RI Business Forum

SEO Starter Guide for Small Businesses

August 19, 2022

Have you ever wondered why your business isn't at the top of the page when searching for your product/service on a search engine? If so, then you’re in the right place. Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is going to help you bring more traffic to your website and get you one of those top spots. According to The Manifest, “almost three-quarters of small businesses (70%) invest in an internal team to build out their SEO strategy, which can boost online visibility.”

But before we dive deeper into how you get there, you need to understand what SEO is and why it’s so important. SEO is an organic non-paid marketing tactic that helps increase your website’s ranking on search engines like Google. By increasing your ranking on the search page - with the goal being Page 1 - visitors may be more likely to click on your listing and visit your website.

So how do you know if you’re not doing this already? If a customer is searching for a product/service that you offer on Google and your business is not visible to them then you have some work to do. A successful SEO strategy will:

  • Ensure that your business is visible on Google
  • Bring traffic to your website from people searching for what your business has to offer
  • Create an increase in organic revenue

OK, now let’s talk about how exactly you get on Page 1 on Google.

The first step in SEO is to determine what it is that you’re trying to optimize. Especially for a smaller business, it is important to know exactly what your audience is looking for. You need to identify the keywords people are searching for when it comes to your business. Some things to take into consideration for this is:

  • Search volume
  • Relevance
  • Competition

Search volume relates to the number of people are searching for a certain keyword. The more people that are searching for a keyword, the bigger audience, and more traffic you will receive. Using keywords that are related to your business throughout your website will help boost your ranking. If no one is searching for a keyword that you are optimizing, then there will be no success.

Relevance is especially important because you want your keywords to match your brand and what it is exactly that you’re selling. You don’t want to be misleading with your keywords and bring users to your website for the wrong reason. For example, if you’re a coffee company optimizing keywords, such as “drinks” or “beverages” are too broad. You want to stay specific to “coffee” and others like “latte” or even “dark roast."

When optimizing keywords you want to consider the competition and the cost and likelihood of success. You need to have a basic understanding of your competition for specific terms. All of this is achievable by using a keyword tool like Google Ads Keyword Planner. Using a keyword tool can help you understand the relative frequency of that keyword being searched by users.

Once you have completed these three steps and have your list of keywords, start implementing them into your site's content as naturally as possible. Whether it be through blog posts, an “about us” page, etc. get those keywords in! Each page on your site should be targeting a core term that is relevant to you and what you’re offering.

When going about your SEO strategy make sure to keep these key tips in mind. Your business's vitality depends on smart planning!