A Beginner’s Guide to Small Business SEO
In the digital world, it is important that potential customers can find your business website quickly and easily. To make this possible, you’ll need great small business SEO services. SEO for small business is important because it helps your website rank higher in search engine result lists. The higher the ranking, the more likely people are to click on your link instead of one of your competitors.
Although the benefits of SEO for small business are many, a lot of small business owners are unsure where to start. Creating a great SEO campaign takes expertise, and some of the terminology and processes can seem confusing at first. To help you get started, we’ve created this simple intro to SEO for small business 2019. You’ll find everything you need to know to start using SEO to build your small business and boost revenue.
What is SEO and why is it important?
SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. Good SEO helps your website rank as highly as possible in search engine result lists for keywords related to your content and business. This helps to attract more traffic to your company site. This type of traffic is valuable because it means that the user is searching for terms related to the service that you provide. This means that the traffic is more meaningful and likely to translate into real-life sales and increased revenue.
A successful SEO campaign will use a three-pronged approach to driving traffic towards your site. This includes:
- utilising technical strategies to improve your site’s ranking
- producing plenty of high quality, valuable content
- increasing the reputation of your website
The most important thing to remember about good SEO for small businesses is that it all comes down to creating fantastic web content that people want to engage with and share with others. As an expert in your field, you’re in a good position to create content like this. If you can combine this with the technical elements necessary for search engine algorithms, you’ll be well on your way to boosting your site’s traffic and growing your small business using SEO.
Many companies hire SEO services for small businesses. This is because building a great SEO campaign takes expertise and time. Many small businesses simply do not have the resources in-house to do this successfully. However, some business owners do choose to handle SEO themselves if they have the technical know-how. Whether you decide to hire in professionals or take care of SEO in-house, it is important to understand the fundamentals of how to boost your website’s SEO and make yourself more visible online.
Tips for boosting your site’s SEO
Now that you understand what SEO is and why it is important for your small business, it is vital to understand how to optimise your site to make it rank more highly. Below, we’ll explain what your site needs to rank well, from both a technical and content point of view.
Consider your site’s structure
One of the most important factors in creating great SEO is to make sure that it is easy for your customer to find their way around your site. This means that you need to consider its structure. It should be put together in a logical way, or it won’t provide a good user experience. Google considers the structure of websites when ranking them because they want to give preference to websites that are valuable to their users.
For example, your home page should contain links to the main content of your website. Each of these subsequent pages should link on to other related content. As you update your website, it is easy to lose control of the structure and end up with something that is confusing for your users.
To guard against this, it is important to review your site structure on a regular basis. Every time you carry out updates, take a look and make sure that it is easy to find your way around the site. It can be hard to assess this objectively if you are the owner and creator of the site. For this reason, it is a good idea to get other people to try navigating your website to make sure it is easy to find the information they want.
Make sure that all pages and links function properly
Broken links and pages are a massive no-no when it comes to SEO. Think about it this way- Google and other similar search engines want to provide information to their users that are current, relevant and valuable. If parts of the website are not working, this tells the search engine that you’re not taking good care of the website or updating it regularly. This suggests that the information it contains may be unreliable, outdated and of low value to users.
It is also frustrating for customers if they come in across broken links and pages while browsing your site. This can be off-putting and could cause them to take their business to another competitor. Remember, your website is a reflection of your brand’s values. A neglected website doesn’t give a good message to customers about the service they can expect from you. So, make sure that you check regularly for broken links and pages and fix them as quickly as possible.
Create great content
Google prioritises websites that use the good quality copy. Good copy also helps to build a strong brand identity and shows potential customers that you can meet their needs. For both these reasons, it is important to pay close attention to the quality of the writing on your website.
There are various ways that you can improve the copy on your website, and you don’t need to be a professional copywriter to create content that engages, inspires and interests your readers. Here are some quick tips to make sure that your website content boosts your business:
- make sure that each page of your website contains a minimum of 200 words of content and that some pages contain considerably more
- give each page a clear heading that explains clearly what the content is about
- use subheadings to create a structure that is clear and easy to understand
- insert keywords into your text that your readers are likely to be searching for
- don’t engage in keyword stuffing, as this can result in being penalised by search engines or even banned
- make sure all your content provides value for readers
- produce new content regularly, but don’t sacrifice quality for quantity
- proofread your content carefully for grammar and spelling mistakes
Create quality backlinks
Creating backlinks is one of the most time-consuming and difficult parts of creating a good SEO campaign for a small business. Backlinks are hyperlinks posted on other areas of the Internet that link to your business website.
Why are backlinks important for SEO? Search engines tend to prefer websites that have built links with other websites with a good reputation. Sites that are linked to on other sites generally contain valuable and authoritative information that can be trusted. Because Google wants to provide users with accurate information, backlinks are a good sign that your site provides helpful and up-to-date information.
