The clock is ticking.
As more small businesses add to the 31 million already present, everyone is marketing in overdrive. Small businesses are exploiting every available digital marketing trick in the book — including small business SEO.
Small business SEO services can undoubtedly increase your online visibility. Being present on the first pages of Google’s SERPs allows more users to reach your site. Doing this will help you find new customers and please existing ones.
However, you need to move fast. Small business SEO is something everyone, including your competitors, is looking into. The good news is that less than 40% of small businesses have gotten the hang of this digital marketing tool. To stay competitive, all you need to do is incorporate small business SEO, but you need to do it fast.
Now, granted, there is a steep learning curve that comes with SEO — whether it’s local SEO, national SEO, or regional SEO. Also, things can get technical in a hurry once you get into:
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
- Technical SEO
Nonetheless, do not get discouraged! Read our 7 tips to faster small business SEO you can follow right now!
#1: Audit Your Site
We have said once, and we’ll say it again: every successful SEO strategy begins with data. When it comes to small business SEO, you can get valuable information about how your site is doing with a site audit.
In a nutshell, a site audit is a way to determine how well your website is doing on search engines. From a site audit, you can get information about your website’s:
- Loading speed
- Site health
- Penalties issued by Google (or other search engines, for that matter)
- Broken links or pages
- Unresponsive pages
- Duplicate content
- Site security
Information about the above-mentioned will tell you why your site isn’t performing as well as it should be. For example, if your problem is loading speed, you may want to slightly change your site architecture or layout. Perhaps, you would like to change your media to lower-resolution ones. If you see that your pages have broken pages, you may want to fix them or remove them altogether.
All in all, a site audit will fill you in on where you need to make improvements. For a process so valuable, a site audit may seem pricey. Oftentimes, it is. The good news is that we offer a free website audit that gives you inside information on your website’s ranking potential and ability.
#2: Start with On-Page SEO
An overall SEO approach for a business of any size will consist of three aspects:
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
- Technical SEO
Of the three, on-page SEO is the one that can be the quickest to address. On-page SEO tackles the part of your site that your users can see. Right off the bat, the on-page elements of your website include:
- Your site’s content
- The site headers
On-page SEO ensures that these elements of your site are pleasing to your users. Due to Google becoming more user-oriented in how it ranks sites, addressing these will help you rank better. Also, these above-mentioned are parts of your site you can address even with little to no SEO background.
Optimizing your site’s content takes place mainly in the blog section (we will talk about this later). As with your site headers, all you need to do is ensure that every page has one and has your targeted keywords. Keyword research is another tip we’ll get into later on in this article.
Should you do this for every page of your site? Ideally, the answer would be “yes”. However, if time is a factor, you will want to target your best performing pages. Knowing which pages perform the best is the purpose behind tip #1!
#3: Research and Target Keywords — Long-Tail Keywords, That Is
In SEO, keywords are a recurrent topic of discussion — and, for good reason. After all, more than 60% of all traffic online is on search engines like Google. In search engines, trillions of searches are made. Users find what they are looking for after typing in their queries and pressing “enter”.
Keyword research is crucial. The results tell you what your users are looking for as they scroll about the SERPs. Having the right keywords in your site headers and content will allow more users to reach your site.
So, what do we mean by “the right keywords”? As you conduct keywords research, you will want to target words that refer to your business. For example, if you’re a florist, then one of your keywords may be “flowers”.
This single term you expect users to use on a search engine is an example of a short-tail keyword. Short-tail keywords often consist of one or two words.
While you need to plan your site’s content around such short-tail keywords, focusing on short-tail keywords may not be enough.
- Type more than four words to search for products and services
- Phrase their searches as a question
Questions and search queries consisting of at least three words are long-tail keywords. When you target these, you will be able to create content and site headers that give your users exactly what they want.
For instance, if you own a small flower arrangement business, long-keywords might be:
- “Flower arrangement services near me”
- “Cheap flower arrangement services”
- “Affordable flower arrangement services near me”
Researching for the best long-tail keywords to target may seem like rocket science. On the contrary, there are keyword research tools available for this purpose. Nearly all of them were designed with the SEO novice in mind. Here are some to get you started:
The list goes on. In short, research and target long-tail keywords, and more users will likely find your site. Due to you having more users going to your site, Google will take notice.
It may not be enough to use long-tail keywords to direct users to your site. You will need a way to keep them engaged and interested.
This brings us conveniently to the next tip you can easily follow.
