I know you don’t want to hear it . . . I know you just want me to make your small business SEO work. But understanding these two concepts is key to how you envision your audience, your website and your sales process. In other words, getting these two details down has more power than simply making MY life easier. Your website probably has from 5 to thousands of separate pages. A “page title” is the name of the page that Google reads to know how to deliver the page up to searchers. Google wants to deliver the most relevant results to make searchers happiest. Look at the New Form Kitchens image here. (I know you can barely read it in this post, but if you click the link above and go to the site, it’s easy to read.) You’ll see at the very top of the page there is a blue bar with white letters. I underlined it in red. That is the page title. That is what Google uses to determine whether to deliver that page to someone who uses THOSE WORDS to find a solution to their problem. Their page title on their BATHROOMS page reads: “Custom Bath Cabinets, Bathroom Design & Remodeling San Diego, Los Angeles, Newport Beach, Laguna Beach, Laguna Niguel, Carlsbad & Orange County, California (CA) – NewForm Kitchen.” (Note: this is a long one. Page titles are usually 70 characters or less.) They’ve picked these words based on what people are typing into Google to find what they need. Apparently, they’ve found that people are often searching for “Custom Bath Cabinets, San Diego” and “bathroom design Laguna Niguel” and ALL permutations and possible combinations of their service and the location. [the mathematicians would tell us that 2 service variables multiplied by 7 locations gives us 14 possible combinations.]
A Sexy Example of Small Business SEO & Keyword Research
SEO people like me have tools to tell us which words and combinations the general populace uses to find specific products. My favorite example is when my sex therapy clients wanted to offer treatment for patients with “low libido.” (I was tickled to get that client – you know it.) While it’s probably important to discuss “low libido” throughout the page, I found that a far more commonly used term was “sexless marriage.” Sad! But true. I then created a separate service page with the title “San Diego Treatment for Sexless Marriage | Low Libido Issues |Enhancing Romancing Sex Therapy (the name of the biz). I relegated “low libido” to secondary status. Keep in mind that, any more, a website should be designed NOT through the antiquated means of Home, About, Services, Contact, but through the best keywords. Tell that to your designer. You should do the keyword research first to determine which keywords you can “own” or rank high for. Then determine where those pages should go. Under services? Under products? Try to break your services down into specifics and have one subject on each page.
A Small Business without Adequate SEO Basics
A competitor to New Form Kitchens, Dave Kaplan’s Kabinets has a couple of problems. First, this small business owner decided to set himself apart by using the “K “on “cabinets.” This strategy loses him visits because most people know to spell cabinets with a “c.” While Google is smart enough to figure it out, they will see the proper spelling as more relevant. Secondly, if you look here, rather than specifying his town or state, the page title just says “kitchen and bath.” Not even cabinets! Dave! No one is typing “Kitchen and Bath” into the Google search bar. They’re more specific: “fancy bathroom cabinets,” “rustic bathroom cabinets,” “European Kitchen cabinets,” possibly including the city. While the text on the page does help by spelling cabinets correctly and discussing these issues, Google much prefers a page consistently themed with one or two carefully chosen keywords.
Page Titles Make Important Debut in Search Results
Because on the website itself page titles show up at the very top of the page in small letters, they’re mostly ignored by visitors. The page titles are written into the website’s code or “backend” so that it shows up prominently in the search results. Check out what happens after I type in “childrens’ resale San Diego.” People tend to choose the options with the most words similar to those they typed in Google’s search bar.
A Page Title’s “Significant Other” in Small Business SEO: The Meta Description
If you look below that list of blue page titles, you’ll see a couple of lines (150 characters to be exact) of description under them. This is the “meta description.” Always repeat your keyword in the meta description so that people see instantly that your page must be about their need: what they typed into the Google search bar. More, the “Meta Description” tells Google exactly what’s on the page. Look at “therapeutic massage” image here and you’ll see the 2 sentence descriptions that come up in the search engine results when someone types “therapeutic massage san diego” into the search bar. This meta description is like a short advertisement for your business. (I know it’s hard to read! Search it to see more closely!) Small Business SEO is Your Friend! And so Is Informed Web Content I still believe that SEO is not hard, just “weird.” It’s a paradigm shift for those over a certain age. Allow yourself the luxury of not getting it at first, of putting up a page that doesn’t work. You can’t break the internet! If teams of diabolical hackers haven’t managed it, you won’t. Also, one bad page won’t ruin your business. If you’d like a little guidance, remember that Informed Web Content offers a free, no-obligation social, seo, and website audit. Want to just talk about how aggravating this all is? Feel free to call at 858-248-0667. You can explain your issues on our contact form. Just want to follow along for a while? Like our Facebook or Google+ or Twitter pages. We look forward to tackling your challenges in cyberspace!