Improving your online presence

12 May 2011 | written by Matt Holyoak for the Small Business Tips section(s)

Improving your online presence

Where Do I Start?

When looking to improve your online presence, you need to ask yourself a couple of important questions in order to focus on a goal. Do I want to increase my brand awareness, generate more leads, increase sales, or do I want to do a combination of all three?

Content is important

After figuring out a goal, there is a need for content. If content has already been created, there is a need to reanalyze it because content is king! Creating relevant, quality content might be obvious to some, but not to everyone. This is probably the single most important and basic thing to first focus on when looking to start or improve an online presence. Content is so important to Google  that they recently updated their algorithm, code named “Panda,” to combat content farms and low-quality content in general. Content farms are sites that produce low-quality articles for clients with the goal of obtaining a better organic search rank. The result of having poor quality content, identified by Panda’s algorithm, will be a drop in organic search rankings. The Panda update has also had a negative effect on websites which have copied or duplicated content from the original source. An example of this is found in a NPR article about a furniture company who used to have a high search rank, but quickly found out, after Panda launched, that its duplicate furniture descriptions were categorized as low-quality, causing its rankings to drop dramatically.

According to Google’s Blog, their goal is “to give people the most relevant answers to their queries as quickly as possible.” Panda is one of the many steps Google has taken and will continue to take to make search fast and relevant to users’ search queries.

Matt Cutts, Google’s lead engineer on the Panda update, gives some helpful advice, “The sites that do put a little bit more individual care and attention and work into the content of their site — whether it be a product description, or a blog post,” says Cutts, “those are the ones that users tend to prefer a little bit more and appreciate.”

Because Cutts provides some vital insight of what Panda is doing, the importance of creating quality content that is relevant to the goal of the site’s purpose is key. Remember: quality, original, and relevant content is paramount and will increase your online presence.

Stay Up-To-Date

The internet is such a fluid environment and is always changing. Because of this environment, it is very important to stay up-to-date with the changes and always look to become more educated. A couple of good sources to start with are:

  • Adwords Help Center
    • Contains study material for the Google Fundamentals Advertising Exam
    • It also contains help material for Google Analytics
    • Google’s blog
      • Contains updates and good general happenings

Remember, content is KING! And education and staying up-to-date are both very important.

NPR News about “Panda”

1. http://www.npr.org/2011/05/03/135809341/googles-search-tweak-puts-a-company-at-risk

Google Blog about content

2. http://googleblog.blogspot.com/2011/02/finding-more-high-quality-sites-in.html

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