Top 3 SEO Tactics For Your Small Business SEO Success (+Extra Tips)

06 May 2022 Last updated: 09 Sep 2022 By Juan Pineda

Table of contents:

Why is SEO important for Small Businesses?

To reach your potential customers through search engines, you must rank highly on them. You should aim to appear on the first page of search results, preferably in the top few. In order to accomplish this, you must optimise your content for search engines, a process known as “search engine optimisation”.  

Small businesses and solopreneurs may find it difficult to identify and implement all of the correct optimisation tactics. This is where a SEO company for small businesses can be extremely helpful. Proper SEO can produce strong and sustained results, but only if it is done properly.  A professional SEO company will have the knowledge and expertise to ensure that your website is optimised for maximum visibility and traffic.

Top 3 Small Business SEO Tactics in 2022

Small businesses can improve their online visibility by optimising their websites for search engines, using relevant keywords in their website content, and building backlinks from high-quality websites.

According to a recent Visual Objects survey of small business owners, these 3 SEO tactics are most critical:

  • Keyword research (43%)
  • Technical SEO optimisation (40%)
  • Local search optimisation (37%)

Our goal in this post is to analyse these tactics and add a few additional small business SEO tactics that can be easily implemented. These tactics can be used to improve your online visibility and ranking.

Keyword research

What is keyword research and why is it important?

Researching keywords involves finding and analysing terms that people enter into search engines when seeking information. The purpose of keyword research is to identify popular keywords that can be used to generate traffic to a website.

By adapting your content to how your audience searches, you can optimise your content and reach potential customers or clients.

What are some common mistakes to avoid when doing keyword research?

The most common keyword research mistakes include failing to check search engine trends, using only one keyword research tool, not researching competitor keywords, and not assessing keyword difficulty.

Google Trends can help you determine whether searches for your keyword have increased or decreased recently. 

SEO teams can conduct keyword research with tools like Ubersuggest, Ahrefs, Moz, and Google Keyword Planner. Using these tools, teams can find relevant questions, search volume, and keyword difficulty. In addition, businesses can use these tools to see how their competitors rank for certain keywords.

What are some of the best methods for conducting keyword research?

You can use this process to generate a list of targeted terms for your business by conducting keyword research. Following this process will help you develop and execute a strong keyword strategy that will improve your visibility for the search terms that are most important to you.

1. Generate a list of topics relevant to your business based on your current understanding

Create a list of words and phrases that are relevant to your business and that potential customers might use when searching for your products or services.

What makes your company unique? How do your products and services benefit your customers? Take your location into consideration. Make sure your keywords reflect the location of your small business. As an example, “attorney in Atlanta” or “hair salon in NYC.”.

2. Generate keyword ideas from your main topics

Google’s Keyword Planner can help you generate keyword ideas for your main topics. Enter your main topic into the Keyword Planner, and you’ll get a list of relevant keywords and phrases, as well as data on monthly search volume and competition. Furthermore, if you want to find popular keywords in your area, you can add a target location.

Generate keyword ideas from your main topics using Google's keyword planner

Choose a few relevant keywords with moderate competition and add them to your main topics list.  

3. Use Google autocomplete and related searches to find long tail keywords

If you want additional keyword ideas, you can paste keywords from Google Keyword Planner into Google, then select relevant suggestions from the results. Put them on your list.  

Google autocomplete to find popular keywords

To find additional keywords, click on some of the suggested keywords and scroll down to related searches.  

Use related searches to find long tail keywords

By clicking on these results, you can find additional long tail keywords.

Add new relevant keywords to your main topics as you find them, or create new ones as needed.

4. Find the questions people are asking

If you are looking for content ideas, you can research what your audience is asking. You can use free keyword research tools like Answer The Public to do this.  

5. Find the keywords you are ranking for

You can see what keywords you rank for by visiting Google Search Console. You can use this tool to find out how well your site is performing in Google search results. With it, you can see what keywords you are ranking for and find out what people are searching for on your site.

