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Effective SEO Tips for Small Businesses

Every small business with an online presence has to deal with the issue of SEO. Most, however, haven’t a clue where to begin. As you delve into the topic across the endless articles on the subject, a feeling of being overwhelmed can easily taint the process; for many, the task seems daunting and endless.

In truth, SEO is not rocket science. While it can be a complicated formula, there are very clear and effective ways to kick start your SEO efforts. In other words, there are SEO tactics that are absolutely essential to success, and they provide the perfect foundation from which to build your strategy.

Don’t be overwhelmed. Be educated. Take the list below and implement each suggestion, one by one, and your rankings will reflect your efforts. They may not land you at the number one position over night, but they will give you a boost and provide insight on what’s working and what’s not. Having a place to start from is priceless. It’s time to dive in and master SEO.

#1: Webmaster Tools are Your Best Ally

If you only use one tool for your SEO, make it Google’s Webmaster Tools. These handy free gizmos help you perfect on-site optimization, which include all the technical details that assist in boosting your site’s ranking. Spend a chunk of time setting up your site on both Google and Bing, and if you’re not familiar with the tools, educate yourself through guides and videos about how critical things like your site’s crawl errors, speed, and overall health really are.

#2: The Key to Great Keywords

If you’re just starting out, or revamping your SEO strategy, it’s not necessary to do a complete comprehensive deep dive into keyword analysis. What is essential is that you get into the mind of your ideal target customer. Start by creating a list of words you feel searchers would use to find your goods and services. Then see how your site ranks for those search terms, and identify areas where improvement is required.

In the old days, Google Analytics was a great tool for identifying top keywords for your site, but not anymore; they’ve kicked into sleuth mode and made it difficult to ascertain key phrases. You can, however, use Google Analytics to identify the content on your site that is attracting the highest volume of traffic. Then work backwards; determine what keywords are drawing that traffic to your site, and duplicate them throughout.

Want to know where your main keywords should be placed? Here’s a handy list:

  1. Title Tag – The text that appears in a browser’s heading that describes your site’s content
  2. Image ALT Tags – This tells search engines what your images display
  3. Page URL – Never use spaces or underscores, but do use keywords wherever possible
  4. Image File Names – Just like ALT tags, these indicate how your site’s pictures relate to your overall theme
  5. Meta Description – This is the text searches see in results; it’s imperative your keywords appear here
  6. Keyword Density – More is not necessarily better. 5% is sufficient – make sure your content has your keywords, but reads very well to an actual viewer, not a search engine bot.
  7. Page Content – By far the most important aspect; your content must be compelling and valuable, in addition to containing your keywords

#3: Make Content Easily Shareable

Social signals continue to become more weighted when it comes to search engine results, so each piece you publish should be very easy to share across social networks. Share buttons should be highly visible – studies have shown that posts with share buttons generate 7 times more mentions, so this simple step is incredibly powerful. Don’t forget to make images shareable too; more and more users are showcasing pictures that pack a punch over words, so give your visitors the option and your social signals will soar.

The same is true for your social media efforts. Tweets with images received 150% more retweets than those without. Finally, don’t forget to perform A/B testing with text on both your website and your social marketing campaigns. Don’t just ride on assumptions – test your theories and make sure your audience is responding as expected.

#4: Create Knock-Their-Socks-Off Content

There’s simply no replacement for stellar content. Your website should be brimming with valuable knowledge shares, infographics, slideshows, podcasts, and videos that entice your viewers to keep coming back. Great content creates viral sensations that can spike your traffic and revenues astronomically. Nothing is more vital to your SEO health than current, wow-worthy content. The Content Marketing Institute tells us that 92% of marketers are using content to boost their sales, and 60% intend to boost the amount of content they create in the next 12 months. If you spend money on only one facet of your marketing, hiring great content writers and marketers is the ideal bang for your buck decision.

If you have great keywords and amazing, easily shareable content, you are literally light years beyond most of your competition. SEO doesn’t have to be complicated to be effective. Focus on these key attributes, and utilize Google’s free tools, and you have a fighting chance to gain the lion’s share of your audience’s attention.

What other simple yet effective SEO tools have you discovered?

About the author


Tina Courtney

Conscious online marketer, web executive, and multi-faceted writer Tina Courtney has been creating and fostering online innovations since 1996. Tina has assisted many clients in maximizing online production and marketing efforts, and is a staff writer for SiteProNews, one of the Web’s foremost webmaster and tech news blogs. She’s produced and marketed innovative content for major players like Disney and JDate, as well as boutique startups galore, with fortes including social media, SEO, influencer marketing, community management, lead generation, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, and accomplished life coach.  Learn more on LinkedIn, Facebook and Google+. Visit My Google+ Profile


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  • Hello there,
    Its nice article may i ask 1 question ?

    In ALT tag people inserts keywords is that good for seo or bad?

    and if you checking Google take description in inner content also so if seo guy ‘ll add keywords related things in description meta tag Google ‘ll decrease their website’s ALEXA.


  • Hi, Great article you have shared, This type of information is very helpful for the small business owner also helps for those people who do not want to hire a Professional SEO Expert.

    Thanks for updating with the Latest Information

  • Title tag #1 – you know it. I always encourage local businesses to get their name, top keyword, and geography into their titles if possible. Great list!

  • Tina, a bit basic artice as for me. I’d recommend some more info to the readers. For example, you can get a look at the SEO in Practice ebook – it has tons of actionable To-Do tips one can do right away.

  • *If your money keyword density gets up to 5% you are sure to be listed on page 100! – Once maybe twice is more then enough now days!

  • Hey Tina,
    Nice tips and Yes, SEO really plays an important role in growing any business. Webmaster tool is amazing and I am also using it. Social media really plays an important role these days.

  • It’s worth remembering that your keywords that clients might be searching for you with, can be entirely mutually exclusive the type of content you want to create.

    For example, we want to be found for ‘marketing agency’ but we can’t write and share an article dropping that keyword in every paragraph without it being very hard to read. That’s what makes SEO an even bigger challenge.

    Simon Dell

  • Seo is can do your link Tracking conversions with Google Analytics is so valuable to see which sources of website traffic are converting into customers.Seo Tips

  • I completely agree with the on page factors that you have mentioned in the post. You have to be very careful while selecting the title. Try to include keyword in title. Thank you for sharing this.

  • As a small business owner here in Michigan it is tough to find good quality SEO advice. I found this article well written, and enjoyable. I will be sure to take it heart as I move forward.

  • SEO becomes a crucial part of online marketing,content writing,proper distribution and time to time analysis can make the online business optimized.

  • Hi.SEO is not rocket science,its true .This type of article is more helpful for small business owner and also for seo.on page factors that you have mentioned in the post is also important for page rank.