Search engine optimization, backlinking, title tags. If you research on how to improve your website ranking in Google, you might have come across these terms every so often. While these are proven ways to increase your audience reach online, these concepts can be mind-boggling for beginners. You may even come across SEO materials that are designed for big companies with different goals and needs than yours.
What you need are search engine optimization (SEO) techniques which are crafted for smaller establishments. This is how you work with the resources that you have and add to your knowledge as you learn the ropes of doing business online.
Start with these 5 simple SEO tips for beginners:
SEO Tip #1: Maximize Internal Linking
You will read and hear about backlinking as you work to promote your website. While it is ideal to have third-party websites linking to yours to build credibility, it’s just as important to build links internally.
When you create a post, direct the readers to other helpful materials within your site. You can even do a series of posts about a single topic or cross reference your previous blog posts. Help your readers expand their search by promoting other pages in your turf.
When Google detects that readers spend a long time in your website and browse one page after another, your website value adds up. The result? Google will rank your page higher in its results pages.
SEO Tip #2: Invest in Social Engagement
Social media platforms are a gift to small business owners. Now, you won’t need to pay thousands of bucks to advertising agencies to let people know about your company.
Just create a page on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and Pinterest to reach people easily and directly. Because people now spend more time on their mobile phones than watching TV or listening to the radio, you have a better chance of reaching them with social media.
Get a social media VA (Virtual Assistant) to take care of your regular postings, answer messages, and regulate comments. Because Google now considers traffic and activities in social websites for ranking, a proactive and engaging profile will increase your chances in results pages.
SEO Tip #3: Refresh Content
What posts in your social media or blog have gained optimum results? What topics roused the most reactions?
Update your content or draw inspiration from it to create a spin-off. This is a fast and easy way to make sure your posts retain its spot on the top of social feeds. If it’s a blog, it will keep your content up-to-date and relevant.
SEO Tip#4: Mind Your Site Speed
If you’re still building your website, it’s easy to get caught up designing it. That is why you need to watch the widgets, images, and videos that you add. While these may spice up your website, it can also slow it down.
Websites that take a long time to load make visitors frustrated and will likely make them abandon your page. No wonder Google added website speed as a ranking factor for websites.
SEO Tip#5: Get a Responsive Website Theme
Have you seen how your website looks like on mobile phones or tablets? When choosing a website theme or drafting a post, make sure that you select elements that will fluidly fit on any type of screen. You wouldn’t want your killer blog post to go to waste because it doesn’t load properly on a mobile screen.
Remember that people no longer access websites exclusively on computers. In fact, people will most likely come across your website on their smartphones. Recent studies have shown that the majority of web traffic now comes from mobile devices. That’s why Google updated its algorithm so that mobile-adaptable websites rank higher.
As a small business owner, you need to cover the basics and apply practical techniques to improve your website ranking in search engines. These 5 simple SEO tips for beginners are designed to help you do just that.
Catherine vanVonno, the author, is the President and Executive Director of 20Four7VA, a global Virtual Assistant (VA) Service Provider. She holds a doctorate degree in Applied Statistics, Research Design and Program Evaluation from Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University and has over 10 years experience in facilitating evidence-based strategic planning, product development, brand management, legislative communications, and medical policy. She is married and has four children. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.