The Essential Guide to SEO for Small Business Owners

Somewhere along your business journey, you’ve probably wondered, “What is search engine optimization?” and “Why does everyone keep mentioning it?”

SEO is the process of optimizing your website to rank higher in search engine results pages (SERPs), and to increase the quantity and quality of organic traffic to your website.

By investing in SEO, you can improve the visibility of your website and attract more potential customers to your business.

Many different factors can impact your website’s search engine rankings, including the quality and relevance of your website’s content, the structure and navigation of your website, and the technical aspects of your website’s code.

SEO professionals work to optimize all of these elements to improve your website’s ranking and drive more qualified traffic to your business.

There are many different SEO strategies that businesses can use to improve their search engine rankings, and it’s important to choose a strategy that aligns with your business goals and target audience.

Some common SEO tactics include keyword research and optimization, content creation and optimization, link building, and technical SEO.

Overall, investing in SEO can be a valuable way to improve the online presence of your business and attract more qualified traffic to your website. It’s important to work with a reputable and experienced SEO professional to achieve the best results for your business.

In addition to SEO, you should learn a handful of terms to gain a deeper understanding of how SEO works. When you hire an SEO expert, you don’t need to grasp the jargon completely. Basic knowledge of it, however, will help you make the best decisions for your business.

Ranking Position

Rank position refers to a website’s place in the search engine results pages (SERPs) for a particular search query.

For example, if a website ranks first for a particular search query, it means that this website appears at the top of the search results page.

The rank position is vital for businesses because it can significantly impact the amount of organic traffic a website receives. Websites that rank higher in the search results are more likely to be seen and clicked on by users, which can lead to increased traffic and potential customers for the business.

In addition to driving traffic to a website, rank position can also impact a business’s perceived authority and credibility.

Users tend to trust websites that rank higher in the search results, and a high-rank position can help to establish trust and credibility with potential customers.

They will appear to the potential customer as less successful than those who rank ahead of them, even if the business is more profitable than others on that list. It’s all about perception.


Keywords are specific words or phrases that describe the content of a webpage or website. They are an essential aspect of SEO because they help search engines understand the topic and context of a webpage and can influence how the webpage ranks in SERPs for relevant queries.

There are a few different ways that businesses can determine successful keywords for their website:

  • Conduct keyword research: Conducting keyword research is one of the first steps in determining successful keywords. The research phase involves identifying the terms and phrases potential customers might use when searching for products or services related to your business. Many online tools can help with keyword research, including Google’s Keyword Planner, SEMrush, and Ahrefs.
  • Analyze your competitors: Another way to determine successful keywords is to analyze your competitors’ keywords. By analyzing the keywords your competitors are ranking for, you can get a sense of the keywords that might be effective for your business.
  • Consider the intent of the searcher: It’s essential to consider the intent of the searcher when choosing keywords. For example, if a searcher is looking for “affordable website design services,” they might be more interested in finding a low price, whereas if they search for “UX website design,” they might be more interested in quality and exclusivity.
  • Use long-tail keywords:  Long-tail keywords are longer, more specific phrases that are less commonly searched for but can still drive targeted traffic to your website. These keywords are less competitive and can attract qualified traffic to your website more effectively.

By conducting keyword research, analyzing competitors, considering the intent of searchers, and using long-tail keywords, businesses can identify successful keywords that can help improve their search engine rankings and drive more qualified traffic to their website.


Backlinks are links from other websites that point to a page on your website. They are an important factor in SEO because they can help improve the authority and credibility of a website.

When other websites link to a webpage on your website, it can indicate to search engines that the content on your website is valuable and worth ranking highly in the search results.

Here are five ways to create backlinks:

  1. Publish high-quality content: One of the best ways to create backlinks is to publish high-quality, relevant content that other websites will want to link to. Creating valuable resources or informative articles increases the likelihood that other websites will link to your content.
  2. Guest blog: Another way to create backlinks is to write guest blogs for other websites in your industry. By contributing valuable content to other websites, you can secure a backlink to your website.
  3. Participate in online communities: Participating in online communities related to your industry can be a great way to build relationships and create backlinks. By providing valuable insights and engaging with other users in these communities, you can often secure backlinks to your website.
  4. Broken link building: One technique for creating backlinks is called “broken link building,” which involves finding broken links on other websites and offering to replace them with a link to your website.
  5. Reach out to other websites: Finally, you can create backlinks by contacting other websites and asking them to link to your website. While this can be a more time-consuming process, it can be effective if you have high-quality content and a strong reputation in your industry.

Generating backlinks requires creating valuable content, building relationships, and proactively reaching out to other websites. By combining these tactics, you can increase the number of backlinks pointing to your website and improve your search engine rankings.

Targeted Traffic

Google Analytics — User Demographics
Google Analytics — User Demographics. 100% of Users 35-44 years old. Almost 50/50 between men and women.

Targeted traffic refers to the specific group of users that a business is trying to reach with their website or online marketing efforts. This group of users is often referred to as the business’s target audience.

There are a number of ways that businesses can help drive their intended audience to their website:

  • SEO (Search Engine Optimization): By optimizing their website for relevant keywords and phrases, businesses can improve their search engine rankings and attract more qualified traffic from users searching for products or services related to their business.
  • Paid advertising: Businesses can use paid advertising platforms such as Google AdWords or social media advertising to target specific users with their ads. By setting up targeted campaigns, businesses can reach users who are more likely to be interested in their products or services.
  • Social media marketing: By building a presence on social media platforms and regularly posting engaging content, businesses can attract their target audience and drive traffic to their website.
  • Email marketing: By collecting email addresses and sending targeted email campaigns to their subscribers, businesses can reach their intended audience and drive traffic to their website.
  • Content marketing: By creating high-quality, relevant content and promoting it through various channels, businesses can attract their target audience and drive traffic to their website.

Overall, it’s important for businesses to have a clear understanding of their target audience and to use a variety of tactics to reach and attract them to their website.

Optimize and Enhance Your SEO with Harford Designs

There are many nuances to effective SEO, and we’d love to help your business get optimized! To get started increasing your site traffic and SEO rank, give us a call at 410-855-4499 or email

Share it!

Liked it? Share it!

Popular Posts


Client Portals