These SEO tips will help you grow your small business’s online presence. Learn basic SEO terms and strategies to start improving today! You’ll be on your way to search engine dominance in no time.
Many small business owners have trouble understanding the concepts of search engine optimization. Successfully ranking your business online sounds like a daunting task. However, if you successfully launched a small business then you can learn basic SEO. Like anything, there is a learning curve but that won’t stop you. These SEO tips will help!
What is Small Business SEO?
Small business SEO is a set of methods and strategies that allow a business to appear in search engine results. It involves making website improvements and updating the business’s off-site online presence. Registering a Google My Business listing, keyword research, site structure, and content creation are main components of small business SEO.
Step-by-Step SEO Tips for Small Business;
- Register a Google My Business Listing
- Keyword Research for Your Niche
- Set Up Your Business Website
- Use Google Search Console
- Create Content for Your Business
SEO Tip #1: Register a Google My Business Listing
Google My Business is essentially your digital Yellow Pages entry. If your business doesn’t appear on Google My Business, it’s a necessity to set it up. Alternatively, if a listing already exists, make sure you claim it.
After claiming your listing, be sure to edit the information so that it’s accurate and up-to-date. Failing to do this means your business either won’t or it will show inaccurate information. A missing, or low-quality, listing results in lost traffic and disinterested leads.
When setting up your Google My Business listing, make sure you put extra effort into the information you offer. This is a digital representation of your business on Google’s searches. An optimized and ideal GMB listing has plenty of pictures, contact details, and a succinct description of your business.
SEO Tip #2: Keyword Research for Your Niche
The foundation of successful SEO is keyword research. Understanding the keywords that your customers are using and identifying their intent goes a long way in SEO.
Research relevant keywords for your business
First, try to identify the keywords that are relevant to your brand. There are a couple of things that you should be focusing on when it comes to your services:
- What products do you offer your customers?
- What services do you provide to your customers?
- How can you narrow down searches from general terms to more specific products?
- What keyword variations should you be focusing on?
- Do you need to use location-based keywords?
Brainstorming keywords might seem a little intimidating. How can you know you selected the right terms? Fortunately, there are plenty of free tools available that can help you conduct effective keyword research. We suggest tools such as Google’s Keyword Planner and Moz’s Keyword Explorer.
Both free SEO tools help you discover new keywords. Additionally, they provide bid estimates for each keyword which help you determine your advertising budget.
Categorize and group your keywords
Eventually, you’ll have a huge list of potential keywords that you want to rank for with your website. It’s a good idea to use a spreadsheet to help you keep track of your keyword list. This will help you rank them in order of priority and group them into logical categories. This ensures that you have a large list of keywords that designed for use in specific situations.
Landing pages with a call-to-action are perfect for location and intent-based keywords. On the other hand, keywords that focus on informing your audience are better for a knowledge base or blog. The goal is to split the keywords into usability based on products and services, circumstances, or pages.
SEO Tip #3: Set Up Your Business Website
There are countless user-friendly platform choices for building a website. Additionally, you might choose to have a custom-built site created for your business. Depending on your business, some choices are better than others. To make the right choice for your business you need to explore all options.
Shopify is popular for online sellers because of its focus on ease-of-use. WordPress is affordable and works great for business that don’t sell products online. With so many options, we recommend thorough research.
After creating a business website, or if you already have one, it is time to start optimizing the site. Armed with a long list of keywords to target, you can start to make actual changes to your website.
Organize your website structure and navigation
One of the first things to do is organize your website correctly. It’s important to have a clear path of navigation through your website. A good site structure improves the user experience and helps search engines understand your website better.
Example of a clear website structure:
- Men’s Clothing
- Men’s Footwear
- Men’s Accessories
- Women’s Clothing
- Women’s Footwear
- Women’s Accessories
- Kid’s Clothing
- Kid’s Footwear
- Kid’s Accessories
- Sale Items
- About Us
- Contact Information
- Shipping Information
The categories above are easy to browse. Additionally, they’re clearly defined and there are prominent sections that explain more about the business and its services. This is a great example of a clean website structure that is easy to navigate and index. It also makes it a little easier to know which keywords to use for each page.
Name pages and URLs using your relevant keywords
When planning the overall structure of your website, it’s a good idea to have pages named after keywords whenever possible. For instance, using the above example of a clothing store, the following page names are ideal:
Optimizing URLs and page names makes organizing your website easier. Choosing effective keywords to target user intent searches is simplified. Writing meta tag titles and meta descriptions based on your pages names takes out some of the guess work. Finally, meaningful page names and URLs helps search engines properly crawl and index your site.
Create unique meta tag titles and meta tag descriptions
Writing effective meta tag titles is a topic that deserves its own article, but here are the basics. Meta tag titles are one of the most important ways to tell search engines the meaning of your page. They are also the first thing users see in SERP before clicking through to a site.
