As a small business owner, you might keen to carry out search engine optimisation (SEO) for your website, but many start out with a common misconception: They often think that building a website, getting traffic, and generating revenue is going to be as simple as just putting a few web pages live and just let it sit there, but SEO is an ongoing journey which needs to be carried out continuously.
Instead, you should be looking at your small business SEO for your site as a journey as you build out a living document that you are always adding to, there is no end to it.
Doing small business SEO correctly is essential in helping your site perform well online and in the following post I want to go over 7 simple small business SEO tips you can use to make it simple yet effective for any small businesses who want to apply these methods.
Each technique will help your site rank higher on search engines and earn more organic traffic without having to spend your time working out want does and doesn’t work and therefore will allow you to focus on running your business and not drowning in the sea of confusion and anguish.
1) Content Marketing For SEO Not just For Content’s Sake
I am sure you have heard it all before, If you’re blogging regularly with quality content for your target audience, you’re SEO work will be rewarded with new traffic from search engines and social media.
Therefore content marketing and creating valuable information are essential to help grow your site organically for search traffic and your sites search engine visibility so you are found by more internet users this is the essence of SEO.
Blogging is an essential part of any digital marketing strategy but especially so for your business SEO. A lot of business sites are static because they are either built for paid traffic sources only, or the owners have run out of steam and don’t have the resources to do the content marketing required to be effective.
As a result, they will never be able to attract cost-effective organic SEO traffic in the same way as those of us who add regular content and which will result in them having to spend more on traffic generation than they would otherwise need to.
Adding regular blog posts has the added benefit of attracting quality targeted traffic as part of a local SEO strategy and which means that people are more likely to visit your site because they’ve found you through a Google search or link from another blog or social media platform.
It also helps you to blog about topics that are a little more in-depth than would be useful to your targeted audience. These topics will invariably attract a much larger number of visitors who are interested in what you have to say and what they want – this is especially relevant for business websites or e-commerce sites that are looking at ways to find new prospects, leads or customers within your locality and will naturally boost your SEO traffic.
2) Keyword Research For small business SEO
Keyword research is a fundamental first step for any SEO strategy regardless of the size of the business and is essential to any small business SEO strategy to increase rankings in the search engine.
The best thing about keyword research is that it doesn’t have to be too complicated and costly and can be done for free and in a simple way without having to buy any fancy SEO tools.
It is important to stress here is that the work you put in at the beginning of your small business SEO strategy will pay dividends over time and keyword research is often overlooked.
The first place to start with your keyword research is by simply brainstorming ideas and typing in your chosen keywords into the Google search bar.
As you’re doing this, visit the best-performing sites in your niche from those search results and try to figure out what the top-ranked sites are doing differently from others in the same category that appears on page 2 and below.
The reason we do this is that these are the sites that google think are the best for that given search query and therefore by definition have carried out SEO work on their site, so you need to work out what they have done to get the SEO results they have.
Some ideas on what to look out for here are clear navigation on each page, how their content is formatted, and the domain authority of each site (the more popular and authoritative your site, the more likely it is to be found in a Google search).
Another great way is to check out other pages on your competitors’ sites for keyword research ideas on how they’re structuring their content or making their pages look unique and other industry SEO keywords you may not have thought about when brainstorming.
One great hack that many businesses don’t explore when carrying out SEO is what information they already have. For example, what search terms people are using to find you in the Google search engine already.
One easy way to do this is if you already have google analytics installed on your site, you should also have search console installed too.
In the performance tab, you can actually see what search terms you’re actually appearing for and how many impressions your site has had for that term.
This is the low hanging SEO fruit for your business.
3) Website Architecture any Small business owner can do
The importance of site architecture is that it provides clear navigation for users to find the content they want quickly. By having a well-designed site that is easy to navigate, visitors will have an easier time finding what content they’re looking for without being left confused or frustrated with trying to figure out how to navigate your site.
This follows from the idea that web crawling bots follow specific instructions in order to index and query websites. If your site has good architecture, you’ll be more likely to rank higher for keywords related to your products or services or any other queries that strongly relate back to your business or products.
4) SSL Certificates And Mobile Responsive Sites
Nowadays, every business site is expected to have a mobile-friendly design and an SSL certificate. These two things will ensure your site is compliant with how people interact with your site and also help to protect users data when navigating around your site and inputting personal information, say in the case of e-commerce sites. In addition, providing these two things will help to improve your chances of being found in the search results, which means that more people will visit your site when they’re looking for what you have to offer.
The best way to ensure your site is up to the requirements for search engines that require a high level of security for websites in order to protect users – is through the use of HTTPS. An SSL certificate ensures users can trust your website because it encrypts all data transmitted between the user’s computer and every other server on the Internet, which makes it impossible for someone listening in on those communications – like a hacker – from being able to access them.
