Small Business SEO Tips for 2018

Small business SEO tips can be what you need to drive traffic and increase profits. Have you ever wondered how your competitors pop up all over the internet?  Does it seem like every search phrase you enter comes back with a link with your competitor’s company name in it?  Trust us, you’re not the only one who notices this.

It can be very frustrating to see your competitors constantly ranking above you. It gets even worse if you’re not even on the same page as your competitors. You’re clearly going unnoticed. Do you relate to what we’re saying? Is this you? Is your business growing and getting the exposure it deserves?  Or, does it seem like you’re going backwards?

I bet you thought you’ve done everything right. You completed your Google business listing. You had your website re-designed. It looks professional. But, the phones are not ringing. Worse than that? When you do your own search queries hoping to land on your website, your company name is next to non-existent.

Take a deep breath. Don’t panic. By the end of this article, you’ll know exactly how search engines work and what it takes to land on the top 5 pages of search results. We’ll suggest some small business SEO tips you can use along the way. These tips can help you get search engines to rank your website.

Search Engine Optimization has grown and evolved over the years. Remember when you could hide fifty, or more, keywords right within the code of your website. It would instantly push you to the top pages of search engine results.

Well, search engines have changed. These changes lead you to our first tip.

SEO Has Changed the Way You Rank

Search engines have realized that ranking any old website is no longer in their best interest. Consumers crave a good search experience. When they use a specific search phrase, they expect relevant information to result.

Search engines understand the importance of relevancy just like any business does. When you are looking for a dentist, you want to find a dentist. You don’t want to be presented with websites all presenting information about penguins. That would not create a good experience.

Small Business SEO Tips for 2018

The best way to boost your search engine rankings is to understand the changes and go with them. Here are some small business SEO tips to help improve the user experience and increase your ranking results.

Page Load Speed

Search engines have made a big push in past year when it comes to loading time. Since the technology industry has made an initiative for faster loading websites, those with slow load times have quickly taken a back seat.

As we enter 2018, the push has gotten even stronger. Search engines, Google in particular, have started to penalize websites who don’t meet the page speed requirements. If you don’t make the cut, your site will be left behind. So, how do you improve site speed?

One of the most important small business SEO tips we tell our clients is to optimize all your website images. If you use video or audio files on your website, such as Podcasts, you should use a hosting infrastructure to house all your media files. Storing your media files on a separate infrastructure will save your website the tough job of heavy file loading. Your media files will be streamed through a simple, light-weight snippet code insertion that keeps your website running at optimal speed.

Responsive Websites

Mobile first indexing is a now a requirement that search engines turned towards as we entered 2018. Google added this to their algorithms, making mobile first indexing a crucial component in your website’s ability to rank.

So, what does mobile first indexing mean? If your website is not mobile responsive, meaning it does not conform to mobile devices, you will move down in the Search Engine Result Pages, or SERPs. The value of fully responsive websites now makes this design improvement crucial to business owners. Having separate desktop and mobile versions of your website is no longer helpful to businesses. It can actually prevent their websites from ranking. If you want your marketing strategy to work in today’s world of SEO, you need to have a website that is fully responsive across all device platforms. So, in many ways this is more than one of our small business SEO tips, it’s a small business necessity.

OnPage SEO

How do search engines know what websites to rank based on each search query? This is one of the first questions business owners have when discovering the importance of SEO. The answer is much more simple than you may have guessed. Search engines know what websites to rank because you tell them. This is one of those small business SEO tips that leaves many of our clients wondering, why didn’t I think of that?

As a business owner, it is important that you understand the importance of OnPage SEO. Why? Because OnPage SEO is what brings results to your website marketing and lands you in the search engine results for your market’s keywords. It is the foundation of every marketing campaign run on the internet-on and off your website.

Each page of a website is set up to focus on two keywords. SEO professionals create page titles, meta descriptions, and page content to reflect those keywords. When you enter a keyword or phrase into a search engine, the page titles and meta descriptions are what you see as a result. The search engine delivers viewers a page full of links that each have their own title and description. Your SEO experts help create those titles so they rank for the keywords and viewers are drawn to click on them. Optimized OnPage SEO will set you on the right track to make your site searchable and draw an audience to want to click on your site when you come up in the high rankings.

