Want to be seen online? Read these search engine optimization tips for small businesses who are just getting started in online marketing. Should you decide to hire an SEO agency, you want to be able to ask some questions that give you an insight into the campaign that they are going to be running for you. In other words, you don’t want them to just throw out a bunch of technical jargon with the intent to overwhelm you so you end up hiring them. Furthermore, just following these search engine optimization tips will give your website a better ranking in Google, Bing, etc. You may not even need to hire a company to do the work for you.
General SEO Tip for Small Businesses
Since you are running a small business, your search engine optimization efforts are most likely going to be aimed at a local region. This is the best way to start to gain traction in the search engines. Of course, we all would like national customers and want our businesses to get huge overnight, but that just doesn’t happen. You need to start off small and gain credibility in the search engines before you can go after larger national terms that have more competition. Local terms are much easier to rank for and you can be fairly successful by targeting these sort of terms.
Example: “Blue Shoes” vs “Blue Shoes in Glendale Arizona.” The first term has 474 million search results that you’ll have to compete with when you decide to go national. The local term only has 5 million. Thus, it will be much easier to rank with these search engine optimization tips for small businesses listed below.
Small Business SEO Tips
1. Gain some domain authority.
Since your website is most likely small and/or new, you are going to have to gain some authority. The way that people optimize their websites for the search engines these days is by getting free authoritative links from social media sites like Youtube, Facebook, LinkedIn, etc. There are several services out there that can do this for you, but you can easily do this task yourself. This isn’t really an SEO tip for businesses. It’s really a ‘must-do.’
Search engines like Bing, Yahoo, and Google aren’t going to pay much attention to your site if there aren’t any links going to it. The amount of quality links going to your site can play a significant role in where your website gets listed on the search engines.
2. Get listed in local directories.
These types of listings are known in the search engine optimization world as “citations.” These play a significant role in your local rankings and even determine if you get a maps listing. The information listed in these directories needs to be the exact same as your Google my Business page. In other words, you don’t want to have your business listing on Google list your address as “123 North Street” and your citations in other directories list your address as “123 N St.” Everything must be exact, including your phone number.
If you get enough quality citations, you are almost guaranteed a first page ranking. This is due to all of the main search engines optimizing their own listing of businesses on their first page with their maps markup.
3. Go after long-tail keywords.
I was on a webinar the other day and someone was discussing a new SEO client they had begun to service. This person didn’t know why their website wasn’t ranking and asked this consultant to have a look. Everything looked fine, but there were no specific keywords targeted on the site, meaning, there were no signals to the search engines stating what the person’s site was about. The consultant asked the person what she was trying to target and she said, “I don’t know.”
So, if you are new to search engine optimization, then this tip for your business is definitely where you should start. Also read this guide. Get extremely specific with your keywords and make sure that your site’s pages are optimized for those terms. Extremely specific keyword phrases aren’t going to get a bunch of traffic, but if you compile enough of them, you’re good to go. I would rather do SEO on 10 pages for easy keyword phrases that each get only about twenty to thirty searches per month. This will yield top rankings for a total of 200-300 searches per month. If you are just starting out, I highly recommend going this route.
All-in-all, SEO isn’t really that hard if you just break it up into its individual pieces. Just follow these search engine optimization tips for small business and shoot me an email if you have any questions.