SEO for Small Businesses
SEO practices for small business should involve a number of simple steps which need only take a little time and effort without costing anything. Search engine optimisation involves building a website that is easily accessed and navigated by search engine robots (crawled) and structured in a way that makes sense to your visitors.
Site structure, including correct title tagging is very important to SEO for any small business because how well you build the foundations for your site will determine how easy it will be to develop.
Think of your website as a library book that you want to be perused by readers that could become your customers. Now think of the search engines, especially Google, as the librarians. You need to give the librarian a reason to recommend your book above others which includes making it easy to read with a well-structured contents page and full of helpful and relevant information.
It’s all about Content
Search engine robots consistently crawl the internet looking for search terms that are requested by searchers. They use domain name relevance and also scour through the content to see if there are any terms that stand out as being related to a particular subject.
The domain name should ideally give an indication as to what is contained within the site for easier indexing by Goggle, Yahoo or Bing. This is not a must, but if you are building a site from the ground up it would be better to find a domain name that has relevance to your area of business. There are free SEO tools that can help you to choose a domain name which contains relevant keywords.
Your website content should, however, be written for humans and not just for search engines. By stuffing in too many keywords or search terms this can ultimately do your site a disservice. In general, use relevant keywords around 4% or 5% during content writing and use them carefully in title tagging. Google likes to see relevant content added often, so updating your site content should be done weekly at the very least. Updating does not mean changing pages but means adding pages so that your website grows with time.
A website with no visitors is like a book in a library that no one knows is there. SEO involves trying to replicate normal human internet behaviour, but over a shorter period of time. A certain percentage of internet users will naturally link to your site from other sites if your content answers questions that they think or know will help others. Discussions in forums often include links to helpful sites by users just trying to help other people. That is the nature of the real internet user with specific interests and a charitable spirit.
Over time, Google sees that people elsewhere on the internet are linking to your website and can see this favourably if the site where the link is placed has a good reputation. Your website popularity begins to increase if this behaviour continues. SEO tactics just try to speed up this process by placing relevant links on related sites to yours although these links must look as natural as possible.
You can help improve your website’s popularity by getting involved with discussions on quality forums that cover your area of business and offer free help and advice. In turn you will be allowed to add your signature below each one of your posts with a link back to your website. If you contribute regularly, the forum administrators may allow you to place links within your text but don’t just place links back to your site with no helpful comments. You should direct people to a page on your site that answers their questions. If you do not have such a page, then build one. Now you have more ideas on the type of content for your website.
Social Media and SEO
Never underestimate the power of social media to your website’s progress. More and more people are using their smartphones to access their Facebook accounts and often link to websites suggested from Facebook pages. One of the first things you should do when working on SEO for your website is to get a Facebook page to use for regular announcements and product launches.
Even though Facebook back links are ‘no follow’ links in that they are not meant to add to the popularity of web pages, it has been reported that a significant number of people buy a product or service as a result of seeing it on Facebook. Also, a backlink from Facebook could lead to someone bookmarking your page and spreading your content virally which does have a great SEO effect.