10 SEO Tips for Small Businesses
1) DON’T Get Banned – It seems weird to start a list of things to do with a “don’t” but
betting banned from a search engine is the number one thing you do NOT want to happen. Learn the difference between legitimate keyword placement and link usage and the stuffing that spammers use to “trick” search engines to rank them highly. Search engines are cracking down on this and banning repeated violators so it’s key to use SEO techniques as a tool and not to abuse them.
2) Blog! – There is a catchphrase you’ll constantly hear when talking about websites and search engines and that is “content is king” and this co
uldn’t be more accurate. The more information you pump out to the public the more legitimate options you have to be found by potential customers and establish a voice as a leading authority in your field.
3) Keyword Research – Keyword research can really help you get ahead of the curve by telling you exactly what words are searched for most often. For example, sometimes people use the word “tricks” instead of “tips” so we could have titled this article “SEO Tricks” but besides the fact that that title is misleading and seems somehow underhanded, we discovered after a simple keyword search on Google’s Adwords site that SEO tips received 90,500 global monthly searches while SEO tricks only received 8,100 in the same period. That’s less than 10% of the potential audience.
4) Don’t Forget Images – Use images so people feel a connection to your business, what you do and where you are but make sure you label those images with good, valuable keywords because the search engines will take this into consideration.
5) Be Social – It’s hard to get away from Facebook and Twitter these days and why would you want to when you can generate incredible FREE advertising through social media sites without spending a lot of time or effort.
6) Professional Links Page – Inbound and outbound links are still important to search engines, they just don’t like to see sites loaded up on links alone. Advertise your professional affiliations by creating a links page and then ask those groups if they’re willing to add a link back to you on their website.
7) FAQ – A frequently asked questions page is a really simple way to use some of those keywords again in a valid way. It also helps establish some credibility with your audience and reaffirms your company voice.
8) Be Local – It’s easy to feel like a nobody on the internet when the world is full of people who do what you do, but you can really stake your claim in the local market. Go to Google Places, Bing Local and Yahoo Local (the 3 biggest search engines) and verify your business location in their directory. This doesn’t take long and its akin to having your company listed in the phonebook was a few decades ago, it’s a no-brainer.
9) Who and Where – List your company name, local phone number and mailing address on every page of your website. It seems redundant but if someone is sent directly to your FAQ page, how will they know who you are if you don’t tell them. It also gives you more “appearances” in the search engines.
10) Be the Customer – Try to think like your customer when designing and optimizing your site. Be customer centric and select keywords and terms the outsider would use rather than industry slang.