How to do SEO for Small Businesses with a Small Budget
Small businesses cannot fund large scale sponsored advertisements and paid marketing campaigns on search engines, social media and third party websites. Budget is always a constraint. Small businesses are often proprietorship enterprises or partnerships so there are very few people at the helm and they too are preoccupied with their core operations. There isn’t much of a middle management and most employees are already assigned sufficient day-to-day tasks to squeeze out time for anything else. How does then a small business manage its search engine optimization?
Small businesses do not have to compete with large brands. They do not need a nationwide or even a statewide outreach program. Their marketing exercises can be limited to an area, at the most a city. Hence, there is absolutely no need to worry about the search results that appear for internet users based across the state and beyond. The focus should be on local search engine optimization. The business needs to pop up on search engine results for a given city, area or neighborhood. This is easier than trying to gain a prominent rank on a national or international level. In any case such positions are taken up by encyclopedic resources and they are unlikely to cede their rightful place.
Small businesses must use local citations. Google enables companies to list their businesses in relevant categories. This should be explored. The physical base, store or office of the business should be mapped and the exact place should be claimed for relevance. Taking these two steps will feature a business on the first page of Google along with an image of the map showing where the company is based. This is one of the easiest tactics to boost search engine optimization of small businesses.
There are many other ways to improve local search engine optimization. There are popular classifieds, city directories, authority sites pertaining to an industry or sector, popular guides for locals and tourists that allow relevant businesses to publish and share their information, review sites are a great resource and all social media profiles should be optimized to reflect the locality, area or city so the relevant market and be targeted.
Small businesses should ensure efficient and effective mobile optimization. The foundation is a mobile friendly website. There is no need to have two websites. Convert the traditional website into a responsive site. It will be conveniently accessible on both desktops or laptops and mobiles or tablets.
Appropriate optimization in regards to location, type of business and essential information about the company, thereby classifying products or services, will get organically indexed and displayed on mobile search results. Most mobile devices track users and notify them of businesses nearby, especially when they are searching for relevant products or services. Hence, mobile optimization is without doubt quintessential right now.
Every website must have a sitemap for all its pages to be indexed properly. Crawlers used by search engines do not scan a website in its entirety. The crawlers search for content by using keywords, take into account the domain name and specific webpage to index it according to the information available. This same exercise is repeated for every webpage on all websites. If all the pages on a website are not interlinked and if there is no lucid sitemap for crawlers to refer to, then all the content may not be indexed together or as related to one another. This will create a major problem while trying to rank a website.
You need to harness the power of all your website pages. This will happen if crawlers understand that the pages are related. Sitemap is definitely the simplest way to ensure this. Another effective tactic is to have internal links. You should have links on most pages connecting the contents to other parts of your website. You should have a link wheel for your website, just as search engine optimization specialists build links beyond a particular site to source traffic.
Small businesses will have to optimize their websites. However, optimizing the content on various pages is not enough. The presentation of the website on search engine result pages must also be optimized. There may be a motto of a company, a vision or philosophy, a brand statement or some kind of promise. This may be optimized for ranking purposes. Every search engine listing has a meta description. This description should be optimized.
Every webpage can have a title or headline. This should be optimized. In fact, every webpage on a website should also have its own meta description. There can be one for the homepage, which will classify the main page. Every other page can also be classified accordingly by having an appropriate title and optimized meta description. This will not only enable crawlers to assign significance and relevant to a webpage but also entice visitors.