Posted on Feb 05, 2018 | Views : 795
In previous posts, we touched on just how fundamental SEO is for small businesses and how it forms part of the essential mix of tactics that should be adopted in order to grow traffic and ultimately boost sales. SEO is the foundation to any type of marketing activity and in reality, should be one of the first processes put in place before spending on advertising and promotion.
So with that said, here are 25 SEO tips for small business:
Content is king (It’s a cliche but it’s true). When it comes to content, more is always better however there’s no use in writing, recording and producing endless amounts of content if it doesn’t lead to conversions. It’s important to have a call to action included in every piece of content you produce that clearly states what you’d like users to do next.
Keep up to date with SEO news and trends. This could either help you avoid possible penalties that would affect your search engine ranking, or help you gain a slight first mover advantage by effecting changes required to rank for a updated algorithm.
Avoid a slowdown. Optimise the size of every image you upload to your site, large images can slow down the load time of your webpages and this can negatively affect your ranking. You can use websites like tinypng to reduce the size of your images before uploading.
Make good use of your meta tags (H1, H2, Title, Page Description) you can make use of these to optimise your content to rank for the topic and keyword your targeting. Most content management systems will allow you direct access to your meta tags, or in the case of content management systems like wordpress, you can download plugins that will allow you greater access.
Your URL structure is important, make it easy for users and search engines to understand what area of your website they are in. Use a simple and easy to understand URL structure. e.g. blog posts should be at www.yoursite.com/blog/...
Decide from the start if your going to use www or not and set it in place, working with both can be detrimental to your ranking as your links and any references will be split between them.
The advantage you as a small business have over a large one is that you can be more niche. Where a larger company will have a diluted message as they target a variety of keywords and target audiences for their various products. You on the other hand can be specific and targeted; focusing your site entirely towards the keywords related to your products and target audience. They may be the larger, but topically your site will be more relevant, helping you to rank above them ultimately.
Social media signals matter! Set up your social media channels to lead users to your site and to your content. Content that is shared a lot socially does rank better and a large social media following can make up (to some degree) for a smaller website.
Encourage social sharing of your content and site by adding social share buttons to all the content on the website as well as social follow buttons to encourage visitors to follow on there socials.
Ask your customers to leave you reviews on google my business this is less for ranking and more to help with the conversion process; before even visiting your site, users can see the positive experiences others have already had with you.
Reach out to other small businesses and topically relevant sites to share content on there site and vice versa. This will not only help you to gain some links which of course are one of the biggest factors in ranking; but also build yourself up as part of a topically relevant online community.
Link to other pages on your site, wherever possible and relevant link to other posts and pages on your site. This helps to reinforce and signal to search engines what a particular page is about.
The footer links on your homepage matter! Include links to the most important pages and posts on your site to signal their importance. Links on your footer (provided you have a traditional site structure) show on every page, so rethink what page you link to, there’s a tendency to stuff this area with pages that don’t fit elsewhere on the site and that are quite often not very important.
Get a help in hand from your competitors and sites like yours. Using tools such as majestic you’re able to see all the sites linking to them. You can then outreach to these same sites yourself and attempt to gains some traction with this first, before expanding your link building attempts.
Don’t just create content for the sake of it, make it useful for the user. This will not only increase the the sharing potential of the content and make it more likely to be good content in the first place, which is the most important thing.
Create video content on your site. Videos on your site increase the amount of time users will spend on any page which signals to search engines that users are finding the information they need on your site and they should continue to send similar queries to that page.
Create Charts/graphs and infographics. They are highly shareable pieces of content that work across channels. It’s more likely visual content will be shared than written content, after all it’s a lot easier to get likes for an image /media that requires no further action in order to understand it, than it is for a blogpost which requires the viewer to be interested in the topic enough to click-through and read it, and then return to like it.
Make sure your content is original and not a copy of another website. It’s o.k to get inspiration and re-word content but not to simply copy and paste someone else’s content. Not only do search engines recognise it, for a user it can become quite obvious, if the tone doesn’t match or wierd references are made within the content.
Make sure all your content is a minimum of 500 words, anything less will be seen as ‘thin-content’ for search engines that would be unlikely to answer the query or makes it difficult for the search engine itself to attain what it’s about. Keeping content above 500 words will allow you enough space to naturally show the relevance of the content and provide enough information to the reader.
Target long-tail keywords. Generic terms that will be targeted by a number of websites with different intents, some of which will be much larger than yourself. Using longer-tail keywords that are highly niche and targeted will reduce the competition you have to face.
Submit your business as a local via google my business and similar services, available on all search engines. Tagging a specific location for your small business can help you rank with location specific searches over larger businesses who may be located a distance away. It’s a simple SEO tip and if your business relies on local customers or foot traffic this is a win-win. If you have several locations, register these. E.g if your developers are based in Scotland and sales in Wales, register both locations to increase the likelihood of showing up in local searches.
Optimise for image searches by using relevant images with keyword specific meta tags. You could also use some branded images and create a style of image or brand image to accompany your content while you attempt rank for image searches. If your small business is based on physical products, this is especially important. Each product image can be tagged with the product keyword, your brand and if relevant a location specific keyword.
Answer actual and expected customer questions with your content. Doing this is likely to produce evergreen content that will always be relevant and be returned to repeatedly. Over time evergreen content is likely to get higher rankings as it is repeatedly viewed, shared and linked to.
Your site’s UX (or user experience) matters a lot in terms of SEO, especially for mobile. Search engines are skewing toward sites that deliver better user experiences on mobile devices and are optimised for mobile users, so mobile first web design is highly important.
Use a little PPC (Pay Per Click or Paid Search) to help boost traffic and kickstart things. Regardless of what your budget is, even a small business can afford to spend a little on some PPC. This will help with keyword testing so you know which keywords convert and bring the correct type of traffic to your business. At the very least can help with initially ranking and showing for your brand, which is an issue every small business initially faces.