Interested in learning how to do SEO for your small business to generate more leads & increase revenue organically without spending a dime on ads?
Continue reading because, in this post, I am going to cover a lot of stuff for free that any other SEO consultant would actually charge you over $500 or $1000 an hour to share.
Yes, I know there are over a million articles already published on SEO for small businesses in the last 5 years not just by experts but even newbies who haven’t even yet ranked even 1 keyword on the first page of google.
So why should you read this post and why it is different than most posts out there?
Because in this article, I am going to not only share with you the resources and the exact steps of doing SEO for small businesses but also my experiences of doing SEO for small businesses and some secret tactics I picked up while reading a book called Traffic Secrets by Russell Brunson.
No more wasting hours on social media trying to generate leads when you can actually do these simple things and get real results for your business right away.
Let’s get straight to it shall we? We will cover the below topics today so make sure you read them in order:
What is SEO for Small Business?
The above definition is as per Wikipedia. Let’s simplify it =)
Search Engine Optimization or SEO is a discipline in Digital Marketing that aims to get your website to reach your customers organically while they are searching for your products or services online.
This is done by ensuring that your website ranks on the top of search engines like Google or Bing, when users are looking for your products or services.
When I say organic, I mean unpaid traffic. There are no ads involved when it comes to getting your site to rank organically on search engines.
For small businesses, it becomes crucial to design their website and create content in such a way that it is optimized for search engines.
To summarize – SEO for small business is the activities and practices that you will conduct on and around your website to ensure that your website ranks on the top of search engines, thus ensuring your business is in front of your customers when they are actively searching for your services.
How to Conduct an SEO Audit?
Before you start with implementing SEO techniques for your website, it is important to perform an SEO audit to find out what actions we need to take in order to optimize your website.
There are a lot of free and paid tools that you can use to audit your website. I’m going to show you a few free ways to audit your website.
Use SEM Rush’s Quick Audit tool to do a quick audit of your website by entering your website URL below.
SEM Rush’s Free Tool will analyze your site and give you a framework of things that you need to improve on your website. This gives you a good checklist of what to start with when you’re making changes to your site.
Now that you have audited your site, let me dive into the different SEO techniques to get your website ranking on the search engines.
On-Page SEO Techniques
On-Page SEO also known as on-page optimization is the steps you take to optimize individual web pages on your website with the aim of ranking higher on search engines and acquiring relevant traffic. On-Page SEO plays a key role in your overall SEO strategy.
1.) Create High-Quality Content
Creating and publishing high-quality long-form content in the form of articles is one of the most important aspects of getting organic traffic on your website. Your content needs to be helpful to your users and should add value. Here are a few aspects that you should keep in mind when creating content for your website:
- Original – Be authentic and original
- Fulfill Search Intent – It should answer your users’ questions
- Research – Your content should be well researched
- Useful to your reader
- Text Elements – For example, if you post a video, ensure that you have text as well.
- Multimedia – Add multimedia elements such as images, GIFs, Infographics, etc., to ensure your content is dynamic & engaging.
2.) Relevant Page Titles & Meta Descriptions
Optimize your page titles and meta descriptions for your website.
This is elementary SEO but it is essential to implement this on your website. When search engines crawl your website, they read your page titles & meta descriptions to understand what your content is all about.
Based on this and many other factors, your web pages are ranked for the keywords that you’re targeting.
Ensuring that your page titles and meta description contain the keywords you want to rank for plays a vital role in improving your search rankings.
3.) Optimize your Page Content with the Right Keywords
This ties in with point number 1 of creating high-quality content. When you start creating content for your website, you need to ensure that you have done through keyword research for the articles you are going to write. Your content should have the following:
- Primary focus keywords – These are the main keywords you want to rank for on search engines.
- LSI Keywords – LSI keywords are keywords related to your topic. For example, if you are writing about Apple the fruit then LSI keywords would be fresh, tasty, organic, red, etc., however, if you’re writing about Apple iPhone, LSI keywords would be a high-definition camera, AI bionic chip, 4k Video quality, etc
- Longtail keywords – Longtail keywords are longer specific keyword queries that are more specific to a user’s need. For example, “Digital Marketing” is a Broad Keyword however “Digital Marketing Consultant in Dubai Marina” is a longtail keyword that caters to people who are looking for digital marketing consultants at Dubai Marina specifically.
