The good old days of SEO are long gone. Today you can’t expect to rank in the top results, simply by stuffing your web pages with the target keyword. Keyword stuffing has become the thing of the past and if anything, it’ll only lead you to a Google penalty. Since Google always tries to focus on providing better search results, it constantly updates its search algorithms.
It means that a technique which was delivering significant results in the past may not work at all in the current scenario. However, there are many small business SEO techniques which are always effective in improving website performance, regardless of the search algorithm.
These techniques are highly beneficial for everyone, especially those who have a limited budget to spend on SEO. Therefore, in this blog post, we have scribbled down a list of effective tips to perform SEO for small businesses.
If you also belong to the same category, continue reading, the following list will help you to precisely perform SEO and improve the search engine rankings for your website.
Craft High-Quality Content
Here’s the thing, you can’t expect better SEO results if your website doesn’t have high-quality content. The value of content has become more significant than ever. It is also worth noting that high-quality content can separate you from your competitors and make your business a stand out in the market. The quality content helps to increase the traffic to your website
Now, as we mentioned earlier, copied content and content stuffed with keywords have no value in the current scenario. Being a small business, your primary goal is more likely to establish a brand name in the market. However, with low-quality/copied content, your website won’t even captivate the target audience, let alone become a recognized brand.
Here are some of the tips which will help you craft the perfect content for your website.
Content Length Matters
Even though the it is always recommended to focus on the content quality, the content length plays a significant role in crafting high-quality content. In fact studies have shown the lengthy blog posts are more likely to rank higher in SERP.
That being said it is important that you publish lengthy blog posts on your website. As of recommended practices, it is always advisable to have at least 2000 words in your blogs if you want to see them achieving better search engine rankings.
According to a study, conducted by SERP IQ, blogs having a word length of 2500+ words were ranked in the top 3 rankings of search results. It means that if you want to secure a place in these positions and get the desired exposure for your small business, you have to publish lengthy blog posts.
Be Unique – Add Value to Your Content
There are many instances when even legthy blog posts fail to achieve significant results. Reason being these content pieces are entirely copied and doesn’t have the uniqueness factor. Being a small business, it is extremely crucial that you put efforts in building better customer relationships, which is only possible if you provide value to your customers.
While performing SEO for a small business, it is important that you stand out from your competitors. Think of it like this, why would a customer visit your website, when he can find the same content on other websites.
Copying content can further lead to many critical issues and damage the overall performance of your website. Today search engines have gotten extremely smart and they know if your websites have original or copied content.
Research Your Competitors
We have always mentioned this specific point. The truth is your competitors can become a goldmine for your business. Researching what your competitors are doing to attract audience through their content can help you build effective content marketing strategies for your business.
As we mentioned earlier, you need to stand out from your competitors. Therefore, when you familiarize yourself with your competitors’ content strategies, you know how to craft unique and valuable content for your website.
Brian Dean from Backlinko has designed a perfect strategy to improve your content creation game. A technique, goes by the name skyscraper technique, designed by Brian himself can be an effective SEO technique for small businesses.
In this technique, all you have to do is find blogs with tons of backlinks and create a content piece which is better than these blogs. Now, since your blog post is better than the existing ones, you have more chances to acquire quality backlinks.
Apart from helping you acquire backlinks, the skyscraper technique will also help you attract more organic traffic top your website, taking your small business into the top results og SERP.
Keep it Simple
Here’s the thing, many websites end up losing a huge number of customers because their content is too hard to understand for a regular audience. Utilize your writing skills in such a way that your blog posts are simple yet deliver value to the customers.
Furthermore, it is also imperative that your blog posts have a mix of different content formats. You can’t expect a customer to read a 3,000 words blog post if it doesn’t have any images, videos, infographics, etc.
Here are some of the content formats which make your blog posts more appealing and valuable.
- Bullet Points.
- Heading Tags.
Infusing these elements in your blogs will easily help your engage a customer.
Keep it Appropriate
While it is important to consider all the above factors, it is also crucial that your content is right for your audience. Research your audience and understand what they expect from your website. Now, create content that provides value to the audience and resolves their queries.
Make sure to write highly specific blog posts which provides the users with information on specific topics. For instance, if your customers want to reads tips on designing website logos, you can’t write about designing huge banners.
As you can see that in the above snippet, every top-ranked blog has crafted highly specific content for their audience. So, scrutinie the web precisely, and identify what your customers expect from your business.
Focus on Keywords – They’re Important Part of Small Business SEO
Even though it is no longer advised to stuff your web pages with the keywords, they’re still an important part of SEO. You can’t attain the desired results if you don’t know which keywords to target.
Every customer uses specific phrases and keywords to perform a Google search, which you need to target to improve your website performance and make your small business a well-known brand in the market.
Keywords play a vital role in deciding how your website performs in the search results. If you target the wrong keywords, you’re less likely to establish a strong brand name in the market.
Therefore, it’s important that you perform your keyword research with extra precision so that you can target the most suitable keywords as per your business niche.
Here’s how you can perform keyword research for your website.
Use Google Keyword Planner
Google’s Keyword Planner is one of the most effective tools to find commonly used keywords in your business niche.
The keyword planner filters out the results on the bases of their monthly searches and competition, giving you the opportunity to have a deep insight into the keyword profile. Being a small business, you would want to target keywords having low competition and higher monthly searches.
