As a small business owner you need to contemplate one simple but very important fact. When people perform a search in a major search engine (i.e. Google) for your products or services only one of two outcomes is possible: they will find your website, or they will find your competitors. Showing up in the first few results in a search for your products or services can have a huge impact on your business. Getting in those top posititions can be incredibly difficult though. The process can be daunting and elusive for any small business.
So here are the top five SEO tips for small businesses:
Quality Link Building
Quality versus quantity is the key to any successful link building initiative. Google has updated their algorithm numerous times over the past few years and a strong focus has been on the quality of a website's backlink profile. Gone are the days that you can build a thousand random links back to your website and see yourself shoot up to the top of the search results. It is better to build links from authoritative resources with quality content. That will mean fewer links, but you will enjoy long-term success.
Optimize your Social Media Profiles
The key to an SEO optimized social media profile is to be as descriptive as possible. Always fill out the 'about' or 'information' sections for any social media platform. Use words or phrases that describe your business and are terms individuals would use to search for your business. For instance, to optimize your Facebook Page for local searches, it is very important to include your address, city, state, and zip. Always include links from your social channels back to your business's website (and vice versa).
To further optimize your social content, include some of the relevant search keywords you determined for your business in your Facebook updates, tweets, descriptions, etc. It is essential to remember to share content from your website or blog socially to give it an SEO boost too. Sharing new content on Twitter is especially important because it helps Google index it faster.
Focus on Quality in all its Forms
Yes, your content should be compelling, descriptive and differentiated but quality extends to the technical side of your site, too. Here are a few tips:
- Identify and reduce or eliminate duplicate pages and content.
- Make sure your "in-linking" helps users and search engines find their way around your site.
- Ensure your content is accessible and optimized for mobile searchers
Determine search keywords for which you want your site to rank highly for and make sure those keywords appear several times on the page in prominent places, such as the page title, sub-headers and links. If you want your site to appear high up in search results when a user enters "SEO Tips," make all of those words appear either together or separately on the page. Aim to create a landing page for each keyword set (you do not need to scatter the keywords on all pages of your site, instead pick one page that you want search engines to point users to when they enter your chosen keyword phrase).
Utilize Meta Data
Add Meta data to all site pages. Meta data, such as your page's subject, keywords and description is not normally seen by site visitors, but exists behind the scenes in the source code. Meta text is not counted as a factor in your external search engine rank, but the page description you give may be used as the "preview" blurb displayed on search results pages. Conversely, Meta text is used to determine UCL internal search ranking.
Never depend on SEO alone for the growth of your business. Often the businesses that fail are the ones that depend on SEO alone for the entire growth of their business. The companies that survive and thrive are the ones that have a solid approach and market in a variety of ways both online and offline. SEO can be a big piece; however, it is only one slice of the marketing pie.