Small Business On Page SEO Fundamentals
For most small business owners, what starts out as a project filled with optimism and enthusiasm, usually ends in frustration.
After weeks and months of waiting, many e-mails and conference calls and a few hefty web mastering bills, most business owners, after they get over the initial “wow” of how cool the website looks come to the realization that although nobody finds them on the Internet.
Unfortunately for many small business owners, they immediately expect people to find them on the Internet, only to get lost in the vast void of Internet space…
The issue is that most webmasters have no idea how to truly optimize a website for the search engines.
They talk of quote “bots” and “spiders” and all kinds of fancy webmaster sorts of terms, usually thoroughly confusing the small business owner in the process.
Even with all this technical talk, the small business website gets very little traffic.
This is an all too common problem for small business owners who are attempting to optimize their websites for the search engines.
So for the thoroughly frustrated small business owner, who after spending tens of thousands of dollars to have his website designed still has little new business to show for it here is a small business on page SEO fundamentals checklist. As a small business owner, if you make these small changes to your current website, you’ll start to notice increased traffic.
7 Essential Small Business On Page SEO Fundamentals
1. Identify the Keywords You Want to Be Found For
Perhaps the best tool to find out which keywords you want to rank for in the search engines is to go to a free tool from Google called the Google Adwords Keyword tool.
Simply type in your niche plus the city in which your business is located. Then find out how many searches people are typing in using those keywords per month. If you find that there aren’t enough searches for that keyword then broaden your keyword phrase.
In our case on this webpage, the keyword we are looking to rank for is the title of this post…kinda obvious, huh?
2. Make Sure Your Page Title Tags Are Relevant to Your Search
The page title tag is what flashes up on the upper left-hand part of your browser, or the far upper left-hand corner of your computer screen when you visit a webage.
This is the first thing that the search engines look at to help determine what your website or webpage is about. Just like when you are reading a book, you read from the top left to the lower right hand corner, the search engines read a webpage the exact same way.
Perhaps you and the “Google bots” aren’t that different after all…
This is why the page title tag is so important. It’s the first thing the search engine sees and it’s the first clue they get as to what your website is all about.
3. Get Your Meta-Description Tags in Order
One of the more important on-page SEO fundamentals for small business is your meta-description. This bunch of words is used by the search engines to also determine what your page is all about. But more importantly, it is usually that little snippet of content that appears underneath the title of your website in the search engine results.
For small businesses concerned with SEO, don’t get too chatty.
Make sure your meta-descriptions are less than 160 characters…or about 20 words.
For my mother, this would be very difficult…good thing she’s not a meta-description.
4. Make Your Header Tags Consistent with Your Content
Your header tags are in essence, the bolded words that appear on this page. They are called H1, H2 and H3 tags.
In fact, instead of repeating the title tags here and looking too “spammy” to the search engines, #4 above is an H3 tag, while the one that’s slightly larger “7 Essential Small Business SEO Fundamentals” is an H2 tag, while the one at the verry top is an H1 tag.
Y’see, we actually do as we preach!
Header tags are used to emphasize subtitles on your website. Search engines look at header tags for more clues on what your webpage is all about. These tags are clues the search engines use to determine the relevancy of your page relative to the keyword term that’s typed in by the user into the Google search box.
5. Write Relevant Website Content
When you’re writing content for your webpage, make sure the content on the page is relevant to the search terms that you’re trying to target. It doesn’t hurt to mention the keyword phrase a few times in the body of the content. No one actually knows the optimal number of times to repeat a keyword phrase or term on a page, but we recommend this simple rule:
- 2 to 3 times on short pages
- 4 to 6 times on longer pages
- Never more than it makes sense
Whatever you do, don’t ever force the keyword into your content… the search engines hate that. You want the search engines to like you right?
6. Make Your Images Be Consistent with Your Keyword Term
This is one that is surprised lots of people over the years. The name assigned to your image, long thought to be irrelevant is actually quite important. Not only does an image make your webpage look pretty, as well as much easier to read – but it also adds additional power to your search engine rankings.
Where it’s relevant, name your image in the “alt tag” the same as the keyword term you are trying to rank for whenever possible.
Don’t name your picture of your storefront on your website “cute-cuddly-kittens-image.jpg” because you know that search term gets searched for all the time…that is unless you actually sell “cute cuddly kittens”, that is…
7. Be Bold in Your Keyword Phrases
Every now and then in your content, like we do in this very article, (we are trying to rank for the term “Small Business On Page SEO Fundamentals” by the way – because this is a phrase that’s entered into the search engines quite frequently by small businesses), you may want to bold your keyword phrase occasionally. As you may have noticed we have bolded this keyword phrase twice in this very article!
It’s debatable how important this actually is, and it suggested that it’s a best practice to bold your keyword term at least once in your article.
So we say…what the heck, throw caution to the SEO wind and bold it twice! At 1200 words and counting, we figured twice in this article was a pretty safe bet.
Summing Up The On Page SEO Fundamentals For Small Business
So the more consistent your title tag, meta-description tags, header tags, image alt tags, content are for the keyword term that you are targeting, the better the search engines will treat you. If you do this however, this by no means will mean that you will be ranked page 1 in Google…but its a great start.
After all, if you were talking to someone at a party and they just started blurting out random words to you, would you nervously look for the closest means of escape?
Many of my friends do this all the time and it all seems completely normal to them…however Google doesn’t like it too much.
Just follow these 7 simple fundamental to good on page SEO…and stay away from the parties I go to.