While large corporations are pouring millions of dollars into gaining more online visibility, most small business owners look at SEO (Search Engine Optimization) as an unnecessary expense. But the truth of the matter is, you can do so much more with your website than using it as a static reference for your customers. A solid SEO campaign will help you generate new leads and boost your ROI substantially.

The good news is you don’t need to hire an entire department to boost your website traffic via small business SEO. If you have the consistency for it, there are some things that you can easily do by yourself to surpass your local competitors. Sure, it will cost some time and effort, but it won’t hurt your wallet at all.

1. Embrace your focused niche

Finding the keywords that best fit your business niche is a vital part of small business SEO. Take the time to study your direct competitors, and see how you can stand out from the crowd.

As a rule of thumb, it’s always better to take the more focused approach when trying to conquer online ground. Having multiple services might give you access to a wide range of the keywords, but you’ll likely find that your particular relevance with each of them will be inconsistent. Focusing on just a handful of focused keywords will get you more visibility in the long run.

2. Go for long and mid-tail keywords

The SEO game has changed significantly from just a few years ago. It’s no longer enough to go after specific keyword phrases – now it’s all about search queries, mid-tail, and long-tail keywords.

Right now, over 70% of the total traffic to websites and blogs comes from long-tail queries. If you want your small business to have a steady traffic stream, you need to understand user intent and focus on mid and long-tail keywords.

effective strategies small business SEO long tail - 5 Effective Strategies and Ideas to Improve Small Business SEO in 2018

Let’s say you own a handmade socks business in Vancouver. Going for the keyword “socks” will not get you anywhere. But targeting specific long-tail queries like “top handmade socks in Vancouver” or “where to by handmade socks in Vancouver” will generate a whole lot more traffic. Keep in mind that for small businesses, it usually pays off to add the city name to most of your website pages as well.

3. Look at your website as a whole

Don’t be tempted to prioritize certain web pages over others. We often see websites where the Home page is full of overwhelming information, while all the other pages seem nothing more than fillers.

You need to have some kind of structure in place, and you need to maintain the quality of content throughout your entire website. Make sure that second-tier pages (Services, Products, Contact, FAQ, About, etc.) are just as interesting and optimized as your main landing page. The ultimate purpose is to provide the means for your visitors to seamlessly navigate throughout your website without having difficulty understanding where’s what.

Keep in mind that your customers aren’t the only ones that like a well-structured website – Google likes that too.

4. Spy on your competitors for profitable keywords

Let’s be honest: You won’t be able to steal customers from your direct competitors if you’re not aware of the search terms that they’re using. While going for long-tail keywords is important, knowing which search terms are the most profitable is an even more valuable knowledge. This is precisely why you need to do a competitive analysis.

effective strategies small business SEO spyfu - 5 Effective Strategies and Ideas to Improve Small Business SEO in 2018

There are a lot of tools that you can be used to view your competitor’s most profitable keywords, but if you want something very accessible give SpyFu a try. Simply enter your competitor’s URL in the search box and hit the Search button. You can then analyze the results and see which organic keywords are most successful. But even more important, see whether your competitor is spending money on any paid keywords – if they are, it’s probably for a good reason.

5. Use actionable keywords in the meta description

Keywords will get you as far as improving your pages visibility, but that’s about it. To get the job done, you need an enticing meta description in order to persuade the user to click your link from the list of organic results.

Stuffing your meta description full of keywords is no longer required – it doesn’t contribute to the page’s rank in any way. Instead, try to write your meta description as natural and as persuasively as possible. Only use relevant, easy to rank keywords and write compelling pieces that will entice the user to click on your link.

effective strategies small business SEO yoast SEO - 5 Effective Strategies and Ideas to Improve Small Business SEO in 2018

If you use WordPress, One SEO Pack or Yoast SEO should not be missing from your website installation. Either of these will be an immense help in allowing you to optimize the meta description.

Let us know in the comment section below if you implemented any of these small business SEO strategies and don’t be afraid to ask if you have any questions.