Table of Contents
Are you missing out on improved visibility for your small business? Maybe your competition is offering a product that isn’t as good as yours, yet it constantly ranks higher on Google search results.
If you fit that tag then you might need a 101 crash course on SEO for small businesses. In this quick guide, we’ll share the benefits of localized SEO and how to achieve superb results for your small business. Let’s dive right in:
Why Does Your Small Business Need SEO?
Contrary to popular assumptions, SEO isn’t just important for businesses that transact online. Any type of business can harness the power of search engine optimization with all its different levers and gears.
Let’s see some examples:
Improve Your Website’s Visibility
There’s little point in having a great product with a nice website but no leads and no customers. Whether you are a brick-and-mortar or a B2B, having a website where your leads can land is an important part of growing a small business.
For example, if you run a query to write essay for me targeted at a certain location, a Facebook Business profile alone might not suffice. You might need a website where customers can view your services, prices, guarantees, reviews, etc.
Localization of Search Results
Frequently, small businesses lose ground simply because they didn’t localize their SEO profiles. That means that you might end up dealing with irrelevant traffic or unqualified leads without localized SEO. The result is time and resources wasted with no results to show.
For brick-and-mortar stores with a web presence, localization of SEO can help bring in more foot traffic. Leads will generally follow citations. That means building names, physical addresses, phone numbers, and other directory listings.
Consumers generally prefer local businesses, so ensure that you’ve placed yourself on their radar. The best way is to capture all the leads relevant to your business by ensuring that local SEO heads your way.
Localization also implies that the SEO approach will mirror your target audience’s culture and preferences.
Builds trust and credibility
When you aim to capture local search results, you will start to build a frequent and ongoing relationship with customers in your area. Let’s assume you’ve just started a computer repair shop in your town and have several happy customers. The reviews they leave on the internet and other sites are picked up by Google crawlers and other search engines.
That translates to trust, an element of SEO known as Expertise, Authority, and Trust (EAT). Since the small business is in fierce competition locally, it is important to showcase this trust. This can be done through reviews, trust badges, certificates displayed, etc.
Play for a Long Term Position
The internet never forgets and in fact, thrives on momentum. What little SEO efforts you are putting in now will later translate to a steady foundation that you can build the rest of your internet presence.
With consistency, Google will always keep your business in mind, which will translate to improved conversion and sales.
How to Improve SEO for Your Business
Now that we’ve shone the spotlight on why SEO is important for small businesses, let’s turn our attention to SEO strategies you can adapt.
Google Business Profile
Google Business Profile, formerly Google My Business, is one tool that any local business needs to check into for their SEO efforts. Google determines local rankings based on a combination of factors including:
- Relevance – Google considers what someone is searching for versus the local business profile.
- Distance – How far the user is from the location term used.
- Prominence – If your business is more prominent offline than online, Google might crawl the web to find articles, links, and directories.
Understandably, your small business may have started offline before moving to gain an online presence. However, 97% of people search for a local company online than anywhere else. Thus, it is important to optimize your Google Business Profile. From here, you can upload photos, locations, services/products, and any other information you feel relevant.
Keyword research is important if you want to capture all the relevant local search items. For a small business, the audience may be very specific and therefore using the right terms is important.
You can use tools such as Keyword Planner, Keyword Gap, or Ahrefs to localize keyword search terms. Find keywords that your competitors are using, or find gaps where your competitors are using a keyword but you’re not.
Incorporate these keywords in long-tail form into your website’s meta descriptions, titles, URLs, and alt text for images. Also, include them in any other content such as product descriptions or even the body of your blogs.
Get Listed on Local Directories
You can think of online directories and community websites as friendly neighbors that spread the word about your business. Therefore, ensure that you get listed in local directories relevant to your target audience and location. Ensure that your business name, address, and phone number are the same everywhere.
Create Awesome Content
As a small business, fill a niche and create valuable, interesting content that your community and industry care about. Blog like a local expert, sharing helpful guides, fun events, news, and offers. Keep your audience engaged and show them you’re the neighborhood guru.
Remember to create web-cutting content for blogs, social media, YouTube, and even email.
Use Paid Ads
Organic SEO is awesome, but with Google Ads, you can supercharge your SEO efforts. Similar to Google Business Profile, you should target specific keywords, audiences, and locations to target your audience effectively.
Just remember, paid ads need constant attention and budget management. Therefore, you should do this as part of a wider strategy.
Optimize Your Website
Even if you don’t have that great of a web presence, always assume that customers will most likely google your website address. It’s better to be safe than miss out on opportunities. For example, if you own a website where students can pay for essay, you can host your blogs, product pages, customer reviews, and even sign-up forms.
Remember to optimize your website for fast loading times, easy navigation, and a nice look and feel. Also, optimize titles, descriptions, image tags, and page links. Use Google Search Console to see if there are any loose ends.
Backlink to Other Local Businesses or HD Websites
If you can get other local businesses to link back to your website, your website will be regarded as trustworthy and thus will have a higher domain rank. Likewise, if you can get High Domain authority sites to link back to your website, then your SEO profile will improve.
Be Active on Social Media
Social media isn’t explicitly linked to SEO, and there’s no telling whether Google considers social signals in its rankings. However, it’s better to be on the side of caution.
Weaver your social media and SEO strategies together such that they complement each other. If you post content on your website, you should also be able to post it along with links on social media. Respond to questions, host discussions, and open Q&As, and share the content across different platforms.
SEO for small businesses has become a necessity in the digital age where e-commerce is king. Remember, SEO is a journey, not a destination. For long-term success, consistent effort, smart planning, and regular check-ins are critical
With these smart SEO strategies, you can transform your small business into a local champion. So small business owners, unleash smart business growth with SEO.