Search engine optimization is the most important part of any business’s digital presence, but it can be very confusing. How do you know what to do? Which parts of your website need to be optimized? What does that even mean, exactly? We’ve put together this Professional’s Guide to SEO to help you out. It won’t make you an SEO expert overnight—but it will give you the basic tools and information you need to start optimizing your sites for search engines.
Optimize title tags and URLs.
- Optimize title tags and URLs. Title tags are the text that appears in search engine results, while URLs are the text that appears in your browser’s address bar. In order to optimize these elements for SEO, make sure they’re unique for each page on your site (don’t use “Home” for everything), and try to include keywords where appropriate. Because both of these elements are easily visible within search engine results, it’s important that they accurately describe what you’re offering visitors without being overly long or overly stuffed with keywords so that it looks spammy!
Get specific with your keywords.
To get specific with the keywords you use, first think about what words your target audience is likely to be searching for. What is the name of your business? This should be one of your primary keywords. Is it a brand name, or do you have a domain name like “searchengineoptimizationforbusinesses.com”? Your website’s URL is also important, so include this in all of your content if possible.
Next, consider other specific details about each piece of content you create: who it’s intended for (e.g., “small businesses”), where it takes place (“New York City”) and what industry it belongs to (e.g., “advertising”). If possible, include these specifics in the title tag and meta description of each post on your blog so that Google knows how relevant they are when someone searches for them later on down the road!
Make sure your site is fast.
No matter how good your website looks or how many pages it has, if visitors leave because they’re frustrated by the amount of time it takes to load, you could lose clients. According to Google, 53% of all users expect a web page to load in two seconds or less when they click on the search engine results and 38% of people will abandon a website that takes longer than three seconds to load.
On top of this issue affecting SEO and bounce rates, slow sites also negatively impact conversion rates as well as user retention. The more time it takes for your site to load and render content for users (especially mobile users), the more likely you are going to lose them/their business. If you want customers coming back for more—and especially if you want them coming back frequently—you need an optimized site that loads quickly and runs smoothly regardless of device or connection speed.
Add new content regularly.
Now that you understand the basics of SEO, let’s consider the best ways to implement this strategy for your small business. One of the best ways to keep content fresh is by adding new content on a regular basis. If you want your content to be found, it needs to be relevant and updated frequently. This can mean adding new blog posts, articles or even images every week or two as long as they’re relevant and will have a long shelf life (meaning they’ll stay relevant for some time).
In addition to adding new content regularly, remember that the types of things you create should also reflect what your audience wants and what’s relevant for your business.
Edit, edit, edit.
If you’re using a content management system (CMS), it’s likely that you can edit pages and posts directly from the CMS. However, if not, there are still ways to change your content.
The first step is understanding how search engines work. If they’re unable to make sense of an article or product description, they won’t be able to display it in their results. This means that editing for search engines means making sure everything on your site is easily readable by a computer program—and it should also be readable by humans!
There are some things we know about computers and writing:
- A computer sees each heading tag as a separate paragraph even when it’s not separated by blank lines or paragraph breaks
- When there are multiple paragraphs together with no space between them, the computer thinks they’re all part of one paragraph (this is called “paragraph stacking”)
If you want people reading your site to find what they’re looking for quickly and easily without having to do too much scrolling through text without headings or bullet points to break up blocks of text into digestible chunks…
Use internal links and links to other sites.
Links are an important part of SEO. They let search engines know that your pages are relevant to each other, and they also give your users a way to get from one page on your site to the next.
Here are some guidelines for using links:
- Use internal links within content that’s relevant to the topic of the page in question. This will help users navigate through your site more easily and make it clear where each piece of content fits into the big picture.
- Link to other sites if there’s something useful or relevant on those sites that relate (even indirectly) to what you’re writing about on yours (e.g., linking out when mentioning a competitor’s products). But don’t go overboard with this—it needs to be natural and make sense so as not to seem like spam.
Keep mobile users in mind.
It’s no secret that mobile devices have overtaken desktops in terms of usage and importance. According to Statista, nearly two-thirds of all searches are conducted on mobile devices.
The problem is that desktop and mobile users expect different experiences from their searches, so it’s important to keep them in mind when creating content for your site. Mobile users will want quick answers and easy access to information about the products or services you offer, including coupons or special offers if available.
They will also want those results presented on a single page so that they don’t need to click through several pages before getting what they’re looking for (which could lead them away from your site entirely).
Small business owners can easily optimize their websites for search engines by following Professional’s Guide to SEO.
There are seven basic steps that small business owners can take to optimize their websites for search engines.
- Make your site fast
- Add new content regularly
- Edit, edit, edit! Don’t think you have time to keep your website up-to-date with fresh content? You’re wrong! People love new content, so you need to keep it coming. Think about how often you update your Instagram feed or Facebook page—you don’t want that same amount of regularity on your website (unless you’re selling social media), but the more frequently people revisit your site and find updated information there, the better chance they’ll stick around rather than bounce off when they get bored waiting for something new to appear on screen after page load speeds take too long ____ seconds).
We hope this Professional’s Guide to SEO has given you some ideas on how to optimize your website for search engines. The truth is, we live in a world where people use Google to find information about products or services before they buy them. So if your company isn’t on the first page of results, it might as well not exist! If you follow these seven steps and keep them in mind every time you update or add content—not just SEO stuff, but anything that improves user experience—you’ll be able to take full advantage of all the benefits SEO has to offer small businesses like yours.