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How to Navigate Search Engine Optimization for Small Businesses

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So you finally launched a small business? Congratulations! Now it’s time to start marketing your products and services and the Internet is a free tool just waiting to be explored. The first step is to create your own website and then to optimize it so that search engines can easily identify your business and send eager consumers your way.

So how should you approach search engine optimization if you’re new to this whole small business adventure? Let’s start small with a few simple steps.

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Domain Names that Stick

You will need to start by selecting a great domain name.  You will always want to make sure that the name you select is very easy to remember, and that it will reflect what you are selling to your customers or clients. Try to take a common sense approach in choosing your domain name.

If you business is targeting local consumers, try including your city in the domain. For instance, if you specialize in repairing appliances in Miami, you could select a domain like MiamiApplianceRepair.com or MiamiApplianceGuy.com.  

Create Relevant Content

A beautiful website is only the first step. Now you need to fill it with original, relevant content that will actually engage your target audience. What are they looking for?  What do they want or need?  You must take the time to gear your content towards these needs.  

If you are not offering your visitors what they need they will simply go somewhere else for it.  You could end up harming your small business if you do not have the right information on your home page.  If writing isn’t your thing, hire a freelance writer to help you fill your site with SEO-friendly articles that your readers will enjoy.

Don’t Forget Keywords

Make a list of keywords that your target audience would search for. Let’s pretend for a moment that you own a landscaping service in Memphis. An obvious keyword you could target would be “Memphis landscaping”. You could also use variations like “best Memphis landscaper” or “landscaping services in Memphis”.  

After you identify your target keyword phrases, you should use them naturally throughout your content. Don’t overuse these phrases, but make sure they appear in titles, opening paragraphs, and occasionally in bolded subheadings.

Be Creative with Links

Part of a successful SEO approach is building up a steady stream of backlinks. These come from other websites that will link to yours. If you’re a new business, this can be the most challenging aspect of search engine optimization. For starters, try to get your business listed on local business association websites. Consider posting on local forums and always include links back to your website.

If you can get your website featured on a local news website, that offers you some instant backlink power from an authority site. By building organic backlinks, you are naturally creating buzz and drawing more attention from the search engines.

As a small business owner, you are facing a challenging season. The Internet is a great place to give your business an extra boost. Create and optimize your website and harness the power of social media. Pretty soon, you’re business will be well on its way to continued success.   

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