Image of puzzle piece with “SEO” – for SEO best practices — on it.

Cracking the Code: Boost Your Traffic with These 9 SEO Best Practices

If you’ve started researching marketing for your small business, you’ve undoubtedly come across the term “SEO,” an acronym for search engine optimization. Put simply, SEO is doing things that will make your website (or individual pages) rank well in big search engines like Google. But, as simple as it sounds, this marketing tactic is a constantly evolving art form that can be pretty challenging if you don’t have ample time to dedicate to it. Thankfully, there are a few SEO best practices you can begin implementing immediately to give your website a little boost in traffic.

But before diving into those, check out Frontier Marketing’s search engine optimization services. We understand that small business owners simply don’t have the time for digital marketing, which is why we pride ourselves on delivering custom solutions for small and medium-sized businesses nationwide from our central location in Fox Lake, Illinois.

Learn More About Our SEO Services

Now, without further ado, let’s dive in…

What Are SEO Best Practices?

SEO is constantly changing and transforming as Google continuously updates its algorithm. Current SEO practices are tasks to improve a website’s ranking (and, thus, your traffic) per the latest updates.

If done well, these practices can provide other benefits, like building your brand presence, increasing customer loyalty, and adding more value to your clients. This may lead to additional sales and higher profits, although this isn’t guaranteed.

To reap these benefits, implement the nine good SEO practices below. For best results, revisit your SEO research at least every quarter—although, if possible, revisiting your best practice research every month or more will be the most effective option.

1. Testimonials to Track SEO Best Practices

Do you have loyal customers who won’t shop anywhere else? Small business owners often overlook the potential of customer feedback to boost their SEO.

Video testimonials have an especially strong emotional impact. One person may rave about your fantastic customer service, while another may show exactly how your product works.

Such testimonials grab web visitors’ attention. After they watch the testimonial, visitors are more likely to look around your site. Plus, visitors who stick around help your search results. Testimonials are SEO best practices in action!

The time visitors spend on your site is known as “dwell time.” Google takes dwell time into account, and it’s an additional factor that can push your search results higher.

So, the next time a top customer comes through the door, ask them if they’ll create a written or video review for your small business. Most people are happy to do so when asked! You can even consider offering a small incentive (like a discount or freebie) to people who leave honest reviews. The best part? That quick video clip or written testimonial will be a lasting asset to your website.

Image of small business customer and sales clerk, who can play a role in SEO best practices.
Try asking a loyal customer to spread the word about your company in a video testimonial.

2. Step Up Your Social Media

Take an active role in social media to boost your brand. Tell the social media world about your company and your products. But remember that social media isn’t just for a bunch of hard sales. Instead, you want to focus on content that is engaging, informative and viral-worthy. Non-written content, like videos and infographics, does exceptionally well on social media.

Take this tip further by actively engaging with your customers through comments and likes on social media. This can help your customers feel valued, prompting strong brand loyalty towards your small business.

Growing awareness of your company leads to more web traffic but better traffic. Among SEO best practices, this is one of the easiest to begin with for small business owners who don’t consider themselves “tech-savvy.” The best part? People who know your company from social media are more likely to become customers and linger on your site.

3. Keep Your Site Simple

Take time to consider how your website is organized. Can visitors find things quickly? Or do they have to search for what they need? If the latter is true, it’s time to rethink your website layout.

The typical hierarchy of having a home page and a few key categories is generally a good model. It gives your website room to grow, and new content can be added under each category. SEO best practices say to keep it simple, clean and engaging.

Sometimes, a site no longer fits your needs. Visitors get confused and leave – an unfortunate occurrence that will show in your analytics through bounce rate and time spent on page. If your site is not working well, contact a professional. Frontier Marketing, for instance, offers a range of website services.

4. Go Local for Good Links

Of course, having others link to your site follows SEO best practices. But there’s more. You can build links and help your community.

Supporting a charity or local nonprofit can add valuable links. For instance, when you sponsor a charity fundraiser, your web link will probably be listed prominently in the online publicity. It could also be featured prominently on the flashy posters all over town listing the event’s sponsors.

Supporting a worthy cause is a win for you and the charity. Just be sure everyone is on board at the outset with how your company will be linked.

For maximum impact, choose a cause that fits your brand. The annual 5K race is a natural tie-in if you sell running shoes. Are you a small business that is proudly veteran-owned? Consider veteran charity events. Are you selling water-related products? Clean water causes are an excellent option!

Another option? Fund a scholarship. This takes some money and time, but the payoff in links and goodwill is considerable. Again, having a connection to the scholarship is best. A medical supply store, for example, could support a student studying health sciences.

