5 Best Practices of SEO for Small Businesses
For any local or small business looking to stay afloat, search engine visibility is a must. Though running paid ads is a great way to get highly targeted traffic and immediate visibility, you must also work on your long-term organic visibility.
But search engine optimisation (SEO), a marketing strategy designed to improve the positioning and appearance of web pages in organic search results, requires consistent efforts over a period of time.
And this is where many small business owners make a mistake. They usually overlook the importance of SEO, mainly because of limited time and resources. This isn’t the smart way to go about it if you want to grow your business, especially when most of your customers use search engines.
What Is SEO
SEO is not just a tactic. It’s a combination of efforts that work in tandem to help search engines like Google find your business website, identify it as trustworthy, index the content and information you publish, and present it to its users. The aim is to rank high and be visible on search engine results pages (SERPs) on relevant search queries.
Even though you optimise for search engines, Google builds its ranking algorithms around user behaviours as they aim to be a trusted information source. After all, you are optimising your website for search engine users – people just like you.
5 Best SEO Practices for Small Businesses
SEO is one of the best ways for small businesses to generate website traffic and brand awareness. Some of the best practices that can help you rank higher in online searches are:
1. Find the right keywords
Think about the words your clients are likely to use to find the product(s) or service(s) you sell. For example, if you are selling appliances, are your customers likely to use commonly used words like fridge or formal words like refrigerator?
Make a list of around 20 to 50 keywords, then go to Google Ads. Once you have created an account, check if these keywords are frequently used in online searches. You can also use Keyword Tool (Google AdWords product) to find more keywords to build your list.
Use these keywords on every page of your website to help them rank higher when prospective customers search those keywords.
2. Get social
These days, people use social media platforms as search engines. Moreover, even social media profiles of your company will rank in search results when people search for your company or related terms.
Therefore, it is highly recommended to create social media profiles across different platforms.
3. Ensure your website is user-friendly
- Have an easy-to-navigate, clean website. Ensure it’s immediately clear to visitors who you are and what you’re offering.
- Use headings to improve readability and include high-search-volume keywords when possible.
- Website speed is important for SEO as it’s one of the crucial Google ranking factors. Aside from that, people may leave slow-loading websites in the first few seconds.
Ensure your website is optimized for mobile platforms. Search engines may penalize websites that don’t display well mobile phones, ranking them lower on SERPs.
4. Publish high-quality content
Search engines’ main mission is to help people find answers to their questions. So, one of the best strategies to increase traffic to your website is to create compelling and engaging content – videos, photos, and articles – that provide quality information to visitors. Ensure that you update your website content frequently so that it stays relevant.
A good content strategy also positions you as a thought leader in your industry or field.
5. Measure results
Low-cost and free tools such as Moz, Semrush, and Google Analytics offer information on your website’s SEO performance and tell you about your visitors – how they found your website, their geographical location, how long they stayed on every page, and more.
How SEO Benefits Small Businesses
Gain a competitive edge
Using SEO to achieve high search engine rankings is a cost-effective way to increase brand awareness and gain a competitive edge in your industry.
Reach your target audience efficiently
Instead of you going to your customers, SEO brings the customers to you. Both on-page and off-page SEO strategies are designed to target your audience’s specific segments and inspire them to act.
Expand your brands presence
If you have ever read about a brand in a guest post, on your Twitter feed, or in a news article, you already have an idea of the impact off-page SEO does for businesses.
Aside from boosting your search engine ranking, off-page SEO strategies have the potential to elevate your brand’s presence on the web.
Build lasting relationships
From developing a community of brand advocates to staying in touch on social media, SEO helps build lasting relations with your customer base.
SEO makes it seamless for customers to find your business online, make an instant connection, and engage with your brand.
Despite the lucrative advantages SEO provides, small businesses deprioritise this due to limited budget and other reasons, like focusing on core areas of the business. In such cases, you may consider outsourcing SEO services to the experts. It will help save time for your business and money on onboarding more workforce. But before choosing an SEO service provider, consider the following points:
- Look beyond the #1 ranked agency
- Read their case studies
- See if they specialize in anything
- Know your budget
- Get personal with a consultation
Get Long-Term Results With SEO
As a small business owner, you know the dedication and hard work it takes to grow your sales. The same goes for SEO. While SEO needs patience and time, it pays off in the long run.
With the SEO practices outlined above, even micro businesses can benefit. From extensive keyword research to social media marketing to making your website user-friendly, start making the changes today to leverage its benefits in the future.