Marketing is difficult – digital marketing even more so. And the black box nature of SEO can make it the most difficult of marketing your business. Yet when done well, there is little that can compete with strong, organic search engine visibility to promote your small business. organic listings build trust with local customers, and all the best business relationships are built on a foundation of trust.
In this article, I want to talk to you about how smaller businesses can best use SEO to their benefit. So, let’s get cracking as I talk you through the best SEO plan for a small business.
Is SEO right for your small business?
Search engines are a key way in which we all now look for products and services, so, in the majority of cases, search is a great way to get in front of potential customers. This is not to say that it is the right marketing approach for every business at any given time. The following should be considered:
- Budget – You may not have the budget to compete with established competitors.
- Speed – SEO can take a long time to deliver results, especially in competitive markets.
- Competition from Ads – Ads now occupy a lot of screen space.
- Big Competitors – Some search terms are dominated by titans, and it can be hard to compete.
So, while organic search visibility is always desirable, it should not be relied upon solely, especially if you need results fast and have a long way to go. Typically, other methods like PPC advertising can deliver fast results while you start running the SEO turtle race.
Generally, some form of SEO is certainly a good fit for most businesses, butt the real question is whether SEO is a good fit for your requirements right now. Consider your budget, speed and starting position to determine when this valuable tactic should be introduced.
In many cases, a combined approach using PPC and SEO can delver the best results. PPC delivers quick results at a cost, and when your organic visibility builds, you can look at dialling back on your paid search marketing.
So, you may not rank quickly with SEO, but the sooner you start investing in your SEO strategy, the sooner you can benefit from this highly popular marketing channel.
Small Business SEO Tools
If you decide you’re going to have a go yourself, then there are some tools you can use to provide information on what you can easily optimise. Many of the big tools will have a monthly fee, and before long, putting a toolset together could cost as much as a reasonably prices provider, so you have to take that into consideration.
SEO Spider – This really is the SEO swiss army knife, and it will give you intel on broken links, page titles, meta descriptions, URLs and so much more. The tool is free for up to 500 pages, so most small businesses should have no costs here. However, at only £149 for the year, it comes way cheaper than any of the typical search engine optimisation tools.
Moz.com – Moz builds on the crawling tool of SEO spider and presents issues in a prioritised format. There are also other tools to do keyword research, rank tracking and link analysis. Moz.com is a well-rounded SEO toolset. It certainly won’t do the search engine optimisation for you, but it does a really good job of pointing you in the right direction. Moz Pro has a 30-day free trial, so you can likely get in to make some improvements to your site and get out without generating any costs.
Google Search Console – This one is free and provides diagnostic information direct from the horse’s mouth. It won’t rank your site for you, but it will help you identify potential areas for improvement.
Ubersuggest – Ubersuggest is a powerful keyword research tool that taps into the myriad search suggestions to help you identify a broader range of keywords you can target.
Answer the Public – Answer the public again uses keyword search data, but it uses where, which, who, what, when and why prefixes to provide commonly asked questions. This is very powerful for identifying the questions your prospective customers have so that you can target them with content.