Local SEO

Does SEO Work for Small Businesses – We Show You How To Make Your Business A Commercial Success

The SEO game is considered quite technical.

Believe it or not, but SEO success is mostly about getting the basics right. This is especially true for small business websites. And we’re sure plenty of high profile SEO gurus will agree with us on that.

Which brings us to the Pareto Principle?

Here’s what it says:

“…80% of the results come from 20% of the action.”

Talk about perfectly timed coincidences.

Today, all we see on the surface is the glitz and glamor of advanced SEO techniques, and all we aggressively pursue. So many ignore the fact that small business SEO success is still built on a strong foundation of the basics. We seem to have forgotten that basics are still the keys to being successful with SEO, and they play a HUGE role.

Here’s a very popular case study.

Back in 2016, Yoast SEO experts experimented with a series of optimizations to help improve traffic to their website; including keyword optimization.

They incorporated keywords into their catchy headlines.

The result?

This very simple improvement gave their website a traffic boost of almost 30%. That’s right! A whopping 30% boost.

So it’s clear that if you want SEO success for small businesses, you should start with the basics first! Build a strong SEO foundation. Hold tight to the Pareto Principle. Work on the 20-percent, and you’ll reach the 80-percent in no time.

What type of basics, you ask?

Start with the keywords and headlines

Since we’ve already discussed how SEO experts at Yoast used keyword optimization to accomplish SEO success, we think it will be perfect to use the strategy as a starting step.

The very first thing you need to do is find keywords that are relevant to your business and customer-niche. At the same time, these keywords should have low competition and a high search volume.

You can use a keyword research tool to help you out with this. Our personal favorites are:

Come up with multiple keywords.

Once you have the right keywords, craft keyword-incorporated creative headlines for your webpages. Make sure the headings are not more than 60-characters long.

Try to place the keywords at the beginning of the headlines.

You can use CoSchedule’s headline analyzer to craft catchy headlines for your webpages.

While you’re at it, also optimize the URL of your webpages to include the keywords.

Move to a search-engine-friendly CMS

This is arguably the most fundamental mantra in small business SEO success.

Without a search-engine-friendly content management system, you simply can’t go anywhere; all your other SEO success strategies are ineffective.

Clay Cazier explains it really well in his post on Search Engine Land about what makes a CMS search engine friendly. You should definitely read it in your free time.

Our personal recommendation will be to use WordPress.

Here, at Search Berg, we’ve designed and redesigned many websites for our clients on WordPress, and we can safely say it’s one of the best search engine friendly CMS.

Optimize internal and outbound links

Internal links serve as gateways between your web pages. Outbound links on the other hand are reference links directing to webpages outside your website.

Quite often (and to our surprise), we see lack of internal linking on websites. For some reason, small business owners don’t use this practice as extensively as they use other practices.

Neil Patel gives a detailed argument of how internal linking helps SEO.

Don’t let internal linking slip from your SEO net.

Internal linking helps your website visitors easily navigate your website. Plus, it generates valuable leads for your business.

As for your outbound links, run a check to make sure they are functional (not broken) and directing to credible, high authority websites. There are many tools available online that can help you assess the quality of your outbound links. This is important, considering how Google considers outbound links so significant.

Don’t forget the site structure

Your site structure is crucial to helping Google understand what your site and business is all about.

Google uses the structure of your website to guide its indexing process. If the structure is too complex or disorganized, Google might not be able to index it the way you want it to. This is certainly not good for your website’s rankings, and thus your business.

Make sure the content on your website is properly organized, with a clear hierarchy and easy to crawl structure.

Maintain a uniform hierarchy through all your webpages.

Work towards increasing your website speed

Website speed has been used as a ranking factor by Google since 2010.

And it’s not going anywhere, anytime soon.

Why Google places such high importance to website speed?

Because Google believes (and rightly so) that website speed directly influences online experience.

Fast websites improve a user’s online experience, while slow websites make it infuriating.

Consequently, websites with slower uploading speeds have high bounce rates. In turn, they’re ranked lower.

For small business SEO success, it’s critical to have a fast website.

To identify if your website is fast or slow, you can use a tool like Pingdom.

If you notice that your website’s speed is slow, there’s a range of things you can do to fix speed issues:

There are multiple strategies you can pursue, such as:

  • Optimizing your website’s design and code
  • Compressing the size of your CSS, JavaScript and HTML files
  • Investing in a CDN network
  • Changing your hosting service provider

Enlist your business on Google My Business

This is a local SEO-specific strategy.

Google My Business is basically Google’s business directory.

By enlisting your business on Google My Business, you provide your business information to Google and the search engine then uses it to improve your business’s visibility during local searches.

It’s quite easy and straightforward to sign up for the service.

Suffice to say, it’s a very powerful platform for small businesses and you must use it.

And that’s pretty much it!

Need help with small business SEO?

Search Berg is at your service!

We’re one of the leading small business SEO service providers in the United States. Employing an experienced and knowledgeable SEO team, we can transform your small business website, making it more effective at helping you achieve your business goals.

Get in touch with us today.

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Aaron Tylor

Aaron Tylor

Aaron Tylor is a Senior Account Manager at Search Berg, a full-scale SEO and WEB Agency.

He brings more than 15 years of practical, hands-on experience in Lead Generation, Web Development and Digital Marketing. Starting out as a junior link builder right out of college, Aaron has expanded his career to deliver quantifiable results for some of the most demanding, high-profile campaigns. He regularly contributes to the SearchBerg Blog and on other web and digital marketing platforms. His goal is to get published on Moz and give a presentation at PubCon.

In his spare time, Aaron can be found golfing or binge-watching on Netflix. You can follow Aaron on Linkedin here.