While creating a website for your small business is a great first step to expanding your audience and catering to your customers’ needs, building a website alone is often not enough to attract new visitors to your online store. One effective tactic is to improve your website’s SEO, or optimize your site to rank at the top of search engine results. This will not only allow current and potential customers to find your website with ease, but it will also ensure they have a more positive user experience once they’re on your site.
Even if you’ve never delved into SEO before, there are many simple yet effective steps you can take to improve your site’s ranking. Here, nine business leaders from Young Entrepreneur Council recommend the easiest ways small-business owners can give their SEO efforts an impactful boost.
1. Increase High-Quality Inbound Links
Increasing inbound links from high-quality, high-authority sites in your space can be an effective and inexpensive tactic for boosting your SEO. Inbound links can increase your search ranking, lend credibility and drive referral traffic. Of course, you’ll want to choose your targets wisely—known experts and authoritative sites are preferred over obscure, low-traffic blogs. Pursuing backlinks from businesses offering complementary services to yours can be a great marketing strategy and may also give your SEO a boost. You can offer a link exchange, which means you’ll add a link to their website on your site if they’ll do the same for you. – Samuel Saxton, ConsumerRating.org
2. Create Consistent, Authoritative Posts
Leveraging consistent blogs to boost SEO is a simple yet effective strategy for small businesses. Creating high-quality, authoritative, keyword-rich content can improve your brand’s search engine rankings and trust. This will drive more organic traffic, which results in more organic sales. Beware of purely AI-created content. Use AI for strategies and outlines, but always create unique content in your brand’s voice. Always amplify through social media and include relevant calls to action for your readers. When it comes to word count and frequency, my agency’s most successful clients—from public companies to local pest control service providers—average around 1000 words and post at least once per week. Don’t confuse word count with fluff; ensure engagement is always at the forefront. – Ron Lieback, ContentMender
3. Improve Site Speed
A simple yet effective way for small businesses to boost their SEO efforts is to optimize their website’s page speed. Slow-loading websites can lead to higher bounce rates and lower search engine rankings. By optimizing images, minimizing code and leveraging caching techniques, businesses can improve their website’s performance and enhance the user experience. This change can positively impact SEO by increasing user engagement, reducing website abandonment and signaling to search engines that the site provides a seamless browsing experience, potentially leading to higher organic search rankings. – Jared Weitz, United Capital Source Inc.
4. Ensure Proper Use Of Keywords And Tags
Sometimes the simplest changes can be done at the keyword phrase and tag level. Some small businesses don’t even know what phrases to target. Even if they do know what to target, they have not put those terms into title tags, headlines or in the page content, so they are never going to rank. Always check over keyword phrase targets and make sure they are being used properly (and not competing with each other). – Peter Boyd, PaperStreet Web Design
5. Go In Depth On Your Topics
One simple yet effective way small businesses can give their SEO efforts a boost is by catering to topic depth when creating relevant content for their intended audience. Search engines, especially the market giant Google, prefer a well-thought-out and detailed page over a dozen with thin content. So, it’s important you ensure that the content you publish on your site provides detailed information about the topic and helps readers find answers to their questions. This will help you climb the search engine results pages and outperform other players in your respective industry. – Stephanie Wells, Formidable Forms
6. Conduct Regular Content Updates
Content updates are by far our biggest initiative in 2023. Updating old content doesn’t take long compared to ideating and crafting new articles. An easy and simple hack is updating years and numbers across stats, and adding an extra paragraph for clarity. Updates can be supplemented with quotes, stats and additional ideas. Listicles can expand and grow in length with regular updates following the “skyscraper” technique. The organic boost for up-to-date content is high. – Mario Peshev, DevriX
7. Set Up A Google Business Profile
We have advised several of our small business customers to use Google Business to boost their SEO presence. A Google Business Profile is very easy to set up and it helps small businesses rank quickly on local keyword searches. When customers look for small businesses, they typically look for local companies, and Google ranks the optimized business pages. – Piyush Jain, Simpalm
8. Leverage User-Generated Content
One simple and effective way small businesses can boost their SEO efforts is by leveraging user-generated content (UGC). Encourage customers to leave reviews, testimonials or feedback on your website or social media platforms. Not only does this provide valuable social proof for potential customers, but it also generates fresh and relevant content that search engines favor. UGC enhances your website’s visibility, credibility and engagement, improving search engine rankings. By incorporating UGC into your SEO strategy, you can organically increase website traffic, attract a wider audience and establish trust with both search engines and potential customers. – Andrew Saladino, Kitchen Cabinet Kings
9. Add A Table Of Contents
One way small businesses can give their SEO a significant boost is by adding a table of contents to their site’s pages, especially if you’ve been producing long-form content. As a result, your visitors will be able to effortlessly access the information they’ve been looking for without having to scroll through an entire page. Not only will it help improve your search engine rankings because you offer a seamless user experience, but it will also give your pages a chance to appear as feature snippets at the top of the search engine recommendations. – Chris Klosowski, Easy Digital Downloads