Kent SEO Manager

Seo for Beginners

All web-designers in Kent need to optimize and rank their websites high on Google’s results page: This is so, since Google tops all other search engines on the internet in terms organic traffic generation: Ranking high on Google’s search engine results page (SERP) is not difficult if Google SEO is followed.

On the other hand; ranking high in SERPs is not enough; you need to optimize your Kent site for human consumption; so that your website gets the traffic and conversion rate it deserves when users are convinced to click-through into your website to find specific information or product.

Organic Seo Agency

So; what does Google recommend for starters? Google looks for a number of signals to determine the quality score of a website/web-page before showing relevant results in the SERP; and content is among the most important ranking signal it considers.

After all; you built that website to provide a given information or product to the internet users; and not Google’s search engine: It will be needless to work hard on your SEO to rank your site high; while the content it contains is irrelevant and insufficient to those who need it.

Even if such websites with irrelevant and insufficient content ranks high due to some black hat SEO techniques; or by just effecting other ranking signals; they will always have a high bounce rate which also among the ranking factors Google considers: As users find your content useless for their needs; they click-away from your site and find another website with relevant information they need.

Seo Optimized Website

But; how exactly to you work on your content to get the favor from Google web crawlers??

This starters guide is broken into various parts of web-seo; both on-page and off-page SEO techniques that you need to perfect during site optimization process before embarking on extensive content marketing for high conversion rate.

A) Basic Search Engine Optimization

1. Unique and Accurate Page Titles

Web crawlers start understanding the content of your web-page right from its title: Ensure that your titles are original and accurate; stressing on the main point or idea you want to put across.

On the other hand; include researched and high ranking keywords in your titles for search engine consumption; while still making your titles catchy; having it in mind that your content is for human use.

2. Use Meta Tags and Descriptions

Meta tags and descriptions will show in the search engine results page; these are the summary of your page’s content.

Your meta tags should include the main keywords you are going to exploit on the body of your web page; so that web spiders can crawl and index your page appropriately.

On the other hand; use clear and precise description to summarize your content for the humans; so that they know what to expect on your page before actually clicking through to your content.

B) Working on Site’s Structure

1. URL Structure

The url structure of your web-page should be descriptive; including the main keywords: Web crawlers should be able to understand the content of your web-page form the url of that page; so that they serve the relevant web-pages to the internet users depending on the search query they use.

On the other hand; meaning full urls have a significant impact on the conversion rate; since humans will be able read them and understand the relevancy of the content; and consequently being converted into a visitor.

If you are using a content management system (CMS) such WordPress; ensure that you edit your permalinks to read exactly what the page is talking about.

Finally; your website URL should also include the main keyword in it; so that if you are a PC retailer, your website will include a PC retailer somewhere.

2. Site Navigation

Make it easy for your website’s visitor to navigate around: Provide links to all your pages using relevant anchor tags; so that your visitors get more information concerning relevant topics you have written about on other pages.

C) Content Optimization

1. Offer Quality and Unique Content

Having it in mind that content is king; strive to offer original and quality contents that cannot be found anywhere else.

Before creating your contents and publishing them; ensure that you do sufficient keyword research using keyword tools available on the internet such as the Google Keyword Planner found in AdWords account.

While creating your content; be sure to use your researched keywords naturally throughout the page to maintain a good flow; and also to avoid spamming the search engines.

2. Use Anchor Text

Using your keywords as anchor text; provide links to the pages within your website; with relevant topics as the anchor text.

On the other hand; if necessary, you can provide links using these keywords as anchor text linking to other relevant sites; with good reputation and quality content to offer more insight to your visitors

Avoid linking to irrelevant sites with low quality content as this will hurt your web-page ranking; or even worse the whole website ranking.

3. Optimize Page Visibility Using Images

Web crawlers are in love with images; utilize images on your web-pages so that they are fully optimized for search engine consumption.

Use image description and caption text boxes to describe what your web-page content is all about; ensuring that you include all the necessary keywords you expect to rank high for.

