Whether you have been running your own business for a number of years now or are a newcomer to the business world, are you doing everything possible to promote your brand? In many cases, the answer is probably no.
For business owners both big and small, search engine optimization (SEO) should never be overlooked nor taken for granted. When done correctly, SEO can be the difference that makes your business great rather than just average.
If you are new to the SEO game, the first question you will need to ask yourself is do you have the capabilities (either yourself or in-house) to do SEO or should it be outsourced?
Once you have cleared that up, the possibilities are endless.
SEO Can Put You over the Top
Now that you have made the decision to proceed with the SEO company process for business, take the time to understand how it all works when done the right way.
Your SEO game plan should follow along the lines of:
- Hire the best the first time around – In the event you are hiring out for SEO help, do your research. You may automatically think that you need the biggest and most publicized SEO firm to assist you. While bigger is sometimes better, smaller is sometimes more suitable. Make sure you research a number of SEO providers to see which one is the best fit for your operation. And if they tell you that they can change your page rankings overnight, run! Success takes some time and effort, don’t be told otherwise;
- Keyword definition and assignment – As any SEO expert can tell you, it all starts with the keywords. When you write content for your website and/or run the content of guest bloggers who are experts in a given industry, keywords matter all the more. Given that Google and other search engines key in on specific keywords, make sure the ones on your site in any article and other pages of interest are relevant. If you are running a piece on auto insurance, terms like car insurance, cheap auto insurance, auto insurance coverage etc. are certainly applicable. The keywords should be used in sentences that flow naturally, not where they come across as being spam and essentially stuffed into a sentence. Know your keyword density in your text at all times;
- Review keyword success – One of the big errors business owners make when doing SEO is thinking that it is a one-time process. Proper SEO involves reviewing the keywords regularly to see what is and is not working. Face it; some keyword terms are not going to draw a ton of attention. With that in mind, don’t hang on a keyword or keywords for months at a time if they are not gaining traction, therefore have a negative impact on your page rank;
- Follow the entire process – There is much more to SEO than just using a few keywords here and there. SEO also involves things such as optimizing site page titles, meta descriptions and meta keywords. You need to make sure that viewers of your site have access to all pages (meaning nothing is prohibited from viewing), all links work (bad links that provide error messages could lead viewers of your site elsewhere, including over to your competition) and search engine indexing is in order;
- Reputation matters – Lastly, when liking to other sites, make sure the sites are of good value. If you have four outbound links and three of them are bad sites, you’re only hurting your own site. Linking to link farms and other questionable sites can ultimately drive down your site’s page ranking. While a large number of sites garner a page rank of 3, linking up with sites that are 4, 5, 6 and 7 etc. can prove very beneficial to your own site. For those below a 3, they need work.
While there are certainly more tips to SEO, knowing and properly practicing these five can get you off and running.
About the Author: Dave Thomas writes for a variety of websites on topics such as small business and marketing.