Want to understand how SEO for beginners looks like? If you’re a small business in Toronto GTA, you need search engine optimization. More and more people are searching for businesses like you online and every time, they don’t see you, you lose them out to your competitors.
We, at Maur Media Agency, are committed to helping small businesses build a strong online presence and drive leads, customers and revenue to their business using online marketing. Staying in line with that, we’re publishing this beginner’s guide to SEO for small businesses.
Here’s what you’ll learn!
SEO For Beginners: What You Need To Do On Day Zero
Ensure your website SEO-ready
SEO begins with the development of your website. The technical structure, the pages that will go on the website, their content, the layout, the site speed, code, etc are all very important when it comes to search engine optimization.
So, first of all, you need to bring an experienced team of web developers and digital marketers on board to help your website be SEO-ready. Now, this will be an ongoing process for on day 0, we really just need basic website setup done. Rest, we can handle it as we work on SEO.
SEO is a long-term process. You need consistency. There’s no point in rushing.
Sign Up For Search Console
Now that your website is ready, the next step is to make sure you have set up Search Console on your site. This will enable us to track technical issues on the site directly from Google’s account.
What is Google Search Console?
It is a free service offered by Google to website owners which helps you monitor and maintain your site. Once logged in, you can see various issues on your site like crawling errors, mobile usability errors, HTML errors etc.
Why do I need Search Console?
Search Console has a “Fetch as Google” tool that allows us to fetch any page on your website as to how Google crawls it. It also helps us see errors on the site directly from Google’s end. This tool helps provide you with important insights about your SEO health, especially for small businesses without dedicated digital marketing teams.
Also, if there’s unusual activity on your site, Search Console sends you alerts helping you resolve issues sooner.
Verify The Ownership of Your Website on Search Console
This is an important step because if you don’t verify your site, any changes done on the website are nullified. These are some of the steps you need to follow to verify ownership.
Here’s Google’s official documentation on how to do this – https://support.google.com/webmasters/answer/34592?ref_topic=9268559
If you have a digital marketing agency like Maur Media helping you out, they will easily help you out and assist you with this.
Once this is set up, ensure to monitor search console data at least on a monthly basis.
Also Read: Ultimate Guide to SEO for ecommerce
Understand How Google Search Works
Now that your website is ready – it’s time to understand how Google Search works.
In a nutshell, here’s what happens when you type in a query on Google:
Google crawls the web and indexes its content for search. It uses this indexed data to power its algorithmic calculations. These algorithms are essentially code-based calculations that are used to rank your site for various queries.
Having a firm grasp of these algorithms, their logic, and how they work is key to doing well in search results.
There are 3 basic steps Google follows to generate results from web pages:
Crawling is the process by which Google crawls the web pages to index their content. Indexing happens when Google puts this indexed data into its indexes. You are probably familiar with Google search results – that’s basically ranking of your web pages for a particular query based on the rules set out in its algorithms.
This is an ongoing process that takes place when you are on the go. So, Google crawls your web page, decides how it should rank based on its indexing of this data, and serves you results accordingly.
So, knowing these fundamental concepts makes it easier to understand how SEO works. This is why we created this SEO for beginners guide for small businesses.
5. Ensure Google Can See Your Website Properly
Once you’ve verified your site ownership, make sure Google can see the website properly.
The first thing to do is fix crawling errors on your site. To know how many errors you have, go to search console and click “search analytics”.
What are crawling errors? Crawling errors can be a number of things – 404 pages, incorrect meta tags etc. If you have any broken links on your website, Google will not be able to crawl these pages and index them properly resulting in crawling errors. It is very important that Google crawls your website properly for it to rank well.
Add a sitemap to your website. This helps Google properly index all the pages on your site.
Add Your Business Sites To Google My Business
Google My Business (GMB) is a free tool that allows you to list your business on Google. It’s important to list your business properly here because this is what powers Google Maps and other local search results.
Also, if you are someone who manages your business presence off of a single page, Google My Business makes it easier to share the same updates across all the social media platforms.
Therefore, it’s important you do this because if anyone wants to know anything about your business – they will eventually check Google for this information.
Optimize Existing Webpages
Once you’ve done all this, it’s time to do some optimizations on your existing web pages.
These are things like:
- adding necessary meta description and tags
- fixing errors on your site
- optimizing page speed, load time etc.
These are important because all this information is what will ultimately get you rankings in search results.
Plan To Add More Content Consistently
Add more content to your website. This is important because it means you are adding fresh content regularly which will ultimately result in improved rankings for your site.
So, draft a plan on how you and when you will add more content on the website – it could be blog posts, product pages or other information regarding your products that can keep your website fresh and offer more unique information for your clients.
Google is all about offering the best user experience and rankings ultimately depend on this. So, you need to continue optimizing your website and contents for mobile devices (necessitated by the rise of mobile users) and other elements like page speed, load times, etc. Google always keeps an eye out for websites that offer a good user experience and ranks them. So, make sure you do this for a consistent flow of traffic to your website.
And there you go! With these 9 steps, you know about SEO for beginners and can be ready to do this for your website. Of course, if you’re a small business owner, we highly recommend hiring an agency like Maur Media to do this for you. We’re currently open for new clients for SEO in Brampton and Toronto GTA and would love to speak to you about this.