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10 SEO Basics Small Business Owners Need to Know

Posted 29 Mar '16

As a business owner, you should be familiar with the acronym SEO, which stands for Search Engine Optimisation. In a nutshell, SEO means setting up your website with the correct information to be found easily in search engines (i.e. Google) by your ideal customers.

While that makes it sound so simple, getting your website to rank on page one in Google and other search engines can be one of the hardest tasks to conquer in your online marketing strategy.

SEO often is a topic that not many business owners want to learn or take too much interest in the details when busy running a business, however it is really important to ensure you understand the basics that your site needs to perform well in the search results.

From here you can spend the time to invest in learning how to handle it yourself, or be equipped with the information you need to hire a professional to get the job done for you.


1. Start with a plan

Firstly, do you know your target market for your products/services? If not – 1. You shouldn’t build your website until you know and 2. You should go back and read this.

2. Know what you want to be found for

The more general – the harder it is to rank well. For example, Accountants Brisbane is harder than Accountants Brisbane Southside. Why? Because there are more people searching for Accountants Brisbane so there are more competitors and if you are a small business you’ll be competing with the big dogs with big marketing budgets.

3. Set your page Title Tags, Keywords and Metas etc

Keywords usually come to mind when thinking of SEO, but it’s not a case of stuffing the phrase you want to be found for all over your website (if your SEO provider suggests or does this – run.)

It is about setting a relevant Title Tag for each page on your website (e.g. home page title Accountants Brisbane Southside | Empire Accountants), creating education based content (not salesy) on the page topic and ensuring your Meta Tags summarise what the page is about, again including the Title Tag.

4. Create engaging and useful content

Google wants to give the best answer to the user who is searching for a particular topic, service or product. You will rank better if the copy on your website is information rich and helps to solve a problem or answer a question the user (your potential customer) has. The key is to pair well written copy with the right amount of keywords relevant to your business.

5. Ensure your website has a sitemap

A sitemap is a XML file with all of your websites URL’s. The purpose of having an active sitemap is so that search engine crawlers can find every page on your website and not miss anything – the more information your website offers, the better it ranks.

Sitemaps are quite easy to create. For WordPress you can download a plugin called Google XML Sitemaps Plugin that basically generates the sitemap without you having to do anything but activate it.

6. Internal Links

Website navigation is one example of internal links, but to help with you website rankings you should ensure that you include links in the body text of your website pages that link to other relevant pages in your website.

For example, if one of your web pages is talking about your business accounting service you could link it to a blog article on tips for growing your business.

7. Image descriptions

You should never just upload an image to use on your website without first naming the file correctly for SEO purposes. For example, if you are uploading an image of an accountant giving tax advice, on a blog about Brisbane tax services the image file name shouldn’t be DGB4562.jpg, but tax-services-brisbane-advisor.jpg (or something along those lines!).

8. Social media links

Of course by now you know that you should be registered on all social media sites to assist with SEO. As a busy small business owner, effectively communicating on each social media platform will be just too time consuming, so pick one and really work at trying to engage your audience.

Combining that with linking your website to your social accounts and vice versa will really help your online presence and search engine ranks.

9. Backlinking – Authoritative sites and online directories

If a website with a lot of online authority links to your website – it will boost your credibility and therefore your rankings. To get on the first page of Google it is essential to have quality relevant backlinks.

For example, if you are a business advisor and you write an article on business management that gets published on a high traffic business forum website, it will increase the visibility of your website and give it more authority.

But remember backlinking is a quality over quantity game, a link from an authority site has a greater impact than a hundred low quality links.

10. Have a content strategy

To stay relevant you need to update the content on your website regularly. If you want to start a blog make sure you can commit to uploading the posts as frequently as you set out to. If you only have time to post once a fortnight or a month then start there – something is better than nothing and consistency is key.

To stay on track with your content strategy create a calendar, schedule time in to work on your online profile, your blogs, videos or anything you want to do. If you don’t schedule the time to do it – you won’t do it.


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