We’ve been there: staring at your computer screen with your fingers poised above your keyboard keys as you contemplate yet another cup of coffee. You’ve worked hard to build your small business empire and now it’s time to scale and find more customers. When your customers are your top priority, regular site updates might fall to the bottom of your to-do list. Once you find time to do a site audit (or use our free tool for an SEO site audit!), you need to make the most of that time and prioritize what needs to be done. Here are some quick SEO tips to help you get your website in the best shape it can be.
Make your site stylish without sacrificing substance.
It’s not just about making your site look pretty; your site should offer a seamless user experience not only for the people who land on the page but also for search engine crawlers. These crawlers aren’t the creepy kind (although some people refer to them as web spiders). Their job is to constantly index the web, which includes the pages on your website. If a crawler gets to your site and sees paragraph after paragraph of text with no breaks, no bold letters, no headlines...it gets a little angry. Think of it this way: when you read an article in the newspaper, headings and subheadings give you an idea of what information you’re about to read. In the same way, you can use headings and subheadings to tell search engine crawlers what your site is about. This also helps people reading your site find what they’re looking for more easily.
Hot Tip #1
Incorporate short-tail and long-tail keywords into H1, H2, and H3 tags.
In addition to headings and subheadings, you also have to follow design best practices. Keep important text off of graphics. Don’t use a ton of different fonts. Avoid harsh colors. Truly put yourself in your customer’s shoes and scrutinize your site: Is this actually what people want to see when they land on my home page?Edit with a critical eye, then work on your meta tags to drive your site structure home. Although you have to avoid keyword stuffing, or cramming as many keywords as possible into a sentence (which makes it sound like a robot wrote it), you can partially side-step that with meta tags. Search engine crawlers read the meta tags to confirm what they think your site is about.
Create really good content.
While you want to get as many keywords onto your site as possible, save the stuffing for holiday turkeys. Keyword stuffing harms your site. But how is your site going to perform without a bunch of keywords everywhere? If you have a blog, you can fit keywords in more often without overwhelming your reader.
Hot Tip #2
Keep your paragraphs short for increased readability.
Find a keyword you want to use. For example: SEO tips. Write a blog about SEO tips, publicize it on social media, and repeat. Figure out what your customers want to read about with regard to your selected keyword. If you own a small business that sells soaps and other body products, your customers are probably interested in how they can use those products, or maybe they want to figure out how they can build a custom gift basket...they might even want to learn about your soap-making process. By delivering content that’s useful and meaningful to the types of customers you have (and want), you build trust and become a thought leader in your respective field.
Link it up.
When you write about similar subjects, you create opportunities to cross-link your blogs, product pages, and everything else. If you own a restaurant that also sells salad dressing, you can post a salad recipe (including your dressing), and link to the product page for your dressing. You can even link to external pages pages to boost credibility. Find leaders in your field with killer sites. Marketing companies might look to Forbes, Crain’s Cleveland, or even CoSchedule whereas aerospace engineering companies should consider looking to Boeing or Parker Hannifin to back up content with industry powerhouses.
Once you have your blog under control, consider writing guest posts on others’ blogs. You’ll usually have an opportunity to include a short bio, in which you can include a website link for your small business.
Hot Tip #3
When you write a guest post, include links within your content to your small business blog.
Don’t forget about your analytics.
If you’re producing all this content, you don’t want it to go to waste. Keep a close eye on how your site and your blogs are performing. If your customers haven’t visited your blog on how to make the perfect holiday cookies, then ask yourself why that is. Maybe you posted it too late in the year, or maybe your customers don’t really care about cookies (can you imagine?)Compare your website pages’ performance to each other and keep testing to see what sticks. Try out different writing styles and voices, offer incentives to read...find what works for your small business, because even in a given industry, each business is different.
SEO is pretty cool.
We want to make SEO less intimidating for you. We understand it can be tricky at times, but if you don’t optimize your site, you could be missing out on a ton of potential customers that could benefit from your services. Do your research and find out how people are searching for small businesses like you. And if you find yourself getting frustrated, we’re always here to help.
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