Your website is one of a gazillion stars in the massive internet universe. Unless you sparkle brightly, you’ll only be found by those who are looking specifically for you. Here are five SEO tips for small business websites to make your website shine a little brighter:
Our Top 5 SEO Tips for Small Business Websites
1. Make sure your website is well-organized and mobile-friendly.
You have a few seconds from a visitor’s first click to grab and keep their attention. If your website is outdated, slow, unorganized and/or messy, you’ll lose them. If it’s current, loads quickly (on both computers and mobile devices), and is easy to navigate, you’re nailing the most important facet of SEO.
2. Know and solve your customers problem(s).
If you know your customer’s problem, you can solve it. If you solve it, they will come—and, very likely, keep coming and bring other people with them.
Your customers’ most pressing problems should be your top priority. Research trending topics in your industry, including issues and solutions and the latest innovations and newest products, and write about them.
Quality website content or blog posts written with your customers’ problems at heart will boost your SEO ranking. The key word is quality. Don’t bother with poorly written posts or irrelevant fluff—Google’s algorithms have ways to measure if people do or don’t find your content relevant and they dole out rewards and punishments accordingly.
3. Just say NO WAY to duplicate content.
The same algorithms that reward you for quality content will punish you for duplicate content. DON’T pepper and re-pepper your favorite content verbatim on multiple pages or posts or other websites, don’t use the same keyword over and over, and, of course, don’t copy and paste content from another website onto yours even if you have their permission. DO get creative and unique!
4. Snag as many legitimate incoming links as possible.
Similar to life, the company you keep can make or break you when it comes to SEO. When Google sees that a high-ranking website links to your website, your reputation gets a boost.
You get these links by nailing Tips #1 and #2, then asking higher ranking websites to trade links—or write guest blogs or product reviews that link back to your website.
However, no links are better than bad links. If Google finds out that you’ve paid for worthless backlinks, you run a high risk of being punished. Algorithms are smart—and getting smarter by the day—so it’s foolish to believe you’ll get away with this shady SEO practice.
5. Keep your virtual “office” clean.
Once you get the keys to your brand new virtual office it isn’t long before it needs cleaning. The same applies to your website.
Broken links and obsolete page or blog content ding your credibility with your customers and hurt your SEO ranking. You also increase the risk of virtual burglaries if WordPress, your theme, or plugins haven’t been updated.
We suggest a thorough cleaning and security check no less than once a month. (If you don’t want to deal with this, hire us as your Webmaster.)
The Good SEO News
It is GOOD news that Google’s algorithms are no longer fooled by tricks and reward legitimate websites that add value to our lives. Now, the good guys win.
There are many (almost too many!) online resources to teach you how to write optimized content, which includes using titles and meta tags properly, including internal and external links, and optimizing your photos.
If you have the time to do it yourself, take advantage of the excellent resources at Moz and Yoast. If you’re just feeling overwhelmed by our five SEO tips for small business, let us do the optimizing for you so your website has a fighting chance.
One last thing—it’s important to understand that SEO is not an event. It’s a process.
Anyone who tells you that they can get your website to the first page of Google quickly is someone to avoid. In fact, according to SEO expert Moz, SEO “often does nothing for new and emerging sites” and should be done with the understanding that it is a lengthy process designed to help those who rely on Google to send them customers to avoid problems and perform as optimally as possible.