It can be a daunting thought to take your small business into the digital age. You’ve had tremendous success offline over the years, a large customer base but things aren’t the same as they were 10 or 20 years ago. Many years ago most of your business came in via the Yellow Pages and other local publications such as the local county newspaper.

Now fewer enquiries for your services come in and you know deep down why. You need to take your business onto the Internet, have a website built then have your website found in Google. But where do you start with all this?

You’ve looked online on what you could do and the options are so overwhelming. You’ve looked at search engine optimisation for your new website. You like the idea of working to get your website found in Google and you’d like to learn more about how you can do that yourself. You find a lot of conflicting information online regarding SEO and you don’t really know where to start. There is so much terminology to learn and also new definitions such as backlinks and anchor text, SEM and many more acronyms.

In this short guide, we’re going to give you some thoughts on how you can apply SEO to your small business website. Hiring an SEO expert can be pricey but with the right choice that can really pay off and in most cases is well worth the investment.

If your new website didn’t come with Google Analytics, Google Search Console then you’ll want to get those platforms set up for your website. You will also want to claim your “Google My Business” listing if one exists or create one if it doesn’t. This is really important if you’re a service-based business that serves a specific geographic area.

You need to make sure once you have analytics etc installed, that your webpages are indexed in Google. You can check whether pages are indexed by checking in your search console and getting Google to retrieve the page. They will report if it indexed and last crawled. You can also search Google for your page URL, for example, in Google. If it’s indexed, you’ll see it listed.

If you plan on adding other content pages to your website, having a good internal linking structure can help more of your pages to be crawled by Google’s bot. You want visitors to be able to logically find information but also use the pages in a content silo structure to pass importance and relevance to important ranking pages. More on content silo’s another time.

When linking internally from one page to another be sure not to use text in the link for keywords you want to rank for unless the page you are linking to has been set up to rank for that keyword.

That will give you a few things to get started on and we’ll continue our small business SEO basics at a later date.