Planning your small business SEO so your website can be visible on Google.
On-page SEO for a small business owner can be a frustrating experience if computers aren’t your thing. Learning the technical terms like SEO, organic searches, and schema—what? You want your website seen by users who need your services. In this article I will explain the top 5 on-page SEO aspects you should have on your website to rank well on Google.
First, some terminology.
I’m assuming you know nothing about SEO. Here are some terms I use in this article so I don’t lose you.
Search Engine: A massive directory of websites catalogued according to subjects. Google, Bing! and Yahoo are the leading search engines in North America.
Rank: Where you are listed in a search engine’s directory.
Search query: What a user puts in a search engine to find what they are looking for.
Keywords: Words a user puts in a search query to find information. Keywords are scanned by robots (spiders) that put your webpage in search engines. Your webpage has keywords so it can be listed in search engines correctly.
Why is on-page SEO important? Without on-page SEO your website will not rank well on search engines. In plain English, no one will be able to find your website on Google. The only way people will land on your webpage will be from a direct link.
1. Keywords targeting your ideal client.
Keywords define what your content is about. They are the search queries a user puts into a search engine such as Google to find information. Search engines know where to put your webpage by the keywords you define. Keywords can be “short-tail” (words of 3 words or fewer) or “long-tail” (keywords or phrases of more than 3 words). Generally, long-tail keywords are more specific than short-tail keywords. It is best to have a mix of both in each content item.
To rank well with organic (non-paid) on-page SEO you need to use keywords that your audience would use. This is why it is important to do keyword research. Use language that your ideal client would use. The internet is for humans, not robots. You’ll get poor results if you don’t use keywords that reflect your clients’ thinking.
How do you research your keywords? There are several tools available to research keywords. Google Ad Keyword Planner, Wordtracker, and Moz Keyword Software are among the most popular. These platforms will give you volume estimates for your intended keyword. Use keywords that have a low or medium volume because a high volume is too competitive. Ranking well with a competitive keyword is very difficult. Use keywords in your title, URL, meta description, first 100 words of your article, closing paragraph, and sprinkled throughout your article. This tells search engines that your article is about the content you said it was about.
In your own search queries, do you ever see recipes with photos or videos that have excerpts below? These webpages are using schema to give a richer experience to their user. By using microdata, Google is able to understand what your content is. It enables special features and enhancements in displaying your webpage. Your webpage looks better in search results with images, star ratings, and other features and puts you higher in search results. This will improve your traffic from organic search. Best part—it’s free! Schema is available to anyone who wants to improve the quality of their webpages in search results. You do need to understand the coding or classification of schema, but there are online generators and plugins that you can use to generate schema without understanding code. Providing content that is relevant to a user’s query gives the audience a more satisfying experience. To generate your own code, you can use Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper. After you’ve added schema, be sure to test it using the Structured Data Testing Tool. This tool will let you know if you have any errors to correct.
If you have a local business, video, review or article on your webpage you should be using schema. Many people are visual learners. By adding visual content to your search listing you’ll increase the likelihood that people will want to visit your website.
Schema is important because it improves search ranking and can be voice search. Voice search is fast becoming more popular with devices like Google Home and Amazon Echo. By using schema you will be ahead in the curve because your website will be accessible to voice search.
3. Post long content.
Longer posts rank better in search results. I’m talking 1000 words or more. 300 words is the suggested minimum by SEO experts. But remember, people are reading your article, not robots. If you are not a strong writer or can say your piece in 700 words then that’s fine. The last thing you want is to include a bunch of fluff. This decreases the value of your content and loses the trust of your reader. Weak articles will not rank well in search results because they make for a bad user experience.
4. Add Multimedia!
Video and images are becoming more popular in search. Video is a great way to engage your community because it is a shared experience. It will improve your on-page SEO. By using video you can put a great amount of information in a small amount of time. Not only does video boost conversion rates, but it boosts your search ranking. Make sure you’re telling search engines that you have video on your webpage using schema (there it is again!). Videos are a great tool to use for persuasive storytelling on your webpage. By adding a story with emotion your video will have a greater impact on your audience.
Here are some guidelines to increase the visibility of your website videos:
5. Have a mix of internal and external links.
Having a mix of internal and external links is better explained if you understand how search engines work. Google is a business. They and other search engines want the user to find what they are looking for. This makes for a happy user. External links lead outside of your website. By having external links you are telling Google that these are relevant webpages to your website. This is useful information for Google to supply a happy experience to its user. Internal links help and encourage a user to navigate your website. They also help establish an information hierarchy for the given website.
Best practices with on-page SEO help you rank your business website well. SEO is a large subject. On-page SEO is one part of search engine optimization. Your web developer will be able to assist you with the technical needs to get your website to rank well. Off-page SEO practices such as backlinks will also improve your rank.
How has your experience with planning your own business’ on-page SEO strategy been? Has this article been helpful for you? Comment below.
I invite you to work with me to design and develop your small business website. My service page details my offerings. I would love to discuss your project with you.