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What is Small Business SEO?

Many seem to think that small businesses stand no chance against giant corporations when it comes to marketing, but that is not entirely true.

Despite the fact that bigger companies can invest more in the marketing department and hire specialists, small business owners forget about that one thing everyone has access to - the Internet.

Search engine optimization is a gateway to the marketing playground for small businesses.

As a first step Web Development Companies can create you a website that is optimized for search engines. After that, you can either hire an SEO agency or do the job yourself.

what is small business SEO
what is small business SEO

Wait… But what is SEO?

Search Engine Optimization or SEO refers to the various techniques used to improve the visibility of a website in search engines. Naturally, the better your website ranks on the search engine results page (SERP), the better your chances of reaching more people.

Each search engine has a different algorithm put in place, but in this article, we’ll focus on Google.

Google first appoints bots to crawl pages on the web. These bots analyze the webpage’s content and meaning. Different ranking factors affect the position on SERP, such as content quality, page speed, internal and external linking, etc.

There are four pillars of SEO you should be familiar with.

What are the four pillars of SEO?

SEO is built upon on-page, off-page, technical, and content SEO.

  1. On-page SEO

On-page SEO refers to optimizing the elements found on the website. These elements include:

  • Page titles and meta descriptions. These are tags found in the header of a webpage. Page titles affect the SERP ranking and increase the click-through rate (the likelihood of clicking on the link. Meta descriptions only affect the click-through rate.)

  • H1 – H6 tags. The “H” here stands for “Heading.” These are used to organize the content and make it readable. Search engines identify them as headers.

  • Internal links. These links lead to another webpage on your website. The text attached to the link (anchor text) should be related to the context and meaning of the page it leads to. They are also used to transfer the ranking power between two pages on your website.

  • Alternative text. It represents a description of an image put on your website. While it is primarily used as an accessibility tool, it also helps the search engine understand the meaning of the image and, eventually, the page.

  • Structured data. This one tells the search engine what your page is about. It is a snippet of code.

  1. Off-page SEO

While on-page SEO is all about what’s on your website, off-page SEO refers to optimization done outside of your website. This is important because it tells search engines whether they should put trust in your website.

This includes:

  • External links. These links are found on other websites. They lead to your website and are valuable because they pass the ranking power to your website.

  • Social media. While the links from social media platforms don’t carry the same value as external links do, they’re still useful.

  1. Technical SEO

Technical SEO consists of files and snippets of code that tell search engines how the website should be crawled and indexed. There are many different files used for that purpose, such as:

  • A robots.txt file. You typically want search engines to have access to all your content for crawling. However, there are times when you want to tell the crawlers not to go to certain sections for different reasons.

For instance, that could be the case when there’s private content you don’t want appearing on the SERP. This is what the robots.txt file is used for – it tells the crawlers not to go there.

  • An XML sitemap. This one does quite the opposite. It tells the search engines which pages should be crawled, indexed, and shown in search results.

  • Meta directives. Similar to an XML sitemap, meta directives are used to instruct bots on how the content should be indexed. They are found in the form of code snippets in the header of each webpage and are not visible to website visitors.

Other technical factors impact the website’s usability, such as security, responsiveness, and speed.

Technical SEO also includes the website structure. A well-thought-out structure helps the search engines understand the relations between the web pages on your website. It should be logical and provide a good user experience.

  1. Content SEO and User Experience

Content includes not only text but also images, video, tables, PDFs, and much more. Search engines use content to figure out the meaning of each webpage.

The webpage content is assessed based on the following five factors:

  • Quality

  • Keywords

  • Recency

  • Content type

  • Relevancy

While content is the foundation of a good SEO, it’s still important to make your website simple and easy to interact with.

Your website should be easy to navigate, and it should be visually appealing, simple, and enjoyable.

Now that you understand how SEO works, let’s see why you should go for it if you’re a small business owner.

How does SEO benefit small businesses?

People nowadays seem to expect quick results, regardless of the investment. SEO takes time to work, but once it does, you won’t regret investing time in it.

Aside from the fact that you won’t be paying hundreds or thousands of dollars to get a better ranking on the SERP, you can count on even more benefits.

  1. More customers and a higher conversion rate.

The more people can reach you, the more customers you’ll have. Appearing high on the SERP inevitably results in new customers.

Also, if the website’s design is intuitive and enjoyable, users are more likely to complete the desired action, thereby increasing your conversion rate.

  1. Improved user experience.

Most people still think that SEO comes down to optimizing a web page for the search engines. That’s not entirely true.