SEO For Small Business: Optimise Your Site To Get More Customers

Many small businesses are not SEO savvy, but SEO is important for getting extra customers. SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation and it’s the process of improving your website so that search engines like Google rank you higher in their listings.

This article will provide SEO tips to help improve your site rankings and get additional customers visiting your business!

Table of Contents

Why Do Small Business Need SEO?

Search engines have become the new yellow pages of modern times. Instead of looking in a book for businesses that you might be interested in, people are turning to search engines like Google and typing in their search terms.

SEO can help get your business noticed so it appears on more searches!

Tell Google Where Your Business Is

Google is the number one search engine and if you want your business to appear on Google, it’s important that they know where you are. It can be done in a number of ways, however you need to ensure the Name Address and Phone Number (NAP) are exactly the same, wherever it is published.

The NAP is often referred to as a citation.

Google My Business Is Local Search Engine Optimization

The most important listing your business will ever have, is it’s Google My Business Profile (or GMB account). It will help Google verify your business but also, it will show your business in Google Maps and the business listing on Google Search.

It will display your NAP, give users directions to your business but also display images, videos and all your awesome reviews.

All small business owners must have a GMB listing.

search engine optimization

A Contact Page With Your GMB Map

Although you can add a link in your GMB account to your business website, you still need to tie your website and GMB account together using your contact page.

An SEO strategy often forgotten by large and local businesses, is embedding your Google Map onto your contact page.

It will give users valuable details such as directions and reviews.

Local Business Structured Data

Consistency is key with Local SEO, especially for small business owners. Ensuring your N.A.P is consistent throughout the search engines is a necessity. The easiest way to do this is to add Local Business Structured Data.

Local Business Structured Data provides Google Search with information about the business, reviews and even images!

The preferred language structured data should be written in JSON LD.

Use Google’s own Structured Data Mark Up Tool to help you.

Local Directories

Adding your organisation to as many relevant Local Business Directories as possible is a simple and straight forward small business SEO tip any one can do.

A local website linking to your site will dramatically improve your local SEO marketing. Particularly important for business’s that are targeting local keywords such as:

Roofer Manchester

Locksmith Bath

Wealth Manager Leicester

Any SEO Agency who specialises in Local SEO will make this their number one task, as its an easy way to build links. A key off page SEO tactic, that anyone can do.

National Online Directories

All online businesses should be listed with the major business directories. The most important ones are Google My Business, Apple Maps, TomTom and Facebook Business.

I would also recommend you add your business to Yell, Yelp and Business Magnet. Business listing are a valuable citation that Google and other Search Engines find and help tie your business to it’s location. Your online presence/data/N.A.P need to be consistent.

Sometimes, Search Engine Users find small business through business listings on other sites.

website traffic

More 5 Stars Reviews The Better

Reviews are a valuable SEO tip that can help small business get noticed.

It’s important to encourage visitors and customers to leave reviews of your business on Google, Facebook and other directories.

It will also help your businesses online reputation or brand awareness.

The more positive reviews you have, the higher the Click Through Rate.

Websites with higher CTR, often rank the highest in the Search Engine Rankings.

Remember though – only invite people who genuinely use your service or product to leave a review.

mobile friendly website

Mobile And User Friendly

A mobile friendly website is a must! If your website isn’t mobile friendly, it could potentially be ruining SEO efforts.

Search Engines are increasingly making user experience a priority over SEO factors when delivering search results.

Small businesses will need to make sure they have an optimised site or one that is built responsive (mobile ready).

Core Web Vitals

Core Web Vitals are three metrics that Google rates your website on.

It’s important to ensure you have a strong score across all three for local SEO dominance.

You can check them by using the free MozBar Chrome Extension or manually checking your websites performance with third party tools such as:

Google PageSpeed Insights.

Focus on page speed and it’ll take care of Core Web Vitals.

Core Web Vitals

Page Speed - The Faster The Better

Website page speed is important because it has a huge impact on SEO and Google has clearly said “it’s a ranking factor”.

Google’s SEO Guide says: “Your site speed is an important ranking factor in search results.”

Internet Users expect a fast loading web pages and if you do not give them exactly what they want, they’ll go elsewhere.

A slower loading page will result in higher bounce rates and lower average time spent on the site.

One of your SEO strategies is to get your website pages to load in under 3 seconds

Out of all the SEO tips for small business, this is the one to concentrate on first.

Structure Your Page

Correctly structuring a page will make a significant difference to any small business SEO efforts. At all cost, you must avoid having web pages that just consist of text in large paragraphs.

Start with one main title tag – also know as a H1 Tag.

After the opening paragraph break your content up by using the sub headlines (H2 – H6) Title Tags. Structuring a page correctly will make it easy to read and digest.

Title tags can also be used to create a Table of Contents (ToC), which often show in the Google Search Results, right below your meta description.

Structure Your Page

If you sell products online your website needs to be structured in a way that Google can easily crawl and index your pages.

You don’t want to get penalised by the search engine, so it’s important you understand how they work their magic.

A site map is an easy way for both users and Search Engines to navigate around your website.

Adding one will not only help with SEO but will help users navigate through your site.

For example, your Home Page needs to internally link to your category pages, then your category pages need to link to your product pages.

Structuring your page just makes it easy to crawl, which is a good SEO tip for new or small businesses.

