Small business SEO (Search Engine Optimization) aims to improve your website’s presence on SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). Sometimes you are not optimizing your small business website for SEO. In such a case, your customers may require help understanding your brand’s digital presence.
Most business owners are busy people. They are more focused on their business’s production, manufacturing, and supply chain aspects. Neglecting SEO for a business can take away your customers from you.
Today, small business SEO is more important than ever, and this guide will explain how to do SEO for upcoming brands:
1. Build a Logical Website Structure
Your website might be the first point of contact between your business and a potential customer. Make your website simple and ensure every page is reachable from the home page itself. In other words, implement a scalable site architecture for your business website so that users can easily navigate from one page to another.
Avoid adding too many labels. Instead, keep every page at most three or more clicks away from the homepage. An organized website is essential to make your customers stay alert on your web pages. For example, let’s look at the Etsy E-commerce website.
You can find everything on the homepage under different categories. Also, customers can easily navigate sub-categories from the homepage. You can purchase a product within three clicks. Thus, make it easy for your customer to place an order when they visit your website.
Stay away from too many pop-up ads, which can slow your site’s loading speed and spoil a customer’s user experience. Be strategic with your ads and discount banner placement on the site. Moreover, adopt a flat site structure so that Google can easily index all your pages.
2. Run a SERP Analysis
A SERP analysis is essential to understand how your competitors rank on Google.
Conduct a SERP analysis to discern the keywords your competitors are ranking for. If you are a local business, your online competitors might differ from offline ones.
First, learn to analyze your competitor’s web traffic sources if you want to outgrow them. Next, an SERP analysis for your main keyword is pivotal for competitor analysis.
For example, if you run a wedding planning business in New York, your focus keyword will be “wedding planners in New York”. The top organic search results for wedding planners show Google map listings and listings on matrimonial and wedding websites.
None of the wedding business websites are ranking directly on SERP. It shows that you need to start listing your wedding planning business on other websites and Google Maps before trying to rank your site directly on SERP.
69% of digital traffic is organic and local. Hence, ranking on top SERPs is crucial to scale your business.
3. Optimize Your Website SEO
Website SEO optimization helps Google crawl, index, and determine the effectiveness of your site for a particular keyword.
Firstly, check whether Google knows about your website. If Google is not indexing your pages, no one can ever see your site on Google. Enter ‘’Site:Yourwebsite.com’’ to check whether Google has your website indexed. For example, for the Authority Magnet website, Google shows almost 30 results, which indicates Google is indexing about 30 pages of our site.
Similarly, check the search results for your site, and if your search does not show any page from your site, submit your site to the Google search console for indexation. Ensure that Google is indexing all the relevant pages of your site.
For SEO optimization of your site:
- Make your website mobile-friendly. More than 60% of your customers are likely to look for your website on mobile phones.
- Remove broken or spam links and duplicate content.
- Focus on improving site speed.
- Resolve technical SEO problems such as schema markup, canonical tags, accessibility, and UX.
You can perform an SEO audit using Google’s search console and fix all the site issues indicated in the site report.
4. Research Target Keywords
It’s better to know how customers search for businesses like yours and target them to optimize your website. Find the search terms people often use to search for small businesses similar to yours. You can use these keywords in your meta description, title, and main content body to rank your web pages on SERPs.
Apply the following keywords to find your target keyword:
Use Google Suggest
Open Google search and enter any business keywords with phrases such as ‘’near me’’ or the city name. For example, let’s say you own a flower shop in London and deliver flowers to people in nearby cities.
Your primary keyword can be ‘Florist near me’ or ‘Flower delivery in London’. Once you enter the keyword, Google will suggest a bunch of other long-term keywords, which people already use when looking for flower delivery in London.
Note these suggestions and use strategic keyword placement principles in your website copy and blogs to rank for them.
Use a Keyword Research Tool
You can find several keyword research tools online to identify target words for your business. For example, SEM Rush Keyword Explorer or Ahrefs Keyword Generator.
Here’s how you can search using the SEM Rush tool. Enter your primary keyword like ‘flower delivery in London’, and the search will display all the exact terms people use while searching for flower delivery.
Note down the search volume and keyword difficulty and try ranking for low search volume and low difficulty keywords. Remember, if your business also operates offline, try ranking for keywords with local intent.
Use terms such as:
- Where to buy + main keyword
- Near me + main keyword + city
- How to buy + main keyword
- Online delivery + main keyword + city
For example, for the keyword ‘’local flower shops in London’’.
5. Plan Your Page Structure
Small businesses often overlook page structure during website SEO, but an optimized page structure is essential to land customers. Page structure includes title, meta, heading tags, and URL. If optimized correctly, these elements can enhance your ranking on the SERPs.
Also known as page titles, a title tag is a short description of your website above the meta tag on SERP.
Meta description describes your services or main content topic in about 160 characters. The line of text below your title tag is the meta description of your page.
These tags are visible on your website’s landing page or main blog page. It should be short, self-explanatory, and eye-catching.
Cut your website URL short and use a commercial domain extension (.com domain) if you have plans to expand your business further.
