Internet marketing for many small businesses gets put on the back burner and the “more important” stuff gets shoved up front. But then it catches up with you and you realize your business needs to be found online. The answer everyone is talking about: SEO. But what is that really?
We get calls all the time from small business owners saying, “I need SEO. My business isn’t coming up #1 on Google.” Unfortunately many of these business owners don’t exactly know what they are asking for when they say “I need SEO” and have a hard time asking the right questions to make sure they are getting cost effective SEO services for their small business needs.
One of the most helpful investments a small business owner can make is to take the time to gain a basic understanding of what exactly SEO is and what actions should be taken to optimize your website, your content, and in a sense, your brand. This is valuable information to have as you search to hire an SEO company, partner with a marketing agency, or even add to a current employee’s job description.
This sponsored article on Venturebeat.com "SEO for Small Businesses: Getting Noticed is Easier than You Think," was written by Kim Honjo from Salesforce and gives a great overview of what small businesses need to know about SEO. It also gives a few important tools that are available to everyone and should be utilized.
Kim gives you hope as a small business person that SEO isn’t some magic spell you wave over your website or only something big companies with big checkbooks can afford. Small businesses can get cost effective SEO services when you understand what you need and how to ask the right questions to make sure you are getting what you pay for.
As a small business, SEO can be daunting. You type your products and services into the almighty Google and you see big businesses and national brands in the top slots. You’re standing at the bottom of a steep hill looking up. What are you, as a small business, going to do to compete? You’re going to buckle down and focus on what’s important.
Okay, where should they start? What are the fundamentals to know?
The Google Webmaster Guidelines are a great place to start, and will help you build your website in a way that Google and Bing can easily crawl your website and abstract the information they need to rank your website appropriately. Your HTML should be clean and your site should load as fast as possible. All search engines want to provide their users with the best experience possible. If your site loads slowly or cannot be crawled easily, you will lose points — because if Google can’t retrieve and understand your website, they assume their users can’t either.
You should also provide a proper XML sitemap to clearly define the exact pages that a search engine should be interested in and crawl. This should NOT include URLs that have session IDs or tracking parameters in the URLs. These parameters can create massive content duplication issues and dilute your internal linking and page authority.
Bing and Google both offer a suite of Webmaster Tools that can help you asses these issues and more. Every webmaster should be using these tools from the largest corporate empire to the smallest one-man business on the corner.
Click here to read the rest of this helpful article and get answers to your questions on the benefits of cost effective SEO for your small business.
Since 2002, Half a Bubble Out has been dedicated to providing marketing, advertising and small business consulting that meet the needs of our clients. We specialize in powerfully telling stories through inbound marketing to grow your business filled with more passion and provision. Based in Chico California, we serve clients throughout Northern California and across the country to New York.