Starting a small business is an exciting venture for the new and experienced owner. But with this excitement comes challenges. One of the most common problems owners expressed is not sure where to start with SEO for small business owners. With more and more customers and referrals being online driven, having a solid search engine optimization strategy can be critical to your company’s success. So, what can you do to get started with SEO on the right foot? And without breaking the budget? Here are 6 SEO driven steps you can take today to set your small business apart from the competition and get seen in search engines!
6 Easy Steps Overview: SEO For Small Business
- Claim/create a Google My Business listing.
- Conduct keyword research.
- Optimize your page titles.
- Optimize your meta descriptions
- Register with Google Search Console.
- Register with Bing Webmaster Tools.
Claim Your My Google Business Listing
The first step in SEO for small business is to claim your Google My Business Listing if you have not already done so. What this does is allows you to claim yourself as the owner of your small business through Google Maps and other Google properties. The purpose of this step is once verified, you provided your business information to ensure its correct. If you do not do this step, Google will try to provide the correct information, but this is not always the case. And although this may not seem like it would be impactful to SEO but consider this. Google is essentially a referral system for your small business. And by providing Google the correct information about your website allows Google to connect your visitors searching for services you provide. Here are the steps to take to claim your small business.
- Open the Google Maps app.
- Search for your business and choose and select it.
- Scroll down click ‘Claim this business.
- Follow the prompts for verification
After claiming, make sure to optimize your Google My Business account to the best of your ability.
Conduct Keyword Research
Keyword research is one of the most important steps in SEO for small business (or any business) and is the act of finding the best words and phrases that describe your business, that people are likely to search for when looking for your goods or services. These words and phrases are what is typed into Google by end users. By targeting these keywords, you can enrich your website’s pages with these phrases to help match your services and products with customers that are searching for them. Although this may sound like a complicated process, in practice it is simple with some helpful tools (both paid and free). Here is a list of some of our favorites that you can explore today.
SEO For Small Business: Keyword Tools
- Google Keyword Planner (Free)
- SEOQuake Chrome Extension (Free)
- Ahrefs (Paid)
- Moz (Paid)
- SEMrush (Paid)
- KWFinder (Paid)
Another area of keyword research to focus on is long tail keywords. Long tail keywords are more specific phrases that include your target keywords. This can be questions customers usually ask about your product or finding the best reviews about your company. Target these phrases to increase relevance and user engagement!
Once you have identified a few keywords, do search those phrases in Google to see what comes up. Exploring competitor companies’ content and their keywords can give you a leg up on enriching your own content.
Optimize Your Page Titles.
The next step to a solid SEO foundation for your small business is to optimize your website page titles. This could be home pages, services, products, blogs and more. These page titles should be relevant to the keywords being targeted and highly engaging. Showing up in search engine rankings is hard enough but getting a customer to click on your page is another battle! But writing relevant and engaging headlines increases your chances. Here are some general guidelines for writing and optimizing page titles that drive engagement.
SEO For Small Business: Page Title Guidelines & Resources
- Get the Length Right – About 50 to 60 Characters
- Use ‘Coschedule Headline Analyzer’
- Include targeted keyword phrase in the title
- Include Your Brand
Writing engaging headlines is more art than science. And many struggles to get their services seen because of poor click rates. But, utilizing a good headline analyzer like Coschedules or Sharethrough will help guide you in creating engaging headlines that convert to clicks.
Optimize your meta descriptions
Like optimizing your page titles, the next step in SEO for small business is to optimize each of your page meta descriptions. This is the additional information that shows up just below page titles in search engines. This additional information further reinforces what the content is before end users move to the page. And better yet providing an optimized meta description works for you in two ways. It provides additional description to search engines to further identify what your small business is about. This helps to better connect you to potential customers. And it provides you more room to provide more descriptive text to engage your reader. In fact, one showed that 43% of Google searches clicked on a result solely based on the meta description. Here are some general guidelines you can follow:
SEO Help for Small Business: Meta Description Guidelines & Resources
- Keep it to 155 characters or less (anything more will not show!)
- Do include your keywords, but do not overdo it!
- Make it relevant to your product or service
- Include a call to action
Like optimizing page titles, meta description optimization can take a little while to get the hang of. When in doubt, use clear and concise language that is highly relevant to the keyword you are targeting.
Register with Google Search Console/Bing Webmaster Tools
Google Search Console
Next up is getting registered with Google search console. This service allows you to get valuable knowledge and actionable insights on how to improve your visibility straight from Google itself. And considering Google is by far the most utilized search engine, this step is critical in setting your best foot forward when it comes to small business SEO. Simply search ‘Google Search Console’ and follow the prompts to get registered today!
Bing Webmaster Tools
Another highly utilized search engine is Bing. Although most SEO practices focus on optimization for Google, Bing optimization should not be overlooked and can be an excellent referral resource for your small business. Bing Webmaster Tools offers similar functionality as Google Search Console, if not a more robust interface. Simply search ‘Bing Webmaster Tools’ to get registered today!
SEO Help for Small Business Wrap Up
Optimizing your small business’s website presence does not have to be a complicated process. With a little time and energy, you can put your best foot forward in utilizing search engines to connect with potential customers. What is more, by completing these steps on your own, you can save big on SEO consultants! Follow the steps outlined in this article and improve your chances of moving up in the ranks!
Need help, or don’t have the time to spend on optimizing your website? Give us a call and let’s discuss our affordable local SEO services. We would love to help you succeed online!