Someone asked me today – “I am looking for more help is learning a little of SEO stuff. I have basic knowledge but was wondering which tools are best to use.” which motivated me to write this blog post. I will share basic steps which every small business owner should learn and do for his web presence. Let’s start with real basic and focus on your website, Google local listing and Yelp. Also on the technical side, we will focus on Google Analytics, Google Web Master Tools and Google Tag Manager. I know I am ignoring Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, YourTube, Bing, Yellow Pages and other 100s of places. But that’s ok. Doing few things write will help you much more than doing too many things.
Alright, let’s start with your website and focus on 3 pages. Homepage, About Us (or Our Services) and Contact Us page. Technically, that’s all you need. Yes, you only need 3 pages in your website. Remember, you are not expecting your customer to go on your website and read everything you have posted there. What you expecting them to do is to research your creditability by checking your past work and how you are presenting your company. Big banners, big fonts and lot of empty space are current trend. Your customer will validate whether you are up-to-date yourself with the current trend or not.
Back to search engine optimization, your goal is to present information and guide them to either call you or email you. You are not selling any service online, are you? So let’s face it, if you can persuade your customer to call you or email you then you achieve your purpose with the website. Isn’t it? So be focused and post only content which will guide your customers to contact you. I typically pay someone to write search engine friendly content for the About Us or Our Services page and then i use that content to create call to actions in the website.
Some technical steps related to the website SEO – Please note that I am writing this article for a person with basic SEO knowledge, I am ignoring the facts related to backlinks, keyword research tools and other advance topics.
- Identify your primary keyword. If you are a videographer then “videographer” or “videography services” will be your primary keyword. You will have to ignore your other services such as photography or audio instruments.
- Next, create a list of secondary keywords by mixing your primary keyword with location. For example, “videographer in orlando” or or “videography services in orlando”. Please note that I am intentionally using all small letters.
- Search in Google for the primary and secondary keywords you have identified. Review the top 5 to 10 websites. Ignore the sponsored results for now. Focus on two things –First, did you find the website similar to your business? Are they offering similar services as yours? If yes then you are on the right track but if your search result is showing different type of business then you will have to adjust your primary and secondary keywords.Second, look at the home page heading, url and content. Google look at these three things to decide to show these website on the first page of their result.
- Next step is to make you own search engine friendly copy of page title, url and content. I do this step in a word document.
<call to action>, for example, Call Now +1 (407) 917-0330.
<page content>Please be aware that it is illegal to steal other website content. Also, Google will seriously penalize you for copied content. Idea is to validate your keywords and get inspiration. I typically pay someone at www.fiverr.com or at www.upwork.com to write a copy for my clients
- Once you have content planned, it is easy to update your website. I won’t be covering publishing in this article. Remember to use your keywords in image name, title etc. Rename the banner and other images to add your keywords in the name. Image names should be all small letters using “-” in place of spaces. Make sure you add your address and location specific keywords in the footer. These are some legal ways to increase keyword density on the page. Finally, whenever adding a hyperlink between your pages, make them meaningful. For example, do not use “click here”, instead use “View Our Services”.
Local listing –
Next, your will add your business listing to local business listing such as Google Local (Google Map), Yelp, Yellow Pages etc. These listing are free and will benefit your business in multiple ways. As part of the listing you will add a brief description of your business, a link to your website, your contact phone numbers, your business logo and pictures, hours of operation etc. Prepare this information in a word document so you can copy paste as needed. You can see a comprehensive list of local listing at http://www.submitlocal.org. I suggest you start with top 4-5 local listing such as Google local, Yelp, Facebook local business and then expand your reach.
You can read more about this at Top Local Business Listing Sites You Should Claim Now.
Social Media –
Do not try to create social media pages on all social network. I recommend picking just one social network to begin with. The choice will depend upon your business type and your nature. If you takes lot of pictures on your phone then Facebook, Pinterest or Instagram would be a good choice. If you express yourself by writing small paragraph then start with Twitter. I suggest Facebook to begin with. Use Facebook business manager – https://business.facebook.com to create your business page and to manage it.
Advance topics –
- Keyword research tools, there are many keyword research tool which can help you in identifying keywords which will work for your business. Google keyword planner tool is one of the best but it requires Google Adword account. You do not have to run a campaign. Another tool which I liked a lot is http://keywordtool.io/