Small business owners are jacks of all trades. They’re marketers, PR specialists, operations managers, HR reps, accountants and more. Epic multitasking skills aside, entrepreneurs often have to make difficult decisions about which tasks to outsource, which to handle themselves and which to let fall by the wayside.
SEO, or search engine optimization, is a highly effective tool for driving web traffic, gaining new clients and ultimately increasing revenue. Despite its growing necessity in the digital age, it’s often overlooked by smaller businesses.
It can be daunting to learn a new skill like SEO. Even if you’re not a computer science nerd or coding wizard, it’s simple to meet basic SEO best practices and maintain a respectable web presence.
There are a few rules to abide by:
- Everything published on your website must be truthful and original
- Do not stack webpages with keywords that don’t make sense
- Whenever possible, link to outside sources—like your clients’ websites and your own favorite resources—and internal links to other pages on your website
- Let your customers be your guide and ensure your content is always serving them
Keeping these rules in mind, read on for our top tips to optimize your website in an hour a week.
Case Studies or Project Briefs
Consider drafting and publishing case studies to show off your work with past clients. Not only will this give you an opportunity to share your expertise and results with future clients, but it will allow you to link to outside sources (i.e., your clients’ websites). You can also link internally to these case studies on other webpages on your site.
Case studies can be brief, and the great thing about them is that they easily incorporate keywords. Make sure to spend a few minutes detailing your process and quantifiable results. From there, you can adjust the content in your case studies to match the types of services clients most frequently request. Check out a few of our case studies for examples.
Keywords are the words and phrases your customers are searching for through search engines like Google and Bing. You can use keywords to optimize your company’s search results.
Start by making a list of keywords you imagine customers might search. For example, if you’re a restaurant serving Italian food, you might write down phrases like “Pasta dinner,” “Pizza,” “Nashville Italian restaurant,” “Best Italian food near me,” etc. Do not include search terms about any products or services you don’t provide. Keywordtool.io is a completely free resource to help you develop your list. Google Trends is another great tool that will help you determine the most popular searches for your industry.
Once you’ve created your list, comb through your website and adjust verbiage to match the identified phrases exactly. Whenever possible, try to use the full phrase or sentence without being redundant. Make sure you’re only including these words and phrases in places that make sense.
Blog posts are an excellent way to drive traffic back to your website. Try to blog regularly and make sure your content is relevant to your audience. This is a great place to sneak in a few lesser-used keywords and link to outside sources.
Blog posts are also highly shareable. Include blog posts in your e-newsletters, share them on social media and pitch them to trade publications as thought leadership pieces. Blog posts are the gifts that keep on giving!
When your organization receives media attention, share this coverage on your website and link back to the original story by the publication. External links to your website (as are often included in media stories) are widely considered to be the most important source of ranking power for a website. Backlinks can be thought of as signal to search engines that others vouch for your content, hence why they are highly valuable. Always work with your PR team to share major hiring announcements, new client acquisitions and office moves or expansions to capitalize on this SEO tactic.
Remember, quality content is king. The most important thing you can do to boost your SEO is publish unique, authentic and helpful content on your site. Don’t forget to share your blog posts and case studies on LinkedIn and ask employees and colleagues to do the same.
If you’re interested in learning more about SEO, we recommend Moz’s Beginner’s Guide to SEO. This comprehensive online course explains the ins and outs of SEO in great depth but with enough clarity for a beginner to follow along.
Dedicating an hour a week to SEO is a minor time commitment that can yield incredible results. Give it a try and let us know how it goes!