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10 Tips for Small Business SEO

January 31, 2012 · 30 comments

in SEO

Search Engine Optimization TipsStaying competitive as a small business online can be a daunting task as larger firms have such huge budgets that they rarely need to ask “how much?” or “can I afford it?” when considering search engine optimisation (SEO). The refreshing reality is that you do not need a lot of money to undertake a good quality of work on and around your website to keep it ranking highly in the search engines. All you need is a little patience, time and the ability to follow instructions and learn as you go. You also need thick skin as you cannot expect anything in SEO to happen overnight, even though it sometimes does. We’ve compiled what we feel are the top 10 tips for small business SEO to get you started making a difference to website’s online popularity.

1. Keep Content Fresh and Always Unique

Image representing Google as depicted in Crunc...
Image via CrunchBase

The master of all search engines (Google) appreciates high quality, relevant and regularly updated content as Google must act as the librarian of the internet. Google will promote your position in the SERPs (search engine results pages) if it has sufficient evidence that your website is of a good standard and is likely to provide for visitors what they are searching for. Google remembers all search terms entered into the search box and constantly scans pages on the internet looking for content that will provide the best answers to search queries. Regularly updated content that is full of relevant keywords and information gives the impression of a well-run and busy website that keeps visitors updated.

2. Never Cut and Paste Content

Cutting and pasting content at every opportunity just to fill your site with content is not a good idea at all. Search engines already know where the original content lives and unless you are using the appropriate method of quoting another website you add no value to your own site. If you want to refer your readers to high quality relevant content that you really believe will help them then place a link to the content and give the author the credits. That is good SEO etiquette.

3. Always Build Dynamic Websites

Try to avoid building a rigid static website using a free website design software. The chances are that no professional web designer will ever want to touch it in future if you want it to be professionally updated and often they could not even if they wanted to. They would normally suggest that it should be pulled down and built from scratch using a content management system or CMS.

Static websites have pages that are built offline and uploaded as a complete page or website where as a dynamic site is updated dynamically or on-the-fly. You can literally replace single words and press save. All changes are saved immediately and are time and date stamped. Popular CMS web design platforms include Joomla, Drupal and WordPress (blogging software). All of these design platforms are open source and are totally free so consider on embarking on a small learning curve to start small business website properly. Google loves dynamic websites.

4. Chose Domain Names Carefully

English: White hat seo symbolizes good ethic t...
Image via Wikipedia

Domain names should also be relevant to your sector and the actual products and services that you want to promote. Find a search term that a lot of people use to find your specific products or services but one for which there is not too much competition. Take some time to look at the Google keyword tool for help.

As a rough rule of thumb, if there are more than 1500 exact searches for a search term every month and less than 3 million search results in Google, then it is worth considering as a domain name. Now you need to go and see if it is available. You will find that lots of other SEO savvy business people have got most of the best names but you just need to find a term that has been over looked, and they are there.

5. Title Tags and Meta-Descriptions

These two elements are important and if the way you are building you site does not allow you to create them then you are already losing in terms of SEO. Each page should have a unique title and meta-description which is the short excerpt that you see in the search engines, just below the title. When writing the content make sure you have the ability to add titles for each paragraph of information and use a <h2>Your Paragraph Title</h2> title tag which is picked up by the search engine robots that are used as slaves that scan all pages on the internet.

6. High Quality and Relevant Backlinks

Spend some time searching the internet for other related websites, blogs, message boards and forums that allow you to post links and start creating posts or comments with links back to your own website. Links should be in the form of “anchor text” where the keywords are clickable links to your site. Please, do not write rubbish just to get the link. You will probably not get the comment approved and if it is approved you are probably on a website that will do more harm to your online reputation than good.

Get in the habit of becoming a valuable part of the online community in your field and help others understand your business or anything that you can help them with. Many forums will allow you to add your signature once you have contributed quality posts. You will be allowed to place you anchor text there for added link juice.

7. SEO is a Constant Effort

SEO for your small business should be seen as a long term and consistent effort for you to achieve the best results. Look at SEO as online housekeeping.

8. Get your Own Backlinks

Don’t pay lots of money for other people to give you hundreds of backlinks that are possibly useless. You are new in the game and may not be able to tell the difference between a good link and a car battery. Take the time to get your own links and learn as you go.

9. Link Farms are Bad News

Never use link farms (often referred to as FFA or Free for All sites) they will not help you. Do not be tempted.

10. Article Spinning Software

Stay clear of article spinning software or services for content, you’re not ready for that yet and so many article spinning software just generate humanly eligible garbage.

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Hi I'm Ed, and I work in the exciting, fast paced and ever-changing world of a B2B services.I'll be trying my best to keep you abreast give you a wide smorgasbord of handy hints, tips and advice to get the squeeze the best out of your business.

