Small business SEO: 5 effective SEO strategies
When it comes to connecting with a wider audience, SEO is one of the most remarkable assets available to today’s small business owners. And yet, astonishingly, less than half of those at the helm of such enterprises are investing in a small business SEO strategy to improve their online visibility.
For many small business owners, learning how to improve SEO gets overlooked in favor of faster-impact marketing methods. However—although SEO does represent a slightly longer-term strategy when it comes to ROI—once well implemented this epic resource can generate expansive and lasting reach that simply has no competition!
What Is SEO?
Among all things digital, the number of acronyms can feel dizzying—and in certain cases perhaps best left to the web developers. However, in the case of SEO, these three letters represent something that is certainly worth getting to know. Short for Search Engine Optimization, this term describes all of the ways in which businesses can increase the action they see from online search engine results.
Whenever someone jumps on Google to find their heart’s desire online, appearing on the first page is certainly how small businesses can make the magic happen. In fact, almost three-quarters of people don’t bother to scroll past that first handful of results. What’s more, 70-80% of users ignore the paid ads, focusing on the organic results instead. As we said, small business SEO truly does offer a world of virtual super-powers. So, what strategies can help small businesses like yours jump feet-first into the SEO arena?
1. Implement a Killer Keyword Strategy
In the realm of small business SEO, the term “keywords” describes certain words and phrases that can help your website rank higher with search engines like Google. Whenever someone types a term into their search bar, the search engine in question will delve into its records to find websites that seem the most relevant. Keywords organically placed through a website’s content, URLs, and metadata light the way for search engines in this quest—helping small businesses to place themselves on that all-important first page far more often.
Researching keywords relevant to your brand is a fantastic way to understand what your target audience are truly looking for, and how that information can be leveraged. Putting serious thought into searcher intent—for example whether they are looking for a musthave purchase or need-to-know content—can help your keywords pack an even greater punch.
2. Get Mobile-Friendly to Wow Google
Ever since July 2019, Google has been looking at the SEO value of websites primarily with mobile screens in mind. This practice, known as mobile-first indexing, means that optimizing your website for every screen size will not only ensure the best possible experience for all of your online visitors, but also seizing the greatest rewards for your small business SEO efforts. If you’re not sure whether your website ticks this box already, Google has you covered with its free-to-use Mobile-Friendly Test.
3. Optimize for Local Search Results
Did you know that search engine results are not all created equal? In fact, searchers each see different results based on their location—and one of the easiest small business SEO methods to master is making sure that Google knows where to find you, and therefore who to place you in front of.
Listing your small business with Google My Business will not only provide an instant boost to SEO, but it also potentially allow your brand’s profile and reviews to pop up whenever your well-placed keywords get a hit. Be sure to check and verify your business information, and engage with reviewers as your audience grows.
4. Get Serious About Building Backlinks
“Backlinks” is another term that tends to make people’s eyes glaze over whenever SEO for small business is discussed. However, the concept is not as complex or convoluted as many might imagine! Backlinks are simply links that direct back to your website from elsewhere on the web. Search engines look to these as a digital thumbs-up that vouches for the validity of your small business website.
So, how does one go about gathering backlinks? Some simple strategies include providing guest posts for other sites relevant to your market niche, reaching out to journalists and bloggers to encourage coverage, and offering alternative options to websites with broken links to your competitors’ sites.
5. Roll Out A Stellar Content Strategy
Beyond writing great content for your core web pages, the addition of a blog section or virtual information hub can work wonders for small business SEO. The reason for this is simply that the more diverse your online offering, the broader the relevance of your site will become for those searching online.
The key to boosting SEO with content is to create real value for readers. This ties back beautifully to that vital keyword research, and understanding the wants and needs of your could-be-customers. Googling search terms relevant to your business offering can highlight the content that your audience is seeking, as can checking out the “People also ask” suggestions on search results pages. Enticing and illuminating content is a great way to place your small business as a go-to authority, earning trust and brand loyalty in the process.
How To Improve SEO Along the Way
As you work on your small business SEO game plan, don’t forget to take periodic deep dives into your website’s analytics. Monitoring the fruits of your labor will reveal which SEO strategies are the most effective. As we mentioned earlier on, investing in SEO for small business does take time to yield results—but once traffic starts to flow, it will keep coming of its own accord while you focus on other areas of building your business. What could be better than that?