and business associates all over the world.

Google Places is an invaluable free tool from Google. The results often appear when a certain location is

included when people are searching for things on the internet. It is real easy and quick to list your business on Google Places. It has nice features like visitors to your place of business being able to review your

business.

Google has added Express AdWords to Google Places making it just as easy to advertise your Google place in search results.

Trip advisor is another website where travelers can review businesses in the travel industry. It will also be good SEO practice to make sure your business website address is listed if you are listed on Trip advisor. Trip advisor is also be a good indicator for search engines as to the relevance / rank of your business and the related business website.


Things go wrong in the small business web design world where clients become the web development project managers.

I have a consultant running his own small web design business in the Northern Province, which compliments his salary and his other hobby business, that of videographer.

Things are different on the Platteland (agricultural areas) of Southern Africa when it comes to small business relationships. People are usually extremely loyal to people they know and local businesses. With advances in technology more and more people are becoming part time web designers operating right there in those areas. (We will assist our consultants to be better "web designers" but this is an educational process which takes time.)

This morning I was asked to assist with some difficult CSS Style sheet work since the clients want the sidebar menu items to be uppercase and not lowercase. Usually this is simple to fix but not this morning and I requested support from our technical department. It should be fixed within a few minutes since it is normal working hours.

But what has gone wrong?

The clients are very specific on what this website must look like and a lot of thought and effort is going into the initial design process of the website. The web designer is so glad that he is busy with with another job and that the money is in the bank so he is too happy to oblige and satisfy his client’s needs. That is what you get taught in sales. You identify a client’s needs and you sell them a solution to their needs.

The problem is that many new web design business owners are so concerned with getting the job and getting paid that they will not turn around and tell the customer that important SEO factors should be considered like using keywords in the actual text of the website and more importantly especially on important pages like the home page and the about us page.

This specific client is professional hunting outfitters in the Northern Province of South Africa.

They should have a newsletter/blog where they talk about the latest hunts and where they share the latest tips on hunting. They should have a video section on their website where they showcase successful hunts. There are other hunting videos already on YouTube which could be included on the website.

These hunting videos and photographs of actual hunts should be embedded on the website. These pages of the website can then be emailed via a link to the hunting clients who would love to share their hunting experiences with friends, people who also love hunting.

Some of these overseas hunters are business owners and directors of large companies. If our client has a professional website and if the small medium business owner remembers to ask, then it should not be a problem to get some high quality inbound links to their website from important websites that their clients own in their home countries.

Hunters would also be interested in subscribing to the monthly newsletter where they will be remembered of the lovely time they had in South Africa. (Facebook is not the ideal place to share hunting photographs since

the world is full of irrational emotional people who will want to crucify individuals for hunting for fun, which done in the right way, promotes wildlife conservation. – My opinion! Please share my comments on Facebook. Lol!)

Permission should be obtained from people when considering to upload their pictures to your website. In the case of professional hunting outfitters it should be even more important. Bearing that in mind it could be a quick way to generate enormous publicity for your website by having the "greenies" discuss your website on Facebook and sharing it all over the world in minutes.

I know the possible answers to some of these suggestions already. We are too busy, we are not good with English. We have enough clients already, we have been doing fine without a website. We simply want to email our prospective overseas clients a link to our website.

Where there is a will there is a way. I will share the content of this newsletter with the web designer in question and it will be up to him to take it further. He should decide, same as his clients, whether they want to remain small time business people approaching their business (and website) like small timers or whether they want to be the best in their respective fields and grow into a big business. The technology is easy and copy writers available on the internet to assist with bad English, which reminds me to add it now on the "work with us" section of this website.

They could also consider the following strategy to market their website.

Melisa Bachman (http://www.melissabachman.com/) was recently all over Facebook and Twitter regarding her posing with a Lion she shot in Africa. Overnight anti Melissa Bachman Facebook groups and petitions jumped up. Soon to be followed with Facebook pages supporting Melissa Bachman.

The client should consider writing a well-researched motivation on why they support ethical hunting practices and do some research on the internet and elsewhere on how hunting in South Africa is benefiting conservation: farm land turned into game farms, job creation, rural development, species survival security (almost all of Kruger's southern population of Buffalo and Lions have TB, Rhinos are poached every day) etc.

They could add this as a specific page on their website. Their viewpoint on Hunting and the Melissa Bachman debate.

If they do this well they could approach Melissa to link to their website. (She has a stunning website and will not associate with a mediocre website.) Backlinks from the right websites can be powerful in the SEO world.

