How To Apply SEO Basics To Grow Your Small Business Right Now
You may not hear much about Search Engine Optimization (SEO) in Facebook mastermind groups, but don’t be fooled – it matters. While social media generates a lot of traffic, SEO helps you cover your bases.
Well-crafted content that can be found easily on Google, bing, Yahoo, MSN and others, is a long-term play that will bring you results for years to come.
When asking the age-old SEO query of “How to apply SEO basics to grow your small business right now” we’ve got what you need to know right here to ensure you’re covering the right SEO ‘bases’ to get you in front of your ideal client. Let’s start with your blog…
We’re going to break the concepts down into bite-sized categories. In this article we’ll highlight:
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What is SEO?
SEO is essentially taking information on a website and organizing it so that search engines like Google, Bing and Yahoo can easily find what you have, similar to how libraries organize their information, and place it in front of those searching for the information you provide.
For this to work in your favor you must ensure that the information you post on your blog is properly structured to increase its chances of being discovered. It’s possible to work backwards when needed, but this step works best when you’re just starting to publish content on a new blog.
Page or Posts?
Start by picking two to three categories that will cover the majority of your posts, and be sure to tag them accordingly during the publishing phase. These categories will grow over time, but take some time to establish your site’s identity, target audience and content ideas before you begin.
You may have heard some buzz about whether to publish your content as a page or a post, but the important thing to remember is that Pages are for more permanent information (knowledge libraries, for example), while Posts are for more timely works that keep your site fresh and signal to Google that your site is active.
Content Silos & Interlinking
By creating “silos” of content pages and interlinking them between each other and your blog, you are fortifying the signals for Google to pick up. For example, if you have an entire knowledge base about peanut butter and chocolate cupcakes, and you would have several in-depth pages that link to each other that are educational.
You would then interlink those pages between blog posts that discuss peanut butter and chocolate cupcakes. This helps tell Google that when it comes to peanut butter and chocolate cupcakes, you’re the go-to source for that information. Learn More About Content Silos and Interlinking
Here’s an example on Cascade Avenue blog.
Knowing what your ideal clients are searching for and meeting their needs is critical for SEO for bloggers, Businesses and Pinterest. Here are a few tricks and tips for choosing the best keywords.
Simply Google a primary keyword that pertains to your niche market your ideal clients are searching for, then scroll to the bottom and see what other terms Google suggests. This will help with your research on what your ideal clients are searching for in addition to the primary keywords used and lead you to new ideas.
Google AdWords Keyword Planner
Get familiar with Google AdWords’ keyword research tool. This is one of the best free research tool available from Google, it gives a really good glimpse into search volume and competition. Our Pinterest Visual Marketing Program first week covers how to use the Keyword Planner and how to leverage the keywords into your business and Pinterest.
This content idea tool provides Google queries related to the search term you give it. Based on autosuggest Google terms, (if you don’t know what this means? Don’t worry it is covered in the Pinterest Visual Marketing Program) this site goes the extra mile by providing visualizations of your data. Use the suggested queries as subheadings in your posts for an extra SEO boost!
Ensure that your pages are optimized for your niche keywords you are trying to rank for. Before you hit that publish button, it is best practice your primary keywords appears in your H1, page title, meta description, alt text (for photos), and within the first paragraph of your text.
Having it appearing a couple of other times throughout the post, but don’t go overboard by stuffing keywords in your copy or Google may penalize you.
For WordPress users, make sure you install the Yoast SEO plug-in, and that it lights up green for all your post content, before hitting publish.
If you aren’t already using Google Analytics, now’s the time to get started! You’ll want to integrate Google Search Console to stay updated on crawl errors and more.
I recommend taking a look at both at least monthly, if not quarterly. I recommend this free or low-cost SEO tool like SERPLAB that can help you keep track of your rankings.
To get Google Analytics on your website, first create an account if you haven’t already, then set up a property. Next, you’ll need to get the tracking code and add it to your site. Once you have Google Analytics set up, go to Google Search Console and link it with your Google Analytics account, to start tracking your efforts.
Make sure you are publishing fresh content on a regular basis. The cadence doesn’t matter as much as sending signals to Google that your site is living and breathing. For any new post you publish, be sure you are submitting to Google for immediate indexing.
Here’s how to follow one of my favorite SEO blog tips:
- Log into Google Search Console (if this isn’t linked to your site yet, follow the steps to do so.)
- In the left column, go to Crawl → Fetch As Google
- Enter the URL in question and click Fetch. Once the fetch is complete, click Request Indexing.
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SEO Basics To Grow Your Small Business Right Now
Following SEO best practices means starting with an organized site. Once your content is planned, strategized and well-optimized, you need to have the right tools in place to measure your results and make adjustments as you move forward to grow your business.
Our Pinterest Visual Marketing program is your best tool of choice to drive free laser-targeted, buyer traffic to your small business.
From social media to killer content, there are so many things that go into your business building strategies. Think of SEO as your meat and potatoes. You don’t want to obsess, but you do want to know it’s well-seasoned and following best practices.
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S. B. Castañeda is an online marketer based in San Antonio. When she’s not helping small businesses rank on Google, she enjoys blogging about productivity and mom life on Baby Brain, a mom blog. Check out her recent buyers guide on car seat travel systems. There are many other buyers guides that connect moms with those fist-pump-worthy baby finds. Connect with her on Twitter at @sbcastaneda.