Did you know that there are an astonishing 1.7 billion websites on the internet, and the number rises every second of every day? When it comes to standing out from the crowd, your small business website needs to work hard.
SEO for Small Businesses: Why It’s Important
All of these websites need to be organized and ranked. This is the job of the search engine. Ranking factors include relevance, quality of the information, page load speed, and more.
To improve your position in the rankings, you’ll need to address search engine optimization (SEO). But is SEO for small businesses important? And what exactly is SEO? We’ll address these questions and more as we discuss small business SEO.
What Is SEO?
When it comes to sorting and ranking every website on the internet, a search engine such as Google or Bing will need to look at a number of key ranking factors. To ensure your website ranks, you’ll need to use SEO.
There are four main types of SEO. These are:
- On-page SEO
- Off-page SEO
- Technical SEO
- Local SEO
You’ll need to use a mixture of all of the different types of SEO to get your website to rank.
Why Is SEO Important In Small Businesses?
The importance of SEO for small businesses is massive. If your business has a website, then you need to invest in ensuring it is fully optimized.
Let’s take a look at some of the SEO small business benefits.
SEO Will Help You to Bring In More Customers
Optimizing your website will help to ensure you’re able to bring in as many customers as possible. Your site will appear higher up in the search rankings, so when your customers look for a business like yours, they’ll find one.
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SEO is possibly one of the most efficient and cost-effective marketing strategies out there. It will only bring customers to your website who are directly interested in what you have to offer.
SEO Will Help You Get Ahead Of The Competition
If you have a competitor that has a very similar business to you, but you optimize your site for search engines and they don’t; guess which company will far better?
SEO can help to put your head-and-shoulders above the competition. Search engines and SEO are powerful tools when used correctly.
SEO Will Help You to Improve Your Conversion Rates
Websites that are optimized for SEO will load faster, be compatible with a range of devices, and most importantly be of significant relevance to the search term used.
Because the traffic that you’ll be generating is of direct relevance to your business, your site’s conversion rates will improve. Greater conversion demonstrates an effective marketing strategy.
Can Small Businesses Manage Their Own SEO?
As a small business, you could either Get The Best SEO Services or you could attempt to optimize your website yourself.
The two biggest factors in managing your own SEO are expertise and time. If you’re wondering are SEO services worth it? The answer is a resounding yes.
Affordable SEO services are readily available. With such services, you’ll get lots of support with your SEO. This will mean that you can keep your hands free to continue doing what you do best; managing your business.
SEO takes a lot of time and effort. To reap the rewards of an SEO strategy, you’ll need to put in a great many hours’ worth of work.
An SEO specialist will also know exactly what you’ll need and will be able to immediately set to work implementing a robust strategy that will work for your business’ website.
What Techniques Can Be Applied When Managing SEO for Small Businesses?
If you do decide to manage your SEO yourself, there are a lot of things that you can do to improve your ranking in the search engine results pages (SERPs).
These include managing your keywords, developing a backlink strategy, using meta descriptions, improving your page load speeds, and managing your local SEO.
Let’s take a look at how you can utilize some of these SEO techniques in more depth.
What Is On-Page SEO?
On-page SEO relates to any of the content that you have on your website. It includes optimizing blog posts, web pages, images, and more.
It is one of the most important aspects of SEO and one of the biggest areas. It’s usually a very good place to start if you’d like to review your website’s SEO.
Produce In-Depth Content
Since on-page SEO relates to content, we should start with the length and relevance of the content that you’re creating. Longer blog posts and articles tend to fare much better in the search rankings than shorter pieces.
This is because there is it is assumed that a longer article will have considerably more meat on the bones.
It’s also more likely to answer the original search query because it’s longer. Longer content tends to provide more value than shorter content.
The desired length of content varies depending on the sector that your business operates in, however, a good rule of thumb is that you create content with no less than 1,000 words in it.
How do search engines decide whether your website is relevant to the search terms being used? Through your use of keywords.
Keywords are words or phrases that will be included in your blog posts and web pages that indicate to the search engines what the page is all about.
By placing keywords naturally in your post, it’ll not be obvious to readers what these specific keywords are.
To find out what keywords you should use, visit Google’s Keyword Planner tool. You can use this to test the keywords that you’d like to try and rank for.
