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4 Key SEO Tactics for Every Small Business

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Photo Credit: Augur Marketing via flickr

SEO management is often viewed as a confusing, difficult, and sometimes tedious undertaking by many small business owners. The very essence of SEO is constantly morphing and evolving, which leads some to believe that the application of appropriate SEO efforts will consume far more time and resources than it actually does.

Sure, SEO can be a bit intimidating and complicated at first, but once the white-hat tactics and current best practices are learned through research, it’s really a matter of keeping a finger on the pulse after that. There is simply no need to pour hours upon hours each week into SEO efforts as long as you remain up on current trends and updates. Additionally, with a surplus of information readily available online, any business owner should truly feel well equipped to master this art form.

To help out small business owners everywhere and cut down on the footwork, here are the most crucial SEO tactics to implement so far this year:

Content: It Still Rules the Internet

Don’t expect this fact to change anytime soon for it was nearly a decade ago that Bill Gates coined the phrase, “Content is King”. For a myriad of obvious reasons, this steadfast reality won’t be shifting anytime soon.

The goal here is not to produce keyword-riddled pieces of content that cater to Google-bots as opposed to the audience. Instead seek to produce content that is unique, relevant to the niche, and that provides truly useful information. With that in mind, keywords do still play an important role in content optimization. Google Adwords is a fantastic tool to assist in identifying keywords in any given niche.

Spread content around through various channels for maximum exposure. Start a blog and be active across several social media platforms like Google+, Facebook, and Twitter. Any research information, how-to articles, or anything else that could provide knowledge is your best golden ticket to generating excellent engagement and the clicks needed to increase SEO rankings.

Having trouble generating click-worthy content? Here are some excellent content creation tools to utilize.

Images and Visuals are Key

As of last year, image accompanied content accounted for two thirds of all posts shared on Facebook. These days the digital world is so utterly overflowing with content that without an image, gif, or video, the content is far less likely to be seen or remembered. There needs to be some element of color and allure for a post to draw people’s attention. Additionally, the average attention span for adults is constantly on the decline, so without an exciting visual element the content is highly unlikely to gain the attention of the desired audience.

Incorporate images, videos, slideshows, or whatever else that could potentially draw in clicks and views to the piece. If you are unsure of how to accomplish this feat successfully, here are several design tools to add that creative splash to your creations. But of course, don’t get so obsessed with the look of the content that the actual substance of it suffers.

Responsive Mobile Design is a Must

In 2014, mobile device usage toppled desktop for the first time ever. Nearly half of all searches conducted now go through a mobile device; 48% to be exact. This really gets put into perspective knowing that Google alone processes roughly 1 trillion search queries per year. Furthermore, in an event dubbed “Mobilegeddon” Google just recently altered their algorithms to give responsive, mobile-friendly websites a boost in mobile searches.

It is now extremely imperative that websites employ a mobile counterpart, otherwise, the risk of not showing up in the mobile SERP’s and missing out on half of the potential customers that could be drawn in is a very harsh reality. The reality is that as the years drag on, mobile is increasingly becoming the preferred format for all things digital. Set up a responsive mobile website to remain in the game, and potentially ahead of the curve.

Test, Measure, Modify

This is unequivocally the most important process for business owners to conduct on a regular basis. By monitoring the outcome of SEO efforts, an individual gains a more in-depth look and understanding into which aspects worked well, why they worked well, and which areas are in need of significant improvement. This imperative process will allow for small businesses to refine SEO tactics and to develop the most efficient and effective ways of targeting a specific audience. Google Analytics is an extremely useful and free service that helps maintain a website’s SEO presence and helps business owners to gain a firm grasp on how to optimize a site for increased visibility and overall traffic.

SEO is not your enemy, it is a friend, and a necessary one at that. Once the basic tenets are understood, the rest is fairly smooth sailing. You’ve got all the tools you need to excel at the game of rankings. Just take some time to thoughtfully integrate the key elements, and your business has a chance to truly thrive.

What are other useful SEO tactic for local businesses that were not mentioned here? What changes do you see occurring in the SEO universe in 2015?

About the author

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Tina Courtney

Digital producer, online marketer, community manager, and multi-faceted writer Tina Courtney-Brown has been managing cross-functional teams for online businesses 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, massively multiplayer games, community management, social networks, and project management. Tina is also a certified Reiki practitioner, herbalist, nonprofit director and spiritual counselor. Learn more at her personal website, or find her on Facebook and Google+.

31 Comments

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  • In SMX Sydney Gary Illyes said that “Yet to find out why is that surprising. If a site has great UX but no content users look for, why would they go there”
    So, now content has to be more important in terms of a ranking purpose than UX.

    Also Google has been giving the line to the public that says they have over 200 signals they use as part of their ranking algorithm.

  • خیانت نامردی,اس ام اس خیانت نامردی, اس ,ام اس خیانت جدایی ,اس ام اس خیانت جدایی

  • As a small Web design business just starting out this has really helped me. Thanks for sharing

  • Like others seo options mobile friendly site is very important for SEO ranking. So, it is urgent work for small business owner to work on his site to make it mobile friendly.

  • Hey Tina,

    Nice Tips with key SEO tactics for small businesses. I think one is missing – Link: It still plays crucial role.

    Thanks for share.

  • Tina

    thanks for your excellent article.

    I have not found google analytics very helpful. In fact it mostly confusing. More helpful to monitor progress is to clear your brower historym log out of g mail and search your key word phrase.

    Can you comment on the importance of blogs as an SEO attachment to a web site?

    I have tried numerous things for SEO including (i) backlinks (ii) directory listings (iii) listing articles in news release sites with links back to my web site (iv) and blog articles on my blog.

    The only one that seems to have any effect on ranking is when I list a few articles on my blog at once.

    Blog articles would seem to fall under your content is king section?

    Would you care to comment?

    thanks

  • Hi Tina,
    Publishing great, original content that people feel compelled to share is undoubtedly the most important tactic. Also it’s necessary to stay up to date with the latest whims of the search engines.

  • Just 4 points to keep in mind :

    1. Content is King.

    2. Title tag, meta tags, Alt tags, and Keyword Optimization.

    3. Create Backlinks for the pagerank.

    4. Share updates and unique content to drive traffic and hence increase Alexa Rank of the site.

    And you will start getting results.. 🙂

  • Hey Tina, Thanks for sharing useful information. I agreed with your all the points which you mention above. Infect I’m doing SEO for a couple of websites and following this same point. And yeah one more thing I would like to tell is that you must connect with social media. Cause nowadays people want each and everything on social media. So, you must engage with them.

  • Hello Tine,

    Great SEO tactics you mention in your post. And yeah Create Local Places Pages for business and Online reviews are also most important part of every small business. Cause nowadays people always look for reviews. If your product reviews are positive, then definitely you’ll get benefits to your business.

  • Great article, people need to be up also with the latest change of SEO. Also good back links with high PR will help you to rank ever better.

  • Great tips, but a local business that’s concerned about SEO should also make sure it’s listed in the various online directories, including Google Business, MerchantCircle, YellowPages, etc.

  • What are the best blogs to visit to learn more clear step-by-step tips to get us to know what is coming in the SEO industry? Your thoughts are valuable.

  • The article states Content Still Rules The Internet. I agree but we all know its Good Content that really rocks. This article is a good example of good content. Great Post.

  • Content and visuals are important to keep users on your page after landing on it. You need to create landing pages that keep your visitors on the page and get them to take action. This decreases your bounce rate and increases your rankings.

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