Learn How To Do SEO for Small Businesses
Were you looking for affordable SEO for your small business just before you landed on this page?
Every small business has been there.
The desire to optimize your site for search engines, yet finding it hard to obtain quality services in your budget.
At a time like this, you find yourself thinking, how to do SEO for small businesses?
Well you’re in luck. Because in this blog post, we’re about to show you how.
Can Your Business Be Defined as a Small Business?
Before we get to all things real SEO for small business owners, have you ever wondered if you actually classify as a small business?
What exactly is a small business?
A small business is basically a privately owned business that has a fewer number of employees and a smaller revenue relative to other companies in that industry.
This, of course, varies based on which niche you operate in.
But not to worry. While it all seems a little confusing at first, you can determine which category you fall in with the help of this guide by the U. S. Small Business Administration:
Now, moving on…
What Does SEO Achieve for Your Small Business in Particular?
So what does SEO help your small business gain that you can’t do without it?
- Traffic – Hence Visibility
Based on what we just discussed, you may be a home business. Or you may be a “small business” with 500 employees – which is not all that small, if we’re being honest with ourselves.
But there are much bigger fish in the market. And many of them.
And those are the firms you need to fight for visibility and recognition.
That is the first reason you need traffic coming to your site and social media pages – to start building recognition for your brand and developing a positive brand image.
- Traffic – Hence Conversions
Awareness is not all you need traffic for.
Once people start recognizing you and coming to your website, they will be one step closer to conversion.
They will explore your products and services and eventually convert into customers – if not today, then tomorrow.
- Traffic – Revenue Generation
Once the traffic coming to your site starts converting into customers, you will begin to see your profits go up.
And ultimately, that is the goal you set out to achieve.
It’s pretty evident at this point that traffic is the crux of your SEO efforts – most other benefits of SEO for a small business lead from it.
And while some of the big fish we just mentioned may be able to spend insane amounts of money on ads that bring them traffic, you don’t have that kind of cash.
But no need to worry – you can do the same with SEO! It’ll take a little longer but the results will be longer lasting, we promise you.
If you’re currently asking yourself, how to do SEO for small businesses, read on!
We’ll begin by talking about,
Plan A – DIY SEO for your small business
But before we do that, please remember that while you can skip some of these steps, others are absolutely essential.
See, creating a directory listing can wait but you can’t start your search engine optimization process without carrying out an audit.
You can consider guest posting once you are in control of the internal SEO matters but there is no way you can expect great results if you don’t set up and optimize a Google My Business listing.
If you have opted to ditch SEO services for small businesses and give it a shot yourself, you will need to learn to prioritize and determine which aspects you just can’t do without.
Now that we have that out of the way, let’s begin with the actual steps you need to take to ace SEO for your small business.
Block 1: On-Page/Internal SEO
If you have a product whose popularity starts to go down all of a sudden, the first thing you would do is to check if there is something wrong with the product itself. Checking to see what external factors may have affected the behavior of your consumers would come second.
SEO is the same.
If you are unable to generate traffic to your site, the first thing you need to do is to focus on what is going south within your site.
And here is how you can do that.
Step 1: Conduct an SEO audit
Picture this: You are sitting at your desk working and you start getting the chills and aches all over your body. Do you start on fever medication or painkillers yourself? Or do you first consult with a doctor and ask them what they think the problem might be?
The latter, right (we hope so)?
It is the same with search engine optimization.
Before you can plan and implement the solution, you need to know exactly where you lack – where the problem stems for your particular business.
And that is why an SEO audit is an absolute must.
Now, if you decide to outsource your small business SEO services, the agency or professional will carry out a detailed analysis for you. And as a digital marketing agency, when we say detailed, we mean DETAILED.
But that doesn’t mean you can’t carry out a basic audit yourself. Here are some things it gives you clarity on:
- How search engines currently rank you
- Where your competitors stand
- Gaps in on-page and off-page SEO strategy
- Opportunities for improvement
We’ll talk to you in detail about carrying out an SEO audit another day.
For now, here are two SEO audit guides from the gurus of digital marketing themselves, Neil Patel and Brian Dean.
Step 2: Focus on Keyword Research and Optimization
If you are someone who has been learning SEO through blogs and other online information and educational content, you must be sick of hearing this by now.
