I’ve managed to write this guide in under 550 words because SEO for small businesses doesn’t have to be complicated.
Although small business SEO can involve a large number of factors – you will be able to improve your online search visibility and get potential customers to your business website by keeping it simple and focusing on just 4 aspects.
1) Keyword Research
Keyword research should be the starting point for any small business SEO campaign. It’s important to uncover the highest searched words and phrases which are relevant to your business and which aren’t overly competitive.
As a small business owner you simply don’t need the bells and whistles of a paid keyword tool, Google’s keyword planner will provide you with all the information you need.
The keywords that you uncover are those that you are going to be trying to rank on the first page (preferably top 3) for.
A florist in New York – would want to rank for “florist New York” a painter in Leeds would want to rank for “Painter in Leeds”. I’m sure you get the picture.
It’s important not to target to many keywords at once, 4 – 5 at the start is perfectly sufficient and will ensure you see your campaign is working as you climb position.
2) Create Content -(Skip this step if you already have it)
While it is possible to rank web pages without any content, it’s always better to have some.
For a start it can help you gain backlinks and secondly the more words on a page the more chance you have for ranking & gaining traffic from those words.
At this stage it’s important to refer back to your chosen targeted keywords & work out your content strategy.
It’s often better to produce differen’t pieces of content for different pages. If the keywords refer to a different aspect of your business – eg “wedding florists in London” and “Valentines flower delivery in London”
3) On page SEO
This a large topic and too big to cover in 500 words. Will every on page optimisation task you carry out make a huge difference – absolutely not. For the purpose of this guide it’s recommended to add your keyword to the page URL, meta title and description.
4) Get Backlinks
I mentioned earlier that you could rank web pages for your chosen keywords without any content, which is all down to the strength of your backlinks.
Generally speaking to outrank your competition you are going to need more stronger backlinks than your competition. Does that mean it’s a numbers game? – Absolutely not!
Submitting to article directories, gaining social bookmarks and believing just writing great content is effective SEO is nonsense. There are hundreds of other things that you may read that you should ignore also.
You need links from supplier & customer websites, build relationships with bloggers and other local businesses in order to get links, reverse engineer your competitors- where are they getting their backlinks from? Can you get the same ones?
Quality business directories still work – especially the paid ones, consider this – also consider newsworthy stories about your business that you can submit to local publications.
You have to understand that SEO is the marathon and you should build backlinks gradually, particularly on a new domain. If you want to take part in a sprint, try the PPC race.