Your knowledge of search engine optimization (SEO) will determine how quickly your small business grows online. This article will explain in simple terms what SEO is and why you should dedicate time, money, and resources to getting these key basics right before you launch your business website.
Saleshacker.com used SEO to grow by 400% and was bought by a larger company as a result. One snow bike company improved their SEO and got 28,932 monthly hits, which led to $96,664.98 in revenue. It took Php-developer.org three months to rank for 648 keywords, bringing in 1,000+ organic visits every month.
SEO is the fuel that will ignite your online business presence. Done correctly, it will immediately and continually supply your online site with interested buyers and ongoing sales. You don’t have to be an SEO expert to understand how to promote your website, generate leads, and drive conversions!
The journey to 1,000 sales begins with a single SEO tip. Here is how to get started with optimizing your business website for search so that you can get those customers rolling in.
What Is Search Engine Optimization?
SEO can be complex, and it branches into a lot of different disciplines like content marketing, user experience, and web development. Here are two clarifying definitions.
- Search engine optimization is the process of enhancing various elements of your website so that the search engines (Google, Yahoo, and Bing) recommend your content to people in their organic search results. The higher your content ranks, the more website clicks you get.
- Search engine marketing, on the other hand, refers to paid search advertising—like the kind you do with Google’s pay-per-click ads. Sometimes, it refers to both SEO and paid search, but that’s a bit outdated now.
Why Is SEO Important for Your Small Business?
Search engine optimization techniques are essential if you want to start the process of creating reliable, long-term, organic traffic to your business website. The formula is simple enough—get website traffic to your store to generate leads or drive conversions and sales.
Traffic refers to the number of people that click through to your website from the search results (search engine results pages or SERPS). The higher your web traffic, the more exposure people will have to your content. If your content converts (gets clicks, leads, or sales), then your business will grow!
- Organic traffic gets as much as 67.2% more than other types of traffic
- Search leads are high value—they deliver customers who are ready to buy
Plus, SEO is a compounding investment that lasts. Unlike SEM where the traffic vanishes the second you stop paying for ads, with every SEO enhancement (or piece of content), you’re getting long-term benefits that never stop.
8 Quick SEO Basics Explained
Your new website needs to be optimized—or enhanced —for search. There are some quick and easy ways that you can get in on the ground floor of quality SEO from Day 1.
#1: Choose a Good Website Host
Website hosting is so important for SEO because your host determines how secure your website will be and how fast it will work. Page load speed is critical to website conversions—if your site is even delayed for one second, you may lose up to 7% of your buyers.
- Page speed is a ranking factor so make sure your site is fast!
An SEO-focused host will help you achieve a super-fast website that is secure and primed for your customers. This will help you build trust and credibility for more sales earlier on.
#2: Make Sure Your Site Is Mobile-Friendly
Mobile-friendly website design is key for effective search engine optimization. This means making sure that your site architecture is designed for customer experience and usability. MindFlash is an educational website that focuses on simple call-to-action prompts in their top-level navigation.
- Responsive design will improve your user experience
The result is easier navigation for the person landing on their website. The site’s architecture is designed to be straightforward to use on mobile phones—and they have footer links for extra info. Make sure that your chosen site template is built to be used on mobile phones.
#3: Focus on High-Quality Optimized Content
Quality content is optimized for search engines and people. It’s original and has value to the person who lands on that page. Quality content is defined by how well it meets the user’s search intent. Beyond simple keyword integration, it’s how well your content meets your user’s needs that matter.
- Quality content is about authority, expertise, and trust
- Remove all duplicate content or content that is outdated
Your website must have engaging content that prompts your ideal visitor to take action—whether that action is sharing, commenting, buying, or liking the page. The higher your content value, the better your on-page SEO will be.
#4: Create Link Networks
Internal and external link networks improve usability, and that’s gold for SEO. When you link internally, you help users find their way to related content that could solve their problems.
When you link externally, you help your user find the best answers to their questions—which is also good for usability and therefore SEO.
- Linking makes your website an expansive resource for your user
- Get inbound links from quality sites
- Link to quality sites in return (outbound links)
Link building is an old-school SEO practice. It matters who you link to and where your links go. Search engines consider it a vital ranking factor. Make sure that your links are logical, helpful, and take quality into account. Never link to poor quality content or spammy pages.
#5: Implement Structured Data
One of the lesser-used search engine optimization practices involves structured data. Also called Schema Markup, this is when you add descriptive terms to your code to help search engines understand the content you have on your page.
- Neil Patel explains how to get started with structured data here
You don’t have to know any code yourself. There are easy ways to integrate this process into your website. Just make sure that you understand Google’s basic terminology and integrate it as they outline here. This is a big one, and if you take the time, it can seriously accelerate your SEO.
#6: Showcase Your Social Proof
Social signals are another excellent way to improve search engine ranking. They assist with website promotion and help attract traffic to your content for engagement and conversions. The best type of social signal is customer testimonials or reviews. Collect and display these for a boost in SEO.
- 66% of customers look for social proof before purchase
- Create a method of collection and update it regularly
Showcase your social proof on high-traffic pages, like your homepage, about us page, and contact page. Credibility is great for SEO, and nothing affirms it quite like good customer experiences. Your business website can never have enough social proof.
#7: Use Website Analytics
Not everything you try is going to work right away. A big part of SEO is understanding that you have to test, analyze, and adjust your techniques by tapping into your website analytics. There are dozens of tools available for small business owners to use for free, including Google Search Console.
- Track and measure your SEO efforts, improving as you go
Web analytics is the secret sauce when it comes to performance improvement. They create more leads and drive sales unlike anything else. Once you learn formulas that work in your niche, you can double down on them for reliable and custom techniques that provide you with real returns!
#8: Create Powerful Metadata
How do websites get clicks from the search result pages? By optimizing their metadata. This is a fancy term for enhancing the title and description of the page your user is searching for. When you spend time making your headlines and search description incredible, you get more clicks.
- Add optimized meta titles and descriptions to each page of your site
- Never duplicate your meta details
There are many plugins you can add to your WordPress site to achieve optimized metadata. The best plugins are Yoast SEO or the ever-popular All in One SEO Pack. When you add one of these, it will allow you to change your meta details without having to alter the code of your website.
Getting started with search engine optimization is easier when you employ these eight quick techniques. When you do, you’ll see the traffic trickling in and eventually flood your online presence. As a small business owner, you owe it to yourself to create a website that search engines want to recommend and people want to visit. These tips are a great place to start!