SEO For Small Business (Simple Ways To Optimize Your Site)

SEO Guide for Small Business

For a small business where the competition is intense, a well-thought SEO strategy is a must. If you have a little knowledge on the topic, don’t worry. After reading this guide, you’ll be familiar with the primary stages of SEO and be able to improve optimization of your website on your own.

An SEO is a way to let people find your business among 130 trillion web pages. And even though it might feel like an impossible thing to achieve you can do it if you are using the right tools. The good news is that SEO tools are becoming more friendly to the users with a very little experience in SEO. The question is how to choose an instrument? For a small business owner the perfect tool should meet the following requirements:

  • It should give precise and reliable data.
  • It should be easy to use and newcomer-friendly.
  • It better be a swiss-army knife kind of tool for SEO tasks with all you need in one place.
  • It should be affordable even for a one-man band.
  • It should have a free trial, so you can test the tools before you buy.

A multitask SEO platform SE Ranking seems to be a good match. So let’s figure out how it can help you in your optimization efforts.

#1. Track your rankings to know where to head

What do you mean?

The ranking refers to the position your website takes in the search results for the certain query. For examples, you have a pizzeria in Philadelphia. People may google a pizza place in Philly using queries as pizza, pizza Philly, pizza near me, best pizza Philly, and by many other pizza-related phrases. The ranking would be the place your website takes on in the search results for such queries.

Why would I need this?

You need to track your rankings to see what you are doing right or wrong in your site optimization. Day-to-day positions tracking allows you to react quickly if your rankings suddenly drop. And the fast reaction is important because the rankings determine the potential profit from traffic coming from the search results.

How to do it

SE Ranking has a ranking tracking tool that allows seeing a full picture of your rankings on all queries on which you want to be in top of the SERPs. To get the detailed real-time report, you need to create a project and set the parameters required for the analysis:

  • Choose a search engine: Google desktop, Bing, Yahoo, YouTube, Google mobile (SERPs for Google desktop and mobile can differ significantly)
  • Choose your target region. SERP depends on a user’s location: if you google “burger” in Chicago, you’ll get results for this city even without adding its name to the query. So if your business is local, you should set a certain location for the analysis.
  • Indicate whether you want to include Google map search results. When we google “burger”, together with a list of websites we get pictures, maybe videos, and the map. On the map, we see burger places. Some of them can be present on the map but be absent on the first SERP, and vice versa. So if you have a local business registered in maps, you should include its search results to the analysis. Thus, the general picture of your site’s visibility will be more accurate.

That’s it!

SE Ranking

After you submit the settings, you’ll get a table with the data: In the table, you’ll see the info on rankings and the columns with data on a search volume (how many times people searched for the query over a month), competition index, KEI and other customized parameters. Such report lets you see what pages are well-optimized, what needs to be fixed; for what queries with a high volume you need to optimize your pages, etc. In general, tracking your website ranking dynamic allows estimating your SEO endeavors.

What else should I know?

  • You can parse the same data about your competitors.
  • The numbers we see is a result of the website optimization. If you’ve just started your SEO journey, you’d see a lot of dashes instead of numbers, meaning that your website didn’t make it to the top-100. But don’t be discouraged, you are here to fix it.

What exactly you need to change? Let’s proceed to audit to find out.

#2. Audit your website to know what you need to fix

What do you mean?

There are over two hundreds factors that Google uses to rank your website. And although even the SEO pros can’t identify all of them, they’ve defined those that impact ranking the most. SE Ranking has a tool called Website Audit. It simulates a Google crawler and examines your website on each of the key ranking parameters: both technical and content ones. As a result, you get a detailed report indicating what you need to adjust and correct.

Why would I need this?

You need to audit your site to see what you should add, delete, or change to improve its search rankings. It takes about 10 minutes for SE Ranking’s Website Audit to inspect a 5000-pages website. If you’d decide to do it manually, it would take months, let alone that in some cases you would just lack the technical expertise.

How to do it

You will get a full audit of your website to your email after you create the project in SE Ranking system. Also, the report will be available on your account so you can compare the latest audits with the previous ones and track progress. You can update the audit report anytime you want to get a fresh picture of your site’s optimization.

What else should I know?

1) Website Audit tool allows examining any website you want. Any at all. It means you can inspect the sites of your

Website Audit Tool

competitors and find out why their rankings are higher than yours.

