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For small businesses, it’s crucial to build brand awareness and visibility. Your business can’t grow if consumers don’t know about you. One of the best ways to build visibility is through search engine optimization (SEO).
Before making a purchase, more than 65% of American consumers conduct product research online. So, regardless of the industry or the business you are in, it is crucial to optimize your digital presence.
When your potential customers are searching for a product or service on Google, you need to be visible to them. That’s where small business SEO can help you. In simple terms, it’s a strategy that can help your website feature on the top of the search engine results pages (SERPs).
While SEO can deliver exceptional results, it requires a lot of time investment. Thankfully, some hacks can help you speed up this time-consuming process. Let’s take a look at some small business SEO tips that can help you boost the growth of your brand.
Small Business SEO Tip #1: Research Your Keywords Well
What are the keywords that consumers are likely to use to search for you in the search engines? For example, if sell handbags, consumers may use words like “purse” or “women’s bags” in their search queries. You need to optimize your content and website for the most popular search keywords.
To find the right keywords, you can use tools like the Google Keyword Planner, KWFinder, or Moz Keyword Explorer.
These tools are very simple to use. You can type in your target keyword and find all of the relevant keyword combinations for your content. Based on which keywords are the most popular, you can figure out what people are searching for.
However, it’s not always a good idea to use the most highly searched keywords. Big businesses with high domain authority will be vying to get the top rankings in search results for those keywords.
Image via KWFinder
For small businesses, it’s a better idea to focus on keywords in your niche. Using niche keywords, you can reach out to a smaller but more specific audiences.
Small Business SEO Tip # 2: Create A Business Listing
One of the easiest ways for small businesses to boost their online visibility is to create a Google My Business listing. Through this, business owners can control how Google’s search engine results pages display their organization.
On the other hand, Google My Business listings also help search engines to find accurate information about your business.
Image via Google
On your Google My Business Page, you can provide details like contact information, location, and business address. Also, you can add relevant photos to give your potential customers a glimpse of your products or office. It also gives you an opportunity to write answers to frequently asked questions about your business.
Google My Business listings are particularly helpful to optimize your website for “near me” queries or voice-based searches. It’s an essential step to outrank your competitors in local search results.
Many third-party apps and services rely on Google to get data about businesses. When you update your information on your Google My Business Page, it is also transferred to these parties. Overall, it can represent your information more accurately and consistently across different platforms.
Through these listings, small business owners can also get insights into their customers’ behavior. Using Google Insights, you can figure out how customers find you. It also shows platforms where your visibility is low. Based on this, you can tailor your marketing campaigns.
Small Business SEO Tip #3: Optimize Your Website For Mobile Phones
The number of people who use mobile phones to surf the internet is increasing. In 2018, smartphones generated 52.2% of the total website traffic. Your business needs to keep up with this changing consumer behavior.
The first step to appeal to mobile phone users is to opt for a mobile-friendly website design. Responsiveness and convenience should be at the top of your list when looking for an effective mobile-friendly website design.
If you’ve optimized your web pages for mobile devices, your website visitors won’t have to zoom in or zoom out. A good mobile-friendly website is perfectly accessible from screens of different sizes.
Image via Hospitality Net
Another advantage of this strategy is that it can help you improve your search rankings. Google has made a note of the increasing number of mobile phone users around the world. So, they updated their algorithm to reflect these changes.
With mobile-first indexing, Google checks your mobile web page design to index and determine your rankings. So, you can’t ignore mobile responsiveness in your SEO strategy.
Here is what Google recommends for businesses that have both mobile and desktop websites:
- Your mobile and desktop site should have the same content in crawlable and indexable formats.This recommendation applies to photos, videos, and text.
- Make sure you’re using structured data on both versions of your website.
- Add the same meta descriptions and titles on both versions.
Small Business SEO Tip #4: Optimize For Voice Searches
Google Home and Amazon Echo are making our lives easier by helping us multi-task. You can be playing a game, and at the same time, be ordering your lunch. You’re no longer required to be glued to your phone or computer to get tasks finished. You can even search for things on the web with the help of voice assistants.
According to a report by Gartner, voice search can also impact revenue. By 2021, businesses that redesign their websites to support visual and voice search are expected to increase digital commerce revenue by 30%.
The future is in voice-based searches. Knowing this can help you change your SEO tactics to stay ahead of your competitors. Most voice-based searches come from mobile devices. So, you still need to pay attention to making your website mobile-friendly.
Moreover, your content needs to focus less on short keywords and more on conversational topics. That’s because Google Assistant receives 70% of their requests in conversational language.
Another difference with voice-based searches is that they are typically longer. To search for a flight fare, users aren’t likely to search for “Boston New York flight fare.” Instead, for voice-based searches, they are more likely to ask, “What is the cost of Boston to New York flights.”
