These days, the key way to market any particular product or service is online. Gone are the days of mass marketing campaigns and leaflet drop-offs. We’re now firmly in the digital marketing age. If you want to reach out to more people than ever before, you need to be able to rank high in the search results, particularly a Google search. Let’s face it, we all use the Internet search engine giant for our queries! This means that Small Business SEO is extremely important.
In order for a small business to not only survive, but also to flourish, it needs something called an SEO strategy. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization, which means optimizing your website and online presence so that when someone searches for a product, service, or question which is closely related to what you are selling or providing, your details come up as one of the first choices. Think about it in real terms, when you’ve been searching for something yourself, do you look at the search ranking entries past the first page? Do you even look past the first six or seven entries? Probably not.
The great news is that SEO isn’t something which requires a huge amount of equipment, for small business owners to master, and all it really takes is the time to learn how to make it work for you. Once you’ve done that, your business should start to flourish, and won’t only come up on local search results, but national and international ones too.
Ensure You Have a Quality Website
The first thing you need is an actual presence online and that means a quality website. This needs to be relevant, accurate and up to date at all times, and it also needs to be added to on a regular basis. Nobody wants to go back over a website they’ve seen countless times before, with no new information and no new offers. It’s boring! Instead, make sure your website is attractive, relevant, it has a theme which fits in with the business you do, and make it an important part of your content marketing routine.
Make Sure Your Website Works Well
The number one reason for a customer to click away from your website and towards your competitors is that it contains broken links and it’s always crashing. Make sure your website is working well and doesn’t have any bugs which could otherwise cause it to malfunction and not give your customers the experience they’re after.
Research Your Keywords Carefully
One of the key areas of SEO is keywords. Make sure you do in-depth, relevant keyword research, using one of the many free tools online. By doing this, you will be able to implement these keywords into your content and around your website. Keywords allow you to call out to the common search queries of your prospective customers, but it is vital that you choose the most popular ones, and that you don’t simply guess.
Space Your Keywords Out Carefully
Quality content is key, but making sure that your targeted keywords are spaced out property is even more vital. You cannot throw as many keywords as possible into an article and expect customers to read it. It will be so obvious what you’re doing! In addition, Google has many rules and regulations and can easily pick up on content which is being pushed for optimization, and doesn’t have the customer’s best interests at heart.
Use Meta Descriptions
A meta description is a headline grabbing sentence which should ideally have some of your keywords in it. Again, don’t drench it in keywords, just one will be enough.
The meta description is the second line you see on Google search results, underneath the main bolded line. This gives the reader more information about what they’re going to find on your site, if they decide to click on it. Make it as attention grabbing as possible.
Use a Blog With Clever Backlinks
Having a blog on your website is a great idea. Not only does it help to create a personal connection with your customers, but it also allows you to link to your website and your social media profiles. You can also comment on similar blogs and leave your website address, as a link to your website. Remember to update your blog posts regularly, to hold the reader’s attention.
Always be Relevant and Accurate, Never Plagiarize
Google takes a very dim view on anyone who copies content from other sites, so always make sure that what you place on your website is not only accurate and relevant to what you are offering, but also that it is unique in every single way. This will ensure you are not penalized by Google.
Make Use of Social Media
In addition to a website, you should also have a business page on all the main social media platforms, e.g. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube. This will ensure that you can backlink to your website once more, but that you can reach out to more potential customers too. Most people have a social media account and this is a great way to reach more people.
Make Your Social Media Presence Regular
Not only do you need to have a social media page for the major platforms, but you also need to ensure that your presence on those platforms is regular. Post on a regular basis, and have polls and competitions to bring more attention your way. You could even have someone who is responsible for your social media presence, e.g. posting duties.
Make Sure Your Landing Page is Quality
Your landing page is the first page of your website which people will ‘land on’ when they click your link, either from social media, a piece of promotional material, or from searching on a search engine. This landing page needs to have information that is up to date and accurate, and that links to the rest of the site work well.
Check Metrics Regularly
Google has many analytical tools you can use to check your SEO performance. This allows you to find out where you might like to make improvements and change things up, for further success.
Make SEO a Priority
Make sure that SEO is a priority in your business and not just something you do at first and then forget about. You could employ someone to handle the SEO side of things, perhaps a freelancer with specific skills in this area.
Understand Your Audience Very Well
In order to give your audience what they want, and therefore encourage sales, you need to know them inside out. Do your research and make sure that any content you place on your site or social media accounts is in line with their voice and requirements.
Make Your Website Mobile Friendly
Most people browse the Internet on their phones or tablets these days, as well as laptops and desktops. By having a website which can be viewed easily on a mobile device, you’ll reach more people.
Ensure Your Address is on Google Maps
The final point is to make sure that you claim your actual physical address on Google Maps. This will help to increase accuracy and also help customers find you much more easily.