Keyword research tools such as Ubbersuggest, Moz, and Google Keyword Planner can help you find more keywords for your website. Moz Keyword Explorer, for instance, can be used to find out which keywords are ranking for your website.

Small Business SEO: Moz Keyword Explorer
6. Find the keywords your competitors are ranking for

Follow the same process you used to analyse your website’s keywords to discover your competitors’ most valuable keywords. Finding the keywords bringing most traffic to your competitors’ websites can be done with tools such as Ahrefs, Ubersuggest, Moz, or Semrush.

Make a list of non-branded keywords with reasonable search volumes and low/medium competition.

For a better understanding of your competitors, use tools like Moz Competitive Research to identify websites that compete with yours for the same SERPs.

Moz competitive research

The right keywords for your Small Business SEO

Keywords are not a one-size-fits-all solution. Your small business needs keywords that are highly searched by your target audience.

You can begin by refining your previously created list of topics and relevant keywords. For each set of keywords, you can use Google keyword planner to analyse the volume and competition.

Once you have your final set of keywords, tools such as Ubersuggest and Ahrefs can help you track their rankings. With the help of these tools, you can gain insight into the performance of your keywords and improve your SEO strategy.

It’s now time to create a strategy that will help you rank pages and drive traffic. 

Map out a site structure that incorporates the keywords you wish to rank for in order to ensure that your website is optimised. By doing this, you can ensure your website has the appropriate content to successfully target these terms.

Don’t overuse keywords on your website

The use of too many keywords on your website can actually hurt your search engine ranking. Avoid overstuffing each page with too many keywords.  

Technical SEO optimisation

Technical SEO optimisation

What is technical SEO, and why is it important for small businesses with an online presence?

Technical SEO involves optimising a website for Google’s algorithm. The reason why it’s so crucial is that it helps Google and other search engines understand your website and index it correctly. Furthermore, technical SEO can improve your website’s click-through rate and organic search traffic.

Technical SEO includes optimising a website’s architecture, code, speed, and mobile responsiveness. 

What are some common tools that small businesses can use for technical SEO?

Screaming Frog and Google Search Console can assist you with technical SEO optimisation. Technical audits can also be performed using Ahrefs, Semrush, and Ubersuggest.  

What are some common technical SEO issues that can impact a website’s ranking in search engine results?

The following are some common technical SEO issues that can negatively affect a website’s search engine ranking:   

Poor website’s loading speed

Website speed is one of the most important aspects of technical SEO. In addition to hurting your ranking in Google, a slow website can frustrate your users as well.   

Pingdom Website Speed Test or Google Page Speed can be used to analyse your website’s performance.  

Google Page Speed Test

You can use these tools to get reports about areas where you can improve your web performance.

When images are not sized properly, they can slow down a website. Make sure your images are compressed and you use an optimised format to reduce the size of your website’s images. In general, JPEG files are smaller than PNG files.

If you have a WordPress website, you should make sure that you always run the latest version. As WordPress continues to add new features and improve security, it’s important to keep your site updated. It is easy to update your WordPress site yourself, or you can hire a WordPress developer to do it for you.

Poor mobile experience

A number of technical SEO issues can lead to poor mobile experiences, such as poorly optimised pages or slow loading pages. 

As more people use mobile devices to access the internet, it’s crucial that your website is mobile-friendly.

You can find out if your web page is mobile-friendly by using the Mobile-Friendly Test from Google.

Google Mobile Friendly Test
Content duplication

It can occur when the same content is published on multiple URLs, or when there are multiple pieces of content that are very similar on the same website.

When content is duplicated, search engines may not be able to distinguish it from other content, which can result in lower search engine rankings. In severe cases, Google may even ban your website.

Running a site audit and looking for duplicate content is the best way to determine if there is any duplication on your site. Whenever you find duplicate content, either change it or remove it.  

Broken links

A crawler will stop crawling a page if it encounters a broken link. Your website’s ranking can be affected as a result of fewer pages being indexed by the search engine.

You should ensure that all the links on your site work correctly. You can check for broken links by using a website crawler like Screaming Frog.

Xenu is a free tool that helps you identify broken links on your website.

