As the owner of a small business you understand that you need to be visible online – most people are making their purchases from there. In fact, statistics from a recent SearchEngineLand article revealed that more than 72% of people with purchasing power in the Western world research and shop online on a regular basis. This means that any business that isn’t visible on the internet is missing out a large proportion of their potential customer base. The only way that you can become visible is through search engine optimization. However, small business SEO is not as straight forward as some would have you think. If you want to succeed, make sure that you use these 5 tips:
Tip#1 – Get Professional Help
You may be tempted to do SEO yourself – don’t. It is understandable that small businesses don’t have big budgets so you may be thinking that you should do SEO yourself. But, unless you are a trained SEO expert you will be failing your business in several ways if you try and do search engine optimization yourself.
Firstly, without having an in-depth knowledge of SEO, you will either:
- lack the skills or resources required to make any significant impact to your website’s ranking;
- or conversely, you may do something that falls into Black Hat territory which may see your website get banned and/or de-indexed by Google – which means that you will not be visible to your customers in the search results. That would be disastrous to your business!
Secondly, you will be spending time on SEO instead of focusing on other areas of your business that need you. Hire a professional if you want to get significant rankings and also so that you can free up your valuable time to focus on marketing and growing your business.
Tip#2 – Know Your Audience
Know who your audience is. It is easy to focus on the mechanics of SEO without knowing your audience – the professional that you hire could do on-page and off-page SEO in a very general way. This approach will not get you very far. It is always best to know who your audience is so that you can do SEO with them in mind. The content that you develop, for instance, should be highly targeted. You should know whether you are talking to men or women (or both), what their ages are, how much money they make how they socialize and so on. This way, you can create content that they are more likely to be interested in.
Tip#3 – Be Mobile-Friendly
Make sure that your website is optimized for mobile. Remember we said that most people are now making purchases online? A large number of them are not waiting until they get home to their PC in order to buy. They are shopping on mobile phones, tables and other mobile devices. This has forced small business owners to adapt their websites for mobile. In fact, in April of this year Google recently released a mobile-friendly algorithm update – so if you want to be ranked on Page One of the search results it is imperative you optimize your website for mobile. It literally doesn’t matter how much SEO you do – if your website cannot render properly on different mobile phones it will never get to be seen.
Tip#4 – Use Social Media
Social media is becoming more and more critical to SEO. In fact, Google is now rewarding businesses that have a large social media presence with better ranking. Only one problem – very few businesses are using social media. In fact, a survey showed that only 11% of all small businesses are consistent in their use of social media. If you want your small business to be a success you cannot afford to be laid back about Facebook, Twitter, Google+ and other social media sites. Choose just two so that you are able to focus properly and then start posting content that is interesting and relevant to your product or service. Don’t underestimate social media – it can be very time consuming. That is why smart owners of small businesses outsource it to professionals. If you hire a consultant who knows what they are doing they can give you a great social media following in a matter or months.
Tip#5 – Create High Quality Content
Creating high quality, targeted content is integral to getting your SEO strategy to work. Content is the way that you communicate with users about your product or service. Users have become choosy – they don’t have the time to read all content that comes to them so they choose the best. You must focus on creating content that is engaging and that begs to be shared. In addition to that, you should know that Google is not happy when you have the same content on your website for a long time. They want users to find fresh content there from time to time so you must create fresh content every few months. Make sure to do your keyword research right – it is how users will find you. Don’t just do the obvious ones – you must expand your focus and think of all the possible terms that can be used to find your product or service.
Follow, but more importantly, implement these 5 tips and you should find that your small business SEO strategy will eventually work and provide you with steady stream of eager customers.