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SEO for Small Businesses & Beyond
#1
When starting your small business, portfolio, or forum web traffic is vital to get your name and services out into the world on the digital front. Search Engine Optimization or SEO will help make your website, content and products friendlier for search engines to parse and feature on their result pages. In this Tips from a SBO, we will be focusing on how to optimize your website for search engines to allow for you to drive more traffic organically.

What is SEO?
SEO allows for clearer navigation of your website, so when Search Engines crawl the web for results your website is optimized for the engine to easily pull content and presents it for users to visit. The search engines typically check your site for relevancy, cross device support, quality content, user experience, speed, linking and meta tags just to name a few. These items when used correctly will boost your SEO Score making your listing much easier to find when doing your Google Search.

  1. Relevancy – Having your content being relevant to your industry or the queries you are trying to get hits on build your relevancy. With my business as an example, when you search for Graphic Design in Lawrence, Kansas you will see all of the design agencies in the market, however mine is towards the bottom of the list due to the maturity and relevancy of my content, amongst other factors.
  2. Cross Device Compatibility – Today, you need to have your website optimized for a wide range of devices. Most consumers will view your website on their mobile device or tablet and if the site does not function well they will have a hard time returning for future business. Many content management systems like WordPress feature and come pre-stocked with responsive themes that will appeal on any device.
  3. Quality Content – Quality content is gauged on how well you are writing for your audience. Most quality content is judged based on if you are writing for people vs. search engines and the more quality content you produce for your audience, the higher your SEO score will rank!
  4. Authority – This can easily be summed up on the credibility of your content with your users and the field you are publishing content in. For example, Tyler Bell Design Co has more authority when it comes to small business tips, eCommerce, and Graphic Design while we have no business talking about how to repair your ’97 Toyota Camry.
  5. User Experience – This section tracks with how easy your site is to navigate for a user. Sites with a high user experience score have easy to navigate sites with minimal clutter that distracts the user from your primary purpose.
  6. Speed – Browsing speed is a huge deal when trying to serve content to your audience. Having a slow website will drive traffic away from your site and your audience will begin looking for content in other authorities. Keep plugins, css, images, and fonts minified and use a backup CDN service such as CloudFlare to cache your site keeping things as speedy as possible!
  7. Linking – Having a clear and easy site is important, but it’s also very important to continue keeping your audience in your site, with providing links to more articles which keep them on your site longer. Having your audience interact with your site for longer periods of time helps sell products on the eCommerce front, but can also help with generating more revenue from advertisers.
  8. Meta Tags – Clear and concise meta information helps your user’s weed out information in a search query. They don’t have any major effects on your SEO score, but they help keep your site and content clean while on the search engine. Most CMS including WordPress provide meta tagging information natively!
  9. Tagging Images – Tagging your images is of vital importance! Search Engines cannot see your images, but they can parse the data of your alt text making it more likely for them to pop your site and business with properly attributed and tagged images. Note: Many people over look this item when curating content for their website, so stand out with a quality image description!
Other great suggestions
The tips above will help you build a SEO-friendly brand, but also doing small things like allowing commenting on your posts and having ‘Evergreen Content’ (content that will stand the test of time and can be used as a reference) help build meaningful and engaging communities that will build your audience and website traffic.
Social Media is also a great tool when use as a tool! It can be fun to scroll through Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, but these platform can also help you to build your brand and push new audiences to your website which will drive up your traffic, eCommerce and ad revenue!


SEO Faux Pas
There are some items that will not help you build your SEO. These items often deter new audience members from wanting to join your community. These items include annoying ads littered over your site, farming links that have little to no authority to just get clicks on your site and abusing tags to fluff up your content. Make your content meaningful and easy to engage with!

Hopefully this guide is helpful for those who read it! There are a lot of great tools on the web that can help you optimize your website to boost your SEO score especially for CMSs like Wordpress and some forum softwares. I am not very versed in MyBB, but I do know that vBulletin has some great plugins for those that use that platform.
Thank you to CubeData and Posts4VPS for the services of VPS 8.
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#2
(02-01-2021, 09:55 PM)tbelldesignco Wrote:  The tips above will help you build a SEO-friendly brand, but also doing small things like allowing commenting on your posts and having ‘Evergreen Content’ (content that will stand the test of time and can be used as a reference) help build meaningful and engaging communities that will build your audience and website traffic.

Great post and summary of SEO Guidelines @tbelldesignco.

Commenting is great advice, but in my experience attracts bot spam like crazy. What do you do to take care of bot spam?
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#3
(02-01-2021, 11:30 PM)deanhills Wrote:  Great post and summary of SEO Guidelines @tbelldesignco.

Commenting is great advice, but in my experience attracts bot spam like crazy.  What do you do to take care of bot spam?

I use an anti spam captcha like Google Captcha to weed out the bots when users register, then have to make sure that only activated accounts can post. I’m not sure if MyBB has features like that, but I know Wordpress can accommodate these security features.
Thank you to CubeData and Posts4VPS for the services of VPS 8.
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#4
(02-02-2021, 01:26 AM)tbelldesignco Wrote:  I use an anti spam captcha like Google Captcha to weed out the bots when users register, then have to make sure that only activated accounts can post. I’m not sure if MyBB has features like that, but I know Wordpress can accommodate these security features.

Thanks @tbelldesignco. My interest with the question was specifically for WordPress blogs. Gigarocket used to get those bot spam comments at Gigarocket Blog - like big time. One scarcely posted a blog post and it was totally overtaken by bot blog comments. And of course the blog had all of the traditional anti-spam plug-ins. Maybe it's not happening as much with your blogs then? And it's something specific to the Gigarocket Blog that made it into a target for those Ukranian and similar type spam comments of which their URL's are two to three lines in length. Usually when I access the blog to clean it up, it's my first task to delete all of those bot spam and some of them really look very ugly. Think with the next clean up I'll turn off comments as Gigarocket has become inactive anyway.
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#5
(02-02-2021, 11:38 AM)deanhills Wrote:  Thanks @tbelldesignco.  My interest with the question was specifically for WordPress blogs.  Gigarocket used to get those bot spam comments at Gigarocket Blog - like big time.  One scarcely posted a blog post and it was totally overtaken by bot blog comments.  And of course the blog had all of the traditional anti-spam plug-ins.  Maybe it's not happening as much with your blogs then?  And it's something specific to the Gigarocket Blog that made it into a target for those Ukranian and similar type spam comments of which their URL's are two to three lines in length.  Usually when I access the blog to clean it up, it's my first task to delete all of those bot spam and some of them really look very ugly.  Think with the next clean up I'll turn off comments as Gigarocket has become inactive anyway.

I've honestly not had any issues with TBDC and spam and having eCommerce + Blog you would think the comment and review sections would be littered with spam. I think a lot of it has to do too with using JetPack on top of my other anti spam and brute force measures I have in place in wordpress and server side. It could also be that my client base and audience is small right now, so I am flying under the radar.
Thank you to CubeData and Posts4VPS for the services of VPS 8.
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