Server errors

 A server error tells search engines that your website is unavailable. This can negatively impact your website’s visibility and ranking.

There are several different types of server errors, but the most common is a 404 error, which means that the page you are trying to access cannot be found. The 500 internal server error and the 502 bad gateway error are also common errors.

Your website will be negatively affected if you do not fix any of these errors as soon as possible.  

How can small businesses ensure their website is technically optimised for SEO?

If you want to ensure that your website is technically optimised for SEO, you can do the following:  

Review your website structure

Structure plays an instrumental role in determining how easy users can find information on a website. The navigation system of a well-structured and SEO-optimised small business website is logical and easy to understand. It is critical that the website’s hierarchy is clear and that each page is easily accessible.   

Make your site accessible to search engines

Make sure your website is accessible to search engines by using a robots.txt file and a sitemap.xml file. Sitemaps make it easier for users and search engine spiders to find and navigate your site. Robots.txt allows you to exclude parts of your site from crawling with the disallow command.  

Fix broken links

Use Google Search Console and other audit tools to make sure your website is free of broken links and errors.

Select adequate keywords

Make sure your website content and titles contain the right keywords and phrases.   

Remove duplicate content

Check your website for duplicate content and clean it up.

Responsive website

Make sure your website is mobile-friendly and responsive.

Optimise images

A website or blog would not be complete without images, but images can also contribute to slow loading times. By optimising your images for SEO, you can speed up your website and improve its search engine ranking. Include relevant keywords in the file name, alt text and title tags of an image to increase the chances of your website appearing on search engine results pages.

Following these steps will ensure that your small business SEO work is optimised and ready to attract more visitors.

HubSpot Website Grader is a free online tool that grades your site against key metrics like performance, mobile readiness, SEO, and security.

With the Bing Free SiteScan tool, you can analyse your website for common technical SEO issues and fix them to improve your Bing ranking.

Local search optimisation

Local SEO involves optimising a website to rank higher for location-specific searches.

This can be accomplished through a number of techniques, such as optimising website content for relevant keywords, creating location-specific citations, and creating social media profiles specific to a particular location.

Taking these steps can help you appear in search results when potential customers in your service area are looking for your product or service.  

Why local SEO is important for a Small Business

Local SEO is critical for small businesses for a number of reasons:

  1. Your business will be more visible to potential customers in your local area.
  2. You can boost your search engine rankings for relevant geo-targeted keywords, making it more likely that customers will find your business when they search for your products or services.
  3. Additionally, local SEO can help build credibility and trust with prospective customers, since they will be more likely to trust a business that is visible in their local search.

Local SEO tools and strategies for small businesses

The use of local SEO tools and strategies can help small businesses improve their online visibility. 

Among the most effective ways is to claim and optimise their Google My Business listing. 

It can help them appear in relevant local searches and provide a platform for sharing important information. Their operating hours and contact information, for example. 

Other strategies include optimising content for local keywords and creating local citations. 

These tools and strategies will help small businesses increase their chances of being found online.  

Google My Business (GMB)

With Google My Business (now Google Business Profile Manager), businesses can manage their online presence across Google. Included in this are Search and Maps. 

Businesses can also interact with customers and gain insights into how people find and use their business.

Your business should create a Google Business Profile Manager profile and have it verified if it doesn’t already have one. When creating your profile, make sure to fill it out with accurate and current information about your business, such as your hours of operation, contact information, and location.

Google Business Profile Manager is the perfect platform for getting reviews from customers. However, how do you go about acquiring them? Here are a few tips:

  • Get your Google Business Profile Manager review link
  • When customers are happy with their purchase, encourage them to write a review. This can be done by asking them in person, or by including a note on their purchase receipt.
  • Link to your Google business listing on your website and in your email signature.
  • Use your GMB review link to generate a QR code that your customers can scan and leave a review.
  • Become a part of the review process. Whether a review is positive or negative, respond to it.
Bing Places for Business

Bing Places for Business lets you control how your business appears on Bing Maps and Bing search. 

