How To Add SEO To Your Website
Let’s talk about SEO for small business websites. SEO is Search Engine Optimization. SEO or SEM (Search Engine Marketing) is a method in which you edit content on your website to increase your search engine ranking. There are various ways to do this, some of which can easily be done by anyone. Small business owners, entrepreneurs and start-ups may find it necessary to work on this by themselves in the early days of their company. I want to provide you with a simple overview of the search engine optimization in an effort to give you some DIY ways to rank in search.
Search Engine Ranking
Everyone hears about – and most small business owners think about – how to get better search engine ranking. We all understand that this essentially means that when someone searches for companies in your field, industry or genre, they will find you. Ideally, you want to show up early enough to be selected by a future customer. There is a lot going on behind the scenes when someone types a question into their search bar. Let’s break it down.
Popular search engines are:
But, the reality is, the vast majority of us use Google. You may be interested to know that Google dominates search not just because its basic search engine is used by most people but also because it owns many other properties that are heavily utilized. Consider that, separately, people find information and resources on the internet through Google Images, Google Maps and YouTube (which is owned by Google).
For the sake of this conversation, Google is the search engine we’ll consider.
Search engines have three basic functions: Crawl, Index and Rank.
1. Crawl. Search engine robots (AKA bots, crawlers) scan the internet and receive information from links. This info is delivered back to a database that becomes a comprehensive list of URLs Index.
2. Index. The process of indexing is the storage and organization done to the collected URLs
3. Rank. The collected and organized data is ranked. This is done by equations – or algorithms – that assess how accurately a URL answers a search query.
There are ways to leverage each of these three areas with small adjustments to your website’s structure and content.
How To Rank in Search
There are simple tweaks that even a website novice can perform to help them rank in search. When you have a start-up website, an entrepreneurial business or a small business, it is important that you use your time wisely. Help your business rank in search with these super simple ideas.
Google Bots Crawl
Without getting too technical, you can impact your ability to be found by the crawl function of Google bots with a few assessments and adjustments to your small business site:
- Use external links
- Use simplified website navigation
- Ensure you are not using techniques that look like spam
- Double check that your page has no errors
Google Bots Index
Indexing is the second function of Google bots that you want to pay attention to for your business website. To rank on your business site, ensure that the Google bots can see and correctly store your pages:
- Double check that you don’t have any redirect or URL errors
- Meta-tags can be setup properly using internal tools in your simple website builder
- Avoid keyword stuffing but strategically use headers and other writing tools to meaningfully insert keywords into your text
- Learn about backlinks and use internal links (like this)
Note: if you suspect you are not being indexed properly because of a migration, Google offers support.
Google Bots Rank
Both of the above have important points of assessment and work. The work with which you may be most familiar is SEO writing, or creating content on your website that is meaningful and engaging. It is important that the words on your website are strategically written and structured to boost your search ranking.
- Be relevant. Only write about your actual industry and related topics
- Do an SEO schematic or keyword traffic research
- Boost engagement with meaningful CTAs (Call to Action)
- Label all of your images with keywords and meaningful descriptions
This may actually be the most difficult part for some small business owners, because creating and maintaining current content (like on a blog) takes time. I would suggest that you prioritize your content creation strategy, deciding what pages are most likely to be visited by users and starting with those first.
New Business Content Development Strategy for SEO
If you are a brand new start-up or entrepreneur launching your business, here is an idea of how you should prioritize your process. Your content creation strategy for your small business to rank in search could look something like this:
- Secure your domain
- Do search engine traffic research (there are numerous free tools for this online)
- Write your three core pages using those keywords: Home, About, Contact
- Create and link social profiles
- Create a blog page and assign a writer to populate it with content (you may consider a freelancer)
There are a myriad of other topics, ideas, recommendations that could be looked at. Don’t get overwhelmed. There is a lot of great information out there (and some not-so-great information). Do your research. Outsource it if you need to: Hire a Writer can help. Either way, learning about this and doing it are absolutely vital if you want your small business to rank in search.