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How To Utilise SEO For Small Businesses

Published on January 8, 2014
Tags: SEO

When it comes to getting your website to the top of the search rankings, SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) is big business. But what if your business is small? Getting to the top of a search engine’s results page (SERP, if you’d like another acronym) can be costly, both in time and money. Large companies usually have the big budgets and numerous staff members in order to do this in-house, but smaller businesses often have neither of these things. So how do you go about it? How do you ensure that your business website stays ahead of your competitors’ pages? Here are a few tips for the small business owner who sees the big picture when it comes to online marketing.

1. Be Aware Of The Rules
Gone are the days when website owners try and get the most amount of links as possible to their site – poor links (especially lots of them) now actually lead to the website getting penalised by Google and other search engines. If you’re going to look into SEO yourself, be aware of what counts as good SEO practise and what are referred to as ‘black hat’ SEO techniques. Along with link farming, this includes using hidden content and stuffing keywords and phrases into both content and meta tags and descriptions. The best way to avoid these and stay on Google’s ‘good website’ list is to go for top quality, original content. This means no duplications, as well as offering the user something unique that they won’t get on other sites. Doing your research into popular keywords related to your business will also save you from being penalised – don’t stuff your page with words, use them sparingly and naturally within your text.

2. Get Social
Social SEO is where you make use of your social media profiles (and the content on them) in order to boost your website. Comments made on Facebook and Twitter will be original (a tick in the ‘good SEO’ box), and as long as you keep your profiles updated, they can help to optimise your site to an impressive degree. Make sure you fill out the ‘About’ sections of your profiles as thoroughly as possible (including the popular keywords from your research), and make sure your contact info is up to date (for local searches).

3. Consider Hiring An Expert
Optimising your site for the search engines is an ongoing process; the rules are constantly changing (especially with search giants Google updating their algorithms and redefining what good SEO practise is every few months) and there’s always something new to learn about getting your page to the top of the results. If you don’t have the staff capacity or the time to figure out SEO for yourself (as is often the case with small businesses), there is the option to hire an external agent to do the work for you. Digital marketing specialists or a online web development company will be able to give you advice on the best course of action for your business, and you may well find that with the results that SEO will give you, it could be the best investment you could make with your marketing budget.

By Chelsey Evans

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