The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Small Business SEO

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Credit: | The Ultimate Beginner’s Guide to Small Business SEO | Basic SEO Terms All Small Businesses Should Know | As a small business, you must learn the basic terms in search engine optimization (SEO) to know how to optimize the ranking of your website by the search engines. You should also determine how to properly use SEO to boost the visibility of your content. Here are some basic SEO terms you should understand:

  • Keyword – A keyword is an important word or phrase used to increase the researchability of your content. When users type their keywords, Google will look for content containing the words or phrases used by the researchers. 
  • Organic search – Organic search is a way to search relevant information on the Internet using keywords. The results listed on a search engine results page (SERP) are due to factors like relevance to the keywords and legit SEO strategies.
  • Search Query – It is the process of typing your keywords or search terms in the search box. Google will use the words typed to search for contents that are related to the keywords or phrases used in the query.
  • Google Answer Box – Also called rich results or featured snippets, it contains an excerpt or summary of the content of an article.  Usually, it answers a question or provides essential information on a topic being searched.
  • Google My Business – It is one of the important aspects to consider while optimizing your small business website. Creating a Google My Business listing and implementing Local SEO Schema Markup will help small businesses.
  • HTML Tags – HyperText Markup Language (HTML) determines how the browsers display your website. HTML tags, meanwhile, separate your page up into different sections and formats. There are three major types of tags:
  1. Header tags – These tags include your content’s title and subtitles. Using relevant keywords in your headers increases the ranking of your website. Headers play a crucial role in small business SEO optimization.
  2. Title tags – These tags specify the title of your web page. They are presented in the SERP results as clickable headlines. The tags play an essential role in SEO, social sharing, and usability.
  3. Meta descriptions – These tags are a short blurb used to describe the contents of a web page. To write an excellent meta description, use relevant keywords, and make it short (usually 160 characters or less).
  • Internal Links – An internal link is a clickable word or phrase in a page that connects it to another page on your website. It boosts the researchability of your website and encourages users to visit other content of your site.
  • External Links – These are links that lead to pages outside your site. Your external links should open in a new tab to prevent users from leaving your site. External links from reputable websites enhance the authority of your site.
  • Backlinks – Backlinks are the incoming links to a webpage. If your page has many backlinks, the major search engines, including Google, will rank it higher in their search results.

Develop a Smart Keyword Strategy

As a small business, you need to create a smart SEO strategy to make your content relevant and rank higher in search results. You need to have a consistent SEO and content marketing strategy to attract traffic to your website plus an expert who can deliver affordable SEO services. There are several components of a smart keyword plan:

  • Target audience – In developing your plan, determine your target market and know things like demographics, interests, educational levels, culture, offline and online activities, trusted sites, etc. Build your keywords around your target customers.
  • Business objectives and goals – Determine your goals for your strategy. You must set specific, measurable, attainable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART) objectives to achieve results. In your plan, use SEO keywords on your website landing page and support these keywords in your content.
  • Competitor analysis – Use advanced analytics tools like AHrefs to evaluate the performance of your competition. By doing a competitor analysis, you can save time and resources by knowing which strategies of your rivals are working or ineffective.
  • Keyword list creation – Establish your list of keywords based on your market, products or services, branding goals, competition, customer’s journey, etc. Every keyword you add to your list should align with these considerations. Use keyword research tools to find relevant keywords to use.
  • Strategy execution – The proper implementation of your strategy will determine its success. Make sure you have the resources to execute your plan. Among the activities in this stage are content creation, content publishing, content distribution, and content maintenance. You need to have a good website design to improve the users’ experience. Maintain and update your website regularly to make it relevant.
  • Keyword performance evaluation – Analyze the performance of your keywords to determine if they are effective or not. Replace the ineffective ones, or you may add several long-tail keywords in your content.

Develop High-Quality, Shareable Content

To maximize the reach of your content, you need to make it shareable. You should first create an excellent SEO content to improve its researchability. Here are some tips for creating quality and shareable content from the link lifting website:

  • Choose topics that are informational, trending, amusing, engaging, and useful to your readers.
  • Make your headlines eye-catching and shareable. Based on a study by Columbia University and French National Institute researchers, 59% of content shared by people on social media are due to their catchy headlines alone.
  • Use captivating images with the right size and design for social sharing in your content.
  • Optimize your website and content to encourage your audience to share it. Some of the optimization strategies include adding social sharing buttons to all your pages and including a call to action (CTA) phrases in your content.
  • Make your content SEO-friendly to allow new readers to discover it and share it with others. Use useful tools like On-Page SEO Checker to make sure your content and website are optimized for SEO.

Improve Your User Experience

The excellent navigability of your website elevates the browsing experience of your users. A user-friendly website increases the possibility of boosting your sales. Here are some tips to make your website easy to navigate:

  • Speed up your page loading time. The slow loading of your pages can frustrate your users and leave your site at once and never return. It will lead to unrealized sales for your business.
  • Make sure your website is responsive and mobile-friendly. Millions of people access the Internet using their smartphones, so ensure the responsiveness of your site to these mobile users. You may use some responsive design testing apps to determine whether your website is responsive.
  • Improve the security features of your site. You can gain the trust of your users if you can assure them that their data, like payment information, are safe and secure. Posting a security seal on your site can attract more clients to your business.
  • Use bullet points and high-quality photos and graphics. To enhance the readability of your content, use bullet points and attractive images. It will also improve the aesthetics of your site and add to better overall user experience.
  • Fix your ‘no found’ errors immediately. If your users experience a ‘404’ failure in their search, they may leave your site at once. Make sure to fix this design issue to improve the reputation of your website.
  • Improve your white spaces to enhance the attractiveness and readability of your content. They provide a visual breathing room for the eyes of your visitors.
  • Provide quality content. Make sure your headlines are noticeable and use relevant keywords to increase their rankings in search engines.

Make Sure Your Website and Content is Mobile-Ready

To improve the accessibility of your website to smartphone users, make your site mobile-ready. Based on Statista data, over 50% of web traffic worldwide in 2018 were from mobile devices. Here are some ways to enhance the mobile readiness of your site:

  • Create a responsive theme. Select the best one for your website and install it.
  • Design simple menu options that work well on mobile screens. Make sure all of your menus can fit in one screen to prevent visitors from scrolling up and down or zooming in and out to see the navigation choices. It may turn off them and leave your site immediately.
  • Keep your forms short. Make the forms used for subscription application and buying conversions as short as possible.
  • Make sure your website is navigable and eliminate pop-ups to avoid annoying your visitors.
  • Use accelerated mobile pages (AMP) to facilitate searches.

The ROI of Small Business SEO

Investing in an effective SEO strategy can benefit your small business immensely. You can achieve a high number of organic traffic to your website and increase your conversion rates. By using small business SEO, you can save a significant amount of money in promoting your products and services.

SEO also allows you to develop a user-friendly website to attract new customers to your business. It can also increase the awareness of the users to your brand with higher rankings in search results. You can also achieve a competitive edge over your competition by making your website more accessible to the users. To cut the story short, SEO is a worthwhile investment for your small business.


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