Seo for Small Business Tips

SEO is an enrichment model for improving business visibility in front of your target audience. It can help in increasing the number of visitors to your website, enhance customer loyalty, improve conversion rate, bring in more traffic and also enhance your revenue. It helps you in standing out amidst the clutter in the digital marketplace where users are flooded with information, content, products, and services.

If you’re starting a small business blog, you might not have a lot of resources. You also probably don’t have a bunch of time to read through tons of lengthy guides. In this article, I list the ultimate small business SEO tips list you need to get your site ranking from day 1.

What Is SEO?

SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” SEO is the process of making sure that your website and its contents are easy to understand, easy to use, and easy to find using a search engine like Google or Bing.

Top SEO copy tips

  1. You are not your reader. Do not write for yourself, write for your target audience.
  2. Mimic the language and voice of your audience, whether that’s third-person formal or second-person conversational.
  3. Include keywords where they will have the most impact: metadata, header tags, page title and anchor text.
  4. Use short paragraphs of only a few sentences.
  5. Strategically leave white space so readers can scan content at a glance.
  6. Externally link only to reputable, authoritative sites with high Domain Authority scores.
  7. Internally link only where relevant – not to every single related blog post or possible CTA.
  8. Include as much data as possible to support your claims.
  9. Embed relevant imagery so that visuals can complement your narrative.
  10. Think of search queries as article titles.
  11. Write for as long as it takes to comprehensively cover the topic (aka don’t aim for an arbitrary word count).
  12. Write with featured snippets in mind.

Optimize the fine print: Title tags, meta descriptions and alt text

SEO writing is part prose, part process. There are defined steps writers should take to ensure they’re thinking about each piece of content holistically, both on and off the page.

One of the most important elements of SEO copywriting is nailing metadata.

Metadata is a cue to search engines: It helps tell the story of what your content is about and how it should be presented in SERPs.

Optimizing title tags, meta descriptions, and image alt text may take only 75 words in total, but those 75 words are vastly more important than the rest of the copy that appears on the page.

One of the most important elements of SEO copywriting is nailing metadata.

Here is some guidance:

Optimize title tags

  • Use only 1 header tag per page and try to include a targeted, primary keyword.
  • Keep it to 70 characters or less.
  • Each page should have a unique title tag – no duplicates.

Optimize meta descriptions

  • Keep it to ~160 characters so that it doesn’t get cut off by Google.
  • Use clickworthy phrasing and don’t regurgitate copy already on the page.

Optimize alt text

  • Use descriptive language that closely matches the image.
  • Include keywords where relevant.
  • Keep it to 125 characters or less, with tags separated by commas.

Structure matters: Headers, subheaders and sub-subheaders

Think of header (HTML) tags as the skeleton of your content.

Structurally, headers keep your copy organized and provide readers with a general outline of what your topic entails (without them having to read every single word).

In the eyes of search engines, though, headers are also key elements of code that signal what the article is about. Proper header tags allow search crawlers to quickly analyze your page and correctly index it in SERPs.

Headers are simple because they follow a descending order:

  • H1: The title of your page (only use one).
  • H2: Core points or topics within your article (can be used as many times as needed).
  • H3: Subtopics that fit underneath H2s.
  • H4+: Anything beyond H4 is rarely used, however most text editors will go up to H7.

Including keywords in your headers is a key SEO tactic as well, so frame your article structure around which keywords and topics are most relevant and useful to the reader.

On-page optimization and re-optimization

SEO dictates that every piece of content has the chance to outperform another at any given time. While you’re writing an article, someone else could be writing the same article – just better.

It can quickly become a rat race.

Often referred to as the skyscraper technique, look for ways to continually optimize your existing pages over time. If an article is ranking in position 3, how can you leapfrog to position 1?

One of the easiest ways to drive more traffic and improve search engine rankings is to start with existing content that already performs reasonably well. Then make minor tweaks, such as adding a few more paragraphs of in-depth copy or restructuring header tags to be more clear.

Re-optimizing content takes less time to reap greater rewards than from-scratch pages. Create a re-optimization schedule (say, every three to six months) and adjust your pages accordingly to maintain and enhance SERP share.

How long does it take to work?

Based on various industry studies and several of our experiments, it takes about 100 days at minimum for content to mature. “Mature” in this instance refers to how long it will take Google to definitively rank your page in SERPs. Before those 100 days, your ranking will fluctuate a lot, sometimes appearing on Page 1, other days dropping to Page 2.

Behind the scenes, Google is testing if your content has staying power – if it’s valuable enough to keep on Page 1. If after 100 days or so your content ranks highly, it will likely stay there (until a competitor writes a better piece of content and outranks yours).

Don’t base all of your judgments or KPIs on immediate SEO performance. Positive metrics accrue over time, so ensure your commitment to SEO and content marketing is a long-term one.

