If you are the owner of a small business, you may be wondering how to compete online against established brand names and attract your target audience. The answer is SEO. Search engine optimization is the key to success for companies of all sizes, yet it can seem like a daunting task for small business owners.
Even if you don’t have a dedicated SEO team, a lot of experience in SEO, or the same budget as your rivals, there is a solution that can help you promote your company and be competitive in the marketplace.
By following this guide on SEO for the small business checklist, you will be able to improve your website’s visibility, attract more organic traffic, and help your company grow and succeed online in the long run.
- Why you need SEO for Small Business Websites
- SEO Checklist for Small Business Websites
- Conduct a technical SEO audit of your website
- Focus on user experience
- Add Schema Markup
- Set up Google Analytics and Google Search Console
- Find keywords to target for each page
- Write good content for the site
- Optimize your on-page SEO
- Optimize for local searches
- Generate relevant backlinks to your business website
Why you need SEO for Small Business Websites
Small business SEO will help you optimize your website so that your target audience can find it whenever they search for something they need on Google or another search engine. The right search engine optimization strategy will help you increase your visibility online, increase traffic, and gain a competitive advantage in today’s growing market.
Moreover, SEO is one of the most cost-effective forms of marketing compared to paid advertising, and its long-term benefits outweigh the initial investment. Thus, if you want to scale up and grow your business, you cannot afford not to invest in search engine optimization.
Now, let’s move on to the small business SEO basics guide to improve your results and streamline your small business marketing.
SEO Checklist for Small Business Websites
Conduct a technical SEO audit of your website
Conducting a technical SEO audit is the first step in your SEO journey. This is an important step for small businesses because technical issues can have a negative impact on your online visibility.
For example, if there are some crawling or indexing errors, your potential customers will not be able to find your services when they search for them online. Or, if the user experience is poor, your rankings can drop, and your competitors can outrank you and attract more customers.
A website audit will help you identify and fix any technical problems that may be affecting how your pages rank online. To perform a website audit, you can use website audit software like SE Ranking. It estimates the website’s health score based on the found issues and their criticality. The report also includes data on Core Web Vitals that represent the quality of user experience.
The advantage of using this software is that it gives you a clear understanding of what’s wrong with your website and how to solve it, even if you don’t have a dedicated technical SEO specialist.
Focus on user experience
If you have a small business and want to attract new clients and increase customer loyalty, it is essential to focus on user experience. It means that your website should be easy to access from any device and browser.
Moreover, it should have the same look and feel when opened both from a desktop and a smartphone. It should intuitive to use, have a pleasant interface, and encourage people to keep using it. Keep in mind that Google has moved to mobile-first indexing, since more and more people these days are using mobile devices to search the web. Thus, having a website that is either not built with a mobile-first approach or has any bugs and errors when opened from a smartphone can seriously affect your business.
When people first open your website, and like its interface, they know where to click next to find the information they need, and if the page leaves a positive first impression, users are more likely to return to your web page and even recommend it to others.
Therefore, when you are developing a website for your small business, no matter what industry you are in and what services or products you are offering, focus on usability and website speed.
Providing a positive user experience is one of the keys to success, so find a great team of developers and designers that will help you achieve it. It is also important to be active on social media since almost everyone these days uses Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms.
Mails are also important, yet ensure that your letters don’t seem like spam messages. As for the latter, you should use an SPF generator to ensure your messages are authenticated, and users can have a safe experience.
Add Schema Markup
Schema markup is a type of structured data that helps search engines better understand the content on a website. It helps Google understand components like the business name, ratings, phone number, address, number of employees, etc. A few reasons why you should add schema markup to your website are improved search engine visibility, enhanced search engine features, and competitive advantage.
For example, if you have a small local business of photography services, adding schema markup will provide information about your prices, types of services, and location to help Google show your website in relevant local search results when people look for “photography services.”
Set up Google Analytics and Google Search Console
Google Analytics and Google Search Console are two useful tools to help you optimize your small business website. When using them, you will gain more information about how your website is performing, what your target audience’s interests and needs are, and overall improve your business’s online presence.
With Google Analytics, you can track user behavior, and website traffic, and see how many of the visitors are turning into actual clients. It is essential to analyze these metrics because, without them, you won’t know what areas to focus on, what to improve on, and how to ensure that your website is doing well online.
