Dec 072012

With search engine optimization (SEO) getting so much hype these days, the question on the minds of many a small business owner is whether he should hire a SEO specialist.

No, no, no.

A lot of small businesses do not need to hire a search engine optimization (SEO) firm.

Before we get any further, let me first explain what a SEO firm basically does.

SEO companies help a business to rank higher in a search engine’s organic search results (by organic, we mean the results that are not ads).

Of course, helping you to rank higher on a search engine results page comes at a price.

Fees charged by SEO companies are all over the place.

Hiring a SEO firm can cost a minimum of $500 and the upper limit can run into several thousand dollars.

You can save yourself a lot of money by doing search engine optimization of your site yourself if you’re a small business with a limited set of products or services.

I will now provide a few SEO tips that small businesses can follow without much difficulty:

SEO Tips for Small Businesses

1. Get an HTML editor to edit your web pages. If you don’t have one, use the free notepad application on your Windows PC.

Pay attention to the title at the top of your web page. Do not repeat the same title on all of your web site’s pages.

2. Your title should not be more 65-70 characters.

3. Next, focus on the description. Do not repeat the information in the title. Keep your description to no more than 140 characters

4. Consider the key words in the copy of your web pages. Make sure your key products or services are included on many of your pages and explained in layman’s terms.

5. Add FAQ pages about your product and the category to which it belongs. For instance, if you’re making commercial cooking ranges, your FAQs should be about the uniqueness of your product plus answer basic questions about commercial cooking ranges in general.

5. Tweak the Title, Description and Key words on your web pages every once in a while depending on addition of new products or launch of a promotion.

6. Integrate a Blog into your web site. WordPress is the best choice for a blogging software. Some hosting companies like BlueHost and GoDaddy offer one-click installation of WordPress as part of their services. Check with your hosting company.

7. Create a Google Webmaster Account and submit your web site to Google. It is free. The Google Webmaster Account will help you to submit pages to Google, identify broken links, index status, links to your site, get HTML improvement suggestions, etc.

8. Create an XML page that you can submit to Google. There are site map generators like that you can use to create a site map and submit to Google. There are also YouTube Videos that show you how to create a site map and submit it to Google.

9. Do not waste time on Bing, the search engine from Microsoft. Bing is a much inferior product compared to Google. The majority of netizens use Google to find information. So focus your SEO energies on Google.

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