If you’re a small business owner, Search Engine Optimization can be a daunting process. Just having the budget to pay an SEO company does not guarantee success. Even if you are fortunate enough to be technically minded and plan on performing the SEO yourself, you are still faced with a lot of misinformation to weed through. In addition, most Search Engine Optimization professionals and firms are not comfortable having the client perform specific aspects of the optimization work themselves. Our goal at Bellingham WP is to help our clients achieve success. If that means we do 100% of the work, we’re fine with that. If, instead, it means spending the time to educate our clients on how to achieve their goals, we’re happy to oblige.
Bellingham WP works closely with small and medium sized businesses to achieve their SEO goals. We happily hold the obligation to stand by, support, and educate our clients in whatever way they request or require. You can discover this first-hand by picking up the phone and getting in touch with us. We will answer your questions and take a look at your website, together. We will make recommendations and seek out opportunities for improvements. And, for you do-it-yourselfers out there, we can also be commissioned to create a search engine optimization recommendations document geared specifically for your website and your business. Just get in touch.
Bellingham Small Business SEO Tips
Most small business websites suffer from the same search optimization issue: lack of targeted content. Most small businesses want their website to be concise and to the point. While this is a great goal to have for your visitors, it will actively work against your search ranking efforts. To understand why, we need to understand what the search engines are trying to accomplish.
“Search engine’s strive to provide the most relevant list of results for a given search term.”
Once we recognize the goals of the search engines, we can start to give them what they want and need: unique, quality content which is geared toward your specific targeted keyword search term(s). This is important for two reasons. Firstly, search engines are, at their base, simple machines. They must be given information in order for them to do anything. If you’re a Bellingham Website Designer and your website does not contain the word Bellingham, then the search engines may not be able to tell what local market you’re targeting. As a result, your site will be viewed as attempting to compete with the much broader, more competitive search term: Website Design. This is the same with regard to specific product types. In a different blog post, I use the example of a website that sells hammers. Without a page or content dedicated to the discussion of Ball Peen Hammers, Google will not view your website ad relevant for that specific search term. As the goal is to increase your website’s relevance with regard to the search engines, the new goal becomes the addition of content which specifically discusses your product or service. In this way the search engines will, when they crawl your website next, recognize that you’ve included the term Ball Peen Hammer within your content and you will start to be considered for ranking for that term.
QUESTION: “Quality, targeted content is easy for large businesses to produce as they have large budgets. But how do we achieve these goals for small businesses?”
Let’s get something out of the way up front. If you’re a talented writer or content writer, you should write your own content. If you’re not, you shouldn’t. Content writing is a profession held by talented individuals. If you cannot produce quality content yourself, or in-house, we definitely recommend making use of a professional content writer. Don’t worry either, we can help you out with this.
Okay. Now that that is out of the way, we need to create (or have created) content which targets your keywords and services. So what are those keywords? I like to use the Tabasco / hot sauce example to help explain. Imagine the Tabasco website was optimized for the term Tabasco. Individuals whom are searching for Tabasco hot sauce would only be able to find the website if they already knew of the Tabasco brand. Now, what if they optimized their website instead for a term that is used by perspective purchasers of their product who do not know of Tabasco. Hot sauce, pepper sauce, jalapeno sauce are a few of the generic terms which would be searched for when seeking a product such as Tabasco hot sauce. Therefore, it would be silly for Tabasco to only target its own brand name. Take a moment to think about this.
What search terms would your perspective clients and customers use? This is the big question. In some niches the keywords to target are easy to discover, but in others they can be more difficult. A good tactic to find which keywords to target are to take a look at the websites of competing businesses. If they rank well for specific niche related terms, odds are good they are profitable terms and should not be ignored.
What are local search qualifiers? This is the easy part. Consider a website design company which provides website design services. Well, the competition for the term ‘website design’ in the search engines is very stiff. Moreover, this website design company does not work nationally, they are only seeking local business. As such, their adjusted keyword term to target would be Bellingham website design. By adding the local qualifier to the search term the number of websites competing for the top spot on the search engines are significantly reduced. This also matches the most common search tactic taken by web searchers. When searching for a service, a searcher starts out by searching for that service by name: website design. In most cases, the searcher will realize that none of the results are locally based. They will remedy this by adjusting the search term with the addition of a local qualifier, either at the end of the search string or the beginning: bellingham website design or website design bellingham. It is this process that can help you understand the process of determining keywords to target at the local level.