SEO basics every business website owner Should know

seo basics for small business website owners

Every business owner is facing challenges in creating revenue as the resources are limited and the challenges are infinite….

When it comes to search engine optimization (SEO), a few important basics can improve your business presence online.

Here are some strong reasons why your business should definitely invest in organic SEO

No SEO means no visitors from search engines. If you don’t do it then search engines can’t categorize and rank your site for keywords relevant to your business.

It is cost effective compared to the costs associated with other forms of online marketing such as PPC advertising and purchasing leads for an email marketing program.

SEO provides fairly good ROI. Search engines grabbing more market share. Somewhere between 80-90% of customers now check online reviews prior to making a purchase, and this number is only expected to increase.

Rise of mobile bandwidth and local search optimization. Later this year, the amount of traffic delivered to mobile devices is expected to exceed that delivered to traditional desktop devices.

With this dramatic explosion in mobile usage, a whole new world of effective SEO techniques have opened up for companies, such as local search optimization.

Your competitors are doing it. If you’re not moving forward and improving your position, you’re losing ground to a competitor who is. That’s a simple fact of how the process works.”  Don’t let your competitors out maneuver you by ignoring this valuable tool for your business.

Today, we’re going to look at some easy things you can do to start your website’s SEO on the right foot – even if you can’t hire a professional to help you out.

1. On-Site SEO Basics

On-page SEO is the foundation to your SEO campaign. If the on-page elements are not right, you have very little chance of securing top results for your keywords, even if your a very high quality backlink profile

Title Tags:

Ensure you place your main keyword and variations in the title tag of a page. Always ensure you target one main keyword and variations per page and don’t try and trick the search engines by optimizing multiple pages for the same keyword.

The title tag should be written in such a way that your main keyword uses at the start with variations added too.

Spend time putting together title tags which include your main keywords for a page and also look natural, aren’t stuffed with keywords and read well! There’s nothing worse than spammy, over optimized titles!

Meta Description:

Meta description is an incredibly important aspect of on-page optimization. They’re the first introduction potential customers get with your brand, so it pays to get them right.

Meta descriptions should be well written, approximately 156 characters and essentially about what the landing page is about. As with title tags, don’t spam or over optimize and always think about what works for users before the search engines.

Heading Tags:

If you’re not using heading tags in a strategic way, you should be! Starting with your pages’ H1 tag, ensure you utilize headings correctly without over-optimizing them.

Place your main keyword in a H1 tag, again making sure it works for users ahead of search engines, and split the rest of your content up with ascending H tags…H2 comes next then H3.

Remember: Use only one H1 tag per page. Others can be used multiple times if needed.

Content:

Content is great for both your website visitors and search engines. The more content you have, the more likely your visitors will stick around on your website.

And the more content you have, the more likely search engines will be to put more of your website’s pages in the search index.

The key to pleasing both search engines and visitors is to have quality content on our website. Creating quality content for your website can be a huge investment, but it is worth it. Search engines will love it, and visitors will love it so much that they will share it on social media, leading to even more visitors.

You can start out by simply creating blog posts on your website, and as your audience grows, you can expand your content inventory to additional types of media.

Canonicalization Of Duplicate Content:

Commonly many CMS’ (Magento as an example) allow pages to be accessible via a number of different URL’s, however from a search marketing perspective, it’s not good.

In such instances, you’re not trying to manipulate search results via having a page live on duplicate URL’s. So, adding a canonical tag to reference one main page for Google to index will solve your duplicate content problem.

Here is an article describes how you can use canonical URLs to improve link and ranking signals for content available through multiple URL structures or via syndication.

Image Name and ALT Tags:

If you use images on your website, you should think of good keywords for both the image name and the alt tag. This helps search engines find good images for their image search based on the keywords specified.

URL Structure:

If your site uses query strings for page URLs, this is something you need to look at as a priority. It’s far better to use a search engine friendly URL structure such as www.yoursite.com/page-name/ as opposed to www.yoursite.com/index.php?id=1. It makes more sense to both users and search engines and should be regarded as a priority.

Always use hyphens rather than underscores and try not to have main pages sitting too many directories deep in your site.

Internal Links:

Link building isn’t just reserved for external sites linking to your website. You can help search engines learn more about your website by internally linking to other pages on your website within your content.

Page Speed

Take a moment to analyze your site’s page speed using the Page Speed Insights tool from Google to outline how fast they can load your site as well as receive a whole host of suggestions as to how you can improve things. Try and get it as far above 90 as possible.

2. Off-Site Optimization

Link building is probably one of the most talked about (and debated about) SEO tasks. The basic goal of link building is to get other websites to link to yours. If you think about ranking at the top of search results as a popularity contest, then links are like votes saying your website deserves to be ranked highly. Getting links with keyword anchor text will help you rank specifically for the keywords that are linked to.

So how do you get links? There are lots and lots of ways to do it – some good, and some not so good. If you read enough about link building, you will hear ultimately about three kinds of links and link building techniques.

  • Organic Links – These are links you don’t have to ask for, and they are the best kind. Especially if you can get them on sites with high authority such as major news outlets and other well-recognized name websites.
  • Whitehat – This basically stands for good, quality link building (the kind you should strive for).
  • Blackhat – This stands for spammy, low-quality link building (the kind you should avoid).

Most websites will have a hard time generating enough organic links to raise their rankings in search engines that is why link building is such a popular service. But you can get started on building quality links by doing some of the following activities.

Create local search profiles (if applicable) and social media profiles. While the links do not always count towards search rankings, they can attract clicks which will generate more incoming traffic to your website.
Create link worthy content. Infographics are a great example – you create a beautiful image representing important information and allow others to use the infographic on their own website in exchange for linking back to yours as credit.

3. Monitoring your results

Keep track of your SEO progress by monitoring your results.  Use Google Analytics to learn more about the visitors to your website. In particular, monitor your organic search traffic sources to see what keywords people are using to find your website in search results. By setting up goals, you can see which keywords lead to visits where visitors do what you want them to do on your website such as sign up for a mailing list or purchase a product. This will help you learn what keywords you should be targeting with your SEO campaign.