Identify The Correct Keywords

It’s easy to get carried away with keyword research, but try not to go too crazy.

If you can concentrate on one or two key terms per page (Hint: make sure they are in the Title Tag and Meta Description) it’ll be much easier for search engines to find your site and Google will love that!

Target keywords carefully, ranking for the wrong search terms will lead to low grade website traffic that has no commercial intent.

Short and Long Tail Keywords

Google and other search engines, prefer longer keywords that include three or more words.

Long tail keywords generate less traffic but are much easier to rank for in the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). They tend to have a higher search intent because they are more focused.

Short key phrases will deliver faster results in terms of website page views, however they’ll be harder to get into a higher ranking position because there is more competition.

Only target relevant keywords, analysis other businesses and see what they are listing for in the organic search results. If that search term is relevant to your business, then write content on it.

What do people search for? Answer that question and then write content on it.

To save time you could use SEO tools to help but these often have a monthly cost. If you are on a budget then use Google Keyword Planner in Google Ads, as it is free.

Use Images, Graphs and or Diagrams

Potential customers are more likely to buy from you or call you when you give them what they want.

By using images, graphs and diagrams you can bring your web page to life, increasing your conversions and over SEO success.

Avoid Keyword Stuffing

Don’t keyword stuff on a page. Google is smart enough to know if the keywords you use are relevant or not and it could even get your site penalised!

Do not over use your targeted keyword, more than twice is could be too much.

Remove Thin Content From Your Site

You want your site to be a success with potential customers and Google, the best way is by removing thin content.

Any web page with content under 500 words is consider thin content. Less for your contact page, all others should be over 500 words, your website’s SEO success depends on it.

Duplicated or Stolen Content

Search engines have been getting better at identifying what’s relevant or not on pages of websites so always aim for original text rather than rehashed material from other sites.

DO NOT DO IT – A website rank in the SERPs can disappear over night if caught.

Create First Class Content That Helps Your Prospective Customers/Client

Google wants to make search results as relevant and useful for their users.

They want your website content to be easy on the eye, offer value and hold a certain standard of quality.

Poorly written content is not going help you get more customers/clients through the door! It’ll only cause frustration among web users that will result in them leaving your site.

Use words that are familiar to the reader and avoid using big industry jargon unless you make it easy for people to understand.

As long as Google can see, users are satisfied with your content then they will rank you higher.

Do not try too hard or over think things!

Internal Links To Internal Pages

Use internal links to sign post users to other useful content on your site. From a technical SEO view, it will help the search engine bots crawl deeper into your website.

The further they crawl the more web pages they’ll discover, leading to more keyword rankings in the search results.

Share Your Content On Social Media Platforms

By sharing content on all of your social profiles, you will be able to drive traffic back to your website/blog post and increase brand awareness.

Although, it’s not SEO related, but creating long form content, which can be broken into bite sizes pieces for social media is a great way in increasing web traffic to your site.

Measure And Track Results With Google Analytics (GA)

GA will enable you to see how people are finding your website, where they are coming from and what pages on your site they visit.

It’s also possible to track which keywords have resulted in conversions/sales etc.

By using GA it will be much easier for small business or marketers to identify the best SEO strategies.

Geo Tag Your Images

Geo tagging images and other media helps search engines to identify where your business is located.

Geo tagging images will also help you rank higher in Google Maps and Apple Maps for local searches. This can give a boost to your organic rankings as well as boosting the CTR of the listings on those directories.

We use GeoImgr to Geo Tag all of our images. Don’t forget to Geo Tag all images you plan to add to your GMB listing.

Link Building - A Fine Line Thats Needs to Be Walked

Link building is all about driving external links back to your website. This will help Google identify that you are a relevant and authoritative source on the topics or keywords of interest to users searching for your business/services online.

Do not over do it! Although, there’s no specific number when it comes to link building, but too many too quickly will lead to penalties.

All good SEO companies should be able to do this for you.

Use Google Ads To Stress Test Your Site

Google paid Ads are expensive but we alway recommend running a short campaign to quickly indexes pages in competitive niches and to stress test your site.

By running ads you quickly test your sites conversion rate and will be given a quality score by Google. Useful to test your on page SEO. Use the data to tweak your landing page headlines, images and Calls To Action (CTAs).

Any SEO services company will often offer PPC management and could run a campaign for your small business. One month is all that’s required.

Google Search Console - A Small Business SEO Friend

There are dozens of small business SEO tips for using Google Search Console (GSC), but the two you need to do right now is:

  1. Add your sitemap to GSC. Google will then crawl your website to discover your site.
  2. Any change you make to a web page can be submitted for re-indexing.

If you get stuck any SEO provider or SEO agency will be able to do this for you at a cost.

Be Patient And Play SEO The Long Game

SEO requires patients and long term planning. You can’t expect to see results overnight and Google is constantly changing its algorithm (which determines the search engine rankings).

Please do not be tempted with short cuts and hacks as these often lead to penalties.

How Much Does SEO Cost?

The cost of SEO varies depending on the size and nature of your business.

Smaller businesses generally pay less than larger businesses but there is no definite answer to this question as it depends on many factors (such as competition in your industry, what type of products/services you offer etc.)

However, we can say that small business owners typically charged £500 – £1500.

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