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Site Engine Optimisation For Female Businesses

Women who seek to be equal with men lack ambition. Timothy Leary

What is Site engine optimisation - SEO?

SEO or Site Engine Optimisation is a term you will hear a lot when you start working on your site. Many fledgling entrepreneurs are confused by the term and so Miss Blossom Design™ have put together this following information to help you understand this essential part of your site's development.

SEO is the process of improving and marketing your boutique web site, so that you increase the visitors to your site via search engines, such as Google, Bing and Yahoo.

There are many factors to SEO, such as the actual words on your page and how other sites link to your website. In many cased SEO basically means ensuring that your site is structured in a way that search engines understand.

At Miss Blossom Design™ feel SEO (Search Engine Optimization) isn't just about making your site "engine friendly". Miss Blossom Design™ feel that site design with SEO in mind is about making your site easier, for real people, to view, read and use. The diagram below shows me that 60.9% of the traffic coming to Miss Blossom® come via search engines (this changes all the time), so optimizing my site so search engines like it, is vital to the success of my website and business.

Google Graphic Pie Chart

Each of the glamorous websites designed by Miss Blossom® are ever so slightly more up-to-date than the previous one for a number of reasons, mainly because the technology changes every month and so does the infamous Google algorithm. Search engines, technology and online trends are not static, and Miss Blossom Design™ are constantly upgrading our knowledge, skills and methods in line with the technology as it changes.

At Miss Blossom Design™ are always upgrading the practices employed when building our beautifully crafted websites, e-commerce stores and blogs, to ensure SEO (Search Engine Optimization) friendliness and integration into the latest in social media and other search engine optimization strategies.

Search engines are unique because they provide specific traffic - people actually looking for your niche product, service or information. Think of a search engine like the roads to your site. If you do not provide enough information that a search engine can utilize then your site won't have any inroads to direct customers/visitors. Miss Blossom Design™ see it a bit like building a house in the middle of nowhere. Your need to put your house on the map so people can find you.

Google Analytics Screen Grab

Miss Blossom Design™ recommend that ALL of our entrepreneurs starting out online set up an account with Google Analytics Checkout our Small BUsiness Resources Page

Miss Blossom Design™ add the tracking code to your site as part of the build (it's included in our price) so your can see:

  • Real time tracking - how many people are on your site NOW and where they are from

  • Overview of visitors, locations, times, and behaviour

  • Demographics - age, socioeconomic factors, location, lifestyle

  • Behaviour - where they cam from, which ages they go to, entry pages exit pages

  • Technology - browser, screen size, platform, OS

  • Mobile - over view and devices

  • Visitor Flow

  • Custom reporting

  • and much much more...

Do I Need to Pay For or Can I Do It Myself?

If you have time and are prepared to do your research, and if your site's structure is simple, you can do a great deal of your own SEO. Miss Blossom Design™ have clients who throw themselves into their SEO and do brilliantly without having the pay the "experts." However, if you don't have a lot of time and you find your eyes glazing over at the mere mention of it, then it might be a good idea to call in some experts.

Companies that offer SEO can vary; some are specialises in their focus (like Miss Blossom Design™) offer SEO for niche female based business and others are general in focus and will just ensure the site has all the main elements in place (meta tags, keywords etc). Miss Blossom Design™ offer a specific focus, for your female based business so rather than, for example, using the keyword "beauty salon" Miss Blossom Design™ would look at the keywords beauty salon and the location or area of specialty (e.g. beauty salon New York, laser spa, NYC hair removal). Miss Blossom Design™ Look deeper to target the real keywords, not the obvious words.

Warning for New Site Owners

As a new site owner you will be approached and cold called by a variety of SEO experts who guarantee that you will be on the first page of Google, who will promise you the word in terms of SEO, but don't get taken in. If these people have to approach you, then they cannot be any good, because you would have found them through a search engine first.

