There are probably a million reasons you haven’t tackled improving the SEO on your business website yet. First off, you’re busy running that business. And maybe you’re not a computer genius and you figure it’s not worth your time. Or maybe you just have no idea where to start.

 

We’re not here to tell you why search engine optimization (SEO) is something you need to think about as a small business owner. There’s no doubt you’ve heard about why SEO is important. But knowing something and taking action are two different things.

 

So we’ve put together some actionable tips to help you, the small business owner, improve your website’s SEO. You don’t have to be super tech savvy to do most of these things. In fact, you can start small and work your way through them at your own pace. Once you start implementing certain SEO practices, there are tools that will monitor your website and tell you if your changes are working.

 

Ready to get started?

 

A few notes about SEO

 

Before we dive into tips, there are a few things you should know about SEO. First of all, SEO refers to how well your website attracts online traffic. When your SEO is good, your website will come up earlier on search engine results pages. You want your business to be as high as possible on the results page to increase the likelihood that a potential customer or client will visit your website. This is important because, in 2014, 64% of all web traffic came from organic searches, meaning someone typed in a few keywords and followed links to the resulting pages.

 

Search engines don’t share their algorithms to determine where your site will rank on search engine results pages, but they do let businesses know what general things they take into consideration. You can use this information to improve your website and get better search engine rankings.

 

How to improve your business website SEO

 

  1. Determine keywords. You’ve probably heard about keywords before. Back in the day, websites used to list tons of keywords at the bottom of the page to trick search engines into higher rankings. But those days are gone. Your industry keywords and keyword phrases should be effortlessly embedded into quality content.
  2. Publish quality content. Make sure to publish new articles, blog posts, ebooks, and resources regularly. These content sources shouldn’t be jam-packed with keywords and phrases. Instead, your content should organically include the words that will drive internet traffic. In addition to regularly added new content, make sure your site has some evergreen material. These are resources that don’t get outdated and set your business apart as an industry leader.
  3. Use social media. Connect with your customers over relevant social media channels. Your posts on sites like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Snapchat not only drive traffic to your site via links but also builds your SEO. The more likes and followers you have, the more likely your site is to be deemed highly relevant.
  4. Improve user experience. Site speed and interoperability make a difference to SEO. Users won’t wait a long time for your page to load and will immediately bounce to the next relevant website. Search engines take length of time spent on a site into account. Make it easy for your website visitors to view content, whether on a desktop or mobile device.
  5. Include internal and external links. Link to your own content within articles and blogs. If SEO considers how long people stay on your website, one way to improve that is to help them navigate between pages on your site. In addition, getting linked to by other websites is great for SEO ranking.
  6. Check the analytics. There are free tools and apps that help you analyze your SEO ranking and use of keywords. Making use of analytics will help you see where new opportunities might be and if you’ve made any mistakes with content.
  7. Keep content fresh. While you might have some ideas about which keywords are best for your market, you should also shake it up every so often. Try embedding new keywords that attract a different demographic and see if that boosts your website traffic. Changing things up helps you stay relevant to multiple markets.
  8. Know your audience. Search engines want to give users what they’re looking for. They tailor responses to people’s locations, search history, and even time of day of the search. Knowing who you’re looking to attract is important for choosing the right content and keywords to use on your site.
  9. Tag images. Search engines can’t “read” images, but they can read the alt text that can be added to an image when it’s uploaded. Many sites forget to add this information to pictures, but you shouldn’t. It’s a great way to add in keywords and relevant information about your product.
  10. Respond to comments. Keep the comment feature on articles and blogs open to outside users. You’ll have to be extra diligent about filtering out spam, but allowing comments does a few things. First, if people read the comments on a blog post, they’re staying on the page longer. If they read the comments, they might be compelled to respond to a comment, adding up to more time on the page. If you, as the business owner, respond to comments, customers will know you’ll listen to their concerns, and this helps customers gain confidence in your product.

 

Some tools to make SEO easier

Check out these tools that will help make SEO less of a chore:

 

  • Google AdWords helps you identify keywords and topics relevant to your business.
  • Scoop.it gives you access to SEO content you can publish on your site. This is especially helpful if you don’t have time to keep up with regularly publishing articles and blogs.
  • Google Webmaster Tools help you learn how to improve your search engine ranking.
  • Google Analytics tracks how keywords are sending traffic to your site.
  • Quick Sprout will analyze your current website for SEO and let you know what needs to be fixed.
  • Google Trends tells you what’s trending on Google to capitalize on current market interest.

Further reading

To learn more about SEO for small business, visit these sites:

Moz

Search Engine Journal

Search Engine Land

Google’s SEO Starter Guide

Lisa Andersen
Lisa Andersen Content Editor
Part of Planday’s content team in Copenhagen, Lisa is into yoga and loves good writing. Her experience includes working with communication and PR for international grassroots organizations in Argentina and Bolivia.