Search engine optimization (SEO) can mean the difference between getting found on Google and getting lost in the vast information landscape of the internet. If you're a small eCommerce business, having an cost effective SEO campaign is crucial for getting a good start, but you may be intimidated by selecting and hiring a professional firm to handle your SEO duties.
Thankfully there are a few things that you can do on your own for free that can help improve your site's SEO. Here are five small business SEO tips that will help you improve your SEO on a limited budget:
First things first, you need to figure out where your site stands right now. This is known as an SEO audit. While you can hire an SEO agency to perform this audit, you can actually use free SEO audit tools available online to check on-page/on-site SEO elements and will also examine various off-page elements to see where your site can be improved based on current SEO standards. This is a great way to identify some of the basics of effective SEO strategies and where your site can be fixed. There are even some great tools with a free trial for checking your website’s current search engine rankings.
Free SEO Resources and Tools:
While SEO may seem like an esoteric or complicated science, the basics of a good SEO campaign are not secret at all. The two most fundamental components for most SEO needs:
Keywords refer to terms that your consumers might search for, such as specific product names and types of products/services. You can get a good idea of effective keywords in your industry by using this Google Adwords Keyword Research Tool.
Now that you know what words to target, the next step is to make sure your site uses them right. This is what's known as on-page or on-site SEO. Some basics to consider:
The most important thing about on-page SEO is to make sure you're creating a good user experience that incorporates product/service names and those industry keywords.
One key thing to remember about on-page SEO: don't overdo it. Search engines are savvy these days and can tell what's being written for humans and what's being written simply for SEO. Always err on the side of your customers and the side of functionality/usability. Before implementing any changes to your site's content, it's helpful to think, "How would I feel if I encountered a site written like this?"
On-page SEO isn't all you can do on your own. Backlinks are an extremely important part of effective SEO campaigns. These are links from other websites that point back to your own website. While you can pay an SEO agency to help you with this, you might be surprised that you can actually build some of these backlinks on your own.
First you need to figure out some backlink opportunities. That's where your competitors come into play. By typing their URLs into the free service on Open Site Explorer, you'll be able to find out where their some of their backlinks are coming from.
We should say at the outset that building backinks for your site may not be a monetary investment, but it can be a major time investment. This is actually a place where being savvy with social media and blogging can help a lot. By getting customers to share things with their friends, you build your backlinks organically and help spread your brand in a way that doesn't seem like a mere marketing campaign.
Here are some basic ideas to consider for building links:
You can do a lot of SEO on your own as you can see, but sometimes you'll encounter some SEO issues that are technical, require special knowledge of the way that search engines work, and may need advanced knowledge. For example, there may be cases where your site suddenly takes a major dive on Google searches for no apparent reason; or your site may not be coming up on Google at all for some reason but comes up fine on Bing and Yahoo.
These are cases where you should look into hiring a professional SEO consultant to give you advice and guidance. Even if your budget might be limited, targeted professional assistance like this is crucial to keeping your business and brand in great shape going forward.By: Dana Nevins
Outpace your competition in 2017 with our eCommerce Success Guide featuring the latest trends and free marketing success tips.