If you’re just on the beginning of your small business journey, there’s no doubt that you’ve heard someone mention SEO or digital marketing. You know there’s opportunity to make business online by creating your own website, but what if you’re a small business that’s competing against bigger, well-established brands?
Well, the key to having a successful small business is breaking into your niche. Everyone has niche interests, and if you can create content and advertisements that show how well you fill that niche to your customer, you’ll start raking in business. Whether you’re just starting out, or whether you’ve been in the game for a while, SEO best practice remains the same. Let’s break down what it really means to do SEO for business!
What is SEO?
SEO or Search Engine Optimisation, is the practice of helping your business get found by the right people online, particularly attracting the customers that will engage with their business. It’s an aspect of digital marketing that aims to put you on top of the search engine results to increase site visits, engagement, conversions, and more.
Search engine optimisation (SEO) is the practice of keeping up with Google’s algorithm. Google ranks website pages using over 200 factors, most of them unknown to people in the industry. It’s the job of the SEO expert to keep up with these ever-fluctuating factors, and to tailor a web presence that will rank highly against them.
Most site hits come from the first page of Google, which is why you want your website to end up there for search terms that relate to your business. SEO specialists work to improve your website in many ways so that Google will attribute a better rank to them, thereby making it more likely that your business will be found.
Understandably, many small businesses don’t have the budget to engage an SEO professional for a comprehensive audit and reparation. Luckily, there are still a lot of things that a small business owner can do that will help them to increase their ranking.
How Small Business Owners Can Improve Their SEO
Small business owners are often heinously busy, with a schedule so packed it could rival a monarch’s weekly itinerary. Unfortunately, this also means that dedicating time to SEO might seem daunting.
If that sounds like you, not to worry. There are things you can do that will minimise the amount of time and money spent while maximising on your returns, and it just requires you to do some learning first.
Make Sure Your Toolbox is Full
A well-stocked SEO toolbox is your first step to getting your business ranking better online. Make sure you have the basics installed, as these will help you to manage your keywords, analyse your traffic, and adjust your strategy using real-time data. Make sure you have these up and running:
• Google Search Console
• Google Analytics
• Google My Business
Look at Your Website’s Structure and Links
A broken link makes Google unhappy, and so does a poorly-structured website. If Google is unhappy with your website, it will be much less likely to recommend it to users who are searching for a service like yours. So, make sure to check for broken links across your entire website (ahrefs has a tool that can help), and re-jig your website’s structure to be intuitive. This will help you to rank better.
Relevant Content is Your Best Friend
Google has recently begun to prioritise looking at how relevant and conversational a website’s content is. The better a site’s content ranks, the more likely it is to pop up in a search. For example, if I run a dog grooming website, but my home page does not mention the word “dog grooming”, then Google is going to be reluctant to suggest my website to someone who is searching for that service.
You can use tools like ahrefs and Google Search Console to discover which keywords are organically attracting people to your site, and then write content that is relevant to these keywords. Make sure to also optimise your meta-data and title (the content that shows up on the search results page) in the same way.
The most important thing is to stay engaged with the progression of Google’s algorithm. Regular updates come from sources like Google’s Webmasters Blog, which help you to understand why your site’s ranking might have changed and what you can do about it.