Top 10 Basics of Small Business SEO
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1. Know your keywords and use them consistently in “e” anything and everything!
2. Implement URL rewrites with the keyword being visible as early in the website address as possible. Either use “-” or “_” to separate the keywords, at the time of this writing, hyphen vs. underscore doesn’t matter.
3. Use H1 Header Tags – only one per page please! Want to use multiple H2, H3, H4…knock yourself out, but keep readability in mind.
4. Use 1-3 keywords at most per page, 2 of those should be very closely related. Consider the use of the plural of a keyword such “used car” and “used cars” or other related “SEO” and “Search Engine Optimization.”
5. Use keyword rich title and meta descriptions. The title and meta description still matter ALOT so make it good, anyone that tells you otherwise is on crack. Click through rate (CTR) matters to Google ALOT. Your tile and description are going to be pulled in and displayed on that search engine results page (SERPs), so engage the click to your relevant and timely content. Test out various meta title & descriptions to boost those CTRs.
6. Bold your keywords in the body. Consider that Google’s spiders are trying to mirror how a human would look at a page (by scanning). Bolding copy (with the “left carrot, b, then right carrot” and the “left carrot, /, b, then right carrot”) is a great way to say to your user and Google’s spiders, “dude this is important on this page.”
7. Use Hyperlinks with keywords in them. Consider that Google’s spiders are trying to mirror how a human would look at a page (by scanning). Hyperlinks with keywords are a great way to say to your user and Google’s spiders, “dude here is an important link that someone may want after reading this page.” Consider changing the link to the “Contact Us” page to “Contact our (KEYWORD HERE) Specialist Now by Clicking Here.” Bold and hyperlink both “click here” and the relevant keyword content in that sentence.
8. Use alt & title tags for images. Get’em fired up in the first 1,2, or 3 images. Consider using the power of your CMS by automatically generating the alt and title tag from the optimized page’s actual page title. That first image may even be the logo or background so open up the view source and do an “img” search to find it and make sure your keyword is there.
9. Use the keyword in the copy 2 to 3 times consistently in the first 200-300 words. Although you may have crafted the single page version of War and Peace, Google’s spiders, like Bill O’Reilly, like short and pithy. Long stuff likely won’t hurt you, but it’s not likely to help you either. Focus on short and concise content, then go play ball with the kids and get some exercise.
10. Make no excuses – social is and will be more and more important in SEO. “Sorry that’s not my department” is not a good answer for not doing this; neither is “social media doesn’t drive business to my company.” Social media, Google + for Google & Facebook for Bing, will be one of the key drivers to your rankings organically on the search engines. Start now if you haven’t, or do it better by focusing on specific keywords if you have and are seeing little fruit.