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Search Engine Optimization.
The keyword dropped among all web and marketing geeks.
Who would have thought that 3 words would have been so scary?
(If you have no idea what the SEO is, you can visit my blog post on it HERE)
Most small businesses that I talk to who have websites, know that they need to start SEO strategies, but have no idea where to start.
They google this online, and a billion different results show up.
The optimization lingo: confusing.
The Result: An overwhelmed small business owner.
Here are my uncomplicated SEO strategies for small business owners to start implementing today!
1. Make Your Website Optimized
Its 2018 – lets get those websites optimized!
More then ever I see businesses who did their website wayyyyy back in 2009, the website is soooo slow.
The images have large file sizes (yet still look pixelated).
It is definitely NOT mobile friendly.
What do you mean user navigation?
This is a massive factor that the little google bots are looking at.
What you want:
1. Faster load times
You can check your website on Pingdom . It will give you your average loading time in different continents, and a performance grade. Ideally you want to be UNDER 3 seconds load time!
2. Optimize your images
If you are loading images that are not optimized for the web, you are risking a sloth like speed on your website. Sloths are cute; slow website speeds are not. How do you save a image safe for the web? A few steps: If you are creating the images yourself, make sure to export as a ‘safe for web’ file (Or make sure your designer is saving for optimization). Another method if you have a WordPress website, is to download a plugin such as EWWW Image Optimizer.
3. Have outstanding web hosting
Don’t just pick the first hosting option choice! Look around, read reviews and really do your due diligence when finding the prefect hosting for YOUR business!
2. Get that website mobile friendly!
Basically, everyone and their grandma is taking their mobile devices everywhere!
If you aren’t catering to those 79%, you could be missing on engagement opportunities. PLUS them’ google bots are not going to be pleased.
How do you check how cellphone & tablet friendly you are?
1. Go on your dang phone and check yourself!
If you are having a not so great time – guaranteed your end user is have a worse time.
2. Check your score on googles free checker!
Check your score HERE!
You can make your websites user friendly by using responsive themes on WordPress or have your designer design your website mobile layout first.
The google bots are looking to see if the user experience will be AMAZING and EASY.
Which leads me to my next SEO tip….
3. Make that User Experience Simple and to the point
There is a reason UI & UX have become the star child keywords in the tech industry.
UI (User interface) is the design of the computer interaction and interface itself. Basically making it pretty and functional for the end user.
UX (User experience) takes into account the users experience (emotional and valuable aspects).
Your end goal should always be one thing: giving your user a seamless experience!
Google bots love the shit out of your customers being happy.
How can you tell if they are happy?
Download and collect data from your google analytics.
Start to look into: Where are your users dropping off (aka leaving the site)? How long is the average session time (hint: you want them to stay on your site for a long time, 30 seconds is not good!).
Also make sure your websites architecture is sound. If the structure is sound, the more likely you will reach that higher ranking. Want to know more about this? Neil Patel has a great post about this HERE.
UI/UX can get very complex – I am just giving you the basic low-down.
Hiring a professional is always a (strongly) suggested option.
4. Update your meta title & Descriptions
Your Meta title and Descriptions are what shows up in Googles search results.
This is a missed opportunity for SEO keywords I see from most small businesses!
You see, Google has a default setting, it just grabs your basic title and an expert from that page.
It definitely is not set to your keywords!
5. Install a wordpress seo plugin
What is Yoast, you say?
It is an awesome tool set newbies (and skilled SEO folk) can use to help improve their SEO on their webpage.
You can track your progress, learn what to improve on and enter keywords you are wanting to tag.
Yoast is a FREE tool, so why aren’t you using it yet!?
Don’t skip out on all their juicy SEO resources- especially if you are keen to really get that SEO down pat!
How to install Yoast HERE!
6. Have great content!
You may or may not have heard marketers and business friends say “Content is king!” or “Man I really have to get my content up there”.
Consequently, they are not wrong!
Make great content that keeps your readers hooked. Avoid thin content (content that holds no value to the consumer, automatically generated content and low quality pages) at all times.
You can get your keywords in your blog posts, create captivating videos and much more.
Don’t forget to make this all shareable as well! Google will take into account posts that are shared across different platforms.
Really, I can get even deeper into the content cave of opportunities. But thats for another blog post!
7. Add appropriate image alt tags
After googling “how to create great content” you learned that having photos to break up posts is a great way of engagement.
So you collected some great photos to break up the text content for your blog post. You labeled the first photo, photo-123.
Then the next photo, photo-1234.
The thing is, those little google bots are just that. Robots.
They cannot read your images. They are looking at you image Alt tags!
Think about the great opportunities to plug in the keyword related to that post or page that you are missing out on when you just put ‘photo-123’!
If you are creating your photos, label them correctly and go into the photos information properties.
OR If you have wordpress, you can edit the photo’s alt tag text when you upload the desired photo.
Already have a bunch of images? No sweat my friend! You can go back in the ‘media’ tab on your wordpress dashboard and go into every single photo.
8. Link it up!
Did you notice that I have a crazy amount of links on this post?
The goal should always be to add credible links! Don’t spam your page with irrelevant links or faulty links though- thats bad.
You will also garner more credibility if you can obtain credible backlinks.
What are backlinks?
It is when another website links your websites links on their website. (say that 10 times)
Basically the bot’s see that people are engaging in your website and willing to share your websites link, almost like a ‘referral of trust’.
Getting great backlinks does takes time though.
You can try guest posting or try creating AMAZING top-ranking content that is 100% shareable.
9. Diversify your Marketing & Encourage Action
So you have a blog. You have an idea for content. All your images are saved correctly and web optimized. You also have credible links ready to go.
You launched your beautiful content.
Diversify your marketing, and really create a solid plan. Test out different channels and platforms. What is performing great for getting traffic to that post?
Traffic coming in is a good sign for the google bots.
Personally, I noticed that Pinterest earned more clicks to my bog posts rather then sharing on my Facebook.
Your building trust with your end user AND the bots!
The add on: Encourage action.
Do not forget to add a final call to action regarding that post.
You want people to share it? Say so!
You want people to sign up to your newsletter to get more content like that post? Say it!
It is such a missed opportunity to have a fabulous post – with no end direction. The user clicks off… Never to be engaged with your brand again.
I believe in you!
10. Local SEO with Google
Now… I added this one to the end as it is something that I am just starting to implement myself.
Make sure you have ALL the google things!
‘Google My Business’ is different from ‘Google +’.
You should have both.
Google my business is how your customers will find you, how they will get to your location and how to contact your business.
Google + is google’s social media platform. You can post your content into ‘collections’ and find communities.
I decided to create a SEO community, share your progress and ask questions. Join HERE!
The SEO conclusion
Even if you just start out with one of these at a time, it will make a vast improvement on your business’ visibility and credibility!
Furthermore, you can always revisit this post and tackle each tip individually!
I hope you found all these tips helpful!
Feel free to ask any questions, and share this too any other fellow business owners you know.
Happy Ranking, folks!
– Steph Xxx