It’s easier than ever to start and maintain a small and medium-sized business. That’s why their numbers keep growing each year. Even though it’s easy to start a business, it doesn’t mean it’s easy to stay in the business game for a long time.
The increasing number of SMBs means that there is simply a lot more competition. Beating your adversaries on Google is one of the best things you can do, so small companies need to invest in their SEO strategies. But the question is, how?
That’s what we’re going to talk about today.
What is SEO for SMB?
First of all, let’s make something clear. Search engine optimization for smaller companies is pretty similar to any larger organization. But don’t buy into the myth that you will have to hire a whole team to do this and invest thousands of dollars each month.
Smaller companies are often competing for smaller, local markets, making their SEO requirements much lower. Increasing awareness and visibility in a smaller area is far easier than establishing a global presence.
Simply put, SEO practices for SMBs include local SEO first, driving inquiries, sales, and the number of visitors. It doesn’t require heavy investment, just ongoing work that will slowly give results.
Create a “Flat” Website Architecture
The site architecture is very important for SEO. To avoid getting into details, let’s just say that the most important thing is to establish a proper architecture and make it “flat.” But what does it mean to have a flat site architecture?
It means that your visitors and the web crawler will need a maximum of 4 clicks to reach any of your site’s pages. Having a “shallow” site means that the crawler will quickly find all your pages.
That kind of design also promotes lots of backlinks to the same pages, helping build link authority and promote the desired pages. You can use this WordPress SEO plugin to quickly set up your site architecture and optimize all your internal links as you add pages or blog posts. It basically covers 20 functionalities that you’d need 20 separate plugins to cover. It includes things like 404 Monitor, XML and HTML sitemaps, No Follow Manager and many more – making your SEO efforts a lot easier to manage.
Add a Unique Meta Description & Meta Title on Each Page
Meta titles and descriptions aren’t just for show. They are the first thing that shows up in google search results. It’s very important to add these because they matter to Google to understand the context of a page.
Simultaneously, when someone looks at search results, they will usually see this short description and title. They can convince people to click on a page or blog posts, but apart from making them unique, they should also:
- Include the keywords you are ranking for
- Be relevant for the page
- Be no longer than 160 characters
- Be enticing to increase clicks
Don’t make the mistake of stuffing keywords. Create an intriguing meta that will spark interest.
Do Proper Keyword Research
To optimize your site correctly, you need to know what your potential clients are searching for. First of all, you will need an adequate keyword research tool. Once you’ve found one, choose the location of your potential customers.
Now look for the most popular keywords (phrases) people are looking for. However, they need to be industry-specific and relevant to your business, services, or products that you’re offering. You might be tempted to rank for high volume keywords (popular searches) that are irrelevant, but avoid doing this.
People will bounce away from your site if you rank for keywords that don’t have anything to do with what you offer. You need to find the middle ground – words that are somewhat popular but have relevance.
Find those keywords and include specific location and keyword modifiers that describe your service. That’s how you can create long-tail keywords.
Build Links and Remove Broken Ones
Broken links are bad for your ranking as well as your visitors. Constantly check the links on your site. Make sure that they don’t lead to dead ends.
At the same time, your links shouldn’t be misleading and take people somewhere they don’t want to go.
Perform website audits often. Not only can it help you find broken links and pages, but you will also be able to find other lacking aspects of your site and fix them on time.
In the end, make sure to create content regularly and optimize it for SEO purposes. Adding content will help you increase organic traffic and send important SEO signals to Google crawlers.
Over time, this will lead to climbing in searches while establishing yourself as reliable experts in your industry. These are the essentials you need, but over time you can improve your SEO strategies and invest even more time in these practices to get better results.
Michael Zhou is a Senior VP of Business Intelligence Development and has assisted the Fortune 1000 company with expertise in the web as a whole, including ground-zero marketing efforts that benefit both consumer and vendor. He is also contributor on Esprittoday.
Medium-sized business stock photo by Rawpixel.com/Shutterstock