The market nowadays is highly competitive and crowded with various businesses. Small businesses that are new to the market will have difficult times competing against other companies that have already built their presence on the market and are favoring good incomes. However, just because something is difficult, it doesn’t mean that it’s impossible. There’s always a way for small businesses to outrun even the more-developed competitors. A good example of this is search engine optimization (SEO). SEO allows companies to establish their online presence, visibility, and awareness, among other things.
Simply put, SEO helps your website become more visible and accessible on search engines, such as Google. The main reason SEO is important is that, as mentioned before, the online market is highly competitive and overcrowded, which means that your business needs to find a way to stand out and cut through all that noise. Moreover, aside from being a cost-effective marketing strategy, SEO provides many more benefits to businesses. However, it takes a bit of time before the results kick in. That being said, here are a few SEO basics small businesses should know.
The importance of keywords
Every small business must know how important keywords in SEO are. Keywords are the core of every SEO effort. They are words or phrases that match the content on your website and individual pages to that of user intent on search queries. Ranking for the right keywords will bring you closer to your target audience. For instance, if you own a small business that focuses on dog food, you’d want to rank for keywords that have “dog” or “food” in them.
You must also consider long-tail keywords most commonly used by your audience when searching for dog food online, such as “the best dog food” or “affordable dog snacks”. Comprehensive and detailed keyword research is simply a must for your SEO strategy. That includes conducting a competitive analysis to determine which keywords your main competitors are ranking for as well. The more you understand which keywords to opt for, the more successful your strategy will be.
Many small businesses are mainly competing on their local market before they grow enough to tackle the global one. That’s where local SEO is crucial. Local SEO strategy slightly differs from a regular one, as its primary focus is on your local market. You must adapt content, keywords, your business information, and other factors to match the needs of local customers. For example, you must update your business information, such as location, phone number, address, work hours, etc. on Google My Business listings feature.
It’s also important to sync that information with other local business listings. For instance, if your small business is in Hong Kong, you must ensure your local SEO strategy is optimized for local customers and that you have your business information on every local business listing. However, Hong Kong is a big and busy place, so you might consider opting for SEO services in Hong Kong to help you with creating a local strategy. Once you’ve established a good presence on the local market, you can aim for expanding your dealings to an international or country-wide scale.
Content is king
Yet another SEO basic every small business must know about is content. Content is king and there’s no doubt about it. The main reason content is considered as the most important factor in SEO is that it delivers value to your customers or target audience through information, entertainment, and education. Content is crucial for SEO both on your website and outside of it. Website content helps you provide relevant information to visitors while helping you include keywords your rank for into it, in order to boost rankings for your pages and your website in general.
Moreover, content is vital for your off-page SEO activities, such as guest posting and link building, as it helps build authority, credibility, and exposure. What’s more, content is the number one ranking factor alongside backlinks, according to Google. In short, there’s no SEO without good-quality content. However, not just any content will do. In fact, when developing content for either your website or off-page activities, you must ensure that it’s top quality and highly relevant to your target audience.
Every business these days needs a website, small business included. Without a website, you simply don’t exist in the online world and you certainly won’t need SEO. Most of your SEO efforts are regarding your website. However, all of that is in vain if your website isn’t performing well. In other words, you can simply say that website performance is a ranking factor as far as search engines are concerned. But what is that? Simply put, customer satisfaction on your website is a ranking signal and there are plenty of performance factors that influence customer satisfaction in the first place.
For example, website speed is a factor for both SEO and customer satisfaction. Sluggish websites won’t rank well on search engines because most consumers aren’t patent enough to wait for your pages to load. In addition, mobile friendliness is also an important factor. If your website isn’t responsive or mobile-friendly, you won’t have good rankings. Other factors include navigation, security, user-friendliness and so on. For website security, install an SSL certificate that encrypts the information pass between browser and server. Therefore, if you want your SEO strategy to succeed, you must ensure your website is performing well, to begin with.
Every small business must know about the basic rules regarding SEO. If you don’t understand how it works or you don’t understand its purpose, then you won’t be able to utilize the full potential of SEO.