Your website can be working for you 24/7 as a powerful marketing tool – but only if it’s appearing on the first page of Google and other search engines for the right search terms. SEO is essential to the ranking performance of your site.seo tips for small business

Possessing some basic knowledge of search engine optimisation (SEO) holds a key to ensuring that your small business website will rank successfully and thereby generate the leads and enquiries that fuel your business growth.  We’ve already explored some of the basics of what is SEO and knowing the keyword phrases that your target market would likely use to search for your product or service …. So let’s now look at some more specific and concrete tips to help you identify whether any adjustments may be necessary to your website in order to optimise and enhance it in the eyes of the search engines…..

  1. The title tag is one of the most critical elements of your on-page structure. Ensure that each page of your site has an appropriate title tag and that there is no duplication of title tags
  2. Even though Google says that meta-tags for keywords and description may no longer be as crucial as they were in the past, who’s to say that other search engines don’t continue to use them in their ranking algorithms – so ensure these are added
  3. Set up webmaster tools for your website and check whether they have identified any technical HYML errors for your site that need correction
  4. Be careful of your keyword density – in other words, how frequently you actually use your keywords in the content of the page. In the old days,  it was simply about listing your keywords and phrases a lot of times on the page as a way of trying to show the relevance of the page. But now-days that’s viewed as keyword-stuffing and it is believed that mentioning your keyword phrase more than a few times may be seen as “over-use” and viewed as “spammy” – which can result in a ranking penalty by the search engine. So use synonyms instead of just repeating the same keyword phrase – and ensure this is woven naturally rather than artificially into the text of the page.
  5. Off-page SEO refers to your strategy for building back-links to your site. In our “What is SEO” page we explained the importance of quality back-links. By ensuring that your site produces compelling quality content, you will find that other sites will naturally link back to you – particularly if you can gain social media traction for your pages which offer useful information and valuable advice on your subject. Never, ever be tempted to buy back-links – and if you ever hire an SEO agency ensure that they are not going to engage in this practice. Google have warned that websites who engage in this practice will be penalised in their ranking.  However, in terms of some positive ways of building natural organic links, have a look at this Matt Cutts video …

  • Matt Cutts advice for older websites

In case you’re not familiar with Matt Cutts, he is the public face of Google for webmasters. He is the head of their Spam Team and so is quite a lead figure in the on-going adjustments that they make to their criteria for evaluating and ranking websites. If your small business website has been established for several years, then you might find his comments of some interest in the following video clip. He talks about the importance of keeping your site fresh and appealing for visitors. If you have a blog connected to your website, in which you have a reasonable schedule for posting updates then this will be a great help.

  • Common SEO mistakes

Here’s Matt Cutts from Google again, offering some good SEO tips. For example he says make sure that your website includes the right keywords on the page that you want it crawled and found for. He refers to the importance of quality content as the basis for building natural back-links. One of the common mistakes he refers to is poor Meta-description tags, that fail to properly describe the nature and content of the page

  • Where does SEO fit in with internet marketing?

Internet marketing encompasses SEO – but also typically incorporates the use of paid advertising (pay-per-click) and additionally considers ways of leveraging social media that is most compatible with your product or service.

Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest have been found to appeal to different demographics – and this where you would need to do more research to identify which platform will give you the best return on investment of your time and energy. If this is a topic of interest for you, then take a look at our blog post social media marketing tips

  • SEO tips for start-ups

If you’re just establishing your business and your website is still a work-in-progress, then here’s another video clip from Google webmaster tools which features quite a few additional tips to help your new site rank successfully …….

  • For many more SEO ideas  ….

Have a look at our small business blog and a great interview with an SEO expert who explains the difference between black hat and white hat SEO techniques for small business 

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