We’ll talk about 10 SEO best practices for your small business websites. So it’s easy to fall victim to these fads or trends regarding improving your Search Engine Optimization (SEO), but be mindful of that because while a quick fix can be delicious and appealing, it can hurt your Search Engine Optimization in the end.
Step 1: Research Your Keywords
It’s the Google keyword planner, remember showing me that I remember it was beneficial, and that’s great because you can find relevant keywords that online visitors enter when searching, so this is an essential thing about long-tailed keywords so that you can get more specific.
Those long-tail keywords are said I do coaching. You don’t want to try to capture the market on coaching because there’s so much competition. It would cost you a fortune to rank there, but say I’m a coach to help. You want to research what keywords make sense. The trends and things like that.
So if we hop over here, we can enter the products or services closely related to what you do. So we can get the results and see what might pop up. So you’re not focusing your attention on just irrelevant things that you’ll never actually make an impact on.
So I did that now. I click to get results. So, it will give you a list of many different keywords you can add to your website. Now you do not want to go overboard and look at every single one here because it might not make sense for your brand or business.
I’d pick the ones that make sense for you and what you want, your target audience to search for, and what you think they’re searching to find you. It shows the average monthly searches for careers to 100,000 competition medium. So, are you looking for a medium at your competition level? Is this a good amount of average monthly searches? Like how would I know that?
So if you’re starting and don’t have much authority yet in the industry, I’d recommend niche down even further. So what type of career coaches do? Go a couple of levels deeper. Are you right, or what type of business are you in?
Speaking of yoga, specifically different than other ones. So if you’re in the fitness industry, don’t just try fitness; if you’re in a yoga studio, don’t just go for yoga because there’s too much competition. So, what’s a super unique yoga studio you’ve been to? I got on a curveball for you.
Goat yoga. Have you done goat yoga? I don’t say that I have, but I’m all about it; that’s the one where you’re doing yoga, and there are these little goats all around you, suitable? So that could be your niche goat yoga or outdoor goat yoga and niche down. So if someone’s searching for goat yoga in San Diego, Ocean Beach, or wherever it is, you’ll be found.
Step 2: Content For Your Website
Create great content for your website, and that’s where the keywords come into play. Think about what are those online visitors searching for when looking for a business like mine, and you’ll want to ensure that whatever keywords you use, you do not stuff them in where it doesn’t make sense because not every other sentence should be around goat yoga. Add that to your text.
Please explain what you do, the atmosphere, and things like that, but then stuff goat yoga now and then throughout the website or whatever your keyword is for your business, and I have a great example.
I was checking out their website, and it actually, let’s take a look right now. They do a great job of doing content that would attract the right audience because they’re a unique business; they’re not just a cake company; They’re All-Purpose Cake Co. that specializes in gluten-free check out their cakes here. So you go over to their about our cakes, and you can see here keywords gluten-free, dairy-free, keto, and diabetes-friendly.
So this will help them to be found by the right audience they’re looking for with their unique market of cakes.
Step 3: Website Is Mobile-Friendly
Over half of the search results are happening on mobile phones, so you want to make sure it looks good on mobile because if it’s not Google’s, not going to rank your site for people searching on the phone, and an easy way to see.
If your site is mobile-friendly, if you’re in your browser, you can right-click, click choose to Inspect, and then this little town is a toggle device toolbar. So you can see what the website will look like on different devices, whether it’s an iPhone. So if it looks well here, chances are it’s going to look well in the wild on an actual phone.
Step 4: Understand the Metadata
If you do a Google search, let’s stick with the cake thing gluten-free, I typed in gluten-free here and the Google search. And what comes up is you have your title line here like easy, gluten-free chocolate cake. And then the description below that and notice? What did I type in Gluten-Free, and it’s in bold?
And that’s why these are coming up first, correct, and that meta title and meta-description is on your website itself kind of on the backend, so most website builders that use out there, whether it’s website builder plus marketing, There’s always a section to adds those there WordPress, install a plugin like Yoast SEO, and you can easily add that.
So they say your title should be anywhere between 50 and 60 characters. You want to make sure you include whatever your primary keyword or keyword phrase is there and then with your description. It should be about 150 to 160 characters; again, put your description in there, and just like we saw with the gluten-free search result, it popped up multiple times.
