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The Small Business Owner’s Guide to SEO

The saying ‘Content is King’ has become a cliche for a reason: it’s true...mostly

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There are two key elements to improving your SEO: attracting links and making your content relevant for the word people are searching for.
There are two key elements to improving your SEO: attracting links and making your content relevant for the word people are searching for.
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Search engine optimisation can be mind-boggling to the uninitiated. Even professional SEO experts will struggle to provide a concrete answer on which of the factors count as most important among the hundreds that come together to determine search rankings. Google does a stellar job of keeping that information secret, leaving us with just enough information to make intelligent guesses.

Fortunately, you don’t need to know as much as the developers at Google to get your website ranked. An effective Search Engine Optimisation strategy can be separated into 4 key parts which, when properly executed, can lead to better rankings on Google or any other search engine for that matter.

The 4 Key Parts of Search Engine Optimisation

  • Technical Search Engine Optimization
  • Content
  • On-Site Search Engine Optimization
  • Off-Site Search Engine Optimization

Weaving these 4 parts of Search Engine Optimization together in a way that is relevant to your business is the foundation of a solid SEO strategy.

ALSO READ: NewsGram is hiring!

75% of SEO is off-page and 25% is on-page
75% of SEO is off-page and 25% is on-page

Technical SEO

Technical SEO usually involves:

  • Crawlability: Is your website accessible to search engine crawlers?
  • Indexing: Have you clearly defined which pages you want to be indexed by the search engines?
  • Responsiveness: How does your website look on mobile screens and other devices?
  • Tech: Is your tech and CMS search engine-friendly?
  • Speed: How fast do your web pages load?
  • Hierarchy: How is your website content structured?

Fortunately, the majority of technical SEO is taken care of by the content management system, so non-techies can breathe a sigh of relief. There are also a number of tools and plugins that can go evaluate your site to highlight any technical problems. Things get even easier if you’re using WordPress since templates usually come fully optimised for search.

If you are going for a custom-made website, ensure your developer knows the important role which design and page speed play in SEO.

Persuasive meta descriptions under 155 characters increase click through rates.
Persuasive meta descriptions under 155 characters increase click-through rates.

Content

The saying ‘Content is King’ has become a cliche for a reason: it’s true…mostly.

Content ranks as one of the top 3 most important ranking factors (along with link building and Google Rankbrain). But it’s not just any sort of content that will have the internet beating a path to your door. Search engines are interested in content that gives the best answer to the queries they receive, so those websites that provide the most value with their content.

Ideally, your content should showcase:

  • What you have to offer
  • Who you are offering it for
  • Why your audience should go for your services

And the manner in which you share this content should be such that your readers can achieve their goals. Anything less and Google is not interested.

Don’t forget your keywords either. With the right keywords, you can streamline your efforts to produce only the sort of content that your target audience is interested in, and also enable search engines to know what your website and content are primarily about, which makes it easier to rank for those keywords.

Google+ is the highest correlated social factor for SEO ranking.
Google+ is the highest correlated social factor for SEO ranking.

On-Site SEO

On-site SEO involves:

  • Keyword research to know the interests of your audience
  • Optimising page titles by incorporating keywords naturally
  • Using descriptive URLs
  • Optimising meta descriptions to look and act like ad copy, inviting clicks
  • Optimising content with keywords
  • Ensuring a good user experience
  • Integrating strong calls-to-action

In many instances, technical SEO and content overlap with on-site SEO so you want to begin your optimisation efforts by concentrating on technical SEO, then moving on to content, before turning your attention towards on-site SEO. Once you have taken care of the first two, on-site SEO can be pretty straightforward.

ALSO READ: Internship at NewsGram 

In the search engine world, the top 5 results get 75.7% of the clicks so focus your efforts on a few valuable words and build content around those terms.
In the search engine world, the top 5 results get 75.7% of the clicks so focus your efforts on a few valuable words and build content around those terms.

Off-Site SEO

Off-site SEO is mainly concerned with link building and building authority. Link building is arguably the most important SEO ranking factor, but even that is not going to help you out if you have mediocre content on your website. So you want to make sure you have the best possible content which your audience needs before you turn your attention towards building links to your content.

And remember to keep your links as natural looking as you can (if you want to avoid sanctions from Google). Only build links to sites that make sense for the content you are linking to.

