There is absolutely no excuse for a small business owner not to master the basics of SEO. You can find all the information you need on the internet for free. The same thing can even be said about social media, but here I want to just talk about the SEO side of things.
The big problem, according to what I learned after talking with beginner site owners, is that search engine optimization is seen as being way too complex to master.
The good thing is that you do not need to master SEO. The only thing you really need in the beginning is learning some basics. If your website is important for your business, here are those SEO basics you should master and you have no excuse not to.
Identifying Keywords And Key Phrases
The keywords are vital in SEO because this is what a potential visitor writes in the search engine. Unfortunately, many site owners have no idea what their keywords should be. General things like “shoes”, “buy shoes” or “workout plans” count but going deeper is always necessary. It is also much easier than you might think.
Extra Reading: The 3 Free Keyword Research Tools You Want To Start Using
What you should always do is put yourself in the mind of your ideal customer. What would that person type in the search engine to find your business? Then, you want to see if those keywords are actually used. This is where keyword research tools are useful.
Some simple tips about identifying keywords you can use:
- Long tail keywords are always better for a smaller site/blog/business.
- Always look for keywords that are as specific as possible (ie. “black and white pillows” instead of “pillows”).
- Think how the target audience thinks (ie. “foods that help me lose weight” instead of “weight loss food”).
- Ask your audience what they want from your business. This offers so many more potential keywords to use than what you think.
Optimizing Your Website
Your website is quite easy to optimize. While there are different advanced on-site SEO optimization techniques that will be learned in the future, the most important parts you do want to optimize (including the identified keywords) are:
- Title Tags – This should include the keyword and, if possible, make people want to learn more.
- Formatted Content – Do not just write really long blocks of text as they are hard to follow. Think about how your site looks on a mobile device and format using sub-headings, bullet points and so on.
- URL – Make sure you format your URL to include the keyword but do not just stuff keywords.
- Extra Content Links – If there are some resources that you know that add more to the subject you talk about on a page, include them. Also, be sure that you add some internal links to other sites on your page that would be of interest for the reader.
Verifying Your Site In Webmaster Tools
You should always verify the website, even if this does not directly affect search engine rankings. This is done because you gain access to important information that you can use to improve the overall quality of your website.
Being verified in Webmaster Tools also means you can submit a sitemap. This helps automatically index new pages. Also, you get to learn about some errors that appear from time to time and can solve them really fast.
As an extra thing to remember, it is NEVER too soon to add your site in Google Analytics. This gives you even more information that can be used in the future.
Using High Quality Hosting
Do you want to wait 10-20 seconds until a page loads? This is something you automatically control by choosing your hosting. Website load speed has a huge influence on user experience. The reputable hosting services are the only ones you should consider. Read reviews and choose the best host for your site type and how much traffic you get. Upgrade as needed.
The aspects I mentioned above are very easy to master for absolutely every single person out there. If you open a site, you can learn those. This is more than enough when you first start but you should not stop there. Just keep learning and improving your site. Then, move on towards using social media. The more you do, the better! However, the start is not as complex as some may believe.