How to do SEO for Small Businesses

Whether you own a small cafe or restaurant, maybe a hotel or spa or anything else – you can get a lot of customers doing SEO for your small business.


SEO techniques are super different from Google Ads or Facebook ads.


With Google Ads, you can instantly get a lot of clicks, conversions and probably customers, but paid traffic won’t stay for long. The moment you stop paying – it will disappear.


While SEO brings evergreen, long-lasting traffic, which is free. These are all crucial factors for small businesses.


So, let’s dive into the main SEO strategies for your small business.


1. Get a domain


The truth is, that your domain doesn’t matter that much for SEO.


If any major extension (e.g. .com .io .org) is already booked – it is not a big deal!


In fact, you shouldn’t also spend a lot of time on your branding, especially if you have limited resources.


In my experience, brand name, logo, design are not the decisive factors – of course, they should not be weird, but spending $50-100K on branding in the very beginning – can be a bad idea.


There are plenty of sites and businesses, with not the best brand and design, but great service, content, product – and they perform really well.

Talking about the design, if you’re an eCommerce brand, you can try getting custom mailer boxes to create a unique experience for your customers which also can pay off in better referral and direct traffic.

2. Build a website


First of all, obviously, you need a website.

There are many ways to build a website.

Of course, you can build a custom website, using some PHP or Javascript framework – Angular, Vue, Laravel and so on.

But, if you are not technical enough or/and have a low budget – it can turn into a disaster. For example, did you know that Angular 2 has huge problems with Google indexing and crawling? Basically, your site might not be visible in Search engines at all…

So, if you run just a small cafe, restaurant, local gym or small e-commerce store – WordPress would be totally enough.

It is:

  • super easy to use
  • free
  • customizable
  • SEO ready
  • relatively secure


A lot of hosting providers can bring one-click WordPress install as well.


3. Social media


Register your social media handles.

Again, if your @brand is not available, it’s not a big deal, at the start. 

Focus on great content and engagement. 

Also, in my experience, if you are a small business owner, with little budget and not much time – choose one, max two SoMe channels which perform best for you – and focus on them.

If Instagram works great for you – it is much better to go all-in with Instagram, acquire many followers, post amazing quality content, post videos to IGTV and so on. It is much better to have one well-performing social media, than ten with 25 followers each.

Also use OG Data to improve click-throughs.


4. Local SEO


A local SEO strategy is super important for small businesses.


  • Remember to add your address in the website footer
  • Create Google My Business Listing
  • Submit your site to local directories, listing sites, blogs.
  • Link building campaigns from local bloggers and forums.


5. Content strategy


Content is the king of SEO. Content marketing has an amazing ROI, in fact, the highest among all inbound marketing channels.


Content might not work in first few months, but when you figure it out – it can be the main source of your leads in long term.


But, content without SEO strategy and link building can underperform and not achieve its objectives.


Google has more than 200 ranking factors, so it will be hard for you to reach all of them.


In my experience, you should take care of these 5 main elements of every SEO checklist:


  • Technical setup
  • Keywords research
  • Content
  • On-page SEO
  • Link building 


6. Keywords research


Putting out content without proper keyword research can be totally wasted time.


You can start easiest keyword research just with typing some related phrases in Google and getting suggestions. Also, Google keywords planner is also free. There are a bunch of other keyword research tools. If you are serious about your SEO, you should consider them.


My favourites are:


7. Link building


This is one of the hardest parts of SEO. A lot of website owners totally ignore it. Others – buy thousands of backlinks on Fiverr, which might give an uplift for week or two, but then disappear and ruin your online presence.


High-quality backlink acquisition is a super important part of growth.


In my experience, there were plenty of sites, which featured amazing content, but without link building, it was just stagnating.


Backlinks always go in pair with amazing content – these two are probably the most important elements of any SEO strategy.

Interesting in Conversion Optimization? See my review of CXL Institute here

To sum it up


There are many more ways to scale your SEO to make your small business grow online. 


SEO has also become really competitive, especially in English. But, it still may work really well, for niche content, also multilingual copy.


The good part of SEO for small businesses is that it brings evergreen traffic – it means that even old blog posts and pages constantly bring traffic to your site. That is the main difference and advantage from ads: when you stop paying for ads – you stop getting leads, when you stop writing for SEO – you will still get traffic!


Remember, with SEO it may take some time before you see tangible traffic and results, but it will be for sure worth it!

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