If you’re a small business owner, you might have noticed that your customers spend most of their time on the internet. This is why more brands are launching digital marketing campaigns, and so should yours! Every industry is going digital one way or another, leading small business SEO to be more important now than ever before.
Because you have many free methods available, there’s no reason you shouldn’t try them. This guide can help you with that! You can stay on top of search engine results pages even with a tight budget, increasing the organic traffic flowing to your website.
We’ll go through more reasons why small business SEO has become increasingly important nowadays. Then, I will talk about the steps needed to make sure your website is at the top of organic search results. These discussions will include link building to optimize every piece of content your brand has. This will take time and effort, but it is all worth it to beat the competition!
If you’re human, you probably know what the internet is and just how much we depend on it in our daily lives.
We find recipes with it; we look at shoes for it; we can even find someone to walk our dog with it. It’s pretty common to use online search engines to find products and services.
As a result, people often find businesses for the first time using Google. The problem for businesses is competing against other businesses. A search query can bring thousands of results, so a person can’t check each one!
People only click the options on the first search engine results page and ignore the rest. If your brand isn’t in the top ten results, they probably wouldn’t learn about your brand.
What is SEO?
SEO is important for small businesses, but what is it? SEO stands for search engine optimization. It’s improving parts of your business website to rank higher on search engines, thus, improving your search engine visibility. When you search for something on Google, the top results are the ones that use SEO the most to appear on Google’s ranking algorithm.
SEO includes different aspects that make up your website, from how your website can be indexed by google and the composition of your website to researching targeted keywords and keyword rankings. Anything that can boost small businesses in search results works.
How can SEO Benefit My Small Business?
That’s the biggest reason you need SEO, but there are others.
Additional benefits include:
Your Small Business Website becomes an Authority
If people see you first on search engines, you’re a good source of whatever they want. This increases your credibility in the eyes of potential customers, so they’re more likely to trust your goods and services. Like building trust in real life, you will have to work on it for some time.
Learn More Your Users’ Search Intent
Performing SEO means using tools that let you learn more about prospective customers. In turn, you find ways to shift your marketing strategy to fit the ever-changing market. This often translates to improving the user experience on your homepage.
Keep track of your SEO Performance
You’ll always see changes to how search engines work, such as their ranking factors. Each time this happens, you will have to adapt or risk your brand losing benefits from organic search results.
You Can Start Using SEO On a Budget
You could perform small business SEO for free. Eventually, you could add paid options to boost the free methods. For example, Google Analytics lets you monitor internal links, yet it doesn’t cost a penny.
Are you still not convinced that your business needs these changes? Read the following for solid evidence that shows just how important SEO is for your business:
Data that proves you need small business SEO
Roughly 68% of online activity starts with a search engine.
Out of every online searcher, 75% of them never click past the first results page.
According to Statista, in March 2017, around 56% of small businesses said site traffic was the most important factor of SEO success.
In 2019, 86.6% of the search engine market was with Google.
Organic searches are the search queries that people conduct by themselves, and it provides 51% of all website traffic.
Around 61% of marketers believed improving their SEO is the most important goal for inbound marketing.
SEO leads are eight times more likely than traditional ones to convert site visitors into customers.
The bottom line is that you need to optimize for search engines because it can bring you more customers and sales.
How to Start Small Business SEO
So now that we’ve established what SEO is and what it can do for you. It’s time to learn how you can start small business SEO.
Launch a Website
If your business doesn’t have a website yet, this is the best time to make one. Otherwise, you can’t follow the SEO basics without one! While you can create one manually, you don’t have to do all that work yourself. Nowadays, website builders make it so much easier.
You can use the most well-known ones for free too. For example, WordPress lets people create content and start a website without breaking the bank.
If you have extra funds, you can pay for the monthly plans for better features like live chat support and advanced web design. Still, how your site will turn out depends on you.
The same goes for all the small business tools available. These free tools make it easy for most people, but results will rely on your skills. It might be better to ask for help from a pro web designer.
Your website must have these two characteristics: convenience and aesthetics. In other words, your web pages should be easy to navigate, and they must look good.
Make sure your website hits these aspects:
Small business owners don’t have the luxury of a big piggy bank. Be sure to create an affordable website brand that won’t break the bank now and in the future.
Have a Good Structure Design, Something That Makes Sense
The great thing about building your website is the creativity you get to use. Have some fun with it, but don’t go overboard. If visitors can’t understand the site’s flow, you won’t get more sales.
Engaging Meta Titles and Meta Descriptions for Search Engines
The meta title and meta description are shown when people search for your business online. You want to make this part short and clear but also attention-grabbing. You want readers to know what you offer off the bat.
Make Sure it’s Mobile User Friendly
Many web searches happen on the go, something to keep in mind while creating your website. While your banner is a work online, it also needs to be viewable for those looking at it on their phones.
Ensure Your Site is Indexed
You might recall when people called the internet the “World Wide Web.” If it is a “web,” it must have “spiders,” right? Believe it or not, they come from search engines!
