13 SEO for Small Business Tips To Follow

  In Content Marketing, SEO

SEO For Small Business

SEO is one of the most important parts of any small business’ online marketing strategy. At the same time, it can be very confusing for most businesses. It seems that every second SEO expert has different opinions on what works, what doesn’t.

In this post, we’ll take a look at 13 essential tips for doing SEO for small business. Follow these and you’ll climb up the rankings soon enough.

  1. Blog regularly

Your blog is a powerful channel for communicating with your new and existing customers. It is also great for SEO since you can create fresh, keyword-focused content to rank in search engines. Remember to guest blog for other websites as well. Their authority and their audience can influence your search rankings.

Don’t get bogged down by the countless pages of advice on how or what to blog about. Instead, just pick a handful of keywords, brainstorm some ideas, and start writing.

  1. Be active on social media

Although Google won’t say so outright, social media is an important factor in determining search engine rankings. Google takes social signals – the number of shares, likes, retweets, etc. for a page – into account when ranking a page. By being active on social media, you can increase your chances of climbing up the SERPs.

  1. Focus on evergreen content

To excel at SEO, you have to excel at creating content. But not just any content will do – you have to focus on creating long-lasting, evergreen content.

These are topics that will always be relevant to your audience. Think topics like “how to get cheap flight tickets” or “how does a car engine work?”. This will help keep visitors coming back to your site in the long run and save you from the trouble of creating fresh articles every few days.

  1. Use a keyword tool

One of the bigger SEO mistakes you can make is to start creating content without researching your keywords. Sure, recent Google algorithm changes mean keywords aren’t as important as they used to be circa 2010, but they’re still essential to good SEO.

While most will turn to Google’s own keyword tool, you’ll see better results from using a keyword tool such as WordStream, KeywordSpy, SEMRush or Keyword Discovery .

  1. Use images and videos in your content

Plain text content can get boring very quickly. A wall of text is also harder to read. This is why you should try to include at least a few images and videos in any content you create. It will not only help keep readers interested, but is also good for SEO. Plus, it’ll help you help you get additional traffic through Google image search.

  1. Get on Google Places

For local businesses, Google Places (also called Google ‘My Business’) is powerful source of leads and new customers. Results from Google Places frequently show up at the top of the page for local searches. Establishing a presence here will not only help you get extra traffic, but will also help customers interact with your business.

  1. Optimize for mobile viewers

Earlier this year, Google’s mobile search traffic officially eclipsed its desktop search traffic. This is why Google has started using mobile friendliness as a ranking factor in its algorithm. If your site is not mobile optimized, you can expect to lose substantial rankings. So whatever you do, make sure that your site looks good on smaller screens.

  1. Use Google Webmaster Tools

Google Webmaster Tools (GWT) is Google’s own tool to help you understand your site. GWT will tell you if Googlebot has any difficulties accessing your site and give insight into your organic traffic. You’ll also get warnings about any hacks or malware. It’s a powerful tool for SEO for small business.

  1. Target long and mid-tail keywords

Keywords are generally divided into three categories:

  • Head: Broad keywords with lots of searches, ex: “tickets”
  • Mid-tail: Longer keywords with moderate traffic, ex: “cheap flight tickets”
  • Long-tail: Highly targeted keywords with few searches, ex: “cheap delta flight tickets to atlanta”

Long and mid-tail keywords have significantly less competition than head keywords. They also get your much more targeted traffic. Focusing on these is one of the best things you can do for your small business SEO.

  1. Optimize for readers

Content is the heart and soul of SEO, but far too many small businesses think that it’s all about churning out keyword-focused content. In reality, content that puts the reader first will always outrank one that puts search engines first.

This means that you have to start thinking like a publisher. Start creating mixed content (videos, visuals, text, slideshows, etc.) that actually helps your readers. If your audience doesn’t enjoy reading your content, you can be sure that search engines won’t love it either.

  1. Backlinks are important

Sure, backlinks aren’t probably as big a ranking factor as they used to be a few years ago. However, they’re still crucial to ranking for important search terms. You should spend at least a third of your SEO time on getting backlinks through tactics like guest blogging, manual outreach, broken link building, etc.

  1. Keep up to date with SEO

The SEO world changes every few months. A new Google update comes out and suddenly, practices that were common before can tank your site. If you’re doing your SEO yourself, it helps to keep an eye on what’s happening in the search engine world. Subscribe to websites such as SearchEngineLand.com and SearchEngineWatch.com to make sure that you use up to date SEO tactics.

  1. Focus on long-term

Lastly, never focus on short-term benefits from SEO – there aren’t any to be had. SEO is a long-term game; you’ll have to create content regularly and focus on building a real web property to see big results from it. Think of it as an investment that will bear fruit only after several months. If you can do this one thing, you’ll be far ahead of your competition.

Conclusion

For the layman, doing SEO for small business can seem like a daunting task. However, if you focus on the fundamentals, create high quality content, and focus on long-term benefits, you’ll get exceptional returns from your investment in SEO.

mike@marccx.com
Michael Peggs is the founder of Marccx Media, a digital marketing agency specializing in Search Engine Optimization (SEO) and Search Engine Marketing (SEM). Before Marcxx, Peggs worked at Google in business development, forming digital media and advertising partnerships in the United States and Asia. He is also a contributor to The Huffington Post, FastCompany and Business Insider as well as and podcaster, hosting the iTunes Top 10 New & Noteworthy Podcast You University.
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