SEO services are a significant investment into your business and not everyone can afford them. This doesn’t mean that you should ignore it from the start. There are small things you can do now that will set you up for success later. I am sharing 5 SEO tasks for small businesses that anyone can do.
In this article you will learn:
- If your website is on Google
- Why Google My Business is so important
- How to do basic keyword research
- How to optimize your content for search engines
- Why inter-linking pages on your website will improve rankings
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1. Check if Google can read your website
This is so important that if you skip this step, nothing you do on your site will matter. Search engines need to be able to visit and read your website. If Google cannot read your site, it will not show up in search results. Plain and simple.
Before your website can be seen in search results it needs to be read and saved by the search engine. To check if your website is indexed by Google head to Google.com and enter site:yourwebsite.com Check the number of results and compare to your website.
These numbers should be very similar. If they are not then you may need to investigate further. If you are acquainted with Google Search Console you can also check individual pages with the URL Inspection Tool.
2. Add your business to Google My Business
Add your business to Google My Business (GMB) to take advantage of all of the perks. Your business will be placed on Google Maps and given additional info in search results (store hours, photos, reviews). Think of it as the modern Yellow Pages (Business phonebook directory).
I am sure you have searched something along the lines of “flower shops near me” and Google provided you with a map containing relevant businesses and additional information for each one. To be included in these results you will need to set up a profile.
Not everyone can use GMB. It is for businesses that have a physical location that people can visit, or you travel to them. If you are running an eCommerce or exclusively online service, you can skip this step.
Is your business already registered? Check that the information is correct, that the images are high quality, upload recent content, and encourage customers to provide reviews. Updates send a signal to Google and users that you are active and ready for business.
Here is a guide on how to use and optimize your profile.
3. Create a useful piece of content for potential customers
Content marketing is all the rage and for a very good reason. A single piece of content (a blog post, video, podcast, etc) can convert any visitor into a customer without being “salesy”. Before you get started it is best to do some keyword research.
Keywords are the main topics of your piece of content. (Guide coming soon about where to put keywords.)
The reason for using specific keywords is so you are using the same language as your target audience. You don’t want to write about “holidays in Spain” when writing to a US-based audience nor “vacations in Spain” to the UK.
Put yourself in the customer’s shoes. If you were seeking your services or product what would you type into a search box?
1. Open up Google Keyword Planner and click the Go to Keyword Planner button. You may have to log into your Google account. Once you are there it should look like the screenshot below. Click on ‘Discover new keywords‘
2. For this example I used the phrase “leaky toilet”. Enter the text as shown in the screenshot below. Make sure your language and location match your target audience.
3. Click Get Results and the next screen should look like the photo below. Here you are able to see the keyword you added along with other potential ideas.
Google gives you estimates for the monthly searches and the competition. Compare these results to if you used “dripping toilet” into the search box. Learn the language of your audience and use it to your advantage.
Once you have determined if your keyword has traffic then you can move to Answer the Public.
Type ‘leaky toilet’ into the search on the homepage. It may take a moment to load results. By default it is on Visualisation but I find the Data tab to be easier to read.
This tool gives you relevant queries. Real human questions ready for you to answer them with a piece of content on your website. Below you will see that leaky toilet actually provided some excellent content ideas.
- How to fix a leaky toilet?
- Can a leaky toilet cause mold?
- Most common reasons for leaky toilet?
- Why does the toilet leak when flushed?
These are easy to produce pieces of content that are useful to readers and shows your authority and knowledge of a topic (remember E-A-T?).
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4. Use links to connect pages and authority
Did you know that links between pages of your site can help improve the status of your entire site?
Google is a link-hungry monster.
Think about links as doors to web pages. When you add (relevant) links between your blog posts or pages of your site Google will notice them when it reads the page.
It will then take that doorway to the next page.
If the doorway leads to more relevant content around the main topic then Google will begin to recognize your expertise or authority. This happens slowly over time as content is created.
It is also valuable to add links to other websites. Not yours or your competition, but leaders in your industry. These are signals to Google that you did your homework.
Still a bit unsure about what links to add? Consider the journey of a potential customer. They clicked on your site through a Pinterest post and are not taken to the homepage. Are there any indicators to the visitor about where to go next? Are there any signs that you are an authority on the topic? Links provide the answer!
5. Remove thin content pages or add a blog
I have encountered my fair share of websites over the years and it is fun to see how many pieces of content some amass over time. If you have had a blog for countless years and publishing random bits here and there then you might have a thin content problem.
Thin content is content that is well.. thin and not useful or relevant. This might be a page with a 200-word blog post or a page with a few photos from an event. It can also be blog posts about a topic you are not interested in anymore.
Ask yourself if visitors are visiting these pages? If so, are they valuable? Can be they improved? Consider the function of the page and if it doesn’t have one, toss it out!
On the other side of the spectrum, there are websites with almost no content. If you have a business website then you need content. A blog is the easiest way to do this. Blogs do not require the same amount of attention as social media while giving back generously in terms of the initial investment.
If you don’t have content on your website then I challenge you to create something – anything. A guide to your services, products, a frequently asked questions page, or tutorials. Give your visitors a way to engage and learn about your services or offerings in a low-pressure environment.
SEO takes a lot of time and energy to not only learn, but then implement. These tasks are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to optimizing your site, but they are just enough that they can begin to tip the scales in your favor.
I am currently creating a few additional resources to help guide this process so I would love to hear in the comments how you found this article and if you were able to complete each task.
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