Having an online presence for your small business is pretty much mandatory these days. Whether it’s a website to serve as an overview of your brand, an online storefront, or strong social media presence, capturing the vast online audience that’s out there is essential when it comes to making sales and building your brand. However, none of this will actually help you if you don’t understand SEO.
SEO is search engine optimization. In other words, it’s configuring your website and other properties to show up high in search engines like Google. For example, if you own a dog training business, and someone searches “Jacksonville dog training,” you’re going to be out of luck if you don’t appear on the first page.
By understanding and implementing SEO best practices, you can make sure that your content and web properties appear on page one of Google and other search engines. This will give you more views, and ultimately, more revenue if you’re properly set up and monetized your sales funnel.
Now that we’ve gone over the general idea of what SEO is let’s take a look at the two most important components of SEO: On-Page and off-page SEO, and how they help you to get more traffic, more views, and more revenue.
On-page SEO is a simple concept. Going back to the dog training example, if you owned a dog training business in Jacksonville, you would want to make sure that the phrase “Jacksonville dog training” appeared a certain number of times on your web pages, and in important areas like your page/post titles. This is what is known as a keyword phrase, or just keywords for short.
Back in the day when SEO was just emerging, stuffing a web page full of keywords could shoot it straight to the top of search engines. However, these days, Google and the rest are much savvier and will actually penalize you for keyword stuffing. In fact, search engines will also check for a variety of other on-page SEO factors such as:
- HTTPs Setup
- URL Structure
- External Links
- Broken Links
- Social Signals
This is actually just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to on-page SEO, and yes, it can be a hassle to try and take care of all of the factors by yourself. The good news is that there are programs that can check your pages for you, and tell you what you need to do. On top of that, you can always hire an SEO firm to take care of things for you.
Off-Page SEO is the sword that cuts both ways: it’s both more complex than on-page SEO, yet ultimately more beneficial for your online efforts. This is because, in addition to boosting your web properties in the search rankings, off-page SEO can send traffic directly to you on its own.
Overall off-page SEO is a simple concept. In short, anything online that links to your web properties are off-page SEO. You see, Google and other search engines keep track of how many links your web properties are getting, and where they’re coming from. The more links you get the better, obviously. However, one high-quality link can easily be more beneficial than hundreds of low-quality ones.
For example, let’s say your website has a blog post that offers information on how to find the best business insurance. Getting a hundred links from small, unknown websites would be okay, but getting a link from a massively well-known website, like Forbes, would be much better.
As you can see, developing a strategy for off-page SEO has a lot to do with who you know, and where you can get links from. One great strategy is to get guest posts on other websites that allow you to link back to your site at the end. You can, of course, hire others to do this for you if you’re not a writer yourself.
5 SEO Best Practice Tips
With the basics of SEO out of the way, let’s touch on some practical tips that you can use to implement its SEO best practices for your small business online. Once again, we would like to stress that you don’t have to do all this yourself, there are SEO firms that can handle it for you quick and easy.
1. Be Mobile Friendly
Most people perform searches on mobile devices these days, that’s just a fact. If you want to be competitive online, you need to make sure that your website, and all of your web properties, are mobile-friendly. This may sound like a hassle, but making your site mobile friendly is practically guaranteed to increase your traffic and views since search engines tend to penalize non-mobile-friendly sites these days.
2. Get Rid of Useless Pages
If your website has been around for a while, and you’ve been constantly updating it, then there is a good chance that it is filled with useless pages and posts. Believe it or not, Google and other search engines will penalize your site for having these pages, so it’s in your best interest to get rid of them ASAP. Examples of useless pages/posts are those that contain outdated information, old press releases, and pages for products that aren’t selling.
3. Consider the Impact of Voice Search
Voice search is a thing now, and the search engines know it. To make sure that your site is optimized for voice search you need to take into consideration things such as the phrases people say when searching for your product/services, making sure that your web pages load fast when targeted by a voice search, and ensuring that your content accurately addresses the needs of those performing voice searches.
4. Improving The User Experience
This one is a little bit more ambiguous, but Google has described it as making your website one that “your grandmother could use.” In other words, you need to offer your visitors a very simple, streamlined, and intuitive experience. This applies to everything from your navigation structure, to your internal linking structure. If your website has tons of dead ends or uses fonts that make it difficult to read, the search engines will know, and they will penalize you.
5. LSI Keywords
In addition to your main keywords, you need to be thinking about LSI keywords as well. What are the LSI keywords? LSI stands for latent semantic indexing, and basically refers to words and phrases that are related to the main keywords you’re targeting. For example, if your targeting Jacksonville SEO firm then LSI keywords would be phrases like Jacksonville SEO firm reviews, and Jacksonville SEO firm jobs.
100% SEO Optimization for Your Website
If you’re like most small businesses, doing SEO in-house isn’t an option due for a variety of reasons such as not having an SEO expert on your team or the time and costs it would take to implement it all. Finding an experienced SEO firm with a solid track record to handle your SEO needs and optimize your website is usually your best bet. Not only can they get the job done quickly in most cases, but your investment will typically pay for itself as long as your sales funnels are set up and optimized to monetize all the traffic you’ll be receiving.
If your web properties aren’t SEO optimized, you’re seriously handicapping your efforts online, and leaving a lot of money on the table. Don’t wait, do the smart thing and see about getting your pages optimized today. It won’t be long until you see what a difference it can make.