Small business owners often struggle with their SEO.
You have your business, your customers, and now your website demands attention as well.
I frequently talk to business owners that just use their website as a reference for real life customers.
To be honest, that is a bit narrow-minded. There is so much more you can do!
In this article, I’ll go over some improvements any small business owner can easily do by himself.
It’s going to costs you time, not per se any money.
Use this article as a checklist, and see how you are doing. Here we go!
Manage your expectations
Let’s start with the most important one: be realistic about what you can rank for and what not. Manage your expectations.
If your competitors are giant companies with huge marketing budgets, you’ll probably not going to rank number one for your main keyword (f.i. car insurance).
Aim for specific keywords instead, not the general, high-end keywords.
What’s your niche?
Take some time to find the keywords that describe your business best.
If you are a local grocery store that also delivers to people’s homes, aim for ‘order groceries Springfield’ not ‘order groceries online’.
See how you can differentiate yourself from the horde, and focus on that.
This also includes focusing on longer tail keywords.
That brings me to my next tip.
Use mid-tail keywords
Adding the city name
Do not keyword-stuff your website with your location’s name.
If you really want to rank locally, try to include the city name in a way that makes sense.
Add LocalBusiness schema, for instance via our local SEO plugin.
And get some local links to your website.
That will already help you a lot!
No need to go overboard in specifying your niche.
‘Sports gear for teams that is easy to wash in Vancouver’ will probably only give you one new visitor a day.
Focus on mid-tail keywords like ‘team sports gear Vancouver’.
You’ll see that for a small business, it usually pays off to add the city name to some optimized pages as well.
More on keywords in our article on the long tail.