It is better to have your developers do the SEO as part of the build, because they understand your business from the ground up, and can ensure you get the SEO results you need, specifically to your niche.

Many of these SEO experts charge a lot to add a few keywords to the footer of your site and splice keywords through the site and because you are a newbie, you aren't aware of the fact that any good site build does this anyway. Save your money for other things, and have the design company (Miss Blossom Design™ in this case) make the SEO happen as part of the development.

Miss Blossom Design™ can help to jump start your online boutique, niche business to rise above your competition through:

  • Effective, ethical, time efficient and proven social media integration strategies

  • Utilising the popularity of Miss Blossom Design™ site and our social media networks to promote newly launched and existing clients. Miss Blossom Design™ set up reciprocal links with like minded businesses to create a linking community

  • Miss Blossom Design™ encourage an altruistic and generous approach to social media sharing and linking.
  • Discouraging a spamming, self-serving or unethical approach to social strategies

  • Leading by example in terms of sharing, promoting like minded businesses and causes, on social media sites.

The goal with online promotion is essentially to increase your traffic, through good standing and quality content with search engines, so that when your potential customer types in a key word or phrase into Google, Bing, or any other major search engine, your web pages come up in that all-important first page. If you aren't coming up, Miss Blossom Design™ look at your site and at the pages in front and strategize a process to move forward.

Positive Boutique Website SEO Factors:

  1. Leading keyword in domain name, header, title and meta tags.

  2. Leading keywords in the body of your website as well as the meta data.

  3. Keywords in Heading 1, Heading 2 and Heading 3 - shows hierarchy -- but can cause a penalty if used too much. This is why Miss Blossom Design™ build our sites using the CSS classes.

  4. Keywords in Alt Tags (to describe images, but be careful of keyword stuffing - you can be penalized for doing it too much).

  5. Fresh Content - Google likes freshly written pages, so keep on top of your content. Refine, update, add, and check the copy on your site.

  6. Site Age - newer sites will take time to get indexed above older sites. Takes a little time to rank well. Rome wasn't built in a day.

  7. Domain registration time - if a site is registered for 5 years for example Google will favour this over a single year's registration.

  8. Traffic - lots of visitors or increasing = increased page rank.

Reasons for Negative SEO:

  1. New site - With Google "Old is Gold" and the older the site the more SEO "oomph" it has. Miss Blossom® have clients, who after a week of launching, don't understand why they aren't number one for their chosen keywords. SEO is a long term strategy, and requires months if not years of consistent tweaking, sharing, linking and traffic to rise to the top in Google. If it takes a little time don't despair. It will happen, but older sites always rank better if you are a totally new URL.

  2. Poor quality content - the content just isn't well written and doesn't contact the keywords or phrases that people are searching. Make sure your text reads well and is sprinkled organically with keywords and phrases without sounding like a list or just plain odd. If you need a copywriter Miss Blossom Design™ can recommend one.

  3. Flash - Search engines cannot read flash websites. Neither can iphones or ipads. This is fine for well known brands like Chanel or Dior, but not good for a business or brand fresh to market. Stick to HTML, CSS and Javas script for rollovers and small animations.

  4. Text represented in graphics form. In the bad old days Miss Blossom Design™ couldn't use non-standard fonts and so any text a bit fancy had to be an image, which meant the search engines couldn't read it. To compensation, people add alt tags, however Google has wised up and is aware of keyword stuffing in those alt tags, so you may be penalized for using too many keywords in your alt tags. Many old school designers haven't caught up, so beware of out dated designer who use mostly text as images. It will drag your site's popularity down.

  5. Copyright violations and IP theft. No one likes image or text theft, and search engines are no exception. Stealing images and text can result in penalties and even being removed from Google's index.

  6. Using frames - this can cause issues with search engine "spiders".

  7. Using black hat strategies in general - hidden links, links in text the same colour as the text, excessive cross linking, single pixel links, gateway pages, keyword stuffing - this list is massive and Miss Blossom Design™ do our best to stay on top of it.

