SEO for a Small Business: Everything you Need to Know!

8th August, 2021

Since the global Covid-19 pandemic, the economy has shifted and given way for young entrepreneurs to cater to changing demands. This is evident as entrepreneurs are starting new businesses at the fastest rate in more than a decade. With more and more people starting new businesses from home, standing out from the crowd proves harder than it seems. That’s where we come in! In this article, we discuss everything you need to know about SEO in the context of a small business. We also explore the free and paid tools that you as a small business owner can use.

What is SEO?

Search engine optimisation or SEO is the process of improving your site to increase its visibility when people search for products or services related to your business. Search engines like Google use bots to crawl pages on the web, going from site to site, collecting information about those pages and putting them in an index. Think of this index as being a library of web pages that can be brought up to help you find exactly what you’re looking for at the time. Next, algorithms analyse pages in the index, taking into account hundreds of ranking factors or signals, to determine the order pages should appear in the search results for a given query. The order in which they appear is determined by how well they can answer your query or question. If you're having trouble understanding or grasping concepts, take a look at  Glossary For Essential SEO Terminology.  Now that you know what SEO is, let’s look at it in the context of small businesses.

Why is it Important for a Small Business?

If you’re a small business trying to reach customers in your area, SEO is important because it enables them to find you first. Small businesses face a lot of challenges. Between fewer resources, smaller budgets and weaker brand recognition, it can be hard for small business owners to stand out from the crowd. Without SEO, your website is a needle in a haystack.

People are searching for your business and your website is the place where they will look first. That’s why it’s important to show up on the terms they use. Search engine optimisation allows small businesses to compete with bigger brands, however, it’s evident that SEO is an initiative that small business owners really struggles with.

Tips for Small Business SEO

For a small business, ranking is important. Fortunately for small business owners, you don’t need to have a major budget or a large team to be successful with SEO. You just need to understand a few basic best practices and put them into action. Here we list a few budget-friendly tips that should help in getting started with your SEO initiatives.

Creating a good website

Having a good website is a critical aspect of SEO, but can be a bit tricky. It’s a good idea to get your website made by a professional team, but if you on a budget and want to create your own, it's important that it meets certain standards. For instance, site structure, loading speed and security are really important for all kinds of SEO, and user experience too. If you are building your own website, take a look at Best Website Builders 2021 to determine the best way to create a good website.  If you already have a website, you may want to have another look at it to ensure that it's up to scratch.

Utilise a Google My Business Profile

Creating a Google My Business profile is a great first step for a small business. The number of online searches using the term “near me” have jumped by as much as 900% over the past two years. If you’re using your online presence to drive people to your physical business location, you must set up a Google My Business profile. The process is free and it only takes a few minutes, but it adds authority to your business and provides more information that’s helpful to users. At the very least, you should include your name, address, and phone number. It is very important to make sure all the information on your Google My Business profile is up to date. Make sure that any changes are reflected on your profile!

Keyword Research & Optimising for Keywords

Keyword research is an important part of SEO. Local search results often rely on quality, relevant, industry-specific keywords to draw traffic and local presence. There are quite a few tools you can use for keyword research such as Google’s Keyword Planner and SEMrush where you find industry-relevant keywords and locally relevant keywords to build a focus around.

Keywords change all the time as a result of shifts in trends, social standards and practices. Thus it is imperative to conduct diligent keyword research you can understand keyword trends and be able to develop strategies in predicting what will come next. It’s important to focus on using these keywords that have been identified in order to create quality content that answers questions and provides relevant and useful information the people who land on your page expect to see. But beware: repeating keywords can only help boost SEO so much before it starts reversing. Too much repetition can affect the readability of a piece of content. Google also tends to flag websites for keyword jamming. Make phrases fit and make them natural.

Content, Content, Content

When you want to rank for a search term, it’s important to provide relevant content for that search. Google is a bit like a match-maker — ultimately, they’re just trying to connect users with the stuff they’re looking for. So, you need to make it clear what your business does, and you can do that by writing about it.

Before you dive in and start writing, you should consider your niche and which keywords you want to target. That way, you can focus on making the strategic content you need. Creating great content that provides value for the user and gives them what they expect and hopes to receive. If you're having trouble writing content check out Content Writing: full Guide to Mastering the Basics for some help.

Link building is a big factor of off-site SEO that big brands might spend a large portion of their digital marketing budget to master. It is evident that small businesses do not have the resources nor funds to compete with big brands when it comes to backlinks, but as a small business owner, you can do some of the same things on your own. It might be a little time consuming, but you can start an outreach program to contact relevant organisations to develop reputable backlinks to your page. You want to aim for higher authority domains to link your page because this is deemed a higher quality link in the eyes of Google.

Measure your results

One of the best things about SEO is that it is measurable, so make sure you track and measure your results. You can do this through Google Analytics, which integrates with your Campaign Monitor dashboard. It can take several months to notice an impact from your tactics, but, if you stay consistent and follow these tips, you’ll begin to see an increase in your overall traffic and revenue.

Wrap up

Now that you are all caught up on all things SEO for small businesses, you should have an idea of how your business is doing. While we have mentioned and discussed some free and paid tools that a small business owner such as yourself can use, we know that it can be a bit tricky navigating the world of SEO, especially as a first-timer. Sometimes, it’s best to just leave it to the professionals. Here at Socialmindr, small businesses are our bread and butter. We offer high-quality SEO services at small business prices. We are more than happy to have a chat and offer a free consultation here. Whether you decide to do your SEO for your small business or you hire an agency, it is apparent that it is important in standing out from the crowd. If you do decide to give SEO a crack, don’t be discouraged if you don’t get results straight away. It does take some time so be patient and consistent!

Written by

Tianna Chalon