3 SEO Tips for Small Businesses

If you’re a small business owner, visibility online is vital for the success of your brand. When you’ve spent countless hours creating a brand image that finally feels right for both you and your product – generating traffic to your website can be frustrating. SEO is one of the most effective ways to boost your visibility, bypass the competition, and take your business to the next level!

What exactly is SEO?

SEO is an acronym for Search Engine Optimisation. Sounds complicated, right? 

Simply put, SEO is the process used to optimise a website’s visibility in organic search engine results. For example, if you owned a barber shop in Darlington, and a potential customer searched for “the best barber in Darlington” on Google, your business would ideally be visible in the top listings. In fact, research shows that 95% of people only look at the first page of search results.

This is where SEO comes in. By using the right keywords, producing quality online content, and maintaining your carefully cultivated website – SEO strategies can really give your online presence a boost.

We’ve outlined an extensive, but certainly not exhaustive, list of SEO tips for small businesses.

1. Using the right keywords

Using the right keywords is an essential aspect of your SEO process. If your website doesn’t feature in the first page  of a search result, your brand could be missing out on the benefits of organically generated traffic. Keywords aren’t just in the text you use on your website homepage, they’re also in your testimonials, product/service descriptions, and blog posts.

Not sure where to start? Here are some basic tips:

  • When choosing the right keywords to use for your business, research is essential! Spend some time brainstorming terms that you think your potential customers could be searching for. Think about the relevance, volume, and reach of your chosen keywords. You can dive into specific keywords and see their potential influence using free tools like Ahrefs.
  • Produce plenty of high quality content (e.g. blog posts), but avoid sounding too repetitive, and definitely don’t copy content from other sites. That way, you avoid both competing with your own content for search rankings, and Google marking your content as ‘stolen’.
  • Ensure that you’ve claimed ownership of your site on Google Search Console (and similar tools for other search engines). This way, you can see the keywords/phrases receiving the most clicks, and optimise for those! If you’re a local business, you can also claim your Google Business profile.

2. Website “backlinks”

Each website is seen by Google to have an ‘authority’, where a higher authority helps a website rank higher in search results. A website’s authority is improved by external ‘backlinks’, which is when another website links back to yours. Links are almost like the currency of search engines – the more links out there that direct to your website – the higher your website will be ranked within search engines.

Ideally, your website links should appear in a range of other trustworthy websites, in-turn commending your own brand as equally trustworthy and reliable. Here are 2 ways you could get more backlinks:

  • Offer to be a “guest blogger” on another website. You’re not only gaining exposure for yourself and business when writing for other sites, but you’re often also able to link back to your own website (with their permission!)
  • Every time your business gets some PR (e.g. on an online article), you could politely ask that they link back to your site

3. Optimise your website

It’s important not to forget the basics when it comes to SEO – it’s still really important that your site is user-friendly, responsive to mobile and other screen sizes, and can convert visitors into customers.

Increasingly, small businesses are opting for “microsites” on Compiled that take the hassle and cost out of building a full-blown website, while giving potential customers a really easy way to find them online. It’s always mobile-responsive, comes optimised for SEO, and can be managed by anyone (even if you’re non-technical!)

In fact, most Compiled user’s microsites receive more Google search clicks than Compiled’s own homepage!

An example of a Compiled microsite on mobile

How long will it take for SEO to improve?

SEO is definitely about playing the long game. Don’t be disheartened if you’re producing new content, optimising your site, and not seeing immediate results. Ultimately, it can take time for Google to adjust their rankings, and factors like the age of your website domain even play a part. Keep optimising, experimenting, and ultimately those rankings will come!