Also known as search spiders, they are pieces of software that gather info on websites. Then, they use that data to help search engines find the best search results.
You might not like spiders in real life, but you will want them all over your website. That’s why you should make sure your site index for Google search. Follow the steps below to do it:
Check your website to see if it already allows search spiders. Confirm by typing your homepage URL followed by “/robots.txt” on a web browser.
On the other hand, the Fetch and Render tool lets you grant full site access to search spiders. Open the Google Search Console by searching it on Google then clicking the top results. After that, head to the Google Index section of the robots tab, click on it and see the Blocked Resources.
Start Using SEO Strategies
Now, let’s start with the nitty-gritty of small business SEO. Remember that there are two forms: on-page and off-page SEO. The former refers to the practices you must do on your website.
This mainly involves putting the right keywords on your online content. Search engines link target keywords to search queries to provide the most relevant results.
You can start by doing keyword research. Look for your brand name, product, or service on Google. Then, look at the results that show up. Next, perform the following steps:
Open the first five results, then read them.
Look for the words or phrases that often appear throughout those pages. Those are most likely the ones that the search engine uses.
Head to the bottom of the first results page to see the search suggestions. Those could be words or headings in your online content.
If you want more keyword recommendations, you could go to keyword websites like WordStream. Those can show you more that you might have missed. Many of them won’t cost you, but others will.
The keywords can be part of the body or headings of your blogs. Place them into title tags, meta tags, and meta descriptions for other types of content.
While SEO is commonly used by big businesses that can afford an expensive SEO agency and an SEO provider, small businesses have to work smart and on a budget. A key subdivision of SEO for small businesses is Local SEO.
What is local SEO? Simply put, it’s using SEO to target a specific location. This allows a local business to reach its target audience, more than likely local customers. With it, you can also create local landing pages for customers and allow search engines like Google to place you on local google search results.
To reap the rewards of local SEO, you simply have to add it to your business listing on Google. This way, people will find you through a local search with other local businesses.
Create a business account on Google’s My Business site
Log in to Google’s My Business Site and click the Manage Now button on your homepage.
Find the name of your business.
As you follow the site, it will ask if you’d like your location to appear on Google Maps. Click Yes and add the address before pressing ‘Next.’
And there you have! You’re on the map (literally).
Boost SEO Using Certain Content
That’s it for the on-site stuff, so let’s turn to off-site SEO. As the name suggests, these factors don’t happen on your website.
Examples include mentions, links, and the number of times people share your content with others. You can’t get more of these with your homepage alone, so you need content marketing.
Aside from posting content on your site, you must publish on other ones too. That content often involves online articles that inform topics related to your brand.
Let’s say you sell workout gear. Your blog post content may talk about how to lose weight during the pandemic. After that, you could mention your brand as a great way to achieve this goal.
Meanwhile, your content marketing campaign should include blog posts on other websites. Just be sure to make them look similar to other content on the third-party site.
Expand Your Social Media Reach
Where’s the one place you can find links, mentions, and shares for off-site SEO? It’s social media, of course! Marketing on those social media platforms is a must for small business SEO.
Billions of people use it daily, so your brand should build a presence on social networks. Social media can also help boost content, bringing more potential customers. Still, you can’t just make a profile page on Facebook and call it a day!
It should at least match the quality of your homepage, and it must keep followers constantly updated. It proves that you’re active online and your brand is serious about its marketing.
After some time, other websites will link to yours and become new organic traffic sources. Do it right, and other folks will spread your online reach at no extra cost!
See How Your Website is Doing
See how you did once you’re done with the other small business SEO steps. If you use a service like WordPress, you should have a dashboard that shows your website’s performance.
It will show you important metrics like the bounce rate, which measures how frequently visitors leave your website. Also, it shows how many people opened your site.
Still, your site should have Google Analytics integration. This will let you see how well you do on the search engine. You can use it for free, but there are paid features too.
Moreover, you should monitor how your website performs on other websites. Social media networks like Facebook facilitate this by providing trackers for businesses.
A small business SEO strategy is never-ending because search engines are continuously changing. That’s why you should always look at ways your website can improve.
For example, maybe you need to include more content, increase the quality, or both. The trackers I’ve mentioned let you see these points of improvement.
Don’t have the skills for marketing? LeadAdvisors can help. We specialize in content marketing that uses SEO and keyword research to help you rank on search engines and has a lasting impact on your users that will keep it high on search results. Interested? We thought so!
While the methods we’ve discussed are the most popular, there are other ways to boost your website online, such as:
Links from affiliated business
Ratings and reviews
Make sure the speed of your site is up to par
How much you pay for SEO depends on your budget. Local campaigns can be a couple of thousands. That also depends on the provider or agency you want to work with. Do your research to find one within your budget.
For one, SEO isn’t a get-rich-quick scheme. It takes time and effort to see results. In addition, SEO work can be expensive. Despite this, the benefits of SEO can far outweigh any drawbacks.