With more and more businesses looking at search engine optimization (or SEO) to modify and remodify their business practices, where does that leave small businesses? Can a small business compete with giant competitors, when it comes to SEO? The truth is, you can, but only if you know what to do. While you might not have as many connections as large corporations do to get off the ground, there are some areas where you have a unique advantage.
Here are six ways to improve SEO for your small business.
Fix Technical Issues
While your small business website might look fine on the outside, in reality, there might be technical issues “behind the scenes.” Such issues can affect your rankings and traffic – these problems include slow speeds, broken links, duplicate content, non-optimized pages, and misuse of canonical link elements.
So, before starting a content or link campaign, take the time to fix the foundation, and ensure that the website structure is solid and can be properly crawled and indexed by search engines.
Create a Blog
The truth is, no business – not even small ones – should be without a blog, because companies that publish blogs get around 97% more backlinks than those that don’t. When you create a blog, you’re more like to add keywords to a website organically and create regular, fresh content. When you add keywords and create content, search engine indexers will more likely recognize your company blog as valuable, and will rank you higher in the search engines.
So, as you create your blog, keep in mind these factors: audience goals, buying habits, age, and interests.
Look at the Metadata
Of the many factors that influence a small business’s ranking on Google, metadata is very important, and thus, can’t be overlooked. So, how can it be optimized? In the following ways:
- Tweaking titles
- Look at descriptions (which should be no more than 160 characters, and briefly describe a page’s content or purpose)
- Inspect URLs
- Including the page’s target keywords in titles
- Including target keywords within articles and posts without impacting readability
Consider Mobile Optimization
Only recently, Google has started the practice of mobile-first indexing, meaning that the mobile versions of web pages will determine ranking. Why is that?
Search engines like Google are doing this to ensure that the growing number of mobile searchers find what they need conveniently and efficiently on their devices, since nowadays, more than half of all searches come from mobile devices. So, if your small business is on a tight budget, then you can use Google’s free mobile-friendly test tool to assess how well-optimized your site is for smartphones. You’re looking to increase mobile performance by doing the following:
- Reducing load times
- Enabling Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP), AND
- Reducing media size of media
Have a Long Tail Keyword Strategy
In reality, when it comes to businesses competing against each other, it’s all about using the right keywords to garner more clicks and traffic. The solution to get ahead of your larger competitors? A well-executed long tail keyword strategy!
This strategy has been proven to bring great results, especially if your business is local or regional. That means, if you add your location to your keywords, you can create a strategy that’s difficult for larger companies to duplicate.
Utilize Inexpensive Tools
The good news is, there are a variety of free SEO tools available for small businesses to use, if they’re on a tight budget. Consider the following SEO tools:
- SEMrush is currently the most popular SEO tool. It performs an in-depth SEO audit of any site and undertakes competitive analysis and topic research. While the full version will cost you, the basic version is easy to use and free.
- GrowthBar is also free to try. This tool can be used for keyword and backlink research, studying domain authority, and understanding traffic value. This tool comes with a user-friendly dashboard that can be accessed from search engine results pages (SERPs).
- Google PageSpeed Insights is another free tool, which checks the speed and user experience of any site with a simple score-based insight.
As you can see, a small business can thrive with a successful SEO. By following these six tips, you’ll be able to build an effective SEO strategy on any budget in 2020. And then, maybe, you can get ahead of your big competitors.