Top 10 Search Engine Optimization Tips for Your Small Business
1. Know your keywords and use them consistently in anything and everything!
2. Be careful not to overdo the use of your keywords in your URL. Separate them with hyphens (-), not underscores(_).
3. The H1 heading tag should be used once – and only once – per page. If applicable, use the other heading tags.
4. Be careful how many times you use your exact keyword on a page, especially if you have less than 1000 words of content. Consider the use of the plural of a keyword such “used car” and “used cars” or other related terms like “SEO” and “Search Engine Optimization” instead of your exact keyword.
5. Your META Title is very important, and is what Google will show in the search results (SERPS) when someone does a search. Similarly, your META description will also show there. Make your description compelling, so that a visitor will want to click on YOUR listing – even if you are not in the top position.
6. Bold your keywords in your body content. This helps both human visitors, as well as Google spiders, see what is important “at a glance.”
7. When you link to something, the words that someone clicks on are called “anchor text.” Be careful that not all of your anchor text is the same. Some of it should be your keyword, some of them can contain your keyword, but there is nothing wrong (and it's actually a good thing) if some of your anchor text is just “Click here”.
8. Be sure to define the ALT tag in all of your images. Google doesn't know what the image is unless you tell it. It could be a picture of your logo or one of a kitten, they are both the same to Google. But be careful with your use of keywords. Don't ALT tag an image of a kitten with the keyword “South Jersey plumber” or your site could be penalized eventually.
9. While people don't like to read online, less is no longer more to Google. A page with little or no content can be penalized for having “thin content”. Pages with 500 – 750 – even 1000 words have more value in Google's eyes. For your human visitors, be sure to include enough white space, bullets, and subheadlines to break up the block of content so that it's more readable.
10. Social media has become extremely important for ranking. Google wants to see that your visitors are “engaged” with your site. The more activity your site generates, the better. Even if you don't have any social accounts yourself (and you should!) what I'm talking about here is getting other people to “Like”, tweet, pin – you get the point – your content. By adding new content on a regular basis, you give visitors a reason to come back, and to continually engage with you on their social platforms. That's actually a double win – more traffic, and social proof, means higher rankings (and more traffic)! See how it works?