3 Essential SEO Tools for Small Businesses
One of the biggest problems that small business owners have today is being seen online. As internet competition gets stronger and stronger, if you are looking to climb Google’s rankings you are going to have to realize that knowledge is power. And, without having an efficient SEO strategy, there’s no way you are going to beat your competitors online as far as being seen first by your future customers. The thing that you really need to understand is that, when you implement SEO, it takes time, and you have to maintain your focus on it. The truth is, most business owners just don’t know where to start. But there are three essential SEO tools for small businesses to use when it comes to putting an initial SEO strategy into effect.
SEO Tools for Small Businesses: Mobile-Friendly
It’s safe to say that the world that we live in today requires your business’ website to be mobile-friendly. Being able to effectively reach and be seen clearly on your customers’ smartphones, tablets and other devices is essential when implementing your SEO strategy. According to experts, about 60% of all searches customers make are from their mobile devices. In fact, Google ranks businesses based on how mobile-friendly their websites are. Why wouldn’t they? I mean, there are about two billion people in the world who own a smartphone!
It may seem complicated in the beginning, but what all small business owners really need to do is make sure that the design of their website is responsive to the many types of mobile devices that their customers have. They won’t always be sitting in front of a computer when looking for you online, so you need to be sure that your website adjusts to the various screen sizes of their devices.
SEO Tools for Small Businesses: Local Traffic
Focusing on local web traffic sort of ties in with making your business’ website mobile-friendly, being that your customers are already out and about in your city moving from place to place while simultaneously searching online for your business with their smartphones, tablets and other devices. And, if you are easy to find online, there is a 75% chance that customers will walk through the doors of your store in the next few days. That being said, small business owners should associate their website with other local sites. A few of them could be Yelp, Foursquare, Yellow Page websites, and other similar directories.
The most important thing to remember when writing out your listing is to include your contact information, even if you don’t add anything else. Number one, always list your business name. Number two, always list your business’ physical address. And, number three, always make sure that your business’ phone number is there. You may have room to add other things such as nearby landmarks and businesses, your exact business hours, and other information that you would want your customers to know about you initially. But, even if you cannot add these extra things, your business name, physical address, and your contact phone number should have mandatory priority on your listing.
Local Reviews are Everything
Another thing to focus on is how many good or bad reviews you are getting from local customers. Many people may not believe it, but about 80% of customers actually trust the reviews that they read online about businesses, no matter if they’re positive or negative ones. In fact, to a lot of customers, an online review is about as equally important as getting a personal recommendation from someone who has previously visited your business. Without reviews, it is going to be really hard for you to be seen in the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages), and to achieve an increased, more frequent click-thru percentage. Overall, if you want to get higher on Google search results, then you simply have to realize that the amount of reviews you have is going to have a huge influence on it.
So, how do you go about getting more reviews for your website?
One way is to use social media to generate local ones about your business. Everybody likes discounts, so why not give your future customers some, and in return you could simply ask them to give you an online review about how they honestly feel about your business. This is a method you could use even when going after the people who have previously written you bad reviews. Targeting these customers with discounts could increase the chances of you getting them to change their mind about what they wrote before, and write you a fresh, new positive review.
Another important thing to do with focusing locally is to have your business website listed with the most frequently visited and well-respected destinations in your area. This is also another way to develop a lot of positive reviews. Positive word-of-mouth is going to increase the traffic to your website as well as your physical business location.
SEO Tools for Small Businesses: Good Backlinks
Contrary to popular belief, backlinks are not becoming less potent in creating a good page ranking. In order for your brand to blossom in the SERPs, you simply have to start creating content that shows your expertise in niche-related topics. Even if you don’t feel like an expert, it’s important to remember that people are always looking for advice about everything on the internet. One person may be looking for an article that shows them how to change the oil in their car, while someone else is simultaneously searching for advice on how to bake great macaroni and cheese! All you really have to do is create content that shows them the solutions to the problems they face that are most related to your niche.
The first thing to do is to start searching for the right keywords, terms that customers frequently use when they’re looking for your business online. In addition to developing them, there are a few tools you can use, such as sites like Buzzsumo, which will help you to develop article content topics that will perform the best for you online for your type of business. The focus should be on creating ideas that are keyword targeted.
Remember to focus on the reader’s initial intentions. The way to do that is to ask yourself,
“Why are they looking for this type of article?”
There’s an algorithm that Google has that’s called ‘hummingbird’ that pays most attention to what your users’ intentions are. Keywords are important, but they are no match for developing content that is catered precisely to the intentions of your users.
When you get the piece published, it’s important to use social media to promote it. And, you should begin finding websites that are related to that topic, and they’ll start letting you use those pieces as guest posts. As long as these posts contain links back to your website, you will have effectively used other related businesses in attaining more potential customers. If you need help finding out which websites will start letting you do these guest posts, you could use tools such as SEMrush. Your competitors are doing the same thing, and you should be finding out where they are going to get their backlinks as well.
After becoming a frequent contributor, the relationships that you build with these related websites will allow you to develop many more helpful articles for your future customers, meaning you’ll have dozens and dozens of backlinks to your site coming from other places.
Developing great SEO is a huge investment of time and money, so as a small business owner, it’s very important for you to know what you should be doing online on your end to continue making more money for your business. And, out of these three helpful SEO tools, you need to decide which is the most important in helping you grow your business online, if not all three.