Basic SEO for SMB’s

As a small business owner, you need to understand first off that there is no “magic bullet” to get your company’s website on the front page of major search engines like Google and Bing. These search engines are far more sophisticated today than they were when the internet first started, and are governed by complex algorithms which can take quite some time to acknowledge your efforts and decide whether or not your website deserves to be ranked higher than others.

More often than not, a quick Google search will unearth plenty of websites offering great tips for SEO, and often times they can point you in the right direction, regardless of your industry or niche.

Which makes this article a bit unique, as it is specifically written for small business owners. Along with that,
these tips are 100% safe (which means they won’t get you in trouble with search engines), and provide you a solid foundation to help your website achieve better results.

1. Page Titles & Descriptions (Meta Tags)

Even though Meta Keywords aren’t used anymore, the Title & Description Tags on a web page are crucial to improving the “clickability” and ranking results.

To ensure that each page is being used effectively, here are our recommendations:

  • Every page needs to have a UNIQUE title and description that describes the page
  • Both should be short and descriptive ideally using a relevant phrase or keyword
  • Easily help the visitor identify the purpose of the page and it’s contents

Homepage Titles & Descriptions: The title for your homepage can be a bit tricky, but try to include the name of your website/company and other relevant information like location of your business or a few key phrases that help you stand out.

Homepage SEO Title Example

NBC.com Homepage Example

Posts / Pages Titles & Descriptions: The titles of posts and pages should describe as best as possible what the page is about, along with an added touch of conversion to entice the searcher to click.

Posts & Pages SEO Title Example

NBC.com Pages Example

2. Using Text Formatting, H1, H2, & H3 Headings

Just like a good book, a web page needs to be publishing in a easy to read format. This helps the user read, along with helping your SEO efforts.

Be sure to use these guidelines for pages and posts on your website:

  • Write in easy to digest paragraphs
  • Use a balanced amount of H1, H2 and H3 tags
  • Use an easy to read font size for all devices
  • Use H1 tags for main title of your site
  • use Bold and Italics to draw attention and annotate

3. Website Speed

In today’s world of mobile on-the-go devices and web browsing, it’s absolutely crucial that your website loads quickly for all devices no matter their location or available speed.

Even Google has said that page speed is now a ranking factor for websites, and often times small business owners have bloated websites that lose them money.

Improving the speed of your website also improves the user experience and encourages them to come back to the website again.

In our experience, a website that loads faster than 4 seconds is more likely to:

  • Rank Higher in Search Results
  • Increase “Stickiness” of Your Website
  • Improve Conversion & Sales
  • Obtain more Social Shares

What Can You Do About Page Speed?

  • Optimize and compress images
  • Improve wuality of code
  • Use a CDN or caching tool
  • Remove unnecessary scripts and plugins
  • Compress & optimize website hosting

Often times these issues end up being quite technical and time consuming, so we don’t particularly recommend all of these updates and suggestions to you, but ideally to an experience website developer who has a firm understanding of SEO.

4. Mobile Friendly Website

Another large trend that has emerged along side of the mobile on-the-go internet user is mobile friendly websites and applications.

As we now know based on the years of statistics that a significant number of searches each day are through mobile devices. Over the past few years, we have even seen a steady increase in these users especially when researching and purchasing online.

Mobile Website Tips

Right away, you need to ensure your website loads quickly, like we mentioned above. All images and designs need to fit and look correct in iPhone, Windows and Android phones. Along with that, you need to make sure your website looks appropriate on tablet and smaller computer devices as well.

Just as important as the loading and design, are things like tap targets and font sizes for mobile websites. These areas are optimized for mobile use and smaller screens, allowing for a quicker, easier experience for users.

5. Content, Content, CONTENT!

As we all now know, content is king. Which means to you as a small business owner, that you need to be generating quality content for your industry consistently.

For the optimizations above to really work, you’ll need traffic to your website. To get that traffic, content is required.

Frequency and Quality

Many business owners come to us for our copywriting services because they either aren’t able to manage the need in their time frame, or because they’ve tried, and didn’t succeed as expected.

Content Creation Frequency

The best way to identify the right frequency for curation and posting content is to use a combination of Google Analytics and your social media networks, to see what times your users are most active, and what days, along with the level of popularity of your content.

When folks ask us “how long should my posts be?”, we always explain that there really isn’t one specific answer or length that fits all needs and purposes, as it almost always depends on the website and industry. Focus on the quality, and ensuring that the post fits the criteria and answers the question quickly for the user.

Quality of your content should depend on the freshness and readability, along with the easy of access to answer. These metrics are used as guidelines by Google to identify the quality of the webpage in question, and place it accordingly.

6. Search Console & Analytics

Finally, one of the best ways for small business owners to improve their SEO is to do the research. Google’s Search Console provides website owners a “home base” of sorts, allowing access to almost all of Google’s information. Within the Search Console, you can take advantage of:

  • Information About Your Website in Search Engines
  • Submit and Manage Sitemaps
  • The ability to discover problems that hurt your website
  • You can see incoming and internal links for your site

Additionally, Google Analytics can also be useful to discover:

  • Identify how your website visitors act (visits, referrals, searches, etc.)
  • Find out how long they spend on your site and where
  • What keywords they used to find you
  • How many pages they visit and why

These tools provide any website owner deep insight into their website’s metrics without needing high-level expertise, putting a good amount of power in your hands.

I’ve Followed Everything Above, What’s Next

Now that you’ve gained a better idea of how your website is functioning by going through the SEO tips above, your next steps are:

  • Focus on improving your website for the future by providing more content, services, or even more authority backlinks
  • Promote your website using guidelines and techniques that you know are safe, and will help your SEO optimization campaign, not hurt it

    If you find these SEO Tips for Small Business Owners to be troublesome, please feel free to contact us to help out!

Schedule a Consultation with someone who cares about your website as much as you do.