5 Steps to SEO Results for Small Business Owners

By Maria Peagler

Sep 08

Today’s guest post is from Gloria Rand, who works with small business owners to implement SEO strategies and social media marketing for online visibility, profits and success at www.gloriarand.com.

Facebook may be great for your business, but it’s not wise to put all of your marketing eggs in that one basket. Granted, it’s hard to ignore Facebook’s 750 million users, but look what happened to MySpace. If Facebook shut down next year, would your target audience know how to find you?

If you have a website that’s optimized properly for the search engines, they would!

Here are five steps you can take to see your website rank highly in search engine results:

  1. Find keywords people use when searching for your product. Search engine optimization (SEO) begins with this one simple step. Your website must include the “key” words that your customers use when they perform a search on Google, Bing, or other major search engine.  Use keyword suggestion tools such as Google Adwords or SEMRush.com for ideas on words and phrases to use on your site.
  2. Use keywords in website content. Keywords need to be included in the copy on your website. This is where the real fun begins!  A good rule of thumb is to focus on one or two keywords per page. And use them about two or three times in the copy. When you cram too many keywords into a web page, you run the risk of turning off your web site visitor and hurting your ranking on Google. This is a practice known as “keyword stuffing.”  Google recommends that you “focus on creating useful, information-rich content that uses keywords appropriately and in context.”
  3. Install an SEO plugin to work magic behind the scenes. If you have a WordPress hosted site, you can install some handy SEO plugins, such as All in One SEO Pack.  This plugin makes it super easy to add keyword tags and it inserts them into the proper place in your HTML code. After you finish writing your content, scroll down to the bottom of the page and look for the SEO form to fill out. It should look like this:
    All in One SEO Pak
    Other website providers include similar ways to add keywords.  But if you don’t have any way of updating your website yourself, it’s a good idea to ask your web designer for help.  You can either write the meta tags yourself, and give them to your web designer to upload onto your website, or hire an SEO expert to do it for you.
  4. Add a title tag – Once you have a list of keywords to choose from, you should add them into the title tags for each page of your website by using your SEO plugin.  When you search on Google, the title tag is the first line of the result that gets displayed.  In the picture below, the title tag is “Flowers Delivered  – Send Flowers Online, ProFlowers Flower Delivery.”
    ProFlowers did a good job with their title tag, because it begins with the keyword “flowers” (which was the search term I used on Google) and includes short phrases that explain what the company does: deliver flowers!
  5. Add description meta tags – The description meta tag is another place to include keywords.  This is your opportunity to describe the content of the web page, and even include a call to action.  If you don’t include a description meta tag on your web site, Google will look at the content on your web page and display what it thinks is relevant.  However, what Google thinks is relevant and what YOU think may be two different things.  That’s why it’s a good idea to write your own tag. In the ProFlowers example above, the description is located underneath the website URL – www.proflowers.com: “Send flowers with ProFlowers, your online florist…”

These five simple techniques will certainly have your website ranking higher in search engines, and most of these steps you can do yourself.  Have you used SEO strategies for your business?  What has worked for you?


About the Author

Founder of Socialmediaonlineclasses.com, Benjamin Franklin award-winner for independent publishing, award winning author of eight books, wife, mom, quilter and watercolor artist.

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(1) comment

Judi knught September 9, 2011

Great post, Gloria. Some people are stuck on Facebook only and some have Flash or static websites stuffed with keywords. Neither thing works for converting prospects into clients as a WordPress website with a few organic search strategies employed.

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