I’m one of the oldest SEO people in the United States and I owned a brick and mortar small business for 13 years. Started in 2001, it went on to absolutely dominate search world wide. SEO is tougher these days but believe it or not my recipe hasn’t changed since 1991 when I operated my first online service at 13 years old.
Why am I writing this?
I love small businesses. They employ most of this great country’s work force. And, nobody in the SEO industry is going to help you, not even me. For a thorough explanation of that last comment, see my article: Why there are no good SEOs for Small Business Owners.
The small business owner’s guide to SEO
Here it is, step by step.
#1. Install WordPress.
I could write a book about why you need WordPress but in short you need a theme just like the one I’m using. Put your logo and clickable phone # at the top somewhere. If you’re a brick and mortar, but a Google map at the bottom so people can click it and get directions. If you need this entire thing done for you feel free to purchase my “48hr WordPress Website solution”. But, you don’t need me; you can do it yourself: install WordPress with 1 click here at Bluehost.
#2. Create content.
Set up your home page describing what it is you do. Keep the page about the customer but do tell people about why you do what you do. Set up pages for each product or service. Set up the blog and write a couple of entries answering questions that people ask you when they call. If you don’t know what these questions are, go to the front desk and answer the phone for 8 hours.
#3. Actually be great.
Good companies that do the right thing and are actually good at what they do typically get good reviews, repeat business, and word of mouth referrals.
Search engines do have a goal, and that is to connect people with what they are looking for. If you’re just a jerk who rips people off and tries to scam search engines, their goal is to penalize you.
#4. Get reviews.
Get Google reviews. Legally you can’t pay people to write them and Yelp will terrorize you if they think you’ve been giving incentives, so, be careful, but do whatever it is that you need to do to get them.
Don’t stop. Ever. I have 16 year old blogs I would not sell for $100,000. Seriously, offer me $100,000 so you can here me say “pssshhhhht”.
#6. Read this blog.
I do not cover every little tidbit of SEO information out there, but, you don’t need it. There are lots of great topics covered here. Pay attention to how I put the content up. This is your blueprint! And no, I am not selling anything, other than what I’m very obviously selling in the top menu. So there’s n need to worry about me pushing ebooks and other trash on you.
#7. Get links.
Do not go spam the Internet. Do not go add yourself to no name directories. Do go be great in your community. Does the business beside you have a blog? Do your customers? Do you volunteer? Do you run contests? Do you offer a scholarship? If you get out into the real world, you will find link opportunities. There is a science and an art to this.
Stick with it.
IF you have done ALL of this and still need help feel free to contact me. I do offer consulting and for good businesses I can look at your niche and help the do it yourselfer small business owner. I’ve met thousands of business owners and will always offer up a few minutes of great conversation. I know people who breed horses, rent bicycles, build hotels, and operate law firms. I know medical professionals worldwide and have assisted people in Alaska, Guam, Puerto Rico, Hollywood, Japan, England, and Australia. General conversations are free and as for consulting everyone could drastically benefit from me poking around their niche for a few hours.