Small Business SEO doesn’t have to be rocket science. Many business owners felt a hit from the massive changes to search engine algorithms over the past 16 months. They began to see the conversions of their eCommerce sites drop and their keyword rankings sink, and they started to freak out. In my opinion everyone needs to calm down a bit. In the mist of trying to “one up” the search engines (which you’re never going to to), you’re forgetting the basics of SEO. Their the same principles your business itself was likely founded on.
1. Create a high quality product
2. Make it easy for your consumer to find
3. Ensure your customer’s experience is positive
4. Encourage them to tell others
While Small Business SEO certainly is more complex than that, you don’t need to understand what canonical links are or the difference between an H1 and H2 header is! Leave the technical stuff to your small business seo expert. You need to worry about being legitimate and true to your mission statement and your customer’s needs.
Having said that, I see more and more small business owners focusing their attention on the content of their website which is to be applauded… but let’s not forget the basics. Here are some tips for writing SEO content and optimizing your website.
1. Each page of your website needs to be unique.
If you had a grocery store, you wouldn’t stock every aisle with identical merchandise would you? Of course not. At every turn you’d want your customer to find a new product or new information. Your website needs to be structured the same as that grocery store. Each page of your website is as important as the home page as far as search engines are concerned.
2. Descriptions and Titles
Back to the grocery store example: Let’s assume all your aisles are stocked with unique merchandise. Are you going to hang the same sign above each aisle to help customers navigate your store? Again, the answer is of course no. Each aisle will have a general description of what the consumer can expect to find there. Each page and category of your website needs to be labeled uniquely and appropriately. This tells the search engines what content is contained in that section or on that page.
3. Keywords are useless if you don’t know how to use them.
If there’s one WORD that is misunderstood most by small business owners most, it’s KEYWORD. Your keyword is not what YOU want it to be, it’s what the search engines choose to index and more importantly, what your potential consumer is searching for. If you sell Pillows in all different shapes, colors and sizes – you probably assume Purple Pillows or Pink Pillows would be good keywords. They may be appropriate, but it likely wouldn’t help your cause to focus content around those keywords. They are too general. Instead focus your keywords on benefits or features of the product. “Best Pillows For Relaxation” “Most Comfortable Pillows” “Sleep Better Pillows” are some examples. While you may laugh at those descriptions, think about the last time you Googled something. Unless you were looking for a specific Brand name, you likely searched for a very descriptive term. We call those “long tail keywords” in the SEO biz.
4. Use Social Media – Don’t let it you use.
Pinterest and Instagram weren’t even in the mainstream public’s lexicon 2 years ago, yet today every Brand thinks they need to be on it. That was the same case 5 years ago with Facebook and Twitter. Don’t do it just because it’s there. I have news for you… if your website sucks… Social Media isn’t going to help you any. If your website is good, Social Media can help you funnel traffic to it. Don’t post things on Facebook just for the sake of appeasing your fans. Who cares? They’re already your fans. You need to be posting and sharing content that your consumer is going to share with others. THAT is the process by which your Brand gains new visibility and hopefully customers. Social Media is a great test of how well your content is doing. If no one is sharing or liking it, then it’s probably not the best direction for content on your website.
Lastly, when in doubt… throw it out. Seriously. If YOU as the business owner, the expert of your product and Brand and customer, are questioning if a piece of content is “good” or not, it probably isn’t. However if YOU think a piece of content is a great representation of your Brand and explains it well and would attract interest… then post post post away!