Search Engine Optimization (Homepreneur Website Makeover: Part 1)

2010-02-01-marcoandheatherbarberini21Are you running a small business website? Last week, we entertained our 2009 Homepreneur of the Year winners, Marco and Heather Barberini of, wining and dining them with an all-expenses-paid trip to Vancouver while providing them some small business tips to help grow their already successful small business website.

This post – the first of three in a series — will share with you some of the same tips that we shared with them. Hopefully, you can use these tips and our website builder to grow your business!

Small Business SEO

Marco and Heather had a great start and had some concepts already ranking quite well. As part of a makeover of their website, I did some keyword research around ranking higher for concepts that would lead to sales. Most of the conversation focused on what I like to call the “Magic Triangle of SEO”. This Magic Triangle includes a keyword rich Title Tag, a keyword relevant H1, and anchor text for offsite links that utilize the same keywords that are found within the Title Tag and H1.

The logic behind this triangle is that your Title Tag is you describing what the page is about, your H1 is about what you are telling your website visitors what the page is about, and an offsite link is third-party validation that your page is truly about what you are describing.

For Marco and Heather this resulted in:

Homepage Title Tag: “Pet Tags | Pet ID Tags – Personalized Pet Tags for Dogs and Cats from
Homepage H1: “Pet Tags for $4.95.  Order your Pet ID Tag today!”
Offsite SEO/Anchor Text: Focus on link-building via blogs, Veterinarians, animal rescue centers with the “Pet Tag” and “Pet ID Tag” keywords as anchor text

A few other super-simple changes we made to their home page include:

  • Added ALT text to all images that had some of the keywords included (e.g., “Order Your Pet Tags Now” rather than simply “Order Now”)
  • Changed the text order to read “Pet Tags – $4.95, Free Shipping Special” rather than “Free Shipping Special: Pet Tags – $4.95”. This better emphasizes the core messaging. Before, the site was ranking well for “Free Pet Tags”, something that Marco and Heather were not offering. A quick snapshot of the Google Cache indicated that “Free” was the first word that Google was seeing. Now, they should see “Pet Tags”.
  • Interlinking to internal pages using on-page keywords (e.g., hyperlink “pet tags” to the catalog featuring the pet tags that they had for sale)

We made these edits together and gave the Barberinis some takeaways for more work. So far, these minor changes have already paid big dividends. Ranking for 5 of the 12 keywords being targeted have already increased significantly. The table below shows some of the top keywords and their change in rank after only 3 days:


Hopefully, your small business website can experience the same success. Sometimes all it takes are a few tweaks and you can be well on your way to better search ranking.