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  • Writer's pictureClaire Elbrow

SEO Made Easy: Five SEO tips for small business owners.

Search Engine Optimization, or SEO, is a powerful asset for any business, regardless of whether you are new to the concept or well-versed. It underpins your brand's digital performance and can have a direct impact on various aspects, including sales, marketing, PR, outreach, and more. When it comes to your content efforts, SEO is your best friend.


SEO supports high-quality content that is well-written, well-researched, targeted at seo-made-easy-five-tips-to-optimise-your-content-and-increase-your-rankingsresolving common challenges and pain points, engaging, clear, and digestible. It builds your authority with search engine platforms and helps increase your overall ranking, drive quality traffic to your website, and convert leads to customers.


It can sound complex on the face of it, but in reality, it's a fairly simple algorithm. And content is one of the best tools you have in your roster to make it work for your business. Our five simple SEO tips for small business owners are below.


Here are five simple ways to start driving SEO


SEO keyword research for small business owners

Sometimes known as KWR, it is the best place to start implementing SEO into your content strategy.


Knowing what you want your business to rank for will start with knowing your audience, their challenges and how they make their decisions. There are some simple examples below:


If you are a yoga teacher who teaches adults and you operate in a specific geographical area, then you will want your website to rank under relevant terms, so let's say 'yoga classes', 'adult yoga classes', 'Cambridge' You might want to go for 'best adult yoga classes + Cambridge'


I operate under Blue Lizard Marketing as a freelancer marketing and PR bod who works mainly for Cambridge and Suffolk-based companies so I tend to focus on - 'freelancer marketing', 'freelance PR', 'Cambridge', 'Cambridgeshire' and 'Suffolk'.


So including these keywords in our content is key. There are a huge number of great tools out there such as Moz or SEMrush or Google Key Words Planner which can help with SEO for small businesses, and help you understand how difficult or easy it will be to rank for a specific keyword (among other things). Once you have a view as to difficulties of ranking under your specific keywords, you can stick with your choice or tweak it a little.


TOP TIP: If you have someone build your website for you, check they include SEO work in their proposal. It is not a given and not necessarily within their skill set, so you may need to revisit the SEO to help push your new website up the ranks. Their design will invariably consider SEO through their CTAs and site design, but it is worth a conversation so you are aware of how much extra work you might need to do.


Search Intent


Next step is to imagine you are looking for a new product. This week I have been looking for a new printer for my office - my search intent will inform what information or websites I am looking for, and therefore the types of keywords I have use to find it.


The more specific the intent, the more specific the keyword. There's a big difference between searching 'what's the best printer' and 'Printer under £200. The first implies me, as the buyer, may be doing simple research (informational), whereas the second implies I could be ready to purchase (transactional). I may want to go straight to a providers website, so perhaps I might type 'HP printers' into the search bar (navigational) or I might go for 'Which printer would be best for a small business' (commercial).


Typically, there are four types of search intent your audience will use:

  • Navigational - People with this intent want to visit a specific website. For example, if you want to search for Facebook online, you are are invariably going to be on your way to the Facebook website. So you want to make sure that your website can be found when someone searches for your company’s name online.

  • Transactional - specific and ready to buy, Lots of people buy stuff online and browse the web to find the best purchase. People are searching with transactional intent when their purpose is to buy something at that moment. Often that means that they already know exactly what they want to buy and just want to get to that product page right away. An example would be 'HP printer and scanner for under £200'.

  • Informational - Lots of searches on the internet are done by people looking for information. This could be information about the weather, information about marketing tips for a small business owner, information about SEO - you name it, there will be a search done. People with an informational intent have a specific question or want to know more about a certain topic.

  • Commercial - Some people have the intention to buy in the near future and use the web to do their research. What printer would be best for my needs? These people also have transactional intent but need some more time and convincing.

There's some great software you can dip into which can help you understand your audience's search intent. Try looking at Answer The Public. This software can help you understand your audience's search intent, and give you an idea as to what others are searching for that may be related to your business' services and products. It's a great tool to help inspire you write your content.


Headers - H2s, H3s and Calls to Action (CTAs)


Just as you need to understand what keywords you should aim to rank for, it's just as important to understand where to include these for the best outcomes.


Your H2s and H3s are essentially subheadings. You'll find them listed on every webpage, guide or single blog page you write. If you think about how you yourself read digital content, it's likely you skim reading to reach the sections most relevant to you.


In addition to your main headline or title, this is where you will want to include your keyword targets. Search engines will use these to help determine whether your content is a reliable, strong, trustworthy resource.


In a nutshell, H1 tags are used to denote the most important text, such as the main theme or title of a content. H2 and H3 tags are commonly used as subheadings. H4, H5, and H6 tags may be used to provide further structure within those subsections. There is a good outline on the best practice for headers here.


Your CTAs should also include keywords - in clear, digestible, and action-oriented language, so for my yoga teaching friend, her CTA might be - 'Book your taster today for our adult yoga classes in Cambridge'. Bit clumsy, but you get the gist, I hope!


Linking


Or more specifically: internal page linking.


Just imagine you write a great piece of content. You will include relevant information which is helpful to your audience. This could be statistics, links to research or other sites which may help them, but it should also hyperlink to other parts of your website.


Search engines read internal linking as a great indicator of brand authority. It paints a picture that your digital presence includes a wealth of great resources, and it helps engines index and better understand the pages on your site.


Linking to different websites (known as backlinking) from your own can also support SEO efforts. But the difference there is that you're ultimately directing traffic towards other businesses. Ideally, you want to keep as much of your audience on your site as possible, so don't forget those internal links!


Images

Nice easy one! Make sure all your images have 'Alt tags' inserted. These describe what the image is to search engines, and blind site viewers.


SEO is a long-term commitment

Like most marketing tactics, SEO content is an ongoing practice. It isn't enough to implement it once or set it up once if you have a new site. Your SEO strategy will need to evolve regularly to reflect your audience's search and decision-making behaviours. Like all your strategies, it is worth revisiting regularly to ensure you are making the most of your website and content.



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