Did you know that SEO can contribute to your business’ success? Take a look at these top 10 SEO tips that are easily applicable for all sites, particularly those that belong to small businesses.
Why SEO is Important
As you may already know, almost all businesses these days own a website to promote their goods and services. Despite so, owning a website doesn’t guarantee high sales volumes or even great publicity. That’s because you have to compete with millions of other sites on the internet.
This is where SEO comes in handy. SEO techniques make your site appeal to search engine algorithms and visitor browsing habits. Often times, among the many reasons why a business site fails to gain traffic is due to the owner’s failure to consider these essential factors.
The benefits of practising SEO are endless. For one, you get to increase your site’s visibility, which can result in a higher rank on the SERP – search engine result pages. Ranking high in search engines leads to bringing in more organic traffic and in turn, increasing conversion rate.
From a non-technical perspective, SEO helps provide a better user experience for your audience by providing the right content on the right search queries. Accordingly, you get to build a connection with visitors and gain their trust in return. By making their stay pleasant, there’s a good chance a one-time visitor can become a returning one.
That being said, not taking SEO practices seriously is a big missed business opportunity.
Top 10 SEO Tips to Improve Small Businesses’ Digital Visibility
Now that you know the importance of SEO, it’s time to put it into practice. If you don’t have any technical knowledge whatsoever, don’t get intimidated just yet. You can apply the tips I have gathered below to any website. You also won’t require a big budget either.
1. Pick the Right Domain Name
Just like a physical house having its own address, your site has a domain name that directs visitors to your site. Similar to the concept of a house address, there are no two identical domain names that exist on the internet.
However, unlike a house address, you can customize your domain name to better suit your site. A domain name consists of the website’s name, otherwise known as a domain label — in my case, LilachBullock — and the domain extension (.com), otherwise known as a top level domain. Since I purchased them from a domain registrar, only I can use them.
There are tons of domain registrars like Domain and Namecheap where you can acquire your domain name. The price depends on the chosen domain extension. Even though I’d recommend using .com as the most popular one, it tends to be more pricey compared to other domain extensions.
Be that as it may, I can assure you that it will be money well spent. By using a personalized domain name, users will find it easier to remember your website, which leads to better visibility and more traffic. Plus, your site will look very professional and stand out from the rest.
Keep in mind that the name needs to represent your brand.
2. Pay Attention to Your User Experience
Picture your site as a physical store. If you don’t find the place comfortable during your visit, I’m sure you won’t return. The same goes for a website. If you can make visitors’ stay pleasant and memorable, chances are they will return in the future.
Also, by offering a great user experience from the get-go, you get to make visitors’ stay longer instead of bouncing off immediately. Search engines, when measuring a website’s quality, does take bounce rate into account. If your site has a low bounce rate, search engines will deem it informative and reliable, which leads to a higher rank on the SERP.
The first thing you can do to improve your site’s user experience is to ensure that your site has fast load speeds. According to Kissmetrics, 40% of visitors bounce off of a site if the loading process takes more than three seconds. See how fast your site currently is using the Pingdom website speed test.
Your content’s readability score also determines the visitor’s duration of stay. If you own a WordPress site, you can use the Yoast SEO plugin to help maintain an easily readable site. Since you’re writing for visitors with various reading abilities, it’s better to keep your content informative yet straightforward.
3. Make Sure Your Site is Mobile-Friendly
Not making your site mobile-friendly is one of the most common mistakes you could do to harm SEO. According to Statista, 52.2% of all website traffic worldwide last year was generated through mobile phones. Imagine how many page views you lose in a day if your site cannot accommodate these users.
If you’re not sure whether your site is already mobile-friendly or not, you can test it using Google’s Mobile-Friendly Test. Not only does the test score your site’s responsiveness, but it also lists the elements that can be improved for better visualization on mobile devices.
The easiest way to fix this issue is by using a responsive theme. Luckily for you, there’s a bunch of free ones that are no less appealing than the premium ones.
4. Publish High-Quality Content
Everybody can produce content. However, producing high-quality content is harder than it looks. As our reading habits in real life differ from our browsing habit, the web writing style tends to be skimmable without trimming all the essential information.
The easiest way to learn how to make good content is by learning from your competitors. However, avoid copying their content at all cost. Not only that it’s unethical and illegal, but it will also affect your SERP rank negatively. Use a plagiarism checker tool like Small SEO Tools and Duplichecker to avoid doing so.
Another thing that you should remember is that you’re writing for visitors, not search engines. Many websites still practice keyword stuffing in the hope that search engines will favor their site. Not only that it won’t work, but you will also annoy your visitors and most likely increase your bounce rate.
Finally, make sure to publish and update your content regularly. A fixed upload schedule can help maintain an audience much easier as they know when to visit the site to get the latest piece. Search engines will also see that your site is active and up-to-date, thus increasing the chance to rank higher.
5. Use Internal Links
If done correctly, an internal linking strategy can boost your SEO significantly. For one, it allows search engine crawler bots to discover your posts and website.
Not only that, but internal links give away your site’s hierarchy to search engines. If crawler bots can see the correlation between your posts and understand the subject being discussed, search engines will likely include your site in the SERP when visitors search for that specific topic.
These are the most common types of internal links to help you get started:
- Contextual link — connecting two posts with a similar topic.
- Navigational link — direct visitors to your most important posts and pages via the homepage or navigation menu.
- Taxonomy links — link back to the post’s category and tag.
The best way to add internal links is by using anchor texts. You can easily direct visitors to other related posts via embedding links that provide extra information to text.
6. Improve Your Technical SEO
SEO isn’t only limited to content. As the platform that serves content, your site needs equal attention. By improving performance, you will not only contribute to your user experience but also make the search engines’ indexing process much easier.
The basic improvements you can do is to maintain fast page load times and make your site mobile-friendly. Since we already cover both actions in more depth, I don’t need to stress how important they are to your overall SEO strategy.
Using an SSL can also boost your SEO score significantly. Most websites use it since it ensures additional security to the connection between your web server and the visitor’s browser. The easiest way to get an SSL certificate is to buy it from your web hosting provider.
Fixing broken links that lead to nonexistent pages is also greatly beneficial. Not only do they contribute to a high bounce rate, but they can also harm your conversion rate. Screaming Frog is an excellent free SEO tool that could help you locate any broken links that might exist in your site.
7. Pay Attention to Local SEO
Having a global online presence is amazing, but that doesn’t mean you should ignore what’s happening in your area. Offering local information and using SEO to target local queries can open up a whole new goldmine, as 46% of all searches are in some way location based.
To reach a broader audience, you can start by making your site multilingual. This is particularly important if your local audience speaks multiple languages. By presenting multiple language options, you prevent the language barrier from affecting traffic.
Putting up your contact info and physical address is also important, especially if you operate a physical store. Showing that you have a valid home base will contribute to your business’ credibility and generate sales from local customers.
Make sure to use local keywords when making your content as well. You can do market research to figure out what keywords do your customer use to find your business. While you’re at it, link your site to various social media profiles to build a direct communication line with the customers.
8. Claim Your Physical Address on Google Maps
While putting up your business address and contact info in your site is a good start, you need to step up your game by claiming your address on Google Maps. Pinning your business location will allow local customers to visit your store and make a purchase on the spot.
9. Do Constant Checks on Your SEO Performance
The fatal mistake you can make when executing SEO strategies is not monitoring your site’s performance after the big maintenance day. Just because you fix everything in a day, doesn’t guarantee that your site will work optimally forever.
It would be best if you do regular checks on your site to make sure that it works perfectly, both content and performance wise. If you encounter any bottlenecks, it’s best to fix them immediately before they can harm your SEO and traffic.
There are many SEO checker tools you can use to locate these bottlenecks. For a quick checkup and SEO monitoring, you can use either SEO Site Checkup or WooRank. If you want more in-depth analytics regarding the site’s performance, you can add Google Analytics to your site.
10. Keep Up With the Latest SEO Trends
The famous saying “nothing lasts forever” also applies to SEO trends. Who knows, maybe half of what I recommend in this article is no longer relevant five years from now. That being said, you need to keep up with the trends to stay ahead of the competition.
Browsing SEO-related articles on the internet is the easiest way to do it. You can also compare your site to competitors’ to gain inspiration from them. Also, don’t be afraid to join online forums and learn from other SEO practitioners.
That’s a Wrap!
SEO is hugely important for any site that wants to get traffic. Not only that, business sites particularly benefit from practising SEO as it contributes to generating sales and conversions. For these reasons, most businesses these days apply SEO strategies to their websites.
Here are the top 10 SEO practices that small businesses can benefit from:
- Pick the right domain name that represents your brand.
- Improve and maintain excellent user experience.
- Make the site responsive to all screen sizes.
- Publish high-quality content.
- Use internal links to build website hierarchy.
- Improve technical SEO by making sure your site is functioning optimally.
- Pay attention to local SEO by not neglecting your local customers.
- Add your business address on Google Maps.
- Check your SEO performance regularly.
- Keep up with the latest SEO trends.
Maintaining excellent SEO can be time and energy consuming. However, seeing that it will benefit your site and business in the long run, I’d say practising SEO strategies is very much worth it.