Small business owners are generally not website developers, so they hire a developer. On paper, the site they design for you may look amazing, but does it follow SEO (Search Engine Optimization) best practices? Take some time to look up SEO best practices, so that you know what your designer can or cannot do when developing your site.
While SEO is always changing and it would be best to hire an SEO consultant, there are things that you, as a small business owner, should know and understand. If your designer is a graphic designer and not a web designer, he or she needs to know the basics of what will and will not help you to be found on the internet under your company’s key categories. You want to be found for the product or service you offer, but you also want to be found for your location and contact information and NAP (Name Address Phone number).
One of the things a designer will be tempted to do is to put your NAP into an image file to be the header of your website, but this does not work for search engines. Search engines cannot read text within an image, therefore they cannot read this important data. Your NAP data needs to be in text form.
If you are running your small business out of your home or a P.O. Box, and you want to be found as a local business, you may want to change your business address. Signing up for a cheap virtual office package at an office business centre will give you a prestigious business address and a place to be found by the search engines that is not residential.
Many will say that keywords are less relevant in SEO these days, but they are wrong. Stacking your site with keywords will not benefit you, but putting your keywords in conversational language will. In other words, don’t just cram your keywords into your site for the sake of having them. Bring them into context with coherent sentences that are relevant to what you do or sell.
As a small business owner, you will probably be contacted by a company that will claim to take you to the top of the search results in a short time. These types of companies are either going to try SEO tricks that can later backfire on you, or they want you to sign up for advertising with search engines and they take a commission.
One of our office space tenants was lured in by an offshore SEO company that made promises of getting them to the top of the search results, only to give them a large bill for advertising online and them getting forced off the organic search. The SEO expert you should use is not one who claims he or she can get you ranking organically and also re-sell you advertising. Instead, contract one who claims he or she can help you get ranking while suggesting how you can effectively use advertising (without them benefiting from commissions on your advertising spend).