Estimated reading time: 3 mins
Many small business owners make the mistake of thinking only big-name businesses need to think about SEO. In fact, SEO, or Search Engine Optimization, is something all businesses need to focus on in this day and age.
If you’re realistic about your SEO goals and ready to learn the best ways to reach your customers online, continue reading. We’re going to cover the best SEO tips specifically designed for small businesses in 2019.
Why SEO Matters
First, let’s take a closer look at why SEO is essential for your small business. We live in a digital world. Today, 81% of people do an online search before they make a purchase. If you want to get noticed, you not only need to be online, but your business needs to be visible online.
It’s easier to learn the basics of SEO than you think, especially with so many top podcasts and other free resources on the web. There’s no excuse not to be invested in your own optimization in this day and age.
1. Start with Google My Business
Google My Business is your basecamp for your online presence as a small business. Google My Business gives you control of that box on the side of the screen that corresponds to every business. It’s a giant digital address book for Google. It has photos, hours, directions, phone numbers, and more. More importantly, this is how customers leave reviews.
2. Use Local Keywords
As a small business, you’re going to have a difficult time competing with big-name businesses for the most popular keywords. On the contrary, by using targeted, specific longtail keywords, you can have even more success.
For example, rather than “weight loss” as a keyword, go for something more specific. “San Diego weight loss clinic” is targeted and will give you more of a chance to rank high.
3. Invest Time in Backlinks
Backlinks are any links that point to your website. If your website is linked to frequently, this sends a signal to Google that you know your stuff and that people value your content.
How do you get backlinks? The key is to be authentic. Writing and producing great content will always result in more links. Beyond this, you can network with similar brands in your niche. For instance, if you’re a local restaurant, you might guest post on a local food blog.
4. Create Mobile-Friendly Content
Is your website optimized for mobile devices? Google recently announced its Mobile-first index. That means you’ll be penalized for not choosing a mobile-friendly design. Luckily, most modern templates for websites on WordPress or Squarespace are already created for mobile.
5. Create a Blog
Finally, the last thing you can do to boost your SEO as a small business in 2019 is to create a blog. Even as a local business, a blog connects you with your audience. Search engines want to see you always producing new content, posts, and pages.
The more you post, the more you’re seen as an authority in your niche. Blogging for your niche or your local audience will create a bridge not only between your website and search engines but also your website and audience.
Building an SEO strategy for your small business might seem like a daunting task, especially if you don’t have experience in online marketing. It’s perfectly okay to start small and build as you go.
Remember all SEO starts with a foundation of quality content and a high-performance website. If you have those two things, you’re already ahead of many small businesses. As a small business, you have the chance to rank on a local, highly-targeted scale, and that’s a powerful thing.