Meta tag titles should contain the primary keyword, or a variation, that is in the page name or URL. It is a good practice to include your brand name as well. However, there is a catch. Search engines only show between 55-70 characters in SERPs. Use your words wisely!
Meta tag descriptions do not directly affect your rankings. At least, that is Google’s current stance. They do, however, increase click-through-rates. A good CTR helps to improve rankings. Thus unique, and enticing meta tag descriptions are important.
Of course, as with meta tag titles, there is a catch. Surprise, there is a character limit! There is not an exact number, but 150-160 characters is a good benchmark. Include a call-to-action and relevant keyword (or variation) in the first 160 for best results.
Images on your website also play a role in your SEO strategy. For starters, optimize image file names. Use appropriate terms and keywords to help describe them. Next, create relevant ALT titles.
Alt titles help SEO because search engines use them to understand the context of your images. Additionally, they appear when images cannot load due to internet speed constraints or other technical issues. Text based web readers also use ALT titles for images.
Next, make sure you’re optimizing your image performance. The best way to do this is to reduce the overall size of your images. The ideal file size is 100 kb or less but there is no hard and fast rule. Just try to keep them as small as possible.
Converting images to a smaller format, such as compressed JPEG, is ideal. In addition, you can further reduce images for certain platforms, especially when quality isn’t a major concern.
SEO Tip #4: Use Google Search Console
First, make sure you’re using Google Search Console. Once registered, you can use this tool to crawl your website and see how many pages are indexed. It will then make some basic recommendations on how to improve your website.
These are essential administrative tasks that help fix most errors on your site. Search Console also verifies Google’s ability to index your website. Pages and products only appear in search results after Google indexes them.
Other search engines have similar tools, such as Bing’s webmaster tools. These are essentially the same as Google’s Search Console. It’s worth validating and checking your website in the other search engine’s tools. Doing so ensures visibility and indexability on all platforms.
However, don’t sweat it if you don’t have time them all. Google and Bing should be your primary concern because they account for most web searches.
SEO Tip #5: Create Content for Your Business
Lastly, it’s important to create good content that is suitable for your website. Detailed product descriptions, useful articles, informative user guides, and other quality content encourages people to visit your site. Becoming the online authority in your niche is a natural process because of your expertise in your field.
Creating evergreen content
Evergreen content is any kind of content that will be relevant for a long time, ideally forever. Due to its lasting value, it is an extremely effective form of content to create for your website. This could be content such as “how to style for the winter” or “the best ways to clean expensive shoes”.
Evergreen content is popular with Google’s search algorithms because it provides real, long-lasting value to users. Websites frequently link to it and people often share it on social media sites. Due to its effectiveness in many areas, it is essential for a long-term SEO strategy.
Mixing different types of content
Lastly, ensure that your website has a variety of content types. Mixing things up is a great way to ensure that there’s something for everyone in your audience. Additionally, it provides more opportunities for growth as you develop your brand.
Different types of content can include:
- Informative guides to help your audience with your products
- Testimonials from real people that purchase your products
- Reviews on Google My Business or commerce platforms
- FAQs about your products and services to provide effective customer support
- Videos to describe your products or highlight your offerings
- Product descriptions that include pictures, technical specifications, and other details
- Service details such as pricing tiers and terms and conditions
- Podcasts that cover interests relevant to your audience
The more types of content you have, the better your website will perform on search engines. You’ll also have more content to share with different social platforms like YouTube, Facebook, and Instagram.
Avoid keyword stuffing
One of the biggest mistakes people make is flooding their content with keywords. This not only makes your content sound and feel robotic, but it negatively affects your SEO performance. Search engine algorithms make heavy use of keywords.
However, if your content is difficult for humans to comprehend then it won’t attract users. While keywords help you gather leads, it’s the quality and readability of your content that ultimately converts them into sales.
In short, create natural content and don’t stuff a page with keywords. Don’t try to hide links and text to add keywords either. Google and other search engines might blacklist your website from their searches. SEO professionals call these under-handed tactics black hat SEO. They are definitely methods to avoid.
Following These SEO Tips Step-by-Step Grows Your Small Business
SEO strategies are incredibly diverse and include many detailed factors. Following these SEO tips is extremely important provides a solid foundation. Apply them to your small business website as best as possible.
Whether it’s technical SEO, like keyword research, or creative tasks, such as developing content, you can master it. There are many ways to improve so develop your skills and maximize your strengths.
Take everything into account and work through these SEO tips step-by-step. Your website quality will improve, and in turn, your small business will grow and prosper!
Need help with these SEO Tips for your small business? Contact us today!
Need help with your small business’s SEO? Then please don’t hesitate to get in touch with Karges Media today. After all, we are digital marketing experts. We’ll use these SEO tips and more to improve your online visibility and grow your business.