This guide covers the significant SEO tips that a small business must include in its Search optimization process. This guide will give you a step by step guidance on what a small business must focus for a successful online presence.
The first part in optimizing your website starts with On-page optimization, so let's start with it.
Please use the table below to navigate to a specific topic.
1: On-page Optimization
1.1 : Focus on Branding
Small business needs to think like the big one. That is the precise strategy that will one day help you grow. Every brand, whether big or small, has to invest in marketing itself.
Your small business must have a great looking logo, tag lines, info-graphics, videos and blogs to showcase your products and services clearly to your consumers.
1.2 : Meta Description and Meta Title
You can get more clicks by writing an engaging and enticing description for each page of your website. To get the best SEO performance, write catchy titles and descriptions.
One thing to remember is that keywords in Title and description do not hold much weight in 2020. But they can help you in increasing the CTR on search results.
1.3: Keyword research
Keywords are important words that help people find your content on search engines. These keywords also help search engines to identify what topic you are writing about. Many tools help you get the best keywords for your topic. Few of the most used keywords tools that can be helpful for you are Keywordstool, SEMrush, Ahrefs, Moz.
As a small business you may find it harder to spend money on a tool that just helps you i keyword research. You can stat with Google keyword Planner, its an excellent help from Google. It may not give you actual data but its still relevant.
1.4: Fresh Content and Content-Length
In a recent Medic update, Google has indirectly said that content length matters a lot. Writing for the sake of improving your ranks is not going to work anymore. You need to Build Trust, Authority and correspond with all your expertise to make a position worthy content.
So, a short content will try to cover some info, but essential content will be more focused on answering all the aspects and subtopics that fall into that question.
This kind of content is going to stay active and win you high conversions. People always tend to follow and comment on high quality, individual pieces of content. But this doesn't mean you need to write posts that are longer and never-ending. You must focus on perfect delivery, content which is precise and complete.
As a small business owner learning to craft engaging content is not an easy task. If you find it difficult to write great pieces of content then you may outsource it to professionals in the field.
1.5: Avoid Keyword Stuffing
When preparing your content, avoid keyword stuffing, this kind of black hat techniques can get your site get banned from the search results. If you are creating content that is repeating the same keywords over and over again, the search engines will identify that trick and get your website banned in no time.
Keep use of different keywords in your content to no more than 2% of your total content. Repeat, repeat, repeat. It is highly useful to use variations of keywords on a new page. Use your key phrase five to ten times for every two-hundred words on your page.
1.6: Captions and ALT Tags for image optimization
A great way to include keywords on your page is to add captions to your images. Readers like it when you do this, as it adds more explanation for what is contained in the photos.
This is much easier to find than if it's within the copy itself, and it gives search engines more text to index. To help with search engine optimization, you will want to make sure your images are well optimized.
1.7: Start Blogging regularly
The blog on a website is an essential step in optimizing a website for small business. It would help if you started the blog as soon as you launch your website.
People love to read what your brand has to say about its services and products. People get engaged when they find quality content, and they respond in comments. More comments and engagements on your content drive more visitors to your website.
1.8: Voice search optimization
People using mobile devices find it easy to search with voice commands. More gadgets like Google Smart Assistant, Samsung Smart TV, Amazon Echo all are ready to listen to your commands.
The voice search is going to grow even more in 2020, so be prepared to adapt and optimize your small business website for voice search.
1.9: Optimizing the Headings, Sub Heading
Heading and subheading on your page tell users and search engines about the different subtopics that your content covers. These also mark the essential content pieces so that user could simple read what they were exactly looking for.
This practice makes your content readable and gives you more opportunities to create quality content with detailed information.
1.10: Internal Linking
Writing fresh content is a great way to stay up on the game. But linking with your existing posts and pages is even more critical than you think. When an old post links to new content on your site, the new page builds the authority to rank well on search results.
Content with no internal links pointing towards them are called orphaned pages. For example this link connects the current post with social media marketing page on our website. This is called internal linking between pages on your site.
