Having an online presence in today’s technology landscape is essential, but it can seem daunting to a small business with an equally small budget. Only 17% of small businesses are actively investing in SEO techniques, meaning the majority are missing out on growth opportunities.
While you may think that effective marketing is out of your price range and only for larger companies, utilizing search engine optimization and marketing techniques is an investment that is incredibly important for small businesses.
SEO Offers an Increase in Traffic and Conversions
Utilizing search engine optimization techniques offer a variety of benefits for your business that make them worth the investment. While SEO doesn’t provide instantaneous results, over time it will bring in more relevant traffic and ultimately provide more sales opportunities.
In addition to increasing sales, SEO also offers small businesses:
Improved User Experience
Optimizing your website will create a fast, easy-to-navigate experience that provides the information your customers’ need. This makes you look more professional, but also makes users happier, more willing to purchase, and more willing to come back to the site again.
Higher Search Engine Rankings
Utilizing SEO techniques makes it easier for search engines to crawl your website and recommend it to relevant users. Google uses these factors to raise your ranking, and the higher your position on Google, the more traffic your page will bring in. This not only provides more brand awareness, but the potential for more conversions as well.
Insight into Customer Behavior
SEO relies on analyzing data and making decisions based on trends. By optimizing your website, you will have access to a surplus of information that helps you to better understand your customers and the products and services they are most interested in. Not only is this helpful for marketing purposes, but it can help you to better tailor your inventory and offerings to meet their needs.
Effective SEO Techniques for Small Businesses
As a small business, it may seem impossible to compete with big brands, but there are several SEO strategies you can start using right now that will, over time, improve your search engine rankings and make your business a strong contender.
1. Secure Google My Business and Other Business Listings
Google My Business is a useful tool that is tailored for local businesses. Creating a page allows you to provide your company’s description, services, contact information, and photos. Google will prioritize those businesses that use its own products, so this already gives you an advantage. You also want to make sure that your name, address, and phone number are consistent across all pages where this information can be found. This means checking websites like Yelp, Facebook, and Yellowpages.
2. Focus on Long-Tail Search Queries
For small businesses, long-tail keywords are more lucrative for search engine rankings. While it may seem like a good idea to optimize your pages for broad keywords that are highly searched for, this can make it easy for your business to get lost in the crowd. Instead, focus on more specific, longer search queries that indicate someone has the intent to buy.
For example, as a bakery, optimizing for “chocolate cake” is going to be difficult, but optimizing for “custom birthday cakes in Portland” is going to better target customers with the intent to buy.
3. On-Page Optimization Techniques
On-page includes several components like title tags, meta descriptions, and page speed, all of which affect your overall search engine ranking. Each of your pages should have a unique title tag and meta description that includes keywords and provides an accurate and informational description of the page. This information helps search engines put your content in front of the right users.
Search engines like Google also use factors like page speed when ranking content. If a page takes too long to load, no one will stick around and wait; they will bounce to another page until they find the information they need quickly. Improving the time it takes for your page to load will improve, not just your rankings, but your user experience as well.
4. Ask for Reviews
This is a technique that is particularly useful for small businesses. For local rankings, Google takes reviews into account, and the more positive ratings and reviews that are left for your business, the higher you will likely rank. Encourage your customers to leave reviews by creating links on your website, as well as prompting them to review after purchases or in emails.
With the encouragement of reviews comes the potential for negative reviews as well. However, if you maintain courteous and helpful customer service and follow-through with your promised products and services, reviews should have a positive impact on your search rankings and overall reputation.
5. Link Building
One of the best ways to improve your search engine rankings is to prove to Google that you are an authority in your field. The more high-quality, relevant websites that link to your pages, the more authority you will have. This can be done by creating localized, useful content and sending it to others. This could mean writing guest posts on another company’s blog, getting involved in local events, or sending pages to relevant directories.
Internally linking is also an important step in this process. Not every page needs to be linking to another page, but naturally placing links to other information on your website helps provide search engines with more information on the hierarchy of your website and what your business specializes in.
For help implementing these SEO techniques into your website, contact Ecreativeworks today.