The Bing search engine is often referred to as one of the best alternatives to Google, however it actually powers a variety of other search engines, including Yahoo!, AOL Search, DuckDuckGo, Amazon Alexa, Cortana, Xbox, Windows 10, and Ecosia. 

Despite this, most people think of Google when they think of search engines.

Citations management

Maintaining accurate and current listings in all the major local directories is one of the most important things you can do. 

If your citations are inaccurate, potential customers may not be able to find your business, or worse yet, they may find your competitor instead. Therefore, it’s essential that you claim or create your listings on all the major directories, and then keep your information updated. 

If you’re not sure where to begin, check the Yell Connect or Moz Local listings for your business.  

Extra SEO tips for Small Businesses

Social shares

One way that small businesses can benefit from SEO is by increasing their social shares. Shared content on social media can reach a wider audience and build your brand. Moreover, social sharing can improve your ranking in search engines.  

Promote your content on social media

Sharing your content on social media platforms such as Twitter and LinkedIn can increase traffic to your website. Post relevant and interesting content that resonates with your followers, and you’ll soon see traffic increase.

If you manage multiple social media accounts, scheduling your posts ahead of time can save you a lot of time. A tool like Hootsuite makes scheduling social media posts easy and ensures that your content is handled properly.

Make it easier for your users to share your content

By including social media buttons on your website or blog, you can make sharing your content easier. By using this feature, your visitors can easily share your content. So, it’s a quick way to get more people viewing your content.

A social sharing platform such as ShareThis provides a suite of tools to share content with social networks from any site or app. 

Ensure that the content you share on social networks looks great

You should use the Post Inspector if you intend to target a LinkedIn audience. It ensures that your posts are error-free and look their best before they are published. 

Ensure that the content you share on social networks looks great

With Facebook Sharing Debugger, you can preview how your content will appear on Facebook and troubleshoot any Open Graph tag issues.

Use the Twitter Card Validator for Twitter.

User experience

A small business’s user experience (UX) is crucial. A good user experience can increase brand loyalty and customer satisfaction, while a poor one can drive potential customers away. Understanding your target audience and what they need from your website is the first step to creating a great UX.  

Add Microsoft Clarity to your website

With Microsoft Clarity, you can get insights into how visitors interact with your website. You can see what visitors are doing on your site, how long they stay on each page, and what devices they are using. By using this information, you can improve the user experience on your site.  

Add your site to Google and Bing

Your website should be indexed by the major search engines if you want it to be visible to potential customers. 

Your website should be submitted to both Google and Bing, the two most important search engines. To submit your website, go to their respective submission pages and enter your URL. 

As soon as your website is indexed, it will appear in search engine results pages (SERPs) when people search for relevant keywords. 

As a result, your site will receive more traffic and sales may increase.  

If you just launched a new website, you can submit a sitemap to Google and Bing to help them index it. Sitemaps list all the pages on your website in a single file. Sitemaps can be generated using a sitemap generator tool, a WordPress plugin, or manually. When you have created your sitemap, you can submit it to Google and Bing.

By using the URL inspection tool, you can ask Google and Bing to re-index a page on your site when you make changes.

Small Business SEO - submit your website to search engines

SEO Software Tools for Small Businesses

SEO is one of the most important marketing strategies for small businesses, and it cannot be overstated.

In order to improve their search engine rankings, small businesses can take advantage of a variety of software tools which can be found online. The majority of these are free to use, while some of them are paid.

We have previously written about the best SEO tools for small businesses in our previous post.  

Invest in SEO and grow your business

You want your business to grow, and you know that exposure is key. SEO can increase your exposure and help you grow your customer base. With our SEO Packages for Small Businesses, you can dominate the search engine results and reach more people looking for your services.  

Juan Pineda Juan Pineda

Managing Partner at Agile Digital Agency. Juan is an experienced digital professional with more than 20 years of experience in web solutions, digital marketing, and innovation. He holds a degree in Computer Sciences, and has worked internationally for renowned digital agencies. Juan provides clients with his skills and expertise in the digital field to create successful online solutions.