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SEO Tips For Small Business Websites

Learn the basics of SEO to get more search engine traffic to your small business website.

I have created small business websites as well as my own blogs for close to ten years now. During this time I learned a thing or two about SEO (search engine optimization). It is very important for any small business website owner to engage in SEO to get a site as close to the top position of Search Engine Results Pages as possible.

  • On-page SEO should be done for pages to improve their ranking positions while the website or article is being created.
  • Off-page optimization on the other hand is achieved by creating back links via guest articles, etc. outside the boundaries of your own website.

It is crucial to always, always, always keep your website visitors in mind when working on SEO. Proper search engine optimization will bring traffic to your website, but if your pages are not set up correctly, i.e. hard to read or a confusing layout, your visitors will not be happy and are not very likely to return. Read on for basic small business website SEO marketing tips…

Alex Chris, a digital marketing consultant for reliablesoft.net made the following statement in one of his articles. “It’s amazing but it is true that the majority of websites today are not optimized for search engines. Despite the plethora of information about SEO many website owners believe that it is not worth to even do SEO and they quit before starting.”

On page search engine optimization

The basic element of SEO is the page itself, it describes the content of your website.

For a small business looking for local customers, great website content and proper on-page SEO is often all that is needed. Keep in mind though, search engines have a limited understanding of what is being discussed on those pages.

Schema Markup can be used to identify a person, an address, an organization, and other items. It’s valuable to make sure that the search engines know which text on a website is the name and address of a business, especially when it comes to optimization for improving local search results. The website www.schema.org explains what schema’s are and how to use them.

SEO Tips For Page Set-Up

Title – In order for the search engines and your visitors to understand your site you need to include unique page titles. Instead of having a page title like “index.html” which is of little value, you want to be as specific as possible like “Glass Domed Table Lamps” so everyone knows what the page is about.

Description – This is what searchers will see on the results page. Your description needs to be unique to the page (up to 150 characters) and be convincing so the person searching for glass domed table lamps will click on the link in order to visit your website to find out more.

Layout & Content – The page layout needs to be formatted consistently and has to be easily readable. Use a font size of 12px or larger and break up the text into small paragraphs, be sure to leave plenty of ‘finger room’ around any links for mobile users. Break up the text with headings (h1) and sub headings (h2, h3, etc.), highlight important parts with bold, underline words and use italics for quotes.

You need to look for targeted words or phrases that are connected to your website, business or article topic and incorporate them into the page. As a rule, you should optimize each page for one set of  keywords only, since the main goal of SEO is to relay a message to your visitors and to the search engine about what your site is about. There is no need to add a bunch of different meta keywords as these are now mostly ignored by search engines.

If you offer great written content, that your readers find informative and interesting, than you are on the right track.

Images – Only use original images on your website. Use descriptive file names when saving your images, instead of ‘lamp1.jpg’ use ‘light green hanging lamp’ and fill in the ALT tag to describe the image so search engines and visually impaired searches can understand what the image is about.

Don’t forget to optimize the size of your images, the smaller the size in bytes the better. I use WP Smush.it a free plugin to reduce file sizes this improve site performance and faster load times.

SEO Tips For URL Structure

Internat Linking – Smart internal linking is important for search engines and your visitors alike. The hierarchy of your site needs to be reflected in the permanent URL structure of your pages. A good example of a permanent URL is: http://www.lampsgalore.com/glass-domed-table-lamps/, whereas a bad example would look something like this: http://www.lampsgalore.com/p?184.

Sitemap – One of your permanent pages should be a user sitemap. This is an html file that represents the structure of your website. Visit my sitemap for an example. After the initial set up of your small business website is complete you should create an initial sitemap and upload it to Google Webmaster and other search engines for easy inclusion.

Categories – To help search engines and your users find content faster, group your posts and articles into categories. It’s just like a book with different chapters. To use our lamp site as an example again, your category could be ‘Hanging Lamps’ and every article you publish about lamps that hang off the ceiling or from a hook will go into this category. You can place a post or article in more than one related category, but it’s not advised to have sub-categories.

Breadcrumbs – A ‘breadcrumb’ allows users to navigate your site in a structured way. Breadcrumb NavXT is a great plugin for WP site users by adding breadcrumb navigation showing the visitor’s path to their current location.

For example, Home >> Hanging Lamps >> Green Hanging Lamps. You want to include a breadcrumb navigation if you have a lot of pages since breadcrumb links provides an additional opportunity to communicate both context and what your site is about to both your visitors and search engines.

The purpose of on-page SEO is to tell everyone what your website is about and making it easy to use.

For small business website owners, search engine optimization will help you get as much traffic as possible without spending money on advertising. Optimization is a cost effective way of introducing your products and services online.

Do you follow these basic SEO tips or do you have questions? Leave me a comment below.

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