By now you’ve obviously heard the term SEO, but do you really know what it means? Many small business owners find the concept of search engine optimization overwhelming at best. Others are simply too busy to devote the time it takes to really get results. Thankfully there are a few techniques that you can apply which are easy to understand and won’t take a ton of time, but have been proven effective at improving search ranking.
Create quality content.
First and foremost, the best way to get your business found on the web is to create and share quality content on a consistent basis. And while that content should contain certain keywords (i.e. search terms your target audience uses when looking for your products or services online), Google actually places an even stronger emphasis on content that is relevant and valuable to the reader. So start blogging!
Use long-tail keywords.
The fact is, it’s challenging for small businesses to compete with larger organizations, which is why competing over smaller keyword combinations is often a waste of time, money and resources. For instance, a local woman’s shoe store might not be able to compete with a company like Zappos for a short, common keyword like “high heels,” but would probably have much better luck using a more targeted phrase like “women’s wide width dress shoes in [geo location]”. Aim for those types of long-tail keywords for better results.
Focus on key elements of SEO.
Using keywords is important in a number of areas, but some are more critical than others and for a busy small business owner, focusing on those key areas will net the best results. Those key elements include:
- Meta descriptions
Additionally, keywords should never be “stuffed” into your content, but rather only used where they are relevant. Similarly, including relevant links to other content (both yours as well as others) and getting other quality sites to link back to yours can also improve ranking and authority.
Keep your buyer personas in mind.
When developing content to improve your website’s ranking, it can be helpful to keep your ideal client in mind. This helps to develop more compelling content that more closely meets the needs, desires and preferences of your target audience and therefore makes it more valuable. In turn, the increased engagement will help boost your authority in the eyes of the search engine.
Awhile back, Google made the bold decision to give preference to sites that are mobile-friendly. That is, sites that perform well regardless of what device they’re accessed on. These days, if you want your site to rank well, you absolutely, positively must invest in optimizing it for mobile. If you’re unsure how to do this, check with your web developer.
The goal of all online activity is to improve the chances that when your prospects search for a local business offering your product or service, it’s your company that will come up at the top of the list. By following the five simple steps above, you’ll begin to see an improvement in your organic search engine performance.