SEO Basics: What Every Business Owner Should Know

Jan 1, 2021

What Every Business Owner Should Know About Website SEO

Modern businesses rely on the internet to drive traffic to their websites. To do this well, you need an SEO (search engine optimization) strategy. Ranking high in search results on Google or other search engines is imperative in the digital world. To get small businesses up to date, we’re sharing SEO basics you need to know.

What Is SEO?

To begin with SEO basics, we should define what it is. SEO is the process of optimizing online content based on specific keywords that will improve your position in results when a searcher uses that keyword.

How Does SEO Work?

SEO works differently depending on the search engine. Most businesses and searchers favor Google. Statista reports that Google has an 86.86% market share. Thus, you’ll want to focus your SEO efforts there.

Google “crawls” websites to understand the information and context of a web page. The crawler then returns this data to build an index. The index then goes through an algorithm, which attempts to match all the data to queries. Algorithms aren’t exactly transparent, and many factors impact them, including:

  • On-page elements (keyword usage, content length, readability, uniqueness, and page speed)
  • Technical elements (meta title and meta descriptions that are the right character count and include the keyword and alt text for images)
  • Off-page elements (backlinks from one website back to yours and the domain authority of those referring websites and social media metrics, such as shares of the content and engagement of posts)

Why SEO Matters

Small business SEO is critical to getting found online. Buyers, either consumers or B2B, often start searching for a product or solution on Google. For consumers, 24% begin their search there. For B2B, it’s even greater at 71%, and the use of Google searches accelerated in 2020 due to the pandemic.

If you aren’t focusing on the three areas of SEO described above, likely, you’re not going to gain the visibility online that you expect. Small business SEO is a long-term strategy; meaning results don’t happen overnight. Rather, it requires a concerted and consistent effort to develop content that is the best answer on the internet to a searcher’s query.

Small Business SEO Best Practices

Building your SEO basics knowledge requires understanding best practices. Here are a few that should be a priority:

  • Responsive websites: Google will ding you on SEO if your website isn’t responsive, meaning it automatically scales no matter the device.
  • Secure websites: Your website should be HTTPS to signify it’s safe.
  • Appropriate keyword density: Keyword stuffing isn’t a proper strategy, and Google will penalize you for it. The most important thing is for the keyword to be in the title and first paragraph. Depending on the length, you should then use it a few more times, not to exceed 2%.
  • Publishing fresh content: Google appreciates websites that regularly post new content. If you aren’t currently blogging, you should certainly start.
  • Inclusion of geo-specific keywords: Most small businesses are local, so to ensure feature placement when searchers seek location-specific results, you need to optimize with cities, states, or zip codes.

SEO Is Complex, Let Experts Support You

These SEO basics are just the beginning. It can be very complex and time-consuming for small businesses. That’s why you should partner with experts like AQ Marketing. Get in touch today to talk about SEO for your website.

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