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What is SEO and why is important for small business?

What is SEO and why is important for small business?

Drive Traffic


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min read

SEO stands for Search Engine Optimisation. It is a process where websites improve their content and copy in order to rank higher on search engines. For example, this may be by using behind-the-scenes meta data or simply updating copy to include keywords that will draw potential customers to a website. Understanding SEO and how it can help your business will be instrumental in driving visits to your site and increasing your visibility online. 


Why is SEO Important for Small Businesses?  


As a small or medium sized business, one of your objectives will be to increase traffic to your website. After all, the more people who visit your website the more chances you have of turning potential leads into paying customers. Investing time and money into SEO will give you the opportunity to boost your visibility on search engines and help potential customers find you when they’re search is relevant to your business.  


Google receives around 5.6 billion searches per day. Your job by employing best practice SEO is to ensure that the people who are searching terms relevant to your business can find you easily. SEO will also allow you to decide who you’re targeting. For example, you can use keywords which include a location so that you rank higher on more localised searches. For small businesses, SEO gives you the opportunity to put yourselves out there, compete with your industry and demonstrate your authority in your field. 


How SEO is work?  


SEO can be applied to every aspect of your online journey. One of the most obvious ways businesses use SEO is through website copy. This can be anything from your homepage, About Us page or blog content. Blogs are an incredibly useful tool for SEO as you can have multiple blog posts which target different keywords and audiences at the same time. For example, if you’re a property business your main website copy may include keywords such as ‘estate agent in London’ to let people know who you are and what you do, but on your blog, you can use keywords which establish you as an authority within the real estate market, build trust with customers and then drive them to your website.  


In addition to onsite content, there are plenty of ways you can improve your SEO behind the scenes. Crosslinking pages across your website as well as adding in metadata and optimising each page will help Google to recognise more pages of your website. If your business sells physical products, it’s important that all of your product descriptions are written using SEO keywords to increase the likelihood of them coming up on search engines.   


Offsite, you will want to include your SEO keywords and link back to your website across social media posts too. Remember, that anything put out on the internet can be found via search engines, so by adding in strong content to video and images will boost your visibility across networks and drive customers to your site. 


How to choose keywords for SEO?


As a small business, when you are choosing your SEO keywords you will want to have a clear understanding of your USP and what other businesses you want to compete with. A great way to decide on your SEO keywords is to physically search for them and see if the results are where you would want to be placed. There are also plenty of helpful articles and tools online which can assist you. While it’s very easy to manually input your SEO and metadata, you can use a tool such as 12Handz to generate Google Ad campaigns or choose the right keywords for certain pages of your website.  


SEO keywords are ranked by their demand and how competitive they are. As a smaller business you will want to aim for high demand, less competitive keywords that will be easier to rank highly on. The higher you rank, the higher up you will show on search results. For example, if you run a cleaning business using the keyword ‘cleaner’ will probably be too vague. You may want to rank as an authority in the industry so use the term ‘cleaning tips for housewives’ or narrow down the search by including your location.  


Keywords don’t have to be individual words, they can be ‘long-tail keywords’ which is more of a search term such as ‘value cleaning service in Manchester’ or ‘where to find a reliable office cleaner’. 92% of all searches tend to be longer than one word so aiming to rank for these will help you enhance your SEO. The benefit of using long-tail keywords is that you can be more specific and eliminate national or global businesses who are harder to compete with.  


Best Practice Tips for SEO in Marketing  


  • Don’t overstuff keywords – Readers and potential customers don’t just want to click on a link, they want to find relevant content when they get there. By ‘overstuffing’ your content with keywords you may end up losing customers rather than gaining quality ones.  
  • Answer questions – 14% of searches on Google are questions. If you find out what your target audience wants to know and answer it you can position yourself as an authority within your industry.  
  • Know your audience – Having a clear understanding of your customers and what they want will allow you to generate content which is compelling and engaging when people reach your website.  
  • Do your research – Being aware of what your competitors are aiming to rank for, as well as conducting your own practice searches for your keywords will help you to position yourself in the market correctly.  
  • Use your target keyword in 3 places –Google has an algorithm which will recognise a keyword when it has been used at least 3 times, but you should also note that you can be penalised if your keywords take up more than 3% of your content. 
  • Optimise images – Adding tags and keywords to image and video content will give you another opportunity to be found in these searches online.  
  • Cross link pages on your website – The more inbound links you have to your website the higher you will be ranked by Google.  

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