We live in an amazing time. Small businesses don’t have to make commercials or hire a top-tier marketing firm to get their message to the public. Businesses have access to cheaper but effective marketing tools, one of the most important of which is search engine optimization. Indeed, just a little knowledge of SEO for small businesses can help improve your search engine rankings and brand reach.

However, it is essential that you understand how it can affect your brands, products and services. 

Note from Kayla: This guest post about SEO for small businesses was written by Emma Carter. I publish guest posts on Writing From Nowhere to give readers a well-rounded perspective. Thank you, Emma!

A Black woman sups a coffee cup in her pajamas at her laptop with a city skyline outside of the window behind her. Text atop the photo reads "SEO for small businesses, explained, save for later"

What You Need To Know About SEO For Small Businesses

If you’re a brand new business owner, you may be wondering “what does SEO for small businesses even mean?!” Don’t feel bad – we all started there. Let’s start with the basic facts of SEO for small businesses before we dive into how to optimize your content.

1. SEO Definition

SEO stands for search engine optimization and is the process of optimising your website to generate organic (unpaid) traffic from Google’s search results. For it to be successful, you need to make specific adjustments to your site design and content to attract the attention of search engines.

2. How Does SEO Work?

Google and other search engines only want to deliver high-quality and relevant results to their users. They achieve this by scanning and checking websites and their content. The criteria for search ranking are numerous, but user-friendly sites are often rewarded with a spot at the top of the results pages. So, for your site to appear on the first page, you will need to utilise SEO. 

The 3 Essential SEO Tools For Small Businesses

1. Content

Content helps your site connect with both search engines and visitors. In fact, if you incorporate engaging and compelling content, users are more likely to: 

  • Spend more time on your site  
  • Buy your products and services
  • Subscribe to your newsletter
  • Share your blogs or other content

Now, to optimizeyour content, you need to present it in a variety of ways. Moreover, the topics need to be relevant and well-written. 

You can use the following types of content to promote your products and services:

  •   Blogs and articles
  •   Social media posts
  •   Tutorials and how-to guides
  •   Videos and audio
  •   Infographics and other visual content

It is possible to improve your content ranking in the search engines by using keywords and phrases. These are the specific terms that users often type into search engines when looking for your products and services. 

If you include these keywords in the content, you will increase the chances of your website appearing at the top of the search engine results pages. 

Keeping your content fresh is also a significant ranking factor. This will entail regularly adding new information to your site. Another way to freshen up your content is to:

  • Update old posts
  • Rewrite them
  • Add new details or statistics

Although creating and updating content may take time, effort and resources, it will almost certainly boost your:

  • Sales and revenues
  • Readers, subscribers and followers
  • Likes and shares on social networks such as Facebook, LinkedIn and Pinterest

Since both Google and customers prefer interesting and high-quality content, creating some attention-grabbing blogs can improve your website’s visibility. The topics should be relevant and valuable to your intended readers. This will also make your site appear authoritative to search engines and users. Finally, you can use social media to promote your content and create a following. 

By cultivating a group of loyal followers, you can create different media types to attract and engage new leads and customers.     

woman working at kitchen table on laptop

2. On-Page SEO

On-page SEO covers all the elements of your business website. For this reason, you should optimize your site’s features to improve your online ranking. You should pay particular attention to the following areas:

  • Title tags present the page information to search engines. As tags are limited to 70 characters, you must ensure they include your keyword and business name.    
  • Meta descriptions provide more page information to search engines. They also enable people to gain a better understanding of your page. Include your keyword and enough relevant details about the page content.
  • Sub-headings make the process of reading easier and also improve your SEO. There are several tags you can use, from H1 to H6.
  • Internal links to your other site content can help search engines discover more information about your website. For instance, you can link your blog post to another blog.
  • Image names and alt tags are helpful for adding essential keywords and phrases. The tags also make it easier for search engines to index your images.       

3. Off-Page SEO

Off-page SEO can also affect your online ranking, but you have little or no direct control over this. Fortunately, there are ways of improving your performance. Here are the various off-page factors that can influence your search rankings.

  • Trust is an essential factor in Google’s ranking of legitimate sites. Improve your site’s trustworthiness by building quality backlinks from other authority sites.
  • Backlinks require patience as you build relationships with other creators of quality content to link to yours. There is also another way of obtaining more backlinks. According to this article, infographics can be beneficial as people are drawn more towards images than text.  
  • Social media can also indirectly affect your SEO efforts. Make sure the content you publish is of high quality as this will encourage others to share it via the various social media networks.

Avoid Black Hat SEO Tactics

There are two types of SEO strategies: white hat and black hat. This article focuses on the former. In fact, although the latter may help you rank quickly in the search results, there is a price to pay – Google often penalises or bans sites that use black hat SEO. 

Meanwhile, although white hat SEO takes longer, it is a sustainable approach as you will be attracting a human audience to your site.        

SEO For Small Businesses Conclusion

Hopefully, this article has enlightened you on how SEO for small businesses can elevate your website to the top of the search engine results pages. Yes, optimization takes time, but it is imperative to ensure that your content is valuable and relevant to your readers. It should be engaging enough to convince them to buy your products and services.

In addition, you must always add new information to entice visitors to return to your site on a regular basis. If you need any guidance in this area, there are SEO experts who will be only too willing to help.