1.11: Google Featured Snippet
Google's featured snippets are not something new. You might have encountered these in various searches that you make. These Featured snippets give the searcher exact information on what they have searched on Google.
Featured snippets gather More Clicks to your website and provide a better search experience for the user. These Rich snippets give a boost to your brand's credibility.
It positively affects the click-through rate, so you must take it seriously. You can get almost 55% clicks to your website by optimizing your content for these top snippet places.
TIP: FAQ's are the best way to get into search snippets.
1.12: Add a Seo plugin for on-page ideas
34% of the website in the world are on WordPress CMS. If you, too, are building your presence on WordPress that is a great option, you are sticking to.
WordPress comes with tons of plugins to further improve user experience. These are a lot of Seo plugins like Yoast, Rankmath that is very helpful to give you an insight into your on-page aspects. Rankmath is a free plugin available at WordPress.org and it will be a good match for a small business in initial stages.
1.13: Hire an SEO Expert in the initial stage of your business
Many companies offer search engine optimization service but to find the one that is right for your business, you have to do some research. Contact the company and ask them questions about their experience, the strategies they employ and the risks that are involved. Then conduct your research on the business by checking their case studies to your satisfaction.
1.14: Ask for a monthly Seo report
To keep a check on your SEO rankings, ask for a report. You will learn the strategy your Seo company is working on. It's essential to keep an eye on your Seo campaign improvements.
Use some paid tools like Ahrefs, Moz to monitor your page rank regularly. Look at your website's referrer log to see where you get lots of visitors from. Check for keywords that are leading visitors to your site.
The Next Phase in further optimizing your small business SEO is called the Technical Seo. Here are few tips that you need to work on.
2: The Technical SEO
2.1: Add an XML Sitemap
The site map page is used by search bots to crawl and find new pages on your website. It is one of the most vital components for search engine optimization.
It is of no direct use to your visitors but keeps a great importance for search engine spiders. An XML site map ensures that search engines quickly visit all pages on your website. Tip : Add Plugins like Yoast, Rankmath and your job is done.
2.2: Make use of Redirects
If you have a broken link, make use of redirects to transfer the visitors on to other relevant page. HTML options like the canonical and 301 redirect still exist.
These two elements help a website and search engines to work together and communicate about the structure of the website.
2.3: Page Speed matters
Your website may have tons of quality content, but it may become ineffective if the user can get to it. Your pages must open as quickly as possible, and as Per Google, a page load time of 3 seconds is called "slow." Try to optimize your page load speed for under a second.
To achieve that kind of blazing-fast pace, you must invest in proper hosting. Craft a website with quality code put in more effort on optimizing your images, fonts and scripts. Page speed is the very first step in optimizing your online presence for good user experience. Read more tips about page speed on this post by Niel Patel.
2.4: Optimizing for Mobile
Mobile has become smart enough and is now dominating the desktop when it comes to searches. 80% of searches are made on mobile when it comes to ecommerce shopping. Businesses are focused on providing the best experience on mobile devices. The mobile trend is growing at such a pace that mobile-friendly websites are not enough.
Companies are starting to give even more personalized solutions like Mobile apps and progressive web apps, also known as PWA. The businesses which lag in optimizing their business for mobile visitors, they're going to lose tons of sales opportunity.
2.5: Websites Security
A secure website signals your user and Google that you care about your business and users. A secure site is a very crucial aspect of the website user experience. For ecommerce website's "Not Secure" warning, may push the customers not to proceed with sales and will leave your business altogether.
Non Secure sites lead to a high bounce rate, low user trust and drop in SEO rankings. So what you need is an SSL Certificate the is obtained free from your web hosting, especially if you are hosting your site on a c panel based hosting.
You may use paid tools like Wordfence to secure your site from hacking and malicious attacks. If you cant afford the paid version, a free version of Wordfence is a little helpful as well.
2.6: Connect Google Analytics
Google has created a fantastic analytics tool to help businesses like yours to gain valuable information. It gives you clear statistics of visitors, CTR, how much time your visitors spend on your site. Which page get the most clicks and lot more than you can imagine.