After you contact colleges’ financial aid offices, you’ll start getting .edu links. These links from educational institutions have high value in Google. Later, a press release announcing the winner may also bring even more potential backlinks.

5. Get Up to Speed on Website Speed

No one wants to wait for a web page to load. Your web pages should load in 3 seconds or less. That’s standard SEO best practice. If they don’t, Google will know. That’s not good because Google won’t show a slow site and penalizes it after it surpasses a certain load speed.

You may need some help sorting this out. A free website, will show you how to improve your speed. The tips are geared toward developers, however. If you have a limited budget, improving website speed should be the top thing you hire someone for.

Image of man holding a cell phone to illustrate SEO best practices.
With phones increasingly used to search online, loading speed for your website is more important than ever.

6. Sweat the Small Details

With SEO, the smallest details can make the most significant difference. With just a little time and extra attention to detail, you can help boost your website traffic. For example:

  • Formulate your URLs to be search-friendly. Keep them clean, concise and ensure you’ve included your primary keyword.
  • Don’t forget your meta details. You should add a meta title and description to every web page you create to help Google and other search engines understand what your content is about. Yoast is an excellent tool for doing this in WordPress.
  • Optimize your images according to SEO best practices. Every image on your website should have a relevant title tag and alt tag. You’ll also want to keep image file sizes low so they don’t slow down your website.

7. Focus Hard on Content

Content will always be king in search engine optimization, and that will never change. However, the SEO best practices that apply to content are constantly evolving. It would take a long time (and some confusing technical jargon) to comprehensively explain all the best content marketing practices. But, even without being an expert, you can keep a few things in mind to make your content better than the competition and, therefore, more likely to rank higher in Google.

At a minimum, your content should be:

  • On the longer side (1,600-1,800 words is a good target, but it doesn’t have to be exact)
  • Appropriately keyword-dense (see section below)
  • Grammatically correct and free of typos
  • Externally linked when citing facts
  • Internally linked wherever appropriate (without overdoing it)
  • Relevant to your target audience and keyword
  • Useful to your target audience
  • Sprinkled with images and videos for the best user experience
  • Published regularly (but always opt for quality over quantity)
  • Broken up with headings, bullets and numbered lists when possible

Don’t have time to write SEO-rich content yourself? Looking for a professional to create rich, engaging content for your website? Frontier Marketing offers expert content marketing to help boost your website traffic!

8. Keywords: Seasoning, Not Stuffing

When the idea of SEO first emerged, marketers could stuff a bunch of keywords onto a web page and rank well – and the more keywords, the better. But those days are long gone, and Google will penalize your website for keyword stuffing.

Think of your keywords as seasoning instead. You want enough of them to give your content “flavor,” which, in this instance, refers to ranking abilities. But if you add too much, your content will be flavored too strongly, and nobody will be able to digest it.

So, how many keywords should you be adding to content? Well, that depends. It’s less about the amount and more about where you add them that counts.

Your primary keyword should be used in the following:

  • An H1
  • At least one H2
  • At least one H3 (if applicable)
  • The meta description and SEO title tag
  • In your introduction, as close to the beginning as possible
  • Somewhere in your conclusion
  • In at least one image alt tag per page or content piece
  • Naturally throughout the article where it makes sense without keyword stuffing

You’ll also want to pick between three and five secondary keywords that are well-searched terms relevant to your primary topic. Use each of these at least once throughout the article. Bonus points if you can use one or more as headings within your content.

9. Find the Free Stuff

Are you still unclear on the ins and outs of SEO best practices? Whether you’re a newbie or a pro, an array of free resources can help you advance.

If you’re just getting started, try SEO Training for Beginners. This quick course covers the basics of search engine rankings and how to improve them. Keywords, content, and website structure are also covered.

Another great resource, Google Trends, shows you how you line up against your competitors. You’ll also learn how to get the best search terms.

Mobile-friendly websites are crucial now. To find out where your site stands, check out First, you type in your domain name and get a “pass” or “fail” message. Next, you get specific tips on how to make your site more mobile-friendly. If you’re web-savvy, this can save you a lot of work.

Get Professional Help with These SEO Best Practices

Could you use a hand in making SEO best practices a reality? Frontier Marketing can help you take your small business (and website traffic) to the next frontier! We’re passionate about digital marketing for small businesses and spend considerable time keeping up with the latest trends, tips and techniques!

Call us today to learn more about how we can help your business thrive!

Call (847) 254-0837 to Learn More About Our SEO Services