Using SEO Basics to Grow Your Small Business
Search engine optimization is usually not on the front of small business owners minds. It should be! Any small business can use SEO basics to grow their online presence and engagement. By not doing so many small businesses miss out on valuable opportunities for digital marketing. Even worse, by failing to follow best SEO practices many small business owners get penalized by search engines without even knowing it. A much more effective approach is to use these SEO basics to grow your small business.
“93% of online experiences begin with a search engine.” Junto
The main reason many small business owners don’t use SEO to grow their business is they don’t really understand how it works. Yes, SEO can be tricky, and for more advanced applications we definitely recommend that small business owners engage a professional. If you are a SMB who wants to do your own SEO you can use these 9 SEO basics to grow your small business online. Or, if your small business already uses an outside agency, you can use these SEO basics to ask the right questions.
Your Starting Point
Before you dive into SEO for your business website you need to have an understanding of what is already working for you, and which areas of your search engine optimization need help. Many small business owners are unaware of their SEO standings, and miss out on valuable opportunities. We have a better idea!
Simply provide us with a bit of info regarding your business, website, and competitors, and our FREE SEO Report will tell you everything you need to know to get started, in 10 minutes or less! So what are you waiting for?
9 SEO Basics
1 – Be Mobile-First
Ever since the Google Mobile-Friendly Algorithm Update of April 2015 your business must have a mobile-first website. Since the majority of your site visitors will come from a mobile device this is essential to providing the best possible user experience.
SEO Benefit: A mobile-first website ranks higher on Google search results. While the search engine has not made the final switch to their mobile-first index only this is only a matter of time. So why not get higher search rankings right now?
“87% of people who own a smartphone use a search engine at least once a day.” Junto
2 – Plan With Keyword Research
Know what your customers are searching for. Use free tools like Google Keyword Planner to help you hit all the right notes. For more in-depth research you can use SEMrush or Moz Pro to find keywords that your competitors are using.
Target local keywords specific to your business. For example: An electrician in Seattle prefers to work north of the ship canal only. Key phrases such as “North Seattle Electrician” are more relevant than “Seattle Electrician.”
3 – Stand Out With On-Site SEO
Create unique page titles, meta descriptions, URLs and content. Creating additional pages can help target new keywords and send signals to search engines.
Example: If your electrical contracting firm only serves North Seattle, use a key phrase like “North Seattle Electrician” on your home page.
“72% of consumers who perform a local search visit a store within 5 miles of their current location.” Junto
4 – Local SEO With Google My Business
Start by setting up your business profile on Google My Business, and be sure to create keyword rich descriptions for each of your locations. If you don’t have an actual location you should still establish a Brand Page. Businesses with one or more locations also need to set up a Location Page for each location.
SEO Benefit: Your business will appear in search results for local keyword searches.
5 – Blog
Yes, we may have mentioned this before! Write compelling content that your audience will read and share. Use images, video, tips, news and more to keep it varied. A ‘longtail’ keyword approach can work very well on blogs.
Example: A post titled North Seattle Electrician Review with a customer testimonial. How did your actions make life easier for your customer? Describe the actions you took and their outcome. Testimonials are a great way to show off your business and build trust.
Blog Post Ideas: Answer questions and offer solutions. Create check-lists. Offer free information and knowledge from your area of expertise. Become a trusted resource.
SEO Benefit: Every new blog post created is an opportunity to be found by search engines, especially if you optimized your blog post for content distribution.
“70-80% of people ignore paid search results, choosing to only click on organic listings.” Junto
6 – Diversify Your Marketing
Reviews, social media, PPC and AdWords campaigns, email, guest blogging, display ads, marketing forums, Facebook, Yelp, Instagram – can all drive traffic and leads. (Let us know if you need a few more ideas!) Social media, blogging, and forum participation in your niche are free. Test different channels with budgets and see what works.
SEO Benefit: A diverse marketing plan can compliment your SEO through traffic, links, and branding.
7 – Encourage Action!
We shouldn’t even have to mention this as part of our SEO basics, but just a reminder: Make sure your site visitors are taking the action you want them to. Want a visitor to call you? Tell them! Prefer email? Tell them! And tell them who they should contact first.
Example: A finance company wants people to book appointments. Use a Call to Action (CTA) where site visitors will see it: “Call 123-456-7890 to book an appointment with our finance manager, 20 years experience to help guide you to a secure financial future”.
8 – Efficient SEO With A CMS
A Content Management System (CMS) is an efficient way for a small business to publish content and manage SEO. It is not that hard to set up a site using a CMS such as WordPress, the World’s Favorite CMS. But there are other CMS you can consider as well.
SEO Benefit: WordPress plugins such as the excellent All-In-One SEO by Yoast allow control of on-page SEO. It will tell you how well your pages are optimized. Using a performance plugin such as W3 Total Cache helps pages load faster. Page speed is a known ranking factor!
9 – Update Your Website and Content Frequently!
The final of our SEO basics is to keep your website and content updated regularly. Both your human visitors and search engines are looking for fresh and updated relevant information, so be sure to give them what they want.small business content marketing tips If you are not sure how to do that here are some to get you started.
SEO Benefit: Search engines crawl websites to check for new content! If you add new content on a regular basis your website will appear to be active, and show higher in search results. If you do not update your website regularly Google will loose interest!
Implementing These SEO Basics
Now you know how to get started with using these SEO basics to grow your own small business. For each of our 9 SEO basics we listed examples and benefits for you to follow on your own. Start with the ones that are the most urgent, or the ones you feel most comfortable with. And be sure to measure the results.
Of course, you can save yourself a lot of time and trouble and have our team help you implement these SEO basics for your small business. Small business SEO is one of our specialties, after all! We are experts at creating high ranking content and websites.
Our content strategists and copywriters create relevant, engaging, and keyword-optimized content based on the research and analysis by our SEO strategists and implement and maintain a regular publishing schedule for you. And our expert mobile-first web design team can help you get a mobile-friendly online presence your customers will love.Why not get started by finding out what it will take to prepare your small business website for SEO basics and request your free estimate?
And if you are still not sure about how SEO basics apply to your brand or website don’t worry! Simply reach out and contact us. Our expert team will listen to you, answer your questions, and make sure that your small business has all of the SEO basics covered. That is one of our specialties, after all!
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Thank you! We appreciate your help to end bad business websites, one pixel at a time!