In the initial stages, small businesses have a limited budget, and they cannot use it all to launch a million-dollar campaign. But they do need to market their business to attract potential customers if they want to increase sales and lead generation.
One of the best ways to do that is by using digital means to market their business. Digital marketing has many faces like social media and websites, and the latter is one of the biggest assets to ensure you get more and continuous customers.
To do that, you need to work on your SEO. Search engine optimization is one of the best marketing tactics that ensure your website gets high traffic and top ranking in Google search engine or others like Bing.
When you use SEO on your website, you are making sure that it gets organic traffic which will then lead to more sales and lead generation.
Here are some mind-blowing facts that you should know about SEO for small business:
- 75 percent of your target audience never look beyond the first page of Google. So, if you want your page on the first page, work on your SEO.
- 46 percent of searches on Google are for local businesses. So, if your small business is localized, work on local SEO for better results.
- 70-80 percent of customers look at a small business online before purchasing their services or product.
For a small business, SEO is quite effective. How? Let’s find out below.
I have been saying since the beginning of the article that SEO is critical to the success of a small business. Now, let’s elaborate on it more so that you can understand why it is integral for your digital marketing campaign.
1. It helps create a successful website
The job of SEO is not limited to increasing the ranking of a website in search engine results. It is more versatile now.
A good SEO manager would use this tool to ensure that you design a site that is user-friendly, easy to navigate, uncluttered, fast, and responsive on all devices, including a smartphone.
If your website is not friendly, no matter how many people come to your website, they won’t stay on it. Thus, it will lead to an increase in the bounce rate. To make sure that doesn’t happen, work on the website design, including images or visuals and text, but don’t clutter the website.
Moreover, work hard on the content as when you have content that solves the problems a customer has, people would come back and also share the link with others.
2. It helps with increasing the conversion rate
A website aims to convert a customer into a lead. That will happen only when your site is relevant, quick, accessible on all devices, and appealing.
All these traits are something that you can get with Search engine optimization.
3. Helps beat the competition
When you have an optimized website, you will get more customers, which have a higher chance of converting into a loyal audience. If your competitor is equal to you in all accounts, except for having an optimized competition, you will have a better chance of having a successful business.
Moreover, SEO helps you bring organic backlinks from the authoritative website (through comments and guest posting). It helps you not only get more visitors, but it establishes your brand in the market.
4. SEO is affordable
Traditional marketing tactics and other digital tactics like paid advertisements are expensive, especially for a growing business. But SEO is one tool that is quite inexpensive. So, for a small business to establish its brand and products makes complete sense.
5. It works continuously
SEO is a continuous process, so when you start using it in the initial years well, it has immediate effects on your website and sales cycle.
But it also impacts the business in the coming years. Since it is a long-term strategy, you need to keep an eye on the upcoming trends so that your SEO practices are always up-to-date.
Now that we know the importance of SEO for small businesses, it is time to see some SEO techniques that will work best for your business.
1. Make sure you have a business account
Having a business account on Google for your brand is beneficial for your website and SEO.
It is free, first of all, and it makes sure that you appear in local search queries that are near your area making your business come up first on search engine pages.
2. Narrow down your target audience
SEO’s main goal is to drive more traffic to your website and increase its ranking. It won’t happen if you are not targeting the right audience.
Every business cannot cater to every audience; thus, you have to find out what customers you have to target, and what are their interests and search preferences.
So, the first step is to narrow the audience that you want to sell your service or products too. Now, find out how they search for similar products, what solutions they are looking for, what is their demographics, and more.
All these details will help you create a strategy for your SEO which will ensure you get the desired results.
For a local and small business, they must be present on social media. The higher your visibility is on social media, the higher chances you have of getting a better place in search engine results. Social media is a global platform that almost every one of your customers will be using.
The percentage of small businesses investing in social media is only 61 percent. It needs to increase to 100 percent for a better economy.
If you are looking to bring more customers to your website, promoting it on social media is the best thing you can do. Here is a checklist of things you need to do to be more proactive on social media because that is how it will benefit your SEO needs:
- Find out the social media platforms that your audience uses. Make sure to focus more on them.
- The content for every social media cannot be the same. The audience is looking for something else when they log on to Instagram versus when they explore YouTube. So, curate your content as per the platform.
