Many small business owners often wonder how they can increase website exposure, traffic and sales with search engine optimization (SEO). SEO may seem complicated, but oftentimes you can get results by making some simple changes to your website. Here are 5 things you can do to get started:

  1. Focus your homepage title on the most general topic/service you provide and include your location. Just like businesses in the phonebook are listed under the main service they provide, your homepage should also focus on your main service. A brief title, such as “Italian Restaurant in Dallas Texas,” is still descriptive, and therefore effective. Keep in mind that search engines only display the first 65 characters of your title, so put the most important information at the beginning. It’s okay if the title is longer than 65 characters, but only search engines, not visitors, will see the extra words.
  2. Write good content for your most important pages. Ideally, all the pages on your website should have content, but the first step is to get good content on the most important pages. If you can write 300 words or 3 paragraphs about a particular service or product you offer, then that product should probably have its own page on your website. A great approach to writing content is to address typical customer concerns or describe important product details that make the item unique.
  3. Give each page on your website a different title. Focus the title on the page’s topic. If you sell snowboards, don’t just put “Snowboards” as the title on all your pages. Be descriptive and create unique titles for each page, such as “Women’s Snowboards” or “Children’s Snowboards.” If you only sell to a local area, make sure to include your location: “Women’s Snowboards | Denver & Boulder Colorado.”
  4. Target good keywords. If you’re not sure where to start with keywords, you can use the Google Keyword Tool. This tool will show you the keywords that people search most frequently. Once again, if you’re a local-only business, make sure to include the cities or towns you serve when searching for keywords.
  5. Put your address on your website. Including your address helps Google and Bing associate your services with a particular area, which is great for local businesses. Simply adding your company’s address to the bottom or footer section of every page is a simple way to implement this tip.

If you’re still in the design phase of your website, incorporating the above tips in the beginning stages can be easier than going back and reworking content or coding that isn’t search-engine friendly. Regardless of what stage you’re at with your website, it’s still never too late to start on SEO. In the end, the extra work can pay for itself by increasing your company’s overall profitability.

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