As a small business, owners are always looking for new and effective ways to reach their marketing goals. No matter the strategy, the idea is to turn your small business into a bigger business by increasing awareness as much as it can. A great technique that may be foreign to many small businesses is search engine optimization. If your business is not practicing search engine optimization in your current marketing efforts, then it’s safe to say your small business isn’t reaching its full potential.
Why is search engine optimization important to your small business?
SEO is important because when done correctly, your business will experience a massive increase in traffic due to a higher search engine ranking. Would you want your business to rank on page one of Google or page six? Your potential customer most likely finds what they are looking for long before they even come across your business on search engines (unless you are on page one). Think of all those clients you are missing out on…
Search engine optimization strategies your business should practice
SEO in its entirety is very difficult, but good, basic SEO strategies are not. Your small business should not be intimidated by the term – in fact, your company should embrace it! Here are a few strategies to begin practicing good SEO:
- Think about customer behavior: To begin practicing good SEO, your small business needs to understand how customers are going to search for you on the internet. Keep in mind that your purpose is to attract customers - customers who may not know you even exist. If your business’ potential customer is looking for a sushi restaurant in Salem, Oregon, that is what the customer will type in the search engine. Understand how potential customers search for answers on the internet and capitalize on it.
- Include important keywords in your title tags: Specific keywords are extremely important in the SEO industry. Chances are your business will face stiff competition from your competitors. The trick when utilizing keywords on your site is to try to make them as specific as possible. Use the Google Keyword tool to see a variation of keywords.
Once you find relative keywords, make sure to include them in your title tags. Title tags are one of the most important factors of on-page SEO as they give you a greater chance of being found. Your title tag is what’s shown in search queries. Below is a great example of title tag keyword practice.
Make sure each page on your site has specific keyword title tags so that you give your pages the best chance to rank.
- Use specific keywords in your headlines and copy: Another important aspect of SEO is to insert your targeted keywords in headlines as well as your body. If a bakery has the best homemade blueberry muffins in Lincoln, Nebraska, your on-page headline should include ‘homemade blueberry muffins’ followed by the name of your business. Your body should include as many variations of the terms as well. Find the perfect balance of inserting keywords in your body and your business will do better to rank for those keywords in the future.
- Create a blog for your business and get other blogs to link back to you: Search engines love fresh content. Blogging can help you establish credibility in your industry, but the best outcome is that it helps you rank better organically (non-paid campaigns) on sites like Google. Add some new content to your blog 2-3 times a week (if not daily) and don’t forget to include targeted keywords. If your business can get links on websites or blogs with a high traffic percentage, search engines establish your business as a credible one. Do your research and find influential blogs in your business’ industry that may be willing to give your company a link back, which will certainly help your site’s ranking.
- Track what works: It’s important to see what works in SEO. A good tool for this is Google Analytics. Google Analytics tracks how many users come to your site and more importantly, what keywords they used to find you. Educate yourself on the platform and always optimize your content.
Basic SEO does not have to be hard. If you use the strategies outlined here, you are on your way to a better ranking on search engines. Feel free to share your SEO business strategies below!
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