No matter if you’ve been managing a website or blog for 12 months or 12 days, you’ve undoubtedly encountered the most vital of all acronyms: SEO.
Search engine optimization as defined by Wikipedia is “the process of improving the visibility of a web site or a web page in search engines via the ˜natural’ or un-paid (‘organic’ or ˜algorithmic’) search results.
The task of improving your small business site’s SEO in hopes of the Google Gods smiling down upon it can feel like a daunting task for even the most seasoned of website admins.
Below is a list of 5 quick and easy SEO tips to jump-start your website’s SEO.
5 Easy SEO Tips for Small Business Owners
1. Start at the top. Clever and intriguing post titles may lure in the readers but often are not rich with keywords, which are important for search engine reasons. If you use WordPress, you have some flexibility because WordPress allows you to keep your more-alluring post title while changing the permalink to something boring-yet-full-of-keywords. To maximize your SEO efforts, do try to incorporate at least one of your keywords into your clever post title, though.
2. Move to the left. Have you ever noticed that many small business blogs have their post content on the left side of the screen and the sidebar on the right? It’s because Google bots start crawling your blog from the left side. Just like people read from the left to the right
There are so many template/theme options available now for WordPress and many other common CMS that changing the location of your main content and sidebars is something most anyone can do.
3. Choose your words wisely. Links are a way to earn credibility for your small business site or blog. But how you link can make the difference between just OK links or fantastic links. For example:
Just OK linking: To read the entire recipe for Rachael Ray’s Mexican Lasagna, click here.
Fantastic linking: Please follow the link to read Rachael Ray’s Mexican Lasagna recipe.
Placing your link over the keywords is what will benefit you the most. Also, it’s important to include natural conversational variations of your keyword phrases because too much exact repetition can have a negative effect on your SEO.
4. Speaking of linking... When you write a post, do you link it to other relevant posts on your site? Believe it or not, it can help your SEO.
As time goes by and the number of published blog posts grows, it’s likely that you have written a related or even foundational blog post before that can be linked to your new blog post now to help better explain your points.
5. Make your images readable to Google. Many of us include photos in our posts because they add interest or additional information to our article, and many readers love to see them. Images are basically a “must” as far as social media sharing goes, too. But in the eyes of Google bots, images mean nothing unless you add some words to them.
First, name your image files. Instead of files names like DSCN0256 or IMG1283, change the file names to something keyword-rich like pasta-with-meat-sauce or best-lasagna-recipe.
Second, add ALT tags to your image files. In WordPress, you can click to edit an image already inserted in a blog post. Type a related keyword phrase into the appropriate fields. Do this for every image included in each blog post, but make sure each ALT tag is unique.
For more information on SEO and a list of best and worst practices, check out the 15 minute SEO list.
What tips & best practices do you have to improve your blog’s SEO?
Great tips. There is a tiny bit of code that can move the content of a sidebar as far as bots are concerned to after your blog’s main content. So, if you wanted a left sidebar it would not hurt your SEO at all. It basically places a tiny margin in the code so that the bots skip over the sidebar until after they see the posts. I will see if I can find it.
Fantastic post, now can you help me with WP and adding color to a theme lol
What theme do you use?
Thanks for the awesome tips!
Excellent advice! I love zingy titles and don’t have tags on my photos – loser!
Cool! I love learning more about SEO. Seems like it’s so hard to figure it all out sometimes.
Thanks for the great tips! I often see keywords used to find my blog, but when I search those same keywords I get nothing. Any idea why?
Hi Leigh Ann,
Hope you don’t mind me chiming in but I’ve also noticed the same thing. I searched for single dad in Google and my site was no where to be found. However, when I search for “single dad” (with the quotes) my site does come up. The difference is what’s known as a broad match vs. a phrase match. Broad is the version without the quotes and phrase is with the quotes. When you wrap the search in quotes you’re telling Google exactly what to look for, in that exact order. A broad match is harder to get ranked higher for because it returns results that have dad single in the text, or just dad or just single – far more competition.
So the next time you try a search, try it broad match once then try it phrase match the next time (with quotes) and see the difference in results.
Great SEO tips. Easy to understand and to the point. The unfortunate part of SEO is that it’s kinda like parenting – it’s not an exact science. No one except the Google (Yahoo, Bing) engineers know what makes for good rankings. The rest of us are just guessing.
GREAT post, and great tips! Thank you!
Question for you:
Are “tags” the same as “keywords”?
I don’t have tags anywhere on my programs, but I can add keywords OR I can add an “alt tag” in my right? Is that the same thing?
ALT tags are what you add toy our images. There are a few “behind the scenes” type SEO tactics, and they are called “title tags”, “meta descriptions” and “meta keywords”. It’s not uncommon to just say “SEO tags” or “SEO tagging” when referring to all of these different kinds of mark-ups.