THE BUSINESS OWNER’S GUIDE TO SEO

If you’re a business owner, there’s one thing you’re likely short on… time. Learning about marketing and proper search engine optimization (SEO) is essential to the success of your business. However, most guides out there are long and complicated. Additionally, they are always far too difficult. That’s why we’re bringing you the business owner’s guide to SEO. It’s quick, simple, and easy to both learn and use. We’ll break down what SEO is, why you need it, and exactly what to do to achieve the best results without contacting any SEO agency.

What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?

Search engine optimization is exactly what it sounds like: making your website and content optimized for search engines like Google. There are billions of websites on the internet. For search engines to find the right ones that users are searching for, they need a way to categorize them easily. Therefore, proper SEO is necessary for search engines to know exactly what your page is about. Think about it like a snapshot of your website or webpage. You tell Google (for example) the most important information about it and it will use that to display your content to the people who are looking for it.
Once the search engine knows what your website is about and how to display it to users, the next thing you’ll need to know is about ranking. If you’re not ranking high in the results, usually on the first or second page, then your efforts may be in vain. Don’t worry though, we are an experienced SEO Company in Florida and we will show you exactly how to get seen by search engines and then how to rank higher with the business owner’s guide to SEO.

Using The Business Owner’s Guide to SEO

This SEO guide was created with business owners in mind. It is built around three specific goals: being easy to use, simple to understand, and exponentially effective. Follow these guidelines to make your website and content more SEO friendly and bring in free, organic traffic from Google, Bing, Yahoo, and more.

Quick Overview

  • Focus on your website first. Make sure it is mobile-friendly, focused on SEO, and ready for search engines.
  • Keyword research. Find the keywords you can benefit from.
  • Writing SEO friendly content. Learn exactly what search engines want.
  • Link Building. A brief overview of how link building helps with ranking.
  • Focusing on user intent. Think about why people are searching for certain keywords.
  • Use free SEO tools. A list of free SEO tools you should be using.
  • Don’t forget about other marketing. SEO is important but so is using email marketing and social media.

Focus on Your Website First

If your website isn’t ready for visitors then all of your efforts will be wasted. It is imperative to make sure your website is mobile-friendly, fast, and SEO optimized. The best place to start is by running your website through Google’s PageSpeed test. This tool will rank your site in terms of speed but also offers other key insights. The best part about this is it will tell you exactly where the problems are and how to fix them. You want to get your PageSpeed as close to the green range as possible. If you are in the red, this will affect your ranking in Google.
Next, make sure your website is optimized as much as it can be in regards to SEO. The title of your website, meta description, and content are all important. Make sure you have a sitemap created and that it has been submitted to Google using the Google Search Console. On your website, there should also be sufficient contact information and links to your social media profiles. When Google ranks your website for search queries, they will check to make sure your website has the proper contact information that is easy to find.

Keyword Research

Before you start any SEO related content, it is essential to complete a thorough keyword research process. There are a number of both free and paid tools to do this. Keyword research is important for your website as a whole and the content you provide. While finding keywords might be easy, finding ones that aren’t highly competitive already can be challenging. Sometimes you have to think out of the box here, though many paid tools provide this type of report for you.
For example, let’s say you’re trying to sell bathing suits online. The keyword ‘bathing suits’ is very common and bigger competitors will likely outrank you for it. Therefore, in a keyword tool, this keyword would display as difficult to rank for. If you’re using a keyword tool that offers metrics for competition, similar keywords that are easier to rank for will be displayed. The keyword ‘bathing suits’ might be hard to rank for, ‘bathing suits online’ might have a medium difficulty, while ‘plus size bathing suits’ might be searched for often but have much less competition.
The goal here is to find keywords for your website and your content that people are searching for but doesn’t have a high level of competition. This can become much easier when you’re writing content for your website. If we continue our bathing suit example, you could then write blog posts about ‘chlorine-resistant bathing suits’ or ‘durable bathing suits’. It’s something that people are searching for but not a lot of websites cover. This will give you the chance to rank higher in search engines and bring more interested visitors to your website.

The goal here is to find keywords for your website and your content that people are searching for but doesn’t have a high level of competition. This can become much easier when you’re writing content for your website. If we continue our bathing suit example, you could then write blog posts about ‘chlorine-resistant bathing suits’ or ‘durable bathing suits’. It’s something that people are searching for but not a lot of websites cover. This will give you the chance to rank higher in search engines and bring more interested visitors to your website.

Writing SEO Friendly Content

Once you have your website ready and your keywords sorted, it’s time to write content. Search engines are very specific in what they look for. By taking the time to organize and deliver your content properly, you are more likely to move up in the ranks much faster. Here is exactly how to write the perfect SEO friendly content.

1. Choose your keyword first and then write around it.

Let’s say you know your topic is going to be about how to repair a cellphone. You’ve done your research and you know it’s easiest to rank for ‘cellphone repair guide’ than it is just ‘cellphone repair’. Now that you know your keyword, you can use it in the content of your writing and the title of your post. It’s also important to note that all content must be original. Duplicate content (such as copying it from other websites) will decrease your ranking.

2. Use your keyword in the title, headings, URL, and body of your text.

Your topic should be immediately clear to the reader. For this to happen, search engines look for the keyword in the title of your post, in headings and subheads (h2, h3, etc.), in the URL or permalink, and the body of your text. It is also important you use the keyword within your first opening paragraph.