Use quality and large images on your web-page as these are always doing better in search engine results page.

On the other hand; be sure to use your own images; or buy from sites selling images online; or otherwise find the rights to use free images from sites like Google Images offering images and photos for free use.

Make sure you read and understand the terms of use of all images you find on the net to avoid legal charges against you.

4. Make Use of Headings

Separating your content into different heading has a significant impact on both search engine and human optimization.

Provide headings and sub-headings with quality and relevant keywords depending on the topic of that heading or sub-heading.

If you are using plain HyperText Markup Language (HTML); utilize in your content page the H1, H2, H3 and so on; so that emphasis is made depending on the importance of the keywords on your titles and sub-titles.

D) Optimize Your Site for Web-Crawlers

1. The Robots Exclusion Protocol (Robots.txt)

Web-designers/developers use this file to direct the web-crawlers on how they should crawl and index their web-pages.

However; using robots.txt needs sufficient web-development expertise; as it can extremely harm your web-pages visibility if not used correctly.

Ensure that you locate robot.txt files in the top-level directory of your web-server for it to function as it should; otherwise, you will compromise your site’s crawling by the search engine robots.

2. Using rel=”nofollow”

Similar to Robot.txt; using rel=”nofollow” requires extra care. This nofollow attribute is used to direct web-crawlers on which links not to follow and crawl on a web-page.

Some web-designers use this attribute to discourage spamming; or if the content of the page is not for public view.

Whichever reason you use it for, ensure that you counter-check your links so that you don’t use nofollow attribute inappropriately and prevent search engine robots from crawling your important web-pages.

E) Mobile SEO

The majority of internet users today use mobile phones and other hand-held device to access information from the internet.

You need to notify Google crawlers of the mobile version of your website so that it is optimized for the users using mobile devices to search for information through the search engine.

On the other hand; ensure that you use mobile friendly images; and give clear directives on how to use the site with mobile devices.

If you are using a CMS like WordPress; ensure that your website is responsive by using WordPress themes that are mobile optimized; and can re-size to fit on small screens as well.

F) Promote and Analyze your Site

1. Content Marketing

Now that you have satisfied Google’s SEO recommendations and most probably your site is enjoying high rankings; embark on extensive content marketing to promote your website’s contents.

For you to convert more visitors into leads, so that your site’s conversion rate remains high every time; taking your site to the top in SERP is not enough; and without effective content marketing strategy; your site’s performance will be compromised.

2. Website Analysis

Analyzing your site’s performance will assist you to calculate your return on investment (ROI); whether your SEO efforts are rewarded effectively.

There are a number of website analytic tools out there; Google Analytics being one of them with a number of features to analyze your site’s performance.

On the other hand; utilize free Google Webmaster tools to get more insight about your page visits; and a number of data that will help you evaluate your ROI.

Getting your SEO right for high Google ranks is that simple: And since Google is the biggest search engine in the internet; all major search engines such as Yahoo and Bing will like your content and rank your website higher.

Search Optimization in the Mobile Age

Seo For Business

If you've ever tried to deal with search engine optimization, you most likely have, at some point or another, wanted to bundle your whole site up and toss it into the nearest virtual trash can. Particularly if you felt compelled to focus on keywords, or any other technique calculated to artificially pique someone's mouse clicks.

You should be delighted to hear then, if you haven't heard yet, that the old-fashioned concept of SEO is deader than last week's sandwich. Google pretty much pounded the crap out of keyword stuffing and other absurdities with the search algorithm changes it's made over the last couple of years. And then Google made search secure, which means you can't even see what keywords someone used to get to your site.

It's about time, because all the minutiae blinded entrepreneurs to what is really important: making a connection with an audience. The term--not exactly new--that seems to be displacing SEO is OAO, online audience optimization. Before getting too squirrelly about another Three Letter Acronym, let's get grounded and think about what's important.

