While a large number of businesses are still sticking to conventional marketing through TV ads, newspaper ads, or radio advertising, the statistics on the other end of the spectrum are happily optimizing SEO (search engine optimization) or organic search results.
In this article, we’re going to delve into the fascinating realm of SEO, why it’s currently the best marketing strategy to date, and the complete tips for ranking your small business in no time.
What is SEO?
We always turn to Google, Bing or Yahoo for just about anything under the sun these days. Checking reviews, gathering information, searching for products and services, watching tutorials; the list is endless.
While it may seem like a mundane routine, SEO specialists are behind every website that ranks first on any search engines.
SEO is the process of getting “free” traffic to your website. However, Google calls the shots as to which content (blogs, videos, infographics, images) gets displayed based on several factors which we’ll get into later.
Why is SEO Important for Small Businesses?
Whether you’re a small business owner or a digital marketer, optimizing some SEO best practices will drive more traffic to websites. According to BrightEdge, 50 percent of website traffic is from organic searches, and over 40 percent of revenues come from organic searches as well. Because SEO…
- Increases engagement, and builds trust and credibility
- Creates better user experience
- Is cheap compared to PPC (Pay-Per-Click ads)
- Is trackable
- Allows you to discover more opportunities in ranking your website
- Gets more leads and conversions
To make the most out of your SEO campaign, it’s essential that you also plan out your strategy right from the beginning. Here’s a step by step guide on how to create an SEO marketing strategy from scratch.
Best SEO Tricks for Small Business Exposure
1. Do Keyword Research
Incorporating the right keywords in your content is crucial. First, create a buyer persona. That means think about which audience you’re targeting and put yourself in their shoes. What type of keywords would they be typing?
To start keyword research, try to brainstorm for keyword ideas. You can open up an Excel sheet or Google Spreadsheet and put any keyword related to your niche. First, you can turn to good old Wikipedia for ideas and synonyms. Then you can try Google Autocomplete; this is when you open an incognito Google window and type in the keyword on the search box. Copy those automatic phrases that appear below your typed keyword. Or you can use any free extension like Keywords Everywhere to determine which keywords have high traffic volume. Then, build your content around those keywords.
2. Enhance On-Page SEO
On-page SEO refers to your content’s title tags, meta descriptions, h1, h2 & h3 subheadings, internal links, content length, social sharing buttons, and more.
When creating your first content, aim to rank for long-tail keywords with a lower search volume. This way, you’ll have a higher chance of making it to the first page of SERPs. Utilize your title tags (blue clickable titles on Google). Include your keyword in the title tag and add some modifiers like “top,” “best,” “2019” to make it stand out. Ensure that the essential keywords will not go over 55 characters. Meta descriptions are the short phrases/paragraph that you see below the title tags. Make sure it’s short and sweet; letting the readers know immediately what they’re going to get once they click on your content. Make sure it’s 160 characters or less.
Also, Google ranks longer content. Why? The longer the content, the more the relevant keywords. Keep it 500 to 1,500 words.
3. Maximize Link Building
One metric that Google looks for is your website’s credibility. And backlinks (a hyperlink from one site to another) with high page authority and domain authority levels will prove beneficial for your site. There are free tool extensions you can use to check this like MOZ. You can search for your target keywords on Google and use the MOZ extension to find the ones with higher authority. You can either link to their site or reach out to these sites to link to your latest blog.
4. Prioritize Local SEO
Small businesses would probably start marketing their products or services in their area or its nearby areas which makes local SEO essential in your campaign. Why?
- Because mobile gadgets and devices are everyone’s go-to
- Local searchers are ready to visit or purchase
- Building profiles and reviews are helpful for your business
The first step you can do is register your business in Google My Business Profile. This is extremely important because it has huge visibility in SERPs. Next is to gather feedback, testimonials or reviews on any platform (Facebook, Yelp, TripAdvisor, etc.). In case you get bad reviews, handle them properly. I always find companies receptive to criticism endearing. Customers relate to businesses emotionally.
5. Make It Mobile Friendly
This year, global mobile users are expected to increase to over five billion. If you don’t make your website mobile-friendly, you could be losing millions of prospective customers. It’s crucial to optimize your site, so it loads fast on mobile devices.
Google is also always updating its algorithm. To check if your site passes the mobile usability report, use the Google Search Console and take the mobile-friendly test regularly.
6. Monitor Your SEO Campaigns
The great thing about SEO is that it’s quantifiable. That means you can track lucrative or non-lucrative campaigns through tools like Google Analytics. You can do a trial-and-error run by analyzing data-driven platforms, changing blog posts and backlinks from time to time, or improving social media strategies. You can even cut losses by knowing which keywords work and which don’t. Anything you can do to improve your SEO campaign will increase traffic tremendously.
SEO for Ranking Small Businesses
Now that you know the ins and outs of SEO and how to utilize every trick in the book, it’s time to put everything into action. Remember, quality content, and these effective SEO tricks will surely gain more small business exposure.
Author Bio: Sarah Brooks, an ardent blogger, loves to write about digital marketing and web development. She frequently blogs at Local SEO Rankings, one of the leading SEO agencies based in Jacksonville, Florida.