Below are a few strategies that Miss Blossom Design™ have found are effective in growing your brand online.

Does Your Boutique Business Need A Blog?

Book in a design project for your feminine boutique businessA Blog (contraction of the term "web log") is a specific type of website, like a diary, with stories and editorials, descriptions of events or other material such as graphics or video. Entries are normally displayed in reverse-chronological order. "Blog" can also be used as a verb. For instance to blog is to write on your blog. Wordpress is the most popular blogging software. The plus for a website built with this technology is that it is highly interactive, has an easy to use content management system and is easy to integrate with social media. Miss Blossom Design™ can embed your blog within your e-commerce site or Miss Blossom Design™ can link to it.

Blogger (Google Blogs)

Blogger is the Google offering for blogging, and is great for the budget minded. It has some nice existing templates or you can customize it to match your corporate identity/branding. For more advanced blogging, you can use Wordpress® and host on your own server and be able to customize flexibly as it is easy to use. (Miss Blossom Design™ regularly install and design Wordpress sites).

Miss Blossom Design™ recommend that you post on your blog consistently and over a long period (daily, weekly or monthly) on general interest stories within your industry, a brand and philosophy or trends in industry. Use a blog to keep clients up-to-date.

Blossom's Style and Inspiration Blog is offers inspiration for designers and small businesses looking to re brand or grow. Miss Blossom Design™ regularly post little titbit's of beautiful and lovely design, interiors, furniture, package or whatever takes our fancy. It's also useful for our clients to get an idea of design that they may not have seen elsewhere.

For a blog to be successful it needs to offer something unique, on a regular basis in a legible and generous way. If you simply use a blog to sell yourself then it's one big ad, and frankly, not that interesting. If you use it to offer your knowledge and experiences, without selling, it's more like a conversation and generally more genuine.

Good SEO Practices For A Boutique Blog and Website

Request a Glamorous, Boutique Web, Graphic or Logo Design QuoteGEnsure when you upload images that you add what are called "alt tags" (these tell the search engine what the picture is about) to your blog and a "tag cloud" for SEO using widgets or that your website designer is experienced in your industry and builds the site with keyword rich terms sprinkled through your site and blog.

Miss Blossom Design™ uses proven, effective SEO strategies during a site's build to ensure your site is indexed effectively:

  • Miss Blossom Design™ use industry specific "alt tags" throughout the site structure

  • Miss Blossom Design™ed sites are clean and beautifully coded websites that don't use outdated tables for the build (an absolutely "no no" for contemporary sites due to a variety of issues not the least being multi-device accessibility).

  • Add Meta-data such as titles, meta descriptions and meta keywords are added to the site code

  • Miss Blossom Design™aims to ensure links to all pages are on every page for effective indexing by search engines

  • Miss Blossom Design™ always make outbound links open in a new window and if need be add a "no-follow" tag so your site doesn't look like a link farm (sites set up just for linking).

It important to place strategic links to your website on your boutique blog and add "share buttons" so other people can use social networking to spread the word about your articles and blogs. You can also set up automated Twitter and Facebook® sharing through your blogging software, so it adds a link and title each time you a blog a new entry onto your Facebook® or Twitter Page.

If you are worried about image or text theft, Miss Blossom Design™ can employ strategies to prevent this, or at least keep an eye on it.

Miss Blossom® makes a point of adding share codes to each website, to ensure other people can share your site on social networks. Miss Blossom Design™ also encourage our clients to have follow us buttons on the site as well, so you can keep your boutique clients/customers up to date.

Some small business SEO Tips and Tricks

Below are some of our tips and tricks for good SEO (Search Engine Optimisation)

  • Write and show quality, unique content, images and (if you need a copy writer let us know)

  • Add new content regularly (keep it fresh)

  • Have a strong keyword phrase for each page, not the entire site

  • Choose keywords and phrases that are popular but not too popular, say instead of "web design", Miss Blossom Design™ use "glamorous web design" or "female logo design". The web lovely specificity.

