SEO, search engine optimization, is more than a buzzword. It can have a measurable impact on your small business, increasing your site's organic traffic and guiding more people through your sales funnel. SEO tactics raise your small business profile, making it a smart way to grow your business.
Here's our quick small business guide to SEO.
Learn the market. Conduct various keyword research studies to pinpoint how to optimize your small business website. You'll need to understand three different parts of the market:
- Your target audience. Describe the audience you wish to sell too, then learn how they research your product or service. Do they rely on reviews? What words do they put into Google?
- Your competitors. Figure out what competitors are doing and determine how well it works, if possible. How do they present information? Whose attention do they have? What keywords do they focus on?
- Your position in the market. Find the intersection of what you have to offer and who you’re offering it to, often called a unique selling proposition, and then use SEO tactics to promote yourself the right way.
Give your audience what it wants. Search engines aim to rank sites in the order of most useful to a searcher to the least. Thus, the more aligned your small business website is to consumer desires the higher you will rank. Do this by providing:
- Valuable content. Visitors to your website will be looking for something, be it information about your product or an instruction guide. If they find your content useful and relevant to what they searched, it helps your ranking.
- Mobile friendly access. The majority of web traffic is on mobile devices. If a website doesn’t look good or performs poorly on a phone, people will not use it. Make sure that's not the case for your small business, or it will hurt your SEO.
- Easy navigation. Ideally, users would click through and land on a page that directly answers their questions, but if they don’t it should be easy for them to find that information elsewhere on your site.
Be a community member. Working with others in your industry and linking your company to local regions can help build up your small business.
- Share content. Link to information outside of your website, but only if you believe it will be useful to your site visitors. Also link to partners and accrediting agencies where applicable to boost your reputation.
- Local pages. Showcase local expertise and gain local search traffic by including webpages on your site that are location specific. This can range from store to state level pages.
Measure your success. SEO rankings are in a constant state of flux as websites are created, go defunct, or enact new tactics and search engines change their algorithm. As such, you should make SEO optimizations regularly, depending on your performance. To do that, you’ll need:
- KPIs. Decide what’s most important to your small business website (Sessions? Leads? Page rank?) and track it. This allows you to judge the effectiveness of newly applied SEO improvements and determine when it’s time to refresh optimization efforts.
- Set Up Tracking. Regardless of what analytics tool you use, make sure it's configured properly. This can involve working within the software itself, placing code on your website, or integrating complementary software to combine datasets.
At the heart, SEO is a simple process that aligns your website’s set up with what search engines need to provide searchers with content they want. If you follow this guide to small business SEO, be ready to see an improvement in traffic that can lead to higher sales.