You’ve done the hard work of setting up your small business, now it’s time to let the world know you exist! But what’s next? With all the talk of websites, SEO and marketing, you might be confused on the best way to set everything up. Writing website content is stressful enough without adding “optimizing for Google” to the pile! Luckily, there are a few easy tips that will get you on the right path for SEO, here are 5 to get you started.

BUT FIRST! What is an SEO keyword??

SEO keywords are what people type into search engines, like Google. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, and that simply means making sure Google has enough info – in the appropriate places – to understand what your website is about.

1. Do your SEO and marketing research

Goal: create a list of SEO keywords you can use throughout your website and social media that will bring customers to you. Here’s how:

Take a few minutes and slip into your customer’s shoes. What would you search online to find your company? Think about the problems they have that you can solve. Do a few trial Google searches and pay attention to what suggested search phrases pop up. If you happen to be a cupcake store, a few searches to get you started are, “best cupcakes near me” or “custom cupcakes shop.”

Here are several online keyword research tools to help you narrow in on the best keywords for your small business website. Whatever SEO keywords you find in the tools, always be sure to do a Google search using those words to check what type of content comes up.

Consider the “intent” of the keyword. Someone searching for “homemade strawberry cupcake recipes” is probably not interested in finding a custom cupcake shop near them. They want to find how to make those cupcakes on their own. Your best bet is to find keywords that focus on cupcake shops.

Keep an eye out for SEO keywords that will help you write informative blog posts. If you see that there are several keywords for “best cupcakes for (Easter, kids birthday, delivery),” add those to your list and save the ideas for future blog posts.

Create your SEO keyword list and save it for reference.

2. SEO content writing

High-quality SEO content tells Google and other search engines what your website is about. When someone searches “best cupcakes in Ann Arbor,” Google will see your page titled exactly that, and know that your website is a good match for that search. Whether you’re at the top of the search results depends on many, many factors, but following these best practices gives you a leg up on the competition.

But just what exactly should you write about? Here are a few blog post prompts:

  • Refer to your list of SEO keywords for your blog posts. Pick a phrase and imagine how you would explain it to your customers out loud.
  • Listen to what questions your customers or prospects are asking. Write down those questions and create a blog post to answer them.
  • Read what current trends are happening in your industry and write about how your company is taking part (or not taking part).
  • What updates are happening at your company that your customers would like to hear about? How will they improve your customer’s experience?

Use your SEO keywords in your page title and 2-3 times throughout your content. Using them an excessive amount can get your website penalized for keyword spamming. Using them in white text on a white background is NOT a good idea!

AI generated content is everywhere now. To show Google that your content is quality, written by a real human, include EEAT in every page or blog post:

  • Experience
  • Expertise
  • Authority
  • Trustworthiness

Use AI content generators as a starting point. Always read through anything AI generated to check for inaccuracies and bad advice.

3. Use your SEO keywords in headers

Your page title is one of the most important places to use your SEO keywords. Keep your title short (under 60 characters), descriptive, and use that SEO keyword! For example, the page title for this blog post is “SEO and Marketing: 5 Easy SEO Wins” and the SEO keywords are “SEO and Marketing.” You’ll see that phrase scattered throughout the content.

4. SEO in meta descriptions

The meta description is a short blurb that appears in Google search results and helps people understand what your page is about. It should be 155 characters or less, use your keywords once, and describe what people will gain by reading the page.

Learn how to change your meta description in: Wix or WordPress (using the Yoast plugin).

5. Image Alt Text:

Including Alt Text for each image is vital not just for search engines, but for people using screen readers. If you put text in an image, search engines and people with visual impairments won’t be able to see it at all!

Alt Text is a small snippet that describes the image (“man sitting at kitchen table reading back of cereal box”). Not only is it good SEO practice, it shows that you’ve gone the extra mile for everyone using your website.

Bonus Tip: create a link to another webpage using your keywords. For example, I could include a sentence in my content about portfolio work, using the keywords “graphic design portfolio.” By linking the keywords to my portfolio page, I’ve gotten triple SEO bonus points!

SEO is a long game, it doesn’t bring results overnight. But by consistently adding good, helpful, informative content, you’ll move up search engine rankings and gain more customers.

I’ve learned this tips while working as a marketing manager and website design freelancer. Contact me to help you get the pieces in the right place!