Nowadays the internet is a tool that we all use to make our lives easier. We all use search engines to find answers to our day-to-day questions, from how long it takes to cook a chicken to how long it would take me to get to the moon, we are now able to get answers within seconds. But have you ever wondered how those top results that you get, got there in the first place? Let’s talk about SEO for small businesses.
There’s hundreds to millions of pages and results for every question, which means the top results that you get should have the most accurate answers, right? Maybe, but one thing is for sure those results have the best SEO.
What is SEO?
Let’s start with the basics. SEO stands for search engine optimization and what it does is drive traffic to your website by improving your search engine ranking. This helps people find your business in the first place. For example, let’s say somebody is looking for the best cupcakes in town, they are most likely going to type “what are the best cupcakes near me” into the search bar. Now let’s say your business sells cupcakes, if you have a good SEO strategy in place, your business would be at the top of the search results. That means they are most likely to visit your page and furthermore buy from you.
So, SEO is one of the most important tools any business can have if not the most important. This is particularly true for small businesses. As a small business your marketing budget is most likely not huge, and the great thing about SEO for small businesses is that it will organically promote your business by driving people to you at no extra cost.
Why is it important to have SEO for small businesses?
Never mind the fact that people won’t really scroll to the bottom of the page for search results, much less look page after page; being one of the first results automatically makes you trustworthy in a costumer’s eyes. And this isn’t a weird search engine trick, if you are ranking at the top that also means your website is the most relevant to what that customer is looking for. Here are a few more reasons why SEO is important for your small business:
- Let your target market discover you instead: for most small businesses the process of getting your target market to find you in the first place is hard. This is where marketing techniques come in place, and SEO as an organic marketing technique turns the table, in a way. With SEO, the customer is the one finding you organically instead of the other way around. Also, because they are looking for you to meet a need they are most likely to engage with your small business in any way.
- Reduced marketing costs: Unlike marketing strategies like paid ads, commercials, billboards etc. SEO is built within your website, and you can develop it either at no cost (if you can do it yourself) or at very low costs if you are going to invest in some help. For a small business, this type of marketing is in many ways the most bulletproof one you can invest in because you don’t have a lot to lose and everything to gain from it.
- Long-term ROI: SEO can give your business long-term ROI. Once you get your website ranking, it can stay there for very long periods of time. This translates to constant website traffic over the years, which for your small business will mean sales coming in constantly over time just from the people that found you through your website.
- SEO is working 24/7 for you: SEO doesn’t stop working, ever. No matter if you are sleeping or haven’t maintained your website in a long time, SEO was in the background generating you leads the entire time.
Best SEO for small businesses practices
So, how can you get SEO on your small business’s side? Here are a few practices that can take your SEO from nonexistent to increasing your online presence.
- Keywords are Key: Keywords are SEO’s best friend. Keywords are basically what the search engine uses to connect your audience to your content. Search engines use keywords to organize content and then rank it from high to low relevance. So, when thinking about keywords you can think about what people would be searching for, for example let’s say your small business is a vegan cake shop, something like “where can I find vegan cakes in my area” or even just “vegan cakes” would be what people could potentially find you by. Keywords are very important so pay a lot of attention to this area.
- Make your website user-friendly: Search Engines take great care of noticing if users will have a pleasant experience navigating your website or not. Things like very organized sections with titles that clearly state where the user is going, make search engines rank you higher. Believe it or not details like how long the page takes to load are also very important. Having your website be ADA compliant also plays a big role, search engines also make sure everyone will be able to navigate comfortably. Lastly, search engines aren’t looking at images, they are reading the text that you put with the image, for this reason accompanying each image with ALT text and image description can also help you rank higher.
- Backlinks and internal links: Links, links, links! By placing internal links within your pages, you are making the user navigate to a different page in your website and this accomplishes many goals but mainly, this means one, they are looking at more products, and two they are spending more overall time on your website. Backlinks is when another page uses your page as an external link, and this drives their users to this website. This practice does require a bit more effort because you basically must make somebody else use your link on their page. This can happen organically, but for the most part it’ll be through your efforts, and a good way to get on somebody else’s page can be through partnerships or even by being a guest writer if they have a blog.
Get SEO for small businesses with GreenStar Marketing
That was a lot of information to take in, we know. SEO for small businesses is a big and complicated world, but using it is key to taking your small business to the next level. Not to brag, but we’ve got a couple of SEO experts over here at GreenStar Marketing, so if you want us to get it all done for you, contact us now! We’ll get your SEO groove going in no time. Our SEO services have gotten many businesses websites up and off the ground so join us!