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Published on July 23rd, 2010 | by Janine Popick

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SEO for Small Business – 5 Tips that Will Give You a Bang for NO Bucks!

Alf Brand, our Director of Marcom, has been busy with our Search Engine Optimization (SEO) so we can get ranked higher in the search engine rankings for our keywords. So I asked him to contribute to our readers what he’s been doing to get us higher in the search engine rankings. Here is what he wanted to talk to you about…

You’re busy running your business, you have a website to attract new customers, but with the bagillion other websites out there how are new customers going to find yours?

Why SEO of course! SE What? Search Engine Optimization. For those of you who are new to this or are still not sure what that means, SEO is the practice of tweaking and optimizing various aspects of your website to achieve a higher placement in the search engine results for your specific keywords or phrases.

Here are 5 simple things you can do for absolutely no money to help kick start your SEO and get your site placed up above the competition in the search results.

1. Optimize Your Title and Description Meta Tags the Right Way – It used to be that title and meta tags were two of the few things you could adjust to influence your rankings. Today they are as important as ever and great place to get started. These tags are what will be displayed on the results page when someone searches for you.

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Your title tag and description tags should be different for every page of your site. They should be relevant and descriptive to the content of the page, and shouldn’t be too long – but long enough to describe what your page is about. For example, instead of:

<title>Your Awesome Site</title>

A better Title would be: <title>Your Awesome Site’s Party Supplies – Find the best party supplies online</title>

A great free tool to use while crafting your title and description meta tags is the SEOmofo SERP Snippet Optimization Tool – It’ll give you a live preview of how your listing will look in Google’s search results.

2. Use Search Engine Friendly URLs – Search engines love URLs that make sense. Many website management tools with have a setting to do this automatically. If you can, replace any obscure dynamic and session id URLs with with something more search engine friendly and relevant to the page content.

For example, instead of:
http://yourawesomesite.com/?page_id=2

Use a more meaningful URL, like:
http://yourawesomesite.com/party-supplies

3. A Site Map – There are 2 different site maps you need to be aware of.  One for the search engines, and one for your visitors.

Sitemap.xml. An XML sitemap file written specifically for search engines and lists all of the pages of your site along with additional data about each URL.  You can learn all about but how top build one at sitemaps.org.

You should also make a detailed html site map page that links all of the pertinent pages of your site. This helps your users and search engines find the content more easily. Creating one can be as simple as using an unordered HTML list, then stylize it with CSS like slickmap (http://astuteo.com/slickmap/), and have an instantly eye-catching site map.

4. Use Webmaster Tools – Let the engines do some work for you! Register your site with Google Webmaster Tools and Bing Webmaster Tools. It’s simple, they’re free and the benefits are countless.

By registering with these webmaster tools you’ll get instant recognition that your site is alive and clickin’, gain insight into what each search engine knows about your site, get valuable information on any issues that may need fixing, as well as some other goodies including:

  • Access to which search queries are driving the most traffic
  • Internal and external links pointing to your site
  • Subscriber stats
  • Insights into crawling and indexing activity on the site
  • Access to crawl errors
  • Feedback on sitemaps.xml and robots.txt
  • Sitelinks management
  • HTML suggestions

Do this today if you haven’t already, they’re all free and you’ll be thankful you did.

5. Write Good, Linkable Content – Finally, the best SEO advice you will ever receive is to just write good, interesting content that people will like, find useful, share and link to. In the end, the more people are sharing and linking to your site the more weight it will have with the search engines and higher rankings will soon follow. Those are my five.

Have a 6th you would like to add to this list? Post it to the comments.

© 2010 – 2012, Janine Popick. All rights reserved.

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About the Author

is a contributing author for VerticalResponse.



8 Responses to SEO for Small Business – 5 Tips that Will Give You a Bang for NO Bucks!

  1. Accroding to me content plays a very important role in SEO.Search engines want natural language content. Don’t try to stuff your text with keywords. It won’t work. Search engines look at how many times a term is in your content and if it is abnormally high, will count this against you rather than for you.

  2. Great set of advise here. I’ve been trying to register with Google’s webmaster central and I’m in a bind as of now since it always fails to verify my domain. Grr. Will try the other advise for the meantime.

  3. These tips are very much helpful especially for those small business who are about to start their campaigns with SEO; but always be careful with the keywords and meta tags you are going to use.

  4. Search engines can really help your business generate traffic, leads, and sales but if you are not ranked on the first page, you could be missing out on potential business. SEO software tools give you the advantage of knowing who, where, why, and how a website or a webpage got to be on the first page or in the number one spot in a search engine.

  5. I agree with you there, especially with using webmaster’s tools. I find the webmaster’s tools especially useful at finding out links that seems to be broken. I could add a sixth but it’s not really that important compared to the five stated, having a good decent template also helps attract viewers too…

  6. SEO is really helpful to make a certain site be more visible in Geogle search. But we also need to be aware of the importance of the over-all website presentation so as to attract more potential clients. A good site architecture planning would greatly improve one’s site.

  7. Placing your keywords in the url and title is definitely a big impact. Try researching the keywords that have high value using the Google keyword tool.

  8. Tim Coleman says:

    Good Advice, however be a little careful with number 2. If you are setting up a new site, definitely follow this advice. However, if you go changing the url structure on an existing site, you can have all kinds of trouble. Broken links, lost rankings etc.
    If you must do it… 301 redirect the old to the new.

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