SEO is one of those topics which small business owners and entrepreneurs understand they need and might even know a bit about, but don’t know where to start. There’s no blaming hem, since many entrepreneurs have restricted marketing budgets and an overflowing schedule. For those looking to benefit from digital marketing, dig into this starter kit and you’re on your way towards that high search rank.
The Google collection
Know your Google
This can’t be stressed enough. Google not only provides you with essential tools for monitoring and improving site ranking, but it’s also at the centre of SEO. Isn’t the goal itself to get your site ranking as high as possible for as many relevant keywords (search terms) as possible?
Prioritise setting up your Google Analytics and Google Search Console dashboards. The free Analytics version will help you track site traffic across sites, apps and more. Whereas, it’s paid successor Google Analytics 360, offers wider testing features (A/B, multivariate or redirect) for those willing to get extra technical once their business is at enterprise level.
Search console allows you to monitor and edit your site’s health (and whether Google’s happy with it). If you find yourself with any one of Google’s penalties or violation, it’s best to address it before you drastically lose traffic.
If your business has a physical location, Google My Business is vital in boosting your local rankings while also providing your customers with useful information such as opening hours and customer reviews.
These tools are Google’s way of giving business owners that beneficial helping hand – validating its ‘SEO king’ title.
The budget gear
Squeeze your value from free tools (apart from Google)
If you’re just getting into SEO, chances are you’re thinking Google’s assortment of free tools will suffice as your business’s SEO foundation.
However, the more you optimise your site and the higher it climbs up those SERPs (Search Engine Results Page), the more difficult it’ll become to keep on climbing. That’s when considerations like link-building strategies come out of hiding and subscriptions become attractive. This isn’t easy for entrepreneurs with budget limits, but free third-party alternatives get you that extra mile.
On-site optimisers: or On-page SEO, involves optimising your site’s pages towards search results. Factors that search engines will look at (meta-data, URL structures and the likes) are addressed by many free-tools like meta-tag generators and URL re-writers.
Monitoring progress: It’s important to stay on top of what’s working for you and what’s not. Generating UTM links and using them for your campaigns will help you analyse the who, what and why of your inbound traffic.
Maintaining the cogs and gears
We all want the perfectly performing SEO machine, driving our pages to those high ranks. This is done by exerting some effort on oiling the cogs and gears, without which the machine gives out. The technical upkeeps of SEO are just as critical.
A Robots.txt is a text file which will instruct search engines how to crawl (look into) your site’s pages and whether they can or cannot be crawled at all.
An XML sitemap is a file that acts as a road map to help Google find your site’s most important pages which will aid with your site’s ranking potential.
The Metadata (title and description) helps search engines understand what the subject and context of the page. Apart from helping your page scale, well-defined meta-data can encourage click-throughs too.
The Heading tags are the headings and subsequent sub-headers of a page ultimately indicate to search engines the content’s nature and the page’s structure.
The Page-speed is the page’s load time and an attributing factor for its rank. Compressing the page’s file size and content will boost the page speed.
Tools are one thing, but ultimately – knowledge is king
Knowledge is a tool, and like all tools its impact is in the hands of the user. You can source the best SEO tools but ultimately; your knowledge of their application will produce the best output.
These are the must-knows, the areas to have pat down before you start exercising this kit’s tools.
Technical concepts: As mentioned above, these are learning necessities in order scale and stay scaled.
Content concepts: Content is king – heard that one before? In SEO, content is compulsory. The higher-quality your content is; the more chances are you’ll keep Google satisfied.
Link concepts: Links can be hard to get, but easy enough to understand. The more high-authority sites link to your site, the higher quality Google will perceive your site to be.
This introductory guide allows you to get a grasp on SEO concepts. Ultimately, it’s how you take on small business SEO tips that determines how high your site ranks.
This article was written by Jay Bedi, a content writer and distributor from Indago Digital. Jay’s work spans from content marketing to entrepreneurship. He is also keenly interested in the Australian & American film industries.