5) Optimise Your Website Images
Some people believe that a website without images is incomplete. Images can be used for an endless number of purposes including visual marketing, demonstrating your products or services, to keep visitors engaged with attractive visuals.
Images can also help to improve your traffic and rankings through search engine optimisation (SEO). Images are a resource that search engines will crawl and return in the results of a search query especially if you use keywords in the file title. More images on your site mean you’re more likely to get found organically if you use a search engine friendly file naming convention.
Optimising your images can be one of the most important SEO techniques you can use when it comes to building a successful website. However, images take up a lot of space on your website and are easy to forget about if you don’t have an optimisation strategy in place.
So it’s good SEO practice to not only optimise images for the dimensions in relation to the page they are going to be used on, but also in terms of their file size. Reducing the file size of an image for use on your website is very important because it impacts the speed of your page loading. And it’s well-known that a faster site is more likely to be found in search results than one that takes ages to load.
Finally, Google favours websites with content and images that are mobile-friendly compliant, so you’ll also need to make sure that your website images work across all devices and screen sizes and are responsive.
6) Videos For Your Business Site’s SEO
A well-designed and optimised website will attract a lot of organic traffic. However, this does not mean that it is as straightforward as simply writing great content that people want to read or marketing your product effectively. If you want to increase your organic visitors, you need to mix up your content types to improve your content’s rankings by giving search engines other signals so they can trust the site you are building.
However, one factor you might not have considered up until now – aside from spending time on good quality keywords and meticulously developing a page architecture – is video content marketing.
Creating videos and embedding them on your website will benefit your SEO because they can be hosted on video platforms such as Youtube and then linked to your site from there. As Youtube is the internets second largest search engine, there is a greater likelihood that you’ll start getting traffic from those platforms also. Videos can also rank in search engines just as well if not better than written content, this provides a further opportunity to boost your SEO significantly if you get it right.
on top of posting your video on another platform and then linking back to your site from there, it also introduced you to one of the most basic but important forms of SEO which is backlinking. Getting a link back from Youtube is quite easy, but if you can
7) Social Signals
It’s a good idea to try to integrate some relevant social media buttons on your website. This a good practice for small business SEO and it’s a great way to get feedback and interaction with your audience, and encourages them to share your content. This will also help you to understand exactly what is popular and what’s not when it comes to your business SEO not only for brand exposure but also as a way for referral traffic from social networking sites to be directed back towards your site.
Another reason why social signals are important for your business SEO is that Google often use those signals to validate traffic that your site might be receiving from backlinks for example.
To explaining this a little more, If Google sees that a page on a website has some new links pointing to one of it’s pages, the search engines will verify that with social media traffic. The rationale here is that if in the real world someone has taken the effort to point a link to a page on your site, you would expect that it would be getting other traffic through traffic sources such as social also.
This is Google’s way of deciding if you are trying to manipulate rankings by building links through nefarious means.
One of the mistakes I see a lot of companies making, not just with small business SEO is that they don’t invest in their website hosting. They often choose their hosting plan based on the budget thinking that it’s a bargain to get $5 a month hosting. This is a huge error because the speed of your website will be a lot slower than it could be because, in order to get the price down that low, they will often use inferior hardware, have fewer resources at your disposal and typically squeeze as many websites on to a server as possible.
This is a problem is that even though your website might be amazing and built to the best practices, cheaper hosting will invariably attract the type of website operator that you wouldn’t want to be associated with.
You could find yourself in the position of sharing the same server with a spammy website that is slow and bulky and may be operating in a dubious niche. Just by being on the same server like that, your site could be associated with it and in the worst-case scenario be blacklisted by some services.
One of the biggest areas of neglect from some of the lower budget hosting companies is that their customer service sticks and when your website is down, that is the last thing you want especially if there is a hardware failure. This is essential because if you have a problematic hosting provider or server – it can actually lead to the loss of all your content and data, which could be irreplaceable.
A good hosting company will provide excellent protection for your website, data, and resources and will increase the chance that your website is considered in a good neighbourhood (online). This will help you to not only keep your website safe but will also ensure that its service level agreement is at the upper end in terms of downtime or interruptions.
Rounding It All Up
Rounding all off you can simply follow these simple, easy to apply small business SEO tips and strategies will help you build a winning website to help with your local SEO efforts
Using the keyword meta tags to optimise your content and titles. SSL certificate for verifiable authenticity and trustability. Ensuring your site is optimised for mobile use. Optimising your images using the dimensions of their usage before saving them as JPEGs in order to reduce file size. It’s also advisable to use lossless compression, in order to maximize quality while cutting down on space needed on the site.