What Every Small Business Needs to Know About SEO

When you’re a small business owner, setting up and managing your website feels like a passion project in itself. Having a hub to showcase your work, services or products, and one that operates well is a rewarding and essential task, but it really is just the first step.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is essential in making sure your website is discovered online. It is the difference between you making active sales and finding new customers, or your site laying dormant. There are 30.2 million small businesses in the U.S., each of them competing for business in their respective industries, so it’s essential you know how to get your site noticed.

Below are the essentials that every small business needs to know about SEO.

Keyword research

When you are optimizing a website, you need to do keyword research for each page. This means that you need to understand how potential customers are searching for businesses like yours. By understanding the words and phrases people are searching for while looking for your product or service, you can then integrate this into your site. You can brainstorm words yourself and then use an online analytics tool to help you decide which keywords to focus on. Using the keywords in your URL is most important, and should also feature in the page title, meta title, and scattered throughout the content roughly every 100 words.

Be less competitive, and more unique

While your site will inevitably be competing for business, there is no use trying to outperform the biggest distributors that will have more resources and budget to expand their reach. Instead, you should focus on keywords that are not as competitive — these are called long tail keywords. For instance, in my industry of self-defense, instead of trying to rank in the competitive search for stun guns, I would optimize for “stun guns for women” or “red stun guns.” The key is to be as unique with your content as possible, as less-competitive keywords means a greater social and online presence.

Google ranks pages, not websites

For a small business, SEO should be an ongoing process. You can get help via paid traffic with Google AdWords, Facebook ads, etc., but once you stop paying, the traffic stops. It’s fine to pay for it in the beginning because traffic is part of Google’s algorithm, and it’s one of the things it considers when ranking a web page. But it’s important to remember that Google ranks individual web pages rather than websites. So your time will be better spent by optimizing individual pages with detail and precision rather than broadly across your whole site.

Know your market and create great content

When strategizing for your SEO, think smart, not hard. You won’t necessarily get the best results by trying to get a nationwide reach when really you could better serve your business by tapping into the local market. It completely depends on what type of business it is — if it’s a brick-and-mortar store business, then local SEO should be the priority. If it’s an e-commerce website, then think national. Ultimately, you will win customers by creating content that shows you are the expert in regards to your products and services. Content is one of Google’s top three ranking factors, and when shopping around, customers want information and advice as well as product listings. Show your customers just why they should choose you over another website.

SEO is the best long-term strategy for being found online, and the secret is that very few small business owners do it. It’s expensive if you hire a competent SEO expert, and it takes time to learn how to become SEO savvy. It can take several months to see the fruits of your labor, but if you persevere, the results will speak for themselves.

The post What Every Small Business Needs to Know About SEO appeared first on Home Business Magazine.

Original source: https://homebusinessmag.com/businesses/seo/small-business-know-seo/

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