SEO (or Search Engine Optimization) can be really challenging. The thing about it is, the rules associated with good SEO change all the time and success in SEO comes from a living, breathing site that is updated often, receives good traffic and is well-maintained. For most small businesses, that's something that's not feasible. However, it is possible to create an SEO strategy for your website that is easy to execute, maintain and can achieve results. So, let's jump into some small business tips for success and discover the 5 steps for SEO that fits.
1. Set Your Expectations
Your first step is to set your expectations. The fact is, if you're not maintaining your SEO regularly you're not going to see major change in your ranking when it comes to broad terms. However, you can very easily see results when it comes to your business name or specific details associated with your business. For example, if I search "Kirsty Hughan" I am the first result. If I search "digital marketing Nashville" I appear, just after big businesses who also have metadata associated with that term.
2. Get Familiar With Metadata
Metadata? What's that?! Let's get some terms straight to make it easy as you go. SEO: Search Engine Optimization. Metadata: the details associated with your page that a search engine picks up. Metadata refers to details like keywords, terms, information and photos. Metadata is what appears when you do a google search in the results section. It's also what appears when you link to an article on Facebook or other social media platforms.
3. Find Terms that Fit
Start small: think of terms, phrases and keywords you associate with your business. Choose words that describe what you do accurately. Also consider terms that can support your sales process, knowing that when people are searching online they're typically looking for something and you may be able to help achieve it. For me, that may be "marketing," "digital marketing," "copywriting," "Nashville," and, of course, "Kirsty Hughan!"
4. Make those Terms Search Engined Optimized
Once you write down your ideas it's time to make them into terms that support your SEO strategy. Here's how. Go to the Google Adwords Keyword Planner tool (Google Adwords allows you to set up ads that appear when you google something), signing up for an Adwords account if you don't have one. Once you're there, click "Search for new keyword or ad group idea." Type in the one of the terms you came up with. Click "Get Ideas." You'll see Groups first, right above the chart you'll see a tab for "Ad group ideas" and "Keyword ideas." Click "Keyword ideas." Look for keywords that have a Low competition but a High average monthly search. Choose a keyword that fulfills those two things and fits your original term.
5. Implement Your Key Term
Awesome! Now that you've got your term you're done with the hardest part. Now it's just time to write your metadata, if you can, and update your website page copy. Here's how. Your website tool should have an opportunity to write metadata. (If you can't figure out how your website platform allows you to update metadata, just give it a Google. Most web platforms have great online tutorials) Make sure your keyword is in the title of the page (and the name of your site is too, like "Kirsty Hughan | Nashville writer") and in the description. Then make sure it's in a header on your website page itself and in the body of your page two or three times. That's it! Now it's just a matter of watching your performance in Google Analytics and making tweaks as you see fit.