As a business and marketing consultant, something I often hear from my clients is that they don’t believe it’s worth investing time and/or resources into their SEO strategy because the competition is too stiff. This couldn’t be farther from the truth!
Despite being a small business, it’s still possible to develop an SEO strategy that helps you stay competitive in your market, and it’s something I highly recommend from a professional standpoint.
Before we dive into the small business SEO strategy I recommend, let’s go over the basics of what SEO is and why it even matters. You’ll want this context if SEO is a new tactic you’re exploring.
What is small business SEO?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is how you help customers find your site when they search for what they need in Google. By building your site the right way and optimizing your keywords, you’ll drive more traffic to your page and generate more sales.
Why is it important for small businesses?
SEO is important because it helps you establish yourself as an expert in your field and drives traffic to your website, while also helping you organically promote your business for free. Believe it or not, potential customers are out there searching for the same services/products YOU offer online — but if you aren’t one of the first websites they come across, they won’t know that you have exactly what they need. A strong SEO strategy gives these potential clients who already want to buy from you an entry point and puts you right in front of them.
Your small business SEO strategy, explained
You can begin refining and optimising your SEO strategy today, no large team or budget required. All you need is a little time and patience. If I were you, here are the steps I’d be taking to get started.
Keyword research helps you find the right words to use on your website when writing about your content, giving titles to your pages, and even picking your URLs. These are the same words that your audience is searching for, so when the Google algorithm sees that your website is a strong “match” for these terms, it pushes it further to the top. The easiest way to conduct keyword research is to use a keyword research tool, like Google’s free Keyword Planner.
An important factor in ranking your site highly is creating a Google-friendly site structure with schema markup and structured data. Schema markup is code you add to your website to give more information about your listings. It can help you rank higher in search results and drive clicks. Structured data is how you organize and tag text on your website, and it helps crawlers understand the context of the information on your site pages.
Your meta tags and image alt text explain to Google what’s on your site and give searchers more information about what they’ll find. Here’s some more insight into what these terms mean:
Meta tags are crucial for small business SEO. Since competition may be big, using ultra-specific meta descriptions and meta tags helps Google surface you in the right results for queries most relevant to your business.
Meta titles are the headings you use to describe the content on the page. When you write them, aim to summarize the main topic of your page with a related keyword.
Meta descriptions give a summary of your page explaining your business. This summary is only visible in search results. When writing it, aim to include your target keywords.
Image alt text describes the images on your site, giving more context to your content. Image alt text also ensures your website is accessible, as screen readers can use your descriptions to describe an image on a page.
When other verified sites feature links from your business, it can push traffic your way and help Google rank your website higher. To get listed on other relevant sites, try submitting your NAP (name, address, phone number) to local directories such as Facebook Pages, Google My Business, Apple Maps, and Yelp. Also be sure to create a profile on LinkedIn.
You should be consistently monitoring technical SEO to ensure your site runs and is easy to navigate. Some key elements to focus on are:
- Secure Sockets Layer to signal to Google that you provide a safe browsing experience.
- Optimising page speed by compressing images and large files.
- Ensuring your site code isn’t messy and has a logical structure for crawlers to easily navigate through your site and learn about it.
- Optimizing for mobile with strong mobile design so visitors can easily browse and have a great experience regardless of device.
You want your website visitors to actually enjoy reading your copy — so while it’s important to sneak your keywords in whenever possible, try to do so in a way that is organic and not forced. This will help visibility because Google learns which searches are relevant to your business and when to show your website in results.
SEO isn’t something you can ‘set and forget.’ You should be auditing your strategy regularly and tweaking it whenever there’s a major update to your website or business.
As a business & digital marketing consultant, SEO is a major marketing strategy I suggest my clients look into no matter the size of their business — which is why I highly encourage you to get started on improving your SEO knowledge if it isn’t currently your strong suit. You’ll be happy you did once the leads start pouring in!
If you’re seeking deeper support in optimising your SEO strategy, you can also book a strategy session with me for immediate strategic guidance and an actionable plan-of-attack.