When you put your small business website online you’ll quickly learn that SEO (search engine optimization) is key to your site’s overall success. Search engine optimization is the process of publishing your site so that search engines like Google, Yahoo! and Bing will index it and find your posts for the best possible ranking. Here are a few simple SEO tips for small businesses that might help you get better results. The effectiveness of these tips may vary depending on the latest Google update (as of this posting it is called “Hummingbird” — who knows, it could be Elephant, Tiger, Bear or Kangaroo in the future) but they are still good practice, no matter the algorithm.
Use Long Tail Keyword Phrases
Sites that have been around for 3, 5, 10 years or more are likely going to occupy the top spots of popular one and 2-word keyword phrases that get a lot of traffic. If you want to get more traffic to your business website, start using long-tailed keywords in your posts and pages. For instance, instead of optimizing a post for the search term “cat advice” you might use “long-haired Persian kitten advice” instead. Get specific and use those phrases in your posts. Sometimes all you need to do is add a couple of adjectives to make it a good long-tail keyword phrase. Use keyword research tools like Google’s Keyword planner (available to AdWords accounts) to learn about long tail keyword ideas that get a good amount of monthly traffic.
Title, First Paragraph, Last Paragraph
Keyword stuffed articles don’t work as well as they did in the past (repeating the keyword phrase over and over again). However, it’s still valuable to use keyword phrases in your article. Try posting the phrase once in the title, once in the first paragraph and once in the last paragraph as a rule of thumb.
Focus on Quality over Quantity
There was a time when website publishers thought that quantity was the most important thing. The strategy was this: just throw up as many keyword-rich articles possible, even if they barely made sense, and get a good ranking. Back then, that strategy worked, but now it’s probably the worst idea you could possibly implement if you want your small business website to succeed and get ranked.
Focus on publishing high quality content over publishing a high quantity of content. Search engines are looking for sites that provide searchers with the answers that they’re looking for in a well-written, easy-to-read, easy-to-understand format. The general rule of thumb is to write your website content (especially blog posts) in language that an 8th grade student would clearly understand.
The best advice I can give you about SEO optimizing your website for success is to provide your web visitors with value. When you do get a click, your visitor should leave feeling as if he’s learned something new — preferably he won’t leave until he buys your product or service!
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