July 21, 2016
Small business owners simply cannot afford not to practice a solid search engine optimization (SEO) strategy. The time to apply SEO is always now; businesses and brands that leave this important task for later will see their competitors getting quickly ahead of them.
The following five SEO strategies are crucial for small business owners to consider, study and develop.
1. Onsite and Offsite SEO are Relevant
Onsite SEO is the process of making sure that a website is compliant with the signals recommended by Google and other major search engines such as Bing. These signals are determined by the search engine algorithm, which is largely kept secret; however, even Google has made many of these signals public in the interest of quality. Offsite SEO is a matter of brand awareness, content marketing, paid search advertising and social media outreach. In other words, onsite SEO is more technical while offsite SEO is more traditional, and the latter takes more work than the former.
2. Patience is Key with SEO
Seeing good results with SEO is not something that happens overnight, particularly when a website is new. If a business owner is shown instant results of a website rocketing to the top of the Google search engine results page (SERP) in just a couple of days, chances are that the results are being doctored by someone who is not being honest. Black hat SEO is a risky way to game the system, because Google constantly updates its algorithm to prevent manipulation.
3. Constant SEO Learning Goes a Long Way
Many small business owners do not have enough time to learn SEO; however, this is one of the most important business processes that should be learned. At the very least, business owners should make the effort to become familiar with SEO and to stay up-to-date on new developments.
Google will never reveal its full search engine algorithm to the public, but the tech giant already makes a good portion of insider knowledge available for those who wish to learn about the SEO craft. Two places where business owners can get started with learning about the way Google ranks websites on the SERPs are Webmaster Guidelines and its video companion, Webmaster Help Videos. To stay up-to-date on the latest SEO happenings, the best source is the Google Webmaster Central Blog.
4. Building a Social Media Presence
A staggering number of people have made social networks their primary connection to the online world. Social media analysts predict that the day will come when major social networks such as Facebook begin to morph into what used to be the America Online dial-up network of yore, when registered users could fulfill all their online communications needs, from e-mail to chat and from Web browsing to sharing photos, from a single location.
What this means for small business owners is that brand recognition is rapidly shifting toward social media, and this demands building a social media presence. Executing a social media marketing strategy requires considerable hands-on work, which can be executed through the strategy of white label social media. With this strategy, a small business owner can leave the task of online social networking in the hands of professionals who know how to build a brand.
5. Paid Search Engine Advertising
This strategy is ruefully underused by the small business community and masterfully utilized by major companies. Paid SEO has been declared to be as effective as organic SEO, but not as laborious. A quick way to start building SERP rank is to first optimize a website and immediately launch a paid SEO campaign such as Google AdWords. The investment can be made on a budget, and the return on investment is very attractive.
In the end, the strategies above are good enough to get started, but business owners should keep in mind that SEO is a very dynamic field that requires constant review and involvement.
A professional content and copywriter who graduated from the University of San Francisco, Anica Oaks loves dogs, the ocean, and anything outdoor-related. She was raised in a big family, so she's used to putting things to a vote. Also, cartwheels are her specialty. You can connect with Anica here. Anica writes for Multifuse.com, which provides SEO services including white label SEO.