Most small businesses come to our local SEO agency because they are not showing up on Google (or at least not on the first or second page). They are frustrated and know they need to do something about their SEO, but it seems overwhelming and, honestly, a little scary. At our agency, we are passionate about providing SEO services to small businesses because we are a small business too and we get it!
More and more of your potential customers are looking online for products and services, so if your small business isn’t showing up there, you are missing out on VERY valuable traffic. Search engine optimization (SEO) is defined by Moz as “the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results.
While social media can definitely send traffic to your business website, it’s changing all of the time and it can be a struggle to continually produce content when social media platform algorithms seem to change from day to day. Also, you are at the mercy of the social media platform when it comes to your profile, so if it’s the main place where you engage with your target customers and your profile is shut down for some reason, there goes all of your traffic.
By developing a robust SEO strategy for your small business, you can continue to grow your traffic from Google month over month— even while you sleep! SEO is one of the best investments you can make in your business when it comes to reliable traffic and meeting your customers online exactly when they are looking for the product or service you provide.
SEO for small businesses is a holistic process that takes into consideration your website, social media presence and other local ranking factors. It’s not a one-size-fits-all strategy for businesses, and that’s why it’s important to work with an agency that will consider your small businesses and its needs, rather than applying a blanket approach to SEO. Working with a local SEO agency should include on-page and off-page SEO tactics that help your business get more online visibility and higher search rankings on Google. Below you will find a brief summary of on- and off-page tactics to help build your small business SEO strategy.
On page SEO tactics are what we typically think of when someone says “SEO.” It includes adding optimization of title tags, meta descriptions (with keywords), images, content and URLs. A solid SEO plan for your small business should include reviewing and improving both on- and off-page SEO. All of these items are actually “on” web pages, hence the term “on-page” SEO. On-page SEO is the more technical side of search engine optimization, but don’t let that intimidate you! If you prefer not to deal with these backend issues, an SEO Virtual VIP Day is a great way to get it done FOR you.
There are also many off-page SEO tactics you can use to help your small business website rank higher on Google and these include building backlinks, optimizing your social media presence, guest posting on other websites in your niche and leveraging influencer marketing to get more visitors to your website.
One of the most important off-page SEO tactics is building high-quality backlinks. Backlinks are links to your site and content from other websites that are trusted and have a higher domain ranking and they fall into three categories: natural (people find your content valuable and link to it), manual (through intentional link-building activities) and self-created links (including a website link in your signature, in a forum comment, in a press release, etc.). The inbound links from these other websites allow you to take advantage of their “link juice”– it’s kind of like piggybacking on the trust and authority of their website. The key here is not to be spammy or buy links that aren’t relevant to search users. Look for natural backlinks such as those that come from your local chamber of commerce, trade association, business directory and even other complementary businesses.
Social media plays a role in SEO in a number of different ways. One of the easiest ways to take advantage of how it can help your business– especially if it’s a new business– is to set up your profile on the major social media platforms. Be sure to include all of the relevant information about your business including your website. Many times, the Facebook page for a new business will show up in the #1 spot on Google before the business website does, so don’t miss this opportunity to get traffic!
Contributing blog posts or articles on other websites that are relevant to your target customer can help you build valuable backlinks and gain exposure to a new audience. If you are a local business, look for other complimentary businesses or media outlets that have blogs. Put together a few ideas for articles you could contribute that would be of value to their audience. It’s a good idea to put together a short bio with headshot to include with your post (with a link back to your website, of course) as this makes their job a lot easier and they will usually include it and the end of your article!
Influencer marketing is another off-page SEO activity that can help you get fresh eyes on your website and content. If you choose to utilize influencer marketing, you can either DIY it or enlist the help of a PR or advertising agency. Look for Instagram accounts that are geo-targeted and reach out to see if they accept sponsored content. The key is to look for influencers on the platform where your target audience spends the most time.
If the bulk of your traffic comes from Facebook, search for local Facebook pages that have a large following. For Instagram, you can search by hashtag and then look at accounts that use that hashtag. Since Instagram has moved towards more video content, they may be open to creating reels, IGTV or Instagram stories tagging your business and what you offer. If you are B2B, there may be a LinkedIn user you can work with for LinkedIn live or other forms of content sharing.
To help you get up and running with an SEO strategy for your small business, we put together a Local SEO Checklist to get you started! The items on this list will cover both on- and off-page SEO tactics for you to start optimizing your small business SEO. If you’d like help getting your SEO strategy in place, we would be happy to help you do this on an SEO Virtual VIP Day!