Today, a good online marketing strategy can go a long way. Search engine optimisation is quickly becoming one of the most talked-about online marketing strategies out there. This is a way to increase the visibility of your business on SERPs (search engine result pages).
The better your SEO tactics, the higher up you will rank when someone types something they want or need into a search engine.
So, how can SEO practices affect small businesses? How can you make sure that your business does not get lost on the second page of Google search results? Well, follow this comprehensive guide to find out all you need to know about what small business SEO entails and what you need to do to optimise your website for SEO.
About Small Business SEO
Before we get into our top tips on SEO for small businesses, you may wonder exactly what you need to focus on. What are the fundamentals of this marketing strategy?
Here are the key components of content marketing that you should use as a basis before putting our small business SEO tips into action!
Engaging in keyword research is, well, key when it comes to SEO for small businesses and well-established companies alike. This is all about keeping up to date with what your target market is typing into search engines when looking for your product or service.
Knowing the way people word their terms and phrases can help you out a lot. Including this wording in the content of your website will naturally result in your page ranking high up on the SERPs.
Of course, what people search for, and the way they search for it, constantly changes. This is why continuous review and content updates are so important. You’ll want to generate as much traffic towards your site as possible to increase visibility and promote business growth. So, you need to keep up to date with the current trends and demands of your target audience.
SEO for small businesses is nothing without well-written, useful content. Basically, your content should flesh out the relevant keywords that people search for. If someone is looking for your product or service and comes across your page, you’ll want to ensure that the information you are providing is compelling, useful, and easy to navigate and understand.
This is also a great opportunity to tell your target market more about your business and what it stands for. Keep in mind that the more captivating your content, the longer someone will spend on your page and the higher the chance is of them reading the whole thing.
This is important because search engine algorithms will rank pages higher if people spend more time engaging with them.
Links are also a fundamental aspect of SEO for small businesses. There are three types of links that are important to engage with when optimising your website’s content.
First, there is internal links. These are when you provide a link in your content to another, relevant piece of content on your own website. Thus, you can boost the traffic to your other web pages.
The second is an external link. This is a way for you to cite or reference someone else’s research or idea by providing a link to their page in your content. This can improve the authority of your site, especially if these links direct traffic to high authority websites.
The third kind of link is called a backlink, which also improves the authority and visibility of your site. This is when another website links to yours. The higher the authority is of the site that references yours, the higher you will end up on the SERPs.
For smaller businesses, target markets are often based in the area in which the business functions. As such, taking advantage of search engines’ location settings can increase your SERP ranking in that area.
Google and other search engines will often take into account where someone is when they search for something. That way, they can provide them with the best sites and businesses that serve in their area.
Using keywords, content, and links that are all locally relevant can help to boost your visibility. You should also make sure that you optimise your Google My Business listing. This can significantly help with local SEO – we’ll go into more detail about this later.
Usability and User Experience (UX)
The last fundamental of SEO for small businesses is ensuring optimal site usability and user experience (UX), mobile friendliness, and design. You won’t rank very high up on the SERPs if your site is hard to navigate, slow to load, or badly designed. As such, a key element of SEO is making sure that you optimise your website for your users. The best way to do this is by using a website design company that has experience with your content management system (CMS).
People will be more likely to share, recommend, and, of course, purchase from your page if they have had a good user experience. Keep usability at the forefront of your mind when creating and designing your website. We will talk more about how to optimise usability in our list of small business SEO tips below.
10 Best Tips: SEO For Small Businesses
By now, you should know a little bit more about what SEO for small businesses entails. But, how do you implement it? Well, here are our top tips for small business SEO.
1) Create a Google My Business Listing
First thing’s first: make sure your business is up there on the list of businesses Google provides to internet users when they search for a relevant product or service. Simply create an account, log all of your details and any photos you may want to display, and your business will be populated into all of Google’s services.
This is helpful to potential customers who want to be sure of the specifics of your business. This includes details like your location and opening times, as well as reviews.
It’s also helpful to you, as a business owner. You can access all your applications in one place, and post any news or updates you want to share with your customers onto the platform. Your business will also look more reputable if it has been verified through Google My Business. And, it will also show up on Google Maps for ease of access.
2) Do as Much Keyword Research as Possible, as Often As Possible
As we have already mentioned, engaging in keyword research is very important when it comes to maintaining a good SEO strategy.
What people search for, and how they search for it, will always affect your rankings on the SERPs. You can do it manually by searching for things similar to your product or service and analysing the content that comes up in the search.
Or, there are a number of different tools you could use to make keyword research easy. These tools analyse everything for you and give you suggestions that are relevant to the kind of keywords you already use on your own website.
3) Tailor Your Content To Your Target Market and Keep It Fresh
You should always return to your content every now and then – the same way you return to your keywords – to assess its relevance. Keep asking yourself what your target market is searching for, and what they want to read or purchase. Updating your existing content can make a huge difference to SERP rankings, too!
You can also upload fresh, new content onto your website often to keep your readers, and any followers you may have gained, as interested and engaged as possible. This is where blogs can come in handy. Not only do they provide your readers with new and updated content but they are also a chance to boost your search engine rankings and overall SEO strategy.
4) Build Your Page’s Authority By Using Links
Our next small business SEO tip is to use links. Whether it’s an internal link, an external link, or a backlink, this will really help you to work together with Google and other search engines to improve your SERP rankings. High authority, relevant links always equal an optimised online presence!
You should therefore constantly look for new links to add to your content, whether you are reviewing existing content or publishing something completely new.
Try your best to find links that come from high authority websites (like .org pages). This shows that you have done your research and that you derive your content from reputable sources. You can also work together with other pages to gain backlinks for your page to increase your domain authority.
5) Improve Your Websites Loading Speed
People are far less likely to spend time waiting for a site to load than they are to simply exit the page and look for another site. In fact, research shows that after 5 seconds of waiting, the session will have a 70% lower rate. There are a number of things you can do to boost your page loading speed and improve the amount of time that people spend on your site.
Doing things like compressing your files, reducing page redirects, and optimising the size of your images can all make your page load faster for potential customers. Try using Google’s PageSpeed Insights to help you here. This is a tool devised specifically to report back to you on the speed metrics of your page, thus advising you on how to make any necessary changes.
6) Optimise Your Site For Mobile Devices
Because more and more people are using their mobile devices to make purchases and log searches into search engines, you need to take heed of this. So, you must make sure that your website is optimised for mobile. In fact, over 70% of people make purchases on their smartphones rather than on a desktop.
Mobile-friendliness and optimisation is key to taking advantage of this. When designing your website, make sure that it is mobile-friendly and promotes a positive user experience. Not only will this lead to higher conversion rate, but it will also boost your SERP rankings AND mean more and more people will come back to your site and recommend it, too.
7) Optimise Your Website For Voice Search
You’ll also want to take advantage of new technologies like Google Home, Amazon Echo, and Siri. As people start using these technologies more and more to log searches, the world of SEO is seeing a shift in how people are wording their searches. Here’s where keywords come in. Many voice searches are phrased as a question, so keep this in mind when optimising your content.
This is often in contrast to how people word the searches they manually type in. So, you’ll want to have a balance between questions and phrases on your website.
8) Think About Conducting Social Media Marketing
As more and more people turn to social media sites like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter to search for ideas and opinions on the best product or service out there, small businesses can boost their online presence by placing advertisements or even making profiles on these sites.
These sites are extremely popular and a strong social media profile can make your small business seem more reputable.
Another thing you can do is provide links to these sites on your page that enable people to share your page directly to their own social media account.
Enabling Facebook comments or Twitter shares can boost the visibility of your product or service tenfold, therefore allowing for a social media marketing strategy that won’t cost you a cent!
9) Create Video Content
Creating video content (or linking to video content) on your page has been proven to mean more people spend more time on your site. Not only this but many people trust in the viability of a piece of information and will retain it better if they have seen and heard it in a video. Google and other search engine algorithms have taken notice of this and, as such, your page will rank higher in the SERPs if it contains video content.
Creating your own video content can also help you to explain your brand and business more clearly and boost traffic on your own page. To optimise this for search engines, it is necessary to include a corresponding text reference so that the search engine knows what your video is about and can provide it as an answer to the keywords your potential customer or consumer may type in.
10) Conduct An SEO Audit
Because SEO practices change very quickly, constant review is very important to keep you on the top of your small business SEO game.
Conducting an SEO audit every few months or so can really help you to assess and analyse how your SEO tactics are working and how you may need to change them.
There are some great SEO auditing tools and services that can analyse everything about the practices you have been implementing and give you advice on how to change them to allow for site optimisation.
This can make your SEO auditing much easier. Just remember the importance of reviewing and updating your content! Don’t just rely on SEO audits to tell you where you are going wrong. Rather, do things right by following all of the small business SEO tips we have given you.
The Small Business SEO Checklist
We have now gone through the fundamentals of SEO for small businesses as well as the best tips to optimise SEO for your small business.
The following is a summary of everything in a quick SEO checklist. You can follow this as you embark on your new SEO journey!
- Use Google My Business listings, and think local
- Do your keyword research often and meticulously
- Optimise your content for your target market
- Engage in as much link building as possible
- Make sure that your page loading speed is quick
- Focus on mobile-friendliness and design
- Remember to include keywords that correspond with voice searches
- Use social media
- Use video content on your site
- Conduct SEO audits often
Key Takeaways On SEO For Small Businesses
In this small business SEO guide, we have given you the top tips we think can really help your small business to grow and flourish. Using search engine optimisation is something that you can benefit from in so many ways. You can increase visibility, boost site traffic, and, of course, improve the potential for sales of your product or service.
If you are able to keep the fundamentals of SEO in mind, you are already on the road to success. While large companies can often have the upper hand when it comes to search engine visibility and SERP rankings, you need not be discouraged.
Engaging in SEO practices and tactics can do wonders for your business as it can help you reach more people so that you can expand and grow.