Small Business SEO Basics

Small business website marketing is what I have been doing for the last 13 years (can’t believe it’s been that long!).  And there are a few things that I’ve learned along the way that I can share with you.  So, if you’re a small business and you’re working on your own website and your own Internet Marketing campaigns, then listen up…

1) First and foremost, select specific keywords to target.  So many small business owners make the mistake of just putting up website pages and not paying attention to the words on the pages.  So, here’s the quick and dirty on keyword selection and placement.

a) Go to Google and type in a keyword phrase you would like to be found for.  Make a list of the top 5 websites.  You can exclude directories like Yelp, etc.  The idea here is to get a list of the competitors for your keyword phrases.  Go to Ranks.nl and type in the URL for each of those websites.  (You don’t have to fill out the “Pay special attention to…” box)  You’ll get a list of keyword phrases they’re marketing.  Look at the list of 2 and 3 and 4 phrases.  Make a list of these phrases and when you’re finished doing this for each website URL, choose the most common phrases.

b) The idea now is to choose ONE keyword phrase for ONE website page.  When you’ve assigned a keyword phrase to that website page you can then insert that keyword into the title tag, into the description tag, into the header tags (h1, h2, etc) and into the content of the website page.  I strive to put the keyword phrase near the top of the page, in the middle of the page and at the bottom of the page.

This may not be ALL that you do for keyword placement.  It all depends on how the competitors have their sites structured but it’s a good start to getting your website page optimized for a specific phrase.

2) Next is your site’s authority.  Basically it’s a rating of the importance of your website based on content, incoming links and a variety of other metrics.  You can read more about it at seomoz.org.  But basically, you want to get a high score here.  Again, it depends on your competition.  If your online competitors all have a domain authority of 60 or more, then your goal is to get at least 60.  A new client that we are working on has a website marketing appliance repair services in Lancaster, Ca. and his domain authority at the moment is 21.  His main online competitor has a domain authority of 31 so our goal then is to increase his DA number by 10 (at least).

I’m not saying it’s easy, it’s NOT.  And it takes time so do not expect it to happen in just a few weeks or even months.  It takes time and I’m here to advise you that if you trust a company to shortcut your way through this process, you may end up getting your site black listed in Google so PLEASE, do it slow and do it right.

3) The next important factor to consider is a mobile version of your website.  Many SEO authorities are reporting that by 2014 the majority of users to your website will get there via some type of mobile unit.  Whether it’s a tablet or a smart phone.  You want your website to be as user friendly as possible for those users.  So, whatever platform you are using for your website, make sure that you can create a mobile version of your site.

4) Because more websites will be accessed via mobile units it’s important that your website loads up quickly.  So, page speed is an important factor.  You can check your page speed (and that of your competitors) here at Google Developers.  Personally, I’ve found that the majority of other websites are NOT complying with this specific factor as much but it makes perfect sense to me that the faster your website loads, the easier it will be for your users.  It’s just too easy for users to click on your link, wait 3-5 seconds and if nothing happens, move on to the next site.  I know that’s what I do.

5) Microdata (aka Rich Snippets) are becoming more important and it may not be easy for you to implement this on your site.  I know how to do it for custom sites where we can manipulate the coding but on many of these programs that create websites, I’m just not sure how it’s done so please check with the support or manual for your specific website design program.  Anyway, you can use Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool to see how your competitors are using Microdata.  If you need more information about Microdata take a look at A Guide To Rich Snippets, Schema and Microdata.

6) Social media is impossible to ignore these days.  You just can’t and although I still get small business owners telling me that they don’t know anything about social media and they don’t want to know anything about it, well, I have no words for that.  Except to say, “You have no choice.”.  You can get some information about social media influence on a website by going to Site Trail.  If there is any social media influence on the site you’ll see it near the top of the results.  Try it first with a very well known company like Microsoft.com and you’ll see the Social Media Analysis near the top.  Then try it with your own site and your competitors’ sites.  If you don’t see a Social Media Analysis then it likely means that there is none or that the influence is so small that it’s not being recorded.

Well, these are just the bare bones of what you need to do to optimize your website.  Of course, there’s so much more but frankly, I have to get to work.  But good luck and of course, if you find that all this work is just too much to handle, then consider Eckweb for your small business Internet marketing.

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