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Search Engine Optimization might sound like a daunting, costly task for small businesses. With all those limited resources, many of them can't even afford social media managers to manage their social media and gain Instagram followers– let alone hire SEO professionals to help their business get to the top of the Google result page. It should come as no surprise that not even half of the small businesses (44%) invest in SEO.
Thanks to the internet where everything is becoming more and more accessible. You can build a high-performing SEO strategy even without having professional teams. Of course, organic ways take more time and effort. But, the result will be worth your while.
Here are some budget-friendly ways to build a robust SEO strategy for a small business.
#1. Conduct Keyword Research
Regardless of the industry your business belongs to– whether you’re a small blockchain game company or a small e-commerce business, the essential part of solid SEO practices is keyword research. To find the right keywords that will help your business rank high in the search engine results, you can use a variety of techniques.
The most important being entering the keywords into Google, analyzing the top results, and seeing what users are searching for.
Once you have identified the most popular keywords that your industry is currently ranking for, you can start expanding your keyword research to include more general keywords that you think may also be applicable to your business.
This will help you find keywords that are not just related to your specific industry, but that are relevant to the broad topic as well. To find the best keywords for your niche, you can use affordable tools like Google Keyword Planner or BuzzSumo to search for the most relevant keywords that are related to your industry.
Once you’ve identified your most popular keywords, you can incorporate them into your content to boost your site’s SEO.
#2. Make the Website Mobile-Friendly
Did you know that 68% of website visits come from mobile devices? This staggering number means one thing: a mobile-friendly website is not a nice-to-have anymore, it’s essential. If your site is not mobile-friendly, it will be incredibly difficult for Google and other search engines to properly index your page as they’ll be unable to read all of the content.
You can also check the “Default” box on your website editing settings to ensure that your pages are being rendered properly. If your site is already mobile-friendly, you can still optimize it for even more visibility. You can do this by making sure that:
- All elements of all content can be seen clearly on a smaller screen.
- Your website loads fast (compressing images and videos' file sizes can help).
- All pages are easy to navigate.
- All content is easier on the eyes and skimmable.
#3. Create Visual Content
Visual content on your site can help improve your SEO by building authority for your site. Visual content can be a video, a photo, an infographic, or a screenshot, and it can help to make your website more engaging for your readers.
They also offer you a powerful way to break down complex topics into smaller, more digestible chunks– that can help visitors retain all the information effortlessly.
When you provide what your visitors are looking for, they will spend more time on your website. This will increase your dwell time and reduce your bounce rate. A website with a high dwell time is seen by search engines as an authoritative resource– and it will more likely to higher the ranking on the search result.
#4. Invest in Well-Researched, Original Content
Well-researched and original content is a powerful way to boost your SEO. Instead of putting out content for the sake of doing it, invest in high-performing content that can generate shares. Remember that search engines look for websites with high-quality information, and they will rank these sites higher in the search results.
For making a high-quality content, you need to do competitive research, check Google trends, dive deeper into the niche, aggregate data from marketing channels, track rankings of similar articles. With all the information collected, you'll be able to come up with unique and relevant content ideas.
You can also spend more time and effort producing original content. Original content that helps to improve your SEO by building authority for your site. We've mentioned it before: the more authority a site has, the more likely it is to be found by potential visitors.
Not to mention that valuable content can help you bring more backlinks. If another website finds your piece informative and worth referencing, they will link to your piece. That's how you can build a solid backlink profile that can improve your search engine rankings.
When creating fresh, new content regularly might seem backbreaking, you can also repurpose the existing content. Give them some new life by updating them, including recent trends, or simply add more relevant visuals. It’s also important to include links to your posts on other websites, as these will also help to boost your SEO.
#5. Write Guest Posts
Guest posts are a powerful way to increase your website’s authority and boost your SEO. You can submit guest posts on blogs and websites that are relevant to your industry and that are authoritative in their own right.
It's a great way to gain exposure for your business, especially if you don’t have the budget for advertisements. The more sites your content and name appear on, the more authoritative Google sees you. Writing for other authoritative websites can also help you show that you're an expert in your field.
#6. Create a Sitemap
A sitemap is a file that contains information about your website’s pages, including their titles, descriptions, links, and more. A sitemap will help to improve your SEO because it will increase the authority of your site by making it easier for search engine crawlers to find all of the information on your pages.
Sitemaps are most useful for websites that have a large number of pages. If your website only has a few pages, it’s not necessary to create a sitemap. But, it’s still a good idea to keep in mind as it can help to boost your SEO.
A sitemap can help to boost your SEO by making it easier for search engine crawlers to find all of the information on your pages. Search engine crawlers use a sitemap to get information about your website, which will make it easier for Google and other search engines to find your content and boost your SEO.
Besides keeping up with the latest social media trends, small businesses need to invest in SEO practices to stand out from the digital noise. Investing in high-performing SEO strategies doesn't have to burn a hole in your pocket.
Those six best practices mentioned above are handy and actionable for small businesses on a tight budget. One thing you need to bear in mind here is that there's no such thing as an overnight success when it comes to SEO or just digital marketing strategies in general. Everything needs to be consistent to drive long-term success.
Andre Oentoro is the founder of Breadnbeyond, an award-winning explainer video production company. He helps businesses increase conversion rates, close more sales, and get positive ROI from explainer videos (in that order).