The majority of people will turn to an online search to find what they need, which makes having a website crucial for any business. The online world has helped many companies to thrive, especially small businesses that may not have the budget to advertise via traditional methods such as television or radio.
An optimized website will attract customers and keep them interested for a fraction of the cost of an advertising or marketing campaign. Driving more traffic to your website via search engine results is an excellent way to get positive results, but is it necessary to hire someone to do the job?
Reliable SEO (search engine optimization) experts will do a great job for you, but they may not be accessible to a small business on a budget. With some DIY SEO for small business, however, you can get your SEO to a point where it’s working for you. Then you can hire a professional to go the extra mile, getting the most value from his or her expertise.
What is SEO?
SEO is the process of developing your website to improve its visibility in organic search results. SEO can be the difference between appearing first in a Google search and being almost undiscoverable.
At a basic level, a site optimized for search engines will comprise pages with carefully thought-out keywords or keyphrases that customers are likely to type into a search engine. The search engine algorithms pick up these keywords. That’s what helps your website to appear when someone performs a search.
DIY SEO for Small Business
The following eight DIY SEO for small business tips will get you started on the road to having your website fully optimized for search engines. Set aside time each day or week to work on your SEO. If you’re time-poor, even a ten-minute daily session can produce results. As long as you’re consistent, it will happen.
Produce Regular Content
Potential customers are looking for information first and products second. For example, if you manufacture and sell running shoes, your target audience will be looking for information on how to run better, nutrition, exercise, and which type of running shoe is best for them. Having this type of information on your website is extremely valuable, as it will attract potential customers seeking information.
By providing informative, expertly written content, people will be more likely to see your business as reliable and trustworthy. This helps influence your audience to make purchases.
It’s important to note that content gets old quickly and is soon replaced with the fresh stuff. Therefore, you must produce content regularly. This content could be in the form of a blog (this is the most popular option), a vlog (video blog), news articles, case studies, or other types to appeal to your target audience and help with Google ranking.
What are Your Competitors Writing About?
If you’re unsure of the type of content to produce, look at what your most successful competitors are doing. Examine their site and social media pages and see what types of posts gain the most traction.
Use this information to create original content based on similar subjects. Do NOT directly copy or plagiarize other business content. Not only is plagiarism unprofessional, it could also create a legal issue regarding breach of copyright. Additionally, Google will recognize that you’ve copied content and will penalize you by dropping you further down the search result rankings.
Find the Right Keywords or Key Phrases
This is easier said than done. Paid tools can help you find the best keywords for your website, but they can be costly.
Here are some tips for helping you find the best keywords:
- Think of words or short phrases that people might use to describe your business, products, and services.
- Type your keywords into Google and see what comes up. Scroll to the bottom of the page to see a section called “searches related to” with a list of alternative keywords or phrases. Use these for inspiration.
- Take note of the number of search results that appear. If it’s in the high millions, your keywords are not specific enough. For example, at the time of writing, “best running shoes” throws up 724 million results, meaning you have a huge amount of competition for that keyword. “Best running shoes for high arches” produces less than 3 million results so using this keyword would give you a far better chance of getting seen in a search.
- If you have a Google account you can also use Google’s Keyword Planner Tool.
- The more specific you are, the less competition you’ll have and the better your chances of ranking highly in a search.
- You will need a keyword or phrase for each page of your website. Consider keywords for every piece of content you produce.
Create a Content Calendar
How often are you going to post and when? Create a calendar to keep you on track and to ensure you don’t forget to post.
Pro tip: Research when your target audience is likely to be online and ensure you post your new content at that time to maximize the chances of it being seen.
Get Google Analytics
This handy free tool allows you to analyze your website traffic so you can identify trends and how effective your website is. You can view data such as:
- Mobile users vs. desktop traffic
- What time of day/week/year people visit you
- Where visitors are based
- Age, gender and interests of your visitors
- How traffic reached your site (for example, via social media or, affiliate link)
- Your least and most popular content
- How long they stay on your website
- How they interact with your website
Use this data to refine your content. Make general improvements to your website and blog, and target content even more specifically toward your audience.
Other Free SEO Tools
There are a plethora of free tools that can help you optimize your website.
- Seositecheckup – this tool gives you one free audit per day
- Answer the public – a tool that gives you instant keyword ideas
- Woorank – A Chrome extension that will provide you with an SEO score and tell you what needs improving
- Animalzrevive – will tell you which content needs updating or refreshing
- Google has a range of tools that you can use for free, such as page speed insights and search console
WordPress Users Need Yoast
If you have a WordPress website, you need to use the Yoast plugin. It’s free (or you can pay for a premium version). It’s a simple SEO page optimizer tool that works on a traffic light system. Red means your SEO has issues and needs attention; green suggests that your content is fully optimized.
Are You a Local Business?
If so, you need a Google My Business account. This will place your business on Google maps, allowing people to find you if they’re searching for your kind of business within the local area. It’s worthwhile to have a Google My Business page for all businesses, but vital for local firms.
These eight awesome DIY SEO tips for small business will get your site well on the road to optimization. This groundwork may be critical to your success as a business. It can take time, so get started today. When you call in the professionals, they will be able to get straight to work on more advanced SEO techniques and tools to boost your site, giving you great ROI.