TIPS TRICKS + TOOLS: SEO FOR YOUR SMALL BUSINESS
A few days ago, I had the pleasure of speaking at the Austin Rising Tide Society’s monthly TuesdaysTogether meet-up. Each month this diverse group of local creative entrepreneurs come together to learn from one another. October’s topic? SEO!
Here are a few tips, tricks and tools from my mini presentation:
STEPS FOR SUCCESSFUL SEO
When getting started with SEO the first thing to do is Google your business. Are you in the top search results? Are you even on the first page? If you answer no to either of those questions you have some work to do. But the good news is, a little bit of consistent SEO love can go a long way for your business ranking.
Keywords will be what identifies your business online for search engines. It is important to be thoughtful with your keyword selection.
There are two types of keywords you should focus on when starting the SEO process – Primary and Secondary:
PRIMARY: 1-4 core keywords to describe your business. These words should be used consistently across all your business social channels, about descriptions and meta descriptions. For Social Distillery we selected 4 words that we use in all of our marketing both off and online.
SOCIAL DISTILLERY: Social, Media, Marketing, Austin
For this post let’s assume you own an Austin-based wedding photography business. Primary keywords for your business might be:
YOU: Wedding, Photography, Austin, Texas
SECONDARY: 10-20 keywords and phrases t0 keep in mind when creating content. You won’t use these keywords as often but they will help identify your business within your industry online.
YOU: Bridal, Wedding Styled Shoots, Affordable Austin Wedding Photographers
Scroll down to SEO Tools at the end of this post to find some great free tools that you can use to identify the best keywords for your biz.
Google Crawlers might sound like some creepy computer virus but they are actually Google’s algorithm. These Crawlers scan the web for quality content. In addition to quality, they love finding new content.
Which leads us to our next important SEO point, blogging…
SEO + BLOGGING
Blogging is a very powerful tool for SEO. It keeps your website full of regular quality content and gives your shareable content for your social media accounts.
Here are a few ways to ensure strong SEO from your blog:
- Post at least once every week.
- Aim for 700 words every time. Google favors longer posts, but they aren’t always ideal for your readers. 700 is a good happy medium that will satisfy Google and your loyal followers.
- Format your writing with paragraphs and bulleted lists.
- Make use of blog header options (H1, H2) for titles, subtitles and important words rather than clicking bold.
- Include links to other related articles or your previous blog posts.
- Always set links to Open In New Tab to help with Google’s Time On Site engagement metric. The longer someone stays on your site the more valuable you are to Google.
- Have a good mix of content (photos, videos, gifs, embedded social feeds).
- Be as specific as possible when tagging photos and videos. This helps with the word count, and is also an opportunity to insert valuable keywords.
Just as important as having a quality blog post is having a keyword rich title. Here are a few tips to make your blog score big with SEO:
- Write your Blog title last.
- Peak reader’s interest. Remember, even though you are trying to rank for Google, you still want an engaging title to draw the attention of your audience.
- Include keywords in your title – the closer to the front the better
BEFORE SEO: Our Latest Styled ShootWedding Photography Styled Shoot For The Texas Hill
AFTER SEO: Wedding Photography Styled Shoot For The Texas Hill Country Lovers
Once you’ve carefully crafted your blog title you’ll want to set up an SEO friendly Permalink. Permalinks are the the permanent URLs for a blog post. Fun Fact: There are such things as “ugly” and “pretty” permalinks. SEO prefers the pretty ones. The good news is they can easily be updated in WordPress or most blogging platforms.
Now that you know how to be a successful SEOer I wanted to leave you with a few tools as an added bonus!
- Google AdWords Keyword Planner – Just create a free Google Adwords account and then you can unlock all kinds of great insights about specific keywords. You’ll use this tool to select those important PRIMARY keywords.
- Keyword Tool Pro – Another free and excellent resource to help identify keywords. This tool will also help identify your SECONDARY keyword group.
- Yoast for WordPress – If you use WordPress for your blog you should absolutely download this plugin! Seriously, go do it now! Yoast is one of the best SEO helping tools available and will streamline many of the SEO success tips I’ve mentioned above.