The phrase “Search Engine Optimization,” or SEO, causes fear and anxiety in many small business owners who worry that they don’t have the knowledge or the resources to be competitive. However, aside from Google’s army of PhDs, no one has all of the answers related to SEO, so there’s no reason to stress out.
Whether you’re starting a business and creating a website, or trying to reconfigure an existing business website, these simple tips on keywords can help any small business achieve maximum SEO effectiveness.
Identify Popular Keywords
Regardless of how good a product or service is, using obscure keywords that no one is looking for will not help improve the website’s ranking. Use Google Keyword Tool or SEO Book to discover what consumers are buying and having conversations about, and incorporate these types of keywords.
Use Relevant Keywords
Select 10 to 15 relevant keywords or keyword phrases that will be used throughout the website. Avoid the temptation to use too many keywords, since this can dilute the site’s search word effectiveness. Vary the10 to 15 relevant keywords to create unique titles for each website page. For maximum search results, be sure to place the keywords in the first few words of the title.
Try to make the keywords as specific as possible. For example, when searching for companies that repair appliances, most people are looking for their specific appliance and brand. Therefore, either “GE refrigerator repair” or “Bosch dishwasher repair” would be a better keyword phrase than “appliance repair.”
Put keywords in your domain name as well as in your folders and page titles for maximum effectiveness. For example, http://www.domainname.com/appliances/frigidaire.html will help consumers looking for appliances in general, and also Frigidaire appliances in particular.
Put your meta descriptions to good use since they are used in extended site links by Google and as default descriptions for Facebook and Google+ links. For example, “we sell and service all major appliances such as Whirlpool, Kenmore, Frigidaire, GE and Maytag.”
Use local keywords since many consumers are searching for products and services close by. Specific phrases like “Samsung refrigerator repair in Atlanta” will receive a better ranking than “Samsung refrigerator repair.” In addition, place your business in Google Places, and then make sure that the address and phone number of the business are included on your site.
Encourage customers to write reviews of your business on local business review sites since search engines like such things as business reviews, comments, retweets, and “likes.”
Create Quality Content
Resist the temptation to create bogus content to increase traffic to the website. Using phrases like, “You can earn $1,000,000,” followed by “now that I have your attention. . .” is a bad idea. Likewise, forcing keywords is not advisable. For example, “for your refrigerator repair and website design needs. . .” is a blatant misuse of keywords. While these tactics may attract traffic to the website, visitors will quickly click off of your website page.
Terri Williams writes business book summaries for EBSCO Publishing. She is also a writer for the Center for Digital Ethics and Policy at Loyola University Chicago.