Small business SEO is more valuable than you might think. If your business is just starting out and you want it to grow exponentially, investing in search engine optimization is the right way to go.
How Small Business SEO Can Help Your Company
Competition is always present in the business world. No matter where you go or what you do, you will never run out of competitors. Big or small, these competitors can take potential customers away from you. Even if you have the best products and services available, you can still lose to companies that know how to market themselves properly.
Brand visibility plays a huge role in customer engagement and conversion. And, nowadays, visibility relies on a digital platform. Without an online presence, you can’t spread awareness and reach your intended audience. One of the best ways to improve your brand visibility and reach is through local SEO for small business owners.
But, what is SEO exactly? SEO, or search engine optimization, helps enhance the quality and quantity of traffic to a given website. Local SEO uses online resources to promote your business’s products and services to customers in the local area.
SEO takes advantage of search engine algorithms, usually Google, to position your business at a high ranking on search results. This, in turn, helps you attract more potential customers. In fact, compared to organic social media, SEO pushes 1000 percent more traffic.
Helpful Tips on SEO for Small Businesses
Looking for SEO help for small business owners? Consider the following:
1. Claim Your Company Listings
You must establish your small business and increase visibility in the online community. To do this, you need to claim your company listings and directories. Make sure you keep your listings up-to-date with current information. This will allow customers to find you.
It is also worth investing in a Google My Business account. With this account, you can list your company on the sidebar of search results relevant to your business. You can also register your business on Google Maps.
Remember to enter accurate information such as operating hours and photos of your business. When writing your business description, make sure to use keywords. Additionally, a call to action will allow customers to take the next step in the conversion funnel.
2. Add Ratings and Customer Reviews
Believe it or not, customer reviews matter. In fact, 89 percent of consumers read through reviews first before making a purchase.
Therefore, it is important to maintain a positive reputation by ensuring you have good customer reviews.
Encourage customers to leave ratings and reviews on your Google My Business listing. This will help the standing of local SEO for small businesses.
If you have a website, make it easy for customers to submit reviews. Include a link to leave a review in the confirmation email after every purchase.
If you have bad reviews, make an effort to answer them. See what you can do to resolve the dissatisfied customer’s issues. Then, after fixing their problem, ask them to change their review.
3. Make Use of Local Keywords
Navigating the realm of keywords can be daunting, but small business owners usually have an easier time because keywords are limited to a local marketplace. Look for keywords that are both broad and very specific, otherwise known as long-tail keywords. It will also help to identify keywords your competitors are using.
After that, you can add local modifiers to make your keywords more local-friendly. Use a mixture of cities, counties, and towns. It is best not to use states unless your products and services are available statewide or you have multiple locations.
For example, if you have a coffee shop in Chapel Hill, a good broad keyword would be “Chapel Hill coffee shop.” On the other hand, a good long-tail keyword would be “best coffee in Chapel Hill,” which is more specific and gives focus to the product.
4. Generate Quality Content
Now that you have a list of keywords, you need to use them accordingly. You can’t just stuff them all in your business description or “About Us” page. This is why most businesses invest in a blog.
Creating quality content rich with keywords can help you climb the ranks in local SEO. It can also drive more organic traffic to your website. Just make sure to offer value to customers with your content. Try to veer away from the generic stuff and focus more on localized content.
5. Build a Social Media Presence
Social media marketing is a cornerstone of success nowadays. Google places a lot of weight on prominence, using online buzz to determine how popular a brand or business is. Therefore, small business owners like you should take advantage of the various social media platforms available.
Focus on creating posts that engage with customers and drive social shares. Marry your content marketing with social media marketing by sharing your blog posts on social apps. The goal here is to generate a lot of attention and buzz.
6. Get Backlinks and Citations
To search engines, backlinks are an indication of website credibility. In general, the more backlinks there are to a page, the more organic traffic it receives from Google.
Therefore, you should make an effort to partner with other websites so they can link back to your site. Consider everything from local news sites to blogs. You may need to write a guest post or send free products for review, though.
Apart from backlinks, citations are also a good sign of authority for your business. Focus on the business name, address, and phone number. This is otherwise known as a NAP citation. Make sure your NAP citations remain consistent across all directories. That means constantly monitoring your NAP citations and changing them as necessary.
7. Optimize Web Page SEO
For effective small business website SEO, make sure to include keywords in your title tags, body, and meta descriptions.
On a more local level, a good way to optimize your web page is to incorporate an interactive Google Map and include customer testimonials.
Furthermore, it is a good idea to construct separate landing pages for each of your targeted locations. For instance, if your targeted locations include both Charlotte and Chapel Hill, don’t settle for a single landing page.
Instead, create two individual landing pages — one for Charlotte and another for Chapel Hill. The content for each landing page should also be distinct. That means no copying and pasting!
8. Take Advantage of Schema Markups
No small business SEO strategy is complete without the addition of structured data. Structured data, otherwise known as schema markups, help search engines identify key information such as operating hours, location, etc.
Don’t feel intimidated by the idea of coding. Schema markups are actually pretty easy to use, especially if your website uses WordPress. There are several third-party plugins you can utilize to make the process simpler. This added step might feel tedious, but it is certainly necessary if you want to be discoverable.
9. Adapt to Mobile
Most customers now use a mobile platform to search for and interact with businesses. In fact, local searches make up 82 percent of all mobile searches. As such, a good tip for SEO for small business websites is to make it mobile-friendly. Make sure to consider the layout of your website, color schemes, and responsiveness.
In today’s fast-paced world, loading speed can make or break your business. If your website loads too slowly, most customers will abandon it and head for something else. For 53 percent of mobile visitors, it is unacceptable to wait more than three seconds for a page to load.
Turn to a Professional
Small business SEO is an integral part of every digital marketing strategy. If you want your small business to grow, take advantage of these tips. On the other hand, if you can’t do it yourself, you can always seek professional assistance.
Tanner Grey provides the best small business SEO services tailored to your specific needs. Call us today at 844.500.1339 or contact us online to learn more about how we can help you.
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