Easy SEO Tips for Small Businesses
As a small business, you may think that search engine optimization does not apply to you. You may think SEO is an exclusive domain of large and medium-sized enterprises since they have a bigger market. But you couldn’t be more wrong.
An SEO strategy benefits all businesses, regardless of size. As long as you have an online presence or a website, SEO is important. It helps customers find you when looking for a product or service. SEO drives traffic to your website and social media pages. It will help your small business establish itself as an expert in your niche.
So, applying SEO techniques will boost your marketing plan. Here are a few tips to help you get started with your SEO strategy.
1. Learn How to Use and Optimize Keywords
Keyword optimization is one of the basic elements of SEO. So you need to understand how it works and how to go about it. Optimizing keywords involves doing a systematic search for words that your potential customers are likely to use when they go to the web looking for products or services. SEO will help ensure that when customers use these words in their search, your business will be among the first names they will see.
Finding the Right Keywords
So how do you find the right keywords? There are tools to make sure you will be optimizing the words that your target market is most likely to use. You can also use Keyword Tool, which is a Google Ads product, to find more keywords and grow your list.
Another method is to decide on one keyword and get some more ideas from Google’s autofill function on the search box. The bottom of the search results page will also give you a list of words used for related searches.
You can also head to forums or online communities for your industry, read relevant threads, and see what words appear frequently.
Other tools you can check out include Google Keyword Planner, Moz, and SEMrush. But there are many other online resources available.
Using Keywords in the Right Places
Once you have a list of keywords, you can optimize them or help them rank higher when your potential customers use them in their online research. Using them on the various pages of your website would be a good starting point. Include the keywords in your site’s URL, title tags, metadata descriptions, Alt image tags, H1 tags, and near the front of the sentences or paragraphs of your page content.
You can also use these keywords on your social media accounts or pages. Insert them when you create and post content. Use them in alt tags for your images, as well as in creating hashtags. This will help you reach your local audience. Of course, you also need to engage with other social media users.
Other Keyword Optimization Tips
Here are other keyword optimization tips in mind:
- As a small business, pick and optimize the most popular keywords and also focus on the less competitive ones. Leave the more competitive keywords to the major players with more sophisticated marketing teams.
- Do not overstuff your content with keywords. Insert them in a way that your content still reads naturally.
- Use variations of the keywords you are using.
- One or two keywords for each page are enough. Don’t force them into your content.
- Try to go for long-form content, which is about 1,000 to 1,500 words. This way, you could insert more keywords as naturally as possible.
2. Develop a Solid Backlinking Strategy
A backlink is a link from another site or online source leading to your own website or social media page. It works just as well as a citation or referral. Backlinks can influence your search engine rankings and take potential customers to your site or pages organically.
For example, you can get a backlink from a local news site by joining a local event, like donating to a charity or a worthy cause in your area.
Why Are Backlinks Important?
Backlinks account for a significant chunk of your search engine ranking because they show how much other sites trust your site. Having more backlinks to your site means having more votes of confidence in your business. It shows search engines like Google that you are a credible online source. It also shows them that you have valuable content worth linking to and, therefore, worth listing in their search results.
Backlinks also affect your domain authority. A website’s domain authority describes how relevant the site is for a specific industry or subject area. These backlinks can also be tied to page authority, which looks into your relevance on a smaller scale, which is at the page level.
Backlinks Boost Brand Awareness
Since backlinks will boost your search engine ranking and result in more visits to your site or pages, they will also improve brand awareness. The more visitors you have clicking on your website, the more they will know about your brand and what you offer. This, in turn, could lead to more conversions.
Aim for High-Quality Backlinks
Now that you know what backlinks can do for your brand and your site, keep in mind that quality trumps quantity. Don’t try to get backlinks just for the sake of getting them. You cannot be indiscriminate about where you get your backlinks from. Google will penalize you or lower your search engine ranking for having many irrelevant and low-quality backlinks.
As such, focus on getting backlinks from reliable online sources and high-authority sites. These don’t have to be sites from the same industry or niche. As long as they are linking to content on your site or page that is related to the topic of their own content, it can still be considered a high-quality backlink. One way to do this is to publish informative, educational, or entertaining content. And other small businesses would launch contests and other promotions to encourage more people to see their content. The more people see your content, the more they see its value.
3. Update Your Business Listings
Building your business listings is a good SEO strategy since it also allows you to enhance your visibility and authority. These listings include company profiles, business directories, and local citations. Doing this would allow potential customers to find you and become aware of your presence even if your website doesn’t turn up in their search.
Business listings and citations contain your business name, address, and contact number. It will also include your website’s link. Some listings also include additional information like business hours, email address, list of products and services, links to your social media pages, and even images.
Business listings will give you high-quality backlinks to your website. Google trusts these directories, databases, and third-party sites.
Go for Local Citations
Get local citations by completing your Google business profile and claiming your listing on popular websites like Bing and Yelp. You can also look into business listings on social media profiles, event listings, booking websites, review profiles, online directories, and even articles.
SEO doesn’t have to be a complicated process for small businesses. And it doesn’t always have to involve hiring SEO experts. As long as you understand the basics, you can integrate SEO into your online marketing strategy. Just know that SEO is something you can use to your advantage, and it can help your business grow.