One of the biggest goals of every small business owner is to get more visibility for their website, gain exposure and make more sales.
If this is one of your best goals, then this post is for you.
As noble as getting more visibility might sound, maintaining a balance between driving traffic to your website, getting exposure and making more sales largely revolves around SEO optimization.
And most times, getting it right as a small business can be quite a hurdle.
As someone running a small business, it might look really difficult for you to compete fairly well with other businesses in your niche, especially your big competitors.
Most of the time, these brands are bigger than you and they have the money to spend on ads and superior SEO strategies that will work for them.
Again, as a small business; you may not even be able to compete with them directly but that doesn’t mean there’s entirely no hope for you.
There are things you can still do to optimize your small business website SEO and generate some decent traffic.
But before you get to that, you need to understand search engine optimization and how it works for small businesses specifically.
What is SEO?
SEO is the short term for Search Engine Optimization. It is is a collection of strategies that can help you make your website and your digital content to be more visible for search engine users.
As a small business owner, blogger or content creator; search engine optimization helps your website or blog to be more visible on the search engines like Google, Bing etc, when people use keywords to make searches on those platforms.
Neil Patel Defines Search Engine Optimization as optimizing your online content so that a search engine likes to show it as a top result for searches of a certain keyword.
It is not true that your website will not work without SEO. Although search engine optimization is usually a cheaper, popular and more realistic way to get traffic to your website. That’s why it’s always the top options for bloggers and website owners.
How SEO works for Small Business Websites
Just the same way SEO optimization works for big brands, it works for small businesses too although on a different level.
As a small business owner, the first thing you need to know is that although search engine optimization can still work for you, you have to take a different approach.
For instance, you need to have an SEO approach that is dynamic, strategic and targeted at driving a set result within a specified time.
What this means is that you need to map out your goals and then set out a search engine optimization strategy, based on those goals.
Setting an SEO Goal for your Small Business
Whether you’re a small business, medium enterprise or large conglomerate, having a specific goal for your SEO optimization is very important.
A lot of small business owners do not realize this. I was like this a long time ago so, it’s quite understandable.
Today, a lot of small business owners are comfortable with building a website or writing content on their blog.
I can understand a lot of people do this ignorantly but SEO optimization is far more than updating a blog post.
After building your website, before you hit the button to create the next post, you need to spell out clearly, the ways optimizing your SEO can help you drive your business goals.
After doing this, you can then go ahead and state out the goals you want to achieve with your SEO strategy.
How to set an SEO goal for a Small Business
If your goal is to get more exposure for your business brand, your SEO strategy will be slightly different than what you’d have, if your goal is to make direct sales.
Bearing this in mind, instead of working on the general SEO optimization strategy, you need to map out a plan that will lead towards brand exposure specifically.
This is the same thing that would happen if your goal were to drive more sales.
To drive clean results as a small business, you need an SEO optimization strategy that will work for you, based on your specific goal.
Having a clear goal for your SEO strategy is the first step towards knowing the result you want to Optimize for and being able to measure them when the time comes.
Defining your Target Audience
After setting out the strategic goals for your search engine optimization, the next thing you want to do is to decipher your audience.
Now, let’s look at this as someone going for shopping…
If you were to be a shopper right now, your SEO goals would have been the items you have written down on your list while the grocery store would be your target audience.
Now based on the above analogy, your “target audience” (store) must be identified. And they must have the things you want to buy otherwise you won’t go to their store.
This is the same thing that should happen to the target audience for your SEO goals.
You need to know them clearly. This is the first step towards achieving the set goals.
So who exactly, is your target audience?
To answer this question clearly, you need some data. Having some data to back up your projections will give you a more realistic result.
Besides using existing data, to get started with this, you can always look at your competitors and see the kind of audience they are targeting.
Of course your business is not to go drag their existing audience with them in their own way. But, you can always use a different approach.
Secondly, with a tool like Google Trends, Google Keyword tool etc. You can always find out what matters to your audience, where they are and how you can get across to them.
Furthermore, you can ask direct questions, follow their conversations and then find out ways you can provide solutions to the things they really need.
PS: Remember that as a small business, sometimes defining your online audience and their attributes can need a lot of research and data.
Defining your SEO strategy
After setting your SEO goals, and defining your target audience, the next thing you want to do is to define how this will work.
From here, you can begin to answer the question; what steps can I use to achieve these goals or how can I get to reach out to my target audience in a way they will respond positively?
Finding out the above is very important. And when you do, your answers are going to form the core of your SEO strategy.
So, after this, you’re going to begin to answer the other questions like how do I achieve my SEO goals?
And then how can I reach out to my target audience in a way that will help me achieve my goals.
Answering these together will help you in defining your SEO strategy.
It will affect everything you have to do as regards building your business…
From your target keywords, the kind of content you want to create, the social media you want to focus with and the marketing strategy you’ll want to choose etc., your SEO strategy will be at the core of everything you do with your small business website.
Implement your SEO strategy
What did you want to achieve with the search engine optimization of your business website and what was your SEO strategy?
If the strategy is about utilizing written content to drive search traffic, then with your goals in mind you need to come up with interesting content marketing strategy, based on your written goals.
After that you can then go ahead, create your content and share with your audience.
While doing this, be sure that your activities are measurable because you will need to measure your progress from time to time, alongside your goals to know if what you’re doing is actually working or not.
Rinse, Edit, Implement
In the SEO optimization industry, things do change a lot. And sometimes, at a very fast rate.
That’s why, setting out an SEO strategy that works may not happen at the first time.
So, even if you have the best SEO strategy, it’s possible it might not get you the exact results you expected due to one reason or the other.
If you come across anything like this, know that it’s time to review your strategy, study your outcomes based on set goals and then work on taking a different approach.
In a nutshell, evolving an SEO strategy that works is the first steps towards improving the SEO for your small business. It is a consistent effort. And you have to be very committed to going with the trends, updating your strategies and listening to what your audience really wants, if you want to get the right results.
Again, beyond optimizing for humans, you also have to Optimize your website for the search engine in a way that will work for both your human audience and the search engine bots.
Here’s where we’ll wrap up this tutorial. Search Engine Optimization does not have to be too difficult. It’s a gradual process.
With consistent effort and the right strategy, you can always get improved results over time. To get even faster results, you can get our experts to run an SEO analysis for your websites.
Do you have questions that bothers on improving the SEO Optimization for your small business? Let’s hear you.