Search Engine Optimization Basics for the Small Business Owner

update 8/2015

Squirrel w/Long tail, for "long tail keywords" How can you get your small business to first 2 pages of Google? Hmmm.

Well I’m so psyched.

I got my brand new website to pg. 6 of Google in only 8 days!  I”m gonna aim for pg. 2.  This out of about “3,290,000 results.”

Let’s do this for your small business site, it’s all about SEO, search engine optimization.  Here are the basics of search engine optimization, I’m assuming you are a small business owner or an entrepreneur, self-employed and you want customers???!!

It isn’t rocket science but it took me five years of research and learning to get to this point, (hire me save yourself time-use your time to do what you are expert at-running your business!)

Some key things to rank well on Google-and they are the big boy, the others follow. Key things are:

  1. Have fresh updated content on your website
  2. Have helpful content that is “deep” not just 1 or two pages
  3. Research “key words” that fit  your business & know how to use them and which are worth using!

Let’s break down these three search engine optimization basic points:

Have Fresh Website Content:

to rank well on Google it helps to have a blog, as part of your site.  To that blog you can add content regularly (a couple times a week is good.)  But even 1x month if it’s relevant keyword optimized will help over time. The search engines like to see fresh content, and ongoing updated-that would imply you are engaged with whatever business or service you are providing right?

Read How to Start a Business Blog.

Helpful Content that is “Deep”

Google frequently updates their algorithms (huh?) to try and push down sites that are filled with, scraped or rehashed or simply not “deep” content.  There are things called “article spinners” basically software that you put an article in and it just spins out content.  I admit I tried one online and hated it!  It works by filling in synonyms and you get a watered down version of the original-but it can do this like many times like 40 times or so.  Of course you get to a point that it just starts sounding dumb or incomprehensible.  It’s a time saver and I”m sure some internet marketers are using it well and profiting.  Many folks were using these and putting this out there to build links from one site to theirs and for quick content.  You can see though how it fills the internet with lower quality content.  The defense would say well if folks find my content on “” site and another person finds me on “” then what’s the problem? I’ve provided content to different audiences.”

Well I don’t use article spinners and found the reasons against stronger, so back to our search engine optimization basics-Google is attempting to weed this out.  Don’t you hate it when you want info-you have questions on a topic and the first 5 sites listed have low quality, rehashed content or are only wanting to sell you products without giving helpful info?  Granted if you are new to the topic you may not know that’s the case.  But check it out in an area you are expert in.  You might find it stuffed with lower quality content-pushing out sites that are more authoritative.  This tends to happen in searches of areas that are potentially lucrative.

Search Engine Optimization Basics-Keyword:

This is most important, researching keywords that relate to your business. Then using them on your small business website in a way that is natural but gets the attention of the “bots” that are roaming the web to figure out your search engine ranking.  This seems pretty straightforward right?  A key free tool for this is found here:, you need to sign up for a Google account, but it’s free.

The problem with the obvious keywords:

So say you are a day spa in Boston, you think of the words that folks would use to find you: such as “massage” or “pedicures” or “day spa?”  The problem with this is that those key words pull up millions upon millions of websites.  They are too general too broad.  Also the age of your website is said to play a part (I have not found this to be a barrier though) but the older website will tend to rank better.

The process then is to dig deeper for what are called “long tail key words.”  Picture a dinosaur-long neck and long tail.  The neck part represents the obvious key words-in our example “massage.”  As you spend time doing the research (or hire me!) you come up with “Swedish massage Boston.”  Not really long tail but longer-more specific-someone who searches so specifically has an agenda! They want something-they want to get this info/service or product or they would not be so specific-those are the customers YOUR BUSINESS wants.  A truly long tail search would be “Swedish massage Upper East Side.”  So don’t aim for the super big Key words-they may be out of reach.  Instead focus in you website keywords, tags and content on these smaller long tail key words.

Next Steps for SEO Basics:

I feel confident that if  you are a small business with a local or regional focus, that I can definitely get your business website up to page 1 or two on Google!  It usually takes a few weeks to months and would require ongoing maintenance…. Be in touch to find out more.  See my Contact page.

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