By Marie Barnes
Small enterprises are underdogs. They have limited budget, limited man-hours, scarce tech knowledge. Do they even stand a chance in the competitive Internet era?
Yes! In fact, this article is packed with many SEO tips for optimizing your website, performing keyword research and even link building.
There you have it: a basic, non-technical breakdown of the essential SEO practices for small businesses. Read on!
Cheat Sheet [Summary]
- Set up your website (use secure https protocol)
- Install Google Analytics and Google Search Console
- Check if your website is indexed; implement sitemap
- Make sure your website is mobile friendly and loading speed is fast
- Keep your site structure very simple with every page accessible in a three clicks
- Research keywords for your business
- Create superb content around the keywords you discovered
- Use H1-H6 tags for every page
- Promote your articles and build links
The Ultimate SEO Secret
There’s one thing you need to remember before diving into SEO. It’s very simple, but it took me years in SEO to realize. Your page will rank #1 only if it solves user’s problem better than any other page. Many bloggers are trying hard to sell their own products forgetting about the reader’s issues. It won’t cut it. You need to focus on the reader and make sure your solution is the best for his needs.
Please remember SEO is about quality. You can purchase thousands of links, but they won’t matter if your website is straight out bad. Successful pages sell products only by solving the problem.
According to Google manual reviewer’s guidelines – Highest quality page must have at least one of the following characteristics:
- Very high level of Expertise, Authoritativeness, and Trustworthiness (E-A-T).
- A very satisfying amount of high or highest quality MC (main content).
- Very positive website reputation for a website that is responsible for the main content on the page.
- Very positive reputation of the creator of the main content, if different from that of the website.
Perfectly Optimized Website for SEO
Start with the website. Automatically, I will assume that you have created it by now. Nevertheless, there’s an important notice: use the secure https (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) protocol, meaning your URL link starts with ‘https’. This is exactly what Google recommends, since https is more reliable. Protocols are issued by the certification authority that takes time to verify that the website actually belongs to you.
For a start, you will need at least 4-5 pages on your website: homepage, contact page, about page, store, etc. Your homepage is the most important. Pay the extreme attention to make it click in readers mind.
Keep your URLs simple, sweet and short. Make sure to include keywords inside the URLs. Think through your website’s navigation. There’s a rule of a thumb – every page should be easily accessed within 3 clicks from your homepage.
Wondering how to top SERP (Search Engine Results Page)? Keyword research is the place to start. Keywords research is a very huge topic to cover on its own. In this article we cover basics only.
On average, every second people type over 63,000 queries in Google. The best thing is – you can find out exactly what they type and implement these keywords in your copy, links, anchors, everywhere, basically. If you have a Google Ads account you can go ahead and use Google Keywords Planner.
But there are many other tools, too (although they probably aren’t that accurate) like Semrush, Ahrefs even Neal Patel’s new Ubersuggest (which is free). Simply type keywords related to your niche and you will see many new suggestions appear.
Based on this, you can optimize your homepage and create new articles. The next question is – where do you put in all these keywords? First, you will need to have the keyword in H1 tag, your URL, H2 tags and inside the copy. It’s a good practice to add long-tail keywords too. These are long 4-5 word key phrases that are extremely specific and to the point. (e.g. how to make chocolate cake using cacao and butter).
Why Small Businesses Need Link Building
There’s a lot of fuss about link building. The truth is – even small business need to invest in this. Why?
“Google interprets a link from page A to page B as a vote by page A for page B. Votes cast by pages that are themselves “important” weigh more heavily and help to make other pages “important.”
There a lot of tactics. For instance, Brian Dean from backlinko.com collected 175 strategies on this page. The most mainstream (and also 100% working) are native ads on various websites or guest blogging.
So this is clear. The more backlinks – the better. So how do you get more backlinks? It has a pretty simple formula, really. All you need to do is to prepare the post and find the websites willing to publish it.
These days small business is like a tiny canoe out there in the ocean. There are huge waves, ginormous ships, little fish.
If you are a small business owner you might have low budget. You also probably have 0 technical experience. But if you think you’re a small enterprise, and can’t succeed in SEO – you’re mistaken. It’s true – local businesses have limited resources. But in the world of SEO they have 1 huge advantage. Even they can top big giants like Apple or Uber. Why so?
Because we live in the Internet era. Anyone has the access to this huge distribution platform where you can promote your business. Even if your business has low budget, you can be in Google top 3. Hard work pays off.