  • Make sure your site is built with accessible HTML for a range of devices and platforms (except for Internet Explorer 7 and below - it's just not worth catering to the less than 1% of browsers - when they can upgrade easily). Catering to these browsers will dumb down your site to 10 year old technology.

  • Use the keyword tag in your title tag (this is the top wording in the browser's top bar).

  • Use a domain with your title tag (e.g. contains graphic design)

  • Use your keyword phrase but not too much - Google may penalize you for "over optimization".

  • Try to get links from reputable sites- "bad neighborhoods" will drag your stats and rank down.

  • Try to get links from similar sites - Google loves a theme.

  • Try to get links that contain your keyword phrase

  • Create lots of content - the more content the more to index - never hurts to have loads of information.

  • Put your keyword phrase in the first paragraph

  • Write descriptive meta-data

  • Put links that flow within the content

  • Link all the main images

  • Using Flash? Always include alternative text.

  • Register a .com domain over a .biz or .us domain

Add Keyword Rich "Alt" Tags to all Your Images

Add your "Alt Tags" or (alternative text embedded in the code) for your images when you upload them into an e-commerce site or through a content management system (CMS). When Miss Blossom Design™builds a site Miss Blossom Design™ try to do this on all images and titles, but if you are managing your own site, you will need to do this yourself.

The reason for this is that search engines can't read images, so you need to give the search engine enough information on that image, within the code, so it can "read" the image (and it's a great chance to use those keywords to great effect). It also means that if the image doesn't load the visitor can read what the image is supposed to be.

Keyword Rich, well written text/Copy

Write keyword rich copy/text on your site, but ensure that it still reads well and isn't "over optimised". If your boutique website text uses the same word over and over, Google and the other search engines, such as Yahoo and Bing, won't like this, but if it is grammatically correct, with punctuation and correct sentence structure, then Google and the other search engines, such as Yahoo and Bing, will love it, especially if it is done in a logical and interesting way that is relevant to the topic/industry.

For keywords to be effective, they need to be in the keyword meta data (if you want, Miss Blossom Design™ can add this during the building of the pages), the meta description (Miss Blossom Design™ can also add this during the build) as well as the page copy itself, preferably in relevant linking text and headings.

Effective Linking Strategies For SEO

Add hyper-links within keywords within text to other parts of the site that are relevant to that keyword so that Google and the other search engines, such as Yahoo and Bing, can easily see the structure and pages of your site. Check out our business resources page... Checkout our Small BUsiness Resources Page

Ensure websites with higher rankings are linking to you from "good neighborhoods" in the same industry. Avoid having anything to do with "link farms" or directories created for the sole purpose of link exchanging. Write comments and add your link on other peoples blogs, but don't overdo it. No one likes SPAM (self promotional advertising material).

Do E-Newsletters Help With Site Engine Optimisation?

Set up a email newsletter database, with an email capture form on your site (Miss Blossom Design™ can help you set this up with a 30 day trial period). Add your existing database and get permission from clients to opt in. Add an opt in form to your website. Don't just "sell" in it, send relevant industry info as well, special offers from related businesses. View our e-newsletter design services Checkout our Small BUsiness Resources Page

Blossom's E-Newsletter

You can build the newsletter in the easy to use editor, and send out to your clients, friends, followers and potential customers. Offer stories, tips and "give" your reader a reason to click, in other words a "call to action". Make them feel good with an article, encourage them with support and tell them how your business is just what they need in their life. Read our most recent e-newsletter Checkout our Small BUsiness Resources Page

Send on a regular basis, consistently but not too often. I don't love weekly ones. Once a month is nice, and not overdone. Super keen people can always visit your blog. Check out our blog services Checkout our Small BUsiness Resources Page

Please get in touch if you want help in this area. Miss Blossom Design™ have absolute gurus Miss Blossom Design™ can recommend for one on one training.