Often, a keyword will be very difficult to rank for. This is because of its popularity and the fact that numerous other sites will also be trying to rank for the same thing.
Instead of going for these more popular keywords, you should try and find phrases that are easier to rank for.
Don’t Stuff Your Keywords
It may be tempting to fill your content with keywords. After all, using keywords helps your website rank. So, why not use keywords wherever possible?
Keyword stuffing should be avoided. Not only will this make your content unreadable, but it will also mean that you’ll get penalized by the search engines that you’re trying to rank higher with.
Optimize Your Content for Voice Search
The way that we’re searching online is changing. Where once we would search using computers, these days we make searches on all kinds of devices- and often we make verbal inquiries using voice search.
Voice search can be found on devices such as smart speakers, or it may be built into your smartphone in the form of Siri.
When you make a search using your voice, you’re more likely to use a full sentence rather than an abbreviated one as you might do when typing your query.
To meet the needs of people searching using voice, you should include long-tail keywords that are more conversational in nature. Think about phrasing your keyword as a full question too.
Including questions throughout your content will also help you to optimize your content for voice.
Use Internal Links
In every web page or blog post that you create, you should include links that take a user to another relevant page elsewhere on your site.
Internal links on your website serve two purposes; to help users find more of your content, and to teach search engines how all of your pages are linked.
Use Meta Descriptions
Each page or post you create for your site should have its own meta description. The meta description is the short snippet of text that shows up under the search results on the SERP.
Ideally, your meta description should be between 120 and 160 characters.
Because your meta description is the first thing that people will read before they click on a link to visit your site, you’ll need to make it enticing.
Use Image Alt Texts
For every image you include, you should include an Alt Text. The image Alt Text is designed to be read when the image cannot be shown, or it can serve to inform a visually impaired person what the image is of.
Include a keyword in the description, but don’t include spammy attempts at keyword stuffing.
What Is Off-Page SEO?
Off-page SEO relates to anything you do away from your site to drive traffic back to it. This includes developing a backlink strategy.
Backlinks are links to your site from other, often more authoritative sites. A backlink is like an endorsement. It tells the search engines that your content is worthwhile and as a result, your position in the SERPs will rise.
There are several ways that you can get other sites to link back to your website. Perhaps the easiest and most common method is through guest posting.
A guest post is an article that you would write for someone else’s blog. You’d write the content and remember to include a link to your website. Then, the post gets published and your rankings will slowly start to rise.
What Is Technical SEO?
Technical SEO encompasses anything that you can do to the backend of your site to improve your SEO. There are two main elements to technical SEO. These are improving your page load speeds and making your site accessible to mobile devices.
Improve Your Page Loading Speeds
How long would you wait for a website to load? Chances are you’d only give it a few seconds and you’d be off to try a competitor’s website instead. Nobody likes to wait for a page to load.
The likes of Google realize that people don’t want to wait around for content to load. They want pages to load in an instant. For that reason, your website must load quickly and be responsive.
To improve your speeds, run a page speed test to find out what’s slowing your site down and address these issues. Common problems include:
- Page caching turned off
- Images not compressed
- Lazy load is not turned on
- Unused plugins of themes cluttering up the site
The faster your site, the more likely you’ll be to rank higher.
Make Your Site Accessible to Mobile Devices
Did you know that over half of all web searches are carried out from mobile devices? It’s important that your website’s theme supports mobile devices. This means making sure images load no larger than the size of the screen and that text can easily be read on a smaller screen.
What Is Local SEO?
Local SEO is essential for small businesses. It helps you to push your website to the top of the local search results page. You’ll rank at the top of the page because you’ll feature in the Google Local Pack maps.
To ensure your website ranks in the local searches, sign up to Google My Business. By entering your business’s contact details, photos, and by filling in as much about the products or services you offer, you’ll appear on the maps and in any local searches for businesses like yours.
Improving Your Website’s SEO
SEO for small businesses is something that you should put a lot of time and effort into. It’s one of the most important and most effective forms of digital marketing.
Of course, if you have neither the time nor the expertise to be able to carry out the work necessary to optimize your site, then you should definitely consider hiring an SEO specialist to do the work for you.
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