Once upon a time, marketing firms worked almost exclusively with large corporations. In the past 10 years or so, much of that changed. Marketing and PR experts learned to downscale plans to fit small businesses. However, some agencies are still struggling with effective small business SEO on a tighter budget. Here’s what they need to know.
The Effects of SEO on Small Businesses
Still have doubts about how small businesses benefit from a more efficient version of the same tactics large corporations employ? According to Forbes, here are some of the top benefits of SEO for small businesses:
- Increased online traffic
- Higher sales and profitability
- Better brand exposure and public awareness
- Competitive edge over other small businesses
- Extended availability of the business to answer customer queries
How To Build and Improve Small Business SEO
Keyword research creates the foundation for a great SEO strategy. However, it is only the starting point. Here are some additional tips.
1. Focus on High-Quality Content
When it comes to small business SEO, content truly is king. For large businesses, this often translates into pushing out as much content as quickly as possible. This keeps the content fresh and the website updated. For smaller businesses that cannot afford to keep up with the packed editorial calendars of the big guys, the quality of the content is more important.
Where Forbes and even CNN can get away with the occasional typo and remain a reputable source, it takes time for a small business to build that level of trust. The underdog is under much greater scrutiny. A smaller accumulation of content also means every new piece needs to use the best and most natural SEO-building tactics.
2. Monitor Website Performance
Google is the number one search engine in the world, accounting for 90.8% of the market share. So, naturally, Google’s actions determine the rules for SEO tactics. Note that Google makes regular updates to its algorithm that may cause periodic fluctuations in website traffic.
Because of this, it is important to monitor website performance. This may also help to indicate when a new tactic is working or an old one is no longer effective. Remember to choose a specific metric besides just website traffic to decide on success, such as engagement rate on blogs or increased sales.
3. Prepare for Voice Search
According to Forbes, voice search is one of the biggest SEO trends of 2019. In fact, experts estimate that 50% of all searches will take place via voice-activated virtual assistants by 2020. These assistants include Siri, Alexa and Google Home.
Why is this so important? Over the years, marketers have incorporated keywords based on how users type them into browsers. Spoken language and written language do not always coincide. This will require changes to phrasing in keywords, and perhaps, the use of more long-tail keywords.
4. Earn Media Coverage
Small businesses and solopreneurs can access the media more easily than ever. News agencies and government agencies no longer only want to hear from multinational brands. Small business is in. Hearing from local restaurants and startup tech companies helps to provide content on their own platforms that readers trust.
Publicists are the best way to get media coverage, but this may be more than most small business budgets can handle. Thankfully, there is social media as well as platforms like HARO. By using these tools, small businesses can jump to the front of the line and directly access the gatekeepers to influential media. This is also a great way to build up credible backlinks.
5. Prioritize Organization
Ranking highly in search engine results provides that initial click. However, to capitalize on all the benefits mentioned earlier, small businesses need to retain a customer’s attention for long enough to prompt further action. Many companies aim to achieve this by throwing everything the customer could ever need on the home page.
This can lead to frustration and decision paralysis for customers, especially if they are looking for very specific information, products or services. According to Inc., higher sales correlates with offering fewer choices. Agencies can help small businesses to pave a shorter road to checkout by helping customers to learn more about a few products.
6. Get Local
Brick-and-mortar businesses especially need a local focus. It’s easy to get caught up in social media interactions with people all around the world. But the real potential customers are the ones closest to home — or in this case, closest to the business. Get local by creating a Google My Business Page. Add the business to other local directories and get involved with local events.
Online businesses may believe they are exempt from the need to get local, but this is not always the case. Having at least one main home base helps to add some character to a business, even when the customers are international.
Get Started Today!
Small business SEO helps even solopreneurs build successful companies that compete within specific niches occupied by larger corporations. When done correctly, the business may corner a whole market segment for itself.
The key lies in making SEO tactics scalable, so agencies can downsize the plan without reducing the results. A great starting place is a website analysis. For more information, give us a call at 800-261-1537.