SEO Basics – Where do I start?

Many small business owners feel overwhelmed and confused by the world of SEO. It seems so complicated and they are constantly being hit with emails telling them all the things they are doing wrong and how they fail this test or that. There are hundreds of things you can do to improve your standing with SEO, but we only have limited time. Many ask if there are just a few things they can do with SEO to get a taste of it and get the needle moving a little bit. Well, here is your answer.  Below are just a handful of things you can typically do in an hour or two to move the needle.  Once you have completed the tasks, you will still need to wait for Google to index and notice your changes, but it should move you from nowhere to somewhere, and you can then bring in a professional if you like the feel of what somewhere is doing for you.

5 Quick Steps to Drastically Improve Your Basic SEO

Below are a few steps to improve your visibility in search without too much extra technological effort.  Though the content suggestions may take a little thought and work, the other tactics can be done pretty quickly and result in substantial improvement in your presence. These days, with entity search taking over, your visibility may be on your Google My Business page even more than your website, but you will at least get more exposure as a business.

  • Edit The Title Tags For Your Home and Product/Service Pages: Even with semantic search taking over and Google understanding differences in similarities in words, the title tag still tells the search engine what the page is about.  Make sure all of your title tags are 55 or fewer characters and they are specific. They should target your immediate geographic market such as your town and the specific service the page provides information about. An example of how to do titles for WordPress with the Yoast plugin is here.  Other plugins work similarly.
  • Try to make each page reach 400 or more words: Google loves thorough content. So do your potential customers. Give them what they want with nice and thorough explanations of what you do and why someone should choose you. Break it up and make it digestible with bullet points, headers that explain what every paragraph or two are about, and include images or video to help the user visualize what is being offered. These all matter significantly and can significantly improve your rankings, without worrying about keyword density or search volume. Write for your customers and the right keywords will naturally flow out.
  • Claim Your Google My Business Page: Go to business.google.com and search for your company. If you don’t have Google My Businessa page yet, make one.  Follow the steps. If it already exists, claim it for yourself so you can make edits and changes.  If someone already owns your listing, this can get a little complicated, but Google will lead you through it step by step. Google would rather have searchers not even leave the search results page, so the more information you can put on your Google My Business page, the more chance you will feed their algorithm to show you more often and generate leads and calls straight from there. If you are getting new customers, it doesn’t matter if they visited your site or called directly from your Google Business page.
  • Mind Your P’s & Q’s: Add all of the relevant information you can about your business. Google allows you to do Posts and answer Questions about your business now.  Hence, the P’s and Q’s.  You can seed the questions yourselves.  Put in a few FAQ’s that you regularly get about your business. Mention your services. You can learn more about all the things you can do with your Google Business Page here. Put in as much information as you can.  Posts only last a week, so you need to add a new one each week. Link to different pages on your site with each post. They get indexed quickly and can make sure Google sees more pages of your site to help you rank organically.
  • Reviews, Reviews, Reviews: This overlaps with the last point a little bit, but ask your good customers for reviews. In local search, review related factors make up a majority of the top factors for ranking. The quantity and types of reviews are very important. Consider a review management tool, but get started by asking those good customers for reviews to get you started.  Getting one review is a good start.  Getting to 10 is another infusion of strength, but bake reviews into your business process.

Ongoing SEO Support and Improvement

Of course, there is a myriad of things you need to worry about with SEO and it seems like Google makes a change every week that adds or subtracts things from the list of hundreds. Those of us that do this every day know what is important and what is worth more time than other things. Nobody had unlimited budget or time, so we must focus on things that will move the needle the most. The above list is fairly straightforward and easy tactics for a local business to move the needle and get started in only a few hours.  I would set aside a morning or afternoon in the near future and plow through this stuff if you haven’t done it already. When you are ready for help with the other stuff, give us a call.

Summary
Small Business SEO Basics - Where do I start?
Article Name
Small Business SEO Basics - Where do I start?
Google Certified Partner and SEM Specialist
Here are just a handful of things you can typically do in an hour or two to move the SEO needle and get your business found a little easier in the search engines.
Jeremy Skillings
You Can Be Found

About the Author:

Jeremy Skillings
Jeremy Skillings has been helping small and mid sized businesses with search engine marketing since 2006 through his company, The SEO Helpdesk and You Can Be Found. As a google certified partner, regular attendee and former speaker at SMX Advanced, A+ BBB business, and all around good guy, Jeremy can help your business get found through search.

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