There are several ways that you can get backlinks for your website. These include:
Listing your site in online directories: It is a very good idea to register your website with various online directories. This gives you a great backlink which can help direct traffic towards your site. Yelp and Foursquare are good examples of online directories that you should be registered with. We also recommend registering with Google My Business. This is a great directory because it places your business on a map so that you can be found easily. This is helpful because people searching for services in your local area will discover your service. This makes it more likely that traffic to your site from this directory will translate into actual sales.
Commenting on blogs: To create backlinks with other sites, you can post in the comments section of their blog. It is important not just to plug your business but to comment positively on what you’ve read. Of course, you should remember to include a hyperlink to your business site as part of the text.
Don’t just post anywhere. You should choose blog posts on reputable sites and make sure that they are closely connected to your area of expertise. If you spam unrelated websites with hyperlinks to your business, this will irritate the website owner, and they are likely to be deleted.
Guest posting: Some reputable blogs accept guest posts in return for a backlink. This is a fantastic way to get backlinks to your website. It can also direct customers who are likely to want to use your services towards your site.
Writing guest blog posts isn’t a quick task, but it’s worth the time taken in order to get a good backlink. Make sure that any prospective website is happy to use guest blog posts before you devote any time to writing and submitting one. Also, make sure that the website is held in high esteem as this will lead to more valuable backlinks. Backlinks with highly reputable companies suggest that your business can be trusted and boost your online rankings.
Add meta descriptions
You must add a quality meta description for every page on your company site. This must be unique, clearly explain what the page is about and be appealing in order for users to click on it.
There are some key things that all good meta descriptions should include. These are:
- The meta description should be the correct length, otherwise, they will be abbreviated by search engines
- Engagingly phrased to encourage users to use your site
- Include the relevant keywords for your business and content
Should I use a small business SEO firm?
You may decide to search for the best SEO companies for small businesses. Using SEO services for small businesses is a good idea because it takes a lot of expertise and industry knowledge to do SEO well. Although you will have to commit to making regular payments to an SEO company, it may actually save you money in the long run as it is more likely to be effective than trying to do it yourself. Also, using an SEO company can help you avoid some SEO pitfalls which could get your site penalised.
SEO professionals will be up to date with the regular changes that are made to search engine algorithms. This can be difficult to keep up with it if you’re not an expert. They will also have effective and efficient techniques to building your SEO as quickly as possible to help you grow your business. This allows you to devote your time to the areas of your business in which you are an expert such as providing a fantastic service to your client base.
Small business SEO consultants also have access to technology is out of reach for most small business owners. These technologies make it easier to analyse the success of an SEO campaign and make changes to improve its efficacy.
Improving SEO requires a consistent effort over time. You may find that you don’t always have the time to devote to improving your website’s SEO. This is where using a dedicated company can come in handy. Their experts will have the time to keep on top of your SEO in the long term, making your campaign more effective and increasing traffic to your site.
Of course, you should be careful when hiring a small business SEO firm. Make sure that any firm you use is genuine. There are some unethical companies out there. Check out reviews and asked to speak to a representative in person to check you are comfortable.
Can I do my small business SEO myself?
It is not impossible for small business owners to do their own SEO. That being said, if you try to do SEO without the relevant know-how you could end up damaging your website. So, if you can’t afford to hire a professional or prefer to do it yourself, you will need to spend considerable time researching and educating yourself to make sure that you know what you’re doing. You’ll also need to make sure that you have enough time to devote to your SEO campaign in the long term. That being said, learning to do SEO is a valuable skill. If you do it well, you could save yourself considerable money in the long term.
What do I need to avoid with small business SEO?
When you’re devising an SEO campaign for your small business, it is vital that you avoid black hat techniques. Black hat techniques are unethical and are seriously frowned upon by search engine algorithms. Keyword stuffing is an example of a black hat technique.
Unfortunately, these techniques often yield very quick results at first, which is why some rookies and dodgy companies will use them. However, if they’re discovered being used on your site, you will be penalised by the search engine. This can be disastrous for business. For this reason, you should make sure that any SEO techniques being used on your website are white hat. White hat techniques are allowed by search engines and won’t damage your site. This is an important question to ask any professional you’re considering hiring, as you should never work with a company that uses black techniques.
The bottom line
SEO can seem complicated to small business owners, but it doesn’t have to be rocket science. Unless you’re very confident, we recommend buying SEO services for small business from a reputable company. This will get you the results you want as quickly as possible without damaging your business.
At Small Business SEO, we are experienced in helping small businesses grow and thrive using white hat SEO techniques. Get in touch today to find out how we can help you meet your business goals and boost your online visibility for increased sales.