So if it makes sense for your content again, don’t make it legible for anyone to read; include it there so Google and visitors know exactly what that page is all about.
And that will boost the number of click-throughs that you get.
Step 5: Avoid Duplicate Content
Avoid duplicate content because search engines penalize you if you use a duplicate copy.
Step 6: Show Your Reviews And Testimonials
It’s the word on the street regarding your businesses. I land on your website, and from there, I can see what your customers think because you’ve shared, maybe your Yelp reviews or your TripAdvisor reviews, or Google reviews. These are your actual customers, your actual clients, basically praising you for being awesome you are, so turn your website into word of mouth.
So have those testimonials there, which will boost your credibility and trust with that potential new customer.
Step 7: Understand Backlinking
Think about how you can get relevant blogs or other sites that you could link to your website, you can think about backlinks like tiny little up-votes for your websites, like Instagram, and you got likes websites; it’s all about the backlinks.
There is a difference between good and bad backlinks. There’s a terrible practice of paying for backlinks where a bot or some other random service will put your website on a bunch of random websites.
It’s not always the best to do because those websites may not be reliable. They may look malicious, and then Google will see those. And those back which was supposed to be up-votes is now down-votes. So if relevant blogs complement your services, go and add some value to their blog posts or whatever they have on there.
And if it makes sense, link to your website or a guest blog or create great content to where they want to link to your website.
And at the end of the day, don’t be afraid to link back off to other people’s websites. You can make those links open a new tab, so your content doesn’t go away, but then you’re giving the brands you know and trust highlight up-votes to create a fantastic community.
Step 8: Don’t Play Tricks
If something seems like 0h, this will be a shortcut.
This is going to help me out; going to cut corners. It’s probably not a good idea. So please do your research to learn about what those shortcuts are and try to avoid doing them.
They’ll hurt you in the end, and you don’t want to fall into those bad practices.
They may have worked at it for a short time, but the long-term game is where it’s at don’t play shortcuts.
Step 9: Measure Your Success
How do you know at the end of the day if all the effort you put into your website, content, and online presence is working?
Google Analytics is the way to measure that success. It’s a free tool. Again most website builders have an easy way to integrate it into WordPress.
Step 10: Submit Your Site Map
Looking for you like a table of contents in a book or I cook a lot like a recipe. Maybe you want to get to a specific Italian recipe in your cookbook. That will help your website when Google or the search engine is indexing.
So that’s something you can relate to when you think about a site map, but the search needs to have this; and once you have your site map created, if you’re using a website builder, they’ll likely do it for you. If using WordPress, use Yoast SEO or some other search engine plugin to create it for you.
You want to tell Google about it. Please don’t wait for them to come to you because they eventually will, but it might take a while, so I highly recommend Google webmaster tools. It’s a free service with Google.
That relates to this blog because you can see the search engine trends. So you can see what people are searching for, how often they see it, and how often they click it with keywords. You can go ahead and say: hey, here’s my website, here’s my site map now crawl; it is the cool thing with Google webmaster tools.
That’s related to your industry, and now if you start seeing keywords that don’t make sense.
When choosing a reputable company to manage your SEO, there are both right and wrong ways to go about hiring.
This is an essential briefing because if SEO is vital to your business, then the company or individual you choose will have a significant impact and is probably one of the most critical factors in whether you get good results. Many mistakes can be made when choosing an SEO company.
Don’t make these mistakes
Mistake #1: Using Google as your filter
If you think about it, the logic here makes sense. The simple idea is that a good SEO company or SEO consultant or SEO consultant plus the name of my city will rank well. So if I am looking for the best search engine in the UK, all I have to do is Google “best search engine in the UK,” and of course, the highest-ranking company will appear at the top.
But unfortunately, most good companies in high demand consistently achieve good results and get good recommendations that don’t need to be listed here. They have a constant influx of clients because they recommend them, and many people in their network recommend them. They have a high customer retention rate, and many are very happy. They make a lot of money and are overworked, so they don’t bother to optimize their website to attract new clients.
