A Basic SEO Guide That Can Help Your Small Business: Part 1

Wednesday, April 17th, 2019

Taking care of marketing can be difficult for small business owners, especially when it comes to things like websites and search engine optimization (SEO). You want your website to rank when people use a search engine to find your products and services. But, this takes time and work. If this sounds daunting, don’t worry. Our guide can help you understand the basics of SEO and what to do with that knowledge If you are ready to learn more about implementing an SEO strategy, check out the second part of our guide.

 

What is search engine optimization (SEO)?

This term refers to the process of getting your website to rank for keywords and phrases in search engines. There are so many factors involved with SEO that it can be difficult for many small business owners to know where to begin. These include the technical aspects of your website, your content, and even your reputation online.

  1. Technical aspects: One of the commonly used practices in SEO is making sure a website follows certain coding standards. This includes using HTML titles, specific keywords, and links in specified ways and areas. Search engines are secretive about some of the things they use to rank websites, but these factors (and others) are widely known to be vital.
  2. Content: If you want to increase your rankings in search results, content is necessary. Each page of your site should have content on it to provide information to visitors. Everything you write will represent you and your business, so make sure it is correct and unique to your industry, products, and services. This means coming up with your own content, instead of copying it which can hurt your rankings.
  3. Reputation: The better your customers and peers view you, the higher you will rank in search results. The goal is to have such a valuable website that other sites link back to yours.
  4. Local presence: It is important to rank when people search online in your area, whether for your name or specific questions and phrases. Keep in mind that you are more likely to show up for people who are closer to you as well.

Where you can start with SEO

Getting your website to rank organically (without paying for ads to appear on page one will take time. This is especially true if you work in a competitive industry. Organic result rankings are highly sought after because they show people that search engines value your content as helpful and high-quality. When you search for something, you most likely only click on a result that is on page one or two. This is true of most consumers, so your customers will look for the same when searching for you or your offerings.

The best way to start ranking is to focus your website on your customers as well as SEO. Search engines are getting smarter, so they are able to tell whether you are focused on them or on people. Ask yourself the following questions to help you see where your focus is and where it could be.

  • Do I know what my customers are searching for and when they are looking for it? Does my website reflect that?
  • Are people searching for my products/services on their phones, desktops, tablets, or all three?
  • Why are they looking for my business?
  • Is my website helpful to my current customers and potential clients?

After answering these questions, if you feel like your website is more focused on advertising than your customers, consider overhauling the content. You can still showcase your products and services, but make sure it is more helpful than it is an ad.

SEO terms you should know

We have already used some industry terminology in this article, including some of the words below. These will be important for you to understand.

Rank: The word rank refers to where your website is found on a search results page that is shown to people when they use a search engine.

Organic result: This term refers to the natural links and descriptions you see when you look for something using a search engine. If it says “sponsored” or “ad” underneath, the result is not organic. If your website shows up as the first search result that is not an ad, that means your SEO has been successful.

Search query: A search query is a word or phrase that someone types into a search engine. Queries can be keywords or phrases too.

Keyword or Keyphrase: Keywords and phrases help search engines know what message your website is trying to convey. They are what people will use to find your website as well. Industries, products, locations, and entire questions are all considered keywords and phrases.

HTML titles, tags, and descriptions: HyperText Markup Language (HTML) tells web browsers how and what to display with your website. Titles, tags, and meta descriptions are vital parts of SEO that involve HTML. Titles are the main headers and subheaders of your content. A meta description tells search engines a little bit about what is on a webpage and is seen by people in search results.

Linking: This can be a complicated part of SEO because there are a few different types of links. Internal links are those found on your website that go to other pages on your site. External links send people to webpages that are not on your site. Backlinks are links on other websites that lead back to yours and these are some of the most important.

Content: This can include regularly updated articles, text on webpages, and any images and videos on your website. Written content should have targeted keywords and phrases and be informational. Images and videos should be of the highest quality. Make sure to update your site with new content regularly (news or vlogs for example) as part of your SEO strategy.

Tips for creating an SEO strategy

Before you can implement any SEO on your website, you should have a plan in the works. Don’t worry about the details just yet. It is more important to understand your customers and what SEO is because it can help you develop a plan. Here are some tips that can help you begin.

  1. Have a good grasp on what SEO is first.
  2. Understand what your customers are looking for and how they are finding it (or not finding it).
  3. Know what search engines are looking for, or at least as much as you can. This includes knowing what rules not to break.
  4. Be prepared to dedicate time to your SEO strategy.
  5. Don’t expect results too quickly. It takes time to build trustworthy, organic SEO.
  6. Ask for help when you need it. Sometimes you may need a second pair of eyes.
  7. Consider hiring a digital marketing agency to help with a review of your website or your current rankings. They can also help with your SEO implementation.

Amarillo SEO and digital marketing agency

If you think your business could benefit from SEO, contact the professionals at UCI Digital today. Our Team is dedicated to helping clients get found in search results and be successful. You can reach us at (806) 553-5332 or Send Us an Email to learn more about our Services.