If you run a small business, it’s important to always work cost effectively but also smart. Here are a few great SEO tips tailored to small businesses.

Note: If you’re still looking to sort out your basic SEO foundations, make sure to check out our ultimate SEO checklist for small businesses first!

What is SEO?

SEO is probably one of the mostly commonly talked about elements of online marketing in the world today. So much so, that some people are actually employed by big firms just to concentrate on this aspect alone. But what is it? SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. Very simply put, it is the continued practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results. Many of the elements of your website work towards increasing your SEO. Successful SEO strategies are the culmination of cleverly crafted campaigns and on-site changes to your website that consider the keywords that generate traffic to your website, how many links you have on your site as well as how unique and relevant your content is. If you want your website to be first on a Google search page, it is your SEO that will get you there.

So without further ado, here are our 21 SEO tips for small businesses:

  1. Spend time on on-page and off-page SEO. You cannot achieve the best results unless you spend time on both these factors for your website.
  2. Start with SEO as soon as possible. Achieving the best rankings can take some time, so the sooner you start the better chance you have of beating your competitors.
  3. Know your competition. Do regularly search to know who you are up against, and who ranks first on search engine results pages for keywords you are interested in.
  4. Don’t copy an exact SEO plan from someone else. Remember that no two websites are the same, and you will need a customised strategy for your online marketing needs.
  5. Your website is never finished. Achieving greater rankings and maintaining them takes time. It’s an ongoing effort that you should never overlook and never stop working on.
  6. If your website is new, be patient. It takes time to gain authority and rankings. You need to continually work on all aspects of your SEO in order to achieve the rankings you want.
  7. Get reliable advice. Don’t listen to just anyone. When it comes to SEO advice. Try to get your advice directly from Google, either from their Webmaster Guidelines all their help videos.
  8. Set up Google Search Console. You can use this to find out what keywords your site is ranking for and also how other sites are linking to yours.
  9. Set up Google Analytics. You can use this to see how visitors get to your site, how many visitors your site gets, and what keywords they use to find your site.
  10. Set up a Google+ page for your business. By doing this, you will build trust with Google and you will also help to improve your rankings for local keywords. You can also ask customers to write reviews of your business on your Google+ local page.
  11. Make Pay Per Click (PPC) part of your SEO plan. Although PPC can be costly, it can boost your rankings by getting visitors to click on your website. It’s a great choice for paid campaigns.
  12. Create content for your readers, not for search engines. This is one aspect that with site owners often get wrong. They still write as if they are writing only for search engines. By writing your content naturally, you will automatically include your keywords and provide quality content that Google loves.
  13. Remove duplicate content. Google can penalise you for having copied or very similar content on your website pages. Remove duplicate content on a regular basis.
  14. Claim ownership of your content. Linking your Google plus account to your content pages will improve your rankings as well as boost your click through rate.
  15. Always create good quality content. Make sure that the quality is good enough to be on the first page of Google. If you cannot create this on your own, hire an expert SEO copywriter.
  16. Create videos and infographics. Diversify your content and always provide great information to your visitors. Add videos, infographics, e-books, reports and more.
  17. Add a blog to your website. This will provide more content for your website and allow you to rank for more keywords within Google’s search results.
  18. Write a unique meta description for every page. In 160 characters or less, described the topic of your page in a way that will persuade people to click on it, and tell Google what the page is about.
  19. Use Google’s Keyword Tool. This tool will provide a great list of keywords and phrases that you can use to optimise your website content.
  20. Include long-tail keywords. Don’t focus only on single keywords, but include longer phrase keywords as more than 40% of searches are made up of four or more words.
  21. Work on your backlink profile. Backlinks will affect your rankings almost more than anything else on your page. The number of links as well as the quality of the sources they come from, will help you to improve your website ranking.

Need further SEO help for your website?

As a small business, you need all the help it can get. These were just some of the great tips that you can use to set up your SEO strategy for your business. Keep in mind that is a continued effort that you will never be done with your website or your optimisation.

If you are new to the online world you can always hire a SEO consultant on a full-time or part-time basis to help you with your SEO strategy. It all starts with having great content and a well-designed website.

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