If you have started a small business or you are thinking about it, it can be difficult to know where to begin in regards to getting your website ranked high on Google. You will probably be fighting for ranking with competitors and wonder how to get your website above theirs. This is where SEO for small businesses comes into its own. To get you up and running we have come up with this guide.
How to beat your competitors in rankings
You might sell products that are far superior to those offered by your competitors, your pricing might be better; however, your competitor is above you in the rankings. So, what can you do? Well, the best thing is to look into SEO for small businesses.
Search engine optimisation is the best way to improve your chances of ranking on the search engines and beat competitors. So what does SEO involve?
SEO for small businesses in a nutshell
Some people will tell you if you want to rank high on the Google search engine you are going to have to spend thousands. Well, this is not so. Sure, it is better to put your website and SEO strategy into the hands of professionals but there are also some things you can do yourself.
Search engine optimisation for larger websites and companies can be complex, more so when it comes to the technical side of SEO. However, smaller businesses with smaller websites don’t have such complex issues.
Factors you have to look into when considering SEO for small businesses include:
- Choosing keywords
- Writing high-quality informative content
- Keeping your website up to date
- Writing compelling titles, headlines, headings and sub-headings
- Using keywords in titles, headings and sub-headings
- Making use of H1, H2, H3, H4 tags
- Using keywords in the product descriptions of products
- Using keywords in image titles
- Making sure your website is fast
- The website is mobile-friendly
Of course, these are just some of the many factors of SEO for small businesses that you have to consider to optimise your website. They are a starting point and this is what we are talking about here.
Why SEO for small businesses is essential
Is SEO for small businesses worth the hassle? Yes, it is. In the past, and to some extent still today, businesses would place an advertisement in a newspaper or on TV. While this will get your business noticed, there is a much better way to get it out there to millions of people all around the world, the internet.
If you sell your products online you have the world at your fingertips. You get access to the globe to get your products into their hands. The internet can even help a local brick and mortar store to gain more customers.
Providing you get your website into the top rankings on Google so your site shows up when someone searches for your particular goods or services, you have millions of potential customers.
SEO tips for small businesses
In the following section, we will offer some tips for small businesses to help you get started optimising your website.
Set up your Google Search Console and Analytics
The first thing you want to do is set up your Google Search Console along with Google Analytics.
These are free to use tools from Google that will help you to track your website visitors and find which keywords bring visitors to your website. The search console is valuable as you can upload your sitemap for indexing and check pages that have been indexed. You can also find out about keywords and lots of other data.
Undertake keyword research
Undertake keyword research to find the best keywords for your website. You can use single words but long-tailed keywords often work best. These are keywords made up of four or five words. For instance, long-tailed keywords for a plumber could be “plumber in [Your Town, Your County]”.
Often long-tailed keywords are easier to rank for, more so if you are trying to rank high in a competitive industry.
Check out the competition
Take some time out to check your competitors. Yes, this can make a difference and it does help when it comes to beating the competition. You might already know some local businesses that you compete with but you can also search on Google or use the Semrush tool.
You can check out the keywords your competitor’s use along with which content works best for them. They might be using some keywords you haven’t thought about and if you can write better content than your competitor and include those keywords there is a good chance you can outrank them.
Stick with a good site structure
You need to stick to a good site structure for your website. To begin with, you need to have a dedicated page for targeting your main keywords.
If you have multiple locations you want to target each of these should have its own page, the same applies to the different services you offer.
Map out an outline for all services you offer and then research the best keywords that you can use on each of these pages.
Check for basic SEO issues
Keywords and structure are an important part of SEO for small businesses but you also have to check for basic SEO issues on your website. This is undertaken through an SEO audit of your website. This is to find issues such as;
- Pages blocked from indexing on Google
- Any broken links
- Whether your site is slow
- If there are any sitemap errors
- Any duplicate content on your site
These are the basics but a full SEO audit will show many other factors that could stop your website from ranking high on search engines.
Along with checking for errors, the SEO audit tool will show you how to fix those errors.
Create high-quality written content
Content is an essential part of your site as it provides information and is where you include your keywords.
Any content you put on your website has to be high-quality and it has to provide the information and answer the questions that people want answers.
When thinking about the content you need to make sure you break the content up into easy to read paragraphs. Split it up with images or infographics and include headings, sub-headings and H1, H2, H3 tags.
Use your keywords in the titles and headings as this tells Google those words are important and are related to the content.
Give thought to the Meta description and Meta title. These are what are shown on Google searches.
You should include your main keywords in these and make the description short and to the point and eye-catching.
The title tags should be between 55 and 60 characters in length and each title should be unique. The Meta description should be 140 to 160 characters long and include a call to action. It should be unique and match your content.
Set up Google My Business
Another essential part of SEO for small businesses is to set up Google My Business. This is another free tool and it helps with ranking locally. This allows you to include your business address, your telephone number, photos of your business and other relevant information.
When people search for a local business they are shown your information along with a map. This helps them to locate you and it can boost how many people walk through your door.
This can be a very valuable tool if you have a brick and mortar store, although perhaps not as necessary if you only have an online business.
We have only given you a brief insight into SEO for small businesses here, there is much more to search engine optimisation. However, what we have given you is a start to increasing business awareness online and increasing visitors to your website. If you need help with SEO contact us to find out how we can help you.