SEO, or search engine optimization, is a concerted effort to improve where your website falls on a list of internet search engine results. If you have a website for your small business, it's critical to know the basics of SEO and how your business performs with certain keywords. Many tactics you can do on your own, but in some cases, you may need to hire a professional. Below, we covered some of the most important things female small business owners need to know about SEO.
1. The Basics
Optimizing your website for search engines is important regardless of which type of site you have, and the task tends to be easier the more unique and local your business is. For example, if you run an ecommerce shop that sells shoes, you are competing with every other person in the country, and even in the world, who sells shoes. In cases like these, you may want to narrow your focus and try to compete for open toed wedges, leather boots for wide feet, or other possible niche categories related to your overall business.
In contrast, if you run a catering company devoted to whole roast hogs, you are likely only competing against other businesses who sell whole roast hogs. Further, since your business is locally-oriented, you really only have to compete with people in your area. Luckily, search engines also use geolocation tools to help bring local shoppers to you.
The SEO task tends to be easier the more unique and local your business is.
2. Google My Business
Since Google is the most popular search engine, you need to pay special attention to it. Start by googling your business by name and city. When the business pops up, there should be a listing that appears to the side. If you have not done so already, claim this listing. Then, update it with your correct business name, a few photos, and a description of your business. If you like, you can also use a few keywords when creating your listing.
The words on your website are a key part of drawing internet traffic. To figure out which words to focus on, make a list of possible topics consumers are likely to search when you want them to find your business. It's often easier for female entrepreneurs to have an intuitive sense of what their customers want, and this can help a lot when you are trying to do SEO. Take relevant keywords over to Google's keyword planner tool. When you type keywords into this tool, it will show you how popular those searches are, and it suggests related search terms for you.
4. Website Content
Once you have a list of words, start rewriting your website, sprinkling in the keywords as you go. Don't stuff the words into the content. Make it seem natural, and shoot for about two to three keywords per page. Also, pay attention to your headings. You should specify a H1 heading on your web page, as it is an important feature search engines consider. Strategic H2s and H3s can help draw traffic to your site as well. In many cases, you may also want to add pages to your site — keep it well organized so it doesn't get unwieldy, but more pages typically means more naturally sounding keywords and better results.
A blog is a fabulous way to add pages to your site and beef up your content. Generating your own blogs may be easier than you think - keep up on industry news, pay attention to common customer questions, or look at competitor's blogs to come up with content ideas. When writing your blogs, remember to use keywords as well.
If you don't want to write your own blogs, you can hire writers to handle them for you. Alternatively, some SEO companies provide you with blogs as well as website optimization and other services. While it's possible to do a lot of SEO on your own, you shouldn't try to be Super Woman. In some cases, it makes sense to access small business financing to use for SEO or other marketing efforts.
As suggested by its name, the internet is an interconnected net or web of information, and the better connected your site is, the higher it will perform in the search results. To connect your site, you need backlinks. Essentially, a backlink is a link on another site that leads to your site.
You can create backlinks by offering to write guest blogs for complementary companies. For example, if you are a florist, you may want to create a blog about floral arrangements for a wedding planner or a funeral director. You may also create backlinks by listing your site on local sites such as a local chamber of commerce or any other relevant organization.
7. Social Media
Your social media accounts can also be a useful place to create some backlinks or simply push traffic to your site. Ideally, you should post interesting tidbits as well as links to your blogs on all of your social media sites. If you have social media sites, however, it's critical that you monitor them daily if not several times a day. In particular, if someone complains about your company on your social media account, you need to respond to them immediately or remove the post, if needed, so you can control your image.
SEO may be a relatively new form of marketing, but as long as search engines exist, this type of marketing is here to stay. As a female business owner, it's critical to understand the basics of SEO and have a strategy in place for making it work on your website.
Photo Credit: afewgoodclicks.com
In 2016, Renee Wang sold her home in Bejing for $500,000 to fund her company, CastBox. Two months later, she landed her first investment. Just a half hour after hearing her pitch, she was offered one million dollars. By mid-2017, CastBox raised a total of $16 million in funding. CastBox's user numbers at that point? Seven million. Fast forward to today. Renee Wang of CastBox announces a $13.5 million Series B round of financing, bringing her funding total to a tidy $29 million. CastBox is now serving more than 15 million users.