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2023, 2024 SEO Checklist for Small Businesses

Small businesses have their work cut for them when it comes to marketing. They don’t have a lot of resources—financial or otherwise—to dedicate to marketing. Other, more demanding aspects of getting a small business up and running are usually a bigger priority.

That doesn’t mean that digital marketing has to be an uphill battle, though. If a business has limited resources to work with, hiring professional SEO services is the way to go. This is one investment that’s sure to pay off if it’s done right.

Many agencies also specialize in small business SEO services. Marketing a new small business and setting it up to make the right kind of online impact is different from looking after the SEO of an established company.

We’ve put together an SEO checklist that can start small businesses off on the right foot. Let’s get started:

Laying the Groundwork for Good SEO

Before you start crafting your SEO strategy, you need to figure out who it’s going to target. Creating a buyer persona will help you understand the mindset of the people you want to connect with. These are a few good questions:

Who is Your Ideal Buyer?

Think about demographic and geographical factors. How old is your ideal buyer? What’s their gender? How educated are they? Do they have to live in a particular region?

Which Problems are You Hoping to Solve?

If your products or services aren’t making a difference in your buyers’ lives, why would they be interested? Consider the problems they’re facing that your business might solve.

What are Their Purchase Patterns?

What are the most important factors to your buyer when they’re shopping? Will they look at the price first? Listen to recommendations from people they know? Ask about warranties and customer support?

Where are They on The Internet?

Depending on their age and other factors, your ideal buyer may prefer one source of information over the others. For many, it’s a particular social media platform. Others may trust Google search more than anything else.

Besides your buyer persona, you’ll also need to make sure you have a well-designed website for your small business. When executed correctly, an SEO strategy generates significant traffic—but all that traffic needs somewhere to go, and it should be going to your business website.

If your website is under construction or still has a lot of placeholder text, that’s fine. You can start working on your SEO strategy beforehand, so it’ll be ready by the time your website’s ready for its official launch. In the world of digital marketing and SEO, your website is the biggest asset you’ve got. Not having one—or worse, having a poorly designed one—will put you at a disadvantage.

Researching Keywords

Keywords are one of the first things that professional SEO services look into, and you should do the same.

SEO techniques have gone through a lot of evolution over the years thanks to changes in Google’s search algorithms. The one element that has remained unchanged? Keyword research.

Keyword research is the beating heart of every good SEO strategy, as it’ll help you determine what phrases or words people are searching for. Picking the right keywords for your small business is vital for the success of your SEO efforts.

There are different types of keywords, but these are the ones that deserve your attention more than others:

  • Market-Defining Keywords: Think of them as generic, broad terms that refer to your business and the industry you’re in.
  • Customer-Defining Keywords: These are the keywords that focus onyour target customers and their interests.
  • Products and Services Keywords: This category includes all keywords related to the products or services you offer.

Remember the buyer persona you made? It’ll help you find the most relevant search topics for your customers and business. SEMRush, KWFinder, and Ahrefs are some excellent paid tools for keyword research. But you can also type keywords into Google and analyze them on Ubersuggest for free.

Fine-Tune Your On-Page SEO

On-page SEO, like the name suggests, deals with your website’s elements and how they can be used to improve your search engine rankings. Here’s a quick round-up of the essential practices for effective on-page SEO:

  • Add your most impactful keyword to each webpage’s title.
  • Ensure all your webpage URLs have a keyword.
  • When creating content, use your primary keyword within the first 100 words or so.
  • If your web content includes headings (which it should), try adding a keyword to each one.
  • Optimize your images for search engine recognition by including a relevant filename and alt text.
  • Use internal links generously. Each page on your website should link to 3 to 5 other pages. This will enable your visitors to access more content easily—and familiarize search engines with your site structure.
  • External links can increase your website’s credibility for search engines and make it more trustworthy for your visitors. Use between 2–6 high-quality links.

The Technical Aspects of SEO

There’s a lot more to SEO than just its on-page aspects. Technical SEO is an area that many small business owners struggle with. If you’re not comfortable with these steps, considering enlisting small business SEO services for help:

  • Check for crawl and indexing errors that can keep your site from getting indexed and showing up in search results. Visit the Google search console and click “Coverage”. If you see any errors here, inspect your robots.txt file for faulty tags. If you find one, get rid of it.
  • Optimize your website’s loading speed. A prolonged loading time isn’t just a turn-off for visitors. It’s also bad for your search rankings since it’s an important ranking signal for Google. To make things easier, you can check Google’s Pagespeed Insights tool for issues and suggested fixes.
  • Optimize your website for mobile Google has officially prioritized mobile-friendly pages over desktop pages for a few years now. If your website isn’t built for mobile devices, your search rankings will suffer.
  • Implement HTTPS encryption on your website. An unsecured website isn’t trusted by visitors or search engines. HTTPS encryption is also a major ranking signal, so it’s a must-have for your website. As a small business owner, you shouldn’t offer online shopping or other e-commerce features without it.
  • Check for broken links and fix them. Broken links and error pages create a poor user experience. If your visitors browse your website only to find errors and links that go nowhere, they’ll assume you don’t care that much about your small business website.

Content Creation: Fuel for Your SEO

As anyone offering SEO services can tell you, content creation is how you keep your SEO strategy going strong week to week and month-to-month. You need to create high-quality content that ticks all the boxes from the audience, SEO, and search engine perspectives.

It’s no exaggeration to say that good content is the backbone of your SEO strategy. Check out some tips you should follow:

  • Create better content than your competitors. If you want to replace the current top-ranking content, content is the way. Analyze the top-ranking content for your important keywords, see what it’s missing, and improve your content accordingly.
  • Prioritize readability in your content. In other words, write with your audience in mind. You need to write well and present your content in an organized, easy to read format.
  • Include visual content to keep your text from getting too monotonous. High-quality, relevant images are engaging and let you retain your audience’s attention for longer. You can use your own images or stock photos—just make sure they’re related to your content and properly optimized.

Google My Business: A Must-Have for Small Business Owners

All small business SEO services worth their salt advise small business owners on the importance of Google My Business, and with good reason. Google My Business—GMB for short—is a free and powerful tool. It lets you take control of your business in Google Search and Google Maps.

Anytime you look up a small business on Google, GMB provides a knowledge panel on the right that delivers the most pertinent information about it. Ratings, reviews, directions, images, contact information, and even a Q&A section.

This is crucial information for your potential customers. It allows them to find out everything they need to know about your brand—and fast. As a small business owner, you can’t afford to ignore your GMB listing.

Log in with your business email account, visit Google Business, then follow the easy steps to create and update your GMB listing.

Conclusion

Professional SEO services can provide the most holistic SEO solutions for your small business, but that doesn’t mean you can’t get started with SEO on your own. Having some knowledge of SEO is necessary for small business owners in 2023, 2024 if they want to succeed.

Follow the advice we’ve covered in our checklist, and your SEO strategy will be in place before you know it.

About The Author The author is associated with Search Berg, a leading SEO and digital marketing agency. You can find him building robust SEO strategies for a diverse set of clients during the week and performing with his band around New York on weekends.

Originally posted 2022-12-30 17:47:58. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

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