5 SEO Tips for Small Business

SEO tips are like a tip jar

Rather like a tip jar, these SEO tips will help you get your business found online and bring money to your wallet. But making your website visible on the web is challenging, and it’s particularly difficult for small and medium-size businesses that don’t have the same media focus or revenue-generating customer base as some of the massive global corporations.

SEO Tips for Visibility on The Web

The trick to increasing visibility is to make your website SEO friendly, which means that the content you add to your site can be “read” or picked up by major search engines. This is the only way your website can be displayed as a relevant result for searchers.

SEO tips for SMBs differ somewhat from tips for larger businesses, as it’s all about keeping costs down whilst increasing efficiency. Amy Harris, SEO Manager for Expert Market UK (click here) offers you some ideas to consider before venturing into SEO-focused content:

1. Research the Competition

Before you start creating any type of content for your website, you should conduct market research what is effective and what isn’t.

Put yourself in the mind of a potential customer, and try to determine the most common phrases or keywords they would search for when looking for the type of services or products you offer. For example, if you’re a small hairdressing company based in London, common searches are going to include the likes of ‘hairdresser London’, ‘London hairdressing’ or ‘hair stylist London’.

Enter these phrases into a search engine to see what websites rank the highest on the results pages. These are your competition. These are the companies that offer similar products or services and are vying for a more expansive customer base.

Take a look at the content on these websites, the sorts of topics they cover, who the content is likely to appeal to, and make yours better!

Create content appealing to a wider audience, to different tastes, and expand on your keywords and phrases.

2. Don’t Pay for What You Don’t Need

There are many SEO agencies out there whose sole purpose is to help companies like yours increase their visibility on the web, with the ultimate goal of building a loyal customer base and boosting profits, but for small and medium businesses especially, learning to do part of the work like writing content can make partnering with an SEO specialist a more cost-effective option.

Put it this way – no one knows your business as well as you do, so you and your employees are in a prime position to create content that’s not only relevant to your business, but also engaging for your readers. You know the questions your customers ask. Answer them in content on your website!

Creating your own content, if you have the time and ability to do so, is completely free, and it’s an idea well worth exploring. If you don’t have the interest or one of your employees does not want to write content, explore the costs of such services with an SEO company or even a freelance content writer. Usually even drafting raw content can help keep your costs down by outsourcing the editing and optimization.

3. Be Patient

Let’s be honest here, you’re not going to reach the highest ranks in Google overnight. It takes time to build up a customer base and readership, and it also takes time for search engines to pick up your content. In fact, it’s reported that the fruits of your labor may not even show on some search engines for a matter of months!

If you expect to see instant benefits from SEO, you’ll be disappointed. However, while you’re waiting to see the success of your hard work, keep building your website, creating more content, and perhaps even building B2B relationships for real-world and online backlinking purposes.

4. Don’t Give Up

Many business owners research the market, create relevant content, find themselves in amongst the highest ranking websites, and then move on to other tasks at hand.

They’re done, they’ve made it to the top, now they can relax with the whole SEO thing. Only those who don’t fully understand SEO do this. Don’t, whatever you do, fall into this trap! Such complacency is only going to result in you falling so far down the rankings that your business will be practically invisible. Loss of momentum and losing the habit of continual content creation and backlinking will result in you having to start all over.

Websites and content are changing constantly, every second of every day, which means that the relevance of websites is also going to change.

You need to keep researching what your potential customers are searching for, who’s supplying them with content they find beneficial, and what this content is.

You need to keep up with the latest news in your industry, and perhaps create regular content either based on this news or using key phrases that web users are likely to search for. For example, if there’s been a recent news item about the rising costs of hairdressing, create content with keywords and phrases such as ‘low cost hairdressers’ or ‘budget hairstyling’.

5. Consider Your Audience

One of the biggest mistakes in the SEO world is that content writers, business owners, whoever is writing for a website, target their content for search engines rather than for potential customers or clients. Yes, this is certainly one way of ensuring a website gets picked up by a search engine, but if the material isn’t relevant or even particularly readable, you’ve lost your audience.

Keywords and phrases should be inserted as naturally as possible into the text. You don’t want them to stick out like a sore thumb. This just makes the content unnatural. You want it to flow effortlessly.

You want to find a happy medium between giving your readers something engaging, something relevant, and something interesting, whilst still including enough of the right sort of information that you’re picked up and ranked highly by search engines.
It can be challenging at first, especially while you’re finding your feet in SEO, but it can be done!

What are your SEO Tips?

Have you had successes or failures with SEO? Share your experiences to help your fellow business owners use SEO more effectively!

Many thanks to guest blogger, Amy Harris, SEO Manager for Expert Market UK  for her SEO tips!

photo credit: Dave Dugdale via photopin cc

By Wanda Anglin

Wanda Anglin has a passion to help businesses and non-profits reach their goals by attracting more of the right website visitors. Her empathy and understanding for small business challenges comes from a background in project management, sales support, accounting, and business ownership. When not helping clients, Wanda is traveling, fixing her home, or tending to her 900 trees (really).

1 comment

  1. Wanda, I think the importance of #4 cannot be underestimated, as they say, SEO is a marathon, not a sprint. There are many times when we have seen an SMB client feel totally overwhelmed with the amount of tasks they have to do, and feel like giving up, and just as well we have also seen the set-and-forget types, where they are great at doing what they have to do once or twice, but the recurring nature of the tasks escapes them-SEO and websites are, as you say, constantly changing and require attention and dedication. Cheers!

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