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Are you a small business owner with a basic understanding of Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? Do you want to generate business through Google but aren’t quite sure how to make that happen?
If so, you’ve come to the right place. SEO can be complicated and confusing, but it doesn’t have to be. This blog post will give you an overview of advanced SEO for small business so that you can start moving your business up the Google rankings today.
If you are new to SEO, consider reading through this beginner’s guide to SEO before reading this post.
We’ll start by covering the factors that play a role in on-page SEO. As its name suggests, on-page SEO refers to optimizing text, images, and links on your website to achieve the best ranking possible on the search engine results pages (SERPs).
We’re going to dive into some of the most significant on-page SEO factors and explain why they’re important.
A domain name is the name of a business’ website. Google.com, nike.com, and bankofamerica.com are all examples of domain names.
If your domain name does an excellent job of indicating the industry or field your business operates in, users are more likely to click on your site because they have confidence your site will fulfill their search query.
URL (Universal Resource Locator)
A URL refers to the text that will take a user to a specific webpage. URL’s are a ranking factor for SEO because they help tell Google what a page is about. This is why you should always optimize URLs.
For example, if a food blogger wanted to write a post about their recipe for chocolate chip cookies, he/she should avoid making the URL for their blog post
That URL doesn’t tell Google anything about the subject of the page.
Instead, the blogger should make the URL for the cookie post something like
This URL tells Google what the page is about, allowing it to do a better job of ranking the blog post for the proper keywords.
Title Tag and Meta Description
The title tag consists of the large letters that appear right below the URL of an entry on the SERPs. Google starts to cut off title tags once they reach 55 to 60 characters, so keep your title tags short enough that they don’t get shortened.
The meta description is made up of the sentences directly below the title tag. A meta description aims to elaborate on the title tag, giving users a better idea of a page’s subject. Google limits meta descriptions to 155 to 160 characters.
Title tags and meta descriptions are significant to SEO for two reasons.
First of all, like a URL, the title tag and meta description tell Google the subject or topic of a given webpage. For this reason, include the top keyword (or two) you want your page to rank for in the title tag and meta description.
Secondly, a well-written title tag and meta description will improve the click-through rate and bounce rate of a given page. Google considers both of these factors when ranking pages, so improving them will help your page rank better.
Heading tags are designations such as h1, h2, h3, etc. that are placed in HTML to outline and organize a page or piece of content. Optimizing a page’s heading tags is pretty straightforward.
Start by making sure a page only has a single h1 tag. The h1 tag should clearly state the page’s subject and include one of your main keywords.
From there, start using h2 and h3 tags as appropriate. Never “jump tags” by going from an h2 tag to an h4 tag (or vice versa). Each time a heading tag is used, it should only be one away from the previous tag.
Returning to the example of a food blogger posting about making chocolate chip cookies, the h1 tag for that page could be “Delicious Chocolate Chip Cookies.” An h2 tag might be “Instructions” or “Ingredients”.
Optimizing heading tags will improve your rankings by giving your content a clear outline. Google uses this outline to understand your content and rank it for the proper keywords.
When you add an image to your website, be sure to give it an alt text. Alt-text is a short but specific description of an image that allows Google to “see” and understand images.
Furthermore, the alt text you use in your images could allow your page to rank for Google image searches.
Links are text on your site that point to another URL, whether that’s a URL on your site or a different site. Links that lead to another website are called external links, and links that take a user to another page on the same website are called internal links.
Including links to relevant, authoritative sites in your content can improve its ranking. When you add external links to authoritative pages or sites, Google sees your content as more credible or reliable.
It’s also important to build internal links into your content (links that take users to other pages on your site). Internal links can decrease bounce rate and keep users on your website for an extended period of time.
When people click on a Google search result, they want the page to load instantly. As a result, page speed is a significant factor in a page’s ranking. If you have a slow website, improving your website speed is likely to improve your SEO.
63% of Google’s US searches come from mobile devices. This means your websites must be optimized for the user experience on mobile devices. Because most searches are from mobile devices, Google ranks pages based on the mobile version.
There are many more on-page SEO factors, but these are the most significant. Now, we’ll dive into off-page SEO.
When doing SEO for small business, off-page SEO tends to be less “in your control” than on-page SEO. This is because off-page SEO consists of the factors outside your own site’s pages that influence the SERPs. The largest aspects of off-page SEO are domain authority and backlinks.
Domain authority (DA) is a numerical scale used to classify a website’s reputation or credibility. Domain authority goes from 0 to 100 and is logarithmic. Since DA is logarithmic, increasing a site’s domain authority from 10 to 20 is much easier than increasing it from 40 to 50.
Major brands such as Apple or Nike have websites with domain authorities in the nineties. Sites with a high DA have an easier time ranking for keywords because they’re considered more credible.
If you’re asking yourself, “How can I raise my domain authority?” that’s where backlinks come into play.
Backlinks are links from one website to another website. Backlinks are significant because Google treats them as the “word of mouth” of the internet.
Like how a friend might recommend a local restaurant to you, backlinks are how websites can recommend other websites or pages to their users. When another website links to your website, that can increase the domain authority of your website.
Websites with a higher domain authority are more likely to rank for competitive keywords. This is why building backlinks is an essential part of SEO.
That said, there are two aspects of backlinks, quality, and quantity.
The quality of a backlink is primarily based on the domain authority of the site creating the backlink. A backlink from a website with a domain authority of 80 is much better than a backlink from a site with a domain authority of 30. If a website has more credibility because it has a higher domain authority, so do its backlinks.
The second factor determining the backlink quality is the niche or industry of the site creating the backlink. If you run a catering company, Google doesn’t care if you receive a backlink from a software company. On the other hand, if your catering company received a backlink from an event planner, that would be a high-quality backlink.
You want backlinks from websites in the same niche or a similar industry.
Quantity is just what it sounds like, how many backlinks your website has. Suppose your website has 50 backlinks and another website has 20 backlinks. In that case, there’s a decent chance that your website has a higher domain authority than the other site (assuming the backlinks are of similar quality).
An excellent way to understand this idea is to remember that backlinks are the “word of mouth” of the internet. If one of your friends told you that a burrito restaurant was delicious and ten of your friends told you a fried chicken restaurant was delicious, which restaurant would you be more likely to visit?
Unless you love burritos, you’d probably be more likely to eat at the fried chicken restaurant.
Types of Backlinks
One Way Backlink:
A one-way backlink is a link from another site to your site. This is the most highly valued backlink by Google and other search engines.
A link exchange is when you link to someone’s website, and they link to your website. Trading links can be effective but must be used in moderation as Google’s Webmaster Guidelines prohibit excessive link exchanges.
Optimizing on-page SEO and using backlinks to improve off-page SEO is hard work but pays off in the end. That said, SEO for small business can be overwhelming.
Let the digital marketing experts at Kash Data Technology LLC handle your on-page and off-page SEO so you can get back to running your business.
Kash Data Technology LLC provides a wide range of services to Dallas area small businesses looking to boost their visibility and gain customers. We can help with SEO, Google Analytics, Google Ads, Social Media Marketing, Local Search Marketing, YouTube Optimization, and content writing to clients in Plano, Frisco, Allen, and the surrounding DFW Metroplex. Please contact us by online form or email (firstname.lastname@example.org).
About the Author:
Kendall Horn is a native Texan with a passion for growing small businesses with SEO. When he isn’t writing content, you can probably find him playing hockey at the local ice rink or spending time with family and friends. Check him out on LinkedIn.