With Google Search Console, you can significantly improve your page’s search engine visibility, as it can help you identify technical issues and optimize your content for search engines with the help of keywords. The tool also checks your website for technical issues regularly, some of which you wouldn’t even think could be there.
Thus, you can see them and fix them before they affect the website’s performance. You should ensure that your web page is fast and doesn’t have any bugs because if you don’t do that, you can lose potential clients and waste time, money, and resources.
Find keywords to target for each page
Using the right keywords can help your website be at the top of search engine results. It is all about knowing what people are searching for and focusing on that. Suppose someone is looking for hand-made jewelry in their region. They will google something like “affordable hand-made jewelry.” Thus, this should be one of the main keywords in your content.
If you use it in the right way, your website will be among the first ones a person sees when entering this keyword in Google. Still, it is not that easy to know what keywords to use and how many of them to use in the text.
You don’t want to overload your content with keywords. The key here is to find the golden mean. To learn which keywords to use for your specific case, you can use various keyword research tools.
When using these tools, pay attention to search volume, competition level, and relevancy to the page’s topic. To get the most out of your keywords and improve your ranking online, choose keywords that have a high search volume but low competition. They are called “long-tail keywords.” They are usually longer and more specific than other keywords, and that’s why they may have higher conversion rates.
For example, a long-tail search term could be “catering services for wedding new york” instead of just “catering.”
Write good content for the site
One of the most important elements of an effective small business SEO strategy is content that is relevant and interesting to target customers. High-quality content that provides value to the audience can encourage them to stay on your site longer, reduce bounce rates, and increase the chances of visitors returning to your site in the future.
Moreover, good content can build authority and credibility in your industry, helping you to rank higher in search results. Quality content is also more likely to be shared on social media, increasing brand awareness, driving traffic, and attracting new customers as a result.
For example, if you own a local bakery business, you can add detailed information about each of your cakes, stories of your happy customers with photos, a FAQ section, or even create blogs with recipes and tips to target more keywords and improve online visibility.
Optimize your on-page SEO
As a small business owner, you also need to work on your on-page SEO. This means optimizing your web page to increase its ranking in search engines. On-page SEO includes site content, internal links, meta tags optimization, title tags optimization, and image optimization.
It also helps improve the user experience through optimized website navigation, making it easier for visitors to find the information they are looking for. It is also a cost-effective marketing strategy for small businesses, unlike paid advertising, which can be expensive.
On-page SEO, on the other hand, can generate long-term traffic without incurring many expenses. Finally, it can help your small business stay competitive in the market.
Optimize for local searches
According to the statistics, 97% of users search online to find local businesses. And there are several reasons why you should focus on local SEO and verify your local business with Google Business Profile.
First, your goal is to be visible to the people in the area you operate, and local SEO helps you target your audience based on where they live.
Second, Google Business Profile allows you to create a business listing on Google and include data like your address, phone number, website, and working hours there. To optimize your business with Google Business Profile, claim a profile, optimize the website for local search with location-specific keywords and local content, and encourage customer reviews.
Generate relevant backlinks to your business website
Backlinks are one of the most important factors that search engines use to determine the relevance and authority of a website, which is why you should pay special attention to them.
The more high-quality links your page has, the more likely it is to rank higher in search results pages. You should also build citations and business listings because Google and other search engines will see your website as more trustworthy and authoritative.
Moreover, backlinks and citations can help you attract more potential customers. When a company is listed on popular directories and citation sites like Yelp or Yellowpages, it’s more likely to be seen by people searching for a product or service in their area.
In short, SEO is the key to success in today’s competitive market, no matter the size of your business. Moreover, if you are only starting your business journey and want to compete against bigger players, investing in effective SEO services is a must.
The SEO tips discussed in this article provide a step-by-step guide to help small company owners improve their website’s visibility, attract more organic traffic, and gain a competitive edge in today’s market. Keep in mind that SEO is not a one-time investment. It is a continuous process that is constantly evolving with the trends in the market and search engine regulations.
If you keep up with the trends, do everything right, find a professional team, and follow the steps outlined here, your small business will capture the attention of more people online, and you will achieve long-term success in your niche.