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Last week, we began a new 3-part series called “The Small Business Owner’s Guide to SEO.” Last week’s episode, Part 1, shared a foundation of information about Search Engine Optimization — answering questions like “What is SEO?” and “How does SEO work?” This week, we’re going to explore actionable ways to build and enhance your SEO within your website — ways the details of your web design and your website as a whole matter.

The Small Business Owner's Guide to SEO Part 2 of 3 - With Grace and Gold - Brand It Build It Podcast Best Marketig Podcast for Creative Small Business Owners and Entrepreneurs

The Small Business Owner’s Guide to SEO: Part 2 of 3

This SEO-focused 3-part series is for small business owners who know or have heard that SEO matters — but who need a foundation of information to work from. 

As mentioned last week: Our expertise at With Grace and Gold is design — creating a purpose-driven web design with Search Engine Optimization in mind. SEO is made up of how a wide variety of factors work together — from SEO Titles, Descriptions, and Keywords to your continued content creation, and so much more. There are SEO professionals who can provide detailed and comprehensive SEO services unique to your business and goals. These episodes explore the ways you can manage and approach SEO — knowing you can always look toward hiring a professional in the future!

Today, we want to explore 5 ways you can build or enhance your Search Engine Optimization using details within your website. As shared last week, SEO is made up of a variety of factors, and your ranking depends upon how those factors work together collectively. Just a few factors are: Google’s ability to crawl, or find and explore, your website and its content, having compelling and helpful content within your website, including beneficial keywords within your web design and copywriting, creating a user-friendly experience, offering share-worthy content which is promoted via social media or other reputable websites, and more.

Here are 6 details within your website you can be mindful of and enhance:

  1. Your domain name and URLs. Your domain name — also known as your web address or URL — matters. When your domain name showcases what your business does or the field you are in, you can enhance your SEO. For example, if I offer photography services, having the domain name kellyzugayphotography.com rather than kellyzugay.com can be beneficial. Similarly, all of the URLs within your website should be clean and easy to read. Reading your URLs is not only something visitors do, but it’s also something search engines do. If you’re a WordPress user, under  WordPress > Settings > Permalinks, consider choosing a clear and easy-to-read links. In other words, rather than creating URLs with a string of numbers, be sure you’re creating URLs with a string of words so your page names or post names will appear clearly in your website’s URLs.
  2. The structure of your website. At its foundation, your website is a resource for your audience — a place where you can serve, educate, and guide your visitors toward the products or services best-aligned with their needs. A well-organized website with clear and curated pages and clear headings, subheadings, and paragraphs is not only helpful for serving your audience — but can also be helpful for Search Engine Optimization. Some website platforms allow you tag your  navigation menu as a navigation menu, tag your headings as headings, and tag your paragraphs as paragraphs, helping search engines to more accurately read the content of your website. 
  3. Your website platform’s built-in SEO resources. Website platforms like Showit and Squarespace offer users built-in SEO resources. Within each dashboard, each page of your web design has an SEO Title and an SEO Description. Often, by default, your SEO Title shows the name of the page, such as About or Services. When you customize the SEO Title, though, you can enter in a brief keyword-focused phrase like “About Kelly Zugay Photography | Minneapolis, Minnesota Photographer.” Similarly, by default, your SEO Description shows the first paragraph of the page. When you customize the SEO Description, though, you can enter in your own chosen paragraph, including keywords relevant to your business. Both Showit and Squarespace offer unique guides to strong Search Engine Optimization, so by using their recommendations or the recommendations of an SEO professional, you can ensure the Titles and Descriptions on each page of your website are goal-oriented. 
  4. Your website’s copywriting. The copywriting or the wording within your website should be clear and audience-focused. As shared last week, when your website’s content is curated with educating and serving your customers and clients in mind, your visitors will see the value in your content and business as a whole. Ideally, your value-adding content will lead to more visits and more links to your website, letting Google know your business and website are dependable. In addition to technical details of Search Engine Optimization, your SEO is dependent upon how real visitors engage with and value your content. So, by keeping your customers and clients in mind, you can approach your SEO in a service-focused way.
  5. The way you label your photos and media. Search engines ‘read’ your website’s copywriting to understand what your website is all about. But how do search engines ‘read’ photos or media? Just as you apply an SEO Title and Description to every page of your website, you can also add keywords and “alt text” to each photo or element used within your website. “Alt text” should describe what is being shown in the photo, so search engines can understand what the photo or media is all about. Just as you mention your business type or field within your SEO Titles and Descriptions, you can also mention your business type within your “alt text.” It’s important to take a curated, clear, and concise approach to writing your “alt text” to make reading your photos easy for search engines to do.
  6. Your blog. Continue creating blog content regularly. The pages of your website serve as a foundation of information for search engines to read — but blog posts can enhance and build upon the foundation you’ve created. If you are a WordPress user, download the plugin called Yoast SEO to effectively enhance every blog post you publish with SEO in mind. If you are a Squarespace user, use Squarespace’s built-in SEO fields to apply SEO Titles, Descriptions, and Keywords to every post you publish. Writing blog content can help your website to be discovered — leading visitors to your main products and services through the educational or helpful content you create. 

About Brand It, Build It Podcast, Hosted by Kelly Zugay

Hosted by Kelly Zugay, co-founder of With Grace and Gold, The Brand It, Build It Podcast is a leading small business marketing podcast for small business owners, creatives, founders and entrepreneurs. Enjoy weekly, actionable episodes to build a successful, sustainable small business from the inside out.

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