SEO for Small Business: Tips and Checklist


SEO for Small Business: Tips and Checklist

For any business to grow, it requires a continuous flow of customers to buy their goods and love their brand. SEO helps to achieve these and many more by creating a fast and user-friendly website that ranks high in search engines. SEO builds brand awareness because most people would trust the sites that appear on the first page of search engine results pages. You should utilise SEO to create a commanding online presence and bypass competitions to get new customers for your company. Here are the tips you can implement to succeed in SEO and improve your website ranking:

1.SEO Friendly URL

URLs (uniform resource locator) are one of the variables that significantly influence the Search Engine ranking process. A proper URL is vital for user experience and SEO. They should be appropriately structured and accurate to impress potential visitors and rank high on search engines. Here are some of the tips of creating SEO-friendly URLs:

•Add keywords in the URLs
For you to optimise a web page, you should use a specific keyword throughout the web page content. This keyword should also be included in the URL to maximize your web page ranking on search engines. The keyword should be put at the beginning of the URL because the search engine spiders do not consider words at the end of the URL.

•Describe the content
An SEO friendly URL has an accurate phrase that describes what the page content is all about. A user should quickly understand the content of your web page just by reading your URL.

•Separate words using hyphens
Google recommends digital marketers to use hyphens instead of underscores when creating URLs for search engine optimization and better user readability. It is so because words connected with underscores are treated as one word while there is a consideration of hyphens as spaces between words. For example,
This website URL is not optimized: http://comforter.com/blog/blanket_beds_tips
And this website is optimised: http://comforter.com/blog/blanket-beds-tips

2. Keyword in the URL

According to Google’s John Mueller, keywords in the URL is a small ranking factor in Google’s search ranking algorithm. However, including a keyword at the beginning of the URL has a positive effect on search engine ranking because most search engine spiders consider the first words in the URL. You should not include lots of keywords in the URL as the search engines may penalise you.

Every webpage that you wish to rank high on search engines results pages (SERPs) should have a target keyword. The target keyword will be the primary term used by search engines to scan and classify a page. When creating website content, you should identify keywords using the following factors:
•The word should be related to your industry or topic.
•The keyword should have a high search popularity
•It should have a low search competition to increase the chances of your website getting ranked high.
Once you get the final keyword, you should include it in the permalink portion of the URL. Your ranking will improve on SERPS.

3.Keyword in the H1 tag

The H1 tag defines the content of your web page and carries more weight in SEO ranking compared to H2 and H3 tags when used correctly. You can include the H1 tag for the title only, then use the H2 and H3 tags for subheadings. This hashtags will make your post more organized and friendly to the SEO spiders. Ensure to include a primary keyword in your H1 tag when it it is reasonable to do so. The keyword should be at the start of the H1 title.

Ideas on how to create great H1 tags
•A page should only have one H1 tag.
When you use one H1 tag per page, the SEO spiders will quickly grasp the keywords and other factors that determine the ranking of your web page on SERPS.

•Use a long-tail keyword in the H1 tag.
Long tail keywords are usually specific to whatever topic your content is all about. Most customers use a particular phrase when searching for a product or information they want to have. When you use long-tail keywords in the H1 tag, you will improve your SERP (search engine results pages) ranking.

•Never target similar keywords in different posts.
When posts have similar content and keywords, you will likely lose traffic. It is because the search engine crawler gets confused on which page it has to crawl for the targeted keyword. Your ranking on SERPS will, therefore, be least.

4.Keyword in the H2 and H3 tags

After H1, it is the H2 and H3 tags that are essential header tags in search engine optimization. Header tags should be used on a page in a proper order starting with H1, H2 and H3 in that order. The H2 header tag should be used as sub headers and should contain identical keywords as your H1 tag. Your H3 is the sub header for your used H2 tag.

Stuffing your header tags with keywords will not improve your SEO ranking. Instead, the search engine crawler will detect your manipulation and penalise you by not ranking you higher. The header tags should be easy to understand and grammatically correct especially when you are writing longer posts.
The H1 tag should be used only once as the title of the page while the other headings can be used multiple times within the article in a specific manner. You should use the H2 before you use the H3. Here is an example:
H1: Self-Development is very beneficial
H2: Why Self-Development is very beneficial
H3: Self-Development improves your mindset
Do you see how the header tags relate?

5.Keyword in the start of the title tag

Title tags are HTML elements that specify the titles of web pages. They display on SERPS as the headlines for searches that users make. According to Moz, title tags are the second most important factor for search engine optimization after content. They are one of the cornerstones of SEO and will continue to have a significant impact on your page ranking.
It is only in the title tags where you have to please both the potential clients and the search engines at the same time. For the search engine result pages, title tags determine a user’s first experience of your website. Even if your site may be ranking high on SERPS, it is the title that will decide if a user clicks your link. Most users are particular in whatever they are looking for: they will use specific keywords in their searches and choose title tags that have these keywords.