Many voice-based queries begin with What, How, Why, When, and Where. Keep this in mind while creating content. If you focus on answering the questions that users are asking, your content can attract and engage more people.
Small Business SEO Tip #5: Create Video Content
To engage your target audience, produce more video content. By 2022, video traffic will comprise 82% of all online traffic. Additionally, internet video traffic is set to grow fourfold from 2017 to 2022.
Image via Google
Video content can, by itself, drive more traffic. But that’s not all. Google has also started featuring videos as snippets in response to search queries. So, the first step to leveraging video content for your SEO strategy is to produce more of it.
Secondly, you need to make sure Google crawlers understand what your video is about. For this, it is necessary to include a corresponding text reference.
You can outline all of the steps or information mentioned in the video in your text reference. Additionally, you should use relevant keywords in your video meta descriptions and titles. You can also include transcriptions of your videos.
Small Business SEO Tip #6: Use Internal Links
Just getting users to visit your homepage is not enough. As a small business owner, your aim should be to engage your visitors so that they spend more time on your website. Get them to read more of your content or view more products.
Adding internal links ensures that you redirect your visitors to other pages on your website. By getting users to spend more time on your website, you are indirectly improving your SEO. Dwell time, average time on page, and bounce rate are all important factors that affect your small business SEO.
Internal links also help make your website structure more organized. They make it easier for Google crawlers to understand your content and establish links between it.
Small Business SEO Tip #7: Conduct an SEO Audit
You probably won’t get your SEO strategy right in the first go. An effective SEO strategy is all about trial and error. To improve your strategy, you need to analyze how your website is doing in terms of SEO.
Conducting an SEO audit is very easy, but it’s a strategy that’s not implemented by many small business owners. It’s easy to miss finer details like spam score or broken links when you’re taking care of your business. That’s why one of the best small business SEO tips is to conduct an SEO audit at regular intervals.
It tells you which part of your SEO strategy you need to tweak by evaluating your website. Based on the results, you will understand your pain points and what you need to improve.
Image via SEMRush
To get a detailed report of your website’s performance, you can use SEO tools like Pro Rank Tracker or SEMrush.
Small Business SEO Tip #8: Boost Your Page Loading Speed
Since 2010, Google has maintained that page loading speed is a crucial factor for SEO. Adding to it, in 2018, they announced that page loading speed was also important for mobile searches.
Google focuses on page loading speed because it’s crucial for a good user experience. If users have to wait for more than three seconds for a mobile site to load, 53% of users abandon the site.
It’s clear that if you want customers to visit your website, you need to focus on improving your page loading speed. Heavy images, incorrect themes, or large embedded media can slow down your page loading speed.
If you want to gain insights into your website’s page loading speed, you should use the PageSpeed Insights tool by Google. This tool tests your page loading speed and tells you if you need any improvement. For detailed reports, you can use tools like TestMySite and LightHouse.
Small Business SEO Tip #9: Get Quality Backlinks
As a small business owner, your website may be fairly new. It can take you a long time to build up enough authority and credibility to appear in search results. But there is a strategy that can help you minimize this time-consuming phase.
You can get backlinks from websites that have a high Domain Authority. Not only can this help you get more traffic but it can also improve your SEO strategy.
When you get a backlink from a source that has a high Domain Authority, search engines view it as a stamp of reliability. Getting quality backlinks from multiple sources is the best way to boost the reputation of your small business.
For this, you can reach out to top bloggers and influencers in your niche. If you are lucky, some websites may even link back to your website without your knowledge. That’s great, unless the website that has linked to you is spammy.
If a website with questionable credentials links back to your site, your domain authority can be reduced. To avoid this scenario, it’s best to analyze your incoming links. If you find anything suspicious, disavow the link. You can use tools like Moz Link Explorer or Google Search Console to find these links.
Small Business SEO Tip #10: Post Your Content On Different Platforms
For most small business owners, Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter are the obvious choices for social media marketing. While they’re great, you need to look beyond these platforms to build authority quickly.
Pinterest, Quora, Medium, and Slideshare are platforms you can also explore to reach out to a broader audience. Growing your presence on multiple social media platforms can give your brand more visibility and improve brand awareness. In turn, you can get more engagement and improve your search engine rankings.
As a small business owner, it’s important to make people more aware of your products and services. Your potential customers should be able to find you when they are looking for a product or service like yours. That’s why SEO is essential for all small businesses.
Small business SEO tips can help you boost your visibility and drive engagement. However, small business SEO a process that requires a lot of time, effort, and patience. But if you know the right SEO strategies, you can boost the growth of your small business.
Shane Barker is a digital marketing consultant who specializes in sales funnels, targeted traffic, and website conversions. He has consulted with Fortune 500 companies, influencers with digital products, and a number of A-List celebrities.