Search engine optimization (SEO) tends to overwhelm many modern-day businesses, especially small businesses that don’t have the resources to outsource. The web offers a deluge of information, techniques and strategies on how to optimize your website for search engines. Much of this information ends up being conflicting and confusing for small businesses to find the right way forward. Therefore, understanding the foundation of SEO is crucial. Let’s look at an example.
Say you’re a small travel business and your travel packages are just as good (if not better) as the industry biggies. The customers are more likely to find them — and not you — because of their expansive investment in content marketing, online marketing, and keyword optimization for SEO.
As a small business, it might seem challenging for you to beat the big guns at their own game, but it’s not impossible.
7 small business SEO tactics
These simple SEO tips can help your small business rank higher in search engine results. Over time, you’ll generate more leads organically to grow your business.
Use site optimization tools.
Get a keyword-rich domain name.
Move your website to HTTPS.
Provide thorough business details.
Watch out for on-page optimization.
Make the most of Google Analytics.
Take advantage of social media.
Now that we’ve introduced these DIY SEO tips, let’s learn more about each one.
1. Use site optimization tools
Take advantage of these three tools to help you do some additional optimization and updates on your website.
Use this tool to identify if your web page is loading fast enough and to discover any issues with your website.
This tool helps you optimize your images. Look at the size of the pictures you’re using on your website. Generally speaking, if you have photos on your website, I recommend making sure that they’re smaller than 500 to 600 pixels in width. If your photos are larger than that, then consider resizing them. They’ll load quicker, speeding up your website.
Add this popular content delivery network (CDN) and website caching service to your website. It will stop a lot of the bad bots and bad traffic from visiting your website and cache your pages, so they load quicker.
A faster-loading website means that you’ll enjoy the benefits of better search engine rankings and more traffic to your website.
The search engines reward websites that load quickly.
2. Get a keyword-rich domain name
A domain name adds significant value to your business. It’s your online identity. The more simple and memorable your web address is, the better it will resonate with people. In the long run, keyword-rich domain names can have a positive impact on SEO; however, the approach isn’t as straightforward as it once was.
Having a keyword-rich domain name for your small business can improve your SEO and help you get exact anchor-text match in hyperlinks, which helps you get on-topic backlinks.
For example, a domain name such as www.comicbook.store resting on anchor text “comic book store” indicates relevance for the search engine.
This is where new domain extensions such as .tech, .store, .fun, .space, .website, .online, etc. help as they distinctly define the industry the business operates in and adds value to the anchor text.
3. Move your website to HTTPS
Is your website currently using HTTP? If yes, it’s time to make the switch to HTTPS. If your website doesn’t show a “lock symbol” on the left-hand side corner of the URL address bar, then it’s not a secure website.
Installing an SSL certificate to add that “lock symbol” to your website has become the norm for businesses as it builds trust and confidence with site visitors. Plus, site visitors will run into a warning sign in their web browsers that tells them that your website isn’t secure if you haven’t installed an SSL certificate.
GoDaddy offers a variety of SSL certificates and can help you get the right SSL implemented on your website.
4. Provide thorough business details
If you’re a local small business, then there are a few things that you should keep in mind in terms of driving traffic with local SEO.
- Make sure your full company name, address and phone number are displayed on the footer or the sidebar of your website.
- Ensure the NAP data (name, address, phone) matches your Google Maps (Google My Business) listing information, down to the way the street address is spelled and how it’s shown.
- Get local citations through the BBB website, Yelp, Angie’s List, and even Yahoo! Localworks.
- Consider using a service like Advice Local to get additional citations (mentions of your NAP data), as well.
Editor’s note: Want an easy way to manage all your online listings? Check out GoDaddy’s Local Business Listings tool.
5. Watch out for on-page optimization
Take a look at the on-page optimization of your web pages and see if they’re optimized properly. Use tools such as PageOptimizer.Pro to compare your web page with others that are ranking for your keywords. The tool compares various on-page factors, such as keyword mentions in your title tag, in headings, and in the text and makes recommendations based on your competitors and the content on your web page.
6. Make the most of Google Analytics
Look at your website analytics, specifically at the top viewed pages on your website. Look at pages such as blog posts and other pages to see if you can expand on that content. Was there a blog post that was popular? Write a follow-up or expand on it in a new blog post and link back to the previous blog post. Link the previous blog post to your new content as well.
7. Take advantage of social media
When you make blog posts, be sure to share them on all your social media channels for extra visibility. If they’re generic posts that aren’t necessarily tied to a specific date or event, continue to share them on a regular basis to keep the traffic coming back. Schedule them using tools such as Buffer or Hootsuite so they’re shared on a weekly or monthly basis.
Will social media trackback links to your site improve your small business’s search rank? Well, the debate is still out. But it’s a definite that social profiles tend to rank high in search engines, especially in Google and Bing. So keep posting.
Begin your small business SEO journey
As a small business, the first step in this process would be to do an audit of your website. Highlight your business goals, your current keywords, and your current market focus. Then, with all of this information, study your site in detail along with two or three of your top competitors. That should give you a good head start on the road to a well-optimized website.
Related: How to perform an annual SEO audit
Image by: Bestpicko on Visual Hunt