10 Simple and Easy SEO Tips for Small Businesses
Small businesses face many challenges when it comes to marketing and sales. Many of them operate on narrow margins, lack resources and staying competitive is a constant challenge. At times, the obstacles seem insurmountable.
But search engine optimization (SEO) can be a great help. The key to successful SEO is to work on improving the web ranking of your business over very long periods of time.
What is SEO for small businesses?
Put simply, SEO is the process of boosting traffic to your website by increasing the number of visitors that click on your site from search engine results pages (SERPs). It is about making sure your brand, products and services get found in Google online searches.
The process involves analysing how search engines look for, rank and filter websites and ensuring your digital marketing strategy is properly aligned with it. If a website is ranked well, then searches for a word or phrase on that website will bring up the website. You can implement SEO for your small businesses without spending a fortune, just by following some basic steps.
1. Do keyword research for your small business
Researching keywords should always be one of the first things to do when starting a new SEO project. That’s because it is the foundation upon which everything else will be built.
Finding that needle in the haystack of keywords to target in your SEO campaign for your small business is a difficult task. Keyword research in the early stages of a project will help uncover which keywords are most important to your customers, and also help you determine if there is an existing keyword gap between what your company offers your customers and what they search for online.
Some of the best keyword research tools you can explore are:
- Google Keyword Planner
- Moz Keyword Explorer
- Ahrefs Keyword Explorer
- KW Finder
- Long Tail Pro
- Keyword Tool
2. Remember, the most popular keywords are not always the right keyword for you
As a small business, it’s easy to scramble for the most popular keywords and phrases out there. You may get some traffic from them, but you also risk a lot of competition. Smaller keywords can sometimes convert into sales more quickly, and help you get into that coveted #1 spot on the search engine results page (SERP). Focus on keywords with less competition and drive more traffic to your website.
The best keyword phrases to focus on are the ones that are incredibly specific. That’s because when someone searches for a very specific phrase, they have high intent, which means that they’re already interested in the topic and are probably ready to make a purchase.
For instance, while “buy shoes online” is a great key phrase because of the high search volume, using the key phrase “buy women’s shoes in Nigeria” instead will get you more targeted customers if your business serves the Nigerian local market.
3. Keep writing fresh & engaging content
Have you ever noticed how some brands’ blogs provide great content that keeps people coming back? They do this by writing fresh and engaging pieces of content on a regular basis.
What is the key to well-optimised blog and guest posts that will be at the top of the SERPs? There’s nothing as important as publishing quality, relevant, trending and engaging content regularly – if you want your website to get traffic consistently without spending hundreds of dollars a day on AdWords.
4. Use the right keyword density in your digital marketing content
Too often, website copy is stuffed full of keywords because the writer believes that every other word needs to be a “money” word. But Google algorithms are getting more sophisticated, and they’re able to identify naturally written keyword-rich content from artificially generated copy.
This means words are often present because they were simply part of the sentence needed to explain the idea, not just to shoehorn keywords into some vacuum of space in a misguided attempt to rank higher.
So when you write for your website, consider a balance between keyword-rich content and natural language. A high-quality balance will result in content that reads well to target readers and ranks well on Google. It’s best to target a keyword density of 1-3%.
5. Ensure your website is fast & mobile-friendly
Your business website is the cornerstone of your SEO efforts, so it’s important to make sure that you are up to date with Google’s latest standards for mobile-friendly websites. With over 50% of Google search traffic coming from mobile devices, it’s important for your business to create a website that ranks on all devices. Otherwise, you could be missing out on potential online customers.
Focus on keywords with less competition and drive more traffic to your website.
6. Use hyperlinks
This is something every amateur search engine optimization person always seems to forget to do. They want to link to their own website, and I think that’s cool, but why not link to others too? Do you know the search engines use hyperlinks as a determining factor in how they rank websites?
By using hyperlinks in your content to point at your competition in a way that leads back to your own page, you are improving your SEO!
7. Local SEO
An effective small business SEO strategy should focus on local keywords, as the competition tends to be much less when optimising for search terms that are relevant to your business’s location. If you have a local small business then Local SEO should be a very high priority for you.
8. Don’t forget social media marketing
Being successful in SEO is not a one-stop process: it takes much more to be visible for your target audience. Unfortunately, many businesses tend to forget about social media marketing for SEO, thus missing out on one of the key factors in improving ranking and driving more traffic to your brand online.
It’s all about consistency and doing little by little, but you need to keep an eye on everything to make everything work in synergy.
9. Format properly for readability
Also, essentially, follow these related key tips:
- Use headlines and bullet points to break up text and drive important bits of information home.
- Tell a story in the headline.
- Be selective with images, videos, infographics, etc.
- Add a call to action/to subscribe button to each blog post.
10. Keep article length in mind
Probably the largest reason numerous blogs are ignored by readers is that the words used are poorly chosen. Having a large number of good keywords in relation to your topic will do nothing for you if they are not properly interspersed with relevant information.
At the same time, if you create a blog with too much content then it becomes a chore for the reader to make it through it. Keep your blog just long enough to establish relevance but short enough for most readers to finish. I recommend between 600 and 1200 words.