The Small Business Owners Quick Guide To SEO in 2015
Small business owners with a new or existing website are likely aware of the need for proper Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to enhance their marketing efforts. That being said, being aware of a need and knowing how to implement a solution are not always the same.
Use this handy small business quick guide to get started on SEO best practices and learn a few things to avoid. This is by no means an extensive look into Search Engine Optimization and how to implement it. If you are looking for a deeper resource into SEO and internet marketing, please take a look at my eBook, “Today’s Marketing Cookbook” available on Amazon.
Best Practices for Business SEO in 2015
Best practices for SEO are regularly changing as search engine designers continually create more intuitive algorithms and advanced operations. Here are some of the best practices for business SEO for 2015:
Engaging and Valuable Content
— Long gone are the days of repetitive keywords and “stuffed” content. Today’s search engines can distinguish the difference between valuable content and that which was written simply to weigh heavier on certain search terms. More important than the search engines, however, is the fact that real customers have always been able to tell the difference. Content that is useful and provides meaningful engagement with your products and services is, and always has been, superlative.
— Search engines are also now able to determine if a site is user-friendly or not. Basically, does the site promote simple navigation, good design, and regular content updates? If so, then it will be deemed as user-friendly by both search engines and humans alike.
Mobile or Responsive Website
— If your site is showing up in mobile search results, you’ll want to be sure it meets the most recent demands for SEO success. Read more specifics about choosing to include a mobile or responsive site in my latest blog post.
Some of these best practices are further explained in my post “How to Keep Your Website Fresh.”
Essentially, the best thing any small business owner can do on their website is to connect with the target audience.
Just like building a relationship in-person, connecting with your customers takes time, effort, and commitment.
Worst Practices for Business SEO
There are many outdated websites touting certain SEO practices. Here are the worst contenders if you want to design a poor SEO site:
Bad Link Building Practices
— First, let me clarify that links pointing to your website are not bad. The intentional practice of link building is what is not acceptable. Link building was hugely popular for years as search engines placed value on the number of links across the internet which pointed to a particular website. In efforts to increase the number of links, many sneaky behind-the-scenes tactics were created to place these links anywhere and everywhere.
For a better application of link building, small business owners should instead focus on providing valuable content. As users share this content with others, it will create natural inbound links. If you want to learn the right way to start building links, I recommend this article “Guide to Link Building” by Moz
— This is also a practice left over from decades past. In those early days, search engines counted the frequency and density of certain keywords on a website to determine its ranking value. Today, search engines are much more advanced and in fact demote sites which have purposefully stuffed excessive keyword usage into their content. Let keywords flow naturally in your content.
Lack of Image Descriptions
— Image descriptions and “Alt” text are the primary way a search engine can “read” the picture. If you don’t tell search engines what this image represents (i.e. a picture of a “cat holding a candy cane”) then this image will add little value to your SEO intentions. Instead, always provide alt text and descriptions for your images. This not only improves your SEO game, but is more ADA friendly
The list of what NOT to do could honestly be triple or quadruple the length of what I’ve provided here. However, by keeping the right objective — your customers — as the guiding principle of SEO habits, you won’t go wrong.
Have you found this small business SEO quick guide helpful? Share with your social network!
If you prefer to have a professional handle the SEO of your business website, please drop me a line. My SEO services can provide your company with the experience and understanding needed for the best digital marketing practices!