How to Create a Small Business SEO Strategy
A strong search engine optimization (SEO) strategy is one of the most important parts of your small business marketing plan. The higher your website ranks on search engines, the more likely customers are to visit.
Looking at the numbers, it’s clear to see why SEO is so critical to online success. Consider these statistics:
- 97% of consumers use the internet to find local businesses.
- 72% of those who did a local search visited a store within five miles.
- 28% of searches for something nearby have resulted in a purchase.
Without an SEO strategy it may be difficult for consumers to find your business online. Here are three ways your business can gain traction in SEO without going over budget.
1. Understand How People Search
An important step in any SEO strategy is understanding how consumers search, also known as search intent.
Google’s autocomplete feature is useful when identifying how people search. Once you start typing in a few words, Google will complete the rest based on popular searches. You can also use keyword research tools, such as Google Ads Keyword Planner, to identify which keywords perform well.
Once you’ve found keywords that resonate with your business, create a list and keep it handy. Keywords will inform your online optimization and content development efforts.
2. Optimize Your Online Presence
You don’t need to enlist help from an SEO firm for basic site optimization — setting the foundation is rather simple. Start by ensuring that your tags are similar enough to your keywords. Next, review the page titles and headlines across your site. Will they grab the reader’s attention in a crowded search result listing? Are they compelling? Are they too long? Keep in mind that Google will cut them off if they go over 60 characters.
You can even take the guesswork out of this exercise by using SEO tools such as SEMrush, SEO Analyzer and SEOptimer. For help with headline SEO analysis, use Sharethrough Headline Analyzer or CoSchedule’s Blog Headline Analyzer.
Social media or social SEO is a big deal for small businesses. Your social presence can boost your Google rankings significantly and even outrank your website. Make sure the business information on your social media sites is up to date. And if you haven’t, claim and build your Google “My Business” listing. Lastly, incorporate your keywords and phrases into your posts in a natural manner.
3. Create Relevant Content
Now that you have a basic SEO foundation in place, dedicate time to content marketing.
When it comes to content, quality always beats quantity. Hastily assembled, mediocre content can cheapen your brand, drive down audience engagement and may even be penalized by Google. High-quality blog posts, infographics or videos can help you get more bang for your buck — plus, you can establish yourself as a knowledgeable thought leader in the space.
For ideas on creating content, refer to your keyword research and focus on crafting content around consumer pain points and how you can help solve them. Read more about building your brand with content marketing here.
Keep in Mind
SEO isn’t a silver bullet for small-business success. Many small-business owners spend too much time obsessing over their SEO rankings and then use keyword stuffing to try boosting them.
Providing relevant content and engaging consumers through the information you share and the brand experience you deliver is paramount. Consider hiring a freelancer or dedicated employee to create content for your website. Interview subject matter experts and continue to ensure your online profiles and pages are regularly updated. Everything else will follow.