Why you need to know about SEO – If you as a small business owner don’t have this knowledge your online presence will suffer!
Does SEO matter for small business?
DEFINITELY – and when it is done well, it can represent an ongoing and abundant source of organic traffic to your website. Unlike paid promotion via Google (otherwise known as PPC), clicks to your site from the organic or natural listings have no cost per click. Ultimately this means you are gaining traffic from appearing in your clients search results. This is why you need to know about SEO!
Key factors that impact SEO for your small business?
You must produce fresh, relevant content that is aligned with what your audience is searching for across the Internet.
You must consider a blog as being the principal source of delivering fresh content.
Your blog is used to answer the questions that your clients are asking, deliver them the answers via this method to create a following for your brand.
Try not to get hung up on single keywords – write naturally, in a manner that is conversational.
Realise that search engines have moved way beyond just matching a keyword from the search.
Remember that your clients are searching with 3 or more words. Eg. Plumber northern suburbs Sydney.
Of course, if you know that customers routinely ask a specific question, don’t be afraid to use those keywords, but don’t write the content around just one keyword.
Misconceptions about SEO that small business owners should be aware of!
It is not too complicated for you to learn the basics. It doesn’t have to be and shouldn’t be.
Far to often small business owners fear SEO, deeming that the “coding of SEO” is too much of a full-time job and costs a fortune to pay someone else to look after.
A part of ongoing SEO is about the code of your website, which ensures that it’s easily indexed by search engines, and therefore either requires knowledge of code, which is less likely, or requires some assistance.
At its core, good SEO consists of delivering relevant and meaningful content to an audience that is searching for a product or a service that you provide.
Common SEO mistakes small businesses should be aware of!
Don’t hung up on writing content that includes specific keywords with the express purpose of “ranking with that keyword”. SEO is not a system where you can just stuff your website or blog post full of your target keywords.
A missed opportunity is not sticking to a calendar of content; being ranked for search terms will only happen with a consistent effort of updating your blog with meaningful content.
Make sure you don’t write a post and then go back a year later to write another one. Do instead have a content calendar and stick to it as much as possible. Consistency is key!
Don’t get fixated on trying to rank for what are called head terms. These terms, usually single keywords, are too broad for most businesses. Therefore they don’t have the direct business effect you are looking for. Eg. If you own a Mexican restaurant, trying to rank for the head term “restaurant” and then optimising your site around that would be next to impossible. You would struggle to bring in traffic, let alone qualified traffic for your Mexican food.
As mentioned above focus a little more on the long-tail or niche keywords that are more directly relevant to your business, such as “Mexican Restaurant in Manly NSW”.
Seems simpler when you look at it like that, right!
When just starting to think about SEO, here are some initial steps for small business.
Start your blog today! If you already have one, develop a calendar of content that you can stick to over the course of the next 12 months.
You should aim to post once a week with content that your customers are interested in.
Ask your customers what they want to hear about.
Use your blog to answer the common for frequently asked questions you have.
Do you still feel that SEO is too complicated to worry about?
Don’t worry – I understand.
It can appear overly complicated when you talk about coding, title tags, headers etc. That part of “technical SEO” is important and something to remember, but nowhere near as important as the fresh content you must create.
Your “SEO strategy” with your blog is an extension of your website and your expertise, it gives you the chance to produce and write content that will impact your customers. Once you get the in the groove of your content and creating meaningful information, it is time to learn about “technical SEO”. Make sure you learn in bite-sized chunks so you understand it at the various levels.
SEO best practices I would recommend to a business owner in the process of launching or redesigning their website?
Make sure your blog is part of your website or at the least hosted on your domain (i.e. that it is blog.yoursite.com rather than yourblog.wordpress.com for example). This is crucial to ensuring that you get the full SEO value.
Make sure your website isn’t just a set of images. Images cannot be indexed in the way that text is by search engines, so this will affect your ranking. Note that images are an accompaniment on your site; so make sure that you use meaningful text to fully explain your product offerings.
If you offer local specific service, don’t be afraid to optimise your site around those local keywords Eg. Manly NSW, Plumber. There’s likely to be less competition on those long tail keywords, possibly making it easier to rank for keywords that are directly relevant to your small business. You can think of SEO as being and attempt to answer the questions your clients or prospective clients are asking when they are looking for your business.
SEO changes at in recent years and how they impact small businesses?
Search engine algorithms have evolved just like our search techniques.
SEO is far less about keywords and back-links and far more about matching searches to content that is meaningful.
If you try over-optimisation it can be considered a mark against your site by the search engines like Google.
Trying to encourage sharing of your content in social media channels shows search engines that your content is relevant. It is this validation that acts as a signal to search engines that your content is relevant and authoritative.
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