Many people wonder does SEO work for a small business? The truth is that, business owners have a lot to benefit from SEO. To complement this article, here is a Small Business SEO checklist!
All the leading search engines such as Google, Yahoo and Bing need to know your business’s location and the products/services you are offering.
Needless to say, showing up in the search engines is not all that matters, but rather showing up at the top so that the relevant audience is able to see your page.
We had a small business client ask, why do they need SEO? They just got their website designed and were ready to go! What they didn’t realize is, a website is like a SMALL fish in the ocean. I asked, what’s the point of having a website and not being found online to drive leads and sales?
Guess what?! The lightbulb went off for them with that analogy! That’s what a lot of business owners think, I get a website up and watch the leads come in. 5 years go by and their business is growing slightly because of referrals and networking, but not at the rate they expected, want and desperately need.
That’s when most business owners decide it is time to invest in online marketing. What if you had invested in your business those previous 5 years, there would be no question that SEO would have helped develop your brand online and provided a consistent flow of website traffic, quality leads, and rankings. Part of SEO is just the consistent history of strategies executed!
With the right knowledge and understanding of SEO, a business’s website can be at the top of all dominant search engines. The end result means there will be more web traffic that translates to better business.
Rightfully so, it is important for a small business owner to understand the SEO basics, so when you decide to hire a SEO consultant or agency you have a good understanding of what you are paying for.
Basically, SEO stands for Search Engine Optimization. I love explaining this to people! It simply refers to the act of getting a website to be visible in the search engines.
This is done by ranking for the keywords for what services and products that the particular business is offering. It is all about giving your website the right standards and requirements of search engines so that its visibility and traffic results improve. Obviously, there is more to SEO than that, but that’s the basic information that you need to know.
Search engines such as Google and Bing will determine the web pages, listings as well as videos that are useful for their users. The usefulness and relevancy of these pages are usually determined by the search engine algorithms. There are also other general practices that will determine the ranking of the site.
This is one of the important SEO basics for small businesses that should be understood. SERP means Search Engine Results Page. It is the exact page that is usually displayed by a search engine after a user/searcher has placed a query.
For example, if you go to Google and search for “Dentist Charlotte NC” (local search), the results you see for that search query is considered the SERP. However, it is important to know that the results displayed can be those retrieved by the search engine’s algorithm or those that have been sponsored such as advertisements.
Example Search Engine Results Page
No matter the case, the results displayed will be in line with the query that the searcher placed. SERP usually includes a title of the searched page, its website link and a brief description (meta description) that clearly portrays the searched keywords.
The ultimate goal for any small business should be to focus on ranking in the SERP and and at the top of the search result pages. Click through, traffic, and leads are much higher when you are on the 1st page and even more so when you are in the #1 – #5 position for any given search. Searchers will consider the websites that show up first, translating to better business.
Keywords and SEO go hand in hand. However, search engines have changed their rules regarding keyword usage. It is no longer acceptable to publish pages that are jammed with keywords that you are targeting for your business.
Search engines now require the relevant keywords to be accompanied with useful content (i.e. blogging). In addition, the targeted key phrases must be well placed bearing the reader in mind because keyword spamming is no longer tolerated by search engines. As such, small business owners must create the best content for their website in order to achieve the best results in the search engines.
The success of SEO for small businesses cannot go without mentioning social media. For a business to be successful, it is important to create a strong social media presence. This can be achieved by creating a strong social profile on all the leading social media platforms, such as; LinkedIn, Facebook, Twitter, etc.
This is what will help your business to have better performance in the search engines. Social media sharing can help with rankings, brand awareness, and traffic gains.
Many SEO experts still insist that content is king. Gone are the days when increasing rankings through SEO was all about spamming your website with keywords. Things have changed and now only quality content will achieve higher rankings for a website. This just means that search algorithms have been enhanced to work in favor of the user!
Quality content is important so that searchers will continue to come back to the search engines. It is important for a business to create quality content that is SEO-optimized. Sales pages are important because those are the pages that convert the lead in to a customer.
However, blogging is even more important because people typically don’t buy from a business they are not familiar with on the first visit. Blogging portrays your business as an industry expert and will typically answer a question that a searcher is querying in the search results. People come back to those types of websites and subscribe to your stuff, so that you can eventually sell them something or be the go to business when they need your services.
As a small business owner, you most likely don’t have time to write for yourself. If you are, typically you are writing about what you think is important. However, the best strategy is to create content that you know people are searching for.
We see that a lot, some small business owners understand the importance of blogging, but are not blogging the right way. In addition, embarrassing typos and grammar errors are some of the mistakes that will put off visitors. Update your website with content that is interesting, SEO-optimized, informative and rich in keywords and keyword variations.
If you are a small business owner, it is important for you to understand the SEO basics. You want to make sure you get the best effort from your the SEO company you decide to hire. With the above simple tricks, your website can rank higher whenever searchers look for products or services associated with your business.
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