How to make SEO work for small businesses

Table of content

No one doubts that SEO results are largely dependent on budget. Does this fact invalidate SEO for small companies? Of course not, but only if you choose the right actions. We will discuss them in the text below!

SEO assumptions in a small company

First, we need to define what activities we are looking for.

Of course, the main criterion is to minimize costs while achieving results.

After all, new companies cannot afford to take bold SEO actions when the business model is uncertain. Unfortunately, in this arrangement the necessary workload increases, but this is unavoidable.

Reliable positioning requires a lot of effort, so you have to spend either money or time on it. We will focus on the second solution so as not to waste your wallet, but we emphasize that we will not present easy methods and SEO tricks, because the entire process of gaining a position is difficult and time-consuming. Shortcuts have been blurred for several years now.

How to position a small business website?

In short – by increasing its usefulness. There are two paths to this: content and UX.

Create content related to your industry

Google displays verified and valuable information to users so that they use the search engine more often. This does not mean that only great sites can be seen. Yes, a site’s popularity is an indication to the algorithms that its content is credible, which is a privilege, but even small sites can successfully rank high.

By design, Google does not promote specific companies, but valuable information. If your website has them, this is the first step to becoming visible in the search engine. Create substantive blog articles that will be helpful to readers. In this way, you will not only generate traffic to the website, but also start building the image of your brand.

Do the same with the offer. Take care of subpages that provide useful information instead of empty adjectives such as “the best, the cheapest, the fastest”. Take into account the specifications, strengths, benefits of the purchase – your product or service can probably be accurately described, so stay away from poor marketing phrases. Let us emphasize once again that Google directs its users to valuable sites, and this is certainly not a dry sales block.

So, to sum up, write expert articles and subpages to make your website reliable and useful. This is the foundation without which further SEO activities are not possible. Importantly, creating content does not require expenses, but time and creativity.

Make sure the page is clear

UX (user experience) is the experience that your site visitors get when they interact with your website. Of course, it goes without saying that the better the experience, the higher your rankings will be. Here we come back to the principle that it is in Google’s interest to display friendly websites. Information is not everything, the entire environment related to it also counts.

Since UX is quite a broad term, we will discuss the most important issues that we believe every company should take care of:

  • SEO structure – refers to the appropriate arrangement of content on the website. Large blocks of text are neither readable nor attractive, so you need to add headings and formatting to highlight more important parts and make the content coherent. Equally important is internal linking to other subpages, which will make it easier for the user to navigate the website. Additionally, use keywords to clearly tell the search engine what your article is about.
  • Page loading time – code minification and reducing the size of graphics have a positive effect on the page speed and, therefore, on the user experience. Google values neatness, not clutter, so whenever possible, ensure the website runs as smoothly as possible.
  • Security – an installed SSL certificate is now standard for every serious website. Moreover, in accordance with the GDPR regulation, you are obliged to inform users about how personal data is processed. Therefore, include the privacy policy and terms of use of the website. Doing so will increase the professionalism of your website and may also have a positive impact on gaining positions.

Positioning small businesses away from the competition

Taking a visible place in Google is a problematic issue for small businesses due to the fact that only the first ten places (the so-called TOP10) bring results. The results that appear on subsequent pages drastically lose click-through rates. Large companies occupy top positions and we know that it is not easy to beat them – so how to approach this problem?

Use long tail keywords

The basic solution is… no fighting!

Do not compete for popular keyword phrases with large companies, because such activities will cost you a lot of time and effort in exchange for very questionable results.

Instead, focus on market gaps and cover topics that have not yet been sufficiently covered.

With this, you will avoid the competition and generate traffic to your small business website – although it is small due to less searched keywords, but you have to start somewhere, right? This is a better strategy than spending your efforts fighting large players who have an older domain, a more extensive website, more content and… a large budget.

Choosing niche topics doesn’t cost you anything, and it increases the probability of getting a position in the TOP10.

Example

The phrase “running shoes” is occupied by large online stores. The extended phrase “what are the best shoes for running in winter” is now much more accessible – one result in the TOP10 is even five years old, and we know that Google promotes fresh information. At the beginning, such a keyword may also turn out to be too difficult, so it is worth starting with completely niche long tail keyword “are X shoes suitable for running in winter”, which will quickly gain top positions due to their narrow specialization. We can guess that such a question is rarely asked, but you are already visible to the owners of these specific shoes, and a professional article may encourage them to use your shoe store.

Keep an eye on regular content growth

It may seem that creating niche articles is completely devoid of fireworks – why waste half a day on an article when it will be read by one person a month? Here we must remind you that positioning is a difficult and time-consuming process.

The distribution of audiences often looks like this: one article doesn’t generate much traffic, but if you create several dozen of them, larger numbers will start to appear.

Some content won’t get any readers, and others may prove unexpectedly popular. This cannot be predicted, so regular publication and permanent development of the website remain. Over time, there will be more and more recipients, your topical authority will increase (i.e. the thematic authority related to the fact that the content on the website oscillates around a given industry, which will have a positive impact on credibility and visibility) and ultimately you will increase sales, which will allow you to invest in more “budget” SEO activities .

As you can see, small business SEO is not all about clever tricks and instant results. On the contrary, you should be willing to work hard. Take care of the quality of your website by publishing interesting information, and ensure the user’s convenience when they come across such content. Only in this way will the algorithms recognize your company as valuable, which will allow you to rank higher in the search engine.

Summary

  • Google’s goal is not to promote specific sites, but to promote the useful information contained on sites that have them. This is how the search engine solves the problems of its users.
  • SEO activities do not require expenses, because creating a valuable website requires time and effort, not money (which is only a substitute in this aspect).
  • Both of the above properties make SEO for small businesses possible without the expense, but it does require work.
  • The focus should be on increasing the overall quality of the website by adding useful, clearly structured content. Pleasant graphics and easy navigation on the website are equally important.
  • Positioning is a long-term process, but diligent work on the website will ultimately be reflected in higher SEO results.

Lordson Okpetu

I'm many things rolled into one; I'm an ex-journalist, a content strategist, digital marketer and 'rockstar' direct response copywriter. I've written tons of copies to sell thousands of products and services across diverse industries in Nigeria. In my occasional spare time, I play chess or spend time with my family. I am the Chief Operating Officer of Content Writer, Nigeria.

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