SEO For Small Business: What Should You Focus On?


A look at SEO for small business and what areas of SEO to focus on as a small business owner.
SEO for small businesses

Allow me to start this article in the same way I would like to finish it; stating very clearly, and loudly, that search engine optimisation for small businesses is critical. It’s a no-brainer and I am forever astonished at how many owner operators choose not to engage in SEO. Why?

The internet is quite literally a vast, uncharted ocean of websites and content. Search engines like Google attempt to help categorise this ocean; working to essentially map the depths of this ocean in such a way as to make it easily navigated by would-be searchers.

Imagine your small business is a ship sailing in a vast ocean (the internet). Finding your way to success requires more than just a good product or service; it requires a map. That map is called SEO, or Search Engine Optimisation - and without it, you simply sink to the bottom of the Mariana Trench.

In this article, I will look to explain to you the key considerations that you as a small business owner should be thinking about when it comes to SEO, while pointing out how to best prioritise your time and budget to get maximum SEO results in the first phases of your exploration into the world of SEO.

What are the benefits of SEO for small business?

Before I elaborate on the key SEO considerations for small business, allow me to reiterate why small businesses should see SEO as a mandatory and highly important exercise to undertake.

So, what is in it for you and your small business?

Increased visibility for your small businesses

Search engines like Google are like lighthouses; when you optimise your website with SEO, you’re making yourself like a bright, shining beacon that can be seen by this lighthouse (Google). They will be able to find you more easily, categorise your content and serve your content to would-be searchers in a methodical manor.

More targeted traffic to your small business website

By performing SEO on your small business website, you will be able to unlock new traffic and visitors to your business. Having a great service or product is simply not enough if it is unable to be found by prospective clients.

It’s a cost effective strategy for small businesses

SEO is something that has so much potential to grow your small business, however it is so often overlooked or deemed a ‘nice to have’ by many small business owners. You could spend $1,000 a day doing paid ads on Google, creating instant visitors that disappear once you turn the ads off, or you could invest a $1,000 a month for 6 months to grow organic traffic that will reap your small business dividends for many years to come.

Which would you choose?

The credibility of your small business will increase

If you run a small business, and you’re ranking highly for key terms and phrases pertaining to your product and services, it shows the world that your small business is good at what it does and creates a perception of trust for your consumers.

SEO gives your small business a seat at the table with the big kids

The beauty of getting strong keyword rankings is that even a small business can begin to compete with the bigger fish in your industry. It’s the ultimate leveller. If you’re found by searchers, you’ll be part of their consideration, and often searchers are happy to work with a small business as they themselves are probably not feeling like they are a right fit for the bigger fish offering similar products or services to you.

SEO for small businesses: Do’s

Define your keywords

The very first step in any good SEO strategy for small business websites is to research and define the keywords that are relevant to your product, service and industry. These are the words that would-be customers of yours will likely use to find you. You can also look at your competitors and try to understand what words they are targeting in their page titles and on-page copy to get a sense for what the keywords might be.

Clean up and audit your existing website

Prior to engaging in SEO efforts, it would be wise to perform an audit of your existing website. When I say audit, I mean looking at the overall health of your small business website; identify if there are broken links, technical issues, slow pages, etc. Addressing these health related issues will give your website a clean bill of health in order to obtain faster and more methodical organic rankings.

Make sure Google Analytics is working

Google Analytics is super powerful. It tells you exactly what areas of your website are performing, not performing or where improvements could be made. Ensure your Google Analytics tracking code is properly installed and your account is recording traffic (accurately!). All too often we see small business websites that are either not tracking visitors at all, or running numerous Google Analytics accounts that create disjointed reporting that doesn’t make sense.

Optimise your existing small business website for your desired keywords

Now that you have identified your target keywords, it is critical to optimise your website using them. Start by updating page titles, meta descriptions and on-page copy to be sparingly referring to these words to help guide search engines towards understanding what you do. In doing this, you will begin to improve your websites visibility and relevance in search results.

Begin writing content that explores your keywords

Content creation is a crucial aspect of SEO. Start creating valuable and informative content that revolves around your target keywords. This can include blog posts, articles, guides, and more. By consistently producing high-quality content, you can attract organic traffic, establish authority in your industry, and improve your search engine rankings.

Utilise local SEO and Google Maps to your advantage

If your small business serves a specific geographical area, it's essential to leverage local SEO strategies. This includes creating and optimising your Google My Business profile, ensuring consistency in name, address, and phone number (NAP) across online directories, and encouraging customer reviews. Additionally, make sure your business is accurately represented on Google Maps to enhance visibility to local customers.

Remember, SEO is an ongoing process that requires continuous effort and monitoring. By focusing on these key elements, you can lay a solid foundation for your small business's SEO strategy and increase your chances of achieving long-term success.

SEO for small businesses: Don’ts

Don’t worry about link-building

If you Google SEO tips for small business, you’ll no doubt end up reading about ‘link building’. Google and other search engines do indeed favour websites that have numerous ‘backlinks’ but in saying that, it isn’t something you should be worried about in the early stages. Focus instead on improving your site health, fixing any audit findings and optimising your content.

Don’t worry about too much of the technical SEO elements

Google prefers clean and fast loading websites, it’s true. However, don’t go too far down the rabbit hole of technical SEO improvements (e.g. cleaning your websites source code, or trying to minimise Javascript etc). While these technical SEO elements hold merit, they can be looked at once the fundamentals are complete.

Don’t assume your existing website needs to be redesigned (yet)

As a full-service digital agency, I would love to sell you a whole new website rebuild, but in honesty, your website can probably perform a whole lot better than it does today with just SEO improvements over the course of 3-6 months. Don’t feel compelled to redesign your website simply for SEO; Google doesn’t care what colours your website are, they care about addressing search queries to the best of their ability, and SEO can fundamentally improve your existing website without even touching a can of paint.

That’s a wrap; but what does it all mean?

In the world of SEO for small businesses, it's essential to remember the key elements: thorough keyword research, on-page optimization, local SEO, content marketing and analytics.

Building a strong online presence and reaping the benefits of SEO is not a sprint; it's a marathon. It requires dedication and a long-term strategy. Just like tending to a garden, consistent effort is needed to see the flowers bloom. SEO is an ongoing process that rewards patience and persistence.

If navigating the seas of SEO feels overwhelming, don't hesitate to seek professional help. Just as you'd hire a seasoned captain to guide your ship through treacherous waters, SEO experts can steer your online presence in the right direction. They have the tools, knowledge, and experience to ensure you stay on course and reach your digital destination.

Remember, in the vast digital ocean, SEO is your compass, helping your small business not only survive but thrive. With dedication, a long-term strategy, and the right expertise, you can navigate these waters and find the success you've been searching for. Bon voyage to your SEO journey!

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