Search engine optimization, or SEO, might be a completely new acronym for many small business owners—and that’s OK. You’re busy keeping your head above water. SEO doesn’t have to take up a ton of your daily time, but for your business to be successful, it does require some commitment. It’s not enough to simply have an online presence these days. Your website needs to be optimized so that users can find you quickly and easily for the right reasons.
SEO is the process of growing the quality and quantity of your specific website’s traffic by increasing its visibility on various search engines (such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing). While SEO is by no means a simple practice or process, there are a few easy tasks that you can handle on your own.
If you have a little bit of patience, some time to commit, and a willingness to learn, these five easy SEO tactics will help you create a better online presence and reputation for your business.
1. Fix Your Technical SEO Issues
You have the most control over what’s called your “Onsite SEO” and, luckily, it is the easiest to modify. First, we recommend doing a simple audit of your website to reveal the pain points when it comes to how your website runs and performs. There are various website auditing tools out there, such as Raven Tools, that will do the work for you.
The purpose of your website is to create a better experience for your visitors and to increase your SEO value.
The audit will discover your site speed and list the different reasons your site might be slow. It will also point out specific things you can do to better optimize your website, including adding title tags, header tags, and meta descriptions to your pages, adding alt tags to your images, fixing any broken links, and making sure all your images are optimized for web and mobile devices.
2. Build Out Your Website Pages
The purpose of your website is to create a better experience for your visitors and to increase your SEO value. One of the best ways to do that is to make sure your website is fully built out.
Yes, you may already have a homepage and an “About Us” page, but what about a page specifically for your location, blog, services, products, or contact information? Don’t leave your visitors with any questions when it comes to your business. Creating these pages that you may think are unnecessary eliminates any confusion for the end-user and also adds a tremendous amount of value to your SEO.
3. Create a Multichannel Marketing Strategy
Increasing your SEO rankings does not mean you need to only tinker with your website. You need to also be thinking of ways you market to audiences outside of your domain name. This means you need to ask yourself the question, “How are we getting in front of our targeted consumers in multiple ways?”
To do this you need to explore other tactics including:
- Email Marketing – This is an opportunity to speak directly to your most dedicated audience. Incentivize the ability to sign up for your newsletter on your homepage and the footer of each page on your website.
- Reviews – Without positive reviews, many networks will rank your website lower than websites with more high-quality reviews. Actively request reviews on the channels where you spend your most time and money. Include logos, handles, or direct links to where customers should review you across your website.
- Social Media – While social media does not directly affect your SEO, being active as your brand across social platforms often leads to increased awareness of the content on your website. This, in turn, can lead to more engagement and others linking to your site.
4. Focus on Google My Business
Your Google My Business listing is usually one of the first things a new visitor will see before visiting your website, which is why you should make sure it’s accurate.
Once you log into your account, do the following:
- Make sure your business name, address, and phone number are correct.
- Check your hours of operation and website link to ensure accuracy.
- Make sure your listing is consistent with other links you’ve created on other sites. (Yelp, Bing, Facebook, etc.)
Doing these three simple things can help ensure your business listing is being accurately surfaced in results.
5. Gather Link Authority from Local Businesses
Getting links to your website placed on other reputable websites can help give your SEO rankings a major boost. Linking strategies generally involve engaging other social media pages, blogs, and related websites in the attempt to get them to link to your page. The more closely related the site or page is to your expertise the better the link.
As a small business owner, SEO doesn’t have to be scary and confusing.
The simplest way to get these links? Reach out to your fellow local business owners and ask them for a shoutout to your latest blog post. Connect with the business that supplies one of your products, add a link to their website on your page, and ask if they can do the same on theirs. This is a perfect way to build your link profile—you’re engaging with other likeminded professionals while building your online presence at the same time.
As a small business owner, SEO doesn’t have to be scary and confusing. The goal is to make sure your business is visible when people search for the products or services you provide, and that when they visit your website, they’re met with a warm and welcoming user experience.