Getting started with the basics of SEO for small business

6 Minutes Read

If you’re a small business or start-up, chances are you’re looking to get some more organic traffic on your website. Are you familiar with Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? If not, you’re about to become familiar with it. SEO is exactly how it sounds, the goal is to help your web page have a higher ranking in Google searches organically. Although sometimes you can get away without spending a single penny, hiring agencies to help with your SEO can be very helpful for your business. Agencies can optimize your SEO content and increase your search volume at the same time - while preventing searchers from thinking your content is spam.

SEO writing is crucial to bring more visitors to your website and ultimately boost your brand awareness, analytics, and customer conversion rate for your business. In this blog we’ll go over a common challenge of SEO, some tips and best practices to excel at it, and how to apply it to your business.

A common challenge with SEO

As we had mentioned before, it’s likely you’re looking to bring some fresh faces to your site to convert those searchers into customers. Setting an seo content strategy in your content writing can do just that. However, the problem is, it’s not as easy as it looks. In fact, it requires a lot of research. Knowing the search intent, your target keywords, and how to write content that's seo-friendly content all make a big impact on your search engine results pages (SERPS). Search engines are always innovating and changing. So, if you feel you're running on the hamster wheel, not able to catch a break, that’s totally normal when you’re first getting the hang of it. 

One of the most common challenges with SEO writing is not knowing how to use keywords on your website or blog. Picture this: when you're searching on Google, you’re typing in keywords so that the best possible website fits show up, right? Now, place yourself on the other end of the spectrum. From your perspective, you want your website to be one of the top sites to show up so that people are more likely to visit it. Make sense? 

Best practices for SEO

Now that you know what Search Engine Optimization is, it’s time to review some best practices. Successful SEO can help you optimize your digital marketing efforts while boosting metrics and your ranking factors.

Do some Keyword Research

The first step to becoming an expert in anything is, of course, research. That’s all there is to this step, because with the right research, you’ll be able to know what words you should use consistently in your content. Knowing the right keywords to focus on won’t just drive traffic to your site, it will help you drive the right traffic - your target audience. Some great SEO tools that make researching keywords and competitor keywords extremely easy are tools like Surfer, SpyFu, and SEMRush. These tools can help you research both primary and secondary keywords that are trending in your industry and also what your competitors are focusing on. Primary keywords are the language you’re going to want to include most frequently on your site. They serve as the target keyword that appears in titles and on the first page of your website. Secondary keywords are not used as frequently, but can show up in your page titles or subheadings, and even within paragraphs. 

Put those keywords into your website and content 

The more you use these keywords you researched - without overdoing it, of course - the more likely your website is going to show up when someone in your target audience searches for them. By using keywords in your title tags (like H1 and H2) as well as within your content, you will increase your page SEO as well as your ranking on search engines like Google and Bing. Starting off by searching potential target keywords before developing your seo content strategy can be a good way to test them out to see what comes up on SERPs. Understanding the search intent - the purpose of an online search, can help you know which search queries and keywords to test.

When incorporating target keywords into your content, the goal is to make the content attractive to the reader. Honing in on long-tail keywords, which are keywords and phrases specific to your content, can help increase your conversion rate and increase your contents attractiveness. Try to put long-tail keywords into each of your paragraphs to increase the chances of your content ranking higher.

It takes some skilled SEO copywriting to beat the algorithm and excel in content marketing. Content length can vary, but in order for Google to deem your page worth the search, you should aim to make  content the right length. On average, the sweet spots are about 2,000 words for long form content, 1,000 words for blog content, and no less than 500-600 words for shorter content pages. It also matters how valuable each piece of content is. Writing high-quality content can be challenging, but it’s worth it in the end. The goal is to get the searcher to your website and leave them feeling satisfied so that they come back for more. We don’t want all that SEO keyword research to go to waste, after all.

