For a lot of small business owners, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is like the engine in your car. You know it’s important. You rely on it every day. Sometimes, you can tell something’s wrong. But you don’t really know how the parts work, or how to fix it when it’s broken.
SEO experts and charlatans do little to help with this. Why would they? It’s against their best interest for you to be able to do for free what they charge money to do for you. But it’s not as complex as they would have you believe. If you’re willing to turn these 15 simple tasks into a checklist, you’ll see your search rankings rise.
15 SEO Tips for Small Businesses:
- Make a list of three to five keyword phrases most likely to draw web traffic. Choose those with high traffic but low competition, and include at least one with your local area.
- Include keyword phrases in your page and blog post URLS. These don’t have to match the titles, but they carry big weight with Google.
- Sign up for Google Local. If Google Plus was Google’s White Pages, this is their Yellow Pages. It gives you a huge boost in organic search, and puts your business above the fold even with lower rankings.
- Get relevant contacts – people in your industry, including vendors, mentors and friends from conventions – to link to your website from their own sites and social media. Make sure the links lead to many different pages on your site.
- Write a description tag for every page on your site (you can do one a week until you’re done). Include your keyword phrases in every single tag. Make the tag a comprehensible sentence giving accurate information about the page.
- When you insert an image, include keywords in the “ALT” box. This is a description for vision-impaired people, and read by search engines. Don’t be abusive or misleading – Google will slap you for that – but neither should you miss this opportunity.
- Use headings on your pages and posts. This keeps people reading, which reduces “bounce rate” (the number of people who visit your page and immediately leave it), and search engines give more attention to headings than to other text.
- Include at least two links to other pages on your site in every page or post you write.
- Bold-face important concepts, especially those with keywords and key phrases in them. This guides readers (increasing share-ability and reducing bounce rate) and gets more weight from the search algorithms.
- Share every new blog post or page on your social media channels. Encourage fans and followers to share it further.
- Add social sharing buttons to your site, making it easy for readers to share your best material on their own social media channels. Don’t go crazy with a dozen buttons, though. Stick with the Big Six: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google Plus, Instagram and Pinterest.
- Add your newest pages to Digg and StumbleUpon, two social bookmarking sites dedicated to sharing interesting content. Reddit is also a good choice.
- If you have duplicated content on your site (whether it’s two very similar articles on your actual website, or an article you reposted elsewhere), remove it. Duplicate content was a working strategy before 2012, but now hurts your site’s search performance.
- Give lots of links to other sites. It’s the best way to foster social friendships and sharing, and to get links in return. While you’re at it, include links in your email broadcasts as well. Links to your site from high-reputation, relevant domains are SEO gold.
- Write better content. Okay, this one isn’t quick or easy but it becomes more important with each passing year. Having stuff on your site people want to read is the best way to get more people to read it. This isn’t just important because it improves your SEO. It’s your chance to showcase your expertise in whatever good or service you’re selling.
All this said, most business owners lack the time and expertise to really leverage SEO. That means hiring expert help once in a while, which requires the right money at the right time, whether or not you actually have the funds on hand. If you don’t have it on hand, don’t worry. Take note of the SEO tips above and remember that a Kabbage loan or line of credit for your business can put the funds you need in your hands in under 24 hours. You’ll be able to use your business financing to direct your web mojo where you need it, when you need it, for the highest possible profits.
Article from Jason Brick