The top SEO challenges for small businesses
If you’re the owner or manager of a small business, you’ll know that having an SEO-friendly site is integral to driving new traffic and new customers. However, you also know better than anyone else how difficult it can be to manage an online business alongside your physical one. Both seemingly require all of your attention, and entirely different set of skills.
If your SEO strategy isn’t optimised, it’s easy to get lost in the search engine flood and see your business pushed back from the first page, to the second, and then suddenly to the fifth. There are a number of SEO challenges small businesses are often found tackling, especially if the SEO journey begins solo, without an SEO agency.
Confusing high traffic for high conversion
As a small business manager without prior SEO knowledge, or the guidance of an SEO company, it’s easy to become overwhelmed by your site traffic data, and be unsure of whether the data really means that your SEO strategy is working.
A trap many small business owners fall into is assuming that high traffic automatically means success. What you want to be looking for is the conversion rate – the number of visitors that turned into customers or leads.
An analytics-monitoring program like Kissmetrics has proven effective for small business owners to track the conversion rate of keywords, meaning you’ll always be on top of which keywords are most successful, and which you can let go.
Not creating frequent, relevant content
After you’ve built your site and begun implementing your SEO strategy, you might think that your work is done, when unfortunately, it’s just the opposite. SEO campaigns need to be frequently updated, ensuring that your small business is keeping up with the ever-shifting SEO trends.
Providing new content is paramount to a quality SEO for a small business. Whether articles, blog posts, or videos, frequently posting relevant and keyword-optimised content means your site remains on near the top of search rankings.
For many small businesses, this is no small task in an already-packed schedule. In these cases, an SEO company can step in so you can focus on what you do best – working on your business.
Forgetting about external backlinks
'Link building' remains one of the pillars of SEO success for small businesses, but can also be one of the most overlooked or misunderstood tactics, especially for those without the familiarity or background in SEO strategies.
Building a network of quality links will ensure that your business not only gets site traffic but increases its reputation. If you don’t know where to start, an SEO agency will be able to point you in the right direction. However, be sure they only use 'white hat' tactics, such as the creation of quality content and the development of strong online business partnerships. This ensures you avoid building links that could harm your credibility – or your search rankings.
But if you’re keen to set out on your own, consider these basic options:
- Partnering with a local business
- Contributing to a local business
- Natural link building through content creation
- Searching for mentions of your business
- Creating premium content online
No dedicated marketing team
If you’re reading this, then you more than well aware that budget comes first when it comes to running a small business. However, this can often mean that one person ends up wearing many, many hats.
Learning the basics and then implementing SEO for your small business – all while running the business itself – can leave you stretched too thin. That's to the detriment of all your roles. If like many others, you find yourself unable to spend enough time marketing your business, it might be time to begin looking for a dedicated marketing team or marketing manager.
An SEO agency – essentially, a group of professional marketers and specialists – will bring to your small business a wealth of expertise and resources. However, if you decide to hire an independent specialist, here are some things worth considering:
- Do they have experience or qualifications relevant to the industry?
- Are you after a marketing generalist or an SEO specialist?
- Do they have a track record of results for similar businesses?
- Are they local, interstate or overseas?
Although, yes, there are many SEO challenges small businesses can face, these challenges can be overcome.
There’s a wealth of small business-specific online SEO resources, which help you tackle these problems in the most time-efficient way possible. And remember, you can also always hire an SEO agency to keep the behind-the-scenes machinery of your business well-oiled and running smoothly.
More questions about SEO for small business? Talk to an SEO specialist in Melbourne.
Digital360 on 15 May 2017
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