Ed has written 2 awesome articles for us at Opportunities Planet

Twitter: @expertmarket

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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

William Earl Amis Jr III January 31, 2012 at 10:15 am

Kostas,
SEO is what I have been involved with support service for over 29 years. Things have gotten easier for us and less hype.

WIth all the techniques now, everyone can do it themselves. Blogs vs.sites is what changes all things. Fresh content with usable post.

If you write about your passion and share that. Create articles that identify business supportive issues. You can be sure that the readers will build a bond with your site.

Create passionate empowering articles of what you love to do. Just realate it to business in some fashion and it will all fit together.

Those back links are very important and only should be on ethical sites that realate with yours. Just don’t leave anything as a comment. Make sure your posting something that is realated to their subject matter and usable. So, if you do not have knowledge on the subject matter. Complete due diligence first to add supportive comments. Stay positive and the same will be given on your site.

Kostas, I have just located your site and it look well organized. I will keep visiting to see how you develop. Thank you for usable content and I look forward in seeing more.
William Earl Amis Jr III recently posted..The Big Buzz No MoneyMy Profile

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Ed Roberts-Beardsell January 31, 2012 at 2:43 pm

Hey William,

Thanks for adding some tips of your own. For me the foundations of good SEO practice are relevant, worthwhile, inspiring content that captures the imagination of the reader. A lot of the success of this I find revolves around the accessibility of the content itself and making that important and killer key areas of knowledge are shared in a way that engages readers.

This will in itself be rewarded by shares, retweets and all the other vital social flags that Google is making more and more vital as a ranking factor and a means of gauging popularity and quality.

Anyway thanks for getting involved in the debate and I hope you found my brief list of tips useful!

Ed

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marquita herald February 1, 2012 at 12:05 am

Great advice. I’ve never tried any of the article “spinners” so wouldn’t have a clue how they work – I’m one of those annoying “creative” types so for me each article represents my brand and has to have my fingerprint on it. Admittedly there are days I get frustrated with myself wanting to do things “faster, faster!” but in the end I prefer quality over quantity – even if it takes me a little longer. Thanks for the informative article!
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Tisha February 1, 2012 at 12:32 am

Ed, you’re so right — SEO is all about patience. It’s truly the manifestation of the giant timber bamboo rocketing to 90 feet in just 60 days — after 3 years of consistently watering it a little bit everyday. Keep at it!
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Nathalie Villeneuve February 1, 2012 at 1:23 am

Great tips and advice,

When I first started blogging, I tried to fallow too many advance techniques and didn’t learn to enjoy it for what it should really be intended for. This caused me to almost abandon the whole blogging idea because i just could not relate to all the seo and keyword search needed for bloggers to be found. I wish i would have read posts like yours when I first started because you explain well the reason why these tips are essential.
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Ragnar Crowley February 1, 2012 at 2:03 am

Hey Ed,

Thanks for this post, I’ve found these principles to be very important and I’m in complete agreement with you on the basis that successful blogging begins with relevant, quality content.

With that said, before I implemented these tips I continued to struggle getting that oh-so-nice Google Love.

Also, your thoughts on back-links are useful as I keep running into new paid tools to get more back-links and I know most are junk. There’s no substitution to building real high quality back-links organically over time.

Thanks again,

- Ragnar
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Paul Reimers February 1, 2012 at 5:34 am

Thanks for providing a concise and solid basis for SEO.

I especially appreciate that you mention the importance of the domain name for SEO as well as how essential it is that the content is fresh, unique, relevant and not spun/ illegible garbage. People who do that will be left further and further behind as Google’s updates become more intelligent in their ability to spot the kind of stuff that shows up with standard spinning.
Paul Reimers recently posted..Review of Empower Network – Will This Tool Really Help You Build Your Business?My Profile

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Academic sonet February 1, 2012 at 9:16 am

I think its the its a great factor for new seo strategy in 2012

“Keep Content Fresh and Always Unique”

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Ed Roberts-Beardsell February 1, 2012 at 5:55 pm

“Keep Content Fresh and Always Unique”.. it’s so simple but it’s more relevant than ever.

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Willena Flewelling February 1, 2012 at 5:43 pm

Thanks for the very useful article! I have always wondered why anyone would use an article spinner, when it takes time and effort to polish it up and make it sound good anyway. To be really good, we need to take the time to offer something of value to our readers.

Willena Flewelling
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Dr. Erica Goodstone February 1, 2012 at 6:06 pm

I agree with Willena about not knowing why anyone would want to use an article spinner. It does take time to write quality articles and it is also satisfying to write and get positive responses for the value and information you have provided.

