Brainstorming the Castle | Long Island Marketing, Copywriting, and Branding
A New Brand Adventure
joshua-sortino-215039-unsplash.jpg

Small business marketing tips

Another bright idea... from Kim Healy. Kim is a marketing consultant who helps small businesses with the big picture. Kim has a background in family business and has also worked extensively in the B-to-B marketing space on both the local and national levels.

Small Business SEO with Tuesdays Together Long Island

The-Cup-Coffeehouse-Wantagh-Long-Island-NY.jpg

Meeting: Tuesdays Together, April 2019

Topic: Small Business SEO

Time & Date: 6PM, April 9th

Location: The Cup Coffeehouse, Wantagh, NY

Supporting local small business has always been important to me. Now, as an entrepreneur, I’m an advocate for networking with my fellow entrepreneurs on a regular basis. Other small business owners just get it — your struggles, valuable resources, the desire to advocate for and promote one another to the community — and that feels good.

My desire to connect with my fellow local business owners is what led me to my role as co-leader of Tuesdays Together Long Island. What is Tuesday’s Together? Click here for more info on our regular meetings (held monthly in Nassau and Suffolk Counties!) and monthly topics.

This month, addition to our standard introductions — your name, your business name, what you do, where you’re located — we also asked attendees to rate their SEO knowledge on a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 being the most knowledgeable. SEO is a beast of a topic, so I wasn’t surprised that even those of us who have a decent knowledge of the subject gave ourselves threes. The reasoning? SEO is constantly changing. Even when you use it every day, you still never feel like you’re caught up. (Also, we’re a bunch of self-made business owners, the struggle with imposter syndrome is real!)

After introductions, we dove right in to the discussion questions provided to us by Rising Tide and Honeybook. Personally, I like to expand on the materials in the guide whenever possible. Below you’ll find the five questions provided in bold, followed by my additional questions in regular typeface marked by letters instead of numbers:

1.    How have you implemented SEO in your small business?

a.    What SEO tools and tactics do you currently use?

b.    Have you claimed your Google My Business listing?

2.    What are 3 keywords or phrases you’d like to rank for?

a.    How did you come up with them? 

b.    What help did you employ (people, tools, etc.)?

c.     How and where do you track them (Google Analytics/Search Console, separate baseline tracker or external spreadsheet, etc.)?

What are you doing to make that possible?

a.    How do you integrate them into your website and marketing plan?

3.    Do you currently blog? Revisit one of your favorite blog posts and optimize it to reach your target audience with long-tail keywords.

4.    Brainstorm 5 blog post ideas to create keyword-rich and relevant content for your target audience.

5.    Pair off with a partner and spend 10 minutes working through a DIY Audit as directed by Abigail’s article on page 6.  

SEO Tools & Resources

Each month the PDF features articles from various Rising Tide members around the world who are knowledgeable on the topic. These articles often suggest different tools and resources. Since the SEO Guide was chock-full of ‘em, I thought I would do an easy round-up here, followed by some additional SEO tools I like to use.

From the Guide

Additional Tools I Use

  • Answer the Public – This helps you find out what questions people are searching in relation to your topic/area of expertise.

  • Google Trends – For when you can’t decide between synonyms, similar phrases, or topics, this tool will tell you which option is more popular on Google. You can also narrow down by geographic region, timeframe, categories, or the type of search (image, news, Google, YouTube).

  • Keyword Shitter – This site is a great jumping off point for basic keyword research. You put in your “seed keywords,” hit “shit keywords!” and it will provide you with thousands of long tail keywords. You can also filter the results with additional words you do want to see or words you don’t want to see.

  • Keyword.io – Similar to Keyword Shitter. Shows what people search on Google as well as other platforms. Also allows you to filter results. You only need to register for a free account if you want to be able to download the list. Hours of brainstorming vs. seconds with this tool.

  • *SEO Site Checkup – Gives an overall SEO score, but will also give specifics — like whether or not you have a sitemap and your site loading time — and where/how you can improve your site. Free version lets you check one website per day.

Have an SEO tool you love that isn’t listed here? Leave it in the comments!

SEO Tips

Finally, here is a recap of some of my favorite tips in this month’s guide followed by, you guessed it, my own tips and a few additional resources.

  • Long tail keywords are easier to rank for, but they should also bring in more qualified leads. If the keyword doesn’t align with your goals/offerings, it doesn’t matter what page you show up on because you won’t be bringing in the right people. The better the match, the warmer the lead, and the higher the chance of conversion.

  • Search your search terms and see what Google (or whatever platform you want to rank on) is currently showing.

    • Are the results what your ideal client would be looking for? Or are they more suited for your competition?

    • Are there suggested/related searches (bottom of first page of results) that would be a good fit for long tail keywords? If so, considering adding them to your strategy.

  • There are four elements that are key for 2019:

    • Keyword Research & Search Intent

    • Link Building & PR

    • Technical SEO

      • Confirm site it secure (https://)

      • Confirm site is mobile friendly

      • Site loading speed

      • Have a sitemap

      • Register your site with Google Search Console

    • Local SEO

      • Claim NAP+W (Name/Address/Phone Number + Website)

      • Sign up for Google My Business and verify your website

      • Include street address and/or service areas in footer of website

      • Make phone number clickable on mobile site

  • Image files

    • File naming:

      • Use dashes above all else in between words (so Google will see each word as a separate word)

      • Create a naming convention that includes the keyword you want to rank for on that specific page/post.

    • Resize all images for specific use case and use jpegs when possible for best quality/load time ratio.

    • Write ALT Text that sounds like something an actual human would say while still making sure to use your keywords. Use image captions in the same way that you would use ALT Text, but don’t write the same thing for both. When ALT Text isn’t an option, a caption can 

My Tips

  • Organic search means that not everyone coming to your site is coming in through your homepage. Look at each page of your site through the eyes of a first time visitor:

    • Is it clear how to navigate to the homepage?

    • Where else can they get more information?

    • Does each page include a call to action to travel further into your website?

    • Is there a clear way to contact you immediately if they want to?

  • Knowing who your ideal clients are is a great way to narrow down the keywords you want to rank for; if you know who they are, you can figure out what they’re searching for, where they’re searching for it (Google, Pinterest, YouTube, etc.), where they’re at in the customer journey (unaware, problem aware, solution aware, product aware, most aware), what their pain points are, FAQs, and what kind of language they would probably use when searching (industry terms, words that are commonly confused, plain language, etc.) 

Resources I Like

Okay, this was a long one, so I’m signing off. Want to access the monthly guides? Sign up here!