SEO for small businesses

Many small businesses disregard SEO as a strategy as they often need to get results quickly and SEO certainly isn’t the tactic to get fast returns. However if you are willing to be patient and create a website whilst adhering to specific principles it is a way to generate leads on a long term basis for your business cheaply. Here are some basic principles that you can serve you well as a small business.

Page length matters

For most pages, in order to rank you would need 250 words of content. Long form content tends to rank best with the average top ten ranking search pages actually containing around 1800 words. But remember when writing the copy go really deep into a single specific subject rather than being broad in the content areas that you are covering.

Connecting your content strategy with your SEO.

Keyword research is often seen as a task undertaken by technical SEO and PPC managers. It is however just finding out the subjects that people are searching for and the language that is commonly used by your audience. Find these things out whilst researching your content. If you have gained an idea of a problem that you could solve for your audience. It is then about seeing how the idea could be framed in order to take advantage of the kinds of things that your audience is looking for. Keyword research on its own is not likely to deliver you good pieces to write about.

Structure your site using your customer insights

It is vital that you have a process for obtaining customer feedback. You need to know what is most important to your customers. Structuring your website around the problems that you solve for your customers is better than focussing around the products or services that you offer. Using the types of questions that your ideal customers can help optimise for voice search for example “Where can I find the best quality widget?” Is a natural sounding query for someone using voice activated search.

Plan your page structure with SEO in mind

Write your title, alt tags (image descriptions), meta descriptions (page description), anchor (link) text, headings whilst forming your ideas for your article. This helps to ensure that your content is consistent. This is not only great for SEO but also for ensuring that your content is aligned with your original intent for the piece.

Share internal and external links

Linking to your own internal articles is vital for giving meaning to the way that Google analyses content. Interlinking between different articles suggests their relevance to one another. Google views a link like a recommendation or validation of the content. Especially when discussing similar content that you have previously written about it is good to highlight the similarities in the content and showing the relevance to Google with internal links. If you link to external sites that are popular for your topic area this also suggests the relevance for that topic.

Link building

I mentioned before that Google views links to your content like a recommendation. The most important factor for your SEO is a good backlinking strategy. These are links from other websites back to your site. It is important to remember that not all links back to your site will be as valuable for the content on your site. The more relevant the backlinks are to your pages the more valuable they will be for your SEO. When looking for backlinks it is best to look for relevance. A good strategy to employ is to look for sites that are ranking well and using a tool like Ubersuggest to track their backlinks. You can then undertake outreach to all of these sites to see if the sites linking to your competitors will then link back to you.

Schema markup

This is slightly more technical as schema markup is added into the <head> section of each of your pages. Schema gives an indication to search engines of what is contained within the page you can find out more about adding Schema to your website here. Schema was put together as a collaboration between Google, Microsoft, Yahoo and Yandex as a way to mark and structure content featured online. Using this markup you can label items as being things like your brand name, tagline, logo, a review or an address. Google uses this information to pull out featured snippets for your site on SERPs.

I hope that this article has been useful to you. I appreciate that this article doesn’t cover everything so if you would like me to add anything feel free to leave a comment.

If you ever need help with any of these factors feel free to give us a shout sometime! 🙂

Photo by Merakist on Unsplash

John is a data driven marketing specialist and website manager who lives in South East London. When he isn't blogging for us he works for NHS Property Services.

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