- Offers giveaways, discounts, and freebies as they appeal to the masses and they will surely come to your website.
- If you want people to check out your website, include this in your CTA. Call-to-action is the one thing that clearly says what you want the audience to do. So, make sure to include it and use the right one. Also, include a CTA on your website.
- Use appealing images for your social media. Edit them or create original ones using Canva.
4. Make your website mobile-friendly
Another critical element of SEO is a responsive website, and not only on the desktop.
Since most people use their smartphones to access a website, make sure your site works fast and loads quickly on mobiles. The statistics show that mobile can drive an average of 40 percent more revenue for a B2B company.
So, it is high time to work on your site to make sure it works well on mobile. Most CMS software like WordPress has the option to create a responsive mobile website.
5. Figure out how search engine display results for your niche
Most of the time, small businesses have no clue about their competitors. They are not aware of which other companies are dealing with the same products and what keywords they are using or what they aren’t.
Take this instance, you use a keyword in your website content or blog, but when you search for products using the same keyword, you see the results of international and enterprise businesses. It is not optimal for you because if you are using this keyword, your site’s traffic will decrease.
So, look for your competitors and see what keywords they are using, how Google is showing their results, and more. Another thing that you need to do is see their content.
Content marketing is crucial to your SEO and success of your business and the website. But yet 80 percent of small businesses in the US are not investing in this.
When you search your competitors, see what type of content they are sharing- video, images, text, infographics, mix, or more. It will help you define your content marketing strategy as if you are only sharing text content you are way behind with your SEO.
6. Guest posting
For a small business, one of the best ways to get organic links to their site is through posting. When you write a quality article for an authoritative website of the same niche, it helps you get organic backlinks for your website. It also gives you a platform to create an identity for your brand.
Guest posting can help you with this, but you have to use this tactic carefully. Always follow the instructions that the site has for guest blogs.
Whenever you are sending them an email for collaboration, personalize it. A generic email won’t help you.
7. Work on your visuals
As I mentioned above that limiting your content to text only is not a feasible option. If your audience is looking for visual content like videos or images or even infographics, you have to cater to their needs.
When it comes to images and infographics, there is no better tool than Canva to create an original piece or even edit one or customize one from its library.
For videos, you can use Inshorts or Adobe premiere for editing them. Using visuals on your website is crucial as they appeal more to the people, and they spend more time on your site, which is great for SEO.
8. Optimize your title
The title is quite essential in terms of SEO and social sharing. If you want a person to click on the click on SERPs which is search engine results pages, then you need your title to be appealing, crisp, justifying the content inside, and it must have a keyword.
For SEO, title tags are imperative as if you want good ranking and traffic, you have to optimize your title for the same. Some tips:
- Make sure your title is not over 60 characters. If it is long, Google and other search engines will cut it or omit some words which are essential for it.
- Using SEO keywords in the title is a splendid idea. But you should never overdo it. If you do that, you will get penalized by Google. Overstuffing the keyword or repeating it in different variations is never a good idea.
- Try to make your title as unique as humanly possible for every different page. It will drive more traffic and increase click-through-rate.
- Don’t just worry about SEO while writing the title. Your end goal is to engage the customer and give them the best user experience. So, while writing a title, think about what they will click on fast to get the best outcome.
9. Include Schema markup
Schema markup is an element of the website that sends critical data about the business to a search engine. These details include:
- Business name
- Phone number
- Hours and address of the business.
- These details are important as they make for the best snippets in search engine results.
10. Start a blog
Blogs are a great way to get higher ranking and traffic to your website. It is essential to SEO, but its benefits exceed more than just SEO.
When you have a blog, you have an opportunity to connect with a lot of your audience. You solve their problems and when they comment, it gives you a chance to convert them into leads.
So, consider starting a blog for your small business and make sure you write relevant content that helps your audience with their questions or issues.
Lastly, I will emphasize one thing and that is authenticity. Whatever SEO technique you use for your small business, make sure it is genuine.
If you use paid links or copied content, it won’t help your cause. So, work hard on SEO and you will yield its benefits for a long time.
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Kavita is an Outreach Specialist cum Content writer. When not glued to her laptop, she can be found making travel plans that rarely happen 😉 Connect with Kavita on Twitter @dreamerkavita