SEO Tips for the Modern Business

Business Owners

SEO Tips for the Modern BusinessEver feel like you’re doing everything you possibly can and you just can’t get your website on that first page of Google? Chances are, there are still some things you’re missing. First, check out my original posts on the items you’ll need to make sure your website has: My Journey Through SEO.

Those all checked off? Take a look at the tips below.

Make Sure Your Site is Ready

Before you go and vastly improve your SEO to bring people to your site, make sure you check off the items below.

Testimonials. Does your site have testimonials? You can do them in a feed or just add them individually, but you should have testimonials prominently displayed on your homepage.

Sell Yourself, not your industry. This is a common problem with beginning businesses. Your goal is not to sell the client on the product per se. For example, if you’re a music teacher, you’re not trying to sell piano lessons. You’re selling yourself as the teacher for piano lessons. Make sure your site’s pages and text reflect that.

Location & CTA. Finally, make sure you’ve added a location for your business (or just city) and a Call To Action near the top of your site. This will give the users a specific immediate thing to do when they get to your site.

Off-Site SEO

There are two types of SEO: on-site and off-site. Off-site search engine optimization is anything that you do off your own site to improve Google’s rankings of your site.

Address & Phone Number. To help your site get to the top on Google, the name, phone number, and address should be the same in every database online. That includes Google Business, Google+, Yahoo, Facebook, and any other place your name shows up. Don’t use synonyms. If your city, like mine, can be referenced either by Santa Clarita or Saugus, pick one and use it everywhere. This matters, people. Far more than you’d think. Google can be easily confused.

Name. Your name should also be the same everywhere. This is really important if you have other people at your address. If they’re also promoting their business, but they’re using your address, Google won’t know who’s right. If you only have one address, see if you can add a “Suite A” or some other identifier to it. If you’re taking over another business, make sure you remove all references to that old business everywhere online.

Trying to figure out where your business is showing up? Just search each item: first your business name, then your address, then your phone number. Do each search separately and keep a list of every page that needs to be corrected. Yes. This is a lot of work.

Databases online. Whatever field you’re in, there’s most likely multiple databases online for that field. For example, if you’re a hardware store in Burbank, find the lists of hardware stores or small business or burbank business. Get creative. If someone put out a list that you can be on, get on that list. These create backlinks, which Google likes – unless they’re from really spammy sites (sites with all ads). As long as they seem legit, go for it.

On-Site SEO

On-site SEO is a bit more common for us to think about. But while you might have dealt with aspects before, there are probably a few things you haven’t done yet.

Site Schema. Site Schema is extra coding within a site that allows search engines to more quickly see where the information is. Wordstream has a great article explaining it a bit more. This one will definitely need to be done by a programmer!

Check 404 errors. When a site’s page isn’t where someone thinks it will be, it comes up as a 404 error. You can check what pages people are trying to find by checking your Google webmaster tools, under Crawl -> Crawl Errors. All those 404 errors should become 301 redirects at the least. You can do this using a WordPress plugin as well. I use one called “Redirection” that I find very useful.

Sitemap.xml. Hopefully you’ve added a sitemap.xml file to your site. Again, in WordPress, all the major SEO plugins will automatically create one of these for you (just make sure you turn it on). However, you’ll want to make sure it’s coming up in Google, so check your Google Webmaster tools again to confirm.

 

Summary

Search Engine Optimization is a huge field. There’s a ton you can do, or continue to do, that will make your site move to the top of the heap. In the process of getting there, make sure you’ve got the checklist below done:

  • Address & Phone Number
  • Name
  • Databases online
  • Site Schema
  • 404 Errors
  • Sitemap.xml

 

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