Are you opening up a small business and worried about your competition?
Nowadays, starting up a brand new business is harder than it was before. Back then, people only had to impress people coming their way to gain their favor in future visits. Now, there’s too much competition who may prevent your business from taking off.
Having them around may cause your business to start going bankrupt unless you do something about it. One surefire way that will always get you good results is to set up a website and have good local SEO. Good local SEO for small business websites ensures that you have a strong online presence thus giving you a fighting chance.
Read what we have below to learn more about SEO and what it can do to help you and your business survive today. We’ll also talk about some local SEO tips to help you out.
What Is SEO?
SEO is short for search engine optimization. It’s the process where search engines like Google and Yahoo visit your website and evaluate it. Their evaluation is what affects your website’s natural search relevance.
Search engines evaluate a website by using bots to scan different websites a day. Due to having bots do their evaluations, the standards are high and they’re strict in holding them up. Having half-baked measures for SEO is a surefire way to get a low SEO score.
This is why it’s important to invest a lot on your SEO strategy. Don’t worry though, search engine optimization tactics are most of the time free of charge. This is one of the things that make SEO a great marketing tactic.
Another reason SEO is great is that it’s easy to learn. You can build an entire campaign from scratch without much knowledge beforehand. You will see it’s easy to pick up the essentials and with enough practice, you’ll become an SEO master in no time.
Why Is SEO Important?
As mentioned above, your website’s SEO score is what search engines use to rank your website on their results pages. There are 2 reasons why that’s important for a small business. For one, it allows people to discover your business through Google or the like.
With the majority of the world going digital, this is one of the best ways to get noticed.
The chances of someone searching for something relevant to your business is higher than you would think. Also, since more than half the world’s population has a smartphone in their hands, this raises the likelihood of someone discovering you through search engine results.
Another reason why SEO is important is brand exposure. A lot of people don’t trust much of the advertisements they see online today. More often than not, they search for the ad in search engines before putting any trust in it.
If they don’t see it on the first page, they often don’t give it a second thought.
Having a good enough score that it puts your business on the first page helps prevent this. It helps potential customers gain a little trust in your brand at the start. This is all it takes to turn that person into a customer and into a loyal one in due time.
Effective SEO Strategies
Right now, knowing how important search engine optimization is for a local business, you may be thinking of ways of implementing an SEO strategy to your business website. Below are some of the best SEO strategies. These do wonders for your SEO while being easy enough to learn.
1. Perfect Your Meta Title and Description
Perfecting your meta title and description while setting up your website does a lot for both SEO and organic traffic. Search engines love a complete “resume” whenever a website goes online for the first time. As a result, they tend to favor websites that have an optimized meta title and description.
Meta titles and meta descriptions are what appear about your link when someone does a search. Optimizing the title is as simple as making it eye-catching. Load up on relevant words to entice visitors to click your link.
The meta description is what appears below your title explaining what your link is about. Keeping this neat is the key to selling your title to potential website visitors. For the most part, meta descriptions can fit around 150-160 characters.
Keep that in mind when making your description. Make sure any relevant information about the link is present within 160 words. This will prevent the description from trailing off into ellipses, becoming unreadable to people browsing search engines.
2. Focus on Your Keyword Strategy
Keywords are the life of SEO. These are the words people often look up the most when searching for something on the internet. Utilizing them as an effective SEO strategy is one of the best and oldest tactics today.
Keyword research begins by knowing the essence of your business. Knowing what your business is about narrows down the potential keywords you can use, allowing for easier keyword construction. Next, you’re going to need to use some keyword tools like Google Keyword to help you come up with a good strategy.
Online tools like Google Keyword update you on which keywords are hot at the current moment. You can use these high-quality keywords to ensure people have more of a chance to find your business. The problem with them is they tend to have a lot of competition surrounding them.
Instead, you can use one of the keywords with less competition. These may not have as much weight as the high-quality ones do. They give you a higher chance of appearing first in the results page though.
3. Optimize Your Website to Speed Up
In recent updates, Google introduced a new factor in rating SEO, a page’s loading speed. The reason for this was because people complained about how slow some websites were. They’ve now set a standard of 3 seconds for a page to load.
Anything longer than that and it starts to affect your SEO score in a negative way. There are many ways you can optimize your page for speed to prevent this from happening. For instance, you can take some time to root out the lines of code you don’t need.
A code is what makes a website function. Too many lines of code though and it will affect how long it takes for your web pages to load. This is why it’s a good idea to test a website before adding more lines of code to it.
Another effective way to speed up your pages’ loading time is to cull some plugins. They take up a lot of processing power when loading a web page, causing it to slow down. Removing any unnecessary plugins frees up more processing power for the essentials to load.
You can take time to optimize a page yourself but that takes a lot of patience and an understanding of code. You can also hire professionals to perform OnPage SEO services for you instead.
4. Create Content on a Regular Basis
Creating content helps you out in more ways than one. First off, search engines will begin to favor your website more than others. This is due to the fact they love active websites.
Before, there were a lot of inactive websites populating the first page of Google and Yahoo. They were there due to the fact they exploited some SEO tricks to get a high SEO score. To correct that, search engines began to cull inactive websites.
Creating and uploading content reminds them your website is bursting with activity. This entices them to give you a higher SEO score.
Content creation also gives your demographic something to look forward to. This is a great way to gain some authority in terms of local SEO. The more content you release, the more people will look at you as an expert in your field.
This will help you gain their trust as consumers. That will only work if you write content relevant to the local scene though. There are other considerations you also need to take into account before creating content for your website.
You can consider hiring experts on the matter like blog writing services for these cases. They know what and how to write to appeal to consumers.
5. Make Your Website Compatible with Mobile Devices
We’ve mentioned above that more than half the population owns a smartphone nowadays. For this reason, it’s a great idea to make your website compatible with mobile devices. This gives you access to a whole new demographic and increases your SEO score by a lot.
Search engines like Google are also integrating mobile users into their population. This is why there’s a lot of incentive for making your website compatible with mobile devices. Also, they give huge rewards because a lot of websites aren’t doing it.
The reason being they don’t know how to make a mobile compatible website. What they don’t realize is it’s easier than one would think. Popular website building tools like WordPress have the process by default.
Often, all you need to do is adjust the resolution to fit common screen sizes. After that, there’s not much else you need to do but update it on a regular basis.
6. Master Link Building
Building links is another one of the oldest tricks in the SEO book. The idea is to link relevant content from another website into the content you create. Doing this increases the strength of your links in turn.
In due time, other people will then use your links as a reference in their own content. This is helpful for a couple of reasons. For one, it gives you access to the demographics of whoever uses your links.
The dream is to have popular websites with a broad audience like Forbes to use your links. Because their audience is broad, they may have readers who’ll find your links interesting.
Doing this also increases your SEO score due to link building. Search engines give a lot of credit for websites with lots of high-quality links. That said, there’s a certain limit of links you can put in your content before they backfire.