If you want to increase your business’s customer base, profits and brand recognition, you need a credible online presence. If you currently don’t have a website or if your existing site is unprofessional, chances are that your business is losing customers and ruining your company’s reputation.

Consider the following tips to develop a stronger Internet presence for your company:

  1. Offer a professional website design. Running a business can be expensive, which is why so many business owners look to cut corners. However, when it comes to tightening your budget, website design and website development are not areas where you should be skimping. If you want to be successful online and establish credibility, you need to invest in a professional, eye-catching, user-friendly website design.
  2. Elicit trust. If your website lacks the basics, like a phone number and address, you will turn a lot of potential customers off. Always post your full contact info, including your address, phone number and email throughout your website.
  3. Use logos. Do you work with a lot of great clients or brands? If so, feature their logos prominently on your website so that your prospective customers will know that your company is credible.
  4. Publish testimonials. Testimonials are important in developing your online presence. Remember that it is easy to spot fakes, so only use real testimonials to show your potential customers that you are the real deal.
  5. Show yourself and your staff. Use bios and photos to earn the trust of perspective clients and customers.
  6. Keep an eye on your online reputation. ‘Google’ your company’s name regularly for a chance to interact with your customers. If someone had a negative experience and is bashing you on a review site, you can leave them a comment telling them how to get in touch with you and remedy the situation. This will help others to recognize that you are being responsive and it can help take the sting out of a negative review.

Use social media. Create profiles for your business on Twitter and Facebook. Remember, if you want to harness the power of social media, you have to post content and images, interact with your followers, and regularly respond to m

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The two most important qualifications to look for in an SEO expert is competence and professionalism.
The way to find out if a company or an individual is competent and professional, as well as legitimate, is to do your due diligence. You must check credentials thoroughly and exercise common sense.

Consider the following steps when searching for an SEO firm to help you achieve your business goals:

1. Verify their contact info. If the company provides an address, Google it to be sure that it is real and if they provide a telephone number, call to see if it's answered by a person or an answering service. If they don't provide a telephone number, move on.

2. Talk to their clients. If they publish testimonials on their website, try and contact a few of their customers and get their feedback. If the company can't provide testimonials, they're probably bogus.

3. Visit SEO forums.
Visit reputable SEO forums to find out what others have to say about the company.

4. Check their Better Business Bureau (BBB) rating. Most members of the BBB post it on their website with a link to their record.

5. Avoid companies that send you unsolicited e-mails.
Legitimate companies don't send unsolicited e-mails and they don't send spam.

6. Avoid companies that don’t rank well on major search engines. If an SEO company can’t to secure a competitive ranking for their own site, they likely can’t secure one for yours.

7. Don't rush.
Choosing the right SEO consultant is critical to the success of your business, so don’t rush into any decisions when it comes to hiring an individual or firm.

8. How long have they been in business? A company's longevity is a good indication of how good they are at what they do.

9. Are they experts in their field?
Ask if they or anyone on staff has written articles that have been published on reputable SEO websites or if they have spoken at major SEO conferences. These are indicators of professionalism, reputation and expertise.

10. Ask for a money-back guarantee. If you aren't satisfied with the results, or if the company hasn't delivered on their promises, you should be entitled to either a full or partial refund. Avoid companies that won’t stand behind their work.

It would be great if we could take SEO companies at face value without being suspicious. However, especially when it comes to SEO, there are a lot of unscrupulous companies out there, so you have to stay on your toes.

Copyright 2011 dzine it, inc. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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SEO

For most companies, regardless of industry, the last few months of the year get busy very quickly. If you're not already, you will soon be creating strategies, approving budgets, grading performances and evaluating your ROI.

Everyone is getting ready for the big push into the first quarter of next year and, since SEO is so long term, it makes sense to start thinking about your 2012 campaign now and make sure everything is in order for the new year. Consider the following tips to get you started.

Revisit Your Keywords

Now is the time to see if your keywords are performing the way you had hoped. In fact, you should check your keyword performance regularly, because search behavior evolves over time.

Keywords that worked well in 2011, may not behave the same in 2012. Don't be afraid to retarget new keywords, but make changes based on your site's analytics.

Update Your Content

It is important to think about what is coming down the pipe for your company in 2012.

Get ready to make those big announcements, whether it is about a new product or service or a new member of your team. Also, be sure to update that information on every relevant page of your website.

Come Up With New Article Content

When it comes to content marketing, one of the biggest problems most companies have is coming up with new topics for blogs and articles.

Start planning for the new year now. If you are having trouble, don't be afraid to enlist the help of co-workers or employees or sign up for your competitor's newsletter or RSS feed.

These are just a few of the ways, that you can begin preparing for a successful new year online. For maximum results, consider talking to an Internet marketing consultant.

Copyright 2011 dzine it, Inc. website marketing company All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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