11 Practical, Easy-To-Implement SEO Tips for Small Business Owners

Magnify your <u>SEO</u> with these 11 tipsIn the past, when people wanted to find a business, they looked in the Yellow Pages. Now, customers search for companies on Google. If your business doesn’t show up on the first page of search results, you are losing customers.

How do you make your website appear on the first page of search results? You use a method called “search engine optimization” – or SEO for short. SEO is a constant process, but here are 11 SEO tips to get you started: 

  1. Keywords – What are the top keywords that people use when looking for a company like yours? Not sure? Then check out Google’s Keyword Tool and research your keyword terms. Make sure to incorporate your keywords throughout your site.
  2. Site design – You might be surprised how much design plays into SEO. Your website needs to be user-friendly and easy to navigate. It also must load quickly. All of these elements help boost your SEO.
  3. Page titles – Make sure each page in your website has a unique page title and that it contains appropriate keywords.
  4. Meta tag descriptions – Meta tag descriptions describe what’s on your web page. This content appears on your search engine results, so it’s important that your meta tags are descriptive, concise and keyword-rich.
  5. Site map – Site maps help customers find where things are on your website. Site maps also help search engines find content. Be sure to have a site map prominently displayed on your site, usually at the bottom of your homepage.
  6. Picture alt text and descriptions – Did you know graphics on your site can be indexed by Google? That’s why you should fill out the description and alternate text fields on every picture. Your descriptions should clearly convey what the picture is about.
  7. Internal linking – When possible, always link to other pages within your site. Internal linking boosts SEO; make sure to include keywords in your link verbiage.
  8. Back links – Anytime an external website links to content within your site, you are building “authority,” which helps with SEO. Submit your website to online directories, bookmark your content on sites such as Pinterest and Digg, and include links to your content from social media sites.
  9. Blogging – Adding a blog to your website is a great way to increase SEO. Every time you update your blog, you are telling Google to come back to your site to look at new content. Make sure your blog posts include keywords and can be easily shared on social media sites.
  10. Social media – Hand in hand with back links, social media is a powerful tool to generate traffic to your site and boost your authority ranking. Consider social media profiles on Facebook, Google Plus, Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest.
  11. Paid SEO services – You can hire an SEO consultant to assist you with optimizing your website. However, buyer beware! Not all SEO companies are alike, and many are not reputable. Be sure to shop around, ask for references and know that you don’t have to pay a fortune for SEO services. For more information about RJM Consulting’s SEO services, check out our website.

There you have it! Hopefully, you’ll find these tips to be easy to use and applicable for your business. SEO doesn’t have to be scary, but it does have to be part of your marketing strategy. If you have any questions, please let us know in the comments below.


Keyword/Keyphrase Selection – Mario Marini’s Italian Bistro

Choose Keywords and Keyphrases Wisely


While proper keyword and keyphrase selection is critical to attracting internet traffic, improper keyword / keyphrase selection can actually yield excellent search engine placement. Yes, that’s right – improper keyword and keyphrase selection can actually result in top rankings! They important thing to remember is that high search engine rankings are meaningless if your potential customers aren’t using your search terms. In this post, I’m not going to get into the details of keyword analysis, but I’m going to create some examples to help you understand

The key is to understand how your potential customers might search for your business. Let’s use an example. We’ll pretend that a friend of ours, Mario, has an Italian restaurant in Manhattan, and the name of his retaurant is “Mario Marini’s Italian Bistro.” Mario had a good friend of his design his website. It’s a nice website, but now he needs someone to optimize his site (do the SEO) so that people will find him on the web. One of Mario’s customers (we’ll call him Ralph) fancies himself an SEO expert, and says that for only $750, he can get Mario great search engine ranking. Business has dropped off a bit, so Mario hires Ralph to do the job and bring in more customers.

Mario’s Magical Keyphrase (Keywords)

About a week later, Ralph comes back with his laptop to show Mario the results. Ralph opens up his browser, types  in the keywords (or keyphrase, if you prefer)  “Mario Marini Italian Bistro” into the Google search engine, and, lo and behold, Mario’s place appears at the top of the organic search listings (go ahead and try this, by the way). Thrilled, Mario cuts a check.

The problem is, people aren’t going to search for Mario Marini’s Italian Bistro. Common sense dictates that people (unless they know Mario and just want to find his website) are going to search along more generic terms, like “Italian restaurant in Manhattan.” Mario might be lucky to make it into the tenth page in that case, unless he has done the proper SEO work. This is why a keyword / keyphrase analysis is critical before you start your SEO program. If the keyword or keyphrase is unique, it’s easy to get to the top of search results. Beware of the SEO guru who promises the top of the page unless you understand which keywords or keyphrases you want or need, and why.  Stop by our SEO/SEM page to learn more about our program.


Keywords: keyword, keyphrase

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Why Should I Blog?

This series of posts is excerpted from Mark Suster. Mark is a 2x entrepreneur who has gone to the Dark Side of VC. He joined GRP Partners in 2007 as a General Partner after selling his company to Salesforce.com. He focuses on early-stage technology companies.  His website can be found at www.bothsidesofthetable.com

These posts are to help you figure out why you should write and what you should talk about.

1. Why
If you care about accessing customers, reaching an audience, communicating your vision, influencing people in your industry, marketing your services or just plain engaging in a dialog with others in your industry a blog is a great way to achieve this.

People often ask me why I started blogging. It really started simply enough. I was meeting regularly with entrepreneurs and offering (for better or for worse) advice on how to run a startup and how to raise venture capital from my experience in doing so at two companies. I was having the same conversations over-and-over again (JFDI, Don’t Roll Out the Red Carpet when Employees are on the Way Out the Door, Don’t Drink Your Own Kool Aid, etc) and I figured I might as well just write them up and make them available for future people who might be interested. I never really expected a big audience or ever thought about it.

I had been reading Brad Feld’s blog & Fred Wilson’s blog for a couple of years and found them very helpful to my thinking so I honestly just thought I was giving back to the community.

The results have been both unexpected and astounding. Within 2 years I was getting 400,000 views / month and had been voted the 2nd most respected VC in the country by an independent survey of entrepreneurs, The Funded and sentiment analysis. I know that I have not yet earned these kudos based on investment returns (although my partners have. GRP Partners last fund is the single best performing VC fund in the US (prequin data) for its vintage year). But it speaks volumes to what people want from our industry:

  • transparency
  • accessibility
  • authenticity
  • thought leadership
  • advice

I’ll bet your customers, business partners or suppliers would love similar.

Next up – What Should I Blog ?