Really Know Your Audience

Over on the Marketingland blog, Brian Clark quoted great old-time advertising copyrighter Eugene Schwartz:

One hour a day, read. Read everything in the world except your business. Read junk. Very much junk. Read so that anything that interests you will stick in your memory. Just read, just read, just read... There is your audience. There is the language. There are the words that they use.

Clark takes this to mean that you have to understand the language and words people use so you know how to talk to them. I'll take it a step further. Not only do you need to know how they talk, which lets you better guess how they might specifically look for what you offer, but you also need to understand what they find funny. What scares them. What is important to them. How they think. Until you do, they're only marks and you do nothing more than run calculated cons. After you do understand them, they're real people and you might find yourself caring a bit about them. Good--care more.

Translate Caring Into Specific Actions

Do you care about your significant other, family members, or friends? If so, then there are plenty of times that you'll do specific things that you know make them happy. Emotion isn't an abstract concept, but something that drives behavior. Let the same thing happen in your marketing after you start to care about the audience. For example, Linda Ruth lists nine steps for OAO, including be consistent and clear about strategy and purpose, encourage audience participation, and employ engagement metrics and gamification techniques. Maybe you'll find that your list is the same. Maybe it will be somewhat different. Just make sure it comes with a focus on customers and how you can provide what they need.

It's like going into a shop you like where the people recognize you and get your interests and tastes. That's all you're trying to do. When the technology, any technology, gets in the way, drop it out back and return to the basics.

How to Drive More Traffic to Your Website

Seo For Business

If you have an app that you'd like to rank in the search engine results pages (SERPs), it's important that you understand the relevant ranking factors. Otherwise, you're just wasting your time.

In this article, we'll go over the importance of app optimization and explain how you can make sure that your app appears in the SERPs.

Why You Need to Optimize

It's important to optimize your app for the various search engines because a recent report shows that 27% of users find apps with a web search. That's up from just 2-3% in 2014.

Expect that upward trend to continue.

Also, keep in mind that Google is putting on emphasis on app downloads from search results and downplaying Google Play. Even though, at this point in time, 40% of people still find apps by searching in an app store, it's still important to optimize your app for the stragglers who use Google web search for everything.

Finally, keep in mind that Google has gotten better at ranking apps over the past couple of years. That's good news for search engine optimizers who want to use Google's search algorithm to push their apps higher in the SERPs.

The App Pack

Of course, when people talk about "apps," they're talking about mobile apps. That's a reality not lost on Google.

As a result, Google now features an app pack at the top of mobile search results. If you open a browser on your mobile device right now and search for "photo editor," you should see the app pack at the very top of the search results.

The app pack can include one, three, or six apps. If there are more than six apps that match the search criteria, the search results will display an arrow at the bottom of the pack so that users can view more apps.

Each app in the pack not only displays the app title, but also its rating and its price. If a user clicks on the app square, the underlying operating system will open the app in the app store.

Keep in mind that app pack results are specific to the operating system. That means only apps that work on the user's mobile platform will be displayed.

How the App Pack Impacts Your Brand

If you optimize your app so that it appears in the app pack, you could adversely affect your brand presence in the SERPs. That's because for every app that appears in the pack, one web ranking is pushed off the page.

So if your website is ranking at the #1 spot right now for a specific keyword and you optimize your app for that same keyword so that it appears in the app pack, your site will be pushed down lower in the SERPs. That's something you want to keep in mind as you begin your optimization efforts.

Mistake #1: Not Using the Right Keywords

One of the first steps to any optimization effort is to determine the right keywords. App optimization is no different.

When people search for an app, they're usually searching based on a descriptive noun. For example, "travel planner" or "photo editor" are phrases that describe apps frequently search for.

So when you begin your optimization efforts, think about what your app does and come up with a few words or phrases that people might use when searching for it.

Mistake #2: Not Optimizing the Title and Description

Google treats the title of an app similar to how it treats a title tag on a web page. Google also treats app descriptions as on-page text on a web page.

That's why it's a great idea to include the aforementioned keywords in your title and description. You'll have to do that when you submit your app to the OS-specific app store.

