Today, the Internet is one of the main communication and marketing channels. Now that large international brands are taking advantage of this new media, how can your small business expect to compete?
It may seem daunting to try to rank on search engines against these large players, but there is no need to fear. You can deploy SEO for small businesses to effectively market your brand. Here are four strategies that will help your small business drive traffic to your website.
Target a Highly Specific Niche
When developing your SEO strategy, it is easy to think that you should target the most general keywords and as many keywords as possible. This is not really a good idea. A large global company can market itself in this way, but your small business does not really have the resources to get noticed at this level. While the most general keywords have the most traffic, they also have the most competition.
Good SEO for small businesses should focus on a targeted niche. In this niche, there is less traffic, but also less competition. If you can put out engaging content in this niche, you are likely to get more traffic to your site than if you went after a more generic audience.
This is done by focusing on long-tail keywords. Instead of a generic keyword like “plumbing,” you might focus on “difficult bathroom plumbing problems.” This longer keyword attracts less traffic, but you can hope to capture this traffic with good content.
This means that your content strategy should be highly focused around what your small business does best. Don’t try to create content about everything your business does. Instead focus your content strategy around one or two specific areas of expertise. This SEO for small businesses strategy will help you win traffic without worrying about larger competitors.
Focus on Local SEO
Your global competitors may rank high for generic keywords, but they may not rank for local variations. It may be difficult for your small hardware store to rank for “plumbing supplies,” but it is much easier to rank for “plumbing supplies in Peoria.” To do this, you need to include some local references in your content. Use place names, landmarks and other local information to let the search engines know to rank your content for local searches. For example, if you run a landscaping service or a nursery, you could feature information about lawns and gardens that is specific to your local region.
Another strategy is to get involved in community events and organizations. Not only can you add this content to your website, but the local organizations can create links back your site that really help your SEO.
This year’s biggest shift in SEO for small businesses was in searches made from smart phones. Recently, Google has updated its mobile algorithm to reward sites it deemed mobile-friendly. The best way to cope with this is to employ responsive design on your website. Visitors will have great experiences on your site no matter what device they are using to access it. If you have designed your own website, you will need to use a template that includes responsive design. Google has provided a tool to check to see if you website is mobile-friendly and to offer suggestions about how to earn this rating.
Add a Personal Touch
A huge global business has a hard time responding to all the brand mentions that occur on the Internet. You should be able to track mentions of your business online and respond personally to many of your visitors and customers. Reply to comments on your blog, engage in social media conversations and interact personally with your audience. This will show that you are engaged and committed to an ongoing relationship with your customers.
SEO for small businesses is not a lost cause. With the right strategies, your business can win traffic and new customers based on the effective use of this marketing channel.