Search engine optimization is one of the best online marketing strategies for small business owners. It is cost-effective and the results could be long-lasting. That is why if you own a small business and you want to stay competitive, you have to learn how to leverage the search engines for your business and marketing success. The following are 20 SEO tips for small business owners and entrepreneurs who want to earn relevant and consistent web traffic from the search engines and turn them into loyal customers.
1. Define your target audience.
Before you start your SEO campaign, define clearly your target market. You can drive traffic from the search engines, but are those traffic relevant to your business? To ensure that you will only attract people who will be interested to do business with you, make a keyword research, define your target keywords, use long-tail keyword, and use geo-targeting if necessary.
2. Create unique and useful content
Every SEO experts will tell you that, and even Google will tell you that. Hence, why not follow it? The point here is that there are many marketers who don’t follow that very common tip because it’s difficult. That is why only few succeed. If you want to succeed in your online business, follow the few.
3. Have a fast and flexible website
Optimize your website, images and other content for fast loading. Make it compatible with mobile Internet browsing. This is very important to help your visitors and the search engine crawlers to access your site faster. You could hire a website designer or developer to help you on this.
4. Make your pages interactive and engaging.
Make your landing pages engaging to your visitors so that your bounce rate will improve. It is important to SEO that your visitors will spend more time using or reading your website. Thus, don’t make your website boring or messy to prevent visitors from leaving your site quickly. Consider placing the right images, infographics and videos to give your visitors the complete information they are looking for.
5. Make your site friendly to users.
Improve your site’s navigational structure to prevent visitors from being lost or misinformed. Improve your site’s internal links, menus, categories, permalinks, social media integration, and search systems to make your readers enjoy their visit to your website.
6. Create unique and useful content CONSTANTLY.
Search engine marketing competition is tough. Your competitors are increasing every day, and they are also improving from time to time. Thus, the great content you have before may not be enough now to make your site competitive. To stay in the competition, you have to provide regular high-quality and fresh content to your readers or visitors.
7. Consider creating in-depth articles
Google is showing in-depth articles in the search results recently. Although showing up there is a difficult task, especially that only known brands are currently shown by Google, there is no harm in trying. In-depth articles will not only increase your site’s content quality for the search engines, but it will also increase your reliability as a content provider for your audience.
8. Perform quality link building.
Your on-page optimization tactics should also be supported with your off-page optimization activities. Improve your inbound links through link building techniques and tactics, such as blog commenting, directory submission, guest posting, forum marketing, community profile building, and other link building activities. Make sure you are only building high quality backlinks by getting links from quality websites. Also, make sure that you are providing them value, like leaving valuable and relevant comments on blogs and other websites.
9. Perform quality link building CONSTANTLY.
Just like your content that you need to always update and make it fresh, you also have to build fresh quality inbound links to send a signal to Google and other search engines that your site is consistently getting authority.
10. Promote the people in your website or blog.
Remember that the people in your website are also part of your content. Hence, you should also strive to improve their market value. Increase the social media followers and influence of your site’s authors. Get them into more education and training to increase their credibility. Also, don’t forget to link them to Google’s Authorship Markup to increase their authority in the eyes of Google.
11. Build your brand on social media network.
Build your profiles on difference social networking sites, such as by creating a Facebook Page, Twitter Account, Google+ Page, YouTube Channel, Pinterest Business Page, LinkedIn Profile, Scribd Page, SlideShare.net account, Google Places, FourSquare account, and other social networking and community sites.
12. Optimize your social media pages.
Don’t just build your social media pages and leave them, but make them engaging and valuable to the social media users. Just like your website, make sure that your social pages are also updated with useful and fresh content. Remember that the more engaging your social media page is, the more people will like and follow it. The more followers you have, the more social influence you will have and the more the search engines will recognize your brand as an authority.
13. Improve your content with high quality outbound links.
Outbound links are the external websites and pages that you are linking from your pages. Linking to highly reputable websites to support and improve the reliability of your content will also make your pages rich. However, make sure that you are not overdoing it and you are only linking to make your content more useful to your readers or audience.
14. Analyze your analytics and insights
Submit your website to Google Webmaster Tools and Google Analytics to enjoy using important data (traffic statistics, bounce rate, search terms, SERP position, etc.) that you can use to improve your site’s performance. Moreover, leverage the insights (number of followers, subscribers’ demographics, virality, etc.) from your Facebook page and other social media pages to carefully analyze them to come up with better online marketing campaigns.
15. Create community within your website
If your company website doesn’t have a blog yet, create a blog within your website. Blogging will make you publish more content. A blog also has a commenting system that can make your website more interesting and interactive. Through the comments left by your visitors or potential customers, you could interact with them and address their concerns. Also, consider building a forum within your website, where people in your industry can discuss things that are related to your business.
16. Build relationships with people online
Don’t just build web links online, but build human links and relationships online. When you do blog commenting, make friends with the blog owners. When you do forum linking, help forum members and add value to the forums. When you do guest posting, make sure you are contributing the best article that you can write.
17. Consider getting relevant paid traffic.
The first visitors that will come to your site are crucial in getting your succeeding visitors. Consider investing in Google Adwords, Facebook paid advertising and other paid advertising to bring the first traffic to your site and introduce them to your quality website to spread word-of-mouth marketing.
18. Get help from the expert.
Admit it, but we are not an expert of everything. Even in online marketing, we are not expert in all kinds of online marketing strategies – SEO, social media marketing, video marketing, content marketing… you name it. That is why we have to ask help from someone who is better than us.
19. Do your own research and experiment
SEO is constantly changing and evolving. What is effective today may not already be effective tomorrow. Strive to keep updated with the latest SEO trends. You can follow top SEO blogs and people on the Internet to learn more from them. Moreover, don’t just believe because it is what your mentors are saying. Justify the knowledge you have gained by doing experiments.
20. Optimize your business offline.
Your online brand will depend on your actual brand. Even if you have driven a lot of traffic from the search engines, if your products or services are not produced to satisfy your customers, your traffic won’t be converted to consistent profit. Therefore, before you strive to improve your SEO, make sure that you have already improved your main product.
Have you tried the tips above to improve your business or brand online? What other SEO tips can you suggest for small business owners and entrepreneurs?