Office Desk with Tools and Notes About Digital MarketingWithout Search Engine Optimization, your website won’t get any search engine traffic. As a webmaster for you small local site, you should not underestimate the value of local and small business SEO for your offline business. Local SEO is a type of SEO that helps drive traffic to your local business. After all, Expert Web Professionals reported that 97% of consumers go online to research local products and services. If they don’t find your company, you are losing out on business.

What You Should Know Before You Build a Small Business SEO Strategy

Good results come from combining both on-site and off-site SEO. Getting results from small business SEO takes time and patience, but it is not uncommon for a small business to rank higher in the search results than a large corporation.

If you have not yet started your small business SEO, now is the time. Your competitors have started and you need to get to work if you want to beat them for a ranking in the top 3 search results.

Incidentally, small business SEO starts with knowing your competition. You need to know spend time getting to know where they rank and what they have done to achieve rankings on the first page.

A website is ever evolving. If you want your site’s ranking to reach and stay on top of the rankings, and attract more traffic and sales, you need to be prepared to keep working at it, improving your SEO and adapt to the algorithm updates. Search engines are continuously evolving and you need to adapt accordingly.

3 Important Aspects of Your Small Business SEO Strategy

Building a small business SEO strategy requires many tools and techniques, and today we’re going to focus on three areas of it.

Small Business SEO Strategy: The Tools

When you search for SEO tools, you’re bound to come across thousands of results, many of them belonging to software developers or SEO experts promising you a #1 spot on Google for just $49, $149 or $399. Click away, because NOBODY can guarantee Google rankings.

Getting a good ranking on Google does not require for you to buy an expensive software package or “expert services.” Of course, if you don’t have the time and skill, you may need to hire an agency to do it, but the tips in this article will help you gain some experience and understanding.

After all, the best tools come from Google, and they are FREE. Go ahead and set up your free accounts on:

  • Google Webmaster Tools – To learn about your site’s status, errors, keywords, rankings and back links.
  • Google Analytics – To find out how many visitors your site attracts, where they come from and what they do. This user-behavior intelligence can help you build on strategies that are working to get better results.
  • Google+ Page – Use this to build trust with Google and to improve your rankings on local keywords.
  • Google Keyword Tool – Use this to research your keywords and phrases.

Small Business SEO Strategy: The Content

Without resorting to clich├ęs, I’d like to stress again that your content is the most important factor of your website. Your content needs to be better than that of the current site that ranks #1 on Google if you want to rank there. Pay attention to these thoughts and tips:

  1. Combine, add to or remove pages with less than 350 words, because they will typically have short page view times, which will results in your keyword rankings being downgraded by search engines. A good way to get a lot of good quality content on to your site, is to use a blog.
  2. Never copy content from other sources, as pages – or even your entire site – will be penalized.
  3. Write for readers, not for robots. Your content should be engaging and informative if you want readers to stay on your site. If your visitors spend a long time on your site, search engines reward you and visitors are more likely to buy from you.

Small Business SEO Strategy: On-site Elements

On-site SEO helps the search engines’ robots to find your site’s keywords. This is measured against the relevance of your content and ranked accordingly. Research your keywords before you optimize them, because the wrong keywords will not bring you visitors. Consider the way in which your customers see your business, which may differ from your perspective. By encompassing this different perspective, you will choose more relevant keywords.

When choosing keywords, consider targeting keywords that have commercial intent. There’s a difference between visitors who want “more info on web design” and those who want to “hire a web designer.” Many small business SEO experts love long-tail keywords (or keyword phrases) because they are an excellent source of traffic, because nearly half of all searches consist of more than four words.

Dedicate one page to each of your keywords, as this makes it easier for search engines to rank and categorize your pages.

Don’t keyword-stuff. Google will most likely penalize you for keyword-stuffing, as they encourage quality, well-written content.

Finally, the most important factor that affects ranking most, is back links. Getting lots of quality back links from relevant sources (trustworthy sites) will most certainly improve your rankings.

Combining the elements above with a quality social strategy will allow you to engage with your visitors, which will slowly but surely build social proof.

Do you have any more tips on building a Small Business SEO Strategy? We’d love to hear from you in comments, below.