Identify your exact audience

Identify your Audience

First and foremost, the effectiveness of your copy depends on how well you know your target audience. I could write a high-quality advanced marketing guide and have a terrible piece of content if my audience was filled with beginner-level marketers. Even worse, when a company has sales copy littered about the blog when their audience has either

A) Already bought the product
B) Visited your page for insights but was met with the blog version of a product brochure

Not only will this audience determine KIND of content is needed, but it will also inform the voice of your content, the keywords you decide to focus on, and what your unique selling point (USP) is.

There are many ways to find out what your audience needs and wants, but I always suggest conducting market research before you dive into a piece of content. You can use online surveys, execute keyword research, do social media polls or connect with some local entrepreneur resources for specific insights.

This way, you will be sure that you are offering your audience something that they are searching for and wanting to buy. Without this knowledge, your messaging and/or your keyword research could be off – especially if you are basing your keywords and content off of what your competitors are doing.

You must get inside your ideal client or customer’s head to create copy that will both attract them (through search) and resonate with them (through CRO). Otherwise, your words may fall on deaf ears (or eyeballs, I suppose).


Know why you are writing the content — Sounds simple, right?

Find the reason for writing


This may seem like a no-brainer, but experience has shown me that many SEOs overlook this step when optimizing their content. That is, they know that they want “more traffic” for their clients, but fail to dig deeper than that. Not to mention, marketers fail to identify the searcher intent when publishing their blog articles.

If you are doing SEO effectively, you know that organic traffic isn’t everything. Ultimately you want your clients to get a good return on investment (ROI), and that means money. So, the purpose of your article will usually go beyond just generating traffic.

Don’t confuse traffic with conversions or you’ll wind up out of a job.

Conversions can take on many forms. Your goal may be to convert subscribers, drive phone calls, sell products, or a host of other objectives but your intentions for your content should always shape your approach. Keep your eye on the prize. Write content that is best suited for what you are trying to achieve, rather than focusing on simply pleasing the Google gods.

Google has a ranking formula, but ultimately, highly competitive areas require masterful SEO copywriting skills if you hope to generate link-worthy content or just content that people want to read.


Content writing for SEO relies on studying the data

Once you have a solid understanding of what your audience is looking for and needs, it is time to support your strategy with data. It is not enough to ASSUME that you know what keywords will best apply to your content… you have to provide data that supports your claim.

This is where your keyword research comes into play. If you have been doing SEO for some time, you likely already have this process down to a T. Either way, you will want to see data that:

  • Proves that users are searching for your primary keywords
  • Covers the competition of those terms
  • Shows that the search volume for said terms justifies your strategy

This ensures that you aren’t going into your content process blindly, or wasting time writing content that no one is searching for.

Create a content plan

Create a plan for your writing


Creating a plan is not an essential part of every search engine optimizers SOP (standard operating procedure), but it is a step that I find to be highly beneficial when it comes to getting organized and setting the intention of the content, not to mention how much it helps a content manager when working with various content writers.

Planning can take many forms. You may decide to write an outline of the content before you write it, create a document that includes your focus keywords, or simply create a calendar for your blog posts. All serve the purpose of making sure that your content is focused, concise, and fits into the framework of your existing site.

Having a content plan can be particularly helpful if you are writing a lot (say, for an entire website) and need to map out the keywords for each piece. You can also add details such as the page titles you are going to use, the meta descriptions, and internal linking. Having this data in front of you will help set you up for SEO success.

Know on-page SEO best practices

When it finally comes to “optimizing” your content, in most cases, you would do well to simply follow best practices for on-page SEO. If your site as a whole is already optimized, there is not much more to do to your page or post to bump up the SEO factor.

Surely, if you are highly skilled in SEO, you will already have a process for optimizing your content and may use advanced methods. However, your content can still generate traffic for you if you have the  SEO basics (like page title, H2s, meta description, internal linking, image alt text, etc.) covered. Raven Tools has even conducted a study that compiles a list of 4 billion on-page mistakes if you want to make sure you’re avoiding common errors.

It’s important to not overthink this step and remember that your ultimate goal is to drive conversions. That means writing first and foremost for users and then optimizing for search engines.

Test the SEO content – See what works and what doesn’t!

Test your Content Writing

The final step to creating the best content for your audience and goals is to test it! We all know that a plethora of ranking factors exists, and no one can be completely sure whether an article will provide the best user experience for readers. Testing is the final step to on-page optimization.

This is often considered to be an extra step, but A/B testing your content can help you determine the direction you are going to take with future content. You can learn a wealth of information about what works and what doesn’t – and then know what to fix to help you get more traffic and conversions. For example, you may find that posts of a certain length work better than others, or that your audience prefers intriguing titles rather than informative ones.

Just know that the success of your SEO content is not a hard science.

Trends change, your follower base may evolve, and Google’s pesky algorithm may even make a shift. In the end, meeting your audience’s needs is what matters most if you’re really wanting the right traffic coming to your site.

Do that, and you will be a happy site in the eyes of Google and your potential customers

Conclusion

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s “natural” or un-paid (“organic”) search results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users; these factors are known as Search Engine Optimization (SEO)’s “ranking factors”. — Source: Wikipedia

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