When it comes to working on a small business SEO strategy, business owners are accustomed to hearing how big the budget is to rank higher on the SERP. It can be exceptionally daunting for a shoestring marketing budget to build a great SEO strategy.
If you’re a small business owner, there are no shortcuts in making a winning strategy unless you’re putting in all effort in time and resources. Working on SEO needs time and long-term dedication to push your pages to surface on the SERP organically.
You may wonder why it matters to improve organic results when business owners can pay on one. The reason is that over 70% of users click on organic results while ignoring the paid ads.
Organic search results are often perceived as credible and trustworthy sources because not everyone can rank on top SERP. Therefore, it’s crucial for every business to invest in SEO rather than relying on paid search.
The idea that effective SEO requires big budgets is a misnomer. In fact as wel will show you, a small businesss SEO strategy can have big marketing results.
Here are the eight tips for planning a small business seo strategy for a small budget that yields great results.
1. Optimize long-tail keywords
Long-tail keywords may not be a popular option when it comes to maximizing SEO content. They don’t necessarily bring in a lot of traffic because of its specificity but when done in increasing volume the impact can give your small business SEO strategy a big boost.
Just because long-tail keywords don’t aim for a general audience, that doesn’t mean they aren’t deliverable. In contrast, this type of keyword is great in turning in more customers because people have specific terms in mind when intending to buy products. Hence, searching with long-tail keywords instead of general ones.
Using long-tail keywords will help you increase conversion rates when compared to short-tail keywords, which effectively provide general content than the actual product.
Moreover, long-tail keywords contribute to 70% of site traffic and higher conversions.
This graph shows that shorter keywords, e.g., shoes and men’s shoes, are among the fierce phrase competition on the internet. While they may help you boost your page rank, the chance is super low. You need to fight against the top dog to land in a higher position.
It’s not feasible for small businesses or startups that just began their SEO journey. Rather than focusing on how to win the big guys, you should focus on a lower competition with a higher opportunity to achieve results.
Here’s how you can find and optimize your long-tails keywords for free.
- Use Google suggestion
Google suggestion is great for determining the most sought keywords. When you see a list of suggestions, that’s what people are searching for.
- Use Google related search
Google-related searches appear at the bottom of the SERP. They’re a popular, alternative phrase that people search on the internet. Sometimes they can be a bit personalized, like including users’ locations.
- Use Google Trends
With Google Trends, you can check a prospect of a keyword. Google Trends allows you to analyze keyword traffic from all over the world and compares two and more phrases altogether. You can also find related queries that gain a lot of traffic.
2. Focus on local SEO
For a small business seo strategy, exposure is vital especially in the first year of business. Before attempting to increase your international reach, consider increasing traffic via local search.
A study has examined that 62% of internet users use multiple different devices to search locally. Moreover, 78% of local search ends up in a purchase.
That’s why local SEO optimization is getting a lot of traction lately. It’s cheap, easy, and will most likely bring many benefits, especially for a small business.
With local SEO, you’re able to grab the local audience recognition as well as improve your traffic.
Did you know that users often search for phrases with their city along the line? For example, a query usually includes this “cafe in Vancouver” or “cheap shoes in London.”
This suggests that people who reside in the area want specific search results on their staying places. So, if you happen to be a local coffee shop owner, it’s essential to register your business to Google My Business.
Listing on Google My Business can improve your chance of getting discovered in Google Maps, Google Local, Pack, Local Finder, and generic SERP.
However, make sure to complete the form and regularly check on your listing. The reason is that Google My Business is designed to build a community through user-generated content. So, anyone can literally put and change your business information even without you knowing it.
To avoid malicious intent, you can go to your Google My Business dashboard, then click on Google Updates. You’ll find a box with a “Review Update” option. With a review update, you can remove incorrect information about your business.
Do not forget to use Google My Business Post to improve your visibility. The post works like social media posts or mini ads that you can include in your Google My Business panel.
Several tips to improve your small business seo strategy via local search:
- Optimize local content using local languages
- Encourage customers to leave reviews
- Put the location on your businesses’ title tag
3. Publish high-quality guest posts
Guest posts have been widely known as a powerful backlink strategy and can be a low cost small business SEO strategy that can have a powerful impact on results. With guest posts, you’ll have a chance to expose your business to a wider audience as well as receive useful inbound links to your page. Hence, increasing traffic.
Although many marketers have done this tactic in the past, not all of them succeed in generating traffic. The reason being a lot of guest posts are created without the intention of helping readers. In short, many publish guest post content for the sake of building links.
This type of guest post won’t work for them. Making low-quality content with keyword stuffing is considered a black hat strategy by Google, and they can suspend the blog easily.
Instead of creating a bunch of guest posts that don’t hold any value, you should consider making helpful content for your audience.
You can start by placing graphics on your post, and engaging content like explainer videos to help you increase your SEO rank. This approach is very much better than publishing many guest posts that aren’t useful for customers.
Take an example of the insanely famous Dollar Shave Club explainer videos. The company received overnight success since the video was released in March 2012. Dollar Shave Club generated over 12,000 orders within 48 hours.
The explainer video conveys messages clearly that you won’t need a written copy attached to it. With simple narration and a bit of a quirky approach (like one in Dollar Shave Club), this marketing campaign doesn’t look boring at all. Viewers will more likely enjoy the advertisement without being ambushed to buy the product.
