Estimated reading time: 8 minutes
SEO Tips for Small Businesses
SEO tips are rampant because websites and search engine optimization are never-ending journeys. However, there are some tips out there that you should consider before you go and further optimize a site.
No matter what, there’s a lot to consider when trying to optimize. You have to make sure to NOT over-optimize, check that image dimensions match your theme’s rules, create content while keeping tons of other things in mind, do keyword research, and so on!
So where do you begin with website optimization?
Well, every business is different, especially when it comes to SEO. Plus, if you have a website, you’ve probably optimized it at some point (or without even knowing.)
In response, I put together the below seven tips to consider before you start optimizing. (Pssst: Don’t forget to check out the accompanying infographic at the end of the post!)
First, a few SEO and website optimization questions to ask yourself
Are you working on an already established site or creating one?
If you already have a site, are you the original designer, or did someone else build it?
Are you just beginning to add SEO to posts/pages?
Do you know how to utilize conversion optimization strategies?
Not sure if your SEO is implemented and working?
If you find that you answer yes to most of the questions, don’t fret!
It’s common for small (or even larger) businesses to encounter tons of limitations and various roadblocks around every corner.
Find some calm in the chaos.
If you’re taking over an established website (that someone else created), things can be a bit more complicated. However, it’s possible to figure out where they left off.
Side Note: if you’re having A LOT of trouble figuring out where the last webmaster left off, go to the website’s history and look through it. If it has been a while since an update occurred, continue to the below list. However, if the changes are more code-based, don’t change anything if you don’t know how to code. You’ll most likely need to seek advice from an expert.
Keep reading the below tips to find a starting point.
7 SEO Tips to Consider Before Optimizing a Website:
1. Mobile Optimization
Most WordPress and other Content Management Systems (CMS) themes are mobile-compatible (as of late 2015). However, not all theme developers guarantee a mobile responsive layout.
If you find yourself in this situation and aren’t familiar with programming, ditch the theme and go with one that’s already mobile-friendly. Really! We all know navigating websites that don’t get appropriately configured is frustrating!
Using a CMS like WordPress or WIX, you can check if a theme is mobile-friendly. For example, on WordPress, if they aren’t, it’ll display a standard vs. mobile WordPress theme.
WIX’s mobile-friendly on/off switch might require you to do some editing to get the view just right. No matter what, it’s much easier than learning HTML5 and CSS3!
2. Compress Those Images!
Compressing images helps to lower the amount of data used on your site. It also helps with page load time. The more data on your website = the longer it takes for pages/photos to load. To add, site speed is a Google site ranking factor.
Here’s a helpful WordPress plugin for compressing images: Smush Image Compression and Optimization By WPMU DEV(no, not an advertisement). The plugin lowers the data size of images while maintaining quality. It can also compress up to 50 images at a time!
3. Verify, Verify, Verify!
Are search engines crawling your website yet? To find out, search your company on the different search engines in the following way — site:(your business URL). If your site doesn’t show as the FIRST result, it probably isn’t. For a search engine to initially find your site, it needs to be indexed first. To help speed that up, sign up for Bing Webmaster Tools and Google Search Console. With these tools, you can request your website to be indexed.
If your site still isn’t found, check the settings on each page and post to ensure they get set to “index” and “follow.” Unfortunately, search engines won’t index pages set to “no-index” and “no-follow.”
Once a search engine crawls a site, then they store the info. Over time, search algorithms match your site with keywords, search terms, etc. The result = they make your site easier to find. SEO’s ultimate goal is to show up on the 1st page of search engines based on keywords relating to your industry, not only your website name. If someone leaves a review or has a question about your company on, say, Google, you can only respond if your site is indexed/verified. As we know, replying is imperative (and so are response times)! Have you read reviews or questions about services but never seen the business reply? No good.
4. Image Dimensions and Your Website Theme
Consider a couple of things before putting images onto your site. First, remember that picture size (image dimensions) IS essential! Websites, social media, and everywhere else in between have sizing guidelines. Perfectly sized images are clear, have zero pixelation, and are ENTIRELY viewable. For example, if a larger picture gets added to a space with a smaller set dimension, you’ll usually still be able to load the image. However, part of the picture may be cut off/not entirely viewable.
So how do you find the perfect image size(s)? WordPress themes provide you with any recommended dimensions. The same goes for each social network. However, you’ll sometimes have to research to find them, but they’re out there (usually in the FAQ or help section)!
You can also investigate other websites by viewing image info. For example, if you’re using Google Chrome, right-click (while on the site) and select “inspect.” Then, use the selector to highlight the image to see the dimensions. Easy peasy!
Quick Tip: There are some helpful image sizing guidelines out there. Rebekah Radice has a fantastic guide to social media image sizes.
ANOTHER TIP: don’t forget to add “SEO” to site images! Using a plugin like Yoast SEO helps clarify what’s needed, saving tons of time! There are also tools provided through Google Search Console tools and Bing Webmaster tools.
5. Start a blog!
Blogs are an excellent way to show off your expertise. Plus, they help followers relate to your business and vice versa!
If customers understand what you’re all about and what you offer, and you can teach them a thing or two along the way, it’s a win-win!
Consistency is super important when it comes to blogging! Therefore, it’s vital to establish a posting schedule right off the bat and follow it like a map!
Increase your blog’s visibility with SEO
This is where SEO comes into play! As mentioned above, an excellent WordPress plugin for this is Yoast. They offer tons of neat SEO tips too!
6. Use forums to reach out for insight and networking
Talk to others who work in your field! You don’t have to discuss that super-duper-ultimate-5000 secret business plan or things like that. Just do a little research and find other blogs, forums, or groups related to your biz.
Once you find a few, participate in conversations!
If you’re having trouble finding a topic to discuss, that’s not necessarily bad! Create a new discussion.
Chances are, someone somewhere is probably wondering the same thing! Plus, it’ll possibly give you some new content ideas and get your name out there even more!
7. Local SEO Tips and Considerations
So it’s possible to appear near the top of search engines in your locale?
Sure is! Local SEO takes research, time, and testing to get things fine-tuned, but keep at it!
Local SEO tips:
- Make your phone number visible.
- Ensure that contact pages get filled out entirely
- In the footer of each page, include your contact info
- Only have ONE website address for your business (create different pages for different locations)
Until Next Time!
So there you have a few ways to optimize SEO, your website moving forward, and get your name out there even more!
Need more SEO tips? Check out these posts!:
- The different types of SEO and how to use them
- Easy Ways to Optimize SEO
- How content delivery networks help websites
- Top SEO Myths to Avoid
- How (buying) followers and backlinks hurt websites
- What is a web host?
In the meantime, stay tuned for additional UGH! Media blog posts!
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Check out the below infographic!