In 2013 search engine optimization continues to be one of the most cost effective ways to get potential customers to your small business website. The methods of taking advantage of SEO services are evolving however and you need to keep up with the best practices in order to build the most trust between your web site and the search engines. This article will act as a guide for small businesses to create the most cost effective and safe campaign. Follow this guide to gain free (also referred to as ‘organic’) web site traffic.
Get Friendly with Social Media
You have probably heard it before but you need to be using social media. Social media has many benefits including direct traffic referrals, building a community and brand awareness. As far as search engine optimization goes, social media is a must. Search engines have caught on to the popularity of social media and therefore placed social signals in their ranking algorithms.
A social signal is when someone interacts with your social media posts or page. Every social media site has a different method for interacting with one another. On Twitter you have hash tags and re-tweets, on Facebook there are ‘likes’, shares and comments. When you post a link to content on your business page directing them to your website and people interact with it – that is a social signal.
Another SEO benefit of social media sites is that there are so many of them. By creating profiles on many of these sites you are connecting your site to them which will increase your authority. One caution however is that all the information on these profiles needs to be exactly the same. The information in input boxes does not need to be identical but should contain the same keywords. All the contact information including your name, address, phone number etc. does need to be identical however. If your competitors are doing this and you are not, that could be enough to put them ahead of you in the search results.
Learn to Link Internally
Internal linking and structure is a big deal that many web site owners have no idea about. You can do everything right but if you do not have proper internal linking on your site, then it could all be for nothing. Linking internally means linking to pages within your own website. The benefit of doing this is that it gives search engines a path to follow in order to find all the pages of your website. If they do not have this path, they may never be able to index the internal pages of your site. This is a method to help a common practice of having a Sitemap.
Also by using keyword anchor text from your home page you can pass along the authority of your home page to your internal pages thus making them easier to rank themselves. The best way to practice this internal link structure is to create a pyramid starting with your homepage. Plan out this pyramid on paper and how you intend to link to the lower pages, then take your plan to your web site and add the links.
Create a Blog and Use it
As a small business owner you are probably not excited to take on another task that needs to be done daily or every other day. However, blogging is one of the most important parts of the cost effectiveness of search engine optimization today.
Most small business seo web sites do not have much content on them because they were not intended to deliver much diverse information. Essentially, they are a larger business card that sits online for most. The idea of a small business web site is to convey the message of the company and contact potential customers. A blog gives you an opportunity to build as much content as you can. The benefit of this is great. First of all you will give search engines more pages to view thus building trust with them. Second you will have an opportunity to update your web site often. Updating your website often will cause search engines to view your website often too. This alone gives you yet another trust factor in the eyes of search engines. A website that is updated often means the owner is interested in the topic and invested in it. Also by updating, you will have a better chance at ranking for topics that are time sensitive.
By following these steps you will be practicing the most cost effective way to get new customers. These tactics are completely safe and will not draw any red flags from search engines. Take the time to practice these SEO tactics and you will be sure to see an increase in free traffic.
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