Tools that you can use for your keyword research are as follows:
- Google Autosuggest – If you type a query on Google Search, you will also be presented with a list of possible queries that can be used in the search box. These queries should be used as part of your content.
- People Also Ask – When you search for a specific thing on Google, along with the top-ranking search results, you’re also presented with a small box called ‘People also ask’. These are some great candidates to use as sub-headings for your articles.
- Related Searches – At the bottom of the Google Search page, you will also get a list of related searches. You can sprinkle some of these keywords as well in your article. Make sure you’re not keyword stuffing your articles though, as that can have a negative impact on your search rankings and affect readability.
4.) Heading Tags(H1, H2, H3 & H4) to Format Your Content
When you are writing your article, you need to ensure that you add a single H1 tag in your article.
If you’re using WordPress, then by default your title is used as an H1 tag, however, you have the option of creating your own H1 tag within the article.
You should always format your article by giving it subordinating H2 & H3 tags as well.
Make sure that your articles follow a hierarchy of H1, H2 & H3 when formatting your content. Add relevant keywords in your subheadings to further optimize and add value to your articles.
5.) Optimized Images & Multimedia
Images are a great way to make your article engaging and readable.
In fact, articles that have images get 94% more views as opposed to simple text articles.
So why wouldn’t you add images to your content? When you’re adding images, make sure you keep in mind the following:
Try to use original images rather than stock images as much as possible
Optimize your image size. You can use free compression tools to achieve this.
Use the Alt tag to explain what your images are all about. Search engines cannot understand images without Alt tags
Ensure your file names are descriptive preferably with keywords you want to target rather than random names. For example, If you upload an image of an SEO Statistics chart, ensure that the filename is ‘seostatisticchart.png’ as opposed to ‘18763902900.png’
Use Content Delivery Networks (CDN) to speed up your web pages if your articles are image-heavy.
6.) URL Optimization
URL optimization is an important part of SEO for your business. There are two aspects to keep in mind when you’re optimizing your URLs for SEO. They are as follows:
- The structure of your URL – The structure of your URL should ideally contain your category and title name rather than a date or any other formats.
- Length of your URL – Your URL should be short & descriptive & include your focus keyword.
7.) Internal Linking
Internal linking means, hyperlinking to other pages within your website.
Search engine crawlers go through your page and crawl through all the links both internally & externally within that page, and take those into consideration as well.
If you don’t add any links to your page, the web crawlers will just go through your page and leave. Internal linking is a great opportunity for you to let the crawlers go through other pages as well.
There are 3 advantages that come out of internal linking. They are:
- It helps search engines understand what your page is about
- It tell search engines all about your most important pages
- It helps users navigate to other important articles on your website.
8.) External Linking
External links is the practice of linking out to other websites that are similar to the topic of your article. While this does not have a direct impact on your SEO, there is an indirect benefit to adding external links.
External links help search engines understand what the overall content of your article is about further reinforcing the value of your content.
Ensure that you link out to only high-quality websites that provide value to your audience. You can also email the webmasters every time you add a link. This is a good way to strike a conversation and also gain backlinks (links that lead back to your website) for your own website.
For a quick checklist and detailed On-Page SEO Audit, you can visit SEMRush’s Website here and just enter your website URL to get a Free audit report.
Off-Page SEO Techniques
Off-Page SEO is all the activities that you do outside of your web page to improve search traffic to your website. This could be link building, commenting on forums, content marketing, influencer marketing, guest blogging & so on.
Off-Page SEO helps search engines understand what others think about your website.
It’s the aim of getting backlinks from high authority websites. When I say backlinks, I mean, when a popular website links back to your website from their article, that is a backlink for you and an external link for them.
There are two types of links: Do-Follow & No-Follow. Link juice is passed on from do-follow links. They are like a vote of acknowledgment from the source website stating that your website is authoritative as well.
Here are a few off-page SEO techniques that you can use for your small business.
1.) Link Building from Authoritative Websites
This is by far one of the most powerful & effective off-page SEO techniques. It’s the practice of acquiring high-quality links from popular or authoritative websites.