Do keyword research.
Keyword optimize your content.
Do keyword research.
Keyword optimize your content.
Rinse and repeat.
But there is a reason why people talk about it so much – there is no search engine optimization without keywords.
Your website needs to appear to people who are searching for certain keywords – that is how you will get traffic (the crux of our efforts), remember?
We have covered keyword research and incorporation in a lot of detail for newbies like you in these two blog posts – take a look and learn the entire process from A to Z:
Step 3: Attract Your Consumers with Your Meta Tags
We could have talked about meta tags in the content step, or the one about technical SEO but we think they deserve a special mention.
This is because they have quite a role in bringing traffic to your site.
These are the three important meta tags that you need to focus on:
- Meta Title
The meta title is the title that appears on search engine results pages, browser tabs, and when a webpage/blog post is shared on social media.
It should be catchy, relevant, and should pique the interest of the reader and make them want to click.
- Meta Description
While a meta description doesn’t have a direct effect on your ranking, it is VERY important.
This description gives the reader a little more detail about what they will find on the destination page than the meta title. It may be the difference between a click and a scroll-past.
- Robots Meta Tag
This meta tag contains information that guides search engine bots about how to crawl and index the page.
We talk about all three of these meta tags in more detail, as well as why it is crucial to optimize them right in this blog post.
Step 4: Link Your Internal Web Pages – Even if There Are Only a Few
Small businesses usually place less of an emphasis on developing complex websites that have lots of different pages.
Having a detailed website where users can find ALL the information they may want about your brand gives you a major plus.
And internal linking gives your ranking a major boost too. How?
Let’s suppose someone lands on a blog post on your website. Within that blog post, you have hyperlinked to one of your services. They user then lands and spends some time on that second page.
Looking for affordable small business SEO services? Get in touch with our experts today!
See what we just did there? We just sent you to the SEO services page from this blog post.
Firstly, as you can imagine, this causes the reader to learn more and more about your business by going from page to page.
Secondly, and more importantly, this means the user stays on your page for longer.
This helps immensely when it comes to ranking because the interest of the user and the amount of time that they spend on the site is a major factor for search engines.
Step 5: Link Your SEO Strategy to a Killer Content Plan
Content is King.
SEO is Queen.
And when they work together, the end result is a country…oops, we meant company that prospers!
Content cannot be separated from SEO – it is to small business SEO what maple syrup is to pancakes. Without it, your SEO efforts are dry, much like the lone pancake.
This is why it is absolutely crucial that you have a top-notch marketing plan in place.
Here are some of the kinds of content you will need if you want to rank higher:
- Webpage content
- Blog posts
- Social media content
- Video content
- And many more
But you can’t just create content for the sake of it. You must make sure that your content is:
- Engaging – The reader must enjoy consuming the content, whether it is a blog post, a YouTube video, or anything else under the sun.
- Creative – There are 10 (million) ways to say the same thing – choose the most creative one.
- Relevant – Your content should be relevant to your brand, the audience, and the environment in which they consume it.
- Informational – It should answer questions your target audience has whether about your brand.
- Reader-friendly – Focus on making the content easy for ANYONE to read – short, sweet, and simple.
- Original – There is no room for plagiarism on the internet – if you get caught, the loss you face will be hard to recover from.
- Local – You’re mostly targeting a local audience, so keep their preferences in mind.
Your content plays a massive role in how well you rank. Let these resources help you create better content starting today (for more, visit our blog)!
Step 6: Take Care of As Much Technical SEO As You Can
The technical aspects of SEO can be what the name suggests – technical. If you are someone who is not very tech-savvy, it is not always easy to stay on top of these things.
It’s best if you hire affordable SEO services for your small business as far as technical SEO is concerned.
But if you feel you do not have the financial capacity to do that right now or want to give it a shot yourself first, know that you have to focus on the following things, among others:
- Mobile Optimization – Search is shifting to handheld devices and that is where you need to be.
- Image optimization – Your images should be perfectly optimized – not too big, not too small perfectly aligned, and so on.
- Page loading speed – The slower the speed at which your page loads, the greater the bounce rate…AND the frustration of the user (yikes)! Fix that at all costs.
- Site safety – https:// is your best friend – people coming to your site need to know they are safe while browsing.
- Crawlability – Make it easier for search engine bots to crawl and index your site.
