Running a small business can be tough, especially when it comes to ways to spend a limited budget. This is particularly important for marketing since most smaller businesses canít afford to run large-scale marketing campaigns. This is where SEO comes in.
Itís difficult to overstate the importance of SEO in todayís business environment, but thereís still the question of whether small businesses can benefit enough to make SEO worthwhile. Below, we will go over how improving SEO can benefit a smaller business, with a step-by-step guide on how to go about doing it.
The Value of SEO for Small Businesses
First, we should start with the definition. SEO, short for Search Engine Optimization, is any action you can take to improve how well your website ranks on a search engineís results page.
Since Google is the largest and most popular search engine today, weíll be using it as an example. Google readily provides a list of SEO guidelines they consider important and expect webpage owners to follow. Adhering to these guidelines will improve the SEO ranking of your webpage, attracting more traffic, and thus more potential customers.
Itís easy to see how much value an SEO-centric approach to marketing can hold since even the simplest and most inexpensive methods can lead to a drastic increase in traffic and sales.
Top 10 Small Business SEO Tips
If youíre convinced that improving SEO might be the right thing for your business, here are 10 steps you can take to ensure your website gets the best search results ranking possible:
Keywords are an essential tool for SEO. These are the words or phrases users will type into Google when performing a search, and including them in your copy is crucial for appearing in the search results.
But before you can use keywords, you will have to do some research. One of the easiest ways to do this is by using tools like Google AdWords. Running a phrase through Google AdWords will tell you how often itís searched for, where the users searching for it are, and if there are any related keywords to consider.
Do bear in mind that the most popular keywords arenít always the best ones to use. You can expect that most businesses will also focus on the most popular keywords, trying to get to the top of the search results.
For a small business, it might be better to focus on more niche keywords, which will bring in a smaller, but more focused group of visitors. This way, you increase the chance of turning visitors into potential customers.
Once you have a list of promising keywords, you can start using them in your blog posts. This is assuming your website has a blog section; if not, creating one should be your first order of business.
You need to make sure you only use keywords in a way that sounds natural. Also, avoid overusing keywords, sticking to 1-4 uses per 100 words of text.
Blog posts arenít the only place to use keywords. You should also strategically place them throughout the rest of your website. This way, Googleís algorithm will see you as more consistent when using keywords, which will increase your websiteís relevance.
Creating Great Content
On the topic of blog posts, you need to make sure the content you post is top grade. Using well-researched keywords with subpar content wonít do much for your SEO score.
First and foremost, the content you post needs to provide value to readers. This means it needs to focus on readersí search intent, offering an answer to a question they are searching for.
Youíll also need to make sure your content is engaging and relevant. Especially as time goes by, youíll need to go back and update your earlier posts to bring them in line with new trends and information.
Informative and relevant content is one of the aspects of building domain authority, which weíll cover in more detail below. The other one is…
As you develop a library of blog posts, you can start building links to other websites in your industry.
This may sound counterintuitive at first. After all, why leave links to your competitors and essentially give them free advertising?
In reality, linking to other websites, especially ones considered as industry experts, shows that you are serious about providing quality content and referencing expert sources.
Later, as your own authority grows, you can leverage this to build a relationship with other website owners. Linking to their website will make them more receptive to linking back to you, which will raise the SEO ranking of both websites, creating a win-win situation.
Domain authority refers to how trustworthy Google considers your website to be. The more quality content you post and the more backlinks you get from other website owners, the higher your domain authority will be.
Keeping a high domain authority is one of the best ways to ensure you get to the top of the search results list.
If your business isnít already on social media, it should be. Creating accounts on social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn will help you engage with potential customers and drive traffic towards your website.
Make sure to be as descriptive as possible with your accounts, listing your company address, state, and zip code, with a link to your website. This will make it easier for potential customers to find you.
Claim Your GMB Account
Google My Business (GMB) has become more and more important over the last few years, with Google placing it as an important SEO factor.
Claiming an account is free, and will let you show your business on Google Maps, in Google Searches, and even in the sidebar when searching for relevant terms.
Focus on Performance (and Mobile)
Website performance is one of the most important SEO factors. Simply put, users arenít willing to wait around for a website with slow load speeds.
Aside from making sure your website loads as fast as possible, you should also focus on making it mobile-friendly. Almost 60% of searches come from mobile devices and ignoring this aspect of SEO means leaving a huge number of potential sales on the table.
Track, Analyze, Update
Congratulations, youíve done all of the above and can see your SEO score steadily rise. But thatís only half the work.
No matter how much effort you put into optimizing your SEO, results wonít come overnight. In fact, it might take months before you see any real changes to traffic.
Still, you will have to track your progress to ensure steady growth. Using tools like Google Analytics will help you stay on top of your SEO game, analyze what works and what doesnít, and update your website for even better results.
Consider Hiring an Agency
Finally, if you like the prospect of having a high SEO score, but donít have the time to do it yourself, consider looking into hiring an SEO agency.
If you have the funds for it, hiring a reliable USA SEO agency will ensure you get all the benefits we mentioned above, with the additional peace of mind that comes with a team of experts.
Following the steps outlined above will make sure you take your SEO to the next level, driving traffic, sales, and profits.
If there are any tips you think we missed, please share them in the comments below.