Simple SEO for Business: Stop Pulling Your Hair Out!

By Erin Gleig, EMG Design

SEO for Arts and Culture Organizations

Planning SEO for business websites doesn't have to be overwhelming

There are several tasks or techniques you should apply when doing SEO for business. In September 2014, there were over 1 billion websites on the Internet. Making your website stand out doesn’t have to be an overwhelming task. First, you should research keywords your target audience would use. Viewers searching for a target phrase or keyword are more likely to be a viable lead. So, how do you find your target audience online? One way is through SEO (search engine optimization). This article reviews some of the technical aspects of SEO for business.

Part of your SEO for business is to provide quality content for your target audience. It’s great for a search engine to find your site, but if your content is not helpful to a real person it’s useless. Provide helpful, good quality content. You will see your viewership increase, especially your returning visitors. In response to providing great content you’ll also lower your bounce rate.

How does a search engine crawl a page? Why is it important?

You may have heard the term ”spider” or ”crawlers” when people talk about SEO. Spiders are robots that scour the Internet, putting webpages in a database. Spiders work through the webpages through links. When a user inputs a search query, the search engines recalls this information and displays its listings.  The list of “answers” or webpages a user receives is ranked according to relevance.

How does a search engine grade relevance and popularity?

Search engines use many factors to calculate where they should list your website. Don’t get too buried in all the algorithms. Create good content that uses best practiced on-page SEO techniques and you will build your audience. It takes time. Stop thinking about the robots going through your webpage and think about the user.


Elements of on-page SEO

  1. Page Name

Page name is the title you give your page when you create it. This is your “<title>” tag in HTML. It defaults as your URL in WordPress and H1 headers, unless you override it. The page name is important because it is the primary tag in your webpage that describes it. As of May 2016, Google changed its title length to 70 characters. They changed mobile search titles to 78 characters. If you go beyond this character length you will see an ellipse in the search query results.

Include your keyword phrase closer to the start of your title.  This shows the user that your content is relevant to what they’re searching for. It will also show up in tabs.

  1. URL

A URL is the web address of your page content. It should be short, keyword rich, and contain no unrecognizable characters. Crawlers can read hyphens and underscores. Make the URL descriptive of the content. Search engines are for the user; content should be relevant. To ensure this, search engines match your keyword-rich URL to your on-page SEO elements. This verifies that your URL reflects what you state your webpage is about.

  1. Headers

Header tags range from H1-H6. H1 is the most important tag because it tells the search engine and viewer what your article is about. Each page should contain one H1 tag that is not duplicated elsewhere on your site. You should include your keyword phrase in your H1 tag. Header tags are hierarchical. The H1 tag contains the most important information. H2-H6, listed in descending order, break up your content. They should be short and not duplicate your H1 tag.

  1. Paragraph Text(Body Text)

Paragraph text or body text should include your keyword several times. This verifies to the search engine that your content reflects what you stated your website was about.

  1. Keywords

Keywords are the words or phrases in your content that make it searchable by search engines. Search engines use keywords to verify your content. When developing your SEO for business strategy, keep these best practices in mind:

    • Don’t keyword stuff. Keyword stuffing is randomly inserting keywords into your content with no context. Search engines will remove your website from their listings.
    • Use your keywords in the first paragraph. Aim for the first sentence.
    • Use focus keywords in a natural manner. Write your sentences like a conversation. This makes them more readable.
    • Choose keywords that are not common. Your competition will be smaller, giving you a better chance of ranking higher.
    • Experiment with keywords. Use keyword search tools.
    • Be open to updating your keywords as the content is active. Changing your keyword strategy can increase your viewership.
    • You’ll be able to see over time which keywords have a higher response rate.
  1. Internal Links

Internal links are any links from one page to another page on that same domain. They can refer to both editorial links within content or your navigation menu. Internal links show search engines that the content you’re providing is important. The benefits of internal links are:

    • Increase the ease of your website by providing suggestions for further reading.
    • Improve your ranking. They provide evidence that your content is relevant.
    • Help search engines crawl your site. Remember those spiders from earlier? Internal links allow your site to index easier.
  1. Link anchor text

Use keywords in your anchor text if possible. This will improve SEO for the same reasons as your keywords in your content.

  1. Images

Image file names should describe the image and use your keyword. Notice a pattern here? “Alt text” should do the same. Provide a detailed keyword description of the image. For example: “Business textbooks for teenagers”, not “books”.

  1. Readability

Writing good content is a craft in itself. Here are some quick pointers to increase the readability of your content:

    • Use sub headers so visitors can skim through the content.
    • Make your content readable to most readers. Use a regular conversational tone in business websites. Aim to write at a grade 8 level.
    • Use lists and short paragraphs.
    • The ideal post is around 1,500 words. You can write longer posts if the subject matter requires it. Longer posts give greater opportunity to show their relevance.
  1. Meta titles and descriptions

The meta description is the snippet that shows up in the search engine results. The ideal length for a meta description is 155 characters. Include your keywords and keep it informative and readable. Keep your keywords close to the beginning of your meta description.

WordPress Business Websites
Plan your SEO strategy before developing your content.

SEO for business websites can increase the visibility of your website. By implementing simple strategies your business website will increase viable leads. Take care when choosing keywords. Do your research. Implement the best practices I mention in this article and you will have a solid SEO strategy for your business website.

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Erin Gleig

Erin Gleig

Erin Gleig builds marketable online identities for Arts, Culture and Non-profit organizations. She is the owner of EMG Design, a digital design studio in Delta, Canada. Connect with Erin at Twitter @designemg.

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