Small Business SEO: 6 Success Tips
Search engine optimization, at its core, is about the user experience. Every aspect of SEO, from your page load speed to how your images are tagged, is dependent on measuring how the user interacts with your content. Ultimately, you will gain a higher ranking page if it is appropriate to what the user expects to see when searching and if the page is engaging and easy to navigate.
However, there are a lot of pieces of the SEO jigsaw that feed into the overall user experience. As a leading SEO Agency, we have compiled our top six tips for success, mainly aimed at small businesses.
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1. Work on Your Content
Your content is your digital storefront. Therefore, design with your visitors in mind – the goal is to move them along the sales funnel from ‘curious visitor’ to ‘bona fide repeat customer.’ To do that, it needs to be engaging, informative, accurate, and written for your audience. Profile your ideal customer, or the type of customer you foresee making up the majority of your base, and write in a language that speaks to them specifically.
It should be evident that your content serves two purposes. Firstly, it is what the search engine algorithms will ‘crawl’ to understand what you and your business are all about, and it is also what your visitors will use to assess whether or not to buy from you. To this end, you need to ensure that the targeted content you have written contains plenty of natural-sounding keywords.
Optimize all of your content: the core web pages that make up your site, articles and blog posts (both internal and external), and social media posts.
2. Find Your Way Around
Navigation is an often overlooked area of SEO for your pages. Still, a hard-to-navigate site will frustrate and deter your potential customers and relegate you down the rankings when it comes to the search engines.
Your site should be intuitive to use. Therefore, menus and links should be easy-to-understand and straightforward – finding what they need should be effortless and fast because otherwise, your visitors will go elsewhere.
To start with, make sure that you have menu options that link directly to your most important pages: the home page, products/services, and contact, at a minimum. You also need to ensure that the search engine can index your site correctly, so work on the overall navigation menu.
Lastly – dead, missing, or faulty links will irritate users more than almost any other aspect of your page. Finding what they need, clicking the link, and getting an error message is a significant deterrent, so make sure all your links are accurate and live.
3. Faster, Faster, Faster
The speed at which your website loads is one of the most critical indicators of a positive user experience. Use Google’s Page Speed Insights tool to assess your website and action any suggestions you find. Typical solutions include compressing images, removing non-essential code, and hosting your site on high-availability servers.
4. Mix Your Media
In the mid-nineties, a web page primarily contained the written word. Pictures, if present, took a prohibitively long time to load, impacting the overall user experience – and video was impossible.
Well, we have moved on since those early days. First, however, pack every website with different media types: yes, the text should still be at the core of your content, but pictures, videos, audio snippets, and animations – should all be part of your message.
Very few of your visitors are interested in reading lengthy essays on each page, no matter how well-written and engaging. But, as the old axiom states, a picture is worth a thousand words, so make sure you mix some images and videos.
When it comes to products, this is easy: you place good-quality pictures of your products. However, offering a service can be a little more complicated. Try to do keyword research before selecting your other media and linking it to the most commonly searched terms and phrases.
On the topic of keywords, you need to explain clearly and accurately to the search engine algorithms precisely what each image and video is. You can do this through meta-tagging, describing the images' depiction in words.
5. Freshen Up
As a small business, you are up against more competition than your larger counterparts. Therefore, you should be trying to position yourself as a trusted expert for the involved services and products. To do this, you will need to keep your content fresh and relevant – it is not enough to remove blog in January and consider your content strategy for the year complete. Be sure to release frequent articles (they do not have to be thesis-length, a few hundred words will often suffice) and take down or update older pieces that have lost some relevance.
Consider your social media following as well – they are following you for a reason (they were, at some point, interested in your business), so keep them engaged. Even if it is something as simple as posting about local events, the weather, your opening hours, or a special sale, these posts will serve the dual purpose of keeping you in front of your followers' minds. Then, adding a human face to a digital presence is particularly important for small businesses.
6. Go Secure
Do you know the difference between HTTP and HTTPS? You need to. That 'S' stands for Secure, and it tells your visitors, your customers, and the search engine algorithms that your site is safe to use and submit personal data (name, address, credit card information, etc.). As a result, you are more likely to get customers to present that information. Then, you will gain a higher ranking than a competitor thought to be more vulnerable to data issues.
Digital Authority Partners
Of course, taking care of all those aspects of search engine optimization while simultaneously handling all the other essentials of running a small business can seem impossible. One of the best steps you can take is to let an expert SEO agency manage your online presence for you. Find out how Digital Authority Partners can help you with your ranking by getting in touch today.
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