Looking for tips on small business SEO?  How about asking a small business that is actually making it work.

Small Business SEO

Yesterday, I read a post about SEO written by Liz Jostes of Eli | Rose Social Media.  Titled 3 SEO Myths to Stop Believing, the article rang true for me and our SEO efforts.

Small businesses generally don’t have lots of money to spend on advertising.  We have to be very clever and determined to keep money in our own pockets.  This post covers a wide variety of topics and could be more appropriately titled “Lessons Learned.”  Eventually, SEO will be covered.  🙂

The first two years we were in business, we spent (what was for us) a considerable amount on advertising.  Maybe it wasn’t focused properly.  Maybe we were just spitting in the wind.  The money spent yielded nothing in return.

I started reading up on SEO.  Probably just enough to be dangerous.  We started getting more contacts, but couldn’t put our fingers on why that was the case.

Website Redesign

By luck or divine intervention, our initial website designer cut us loose.  We had to become more dependent on our own skills and work smarter (not harder).  We connected up with a web designer who focused on key aspects (from his perspective) of a responsive website.  How did we change the website?

  • Removed all the overhead plugins.  We eliminated all the slider programs and grids that were just adding to the slow response of our website.
  • Optimized all product photos.  The designer identified that our photos were too large, which was slowing response time.  He recommended an optimization percentage that should maintain quality of the photos but greatly reduce the physical size.
  • Created a static home page.  The designer came up with a static home page that gives the visitor information without all the overhead.  We have basic photos, new products, and blog posts.  From there, you can select menus and easily navigate around the website.
  • Started focusing efforts on the Yoast SEO Premium plugin.  I had used the plugin on a prior website version.  This time, however, I started to actually understand how it all came together.  Yoast has improved their product to the point where an amateur can do it.

Finding Your Keywords

The Yoast plugin focuses your efforts on coming up with unique keywords.  They congratulate you for never having used a keyword before on the website.  This was a different direction than I originally heard, which was focus on one or two main keywords.  Now, I use keywords in a totally different way.  I “Google” a variety of terms to help me define keywords.  We want to use a variety of keywords to find our products in many types of searches.

Apply Liberally

Yoast also makes sure you use keywords in all the right places.  Yes – apply liberally in each product.  Make sure you use them in your title, snippet, media, and description.  Yoast (and Google) will reward you appropriately.

Google My Business

I’ve learned many things during the five years our business has existed.  Some through sage website experts, others through experience.

  • Consistency – Google really likes to see a website that is updated on a regular basis.  At least 4 times a week, new products are added to our website.  I write a blog post every other week.
  • It’s Alive – Getting established on Google is a struggle when you first start out.  Liz was instrumental in helping us establish a presence.  She walked us through the “Google My Business” maze.  Establishing that you exist by having a post card sent to a physical address is the first step.
  • Google My Business Posts – Within the last six months, we’ve been making a point to update posts.  Google actually reminds you every week to create a new post.  We ignored them when they first started popping up in emails.  We’re assuming that Google likes the fact that we add new content frequently.
  • Social Media – When first starting out, experts advised us to be on all social platforms.  The only social media footprint we currently maintain is  our Instagram and Facebook Business Page.  Everything is heading towards pay to play, and we don’t advertise.  We try to post new content four times a week – some business and some personal.  Again, we don’t see much business generated from social media.  But, we think Google likes a little social media every now and then…

What Does It All Mean?

When you’re starting out, find someone who is focused on small business.  Liz at Eli | Rose Social Media is one of those people.  Her business helps out with a wide range of topics, small business SEO being one of them.  We also lucked out with Teena being assigned to us by our first website developer.  She was a great help during and after our departure from that company.  You can check out her company offerings at  SEO Groundwork.

This may have been a little rambling, and not all small business SEO, but you get the picture.  Know your strengths and weaknesses, and go from there.  Get help when you need it.  Understand how much you are willing to do in the business and website.  It will help you get past frustration in the long haul.