Always remember, that your main focus should be quality. Getting links from big brands is great, but don’t stop yourself from acquiring links from smaller brands as well, as long as their website and content is good. Make sure that the keywords and anchor text is relevant and related to your niche.
The best method for link building is to create content that is linkable and content worthy, this way, people will want to link out to your website.
Building your links naturally is the safest way of link building as Google is constantly on the lookout to punish black hat seo practitioners. Black Hat SEO practitioners are those people who try to trick search engines into ranking faster by deceptive means.
2.) Social Signals via Brand Mentions
Brand mentions on social media signal search engines that people are talking about your content and brand. You can get more people to talk about you on social media by constantly engaging with your audience and providing value and support whenever needed.
3.) Blog Commenting
Commenting on other blogs with your own website link was a widely used strategy to achieve backlinks until Google decided to stop awarding link juice to this activity. However, that being said, we cannot completely discount the activity of commenting on high authority blogs as long as you do it wisely without spamming.
4.) Forums Participations
Participating in online forums, helping the community out by providing valuable content, striking thought-provoking discussions & engaging is not only loved by Google but it also makes you a thought-leader in your industry. When you are engaging in forums, make sure you create a complete profile with your website in the signature. You can access a list of forums that allow do-follow links here
5.) Influencer Outreach for Social Shares
One way of writing highly shareable & valuable articles is by reaching out to influencers in your niche and requesting a quote or some insight on the topic you are writing. You can then format their points in the form of a quote with your article itself. On publishing, you can request them to share your article to their followers as well, this way it will further increase the reach of your website. Building relationships with influencers is a sure shot way of bootstrapping your own brand and authority.
6.) Guest Blogging
Guest Blogging is another great way of increasing backlinks to your website. There are a number of ways you can approach website owners for guest blogging requests, however one of the fastest ways to do it is by typing your queries on Google Search using this format: Keyword + “Write for Us” or Keyword + “Contribute for us” and it will give you a list of sites that accept guest posts. For example, if my niche is SEO, then I’ll type SEO “Write for us” to get access to a list of websites that accept guest blogs in that niche.
7.) Replacing Broken Links
Checking for broken links on high authority websites and offering your website link in return is a great strategy for acquiring backlinks to your website. Broken links can arise due to multiple factors such as dead web hosting, spelling errors, site migration mishaps, etc. Having proper links on your website improves user experience and cuts down unnecessary 404 redirects. You can use the free tool Dead Link Checker to find broken links of related blog posts of your competitors and offer a replacement link to your website.
8.) Social Media Marketing
Leveraging social media by engaging with your audience, consistently creating content and sharing it on your page & relevant groups, as well as creating contests and other activities on social media platforms, can lead people back to your website and send positive social signals for your website.
9.) Email Marketing
Email marketing is one of the only digital real estates that you will fully own. You can create interesting newsletters for your audience on a fortnightly or monthly basis. Your newsletters should be crisp, and packed with value that will entice users to keep coming back to your website for more. You can also provide content that is only exclusive to your email subscribers as a way to grow your email list.
10.) Quora Marketing
Answering questions on Quora and other similar question-answer websites is a great way to appear as a thought leader in your industry. Make sure you answer questions that are detailed and add value, with links that take the user back to your website. You need to ensure that your links don’t look like spam, so make sure to add your links only if it is relevant for the user.
Technical SEO for Small Business
Technical SEO is the steps you take to optimize your website in order for it to get crawled and indexed on search engines quickly and easily.
Here are 7 things you need to keep in mind while conducting technical SEO for your site.
1.) Ensure you have SSL for your site
SSL stands for Secure Sockets Layer which basically provides a security protocol in the form of encrypted links between your web server & a browser. Websites with SSL encryption appear as ‘https’ with a padlock next to it. SSL is normally used to secure card transactions, user logins, data transfers, and so on, however now it is becoming a standard for even browsing regular sites.
2.) Increase your site speed
Website speed load times play an important factor not only in your search rankings but also in user experience.
Have you ever been on a website that takes too long to load, and immediately left? I’m sure we have all faced this.
People are becoming impatient, and there is no greater turn off than a slow website. In fact, research states that over 40% of people abandon carts due to slow load times.
