Four years ago, I didn’t know much about SEO. I struggled to find good information on small business SEO basics. Since then, I’ve managed to move my sites to the first page of Google, Yahoo! and Bing for competitive keywords that make money.
If I did it, you can do it and here’s how. Note: If you’re looking for a silver bullet or quick hit, it’s not going to come from SEO. SEO for small business is similar to building your business. It takes time, but pays off in the end.
The Basics of Small Business SEO
Be sure there’s a market – What if you spent thousands of dollars on a website and SEO and people aren’t really searching for your business segment? That’s lost money. The first step is determining if there are customers to be had from search. See Assessing Local SEO Competition – Part 1 for more.
Keyword, Competitive and Market Research – This step goes hand in hand with the step above. You need to know the keywords people are searching for, how many searches you can expect, and the value of that traffic. See the link in the first step for more.
Focus and the Plan – Start with one or two major keywords and stay with them until you start seeing them rank. Then continue to support those keywords and move on to the next set of keywords.
Design and Build Your Site – The design of your site is important. The design of your small business website needs to be attractive for visitors and fit into the SEO search process.
Content Plan – The content plan involves your major keywords (categories) and supporting pages (supporting keywords) and who will create the content and when.
Link Plan – How will you get external links? How will you distribute your internal links.
Create Content with Internal Links – Create content that serves user requirements for your site visitors and is attractive to the search engines. Take advantage of Internal Links.
External Links – Execute the external linking plan.
Now, each of these steps is an entire topic on to itself. I’ve linked out to site resources if you need to explore more.
Watch this video on small business SEO to learn more:
Small business SEO is different from what you will read about in many of the forums and that’s where I struggled when I started. I needed to get my local real estate site ranked in the search engines and there just wasn’t anyone who could tell me the best way.
We still see that today because people are doing internet marketing with a lot of hype and a lot of junk content. That won’t work for real businesses with real customers. Real customers expect relevant and valuable content and that is the cornerstone of all your SEO efforts.
SEO Content = Customer Content
The search engines love good content because good content makes them money. Your site is an extension of their advertising platform. If they consistently send people to good content, those people will make that search engine their first choice. Google is the powerhouse in search and that’s their primary object – sending searchers to relevant and engaging content.
That’s where you come in. It’s the elephant in the room and where many SEO programs succeed or fail. SEO for competitive keywords takes work and someone needs to do the work. Have you ever seen a house that was abandoned before it was completed. If you look around the web, you’ll see a lot of small business websites that look like those abandoned houses. They were started but never finished.
Lots and Lots of Content
The winners in local SEO are those who start right and stay with it. There is no other way. There’s no get rich quick equivalent for search engine optimization. But, just like with get rich quick schemes, there are those who will sell you Get Ranked Quick Schemes. Be careful, and keep your credit card in your pocket until you have real proof. You need good content for customers and it makes the job of SEO easier and more permanent. Plan to create the best possible content and lots of it.
We just touched on Small business SEO basics. Look around the site for more information. You can call Mike Byrne at 386-295-2049 with questions, leave a question in the comments below or use my contact page.