Many small businesses may not know the importance of having and maintaining a website. In fact, 46% of small businesses in the U.S. do not have a website and are missing the opportunity to spread brand awareness and appeal to more potential customers. Those that do have a website, may not take advantage of ongoing SEO for their website to attract customers and stay relevant.
Regardless of the industry or niche, if your business involves customers, you should have an online presence–and SEO drives people to your website to get more attention and promote your business to reach your goals. With 75% of users never scrolling beyond the first page of search results,
Although a small business will not have an unlimited budget to invest in SEO services, we have created an SEO checklist for small business to get the most out of your website and online activities to ensure better search engine rankings, generate more business leads, and take advantage of all that digital marketing has to offer.
1.Utilize Local Search
Utilize location for your business or designate a central location served by your website, integrate Google maps, and create webpages for specific locations you serve. A study by Google revealed that 50% of individuals who used their smartphone for a local search visited a store within a day. Providing accurate local search and maps information ensures that customers can find your business and increases its relevancy.
2. Know Your Customer
Create a customer profile or persona for your business and use that information to plan your SEO strategy. This can give you a place to start when targeting specific demographics or locations and yield better results, as it shows you know your business and consumer. Once you have some analytics data, you can optimize this profile to better appeal to your core customer demographic. Install and use Google analytics to understand more about your audience such as their age, gender, city, the device they use, time spent on each page and so on.
3. Utilize SEO Tools
Google and other websites have a multitude of SEO and digital marketing tools to help small businesses optimize their websites. Although it can be daunting if you are unfamiliar with SEO or marketing, many experts use these tools to increase web traffic, rank higher in search results, and understand trending searches and topics with different demographics. Check out Google Console, which is helpful to understand your site’s search traffic and performance and make your website perform better in Google search results.
4. Integrate Keywords
While there is no reason to spam irrelevant keywords throughout your website or blog posts, you should try to include words related to topics your business covers. A marketing company or SEO expert can help you create a list of topics that are relevant to your industry and appear frequently in searches related to your business. You can use the Google keyword planner tool to find keywords that are relevant to your business. The keyword planner tool is an integral part of Google Ads as well. By including keywords, you ensure that people can find your website on the first page of the search result when they search for products, services, or topics related to your business.
5. Adjust For SEO
Make your website page titles, descriptions, and URLs SEO friendly. This means writing an accurate and descriptive title for each page with correct grammar and spelling, in addition to adding descriptions to each page that provide context and help users to better navigate the website. Meta title length should be around 60 characters, and descriptions should be about 120 characters. This ensures that most people viewing the content can see what your page is about and Google properly picks up keywords and important information. Use keywords within meta tags. Different descriptions and titles on each page, whether for a product, service or information, can be optimized to garner the most web traffic and ensure the best results for your business.
6. Remember Voice Searches
With an increase in voice searches, making your website content voice search friendly is incredibly important. Siri and Alexa are voice assistants that individuals use for mobile searches and on devices like the Amazon echo. Tailoring your web content for voice searches can cast a wider online net to increase the number of visitors it receives.
7. Off-Page SEO Matters Too
In addition to on-page SEO, promote your website or brand through link building, social media, and social bookmarking. These steps can raise brand awareness, get people interested and excited about the service, product, or information you provide and lead to more business. Off-page SEO is part of having a comprehensive online presence and leading people back to your website.
8. Get Google My Business
Creating a Google My Business account makes it easier for your website or business to rank in Google search results. It also creates a repository of information on your business for potential customers to view, which increases your rank and credibility. Other business listings to consider include Yahoo Small Business, registering with Bing for location accuracy, and local directories.
9. Respond To Reviews
Good or bad, reviews can often make or break a business. Consumers want to view feedback from others prior to engaging with a business. They feel more secure making decisions after seeing what people like them have to say about their experience and interactions with the company. Respond to every review you receive, even if it’s a simple “thank you”. This includes responding to negative reviews to see how to correct any issue that resulted in a negative experience. People like to see that businesses care about their customers and are willing to fix mistakes or make the best of a bad situation.
10. Stay Social
Promote your business on social media and create accounts for sites like Yelp, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, and any other social media networking websites that make sense for your business. Social media helps potential customers or searchers find your website and learn more about your business and the services or products you have to offer.
11. Add Local Citation Fixing
All the information about your website should be the same on each page (such as name, phone number, location or address, etc.). These factors (NAP) are one of the top local ranking factors. Staying consistent with this information helps people find your business faster and ensures they have the right information to contact or visit you. Additionally, Google pulls contact and business information from your website to show on search results.
12. Be Mobile Responsive
Ensure your website is easily viewable and interactive on the mobile web. Today, smartphones have as much processing power as desktop computers and many people search online via mobile due to the ease of use and accessibility. With more mobile web searchers than ever, having a website that functions flawlessly and shows up in search results is essential to getting the attention or mobile users. To help you ensure mobile compatibility, try Google’s mobile friendly test tool. Google began migrating sites that follow the best practices for mobile-first indexing as of March 2018, which means they use the mobile version of a webpage page for indexing and ranking, to better help primarily mobile users find what they’re looking for.
13. Create Good Content
Write original content to inform potential customers about your product or service. You can do this in the form of regular blog posts, social media content, updates and information on your website that provides industry advice to readers or potential customers.
14. Audit Your Website
Find and correct any flaws on your website to increase the likelihood of ranking highly in search results and improve your credibility and ease of navigation for website visitors. Incorrectly spelled words, improperly placed information, and repetitive content should be fixed to provide a better user experience and ensure that search engines can properly crawl your website to pull relevant information for searchers. SEO content experts can perform this function for you through an audit of your website, which will both improve your user experience and provide better search engine ranking.
15. Give It Some Time
SEO takes time to work, it’s not an overnight fix. However, it can really hurt your website traffic or business if you don’t properly utilize SEO tools for optimization. All your competitors are investing in SEO, and you can’t afford to do the same. If you haven’t invested in SEO for your small business and website, now is the time!
- Posted May 8, 2019
- Posted By:
- Digital Marketiing