If you don’t have a website set up yet, we highly recommend taking a look at our breakdown of the pros and cons of the top website builders and Content Management Systems (CMSs) before reading this article.
A lot of marketing strategy focuses on how to find and communicate with your target audience.
But what about the other side of the equation – how can you help your target audience find you?
What the heck is SEO?
You may have come across the term Search Engine Optimization (SEO) before. SEO is a technique for making sure that the original content you put up on your website makes it easy for people to find you through search engines.
For example, if you are a hair salon owner offering a colouring treatment unavailable anywhere else in your area, you want to make sure that someone typing the name of that treatment + the name of your area into their search engine sees your salon in the top page of results.
SEO specialists are marketing consultants who are highly trained in understanding the complex algorithms search engines use to sort results and prioritise those which are the best fit.
If this sounds complicated, that’s because it is! But fortunately, if you’re a small business owner using a third-party CMS (like we recommend), this process becomes much simpler.
Four Main SEO Concepts
We’re going to quickly walk through the four main ideas of SEO for small business owners today so you can take some of these strategies and use them in your own content.
- Technical SEO: If you’re a small business using a site like WordPress (as we recommend) for your CMS, you don’t need to worry about this – it primarily deals with how the website is set up.
- On-site SEO: Make sure your site is well-organized and easy to navigate. Use the words you most want associated with your business in page titles (services offered, location, brand etc.).
- Content: Your website content should highlight your services and location, establish your credibility, and position you as an expert customers want to work with. Use the keywords you want associated with your business throughout your content consistently (but in a natural writing voice), and especially in your page titles. Using our hair salon example, we might want to write a blog post or have a page advertising new services – making sure to use the name of the treatment in a header or page title along with the information that you are the only salon offering this service in a given area.
- Off-site authority building: Incorporate links to other websites (within reason), for example, to share a relevant article. Our hair salon owner could, for example, share a write-up about the popularity of the new treatment on offer.
These tips should help you get started and hopefully feel less overwhelmed by SEO.
Remember, think about what your target audience might search for to find you and try to make your website match those words/phrases. That’s a great place to start!