You’ve probably read the story of the Tortoise and the Hare when you were a kid. If you didn’t read it, everyone at least knows the morale, “Slow and steady wins the race”. Or if you want a more modern slogan, Nike’s “Just Do It” serves the same sort of purpose.
So many small business owners think they need do everything all at once to be successful. But, exhausting your business’ resources (and yourself along the way) isn’t going to get you anywhere sustainable. You need to concentrate on the “little things” for your small business like search engine optimization, user friendly website design, and optimized page content if you want to gain the lead in the long run.
So whether you prefer nostalgic fables or catchy tag lines, the message is the same. Keep going and never give up, because progress is still progress. If everyday you have the drive to work on and improve the less grandiose elements of your website and your small business, you’ll see yourself start to move past your competitors. That right there is the “special sauce” that’ll set you apart, and people will start to take notice, you can be sure of that.
With that in mind, take a look at the following 7 easy SEO and website design tips that you can implement right now!
How Google Crawls Your Website
At Cazbah, our process is strategically designed to capture the best practices surrounding internet presence (including SEO, web design, and web analytics to name a few) and apply them to our clients in an individually targeted approach. Each small business is different, so that mean personalizing each SEO approach for every client with different combinations of Google-approved ranking techniques.
The internet is continuously changing, and frequent algorithm updates by Google oftentimes send small business scrambling. Google’s changing the game and has up-ed the requirements for all websites before they can even be considered a competitor in the SERPs. But one factor all of Google’s algorithm updates have in common is, prioritizing a webpage’s and website’s SEO and website design to better the searcher’s experience. Unfortunately, Google isn’t always forthcoming with the particulars of each algorithm change they introduce, but there are clear and consistent SEO actions that are rewarded by Google through boosted rank.
Some of the most well-known and prefered SEO ranking factors include:
- Long form content (at least 1,000 words)
- Backlinks and internal links
- Long tail keywords
- Related key terms
- Optimized media (like images, infographics, and videos)
When a web page is indexed by a search engine (let’s just use Google for this example) it sends out “spiders” to crawl that page. Those “spiders” pick up on specific optimization factors to determine that web page’s rank in the results pages. The better optimized a web page is and the more traffic it receives because of that, the higher it will rank over time. So essentially, you could have the best service or products in the world, but if your website is poorly optimized, you won’t get any web traffic to your site and your business will most likely end up failing.
For small businesses, it’s the “little things” like web design, site optimization, and on page SEO that make all the difference for a long lasting business. It may be more fun to work on other areas of your business like market expansion and product or service development, but you’ll soon see that without the “little things”, you’re business isn’t going to go anywhere. If you don’t take the time to step back, slow down, and take your time to resolve smaller scale issues, you’re business will suffer later down the road. Taking the time to consistently and methodically work on your web design and SEO development will put you ahead of your competition in search engine ranking, and in the mind of your target audience too.
How to Get Started With SEO and Website Design
You need to prioritize both website design and SEO tactics if you want to rank well and drive traffic to your website. And better yet, there are some easy ways small businesses can implement SEO and website design on their small business websites.
You also need to continuously re-visit these areas and continue to update and change them as new algorithms come out, search engines change, and as time passes in general. Search engine optimization and web design are not “one and done” actions. Yes, that means some heavy lifting on your part, but the consequences of not doing them are your pages getting buried in search engine results pages and losing countless opportunities for small business growth. SEO and web design matters to small business and makes a proven difference in page rank, business life span, lead conversion, business growth, and overall revenue.
Without a strong SEO and design plan, your small business will fail. Period.
Nobody wants to set out for failure, so in the best interest of your small business success, you need to create a strong website development and SEO implementation plan. These components of your website coincide nicely and interweave with each other if done correctly.
4 Small Business Website Design Practices You Need to Implement
I could write for days on good web design practices. In fact, we have a lot of Cazbah article about that very topic on our blog page (check them out HERE). I’m not going to go too in depth in this article (because we’ve got a lot of ground to cover) so think of this as a “good web design for dummies” cheat sheet. Whether you partner with a web development company or you’re doing it on your own, you need to prioritize both good SEO and website design.
Here are 4 website design tips you need to focus on when creating your website:
1. Use a simple and clean layout (this means a definite color scheme, a simple navigation bar, an easy to read font, and the same template layout style for all your pages).
2. Prioritize quick site speed.
Site speed is affected by a number of different factors from the file type of an image to the responsiveness of your hosting server, so you might have to do some digging to find out your particular case. You can use Google Analytics and Google Search Console to see what pages are loading the slowest, what your average page load time is, what issues exist with your page loading, and how fast your competitor’s website is loading too. You can also go directly to Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool to see how your load time compares to the average for both your mobile and desktop version for your site.
3. While we’re on the subject, make sure you design and optimize your website for mobile search.
More and more online searchers are using their smartphones to browse the internet. Your website layout changes when it loads to a different size screen, so you need to be aware of what it looks like, how it functions, and how fast it loads. Apart from using Analytics and Search Console, Google also has another handy tool called the Mobile Friendly Test tool so you can see how your website performs for mobile optimization.
4. Have a consistent layout and formatting style across all your web pages, marketing materials, and social media accounts.
You can use CSS to align the formatting of all your web pages to create unity throughout your website. Consistent design makes your website easier to navigate for returning visitors, will make it easier for you to update and make changes to your website, and creates an expectation in your audiences’ minds once they become familiar with your specific branding methodologies.
3 Essential SEO Tips for your Small Business Web Pages
SEO stands for search engine optimization. SEO allows your website to be found in search results pages (SERPs) corresponding to specific search queries with relevant key terms for your small business. Including keywords and key terms throughout your website content is the best way to ensure that your website will rank well in the results pages for related search queries. Your website and web pages offer several areas and ways to best optimize your pages for search. Make sure you’re taking advantage of every SEO opportunity you’re given!
Here are 3 small business website SEO tips to use on your web pages:
1. Include your keyword or phrase in the page meta description, URL, and page title.
Take full advantage of all the spaces search engines give you! When a search query matches up with the key terms you page is optimized for, those terms will become bolded in all of the results. So the more of those keywords and phrases you can include in your result, the more it will stand out! Just make sure you stay away from keyword stuffing.
2. Add ALT tags to your webpage images. Including ALT tags helps web crawlers “see” what the image is about and helps page crawlers index those images so they can appear in image searches.
3. Get and give backlinks.
Backlinks are essentially votes of confidence in a website as a reputable resource of information on a specific topic. If you receive backlinks from other websites, Google will take notice that a lot of people trust your website. You may see your web page rise in the SERPs as a result because Google is giving your page preference over other results.
For your website health, slow, steady, and continuous optimization and design work is what will put you ahead of your competitors. Using the SEO and website design tips above will ensure your web pages are optimized and generating organic traffic to your small business website. At the end of the day, remember that a lot of “little things” add up to one “big thing” over time. And that “big thing” is small business success and longevity. That’s definitely something worth fighting for.