The result is that junk gets left here and there. Many companies rank well for best SEO plus city name or best SEO plus a region or specific areas of expertise (best E-commerce SEO), but not for best. They are the ones who don’t have any clients at all, so they spend all their energy on getting new clients. Sometimes you might find some good deals there, and it’s just not a very good filter.
Mistake #2: Trusting “Top SEO” lists
Lots of people search for “best SEO” “best SEO consultant” “best SEO company,” or “best SEO company in the UK.” They go to a website like bestSEOs.com or topSEOs.com. There are many websites like that, which are just aggregators. Their business model is that they try to rank for terms like that, and then they sell those listings, the listings on their sites, to SEO companies and firms.
As a customer of an SEO company, a paid system is not trustworthy for you. You would never trust someone to say, “Oh, which is the best restaurant in this area?” You would never go to a list that a restaurant just paid for because then you would have the consortium and those who can afford to spend the money and are the worst. Don’t trust these kinds of lists.
Mistake #3: Believing there’s a “secret sauce.”
Mistake number three believes in selling points, and unfortunately, many, I would say, poor quality SEO consultants use selling points that are the secret sauce. There is no secret sauce in SEO. When you hear “this is how Google works, blah, blah, blah, this is what we do with our secret optimization techniques,” and I can’t tell you what those are.
It’s a proprietary approach, but it works well.” That’s nonsense. If you refuse to do that, it’s for the best. If you ask, “How do you do it?” And they say, “I’m afraid I can’t tell you, it’s secret or proprietary,” that’s a very, very bad sign. No one has a secret proprietary program.
SEO is a very, very open field. Understandably, it originated from many secrets, but that’s not the way it is today, and you should never accept that that’s the answer.
Our recommended process for choosing an SEO company:
I want you to sit down with your team, your CEO, your leadership team, your board, or whoever, and figure out what you want to achieve with SEO. Why do you want to do SEO? Why do you want to rank organically for keywords? Then determine how you will judge success and failure. In this process, there are good goals and bad goals.
- We want to reach many people who are researching this topic, so we need traffic from these specific groups. I know they are looking for this topic, and it’s perfect.
- We’re trying to increase sales and do that with new sales, and search engines are a channel to generate sales. That’s good, that’s good.
- We’re trying to increase downloads or free sign-ups, or free trials. That’s also a good goal.
- We’re trying to increase the sentiment towards our brand. If you Google some of our brand terms today, there might be some bad reviews, but there are also many good reviews ranked below, and we want to get the good ones up and the bad ones down. That’s fine. That feeling could also be something that drives you. You know many people are searching for your brand or terms in your brand, and those are worthy targets.
- We want traffic, more traffic. Why? Well, because we want it. The dreaded, dreaded goal and traffic are not goals in themselves. If you say, “Well, we want more traffic because we know that search traffic converts well for us, and here are the stats on it,” okay, great. Now it’s the one thing that drives revenue.
- Unfortunately, ranking alone is the vanity of many people who want to rank for something simply because they want it. For SEO companies considering clients, that’s usually a bad sign. It would help if this weren’t on your list of goals, and it’s not a positive goal.
- Beat a specific competitor for a specific keyword or phrase. Again, no, it’s not a goal, and it does not directly drive revenue, nor does it directly drive organizational goals.
- A measure of vanity. I still see people saying, “Hey, does anyone know a great SEO company that can help us improve our domain authority or our Majestic trust flow, or worst of all, our Google PageRank?” Google gave up on PageRank a few years ago, and that sucks. A vanity metric and a bad idea.
Once you have a list of these reasonable goals that you’re trying to optimize, my recommendation is that you should gather a list of usually three to five, which, I think, is the correct comfort zone. If you can assess more, you can do more, but at least three to five consultants or agencies, and those are probably following a bunch of criteria.
You might say, “Hey, listen, we need someone in our area so we can meet with them, or at least someone who can fly into us regularly.” Maybe that’s a requirement for you. Or maybe you’ll say, “It doesn’t matter. Working remotely is great.” Well, great. You might say, “Our price range or our budget is for this particular thing.”
You want to find those criteria and make sure you have a list of three to five people that you can consider each other. Have some conversations with them and dig up references.
- The same goes for your network of friends and personal and professional networks.
