SEO: Tips for small businesses
Here at Square Media, we know that SEO can be a daunting prospect for many small businesses, especially if there is a lack of resources, shortage of time or limited funds available.
More often than not, when we speak to small businesses about SEO, we are finding one question that prevails… “What can we do to help improve our rankings?”
As we tell all of the businesses we speak to, it’s important to remember that good organic results don’t just happen overnight! However, there are multiple steps you can take to help improve your Google search rankings today.
Nail down what your solution to the consumer is
Before delving into the world of SEO, it’s important to understand what it is your small business offers its consumers. The simplest way of doing this is to split it into the following questions:
- When, where and why does the consumer conclude that they require your product and or service?
- Is it driven by a personal desire for your service, i.e. a restaurant, casino?
- How would the client go about receiving the product/service?
Simply answering these questions gives us an overview of the language your customer will use in order to find your business. This information will help to drive your keyword research and content creation, among other tasks.
Optimise your website pages
A lot of people believe on-page optimisation is just dotting a few keywords across your pages – this is not true. It’s important that you develop quality content that is properly structured using a natural selection of relevant keywords.
Be sure to include a reasonable amount of keywords but use them appropriately and place them correctly throughout your content.
Simply putting it, optimise your:
- Meta descriptions
- Text Content
Utilise Google My Business
Not only is it free, but it is also easy to update and the impact of it can be huge!
The first step towards utilising the benefits of Google My Business is claiming and verifying it: here. Be sure to fill out as many fields as possible and ensure you include photos and videos to enhance your listing.
Google is often the first port of call for many consumers, so not having a listing on Google could cause you to miss out on search rankings, and ultimately customers.
See what your competitors are doing and do it better!
It is often something people don’t think about, however, if someone is above you on the Google listings, simply find out why this is the case and work on your own website and content in order to improve your own and increase your chances of ranking highly.
It is key to remember that your competitors online may not be your competitors within your local area.
When you’re doing your analysis, use tools available to you to find out the following:
- Their website structures
- What keywords they are ranking for
- How many pages they have indexed
It has also been proven that website speed is a factor in Google’s ranking algorithm, so run a page speed test on their PageSpeed Insights page and look for areas of weakness.
Focus on getting reviews
Reviews have also been proven to be one of the leading search ranking factors, it is also key to remember that conversion rates are likely to improve by focusing a proportion of your time on getting reviews and feedback. Not only does Google like this, but it also airs trust with potential new customers that you are a credible and reliable company.
There are platforms and or companies such as ourselves that can help you manage a review campaign. Alternatively, you can encourage your customers on review sites such as your Google My Business listing or Trust Pilot and TripAdvisor.
Get on Bing Places for Business
With Google being so far ahead of its competitors, other search engines such as Bing and Yahoo are often forgotten about. It is just as important to optimise for these platforms too, for example, Bing has its own version of Google My Business called Bing Places for Business.
It’s free to list your website on these search engines, so why wouldn’t you showcase your business in as many places as you can?
Get local media coverage
Whenever you have a new offer, let them know and they will help promote it! Local coverage will often get back links to your website. Those back links will often attract a rise in ranking resulting in an increase in the people that see your service/ product.
Make sure your website is optimised for mobiles
Google will not do you any favours if your website is not optimised for use on a mobile device. Therefore, you need to ensure that your site is responsive and compatible with all mobile devices.
Check out the Google Mobile-Friendly Test to see if your site looks works on the more popular mobile devices.
Even if the list we have compiled may seem complicated and slightly daunting, the important thing to remember is organic growth will not happen overnight and doing something is better than doing nothing. Outline tasks and set goals that you know you can accomplish and set time aside to complete them.
What is key for us to emphasise is the importance of local SEO and the benefits that it can bring to increasing brand awareness and driving leads.
If you’re looking for ways to improve your site’s SEO, or need someone to help out, why don’t you get in touch with us at Square Media? Our knowledge and expertise in all things Search Marketing can help you and your business grow!