You probably already know the importance of search engine optimization (SEO) for small business websites. You know how that it can help business owners drive the needed traffic to their websites and ultimately bring in some customers, sales, and revenue.
But unfortunately, most small businesses are not investing in SEO.
One study found that 90.63% of webpages get zero traffic from Google. Which means, the majority of small businesses are either ignoring SEO or are not doing it right.
Yet, SEO drives more than 50% of all website traffic.
Why then are small businesses struggling to generate leads when SEO can actually save the day?
Well, it turns out that one major reason is the narrative that SEO is difficult to nail. And this is not entirely far from the truth. Search engine optimization requires some analytical and technical skills to be done effectively.
For instance, if you truly want to succeed with SEO, you have to get acquainted with things like keyword positioning, accelerated mobile page optimization, and even Google BERT.
These are technical stuff that the average small business owner either doesn’t know what they are or what roles they play in making content rank high on the search engines.
This leaves entrepreneurs with the options of either hiring an SEO professional (could be expensive) or leaving SEO out of their to-do list.
But SEO is important. Google alone processes 3.5 to 5.5 billion searches every day, according to Internet Live Stats. That’s a lot of numbers and if you’re not doing SEO, you’re definitely leaving money on the table.
Today, you’re in good company because I’m about to show you some easy-to-follow approaches you can use to do SEO and still get tremendous results.
As an online business expert and SEO content consultant who’s helped several businesses establish their online presence and achieve first page rankings on Google, I’m excited to share with you some of the tactics that I have used over the years.
Let’s get to it:
Start by Finding High-traffic Keywords and Topics
One mistake I find business owners make over and over again is creating content they “feel” people will love and search for on Google. So they *think* up a content idea, assume that their potential customers will love to read it, and then go ahead to create and publish the content.
This approach is never an effective way to rank high in search.
A better approach is to base your content around high-traffic keywords and topics that are relevant to your business.
In other words, don’t just create a blog post because it jumped into your head; instead, do data-driven research first to see what people are interested in, then use the data you find to create your post.
This way, you end up creating content that people are already searching for on the search engines.
The question now is, how do you know these keywords and content that people are interested in?
Well, you’ll simply have to use an SEO tool that suggests proven keywords and topics. There are several tools for this purpose, but for the sake of illustrating my point, I’ll use one that is called Ubersuggest to show how you can generate high-traffic keywords and topics for your SEO campaign.
For clarity, Ubersuggest is a popular SEO tool which focuses more on generating proven keywords. It shows you the amount of searches a keyword receives, suggests other related keywords, and shows user and competitive metrics around the keyword.
It is one of the tools I use most as an SEO content expert and I find that it works great for generating keywords and content ideas. The tool is easy to use, beginner-friendly, and has a free version which in my opinion is good enough for most small business websites.
So here’s how to use it to generate and research keywords and content ideas.
Let’s say you own a restaurant. And you’re trying to decide on a blog post topic that will bring you the most search traffic. Should you write about vegan diet, paleo diet, or keto diet?
What you can do is go to Ubersuggest and enter the terms to see what each keyword packs.
Here’s the result for “vegan diet”:
Here’s the result for “paleo diet”:
And here’s the result for “keto diet”:
You’ll immediately see which of the three has the greatest potential. Ultimately, the keyword with the most search volume is worth writing about (in this case, keto diet).
If you scroll down to the “Keyword Ideas” section, you’ll be able to see other related keywords with their search volumes.
You can strategically add these other suggested keywords to your post to give it more ranking power.
And here’s the interesting thing:
Using a keyword tool like this, there are situations where you may find that a certain keyword has low or zero search interest.
Such keywords are not always worth the effort if your plan is to create content that brings in some search traffic. This is the whole point of not using “your head” to generate content ideas.
Once you’ve generated your high-traffic keywords, it’s time to create your content around that topic. And in creating content that is successful SEO wise, the next point is important.
Follow Google’s Universal Rule for Content
In the SEO landscape, it’s common knowledge that there are over 200 Google ranking signals. These are the factors that Google uses to determine how well to rank each web page for a particular search query.
200+ is a lot of factors and so it is not always easy to follow them all. In fact, you don’t necessarily have to follow them all.
But then, there’s a rule which, if followed, covers for pretty much most of the factors. This is what I like to call Google’s universal rule for content.
And here’s what it is all about:
Google has made it clear that its biggest and most important aim with search is to provide the best possible experience for its users.
This is Google’s ultimate goal — to satisfy the user’s search intent by providing the most relevant content. They want to provide the exact information a searcher is looking for, and do so very quickly.
To rank on Google easily, you’d have to apply this rule. You’d have to focus on creating content that is extremely relevant and valuable to users.
Relevant content is content which pointedly answers user questions as much as possible. It is content with the most accurate information for the searcher’s intent. Don’t just create content, go deeper by answering questions around the topic.
If you follow this rule, your content will almost always have a better chance of ranking in the top page in the long run.
Once your content is ready, it’s time to publish it. But just before you publish it, do this next point.
Have a List of SEO Final Checklist
What I like to do to make my SEO process easy is have a list of what I call “SEO Final Checklist.”
So every time I create content, just before I publish it, I run it through the checklist and check off every item on it for that particular piece of content before publishing it.
This helps me to perform the basic, most important SEO activities necessary for my content to rank. I believe if you do the same with your content, not only will you be sure of always getting your content optimized effectively, you’ll do so in an easy fashion.
Here’s what is in my final checklist:
- Run content through a plagiarism checker to avoid publishing duplicate content that gets penalized by Google and other search engines
- Write a detailed meta description
- Add primary keyword to the title tag
- Remember to include the primary keyword in the URL
- Add the primary keyword in the title tag
- Use the keyword once in the first paragraph or within the first 100 words of the post
- Use the primary keyword in H1, H2 or H3 tags
- Optimize images by adding keywords in the alt tags (I also like to rename my images to be SEO-friendly and add lots of alt text too)
- Add external and internal links to content
This should be your SEO routine just before publishing content. Have it pasted somewhere close to your computer as a printed document or have it in a digital doc in your computer.
To recap, here’s my proven 3-step process for easy and effective SEO for your small business website:
- Instead of just writing content blindly, find relevant keywords and topics with good search traffic potential. A tool like Ubersuggest is both free and easy to use, yet very effective for this purpose
- Follow Google’s core philosophy for content, which is to provide value in your content and make it highly relevant to what the user is looking for
- Have an SEO Checklist pasted somewhere around that you can always run your content through just before publishing it.
If you follow these three easy steps, you will perform better than the majority of your competitors in SEO.