SEO Tricks for small businesses

Search Engine Optimisation can be a cost effective way for small companies and organisations to market themselves. Obviously as a small business your resources are smaller so to compete with bigger players trying to get to the top of search listings realism and some trickery comes in handy. Here are five simple techniques to improve your search engine ranking for small businesses.

1. Look for and target a realistic combination of keywords

Its best not to aim too high in anything in life and this is very true of getting to the top of search engine rankings. Trying as a small business with limited resources to get to the top of the search listings for a popular keyword like ‘print’ is setting yourself up to fail. It is far better to look for more achievable goals in SEO, for instance aim to get high ranking for a combination of keywords ‘Worthing flyer printing’. A bit of lateral thinking about the niche or niches you work in can be very productive here.

2. Location, location, location

If you are a small business you possibly serve a limited locality. Use the name of the town, county or region you serve to get a higher ranking for that area. Unique names of towns are better here than more generic terms like south or north. Importantly, you will more likely attract visitors that will convert to sales if the visitor is close to you and can use your service.

3. Lateral Thinking on your content and links

Base your effort in developing content and your keyword choice on who will link to you. Think about the keywords and think about what content could attract people to a site. So, for instance if you are a sportswear store perhaps you can provide details of local sports teams that people might want to join. Not only are you improving your search engine ranking but you are also showing visitors that you are involved and trusted by other organisations.

In promoting links in like this, don’t forget social media links, and don’t forget to promote visitors to add them. For example, you are more likely to get a Facebook like for a report on the victory of a local football team than on a sales detail page about a football shin pad.

4. Have a domain-name with your target keyword in

Larger companies have a lot of money invested in their brand names and so they use them for their website domain names. Small firms can be more flexible in their use of domain names and although in the long time you might want to establish a unique brand name, for immediate results it might make more sense to go with a domain name that contains the keywords you want to target. The

So for instance you might want to target the keywords ‘Worthing Web Training’. So you could consider getting the domain name and promoting your business through that. There are two things to be careful of here.

a) If this is an additional site from your ‘main’ site don’t just repeat content, that is bad for SEO. b) How can you look trustworthy if this isn’t the business name you trade under. Think through howyou will integrate this name you are trading under into your business communication.

5. Use the free tools on your platform and beyond, not an expensive consultant

DIY isn’t ideal in everything you do, but when it comes to getting to the top of Search engines it can make more sense to do it yourself. Good SEO has to be driven by getting the right content on your website to attract people to use your services. While Search Engine optimisation experts may know how to package up the content they won’t know how to write the specialist content that gets results. Hopefully you will and this is the most important part of Search Engine Optimisation.

Focussing on the keywords you are targetting is important and you can use the tags / categorisation system in your web platform to help you focus your content on those keywords. Many web platforms now come with good search engine optimisation tools built in or as a free plugin, so that all the technical stuff about ‘meta keywords’, ‘meta description’ is all done for you. For instance WordPress has the excellent All in One search engine plugin and the Yoast SEO plugin.

It is important not to get carried away with the technical detail of SEO but instead think of how the content on your site can work as a good marketing tool.