Do You Need Search Engine Optimization (SEO) For Your Small Business?
By: Danika Olsen
When it comes to running a successful small business, marketing and promotion can be the key difference between success or failure. In today’s digital world, one of the most important forms of brand visibility is through investing in SEO (Search Engine Optimization).
In fact, experts from SEMRush, Yelp, Forbes, and numerous others agree that it’s not a question of whether or not you need to invest in SEO, it’s a necessity. Businesses, regardless of their consumer base, marketing budget, or locale really do need an online presence in order to make it in today’s business market that largely exists on the web.
By optimizing your website for certain keywords and phrases, you can increase visibility on search engines, ensuring that potential customers can easily find you online.
Still, it can be hard to understand the benefits of SEO, particularly if you’re still operating as a small to midsize business. This list will cover some of the ways that you can ensure that your website is optimized, that you’re sending the right signals to search engines, and that your SEO service, should you choose to use one, is taking care of your best interests.
Why Prioritizing SEO is Important for Businesses of All Sizes
In today’s digital age, having a website for your business is no longer optional, it’s a necessity. After all, there are literally billions of web searches happening every day. But simply having a website isn’t enough to drive traffic and online sales, which is what makes prioritizing SEO so important.
Prioritizing SEO can make a significant difference in the success of your business, regardless of its size. Local flower shops in rural Wyoming can benefit from SEO in the same ways that companies like Amazon, Verizon, Netflix and other enterprise entities can. The tactics might just look a bit different. We’ll cover that more in a moment.
What Exactly is SEO?
Let’s start with the basics. Have you ever wondered how search engines like Google decide which websites to show first when you type in a query?
The answer, by and large, is SEO, or search engine optimization. Putting it simply, you can think of SEO like a popularity contest or a vote of confidence: the more optimized and “well-liked” your website is, the higher it will rank in search results.
Achieving your goals when it comes to SEO can happen in a number of ways, and there is no one-size-fits-all approach to achieving it. Overall, each website will require research and a different strategy in order to find an approach that will be successful.
However, achieving success can and generally happen through tactics such as keyword research and reorganizing your website structure, auditing your content, prioritizing content creation, great UX, and link building.
How Does SEO Increase Website Visibility?
SEO involves identifying the keywords and phrases that potential customers are searching for online, and strategically incorporating those into your website’s content.
By doing this, search engines like Google are more likely to display your website in relevant search results. But it’s not just about keywords; search engines also consider a variety of factors like website structure, mobile-friendliness, and backlinking when determining search result rankings. By investing in SEO, you can improve your website’s visibility and ultimately drive more traffic to your business.
How to Optimize Your Small Business’s Website for Ultimate Local Results
Optimizing your website for local SEO can be a bit tricky, but with a few key strategies, you can improve your chances of being found by potential local customers.
First and foremost, ensure that your website is mobile-friendly, as more and more people are using their smartphones to search for local businesses.
Secondly, make sure to include your business’s name, address, and phone number (or NAP) prominently on your website, as this information is critical for local search ranking.
Additionally, consider creating location-specific content and building links with other local businesses. By implementing these tactics, you can boost your chances of appearing in local search results and get your business in front of the right audience.
Create Content That Speaks to a Local Audience
Content creation is an essential aspect of local business’s marketing strategies. The digital landscape has made it easier for businesses to reach wider audiences, create engaging content, and generate leads.
Creating content that resonates with your audience is key, especially with a local customer base. That’s why it’s critical to tailor content to meet the specific needs and interests of your target audience.
Whether it’s through blog posts, social media, videos, or podcasts, creating content that speaks to your local audience is key to standing out in a crowded market. By utilizing local SEO strategies and focusing on relevant keywords, businesses can increase their online visibility and attract new customers.
As local businesses continue to navigate the ever-changing digital landscape, investing in high-quality content creation should be a top priority.
Ensure Your Website is Mobile Friendly
Having a site that is optimized for mobile usage is more important than it’s ever been. In fact, according to research by Deloitte, “64 cents of every dollar” spent in retail stores is influenced by digital marketing and online influence. Looking more closely into local marketing, 76% of people who conduct a local search on their smartphone visit a business within 24 hours and 28% of those searches result in a purchase.