4. Check out competitors’ content
There’s an easy way to see which content works in your industry and then leverage gaps to enhance your small business SEO strategy. This strategy is called competitor analysis.
Being a small business owner is challenging, especially if you’re just embarking on your SEO journey. You don’t know which content strategy works out in getting a good rank.
However, you can tackle this issue by looking out for your competitors’ strategies, such as keyword choices and content types. With competitive analysis, you’ll get an idea to make your fresh content and optimize it as needed.
You can read their blogs and analyze things that they’re lacking. You may as well use SEO tools if you’ve got some more budget to get an insight into what type of content garners traffic.
Or, go deep into their comment section and read what other people think about their content. From this analysis, you’re able to produce your own content that fills the gap in competitors’ blogs.
For example, if you own a local coffee shop, making content around coffee is mandatory. Not only does it help your audience get to know anything about coffee, but it enables you to improve your rank on SERP.
Check your competitors’ content, like from stumptowncoffee.com. See their top page and remake it in your own way. Here’s the result for Stumptown coffee. An article with the title How to Perfect Your Pour Over receives many clicks.
Although it’s a good post, it doesn’t offer complete information about Pour Over in the first place. You can complement it by making a similar article with a little more in-depth information, like The Ultimate Guide to a Delicate Pour Over Coffee.
5. Improve metadata information
Addressing metadata can give your small business SEO strategy a huge boost as it is something that is often overlooked on a lot of business websites. When you publish fresh content, it’s crucial to complete metadata information beforehand.
Metadata itself is described as information about the website and content or page that appears in SERP. Users will see this information in a search result that briefly explains what the page is all about.
Optimizing metadata information is important because it’s what people see on the search result. If your metadata isn’t engaging or attractive enough for them, they won’t click even if you land on the first SERP, which is unfortunate.
There are two major components you should notice on your metadata information, including:
- Meta title
Meta title appears on the search result that shows your page’s main content. It can be the same with your content title but can also be slightly different. The key is to make your meta title compelling enough for people to click.
- Meta description
It’s the brief description right below your meta title. The meta description should also include keywords that you aim for in the beginning. You can place bullet points that explain your page to attract attention.
6. Use the skyscraper technique to make content
Brian Dean, the founder of Backlinko, invented the skyscraper technique, and it’s been a huge success for his site. Brian successfully increased his organic traffic by 110% in just 14 day and another test for a brand-new blog owner Dale with a 6.5% success rate. He sent 232 emails and obtained 15 links as a result.
This can be adapted to form part of your small business SEO strategy but needs to be understaken with care and research in order to implement successfully.
Brian’s technique is doing numbers and, most importantly, suitable for small-budgeted companies.
The skyscraper technique is basically looking for popular content that receives massive backlinks, then recreating the better version of it. With this tactic, you’re challenging yourself to make content that is far more valuable than the existing one.
Here’s how you do it.
- Find link-worthy content
If you’ve got some money to spare, invest in tools like Ahrefs or Buzzsumo to find content in your niche with the most backlinks. If you don’t have any, use Google search as your powerful tool. The first few content results on Google search are what you need to take notes on.
However, if you manage to check on Ahrefs, make sure to find content with at least 25 different referring domains. That way, you know the number of other sites that link to the page you’re about to recreate.
- Create something even better
Sometimes, top-rank content doesn’t really solve the question people put on the search query. For example, if users search for tips to use vaseline petroleum jelly, the above result suggests the popular content on the SERP.
Although they’re not necessarily shallow content, you can do better. Try to recreate the content with more depth and analysis. The result page above mentions petroleum jelly benefits and risks. It also shows 15 different ways to use the product on your body.
You can offer an updated article providing 50 ways to use vaseline petroleum jelly as well as its health benefits. With in-depth posts, people will be more interested in visiting your page because you offer more.
- Reach out to the right people
This step is crucial because great content without a robust marketing strategy won’t work. You need to promote your fresh-baked content to the right people who can amplify it.
First of all, connect with people who give a link to previous content that you recreate. Tell them that you love the content, but you provide more updated information that benefits their readers.
Again, you’ll need SEO tools to make this approach, especially for finding the site owners you want to approach. Alternatively, you can reach out to social media influencers to promote your content on their pages. These people will help amplify the content and pull traffic to your site significantly.
7. Boost page speed
Did you know that page speed affects SEO?
Page speed appears as a direct ranking factor in Google search results and slow loading pages can hurt your SEO rank.
Before planning to improve your page speed, you can check your site loading time with PageSpeed Insights. A result number ranging from 0-49 is considered slow, 50-89 is average, and 90-100 is the fastest one.
You can boost your page speed using some tips below:
- Optimize your image content
- Reduce server response time
Creating a small business SEO strategy for big marketing results
Working on a shoestring budget for a small business SEO strategy can be overwhelming for small businesses. Not only does it take a lot of time (and patience), but it also requires you to be creative with all the effort.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to build a winning small business SEO strategy on a tight budget. You just have to focus on doing persistent works that push your site to the desired rank on SERP.
Make your time worthy. Follow these tips above to improve your small business SEO strategy in order to generate more traffic and sales.