SEO (Search Engine Optimization). It’s a term that strikes fear into the hearts of small business owners across the country.
Some even question its usefulness in their company’s overall marketing mix. Although I am extremely biased, I would argue that it is an imperative addition for any company moving forward on the web, and really isn’t all that terrible (or complicated) when you get down to it. Check out this post that easily explains what SEO is for a demystified look into the process.
But for all of you brave souls who have bought into the kool aid (and rightfully so), I have the three most important SEO tips and strategies that you yourself can implement for your own small business today. Let’s get started shall we?
1. Match your page titles with keywords that match your page content.
I know, it almost seems really simple and intuitive when you think about it. The reason for that? It is.
Despite this seemingly obvious strategy, I have witnessed far too many websites that have unrelated or non useful page titles. Your page title should tell your users (and Google) exactly what that page content is going to be about. If one or the other doesn’t match, there will be confusion. But if the two are perfectly in tune with one another, you will find yourself handsomely rewarded by Google’s (not so) mysterious algorithm.
Aside from telling google exactly what you’re about, the other benefit of this strategy is what we webficionados call User Experience, or UX if you’re trying to impress others. Sometimes businesses can get caught up in the idea of just having a website built and set up.
That is a good first step, but your ultimate goal with a site should be to assist your users, customers, and prospects in a way that adds value to their experience and helps them understand exactly what your company, product and/or service is about. Specific and relevant titles on every page will help them know exactly what they’re looking at, and help them navigate to other pages more easily when the time comes.
For example, you own a small bakery. Under your products category you should have pages named “Cupcakes” and “Cookies”, rather than “Happier Muffins” or “Round Yummies”. You get the point.
2. Create a good amount of unique, quality, and useful content for your website’s specific audience.
This one is probably the most important in today’s ever changing SEO world. Times are changing. Gone are the black hat days of SEO where you could throw in a ton of unrelated meta keywords to your code, and buy one hundred backlinks from a spam farm and rank well for your business.
On top of Google being more likely to rank your company better, good content is key to delivering a great user experience and increasing brand awareness. Writing thoughtful web content, will attract a wider group of users to your site, grow your brand loyalty, and then hopefully make those happy users come back for more in the form of a purchase.
There are two main routes to take when attempting to accomplish this one. The first, starts with thinking about what makes the business special? If a close personal friend asked you to describe your business to them and why you love it so much how would you respond them to them? Most business owners are very eager and happy to engage others about their product because they truly love what they do.
Just use that same mentality when developing pages for a website. Fill up each page, product or service description, personal bio, and whatever else with what you already have going through your head about your who you are and what you do.
Second, get a blog. Seriously. For it to be effective, and quality it can take some time, and a bit of effort on your part. But for most businesses having a blog on their website can really pay off. It gives you a great opportunity to attract an audience who will have an incentive to continue to check in with your business. It also helps add fresh and updated content to your site, which Google loves as well.
3. Get on Google My Business
It may not seem like anyone actually uses Google’s attempt at a social service (otherwise known as google +), and if you are comparing it to services like Facebook or Twitter then you would mostly be correct.
But if you are a small business that sells a product or service locally, especially if you sell from a brick and mortar location, then it is imperative to establish a Google My Business page for search visibility. The reason being is that one of the main goals of Google’s mission is to serve it’s users the most relevant and useful content possible. One way that Google does this is through tracking your location and showing you results pages that are associated with businesses in your area.
So while Google can do some kind of intuitive association of concepts, it also heavily relies on the profile information that you put on your page to decide where your business is , and what to show users who are searching in your city or town.
Once made, your Google My Business profile can be shown in the top 3 results pack, or be shown in a box on the right hand side of the Google results pages when people search for your brand. What that translates to, is basically free advertising on the internet and you get to quickly and efficiently tell your users exactly who you are and what your business does.
So there you have it. Three whole things that you yourself can actually do to SEO your own small business. Now take this miniature wealth of knowledge, go forth, and conquer the internet. Or if you’d like to know more or need any help setting any of this up, feel free to contact me directly. I’d be more than happy to help.