This guest post (How to Optimize Your Small Business Website (SEO Tips)) is submitted by Sarah Saker. Her Bio is at the end of the article.
For every small business, it’s tough to get noticed. You’re competing on a large playing field alongside corporations and enterprises with bottomless pockets. A common misconception is that the amount of money you put into your marketing strategy determines your rank on Google’s search engine. Even if you have a limited amount of money, you can still develop an SEO strategy that works. The key is to play the game creatively. Here are some proven SEO tips for your small business website.
Local listings are a great place to start, because unlike major advertising services you can’t pay your way to the top. Start with an overview of every single one of your landing pages. Each one should provide information on who you are, your location, your operating hours, and contact information. This might seem repetitive, but it is helpful to have this information listed on every single page. Social media handles are included under this umbrella — you want to encourage engagement with your audience across multiple platforms wherever possible, and this means on every page. Tip: make sure your business presence is identical across all digital platforms.
Analyze your domain name. Is it memorable? Does it represent your business identity? This might seem too basic, but everything that serves as your digital entity points back to your domain name. You can register for a unique domain name with this helpful tool.
Critical Keywords – Small Business Website (SEO Tips)
While all SEO guides drone on about the importance of keywords, it’s because they matter. Defining a set of keywords essential to your business is one of the easiest ways to gain SERP rankings. The idea here is to target the right keywords for the right pages.
Define a set of target keywords for each particular page. For example, the terms Carlie’s Automotive Parts should take you to a different page than Carlie’s Automotive Locations. Have a purpose for every page and transform that purpose into effective search terms. This isn’t rocket science — it’s a simple concept that requires thoughtful contemplation but provides for results you can see. Some tips for effective keyword targeting:
Identify what your audience is searching for using keyword research and analysis
Google Analytics is a helpful tool — use reports to identify keywords that have directed users to your website
Look at your competitors — it’s okay to observe what they’re doing as long as you don’t copy their behavior. SEMrush is a great tool for this
Consider long tail keywords for reduced competition and higher rankings for specific terms
Target high search volume keywords
Pay attention to page titles and meta descriptions — these fuels your SEO engines
Make Yourself Visible
Google Maps is another great way to grow your visibility without spending a dime. Going back to the topic of locality, take advantage of easy ways to be found by local users. For your business to become listed you need to have a physical address, a local area code phone number, real-time customer interactions, such as at a hair salon or a lawyer’s office.
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Google will locally rank you based on your type of business, proximity to the search location, and user reviews. If you don’t have any business reviews, now would be a good time to start reaching out for positive business feedback from your customers. Positive reviews are a dominant factor in a user selecting your business over a competitor’s.
When you search for something on Google, the results that pop up include a highlighted blue title tag and a description underneath. These are correspondingly known as your “title tags” and “meta descriptions” and they are essential concepts to understand when you’re trying to rank your web page.
Title tags should include your focus keywords for individual pages and pertinent company information such as the name of your business and location. Including your location is especially important when trying to improve local rankings. Make sure you limit your title tag to 60 characters.
Your meta description is the black text beneath your title tag and should include a target keyword for the landing page as well as an enticing description that will encourage users to click through. Again, you have the opportunity to include local information in this space, although it will not affect your ranking as much as your title tag — instead, it can encourage user engagement. Be creative when writing your meta descriptions because they serve as the faces for your web pages.
While a web presence can be purchased through pay-per-click advertising, search engine optimization can definitely be improved organically with these helpful tips. Why does organic optimization work? Users are more likely to click on links optimized organically, as they tend to be more useful. Again, utilizing local aspects and long tail keywords come into play here, as these techniques tend to narrow down search results.
Sarah Saker is a business coach and freelance writer that specializes in helping SMBs setup processes for customer support and predictable growth. When not writing or coaching, Sarah can be found on her (small but growing!) family farm. Connect with Sarah on about.me for coaching or writing help