Being a small business is tough. Their key component of marketing strategy is to effectively position their brand in search engine results. However, the black-box nature of Search Engine Optimization makes it a complex form of marketing.
It boils down to one question: What to do to improve SEO rankings? After all, great organic rankings don’t happen overnight.
But, you can dominate search results and move the needle for your small business.
Yes, there are ways to enhance rankings and grow your small business. Take a look at these 10 simple tips for local SEO success.
- Optimize Information on Your Website
Your website is the most valuable asset for your business. So, the key to appearing high within search results is to ensure your website is properly optimized. Take the following actions to optimize your website.
- Domain Name Creation – Choose a domain name that mirrors your business type and its location, e.g. An SEO Company in Toronto can use the domain “torontoseo. Com.”
- Keywords Addition – Your page titles and Meta tags are the places where adding keywords is necessary. Add keywords in Meta titles, page titles that identify with your business (its services and location).
- Use Contact Address – Mention the name, address, and phone number (NAP) of your business on all the pages, like the homepage, contact page, and each page of your site.
- Content/Copy Update – In addition to pointing to your offerings, check whether your website content covers as much about your local area as possible to associate your services or products with the nearby vicinity.
Let’s say, you are a digital marketing agency in Toronto. Highlight the section like SMM in Toronto, PPC in Toronto, website design, and Development Company in Toronto, based on the service you offer. Not only will this improve your website copy for customers, but also enhance your search visibility as a local business.
- Fix Your Technical SEO Issues
Great graphics, fonts, and colours make your small business website look fine. But, any technical issues ‘under the hood’ can lead to impacting your traffic and rankings. Before you embark on a link or content campaign, make sure to strengthen the foundation. Some of the common technical SEO issues you need to consider are:
- Page loading speed (your page should be loaded within 3 seconds)
- Broken links like 404 errors, etc.
- Duplicate content
- Un-optimized pages
- Inappropriate use of canonical link elements
Use tools like Google Search Console, SEMRush, GT Metrix, Siteliner, and Screaming Frog to check and fix the issues. Remember, you need to have a very solid website structure so search engines can properly index and crawl your webpages.
#3. Set up ‘Google My Business’ Account
Setting up a Google My Business (GMB) account should be your focal point. It’s easy, free to update, and can carry an influential impact. Get all your business details uploaded. Be sure to:
- Fill out as many fields as you can
- Include photos and videos
- Mention correct address and phone number
- Select the correct categories for your business
GMB accounts will enable your website to appear in local search results for queries related to your area of operation.
#4. Polish Your Written Content
Most web pages will have some written content (copy). This needs to be on point. Well-written content enables the search engine like Google to understand whether that particular web page is a good result for a particular query.
Here are SEO “rules” for website content aka copy:
- Include some copy on every page. A minimum of 100–200 words is generally recommended as a general rule of thumb.
- Add H1 tag on every page as the heading of the page. This is like the Meta title—but it doesn’t have to be.
- Avoid shoehorning keywords into your copy. Be careful of the keywords you target. Don’t force using them where they don’t belong.
- Be aware of grammar, typo errors, and spelling on point.
#5. Build a Mobile-friendly Website
Developing a mobile-friendly website is essential for small businesses. Interestingly, it can be done easily with simple plugins for your CMS like WordPress. This makes all your content mobile-friendly.
Optimize the website for fast-load speed. You can install plugins for this. It will help you stand out from your competitors in terms of performance.
#6. Manage Local Business Listings & Citations
Controlling the accuracy of your local business data is as essential as your GMB account.
Focus on data aggregators e.g. Factual, Neustar Localeze. Share correct information about your local businesses, such as the name, address, and phone number (NAP). Make sure the information is consistent.
Local business listings and citations like online mentions of business are among the most effective ways to enhance your business local presence. You can do this by approaching local directories and citations. Contact a local SEO company that will share your NAP information.
#7. Add Schema Markup
Schema markup is code (semantic vocabulary) that is put on the website to allow search engines to drive more informative results for visitors. If you are aware of rich snippets, you’ll better understand what schema markup is all about.
Schema markup is an important marketing element because it sends search engine signals about page components, like your business address, name, phone number, ratings, business hours, and so on. This leads to rich snippets in SERPs.
Schema Markup Helps:
- Search engines understand the content of your website page
- Bring attention-grabbing and rich results to increase CTR
- Enhance brand presence with a full Knowledge Graph
- Improve your search engine ranking position
#8. Get Local Backlinks from Relevant Websites
Despite getting links to websites improves search engine rankings, most of the small business owners underestimate the importance of links.
Getting links from relevant websites from your local area can mean more customers, conversions and sales.
It is advisable to spread the word about your business. Educate others about your products and services. Get involved in the community. Quality backlinks help:
- Improve organic ranking
- Allow faster indexing
- Let search engine bots discover new webpages
- Bring referral traffic
- Increase the site’s visibility in search engine results (SEO)
- Build credibility, generate traffic
#9. Use Google Search Console
Google Search Console is a free tool that will provide you a wealth of information about your website performance in Google search. It also updates you about any errors on your website.
With the proper use of the Google Search Console tool, you can get to know what type of keywords Google thinks your website is relevant for. It lets you know whether your site is mobile friendly or not, or have any problems crawling your pages.
In a nutshell, Google Search Console is the starting point for most of your business improvement efforts.
#10. Create Content/Launch A Blog
Content is what helps increase search engine rankings for your target keywords. In addition to creating content for homepages, product pages, and everywhere on your site, create a blog also.
Blog is good not just for SEO reasons, but it brings you a window of opportunity to talk about your products, services and other offerings. You can inform your local audiences how you are different from others and why people should buy your product.
Most important point is you need to create a kind of content for the interest and benefits of people to build an audience.
Every year hundreds of new businesses are set up. Many of them fail in the first year. Others can’t reach even the three-year mark. One of the prime reasons of business failure could be their inability to adapt to changing times.
Keep in mind these 10 simple SEO tips. Add them to your local SEO methods to improve rankings and grow your small business.
This list is a consolidated variant of what you can implement to improve your rankings. Even if these tips sound daunting and you get stuck in between, keep working down the list. You will achieve your goal.
Are you aware of any other SEO methods? Please share it with us.