4 Easy SEO Wins For Small Businesses
Today I wanted to talk to you about quick SEO wins and easy SEO tips that anyone can do without even knowing anything about SEO.
So, there’s this myth going around that SEO is too difficult and you need to get an SEO professional in if you’re going to try and build organic traffic to your small business website.
This is complete bull s**t.
If your website is built on a platform like WordPress, Shopify or Squarespace. Then you can do all the basics of SEO yourself!
And really as a small business owner, you don’t have the money to invest in SEO and that’s okay because you can do it yourself!
Easy Quick SEO Wins
Today what I want to talk about is how we can boost that confidence that you can do your own SEO.
I find the best way to boost confidence is with quick wins because if you make that quick win, then you’re like, Oh, wow, I did that myself! Look at the little boost in SEO and then it gives you the confidence to do more SEO.
1. Meta Titles
The first quick SEO win we’re going to talk about is meta titles or page titles.
Although there are a couple of really small nuances between the page title and meta title. Essentially, if you ever see a page title, meta title, or title tag, they’re all the same thing.
Okay? All the same thing.
That’s your meta title or page title.
So, the first thing you need to remember is to keep it under 60 characters.
Why? Because any longer than that and Google will truncate it, i.e. it won’t show up on the mobile phone device that someone’s using.
The meta title just won’t fit on the screen basically. And that’s important because Google now ranks mobile first. What does that mean?
It means that when Google’s going through all the websites in the world, it looks first at the mobile website, and your mobile version and then uses that to decide where to place it as opposed to looking first at your desktop version.
It’s essentially kind of saying, ‘Hey, your mobile website is more important than your desktop website these days.’
So when you are editing your website, make sure you always check the previews of your mobile.
They’ll usually be a little icon at the bottom where you can preview what it would look like on a mobile phone, check that and make sure everything is looking good for your meta title.
Meta Title Best Practices For Beginners
It needs to be 60 characters or shorter so that it fits on the screen of your mobile. Ideally, you want it between 50 and 60 characters but sometimes there isn’t enough to say about a page and that’s fine, just try and keep it over 40 characters.
Some software platforms will automatically add your brand name and sometimes Google does that as well. Play around with it and see what happens.
Double-check how many characters you’ve got by going to a website like charactercounttool.com. that’s the one I use sometimes, but just because I don’t know, I just always check it in there. Once you’ve written your meta title or page title, throw it into character count tool.com and make sure it’s under 60 characters.
What do you put in your meta titles?
If you run a small business or you are the marketing person for that small business, even if you don’t know your exact keywords, you still know what products people you sell, you still know your key services, and you still know the categories of products that you sell.
Your keywords are going to be very similar to those.
They might not be the exact terms that you use, but they will be very similar or related to your key products, services or categories.
I want you to go into one of your product pages, have a look at the meta title and you’re going to write it with that key product or service near the front of the meta title.
Beginner’s Meta Title Example
So let me give you an example of a lighting company product. This is actually a meta title that I wrote last week and it’s doing very well this week.
They sell vintage industrial lights and this is one of the meta titles I wrote.
Vintage Industrial Caged Light | UK Next Day Delivery.
That’s 58 characters, explains exactly what the keyword is, and you know what product that page is selling.
Then I also included the UK next-day delivery because I think that might help some people when they’re scrolling through the search results, they’re more likely to click on a website that offers UK next-day delivery.
When you’ve got the extra space at the end of the meta title, have a think about what might entice people to click through maybe just a shop now, you know, learn more, free download free delivery, what delivery, whatever it is that’s, you know, your company’s unique USP.
Pop it in that at the end if you’ve got space. So to summarize, keep your meta titles descriptive of your main product or category or service.
Meta Title Summary
- Keep it descriptive,
- Put your keyword in there
- Keep it under 60 characters.
2. How To Write Meta Descriptions
Officially Google states that they don’t use meta descriptions as a ranking factor. And so because of that, some SEO professionals will say, “Oh, your meta descriptions don’t matter, don’t worry about it.”
Google has also stated, although they don’t use them as an official ranking factor, they do use meta descriptions as a way to help understand what the page is about.
I think probably anyone with half a brain would also think that if they’re using meta descriptions to understand what the page is about, clearly they actually, they actually are pretty important for SEO.
Meta Descriptions For Beginners
How do you write meta descriptions? So, first of all, length is okay, this is an interesting one as well.
Google officially states there’s actually no required length.
You could write an essay if you wanted but actually if you want your meta description to show up neatly in the search results, then probably up to 160 characters is best.
In fact, let’s make a general rule of up to 160 characters.
But what you’ve got to remember is that Google doesn’t always show your meta description because sometimes it will actually take a different snippet of text from that page and decide to show that instead.
Why? Because Google will think, Oh no, actually this text fits better with that person’s search query. And I think the status is Google actually shows a different version of a meta description up to 70% of the time.
Your meta description needs to be descriptive instead of primarily sales language because chances are it isn’t actually even going to show up in such engine results.
