The world of online search engines continues to evolve, and the search for those coveted high ranking spots on Google become increasingly valuable, as paid ads take up increasing amounts of online real estate.
But even though the environment might be rapidly changing, there are three constants that form the core of effective small business SEO.
Tip #1: Know What You Want
Your company website has to have a clear goal in mind. Are you looking to generate actual business transactions online? Are you looking to get leads for your sales team to follow up on? Or are you simply looking to generate general awareness of what you do and where you’re located?
Each end-game is a perfectly reasonable objective for a website, but having a clear understanding of which defines your business is important.
Goals will impact your call-to-actions that will (or should) be around the site—whether it’s a “Buy Now” or a “Contact Us” form is the most obvious distinction.
Do you need to have directions to your business prominently displayed or is having easy access to the online store more important?
You can’t develop a good marketing funnel if you don’t know what you’re trying to funnel people toward.
Tip #2: Keep It Clean
The spiders, those mysterious technological creatures that “crawl” your website and report to Google, like websites that are clean and in order.
Out-of-date pages and the resulting “404 Error Not Found” pages will hurt your site if they’re found in excess. Messy HTML code is never a good look to a spider.
The same also applies to the information you provide. A spider might not be able to tell if information you provide, like store hours, is accurate, but real-life human beings will.
Local searches grow more important each year for small business SEO, with searches like “such-and-such store near me” becoming more common. When Google includes your business in that “Local 3-Pack” that appear at the top of searches, you want your potential customers to be getting accurate info.
Tip #3: Speed & Precision Matter
The need for your website to load quickly has always been a significant ranking factor in SEO and that trend shows no signs of slowing down. If you have too many useless widgets on your site taking up space, they’re hurting your SEO.
Your content must also be precise. All of us that use Google know we can find exactly the information we’re looking for. The content you create must provide that for searchers, and the page titles and descriptions you write must clearly communicate that to the spiders.
SEO remains both a necessity and an opportunity for small businesses. In today’s digital world, you can’t be left behind. But if you do SEO well, you’ll be in the minority of small businesses and gain a competitive edge.
At the same time, be wary of marketing tools that actually waste money while promising to build your brand.