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Simplifying SEO for Small Business: 9 Questions with an SEO Expert
November 11, 2022 – 01:21 pm
IMG_2708Peter Hughes, Senior Manager of Search Marketing for Constant Contact

If you’re like most small business owners, figuring out how to make search engine optimization (SEO) work for your business can seem like a daunting task.

Just the term “search engine optimization” can be enough to make your head spin.

But what if SEO didn’t have to be so complicated? What if there was a way to simplify SEO and still have the same opportunities to attract new customers?

That’s the challenge I presented to Peter Hughes, senior manager of search marketing for Constant Contact, when we sat down to discuss SEO.

He didn’t disappoint.

From debunking common SEO myths to outlining the essential best practices for getting started, Peter offered a number of valuable insights that you can use to tackle SEO for your small business.

Here are my 9 questions with SEO expert, Peter Hughes:

1. What is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is the name for the process of tweaking or optimizing your website and its content in an effort to positively affect the visibility of your site in the organic (non-paid) search listings and improve your ranking for searches.

2. Why does SEO matter for small business?

Done well, it can represent an ongoing and at-times abundant source of free traffic to your website. Unlike Paid Search (otherwise known as PPC), clicks to your site from the organic or natural listings incur no cost per click.

3. What are some of the key factors that impact a business’s SEO?

The need to produce fresh, relevant content that aligns with what your audience is searching for.

Consider a blog as being a principal source of delivering fresh content to answer the questions that your customers are asking. Don’t get hung up on the specific keywords – write naturally, even conversationally. Search engines have moved beyond just matching a keyword from the search.

Of course, if you know that customers routinely ask a specific question, don’t be afraid to use those keywords, but don’t write the content around the keyword.

4. Are there any misconceptions about SEO that you think business owners should be aware of?

Yes, that it’s simply too complicated. It doesn’t have to be and shouldn’t be. Too often, business owners fear it, deeming that the “science of SEO” is too much of a full-time job in and of itself. Sure, a part of ongoing SEO is about the code of your website to ensure that it’s easily indexed by search engines, and therefore either requires knowledge of code, which is less likely, or requires some assistance. But at its core, good SEO consists more functionally of delivering relevant and meaningful content to an audience that is searching for a product or a service that you deliver.

5. Are there any common SEO mistakes businesses should be aware of?

Yes. Getting hung up on writing content that includes specific keywords with the express purpose of “ranking for that keyword”. It’s not a system that you can game as easily as just stuffing your website or blog post full of your target keywords.

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