5 SEO Tips for Small Businesses

, ,

The world of SEO is so large that, for small business owners, it can be really confusing when deciding where you should invest your time. Sure, you could send 100,000 emails asking people for links to your website, but is that really the best use of your time? No fret, here are five SEO tips to help you start promoting your business.

Focus on where people search

Yes, everyone uses Google and it’s always going to be huge. But that doesn’t mean it’s the best place to focus. I recently interviewed an owner of a hotel chain and asked him about how reviews effected his business. He seemed confused for a moment and then said, “Oh, you mean TripAdvisor?” I knew TripAdvisor would be important for him but I didn’t realize that, for his market, it was actually much more important than Google Maps.

Search engine optimization is about more than Google; it’s about showing up better where your customers are searching. If you’re in the travel industry, TripAdvisor is probably very important. If you’re a restaurant, Yelp is much more important. There are lots of niche directories out there for different kinds of companies. Find one to start with.

Don’t build your website from scratch

I was browsing a local business’s website the other day, and it was terrible. This is an experience I have all the time. It’s one of the reasons I work at OrangeSoda. We make nice websites and I feel it’s part of our duty to help people get more customers. Bad websites hurt customers! Lots of business owners want to learn HTML themselves or have their millennial son/daughter throw one together. Spend some time searching for good templates or even services that will do your website for you. You might spend a little more upfront, but you’ll save a ton of money over the long run. I always recommend PopSite as a full-service solution. But if you want to spend more time with something you build yourself, check out SquareSpace, they have nice looking templates and they should be fairly SEO friendly out of the box.

Search is all about answering questions

In discussions with your customers, keep track of what questions they ask you. Those are the questions you have to answer on your website. The more specific, the better. Very specific questions are easier to rank for because there’s less competition. If you can answer those questions, you’ll have great success showing up for terms that will drive more customers to your business.

Organize your website in a way that makes sense

Instead of just looking at your website and thinking about where things should go on the page, try drawing a map of your site organized by url to see if it makes sense. You want to make sure that the URL hierarchy is well organized. Doing this will make your site easier to crawl. Here’s an example of how your site structure might look if you were a lawyer focusing on DUI law, estate planning, and family law. Your site structure might look something like this.

site-structure

Here we see that the site has pages for each focus and each of those page has several child pages that support that main page. This is an important move for your website. Draw out your site structure on paper to make sure it makes sense. Once you’ve solved that, you can figure out how it should look.

Subscribe to a few great internet marketing blogs

SEO and Internet marketing are always changing. You want to stretch your creative muscles to find better ways to promote your business. To know the right thing to do, you’ll need to stay current. Put aside a little time every week to study up and stay current. Checkout our list of the best internet marketing blogs for a good starting point.