Basic SEO for Small Business
Understanding SEO or search engine optimization is essential for you small business. Good SEO can boost your rankings in search engines like Google and make it easier to get visitors to your site. Good SEO will also reduce the costs of your digital marketing efforts.
What is SEO?
“SEO describes your efforts to get ranked higher in Google.” says William Rush, an online marketing expert at one of the top Las Vegas SEO companies in Nevada. “This means that your site is easier to find. If you are selling “leather bags” and an internet user types this keyword or phrase into Google, you want to rank as highly as possible for that keyword. If you are on the first page and right at the top, then this is the best position for your site to be in.”
SEO can either be on-page or off-page. On-page relates to anything and everything on your actual website and off-page to other marketing you have around the web. Although off page SEO has a part to play on-page is the more vital component. Off-page SEO can enhance an already robust website, but it can’t make up for a poor one.
So, what kind of things count as SEO?
- Key phrases.
- Good content.
- A few quality links.
Keywords and Phrases.
Keywords and phrases need to be chosen and then appear on your site in a specific and structured way. You should try and have some long-tail keywords in the mix.
Long-tail keywords take the approach of getting traffic from less common searches. The idea is that common keywords and phrases give you a tiny share of an enormous market, but long tail provides you with a big proportion of a smaller niche market.
You now want to structure your website to include the keywords you have chosen. A few years ago people would try and use the keyword as many times as possible. This is now known as keyword stuffing. People tried all sorts of tricks to get a higher keyword count. These methods included reams of unhelpful and awkward text and even pages of invisible text where the keyword was re-posted over and over again.
It is here that you can learn your first valuable lesson about search engine optimization. You must always construct your site, and it’s content to be most useful to the people that visit it. When you use tricks and shortcuts, they may work for a little while, but sites such as Google will put a stop to it in the end. Google runs on an algorithm which is continually updated. The algorithm assesses which sites are the most import ones and assign more visibility to those sites.
When people started keyword stuffing to get visitors, Google noticed some low-quality sites popping up and made updates to the algorithm to penalize rather than reward them. Techniques known as “black hat” techniques are cheeky ways to boost rankings in Google whereas “white hat” techniques are means to work with Google and get your site ranked higher in a long-term and sustainable way. It may take more time and effort, but if you go black hat, your site won’t make it in the long run.
For Google to give you a good ranking, your site needs to be useful to a visitor. Good quality, useful content that gets refreshed now and again and has something like a blog where new content is added regularly is a positive. Use feedback from your visitors to understand what they like and don’t and what you can do to improve things for them. Slowly but surely you’ll get that site ranked higher.
Consider things like how fast your site is to load and how easily users can navigate the pages. The better it is for visitors, the better ranking you’ll get.
A few quality links.
Mass back linking was another black hat technique that got a lot of sites downgraded and even unlisted from rankings. A link to your site from another site on the web is basically like a positive vote. The better the site is, the more clout that vote has in lifting you through the rankings. However, after years of people acquiring junk backlinks, it turns out that some of these links will count against people and not for them.
Work on getting a site with a high PageRank to link to you. PageRank is a system used by Google to denote quality sites, new sites and bad sites. You want to put your effort and energy into getting even one high PageRank site to link back to you, rather than thousands of low rankings ones.
These are the best and most practical tips you can follow to get your basic SEO in place. Follow these, and you will set yourself up to rise through the rankings.