You have a website for your small business, have started to learn about the benefits of optimizing your pages for search, have gained an understanding of the basics of SEO, and are ready to begin your website SEO project. So, how exactly do you begin with that SEO work? What types of things do you need to prepare before you SEO your small business website?
Let’s take a look at what you need to plan, decide, and have prepared ahead of beginning the SEO work on your small business website.
6 Things to Prepare Before you SEO your Small Business Website
- Solid, useful content – Before you optimize your website pages, you need to make sure you have good content on each of those pages. Google’s goal is to serve up the best quality content that will answer a searcher’s query. Because of this, you need to make sure to provide thorough explanations and information that give a website visitor the kind of useful information they need to solve their problem or answer their question. Think about what types of website pages are most useful to you. What is the content like? How much content is on the page? For example, 3 or 4 paragraphs is probably going to be more thorough and useful than 1. You want to clean up your content before you SEO those website pages.
- Good content organization – Can website visitors easily locate the specific content they seek on your site? Is the navigation clear and the content organized logically? Or do you have, say, a single website page for 15 services you offer, or a one-page, scrolling website? When you SEO your website, each page on your site gets its own unique title tag and meta description. And your on-page optimization is centered around the target keyword phrase for that specific page’s content. So, each different page on your site is a new chance to rank on a new keyword phrase. And it’s much, much easier to optimize a page that is talking about 1 topic and not 15 different topics. If your site needs some content re-organization or re-writing, do that work before you start your SEO process.
- SEO plugin(s) or capabilities – Most website platforms (CMSes to be exact, which stands for content management systems) have at least some degree of SEO capabilities built-in. Exactly what you can do SEO-wise, and if that functionality is standard or an add-on that you need to pay for, can vary. But just about every CMS offers some degree of SEO functionality. CMSes like WordPress also offer the ability to install an XML sitemap and set social media meta data information. Before you start optimizing your website, take the time to look into what you can do to SEO your small business website, and how you need to do it.
- Competitors identified – Take a look at your main competitors’ websites. Check out their navigation, content organization, depth of content, and – if you want to take it one step further – their SEO. Downloading and installing the free MozBar allows you to see the title tag and meta description of every website page on the internet. Knowing what your potential customers are also reading and experiencing on your competitors’ sites will help you plan better for your own website.
- A plan for keyword research – Keyword research is one of the hottest SEO topics and one of the things small business owners easily become mistaken about. We’ve previously answered big questions like: Do I need a keyword list, what to do and not do with your keyword research, and the fact vs fiction of keyword research. The good thing about keyword research is that you can do it easily, cheaply, and without a lot of extra, overwhelming piles of extraneous data simply by using Google.com for your keyword research.
- A strong technical setup – Purchasing your SSL certificate and a solid hosting plan are important for your organic rankings. Google takes into account website attributes like site load time and whether or not you have your SSL (yes, even if you don’t have an online checkout system) as organic ranking factors.
If you spend the time to review these 6 items above before you start optimizing your small business site, your SEO work will go faster and be completed with much better rankings results for you.