Here are some of the ways you can increase your website load time speeds:
- Compress large files such as images and elements on your website
- Utilize Content Delivery Networks (CDNs) to decrease load times. They do this by reducing the physical distance between the user and the server. You can use Cloudflare as a free CDN service provider.
- Implement Browser Caching & remove unused scripts & files from your site. If you’re using WordPress, there are tons of free plugins that can help you achieve this such as W3 Total Cache, LiteSpeed Cache, WP Super Cache, etc.
3.) Remove Broken Links and Eliminate all 404 errors
404 errors take place when you have linked out to a website or webpage that is now either dead or has been changed. This impacts user experience and also affects your search engine rankings.
If there are deadlinks on your website, you need to ensure that you set up 301 redirects so that the user is redirected to the webpage that exists.
4.) Remove Mixed Content from your site
If you have converted an HTTP site into HTTPS with SSL, there can still be a possibility that some non-secured pages are linked to your site, this can cause mixed content issues.
There is however an easy way to rectify this. You can use SEMRush’s site audit tool to quickly check all the non-secure pages on your site.
Once a list is populated, you can manually change it to https. If you are on WordPress, you can use the plugin WP Force SSL & HTTPS SSL Redirect. This plugin automatically detects all the HTTP pages and redirects it to HTTPS.
5.) Remove Duplicate Content
Duplicate content on your website such as pages with the same content can confuse Google on which page to rank, this affects your search traffic and can even result in penalties that lower your overall ranking scores. Ensure that every page on your website has unique content and avoid plagiarism at all costs.
6.) Create an XML Sitemap
A sitemap is a directory of all the webpages on your site in a structured format. Submitting your sitemap on Google, helps its crawlers to easily navigate through each and every part of your website thus helping google index your site quickly.
You need to create your sitemap and submit it to the Google Search Console in order for it to get indexed faster.
You can use the Yoast SEO Plugin to create a sitemap if you’re using WordPress and then head over to Google Search Console and submit your sitemap in the sitemap section.
Local SEO Techniques
Local SEO can lead to high leads and conversions for small businesses. But what is Local SEO Really?
Local SEO is optimizing your business to rank and gain higher visibility for keywords that are relevant to local searches. It helps you gain more visibility in your local area.
You may have heard of organic search results, however local SEO gives you ‘snack pack’ results. These are the listings that usually appear above Google’ organic search result in the form of a box with star ratings.
Here are a few Local SEO techniques that you can implement for your business right away:
1.) Implement Local Keywords
Implementing local keywords on your website will help you quickly attract customers close to your business. For example, a person living at Dubai Marina craving Shawarma is more likely to search for “Shawarma restaurants near Dubai Marina” or “Shawarma restaurants near me” rather than just Shawarma restaurants in Dubai.
2.) Create a Google My Business (GMB) Listings Account
Creating a Google My Business account is one of the quickest & easiest ways to start ranking for local SEO.
It helps you manage your brand’s online presence easily by listing your brand on the search results whenever someone types a query that is relevant to your core keywords.
It even helps individuals locate your business easily by giving you the ability to list it on Google Maps & local search results. Not only this, you can also add important updates, website information, phone numbers, opening & closing time and schedule with the help of Google My Business.
3.) Local Directory Submissions
You can boost local SEO for your business with high-quality business listing submissions. Local directory submissions can help you in a number of ways. They are as follows:
- People looking for your services will find it more credible and trustworthy if your business is listed in authoritative directories.
- You can gain a backlink by listing your site in local directories thus improving your website rankings. Site submissions are fairly easy to implement and are cost-effective.
Here is a list of 30 Free Directory Sites that you can use to start listing your site.
Do note, that when you’re listing your site, ensure that you list them in relevant categories that suit your business and avoid spamming these sites. Overdoing it or adding your site in irrelevant directories can negatively impact your SEO.
Obviously, implementing SEO for small business is a lot of work and takes patience especially when you have a business to run.
Why not make your life a lot easier and let me help you with ensuring that your business ranks on the top of the search engines so that you can attract the right customers for your business?
If this sounds good to you, get in-touch with me now for a quick chat by clicking here and together let’s take your business to the next level.
Incase you have any questions for now about SEO, you can always get in touch with me through the comments below so that we can chat.