The not-so-magic bullet for SEO success

February 15, 2015

Small business owners know that getting website traffic can be a big benefit to their bottom lines.  If you operate an online-only and e-commerce business, it can mean the difference between success or failure. The key to this traffic is SEO, or search engine optimization. While this topic is complex, and mastering it often requires the resources of an SEO consultant, there are a few things any entrepreneur can do to help their website draw more relevant Internet traffic.

  • Use Common Phrases with your keywords : The old tricks of keyword stuffing and link buying don’t work anymore. Google, and other Internet platforms, are on to the system gamers, which is a positive change that stops misleading sites from overpowering relevant ones. Small business owners should use common phrases and words associated with their keywords to be successful in SEO.  Brightedge has developed a tool that allows users to leverage Latent Semantic Index (LSI) which  provides semantically related topics associated with their keywords.
  • Write good content to leverage your customer network: A common phrase in the search engine optimization world is “if you write it, they (your target audience) will come”. Write blogs, articles, and service descriptions with information people can use and keep the sales pitches to an absolute minimum. Link to resources that will be helpful to the customer –preferably to sites with high authority in your industry. For example, a pet care provider can author a blog post about the dangers houseplants can pose to dogs and cats and link to a relevant page on an authoritative site. That content goes on their site and if it is good quality, it will be shared across your customer networks on LinkedIn,Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest and other relevant social networks. Google will recognize this as quality content, raising your website’s page rank. Even if just a handful of people see it, they are the pet care provider’s target customers and each visit has e-commerce value in addition to the SEO improvements.
  • Data is king: Just writing content is not enough. You should have a content strategy. SEO is most successful when people engage with your content. Monitor which articles are being shared and amplified by your customers. Track the engagement rate for each of your content pieces and determine which ones are being consumed more than others. This will allow you to refine your content strategy to better reach your target customers.
  • Be aware of SEO changes. Google regularly posts helpful articles on search trends and SEO best practices and there’s really no better source for search engine optimization. Some of what they share is highly technical, but what entrepreneur won’t be better off with a little more technical know-how? But Google can be very secretive about its algorithm. The Moz blog is a great resource for all the Google algorithm changes like Panda and Penguin that impact the SEO rankings.

There's no quick fix or shortcut to getting Google to notice your website, and most small business owners wouldn’t be able to handle a rush of thousands of website inquiries anyway. Stay abreast of emerging Google changes, write fresh content , and spread your content across social media and your page rank will move in that right direction.