Why Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is Important for Small Businesses
With the economy shifting online and the internet dominating marketing, it can be difficult to keep up. This is especially true for small businesses and small business owners because they may not have the funds to hire a full-time SEO staff member or team. It is easy to be discouraged by the upper hand larger companies may have when it comes to Search Engine Optimization, but SEO is still a useful tool for small businesses.
What is Search Engine Optimization (SEO)?
Before going further into detail on how to use Search Engine Optimization, it is important to understand what SEO is. Simply stated, SEO refers to optimizing the content, layout, design, wording, and other factors of a website to optimizing it for search engine algorithms (like Google and Bing). The better the SEO of a given web page, the more likely it will show up on the first page of the search engine when a certain keyword is used. For example, if someone types in “web design Orlando,” they probably live in Orlando and are looking for a web designer. Thus, the search engine will direct them to web design agencies in the Orlando area. Optimized web pages are an excellent way to get organic traffic (as opposed to paid advertising) to your website.
SEO Best Practices for Small Businesses
There are several simple things that small business owners can do to improve their search listing. First and foremost, a small business can use Google Console to check if their website is indexed by Google, meaning Google knows it is there and can suggest the site for relevant searches. Whether a site is Responsive – meaning that it functions well on a computer, phone, or tablet – is also important. If a website is difficult to navigate on a mobile device, mobile users may just leave the site and find another business.
Luckily, there are many mobile-friendly test tools that quickly give feedback on the mobile navigation of a site. Since many queries come from Google, small business owners should either claim or create their Google My Business listing. Not only is this free, but it allows searchers to look at pictures, leave reviews, go to the business website, and get directions. Other free analytics tools like Google Analytics and Bing Webmaster Tools allow site owners to look at traffic and compare data about their website.
This may sound like a lot – SEO can get complicated, and it is constantly changing. Luckily, small businesses can hire SEO professionals on a contract or client basis. Many agencies offer different tiers of services for different price points so that business owners can focus on the day-to-day operations of the business and know that their business site is being optimized in the background.