Search engine optimization (SEO) can help a small business gain a local advantage and rise in general search rankings. Business owners who want to attract traffic to a website or increase the number of customers who come to a physical location should prioritize search engine marketing. Digital campaigns can be more cost-effective than other advertising methods, particularly when the owners rely on small business SEO services to make the most effective decisions regarding website development, content creation and paid search ads.
What Is SEO?
SEO marketing increases the visibility of a business by raising its ranking on search engine result pages for relevant queries. A multifaceted approach is necessary to increase the level of trust that search engine algorithms place in a web site. An effective SEO strategy may involve the following measures:
- Optimizing a website
- Creating and posting unique content
- Identifying keywords to use strategically
- Updating a website regularly
- Linking to and getting backlinks from trusted sites
A combination of these tactics is usually necessary to significantly raise the search ranking of a website. Depending on the current web presence of a business, all of these methods may be necessary.
Technical fixes focus on fulfilling the basic requirements of search engine algorithms. An SEO specialist may recommend ways to make pages load more efficiently or restructure the organization of a site. Search engines tend to rank results from the most informative and user-friendly websites over pages that take longer to load and do not have a clearly defined purpose. Content creation and site updates should be done strategically and systematically.
One of the simplest ways to improve the focus of any page is to use specific keywords that are likely to be found in search queries for products or services. At the same time, search engines penalize websites that overuse keywords without providing quality content. Internal links make websites easier to navigate and may encourage visitors to spend more time on a site, while external links and backlinks from other established sites add to the credibility of a small business website.
A complete SEO strategy combines on-site improvements with off-site tactics. Most owners of small businesses often do not have time to pursue all of these measures to improve search rankings. A small business SEO service that offers a full range of organic methods and also manages paid search engine advertising campaigns can boost the visibility of any venture.
What Does Organic SEO Involve?
The term “organic” is used to refer to a systematic approach to improve the ranking of a website in search engine results. This type of SEO centers around improving a site and validating its presence on the internet. The leading search results that are not labeled as advertisements have often attained these positions by using organic methods. This approach is worthwhile, as the top three results for any query attract over half of all clicks and customers are less likely to scroll past the top 10 results to select lower-ranking pages.
Improving the quality of a website is one of the best ways to make a small business rise in search results. Pages should load quickly and prioritize user experience. One of the most effective ways to help search engines find and index a site is to use keywords strategically in HTML titles, tags and content that is on topic for relevant search queries. Making technical improvements and regularly posting content are more gradual ways to achieve a higher search ranking than running a paid campaign, but the rise in ranking can be sustained without the need for a larger advertising budget.
An organic strategy is worthwhile, as the vast majority of search traffic is organic. A provider of SEO services for small business can make it easier to achieve a higher ranking through a combination of these methods. Search marketing experts may also recommend running a paid search advertising campaign to instantly increase the visibility of a business in certain targeted searches.
What Are Paid Campaigns?
Businesses can pay search engine companies to display advertisements at the top of search results for selected keywords as well. Google Ads is the most popular service for creating and managing pay-per-click advertising campaigns. Advertisers bid on keywords and pay for ads that draw clicks. It is also possible to display sponsored posts to selected user demographics on social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter or show video ads on YouTube.
Paid campaigns instantly increase visibility by causing a business to rise to the top of search results for relevant queries.
How Can Your Business Rise in Local Rankings?
Almost half of Google users search for local information. Increasing the visibility of a business in location-based search results calls for the use of more specific keywords. A clothing boutique in San Diego that wants to increase traffic to a physical store might use keywords that describe the business in terms of the clothing for sale and its location in a particular neighborhood. The right keywords can make a business more likely to rank in search results on mobile devices. Up to 88% of smartphone users who search for nearby businesses either call or visit a location within 24 hours.
Small business owners should also take measures to publicize and verify the name, address and phone number of a business in directories trusted by search engines and get backlinks from established local websites. Start by claiming the Google My Business page for an operation and providing as much information as possible about the purpose, location and hours. Regularly update this listing with content containing keywords selected for the purpose of ranking in local searches and high-quality images. All of these methods can raise the ranking of a business in local search and Google Maps results. Local Spark Marketing offers a local SEO service if you would like these tasks done for you.
Which Search Marketing Services Are Most Effective?
Over time, organic SEO methods can be more effective than paid campaigns. These sustained efforts require expert knowledge of how search engine algorithms work to ensure that any changes to a site will contribute toward increased visibility online. For immediate results, there is no way to beat paid search advertisements. A combination of paid and organic methods may make the most pronounced improvement in the search engine ranking of a small business.