- Structure – Create sitemaps and structure your site in a way that favors crawlability.
This list can go on. Instead, here’s a great resource that will tell you all you need to know about technical SEO:
Block 2: Off-Page/External SEO
The second building block of the best SEO for small businesses is external SEO.
And you can move to this once you have taken care of all aspects of your internal SEO.
Step 1: Focus on Link-Building
Backlinks get you traffic.
But that’s not all you want. You want HIGH-QUALITY traffic that is relevant and has a chance of converting.
And that is why you need to get backlinks from credible, trustworthy sources.
There are a number of ways you can obtain external links, such as
- Creating top-notch blog content that people find useful and link back to.
- Guest posting.
- Citation-building (which we talk about later)
- Using nofollow links smartly.
We talk more about link building here.
Step 2: Utilize the Limitless Power of Social
Facebook. Insta. Twitter. Snapchat. Tiktok. Linkedin.
All these social platforms have a purpose – to help facilitate connections.
One such type of connection is that between your business and its consumers.
You want to use social media to your advantage and engage with your consumers on a regular basis.
This gives you a chance to:
- Share important information with consumers.
- Keep them updated with the latest happenings.
- Connect with them on a personal level.
- Get feedback.
- Find out what they actually want from you.
- Engage in meaningful discourse.
All this makes the consumer see you as one of them – as part of the community. And this is especially important for a small business. You gain visibility AND the community’s trust.
But that’s not all – you also get the chance to link back to your site from your social media channels, leading more traffic to it.
Step 3: Get Online Reviews
Reputation management is a huge part of ranking.
Because search engines have gone smart. They don’t just look at keywords and technical aspects anymore.
They also take into consideration what your customers think of you. And this is something online reviews can take care of.
And they’re important from a human perspective too.
Think about it: when you want to buy a product or service, the second thing you do is dig around for reviews to see what people think about it (the first is Googling the company to find out more about it, of course).
That is all the more important for a small business as most of these reviews will be from people in the locality. Your potential customer may see names there that they recognize, instantly making your company more credible in their eyes.
So it is a recommended practice to ask consumers to leave reviews once they have had a chance to try your products or services.
Block 3: Local SEO
Local SEO for a small business is no rocket science.
But let’s start with this: what is local SEO?
Local SEO basically helps you rank higher and gain more visibility in your local area.
As a small business, you know that the majority of your consumers are from the region. And these are the people you need to reach.
And it’s not hard at all – you just need to adopt some local SEO best practices in addition to your other optimization efforts.
Step 1: Use Local Keywords
Person A, who lives in Newark, is craving a cheesecake.
They take to Google to find a local bakery that sells cheesecake. What are they going to type into the search bar?
“Best cheesecake,” “best cheesecake in Newark,” or “best cheesecake near me”?
You guessed it – they’re going to search for one of the latter options. Local keywords. And that is what you need to research and rank for.
Step 2: Create a GMB (Google My Business) Listing
A Google My Business listing is the perfect way to easily manage your presence on people’s favorite search engine – Google.
First off, whenever an individual searches for the relevant keywords, your core business information will show up, telling them all they need to know.
But that isn’t all.
You will also help the individual find your store more easily because the physical location of your business will instantly be visible on Google Maps as part of the listing.
Step 3: Create Listings in Local Directories
Local directories are a great place to list your business (build citations) as part of your SEO efforts.
This is true for two reasons:
- People looking for relevant businesses will find your information on trustworthy and credible directories (yes, that is a pre-requisite). This will increase your visibility AND give you authority and credibility of your own.
- You will get a backlink to your site from a local directory, hence contributing to traffic on your site.
Catch a lot more detail about local SEO, as well as why you need it in this blog post:
Here’s a bonus for you: learn all about how you can use local SEO to tackle COVID-19 effects here.
Plan B: Outsource SEO Services for Small Businesses
Having shared all that information with you, we realize that most small business owners do not have the time to focus on SEO in addition to their core operations.
That is where we can step in to help.
To learn all about our SEO services packages click here.
And if you want more information about our highly affordable small business SEO services, reach out to one of our experts today.
Whether you are looking for WordPress SEO services or a video SEO company, SEO content or citation building services, we can help!
These resources will help you decide which route to take – choose wisely: