For small businesses, particularly for those who are in the early stages of their marketing efforts, or whose past efforts haven’t produced results and who are now changing gears, it can be tough. There are so many digital marketing strategies to try, and tons of “experts” clamoring to make their pitches for plans that could lead to success. The truth is that, at the core, there are some plans that can work for everyone. The key is to then build on that marketing strategy and cultivate it based on your company’s unique needs and goals. That’s why we recommend investing in small business SEO, which is a time-tested organic strategy that can help local, small businesses to rank more highly in Google and other search engines.
The Ins and Outs of Small Business SEO
“As a small company or a local business, there’s a lot you can do yourself to get good results from search.” This may seem obvious, given how much “Googling” we do as a society, but it’s a critical point that should act as the cornerstone of your company’s digital strategy. More than that: because local and small business SEO is organic – or, non-paid – it can be a great step for smaller budgets.
Let’s start with local SEO, which essentially means optimizing your website and content to attract “local” attention. This could be your specific city, county, state, or tri-state area, for example. There is some level of trial and error involved, as you determine exactly where things really fall between your target audience and your actual customers.
Note the important difference between general SEO and local SEO: the former means that you’re using keywords like “digital marketing company” to rank and are tracking those keywords in your target area. The latter means using keywords like “digital marketing company in Baltimore” and you’re tracking in your target area. For more details on all of this, read on!
How to Move Up in Rank
Some of what Google (and other search engines) are looking for from your small business SEO efforts include:
- The setup, quality, usability, etc. of your website.
- Your physical location’s proximity to the user, if you have a brick-and-mortar store.
- If your products or services seem relevant to the user.
- Whether or not you have a positive online reputation.
We’ve talked about most of these previously – the importance of a strong web presence, online reputation management, on-target content, and more…and it’s all still true and relevant! For small business SEO to work, you need to make sure you’ve taken – or, are at least working on – the above steps.
Instead of returning to the well-tread guide of how to set up a solid website, we’ll instead just touch briefly on branding. “What do your logo and tagline reveal about your values and your field of expertise? It’s all about recognition, and it’s just as important for small business SEO as it is for big companies.” Make sure you have a strong sense of this as part of your larger strategy.
Where – and Who – are You?
Another critical piece of your SEO work should be making sure that search engines know where you are. That may sound strange, but it’s actually important that you “feed” them as much information as you can. That means a clear contact page with relevant information, a completed and optimized Google My Business profile, local business structured data on your website, and more. This information, pieced together, paints a complete picture of your business and its relevancy to users, allowing for a stronger chance at appearing in search results.
Finally, consider social proof. What do you have to share that proves you are what you say you are? This can include ratings and reviews, links from other websites (think referral traffic), social media engagement and followership… There are a lot of ways to show to potential customers that you’re the real deal and are deserving of their trust. Just make sure you’re cultivating this aspect of the business to ensure your SEO efforts are as strong as they can be!
We know that this can seem like a lot, particularly for those just starting out. If you need a hand in developing a small business SEO strategy that will reach your goals, then get in touch with Eyler Creative today!