Search Engine Optimization practices are practices that any and all website owners can use to make sure that their websites become more visible and are ranked higher on Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs).
There is nothing that website owners want more than to have their websites show up at the top of SERPs as that automatically means more traffic for their websites.
This is especially the case for small business owners who want their e-commerce websites to gain more exposure so that the traffic to their websites and, in turn, sales increase.
There are many, many SEO practices that small business owners can use, some of which are more effective than others. The following are the absolute best Search Engine Optimization practices that small business owners can and definitely should use:
Content is king
“Content is king” – a phrase initially coined by Information Technology pioneer Bill Gates back in the 90s, it is still as valid as it could possibly be. There is no Search Engine Optimization practice in the entirety of the World Wide Web that is more effective (or more fundamental, for that matter) than regularly publishing an abundance of original, intriguing and appealing content. When it comes to Search Engine Optimization, there is absolutely nothing that is more valuable than quality content on a website.
Do not believe that more content means more traffic
In today’s day and age, it is more about the quality of content on a website than the amount as search engines have now been trained by their makers to assess the former rather than the latter when determining page rankings.
Many small business owners, under the impression that publishing more content will draw more traffic to their website, simply start publishing hordes and hordes of content, much of which is only remotely in relevance with the niche of their website and the industry their business is a part of. However, that is the exact opposite of what small business owners should actually be doing.
Instead of rolling out, say, four or five pieces of poorly concocted, almost entirely irrelevant content a day, small business owners should in fact, focus on publishing only one or two pieces of content that are splendidly written up and are bound to interest the members of their target audience. It is not more content that means more traffic – it is quality content that does.
Embrace semantic search
Semantic search is a feature that almost all search engines are equipped with which aims to understand the context and the intent of the user behind every single search in an attempt to improve the accuracy and relevancy of the results provided.
Semantic search is designed to figure out exactly what the searcher wants to see from the words or phrases they have entered into the search box. Small business owners need to first make their peace with the fact that semantic search is here, it works and it is not going away any time soon.
Next, small business owners need to embrace semantic search by focusing less on abruptly placed and often confusing keywords like “rental lofts LA” and more on delivering content of the highest quality and relevancy.
Make your website mobile-friendly
Websites in 2015 get even more traffic from Smartphones and tablets than they do from desktop computers, and understanding the meaning of this fact is one of the best things a small business owner could possibly do.
This basically means that any website that is not mobile-friendly is losing approximately 50% of the traffic that it could be drawing, making turning their website into mobile haven the top priority on every small business owner’s to-do list.
The age of the mobile device has begun, and if small business owners want to see their businesses bloom, they need to make sure that they embrace the dawning age by immediately starting work on a version of their website designed specifically for mobile users.
Meaningless backlinks are no longer effective
Just like it is with content, search engines now look for quality instead of quantity when it comes to backlinks.
The time when website owners could get away with dozens of meaningless backlinks on various websites is no more. In fact, meaningless backlinks are now at risk of being penalized by Google.
If small business owners want to draw traffic to their websites through backlinks, they need to make sure they do it the right way, which is to place a very small number of backlinks with as much relevancy to the content surrounding them as possible.
Ensure that your website is safeguarded against cybercrime
All search engines from the likes of Google to Bing are programmed to rank websites that have all the preventative measures against cybercrime in place higher as oppose to websites that don’t.
Search engines want to make sure that the websites they send their users to are completely safe regardless of whether the user is going to be simply browsing around on the website or entering valuable credentials and making purchases.
All the SEO techniques that a small business owner could possibly use will become worthless if search engines prefer other websites of the same niche over theirs because their website is not completely protected against cybercrime.
One of the best SEO practices that a small business owner could possibly use is to make sure that their website is safeguarded against cybercrime.
Don’t let your web pages run low on visual content
Search engines not only take into account the textual content on a web page but also the visual content that it hosts when determining where to place it on a results page.
In fact, web pages with visual content such as pictures, infographics and videos that closely relates to the textual content on them are ranked much higher on results pages as compared to web pages that are devoid of visual content.
If a small business owner wants to make sure that the only place people see their website is at the very top of SERPs, they need to employ the proper SEO campaign to ensure that they are able to accommodate their traffic with a properly optimized website.