Thursday, September 17, 2020 • strategy

The Basics of SEO for Small Business Owners

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The entire purpose of this technology is to go through the entirety of the internet continuously over and over and over on a never ending loop searching for content such as web pages, images and videos.

Not too long ago I was speaking with a client based just outside of Dallas, Texas. They had been in the dietary supplement business for over 25 years.

When the internet was first taking off their company quickly rose to the top of the search rankings nationally.

Then about 15 years later this same company couldn’t find a single product they sold in the first 5 pages of any major search engine.

The gentleman I was speaking with spent an hour, with 100% certainty explaining to me how Google was rigged and only those companies that paid them the most amount of money ended at the top of the major search engines.

As a marketer I know that this is not a true statement. Regardless of how unfair it might seem, search engine rankings are not rigged. But the work of SEO is never done. The companies that understand this excel and the companies that don’t understand this fail.

93% of all consumers will not go past page one of the Google Search Page Results and Small Business Owners pay millions of dollars on Search Engine Optimization trying, hoping against hope they will somehow buy their way to the top of organic rankings.

I wrote this article specifically to educate Small Business Owners on the basics of Search Engine Optimization to help them better direct their employees on the best SEO strategy for their business.

How does Search Engine Optimization work?

Each search engine uses a different technology to accomplish the same task. The technology is commonly known as “Crawler”, “Bot” or “Spider”. 

The entire purpose of this technology is to go through the entirety of the internet continuously over and over and over on a never ending lope searching for content such as web pages, images and videos. This “crawler”, “bot” or “spider” hop from one page to the next page by using the links inside the web pages. They are looking for new links, new content to index.

The next thing it does is categorize each piece of content that it finds. This is called indexing. It is a massive list of all web pages and content found from the “crawler”, “bot” or “spider” respectively. Each search engine pulls data from its index as the source of information you see on search result pages.

Note: Not everything the “crawler”, “bot” or “spider” finds makes it into an index. If one of these technologies finds the exact same information on more than one site, it will only index one site and that is always the one it found first. Always.

Example: You sell computers made from big name companies. Said big name company releases a new product and sends every single company that sells computers for them the exact same product information. Now the big named company will also have this information on their website and would have published it first. The search engine is only going to index the big named company, not all the other companies. It would be smart to have your own description for the product other than what was sent to you so that it can be indexed.

Lastly is Ranking. Every search engine keeps their ranking algorithm completely confidential. So unless you work at Google, Bing, Yahoo or any of the other search engine companies, you will NEVER be able to get this information.

Lastly is Ranking. Every search engine keeps their ranking algorithm completely confidential. So unless you work at Google, Bing, Yahoo or any of the other search engine companies, you will NEVER be able to get this information.

Despite keeping the vast majority of this information in Fort Knox, they have shared sparingly specific things to concentrate on:

  • Domain Components
  • Page Components
  • Site Components
  • Backlink Components
  • User Interaction
  • Brand Signals

I could literally spend the next 10 hours writing out all the specifics about each one of these components, but I am going to give you the broad strokes.

This will leave out a bunch of technology mambo-jumbo that most people wouldn’t understand to begin with.

  • Keywords in your site are important
  • The ease of use of your website is a must
  • The navigation when being built should be breadcrumb
  • It MUST be optimized for mobile devices
  • Having other companies linking to your site should be done (industry specific)
  • Ensure that organic traffic stays on your website and look at different information throughout the site
  • Have a Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube and LinkedIn page for your website and post regular content to all of them

At the end of the day, what do we understand about ranking – It needs to be USER FRIENDLY and it needs to be RELEVANT. 

I know this sounds simple, and actually it is very simple. The number #1 reason companies do not succeed with SEO, is because they do not do the work necessary to have good SEO.

So you ask me “How do I ensure that I have a good SEO plan?.

  1. Establish a goal for your SEO plan.
  2. Next you need to do keyword research.
  3. Research related topics to your keywords in your industry.
  4. Once you have established your keywords, check them in each of the major search engines.
  5. Check your main 3 competitors and see how they rank for the same keywords and topics.
  6. Based on the results fix areas of concern with your SEO.
  7. Work out plan to fix all areas of concern.


  1. Establish a goal for your SEO plan – As a business owner you want to ensure that the goal you set is aggressive, but at the same time it needs to be a goal that can be obtained. The long term goal is always to show up #1 in every major search engine for every single keyword, but that doesn’t happen overnight. So pick attainable goals, work towards them and every time you obtain one of your goals, ensure you immediately set a new goal.
  2. The first thing you should do is get Google Search Console installed onto your website. It will take some time for the Search Console to aggregate useful information. You should wait 2-3 days after installing this onto your website.
    • Secondly I would ask the next 5 – 10 new clients/customers how they found your product or store. If they mentioned search results, ask them specifically what search terms they used.
    • Using Google Search Console find out what search terms potential clients or customers are using to find your business.
    • Now if you don’t already have a Google Adwords account, you should get one now.
      1. Log into your account and find the Keyword Planner tool
      2. Find the new keywords option
      3. Search for “new keywords using phrase, website or category”
      4. Once the form is opened up click the field “Your Landing Page” and enter your competitors website. Then click “Get ideas”.
      5. Google is now going to crawl the page and the site and give you keyword ideas
      6. Repeat this for your 3 main competitors.
  3. If you are in an extremely competitive field, ensure you pay attention to long-tail keywords that you can use
  4. Last ensure that the keywords you pick have the most relevance for what you want to show up with.
  5. This should leave you with the most important keywords that you need to attack.
  6. Based on these keywords check out related topics and come up with secondary keywords to attack.
  7. Once you have the keywords, check where you rank on each of the major search engines for each of these keywords.
  8. Also check where each of your top 3 competitors rank for each of these keywords.
  9. The results will bring up areas of concern. Meaning, now that you have actually looked you can see that you are doing well in some areas and not doing well in others. Note these down for later reference.
  10.  The first thing I would do is ensure that all keywords and topic keywords are properly input into the website (Your website master or IT specialist can find out this information for you).
  11. If they are not in the back end of the website, get them into the website immediately.
  12. Now use the website Google Search Console and Google Analytics to determine the organic click through rate (meaning do they actually use the calls to action), bounce rate and amount of time someone spends on your website (the average click through rate for the #1 websites, is 27.7%. Thus this is your target click through rate. The average time on a website is 45 seconds. You want to ensure that you are continuously trying to keep potential clients or prospects on your website longer than this).
  13. If you are falling down on any of these points, work with your website team to improve design and usability of the website.
  14. Next ensure that you have a business Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and YouTube pages. I completely understand that your target audience might not use these platforms. It doesn’t matter. You get ranked higher for having these social pages and posting content on them. So just do it.
  15. Now come up with ideas to create interesting ideas to attack each of your keywords based on your research.
  16. Execute your ideas.

Now I said earlier in this article that the #1 reason small businesses fail at SEO is that they don’t do the work and now you have a bit of an idea how much work it actually takes.

Realize that this is a basic plan. I could have gone really deep and typed out another 10,000 words, but that would have been a bit overwhelming.

I hope you have found this article helpful and if you did, please follow Evolved on our social media accounts for more helpful content like this. 

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