It’s been a while since we’ve covered a few search ranking factors for boosting one’s website search results across major search engines.
Well, today we’re going to address the top 20 SEO tips that website owners can implement and execute to ensure that their website’s search rankings remain highly visible or boost your way into page one search rankings across major search engines.
Without further ado, here are my top 20 SEO tips for small business to boost its website’s search rankings.
1. Include a regularly updated blog with high-quality content
Including a blog as a part of your website’s business strategy is only scratching the surface in regards to SEO and boosting your website search rankings. More importantly, you want an up to date blog that aims to inform, educate and engage potential and existing customers. Search engines love blogs containing high-quality content that is organically linked and shared throughout the Internet by real people. Including a blog with a sound and consistent content marketing strategy will provide your website an SEO advantage over competitors without blogs.
2. Include social media interactive buttons
One of the main ways to generate greater buzz, more traffic and greater search ranking visibility is to add social media interactive buttons to your website pages or blog posts. If you’re using a content management system (CMS) such as WordPress, Joomla or Drupal, there are available plugins, both paid and non-paid, that will allow for you to make your website pages and blog posts easily shared popular social media networking sites such as Facebook, Google, LinkedIn and Twitter to name a few.
3. Include web analytics to measure SEO effectiveness
One of the main things that most small business owners forget to do when they venture into SEO is to measure their website’s progress and overall SEO effectiveness. Tools such as Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics are free tools that supply key performance indicators for how well your website and its SEO is performing over time. Google is not the only provider of website analytics as there are a number free SEO tools and paid web and SEO analytics softwares.
4. Streamline and optimize website codebase
Search engine spiders and crawlers are always on the lookout for troublesome and buggy website’s with erroneous codebase. Websites containing a large number of code errors and outdated tactics and techniques are known to take a severe beating when it comes to being highly visible and ranking on page one of search engines. Search engines label inefficient websites as sites of poor user experience and are less likely to rank such websites high in search results. In short, keep your codebase simple, clean and speedy. One way to do this is use CMS-specific web hosting plans like those offered at GoDaddy or InMotion Hosting: WordPress, Joomla, and Drupal.
5. Unique content is the only way to stay on top
If you’re paying $2 per article and simply posting without fine tuning, editing or re-writing the article in its entirety, then chances are high that your website and it’s ranking will soon be tanked by search engines. Search engines are not looking for the next copy cats or large amounts of pirated content. It’s quite the opposite. Search engines are looking for an authentic authorship with uniquely written content that is shared throughout the Internet by real humans. Content marketing is not a pump and dump until you get to page one search results. Sound content marketing requires uniqueness, thoroughness, timeliness, and consistency to deliver high-quality content that solves a customers problem in an engaging manner.
6. Apply meta tags with the exception of the keyword meta tag
Once upon a time, many SEO algorithms and light years ago, a small business owner could apply an all-you-can-eat type SEO approach to their website by added meta tags throughout the entire website. These meta tags, title, description and keyword tags, would be chocked full of keywords as far as the east sets from the west. But those days of keyword stuffing, including using your competitor’s company name in meta tags, are long gone. The title and description meta tags exist and highly contribute to SEO ranking factors, but the keyword meta tag has seen better days and should be retired by all attempting to use it throughout their website.
7. Get rid of duplicate content sections aimed solely at search engines
Many times, a small business website may contain sitewide blocks of content, either in the header or footer, or both, for the sole purpose of ranking their website for a set of keywords. The thought of including duplicate content blocks in the header or footer is an old trick to rank sites that died a many moons ago. It no longer works, so remove the keyword-laden content before your website is severely penalized or de-indexed.
8. Limit the number of footer links
And for those small business owners that think effective link building is adding a multitude of keyword-laced links to the footer will stealthily boost your website to page one rankings across major search engines, think again. Just link keyword-laden content, adding gobs of links in your footer or header is only a SEO recipe for disastrous and costly consequences. It’s okay to have a few links, but having a trove of cities, zip codes, keywords or whatever the hottest linking fad is will lead you to definite SEO failure.
