Small Businesses are notoriously frugal with their expenses. Mostly, they don’t have a lot of money to throw at big campaigns, and almost all expenditure has to have a reasonable return, or at least some instant return. SEO can be a black hole if not done correctly, and small businesses can be prone to targetting the wrong industry or keywords if they do not have their wits about them.
Target the right keywords
First, use Google Keyword Tool to search for the keywords that are related to your industry. The bet keywords for you to target with your site are not the ones that have the most searches. If we looked at keywords related to small business, we would be up against all sorts of other websites, like the government’s assistance for small businesses. You need to find the keywords that your customers are going to use when they go through the AIDA stages of the marketing cycle.
Structure your website correctly
Make sure that you have used title tags, description tags and H1 attributes to target these keywords. A well structured website is the start of a great relationship with search engines.
Tell your friends
This is an often overlooked aspect of SEO, but it is important for small business. If you can encourage your friends to use your site, share your information, “like” the website etc, that is all better for SEO. Google is tracking shares across social networks, and the more your information is shared, the better.
Write great content
Not just content that is informative, but also content that is interesting. The more content you can have on your site, the better for search. This will allow you to target long tail keywords and capture a greater share of the search market.
Engage in the business community
There are some great forums out there where you can discuss changes in the industry. This will allow you to get a gauge for the important matters in your business. As a bonus, some forums allow links to your site in a signature, which will also improve your rank. Another aspect of community engagement is commenting on other people’s blogs. This will also allow you to gain a following and build a network of businesses that will share your content, and comment on your business.
Claim a Google Places listing
Google Places rank at the top for most “GEO-modified keywords”. You should claim your listing, and try to make it as accurate as possible. There is a chance you may already rank number one for a lot of the keywords you want to target. Google Places are the Yellow Pages of the 21st century, the only difference being it is free!
Encourage feedback on your Places page
Having more reviews is possibly going to improve your position. Although the jury is out on whether there is a direct impact, having more reviews that are positive, is certainly going to improve the perception of your business in the eyes of potential customers.
Write for other people
You want to try to get your voice heard. Writing for other websites is a good way to get quality links back to your site. If writing is not your thing, then maybe video is? There are plenty of blogs that do VLogs. The main thing here is to stand out from the crowd by becoming prominant.
Stand up for a cause
Are you a Car Wash? Maybe you could stand up for people that spray paint mud on their 4×4. Maybe you are a plumber and could do a public service announcement by showing people how to fireproof their gutters? Again there are two clear points here. One is that your message might be shared by people who have a similar belief, and two people will like to your page the more they talk about you.
Sponsor local sports teams
This is our number one not-so-secret weapon when it comes to small business SEO. It is great publicity, more people will link to your page and you will become known in your local community. It doesn’t have to be sports teams, it could be any local event where there is publicity.