They can try another more robust approach and ask one of their girlfriends to pose in a sexy bikini or hire a model to pose with an animal which have been hunted. As if the model was the hunter. As long as it was hunted legally and it benefits conservation as a whole.

They should include this on their website and jump onto these Facebook pages:

Support Melissa Bachman Facebook page (Currently +50,000 likes, almost all guaranteed to be pro hunting and 100% the target market of the local hunting outfitters in South Africa)

Don't know what happened to the ban or oppose Melisa Bachman pages. Possibly closed because they attack an individual on unfair grounds, because she is a female and the initial response was an entirely emotional response.

They could comment and link their website and their hot bikini model posing with a hunted animal and they could see their website, being all over Facebook, overnight. Free explosive overnight viral marketing of their website! Potential customers would also notice.

As long as it is done with a bit of class it should not hurt the longer term SEO strategy of marketing the website.

 


Blogging is one of the best ways for generating content for your website. Being a small business owner like ourselves you will have the disadvantages of not always having the finances to pay a professional copy writer to generate content for your website but you will have the distinct advantage of not having to discuss your next blog entry with the board of Directors. You can simply write your blog and publish the content.

Yesterday we did exactly that with one of my hobby websites: www.kalk-bay.mobi. You can view the blog entry here:

http://www.kalk-bay.mobi/wnewsdisp.php?id=16780

The first thing to know is that your blog should always form part of your website. An exception may be in the case of larger corporate companies where you want to distance yourself from your beer loving company blogger.

(Important tip:

Don’t give your company secretary the responsibility of maintaining your business Facebook page, especially not if you sleep with her or if you plan on retrenching her in the future! (Just sprang to mind.) )

This will help to attract visitors to your website and so you might attract a visitor interested in the services you offer. On www.buddywebdesign.co.za I blog about web design, getting good results with search engines (SEO) and all a small business owner should know regarding his website and the services we offer. I take this blog more seriously than the blog about Kalk Bay.

That specific website is just a hobby of mine.

That is a first important lesson. Hopefully you are passionate about your business or the product and service you sell. If you are fortunate to have some writing skills then you should definitely blog about your business. It will come naturally. You do not have to consider things like keywords. Remember you are talking to your website visitors, potential clients.

Photographs are one of the easiest ways for generating content for your website. The website, www.kalk-bay.mobi, competes in the very competitive tourism industry. Companies like Safari Now & Where to Stay have for years employed professional copy writers. It will cost you a lot of money to start a similar business. The only way to compete with them is to focus on a very specific area like I have done with Kalk Bay.

If I had wanted to attract people who wanted to stay in Kalk Bay and make money out of bookings the website should have focused a lot more on the accommodation establishments. Up to now that is not the angle on which I have written the website, which for the most part in its entirety is a blog. (There are no services on offer.)

When you look at the actual blog under discussion you will notice I used the photograph to generate ideas for content. Content which a tourist to Kalk bay would find interesting. Typically a foreign visitor to Cape Town who chooses to stay in Kalk Bay. The photograph shows False Bay, home of the great whites, Seal Island renowned worldwide for the filming and photographing of Great Sharks breaching when hunting seals. Also in the far background is Clarence drive, equal to the best scenic drives in the world. This kind of information is what tourists to Kalk Bay and Cape Town would want to know. Our websites are all Mobi enabled and visitors to South Africa on holiday will probably only have their phones as internet devices on holiday. The website www.kalk-bay.mobi can therefore be a nifty guide for a local tourists. Maybe one day I will be a guide for a very wealthy visitor to Kalk Bay. (Bruce Willis has a house in next door St James). A lot of movies are part filmed in Cape Town.

These are just dreams, pipeline dreams. Dreaming can be very expensive in the blogging world. You can blog and blog till you are blue in the face but if you are not very specific with your blogging topics you will only be wasting your time. You will gather some insight into the things people search for on the internet and possibly from that develop a sounder website based marketing idea.

On the website, Buddywebdesign.co.za, I try and focus on web design matters.

www.kalkbay.mobi is an information website about Kalk Bay. It is aimed at foreign and local tourists seeking information about Kalk Bay. I have yet found a direct means to make money out of the website. I enjoy visiting Kalk Bay, fishing off the harbor wall, visiting the restaurants etc. What makes Kalka Bay unique is that is has a working harbor where you can buy fresh fish, nice restaurants on the Water’s edge like the Brass Bell, Harbor House and Cape to Cuba. There is also some antique shops, clothing shops and quite a bit of art galleries. It is described by many websites as a quaint little town. (Some website copy writers keep on stealing and when new copy writers steal from them a description such as Kalk Bay is a quaint little town becomes used by all.)

