The business gurus have spoken: 2016 will be the year marketing strategies go back to basics. The trend will sweep across industries and will encourage business, both big and small, to revamp their plans: cultivating, simplifying, and strengthening.
Back to basics may mean simple, but it is more complex than meets the eye, that is, if you missed the class in basics to begin with!
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is one of those trends popped up in the last 15 years, something you may not feel very versed in if you are over the age of 30.
So what are the basics of SEO for small businesses? Here we go…
First things first- in or out of house. Is your business at the stage in which you must conduct this task on your own? Do you have someone in-house who can take this on? Or will you need to hire an outside agency? Agencies can be preferable, but expensive.
If you take the task on yourself, these are some basic tips to get you started:
- Take a good, hard look at your website. This is the most basic you can get. Examine user friendliness, conversion rates, technical aspects, and overall look and feel. Then, crack down on content- this is where the bread and butter of SEO lies. Word choice, phrasing, and repletion – These are the fundamentals of content optimization.
- Content is key. Some tips- quality over quantity, length is not important. Frequency is important, along with creativity and uniqueness. Key words- keep it to two or three times in any given piece, don’t overdo it. The content must sound natural and genuine in order to do its job. Do your research to find out what the best keywords are, it’s more formulaic than you might think. Pro tip: utilize Google’s free Keywords tool to get you started.
- Consider your SERPS (Search Engine Ranking Positions). As spelled out, this is where you fall in any given search involving your key words. SERPS are also driven by title and description tags. Title tags describe what your site is about in general, while description tags are more well-worded snippets of what specifically can be found on your pages. Well-written description tags are what can drive up your SERP.
- Note the changes in Off-Page SEO. So far, we have been discussing things that happen ON your website. Off Page refers to link sharing, which experts say is no longer of importance. Avoid purchasing backlinks of any kind and cultivate the links you do incorporate to be relevant. Do not simply throw the widest net, narrow the drop zone to stick to your niche.
- The only good SEO practices are effective SEO practices. They demand a lot of work- stick to the basics and keep your valued time and resources for other marketing tactics this year!