What is SEO and Why CT Small Businesses Need It

This post was contributed by a community member.

If you own a small business and have not put some effort into SEO then you are missing out on lots of potential sales. You want to get a head of the game before your competition (or future competition) beats you to it.

Since every serious business is now online, SEO is not just a nice addition – it`s a necessity. It influences almost every aspect of your business from boosting web traffic and visibility to building your brand and generating high quality leads.

What is SEO?

In short, SEO (Search Engine Optimization) is the practice of optimizing your online presence so you can be found in searches. Google looks at over 200 ranking factors to determine the order and relevance of every website. Many websites do not even make the cut to be listed in the first place! There is a lot of information on this topic so we can save that for a different day and focus on actionable steps you can take right now to improve your ranking.

Things to do right now to boost your rankings

  1. Conduct keyword research. You’ll need to know the keywords people are using to find your products or services. To do this we’ll need to conduct keyword search. There are a variety of tools for this. I prefer using Google’s Keyword Planner. If you are in a highly competitive industry you’ll want to localize and refine your keyword strategy. For instance, you might be a construction company located in Enfield, CT. If you optimize your website for the keyword Construction Company, good luck finding your way to the top of Google because you’ll be competing with every construction company in the United States.  The play here would be to optimize your website for something like “Construction Company Enfield CT” and your 2nd and 3rd keywords could focus on what you specialize in. Of course, it’s not a one size fits all deal so be sure to ask an SEO professional for advice if you are unsure.
  1. Optimize your pages. On-page optimization is the first step to telling Google and other search engines about the content on your page. You’ll want to offer valuable insight about the topic/keyword(s) you are trying to rank for. More on this subject can be found here: https://yoast.com/what-is-onpa…
  2. Answer questions people are asking related to your business. Voice search volume is growing every day. Additionally, Google is favoring websites that provide comprehensive information and that relevant answer questions. Focus on providing solutions rather than sales lingo. Consider a blog writing service to help produce valuable content.
  3. Evaluate your local listings. Are you listed on the top local listing sites such as Google Local, Bing Local, Yelp, Yahoo, Foursqaure, and Patch? You’ll also want to make sure you have business pages set up on all of top social media networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Linkedin, Pinterest, YouTube, and even consider Snapchat (if its relevant to your business). Read more about Social Media Demographics.
  4. Get high quality links. High quality links to your website from other high ranking websites are still one of the best ways to boost your ranking. Here are a few good ways to get high quality links back to your site:
    1. Link-building service
    2. Guest posting (like the one you are reading)
    3. Press release – submit a press release when you have something to announce. Gather a list of local journals, magazines, newspapers, blogs, and any other relevant website that will feature your press release.
    4. Directories
    5. Businesses that you partner with

Additional things to consider

It’s important to do research before seeking out SEO “help”. Bad SEO can actually damage your reputation. For instance, if you pay for lot of links and they happen to come from low quality, spammy websites then Google can actually blacklist your website.

The important takeaway here – ask lots of questions!

I am a designer and certified SEO professional located in Enfield, CT. I am passionate about helping small business with all aspects of digital marketing and always open to a good discussion about SEO!

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