Many SMB owners consider SEO tedious for a few reasons – they lack the budget and they do not have enough technical experience. Still, SEO is the central part of your marketing strategy and your chance to put yourself ahead of the competition.
Assuming you have already covered the basics, such as creating a website, installing Google Analytics, or using social networks to drive traffic, let’s focus on simple and low-cost tactics that will kickstart your SEO.
Set Up Google My Business
One of the easiest ways to boost your exposure on Google is to claim a Google My Business listing. With it, you will be able to control how your business appears on Google and rank higher in relevant local searches.
Once you verify your account, it is time to optimize it. Add as much information as possible, such as your company’s name, location, address, phone number, website URL, niche, and hours. Humanize your business by adding photos. Show the inside and the outside of your business. Take a photo of your products. Provide behind-the-scenes photos of your employees. Finally, allow customer reviews and respond to them fast.
Register on Local Business Directories
While Google My Business is the most important place for your SMB to appear on, you should also register on relevant local business directories. They provide searchers with the most important data about your business and help them learn what other users think of you. This will help you increase your exposure and build trust with prospective buyers.
There are many local business directories to register on and some of them are:
- Chamber of Commerce
- Bing Places
- Angie’s List
- Better Business Bureau
Optimize for Voice Searches
In the era of wearable technologies, AI voice assistants are changing the SEO landscape for good. With them, online users do not need to be glued to their phones when conducting searches. They can now ask questions, order food, or make purchases without even looking at their screens.
Voice technologies are changing the way we perform searches, too. Users can now conduct more conversational searches and interact with search engines naturally. Instead of googling short-tail keywords, they have started asking questions and even using complex sentences. Statistics say that 70% of the requests Google Assistant receives are in natural language.
As voice search is one of the most significant local SEO factors, you need to focus on optimizing your site for it. Here are a few things to consider:
- Use long-tail and conversational keywords.
- Understand keyword intent. Use tools like Answer the Public to understand what keywords your target audience is googling. Once you have a list of potential keywords and topics, hire a skilled SEO consultant to help you understand the intent behind each keyword and help you optimize your pages for them to attract quality traffic and boost conversions.
- Optimize content for questions. For starters, create a thorough FAQ page to your website, where you would include your customers’ most common questions and detailed answers to them. When a searcher performs a question-based search query, your page will be the first thing they see on Google.
- Write longer content. Studies say that 2500+ articles perform better on Google. Long-form content is more likely to match searchers’ voice search queries and appear high in the SERPs.
Polish your Website’s Copy
A well-optimized and relevant website copy is the backbone of your website performance. When wanting to learn more about your website and rank it, search engines look at its content. If your pages have little or no content, Google will not rank it high.
Sure, you do not need to write 3000-word essays on each page of your website. Just make sure that there are at least 200-300 words of quality content on every page. You should also optimize your pages properly. Make sure you use H1 and H2 tags (headings and subheadings) to build a hierarchical page structure. Finally, check your spelling and grammar and never spam your text with lots of keywords. Insert them logically and naturally.
Start Building Links
Backlinks will help you increase reach, boost traffic, gain audiences’ trust, and rank higher in Google’s SERPs.
One of the most effective link building tactics is blogger outreach. Use search terms like ‘write for me’ to find local blogs that accept guest articles. Analyze how quality the site is in terms of SEO – check its domain authority, backlinks, keywords, rankings, etc. To make sure they will accept your article, research what topics the blogger is interested in, what tone and voice they use, how long their articles are, etc. As for your anchors and backlinks, insert them organically.
Alternatively, you could also:
- Earn quality backlinks naturally by writing fresh and data-backed blog content.
- Provide scholarship opportunities for local students. Create a specific landing page for them and ask local schools to link back.
- Build relationships with local micro-influencers and ask them to review your products.
Over to You
SEO does not need to be complicated or expensive. When applied strategically, it is one of the safest ways to boost your site’s performance and gain a competitive advantage. And, I hope the ones mentioned above will help you.
The original version of this article was first published on V3Broadsuite.
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