Do small businesses need an SEO strategy? Absolutely! No matter how big or small your business is, you need a search engine-friendly website. Because most people these days are using the Internet to find the goods and services they need, it certainly helps small businesses to have an excellent online presence. The more visible you are, the more likely you are to attract customers.
Building a Sound SEO Strategy for Your Small Business
Google (and other search engines, for that matter) can do wonders for your business. According to a 2018 study by the search giant, 50% of people who performed a mobile search on Google ended up visiting a store or establishment within the day. By optimizing your site for search engines, you can expand your customer base and even give your return on investment a significant boost.
Here’s how you can optimize your small business website for search engines.
1. Create a sound link structure
Google said every page on your website should be “reachable from at least one static text link.” To put it simply, you need to have a good link structure so visitors can easily navigate your site. Unfortunately, not many small business websites have a solid link structure.
To ensure that your website is search engine-friendly, your homepage should be connected to other important web pages on your site. Also, if you have a “services” or “products” page, it should link to every page that describes each product or service your business is offering. While you can do this task manually, there is a wide range of SEO tools from this blog that you can use to perform various SEO tasks, including mapping your website and building a sound link structure.
2. Fix broken pages and links
Broken (404) pages or links can hurt your website in two ways. First, they give visitors the impression that you don’t care about keeping your website updated. Second, they are bad for SEO as they prevent Google’s search bots from crawling and indexing your site correctly.
Fortunately, there are two ways to fix this issue.
Reinstate the broken page, particularly if you deleted it accidentally;
Redirect the page to a relevant alternative.
On the other hand, if the broken page is not pointing to another domain, you can leave it as it is.
3. Create compelling meta titles and descriptions
Meta tags are what you often see on the result pages of Google and other search engines. Because they let both users and search engines know what a web page is all about, you must ensure that every page on your site has a unique meta description and title.
Meanwhile, if your web pages have meta tags already, make sure that they don’t have the following issues:
Too long – If your meta descriptions or titles are too long, you must shorten them to the recommended length. The maximum length for the meta description is 160 characters, while it’s 60 characters for the meta title.
Boring – Read your meta descriptions and ask yourself if they are compelling enough to make you click on the link. If you answer “no,” you should write your descriptions and make them more enticing. You must also include a call to action.
No target keywords – Make sure that your meta descriptions contain the keywords you’re targeting to boost their relevance.
4. Ensure that you have quality content
Content is an essential part of SEO. If you don’t have web content, Google’s search bots won’t be able to crawl and index your site. However, keep in mind that it isn’t enough that every page on your website has content. It’s also equally important that your content is of high quality.
The reason for this is that content is one of the factors that Google considers when ranking your site. It analyses the text on your webpages to determine if they are relevant to a user’s search query. If your content isn’t optimized for search engines, it’s unlikely that your site would land on the first page of Google.
Small businesses should take the time to polish the copy on their homepage because it is the most vital part of their website when it comes to content. As for everything else, make sure that you follow these SEO tips:
- Every web page should have written content
- That being said, you don’t have to write 2,000 words or more for every page all the time. For web pages that aren’t that essential to your branding or sales process, 100 to 200 words will do.
- Each page should have an H1 tag
- The H1 tag is the heading or title of the page. In most cases, it is the same as the meta title. However, you can still create a separate title if you desired.
- Use H2 to H6 tags when needed
- H2 tags serve as subheadings. They are quite handy when structuring your webpage to showcase the most important to the least essential parts of the page.
- Use keywords naturally
- While having keywords in your content is crucial, make sure that they appear naturally in your web copy. Also, avoid overusing them to prevent your content from being flagged as “spammy.”
- Check your grammar and spelling
- Always perform a spelling and grammar check before publishing a piece of content. Otherwise, a poorly written web copy would make you look unprofessional.
- Always create engaging and well-written content
- If you want to attract more customers, make sure that your content is engaging, interesting, and informative. You may consider hiring a copywriter, especially if you don’t have the time for this vital task.
5. Obtain citations
Apart from the structure and content of your website, Google also considers other off site SEO factors to determine your search ranking. One of these factors is your online citations.
In a nutshell, citations are mentions of your brand or business that display your name, address, and phone number (NAP). They are essential to your SEO campaign for two main reasons:
- Google utilizes citation signals as a top local ranking factor.
- Citations help people find you even if they are using other search engines.
An effective way to get online citations is to set up a Google My Business page. You should also consider listing your business in other popular online directories.
Small businesses can certainly benefit from an SEO-friendly website. By ranking high on search engines, such as Google, Yahoo, and Bing, you can obtain more online visibility and build better brand awareness. In return, it allows you to attract more potential customers.
There are simple strategies you can use to optimize your website for search engines. You can start by building a good link structure, fixing broken pages and links, and writing compelling meta tags. Most importantly, you have to make sure that your site has high-quality content and online citations because Google uses these ranking signals to determine your placement on search result pages.
Chris Anderson is an online marketing expert with 15 years of experience with Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) and Google Ads campaigns. As the founder of Springhill Marketing, he helped various companies drive-up their website traffic via increased sales and inquiries. His company is also a Google Partner, specializing in SEO and Google Ads Services.