For example, if the keyword is ‘cellphone repair guide’ the title of the article could be, “Cellphone Repair Guide: Fix Any Problem Easily”. The keyword should be at the beginning of your title whenever possible. Next, use the keyword in your headings and subheadings (we’ll talk more about that below) such as, “How to Follow this Cellphone Repair Guide”. Then, use the keyword in your URL or permalink. For instance, examplewebsite.com/cellphone-repair-guide. Finally, it’s important to use your keyword in the body of the text but also not overemphasize it. It should flow naturally into the text and not be forced. Remember that content is first and foremost for your reader, create valuable content for readers and search engines will reward it.

3. Use headings and subheadings.

It is important to break up your text into useful sections using headings. H1 is reserved for the title, so only use H2 for important headings and then H3 and H4 for any subheadings. Each section of the text should be no longer than 300 words before it’s broken up by a heading.

4. Include images and alt tags.

It is a good idea for your content to include at least one image or more depending on the length. All images you add to the article should include alt tags that contain your keyword if it is accurate to the photo. The alt tags are for accessibility and describing the image when assistive technologies are being used. Be creative, describe the image, and use wording that is relevant to the topic of your article.

5. Include internal links with meaningful phrases.

Driving traffic to your website is good but if you’re not taking advantage of it, it won’t help. There should be relevant links to your products or services within the content. How you name the links, also known as anchor text, is also important. Never use ‘click here’ or ‘learn more’ as the text for your links. Instead, use descriptive text that explains what you’re linking to. For example, instead of writing, “Click here to learn more about our design courses”. You should write, “We have many design courses for you to choose from”. Search engines use this anchor text so linking the correct words is critical.

6. Make sure your main keyword is included in your Title Tag.

The main topic of your article, which should be your keyword, needs to be immediately apparent to the user. The best way to do this is to include your keyword in the title of your article and the Title Tag via HTML (also called a meta title). If you’re using WordPress, this will be done for you automatically. If you’re not, read more about how to insert Title Tags from Moz.

7. Use a meta description that is written with the user in mind.

A meta description is the little snippet of information you see in search engines under the title. It is a description of what the page is about. It should be no longer than 160 characters, be enticing, and include your keyword for the user’s benefit. While including keywords in the meta description does not directly improve your ranking in Google, search engines will often highlight the keywords which helps draw the user’s attention. Meta descriptions should always be written for the user, and when written well, have been shown to improve click-through rate which can increase your ranking overall.

Link Building

Link building is a complex topic that isn’t easy to master. The idea here is that the more websites that link back to your website the higher that page will rank in search engine results. Think of links to your content as ‘votes’ or endorsement.  To Google and other search engines, this shows that the website has authority in what they are talking about. The more websites that are linking back to yours, the more “popular” it is, and therefore it will rank higher in search results.

However, not all links are created equal. Having links to your website posted all over a bunch of low quality or ‘spammy’ sites can potentially hurt your ranking, or at a very minimum won’t help based on recent algorithm updates. If your content is high quality and useful, you’ll likely start to build links from other websites without much effort but this takes time. One way you can start this process is by writing guest content for other blogs and then linking back to your website. You can also ask bloggers with a lot of traffic to include a link from one of their articles to one of yours that improves the value of the content they have written. The goal is to have content that is worthy of sharing and worth the effort to link to. If what you have to say is providing value to the readers, you will naturally gain backlinks over time as your content is shared, discovered, and shared again.

Focusing on User Intent

You’ve probably heard the term that ‘content is king’, while this may bear weight still, it seems now that user intent is becoming the leader. To put it frankly, Google doesn’t care about your content. They care about the users looking for your content. When someone uses a search engine, they have questions or are looking for something and the search engines want to provide them with high-quality content that provides the right answer.

As Dan Taylor from Search Engine Journal explains, “When we choose target keywords, there is the tendency and appeal to go after those with the highest search volumes, but much more important than the keyword’s search volume is the intent behind it. The content has to not only be relevant but also satisfy the user intent.”

Some keywords are clearer than others on intent. Let’s say a user searching for ‘candles’. Are they looking to buy candles or are they trying to learn about them? The intent isn’t very clear so it’s likely a search engine will give a mix of both results. However, if the search term or keyword is ‘candle making’, it’s more likely the user is looking for information about the topic of how candles are made. This would be a good opportunity for you to offer information about the candle making process while also selling your products. If you don’t offer any relevant value to the user’s search intent, it can hurt your ranking in the long run so make sure the content is aligned with the keywords and intent that you are targeting.

Use Free SEO Tools

There are many paid and free SEO tools out there. Paying for a service can save you time and sometimes even help you make more money. However, when you’re first starting out the last thing you need is another expense. So, here are some of the best free SEO tools you can use.

Best Free SEO Tools:

Free Research Tools

Google
Google Trends
Ahrefs Keyword Generator

Free Website Performance Tools

Google PageSpeed insights
GTmetrix
Pingdom

Free limited SEO audit

SEOptimer
Neil Patel Analyzer

Or reach out to the Camberlion team for a more comprehensive view of your digital presence and in-depth SEO audit.

Don’t Forget About Other Marketing

Optimizing for search (SEO) and ranking well doesn’t stop with your website. It’s also important to market using email and various social media platforms. Proper SEO in things like YouTube videos can also be important. When given the opportunity, use relevant and researched keywords in your social media posts. Pinterest works well for this, too. The more traffic you can bring in from other sources, the better your ranking will be overall.

Use the Business Owner’s Guide to SEO for Success

Proper SEO for your business is essential and doesn’t have to be complicated. Bookmark this page for easy access and come back whenever you’re working on building content. If you follow the business owner’s guide to SEO, you will start to build your path to success.

Leave a Comment