Small Business SEO: Fresh Insights to Business Owners
Gone are the days when SEO played a crucial role just for large businesses. As the search for nearby service providers has increased over time, SEO has become a necessity for small businesses. It is because the small businesses serve a particular area or region and getting their name listed in the “near me” searches can bring more customers to them.
Why SEO is important for small businesses?
SEO is not just about enhancing the online presence and getting more traffic to your business website. There are some other reasons that make SEO a necessity for your small business. These reasons are:
- Optimal reach
- Brand awareness
- Higher potential for conversions
- Business credibility
- Better customer engagement
Here are some stats that show users’ reliance on search engines for getting information. And these stats are proof that SEO has become more important at the local level and is a boon for small businesses.
- The “Near me” searches have shown a growth of 150% in 2017. (Think with Google)
- 50% of the results shown on the first page of Google were secure in 2017. (Moz)
- 57% of the US travelers in 2018 wanted the businesses to tailor the information on the basis of individual preferences or past experiences. (Think with Google)
- Business listings with a website got 25–35% more clicks in 2018. (Google)
However, the SEO for small businesses is a little bit different because the area they deliver services to is limited. To help the small business leverage the power of SEO, here we have mentioned some strategies.
- Optimize the content on your business website
The first step towards effective SEO is optimizing the content on your website. Content optimization makes your website more attractive to the users as well as to the search engines. It lets your website secure a higher ranking in organic search results. Some of the actions you can take for this are:
- Build trust. No doubt content is the crucial part of SEO but content cannot bring results until it is effective enough to build trust. So, use the right words in the right order to build trust.
- Include at least 1–2 long-tail keywords which match the expectations of your users.
- Increase the dwell time by incorporating live chat, well-organized product descriptions, 360-degree product views and customer reviews.
- Create a seamless and fast user experience by improving page speed and site designs.
2. Go for quality link building
Link building is the process in which other websites link to yours. It makes your website gain high authority on the search engines. And the high authority websites are always respected by the users as well as the industry experts.
Link building also helps you make your business popular because if another website is mentioning you and linking to your website, it means you are doing something valuable and different. However, link building is not just limited to content sharing, guest postings and image link building. There are some other ways a small business can get success through link building. These include:
- Repurpose your content by converting a blog post into a video, a slide presentation, an infographic and more. And then, distribute these pieces to different channels with the links which will take them back to the original content.
- Take the full benefit of broken link building. A single broken link provides you numerous link opportunities, you just need to find them. In addition to informing the website owners about the broken link, you can also use tools to find other websites linking to that page.
However, you need to show some patience for getting results from link building. As link building depends majorly on external factors, it takes significant time to show desired results.
3. Get most out of Google My Business
Google My Business is an extension of Google Places that lets businesses have control over how they appear on Google Search, Google+ and Google Maps. In order to get the most out of the Google My Business listing, small businesses should use the exact business details which they have used on their website. Also, businesses should include their website’s link in the listing because it is the only way Google can find the relationship between the listing and the business website.
Google My Business works great for the websites which need to rank for the limited geographical area. However, businesses need to ensure that they have shared exact business details. The steps to get success with Google My Business listing are:
- Choose an accurate category to list your business.
- Provide maximum information about your business.
- Check your opening and closing hours.
- Share best photos that would attract the viewers.
- Create citations on other sites, like business listing and review sites.
- Most importantly, keep the data up to date.
4. Manage ratings and reviews
It is a proven fact that if your company has a good rating and positive reviews on Google My Business and Facebook, people are more likely to visit your website. So, you need to keep a check on these reviews.
There happen unfortunate cases when you get a negative review/feedback for any reason. In such cases, you can react by responding to the review and solving that person’s issue. Once his issue is addressed effectively, ask him to remove or change the review. It means you have the opportunity to convert your dissatisfied customers into promoters or brand ambassadors. Below are some tips for making the best of your business reviews and ratings.
- Whether it is the reviews or ratings, both should come directly from the users. If you are considering to post fake reviews, make sure to maintain a limit because too many positive and glowing reviews can scare off the visitors as quickly as the bad reviews.
- Avoid copying reviews from Yelp or other review websites. The best results come from the reviews you get directly from your users and display on your business website.
- Genuine reviews get a clear focus. Add every available public information about the reviewer as it will make the reviews look genuine. For instance, if one of your customers has posted a review, you can ask him to provide his basic details like location, contact number and more that he is comfortable with. This information will make it easy for the viewers to reach the particular customer and this will enhance the authenticity of your business.
So, whenever you deliver your services or products, ask your clients to leave a review. The power of real reviews is just incomparable.
5. Do a website audit regularly
A website audit is important as it lets businesses improve their online presence. It lets them identify the issues with the website’s architecture and informs them about what is working on their website and what is falling behind. Also, it provides suggestions for making necessary improvements to the site.
SE Ranking is an SEO analysis tool that you can use to monitor the performance of your website. It lets you track all the ranking factors of your website and make the desired changes accordingly. Website Audit is a feature of SE Ranking that allows you to analyze your entire website, instead of just home page. In addition to providing you with a technical audit of your website, it also analyses other parameters. These include:
- Domain overview
- Website health check
- Pages analysis
- Content analysis
- Links analysis
- Meta analysis
- Images Analysis
- Usability and technologies
6. Leverage the power of social media to ensure proper engagement
Social media pages play an important role in increasing the visibility of your business and increasing traffic to your website. But, for this to happen, you need to remain regular with your social media posts. The more dynamic your social media strategy is, the greater will be the chances your site will attract followers. And this will help your website appear in the search results.
- Go live while offering high-quality and engaging content. Don’t limit the theme of your videos just to your products and services; instead, create a video answering the questions your customers have asked.
- Create a personalized customer experience through one-to-one communication.
- Use WhatsApp business AP to respond to customers’ queries as soon as possible.
- IGTV by Instagram allows you to broadcast videos that are not limited to just one minute. You can use this platform to broadcast a variety of content.
- Ensure to show consistency in your posts; otherwise, you would not be able to build trust and loyalty among users.
There are many things small businesses can do to improve their website’s ranking. Being a small business, you should start by focusing on your niche and presenting your brand in an attractive and unique way. Once it is complete, you can follow the above-mentioned strategies to bring it on Google’s first page. Organic search results take some time to show improvement; so, be regular with using these strategies and show some patience to get the results. Don’t forget to check the performance and make required changes whenever required.