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7 SEO Tips for Small Businesses
When consumers are searching locally on their phone for your type of business, can they find you? It’s a question every small business should answer with a resounding “Yes!” If you haven’t search engine optimized (SEO) your website for local searches, you’re probably missing out on some real business opportunities.
“With the rise of voice search and automated personal assistance devices, consumers are increasingly searching for retailers and service providers ‘near me,’” says Wes Marsh, director of digital marketing for Solodev.
So, how do you optimize your website to best leverage online searches for your business? We put together this list of key mobile friendly SEO tips for small businesses to help boost your search rankings — and you expand your reach online.
What Is SEO for Small Businesses?
Google frequently indexes the content on your business website. The best way to optimize your website for search engines is to make it easy for Google by reviewing to their Search Engine Optimization Starter Guide.
Local SEO optimization is an effective way to promote your products or services online at the exact time local customers are looking for them. Use this resource to help improve your local reach, drive foot traffic to your store and boost sales.
Because outsourcing for SEO services today can cost big money, try optimizing your business website on your own. With a little time and effort, you really can achieve similar results.
1. Claim and Optimize Your Business Listings
One of the most important things entrepreneurs can do to increase their online footprint is to update their Google My Business dashboard.
To claim ownership of your company online, you must verify the business listing at sites such as:
- Google My Business
- Facebook Business page
- Apple Maps
- Yellow Pages
- Better Business Bureau
Listing with these groups enables you to appear in local search result queries specific to what your business offers. You’ll also be able to respond to reviews, and track user views. Be detailed, offer information about your business — and frequently update your listing with photos. Include content that encourages customer reviews and personally respond to each review when possible.
2. Verify That Local Citations Are Consistent
People discover your business through its citation: the online details of your business Name, Address, and Phone number. It’s an SEO strategy is known as NAP. While you’re claiming your business listings, make sure your NAP citations are identical one to the next and your website’s Contact Us content is the same too. Clean up variations such as Ave. vs. Avenue. Google the name of your business to see how it appears across the Internet.
3. Perform Detailed Keyword Research
Keyword research is important because it’s these search strings that are at the heart search engine results. Relevant keywords — in the right order and context — can help inform search engines about your page and help drive traffic to your site.
Free trial keyword research tools
4. Create Meaningful Content
Post relevant, authoritative, long-form content (around 1,500 - 2,000 words) for the targeted keywords you want to rank for – typically this is accomplished by your blog pages. If people are searching for something you’re business specializes in, be sure to build a page that details the product or service.
Build new meta content based on keyword research
Meta and title tags reside in the HTML of your company’s web pages. They help search engine crawlers identify the topic of the page. Be sure to run a query on Google for the local services you provide to explore how other companies are winning the top search engine results positions (SERPs).
Create unique, keyword-rich content
Be sure to spend time writing and editing content that describes the details about the products and services your business offers. Look at how the top-performing SERP competitors have built their content as a reference.
Write compelling meta description tags
This text is generally two to three lines and should entice users to click on your site. Keep it under 155 characters, otherwise your text will get cut off.
Internal linking can help connect your site together
Be sure to link the content of your website together across pages. By linking to other pages in your domain, search engines will have a better idea of how the topics on each page relate to one another. And local queries for your type of business will have a better chance of qualifying into the top search engine results when link building is executed correctly.
Link to social media when possible
Pointing to posts on your business’ social media platforms is a great way to build back linking between landing pages at both locations. And search engines will take notice.
5. Focus on HTML Formatting
Properly-formatted HTML is key because search engines can easily identify the hierarchy of content in a given page when formatting is right. Look online for free HTML validators which can clean up or adjust your code — to make it easy for search engine web-crawling bots to index your web pages.
Heading tags — H1 and H2
H1 tip: Use an H1 tag that matches the primary keyword you want the page to rank for. At least one per page, but no more than three.
H1: The title of your post
Keep this concise. It's here where carefully using keywords can really pay off.
- H1 goal example: You want to rank for water heater repairs.
- H1 title example: What Homeowners Should Know About Water Heater Repairs
H2: The subheadings or chapters within a page
Your H2s can contain similar keywords to your H1, but be sure not to duplicate it. H2s typically define the steps involved in solving a problem. You can have multiple H2 tags as long as each one is relevant to the tag above it. Here are a couple examples:
- H2 goal: Help readers identify the main points of your content.
- H2 subheading: How to troubleshoot common water heater problems
6. Check Page Speed Optimization
53 percent of mobile site visits are abandoned by readers if a page does not load within three seconds. That’s why it’s so important to optimize your page to load quickly. “Follow as many of the instructions as you can such as optimizing your image sizes, alt tags, etc., but don’t obsess over getting perfect scores in those tools,” says Marsh. “Take the insights gleaned from this tool as a guide, not as a must-do.”
Test your URL for issues and improve your load time by attending to the flags thrown by the following online tools:
Work with a web designer to optimize page loading, if the technical challenge is beyond your reach.
7. Get the Commercial Insurance Your Business Needs
With a little time and effort, you’re going to find that search engines are willing to share your company’s details with the world, and that really can make all the difference. “Small business owners must promote their websites in order to improve rankings and help potential new customers find them,” says Marsh.
While you’re fine-tuning your website, be sure to reach out to American Family Insurance agent for a commercial insurance quote. You’ll find they’re able to optimize your coverage the way you need it — and that can translate to real peace of mind in today’s fast-paced business world.