When blogging it is important to choose the heading of the blog entry carefully. Headings are important for search engines. This very blog entries title is: Blogging and your website. (The word website is an important keyword for me.) I have to write this blog entry "about blogging and your website" on that topic. You will be surprised that some of your potential clients actually read every word which you write on your blog!

You will notice on www.kalk-bay.mobi that I started that blog 3 years ago. The age of a website is a factor which search engines does consider but newer and fresher content is becoming more important. If I want that website to attract more visitors then I will have to invest some time in visiting the area and gathering information like telephone numbers of the people selling fish at the harbor. Somehow I don't think I will convince them to get a website of their own. I will provide this service free of charge. Y website visitors will find the website useful and return. Maybe just one day they will need a website too. Kalk Bay is a favorite day visiting spot for the entire Western Cape, the area Buddy Web Design operates in. So there is some method in my madness albeit a very long term strategy.

At least we are having fun as well.

Francois Marais and Melanie at the www.brassbell.co.za , clients of Buddy Web Design.

That is the idea of a blog: proving useful and relevant free content so that you give a search engine like Google a reason to present your website when people are searching for information. That will not be the case if people have to pay to get the required information and the information is hidden in a member's only section.

I monitor the actual website traffic and the search terms people used to find www.kalk-bay.mobi. I see a lot of people search for information on whether there is fish available and what kind of fish there is at the harbor. People will drive from far to go and buy fresh fish in Kalk Bay. These people are all from Cape Town. Once I have invested enough time on this website I will have a lot of website traffic. One of the benefits is that I can advertise my web design services on this website. Who knows who is reading about the fish at the harbor while coincidentally being interested in a getting a website for his business. That would be getting business indirectly from my blogging efforts. That is not a very effective way of blogging. (I see a lot of people with stupid ideas like myself with that website. When I started it I did not have a clear idea on how I will make money out of blogging about Kalk Bay.)

I do use that website so that my consultants and sales people can demonstrate our web design software to potential customers. Hopefully a new local business in Kalk Bay notices the website and asks to be listed on the website (It is free) and I will have an opportunity to market my web design services to them as an alternative.

To summarize:

  • Your blog should be on your website
  • Photographs and videos can be useful like on this blog entry
  • Titles are important
  • Be focused on your general topic
  • Budget your time to produce a regular blog
  • It takes hard work to improve your website's presence in search results
  • Blogs are great tools for providing fresh content
  • Small business can do it quickly and beat big business website when focused
  • Use a spell checker at least when you cannot afford someone to proof read your blog entries
     

"Be realistic on your goals when blogging else time will make you become realistic!"

I know some people will say but I am too busy to blog. Others will say but I do not have the skills. I will reply that you can make use of the services of professional scriptwriters to which some will reply: but I cannot afford the services of a professional scriptwriter.

My answer will remain:

Getting your business onto page 1 of Google for organic search results requires effort and it requires that you provide useful and relevant content for your website visitor. You can always pay Google for advertising but you would still need to have a quality website to convert visitors to clients. You need to give Google a reason to present your website on page 1 of search results. Blogging is a powerful tool to show potential clients that you are passionate about your business and that you know what you are talking about.

Happy blogging!

 


What are the Top worst SEO mistakes a business website owner can make? In this section we look at what current SEO experts have to say about the worst mistakes website owners make. By studying and avoiding the worst SEO mistakes you also apply best SEO practices. Even though you should not write for search engines it must be obvious that if your website does not contain certain words there is no chance of search engines guessing or assuming on your behalf what your website is about. Or assuming on your behalf that you "meant" to include those words this section deals with those basic SEO mistakes made by website owners.

Matt Cutts is an engineer at Google, the world's most popular search engine. Here is a YouTube video where he discusses the Top 3-5 SEO mistakes people make. (You would do well to subscribe to Googles YouTube channel as well as Google Webmasters YouTube channel.)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=421aTJI2Nxc

Tip:

Discussing YouTube videos is a great way for generating content for your website. If you don’t find good videos why don’t you consider buying one for R3, 000 – R4, 000? The video I am discussing was probably discussed on another website and I run the risk of being accused of copying content from other websites. (I enjoy writing too much to do that but it is something I should consider) .