Of course, you'll likely want your title to be branded. But if there's enough room for a keyword in the title (for example, "PhotoBomb - A Photo Editor") then include it as well.

Finally, keep in mind that standard rules about keyword usage apply here. Avoid over-stuffing keywords into your description just to rank higher. That strategy will likely backfire.

Mistake #3: Ignoring Reviews

Reviews of your app matter for two reasons.

First, Google might rank your app based on keywords from user reviews on the app page. As with traditional SEO efforts, keywords towards the top of the page are given the most weight.

Also, the star rating of your app will have an impact on its rank as well. It's possible that an app with the keyword that's only in the description might outrank an app with the keyword in the title because it has a higher star rating.

Of course, the star rating might also impact the click-through rate. If your app has only a couple of stars, don't expect too many people to click on it.

Mistake #4: Ignoring App-Specific Keywords

One of the best ways to move ahead of your competition when it comes to ranking your app is to optimize for app-specific words.

For example, use the word "app" in your title or description. While it's not likely that anyone searching for an app in the app store will include that word in the search query, people who are using Google to search for an app are very likely to do so.

Also, include the operating system of the app in the title or description. Again, people searching on Google Play for an app probably won't include the word "Android" in their query, but folks who are using Google search could do so.

Wrapping It Up Application SEO

Moving your app to the top of the SERPs is no different than moving your website to the top of the SERPs in this way: it requires acting on the right information.

Today we just touched on the most basic mistakes. There is a lot to know about this topic and many advanced strategies that you can pursue.


Kent Digital Marketing Consultant

Basic SEO Techniques Kent :

A few basic SEO techniques:

  • View Google’s cache to see your page the way a search engine sees it. If you can’t see an element of the page in the cache, the search engines can’t see it either! This means that content isn’t gaining you any search traffic.
  • Be sure your page is reachable. Crawlers don’t perform searches, they travel by links. This means your page has to be viewable by clicking on a link on another page or crawlers won’t see it and it won’t be searchable.
  • Be sure you don’t have metaframes preventing your page from being crawled. Many Kent webmasters use metaframes to prevent rogue bots from crawling their page and don’t realize that these metaframes will also prevent search bots from crawling their pages!
  • Don’t let your links get lost in a sea of links. Pages with hundreds or thousands of links may not get crawled thoroughly in order to prevent spam and skewed rankings.
  • Use specific keywords. General keywords will have lots of competition. By using more specific keywords, a webmaster can reduce competition and increase rankings.
  • Don’t abuse keywords. Use your keywords in natural speech. Optimize your page for one or two specific keywords that searchers might use when looking for information available on your page. Be sure your keywords are relevant to your content.
  • Don’t use keywords inĀ link anchor text pointing to other pages on your site. (This is known as commiting keyword cannibalization.)
  • Be sure your keywords are plain text HTML. Add ALT text for images, transcripts for videos and audio clips, and put captions with java or flash plugins or images. Although crawlers are improving, many are unable to process anything besides plain text.

Be Aware of User Experience

Increasing the usability, accuracy, and visual design of the website will also increase your search metrics. Search engines use search metrics and backlinks to determine the popularity and user-friendliness of your page. These factors play an important role in SEO. Always seek to create content that is pleasing for your reader.

Search Engines use Engagement Metrics to determine user satisfaction. Time spent on a search result means the user found the result much more helpful than a user who immediately hits the back button to look for another search.

The Panda update allows google to use machine learning to rank websites on quality and user friendliness. In 2011, human evaluators ranked thousands of websites based on quality and then implemented machine learning that mimicked those evaluators. This update changed more than 20% of search results.

Selecting Keywords:

Things to consider when selecting keywords:

  1. The Keyword’s relevance to your page. Will the people using that keyword in searches be satisfied with the content on your page?
  2. The Keyword’s specificity. Would a narrower keyword or keyphrase attract an audience that is more interested in your content than the audience of the broader term? On the other hand, is your keyword so specific it won’t be searched?
  3. The Competition on that keyword. Can you compete with the current top ranked websites for your keyword?

