23 Jan Rock Your Small Business’ SEO
If you are a small business owner, and you’re trying to learn about promoting your company, you’ve certainly heard about SEO. And although it may look like a science at the first glance, it’s not that hard to get a grip of the basics yourself, and give your online presence a significant boost without spending too much money.
Let’s start out easy. SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is “the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a web search engine’s unpaid results—often referred to as ‘natural’, ‘organic’, or ‘earned’ results.” — Wikipedia
There are several ways to achieve this, but it all comes down to making certain changes to you business website that will increase its visibility and search-ability on search engines such as Google, Yahoo or Bing. It’s a long-term process, so don’t expect miracles. Patience wears away stones, and brings SEO results. So without further ado, let’s help you find a strategy to attack those front pages.
One of the easiest ways to give your SEO a boost is to start blogging. First of all, you get a chance to share valuable content with your customers, which is a great way of marketing on itself. The next positive effect will be improvement in your website’s placement in Google search results, because Google robots love websites with original and relevant content delivered in regular updates.
Encourage your customers to write reviews of your business. You can either get a reviews page on your website set up, or you can register your business at various websites (Google My Business, Yelp, Angie’s List). Send an e-mail to your customer once your deal is done, providing them with links to all the platforms where they can share their experience. The more genuine reviews you get, the better your online presence becomes.
Google Keyword Planner is an excellent (and free) keyword research tool that you should start using yesterday. It helps you spot the gaps in your industry’s market, so that you can distinguish yourself from the big players who are paying hundreds of dollars on Google Ads for targeting the most common keywords. With the right amount of luck and invention, you may find just the keywords that a) are perfect for your business and b) will bring you good results without being crushed by the competition.
Google My Business
Speaking of Google, you need to set up a profile at Google My Business, unconditionally. Registered businesses with solid (or at least existent) SEO have a great chance of improving their position by having their business listed on the map and in local search results. Plus, remember the review function? Google My Business reviews are a part of the package, and it all comes completely free.
Titles, headers, meta
The title of your page is the text appearing in your web browser’s tab and it is marked as <title> </title> in the source code. It is used by search engines exclusively, just like meta description. The content of your meta description is very important, because that’s what makes people decide whether they come to your website or not, so think about it carefully. In the HTML code it is marked as <meta name=“description” content=“Fast, reliable and reasonably priced plumbing services and plumbing emergency in Okfuskee county, Oklahoma.”>. And finally, the header is the key line based on which the search engine determines your webpage’s keyword relevance, so make sure to include it here. There are different levels of headers marked as <h1></h1>, <h2></h2>, <h3></h3> etc. <h1> is the most important one, as it shows up in Google search results together with the meta description of your page.
The codes look a bit scary, but don’t stress it — take your time to look through your website’s source code and learn about the basics.
First of all, you want to include your address information wherever you go — in your website’s content, in the home page header, in the meta tags, etc…. Spread it through your content, but remember to be sensible; not every sentence has to end with BOLEY, OKLAHOMA.
Another very useful way is to claim your business’ address on Google Maps and register it to all the available local directories, for example via moz.com. Here’s an example of the effects: as a small business providing for instance plumbing services, it’s not your ultimate goal to be on the front page when people google “best plumber”, not even “best plumber Oklahoma”. But when the keywords are “plumber emergency Boley” or “water leakage help Okfuskee”… It’s yours.