SEO Tactics Every Small Business Should Implement
Most small business owners can easily implement some important SEO tactics to help customers find and engage with their brand.
These tactics can help achieve main strategic goals of improving search results, connect with customers and building authority. They are not all-inclusive, rather they are basic guidelines that form the supporting structure for deeper analysis and planning.
Many of these strategies will fit service business marketing needs, or local small businesses plans.
We’ll start with the easiest-to-implement:
Implement Structured Data
Your website should be optimized for semantic SEO including structured data and snippets. Semantic search seeks to improve search engine result accuracy by understanding intent and contextual meaning and has been implemented at Google with multiple updates. Search suggest is one semantic search method which helps disambiguate some meanings. Structured data helps identify the context of your page topic to better serve the searcher.
For example, if your page keyword is focusing on “Panda”, the website structure and content provides the search engine with additional meaning. On our site, we would likely discuss Google’s algorithm update, “Panda”, but on a Milwaukee County Zoo page, they would more likely discuss the addition of “Dash”, the red panda. This is where structured data becomes a helpful SEO tactic – using additional markup helps provide the context for “Panda” to allow Google to determine whether to serve your page among zoological and biological pages, or among SEO and search algorithm update page results.
- Testimonials or Reviews
- 90% of consumers say positive reviews influence purchasing decision 
- Encouraging and responding to reviews improves engagement and reputation
- Schema.org markup
- Schema markup is structured data that identifies your content and enhances rich snippets used by all major US search engines (Google, Yahoo, Bing)
- While it may not improve search rankings, it can improve click-through rates
More Website Data Tips:
- Use the Structured Data Markup Helper in Google Webmaster Tools to manually add snippets
- Ensure your website is mobile-friendly using Google or Bing test tools
- Use the Website Optimization Web Page Analyzer to test your website performance and page speed, or follow these easy tips for WordPress:
- Keep plugins updated; remove those you do not use
- Optimize images for the web: use appropriately-sized png files or sprites – try WP Smush
- For additional guidance, review our Tactics infographic from the SEO Today article.
Optimize and Plan Content
Including a content strategy as part of your marketing strategy will help build relationships, gain new customers, encourage repeat customers and build brand integrity and authority. Some important SEO tactics should be a part of that plan:
- Keyword Research
- Keyword research informs marketing and content topics
- Comprehensive keyword research targets interest and intent and includes both audience analysis and competitive analysis
- Content Development
- Following your content strategy and keyword research, develop useful content following a style guide.
- Use a content planning template to set a schedule for consistent, meaningful content
- Social Media
- Form connections with customers by posting engaging content and providing customer support via social networks
- Use a social media plan template and automated posting tools such as Hootsuite and WordPress plugins to schedule meaningful posts
More Content Tips
- Quicksprout offers a free tool to analyze your website and compare it to your competitors. Follow the quick guide to perform your competitive content research.
- Rinse & Repeat: Continue using these SEO tactics to refine your marketing strategies. Keyword research, content development and your social media marketing plan should be monitored and responded to accordingly.
- Analyze your web and social metrics to see what is going well, or what might need more work.
To earn links, follow the content planning section tactics, modifying your goals. Don’t target social shares as a marketing goal – focus on gaining target customers and customer loyalty by encouraging content loyalty and engaging with your customers. Here are some link earning tactics to aid your small business marketing strategy:
- Build your reputation online and off
- Offer your expertise online via forums and social engagement
- Market your online presence using traditional media: print, radio (based on your customer profile and industry, of course)
- Encourage reviews or invite testimonials
- Ask your most loyal customers for reviews or testimonials
- Monitor your online reviews and respond as quickly and appropriately as possible
- Do local SEO
More Brand-Building Tips
- Rinse & Repeat local SEO tactics: Be sure to update your name, address, phone as soon as the change happens and monitor your local SEO annually.
- Monitor your brand and reviews and continually encourage your customers to engage both online and off.
- Run contests and offer valuable freebies (this can vary widely based on your business type but you can get ideas by looking at other similar businesses, whether they are direct competitors or not).
- For more information on link-building and how we help our clients, visit How We Help Clients Earn Links and Gain Credibility.
Did you find these tips helpful? Have a question or suggestion? Let us know! Share the slide deck, like or comment below.
Having trouble with your website marketing or local SEO? Contact us to talk about it; we offer consultation and we can give you a quote for managing your website, marketing or social media.