8 Hacks Small Businesses Can Use to Boost Website Traffic and Sales
SEO is never a one-and-done thing.
Managing the SEO for small businesses can be even more critical than SEO for big brands competing for a top place in the SERPs. Since this is the case, the ideal approach is to focus on organic positioning hacks that would boost your website traffic and sales.
Here are eight hacks that will improve your small business's SEO.
1. Optimize your website for SEO
If your website is not well optimized at the on-page SEO level, it will be much more difficult to position it correctly for the terms you want to rank for in search results.
What does on-page SEO mean? Focus your attention on the following checklist:
Use a proper server
Use the correct domain
Make sure all your links are HTTPS
Check to be sure that there is only one browseable version
Set up authenticated emails
Manage broken links
Test and remove irrelevant content
Enable caching, modification, and data compression
Check for potential indexing blocks
Register your site in the Google Search Console webmaster tool
Link and share on social media
2. Create a content strategy for your small-to-medium enterprise (SME)
For the content to maximize the SEO impact of your SME, it’s essential to set the goal of providing quality content (i.e. tangible value to the user). In the case of small businesses, the need to offer added value with your content is huge.
Put yourself in the shoes of your target audience and answer their questions, their concerns, and their doubts with your how-to guides, useful videos, in-depth ebooks, and everything else that has a place in a successful content strategy.
3. Choose and target specific keywords
To position the website of your small business effectively, it’s crucial to stand out from the competition.
Big companies like Tripadvisor can afford to target generic keywords like "travel" and easily forget more specific ones without any problem. This is not the case for small businesses. Small businesses need to opt for long-tail and more specific keywords.
Following the example of the travel sector, you can create content on specific itineraries that target particular keywords, such as "charming towns in California to visit with kids." You can also generate certain valuable information for the traveling user, such as "vintage fashion stores in New York," or bet on exclusive content such as “interviews with chefs from the best restaurants in Paris.”
Large companies often prefer not to compare themselves with the competition. But when we talk about SEO strategy for smaller companies, analyzing the competition can be very useful to learn more about the industry itself and what your audience expects from you. Take a look at your competitors’ keywords to get some inspiration, match them, or surpass them. From there, create your own keyword study to establish your content plan.
4. Get active and passive links
In addition to adding value to the user, creating top content will help you passively generate links.
To stand out and attract attention to get shares and links, you can include various formats such as multimedia content, infographics, podcasts, interviews, tutorials, and guest articles in your content strategy. There are also many opportunities to improve the positioning offered by link building or the active generation of links.
Some ideas for link building for small businesses include press releases, business directories, and generating content as a guest on third-party blogs.
Not all links are ideal though. Focus on:
Links that come from websites that are related to the theme of your site and your keywords. And of course, the higher the authority of the website, the better.
Links that point to your website in a natural way, providing helpful information for the user.
Links that occur because your content is worth it. Put special care in the content that you generate and think viral; in short, create engaging content that third parties want to share.
Don’t forget to set up a proper internal linking strategy as well.
5. Launch a local SEO strategy
The SEO for small businesses with a physical headquarters becomes more robust if it includes local positioning strategy, meaning keyword and location. This potent tool will bring traffic to your store since users who do this type of search are interested in a specific product or service and in acquiring it in a particular location.
Local positioning strategies depend significantly on the Google My Business tool, so don’t forget to create your GMB account.
6. Avoid traffic losses with all your might
SEO depends on many variables, and it’s essential to know them well to analyze them and keep track of the updates and changes. You may not be able to keep track of all the algorithm updates, but there should be someone who can.
Failing to keep track of all the changes in the Google algorithm (and tweaking your website accordingly) may result in a severe traffic drop.
7. Stay up-to-date on new SEO strategies for small businesses
To compete with the big boys, you cannot leave your SEO strategy anchored in the past; it must always be fresh and adapted to possible changes in search engine algorithms and new trends.
Don’t shy away from trends such as local SEO, voice or image searches, positioning on Amazon and Google Shopping, or any other available SEO tools that you could use to boost your business, such as Google Trends.
Related: 7 Ways to Use Google Trends for SEO
8. Leave your SEO strategy in good hands
Can you call yourself an SEO expert? Probably not. As mentioned before, you need someone to monitor all of the changes and updates within the Google algorithm. The same goes for having a professional managing your entire SEO efforts.
Even though your business is small, you can only benefit from employing an SEO specialist in the long run. Thanks to working remotely, you can do the hiring online and outsource this task properly without additional employee expenses.
Entrepreneur Leadership Network Contributor