So, you have heard about the SEO (Search engine Optimization) and you have been informed that SEO is important and that it works very well for online business. But at some point, you have probably thought about what makes SEO so important.
What exactly is SEO?
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of generating organic traffic to your website from major search engines through non-paid methods. The most popular search engines such as Google, Bing etc use multiple factors to determine which are the best results to display. Here is where SEO comes into play. The SEO process optimizes your website so that it’s content can be easily indexed by the search engines.
Is SEO only for large online business?
Absolutely not. If you have a website, whether you are an online retailer or an offline store, it is important that you have an optimized website. Think about it, where do most people begin their search- it’s on the internet. In fact, 80% of the people research a company or brand online before dealing with small business. In a way, SEO turns your website into your super star salesman and this in turn helps you generate leads and qualify prospects.
So essentially SEO is not just about your website ranking, it also about getting more clicks and views, or keeping ‘bounce rates’ optimal. In addition, an optimized website will help build your credibility and make your brand stronger. Apart from being an essential tool in your overall digital marketing strategy, SEO is also a very cost-effective tool. How so? Well, effective SEO can attract hundreds of targeted prospects to your business website and increase your conversion rates by delivering a solution to the problem that they were facing.
What basic steps do small business have to take for SEO?
Here are some of the basic SEO steps that you need to take to ensure that you have an optimized website. These are the most important factors to consider when optimizing your site
- Keywords: Each page should have two keywords that are most relevant to the overall content. Choose a primary keyword and a variation of that keyword.
- Page Title: Choose a unique page title of not more than 60 characters for your web page. Ensure that the selected primary keyword is part of the page title.
- Meta Description: This description appears just below the Page title in the google search. Consider this as the call to action that will help potential customers decide whether to click no your link or not. Keep this meta at about 160 characters. Ensure that the primary keyword is part of the meta description.
- URL: the web page URL should have the primary keyword that has been chosen for the page. Each word in the URL should be separated using dashes (-).
- Content of the web page should contain the primary keyword a few times. Try to bold or underline the keyword at least once.
- Internal Links: if you have mentioned the keyword of the web page on other pages then link to this page using the primary keyword as the anchor text.
- Images: Any images used on the page should be optimized so that search engines can “read” the image. Optimize the most prominent image on the page using the primary keyword, and then use the primary and secondary keywords for any other images. There are two ways to optimize images on your page.
- Filename: Each word should be separated with dashes (-),
- ALT text: The alt text should match the file name, without dashes
Local Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
Yep, that is actually a thing to consider, specially if you are a small or mid size business owner! Local SEO is focused on providing results that are relevant to a searcher based on their current location. If you search for “best Thai restaurant”, then Google will provide you with results that are the closest to you. The most important step in local SEO strategy is to claim your Google My Business page. Next step is to complete all the information Google asks for.
Just filling the information does not complete the task. You need to login to your Google My Business dashboard regularly to ensure that no one has made any unwanted changes to your listing. Yes, you did read that right, someone/anyone can make edits to the information you have filled in. So, don’t forget to go back to your dashboard and check the details you filled in on regular basis.
Now you have to optimize your listing. You can do this by
- On the contact page show your NAP- Name, Address and Phone number
- Ensure that your phone number is clickable on mobile devices
- Add your location map
- Add testimonials or reviews
- If you have a blog, then create local content (local is the keyword here!)
Special Tip: You’ll also want to set up profiles on the social media channels relevant to your target demographic.
Final tips to boost your SEO Ranking
Some quick tips that will help with your website ranking
- Think mobile first when designing your website. Google algorithm gives priority to mobile friendly websites
- Don’t forget the Sitemaps: Google uses the sitemap to index your web page.
- Speed matters: A fast loading site will fare better on Google ranking.
- Add keywords and image file name to all the images on your site
- Backlinks are important, including internal linking
- Higher content length does not mean better rankings. Quality in content matters way more than quantity.
- Quality of backlinks matter.
- Don’t believe anyone that says SEO is dead. SEO is very much alive and an integral part of your strategy.
Now you are all set to start on your SEO. Don’t let your business get left behind.
Stay tuned to our blog. Our next one will explore the Pillar pages concept and how this can help your search engine rankings.