Small Business SEO: Level the Playing Field
Having an effective website design, coupled with correctly implementing a small business search engine optimization (SEO) strategy, is one of the best ways of consistently generating new leads and sales. Search Engines Optimization is the new yellow pages of our time; it’s where many people look first to find small businesses like yours. Take advantage of it by being there and getting found.
Small Business Search Engine Optimization Drives Targeted Prospects
On average there are nearly 2 billion searches done on the Internet each and every day. What do you think your chances are that some of these searches are done by people searching for the service or product that you are offering? Do you have the steps in place to capitalize on these searches so that you can get more business and take advantage of the opportunity that small business SEO offers?
If you are serious about getting a constant funnel of prospects to your business, then you should seriously consider implementing a small business search engine optimization strategy. Getting started is easy and with a few basic steps you will be on your way to having a solid marketing channel that drives targeted prospects to your website.
5 Small Business Search Engine Optimization Tips for Your Website
It all starts with having a website that is built to perform and is “search engine friendly.” A search engine friendly website means that you have taken the following necessary steps to ensure that your website is being picked up and read by search engines.
Small Business SEO Tip #1: Select your keywords – Keywords are the terms or phrases potential prospects will use to search the Internet and find your website. The first step in any small business SEO campaign is ensuring that these keywords are relevant and specific to your business and the type of customers you want to attract. Your web designer or a Search Engine Optimization specialist can help you choose keywords that not only fit your small business SEO strategy, but will also bring in the most amount of traffic possible. Keep in mind that the amount of traffic your keywords will deliver will vary over time. That’s why it’s important to monitor which keywords are working and which ones aren’t, and change your keywords as needed.
Small Business SEO Tip #2: Sprinkle keywords throughout your website content – After you have selected the keywords that are most relevant to your small business, include them in your website content so that they can be easily read and picked up by search engines. You want to use your most important keywords as often as you can without “stuffing” the keywords. In other words, effective search engine optimization should come across naturally. Always keep in mind that your website visitors and potential customers will be reading this content as well, so it needs to make sense. Don’t forget, you can also use your keywords as image titles, captions or ALT tags (the words that appear when you hover over an online image).
Small Business SEO Tip #3: Coordinate keywords with your website architecture – Another important element of search engine optimization for small business is that your website must be easy to navigate, not just for visitors but also to ensure that the search engines are able to index all your website pages. You should have a unique name for each page on your website, using the keywords that you would like to show up for in Internet searches. You can also use keywords in your page headlines and in your page URL. In general, the more pages you have on your website, the more relevance it is given by search engines. So if your website is small, a good trick is to interlink your website pages to create more links on your website containing the keywords targeted in your SEO campaign. Internal links should contain the keywords targeted for SEO on the pages they point to.
Small Business SEO Tip #4: Build links to your website – Once you have laid the foundation for your website, the next step in your small business SEO campaign is link building. The process of link building involves getting links from other websites that point to your website. A good start is to submit your small business website to all the major search engines and directories to ensure that you have a listing. Most of them are free, but it is a rather time consuming process. However, to ensure that you climb to the top pages of the search engines and maintain your position, you need to continue to build links to your website. In addition to search engines and directories, you can also write articles and submit them to online article directories that are free and include a link back to your website. Also, be sure to keep the small business search engine optimization tips you learned in this article in mind whenever you make a submission to an online article directory.
Small Business SEO Tip #5: Update your website frequently – By updating your website frequently you invite the search engines back to crawl your website and reevaluate your positioning if new updates were made. An update can simply be adding latest developments or project completions to your website, or adding a blog to your website and updating it weekly. Search engines love fresh content, so updating your website as often as you can is essential to any small business search engine optimization strategy.
It’s a fact that all businesses have competition, but thanks to search engine optimization any small business has the ability to level the playing field and attract more customers. The first step is to realize that a website is more than a URL you point people to – it’s a living, breathing marketing tool that is often underused by small business owners.
Nicole McCullum is the founder of Captivate Designs, a web design company that provides small and mid-sized businesses with custom website design solutions including business web design, e-commerce web design, graphic design and internet marketing. Ms. McCullum has been featured on Inc.com as a Web Design Expert, and her web design tips and articles have been published in NY Enterprise Report and Strategy Magazine. For more information, visit www.CaptivateDesigns.com.