In today’s post, we’re sharing our top search engine optimization tips for small businesses. While you can find tons of articles on the topic, this one covers exactly what we have learned through our small business SEO services. Let’s get started!
What is Search Engine Optimization?
At its core, search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of improving the ranking of a website on search engines. The higher the ranking, the more likely people are to find it. This can be done by optimizing the website content, structure, and on-page elements like titles, metatags, and anchor text.
But search engine optimization goes beyond just optimizing the website content. There’s YouTube SEO in which you optimize your YouTube videos for search. There’s local SEO, Instagram SEO, eCommerce SEO, and more.
In reality, search engine optimization is really about optimizing your online presence – whether it’s the website or your Yelp listings.
Search Engine Optimization Tips For Small Businesses
Now that you understand the basic definition of search engine optimization, let’s give you the tips you came here for.
Optimize Your Google Business Profile
Even before you have your website ready, you can have an active and thriving Google business profile.
A Google business profile is a free listing on Google’s search engine results pages (SERP) for businesses. It includes the business name, address, phone number, website URL, and hours of operation.
The best part is that it also includes a map with the business location pinpointed. This helps your customers find you easily on Google Maps.
To optimize your Google business profile, you first need to create one. A good tip is that it’s best to search for your business name and see if there is already a profile created by someone else. If so, then claim the listing and make sure all the information is correct.
Once you’ve access to your profile, try to populate it with as much information as possible. That goes beyond the very basics like business name, address, and phone number. Add hours of operation, special facilities your business offers – for example, you can highlight if you have a woman-led business, and add images to your profile.
You can also add products to your Google business profile if you sell products.
Lastly, don’t forget to urge all your new and previous customers to leave you a review. In fact, if you have a shop where your customers visit, get a QR code with a link to your Google business profile review page and urge them to scan and leave you a review right there.
Doing all of this will have a huge impact on your online presence & SEO. Of course, be careful you name your images properly and optimize all the content you add to your profile but do not ignore this at any cost.
Optimize Your Website For Visitors
It’s obvious that you will need to optimize your website if you want to do search engine optimization. However, most business owners and SEO agencies overly obsess about search engines. Instead, obsess about your customers and website visitors.
Your website should first be about all the information your potential customers need for decision-making. It should have a copy that speaks to the customers & that is optimized for lead generation.
Once you have a website optimized for conversions and lead generation, then you add specific optimizations for better search rankings.
Never put search engine optimization above lead generation and your target customers.
Have A Strong Content Strategy
A content strategy is one of the most important aspects of search engine optimization. This means creating and publishing valuable, relevant, and consistent content on your website.
Your website’s content should be focused on your target audience – their needs, wants, and desires. It should provide solutions to their problems, and educate them about how you can help solve their problems.
Some of the most genius strategies that bear fruits include creating content that’s unique, even if it doesn’t fit into a certain target keyword plan, staying consistent and publishing a lot of content, and taking the time to promote the content you’re creating.
This has got to be one of our top search engine optimization tips for small businesses. Make a lot of content, especially news related to your business and industry, case studies, and opinion pieces related to related trends within your industry.
Experiment With A Variety of Content
Most SEO agencies in Toronto GTA make this mistake. They focus heavily on blog content and tend to ignore the rest. But the blame has to be shared by the business owners as well.
With tight budgets we marketing agencies work on while attempting to offer you a lot of revenue and positive results for your business, we need your support. If you cannot support in any other way and have tight budgets, just support your marketing agency’s efforts with video creation.
Sit in front of a camera and make a video a week. Video content gives us an opportunity to not only do website SEO but also build a strong presence on YouTube and work on YouTube SEO.
More content types can include infographics, images for social media sites like Pinterest and podcasts. The more content you produce and the more formats you include in your digital marketing plan, the better it is.
Prioritize Bringing Quality Visitors To Your Website
A website that’s already popular has a much easier time with its search engine optimization. It’s all about the user and engagement signals.
