Starting a business is a huge venture with tons of moving parts, with website building/branding being a #1 variable. One large factor to venture into is SEO. Some may ask, “What is SEO?” SEO stands for “Search Engine Optimization” and is a fancy term to describe the process of bettering a site to increase quality website traffic to web pages. It is an ever-moving, ever-growing organic practice that can be a challenge when first looking into. Here are some quick, easy-to-use SEO tips to start using today for your small business.
Choosing the right domain for your site is the first step to successful SEO. The main parent domain is where people land when clicking on your site and the name of your URL. For example, www.answerconnect.com is the parent domain name of AnswerConnect. The child domain or sub-domain would be www.support.answerconnect.com.
A custom domain is usually bought so it stands alone unlike going through a free 3rd party site like Wix or Squarespace.
2. Page speeds
Page load times are what help keep users on your site. When a web page loads slowly, users bounce off quickly. People want answers to their questions quickly. When they are not able to open a site within a certain amount of time they will go somewhere else. If the load time is slow then it’s obvious for the page to have a high bounce rate. As long as your website takes an age to load, your bounce rate will remain frustratingly high.
So, how long should your web pages take to load? Experts say 1-4 seconds, but in truth, any more than two seconds and you’re losing visitors. Google has established that they will rank sites lower when they have slower loading times. Reducing the sizes of HTML and CSS helps your pages load quickly. Optimizing your HTML and CSS can significantly help! Use this page speed tool of Google to figure out where you are lacking.
3. Know your audiences
Your small business should have an established idea of your target audience. Doing basic research on Google should give you an idea of where it lies. Create a buyer/customer persona and through this you’ll be able to establish the ideal age, profession, etc., of your target audience.
After establishing that your audience is, for example, 35-year-old professional women that live in urban areas. You now know that your audience is busy, career-oriented female millennials. So, build your content to be:
- Easy to digest for those on-the-move
- Have a brand aesthetic that is pleasing to the eye
- Thought-provoking and business focused
Establishing the target audience will help your keyword research and allow you to build a bank of relevant keywords. Then you can move into creating content with those keywords and branding.
Number four of SEO tips is Keywords. These are what connect your audiences to your content. They convey the subjects of your content and should respond to the reason behind why people are searching those topics.. Everything your website focuses on condenses to a few keywords.
There can be multiple keywords for a subject and topic. Try to use multiple throughout the content, but be careful to not overuse a single keyword. Google will catch that and count it against you.
5. Create content
Start creating content now. Content is so important when it comes to small business start-ups. This is how you establish credibility amongst search queries. Content should showcase your expertise in your industry. Original content should be present on each web page – content that is user-friendly on any mobile device or desktop is vital. Duplicating content or even plagiarizing will drop SEO significantly very quickly.
Create a large bank of content from video, blog, graphics, infographics, and other pieces. This way, you can quickly and easily pull pieces saving time and energy when it matters.
Simple, free tools like Canva make designing content a breeze. It is easy to also create a brand kit template within the site is easy to do, keeping branding guidelines at the head.
6. Video content
Video content is the most energy efficient and quickest piece of content that boost SEO. Users love video. It’s always easy to digest, plus it’s fun to engage with. It’s also one of the most sharable mediums as well. TikTok has proven that time and time again.
Video is also easy to create and distribute. All you need is using a phone, ring light, and tripod to get going.
7. Links on links.
When creating content, linking to other pieces or sites helps authenticate you as a creator. It proves you’ve done your research and understand the topic. Also, it not only helps build your site but backlinks to another viable site, validating both you and the other.
How many outbound links you should provide per piece depends on the topic and length of your piece. But a good general SEO tip is to provide at least 3 external links to content.
8. The backlink strategy
The opposite of outbound links is backlinks. This is when a site has linked a piece of content to your site via blog, video, graphic, or other mediums. Google and other search engines love backlinks. It builds up your SEO and domain ranking. The more quality backlinks your site has, the quicker it will be to become verified.
Please note that quality over quantity is what you should be aiming for. As content manager Ben Graham once said, better one solid backlink from a site with a high domain authority than ten backlinks from scam sites.
Backlinks can be received by creating valuable content on topics in which your brand specializes in. Send and share your content with other journalists and publications looking for executive answers to the subjects they are writing on.
9. Say hello to HARO
Help A Reporter Out or HARO is one easy, viable way to get your content published and shared by top-tier journalists. It is free to sign up via email and 3x a day you will receive inquiries from journalists needing answers from professionals.
10. GAAAT (Google Analytics At All Times)
If you aren’t using Google Analytics for your website and pages, you need to set it up as soon as possible. This is the place to set up an entire analytics spread over your site. Google Analytics tracks site users, behaviors, the URLs are improving your site, and builds reports. Best of all, it’s completely free.
There are courses online and certifications for free to get users started and implement it within their site.
These are just some beginning SEO tips to get you and your small business started.
To dive deeper into the SEO realm and other tips, here are three tools:
All three are great and assist in ranking factors and building traffic to your website. Choose which one works best for you and your business needs.
Another great way to stay on top of your work is providing 24/7 customer care and service. This ensures that all callers are being handled professionally even after hours. Answering services can do just that for you, providing virtual receptionists to answer all calls, FAQs, LiveChat’s, and appointment scheduling.
Call us today at 800-700-8888 to talk to one of our friendly team members today.