#4: Create and Update Your Blog Section Around Targeted Keywords
Even if your business is not information-based, never underestimate the value of a blog section. If you are wondering how 60% of businesses flourish online, a blog is a pivotal factor.
To users, nothing communicates a desire for engagement better than a regularly updated blog section. Many small businesses will attest to this.
In the eyes of Google, there is just something about an active blog section populated with the right keywords. Having a blog section with naturally incorporated keywords allows Google to mark your site as relevant and valuable to users.
Indeed, your landing page copy as well as your site headers can be filled with your keywords. Nonetheless, the keyword density in these areas can be quite low. No other part of your site can hold all your keywords in spades better than your blog section.
Be very careful when incorporating keywords. Google will penalize your site for keyword stuffing. To determine the right frequency of keywords, there are on-page content optimization tools online that can help. Some of these are:
With these tools, you can tell right away if you’re overdoing things keyword-wise. This saves you and your writers a lot of time and maximizes the chances of creating SEO-friendly content on the first try.
#5: Dial-in Your Technical SEO
You can think of your site as having two parts — the part users can see and the part only Google sees.
For the part only Google or search engines see, there is technical SEO. Technical SEO deals with the structural aspects of your website. These aspects are what allow your site to function and be usable to visitors.
Technical SEO improves your site’s performance on search engines. This SEO approach ensures that Google can easily find your site and identify it as a real website. This allows Google to include your website in the SERPs.
What are these so-called “technical” parts of your website? They are:
- XML sitemaps
- Site architecture or structure
- 404 pages and 301 redirect pages
- Indexability and crawlability
Taking care of the first three will carry over to indexability and crawlability. XML sitemaps can easily be yours with the use of SEO plugins. If you built your site using WordPress or WebFlow, Yoast’s plugin can create your sitemap for you.
Also, you can fix site structure by ensuring that you don’t have too many clickable elements on one page. As well, you may want to remove or fix broken links or pages. Doing this will remove unnecessary 404 or 301 redirect pages.
#6: Local SEO is the Key
How do you compete with companies like Starbucks, Nike, IBM, or Kenny Rogers online? The answer is simple — you don’t!
These companies and others have a large enough customer base to warrant:
- National SEO
- Regional SEO
- International SEO
Even if your business catered to the same clientele, there is no way you would be able to outrank any of these large companies. However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t be an industry giant in your own right.
Despite the size of your business, you can still dominate searches — local searches. By catering to local searches via local SEO, you can maximize your chances of conversions. Are you skeptical? According to recent statistics, nearly half of all searches are searches for products within a five-mile radius!
That is not all. With local SEO, you allow as much as 97% of your potential clientele to learn about you and your services.
Jumpstarting your local SEO efforts can be straightforward. Google has a geotagging algorithm that locates businesses listed in its Google My Business database. All you need to do is register your business and provide the necessary information.
Once you have done this, your business can stand to appear in “near me” searches. For example, if you own a car repair business, you can appear on the SERPs of “car repair near me” searches.
And, here’s the best part: the customers who get in touch with you will be from your area! Talk about letting your clients come to you!
#7: Have a Backlinking Strategy
A backlink is a clickable element in a website that is not yours. Often, this clickable element is in text and redirects a user to your site or webpage.
Having a backlink in one website or two is almost like an endorsement. It’s like having one or two people saying that you are an authority on a certain subject matter. The more backlinks you have on other sites or pages, the more attractive your content or site becomes to Google.
Backlinks can drive the most traffic to your site. In fact, more than 90% of all websites lack traffic despite being on the SERPs. The reason is the absence of high-quality backlinks.
In short, you need backlinks, but how do you get them? A simple way to do it would be to conduct outreach.
Outreach involves you asking for other sites in your niche or industry to link back to your site. The link they provide may be a link to your landing page or a blog article.
Get enough people to do this for you, and you will have enough backlinks to gain authority. The more authority you get, the farther up the SERPs you can go!
Small business SEO does not always require the expertise of a specialist. In fact, you probably have the necessary know-how to follow the tips we have mentioned here.
The tips mentioned here are simple and quick. For this reason, SEO skills may not be a limiting factor. However, if you want quick results to come even quicker, there is another way:
At Agency Jet, we specialize in helping startups and small businesses like yours create a lasting online presence. With our SEO packages, we can improve your website to dominate Google’s SERPs. Moreover, we can do it while you focus on your business.
For SEO packages that propel you up the SERPs of any search engine, reach out to us at Agency Jet!