At the end of the video Matt summarizes the top 3- 5 SEO mistakes people make into the following:

  • Not having a website at all
  • Making sure your website is crawlable
  • Including the right words on important pages
  • Include the words that people are actually going to type
  • Compelling content and marketing not just link building
  • Title and description of your important pages
  • Free resources like Google Webmaster

Let discuss this in a little more detail:

Not having a website at all

This is so obvious that it will not be discussed further.

Making sure your website is crawlable

Your web designer and hosting company should be reliable. Ask them for examples of their client’s websites appearing on page 1 of search results. One way to make sure your website is crawable is to submit your website's sitemap to search engines. They provide free tools which will enable you to see if your website is crawlable or not. Google Webmaster is such a tool.

Flash based websites are not crawlable. I would rank this as the number 1 SEO mistake as well as having a website which is in its entirety image based or even where important words are images and not website text. Search engines do not read text on images. Graphic designers intent on beauty, often design images to be used as text. No one is going to find your website trough search engines to see those pretty images.

Include the right words on important pages

I believe all your pages on your website should be viewed as important. Having said that your about us page is very important and especially the about us page and the home page. Especially the introductory paragraph of your about us text.

I rewrote that section of this very website after watching this very video. To be reviewed and edited later. This is how it is written at the moment. I have underlined the important words.

"Are you considering a career in web designing, or thinking of becoming an SEO expert? Are you looking for online web design training so that you can design and manage your own business website and do you want to get your website to appear on the first page of search engines like Google? We offer an easy to follow Online Training Program complimented with good relevant and up to date SEO information. We also offer onsite and online tutoring to help you get a beautiful search engine friendly website. We offer these services at very low, affordable prices. Have a look around and you will see no one offers a better value for money web design solution for your business."

Title and description of important pages

Please do yourself and watch another video by Matt Cuts. If you have watched it before you should watch it again or start from 1:10 seconds in the video.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BNHR6IQJGZs

You will once again see Matt repeating " keywords in titles and adjacent”

I rewrote the top of this very page since it describes what this page is all about. (This "chapter" is an actual page on the website www.kwikwaponline.co.za)

This is what it currently reads like:

“Looking for the best SEO advice? What are the Top worst SEO mistakes a business website owner can make? In this section we look at what current SEO experts have to say about the worst mistakes website owners make. By studying and avoiding the worst SEO mistakes you also apply best SEO practices. This is all about avoiding bad SEO mistakes. "

Please view the video from1:30. I think I overdid this section a bit and I am worried that it may be viewed as spammy. So I will rewrite the last sentence "This is all about avoiding bad SEO mistakes." and replace with the following:

"Even though you should not write for search engines it must be obvious that if your website does not contain certain words there is no chance of search engines guessing or assuming on your behalf what your website is about. This section deals with those basic SEO mistakes and others."

Compelling content and marketing not just link building

What Matt is trying to explain here is that you should not only embark on a campaign to get other quality websites to link to your website which would be one of the 200 indicators which Google looks at when trying to access your websites importance and Page Rank.

Using www.kwikwaponline.co.za as an example: I am trying to create compelling content. As far as I know the envisaged service offering on www.kwikwaponline.co.za (online training program + the Skype tutoring + compulsory feedback) is unique in that it does not exist in that format in South Africa. Our system and software is very easy. The rand / dollar exchange rate makes it a very definite possibility that this service and our product offering could be used worldwide. This is not going to happen if I do not create compelling content. Compelling content would be content that makes it so easy for small businesses to have and manage their own websites, to understand search engines and SEO.

I am not writing the website text on www.kwikwaponline.co.za for the sake of only selling a few websites. I am using all of my experience in training people on managing their websites to deliver the same via an online course. Even when doing onsite training I will offer this Online Training Program to my clients and save time repeating myself on a daily basis. I am working to firstly get a quality product, which works out there with a firm undertaking to develop this as one of the best and most affordable training solutions for small medium business website owners.

This EBook will save me a lot of time talking about search engines with new clients. That is if I can get myself to stop talking about the subject!

A large part of the content of this eBook was originally part of the content of the website www.kwikwaponline.co.za . I can now go and delete that information and replace with this EBook which have been spell checked at least!

I know when www.kwikwaponline.co.za is completed with compelling content I will at least have the main Kwikwap website linking to my website as well as websites from other web designers using the same software.