Keyword-Rich Content

There is a science to how your website should use keywords. Search engines have advanced over time to monitor your content more closely. Years ago, you could randomly insert keywords all over your web pages to increase traffic. But as search engines became more intelligent, they turned to artificial intelligence bots, known as internet spiders, to monitor the effectiveness of your website’s content.

The spiders crawl the internet looking for irrelevant content. Using highly engineered algorithms, these bots know if your content is in keyword overload. On the contrary, if you have keyword-rich content that has a natural flow, is effective, and provides good information to your viewers, your website will be identified as relevant. Because spiders check for keyword and keyword synonym ratios on each of your website’s pages.

If your website offers natural, informational, readable content that implements keywords effectively, you will rank higher in search engine results. The more relevant and informative your content, the more readers will engage in your website and come back for more.

Website URLs Indexed

For years, businesses have been taught that as long as they are optimized for Google searches, they are set up for success in the internet world. Google rules the internet, doesn’t it? Not anymore. While Google pretty much dominates the internet, effective search engine optimization now requires more than just being indexed in Google.

What most business owners don’t realize is that Google search is not native to other technologies like Microsoft and Apple products. So, although Google does dominate the internet, it cannot stand up to the amount of search queries on all devices. iOS searches, those that come from Apple devices, are actually powered by different search engines. So, although you may swear by Google, you may be getting your search results from a different source.

iPhones and iPads are king in the device world. Native apps like Maps, for example, use Yelp to search what’s nearby when you are looking for a restaurant or hotel. Important information is no longer just coming from Google data. Google lovers need to understand that website URLs should now be indexed with all search engines. Which leads to another great small business SEO tips for owners. If you don’t have a Yelp business profile, you need to get one now!

Local Citations (Physical Location)

Local citations are crucial to your business, specifically if you have a physical office location. Most local search queries are generated from the local citation echo system. There are currently fifty to one-hundred top citation platforms that feed the internet. The most powerful way to maintain a strong, local presence is to have consistent business information across all these platforms. Inconsistent information creates a negative impact on your local rankings.

Local citation services through your SEO team will ensure your name, phone number, address, and website are consistent across each business listing. Although this is time-consuming and cumbersome task, a qualified SEO team has the experience and manpower to get the work done in a realistic timeframe.

Social Media

Although many people have mixed reviews about the value of social media platforms, they are a crucial piece in your marketing strategy. Social media is an important way to stay connected to your clients and your community. It gives you an outlet to post important business trends, deliver your company mission statement, and, most importantly, connect people to your products and services.

Daily posts are an easy way to bring awareness to potential customers about your products and services. To further increase your reach, social media now offers ad opportunities. Advertising on these platforms creates a strategy that focuses on targeted audiences. But, the impact now goes further than that. Social media is vital to your brand when it comes to search engine ranking since Google created a link between brand awareness through social posting and your ranking.

Active social profiles can boost your rankings because Google now has social signals set to determine how active your social presence is. So, social media is not only an effective way to build awareness, it is a factor that determines how high, or low, your business ranks in the search results.

There you have it! The top small business SEO tips to help enhance your brand. At PenTech Consulting, we understand that the world of digital marketing is always changing. As part of our ongoing commitment to our clients, we’ll be giving exclusive monthly tips and special offers to keep your business on track and help with your growth. We will go farther in depth on the some of the small business SEO tips we lightly touched upon in this article.

We’re Here to Help!

We know you just don’t have the time to run a successful business, keep your customers 100% satisfied, and worry about your web assets and marketing tasks. That’s why we’re here to take some of the weight off of your shoulders. Need help implementing some of these small business SEO tips to improve your business? Let PenTech take charge of your business growth with our exclusive offers throughout the year. We are here to help and welcome your questions, regardless of how insignificant you may think they are.

Ask a member of our team how your business can benefit from any of the unique services we offer. Our goal is being an extended part of your team and give you the results you need to reach all your business goals.

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