Search Engine Optimization, or “SEO,” is becoming an important tool for small businesses looking to attract customers.  In truth, marketers and web developers have used simple SEO techniques for decades to rank highly in search engines and attract more site visitors.  Only recently have small businesses started to look for SEO expertise, in their marketing and website development departments.

All small businesses interested in enjoying the benefits of a comprehensive inbound marketing strategy should implement SEO.  Here are a few tips to get you started:

SouthCoastInbound provides website development services that include SEO strategy.  Click here to arrange a consultation!

Keyword Research

Keywords on websites are specific words that help describe the content of a website.  Search engines, like Google and Bing, use keywords to match website content with search queries.  While early versions of search were abused by developers who stuffed their HTML with tags to artificially produce search engine results, and since that time, search engines have adapted, keywords still needs to play a huge part in your overall SEO strategy.

Google Search on Phones

What do People Search For?

When doing your keyword research, the starting point should always be brainstorming potential customer search strings.  If you’re an industry pro, you probably already know some answers.

  • Real Estate – ‘sell home fast’
  • Hospitality – ‘hotels near newport’
  • Family Law – ‘how to file for divorce in ma’

Make a list of these keywords for use in your site.  If you’re stuck, here are three of the best web resources:

HTML Hacks

Now that you have a list of keywords, you need to start incorporating them into your website.  HTML is the computer language that forms the bones of your company website.  Many small business owners have developed their websites using resources like WordPress or SquareSpace, and have immediate access to make edits.  Others may need to get in touch with their webmasters.  Within the code of the website, there are some relatively easy manipulations that can be made to aid in SEO.

  • Title Tags – “<title>” – These tags surround the Title of your website.  Not only does the title of your website stand out in your search listing, you can improve your ranking by using keywords
  • Description Meta Tag – “<meta name=’description’>” – Google often lists the content of this tag immediately after the title of your page.  Not only should this tag contain keywords, the description tag should also compel the visitor to click on your link!
  • URL – Keywords should appear in your website address.  Most website development tools provide easy access to edit the URL of your site pages.

The URL in our blog includes ‘seo-tips-and-tricks,’ a common search string!

Blogger Using SEO Keywords

Content Marketing

Once search engines became more intelligent, cramming keyword meta-tags became a less effective technique, and including content within website content became more important.  Both customers and search engines are looking for purposeful content, and your page must be full of good content to maximize and monetize web traffic.

  • Blogs – Or other articles, will not only attract visitors, but will also attract other websites looking to link to your page, improving their own search rankings.  Blogs also help engage your potential customers and demonstrate your expertise in the relevant subjects.
  • Links – In producing your content, you will likely be using other resources on the web.  It is a best practice to link to sources as a means of giving credit as a starting point, but a careful strategy to links can also improve search engine indexing.
  • Sitemaps – Websites full of pages and listings should be organized neatly and indexed.  A good sitemap not only provides a roadmap through your site for visitors, it also provides an indexing resource for search engines.  Make sure your site is easy to surf, and provide an HTML or XML sitemap, even if it’s at the bottom of the page.

Small businesses should take advantage of SEO techniques to stand out among the billions of search engine inquiries run every day.  There are companies that can help with SEO strategy, but given a little time, small businesses can utilize these simple steps to get moving in the right direction.

Small businesses near Fall River and Providence can utilize the services at SouthCoastInbound to develop a highly optimized website.  Sign up for a consultation right now!

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