A Beginner’s Guide To SEO For Small Businesses

by J.B. Maverick

2 min read

The popularity and importance of search engine marketing has exploded, leading every business to need web content optimized to generate search engine hits. Because tens of thousands of companies, including your small business, are competing for a limited number of listings at the top of a search results page, search engine optimization is crucial. Large retailers such as Loblaws have ample resources, and marketing expertise and experience to put their companies in prime position in search results. For your small business to snag one of those all-important top positions, understanding and employing key SEO tactics is vital.

Due Diligence: Keyword Research Is Key

To launch a successful SEO marketing strategy, it is important to learn what your target customer base is searching for, or what types of words and phrases they use when doing online searching that, ideally, should lead them to your products. These search terms are keywords to use in your web content. Researching keywords enables you to more effectively direct traffic to your site and boost the number of people viewing, and hopefully buying, your products or services.

Google Analytics, which tracks and analyzes website traffic, is a good tool for identifying what keywords and marketing tactics are most productive in generating visitors to your website. It also shows the most popular pages on your site and the geographic location of visitors.

As a beginner to SEO, coming up with the keywords and phrases best-suited to your products can be somewhat daunting. One trick accomplished using software programs such as Google AdWords is learning keywords and phrases your competitors most frequently use. Identify a successful competitor with lots of website traffic, and then input its URL into AdWords to find out what keywords are drawing visitors to the site.

Work with members of your team, refining keyword selection to make the best choices of concise keywords, that reinforce your brand image and grab viewers’ attention.

Page Titles, Meta Descriptions, and Tags

Aside from the specific content on your website pages, page titles and meta description tags are the most important SEO content on the page. Specifically what, and how much, of your website content appears in a search engine result varies, but page titles and at least part of the meta description always appear. A meta description simply refers to a description that includes meta tags, appropriate keywords used to categorize online material. When material is published online, the title, meta description, and meta tags are listed in the web page metadata used by search engines to classify and locate the information.

For optimal performance with titles and meta descriptions, keep titles around 70 characters, including spaces and punctuation. Put primary keywords at the beginning of titles; for example, “HDTV – How to Choose the Best One.” Work your company’s name or brand into both titles and tags whenever possible. Focus on using titles, descriptions, and tags that are unique, draw the viewer’s attention, and motivate them to explore your site further.

References & Resources

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