2) Use the On-Page Audit tool if you want to examine a particular page. It analysis how well the page is optimized for a certain keyword and offers you a detailed report with the tips on how to improve it.

#3. Make a comprehensive plan of step-by-step site optimisation

Now, when you have a list of dozens of fixes to make, you may be wondering, how to do them? Where to start? What are the priorities? It’s where you are going to need a marketing plan.

What do you mean?

In your account at SE Ranking, you’ll find a marketing plan that includes a step-by-step guide on search optimization (a pre-launch, keywords research, on-site and off-site optimization, content strategy, and more). Each of the plan items includes an advice, an explanation of its importance and an instruction of how to do it.

Why would I need this?

If the audit reported a lot of errors in your website and you have no idea how to fix them, you need step-by-step instructions for it. It would be especially helpful for those who are only planning to begin a website optimization and don’t even know where the start line is. In short, the marketing plan is the guide that will help you out if you decide to do an SEO on your own.

How to use it

Open a plan and complete the steps one by one. Mark the plan item as done when you’ll finish the task. Also, you can customize the plan and add to it any supplemental action points you find useful.

What else should I know?

  • It takes quite some time to complete the whole list of instructions, but no worries! You will see the first results long before you’ll get through all of them.
  • All the steps outlined above are repetitive. There is a circle of checking the rankings → audit the website → fixing → checking rankings → audit the page → setting ⇢ and so on.

#4. Keep an eye on your competitors

Competitor analysis is an integral part of an SEO for your website and SE Ranking special tools that help to outsmart your online competitors.

What do you mean?

Success in SEO is comparative and depends on other players. The task is not only to please the search engines or users but to do it better than your competitors. That’s why it’s important to know what they have in the back pocket. A tool called Competitor SEO/PPC research allows you to see what keywords the rivals are using for organic and paid customer acquisition; how much money they spend on PPC ads and how much traffic they get in return.

Why would I need this?

  • For any domain, you’ll get data about the organic and paid traffic: how many keywords are used for every traffic channel and how much it costs. This information will help you estimate potential traffic and spendings on Google Adwords campaigns.
  • You’ll see a history of competitors’ ads: how long they’ve been running a particular campaign; how they’ve changed it; which versions worked better, etc. This data allows you to avoid repeating the mistakes your rivals did and help you decide what would be now better for your business: SEO or PPC.
  • You’ll see keywords your competitors use for each traffic channel. It will help enrich your semantic core (a set of keywords you use on your website) and define targeted keywords in paid and organic search results.

How to do it

Go to Competitor SEO/PPC research page on your SE Ranking account.

Option 1 – Keyword analysis. Enter a keyword you want to check a competition for. On this page you can see data that indicates the following:

  • how popular and potentially profitable the keyword is (the volume column);
  • how competitive the keyword is (the click cost assessment and competition index columns);
  • how much the traffic on this keyword will cost you (the traffic cost assessment column).

Also, you can see a list of websites that use this keyword for organic and paid search promotion.

Keyword analysis

Option 2. Domain analysis. Enter an URL of the domain you want to examine

On this page you will see the following information about the website you want to inspect:

  • how many keywords it is using for getting organic and paid traffic;
  • how much traffic it gets and how much it costs;
  • which particular keywords it uses for organic and paid search (you can go further and see a full list of keywords by clicking a ‘View detailed report’ button);

Domain analysis

  • the full history of the site’s ads (with their cost estimation).

What else should I know?

  • Competitor research is a continued procedure. It’s something you should do from time to time and especially when you decide on launching a PPC campaign.
  • Take your time while exploring the tool. It has a rich functionality that includes not only the mentioned features. Remember that you can check the data on any keyword and any domain you want.
  • Competitor research is not limited to the keyword analysis for SEO and PPC. At the off-site optimization stage, you’ll need a backlink checker – a tool that allows exploring the backlinks of any website you want. Besides, you can track changes on other sites and see what your competitors A/B test at the moment. Finally, the already mentioned Ranking Checker and Website (and page) Audit tools you can use not only for your website but also to get info about your competitors.

Final thoughts

What’s great about SEO is that the results of your efforts are all palpable: you can see how the ranking of your website is changing and react to these changes immediately. That is why a search optimization turns out to be an exciting thing to do especially in a small business segment.

An SEO presupposes a bit complex but very consistent and logical set of actions. The trick is to work out a foolproof plan and arm yourself with robust instruments. The rest is the matter of patience.

Keep calm, follow the tips above, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised by the results.

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