seo tips small businesses

Our Top 5 SEO Tips for Business Owners

What is SEO?

The Google search results you see aren’t random, and – aside from paid ads – they don’t go to a highest bidder. They are ranked based on elements of your website that Google looks at.

Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of adjusting these parts of your website to make you show up on Google when your customers search for a product like yours.

SEO is important because even if you aren't putting effort into it, your competitors are. If your competition is showing up higher on search results, you’re going to rank where customers aren’t finding you.

Here are some SEO tips that you may have heard before, but bear repeating if you’re going to keep up in the busy search result space.

1. Make sure your site is mobile-friendly

websites mobile friendly

A mobile-friendly site means that it automatically adjusts picture and text sizes to be readable on smart phones and tablets. In 2015, Google began boosting search engine results for websites that are mobile-friendly, yet two years later many small businesses still haven’t redesigned their sites to take advantage of this.

In addition, users are five times more likely to leave a website if it isn’t mobile friendly. This, paired with Google favoring mobile, can result in businesses loosing a lot of customers if they aren’t prepared.

2. Avoid keyword stuffing

Google works based on looking at terms on your website and offering your site to users searching for that word or phrase. For example, if you’re a bakery in Shakopee, and you want to get the attention of users who Google the phrase “Shakopee bakery,” you would use that phrase in your headlines and text.

mn small business search results

A long time ago, you could repeatedly place a term you were trying to rank for on a webpage to get a higher ranking on Google. Some pages would have the same word repeated hundreds of times just to get the top search result placement.

Since then, Google has caught onto keyword stuffing and punishes sites that overuse keywords by giving them a lower ranking. So fair warning: if you’re placing your keywords between every other word, you may want to make friends with the delete key.

3. Use your meta tag to answer searches

Meta tags are the short descriptions on Google results that explain the webpage that it links to. You can usually adjust this on the backend of your website, and some apps, like the Yoast SEO plugin for WordPress, make it very simple.

When you write this 160-character description, a good way to get clicks is to answer the question that the user is typing in the search bar. If they search, “Is the moon made of cheese?”, you could have a meta tag description that says, “The moon is not made of cheese. Here’s why.”

4. Use Alt tags on your images

Alt tags are the descriptions of images on your website, hidden to the viewer but detectable by Google. Search engines like Google will then “read” the images and rank your site based on those descriptions.

If you haven’t yet, fill out those alt tags on the backend of your website. Use keywords when appropriate, but don’t over do it (see keyword stuffing above).

5. Start using more long-tailed keywords

siri apple watch

This is one of the newest SEO techniques. As personal voice-command devices such as Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa find more kitchen counters to sit on, users will start asking longer, fully structured questions.

This is because longer questions are easier to ask out loud than to type (a typed search may be, “bakeries in Shakopee” while a spoken search would be, “What are some of the best bakeries in Shakopee?”), and these devices are getting more accurate at understanding fully structured commands.

So when someone asks Google Home, Alexa, Microsoft’s Cortona or Apple’s Siri a lengthy question, such as, “If the moon were cheese, how many could it feed?”, you can have a page or post with that exact phrase as a focus keyword.

Get better rankings

Every business should have their website optimized for search engines. If you have time and access to the backend of your site, use these tips to attempt to bump up your site in search engine rankings.

Don’t have the time? Give us a call. Our SEO team can help get your website higher up in Google, Bing, and Yahoo! rankings by using these tips along with the rest of our SEO techniques.

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