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SEO and Small Business: Developing a Manageable Strategy

February 21, 2012 · 12 comments

in SEO

SEO StrategySEO 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.

Popularity Building

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.

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{ 10 comments… read them below or add one }

Martin Casper February 21, 2012 at 10:27 pm

Hi Ed…
Great article. So often people neglect many of the simple but key principles that you have outlined in this article. Content is always kind, but proper socializing and participation in forums or master mind groups to syndicate is such an important element to developing the traffic that Google will pick up on and improve your rank. Thanks!
Martin Casper recently posted..Thinking Outside The CubeMy Profile


Laura Morris February 22, 2012 at 1:57 am

Hi Ed
As a blogger for the last 5 years I an say that the one thing I learned very early on was: There’s no point in having a blog if you’re not driving eyeballs to it so it gets read!
I learned through trial and error how to move my very first blog to the first page of Google and was able to dominate that niche in several keywords. I loved your analogy of the Library and the books on the shelves. That’s exactly how it works. It’s really not hard. The tricky part I think is learning to get inside your target market’s head, and think about what they would search for. That’s what drives some of my traffic anyway. I have a lot to learn still, and I’m sure you could teach me!
Laura Morris
Laura Morris recently posted..The Comfort and Relief of “Mailbox Money” During a Life CrisisMy Profile


Srinivas Reddy | Ask Sage February 22, 2012 at 6:59 am

Excellent article on SEO, Ed. Really well-written. I love the analogy of your website to a book in a library. This is good reading not just for SEO-newbies, but for all of us pro-bloggers. It never hurts to remember and rehash the fundamentals of SEO.
Srinivas Reddy | Ask Sage recently posted..Keep It Simple, StupidMy Profile


Willena Flewelling February 22, 2012 at 12:10 pm

Hello Ed,

“Your website content should, however, be written for humans and not just for search engines.” This should be a no brainer, but some bloggers get so caught up in the mechanics and SEO that they forget the importance of real visitors to their blogs. Write for people and they will keep coming back for more

Willena Flewelling
Willena Flewelling recently posted..From Head to Heart – Making it PersonalMy Profile


John Gaydon February 22, 2012 at 1:25 pm

Hi Ed,
Interesting perspective on small business SEO. My experience so far is that it all depends on the competition! What I am looking for is traffic no the money keywords. I find many business target words they like which are not necessarily the same as what their potential clients are searching for.

The good news is that anyone who knows what they are doing can make a big difference for a small business as most SEO companies are not that good at it!
John Gaydon recently posted..I Never Knew I Had So Many FriendsMy Profile


Edyta February 22, 2012 at 3:15 pm

Hi Ed,

Thaks for very interesting article.
I agree that SEO is very important for any business. Google is the best place for me to get free organic traffic.
Edyta recently posted..Does Panic Away Work? An Honest and Unbiased Panic Away ReviewMy Profile


Nathalie Villeneuve February 22, 2012 at 8:04 pm

Great post! I was actually talking to a friend yesterday and she was asking be about SEO. She asked me if I was good at it. LOL…I answered, I would not say that I am good at it but I tend to know the basics and try to apply them in my blog posts. I will certainly get to better my skills but for now, I enjoy making videos and sharing my blog posts on social media and doing some syndication. We’ll see what the future brings 😉
Nathalie Villeneuve recently posted..7 Tips To Grow Your Facebook Group To 1000 MembersMy Profile


Jacob February 23, 2012 at 12:09 am

To get natural links from diversity sources, like you said it is good to go forums and engage in conversations and add your signature for a back link. A great way to get more traffic to your blog also.
Jacob recently posted..Kyani Business Review – Should You Really Join?My Profile


David Merrill March 1, 2012 at 8:19 pm

As Edyta points out above, the search engines are THE place to get good, free, organic traffic to your site.
You show us some really good techniques for taking advantage of what the SE’s offer us.
Too many times, I think people feel like they’re in competition with SE’s, especially Google.
They are there to deliver good content to people searching for it. So they are really helping us do our job by holding our feet to the fire in keeping relevant and high quality content before our readers.
Thanks, Ed, for showing us some key ways to optimize our relationship with SE’s and benefit from their service.
David Merrill recently posted..YouTube Video Strategy | Leverage High Ranking VideoMy Profile


Jeffrey T. Sooey March 13, 2012 at 5:45 am

Thanks for the tips. Content is very important, but to know the basics for SEO is also very helpful in the promotion of your website. I liked your analogy about our sites being a library and google as being the librarians. We must give a reason for google to recommend us and that is by making sure that our content is credible and informative and by following key word utilization.


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