Where to Put Keywords:

 

  1. In the Title: as close to the beginning as you can put it
  2. At the Top of the Page
  3. Several times throughout the body of the page
  4. At least once in the ALT text
  5. In the URL
  6. In the Summary or Meta description tag

Optimizing Title Tags:

  1. Titles should be between 45 and 55 characters long. Titles that exceed 55 characters in length may not show properly in google searches.
  2. Keywords should be placed near the beginning of the title
  3. Consider putting your brandname at the end of the title
  4. Don’t sacrifice readability and emotional impact for keyword optimization

Visit https://moz.com/learn/seo/title-tag to see how the title and summary of your page would show up in a google search.

Constructing URLS:

  1. Keep them short
  2. Be sure your reader has an idea of what he will find on the page when reads the URL
  3. Use plain text links
  4. Use hyphens to separate words
  5. Use keywords

How Links to your Page Effect your SEO

  1. Are a wide variety of websites created by a wide variety of webmasters on a wide variety of topics linking to your site?
  2. Are many sites on similar topics linking to your site?
  3. Are the ranking sites for your keywords linking to your site?
  4. Are sites linking to your page using your keywords in anchor text to link to your site? (Anchor text is the blue text that shows on a webpage instead of the URL to the link)
  5. Are you getting links from trusted sources?
  6. Have you refrained from linking to spammy or poor quality websites and websites that link to your page?
  7. Have you been accruing new links?
  8. Is your page being shared on social media?

If you can answer yes to the eight questions above, links to your content are doing their job and helping increase your rankings. If you can’t answer yes to each question, devise strategies to remedy your answer.

Creating good, quality content that related pages will naturally link to is one of the best ways to get links. Another great way, is through Manual Outreach. Don’t under estimate the traffic that a well placed link can generate itself. Target specific websites who cater to similar audiences, preferably websites with few links, high credibility and high rankings for your keywords, and invite them to link to your page. Be sure to explain how linking to your page is a benefit for them, and not just an act of charity for you. You may also use this tool to see your competitors’ backlinks. Finding sites who have linked to the top ranked sites for your keyword gives you a list of sites that whose links would be of value to you. Avoid self-created links on lower quality websites. While they may help rankings a little bit, they may also hurt your rankings. If you pursue this option, proceed with caution.

 

Search Engine Webmaster SEO advice

SEO advice from the major search engine webmasters includes:

  • Be sure all pages can be reached by static, plain-text links. (Links of the form: , as opposed to links buried in images, java or flash.) These links are easier for crawlers to find.
  • Don’t “cloak” your work, or try to present different content to the search engine than you present to the user. Make sure your page is optimized to be found by a search engine when a user searches a relevant query. Don’t try to cheat the crawler’s and their index.
  • Use accurate, descriptive, clear language with appropriate keywords in your titles, subtitles and ALT text. (ALT text is text that appears when an image cannot be displayed.) On hubpages, photo captions are ALT text and are therefore an extremely important part of search engine optimization.
  • Create content filled with relevant keywords.

Check for Errors

To check for crawl errors see Google’s Webmaster Tools.

List of Search Engines for Search Engine Optimization Tips

Seo On Website

Basic SEO Techniques:

A few basic SEO techniques:

  • View Google's cache to see your page the way a search engine sees it. If you can't see an element of the page in the cache, the search engines can't see it either! This means that content isn't gaining you any search traffic.
  • Be sure your page is reachable. Crawlers don't perform searches, they travel by links. This means your page has to be viewable by clicking on a link on another page or crawlers won't see it and it won't be searchable.
  • Be sure you don't have metaframes preventing your page from being crawled. Many webmasters use metaframes to prevent rogue bots from crawling their page and don't realize that these metaframes will also prevent search bots from crawling their pages!
  • Don't let your links get lost in a sea of links. Pages with hundreds or thousands of links may not get crawled thoroughly in order to prevent spam and skewed rankings.
  • Use specific keywords. General keywords will have lots of competition. By using more specific keywords, a webmaster can reduce competition and increase rankings.
  • Don't abuse keywords. Use your keywords in natural speech. Optimize your page for one or two specific keywords that searchers might use when looking for information available on your page. Be sure your keywords are relevant to your content.
  • Don't use keywords in link anchor text pointing to other pages on your site. (This is known as commiting keyword cannibalization.)
  • Be sure your keywords are plain text HTML. Add ALT text for images, transcripts for videos and audio clips, and put captions with java or flash plugins or images. Although crawlers are improving, many are unable to process anything besides plain text.

