SEO is the bread and butter of content marketing. While many large businesses are well aware of this fact, small businesses are often limited by a lack of knowledge or a lack of resources for SEO implementation. Traditional benchmarking to optimize costs and find budgetary room for scaling up is insufficient, and outsourcing to an expert can be a perceived barrier.
Fortunately, there are many simple steps that small businesses can take to capitalize on the latest SEO tricks and trends. Here are some helpful starting points for small businesses looking to work within their limitations for success.
Focus on Voice Search
The age of voice search SEO is just dawning in the marketing world, with modern marketers well aware of the need to get ahead of the curve, but tasked with the challenge of making the wave of the future blend with what’s working now.
Voice search SEO adds a unique complication to content marketing strategies. Whereas someone searching for the best cheesecake boutique via the traditional typed search is more inclined to write “best cheesecake boutique,” an individual using voice search is more likely to use a complete sentence: “Where is the best cheesecake boutique?”
For businesses looking to start ranking for both traditional search and voice search, this adds a unique problem. Small businesses will have to be crafty when incorporating this arrangement of keywords in their content. However, by starting to make this shift now, it gives a better edge on the competition as smart home assistants become more prevalent.
Focus on Local SEO
Voice search and local SEO go hand-in-hand. According to 2018 statistics, 58% of consumers used voice search to find information on a local business. Furthermore, 46% of voice searchers repeat this task daily, with 27% converting to actual business visits.
For small businesses, local SEO makes more sense than taking a marquee approach to attracting web traffic from around the world. In most cases, the target demographic is defined primarily by location. For marketers working with small businesses to optimize their content, or small business owners looking to make some small-but-impactful changes, ensuring that there are a few things that can be done for local SEO.
Ensure Google Business Information is Updated
One of the most important things to do for local SEO is to ensure everything in the Google My Business (GMB) account connected to the business is up to date. This means ensuring that pertinent information like business hours, address, high-quality photos, etc. all reflect the business. Linking this information through to a location page will enhance the overall results.
Check the Host Server Location
There’s a lot of speculation and controversy regarding the connection between hosting services and SEO. While many conspiracy theorists believe that Google has agreements with some hosting companies, the reality is far less interesting: lower-quality providers are likely to get you lower results based on speed and uptime.
One direct impact on local SEO that your hosting service will have is the server location. If your server is located in the UK and your business is located in Canada, your cheesecake boutique may show up on the first SERP in London. While having your GMB updated can override this, it’s better for a business to evaluate SEO from the base and work outwards. Take a look at your server location and make changes as needed.
While evaluating server location, take the time to look at your site speed and loading time to determine if low-quality or shared hosting services are impacting your rankings.
Repurpose Old Content
For small businesses looking to focus on SEO in 2019, there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Instead, look at what content is already available to be optimized and repurposed. In many cases, small businesses will start a blog and feel overwhelmed by an inability to write or other time management conflicts. However, these small, underdeveloped pieces of content can be a treasure trove of valuable information to be expanded upon and explored.
As experienced marketers know, using Google Analytics and Google Search Console is a simple way to get insights about who is visiting your website, what terms they’re using to get there, and which pages are optimal for creating conversion points.
Using a tool like MarketMuse can help both experienced marketers and small business owners optimize their content and learn which topics relevant to their business they should be covering. Free resources like Answer the Public are a great starting point for generating seed terms for keyword research. With the right combination of tools, small businesses can compete in the big leagues.
The main concerns for small businesses will always be a lack of time and a lack of money to focus on continued marketing efforts. Small businesses lack the resources to conduct full-scale changes that larger businesses possess.
However, by starting with small, strategic steps, a small business can generate more business and more revenue to, in turn, finance better marketing efforts. Setting strategic goals and reinvesting in the business is essential for success.