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Top 5 SEO Tips for Growing Your Business
These days, most small business owners know that search engine optimization is something they need to do. But to many, just the term is confusing, let alone the various tricks of the trade, and hiring an SEO-consultant may just not be in the budget. Dont get overwhelmed yet. While developing a complete mastery of SEO is a full-time job in itself, there are many small and painless things businesses can do to optimize their sites. Here are our top 5 tips for doing just that.
1. Use the Google Keyword Tool to Create a Content Strategy
When creating your website, its important that every page be search engine optimized with target keywords, a proper hierarchy, and title tags, and that the site loads quickly. This work, however, is generally best left to a web designer who can get an optimized site up quicklyan essential part of the task because your website is a portal to your business.
Far more important for the small business owner personally to consider is an SEO-motivated content strategy using the Google Keyword Tool as a guide. To use this, create a Google account if you dont already have one. Then load up the tool and type in search terms that are relevant to your business. The tool will suggest various related terms that customers are searching forterms you might not have ever known were relevant, and that you should consider in your content strategy.
As an example, lets say you own a flower shop in Austin. Typing in flower shops in Austin generates a number of terms that target customers search, like, flower shops austin tx and austin florist and best flowers in Austin. In the resulting grid, you will see a ranking for how competitive the term is and how many people are searching for it. Ideally, youll want to select terms with low competition and high search volumes, though even those with medium competition might be a good target. With these keywords as a guide, brainstorm content for your websites blog, whether thats Top 10 Tips for Choosing the Best Flowers in Austin or a how-to video for creating wedding bouquets.
Need more help in choosing keywords? We suggest this great Google Keyword guide for more.
2. Share Content on Social Media Sites
Once youve got engaging, search engine optimized content, its time to get that content out to customers by marketing on social media. The real goal here is to create a passionate community filled with followers who love and respect your brand. This is what we call social SEO. Create a profile on all of the major sites, including Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest and LinkedIn, making sure to add SEO keywords into your descriptions, as well as details about your businesss location. Keep your updates varied, sharing both your content and other interesting content in some posts and reaching out directly to followers in others. Add keywords where you can, but make sure to keep it natural. The more followers link to your site and social media profiles, the better youll rank in search results.
3. Register on Google Maps
If you operate a business with a physical address, make sure to register your information with Google Maps. This will increase the chances your business will appear high in results when a customer searches for services in your area.
4. Replace Link Building with Relationship Building
While link building is an important part of any SEO strategy, it can be difficult for small businesses to compete with big businesses that can pay for consultants to do this full time. Whats more, with each new release, Google is getting better at punishing bad link building, so you dont want to inadvertently get yourself in trouble by doing the wrong thing and lower your rank. Far more effective is relationship building the act of reaching out directly to bloggers and followers in the hopes that they will share your content or site. This means more than just saying, Thanks for the follow. Share content in return with re-tweets and re-posts. Email bloggers privately to compliment them on their work and suggest ways to work together. Guest post on other blogs and create guest posting opportunities on your own site. Become a go-to resource both for your customers and industry experts by developing strong and authentic relationships, and your site will climb the rankings.
5. Measure the Results Using Google Analytics
Theres an old saying in business that applies here: you cant manage what you dont measure. If you dont have a Google Analytics account, now is the time to sign up. With Google Analytics, youll get an in-depth peek into just who is visiting your website, what kind of content theyre seeking, how long theyre sticking around, what theyre clicking and whether or not theyre converting into customers. This will help you refine your content strategy to just whats working, and it will also help you experiment along the way. Whats more, there are many ways to dive even deeper once you master the basic skills.
SEO can be intimidating at first, but there are many simple ways that small business owners can increase their search rankings without an in-depth search mastery. Start with an accomplishable goal, like implementing one keyword strategy at a time, and build up your toolbox of tricks from there. Good luck!
Interested in learning more about SEO? Visit our Business Hub's Paid & Natural Search section.