Recently Talmar Anderson, host of the Business Side of Business podcast, sat down with our CEO and founder Nicole Skuba to get the basics of SEO. Talmar has designed her podcast series for business owners to get actionable insights for growing their businesses. So why does SEO (Search Engine Optimization) matter for small businesses and how can a business owner improve it?
Word of mouth is no longer enough to get new customers and new leads. And it’s not enough to build a website and simply hope for visitors. Your business has to be found by people who are using search engines. If you’re a dog groomer in Leesburg, for example, you need to be near the top of the list if a consumer searches on “dog grooming Leesburg.” That doesn’t happen by magic: SEO simply refers to the processes that you can use to improve how your website comes up in search results.
The first thing you can do is choose the right keywords: What exactly are your customers searching for? A few good ways to find them:
- Look at your competitors. Right-click on their website and select “View page source.” Then look for the metatags. What are their keywords?
- Google AdWords Keyword Planner is a free tool that helps you see what people are searching for, and brainstorm new words as well. (It’s part of Google AdWords, which is also free.)
- Ask your sales people. What keywords are your customers using when you close the deal?
So you’ve selected your keywords: What next? Use them in the text of your page…naturally. Use them in your website metatags and in the title of your page. (Again, you can see the metatags and title by looking at the page source.) If you use WordPress or another content management system, you can get SEO plugins that can help you change your metatags without coding.
What else can you do to drive traffic to your web site? Build more content that search engines can find. That means social networking, blogging, and press releases. All of these are great ways to build content and affect your ranking in search results.
What not to do? Hire a cheap agency that promises awesome search engine rankings though purchasing links or putting your domain name all over the Internet, no matter how irrelevant or inappropriate the place may be. You may see a short-term boost, but that will fade quickly. Google’s search algorithm can distinguish these sketchy tactics and penalize your site—something that could cripple your efforts for years to come.
Listen to the full Business to Business podcast to hear the complete interview and get more specific SEO tips. Feeling a little intimidated by the technical details? The right agency can guide you through the SEO process and do the right things to help your website be found. BlueTreeDigital can help with keywords, Google AdWords, website coding and content, blogging, social media…all the smart ways to improve your small business SEO. Contact us today for a free consultation.