Write meta descriptions for your web pages and blogs

We can't stress enough how important a meta description is for SEO. Meta descriptions are brief summaries of the webpage that show up beneath the webpage header in a Google search. They provide snippets about what your content is about. You’re so much more likely to have a higher ranking in search engine results with a meta description than without one. Don't be afraid to not only use your main keyword, but do some keyword stuffing. After all, more keywords in a meta description can boost your metrics and help you beat the algorithm.

When we search our company Krohn Marketing on Google, here’s what shows up: 

The description under the header is the meta description, and in this case, gives you a better idea on who we are. Creating a quality meta description could be the best way to lead to a better user experience too. When creating a meta description, using main keywords that are important to your business in the description can help boost SEO. Try to create a catchy and accurate meta description. You want to include terms that might align with user's search queries. Quality meta descriptions are brief and to the point, include keywords, and have a call to action. 

Use external links & links to your other content

The more you link to relevant external links and links to your other content, such as blog posts or social media, the better. But don’t just link something because you feel like it. That certainly won’t help your SEO. Only link to other content when it’s relevant. Think of it like this: If you were writing content for an article about digital marketing strategies, would it make sense to link to your blog post about the company pet? Probably not the best content strategy - unless he’s the face of your new brand. Use your best judgment to provide links to content that act as an extension of whatever page you’re currently on. 

Using backlinks could be your best friend, and can be the factor that gets your content ranking higher up in search engine results. Backlinks link from one website to another and let me tell you, Google loves this because it believes the content is more reliable. Linking to your product page or services page can help boost your conversion rate too. Plus, a little shameless plug never hurt a business.

Speaking of links, even your url can have keywords included to boost seo. There are lots of platforms that allow you to try out link building to create a tailored url. Try to incorporate links into all your content, including email. Sneaking urls into your email blasts doesn't directly affect seo, but can drive organic traffic to your website and ultimately reduce your bounce rate.

Optimize images & video

A website isn’t meeting its full potential if it’s lacking picture and video content. If you’ve got some quality images and video footage on your social media platforms such as Facebook or Twitter already, you can use them to your advantage to bring more organic traffic to your site. Why spend extra time researching topic ideas for new content when you have perfectly great content you can rework! You can even create infographics when linking to blog posts to show the reader some key takeaways from the post.

Search engines favor when you use alt tags on your images too. Alt tags are an HTML tactic that provide a text alternative that describes your image or video. When writing your alt tag, be sure it’s short and descriptive, use few key words, and don’t use language like “image of” or “picture of” in your description. A good alt tag for a picture of a middle-aged woman on a boat looking at the camera would be “middle-aged woman on a boat looking at the camera” rather than “picture of woman on a boat”. By utilizing these, you’re communicating to the search engine what that image is, which, if done well, will move your page to the top of image search results.

Applying the basics of SEO to your business

Are you feeling more comfortable with SEO now? Let’s figure out the right way to approach it to help your small business or start-up meet its goals. As marketers, we know that the secret to it is that there is no real secret. Do your research and create quality content that fits your business so customers will keep coming back for more. This will optimize your site visibility and boost SEO. 

In order to be successful with SEO, make sure you understand your brand purpose as well as establish a consistent marketing strategy. No one knows your business better than you, so map out clear goals you hope to achieve and take a step-by-step approach to ensure you cover all the bases to master SEO.

Now that you know more about creating seo-friendly content, some best practices, and how to apply it to your business, it’s time to get started! Remember, it’s okay to try out different main keywords and strategies until you find what works best for you. After all, it’s not a one size fits all ordeal. 

While SEO writing may seem easy, we understand ‌it isn’t. Which is why we are making ourselves available to assist you in your Search Engine Optimization journey. If you’d like some help to take the first or even second or third steps, please contact us to set up your discovery call today. We’d be happy to assist you in creating an SEO content strategy that will set you and the site of your start-up or small business up for success.

Picture of Stephanie Milne

Stephanie Milne

Stephanie is a digital marketer passionate about storytelling and content creation.