In today’s world, for any small or local business looking to survive and prosper, then search engine visibility is a must. The way to do this organically is by search engine optimization (SEO). This is not a one-off process that is done once and then forgotten – it needs consistent effort over time.
This is a problem for most small businesses as most owners don’t know enough about SEO and they certainly don’t have the time to learn it. So, naturally, small business owners are wary of obtaining the services of an SEO company and paying for something that they don’t really understand.
When your website rank improves, more visitors will find your pages in search results. With more visitors arriving at and staying on your pages, you will rank higher. With high rank and wider exposure to your high-value content, more sites will link to your pages. This increases your domain authority and credibility, which further improves your website rank.
Hopefully, this post will be able to explain to you what you need to do about this.
What is small business SEO?
The crucial factor to remember in all of this is that your business is most likely to be found via a search engine. Naturally, your business needs to stand out from your competitors – you need your potential customers to come to you and not your rival in the next street.
Your first step is to understand a little about SEO yourself. There is no need to research journals, buy a book, or anything else for that matter – I will now give you everything that you need to know.
- When you enter a search into a search engine, they respond by giving you the best possible answer to your search query. They do this by trawling through a massive amount of previous user behaviour and building a data set of responses (ranking algorithms). It is in their interests to provide the best responses, as like you, they need to stay ahead of their competion.
I will now break this down a bit further by imaging that I have a puncture in one of my car tyres and I need the services of a tyre repair service. I am in a part of Birmingham that I barely know anything about and little do I know that you are just 100 yards away from me, ready to help me out.
Like most consumers who find products, services and businesses through a search engine,, I use my phone and search Google with the search term ” tyre puncture repair near me”. (This phrase I have typed is a keyword – as you can see, the keyword can consist of many words). I have just conducted what is known as a ‘local search’.
Google will then return what it has determined the most useful results for me:-
The main point to take away from this is that for your own business you need to have high-quality webpages that convey information about your location and the services that you offer. This is done through meta tags, done in a language that a computer can understand.
In order for your potential customers to find you via a Google search, you need to rank high on Google; particularly, on the first page; ideally, in the top few results. That’s why you need to optimize your content for search engines. Hence the term “search engine optimization.”
So, That is SEO.
Done correctly SEO can give you strong results that can be maintained in time. However, as I said earlier, it does take time and it needs to be done correctly. Small businesses owners vary rarely have the knowledge or the time to make optimisations correctly. You will then need to utilise the services of a SEO agency.
Stay focused on growth
As mentioned above, SEO takes a lot of time—not just each individual tactic but also performing ongoing maintenance and staying on top of Google’s updates. By hiring a website SEO service provider, you no longer have to go down the rabbit hole of meta tag how-tos, SEO audits (unless you want to) and Google updates. This means you have more time to focus on other aspects of your business, like growing your offerings or clientele.
See quick(er) success
SEO efforts can take weeks and even months to show in terms of website traffic and more customers. So while I think that learning the hard way is often the best way, SEO’s long turnaround time makes it not the most fun place for trial and error. A small business SEO service has the combined years of experience among its specialists to be able to quickly identify wins and errors that might otherwise take you years (and precious brain cells) to achieve on your own. Plus, there are plenty of other aspects of your business that I’m sure you’re already learning the hard way.
Understand your data
The more quickly you can ramp up your website traffic, the better, because the more meaningful data you will have to work with. But what data is meaningful? How can you make sense of it all? This is another benefit of using a small business SEO service. They can take a look at your website traffic and glean key insights to inform your small business goals. They can help you to see:
- Which pages get the most visits
- Which calls to action are most effective
- Which landing pages convert highest,
- The demographic profile of your target audience.
These insights will inform your content strategy moving forward and help your SEO provider to refine its efforts down to only those that are worth your money.
What will an SEO services company do?
The on-page efforts that an SEO services company does are focused on the “crawlability” and usability of the pages on your website. They will make optimizations to the parts of your website that get seen by the public and get read by search engines. This includes
- Content: They’ll make sure the content of your pages is relevant to the keywords you’re trying to rank for and that the content is useful and high-quality.
- Experience: They’ll use website analytics to identify how engaging a page is and provide recommedations for improvement from a user experience standpoint.
- Structure: They’ll make sure your website linking hierarchy is organized and easy to crawl by search engines.
- Meta data:They’ll make sure each page is complete with title tags, headers, image tags, meta descriptions that contain keywords being targeted.
A good SEO services company will also employ various off-page SEO practices, which involve your site’s backend elements. They’ll help you with:
- Site performance: This involves page load speed, responsiveness (renders and functions properly on any device or screen size), and image size.:
- Backlinks:They will help you build links to your site from other trusted sites.
- Domain authority: They will make sure you’re consistently building trust with Google.