Creating your own small business website can be a scary thing to do. It requires some planning to get it right and make Google sit up and take notice of your site at first glance. Small business website search engine optimization (SEO) is one of the keys, but all too often, astute business people leave the creation of their websites up to a family member or a friend who happens to know something about it. This is strange, for they wouldn't dream of letting the same people build their bricks and mortar store or office.
Of course, getting an expert who fully understands small business SEO to build your website is not likely to come cheap, but it may be the best solution if you are starting out from scratch. However, this article is aimed at those small businesses that already have a website, but are disappointed at how poorly it performs. If you're frustrated because your website appears on page 42 of the Google search results, and no one is visiting your website, here are 7 things you can do to quickly improve your results.
Create an Effective Website Title Tag, Description Meta Tag
The most important part of any website page (in the eyes of the search engines) is the title tag. The title is enclosed between the opening title tag: and the closing title tag: . It is located in the head section of an HTML document, or web page. You should use your page's main keyword in your title. Try to use your main keyword near the beginning of your title, and perhaps again near the end. But always strive to make your title readable, and not obviously keyword stuffed.
Your description tag plays an important role in SEO for your local small business. This tag is used by most of the search engines in their listings, so you need to spend some time getting this right. The description tag looks like this: and it is also found in the head section of your web page.
Something brief such as, "Acme Incorporated, Makers of Blue Widgets," gets the message across, but you could do much better. Try to list benefits rather than features, and use your main keyword in your description as well. Keep your description reasonably brief, but not too short. Something like, "Acme, Inc., Makers of the Strongest, Most Powerful and Affordable Widgets on the Planet" is better.
Like a headline for an ad or sales flyer, your description may take time to develop. Start with a list of all of the benefits your product or service offers and then try to write 20 different descriptions for your site based on those benefits. Test your descriptions by reading them to your customers, employees or others familiar with your business. You'll find out which description resonates most strongly with your potential prospects - and that's good for the search engines and for your sales.
The keywords tag, again found in the head section of your web pages, looks like this: . The keywords you choose for your page are important, because they tell the search engines what should be found on the page. Google and all the other search engines present search results based on relevancy – how relevant your web pages are to the keywords and phrases your prospects are searching for.
Keep your keyword phrases to less than seven and don't repeat the same words. For example, if you have two keyword phrases, which are, "blue widgets" and "bright blue widgets," you should only include unique words after including the first "blue widgets" keyword.
Curious to know what your Title, Description, Meta and Keyword tags currently look like? Here's a simple tip – just go to any page of your website, then click on "View Source" or "View Page Source" from the "View" menu. There you'll be able to see exactly what your tags are telling Google when they crawl your site.
Optimize Your Website Copy
Your website copy consists of the words on every page of your site. Try to make it interesting and informative. One simple way to arrange your articles, or informative pages, is to use a simple three-step format. Begin with an introductory paragraph that tells your visitor what you are going to tell them. Then in the next two or three paragraphs, tell them. Finally, wind up the article by telling them what you just told them.