By:
Sean Gowing
March 8, 2021

SEO Basics for Small Business, What you need to know (Updated 2021)

by: Sean Gowing

Every business needs to be on the internet these days, and with that comes a need for search engine optimization. Don’t worry, though! This blog post will give you an intro to what SEO is and how it can help your business succeed. So without further ado, let's get started with some basics about SEO: What is it? Why does my company need it? And how do I know if I'm doing well in this area?

SEO is a confusing animal.  It seems like no matter what you do it’s hard to connect to your potential customers. The challenges with Google’s new mechanics make it hard to find just the right way to drive business to your website. Most small business owners do not have a Master’s Degree from MIT in computer-based learning. So what does this mean for the average small business, outsourcing?

But how do you know that you are getting what you are paying for? This leads us to the first part of this blog post.

Google Analytics

A glimpse at Analytics

A glimpse at Analytics

Google Analytics looks scary but it's intuitive.

If you are not using Google Analytics, you need to be. Google gives you everything you need to know about how you are performing on the internet, for FREE. They will show you where your traffic is coming from and what keywords they are using to get to your website. This can help you by focusing your attention on those keywords to maximize your results from those searches. This will help you increase your return on investment and your conversion rating.

The interface of Google Analytics can look overwhelming, I know it scared me the first time I looked at it too. I looked at the whole window and thought to myself, Oh man, I have to learn all of this!? It was a scary moment for me. But don't be afraid.  You have one of the greatest institutions of learning right at the tips of your fingertips, YouTube. You can simply search "Google Analytics for beginners" and you will get 5000 search results. Look for tutorials on how to use the interface. This is a great way to learn how it all works and where you should invest your time to track your conversions.

This leads to the next part of this post. How to come up with an SEO strategy that works for you.

SEO Strategy

This is another tough topic, because how do you know what will work? How do you know what keywords to pick? It all seems so daunting and frustrating. Have no fear, I have a simple solution for you that will work. Start small and work on refining your strategy. Utilizing your new-found skills watch your Analytics and see what is working and what is not. If you are not seeing the results that you want, make SMALL changes. Don't just delete everything and start over. Adjust small things, like the way things are worded or the way they present themselves. It's a tough work space because Google is ever becoming more complex. There are several practices which you need to know. One of them is Keyword Density. Our friend at WordStream tells us this:

"Keyword density is a foundational concept of search engine optimization. It's important to understand how keyword density works since it can have a direct impact on your site content's visibility in search engine results pages (SERPs) and on the costs of your online marketing campaigns."(1)

A link to the whole article can be found at the bottom. But in other words, you need to understand how many times you can repeat your Keywords that you are trying to rank for. The safe rule is one time per 200 words of copy. So what this means is don't "Keyword Stuff". That would be something along the lines of repeating the targeted keyword over and over again.

Long Keywords

The second item I want to discuss is Long key word use age.  What this means is you write blogs which provide substance to the keywords you are using. It needs to be well written content that is on topic of what you are describing.  This could be a blog post on something like "Top 5 Coffee houses in Santa Maria". If you're a Coffee shop in Santa Maria, your writing topics should reflect on your keywords are you are trying to rank for. Your ultimate goal is to spread your information and create backlinks.

Which is the third part

Backlinks

Backlinks are when someone puts a link on their website to yours. This is one of the most valuable things that you can do on Google. Google, sees domains that have a lot of backlinks from reputable websites as having more authority in their brands. This is a super important part and also the hardest to achieve. Scoring backlinks is an SEO performers unicorn.  It takes a ton of work and some really well written content to achieve. You can do it, it will just take lots of time to find those reputable domains to try and work on back links.

In General

In general, we follow the KISS Methodology.  Keep It Simple Stupid. We follow the simple practice of creating good content that makes consumers want to read it. So yes write Long Tail Keyword Rich Content, Aka Blogs.  When your content is crawled by Google it find the quality content that is long keyword rich. As long as it is clear and well-written. The richer the content the more authority it will lend to you. You will rank better for the specific searches you are focusing your keywords on.

Now all that was scary, but just do what you do best.  Love your products. Now that you have an idea of what SEO Strategy is you can execute it. Remember to see an effective SEO Strategy come to fruition it will take 3 months to see results. Just keep learning and working on it. Within 6 months you could be an SEO powerhouse for your keywords. It just takes time and dedication.

Changes for 2021

In 2021, the SEO game is evolving.  It is not just based on those things above but also on much more. Googles algorithms are constantly getting tweaked to become ever more complex. "In May 2020, Google announced the new algorithm update that will be focused on measuring how users experience the performance of web pages, and that it is set to deploy in 2021."(2)

User experience is going to be King. You need to focus on building quality content that entices a reaction from the users who are consuming it. SO how do you do that. I would focus on just creating quality content. Quality is usually king when it comes to users.

Google AdWords Campaigns

(This is NOT SEO)

So if you want to start driving business to your website based on keywords, you can buy the results from Google.  We have all seen and possibly clicked on paid search results.  They generally are the first 3 responses that come back whenever you search for something. The cost to be placed there can go from .10 cents to $15 dollars. It just depends on how much competition there is for that word group and the geographical area you are buying.

Remember buying these keywords will not help your SEO, it is just a more immediate way to drive results.  In the end, you should be working on both your organic search results and your rich content focused on your long keywords.

Shameless plug time.

If you need help with any of these steps feel free to reach out to us.  We are offering free SEO Audits on websites.  We can help you determine the best keywords for your business and help you spend the right amount of money to get the results you want.  Remember when it comes to SEO it will not score overnight results.  It will take time and hard work to be successful with it.  SocialCatnip has years of experience in the industry and a good understanding of the best case practices that will help you.  This is a brief glimpse at SEO and what it takes to rank.  There is a lot more to it to work effectively.  We are here to help you, just reach out to us.

1 - WordStream Article -https://www.wordstream.com/keyword-density

2- https://huckabuy.com/2020/09/25/2021-google-algorithm-update/= = = = = =