If you’ve got more people visiting your website and have Google Analytics properly set up, you’re giving the search engine a lot of data on how users are behaving on your website. You get a lot of direct hits and chances are these people will engage with your content and may even share it on social media.
The moment they share, you generate even more positive search ranking signals via social signals. And that shared piece of content brings in more visitors and restarts this cycle of user engagement, social signals, and ultimately, search ranking signals.
Many of these people who see your content elsewhere or just want to visit your website could search for you on Google which creates branded search queries which are another highly important search engine ranking factor.
If more and more people are directly searching for your brand or business name on Google, Google will rank your website higher as it will begin to consider you as an authority in your industry.
So, even if you’re doing just SEO or not even doing SEO, try to promote your website everywhere – on your marketing materials, by asking people verbally to visit your website, by sharing your website on social media, and if possible, even by running ads like Google ads or Facebook ads.
Expand Your List of Target Keywords
Chances are either you’re aiming too high with your keywords or too low. If you’re a business just starting with search engine optimization, you simply cannot rank highly competitive keywords with high traffic. You can try but will have to wait a long time before you see results.
On the other hand, you can simply add that keyword to your long-term goal and draft a separate list of low-hanging fruits – keywords that are long and have lesser search traffic and focus on them. These keywords will have lesser competition and you’ll be able to easily rank for them.
They’ll also impact your chances of ranking for the tougher keywords in your long-term plan.
Here, it’s also crucial to consider the buyer’s intent when choosing keywords. Ranking for a keyword like ‘bakery’ is good but if you’re a bakery in Brampton, you simply won’t get anything by ranking for the keyword ‘bakery’ even if you’re able to do this. Whereas keywords like ‘best bakery in Brampton’, ‘buy cake in Brampton’, ‘eggless cake bakery in Brampton’, ‘bakery in Brampton Ontario’ would be the ideal keywords that will actually bring you a lot of customers.
So, when choosing keywords, look for the ones that have the potential to bring you real business and target those instead of some fancy keywords that may not be the right picks for your business.
Don’t Rely Just On Website SEO
Here’s one of the search engine optimization tips for small businesses that you wouldn’t hear often i.e. don’t rely on just website SEO or SEO.
In our post on why SEO is essential for small businesses, we discussed how it’s absolutely necessary to do SEO for your business but there are many more digital marketing tactics that can be equally beneficial for your business.
In the very beginning, you need a website, SEO strategy and its execution, a paid advertising strategy and its execution, and an active social media profile. You need four of these things in the very beginning.
A website consolidates varied digital marketing efforts. SEO would help you get a lot of traffic and business in the long term and paid advertising gets you quick results. And a social media profile helps you begin with establishing an actual community and communication channels for your customers. All four are important on day 1 and work on all these.
If you were reading carefully, you’ll know we’re recommending this also because all of these things do ultimately impact your SEO and the results you generate via that.
Be Patient & Consistent
Lastly, one of the most important search engine optimization tips for small businesses that we can give you is to be patient and consistent with your SEO efforts.
It’s not something that will show results overnight and it definitely doesn’t end with just putting in a couple of months of effort. You have to continue working on it and be consistent with that.
The results will follow but SEO is a long-term game. Don’t expect to see the results in just two months, even if you’re doing everything right.
And once you begin seeing the search engine traffic coming your way, don’t stop working on search engine optimization because now, there are even higher goals to achieve.
Overall, these are our top SEO tips for small businesses. They’re a bit unusual but we think it was important you read these instead of the usual – don’t stuff the keywords, work on social signals, measure results, make your website user-friendly, etc. All of these things are taken care of by your SEO agency. We wanted to include things that you need to understand and absorb as a business owner.
We hope this was helpful and if you’re looking for a digital marketing company in Toronto GTA, connect with us today!
If you’ve any questions about this, feel free to comment & ask!