I also agree with your statement “SEO is constant effort.” With the internet and search engines constantly changing, it is important to be vigilant and regularly check the status of your pages, your blog posts, your web site. and your social media.
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Hezi February 2, 2012 at 2:43 am

Hi Kostat
About #3: Right on the spot! Just yesterday I consulted a friend whose CMS is controlled by his web-designer. Any change that he needs to do he is very expensive! That’s is a good tip, and I agree, every beginner should now how to use wordpress
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Jamella February 2, 2012 at 6:11 am

Hi Ed,

Nice post, especially for those of us who are new to blogging. I don’t know much about SEO, but your post did clarify a few things for me. Thanks for sharing.
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Ed Roberts-Beardsell February 2, 2012 at 11:37 am

Thanks for the great feedback and comments on my blog post. It’s so nice to see that we’ve moved away from the times of spinning any old garbage, throwing it out in to the web without care or attention and expecting it to perform as a result. As this is my first post on Opportunity Planet I was a little hesitant about sending it off however the welcome I’ve received is completely overwhelming. Thanks for making me feel right at home and I hope to continue to contribute and learn to and from the community in near future!

Ed

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Catarina February 2, 2012 at 1:50 pm

Good advise that I know from experience works. People who have just started their online business or blog should read carefully.

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Lilach Bullock February 2, 2012 at 5:47 pm

Kostas really great tips on SEO. I think the biggie for me is creating unique fresh content – I’m always amazed how people think it’s OK to copy content and also submit you one of their posts for a guest post!

Thanks for sharing, really helpful:)
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Steve-Personal Success Factors February 3, 2012 at 5:27 am

Thanks for the great SEO building tips. Building your reputation slowly, over time, is a great way to go. And even though it’s not as popular as it used to be, guest posting is a really quality way to build those back links while also generating new readers at your own site.
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JosephJYoung February 4, 2012 at 2:07 pm

Hi Kostas,
these are 10 tips any beginner can take and run with. Great advice especially on the issue of article spinning and backlinks. In the early days I did these two and in the end not worth it. Automating things has its benefits but these days one needs to understand the rules have changed and the algorithms are smarter and will see through spun, rearranged content. Be original that’s the way.
A solid share!
Best,
Joe
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Spunky Jones February 5, 2012 at 10:22 am

Spinning articles, has it’s moments, for sure. However, there is an art to spinning quality articles. Furthermore, you have to read your spun articles to make sure that they make sense.

I have some tools that allow me to spin quality content. However, it has taken me a few months to get a system down. If you spin 50 articles and post them, you are asking for trouble…

Content is important and it has to be quality. That is one thing that hasn’t changed in SEO.
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Tisha February 10, 2012 at 4:34 pm

New and old bloggers can benefit from this post. I am still trying to understand it, but I am getting there.
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Ed Roberts-Beardsell February 10, 2012 at 5:40 pm

Spunky, I completely understand that there may be an argument for off-site article spinning however I just feel this is far too risky to use as a tactic for on-site content generation. This is especially of concern if you think about the long term goals of someone like Google in relation to the long term success of your business. They are always going to be fighting against this sort of thing so I believe the best way of approaching content generation is from a users perspective (as Google does). If it ain’t quality content, I don’t want to know about it!

Thanks for all of your feedback guys, I really appreciate it and hope this guide has been of some help to someone at least!

Ed

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Bryan Nisperos March 16, 2012 at 12:16 am

Thanks Ed. For me in-depth info on SEO articles folks should read up on SEOMoz or Search Engine Land. Here is a great article about the new SEO process, http://www.seomoz.org/blog/the-new-seo-process-quit-being-kanye

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Nukul March 20, 2012 at 8:13 am

Great tips that I know from experience works. People who want to starts their online business should read carefully.
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Lori J. Highby March 20, 2012 at 10:21 pm

Great post Ed. Love that you touched on the importance of a CMS for SEO purposes. We’ve been approached by companies who have a static website and want SEO help. Obviously there are things that can be done with various tags and linking, but fresh quality content on a site (ehem, CMS) really is a huge contributing factor to SEO results.

My favorite motto for SEO has always been “Content is King, Linking is Queen!” I’ve been saying that for over 10 years now. The core of SEO really hasn’t changed outside of this motto.
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tom altman August 1, 2012 at 8:18 pm

+1 on “Never Cut and Paste Content” – this is a great point and something we need to be very careful of. Panda’s duplicate content rules have made life very difficult and touchy.

Nice article.
tom altman recently posted..WordPress and SEOMy Profile

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adam greenwald February 22, 2013 at 12:04 pm

All above tips are really very useful to understand the things very well about seo. The second last point is good that we should do seo on our own to boost the rankings of websites without hire the seo guy.

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Vishnu June 27, 2013 at 3:43 am

These tips are really motivational. Thanks for providing good info.
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Paul Walsh October 21, 2013 at 12:35 am

Good to get the basics nailed down early on and build strong foundations for a website. Thanks for the info

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Ericka Bodford January 6, 2014 at 3:03 pm

Hey there! I simply want to offer you a huge thumbs up for the great
information you have got here on this post. I will be coming back to
your site for more soon.
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