A Simple Guide to Small Business SEO

seo

SEO Has One Goal.

The goal of search engine optimization (SEO) is to connect you with potential customers.  According to Search Engine Journal, 70 percent of people begin their search for a new product or service on the internet.  SEO is the process of having your website show up as high as possible on the search results pages of Google and other search engines, so that potential customers can find you.

Bring People to Your Business.

The process of having potential clients come to you is known as inbound marketing. This differs from traditional outbound marketing, which involves spending a lot of money on advertising and promotion in arenas where you are not guaranteed a captive audience.  Inbound marketing pairs you with the people who are already interested in what you are selling, delivering you a targeted audience.  In order to get this audience, you need an optimized website so they can find you in the clutter of the internet.

The Basics.

  • Keep your URLs straightforward and easy to find. If you run a small business that makes and sells cakes for special occasions, the URL for where to find wedding cakes on your site should be something to the effect of http://www.CakesbyCathy.com/weddingcakes.
  • Develop a sitemap. A sitemap is a list of the pages on your website that makes it easy for search engine crawlers to search your site. Google offers some good information about sitemaps and how to create them.
  • Write valuable and relevant content that contains keywords. The point here is to make the content both useful to consumers and findable in search engines. Keyword services such as Wordtracker are available so that you can find the best keywords for your services.  Because content needs to be updated frequently to appeal to search engines, consider starting a blog that is updated at least weekly with fresh, engaging, keyword-rich content
  • Use outbound links that direct visitors between pages on your website and to pages of outside websites. Blogs, again, are a great place to do this. Make sure the links are relevant to the content and don’t overdo it or search engines (and visitors) will be turned off.
  • Use images on your website to increase SEO. Use an “ALT” tag to include keyword-rich descriptions of the images on your website. Also take advantage of image captions and the text around the image to add keyword-rich content.
  • Take advantage of the SEO benefits of social media. Post keyword-rich content on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Google+, Pinterest and any other social media site that links from your own website. The more useful and engaging the content, the more it will help your website optimization.

For more in-depth information on SEO and methods to increase your optimization for your website, check out Google’s Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide.