Small businesses tend to be reluctant to get into SEO (search engine optimization).
Even before the COVID-19 pandemic hit, roughly only 30% were applying SEO strategies even though it would bring them long-term benefits in terms of getting organic search engine traffic. As many small businesses look for ways to adjust to the new normal, digital marketing has become a cost-effective way to boost Google search rankings and get your business website on the radar of your target audience. Doing so is done by making use of SEO strategies.
What Is An SEO Strategy?
An SEO strategy is how a business organizes its website’s content in terms of topics. Doing so helps search engines like Google understand what your business website is about and how it correlates to users’ search intent. By optimizing your web pages using relevant keywords based on the topics or niches your business is about, you are increasing the expertise of your business in the eyes of search engines. Therefore, it is more likely to rank o the first page of SERPs (search engine results pages) based on the keywords and topics related to what people are searching for.
Why Your Business Needs An SEO Strategy
As a small business, it’s likely your main goal is to get more clients to avail of your products or services. While conventional such as cold-calls, email marketing, and paid ads are effective, they can also be time-consuming and costly. On the other hand, applying an SEO strategy may be a long-term plan, but it yields greater prospects and results. Additionally, such a strategy leads to higher client retention and better opportunities for referrals. Business can benefit from an SEO strategy in three main ways:
- Gaining Trust and Credibility Through Organic Search
- Saving on Paid Ad Costs
- Learning SEO is Easier Than it Looks
Gaining Trust and Credibility Through Organic Search
Organic search results do not just get your website more traffic. It also shows that your business is trustworthy and credible. The rationale behind this is that if the users see that you gained visibility without paying for it, it must be the right source for what they are looking for. Those websites that rank at the top means that Google values its content enough to deem it useful in terms of answering user queries. Additionally, a high rank implies that your business has authority in its industry, making it a go-to choice over those that are PPC ads.
Saving on Paid Ad Costs
Linking to what we mentioned about paid ads’ effectiveness in relation to organic results, SEO is a cheaper option for getting to your target audience than PPC ads. While paying for ads on social media and search engines is a business marketing dream, realistically, those costs can add up over time. To curtail this, investing time in getting organic search engine rankings usually have a better ROI than paid ads, especially during this pandemic.
SEO is something that can be learned easily. There are endless amounts of information on SEO on websites like this one alone. Also, many specialized online short courses are available, teaching the basics and even the more complex parts. With that, you can train your employees to take on the role of in-house SEO strategists while also maintaining their current roles.
Learning SEO is Easier Than it Looks
If you have the resources, you can even opt to hire an SEO expert (usually an agency) to manage it for you. Such an option may cost you some, but SEO is well worth the investment and, as mentioned, has a higher ROI than most other methods of business marketing.
How To Plan Out A Successful Strategy
The first thing you need to do to have a successful SEO strategy is to plan it out. During this phase, make sure to involve all your employees. Each one will be able t give valuable insight and perspective regarding how the business can grow. Apply all this to your planning stage to get the best results.
Developing your SEO strategy entails understanding what the business’s goals are. To do that, here are some elements you can use to plot your course.
Keep your business objectives close
As a business, knowing what your long- and short-term objectives are will be the guiding light when planning the best strategy possible. Business objectives entail knowing the following:
- Who your target audiences are
- What your businesses niche is
- The forms of content you will employ
- The keywords (long-tail and short-tail) that your audience searches for
Finding out these aspects will allow the business to create a defined SEO strategy that specifically aims to get high-quality organic traffic to its website. This leads to higher chances of visitors converting to clients or customers, plus you will be able to meet the ranking factors of SEO that bring in more traffic to your business website.
Once you’ve listed down your objectives, it’s best to create a concrete visualization of it, so you can easily see how you will build it up. One way to do this is by using a mind map. A mind map is not your final strategy, but rather is there to help show your current plan in its rawest form. Such a method is perfect for laying out your thinking process and seeing how it will fit together as a whole.
Mind maps allow you to place all your thoughts and ideas down so you do not forget about them along the way since you will be considering many aspects. This allows more time for brainstorming with your team, leading to more viable cornerstones to work with.
Find out what makes your business special
Knowing what sets your business apart from others in your industry is what will draw people to you. If you have the same information, same content, and the same services, there is no reason for them to pick you over the other guy. Finding what makes your business unique means diving deeper into what your competitors are doing, offering, and prioritizing. It will also be to your advantage to see how your target audience engages with the things your competitor releases and offers.
Discovering what makes your business special also means understanding the gaps in your offerings and the opportunities you have to provide. Gaps can be areas in your operations that are not as efficient as they could be. For example, answering customer support emails or calls can be considered a huge gap as it can decrease your business’s reliability to clients. Another gap could be inconsistent social media marketing. Audiences engage more when they have expectations from you. So if you release a post saying to watch for new blogs weekly, make sure it is there.
On the other hand, opportunities refer to how you remain relevant and engaging to your target audience above that of your competitors. This can be in the form of a weekly insightful video or an entertaining podcast the stimulates your audience’s thoughts on what you have to offer. Overall, addressing the gaps and opportunities your business has will make it stand out from similar companies in the industry, therefore, drawing more potential clients your way.
Create the final game plan
After you have established all the necessary details about your business’s objectives and how it stands out in the industry, it’s time to create the final game plan. This stage is when you put all the information you have gathering into one concrete plan of action that will yield the results you want. For that to happen, it needs to be precise and detailed, with all the parts working seamlessly together to meet the end goal, more clients.
When creating your game plan, always think long-term. Have a method of measuring your results in terms of your marketing strategy. Ideally, the numbers should directly reflect what is happening with the business. If you are putting in a certain number of hours on marketing, it should somehow correlate to the number of leads you are getting. If you invest in better website design to draw in more visitors, you should see an increase in web traffic.
Putting these three SEO strategizing stages into practice can help organize your business’s ability to build a framework that works. Above, all it can create an operations mechanism that allows for organization and efficiency towards a successful SEO initiative.
Executing Your Plan
Now that you know how to build a framework towards a successful SEO strategy let’s go to how you can execute it in a manner that yields the right results for your business. There are several ways for businesses to boost Google search rankings through SEO. To do so, you need to take into consideration the ranking factors of SEO. To rank, your website should have the basics down.
After, you can focus on using strategies that build your consistency, credibility, and reliability in the eyes of your target audience.
Setting Up A Blog
One of the best ways to start on-page SEO ranking factors is to set up a blog on your website. Blogging can be an excellent way to rank for keywords and engage your audience at the same time. This is because every blog post is a new page with an individual chance to rank on search engines.
For your website to execute a successful SEO strategy, you will also need to start building page authority. The way to do this is to have consistency in your postings. Whether it is blog posts or other forms of content on your website, set a scheduled time, and posting frequency.
Link-building is how your website will attract inbound links to your website from other sources on the web. This method is the main objective when it comes to off-page SEO and plays a big factor in how search engines rank your web pages. Getting more links to lead to your website increases your site authority and, in effect, a higher chance of ranking. With that, a great idea to execute such a plan and find opportunities to get your ideas on the sites of bloggers and other businesses similar to yours.
Don’t Skimp On Metrics
Keep in mind that SEO is a long-term investment. It takes time to build it up and see the results bear fruit. One way to see the progress you are making is to monitor your efforts and track your website’s traffic on a daily, weekly, or monthly basis. What you are watching for is the amount of organic traffic you get. If you see it increase, then your SEO strategy is work! If not, maybe there are some gaps you can address to optimize the results even further.
It’s A Process
SEO is an ever-changing field, and with that, you may need to adjust your strategy from time to time to stay ahead of the game. But, the benefits of an SEO optimized website to your business goes far beyond just getting your brand in front of people. It opens the doors for new business opportunities such as expansion, partnerships, and high ROI. All in all, the efforts of strategizing and compelling SEO plan offer up the growth your business is looking for.