All the organic results show local business listings. Similarly, find variations for the local keyword to rank your website organically on the SERP. Local keywords can expose your business to potential customers in your area and help you rank on SERP for specific local terminologies related to your business.
6. Polish Your Website Copy
Google evaluates your website copy to understand whether your website or a web page is a relevant result for a search term. Hence, your website copy should be on point and highly relevant to your target customers.
Your homepage is the landing page. Make it enticing and actionable with niche-relevant copywriting to attract your target customers. For instance, you can see the website homepage of a flower delivery business based in San Francisco. The homepage is simple and includes the main keyword ‘’flower delivery’’ in the heading.
Here are some SEO rules that can make your web pages rank worthy:
- Include a copy of at least 100-200 words on every page. Don’t leave web pages empty with images.
- Use keywords strategically, and do not force them into your copy.
- Use at least one H1 tag on every page and apply other H2 and H3 tags as appropriate.
- Ensure your copy adheres to your brand voice and the audience’s expected search intent.
- To reach all customer segments, write your copy in a persuasive and easy-to-understand language.
7. Start a Blog And Newsletter
Small businesses with blogs can reach more customers and turn them into recurring ones compared to a business website without blogs. A blog helps you rank for broader keywords on SERP, and a newsletter keeps you connected with your customers.
Moreover, website content used as a blog, newsletter, or press release allows you to educate and inform your customers about your product and services through different communication channels. Consumers will likely forget your brand if they don’t see it often.
Therefore, start a blog and publish weekly or monthly content using a mix of local and non-local keywords about industry-related highlights or queries. For example, a flower business can publish blogs about various flowers, their availability, and what they denote.
You can find a ton of topics to publish blogs on your website. On the other side, use your newsletter to announce promotional offers, launch of new products, and encourage interactive customer feedback.
Content creation has become mainstream for small and mid-size business websites to connect with new customers and rank more frequently on the SERPs.
8. Google My Business Profile
Listing your business on Google My Business is crucial if you want to appear on SERP. Google My Business is a Google-owned and operated business directory. The platform aims to provide accurate information about businesses. For example, you can see the top coffee businesses in New York listed on Google My Business.
Google automatically lists most businesses within a year or six months after they become operational, as Google obtains information about your business using its crawling bots. However, an automatic listing can sometimes be more accurate and complete. You need to optimize your Google My Business profile to rank better for local search terms.
Here’s how you can do it:
- Create your Google My Business profile.
- Complete your profile and business data and publish it.
- Publish photos or videos of your business.
- Ask your customers to leave a review, and always reply to their opinions with an empathetic and friendly tone of voice.
Businesses with four or more stars often outrank a business with less than four stars.
Without a Google listing, you can miss a golden opportunity to rank on top of the SERPs for your business keywords.
9. Encourage Customer Reviews
Do you check reviews and ratings before visiting a new restaurant or purchasing something from an E-commerce website? Almost 82% of online consumers look at reviews and ratings before visiting a business website or purchasing a product.
You need to encourage customer reviews on your website and Google My Business profile, not only for ranking on the SERP but also to attract more customers. Google rewards businesses that respond to customer reviews and focus on helping them.
Ask your customers for reviews and respond to every review, whether they are positive or negative.
Use your negative reviews and ratings as an opportunity to improve your business. Do not shy away from low ratings. Instead, ask your customer the reason behind low ratings and resolve their issues. Reward customers with surprise discounts, freebies, or coupons when they leave a positive rating. Your customer reviews are also an important ranking factor. Hence, utilize them for marketing your business online.
10. List Your Business on Other Sites For Citations
Google not only considers your website copy and customer reviews when determining your rank on SERPs but checks your business citations too. Citations indicate the legitimacy of your business to Google.
Note: Citations are an online listing of your business on directories, which usually display the business name, address, and phone number, collectively known as NAP citation by Google.
For example, here are citations for restaurant businesses in San Francisco.
According to Moz, Google considers citation signals as one of the top ranking factors for organic results.
Google is the only search engine that most people use. Thus, list your business in Yellow Pages, local business directories, and online directories like Yelp. You can search ‘business directory+ your business’ to find several online directories to list your business.
For reference, here are business directories for a flower business listing.
11. Get Backlinks
Backlinks can help your website rank on SERPs and help you build a reputation as a reliable brand in Google and in your customers’ memory.
You can use the following methods to get backlinks for your small business:
- Ask your suppliers or business partners for backlinks.
- Get backlinks by listing your business in directories.
- Approach websites that publish listicles of local businesses.
For example, if you are an owner of a coffee shop, look for listicles with ‘best coffee shop in X city’ and if you think they can include your business in the list, approach the website admin or the writer with a request. Invite them to taste your coffee and explain why your business can appear on the list. Look for similar backlink opportunities to boost your rankings on the SERP.
According to Statista, 63% of the world’s population has access to the internet, and this number is 92% for the United States in 2022.You are missing out on a huge customer base if your business is not online. SEO can bring your small business to the SERP and onto the screens of your online customers. Therefore, invest in SEO to reap your small business’s benefits from search engines and social media.