SEO or search engine optimization is the practice of improving the visibility of a website. This effect is achieved through increased rates of organic or unpaid website traffic, in part because of higher quality content. Getting the most out of SEO can boost a website to the top of any search query.
Understanding how to top search engine results involves knowing how the process works behind the scenes. For instance, Google uses crawlers to gather information about content across the web and feds the results into an algorithm. The algorithm then matches the data back to a search query.
SEO can be a powerful tool for any small business. Well-executed SEO means higher quality and quantity of traffic as well as more organic results. Here are our seven essential tips to guide your small business through the world of SEO.
Optimize Information on Your Website
Your website is one of the most visible platforms for consumers to engage with your business. That is why all the information on and associated with the site should be strategically written. Something as simple as a domain name that accurately reflects your business type and location can make a world of difference.
Information optimization comes in many forms. This process includes adding specific keywords on page titles to identify your business’ products and services and making contact information easily accessible. Similarly, ensure your website copy mentions your business’ location as much possible, mainly if you rely heavily on foot traffic for sales.
Encourage Users to Write Reviews
A majority of consumers use product reviews to decide whether or to buy a product. An impressive 68 percent of Americans are more likely to use a business if they read a positive review. Similarly, the Harvard Business School reports that a one-star increase in a company’s Yelp rating can lead to a 5 to 9 percent increase in revenue
Put simply, a wealth of persuasive user reviews can make or break your business. That’s why you should be advocating for reviews, whether it is in a company blog or on a coupon. Whatever strategy you use, make sure you make the testimonial writing process as convenient as possible.
Develop a Strong Social Media Presence
Proper use of social media can elevate a company to a whole new level. Social media is a perfect opportunity to keep an audience up to date with new products, services, and events. It is also a powerful tool to connect with fans and spread your brand message genuinely.
While the list of tips to develop a strong media presence is infinite, the most crucial aspect is to understand your brand voice. Being consistent with your company’s brand mission and identity will make it easier for people to connect with what you are saying. There are also countless excellent examples of branded social media presence, including Wendy’s, Ben and Jerry’s, and Nike.
Find Better Keywords
Before writing new copy, it is essential to know what search terms and phrases users are searching for that might lead them to your site. This insight can inform future decisions on what to write, whether on social media, commercials, or a blog. One of the easiest ways to find these terms is with Google AdWords.
The tool allows you to see how often specific keywords are searched and how it relates to your content. Similarly, you can see what things you should not write. This process, which is especially useful in pay-per-click campaigns, is known as using negative keywords.
Make Use of Hyperlinks
A hyperlink is a clickable link that leads from one webpage to another. These are most commonly seen with text but can be inserted into images or buttons too. Hyperlinks are valuable because they create backlinks.
When Google’s algorithm analyzes website content, it rewards backlinks explicitly. They can lend credibility to your website while increasing page views. They are also a way to add a lot of information to your site without taking up additional space.
Use Internal Links
While hyperlinks connect to webpages outside of your site, internal links say within the existing domain. Conveniently internal links make it easier for visitors to navigate your website and improve bounce rate and conversions. They simultaneously reflect the value and quality of a page.
Internal links are also useful to the Google algorithm PageRank. These links can distribute inbound traffic across your site, and the result is higher rankings for other pages on your website.
Create a Google My Business Listing
When people want to learn more about your company, they use Google My Business. The platform provides information, ratings, and reviews so potential customers can make an informed purchase. It also allows you to reach new customers that you might not have been able to otherwise.
Your listing should include important, accurate information, such as your:
One of the most important features is the locating tool of Google My Business—it’s essential to ensure your address is correct. Customers will be able to see your service area and proximity to their location. Additionally, the platform gives small businesses the chance to advertise their products and services for free.
Utilize Negative Keywords
Figure out what keywords not to use is as important as determining the ones to use. Using negative keywords ensures your ads do not appear on irrelevant search queries. This method also allows you to boost the quality score and reduce the cost per click for each ad.
The best way to find negative keywords is to see what search terms lead to your ad. Here, you can target what are the most and less useful phrases or words when it comes to click-throughs. That way, when people use the negative keywords in queries, your ads will not appear.