Small businesses are on the rise, with more than 30 million found in the US alone. If you’re one of those struggling to get ahead of companies with bigger budgets than you, the solution is search engine optimization (SEO). SEO is a powerful, low-cost, and high-reward marketing process that should work for you.
SEO helps give you the visibility you need with long-term organic search results. Then again, knowing and mastery are two different things and SEO is hard to master. If you have a small business blog you’re using to talk to your audience, there are ways to pull them closer to you. These are 6 best SEO practices that your small business blog should use.
1. Build A Buyer Persona
The customer avatar, also known as a buyer persona, is qualitative data that combines your understanding of your demographic. If you can get close enough to knowing your target audience, you can learn their buying cycles. As you understand the buyer persona even further, the more precise you can fine-tune your blog.
To build your persona, it’s best to download all your website’s analytics data if you have it. If you don’t have any, consider the relevant keywords to your products and services. Do you cater to a specific location? What kind of products and services do you have in your business?
Consider the demographic of the people buying your product and establish themes around the buyer persona that you want to cater to. You can also do it the other way around and group your keywords into personas, recreating a type of personality that you believe will use the same phrases.
2. Include Internal and External Links
When you try out new link building strategies, don’t forget to do both internal and external links. Sprinkling links across your blog can help improve your relevance and keep the flow of information moving for your business. There are several ways to do this properly while keeping your target audience reading.
For starters, add internal links only to relevant articles in your blog. Don’t shoot blindly and connect everyone everywhere. Use secondary keywords as anchor texts to these pages, as well as adding a good amount of context within the sentence.
As for external links, use backlinks as sources for your claims. Don’t link to a competitor with similar content but rather to companies outside your competitors with more explanatory information. High-quality outbound links can bring authenticity to your blog.
3. Consider Local SEO
Once you know the target audience that you want for your blog, you want to use the right keywords. One powerful SEO strategy that many small businesses should use is local SEO. If you’re a local business, design your keywords around the locale where you sell your products and services.
With your blog, you can mention the general locale where your business sells its products. By adding a city name or a state name together with your product name, you cater straight to the people you’re trying to sell to. It also helps you rank for searches where businesses are looking for similar services nearby in your area.
Local SEO can become a useful technique, especially if you’re looking to hyperfocus your products within a specific range. Your options are almost unlimited too, as you can mention cities, counties, and states combined with your product keywords. This also helps search engines identify your service area and give you a boost for those locations.
4. Install Analytics Tools
When it comes to your blog, it’s important to know how people move around your pages. Tools can help give you insights on where you can route your audience for the best conversion rates. Install analytics tools like Google Analytics and Google Search Console so you can track and report traffic information, as well as conversions.
From here, you can see what you need to fix on your blog. Find out which topics perform better than the others and see if you can replicate the style you use. Depending on the insights you get, you want to improve on a few metrics like page speed and dwell time.
How can analytics help your small business? Depending on how much traffic you already get, analytics can help further optimize your pages for the best user experience. Sure, search engine algorithms and numbers are not the end, but fine-tuning these details can help you focus on other UX metrics for your blog.
5. Make The Most of Your Keywords
One of the most powerful blog SEO strategies that you can use is as simple as optimizing your keywords
throughout your posts. If you know several keywords that work for you, start using them in the right places. You would think this tip is a no-brainer, but then again there are many businesses that don’t use their keywords correctly.
For starters, use your primary target keyword on your SEO title and H1 tag to tell search engines what your page is all about. Divide your content into sections, using H2 tags for subheadings and H3 tags for further details. Make sure to use secondary keywords on your subheadings that are relevant to your primary keyword.
Sprinkle your keyphrases across several other parts of your blog too, which include the first sentence, last paragraph, as well as anchor texts. Utilize meta descriptions for marketing, helping pull in potential readers. Make sure you don’t accidentally do keyword stuffing, which is filling your blog with too many keywords that it becomes unreadable.
6. Improve User Experience
When it comes to your blog, it’s crucial to add more ways to help your audience read your content easier. User experience can help visitors feel engaged, as well as help them digest the content that you put out. There are several ways that you can do this while building on your on-page SEO.
For starters, use images and videos as natural breaks for your content. Use relevant images and add keyword-rich alt tags to help search engine crawlers identify what your photos contain. Relevant videos also add context to the information that you are telling in your blog.
Use short sentences and paragraphs to facilitate easier reading time for your audience. Keep sentences brief and punchy and limit paragraphs to 3 to 4 short sentences with line breaks in between. This doesn’t show up in your analytics but doing these simple habits can help readers improve their experience.
The Bottom Line
Small businesses need to make the most out of their blogs. SEO is the way to go, as it builds your company’s organic traffic and can help with your long-term results. If you can perform SEO best practices for your website, expect it to pay off.
If you’re not sure how to do search engine optimization or have no time for digital marketing, you can also hire a digital marketing agency. Agencies can help fast-track your way to a bigger, more engaging audience for your business. Follow our best practices and get more eyes on your business faster.