As a small business owner, do you need SEO? And what is SEO? This article will attempt to answer these questions so you have a clearer idea of what it is all about.
And you can decide if it is for you and your business!
Search Engine Optimization, also known as SEO, is the activity dedicated to boosting a website’s search engine rankings in order to gain more organic traffic to that site. As the higher and more often you appear in search results, the more traffic you get. And potentially the more customers as well!
The top of Google search results shows snippets and links to sites and pages considered authoritative and relevant to the query the user entered in the search box. Authority and relevance are mostly measured by analyzing the content a site has to offer as well as the quality the Web pages linking to it.
Google likes to promote authority sites at the top of their results in order to provide a better user experience for the people looking for any kind of information.
Hence it is the webmaster’s job to create relevant informative posts related to the topic at hand, that can become authority pages; of course this involves writing useful content. Over time, Google will pick up authority signals and provide a sustainable and robust ranking for a well-optimized site with great content that users love.
SEO is a broad topic, but it can be broken down into two main categories: on-page and off-page optimization. To help you understand these techniques, here are some essentials features of each of these aspects.
This is a part of SEO that covers everything on your site that is within your control. It commonly refers to optimizing individual pages, in particular the content.
You probably know by now that “content is king,” and that it serves two purposes. One, it tells your visitor what your niche is and what products or service you are offering. Two, it shows Google what your site is all about. Here are four important factors to remember when you are building your web content.
a. Produce Content for Your Customers
Although some techniques can boost your rankings immediately, not all of them are acceptable to Google. If you get caught by the google algorithm, your site can get penalized and lose all the credibility and hard work you have poured onto it.
There is also the likelihood that you will never recover from the penalty imposed on your site. Examples of things to avoid are article spinning and keyword stuffing. These are outdated techniques that may work for a while but can get you into big trouble later on.
b. Use Keyword Variations
Keywords or key phrases are critical to Google. They help the search engines understand what your content is all about. Since you know your business better than anyone else, you need to make use of keyword variation to describe your niche, products or services.
Just make sure to stay away from similar phrases as your page may appear to be stuffed with keywords. Google is smart enough to know that “house painter” and “house painting” mean the same thing. Just pick your keyword variations and naturally insert them into your content.
c. Take Advantage of the Titles and Heading
A single piece of content can only have one title, but it can have multiple headings and subheadings. The most important among these three is the title as it is the one that shows up in the Google search results. It should contain your primary keyword and make it compelling enough to attract visitors. Headings and subheadings are there to help your readers organize their thoughts while reading your content.
d. Tailor the Page URL
You may find that your default page URL is based on the title of your post. Most content management systems like WordPress use your title post as the default page URL. If you find that your post utilizes an alphanumeric URL, make sure to edit it and use your title instead. This is not just better for your rankings, but it also increases the chance of your URL link getting clicked by the user.
Add Your Name, Address and Contact Details
Your name, address and contact details should be displayed on every page of your website. The easiest way to set this up is to place the details in the footer. If you operate in multiple locations, you need to have a different page for every address and contact details.
It is vital that Google knows you have different branches in various places as Google searches nowadays are geo-located. To take this concept to another level, you can use a schema markup. It is another subject in SEO that allows you to label your content in a way that Google knows precisely what it means and what it is for.
Now that the essentials about what you need to do on your website are covered, it is time to look at off-page optimization to help your site position well in the SERPs. To improve your rankings, you need to work on relevant links, your social media presence and citations.
Getting Relevant Backlinks
Backlinks are essential in boosting your rankings. Whenever a reputable site links to one of your pages, some of their link power transfers to your site, thereby help improve your rankings. However, some link building strategies can hurt your rankings. There have been numerous strategies years ago that are no longer acceptable today.
The best way to identify a good link is when it is created naturally. But these types of links take time to obtain, so you have to take matters into your own hands. One way of doing it is by writing guest posts.
Do not waste your time submitting guest posts to different websites. Only write for sites in your niche. As you build your guest post portfolio, you can begin applying to more reputable sites with good domain authority. Sites like these are the most powerful when it comes to link juice transfers.
When guest posting, you will be provided an author byline where you can link your blog and social media accounts at the bottom of the page. Other link building techniques you can use are infographics submission, blog commenting, posting in niche forums and ressource pages.
Social Media Presence
Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, and Pinterest are the raging social channels you want to appear on right now. These channels have engaging users that you can potentially attract to your own business. Therefore, it is essential that you claim your brand name on these major sites regardless of the amount of time you spend on it.
There are two reasons why you should set up your own account on these social media. First, it helps Google further identify what your brand is all about. Second, having these signals gives you the opportunity to gain more quality backlinks.
Websites such as Manta, Yell, Foursquare, and Yelp are trusted business directories where you can list your site. In some cases, you can also acquire a backlink from them. Signing up for these citation sites is especially beneficial for helping your site show up on the map listings that are on some local searches.
Getting ahead of the competition is not easy. But if you study and execute the suggestions listed above, you will surely find your site gaining more traffic sooner than later.
If you belong to a highly competitive industry, implementing these primary measures will not be enough to propel you further up. This is where proper services from the experts come in to help you out.