Marketing your website

By giving away a great EBook I will hopefully from the 20th of February gain a lot of new clients. I will also market this website and the service offerings via the Kwikwap Head Office and other Kwikwap consultants. I am not going to wait for search engines to find and crawl this website and then to index the pages of this website which they think are good enough for inclusion. I would approach other businesses in the online correspondence course industry and present this website and correspondence / online style of training as a product which they can add to their product offerings. I am also considering to either pay for a write up in a local newspaper, maybe national newspaper, or maybe if I am lucky and they think the content is good I will get some free exposure. Facebook is also a great place to start with marketing a new website. The website www.kwikwaponline.co.za will also be presented at the Kwikwap Group Training Sessions which I present in Cape Town and Pretoria. The first edition of the EBook to be mailed to attendants , therefore saving me time once again.

 

 


What is great content? Great content is usually:

  • Useful
  • Unique
  • Self-created and not copied from another source (frowned upon by Search Engines)
  • Uses images and videos if possible

Search engines are continually improving and trying to provide a better user experience. Search Engines also compete for business with one another. Examples of search engines are Google, Yahoo and Bing.

Important tip:

Even though Google is by far the most popular search engine it could be that the cost per click at other search engines are cheaper. You pay for the click, not the popularity of the search engine.

Here is some more ideas for generating content for your website:

Client testimony section on website:

Ask your happy clients for client testimonies. This can be done via email or you can go and visit your important clients in person. All our clients are important but unfortunately not always around the corner. While you are asking for testimonies remember to ask for leads, maybe a mention on their business Facebook page. We sponsor the website of http://www.affiesklub600.co.za/wmenu.php . They are a rugby supporter club of one of South Africa’s top Rugby schools. I did ask them today to share our new brochure on their Facebook page.

Photographs of you doing your job:

When looking at the photographs you will find it easier to describe what you are doing, with what, when and how and where. Rather have fewer photographs on your website but have a proper description with each photograph. If you installed a DSTV dish in Bergvliet for example mention that in your photo gallery. You might be found the next time someone searches the internet for “DSTV installations in Bergvliet”.

Have a forum on your website:

If you can get people talking on your website they will be creating good content for you. We tried this approach with the 2010 Soccer world cup when no one was allowed to market the Soccer World cup for their own commercial benefit so we just started talking about it on a forum. Ask a few friends to start the initial discussions and keep it going so that your forum does not seem empty. The website www.outdoorphoto.co.za was built around a very active and successful forum. You can market your business website on specialty forums as well if you follow the forum rules and guidelines. Examples are the caravan and camping industries and fishing. People love talking about these subjects and if the forums are active the users will return to those forums.

Enable comments on photo galleries and blog:

The advantages is clear to understand. Just be careful that you do not get spammed by spam robots. Computer robots that crawl the internet to drop links on your website for the SEO benefit. I need to clean up one such a website www.kalk-bay.mobi.

Use manufacturer’s product brochures for content:

Provided you are the first and no one has the same information on another website you can ask for permission to copy product brochures and use as your website text. Will work against you if someone has done it before you.

Product labels:

Product labels are useful tools to generate descriptions for your products. I tried it with another of my grand schemes, online liquor store and had a lady 1,400 km away working in a bottle store entering the text on labels on the liquor bottles on the website. Got a lot of traffic and a lot of enquiries but I needed a license. You will quickly realize which liquor products are not well represented on the internet. Invested R5,000 in school fees with that project.

Combine it with marketing, make it fun:

If you write or blog about a specific area then go and visit those areas and meet the business owners in that area while you give them a free write up on your website. Remember to take your brochures with and ask them if they are established if they would consider linking to your website. You might be lucky and leave a couple of your brochures at their place of business. Restaurants often do this for Guesthouses and vice versa. Offer to return the favor.

Study the websites of your peers:

By studying other websites you will get ideas. To copy ideas is good. To copy content is bad.

Subscribe to industry related companies newsletters, do research on the internet:

I read a lot on my subject. I read up at different places. When the inspiration hits I use the knowledge to write my own articles from my own viewpoint. I need to test this book and some of my websites to see if there is a potential risk of someone accusing me of copying from their website text. There are free resources on the internet. If you plan on quoting someone then ask permission first and keep it to a minimum. Search engines do not like duplicate content.

If you plan to ignore SEO as a marketing strategy you can obtain permission from suppliers to copy website text. You will save a lot of time but you will not have any SEO benefit. You will have to market your website via alternative strategies. (Billboards, Magazines, Vehicle Signage).

YouTube videos:

Videos are an ideal tool to demonstrate your products and services or even yourself. If you can make it entertaining you can get free viral exposure. YouTube videos are displayed in search results and it is free to open a YouTube account.

 


This is an extract of a blog entry on the website www.buddywebdesign.co.za:

A lot of people use Facebook to market their businesses. They create great content but the content soon gets wasted because the content filters down like. It appears only briefly unless it is pinned or promoted and then disappears which is why the timing of your Facebook posts matters and there is actually software that manages just that. Scheduling and planning your posts onto Facebook is important because at certain times people are more active on Facebook and at certain times and days of the week people are more open to business ideas or new things. (Just Google for more info on this specific subject.)

The right way to do it however is to rather create the content on your own website and then to share it on Facebook. If Google thinks this is quality information then this page will be indexed for a long time by Google.

(Granted: English is not my first language and I simply cannot afford to have someone proofread everything I write. God willing, this will be done with this EBook, only after first release on 20 February 2014! )

I hope this blog entry of mine is of quality and I think it has a fair chance because:

  • I actually did some research and asked people in my industry for important topics I might be missing and as a results of this this specific topic was mentioned.
  • The content hereof is original
  • The content is relevant today

There probably are some better articles on this subject somewhere in cyberspace written by industry experts at a much higher level, which even I don't sometimes understand. My clients are small business owners and busy and I write for them. They are usually too busy to read long articles on SEO.

So where I lack in quality English I make up for in quantity. I actually enjoy blogging as well and it helps. I now intend to share this on Facebook. Practicing what I am preaching while I am preaching!

But during the course of doing my research for this book I have become aware of the importance of having your website proofread if you expect to gain quality inbound links.


I have been spending a lot of time researching and writing as opposed to simply being a web designer. I am writing an EBook aimed at my typical client because I am not interested in doing anything else. I simply help small business owners to get a website and do well with their websites on search engines.

In order to sell well I need to keep things simple like: I will help you to have a nice website (see our portfolio) for R3, 100. You can manage the website yourself, have unlimited pages, enjoy the fact that you are backed by the largest web design company in South Africa etc.

But I have a pretty good idea by now where we are heading with our websites and search engines.

More and more people are going to become educated on the importance of having a website and importance of investing time and money into the development of their websites. Website owners will really need to up the ante when it comes to investing in their website development.

The more I learn the more I realize the shortcomings on my own website. But I also notice the strength of our product. Clients who have followed our advice and worked on the content of their websites, spend a little bit of money on a revamp regarding the look and feel of their websites are seeing the benefits.

These benefits are real tangible benefits and there is a demand for a service of offering continuous web development services. It is not that things are becoming more difficult. It is the opposite. Things are becoming easier day by day. Clients are gaining in knowledge. Clients are trusting us and our methods more because it works.

I have never been interested in offering copy writing services or advanced Google webmaster help for the serious client. I have been happy on getting involved and then moving onto the next client. We build a nice recurring revenue without having to worry much after the clients have received proper training. But there is such a need for additional services like help with Google Places, help with Google AdWords (currently on offer by Kwikwap Head Office), Keyword Planning.

How do we continue to offer specialized services at a low rate? We can't. Our own time is too valuable for us. But clients will realize the value of our products and the need for additional services and so will their competition. Search Engines are winning the battles against spammers and forcing big and small businesses to work the way they want us to work. Have a great quality content website. Everyone in the market place is realizing it. Some are acting upon it now and some will later.

The future looks bright for professional website copy writers, business owners who do actual research, Google AdWords specialist.

When we sell websites we will start telling our clients to budget for future visits and assistance with all the extras. The goal posts are not changing. The quality of competition is improving. The quality of information on the internet. Our clients are also catching on and they are not scared to reinvest in their websites which is bringing in money for them.

Quite often when new clients get onboard they are looking for the cheapest solution. Initially we do offer the cheapest solution. And if clients do the updates themselves then we offer a cheaper monthly solution as well. But we have the opportunity to offer further services at also cheaper rates mainly because our clients are partners in the solution since they themselves will gain experience.

We are in a great position with our product and our clients are our partners in the quest to have the best product available. The alternatives in the market place are simply way too expensive and old school.

But your competition will not let your success go unnoticed and will soon sign up as well.

More time and money will go towards creating great content, improving call to action requests like join our mailing list. Why don’t you join my mailing list now? You will receive more free advice as we get inspiration and when there are important changes relevant to small medium business SEO (Join Kwikwaponline Mailing List). You have just witnessed what having a call to action on your website means. It makes sense to mention this in a book on SEO since SEO is costly in terms of time / money. (No use in getting website visitors and not converting website visitors into leads!)


