Get found online

“How will I get found online?” is one of the first questions I get when people are discussing their new website. With nearly a billion sites live in the world at the time I wrote this, that is a very relevant question, and one with many answers, but they all boil down to consistent hard work!

Get found online solution #1

The first is to have a blog on your site and commit to writing a post as frequently as possible, but at least once a week. While at first you may feel you are talking only to yourself and your mother, Google notices when you keep updating the content on your site and improves your visibility in searches as a result.

Get found online solution #2

Select your key words carefully then use them in posts and pages on your site so your site can be found through these search terms. Learn how to write for human beings, but also for Google using the search terms selected for your site. Get help with this by using the SEO plugin by Yoast. It will guide you to improve your use of your search words and phrases.

Get found online solution #3

Make sure your site is mobile-friendly so Google doesn’t demote it to the lowlier pages of search results. If you aren’t sure if your site is compliant, read more here on how to test and fix any issues.

Get found online solution #4

Add your site’s url to your email signature. It is easy to do for most email varieties. If people are unfamiliar with what you do this provides a quick way to click through and see your site.

Get found online solution #5

Register your domain with Google Webmaster tools. It is an easy way of bringing your site to Google’s attention, and requires a few simple steps to prove that you are indeed the owner of the site. It also provides feedback via email to make sure your site is as optimized as possible.

Get found online solution #6

Get your site registered with as many online directories as possible, even if you don’t have a brick and mortar store. There is a great list of options here, which you can work through at your own pace. Another option is to add yourself to Angie’s list. You will have to get a background check to be allowed on the list, and since the company works on social recommendations this might be better when you have some happy clients who are willing to recommend your services.

Get found online solution #7

Create social media channels to promote your posts. This alone will not bring hundreds of screaming fans to your site, but should be seen as part of the trickle out process. As people see your posts and get used to them appearing, they will (hopefully) start sharing them with friends and coworkers so you start to see some viral spreading of your content. If your work is primarily visual Instagram and Tumblr are your best options, if written, the LinkedIn is a great resource. Begin by distributing your material as far as you are able, then remove the sites that aren’t working for sharing your messages.

Get found online solution #8

Link your blog so it is distributed immediately to other social media outlets. One great function of the WordPress plugin JetPack is that you can immediately post to a Facebook page, Twitter, Google+. Tumblr and Linked when you click on “publish” your post. Make sure to add relevant hashtags so your post doesn’t vanish on Twitter, via the “edit details” link under “publicize”

Get found online solution #9

Help a Reporter Out is a stream of requests for information and interviews for reporters on a deadline. If you are willing to read the frequent emails and respond right away, this could be a great way to get yourself and your business known to a wider audience.

Get found online solution #10

Think big! Submit really good post ideas to bigger organizations for greater reach. The Huffington Post is a great site to reach out to and pitch your post. You will not be paid for your writing, but the traffic an accepted post brings are incredibly valuable. If you prefer to speak, you can also pitch your idea to give a TED talk. Large news and information outlets are always looking for new voices and sources, so your ideas may be just what they are looking for!

So there are a few free solutions to help your site get found online. There is unfortunately no magic bullet that will attract thousands of people to your site with one push, it takes time, patience, and a willingness to persist even though you think no one is listening. It is a process of attrition because everyone is so overwhelmed by information, so show up consistently and make sure what you say is worth reading. In time people will start to notice you and tell their friends about you!

Tutoring Help with Web and Graphic Design

I have recently encountered a new group of people who need design help, but instead of wanting me to design a site for them, these folks need tutoring help with web and graphic design for a site that has already been built. As start up companies grow, new administrative staff members are brought on board to help with the growing work load. Unfortunately this new staff member may then find that their tasks include updating the company website. With all the crazy advertising for DIY websites there is a sense that not only is building a website a simple “drag and drop” activity, but by extension, maintaining and updating a website must by definition be equally easy.

entrepreneurSadly the back end of a website isn’t something that can be immediately understood. While I discourage the practice, some bosses try to get extra help from their web designers. Listening to these phone conversations is not a pleasant experience, knowing that the designer is probably in the middle of another project and has probably forgotten the minutia of the set up of this particular site. The upshot is that they are not happy to receive these calls and the help given is usually minimal at best.

While I can’t change this attitude, I have come up with a solution for those caught in the middle of this dilemma. I have decided to create web and graphic design tutorials so people can find out how to do small maintenance tasks for themselves. The tutorials will be available from a paid membership site where for a small monthly fee the tutorials can be accessed any time, day or night. There will be longer tutorials on how to build a WordPress site, and shorter ones on topics such as resizing and naming photos for use on a website and formatting text around pictures on the site. The range of topics will grow, but they will begin by covering topics that people keep asking me to help them with.

If you would like personal tutoring from me, I am happy to help! I can work with you by Skype wherever you live, or meet in person if you live in the Western Philadelphia suburbs. You can use the form below to contact me or hire me via Wyzant tutoring.