small business SEO

For your small business to be successful offline, it must also be successful online. While this can take a great deal of patience, the reward is certainly worth it. Attracting users online to your business can be accomplished by implementing strong local SEO strategies, which will improve your online presence organically and grow your overall brand.

Here are the 5 SEO strategies that every small business owner needs to know.

1. Improve Your Online Reputation With Local Citations & Directories

What are citations?

Citations play a large role in building a sound local SEO strategy. As stated by Search Engine Journal, citations are online references to a business, featuring information such as the business name, address, and phone number. In short, citations are a place to display information about your business.

Why is this important for small businesses?

Local listings and citations are major ranking factors for small businesses, meaning it is beneficial to your local SEO strategy to improve them. The primary goal of search engine optimization is to rank higher on Google, and this is a great start to doing so.

Where do I access local citations?

Your local business listings can be found within online directories such as Yelp, Yellow Pages, Google Business Profile, and many more. The goal here is to ensure that your small business’s information is cohesive across the board. This includes your branding, addresses and locations, website links, and hours of service.

There are endless online directories for local businesses, and it can be difficult to keep your information up-to-date yourself. This is why FirstPage is an official partner with Yext, a data management tool designed to keep track of any information related to your business on multiple directories. All clients with a local SEO package from FirstPage Marketing are enrolled into Yext, ensuring that their information is accurate, relevant, and continuously updated.

2. Keyword Research

Keyword research is the first step to a successful SEO campaign. Knowing the difference between “best plumber in [your city]” VS “[your city] plumber” is essential. Gathering the data for the top 10 keywords (phrases) that drive your industry’s Google searches can help catapult you above your competition. We recommend using tools such as Google Ads Keyword Planner or a Google Chrome Extension; Keywords Everywhere. These tools can give you approximate monthly search volume for each term. You should put a simple spreadsheet together and determine your most valuable keywords for the industry you are in.

3. Keyword Focused Content - The SEO Basics

Titles, Meta Descriptions, Heading Tags (H1, H2, H3, etc), Body Content

It is crucial that after you have completed your keyword research, you utilize this research in developing your semi-static content. Ensure that your Page Title utilized the keyword that you have found to be most valuable for your audience on that specific page. Include these keywords into page meta descriptions. Your H1 shouldn’t just be a way to make your font size larger. Your heading tags act as a table of contents for Google when they crawl your site. Ensure that your H1 is your main topic for that page. Typically, you would want the H1 to be the most valuable keyword from your keyword research. It is also important that these keywords are utilized in your page content.

4. Produce Relevant, High-Quality Content

Google launched their “helpful content” update in August of 2022. In short, this update aims to reward creators and businesses who offer their visitors a satisfying web experience. The requirements to reap these rewards revolve around people-first content, while still utilizing the SEO best practices.

If you’re creating content that is only intended for search engines, then you need to pay attention to this update.

That being said, a sound SEO strategy is still necessary. Rather than scrapping your best SEO tactics all together, this is your opportunity to make sure that your website is both properly optimized and contains content that is helpful to those who visit it. If both of these things are done correctly, you’re well on your way to appearing in more search results.

You can read more on Google’s basic Webmaster Guidelines here.

5. Define Your Target Market

A target market is a specific group of people that you want to reach through your marketing campaign. These people are more likely to visit your business (either in person or online) and make a purchase more than any other random group of people. They have specific characteristics in common, such as their demographics or psychological and behavioral patterns.

Once this market is taken into consideration, all that you have to do to find your ideal customer is zoom in at the individual level. This individual customer will not have to be convinced to purchase your product or service, because they will already be naturally interested.

At FirstPage, our local SEO packages are perfect for small to medium-sized businesses looking to grow regionally by increasing your real estate on Google, increasing your web traffic, generating more leads, and increasing your revenue. Contact us today for a free consultation!