Guide to SEO for Small Business Marketing

SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) for small businesses is important to get warm leads. People, these days, take to the internet to find goods and services that will assist them in various areas.  These can be things that they want or need.  But, if your website doesn’t have the proper SEO, then your clients will not find you.  It is important that your website gets seen and noticed by working it to the top of the search engines. 

What is SEO for small businesses and how does it work?

You will probably hear all the time from SEO marketing experts that “it depends”.  In fact, that can get a little infuriating. However, remember that your SEO for small business will depend on a variety of factors.  What your niche is, how many others you are competing against and how many are actually doing SEO for small businesses on their websites. The internet search engines are also changing up their algorithms all the time, which plays a factor.  Think about it with a little common sense. It will take far more effort to rank a plumbing company in London than it will rank that same company in Southampton.  

The approach and strategy will have to be different for the London client versus the client in Southampton.  While the strategy might be very similar, there are going to be differences and it will be harder to rank in London versus Southampton due to the number of people in the area.  There are more plumbing companies and there is more competition in London.  

By doing an analysis of the market, your SEO company will take note of what the market is in your area.  Perhaps you only have a couple of people that are actually doing SEO, this will make it easier than others that have some serious competition.  Many times this is needed to ensure that your marketing efforts are fully understood.  

An SEO agency cannot guarantee results but can give you a good idea of what to expect.  Through their knowledge and experience, they will have a good idea of what is working and has worked in the past.  They will use those techniques to get your website to rank. 

Who to hire for your SEO in Marketing?

It is really hard for companies to determine who can actually make your website rank.  There are so many SEO companies out there, who should you trust with your SEO for your website. We understand that you don’t understand SEO, you understand your business.  However, ensure that you remain in control of all of your digital assets.  You want to work with someone that is fully transparent.  Be sure that you purchase your URL and remain in control of the hosting as well.

There are many bad and good SEO companies out there.  Be sure that they can explain what they are going to do with your website. They should talk about doing your branding and what that actually means.  You will need to get citations for the foundation of your organisation.  These citations are online directories that take your Name, Address, and Phone number.   You will probably be asked a few questions to complete those as well.

If you are looking for an SEO company, ask to see some of their wins. They should be able to show you that they can actually do SEO. It might simply just be their own personal SEO site.  While many don’t want to show you their clients, others will have their agency name in the footer of all the sites they work on.  We don’t practice this as it gives everyone else our client list.  This can be a negative for their clients as a negative SEO campaign can target all of their clients at one time.  We like to keep things more professional and protect our client list. 

How do we get ranked in the map's area?

You have seen the map’s area that is at the top of the search engines?  That map area is really powerful.  It is at the very top of the searches and quite honestly, it takes up the entire phone screen.

People are using their phones more than they ever have before while searching for local businesses.  In fact, the statistics about users using their mobile phones are huge.  Most people around the world have access to a smartphone.  Because of this, they are downloading restaurant apps and using their phones to search for local companies.  Because of this, it is important to have your business at the top of the map’s area as well as the search engines.  

When you are going after the top of the maps, your SEO agency is actually doing duel SEO work.  Getting your website ranking and getting your business in Google Maps are two totally different things.  But, think about it.  If you have both top spots, that means that you have real estate on page one.  What do you think will happen then? You will have more phone calls and inquiries than you have ever before.

How do we know what keywords we need to go after?

First, let’s talk about what keywords and keyword phrases are. You probably have read about keywords when you started looking for an SEO marketing agency.  However, nobody really goes over what a keyword is.  It is the phrases that you think your clients plug into their searches to find your business.  While you may think that you have a really good grasp of what people actually use,  a good SEO marketing agency will do what we call keyword research.  Keyword research takes a little time but will save you so much time and money.  

If your website is ranking at the top of the search engines for the wrong keywords, you won’t be found.  Something as simple as city-niche or niche-city can be different for different areas.  This is all taken into account when we do our SEO keyword research.  Keywords such as Chiropractor or Chiropractic for example can also make a difference and are dependent on where your business is located.  Most of us don’t think about that but it is true.

