If there’s one thing we know about small business leaders, it’s that they are incredibly busy people. While many small business leaders recognize Search Engine Optimization (SEO) as an important marketing tactic, most don’t have the knowledge or bandwidth to execute everything that needs to be done to optimize their website for search. At the same time, most small businesses have limited digital marketing budgets.
One of the reasons we launched the SEO Silo was to help small businesses leverage an important tactic like SEO without the burden of managing it themselves or hiring an expensive full-service marketing agency. We believe SEO is a game-changer for your small business.
In this post, we’ll highlight why SEO is such a valuable marketing tactic for small businesses and share a few simple SEO tips that small businesses should take to maximize their search efforts.
SEO Benefits for Small Businesses
For small businesses specifically, SEO can be a powerful tool. Here are a few recent statistics that highlight the benefits of SEO for small businesses:
- 46% of all Google searches are looking for local information. (Source: GoGulf) If you’re a small business trying to reach customers in your area, SEO is important because it enables them to find you first.
- 97% of people learn more about a local small business online than anywhere else. (Source: SEO Tribunal) People are searching for your business (or products/services you sell), and your website is the place where they will look first. That’s why it’s important to show up on the terms they use.
- “Near me” type searches grew by more than 900% over two years. (Source: Chat Meter). This is another important reason to optimize your local search efforts. People are looking for small businesses in the area.
- 75% of users never go beyond the first page of Google search results. (Source: Hubspot). Showing up on the first page is critical, but it also takes intentionality.
No matter what industry you’re in or what size your business is today, consumers are looking for brands like yours online every day. Search engines are one of the best ways to reach these potential customers.
6 SEO Steps for Small Businesses
Now that you know what SEO can mean for the growth of your small business, what’s the first step you should take? While SEO can seem overwhelming, there are a few basic tips and principles we encourage small businesses to consider.
1. Build your website with SEO best practices.
One of the reasons small businesses struggle with SEO is because their website isn’t built with search in mind. Sure, your website might look good, but if it’s not structured correctly, you can lose out on a significant amount of search traffic.
When building your website, it’s important to create it with a solid website structure so search engines can properly crawl and index your web pages. If your website is already created, take time to look at your website with fresh eyes and make sure it has a logical structure. Start at your homepage and see if you can logically find—and navigate to—all your important pages quickly and easily. Be sure to clean up any broken (404) pages that don’t work anymore. Such links are bad because they waste “link equity.“ That effectively means that votes (links) to your site aren’t counted because they lead to a dead end.
It’s also important to make sure your website is mobile-friendly. Not only does a mobile-responsive website improve the user experience, but it also contributes to your SEO ranking.
2. Prioritize keywords.
Keyword Research is the second most important key to creating an effective SEO content strategy. You want to make sure your website is ranking for the search phrases that people use. The higher your small business website ranks for relevant keywords and phrases, the more likely you are to be discovered by relevant customers searching for your products, services, or relevant topics on the search engines.
3. Optimize the metadata for your pages.
The next step for Search Engine Optimization is to make sure all of your primary landing pages are optimized for the keywords you discovered. In other words, you must optimize your titles, meta descriptions, and body content for each page. Every page on your website needs a unique meta description and title. It’s also important that your metadata description doesn’t exceed the length at which Google begins to truncate them in the search results and entices users to click-through to your site.
4. Create a calendar that helps you consistently share new content.
Content is another important leg that keeps your SEO still standing. You can climb up with good SEO and content marketing, but it has to be consistent. You can’t just publish a blog post every once in a while and hope traffic pops up. You need to show Google you have authority in an area by publishing consistent content around a precise range of related keywords and topics. Before embarking on an SEO campaign, it’s important to spend time building out a calendar for at least six months worth of content.
5. Build authority for your website by creating various backlinks.
Backlinks are another important factor for SEO. Essentially, backlinks are other places that hyperlink back to your website. Within your website, you can leverage backlinks by hyperlinking back to a previous blog post or sharing links to specific products or services.
But the real value of backlinks come from outside sources. Local directories can be a great source of backlinks to your website—provided they’re also reputable directories. Events are another great way to link back to your website.
6. Utilize your Google My Business page.
Google My Business should be a focal point for any small business — especially if you want to maximize the power of search. It’s incredibly simple to set up your Google My Business page, and it can make a big impact. As a small business, you should leverage every element of Google My Business pages to your advantage—images, videos, Q&A, reviews, and posts you publish.
Take Your SEO Efforts to the Next Level with The SEO Silo
SEO success doesn’t happen overnight for any business. That’s why it’s incredibly important to take action to address the basic issues and then tweak as you go. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. Whether you’re looking for a complete marketing program or just someone to help tweak your in-house strategy, our team at The SEO Silo is here to bring your business the audience you deserve. Contact us to learn more.