As a small business owner, you have a lot on your plate just trying to keep the lights on. Because of this, something like taking the time to optimize your website for SEO might get put on the backburner. But doing so is a big mistake. More and more consumers are turning to the internet to conduct pre-shopping research. If you’re not showing up during this research, it’s unlikely that new customers will ultimately find their way to your business.
But you don’t need to be a programmer or developer to have a website that pops up during these searches. Just a couple of tweaks to your SEO strategy are all you should need to see an uptick in traffic to your site. To help you get started, we’ve compiled a list of four small business SEO secrets that will help increase your visibility.
Get creative with keywords
Ranking for keywords is very competitive, especially if you are focusing on popular keywords with high search volumes. That’s why I suggest narrowing your focus to long-tail keywords that will be easier for you to rank on. Jayson DeMers, Founder & CEO of AudienceBloom, put it this way in an article on Entrepreneur.com, “Ranking highly for long-tail keywords is much easier than ranking high for shorter keywords, so even though they bring in less traffic, they’re still more valuable for small businesses to go after.”
Before you get started researching keywords, it is important for you to set goals and expectations from the outset. Your keywords should be focused on what sets your business apart. One of the benefits of long-tail keywords is they allow you to get much more specific than shorter keywords, which may help attract customers who are further along in the buying cycle.
If you’re unfamiliar with how to build out a keyword list or what constitutes a good keyword, check out this post on Moz.
Tag your site
Another area that is often neglected by many small business owners is properly tagging their website. If you are using a program like WordPress, it is easy to create categories and tags. Having tags on your site makes it much easier for customers to navigate and find the information they are searching for. This should also increase time on site and decrease bounce rate.
It is also important to include title tags and meta description tags for all of your pages. These will help draw in searchers, give them the most important information up front, and entice them to click on your search result.
Focus on local
One of the best things you can do to drive traffic from your website to your business is optimizing for local SEO. Before I go any deeper, it’s important to note the difference between organic and local search. Organic search focuses primarily on the relevance of your site to the searcher, while local search takes into account the proximity of your business to the geographic location of the search.
When optimizing for local search, here are a few elements you should focus on:
- Consistent NAP: One of the most important factors in determining local search ranking, according to Moz, is on-page signals like name, address, and phone number (NAP). That’s why it is important to make sure your NAP information is consistent across all of your directory listings. Inconsistent information will not only confuse searchers but the search engines as well.
- Claim relevant business listings: You probably have claimed your business on Google, Facebook, and Yelp, but there are a number of other listings and business directories you can claim that will give your local SEO a boost. But it isn’t enough to just claim the listing, you should update your business description, upload high-quality images, and fill the listing with keywords relevant to your business. To help you get started here is a list of the top-50 online local business directories according to HubSpot.
- Collect online reviews: Recent updates to Google’s local search algorithm have elevated the importance of online reviews. According to Google, the algorithm is made up of three key components: relevance, distance, and prominence. The first two are straightforward. Google takes into account how closely your business matches the search terms as well as the searcher’s proximity to your business. Prominence refers to how well a business is known in the offline world. Part of that includes how many online reviews your business has and how often they are coming in.
Start a blog
Blogging can be an effective way to improve both traditional and local search rankings and should act as an extension of your keyword strategy. As Jennifer Barry notes in a post on Business 2 Community, you shouldn’t just use your blog to cram in a bunch of keywords you want to rank on. You need to be thoughtful and offer value to your readers. She says your content should, “[C]oncentrate on simply answering questions. Provide knowledge for those who reach your site. They don’t need a million keywords; they need answers.”
Taking the time to optimize your small business’ website will require some effort. However, the dividends it will pay down the road in the form in increased web traffic and conversions will be well worth it.
Learn More Small Business SEO Secrets
Request a demo to see how Podium’s cloud-based solution can help you use text messages to invite all of your customers to review your business. Podium’s efficient, mobile process can help your business build a strong online presence on the sites that matter most. This will, in turn, improve local SEO and ultimately boost revenues.