By adding Google analytics, it becomes easy for you to make data-driven decisions for your business. You need a Gmail account to use Google Analytics.
2.7: Connect Google Search Console
Google search console gives you a ton of information about the total impressions your site got. You get an insight on which keywords get more clicks, and what is their CTR.
It helps you fix issues with the discovery of your site. It’s a platform by which google tells you about your website. You can use a plugin like rank math to connect it with your website and get all data on your website.
2.8 Add Artificial Intelligence
Businesses and organizations are adopting AI at a rapid pace. AI technology is helping create an excellent user experience for consumers in various niches.
AI is the new norm to provide a better user experience on the majority of daily tasks. AI is going to become a part of our daily lives with a few years. Recently in Google (Google I/O '18), they showcased how AI can make automated calls and book a haircut for the users.
These improvements in AI technology tell us how important it is going to become in 2020. Google has been using these kinds of automated technology for analyzing page ranks, determining the quality of websites and a lot more.
This is how their Google search algorithm works and even penalizes sites that don't follow their rules. You can hire an AI focused Seo Agency to help you in adding the AI to your online presence.
The Final and challenging part for any small business is to get relevant backlinks for their website. These are a few tips that help you understand what to do when it comes to off-page Seo.
3: Off-page Seo
3.1: Focus on a specific Niche and Location
The internet is enormous, and so are the opportunities it presents. But your small business needs to optimize your presence for a particular niche and dominate.
Going too big too quickly can dilute your online strategy, and your website might be lost like billions of other pages on the internet. Focus on your brand, product, service and Geo-target your consumers. This strategy helps small businesses to outrank titans dominating the top spot.
3.2: Don't forget the Competitors.
Keeping an eye on what your competitors are doing is as important as running your small business. They are also keeping an eye on your business and devising strategies to outrank your business.
You can gain valuable information from their website, like their landing page quality, the service they are offering, their pricing and lot more, all of these are helpful to make your game even better.
3.3: External Links
When you write on a topic, many similar sites are writing about related/sub-topics that may be related to your content. Linking to these sites is an excellent way to build your network and gain ranks in Google search. You might be thinking about how external links can give you a rank boost?
Yes, it does. How? When you link to other quality sites, you are creating a better user experience for your visitors. They are getting tons of quality information from your page. External links build trust and credibility on your brand.
3.4: Authority Backlinks.
In layman terms, this means backlinks pointing to your website from an Authority or very high-quality website. Backlinks give a substantial push to your search rankings. Authority backlinks may be hard to acquire, but there are tips and tricks on how you can grab a few quickly.
3.5: Avoid low-quality link building practice.
As a small business, your budget and energy must be spent wisely. Creating lots of backlinks is easy and is always practiced by many. Buy SEO has changed and its 2020.
With new algorithms and guidelines popping up every few days. Google is transparent that link building is similar to link spam done for rank manipulation. This strategy is clearly against Google webmaster guidelines.
So if you want to rank on Google, following the instructions is the way to go.
3.6: Make some Quality Profiles for your business
When building your web presence, don't forget to add your business to the niche profile creation sites. Whatever product or services you sell, from ecommerce to financial, find a way to link to other websites in your niche.
That kind of targeted link, will, of course, help boost your search engine rankings and bring in more relevant traffic.
3.7: Link to Government and Education sites
Search for sites that are looking for quality content. Sites with .edu domain are likely to appear high on the search results. If you have the chance to link up with a .edu domain, go for it.
These websites get the best quality visitors from around the globe. Try to write good content for these websites. You must provide a "call-to-action" or a link to your site for the reader to visit your page.
These are some of the do it yourself task that you can spend your time on, to get SEO right. There is tons of other aspect that are part of advanced SEO and difficult to master. Weather you live in Toronto, New York or New Delhi, the 3 basic aspects of SEO are same for all types of businesses.
If you have any questions or comments please post them below, we will be happy to help.