That is why you should include the focus keyword at the beginning of the title so that people and search engines will be able to detect them early enough. Short title tags do better in SEO compared to the longer ones because the Search Engine crawler crawls through them faster. Also, title tags that describe benefits do better in SEO.

6.Keyword at the beginning of the post(bold)

The most important factor in SEO ranking is the content of your web page. Your content should focus on your readers before the search algorithms. Your content should have only two goals that are to appeal to the reader and to solve a specific problem. Bolding this keyword enhances it. Once you complete these two goals, then your ranking on SERPs will improve.
Keywords used at the beginning of a post particularly in the first sentence will be easily detected by the search engine crawlers. It will, in turn, improve your SERPS rankings whenever users type the keyword on their browsers. However, ensure that your keyword fits into the sentence correctly to improve on the readability of the post. Using long tail keywords is helpful.

7.Keyword in the image name and the alt tag

An alt tag also referred to as an alt text. Alt tags are used in the HTML code to describe the appearance of an image on a page. Applying images to alt tags can improve the search engine rankings of an ecommerce store. Search engines cannot interpret images, but pictures determine how people understand a specific web page. It is the alt texts that help the search engine crawlers to inspect a picture and see if they related to the body of the post. Therefore, the alt tags contribute to the ranking of a web page on SERPS.

The long tail keyword used in the image name and alt text should be similar to that of the page itself. The text should also be as short as possible to maximise the web page ranking on SERPS. Shorter texts will be indexed by Google and other search engines efficiently. Do not stuff keywords in the alt tags because google will rank you lower in SERPs as a penalty. Alt tags will perform better in heavy image pages that have a small number of texts such as the ecommerce pages.

8.Internal Linking

An internal link is one that directs the reader to another page on the website. In technical terms, it is a link that goes from one page on a domain to another page on the same domain. These links have many benefits to the website such as:
•Improving navigation within a site
•Establishing information hierarchy within a particular website
•They spread ranking power around websites.
Search engine crawlers visit your website and scan all the links and pages that can be indexed quickly. By performing internal linking, the crawlers will detect that you are pointing to other content within your website. They will instantly improve your ranking on search engine results pages.

9.Long content- plus 2000 words

Long form content is more engaging, shareable and performs better when it comes to ranking. There are many reasons why long-form content will always rank higher than short-form content on SERPS. Here they are:

•Lengthy content earns you more backlinks
It is factual that more extended materials have a higher probability of getting quality backlinks which significantly improve their search rankings. It is because long-form content is usually more useful and more in-depth in information as compared to the short form content. They, therefore, have more value as compared to the shorter articles.

•More extended content gets more social media shares
According to research conducted by SEO guru, Neil Patel, longer form posts acquired more shares on Twitter and Facebook than the shorter form posts. This analogy means that social media users want content that is informative and relevant.

• Google favours the long form content
Google Rankbrain is an algorithm that profoundly impacts the web pages that appear on the search engine results pages. It does not consider the keywords, and the title tags only but also check into user satisfaction. More extended form content has a higher probability of satisfying the wants of a user as compared to a short form content.
So start implementing the 2000 plus words per post to improve your ranking on search engine results pages.

10.Register with Google Search Console

Google search console, a service offered by Google to aid you to maintain and monitor your site’s appearance in Google search results. You are not necessitated to register to be a member of the Google search console to be included in the search results. Instead, Google search console helps you to identify the loopholes in your search engine optimization strategy and improve how Google views your site.

11.Create a Google My Business listing

Google my business is an internet-based service designed for business owners and operated by Google. This service allows business owners to have control over what information comes up whenever a user types their business names. Here are some of the benefits of using Google My Business app:

•Your customers easily find you
With Google My business app, you can list the location and address of your business on a map. It ensures that customers find you easily without necessarily checking physical maps or asking for directions.

•Better search visibility
Whenever you are searching for a particular service around your area on google, for example, laundry rooms three names will appear at the top of the SERPS above the paid ads. These business names usually also contain the address and location making it easy to find them. With Google My Business, your business could rank there when you follow all the SEO Rules.

•Displays Useful information
Google My Business presents essential information about your business such as busy periods, directions, photos and even hours of operation. These listings will be easily accessible from phones and tablets.

Improving on SEO Ranking is simple to understand but not easy to implement. If you struggle to understand exactly What is SEO check out our previous blog. Most website owners end up giving up on their SEO goals when the results take longer to gratify. For serious business owners, getting ranked on the first search engine results page is important because it gives you access to potential clients and traffic to your website. Invest in search engine optimization if you want to make profits in 2019.

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