10 Essential SEO Tips for Small Businesses
Today’s small businesses have more ways to expand their reach and make an impact than ever, but some (sadly) don’t take full advantage of them. Why? Because SEO is hard, can be expensive and does not produce immediate results. Businesses that invest in SEO today, will strive tomorrow. Those still on the fence, will most likely fade away.
Believe it or not, 59 percent of very small Canadian companies have no website whatsoever— with 41 percent even thinking theirs is too small to justify building a site!
Establishing a strong online presence can make a big difference to all businesses, no matter how small yours might be. SEO will help you rank higher on search engine result pages and gain more visibility, though it can be pretty daunting if you’re new to running your own business.
But don’t worry: Reputation Mart’s SEO experts have put their heads together to bring you the 10 essential SEO tips for small businesses below …
#1. Check out your Competitors
What are your biggest rivals doing online? What techniques do they use to make an impact? How do they structure their site? How often do they publish blog posts? Answer these questions and see what you can learn.
Take a look at the type of content they produce and the keywords they’re targeting. They might publish guest posts at popular blogs, produce high-quality videos on their YouTube channel, and any number of other things to maintain high rankings.
Pick just one or two of your highest-ranking competitors to study — don’t spread yourself too thin.
#2. Be Cautious with your Keywords
Once upon a time, it was common to see keyword stuffing on small-business websites: the same search terms would be crammed into each page of content, even if that made it virtually unreadable.
They were basically trying to cheat search engines, but many algorithm updates since have rectified this issue. You can be penalized for keyword stuffing today, so always be careful with your keywords. Focus on creating content that flows well and provides plenty of value to readers.
#3. Encourage Customer Reviews
A good reputation is essential. Positive feedback and reviews can help your small business attract new customers, so don’t be afraid to ask buyers to share their opinions.
Reviews can create helpful backlinks to your site, build trust in prospects and contribute to your overall online presence. Always be willing to respond to customers across social media and review sites, even if to defend yourself against complaints. People want to see businesses of all sizes value consumer opinions.
#4. Put More Thought into your Titles and Descriptions
Titles and descriptions play a significant part in good SEO. These tell visitors and search engines what they can expect when they click on your result, but there are certain things you can do to maximize their value.
Your title tags should feature main keywords as close to the start as possible, but only if this doesn’t affect readability. Users and search engines will see when you’re stuffing keywords in to the detriment of quality.
#5. Feel the Need for Speed
How quickly do your pages load?
The average time taken for a mobile landing page to load is 22 seconds— and research shows over half of people will abandon a page if it takes more than three seconds to load.
That doesn’t leave you with much leeway. You have to optimize your website to keep load times down: convenience is critical, and users have millions of other pages to check out if yours is too slow. Speed is one of Google’s ranking factors too.
#6. Blogging Matters
Just because you’re a smaller business than industry rivals doesn’t mean you have less to say than they do.
A blog is the perfect place to share your insights and establish your business as a valuable resource for readers. However, your blog content must be of a high standard: you have to write posts people want to read and share.
Use keywords sparingly in your blog, link to high-authority sites and use images / videos to break up the text. Make it easy for users to share the post across social media and structure it with headers (H1, H2 etc.) to help search engines understand the content’s main points.
#7. Proper Site Structure is Vital
Structure your website’s content into clear categories and implement a user-friendly layout. Visitors and search engines must be able to navigate your site easily, following a logical progression.
Make sure your menu covers the entire site and pages have relevant titles. Avoid trying to be clever or cryptic: there’s nothing wrong with calling your company profile page ‘about us’ and your catalog of goods ‘products’.
Put yourself in your users’ shoes and see how accessible your site is from their perspective.
#8. Embrace Social Media
Social media gives you a valuable way to communicate with existing and potential customers. Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, and more — they’re all a direct line to your audience.
As a small business, though, you’ll be spreading yourself too thin if you try to use them all by yourself straight away. Identify which network is the most popular with your target demographic(s) and create an account. Stay active and responsive on there.
Share content from your website and link to the relevant pages to drive traffic to your domain. Build a presence and generate interest in your small business through ongoing engagement.
#9. Add Alt Tags to Images
Alt tags are designed to help visually-impaired users understand the content of an image, and they can help you rank better in image searches.
Make sure to add relevant keywords and use clear descriptive terms. This is a simple but effective technique.
#10. Take it Slowly
Boosting your online visibility, expanding your small business and climbing the results pages takes time. It’s tempting to expect instant results, but good SEO requires patience.
You have to focus on producing quality content, building a solid reputation, establishing a loyal customer base and using effective SEO strategies to rank higher as an ongoing process. This is a commitment for your business’s benefit, and can’t bring immediate success.
Reputation Mart’s SEO services in Toronto can help your small business reach your online goals! Want to know more? Just get in touch now to find out what we can do for you!
ReputationMart.com - passionate digital marketing team.