Search engine optimization (SEO) is all about increasing the online visibility of your business. Once upon a time, SEO was mostly about adding keywords to your website and getting other people to link to you.
These things are still important; however, Google has become smarter and takes into account a lot more than your keywords or links. SEO has become more organic, and that is good news for the 50- or 60-something entrepreneur, who can focus more on the content, rather than the technical stuff. (Yeah, I know, the technical stuff can freak out the 60-something entrepreneur.)
Here are some tips that will help you optimize your start-up or small business blog or website for search engines.
Make sure your website runs well on mobile devices
Mobile optimization has become a key consideration for Google and other search engines. Many people today access the Internet and search for local businesses on their phones and tablets. Use a mobile-friendly theme and test it out on your own mobile device. Your website should not only look well on mobile, but load quickly. In fact, Google offers a great tool for you to test your mobile user experience. This tool will help you identify where there are issues with your site that need to be addressed.
Be an active presence on social media
Your social media footprint has an impact on your SEO ranking. The more mentions and shares you get on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, YouTube, LinkedIn, and other networks, the better your ranking. Create profiles linking back to your business website on all those networks and be active on them, interacting with others in your industry.
Blog several times a week
Another powerful organic SEO tool is to add a blog to your main website and cover topics relevant to your industry. Write to inform, educate and entertain. Heck, be controversial. Invite experts to write guest posts and focus on creating content that people enjoy sharing, as this builds links naturally. Links can still help boost your SEO ranking.
Include keywords in your articles, posts, and social updates
People use keywords to find things on Google. If your content includes those keywords and others like them, your pages will rank higher for relevant searches. You can use a free keyword tool to research the best keywords for your small business, or hire a inexpensive SEO company to do this for you. You can then use those keywords as a basis for your content.
Get authoritative sites to link to you
When authoritative sites link to your website and content, Google takes that as a good signal. Buying links is no longer a viable strategy, and has never been ethical. Get others to link to your content naturally by asking quality review sites to review your products, getting your business listed on local listings and other directories, submitting content to niche sites, and making your social content shareable.
Keep your URLs short and neat
It’s a well-known fact that a good URL structure makes it easier for Google to understand what your pages are about. When your URLs contain keywords, it’s even better.
Avoid duplicate content
Duplicate content can lower your SEO ranking. The problem is that when you have a blog, a website, and several social media pages, duplicate content can easily proliferate. Reduce it by trying to create unique content for all your channels. Creating and maintaining a Content Marketing Calendar can help you stay on track to avoid duplication.
Be on Google Local
Google Local makes your business more visible for local searches. If you don’t have a Google Listing For Business already, grab it now.
Use ALT tags for images
When you add a new image to your website or blog, make sure it has an ALT tag that describes what it’s all about. Adding ALT tags is easy with WordPress and other content management systems.
Write your own product descriptions
If you sell products through your website, don’t settle for the default description provided by the manufacturer, which plenty of other sites are already using. Write your own unique descriptions. It’s not only good for SEO, but it helps you stand out.
Last but not least, remember that it may take a while before you see results. SEO is not a simple marketing tactic, but an ongoing effort to stay relevant on the Web. Keep at it.