Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to the steps and efforts taken to influence search engine algorithms so your website and pages appear at the top of the search results for your targeted keywords. Since people click on organic results 94% of the time, it’s imperative that you show up in the search results for important and relevant keywords. Where you show up is also important, as your ranking position directly impacts the volume of traffic you receive. As a small business you’ll likely want to execute strategy around local SEO in addition to traditional SEO.
Local SEO tips
Be sure to use the same Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) in the same structure each time you reference your business. Consistency with NAP helps search engines place you in local queries.
Increase your citations.
Increasing your citations across trusted sites can also help improve where you rank in local search results. Sites like Yext and Moz Local can help with this effort.
There are steps you can take both on your site and offline that can influence where you show up on the search results page. The onsite elements, or those controlled by your webmaster, that can impact your site ranking pertain to the HTML structure of your site, the architecture of your webpages, and the content on each page of your site. Google and Bing offer the below onsite guidelines for improving your organic search ranking. Keep in mind that onsite optimization is an ongoing process, not a day’s project. For this reason, many businesses choose to employ an SEO agency to take care of the day-to-day onsite optimization elements.
Create content for users.
Content should be created for real users, not search engines.
Clear hierarchy and structure.
Text links should allow users to navigate to other pages on the website. Every page on the site should be reached from at least one text link.
Accurate onsite element usage.
Each page should accurately use HTML tags and be descriptive when possible.
· Title tags should be descriptive and relevant to what the page is about.
· Image tags should use alt tags.
· Headers should be used properly and in the correct order.
· Meta descriptions.
Use canonical tags.
Keyword rich URLs.
Rich URLs are easy for users to read and include keywords—this helps search engines identify and understand the purpose of each page.
Update regularly with the latest and most accurate information available.
Keyword optimization, link reclamation, and interlinking opportunities.
There are numerous tools available to small business owners to aid in optimizing their website for better search ranking positioning. A few worth exploring would be:
allows you to track backlinks, keywords, and brand mentions. You can also gain insight into your competitors’ backlinks and how they are ranking for keywords.
offers businesses a complete set of SEO research and analytics tools. With a variety of products available, Moz has solutions to help with strategy for overall search, local search, and content marketing.
stands for Help a Reporter Out. It provides a platform to pitch content to journalists for pickup in some of the top media outlets. Content pickup leads to high-quality backlinks, which can improve online presence.
is available to anyone with a website for no cost. After installing the required code on your site, Google Analytics will track all of the traffic coming into your website, whether it be organic or paid. It also provides insights helpful in analyzing the quality of traffic coming in, like the average amount of time spent onsite and the number of visitors who convert onsite.
- Implement schema markup code to help search engines crawl your site
- Increase your citations across trusted sites using tools like Yext and Moz Local
- Use a consistent Name, Address, and Phone Number (NAP) when referencing your business
- Select 5-10 keywords you would like to optimize your site for
- Create content around those keywords
- Take the steps to optimize your site
- Add a blog or news section to your website. Curate content around your keywords
- Utilize the many available tools to track and analyze your website traffic