- SEO

Small Business Owner’s SEO Handbook

In this age and time, where websites number in millions, there’s almost always only one search engine that most people turn to in times of need: Google. Except for in places like China, where Google is banned, 79% of the world’s population turns to Google when they have to look up something.

Bing—the Chinese equivalent of Google—is a second but nowhere near close, and stands at 7.27%. Baidu—which is also Chinese—amounts for 6.55%; Yahoo, which is now history, comes to 5.6%.

In other words, 1,168 million people in the world use Google, 293 million people use Bing, (China has a population of 1,419,511,539, to put that in perspective) and 292 million use Yahoo. These search engines are the first stop for people anywhere in the world whether they need to buy a pair of shoes or order a sandwich from a local eatery.

With so many people around the globe glued to their screens, it’s hardly surprising that businesses big and small want to make the best out of search engine optimization—and this is best done through SEO strategies.

Why the Digital Marketplace Matters

Considering how the number of internet users has grown to 4,437 million, out of which 4,031 million are mobile internet users, businesses have begun reaping the benefits.

Most major businesses have already jumped onto the bandwagon and are understanding the relevance and importance of robust SEO strategies. With established businesses running digital empires, small businesses struggle to stand out in this highly competitive digital environment.

Forbes reports that SEO has become a “necessity” for small businesses. And since 93% of people around the world begin their online voyages with a search engine, the significance of SEO strategies comes into focus even more sharply.

Basic Guide to SEO

On the surface, SEO is pretty simple to understand—and most people misunderstand it for this very reason. The understanding that stuffing keywords into a couple of blogs and publishing them is what SEO entails is far from the truth—and it’s not going to get you anywhere.

To get things started, here’s what any small business owner needs to understand about SEO:

On-Page SEO

These are the strategies you undertake in order to improve your page’s quality, visibility, and rankings. This includes keywords, URLs, load speeds, user-friendly interface, responsive designs, formatting, and clever blogging. Basically, anything that you can do to make your page better is part and parcel of on-page SEO.

Off-Page SEO

This includes strategies that hover away from your website, mostly in terms of white hat link building. Social media marketing campaigns, creating business profiles, and publishing articles on third-party websites are also part of off-page SEO.

Getting Started

You have set up a small business, locally focused, and sell a certain product or service. The aim should now be to:

(a) Get as many people to know about your service as possible, and

(b) To keep them hooked to your business, thereby ensuring referrals and long-term customer retention.

In order to keep up with the SEO scene, you’ve set up a website. It has an aesthetically pleasing design, and you’re all ready to begin publishing. Here’s what you need to bear in mind:

Local SEO

Small businesses have one small advantage over bigger businesses, and that is the advantage of being locally placed. Yours is not a sprawling franchise that caters to thousands. You are, instead, focused on a specific community or niche, and it’s easier to tap into this consolidated target audience.

People searching locally for, say, pepperoni pizza will be using long-tail keywords such as “pepperoni pizza Studio City.” Create content centered on such keywords, and you’ll be showing up in people’s search engines more frequently, thereby driving more traffic to your website.

Social Media Marketing

Be active on social media. Respond to customers and introduce a live chat option to show that you mean business. Post regularly, and allow people to post reviews. Nothing will get you more visibility than people checking in to your place or posting about your service on Facebook or Instagram.

Link Building

Always steer clear of black hat link building techniques, no matter how tantalizing they might sound. Avoid spam and low-credibility websites linking back to your page, because it will be detrimental to your SEO ranking.

Additionally. . .

Ensure your small business is making small but steady progress in the digital world by incorporating these techniques:

  • Exhaustive keywords that are relevant and well-researched
  • Optimize keywords naturally to be more visible
  • Be authoritative in tone
  • Keep monitoring your progress and make adjustments to your strategies accordingly

Joseph Dyson is a Search Berg specialist in SEO strategies for small businesses, digital marketing, white hat link building, and more. Search Berg is a leading SEO company offering a number of digital marketing services and solutions to small businesses such as professional SEO services, outsource SEO, link building services, and more.

Small Business Owner’s SEO Handbook

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