57 Essential SEO Tips For Small Businesses

I have found that a comprehensive SEO strategy is critical for small businesses. Everything from website structure to keyword targeting can provide a solid foundation for your website, and help you gain more visibility in the search engines. Sure there’s plenty of content out there to help you with search engine optimization, but sometimes it’s a little daunting to figure out where to start. Here are 57 of my important SEO tips to help you optimize your small business website.

SEO Tips For Small Businesses

 

  1. Every small business website needs SEO. If you want to get traffic from search engines, you have to optimize for search.
  1. Know your online reputation. Search your business name in Google and Bing, and see what shows up on the first page of results. If it’s negative press or reviews, you may need an Online Reputation Management strategy.
  1. SEO takes time. The work you put into it now will typically pay off in 6-12 months.
  1. It pays to identify and understand your online competitors. Get to know their strategies, which keywords they’re targeting, and the type of content they’re producing.
  1. Optimize your brand’s social media profiles. The goal here is to help these profiles rank for your brand name and keywords in the search results.
  1. There’s no cut-and-paste SEO strategy. You need a strategy that’s customized for your website, your audience, and the specific outcome you need.
  1. Don’t trust an agency or SEO consultant that’s promising guaranteed results. If they’re talking about shortcuts, hacks or instant rankings, you can bet there’s something shady going on.
  1. An SEO campaign doesn’t have to be expensive. If you’re following SEO best practices, you’re laying the groundwork for your desired results.
  1. If you have a brand new website, it will take time for search engines to crawl, index and trust your site. This means you may not compete with older more established websites right away.
  1. Create evergreen content for your site that will stay relevant over a long period of time.
  1. You need to understand Google’s algorithm updates, what each of them means, and how you can avoid a penalty.
  1. Keep posting fresh content on social media. Social signals are a ranking factor for Google, so it’s important to consistently send traffic to your website through your brand’s social channels.
  1. Google has plenty of resources designed to help you follow their best practices.
  1. You should be using Google Search Console and Google Analytics regularly to understand how visitors are using your website, and how Google is crawling and indexing your site.
  1. Target one or two keywords to a webpage, and use plenty of synonyms throughout that page to avoid keyword stuffing.
  1. Don’t focus 100% of your marketing efforts on SEO alone. A good, well-rounded strategy builds traffic from a number of sources, including search, social media, direct and referral traffic.
  1. Don’t take shortcuts. 1000 backlinks for $5 isn’t worth a penalty.
  1. Create value for real website visitors by creating helpful content, a real community for them to interact with, and providing resources, products and services that solve their problems.
  1. Increase your brand’s visibility in local search results by setting up or claiming your business in Google My Business.
  1. Don’t steal other websites’ blog posts or pictures. Create unique content, and use stock photos (or real photos that your company takes) to use within your website and social media.
  1. Ask yourself this question: Does your website deserve to rank on the first page of Google? Why?
  1. Create share-worthy, beautiful and helpful content that people will want to share and link to.
  1. Add a blog to your website. Did you know that a majority of visitors will enter your website through your blog posts? That’s because this type of content will naturally rank for longtail keywords, so it’s more likely to appear in the search results.
  1. Make sure your business name, address and phone number on your website match what’s listed in Google Maps, Yelp, YP.com and other citations.
  1. Promote your content. You can create all the valuable content you want, but if nobody knows about it, you probably won’t get any conversions.
  1. Encourage your customers to leave Google reviews.
  1. Create landing pages that encourage visitors to take a specific action. You can link blog posts to these landing pages, and also send social media traffic here.
  1. Each page on the site needs to be unique. This includes the title tag, description and the text on the page.
  1. Complete a keyword research. You need to know which pages of your site are targeting specific keywords.
  1. Create content for other websites. This is called guest posting, and by writing for other sites with established audiences, you’re getting your name out there as a thought leader, you’re building trust for your brand by providing valuable content, and you’re potentially sending traffic to your site through links.
  1. If you have an e-commerce website, write unique descriptions for each product.
  1. Use your existing relationships as an initial source of backlinks. Ask vendors, customers and other business owners you know if they’d link to your site via a case study, testimonial or review.
  1. Create different types of content, not just text based blog posts. Try your hand at videos, podcasts, Infographics, photo essays, long form posts and short content. This helps to diversify your customer base.
  1. Add internal links within your website. One each page, identify another page in the site that you can add a contextual link to.
  1. Optimize your website’s images, by creating descriptive file names and alt tags, and compressing the file size.
  1. Think about the structure of the website as your adding new pages. Important pages should only be 1 click away from each page of the site.
  1. Link out to other relevant blog posts, resources, news articles and people. This helps to give context to your blog posts, and also gives you an opportunity to notify these sites that you’ve mentioned them.
  1. Don’t solely focus on Google. Consider how your brand is ranking on other search engines like Bing, and build separate strategies for email marketing, social media, content and paid advertising.
  1. Interact and build relationships with people in your industry. You never know what opportunities will arise from these relationships, and how you can provide them value as well.
  1. Stay up to date on SEO trends and news by reading blog posts and following experts in the industry.
  1. Write and distribute press releases for real, news-worthy stuff within your company. This includes new product launches, charity events, key hires and awards.
  1. Build up thought leaders in your company, and have them contribute to the blog. It’s important to have different perspectives and tones that can help reach other audiences.
  1. Join your local chamber of commerce. It may not be free (or cheap), but can open the door to business opportunities, networking opportunities, and even a link to your website.
  1. Keep a consistent publishing schedule. If you’re producing content for the blog, find new topics to write about and publish those articles throughout the month, rather than a bunch of articles all at once.
  1. Find directories to add your website to. This can include local business directories, industry specific directories and resource lists from schools.
  1. Curate content on your social platforms. Don’t continually promote and share your own content, but find relevant blog posts, news and resources from other websites, share them with attribution, and become a thought leader in your industry.
  1. Understand that search engines rank pages, not entire websites. Build the authority and quality of the individual pages of your website, and the domain authority will ultimately rise over time.
  1. Identify the search queries your website is already ranking for. Go to Google Search Console and look at “Search Analytics” in the menu to understand how your site’s performing in Google Search.
  1. Write content for people in different parts of your sales funnel. This means writing content to attract new people to your brand, and content that keeps nurturing them towards a specific action like a purchase down the road.
  1. Don’t solely focus on rankings. If your ultimate goal is to increase revenue/leads/calls (or whatever you consider to be a conversion), understand that increasing rankings is a tactic to help get you there.
  1. Create content that’s engaging, by using headings, multimedia and eye-catching images.
  1. Use static, descriptive URLs for your webpages. Visitors should be able to understand the topic of the page, and where they are on the website, by looking at the URL.
  1. Create a helpful 404 error page. If people click a link and end up on a page that no longer exists, that’s ok, but help them by adding a search bar, links to other pages and consistent branding and navigation on that 404 error page.
  1. Optimize your site for mobile users. Determine whether that means a separate mobile website, a mobile responsive site or a mobile app to provide the best experience for those on a smartphone or tablet.
  1. Create buyer personas for your target audience, and understand the buyer journey.
  1. Check your page loading speed with Google’s PageSpeed Insights tool. If your page isn’t loading quickly, follow the recommendations.
  1. Use a reliable web hosting company. If your site is constantly going down, this can negatively affect people’s trust in your brand, which can hurt your SEO efforts.

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