The Basics of Small Business SEO

Keyword research 

Keyword research is the core of SEO. Keywords are the words and phrases your potential customers type into their search engine of choice. Search engines match these keywords against the content of your website to determine how relevant your website is to the user’s search query.

Therefore, finding the right keywords that your audience is using and including them in all key areas of your content is essential. Small Business SEO professionals use a variety of tools to perform keyword research.Long-tail keywords contain more than three words in one phrase and should be your main tool for Small Business SEO. As opposed to broader short-tail keywords, long-tail keywords are specific and generally have less competition. For a small business going up against the big guys, these less competitive keywords are where the real money is.

Localized Content

There are two types of content that are essential for SEO: on-site and off-site content.

On-site content includes things such as relevant blog posts and landing pages, while off-site content includes things such as reviews and directories. Off-site content is important because it helps localize your website and direct potential buyers to it. It also helps with link building

Link Building

Growing your business’ local authority and credibility is essential, and one aspect of SEO that achieves this is link building. Link building means creating off-site content that links back to your website to build industry credibility.

If people are recommending your services or expertise by including links to your website on their own platforms, search engines will conclude that your website contains high-quality content that searchers are looking for. Think of a link like a vote. The more votes your website has, the more authoritative and credible it is in the eyes of Google.

One caveat here is that not all links are created equal. A link or ‘vote’ from a highly credible website like the New Zealand Herald will count for a lot. A thousand links from low-quality websites that link to hundreds of other low-quality websites won’t count for much at all, and could actually harm your website’s credibility and rankings.

Mobile Friendliness

There’s a good chance your potential customer will be using their mobile phone to search for information about the products and services you offer, especially if you are a small local business. It is therefore essential that your mobile website offers an easy-to-use experience with simple menu navigation, visible site search tools and calls-to-action that are front and centre.

Write compelling ad copy

The meta description tag serves the function of advertising copy. It draws readers to a website from the SERP, and thus is a very visible and important part of search marketing. Crafting a readable, compelling description using important keywords can improve the click-through rate for a given webpage. To maximize click-through rates on search engine result pages, it's important to note that Google and other search engines bold keywords in the description when they match search queries. This bold text can draw the eyes of searchers, so you should match your descriptions to search terms as closely as possible.

Page Speed

Google today announced a new ranking algorithm designed for mobile search. The company is calling it the “Speed Update,” and it will only impact a small percentage of queries, Google reiterated to us. Only pages that “deliver the slowest experience to users” will be impacted by this update, the company says.

The update goes live in July 2018, so webmasters have time to prepare their webpages.

Google recommends you use the new updated PageSpeed report and tools like LightHouse to measure page speed and make improvements.

Finally, Google has a full guide to help your site to work properly.

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