What is SEO for Small Businesses

Search engine optimization (SEO) has become one of the pillars of modern marketing. When many hear about SEO, they automatically believe it can only be done by big corporations that have the money to invest in such projects, but this is not true at all.

SEO can be a powerful weapon for small businesses as well, and can even help them compete with the big guns of the industry when done right. However, small businesses do need to focus on a slightly different approach when doing SEO; a method that is known as local SEO or small business SEO.

Before we dive into the many ways you can leverage SEO to your advantage, let us first understand what small business SEO is.

Small business SEO – explained

To put it simply, SEO is the process of helping your website rank high in user searches for specific keywords. By doing so, your website gets more search traffic, and more people discover your business.

Search engine optimization targets factors such as content quality and quantity, domain reputation, HTML titles, links, as well as some local factors, to move your website higher in search results.

Google continuously analyzes user behavior and, throughout the years, it observed that when they search for certain businesses, people need results in their immediate area. This is what local SEO focuses on – helping businesses get discovered by people in their immediate proximity, rather than, say, someone living in a different city.

If you own a local business, such as a coffee shop, a restaurant, or a real estate office, you want people to be able to find you quickly. That means, when you optimize your website, you need to do it for the geographic area you live in.

The main principles of local SEO

Local SEO focuses on three essential principles: relevance, prominence, and proximity. All of these three factors need to be kept in mind when trying to rank locally, as they are the ones determining if your business appears at the top of a Google Search Engine Results Page (SERP).

Relevance is determined by how well your business matches the keywords users are searching for. This is determined by a multitude of factors, such as your overall ranking in regular search results.

Prominence refers to how well-known your local business is. Search engines take into consideration a multitude of online searches to determine the prominence of your business, such as reviews, links, or citations.

Proximity is determined mainly by zip code or geo-coordinates, which you can provide when setting up a Google My Business profile.

What influences small business SEO?

Several factors influence small business SEO, but there is one in particular that you should be focusing on: NAP (Name, Address, Phone) – your business’ address details. You can set up these details through a Google My Business account, to make it easier for search engines and users to find your business.

The same NAP details should be used on both your website and GMB account so that Google understands there is a connection between the two. The best places to add these details are on the contact page on your website, as well as in the footer, so that users can get easy access to it.

Ratings and reviews are also essential when it comes to SEO, as people are more likely to click on a business with a good score. Monitor reviews consistently and make sure that, even when you receive negative reviews, you professionally respond to them and try to solve consumer problems.

If you are related or have a close partnership with other businesses, asking them to include a link to your business on their website can also work as a form of social proof that your business is relevant.

Last but not least, try to include your business on a few listing websites, such as Yelp, Bing Places, Apple Maps and Reviews Sorted, so that your local presence is more prominent.

What can small businesses do to improve rankings?

Now that you understand what small business SEO is and how it can help your business, it’s time to take action and start getting your business known. Here are some useful tips:

Optimize your website: use relevant keywords, make sure each page has high-quality content, and ensure you have a solid website structure
Research competitors: look for the top 5 businesses within your niche, observe what they do right and wrong when it comes to SEO, and learn from them
Ask for help: SEO is not rocket science, but it’s not exactly easy to understand either. Look for support from experts in the industry and learn how to do SEO the right way.
Get A Custom SEO Strategy From DOSEO: DO SEO offers several affordable SEO packages for small business that gives you a customised SEO Strategy based on your own website. We provide the plan, you implement the strategy without paying over the top for professional SEO services.