Search engine optimization (SEO) is the cornerstone of online marketing strategy today, helping businesses generate more organic traffic to convert to sales. Effective optimization allows your website and blog posts to rank more prominently within search results; hence, your website is more readily found by customers when they search relevant queries and keywords.
Businesses should strive to build a well-rounded SEO strategy that considers localization, online reviews, and brand building. No matter the nature of your business, online presence is vital as more people continue to move to a digital marketplace.
SEO Strategies For Small Businesses
Small businesses can benefit hugely from modern SEO techniques as it’s such a cost-effective marketing strategy. Working on a small business SEO checklist, you can be sure of leaving nothing unturned and build a well-rounded SEO strategy that yields long-term results.
Here’s a quick guide on how to build the right SEO strategy for your small business:
Find The Right Keywords
Keywords are the terms and phrases customers will type into search engines when looking for products or information. There are many generic keywords that customers may use, while others are more niche-specific. Putting time into keyword research will help you identify what terms your customers are more likely to use to find your products and services.
One simple approach to keyword research is to start typing terms related to your product or service in the search bar, which should then recommend some suggested keywords whilst you type. These keywords are generated based on what is commonly searched when people seek your product or similar products.
Alternatively, there are loads of specialist tools to help you find the right keywords and analyze the competition you’ll face to try and rank competitively for those keywords. Short, high-volume keywords have stiffer competition while using long-tail keywords made up of four or five words or more, can give you an edge in ranking.
Publish Quality Content Regularly
What you post for your visitors will determine if they’re likely to return to your site in the future. Also, quality content can help convince customers to take action such as buying your products or visiting other pages of your site. You should also publish new content regularly, as this encourages search engines to crawl your site more often, ensuring all that fresh content is indexed.
However, producing quality content regularly can be a challenge for many businesses, especially for those just starting out or with limited resources. In such cases, you might want to encourage user-generated content. This can include feedback, reviews, and questions from users; so when other users search using a question, this can lead them to your content.
User-generated content is usually fresh and authentic and can also give you more ideas around useful keywords for your content as customers ask for what they would likely be searching for.
When high-authority blogs or publications carry links to your site, it shows search engines and readers that your site is a trusted source on a particular topic. Therefore, you should research relevant sites in your niche and ask them to link articles to your site where appropriate. You can also offer to write for them and insert links to your content that add value.
Every new link to your website acts as a credibility booster and the stronger the source of that link, the more valuable it is. Search engines like to see lots of links from a variety of related sources, as a way of trusting a site knows what it’s talking about. Given that anyone can build a website in minutes these days, it is the quality of backlinks that most readily sets apart the best sites that search engines want to return at the top of search results.
Develop A Social Media Strategy
One method to generate more traffic to your website and business is through social media platforms. Because these platforms have many users, you can get more visitors and conversions if you tap into the right social media strategy.
You can use visuals such as videos and images to increase people’s interest in your channel. With more engagement on your social media channel, the higher the chances of click-throughs. As your social media community grows, this can contribute to your SEO efforts and generate more organic traffic to your website.
Make Your Website User-Friendly
Visitors to your site can be frustrated if they find it difficult to access and navigate the content. This may prompt them to give up on using the site, or worse still leave negative reviews, impacting your search visibility.
These days it’s vital to create a responsive website, i.e. one that’s optimized for different devices. There’s no guarantee that your customers will access your site using any one particular type of device, so your content needs to be accessible from all devices. Websites that perform well on mobile devices can even be ranked higher, owing to the weighting now placed on mobile search users.
Second, you should do all you can to increase your website speed as speed directly affects SEO, and has become a ranking factor. Moreover, it can indirectly affect SEO as users don’t have the patience to hang around on sites that don’t load fast enough. Every user that fails to wait for your content to load acts as a black mark against your site’s usability.
Utilise a Simple URL Structure
Your site’s URL structure plays a vital role in how search engines will rank your website. The URLs should be simple, and the structure should be logical and hierarchical. The more convoluted a site’s URL structure, the harder search engines will find it to crawl and this can impact the amount of content that is effectively indexed and ultimately returned in search results.
Additionally, you should use look to include keywords in your URLs as it helps search engines understand what each URL is about, and then when users search for those phrases you have a higher chance of being returned. Keywords on URLs also help customers know what to expect on a page, even without other descriptors.
Use Breadcrumbs Navigation
An SEO-friendly website allows visitors to navigate easily between pages. Using breadcrumbs will leave a trail for customers to know where they are and from where they came, in terms of which page they clicked last. They can then move back and forth with ease, allowing for a smooth user experience.
Breadcrumbs encourage people to visit more pages of the site, which shows search engines that your website is user-friendly.
A well-rounded SEO strategy is imperative for your business, as it’ll allow you to build an authoritative online presence to attract more visitors. With more visitors to your site, your small business would be more likely to complete more sales or receive more inquiries. The very best SEO strategies can deliver leads and sales for the best return on investment (ROI) of any online marketing channel.
Strategies like link building, focusing on user experience and building keyword-optimized content will help your small business attract more visitors from search engines. The best sites resonate with their audience, so you’ll naturally achieve better search performance when you focus on your customers.