Do you have a blog to promote your small business? Do you want to start blogging in 2011 in hopes of informing and attracting new clients?

All small-business bloggers need to pay special attention to SEO and social media in order to make their time investment in blogging pay off.

There are some quick and easy strategies that you can apply to your blog to maximize your impact online. Use the three tips below to cast a wider net and increase the likelihood of new clients finding your website and blog via search and social media.

No. 1: Incorporate a blog into your website.
When small businesses host their blog separately from their company websites, they are missing out on some key benefits. The best way to improve your collective search ranking for both your website and your blog is to host both presences on the same domain. Free blogging platforms also have proprietary versions that let you build your blog right into your existing website. So if you are, then your blog URL might be Google treats every blog post as a newly indexed web page. If your website only has a couple of pages of content, Google will pick up each new blog post and index that. The more pages Google picks up, the better your search results. You can also write posts around key phrases and search terms and improve your search rank even more.

No. 2: Add image file names and “alt” tags.
This is a commonly overlooked tip and, for graphic designers with image-heavy sites, an important one. I didn’t even know about this tip until I listened to an SEO webinar on a few months ago!  Google takes account of image file names and also image “alt” tags. “Alt” tags are the text that you create that will show up if an image does not load. When you name images, try to use file names that are descriptive of the image contents or that include some of your main keywords and phrases. Always create “alt” tags for images, and when you do, use specific and keyword-rich copy.

No. 3: Use relevant anchor text.
When you run a Google search for “click here,” what happens? I ran the search and got one smart company named Click Here and Fortune 500 companies and organizations with big web presences (See the image below). Why did this search return these results?

When you create a link, Google looks at which words or phrases are highlighted within the link text. The link text is also called the “anchor text.” is one of the top results for a search on “click here,” probably because it repeatedly uses “click here” as anchor text for downloads on its website. When you create links, know that Google is watching and highlight only the most relevant keywords and phrases for your business. Avoid using generic anchor text like “click here” and “read more,” because these links won’t contribute to your search efforts.

Have any quick SEO tips or pointers you would like to share?

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