Search Engine Optimization – or SEO – has been hyped up for businesses of all sizes (including small businesses) for years. But following smart SEO practices is more than just hype; it’s really a smart way to help grow your business. A good SEO strategy can help you increase brand visibility, gain more traffic for your website, and help you to rocket past your competitors. In addition, SEO is one of the most cost-effective forms of long-term advertising with real ROI.
Sound interesting yet? It should. With the right SEO in hand, you can better get your products and services in front of your desired audience. Being able to target the right people with your message is one of the best ways to answer the question, “Why choose SEO for my small business?”
Search engines are the first place that many people start when it comes to finding a product or service they’re looking for. When folks are searching for a retailer or a repair shop near them, they look to the internet to help them find a relevant destination. And at the point of a user’s search, SEO for small local businesses is the right marketing approach at the right time.
Stated in plain terms, SEO services help to optimize your website so it can be found and indexed by search engine crawlers. The higher your website ranks in internet searches, the more it will be seen by those doing the searching. It’s as simple as that.
Now, let’s look closer at some key elements and factors of the right content marketing and user experience approaches to small business SEO:
You need to start by understanding exactly what your potential customers are looking for, and optimize your website to suit. One important tool to utilize in that regard? Make use of the correct keywords and phrases. You can take advantage of the free Google Keyword Planner tool to help determine which keywords show up most frequently, and what the level of competition is around these keywords.
Found the right keywords you want to focus on? Now start using them and optimizing them smartly in your title tags, meta descriptions, image alt text, and URLs.
The more internal and external links you earn for your website, the more it will help you gain higher domain authority, and ultimately produce more clicks for your website. Guest blogging, answering Quora questions, producing sharable content, and writing testimonials are all good activities to help you earn more organic links back to your website.
If your website takes too long to load and lacks smooth UX, your prospective customers will simply click off and go somewhere else.
And it’s not just your users who love a quick-loading site that’s easy to navigate. Search engine crawlers show preference to such sites as well. Providing a fast, seamless website experience is one sure way to improve your search rankings.
What we’re talking about here is also known as internal link architecture. This helps the user to gain a better understanding of what content the website contains, and how to access it with ease. And if it’s easier for a user to find what they’re looking for on your site, this ultimately helps your site to perform better in terms of search rankings and search visibility.
The approach to content marketing services has changed quite a bit in recent years, thanks largely to changes within the Google algorithm itself. It’s all about innovating to become as user-aligned as possible. The best current rule-of-thumb when it comes to content marketing is to write for humans first, and for search engines second. Making use of appropriate keywords still matters, but it only makes sense to users (and to search engines) in the context of original, valuable, and engaging content.
Why does blogging matter for a small business? A website blog can do wonders for your search rankings, and can ultimately help get your business found on the internet. Some falsely assume that SEO is an arena in which only national and global brands can compete, but that’s not necessarily true. Does your small business website struggle to get a look on Google’s first page of results? If so, quality blogging is an often-overlooked opportunity that can really help your small business. One key to success is to be diligent about adding quality blogs to your website on a regular basis. Here are some things that blogging can do for you:
Small businesses like restaurants, cafés, retail shops, and repair shops tend to operate in local markets with a small footprint. Want to help your business get found by locals? You can gain more visibility through SEO services like Google My Business and other business listings. Google tends to evaluate a company’s search ranking based on three key factors: relevance, prominence, and location. Being able to have your business show up in local searches helps people looking for the products and services you provide to find you!
These Google page experience ranking factors are based on a set of three matrices: largest contentful paint (LCP), first input display (FID), and cumulative layout shift (CLS). In order to gain a good UX score in the eyes of Google, your site needs to score well on each of these three parameters.
Against the backdrop of Covid, online shopping rose to even greater heights. At the same time, foot traffic to local businesses took a hit. But that doesn’t mean local businesses are necessarily doomed; it simply means that shoppers are relying more than ever upon the internet to help them find the local businesses, products, and services they need! And because that’s true, we’re here to offer some best SEO tips recommended by a good SEO agency to help you plan your marketing strategies for the rest of 2021.
One of Google’s ongoing purposes is to deliver what is “relevant” to searchers. EAT is an acronym Google uses to represent Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness. These three EAT factors are used by Google to help score any website they’re ranking. Through this approach, Google is able to assure searchers that the top-displaying results are as accurate, authoritative, and trustworthy as possible.
Now that more and more people are using smartphones, smart speakers, and other smart devices to search the internet, voice searches have become increasingly prevalent. And because that’s true, search engines continue to tweak their ranking algorithms in favor of conversational questions and content. If you don’t want to be left behind, you need to optimize your web content for local voice searches, too!
Google’s search results sometimes show listings where the snippet describing a page comes before the page link, not after. These are known as “featured snippets,” and can appear both in specific search results as well as in the “People Also Ask” section. If you can get your content to appear in a featured snippet, that gives your web page a significant organic traffic boost! Optimizing your content for snippets includes good keyword research, careful monitoring of the questions people ask, and formatting your content for ease of reference.
Mobile-first indexing was officially rolled out by Google in March 2018, and it’s continued to pick up steam ever since. Why is mobile-first such a big deal? For one thing, more users are now accessing the internet from their smartphones and smart devices than they are from desktop computers! As you’re looking to optimize your small business website for greater SEO success, make sure to follow a mobile-first – rather than a desktop-first – design approach.
Although technical SEO can seem intimidating or overwhelming for a small business owner, it’s something you simply can’t neglect if you want to achieve high rankings on Google. Here are some of the key issues which technical SEO includes:
As mentioned above, local SEO is a powerful weapon for small businesses looking to capture more local customers. Improving search engine visibility isn’t just important for digital businesses and e-commerce platforms. It’s important for local brick-and-mortar businesses, too!
Customers often tend to search for products and services “near me.” Thus, targeting some location-specific keywords is a crucial strategy for winning more local customers.
Almost 72% of people who find your business through a mobile search will end up visiting your store within a day! If that’s not a motivation for taking advantage of local SEO for your small business, we don’t know what is!
If the above statistic didn’t get your attention, maybe this one will. It’s estimated that a whopping 88% of smartphone and tablet users who engage your website through the result of a local internet search will either call or visit your business in person within 24 hours! See why local SEO and a mobile-friendly approach are so important to a small business like yours?
Creating a Google My Business listing, a Facebook business profile, and other online listings are essentially free. Combine this with good, localized SEO practices, and what you end up with is a solid, cost-effective marketing strategy for your local business!
Here’s one more tip when it comes to taking full advantage of GMB, FB, and other listings. Make sure that local customers have access to all the information they need about your business in order to make an informed purchasing decision. This means things like posting updated business hours, location address, phone number, and pricing (where applicable). Including some customer reviews and testimonials is another great way to build confidence and earn trust, too.
Simply put, SEO is a marketing strategy that your small business can’t do without, especially if you hope to grow your business. If you take advantage of the simple SEO tips and guidelines shared in this article, you can start making a positive difference for your local business right now! But if you’re ready to partner with a pro that help you achieve the best possible results in all areas concerned, Cibirix Digital Marketing Agency has a proven track record of helping small businesses like yours really capitalize on SEO marketing! Shoot us a message, or simply give us a call today at (336) 415-3534!
As an SEO Expert for Cibirix, Pranav Sharma is passionate about creating effective backlinks and performing on-site and off-site optimization for both B2C and B2B business clients. He leverages only the best “white hat” SEO techniques to deliver improved business results for clients, and one of his primary goals is to help businesses make better investments in their websites that will generate better long-term results. In his free time, he enjoys playing cricket, singing, and spending quality time with friends and family.