I have now come to the end of this book. A book is not really the ideal platform to discuss SEO but I was asked to write something which can be downloaded to a PDF. Hopefully the links on the PDF document work and you can quickly refer to the YouTube videos mentioned in this book.

I will keep a copy of this book on the website www.kwikwaponline.co.za and keep on editing and improving it. A final edited version will be available for download soon.

Members of www.kwikwaponline will receive more SEO advice as we notice important changes happening at search engines relating to small and medium businesses.

At the very beginning of the book I mentioned the woman of God who said I will write a book and added which will be published on a specific date. God willing, I will write that spiritual book in the future. It will contain a simple message: God loves you! He will even use Google and Facebook, dreams and visions and prophets to convey that simple message. Love is the most important even more important than knowing all the secrets, having all the knowledge.

That woman brought me more messages, she and a whole bunch of people closely connected with God.

One of the other things she said was that someone will give you a camera.

Below are the pictures taken on that specific day! A few years ago on a beach in Hout bay…That is a story for another day.

May you too find that first publishing date for your business website!

The past month has been a life changing event in my life. I am proud of my first attempt at writing a book. (I know it can be better but at least it is a start.)

The real life changing benefit is the result of the effort / the costly time spend working on this book, working on the website www.kwikwaponline.co.za . I will revisit and I will rewrite but at least I finished the first short term goal.

It should be a lot easier fine tuning and perfecting now that the project has clearly been outlined. It will be easier getting advice from friends and experts. I will be able to recruit, train and manage like a big businesses. It will be the same for you and your business website. Don’t delay! Start today!

Good luck on the journey of SEO and the journey of life. It is short. Make the most of it!

(You can find out more on dreams and visions and related matters from http://www.ruachmedia.org.za/wmenu.php . They are the experts, not me.)


Goodwill is an intangible asset which builds up over time. It is important to understand this concept, especially when starting up a new business.

 

This is relevant to SEO as will be explained below.

 

Let’s use an example of a young professional who graduates and starts his own business. (It can be an attorney, accountant or dentist for example.) . This applies to most running concerns.

 

Let us say he starts his business with a loan from the bank:

 

At startup his balance sheet will look something like this:

 

Assets

 

Furniture & Fittings

R100,000

Equipment

R150,000

Motor Vehicle

R100,000

Cash in bank

Total assets

R10,000

R360,000

 

Equity & Liabilities

 

Capital (Own contribution)

R10,000

Loan from ABC Bank

R350,000

Total Equity & Liabilities

R360,000

 

At start-up he has no client. He has no systems in place. No business website and no accounting system.

 

25 Years later his business balance sheet might look like this:

 

Assets

 

Assets

 

Furniture & Fittings

R 1,000,000

Equipment

R 1,500,000

Motor Vehicle

Goodwill

R 1,000,000

R 2,000,000

Cash in bank

Total assets

R    100,000

R5,600,000

 

Equity & Liabilities

 

Capital (Own contribution)

R5,600,000

Loan from ABC Bank

R0

Total Equity & Liabilities

R5,600,000

 

 

He can now consider retiring and sell the business for R5, 600, 000. Included in the selling price is the intangible asset called goodwill. What does that represent? It represents clients returning to the business, it represents the staff which has been recruited and trained, the accounting systems which has been put in place. It represents the good name of the business. (With a lot of small professional businesses goodwill is often attached to the owner of the business but there is a way of handing over the business to the new buyer over a 6 or 12 month period.)

 

Why is this relevant to SEO?

 

I see far too many businesses started without considering a website, without planning for a marketing budget. These day’s banks will not give you a loan without a business plan. Your business plan and your marketing budget should include planning for start-up expenses.

 

As we have discussed in the section, the real SEO problem, time = money for the small business owner.

 

SEO is generally a long term strategy which bears fruit in the longer term. You invest your time in creating content for your website. In this example you will have no clients who can supply you with a client testimony. You will have be able to photograph your new offices, yourself and your fancy equipment but you will not be able to photograph your happy staff or clients and ad that to your website. You will have no success stories or case studies to share on your website. You will only be able to share some of that which you have learned at University or you will be able to discuss issues relevant to your industry. Doing this is fine and the right thing to do over time but it will take a long time to give you the results which you need.