- Similar non-competitive companies. You will find that you can build these relationships if you, for example, have a non-competitive e-commerce company that is friendly with you in the B2B sector or the e-commerce sector. You should certainly already have those relationships. Talking to those people about who they use and whether they are successful is an excellent way to find good people.
Good questions to ask:
- By the way, I like to ask SEO companies. What procedures will you use to accomplish our goals, and why do you use those particular procedures? That’s an excellent place to start.
- Ask about their communication and reporting process. How often? What is their cadence like? What indicators are they reporting on? What do they need you to collect? Why do they need to collect these indicators? How do these indicators fit with your objectives, and how are they aligned?
- What work and resources do you need to put in place internally? You should know this before you go into any arrangement because it can get very complicated. If your SEO company says, “Great, here’s a list of suggestions,” and you say, “Well, we don’t have the development bandwidth, or we don’t have the content creation bandwidth, or we don’t have the visual or UI or UX communication bandwidth to do any of that. So what do we do?” Well, now your path is blocked. You should have had this conversation much earlier. *By the way, SEO usually requires some intensive resource allocation. So you should plan.
- What do you do when things don’t work out? I like to ask this question and ask for specific examples of when things don’t work out and what they’ve done in the past to fix the problem.
- I like to ask a wide range of questions. Especially when you start a conversation, especially if you feel like, hey, I want to understand this company’s approach to SEO and their understanding of Google, you can ask them questions like, “Hey, tell me how Google ranks results and how you as a company are influencing them?” You should hear a good answer, yes, this is how Google does things, here’s how we know, and here’s how we influence those results. That’s good.
I like to suggest that people choose these four things:
- The trust you build with a company. That’s through references, through conversations, through people you’ve talked to in your network.
- Through referrals. If you’ve heard great recommendations and you trust those referral sources, that’s a beautiful sign.
- By matching communication styles. If your communication style, even though everything else was great, left you feeling a little frustrated when you had the conversation, maybe you got what you needed. Still, it didn’t go well, and I would suggest that maybe it’s a cultural mismatch and you should look for another supplier.
- Pricing and contract structure. Many SEO companies have a contract structure that is month-to-month and for a certain length of time. You should expect to pay something upfront and then some ongoing monthly fees. There is usually a period when the payment will reappear and will renew the contract. This is quite similar to many other services, and consultancy-type agreements, so you should expect that. If you see something very non-standard, this can sometimes be a bad thing, but not always. A lot of the time, SEOs have more creative pricing, which is all right.
Three pro tips:
- If SEO requires to be a core competency of your company, then keep it in-house. An agency or consultant can never do as much as an in-house person with as many resources or communication. Starting with an external consultant and bringing them in-house is a great way to go.
- If the quality SEO person you’re considering is too expensive, my advice might be to say, “Well, how about you just advise us on the job, and we’ll hire an in-house person, maybe more junior, and you’ll mentor that person?” That can work well, again, especially if you have the budget to hire this person in-house.
- Remember, SEO is not for everyone. SEO is highly competitive. Page 1 gets over 95% of the clicks. The top three or four results get over 70% of the clicks, 65% or 70%. So many times, if you are not yet capable of doing SEO or are seriously engaged in it, going from your fifth-page ranking for many key terms to the bottom of page two or page one may not be worth that much. Unless you have the budget and energy to commit to SEO, it may be an avenue for you to consider later.
Get Started Today With SEO Bea
Seobea helps you increase the number of people who visit your site by finding, creating, and promoting content relevant to the niche you’re targeting. We provide monthly reports on the performance of all our content marketing clients. We collect information directly through our own analytics tool and through Google Search Console, and then we present it in an easily readable format. You can check out the Keywords tab on the Content marketing page to see which words you’re currently ranking for on Google. The report also shows how far you’ve come. Use this report to keep track of the progress of our content marketing services.
Why SEO Bea?
A London-based creative agency. Thanks to our Website Developers, Copyrighters, and Full Funnel Builders’ experience, we build modern and great-looking websites that rank well on search engines.
We overcome a bespoke procedure from the beginning to the end of your task, offering customized website styles unique to your requirements.
This makes us a very flexible and active firm prepared to handle projects, big or little.
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