Savvy small business owners are always looking for ways to improve website traffic. Whether you are selling advertising, running an ecommerce store, or a local service provider, driving traffic and increasing awareness is an ongoing process. So what should time strapped business owners do when they only have 15 minutes? With this premise in mind, we at Ethoseo created three SEO tasks you could do today to increase your online visibility. OK, one minute down, let’s get started. Ready. Set. SEO.
Why are you doing SEO?
First, determine your goals. Sure, this could take a week, month or be ongoing, but for today establish your 5-minute goal. What is it you want to accomplish this afternoon? Once you decide, establish what metric or dimension you’ll use to measure your success.
At Ethoseo, we are constantly looking for new opportunities and trying new things, so one of our mantras here is “test, test, test.” To help reach our marketing goals here at Ethoseo, we have established a good way of testing what works and what doesn’t. One way we accomplish this is by tagging every link and ad (sans AdWords) we run through Googles URL builder. By using the Google URL Builder, we are able to measure the effectiveness of every dollar we spend. Simple, easy and effective.
SEO goals include:
- Buying a product or service
- Submitting a feedback form
- Downloading a whitepaper
- How long a visitor browses your site A.K.A. time on site
- Average page views per visitor
Keyword Research: Questions, Ideas, & Thoughts
Many businesses and SEO’s for that matter use Google’s keyword tool and expect it to produce a complete keyword list. Unfortunately, this approach typically produces a list of keywords that are deep, but not wide. So what’s the difference between a deep keyword list and a wide keyword list? Deep keywords are phases and key terms that only use your base keyword, whereas a wide keyword list takes into account the synonyms, variations, and variability that searchers use when looking for the same product or service. The example below illustrates a wide vs. deep keyword list:
Deep Keyword List for SEO Services
- SEO Services
- SEO Service Company
- SEO Service Firm
- SEO Service Pricing
- SEO Service Cost
Wide Keyword List for SEO Services
- Web Promotion
- Search Engine Marketing
- How to show up in Google?
- Internet Marketing
- Online Advertising
- Web Marketing
- Search Engine Optimization
- Website Ranking
By starting with a wide keyword list, you’re able to weed out high performing keyword sets from low performing keywords. Then once you have found a few that have high conversions, you can go deep and build out these root keywords. Make sense? Good. Now you can start building out your keyword list, but remember, start wide and then go deep.
Titles: What this page is about distilled into 70 characters or less.
Your webpage title is what users and search engines use to determine what your webpage contains. It’s the blue link you click after searching Google. So it stands to reason it’s one of the most important elements on your website.
Using the keyword research techniques we spoke about above, you should craft a unique title that targets a specific search query per page. If you’re unsure of how to check your titles, you can run your web address through our E-rank on-site SEO tool. E-Rank will run an on-page optimization report, allowing you to see if your title is over the 70-character limit used by popular search engines. Search engines also bold sections of the title when they relate to the users search query. An example of this is seen in the search engine results image below.
Another best practice is including your business name or brand. Doing so, allows your business to differentiate itself within the search results, further reinforcing your brand. Lastly, it’s not always essential to use the full 70 characters. Some of the best titles are substantially shorter than 70 characters and some are just over the 70-character limit. So get creative and make yours unique.
Best title tag practices include:
- Use all Title Case or capitalize the first letter of each word.
- Each page should have a unique title
- Keep important keywords close to the beginning
- Use clear and consistent branding
- Think about the emotional impact and call to action.
Things to avoid in your title:
- Adding to many keywords (i.e. keyword stuffing)
- Egregiously exceeding the 70-character limit
So there you have it, three SEO tips any small business owner can do today.
It’s important to note that while this three-step SEO process is designed to improve your website positioning; it is not a replacement for a comprehensive SEO campaign. Small business SEO can seem complex, but with a little effort you can make drastic improvements. Good luck and happy optimizing.
Now it’s your turn.
What do you think provides the best SEO bang for your buck? Do you have a small business SEO tip or suggestion? Have you tried any other on-site SEO reports? Do you use the Google Keyword Tool exclusively for keyword research? Let us know in the comments below, we’d love to hear from you.