Beginner’s Meta Description Example
Using my lighting company client as an example remember, that method, meta title shop, you know what was, was it vintage industrial cage lab?
Meta Description Example: Shop vintage industrial cage wall light fixtures from CLIENT NAME available in a range of metals like copper and aluminium with bespoke lights two.
The character length on that is 148 characters. So, I’m within the length allowance I’m giving myself.
The description is also descriptive of what the page says. Its keyword is ‘vintage industrial cage wall light fixtures’. And I’ve put that near the front of the description just like we do in our meta titles.
Then I’ve also gone a bit further by putting available in a range of metals like copper and aluminium and bespoke lights too.
That’s because that way I’ll also help this page rank for copper vintage industrial cage-like fixtures or aluminium vintage industrial cage wall light fixtures and even bespoke vintage industrial cage wall light fixtures.
Can you see there how I’m using these meta descriptions to describe what the page is about, but also getting in my key products and services i.e. keywords in there?
Don’t try and go over this overly sales-y. If you’ve got space to add in a little call to action like ‘free next day delivery’ or ‘we ship internationally.’
Remember: don’t panic if your meta description doesn’t show up because Google often chooses to use something else as a meta description.
3. Headers (H1 Tags)
The H1 tag stands for header one tag and it is essentially your page title. Now let’s not get confused with meta titles, or page titles.
Your H1 tag is referring to the, imagine you’re writing an essay, and you’d put your title at the top.
That’s your H one tag and you put that in a font that’s slightly bigger.
H1 Tag Myths
For years SEO professionals would harp on the fact that you must have only one H1 tag per page and if you don’t, you’re not going to rank.
That’s not true.
If Google is smart enough to go through billions of web pages each day and figure out where to rank them all, it is also smart enough to figure out which H1 tag is your most important one!
Where To Put Your H1 Tag
When someone lands on your page, you want it, you want it to be easy for them to understand what the page is about quickly.
And chances are they will understand quickly what the page is about from your main header tag or title.
Just think, when someone lands on your page, is it clear what the main title is?
If it is then great!
And ideally want to have that key product or key service i.e. keyword in there.
4. Alt Text
As our final easy quick SEO win for small businesses like yours, let’s talk about alt text.
It stands for alternative text or alternative tag.
Again, on your platform, they might call it something different.
When you upload an image to whatever platform you are using when you click on edit that image, you will find an option to either use it, it might be called alt text or alt tag or it might be called image description!
Why Is Alt Text Important?
That’s generally what they’re talking about though – alt text. Okay? Now Google uses this text to understand what the image is about.
Before Google got smarter and smarter or computers got smarter and smarter, they couldn’t read images, they couldn’t understand what an image is about without alt text working as descriptions.
That’s why it’s important for SEO because, in the context of your page, it will help Google understand what that page is about by understanding what each image is about.
Now, obviously, nowadays Google’s getting so much smarter that it can actually sort of read your image as it is. But we’re still not there entirely.
Also, another reason why I think alt text is really important is that someone that is visually impaired will use Alt text to understand what an image is on a page using their page reader.
Alt text is also important from an accessibility point of view.
Beginner Best Practices For Alt Text
You used to be able to stuff your keywords into your image alt text as a way to rank higher.
People used to go through all their images on a page and use that as their keywords as alt texts for every single image.
And that’s called keyword stuffing.
That’s a really obvious tactic you’re doing to try and rank higher without actually improving the user experience for anyone who lands on your site.
We don’t want to do that.
Instead, you want to keep your alt text descriptive.
For instance, if on that page I have an image of a person installing a wall light, then I would, I would, that’s exactly what I write is
Alt text example: Person installing vintage industrial wall light
I’ve used a little bit of the keywords, but I’ve kept it descriptive and I’m not purposely trying to rank higher.
Keep Alt Text Tags Short
Don’t make them too long, just use a few words.
Max five or six words.
Remember it’s important for SEO to use good descriptive alt text and remember no keyword stuffing. Don’t try and write vintage industrial wall light 10 times over.
But go back and maybe think about how you can make your alt text more descriptive and user-friendly.
Always keeping your user at the forefront of your mind. So today we have looked at alt text best practices meta titles or page titles, meta descriptions, and then also your headers on your pages for easy, easy SEO wins that anyone can do.
24:11 And you will see a boost in your organic ranking as a result of these. It might take a few days for it to kick in, but you really will see a little boost in your rankings as a result and anyone can do these.
24:24 And then once you’ve mastered these, you’ll feel that confidence, you know, perk up a little bit as well and give you that boost to do more SEO on your website.
Every little bit counts when it comes to SEO.
And, even though these may seem like small steps when we put them all together and we keep chipping away to over time, that’s when you start to see these really accumulative effects of SEO and your organic traffic will just continuously rise.
That’s what we want. We just want a slow, steady rise up the rankings getting you that free organic traffic that converts!
If you wanna get started on your SEO journey today, then head to the homepage of The Plan Success where I’ve got free downloadable SEO resources for you to dig into! Perfect for small business owners looking to get started with SEO and building that free organic traffic!