Be Aware of User Experience

Increasing the usability, accuracy, and visual design of the website will also increase your search metrics. Search engines use search metrics and backlinks to determine the popularity and user-friendliness of your page. These factors play an important role in SEO. Always seek to create content that is pleasing for your reader.

Search Engines use Engagement Metrics to determine user satisfaction. Time spent on a search result means the user found the result much more helpful than a user who immediately hits the back button to look for another search.

The Panda update allows google to use machine learning to rank websites on quality and user friendliness. In 2011, human evaluators ranked thousands of websites based on quality and then implemented machine learning that mimicked those evaluators. This update changed more than 20% of search results.

Selecting Keywords:

Things to consider when selecting keywords:

  1. The Keyword's relevance to your page. Will the people using that keyword in searches be satisfied with the content on your page?
  2. The Keyword's specificity. Would a narrower keyword or keyphrase attract an audience that is more interested in your content than the audience of the broader term? On the other hand, is your keyword so specific it won't be searched?
  3. The Competition on that keyword. Can you compete with the current top ranked websites for your keyword?

Where to Put Keywords:


  1. In the Title: as close to the beginning as you can put it
  2. At the Top of the Page
  3. Several times throughout the body of the page
  4. At least once in the ALT text
  5. In the URL
  6. In the Summary or Meta description tag

Optimizing Title Tags:

  1. Titles should be between 45 and 55 characters long. Titles that exceed 55 characters in length may not show properly in google searches.
  2. Keywords should be placed near the beginning of the title
  3. Consider putting your brandname at the end of the title
  4. Don't sacrifice readability and emotional impact for keyword optimization

Visit https://moz.com/learn/seo/title-tag to see how the title and summary of your page would show up in a google search.

Constructing URLS:

  1. Keep them short
  2. Be sure your reader has an idea of what he will find on the page when reads the URL
  3. Use plain text links
  4. Use hyphens to separate words
  5. Use keywords

How Links to your Page Effect your SEO

  1. Are a wide variety of websites created by a wide variety of webmasters on a wide variety of topics linking to your site?
  2. Are many sites on similar topics linking to your site?
  3. Are the ranking sites for your keywords linking to your site?
  4. Are sites linking to your page using your keywords in anchor text to link to your site? (Anchor text is the blue text that shows on a webpage instead of the URL to the link)
  5. Are you getting links from trusted sources?
  6. Have you refrained from linking to spammy or poor quality websites and websites that link to your page?
  7. Have you been accruing new links?
  8. Is your page being shared on social media?

If you can answer yes to the eight questions above, links to your content are doing their job and helping increase your rankings. If you can't answer yes to each question, devise strategies to remedy your answer.

Creating good, quality content that related pages will naturally link to is one of the best ways to get links. Another great way, is through Manual Outreach. Don't under estimate the traffic that a well placed link can generate itself. Target specific websites who cater to similar audiences, preferably websites with few links, high credibility and high rankings for your keywords, and invite them to link to your page. Be sure to explain how linking to your page is a benefit for them, and not just an act of charity for you. You may also use this tool to see your competitors' backlinks. Finding sites who have linked to the top ranked sites for your keyword gives you a list of sites that whose links would be of value to you. Avoid self-created links on lower quality websites. While they may help rankings a little bit, they may also hurt your rankings. If you pursue this option, proceed with caution.


