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Derrek Sigler, Assistant Editor
Interactive Buyers' Guide
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Sending out a search party for your website
By Derrek Sigler

In a presentation at the Southeast Regional Fruit and Vegetable Conference in Savannah, Ga., in January, Kyle Hensel from the University of Georgia Small Business Development Center talked about Google and search engine optimization (SEO) for farmers and farm marketers.

If you have ever searched for your farm, farm market or even your website and it didn't come up with relative ease, you need to look into getting your name and site to the top of the results page. That's where SEO comes in.

One key element is choosing keywords to be highlighted in your website listing that will be picked up in queries. This is different for each operating system, so it depends on your website and how it was built.

“Common keywords for SEO would include your farm’s name, produce that you sell, your location and more,” Hensel said.

But SEO is more than keywords, Hensel said. Google rates your webpage based on several factors. The higher the rating, the closer your page gets to the top. Fresh content is a major factor.

“Traffic goes up 200 percent if you update your website just four times a month,” he said. “Blogs are great for this.”

Links from other websites also are important. The more active links you have with other sites, the better. It also helps to make all of your content linkable, to drive traffic to your site. Other tips include using email and social media for communication and promoting your website anywhere you can. It is important to note that SEO doesn’t happen overnight, Hensel said. It takes time, but it works.

Look for more about what Google has to offer farmers in an upcoming issue of VGN.

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Photo by Derrek Sigler

The tradeshow at the Southeast Regional Fruit & Vegetable Conference in Savannah, Ga., packs in vendors from all over the United States. The trade show is unique in serving a buffet-style lunch on the show floor, encouraging attendees and vendors to mingle and dine together.

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