How to Optimize a Small Business Website

Optimizing your small business website is crucial. After all, the number of online users and shoppers is constantly growing. In fact, 88% of people research online before they decide to purchase. For this reason, you must invest some time to ensure your website is search engine optimized (SEO).

Audit Your Site

There are a lot of ways you can handle small business SEO. Before you start, audit your website to understand its current performance. Nowadays, there are many free tools to help you out, even if you are a complete beginner. Put your web address in an online tool like SEO Analyzer to receive some initial information that will get you started. 

An SEO audit can be an overwhelming task on its own. Therefore, it would be easier for you if you use a checklist.

Improve Website Speed

If your website loads slowly, then you should definitely look into improving that. Web users expect your site to load within two seconds or less. If it takes your website more than three seconds to load, the likelihood for users to leave will increase with each second.

You can also boost speed by removing applications that need Java or Flash. They usually burden sites a lot and reduce site speed significantly. 

Take the time to optimize your images for web publishing. You can use Photoshop to do this, or any other photo editing software. 

Another thing to consider is what type of hosting do you use? Your website efficiency depends largely on your hosting plan. If you’re using a free hosting option, perhaps consider switching to a paid hosting plan. Paid plans come with a lot of benefits, including better load times, higher performance and longer uptime. You can find a lot of different hosting providers online, but if you are not interested in doing this on your own, you can check out AbeloHost. It’s an affordable hosting provider that offers flexible content policy and guarantees to protect your privacy. 

Submit Your Website To Google

Getting indexed by Google will significantly benefit your site’s SEO. In order to do that, you must use the Google Search Console, and upload an XML sitemap and a robots.txt file. The sitemap is a file that lists every URL on your website, and the robots.txt file will tell Google which pages to go through, and which ones to avoid.

Your hosting provider could give them to you, although you could also use the Yoast website plugin to make them yourself. There are free and paid options; however, the free one should be enough four your site. 

Monitor Website Traffic

Monitoring website traffic with Google Analytics will allow you to find out where visitors come from and how they interact with your site. Additionally, you will get data on your most popular pages, how they rank in Google results and other useful features. 

You should let Google Analytics track your website traffic for at least a month. That way, you will get a better idea of the volume of traffic your website gets, and use this information as a benchmark for your optimization progress. 

Research Keywords

You can use the Google Keyword Planner to research some ideas for keywords that would be worth placing on your website. You should know, you will need to make a Google Ads account to access it, but don’t worry, you don’t have to spend any money. Additionally, you could use other free tools like Soovle and Ubersuggest for more keyword ideas.

You can also use keyword research to find out what content you could create. In the Google Search Console, look at the search terms that bring users to your site. Find out if there are any terms that you can use. Then, you could write an article, make a video, or produce any other type of content that could be useful to your visitors.

Strategize Keyword Placement

Researching for keywords is just the first step. You have to put them in the right places throughout your content strategically. The best places to put your keywords are the title, header and meta tags, in web page links, and anchor text.

However, do not overdo it because Google could penalize you for spam. If you’re not sure when it’s too much, you can use Yoast’s content analysis tool. It can assist you with content optimization. In this case study, you can see how keyword research and content can boost your site. 

Create a Useful Website

You must regularly add new content to your website. Blogging is an easy way to do that, and it will boost traffic and user engagement. Also, it is worth it to update your older web pages for accuracy periodically. Newer visitors will appreciate it, and Google will rank you better as a result. Keep in mind to delete duplicate content because Google could give you some penalties. 

You want to pull in as many potential customers to your website as you can. Therefore, you must create content that educates your visitors about your products and services. Think of the questions they would ask themselves and the answers they seek. Then, add them to your website to create real value for your site’s users that would motivate them to come back. 

Remember, most internet users skim through long blocks of text. People rarely read all the information they see on a web page. In other words, you should keep your sentences short, concise, and to the point. Avoid the most common website building mistakes at all costs.

Furthermore, you should use calls to action (CTAs) to entice your visitors to take any action that would bring them closer to choosing you over your competition. That could be submitting a form, subscribing to a newsletter or calling you on the phone. These case studies can help you get some ideas for your audience. 

Be mobile-friendly

An increasing number of people use their mobile devices to surf the web. In fact, in August 2019, more than half of worldwide internet traffic was made by mobile devices. If your users can’t access your site through their mobile devices, you are probably losing a large share of potential customers.

You can use your smartphone or an emulator to check what your website would look like on a mobile device. Make sure your visitors have a seamless experience on both desktop and mobile devices. That will not only improve your site’s usability but also boost SEO. 

Final Remarks

SEO is hard, you need to do it often, and it will take time to see meaningful results. There will be things you don’t understand, and that’s completely fine; it will be worth your time doing it. If you can implement these strategies to optimize your small business website, you will improve its growth and increase your revenue 

At first, you must please the humans and think about the Google bots later. After all, they will be the ones using your website. Therefore, your site must be easily accessible by mobile devices. It must also have an intuitive structure for quick and easy navigation.

Then, you have to befriend the search engines. Make it easier for them to find you and understand your website. In turn, they will pull in more interested people to your site, and grow your audience.

Adam Hansen

Adam is a part time journalist, entrepreneur, investor and father.