3 Step Checklist for Small Business SEO

These days it’s common to hear a lot of new buzzwords and acronyms being thrown around when it comes to internet marketing. But among the most common (and important) terms to know and understand is SEO or Search Engine Optimization. SEO simply means optimizing your business’s website so it shows up higher in the rankings of search engines like Google and Bing.

Here’s a quick and simple checklist that will help you maximize your SEO.

1.    Keyword Research

If there’s one thing that you need to get right in your small business SEO strategy it’s the keywords. Keywords are the basis of all search engine rankings and in order to attract local customers to your site, you need to rank highly for the words and phrases that people are using to find the products or services you’re selling.

Many businesses select their keywords randomly, simply brainstorming words and phrases that they think will work for their site. They then interweave these words and phrases throughout their website content and Meta tags, believing that this constitutes Search Engine Optimization. It doesn’t. If you haven’t done thorough keyword research, then you really are wasting your time.

Where to Start?

  • Make a list of search phrases or words that describe your market.
  • Use phrases consisting of 2 – 5 words.
  • Research the demand, popularity, and competition for each keyword or phrase on your list.
  • Use Google AdWords Keyword Tool to research your words.
  • Trim your list down to the keywords with the highest number of monthly searches and lowest number of competitors.

2.    Website work

Most of the important Search Engine Optimization usually happens on your site. So, it pays to have a working knowledge of on-site SEO. Essentially, on-site SEO consists of those things you do on a website page to attract search engines. You can write compelling SEO copy by consistently applying only five on-site SEO elements, including:

  • Titles and Headers – Title and headline play a major role in getting good rankings so don’t forget to include your target keyword in your title and header tags.
  • Meta Descriptions – It’s a summary that Google uses to describe your page on the search results page. Take advantage of this summary description by writing benefit-oriented copy. Make sure each page its own unique description.
  • Content – Content is king. You might have heard that before, but it bears repeating because Google’s bots search for content – new, original, frequently updated and keyword-rich content that addresses your audience’s needs, wants and desires.
  • NAP (Name, Address, Phone number) – Be sure to add your business name, address and phone number on every page to improve your chances of a successful local SEO campaign.

3.    Off-site work

The other side of the coin is all about the SEO work that you do off-site. Here are some important factors when it comes to off-site SEO and increasing your Google rankings.

  • Backlinks – The long story short is that the more high-quality backlinks you have leading to your website the better your website will be able to rank.
  • Visitor Behavior – The way that visitors behave when they see your website can actually affect your Google rankings. Therefore, you have to strive to minimize your bounces and provide meaningful, useful content with an intuitive and engaging design.
  • Traffic Sources – The sources of your traffic can also end up affecting your Google rankings. So, you must aim to get your traffic to come from credible referral sites that are related to your own website, natural searching and any legitimate PPC campaigns you may be running.

Once you have optimized your website for good SEO, you can reap the benefits of your campaign. But if you want your campaign to be profitable in the long run, you’ll have to stay on top of SEO trends as the algorithms of search engines change regularly.

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