9. Structure and organize website architecture
There are so many small business owners performing their own SEO with a half understood mentality of the do-it-yourself SEO practices they are implementing and executing. Most tend to load up their home page with irrelevant content, irrelevant linking schemes, and a wide range of keywords to the point of confusing search engines. Be sure to structure and organize your website architecture in such a way that allows for your content, keyword focus, and both internal and external linking to have a parent-child or pole-tent relationship. Architecting your website to have a parent-child or pole-tent relationship in regards to link building, keyword focus and overall content marketing strategy will increase SEO effectiveness and the probability that your website ranks on page one across major search engines.
10. Apply variations of keywords throughout every website page
There are over 200+ SEO ranking factors to consider when optimizing one’s website to highly rank in search results. As much talk as there is in regards to focused head and long tail keywords, the real benefit to boosting search ranking is how well you’re able to use variations of keywords throughout every page of your website. From page titles and descriptions to the use of alt tags on images and header tags to better organize one’s content, there are multitude of opportunities to seamless optimize one’s website for higher search rankings.
11. Secure your website using .htaccess or web.config files
One of the best ways to boost your SEO effectiveness is ensuring that your website is secure, limiting every possible opportunities for hackers to take your website down, infect your website with malicious malware and spyware, or steal your customer’s sensitive information. Depending upon your web host provider and web hosting plan, I suggest using the .htaccess or web.config to limit hackers and thieves of images and bandwidth, yet increase overall website speed and loading performance. Using such files in the long term will keep you from having sleepless nights of worrying about your website being the next big site hit by hackers.
12. Optimize all aspects of your images
Most small business owners just add images to their website and miss out on one of the greatest opportunities to increase SEO effectiveness and their website’s search rankings. Be sure to include keywords and variations of keywords in image filenames, title and alt text, descriptions and captions for images. As for the format, it’s best to optimize your image size for KB and nothing higher and use common file formats of .gif, .jpg, .jpeg or .png.
13. Minify your external documents to increase website speed and load time
15. Apply CSS sprites to decrease web requests
Another option for decreasing the number of web requests and save on bandwidth is using CSS sprites for images. A CSS Sprite is a joint of slighter images keen on one large image, or said in a more simple manner, the use of one image instead of multiple images. Essentially, you can have all images as one big optimize image and use the CSS background position to display the appropriate image.
16. Stay far away from client-side code and choose server-side code
When and where applicable, choose to implement server-side code over client-side code. Client-side coding can be highly unpredictable, less secure, and adds a substantial amount of overhead to the user experience, slowing it considerably, and bi-communication channels back to the web server as opposed to server-side coding practices.
18. Using content network and web services to load various external files
Again, a good bit of SEO revolves around speed, performance and the ability for a website to provide the fastest, most effective and efficient user experience that can possibly be achieved. Loading many or all of your website assets & features to 3rd party content network and web services, such a jQuery, Google, and Amazon to name a few, really decreases the effort it takes your web server to load pages and increases chances for greater spider and crawler responsiveness when crawling and indexing your website.
19. Aim for a responsive and most effective cross-browser experience
Mobile is taking the SEO world by storm and if your website is not mobile friendly then you are falling behind and putting your website in grave danger of being considered and labeled as outdated. From mobile to tablet to desktop and laptop, the baseline for any website of today is to be responsive. Not only responsive in design, but responsive in content based on the device in hand. Gone are the days are creating two separate websites for mobile and desktop. These two worlds are now one in design, and they are definitely doing the same on the SEO front as well.
20. Use a reliable, reputable web hosting service
There is nothing that can damage your website and its SEO ranking than using an unreliable, disreputable web hosting provider and service. Invest the money to have website hosted with a reputable provider, such as A2 Hosting, InMotion Hosting, and GoDaddy, that can keep your website up around the clock and without incident and major downtime. Unresponsive websites, both in performance and design, severely limit the chance for increased search rankings and SEO effectives. Be sure to pay very close attention to your monthly storage and bandwidth usage as reaching the limit on either can degrade web services and cause a less than desirable user experience for customers, spiders, crawlers and search engines altogether. Personally, I recommend using a VPS web hosting plan or WordPress hosting.