Countless small businesses do not understand the importance of SEO basics as a critical digital marketing strategy.

Knowing SEO basics is a critical strategy for businesses to bring valuable traffic to their site. When the best people visit a website, they are likely to turn into leads and sales – the bread and butter for any company.

“Search engines drive 93% of all website traffic.” – BlueOpps

SEO Basics

Search engine optimization allows small businesses to beat the competition by gaining a place on Google’s first-page search engine results. 

The purpose of a search engine like Google is to give the best possible results to search questions. The search engine uses artificial intelligence to make sense of online queries to promote the most reliable sites on top.

If you can help people in your niche, Google can help you get ahead and start cultivating a relationship with them.

Do you want to do SEO, but don’t understand how it all works? Here are a few basic SEO tips to help you get started:

1. SEO Basics Start by Fixing Your Website

To get the highest exposure in Google search results, your website should satisfy some fundamental technical standards:

a. Website load speed

Nobody wants to go to a website that takes a long time to load.

“A 100-millisecond delay in load time can cause conversion rates to drop by 7%” – Akamai.

Why form a negative impression and miss out on rankings? SEO basics require that your website loads quickly on desktop and mobile devices. The optimal load time is 2 seconds or fewer.

Maile Ohye, from Google, reports, “2 seconds is the threshold for e-commerce website acceptability. At Google, we aim for under a half-second.” 

b. Your Website Structure

A well-defined site structure ensures more desirable usability – it helps the user to navigate from one page to another. Pages on a website should flow in the order of relevance.

Be sure the links on your website are working and do not take people to an error page. Build an internal linking plan to join related content on your site.

Internal links make it simpler for users to navigate through similar posts and pages.

c. Be Mobile Friendly

Most internet users are now utilizing mobile devices. Nearly half of all traffic on the website comes from mobile devices. 

A mobile-friendly site delivers users the same information and experience, whether they are using their smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Responsive website design assures that your site works well on all devices and browsers. 

d. Structured Data

Structured data lets the search engines evaluate a site’s content. It helps your website interact with the search engines using their language.

Implementing structured data lets you classify site pages into categories such as a post, event, product, local business, and organization.

e. Keyword Optimization

A critical aspect of making your website a true niche site is by optimizing it for search terms. Website owners should include targeted search words in different locations, including site content, meta names, meta explanations, URLs, and headings. 

Helpful tools

  • SEMrush: to check your website for technical problems
  • Schema.org: to use the right structured data in your website code
  • UberSuggest: keyword research
  • Google PageSpeed Insights: To review and fix website load speed 
  • Yoast SEO: to optimize site content
  • Google Search Console: to examine site performance
  • Google’s Mobile-Friendly Testing Tool – Test your site for mobile usage

2. Get Local Visibility

If you have a business or store that caters to a local area, then local SEO is one of the most reliable approaches to get regional site visitors. Here are some quick pointers:

  • Build a Google My Business page using your business address. Embed the map from the profile into the site’s contact tab. Encourage consumers to add reviews to it – do not overlook addressing any negative feedback. 
  • Optimize your website for local search terms and produce content that addresses local search queries.
  • Use structured data that is local-centric to showcase your business as being a ‘local business.’
  • Include business contact details like the address and phone number on your website.

Use this as a guide to optimize your business locations for local SEO basics, so you never miss a client.

3. Create Unique and Valuable Content

Your target audience types thousands of questions into the search bar on Google. By posting informative blog posts, infographics, and videos, you will answer those questions. 

When site visitors find the content helpful and engaging, they stay on your website longer. A bonus is that people love to share useful content to their social media. 

When your content gets a thumbs-up from a user, it gives Google a positive signal.

The search engine pulls up content and pages according to user preferences. For SEO, spending more time on the site, a lower bounce rate, and a higher number of social shares are all advantageous.

Helpful tools

  • Grammarly: helps find grammatical errors in your content
  • Canva: design images and infographics for your blog posts
  • Buzzsumo: to discover trending content in your niche
  • Google Analytics: time on site, track content performance, and bounce rate

4. Build Links

Google is continually ranking sites with comprehensive expertise on a topic. In addition to creating user-friendly content, with this basic SEO method, you can also show your knowledge by linking to sites with high authority. How do you build links with authoritative sites in your niche?

The most reliable way to build links is to create some unique content. Most good sites want to link to quality content. Your content could be some sort of guide, an infographic, a video, or a white paper.

If you believe you’ve got a valuable piece of content, you can send an email letting webmasters know how they can add value to their users by linking to it. 

Another way to acquire high-quality links is by doing some guest-blogging. You can look for high-authority niche sites to provide quality guest articles.

A great way to begin is to understand their guest posting guidelines and pitch fresh, new post ideas. It’s important to target websites that have higher domain authority than your site.

Back-linking is an excellent technique to increase the reach of your business, send traffic to your website, and improve your site rankings.

Local businesses should target local sites for backlinks and mentions.

Helpful tools

  • Moz: research targeted site’s domain authority
  • SEMrush: to look at competitor backlinks
  • Hunter.io: get email addresses to connect with editors and webmasters

Wrap up

People use search engines to look for answers to various questions daily. Following the principles of SEO basics help small businesses connect with search engine users.

The approach takes time to deliver, but once it does, the results can be remarkable. Rank for several niche keywords, and you’ll see regular visitors and conversions.