Small businesses need to learn how to market themselves in a competitive industry. With lots of competition from different business sizes, standing out is quite a challenge. Sometimes even having a beautiful website or useful products cannot be enough. You need to be visible to your potential customers.
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is a marketing strategy that is useful for any business. Using the right SEO strategies for your business can be a powerful tool to help you succeed.
What is SEO?
SEO is a practice that helps websites rank on top of search engines like Google or Bing. It will allow websites to find potential customers.
Search engines use specific algorithms to analyze sites and see if they match these algorithms and the requirements they set.
There are different rules that Google and other search engines require for websites to rank. One particular key to ranking is the use of keywords. By using the right keyword for your business and optimizing your site to be relevant and credible, chances are you might rank higher.
However, it is good to know that, organic or SEO strategies take time. Most likely you’ll need a few months for your website to climb up the search engine.
Why Do You Need SEO?
Before we go and take a look at strategies you can use for your small business, here are some reasons why they can help your online shop grow.
Gain Potential Customers for Local Businesses
Local businesses can drive customers to their sites when they use SEO strategies built to help them gain recognition.
Local SEO can target individuals who are looking in your local area, you can reach out to potential consumers and clients. Because Google tailors search results to your geographic region, if your website is properly optimized, it can dominate local search results within your niche.
To improve your visibility in local search, create a Google My Business profile and other directory profiles, collect positive reviews from prior clients or customers, and undertake backlink outreach.
Best Source of Traffic
Organic search is a huge aspect of most companies’ website performance, as well as a vital part of the buyer funnel and therefore encouraging people to convert or engage.
When you optimize your site, you become a trusted source for Google and other search engines. This will work in your favour as SEO will help push your brand to be visible to potential customers.
As your site gains more traffic, the more that search engines will recommend your business.
Build Trust and Credibility
By using SEO, you can show your potential audience that your site is credible and it is one to be trusted. When you follow the E-A-Ts guideline of Google, you can meet the requirements needed to ensure a successful result.
Remember, Google and other search engines rank trusted websites on top of their Search Engine Result Page (SERP).
Improves User’s Experience
Every marketer’s top priority has shifted to user experience. Everyone wants higher organic ranks and more exposure. Few people recognize, however, that a good user experience is an important component of getting there.
User’s experience can be interpreted by Google by checking on your website’s mobile-friendliness, bounce rate, how much time is spent on a page, etc.
SEO strategies can help you to show what your business is all about. You don’t have to spend much of your budget trying to get traffic to your website.
How to Use SEO Strategies for Your Small Business?
Use the Right Keyword
Of all the rules that Google set for a website to rank, using keywords is the most essential. You have to know what keywords are likely to be used by your potential customers when looking for your products.
Tools like Google AdWords, UberSuggests, WordStream, etc., are available to use when you want to check on keywords that will work for your brand.
Use these keywords you have gathered on your website pages that are related to them. You should add them to your content, title, product description, URL, etc.
As much as keywords matter, do not overstuff your site with them. After all, your website is not made primarily for search engines, but for people. Ensure that keywords are written clearly on your content.
Increase Ranking with Quality and Fresh Content
Now that you have the right keywords, it is time to make content that is related to your niche and use them in your product description.
Search engines read your website page and index words on each page. If you do not include a keyword that is related to your product, you will not appear for that on search engine result pages.
In addition, websites need to include written content to show their users about their expertise. Google likes websites that post regularly. Therefore, keeping fresh content with useful information will help you rank on search engines and get more traffic.
Don’t provide misleading information and title as Google will penalize websites that do such a thing.
Make Your Website Friendly
Your website needs to be easy to navigate on all pages. Visitors want an effortless experience when they view your website.
When your web interface looks outdated and cluttered, people will immediately abandon your site. This can affect your ranking and visibility.
It also means you have to make your website mobile-friendly. The number of online searches is higher on mobile devices than on desktops. Therefore, optimize your site to adapt to any device.
A responsive website is also a factor that can affect your ranking on Google. You can check if your website is mobile-responsive using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test.
Make Use of Social Media
Social media is turning to search engines. People are using these platforms to search for products and companies. Therefore, create a social media page for your business so you can rank on Google.
In addition, use keywords on your social media posts, because when people search for something on social media, the platform can show your product or page.
Google also shows the social media pages of businesses when people search using a keyword related to it.
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Share Your Customers’ Stories
It is crucial to share your customer’s experiences with your business. You can create short stories of simple interactions, appreciation from your customers, etc.
Share these stories on your website and social media. Also, don’t forget to apply basic SEO when posting your content.
Reviews or customer stories can drive traffic and increase sales. People will likely believe that your product is effective and will help them if it works for others. As they said, word of mouth is a powerful marketing strategy, even in our digital age.
Learn to Build Links
Link building is another SEO strategy small businesses can practice to grow their traffic. When an authoritative website links to your content, it will signal Google about your content.
You can reach out to niche-related websites to exchange links with them. However, make sure to choose websites that have a higher ranking or credibility. A single link from a credible website is much more vital than having many links from suspicious websites.
Optimize Your Website
SEO is not only about writing content, using keywords, and building links. It also includes optimizing your website for technical SEO.
- Improve Speed: A second delay on your site’s loading speed can affect your traffic. That’s why improving your website’s speed should be a priority. As more people favour mobile devices, they expect that the speed of a site is fast since these technologies don’t take much data for the site to load. So, if you want to increase your website’s speed, use PageSpeed Insights to look at your site’s loading time. It will provide information on what you can do to boost your speed.
- Adding Alt Text on Images: Search engine bots cannot read images. They rely on the image’s file name and Alt Text. Alt text or alternative text should contain a short description of the image including your keyword. This alt text will appear on pages of users who cannot see images on your site.
- Improve URL Structure: Ensure your URL structure contains important keywords to it. Don’t allow your URL to appear with something like this, www.abc.com/hdfrzhUn/html. Search engines and users will not know what the content is all about.
- Remove Duplicate Content: Duplicate pages can confuse search engines. They can either rank one page or none. Use canonical tags to show search engines which page should they prioritize.
- Include Sitemaps: Sitemaps direct bots on what pages should they index. It informs bots about everything on your site from the addition of a new page or changes made on the page.
Take Advantage of Different Media
People prefer to consume media like images and videos as they are easy to digest. But that doesn’t mean you should stop writing content. In fact, you can experiment with different media and content to see what your consumers like the most.
Videos are the most consumed media online. You can use them on your product pages or as additional content. There are also other media, like infographics, images, podcasts, and more.
Visuals are engaging and interesting to viewers, making them significantly effective when marketing your small business. However, make sure that the media used are relevant to the page content.
Secure Website Connection
SEO strategies also require a safe website. If your website is not secure, Google will flag it as unsafe, so a person will likely not continue on your site.
To avoid this, you have to secure your website by buying an SSL certificate. An SSL certificate will secure the data being transferred in and out of your website. It encrypts the information so no one can see it.
A secure website can easily be noted. It has a padlock symbol and HTTPS at the beginning of the web address.
Small businesses can compete within their industry by using SEO strategies as part of their marketing technique. SEO will help increase the web traffic, visibility, and conversion rate. However, it is essential to know that, SEO takes time before it can show valuable results, but after all the hard work small businesses will enjoy the fruits of their hard labour with promising leads and an increasing number of customers.