The internet is a powerful tool for small business owners to reach new potential customers. The first step in this process is optimizing your website and digital assets with search engine optimization (SEO).
This beginner's guide will help you learn how to use SEO tactics so that you can grow your small business online! SEO packages help you rank higher on Google's search results pages, which can lead to increased traffic, more leads, and ultimately more sales.
SEO is getting traffic from search engines like Google, which is then called organic site traffic. When people search online for products or services they want to buy, your website will show up in search results if you have done SEO correctly by choosing the right SEO packages.
Many tactics can be used to boost your rankings on search engines.
Here are ten simple steps that will help get you started with small business SEO:
Step 1: Research Your Competition
Before you start anything else, it's always best to do your homework. You should first research your competition to see what they are doing, how successful they are at their current SEO endeavours, the keywords they use, and the types of links they're getting.
The information that you find will give your ideas on what you can do for your small business.
Step 2: Establish Your Niche
You need to establish who you are, what services or products you offer, and the niche that you want to stick with. You will have to differentiate yourself from your competitors to be easier for customers to remember about your company.
This way, they'll have many reasons why they should buy from you instead of them buying from other companies. For example, suppose one company offers SEO and social media marketing while another only does social media marketing.
In that case, the latter may have an advantage over the former because its target market is more focused. If the customer wants social media marketing, he will likely buy from a company that has a more focused target market.
Step 3: Know Your Audience
You also have to know your audience to reach their demands and preferences. There are many ways to find out about your target market, such as conducting surveys, researching the internet, talking with them personally or through focus groups, etc.
If you already have a list of customers, consider having a focus group where they can talk about their needs and preferences regarding the products or services that they buy from you.
After all, is said and done, analyze what you learned from your group discussion and research if it would be beneficial for your small business.
Step 4: Develop A Communication Strategy
This step requires a lot of planning on how you'll connect with your customers and get your message across to them.
You can do this through email marketing, social media marketing, blogging, strategic partnerships and joint ventures.
You can collaborate with other companies that have a common customer base or target market.
Step 5: Use Your Resources
There are a lot of websites out there where you can find high-quality information about SEO because it seems like everyone nowadays is talking about it.
One of the best ways to get started with SEO is by using resources such as checklists and guides available on the internet from reputable sources.
To be able to separate yourself from your competitors, then use unique keywords on every page of your website so that search engines will easily recognize them.
It is also advisable to create a sitemap so that the search engine bots will have an easier time crawling your website.
While you're at it, don't forget to submit your sitemap to Google Webmaster Tools as well as Bing Webmaster Tools.
Step 6: Create Content
Once you have established a communication strategy, then you should know what kind of content would appeal to your customers and audience.
You can blog about topics relevant to your industry or niche or do videos on YouTube, host webinars; post comments on industry forums, and write guest articles for other websites (relevant ones).
You can produce many different types of content, but make sure they are top-notch because this is one way for you to get recognized and create high-quality backlinks.
Step 7: Promote Your Business
There are a lot of ways to promote your website.
Some examples include submitting your site to online directories, search engine submissions, social media marketing, creating videos for YouTube with links pointing to the pages on your site which you want them to visit, or they can link to any page that they find interesting or relevant, press releases sent out through newswire services, etc.
Just make sure that you don't spam! It may be a good idea to do a balance of natural linking and paid to advertise though this is really up to you.
Step 8: Analyze Your Data
You need to analyze the results from every channel that you are using to promote your website.
If you are using social media marketing, then Twitter Analytics can tell you how many people are talking about your page, Facebook Insights will track the number of likes and shares on your posts.
Pinterest Analytics would be able to show you data regarding the demographics that follow your business on Pinterest; YouTube Analytics looks at how popular, or relevant a video is based on its number of views, comments, etc.
Google Webmaster Tools will keep tabs on keywords that bring traffic to your site as well as pages that get indexed by search engines, so there's no need for you to check each one individually.
Step 9: Be Consistent
One of the most important things in SEO is consistency. Don't forget to update often with fresh content.
This is one of the ways that search engines will determine how your page ranking in a given keyword or set of keywords.
You can do this by outbidding, doing product reviews, press releases, guest blogging and other promotional activities to get more high-quality backlinks building up page rank for certain keywords.
Step 10: Stay Relevant
You should be consistent with the content you are producing on your website. If you can, make an infographic or visual representation of your data so that people will be more engaged in the topic, and it'll also make your page more interesting.
The more engaging it is, the higher the probability that you get high quality backlinks naturally without having to go out there and buy them. Again, focus on what's relevant to your industry or business niche.
When you have done everything that is needed for your website and it's finally up and running, go ahead and add a call to action at the bottom of every page so that there's incentive for people who visit your site to interact with it.
If you can't think of anything then try asking them to subscribe to your email list so you can send them updates about new products or services that you'll be offering or just ask them if they want to see something specific from your side. Whatever works best for you.
It's difficult to stand out in today's marketplace, and that means you will have to do a lot of research, planning and budgeting before you can make your mark. You've got to focus on what will really help you grow your business from the start and continually adapt as Google makes changes.
Don't be discouraged if things don't happen immediately; SEO takes time and commitment to see the results you want. Be patient, create a great product or service, and get people talking about it on social media and review sites like Yelp or industry-specific blogs.