We know search engine optimisation (SEO) is the process of optimising your website to rank higher in search engines such as Google, Bing, Yahoo, etc. The goal of SEO is to increase your online visability, increasing website traffic and converting that traffic into customers. In order to maximise your visibility online it is important that your small business website appears in different types of search results, including Google Maps, images, videos and features snippets.
SEO for small businesses can be challenging as you are not only competing against other small businesses, but also big brands and businesses with endless budgets and dedicated SEO teams.
So, what can a small business to do?
This blog will provide 8 easy ways you can increase the rankings and visibility of your small business website, helping you to focus on those important SEO taks that will provide the most return on the time you invest in optimising your site.
Fix your technical SEO issues
Your small business website might look great to customers, with eyecatching graphics and engaging content, but if there are technical problems behind the scenes, this is likely to impact your rankings and traffic.
Some of the common problems that I find when clients come are:
- Site speed – A slow site speed affects your core web vitals which is a big no in Google’s books. It has a knock on effect to your website visitors, if your potential customers have to wait to view your site, it gives a bad first impression and they are likely to leave your site as quickly as they came in.
- Duplicate content – Duplicate content can really affect your website and rankings. This can include URL based issues and duplicate copy within the site where it is replicated on a large number of pages.
- Indexing – Ensure that your website structure is clear and that search engines can index your pages
Optimise your pages
On-page optimization is more than just putting a target keyword in strategic places on the page.
It’s important to develop properly structured, high-quality content written in natural language that incorporates your targeted keywords.
Use every reasonable (i.e., non-spammy) opportunity to add your targeted keywords appropriately on your website.
Otherwise, you’re missing important ranking signals. In other words, you must optimize your:
- Title tags and subheadings.
- Images and videos.
- Meta description.
- Body content.
- Internal links.
- And more – get the On-Page SEO Guide to learn more.
Optimise your Google business profile
Your Google My Business strategy is a vital point for any small business. It’s free, easy to update, and can make a big impact to your visibility.
Your Google Business Profile should provide all of the information a potential customer needs to call you, get driving directions, order online or convert directly from the Google listing.
The first step toward optimising your Google business listing is claiming and verifying it. make sure you fill out all the information needed and you can enhance your listing using photos and videos.
Your category is also important, make sure you choose the correct category or the one closest to the services you offer. You can also take time to create questions and answers which means there is a section where people can ask questions and get the answers they need. You can create your own questions to provide the information before they even have to ask.
Find out more about optimising your Google My Business page.
Online competitors may be different to competitors in your local area. To optimise for SEO, analyse the top 5-10 positions og Google search results for your targeted keywords.
When doing a competitive analysis, use tools to find out:
- What those sites are ranking for.
- How many pages they have indexed.
- Their website structure.
- The quality of their backlink profile.
- Whether they’re ranking for long-tail keywords you could target.
Understanding your competitors’ website structure can be useful to understand potential product or content gaps. Developing the right list of keywords is still important. Your competitors that are ranking for your keywords or phrases are likely to have already invested a lot of time in developing an amazing keyword strategy, so use it to your advantage!
Manage Local Business Citations & Listings
In addition to Google Business Profile, you need to control the accuracy of your local business data.
Consistency is vital for SEO, so make sure your name, address and phone number (NAP) information is accurate to help improve your local listings.
It can be helpful to sign up for a service or use a local citations tool that will distribute your NAP information and monitor for inaccuracies, as the wrong data really can provide a hit to your rankings.
If you are looking for local listings, I can provide a cost effective package to increase the citations for your website. Contact me for more information.
Add Schema Markup to your website
Schema markup helps search engines understand different page components on your website, such as:
- Business name.
- Phone number.
- Business hours.
- Currencies accepted.
- Area served.
- Number of employees.
- And a lot more.
Using this markup can also help you appear in rich snippets in the SERPs.
Local reviews were one of the leading local search ranking factors in 2021, according to Whitespark’s Local Search Ranking Factors report. They also help improve conversion by getting reviews and providing feedback directly from your customers.
Make sure you respond to your reviews. Your answer is not only visible to the person who asked the question but to all other local searchers who find you on Google.
Even negative reviews are an opportunity to connect with the customer and show others you care.
Utilise other search engines
Google, Bing!, Yahoo!, Yandex, DuckDuckGo and Baidu are currently the top 6 search engines. So many companies focus on Google for rankings, but search volumes are also high on the other search engines, so ensure you submit your sitemap on Bing Webmaster tools and sign up for Bing Places for Business or you could be missing out on alternative traffic opportunites. By diversifying your sources, you’re more likely to capture the first page on SERPs, and you’re in a better position to find a truly ideal target audience.