SEO stands for ‘search engine optimization.’ It is the process of optimizing the visibility of a website to get traffic from a search engine’s unpaid results – often referred to as “natural,” “organic,” or “earned” from search engines like Google.

Why should you as a small business owner be concerned about search engine optimization? SEO is good for business visibility and branding. When people search for your products or services, you want to appear as high in the search engine rankings as possible. Google is a very powerful tool for small businesses. If you can get on the first page of Google search, you can guarantee a steady flow of traffic. But how do you get there? Below are eight SEO tips and tricks to help you.

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  1. Start with On-Page SEO
    Make sure you go through your website and optimize your on-page SEO

    • Include keywords on your links.
    • Add keywords to your title tags, meta descriptions, header tags, and alt tags.
    • Make sure all of your links work.
    • Ensure each page has a unique and descriptive title and description.
    • Post content on a regular basis.
    • Check that your website loads properly in different web browsers and screen resolutions.
    • Add social media sharing buttons.
  2. Conduct Keyword Research
    Keyword research is essential to your SEO campaign. The more relevant your keywords are, the more likely you are to reach your target audience. You should include keywords in your URLs, page titles, meta descriptions, header tags and image alt tags. Avoid keyword stuffing, which is using a keyword phrase repeatedly on a page.
    Research what your competitors are doing and what type of keywords they are using on their site.
  1. Google Adwords Keyword Tool
    Use this tool to generate ideas for keywords and see how competitive they are. This tool will extract keyword suggestions based on the content found via the URL you submit.
    Use your site search data for target keywords. Look for the terms that people have entered into your site search box to help identify target keywords. The keywords that people use to search within your website are very likely to be the same words they use on search engines.
    Creating fresh, unique and valuable content is essential for SEO. Google continues to push for quality over quantity and sites that offer visitors valuable content are going to be looked upon more favorably.
  2. Optimize for Mobile
    Today, everyone is constantly communicating and looking for information on their smart phones. Having a mobile-friendly website has become a critical part of having an online presence. According to Google, 94% of people search for local information on their phones. Therefore, Google is focusing heavily on mobile optimization and urges businesses to provide the best mobile experience to consumers. Test your own site using Google’s ‘mobile-friendly’ tool.
  3. Set Up Social Media Pages
    Social media has become an integral part of small business marketing and is a great way to interact with consumers. Make sure to follow these social media SEO tips:

    • Fill in your ‘About’ page with useful information, including keywords, business address and your website link.
    • Post relevant content regularly and incorporate videos and images.
    • Link social media posts back to your website.
  4. Develop a Link Strategy
    • Use a simple, clear URL structure.
    • Share links to your website via Facebook and other social media channels.
    • Include links to your website in email newsletters.
    • Make sure you have a good website-to-website relationship through links.
    • Find out who is linking to you and which pages they are linking to. This will help you find out which content is most valuable.
  5. Create a Google+ Listing
    A Google+ Local Listing is a free and easy way to increase your presence in local search results.
    According to Google, 97% of consumers search for local businesses online. In order to perform well in local search results, it’s critical that you optimize your Google+ Local Listing.
  6. Set Up Google Analytics
    Google Analytics is a free tool, offering you valuable information to help you improve SEO.
    Google Analytics allows you to find out how many people have visited your website, identify which pages and links your visitors click the most, visitor segmentation and much more. Google Analytics provides you valuable website traffic information to help you find tune your website and SEO strategy.