Small businesses mean big business in the global economy. In fact, in the United States alone, these businesses have created two-thirds of new jobs. They also account for approximately 40 percent of economic activity. They might be small in size, but small businesses are big players in the industry.
However, the competition is still heated among small businesses. Also, bigger corporations are in the business so laying low is not an option. Now, it’s more important than ever for small businesses to have an online presence. And to have an online presence, you need to know about search engine optimization (SEO).
What is Search Engine Optimization?
SEO is the process of optimizing a website for search engines, such as Google and Bing. The process includes ensuring your website is mobile-friendly, has quality content, and is easy to navigate. It also involves keyword research, link building, and other strategies.
A good SEO strategy increases the visibility of a website in search results. Better visibility means more website traffic, leading to new customers and increased sales.
Effective SEO strategies are among the secrets to business success since they help small businesses compete with larger organizations.
What is Small Business Search Engine Optimization?
Small business SEO is the process of increasing the online presence of the small business. It entails increasing your site’s rank on the search engine results pages (SERPs) of Google, Bing, and other search engines.
Ranking high on the SERPs helps businesses to connect with their target audiences. It also helps increase revenues for the business and allows it to stay afloat.
On the other hand, there’s local SEO. This type of SEO helps businesses with physical locations to increase their visibility in the local search results. The process involves optimizing your website and Google My Business or Google Business Profile listing for targeted keywords related to a local business.
It is different from small business SEO since SMB SEO optimizes your website for all searches related to your business. The process helps businesses without physical locations or that serve a wide geographical area.
What are the Benefits of Small Business SEO?
People usually visit websites on the first page of the Google search results. Reaching the first page is attainable for local businesses if they implement a small business SEO strategy that works.
When you do so, you’ll benefit from the following:
Increase Brand Awareness
Increasing the online presence of a local business increases its brand awareness in the market. It also helps build trust with potential customers, as they are more likely to see the business as credible and reliable if it appears prominently in search results.
SEO can be a very effective tool for small businesses looking to increase their visibility and reach potential customers. By optimizing their website t for relevant and competitive keywords, small businesses can improve their chances of appearing on the first page of the SERPs.
Compete with Other Business
SEO also helps local businesses to compete with other businesses in the market. An effective strategy is also helpful in growing your online business and allows you to go up against stronger players in your industry. You might not have a corporate business’ budget, but SEO can level the playing field.
Work with a reputable SEO agency to increase your site speed, create internal links, and improve your on-page SEO. The agency can also help build links and improve your off-page SEO. SEO agencies have the experience and know-how to get your small business ranking on Google. The goal is to increase your visibility and attract more customers to your site.
Increase Targeted Traffic
Quality SEO activities can also increase targeted traffic to a business website. Using target keywords on your website helps search engines serve up your site as a result to people searching for those terms. Performing keyword research and using long-tail keywords are two effective methods for driving targeted traffic to your website.
A long-tail keyword is a phrase that is very specific to what you are selling. These keywords are less common than general, one-word keywords, but they usually have a higher conversion rate because they are more specific to what the searcher is looking for.
SEO can also help make your website more accessible and user-friendly, which are essential factors in catching more traffic and ensuring they stay longer on your website.
Improve Conversion Rates
Small business SEO can also improve conversion rates for businesses. Local SEO builds a good relationship with the target market. Optimizing your website for relevant keywords and making it easy to find makes it more likely that potential customers will visit your site and do business with you.
SEO also entails ensuring websites are compatible with mobile devices, allowing potential customers to access them using tablets and smartphones. The best optimization practices also improve website loading speed, which encourages visitors to stay on your site and continue browsing.
Best SEO Practices for Small Business Owners
Business owners should develop effective SEO strategies to increase their online presence. To achieve this goal, they must implement the best SEO practices to ensure their efforts pay off.
If you’re new to small business SEO, add the following tasks to your to-do list:
Perform On-Page Optimization
On-page optimization is essential to developing a suitable site structure for the website. The website’s title tag, meta description, images, videos, and body content should all be appropriately optimized with targeted keywords. Adding these keywords to the internal links of the website is also helpful.
Also, prioritize posting high-quality content that naturally integrates a target keyword. The blog post should be formatted appropriately and have a catchy headline.
Deal with Technical SEO Issues
Business owners should ensure the external appearance of a website doesn’t have any issues. Always check the fonts, colors, and graphics of the website. Also, don’t forget to address any technical issues affecting a website’s ranking.
Some common technical SEO problems are
- Broken links
- Duplicate content
- Improper use of canonical link elements
If a website has any of these problems, it can impact its ranking in search engines. Always fix these problems before they start a content or link campaign.
Check Any User Experience Issues
Website visitors are looking for a seamless experience. If there are any broken links or errors on your site, it will reflect poorly on your business. Regularly check your website for any issues that need to be fixed.
Also, determine whether their target audience searches for their business on mobile devices or desktop computers. If most of your customers use mobile devices, ensure your website is optimized for those users.
Work on Your Google Business Profile
A Google Business Profile (GBP) is essential for businesses to connect with local customers by ranking well in local searches. Searches for local businesses are growing faster than any other type of search, making it more critical than ever to have a strong presence. If you want to optimize your Google Business Profile:
- Claim and verify your listing and fill out as many fields as possible.
- Include photos and videos to enhance your listing and make it more visually appealing.
- Take advantage of the description field to include keywords that describe your business. These keywords will help you rank higher in searches.
Manage Local Listings and Citations
Don’t forget to manage local business data to ensure their accuracy. Data aggregators share local business information, including the name, location, and contact details. The data should be consistent across all platforms to ensure accuracy. Feel free to sign up for a service or use a local citations tool to help manage this data and monitor for inaccuracies.
Citations are another vital factor in local search engine optimization. A citation is an online mention of a business and can include the business name, address, and phone number. These citations help improve the visibility of a business in local search results.
Conduct a Competitive Analysis
As a small business, you may not have the budget to compete with the larger businesses in your industry. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t still be successful with SEO. To find success in optimization, research your competitors.
There are several tools you can use to learn more about your competitors, which include:
- Google Search Console
Once you have the tools you need, you can start conducting your competitive analysis. Here’s how:
- Identify who your competitors are. You can do this by searching for your targeted keywords on Google. Look at the websites that are ranking in the top five to 10 positions. These are the websites you want to focus on.
- Use a tool like Google Search Console to see what keywords your competitors are ranking for. This will give you an idea of what keywords you should be targeting.
- Take a look at your competitors’ website structures. See how they’re organized and check for areas for improvement.
- Use Ahrefs to see who is linking to your competitors’ websites. This shows you the quality of their backlink profile.
- Finally, use a tool like Moz to see if your competitors are ranking for any long-tail keywords. Long-tail keywords are typically more niche and can be less competitive.
Search engine optimization is essential for businesses to improve their online presence and increase revenues. Be a big small business with SEO by your side.