4 Key Things Small Businesses Should Do to Remain Search Optimized at All Times.

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When launching a new business, many entrepreneurs might recognize SEO as something they should do, but never quite get around to investing in it amidst the chaos of founding a startup. In fact, recent studies highlight that only 17 percent of small business owners have an SEO strategy, and 39 percent of small businesses aren’t investing in any marketing strategies at all.

But, while an entrepreneur’s mind may be whirling with ideas about product development or new team members, it’s worth bringing SEO into the loop at an early a stage as possible. After all, it’s SEO that will lead customers to your company in the first place; a good SEO strategy can increase organic search engine traffic by more than 1000 percent, putting you ahead of competitors and helping to drive sales.

Don’t fall for the “flavor of the month.”

Google uses specific criteria to rank websites, however constantly changes the ranking formula to provide the best search results. A popular SEO approach is trying to reverse engineer and estimate what this criteria is based on keywords, etc. — kind of like cracking Google’s secret code. But, while this may work for a time, a company’s SEO strategy is back to square one once Google changes its algorithms.

Customize messaging in organic search snippets.

When Google presents a user with search results, it doesn’t just list a bunch of links. To save users from wasting time clicking through links that are relevant to them, the search engine provides organic search snippets. In other words, it’s a sample of content that tells a user what the web page is about, which is automatically generated by Google from the meta-description of the page.

Consolidate duplicate content.

When it comes to increasing organic search traffic, duplicate content on webpages can be a big roadblock. According to Google, duplicate content can arise from a website offering printer-only versions of websites, store items being shown via distinct URLs, or when discussion forums generate “stripped-down” pages for targeted users.

Correct stale content.

Imagine your company’s blog was cited in The New York Times. After a successful PR campaign, the mention was a huge win for the entire team. In fact, your website traffic has since increased by 45 percent.

However, months later you decide to change the permalink structure on all your blogs to not include dates. While you may think the URLs now have a cleaner look, they just became a lot less useful. Those who try to visit your website from The New York Times end up with a stale link. And your website traffic drops by 30 percent.

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