I always suggest SEO as a “best-to-do” option for any startup or medium size business to promote it online. Here’s why I advocate SO….
I do a lot of analysis to develop a perfect and executable SEO strategy for small and medium scale business owners; those are my most of clients. What I have found for last one decade the Google has continuously improved their algorithm that reflects same weight for both small and medium scale businesses. There is no special privilege for big business anymore which once ranked ahead of the small business in search result pages. The algorithm has changed towards ranking the websites irrespective of their bigness but having best possible content available with the best user interface. SEO is not dead; it is very much alive now. Yes, it is.
But, for start-ups, small to medium size businesses, SEO can be tricky as primarily they have to work in a limited budget and secondly, they the focus is more on local ranking.
If you are a small business and curious about SEO but not really sure where to start or how — then this post is for you.
Why SEO is Important
As the world goes digital, there is nothing that is not online. From small business to government to individuals, everyone has a digital footprint. Your customers will first look you up in the internet and if your competition beats you there, your business may be in danger. So, having a website or social presence isn’t enough to make your business work for you. All you need SEO to succeed.
You need to place your website in the right place, so that your potential customers can easily find you and at the same time search engines will find the website worthy for ranking. Whether you do SEO yourself or hire a professional service provider, optimization of your website for search engine is the absolute requirement.
The great thing is, no matter how big or small a company is, there are some basic SEO strategies to follow especially for start-ups and small business. To be on the top list, it’s vital that small or start-up companies create a strong SEO foundation to work on, so that they can easily adjust to the ever changing landscape of digital marketing.
There are simple and effective ways to boost visibility for your small business website in search results. Follow the SEO strategies mentioned below:
The Beginning – So Fresh and So Clean
Your website is your virtual business that represents what you are all about digitally. Before starting anything on SEO, it is essential to first create or clean the existing website so it becomes SEO friendly. For start-up businesses, setting up a new website is vital to the cause. For small to medium sized business with websites, they will need to revamp the website all together. Remember, a clean and fresh website scores better in SERP as no one wants to visit a sluggish website with outdated designs and codes – not even the Google.
Google and most of the other search engines have robots to “crawl” a website and extract the relevant information from the crawled websites necessary to rank the website position in relation to others websites having similar content. The robots are otherwise known as “bots”. In order to help those bots do their job properly, you have to make sure your HTML code is clean and your site loads faster than your competitors. You also need to provide a properly maintained XML sitemap that provides search engines about the number of web pages you got in your website that you want to feed the bots.
When starting a SEO campaign, a website needs to take care of few things.
- A Up-Today Website
- Proper Keyword Targeting
- Keyword Optimized Content
- Clean and SEO Friendly Codes
- Optimized Tiles and Meta Tags
- Proper Navigation Structure
- Interlinking of the WebPages
- Security of The Website
- Clean And Short Urls
Content Development Strategy
If anything rules the internet, it’s the CONTENT. It is rightly said that the “content is the king”. For any website to succeed and feature in the first page of the SERP, it needs to have compelling and engaging content. Apart from upgrading the website, the contents of all the WebPages need to be updated and should be most relevant to the search terms that people will ever use to search for your business online.
For a business, having a really persuasive content and an effective landing page is important for converting the traffic into real customers.
One of the key points of keeping your website alive is to develop a better content management strategy. Blogs and articles whether within the website itself or in other places, keeps a website fresh and up-to-date. Those who stay current and produce fresh content regularly, make into ranking list easily. So, it is very important for a small business to produce relevant, optimized and fresh content regularly.
Off-Site SEO – Equally Important for Your Business
Although we usually connect SEO with the on-page factors, such as content, page speed, html codes, Meta tags, off-site factors are equally important.
Off- site SEO otherwise known as off-page SEO, mainly deals with link building to give your website a massive boost in terms of organic keywords ranking. No doubt the content is king but the link building is queen. The link building mostly involves, blogging, content distribution, social media sharing, video sharing, article submission, press release distribution, business listing, classified submission, document sharing and many more other activities.
Focusing on Your Target
Startups and small scale businesses mainly need to focus on local search rankings. For this, you will primarily have to focus on getting local reviews and getting listed in local directories. There are lots of benefits of listing in local business directories. For startups, this is one of the best ways of getting quick rankings in local searches.
Making your Website Mobile Friendly
Mobile friendly website is the trend now for ranking better in mobile devices as made apparent by the Google in its latest update. When setting up a website for your business or redesigning it, it is important you make the website mobile friendly.
Whether you are targeting a local market or global market, having a mobile friendly website is very important. A small business might think this may take a toll on their budget to convert their website into a mobile friendly website. But, converting your website into a mobile friendly website is even easier than setting up a new website.
Social Media Marketing
Like a mobile friendly website, having a strong social media presence is vital for better ranking. The simple logic is that, almost half the world is on social media today and if you want to reach your audience, social media marketing is the key. Also recently search engines have added social signals as one of the key ranking factors in their respective algorithms.
Social media platforms like the Facebook, Twitter, Googleplus, Pinterest, LinkedIn and many more, are best ways to get the customer to know about your business updates in realtime. But the tricky part is that you will need to find out your niche and then focus on the right social media platform.
For start-ups and small scale businesses, there are a couple of things pertaining to SEO that they need to focus more on. Unlike the large businesses, startups can benefit more on focusing their attention on a few SMO strategies that will help them crate niche in the highly competitive market.
Over to You
If you haven’t started doing any SEO for your small business because you don’t know where and how to start, then I hope above mentioned tips can be used to kick start a SEO effort for your small business with a limited marketing budget. You can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org for any professional help.