Small Business SEO is easier than you think. Here are 10 hacks to get it right.
Successful SEO can be one of the most powerful weapons in any small business marketing arsenal. It doesn’t have to cost anything, and it can provide you with endless traffic. Get small business SEO right, and you will also attract highly targeted traffic over a long period of time.
This means more sales for your business.
And the best part? It doesn’t actually take as much work as you might think. Once you’ve got your SEO tactics down, you can pretty much just sit back and watch as visitors flock to your site.
Sound good? Then follow these 10 essential small business SEO tips to help boost your search engine rankings.
1. Know What Problem You’re Solving
Search engine optimization isn’t just about ranking for keywords and getting a lot of traffic – it’s about ranking for the RIGHT keywords and getting TARGETED traffic that could result in sales. To do this, you need to understand how you can help your audience.
Start by knowing what your audience wants to find out, and what problem you can solve for them. This will help you realize what messages will work best for your brand.
Think about when customers might search for your business, what kinds of questions they would want to be answered, and what desire they have in order to discover your business.
This will help you understand your audience’s intent, which is insanely important for successful SEO. We’ll cover this in more detail later.
Figuring out what your audience is interested in will also help you find the right keywords, and develop a more meaningful SEO strategy. This means more website traffic.
2. Fix Your Technical Issues
Before you start publishing content for your small business SEO strategy, you’ll need to make sure your website is running smoothly. Your site’s technical issues have a major impact on your SEO results.
Even if your site looks good, there could be a few technical problems that are impacting your traffic. Some of the most common issues include:
- Slow site speed
- Broken links
- Duplicate content
- Poor use of canonical link elements
- Broken images or videos
You will also need your website to be properly structured so that search engines can crawl your site and index your content effectively.
To figure these issues out, you should run an SEO audit that highlights any technical problems. Keeping a close eye on your site’s performance in Google Search Console will also help you monitor any technical issues.
Once your site has all of its technical bases covered, you’ll be able to start publishing your content.
3. Create a List Of Keywords to Target
Keywords are the search terms that people type into search engines that you want to rank for. When you start putting together your small business SEO strategy, it’s important to identify which keyword opportunities exist for your business. This should be a combination of different types of keywords.
There are three important things to consider when choosing your keywords. These are:
- Search volume of the keyword: How frequently the keyword is searched for (this roughly represents how much potential traffic your keyword could bring in)
- Keyword difficulty: How competitive the keyword is and how difficult it will be to rank for it
- Search intent: Understanding what kind of content people searching for that keyword want to find
The ideal keyword would be high volume and low difficulty. The kind of intent behind the keyword should match where customers are in their buying journey.
In reality, small business owners generally won’t be able to rank at the top spots for highly competitive keywords. This is why targeting a lot of lower difficulty keywords is a good idea. However, you shouldn’t limit yourself to this.
A good small business SEO strategy targets a variety of keywords. For example, let’s say your business sells wooden toothbrushes. The most valuable keyword for you would probably be something like “wooden toothbrush” or “wooden toothbrush for sale”. These will have a high search volume and they have a strong commercial intent. They will probably also be super competitive.
Looking for variations of these keywords could give you more room to rank. For example “cheap wooden toothbrush” or “bamboo toothbrush”. These are the kinds of keywords you want to optimize your homepage and product pages around.
Your blog content lets you target a wider variety of keywords, like “what is the best wooden toothbrush” or “why should you use a wooden toothbrush”.
By combining a broad range of keywords, you’ll be able to develop a more comprehensive SEO strategy for your small business. This will give you more opportunities to climb up the search results and make your small business website more visible.
4. Create Content Consistently
Without a doubt, this is the best and most reliable way to get consistent, reliable traffic to your small business website.
If you want to get good SEO results, then you need to be active in how you create and publish content. The more content you publish on your website, the more opportunities you’ll have to rank well on search engines. It’s that simple.
SEO is a long-term game, so you can’t expect to see results fast. However, by publishing quality content consistently, you’ll gradually see more and more search traffic heading to your site.
The important thing here is quality content. Don’t just try to publish as much as you can. Instead, make sure that everything you publish adds value to your audience. Does it answer their questions? Does it provide something interesting or insightful?
By publishing valuable content like this, you’ll be able to establish your brand as an authority within your niche. And by publishing often, you’ll be able to cover as many different keywords and search terms within your niche. The more you can do this, the more potential you will have to grow your traffic.
So, don’t expect results fast. Instead, create quality content consistently and publish as much quality content as you can. It will pay off eventually.
5. Optimize Your Pages
On-page SEO is all about optimizing the details on your web pages that you can see. Even the smallest adjustments can make an enormous difference.