Search Engine Webmaster SEO advice

SEO advice from the major search engine webmasters includes:

  • Be sure all pages can be reached by static, plain-text links. (Links of the form: <A HREF="www.mysite.com/link">, as opposed to links buried in images, java or flash.) These links are easier for crawlers to find.
  • Don't "cloak" your work, or try to present different content to the search engine than you present to the user. Make sure your page is optimized to be found by a search engine when a user searches a relevant query. Don't try to cheat the crawler's and their index.
  • Use accurate, descriptive, clear language with appropriate keywords in your titles, subtitles and ALT text. (ALT text is text that appears when an image cannot be displayed.) On hubpages, photo captions are ALT text and are therefore an extremely important part of search engine optimization.
  • Create content filled with relevant keywords.

Check for Errors

To check for crawl errors see Google's Webmaster Tools.

More on SEO

For more on how search engines work see Part 1 of this guide.

For more on maintaining SEO rankings long term see Part 3 of this guide.

Quick Website Traffic Boosting Tips

How To Seo A Website

As a small business, you may think it's impossible to get the word out about what you do. That's no excuse. And you don't need fads or gimmicks. Follow the proven, timeless tips and techniques of these entrepreneurs to help get the word out about your business and watch it grow.

1. Give Your Stuff Away

Ari Fleischer and Aly Moler of Frozen Pints have grown their craft beer ice cream business by leaps and bounds by attending craft beer shows and farmers markets to do one thing--give their product away. Once customers taste this unexpected combination (which happens to be delicious) for free, they line up at their local store to buy it or even request that the store carry it.

2. Attend Networking Events...

Desiree Scales of Bella Web Design is a master networker.  She attends and presents at almost every event in town. Her contribution to the overall community makes her one of the first people that come to mind when anyone looks for an expert in her area of concentration: small business websites and drip marketing.

3. ...Or, Create Your Own Event

If you don't like the events you are attending, invent your own! Darrah Brustein has created one of the most successful networking events in Atlanta: Atlanta Under 40. The event, which Darrah created to connect with other young entrepreneurs in her city, is now being franchised to other cities.

4. Volunteer to Lead an Organization

The secret to getting the most out of a group or organization is not just to attend but to lead. Take Lisa Calhoun of Write2Market. She served as the president of Entrepreneurs' Organization, allowing her to rub elbows and connect with the brightest minds of the fastest growing companies in the Atlanta market.

5. Start a Podcast

Todd Schnick of Dreamland Interactive is the first person I saw create his own podcast--he interviews other business owners.  People love to tell their story, and by highlighting them on a podcast you make an instant and meaningful connection. It's also a great way to get an education on a topic you are interested in.

6. Be Helpful

Most small business owners struggle to get their finances in line, especially when they move from an Excel spreadsheet to something as sophisticated as QuickBooks. Cathy Iconis of Iconis Group hosts a Quickbook Chat on Twitter every Thursday night at 7:00 EST to answer small business owners' questions--and potentially find some clients.

7. Send a Weekly E-mail

If you want to stay in relationship with your customers, there is nothing simpler than creating a weekly e-mail that provides something of value. Rick Houcek of Soar With Eagles sends one out every Monday that he calls the 2-Minute Monday Motivator. I look forward to getting it every week and often forward his advice to others.

8. Support a Cause

Mary Hester of LAN Systems throws an annual cookout with purpose every Earth Day. Party-goers are encouraged to bring their "e-waste"--old computer monitors and CPUs. At their most recent event they collected more than two tons of IT equipment, keeping it out of the landfills and creating goodwill with their customers, current and potential.

9. Sponsor an Organization

Many local organizations are not that expensive to sponsor for a year if you consider the  so-called per meeting cost. If your product or service is a good fit with their audience, you will get exposure every time the organization sends out an e-mail and a mention every time they meet. Attendees always remember and appreciate companies who sponsor their favorite organizations.

10. Create a Cool Giveaway

When thinking through what your company will  give away make sure it's something they won't want to throw away or easily lose in their desk or bag (think pen).


Kent