 

You will need to start your business with a marketing budget. Your first 6 months marketing budget should look something like this:

 

 

March

April

May

June

July

August

Website

5,000

2,500

1,000

150

150

150

Google Ads

10,000

4,000

2,000

2,000

1,000

1,000

Brochures

1,000

0

0

0

0

500

Signage

3,000

0

0

0

0

0

Print ads

3,000

1,000

500

500

500

500

Total

22,000

7,500

3,500

2,650

1,650

2,150

 

 

Your revenue could be projected in the same budget as

 

New clients

40,000

70,000

80,000

100,000

110,000

120,000

Returning

 

5,000

7,000

12,000

16,000

20,000

Total

40,000

75,000

87,000

112,000

126,000

140,000

 

Where will all these new clients come from? Some will come from your Google Advertisements. Others will come because they were referred by the first clients who first walked through the doors because of your website and because of your initial marketing efforts. In month one you will be spending more than 50% of your business turnover on advertising and marketing. Only from about the second month can you start to expect clients to find your business website because of organic search results. It will start with a trickle but it will increase over the months and years which follow.

 

At the start-up of a new business you will have to have a marketing budget. The benefits of the initial marketing spend will last you years to come. Clients need to find you once via a Google advert to return to your business time and again, if they are happy with the products and services received.

 

At start-up a new business website on it’s own can only do so much for you.  You need to consider advertising to people searching for your services. In this example used, your accounting, legal or medical services.

 

 

 

 

 

You will be new in business but you can create a bigger image with your new business website. You can create the image of being experienced. You will not have any of your own case studies, a delicious ingredient of good content to share with potential clients. You can discuss other’s case studies.

 

You will be in the face of people at the time that they are actually searching for your services as opposed to a radio advert, printed media advert or as opposed to them driving past your new offices and noticing your sign board. You will be in business from day 1! The last thing you need after years of study and qualification and after getting the business loan is to be ready and not have clients walking through the door.

 

On-site SEO takes longer to bear fruit than an immediate Google advert. You should launch your new business with a great looking website and a healthy marketing budget to get started.

 

The benefits of the initial marketing budget will last you a lifetime.

 

You will recover your initial expenses over time and you will end with a valuable asset called goodwill. For you to be considered a running concern you need clients. When that starts to happen you ca start adding goodwill to your balance sheet.

 

About the author

 

Francois Marais spend 17 years in the financial industry before becoming a web designer. He started with his articles at his brother’s firm of Chartered Accountants in March 1993. Louis Marais is still a practicing Chartered Accountant in Pretoria, whose offices have produced numerous Chartered Accountants over the years. Their clients are mostly active in the small medium sector in South Africa.

 

The company Kwikwap was started in a small office rented from Louis Marais. Today Kwikwap has its head office and owned offices in Brackenfell, Cape Town with 15 License Holders in South Africa. After having noticed the growth and the potential Louis Marais and Francois Marais formed Ezeweb and became license holders of Kwikwap.

 

The MD of Kwikwap, Eduard Marais, is also a Chartered Accountant.

 

Today we are assisting small and medium business owners to be successful internet marketers. We are also assisting small web designers to run their web design and consulting businesses.

 

Francois soon realized he was not selling and designing websites but he was assisting small and medium businesses to get good search results, page 1 of Google, for specific search results which leads to buying customers. He has seen what it takes to be successful on the internet, when to apply SEO as a marketing strategy for your business website and when not to.

 

Ezeweb Kwikwap CC is in the process of recruiting a large number of web designers, tutors and sales representatives. It follows that we are also gaining a large number of clients as well. For training purposes, training of both clients and people working with Ezeweb Kwikwap CC, the website www.kwikwaponline.co.za was created. It aims not to replace Kwikwap Consultants / Tutors but to assist them when training clients.

 

We are also employing professional sales persons who need to have an understanding of what they are selling.

 

Where www.kwikwaponline.co.za focuses on how to manage your Kwikwap Websites www.seobook.co.za focusses on Relevant SEO for small and medium businesses in South Africa.

 

 

 

If qualified accountants like Francois Marais finds a career in the web design industry more rewarding (Francois qualified in 1997 before Google was even founded) then consider yourself whether there may be a career opportunity for you or someone you know in the Web Design industry. By becoming conversed on the subject of SEO you might be taking the first step in a new career opportunity in relative new vibrant world of the internet which includes social media like Facebook and Twitter. There are a lot of career opportunities within this vibrant and dynamic new world. No one with a computer and internet access need to be unemployed.

 

There are millions of young people, and old people unable to find work.

 

We believe that www.seobook.co.za will assist in opening doors for some people so that they can start their own businesses and or become employable.

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