Having proper keywords will help target those that are looking for your products and services.  Your small business marketing should be working for you and not against you.  By taking the time to really dive into the keyword research we allow ourselves to determine which phrases and keywords will give you more presence and will be targeting them accurately.

SEO audit

An SEO audit will determine where your website currently stands on the search engines.  We might look at the on-page structure as well.  There are two types of SEO maps and search engines.  But the SEO done for searches has two types of its own. 

This is On-page SEO and Off-page SEO.  It really is quite simple though to understand, even as a business owner. 

The On-Page SEO has to do with your website itself.  The content that is on there and the information that you are giving people. 

There are several rules for better SEO in your content as well.

Have you ever heard of keyword stuffing?  Back in the day, you could write the word or phrase that you wanted to rank for over and over to get to number one. Now, it is a very delicate balance of the number of words on the page and the number of times you say the keyword or keyword phrase to have effective SEO for marketing.  

When the audit is performed it will be determined how your on-page is and what is happening off-page.

Off-page are backlinks that are built to build up your brand.  Your brand is very important, and as it gets bigger, it will start ranking for more keywords.  

On-page and off-page should be looked at when you are performing an audit.

Your Website is marketing your small business

When it comes to marketing a small business your website acts as a 24/7 salesperson.

You need to take a good look at it, and if you don’t think your site is a reflection of you, then you should speak up.  Also, have some friends and family try out your site and give you feedback on what they think.  It is essential your site come up in the local searches but it is also important that it is easy to use for people that land on it.  Be sure that your phone number is easy to find and the contact form is there as well.  

The goal is not only to get visitors but also to have them contact you for your products and services or buy online from you.  Because of this, you need your website to speak about why you are different and what you do to assist with the potential clients need or want.

If clients or patients are going to be visiting your office then you will want your address to be visible and directions are also helpful.  

Also, the metrics of your website are important.  Does it load quickly?  Or are there large images making it load really slow?  This will affect the user experience as well as the SEO of the website.  There are websites out there that will test the speed of your website and tell you if it is good or not. 

Why hire an SEO agency and not do it myself?

While this seems so tempting to many to learn and do SEO on their own it really is a bad idea.  You first should ask yourself if you have time to not only learn but implement.  Your website needs constant attention in order to continue to rank as it should.  It is important that you stay on top of the algorithm changes.  These changes are constantly rolling out.  Be sure that you keep up on them.  Also, you will need to continue to build the backlinks and provide more content, should you have a blog or what to keep fresh content on your pages.  

You would have to do all of that as well as learn everything and implement what you learned while running your company.  You will have learning curves too.  Everyone thinks that doing SEO is easy because the professionals make it look easy but it is not.  It is constantly changing and we have to constantly adapt.

Once ranked do I still need SEO

Yes, if you quit, you will drop in the rankings.  It is that simple.  Others are not quitting any time soon and will bypass your efforts.  SEO is something that you should budget for monthly in your advertising budget.  It is there to assist you with getting more clients and/or patients through your doors.  

SEO is an ongoing thing that needs attention each month to ensure that your website is in fact ranking for your keywords.  While some keywords will be easy to pick up and rank for, others are not.  This is due to many factors.  When we first start your SEO we will go after these keywords that we believe will be easy wins to allow for the others to build.  There is a strategy to your SEO to get the wins that you are looking for.

Once ranked do I still need SEO

Why does SEO marketing take time?  Seems like it is a pretty simple thing, do your on-page, get some backlinks, and your done.  

Well, if it were that simple everyone would be doing it.  It is a little more complex than that.  However, we also have to wait on the search engines to crawl your new website.  Sometimes they don’t crawl the whole website for a while.  This makes it hard to judge where you are actually ranking.

Dancing in the search engines.

Another factor that you need to take into account when doing SEO is dancing. Your website will go up and down in the search engines all the time.  It is what they call dancing.  Sometimes we hit a website with some powerful links and the website will drop from the rankings altogether.  That is what we actually want because when it comes back, it will be higher than before.

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