Small Business SEO: Tips from 10+ Years of Experience

Small Business SEO Tips from 10+ Years of Experience

SMA Marketing has a long history of helping small businesses attract customers through effective search engine optimization. SEO is the foundation of our marketing strategy, enabling us to create a holistic approach to attracting potential customers to our clients’ websites. With over ten years of experience in small business SEO and through many search engine algorithm updates, we’ve learned what works and what doesn’t. 

Read on to learn what makes small business SEO unique and discover SEO tips we practice daily in our work with small businesses.

What’s Unique About Small Business SEO?

Regardless of the size of your company, you want to stand out online and attract more customers. SEO strategies often revolve around the scale of the business, available resources, target audience, and market competition. Small companies focus on niche markets, local visibility, and cost-effective strategies. At the same time, larger companies often have a broader scope and more significant resources, aiming for high-volume, competitive keywords to maintain their market dominance.

Below, we dive into how SEO strategies vary for small businesses versus big corporations, considering their needs, the resources available, and the markets they target.

Budget

Small businesses often have limited budgets compared to larger companies. These limitations affect the resources they can allocate to SEO efforts, such as hiring specialized SEO agencies, investing in premium tools, or running extensive campaigns.

Target Keywords

Small businesses might target niche or long-tail keywords that are specific to their industry or locality, aiming for less competitive keywords that are more accessible. Large companies might go after highly competitive, broad keywords due to their market presence and resources.

Local SEO Focus

Small businesses benefit from local SEO efforts, aiming to capture nearby customers. This involves optimizing for local search using location-specific keywords. In contrast, larger companies might have a national or global focus.

Content Strategy

Small businesses tend to create highly targeted, niche-specific content to cater to their audience’s needs. At the same time, larger companies often produce a wide array of content to attract a broad audience.

Link Building

Large companies may have an established brand presence, making gaining backlinks and mentions easier. Small businesses benefit from building relationships and creating valuable, shareable content to earn links.

Website Structure and Technical SEO

While both small and large companies must ensure their websites are technically sound, larger companies might have more complex websites and deal with scalability issues, necessitating more intricate technical SEO strategies.

Conversion Rate Optimization (CRO)

Small businesses prioritize CRO on a smaller scale to maximize the value of the limited website traffic they receive. Larger companies, on the other hand, may have entire departments dedicated to CRO and A/B testing.

With an understanding of the different SEO strategies for large and small businesses, let’s explore how small businesses can leverage SEO to drive customers to their websites from search engines.

10 Small SEO Tips to Attract Potential Customers

1. Keyword Research and Implementation: Conduct thorough keyword research to identify relevant terms for your industry. Use these keywords naturally in your content, including titles, headers, meta descriptions, and throughout the text.

2. Optimize for Local SEO: Small businesses benefit significantly from local SEO and Google Maps. Create and optimize your Google Business Profile, keep your name, address, and phone number updated, use location-specific keywords, and encourage reviews from satisfied customers.

“If you own a small business, consider setting up a Google Business Profile so your customers can find your brick-and-mortar location or view your service area. Follow the steps provided by Google to complete the setup. Be sure to fill out each form field to the best of your ability, and don’t forget to verify your listing!”

Amanda Fallace, SEO Manager, SMA Marketing

3. Mobile Optimization: With the most searches happening on mobile devices, ensure your website is mobile-friendly. A responsive design and fast loading times on mobile devices are crucial for better rankings.

4. Quality Content Creation: Develop high-quality, engaging, and relevant content that addresses your audience’s needs. Blogs, articles, videos, and infographics can all contribute to a robust content strategy.

“As a small business owner, write content that focuses on solving the pain points of your target audience. For example, as an HVAC company in Florida, the majority of your blog posts should focus on air conditioning.”

Beth Walker, Content Manager, SMA Marketing

5. Internal Linking and Site Structure: Create a logical site structure and use internal linking to guide website visitors and search engines through your content. This also helps in distributing link equity across your website.

6. Optimize Page Speed: Site speed significantly impacts user experience and SEO. Compress images, minimize HTTP requests, and utilize browser caching to enhance page loading speed.

7. Meta Tags and Descriptions: Craft engaging title tags and meta descriptions that accurately reflect your content and encourage clicks. Make them unique for each page and include relevant keywords.

8. Social Media Integration: Engage with your audience on social media platforms. Sharing content and encouraging social sharing can indirectly impact your SEO by increasing brand visibility and attracting more traffic.

9. Schema Markup: Implement local business schema markup to help search engines understand your content, improving the chances of earning rich snippets in search results.

10. Regularly Monitor and Adapt: Utilize analytics tools to monitor your website’s performance and make necessary adjustments. SEO is ongoing, so staying updated on algorithm changes and adapting your strategies is crucial.

“Be committed to the process. SEO and Content Marketing take time to see results. Don’t give up just because you don’t see results fast. It can take six months or more to get momentum, but the long-term gains are worth the work!”

Ryan Shelley, Founder and CEO, SMA Marketing

Use Small Business SEO to Increase Online Visibility

These ten actionable SEO tips serve as a robust toolkit for small businesses seeking to elevate their online presence. While results may take time, the persistent implementation of these tips promises substantial improvements in organic traffic and search engine rankings for small businesses.

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Related articles:

Local SEO vs. SEO: What’s the Difference? 

7 Simple Steps to Building a Better Local SEO Strategy

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Rhonda Bavaro wears many hats at SMA - Operations Director, Inbound Marketing Strategist and Content Writer. She loves helping business owners achieve accelerated growth through inbound marketing and creative content marketing strategies. She enjoys writing about digital marketing, sales, social media, technology, and health.

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