Are you wondering how to turn your small business website into a sales machine?
First, at a time when nearly half of all U.S. small businesses don’t have a website, you deserve a thumbs up. However, having a website alone isn’t enough to solidify your business’ digital presence and boost your online sales.
Considering that there are millions of sites on the web, you need a strong search engine optimization strategy to give yours a chance of ranking well.
Keep reading to learn more about SEO for small business websites.
Build Your Site with SEO in Mind
A common mistake small business owners make is building websites without thinking about SEO. Such owners typically just want a web address for their business.
Although this is an easy mistake to correct, sites built with SEO in mind from the onset usually have a ranking head start.
So, what is it that you should do when building your small business website?
It’s understandable that you might want your website’s domain main to match the name of your small business, but from an SEO standpoint, this might not be a smart decision.
Domain names have an SEO impact. A keyword-based domain name accelerates your search engine placement and tells visitors what your business is all about.
For instance, let’s say you sell handmade crafts. A domain name like handmadecrafts.com makes your site easier to rank because there are tons of internet users searching “handmade crafts.”
Now let’s assume your business is called Crafty Hands and you choose craftyhands.com as the website domain name. While it might be good for your online branding, it doesn’t really tell search engines what your business does.
Did you know about 57 percent of web traffic originates from mobile devices?
This tells you that your small business website has to be both desktop and mobile-friendly. This is where responsive design comes into play.
Responsive design away takes away the need to have two standalone sites for desktop and mobile users. It ensures your site renders well regardless of device or screen size.
And, sites with a responsive design rank better than sites with a static design. In fact, Google, the most popular search engine, acknowledges that responsive design is a ranking factor.
Your small business website should be easy to navigate and understand.
If it ticks these boxes, visitors will spend more time on your site and engage with the content. This leads to low bounce rates and increased engagement. Search engines will notice and reward you with a higher ranking.
53 percent of internet users will abandon a site if it takes longer than 3 seconds to load! The more users abandon your site, the higher your bounce rate climbs, and the lower your search ranking falls.
As such, it’s vital to ensure your site’s pages load quickly. Choose a reputable website host and don’t install too many plugins.
Prioritize Local Search
As a small business, you’re certainly targeting your local market. This is why you need to focus on optimizing your site for local search.
Start by claiming your Google My Business Page. The platform enables you to fill out information about your business, including name, physical address, phone numbers, and hours of operation. You can also throw in a couple of photos of your business.
You should also list on your business on other local citation directories, such as Yelp and Facebook. Just ensure your business details are consistent and accurate across all listings.
When your small business website is well-optimized for local search, it stands a strong chance of dominating local search results. However, unless you’re a technical SEO expert, it can be challenging to get local search right.
Solution? Hire a local SEO agency.
When searching for a local agency, it’s important to ensure it has a reputation of helping local, small business. If you’re Boston-based, for example, JSA Interactive should be one of the agencies on your radar.
Every month, more than 409 million people collectively visit 20 billion blog pages.
If you don’t yet have a business blog, you’re not making the most of the internet.
You see, a blog is more than just a platform to shed more light about your business and educate your audience. It’s an ideal opportunity to craft content around your target keywords, get a higher search ranking and drive more traffic to your website.
Two things to keep in mind when writing your blog posts: consistency and quality.
These are key to building a loyal community of readers and Google (and other top search engines) love fresh, quality content.
Get Business Reviews
What are people saying about your business online?
Positive business reviews not only drive sales (84 percent of consumers trust online reviews as much as a personal recommendation) but also help increase search rankings.
When a business amasses tons of positive reviews, it’s a sign of quality service delivery. And because search engines want to help users find the best businesses, they ensure enterprises with positive reviews get first-page rankings.
If your business doesn’t have any reviews, it’s time to start encouraging your customers to leave reviews. If you have negative reviews, time to clean up. You can hire a digital reputation management agency to do the job for you.
SEO for Small Business Websites Made Simple
It’s one thing to have a small business website, and it’s another thing to ensure the site ranks well on search engines. To have the latter, all you need is a solid SEO strategy.
Lucky for you, this SEO for small business websites guide has the strategies you should deploy to get higher search rankings. Take your time to perfect your SEO expertise, but if it’s too much work, outsource it to the experts.
Explore our blog for more SEO tips and insights.