All SEO strategies fall under any of these 4 parts, so fully understanding them and how to adapt them to your business can go a long way towards helping you come up with a solid SEO strategy that will see your business rise through the rankings as time goes on.

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7 Pro SEO Tips for Small Businesses

Learn to outsource when it gets too overwhelming and create quality content that is relevant. Slow and steady wins the race

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From text to graphics, this software does it all. Pixabay
This is very convenient for customers as it will save their time. Pixabay
  • Starting and running a small business can be a stressful task
  • In today’s high-tech world it is important that we take ful advantage of SEO
  • SEO can be easily learnt and used to our advantage

Why Bother?

Starting and running a small business takes dedication. In today’s high-tech world, small business owners must not only keep their eye on their physical presence but also their presence online. If you are not visible online, you effectively render yourself invisible.

In this article, you are going learn 7 pro tips for small businesses. The goal is simple – it is being seen, to stay relevant and to generate more sales.

 Also Read: These 10 Weird Museums around the World will Certainly Amuse You!

1. Keep It Real: Ensure Your Content the Real Deal

Creating relevant and valuable content is what will attract your desired customer base. Readers can tell if the content is genuine or forced so be sure to aim for quality, not just quantity.

Search Engine Optimization is a strong tool for Small Businesses all over the world. Pixabay
Search Engine Optimization is a strong tool for Small Businesses all over the world. Pixabay

A quality site, on the other hand, will generate more backlinks, sending you a steady flow of new prospective readers and seo juice.

2. Backlinks are Powerful: Get Them

Backlinks are such a vital component of SEO and many refer to them as the building blocks. Search engines such as Google give more credit to websites that are referred to by other relevant websites. The more the merrier.

Building connections and finding quality authoritative websites that are willing to provide a backlink will force you to build your online presence and to set yourself up as an authoritative source. However, effectively getting backlinks and optimizing anchor texts is one of the most difficult aspects of SEO. And most importantly, it is one of the most time-consuming aspects as well.

Backlinks make for a powerful connecting SEO tool. Flickr
Backlinks make a powerful connecting SEO tool. Flickr

If you find yourself struggling, do not be afraid of using backlinking services such as http://www.seoguestposts.com. However, you decide to build your links, watch out for PBNs or other black-hat tactics as you could risk getting your site penalized.

3. Keep Your Content Current

Along the same lines, check out your old posts using analytics. Those posts that got a lot of views but did not rank quite as high? Give them an overhaul and boost their rankings.

Consider:
· Updating outdated and cringe-worthy pictures
· Make sure your taking advantage of title tags and meta descriptions
· Proofread- do not lose credibility due to poor grammar
· Ensure your links work

4. Keep on Linking: Internal/External Links

Linking is one of the most important aspect of Search Engine Optimization. Pixabay
Linking is one of the most important aspects of Search Engine Optimization. Pixabay

Pique your reader’s curiosity and encourage them to dig deeper by providing internal links and external links, both to your own less-read posts and those to other authoritative sites. Your readers are bound to appreciate your fact-based approach. As an added plus, this can help eliminate the whine of salesy language.
Besides just helping the reader, it is an SEO best practice to link out to authority sites and to link to your own website.

5. Connect through various media and platforms

Who said you are limited to text web pages? Connect on social media, create eye-catching videos and infographics. Visual learners will be drawn to these types of content more than your
1000 blog post!

Also Read: Can The ‘Internet’ Replace Television And Newspaper In India?

6. Keep It Fast: Increase your page speed

Increase your page speed and OPTIMIZE. For every second your reader waits for the page to load the chances of them moving on increases exponentially. The faster your site, however, the faster you can land and interest clients. Google also penalizes slow sites. This means the faster your site the better your chances are of being on page 1.

Fast updating on pages will increase the traffic. Pixabay
Fast updating on pages will increase the traffic. Pixabay

Some tips for increasing your site speed is reduce the size of your images, use website code that is not bloated (such as WordPress) and to use a CMD. If all of this seems too complicated, several speed-optimization tools exist to help you out.

7. Remember Patience is a Virtue

Building quality content and increasing traffic naturally takes time. There are no shortcuts in this business and if there are they are based on a scam and will only hurt your rankings.

Patience is indeed a virtue while using the SEO. VOA
Patience is indeed a virtue while using the SEO. VOA

So, stay patient and stay diligent. Learn to outsource when it gets too overwhelming and create quality content that is relevant. Slow and steady wins the race, in both Aesop’s tales and in search engine optimization.