Ultimately, it’s clear that if your site isn’t optimized for mobile use, you’re going to lose out on a significant number of customers, conversions, and traffic.
Invest Resources in Google My Business (GMB)
Google My Business is a free and easy-to-use tool that helps businesses manage their online presence across Google, including search and maps.
By creating a profile and verifying your business, you can provide important information such as your address, hours of operation, phone number, services offered, and reviews from satisfied customers. Additionally, Google My Business allows you to post updates and photos, respond to customer inquiries, and monitor your online reputation.
Given that Google is such a juggernaut when it comes to search, developing a strong presence on the platform can have a significant impact on your business’s visibility and success. So if you haven’t already, it’s time to get started on your online presence.
In addition, you’re going to want to consistently monitor your reviews from your customers and be sure that you’re earning reviews that will attract and retain customers.
Update Your Name Address Phone Number (NAP) for Your Area
When it comes to local SEO, ensuring that your business listings are accurate and up-to-date is crucial. This is where NAP, or Name, Address, and Phone Number, comes into play.
Having consistent information across all online directories and platforms in your area can greatly impact your local search engine rankings. Not only does it build trust with potential customers, but it also helps search engines understand that your business is legitimate and relevant to local searches.
Tools You Should Utilize for Small Business SEO
There are a number of tools at your disposal that you can use in order to help your business rank more highly in local SERPs. We’ll cover some of those below.
Moz is one of the most respected thought leaders in the SEO industry, so it’s no surprise that they have options available for local businesses in order to better help with local and small business oriented SEO.
Moz Local can help in a variety of ways. According to their website, they can help by checking “your citations on Google, Google Maps, Facebook, Bing, and other local search engines and directories. When we find missing or inaccurate data, we’ll let you know so you can take advantage of every search opportunity.”
Jasper.Ai is an incredible resource when it comes to creating content for their target audience. It’s no surprise why. Small businesses often have limited resources and marketing budgets, making it challenging to create quality content that resonates with the people in their community.
This is where jasper.ai comes in. Jasper is an AI-powered content creation tool that can simplify the process and enable small businesses to create engaging content more easily.
The program also offers a variety of customization options, enabling businesses to tailor the content to their brand and audience. By streamlining the content creation process while maintaining quality, jasper.ai is an excellent choice for small businesses looking to improve their online presence and grow their audience, especially if the business has to tailor to a very specific budget.
When it comes to local link building, SEMRush is an incredible tool to add to your kit. With its vast database of link data, you can easily identify high-quality local link opportunities that can boost your website’s search engine ranking.
SEMRush provides comprehensive data on relevant link sources and their link metrics, including domain authority, traffic, and link relevance. This information helps you identify potential link providers and create a list of relevant websites to target.
Additionally, you can find broken or lost local links that used to point to your business but are no longer functional. Utilizing SEMRush, the local link building process becomes streamlined and productive, allowing you and your team to focus on creating valuable content and providing quality services to your customers.
BuzzSumo is an exceptional tool that can help local businesses achieve their link building goals. Whether you are an individual blogger or a marketer at an established company, BuzzSumo provides you with valuable insights on the type of content that resonates best with your target audience, which can be an excellent starting point for creating high-quality, informative content that local websites may want to link to.
Additionally, BuzzSumo’s influencer outreach feature can assist businesses in identifying and connecting with influential bloggers or other relevant sources that can help them secure local backlinks.
Overall, BuzzSumo’s wealth of features, including backlink indexing, social media monitoring, and content analysis, makes it a must-have tool for any business looking to enhance its local link building efforts.
Many small businesses are using search engine optimization to gain an advantage in the market, as a means of increasing their visibility and reaching more potential customers. As a small business owner, it’s important to consider if investing in SEO would be cost effective and bring you the results you need, especially during difficult economic times.
Evaluating your current website and considering what specific changes could be beneficial can help you determine if employing an SEO agency is right for your business. When done correctly, SEO can make all the difference in your bottom line.