21 Aug SEO for Small Business
SEO Guide for Small Business Owners: What to Do and How to Do It
So, you started your own business. Congratulations!
You got yourself a small office or shop space and little by little, customers and clients are trickling in. You even have a website! Double congratulations!
But you can’t help but wonder if you should rely only on your friends and family for business. Is word of mouth enough? So, you start questioning what else you should do and ask the internet. Because asking the internet is what everyone does these days, at least you know that for sure.
And what does the internet tell you? It probably told you many things, but one thing is for sure, the internet told you to get on top of SEO or Search Engine Optimization for your website. You also get a reminder to be mindful of Google guidelines while you’re doing SEO. You get bombarded with basic SEO terms that you are not familiar with.
“What on Earth is SEO?” you wonder. And how can it help you grow your small business?
The long and short of it is this: SEO is a series of activities or tactics that you can do in order to have your website rank well in search engines. And as a direct result, ranking well in search engines means more business.
For instance, when you asked the internet what else you need to do to boost your business, the websites that showed up in the first page of the search results have good SEO. Basically, if you practice good SEO, you get to attract more people to your website and eventually, these people become new customers.
Sounds simple enough, right? But what exactly is the importance of SEO for small business? Check out our guide below:
- Build a Website
Some businesses have a website just so they can have a nice www information to add to their business cards. But when you visit their website, there is nothing there.
Your website should do more than just let people know about your business name. You need to build an SEO friendly website. It has to be a website with proper URL structure, with web pages that load fast.
It should have content that people will find valuable. On top of value, your website should be user-friendly or easy to navigate. It should be secure, too.
- Research and Use Keywords
It’s not enough to have a website that loads fast and is easy to navigate. Its content and meta descriptions have to be peppered with the right keywords, too.
Keywords are the possible string of words or phrases that users will type in the Google search bar to get to your website. They have to be related to your business of course but you also have to keep in mind the intent of the users when they use the internet to do searches.
There are tools that you can use to conduct proper keyword research for your small business. We especially like Google Keyword Planner because it’s free, easy to use, and quite straightforward with information and suggestions.
- Share Valuable Content
So now that you finally have an idea about the searches that potential customers may use to reach your business, what do you do with the keywords? The answer is to utilize them in your content marketing strategy. In other words, you use these keywords to create content.
You put them in your website copy. You use them in your blog posts. You add them to your video content.
But wait, you can’t just insert the keywords willy-nilly. Because Google will know if you do that and oh boy, they will punish you by giving you low ranking. You must employ them in ways that will appeal to your target audience. The content that you put out must not only have the keywords, it should add value to your users, too. Just creating content isn’t the goal; the goal is to come up with great content.
Let’s say that you have a small homegrown coffee business. You can use keywords relevant to your business to talk about your products and business. But on top of that, in order to build your audience, you also have to have content (containing said keywords) that people will want to read and share. Perhaps you will want to publish blogs covering coffee recipes, infographics about different coffee types, and other related topics. These blog posts have to be nicely-written or creative enough that your customers will want to share it.
Speaking of sharing, the next SEO tip is also important.
- Get Social
If your small business doesn’t have social media, you’re missing out. Not only are most social media accounts free, they are also where potential customers will first find you, considering everyone and their grandmother have Facebook now.
Having social media also increases your chances of going viral. And going viral is this tech era’s version of word-of-mouth marketing. As an added bonus, when you share links to your website from social media accounts, you get strong backlinks, too. Backlinks are essential for good SEO ranking and we’ll cover this tactic further down.
Another great thing about having social media is they are fantastic for communicating directly with your customers. In other words, not only is social media good for SEO, it’s a wonderful tool for customer service as well.
- Get Listed Online
Another way to achieve good SEO is to get listed in online directories. Online directories are like the yellow pages of traditional marketing. Great examples are Google My Business and Apple Maps Connect. These online directories provide strong backlinks to your website.
SEO case studies suggest that these directories are incredibly useful for local businesses. In fact, they are fantastic for attracting non-local potential customers. If non-locals happen to show up in your city, they might search for businesses like yours. And if you happen to be listed in navigational directories, these customers will no doubt end up on your doorstep.
- Get Linked
Getting backlinks from other websites, not just your social media accounts, is also important in your SEO marketing efforts. There are many ways to accomplish this. Some of the more reliable methods include writing guest blogs for other websites or joining and participating in forums.
Additionally, internal linking is also essential. This is when you link to other pages of your website, using the right keywords or anchor text, so that potential customers will be able to get to know your business more.
The tactics above are just some of the basic things that you can do in order to get your website ranked nicely on Google, and in turn, enjoy a great boost in business. Under each tactic are perhaps several more activities that you need to accomplish in order for your SEO efforts to be effective.
Your own team can easily handle these tasks. There are, after all, fantastic resources online, that will help you with every step of the process. Of course, if you’d rather take guesswork out of the equation, we suggest looking into getting the help of a digital marketing agency trusted by and specializing in small business.
No matter the route you end up taking, whether you DIY or hire a digital marketing agency, we are certain that you will see the fruits of your labor in no time. You have an untapped market online; breach it with good SEO for your small business.