Ahrefs is another tool which can be used to find keywords for your website. Even though it’s a paid tool, Ahrefs is worth every penny, due to its highly accurate results and in-depth analysis.
The best part about using Ahrefs is that it tells you how many backlinks you’d require to rank for a specific keyword.
Use LSI Keywords
Latent Semantic Indexing (LSI) keywords are the words or phrases which relate to your target keyword and help the search engine understand the overall context of the content. For instance, if you have published a blog post on “Top 10 Apple Products”, then it should have phrases like iPads, Macbook, iOS, etc. so that Google understands that you are talking about Apple, the tech giant, and not the fruit.
Adding LSI keywords in your content improve the overall readability as well and make your content more appealing. You can use various tools to identify LSI keywords for a target keyword. LSI Graphs is one such tool which lets you search the LSI keywords 3 times for free. In case you want more LSI keywords, you would have to upgrade to the premium version.
Study Your Competitors
As we mentioned earlier, your competitors are a goldmine for you. Pick out the top ten competitors in your niche and read their blog posts. This is will help you identify the common words and phrases they’re targeting in their blog posts.
Precisely Insert These Keywords
To gain top rankings in search results, you need to precisely insert the target keywords in your content. There are certain web page elements, where is always recommended to insert the keywords as they improve your odds in achieving better rankings. Some of these elements include:
- Heading Tags.
- Alt Text.
- Anchor Texts.
It is imperative that you sprinkle your target keywords within the content while maintaining a natural flow. As stated earlier, keyword stuffing is no longer an effective SEO strategy and it only harms your website.
Therefore, make sure to precisely insert the target keyword in your web pages to make them search engine friendly and help the crawler to index and rank these web pages.
Focus on Acquiring High-Quality Backlinks
In the battle between quality and quantity, quantity always wins the game while building backlinks for your website. Ask any SEO analyst and he’ll tell you to focus on acquiring quality backlinks from authority domains. The truth is 10 backlinks from authority domains are always better than 100 low-quality backlinks.
While crawling web pages, Google pays major attention to the backlink profile of your website, i.e., what type of websites you link to. If these sites are high authority domains, your website rankings automatically go higher. However, if you have linked to low-quality websites, your search engine rankings are more likely to fall drastically.
Here’s how you can acquire high-quality backlinks for your website.
Stop Buying Links
If you’ve ever paid attention to Google Webmaster Guidelines, you may know that buying links is against recommended practices. Even though it can bring significant results in no time, buying links is dangerous, especially if Google catches you doing this.
Like we mentioned earlier, search engines are getting smarter every day. It means that they know when a website has bought backlinks and when it has acquired them naturally. If you get caught by Google, your website can even receive a Google penalty, which, as a small business, you do not want at all.
Make Your Content Linkable
Even though it’s a content marketing strategy, it’s completely worth mentioning under link building section. Rather than following unethical ways to acquire backlinks, focus on creating content that other people would want to link to.
Not only it helps you acquire more backlinks, but it also puts your small business as a brand in the market, making you stand out from your competitors. Furthermore, you should also focus on creating content which attracts influencers in your niche.
This type of content will help you acquire high-quality backlinks within your niche itself. And since influencers are linking back your content, the audience is more likely to consider you as a trusted brand itself.
However, creating content which attracts influencers is not a piece of cake. You need to put your time and efforts in crafting the perfect content piece which is appealing and can captivate the influencer. An influencer is likely to link to your content when it has the potential to stand out in the market.
Stay Active on Social Media
Social media is one of the biggest weapons for any small business. You can easily attract your audience and get more link building opportunities if you have a consistent social media presence. While performing SEO for a small business, many website owners tend to use social media for promoting their new blogs.
While it’s important to promote your new blog posts, you should also focus on sharing valuable posts with your audience on a regular basis. Take a look at the following example, where Neil Patel, one of the biggest influencers in the SEO industry has shared at least one post every day on his Twitter profile.
If an influencer like Neil Patel is using social media as one of his major to build better customer relationships, you should do the same.
Rely on White Hat SEO Techniques
SEO is categorized into three different categories:
- White Hat SEO.
- Grey Hat SEO.
- Black Hat SEO.
White Hat SEO involves all the recommended and ethical SEO practices. There isn’t any unethical practice involved in white hat SEO, making it the perfect companion for every website.
Black SEO, on the other hand, is a set of unethical techniques which even though deliver the desired results, but are a direct violation of search engine guidelines.
Finally, Grey Hat SEO is a combination of both black and white hat SEO techniques. Depending on your business and target audience, grey hat SEO can fall under either of the above two categories.
Even though all the three SEO categories can help you achieve the desired results, you should always rely on white hat SEO only. Reason being, if you use unethical SEO practices, even one major change in Google algorithm can damage the overall website performance in many ways.
If you utilize White hat SEO precisely, your website is more likely to secure a place in the top rankings and attract organic traffic to your website.
It is worth noting that, it can take quite a time for a small business to attain desired results through SEO. However, if you stay on the right path and utilize the above-mentioned small business SEO guide efficiently, you can easily make your business a well-renowned brand name in the market. Make sure to avoid unethical SEO practices and grow your small business to attract more audience.
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