The first step here is to incorporate your keywords naturally into your page content. Your goal should be to fit in the keywords often, but only if they sound natural. Search engines will pick up on spammy content.
Make sure you include your main keywords in your:
- Page title
- At the start of your introduction
- Throughout your body paragraphs
- Your meta description
- In image alt tags
Also, try to use variations of your keyword. Targeting more than just your main keyword will help you open up more room for traffic from organic search results.
6. Use Internal Links
Internal links are when you add a link to your web page pointing to another page on your site. These links are essential for a successful small business SEO strategy.
Using internal links properly makes your web pages more visible to Google. This is essential for indexing your pages, which can help you get more traffic from Google search results.
Internal linking also helps you place links over the right keywords, which is important for getting your content to rank for these search terms.
When you create your internal linking strategy, you’ll want to structure this as efficiently as possible. If you cover various topics, try to create clusters of topics through your internal links. This will help you build authority within these niche topic areas, and it will make it easier for bots to crawl your site and rank your content.
If you have a web page with zero pages linking to it, you will struggle to get that page indexed.
7. Keep an Eye On Competitors
One of the best ways to develop a brilliant small business SEO strategy is to simply steal ideas from your competitors. Make a list of competing businesses and check out their websites. Look at what kind of content they’re publishing and what keywords they’re targeting.
Ideally, you could use a tool like Ahrefs to run a detailed competitors analysis on their site. This will let you see what keywords they’re getting organic traffic from.
Now, you can steal this approach and find a way to make it better. Look at what your competitors do that works and look at where there is room for opportunities.
8. Focus On Local SEO
If you’re a small local business, then you’ll need to implement a local SEO strategy. This is all about getting your website to appear for local search results, such as “near me” searches.
This applies to any location-specific business, like a restaurant or a plumbing service.
Here are a few best practices to keep in mind when optimizing your site for local SEO:
- Incorporate location-specific keywords into your SEO strategy. List your area and mention your city wherever it makes sense
- Optimize your Google My Business profile
- Possibly add a Google Maps widget to your website
- Include your exact business address on your website
You can read our full guide to local SEO for more details. However, the basic concept is to focus as much as possible on highlighting your business as a local entity. Instead of trying to win the global search results, keep it local. The more targeted you are, the better the results will be.
9. Try to Earn Backlinks
Besides quality content, one of the most important parts of successful SEO is getting enough backlinks. Backlinks are when another site publishes a link that points to your content. The more backlinks you have, the more authority you generate around that web page. This will improve your rankings.
Many websites pay a lot of money for high-quality backlinks. This can be worthwhile, but most small businesses won’t be investing in these kinds of link-building strategies. However, there are plenty of ways that you can increase the number of backlinks you generate.
First, read our guide on how to generate more backlinks for your business. It provides plenty of actionable tips.
Second, publish high-quality content. By doing this, you’re giving people more reason to send links your way.
Then, here are a few tactics you can follow to help you get more backlinks:
- Publish guest posts on other blogs with links leading to your site
- Run a link exchange program with another site, where you link to them and they link to you
- Try out HARO to help you earn free backlinks
- Distribute your content as much as possible. Use social media platforms, Quora, Reddit, and anywhere else that makes sense
Get this right and your small business SEO strategy will certainly level up. This is because backlinks and quality content form the foundation for any successful SEO strategy.
10. Update Your Content
This is one of the most overlooked, yet powerful, SEO strategies that businesses can use. Remember, SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. This means you can’t expect instant results, but you should be constantly optimizing to improve your content.
After you publish content on your website or blog, wait two weeks to a month for Google to index it. Then, run your web page through Search Console and take a look at what search terms you’re getting results from. This might highlight keyword opportunities you never realized. It also shows you what keywords your page should be optimized around.
Then, go back into your content and find ways to improve it. This could be:
- Adding more content based on other top-ranking pages
- Answering questions from the search results page
- Optimizing your content around a new keyword opportunity
- Updating your images
- Updating any old content or statistics
- Adding more media
- Improving your linking on the page
- Updating your meta title and description
- Updating your headings
Make note of the update, and check the web page again in a month’s time. Rinse and repeat until your page steadily attracts more traffic.
This is the exact spreadsheet we use at Wishpond to monitor our updated content. Feel free to make a copy of it to help improve your SEO.
There’s a lot that goes into SEO, but it can also be a simple task for any small business owner to do. The most important thing is that you:
- Publish high-quality content
- Make sure your site offers a great user experience
- Understand your audience and target keywords they’re interested in
Get this right, and you can reap the benefits of successful SEO – loads of free traffic! Just remember that SEO is a long-term game, and search engines are always changing. This means with a few constant tweaks, updates experiments, and consistent content publishing, you’ll be able to eventually win at SEO.