Small Business SEO Strategy
When you’re trying to outrank large companies on Google, you’re facing an uphill battle. You not only have to compete with websites that have sometimes been around for decades, but also need to stand against in-house SEO experts and massive marketing budgets that never run dry.
Fortunately, with the advanced small business SEO strategies used by Victorious, you can hold your own even in the most competitive markets, carving out your own space for the most competitive keywords, and finding less-known pockets of hungry customers that haven’t yet been discovered by others.
First off, we will take the time to perform thorough keyword research, analyzing the landscape in your market and looking for the best opportunities that offer the biggest potential returns. We look at a range of factors including traffic volume, competition levels, as well as audience match, to ensure that the keywords we do pursue are the ones that your customers actually use.
That way, once the traffic starts coming in, you’ll have the best shot possible to start converting those visitors into new customers. Our small business SEO consultant will also use our comprehensive list of over 200 on-site optimization factors, which will help us identify the biggest opportunities for improving your website, placing it ahead of the top competition in your niche.
No matter how congested your market may appear, our thorough analysis ensures that we’ll find ways to get ahead of others, placing your website in prime position to rank for even the most competitive of keywords. Finally, we will use cutting-edge technology and our best small business SEO experts to create a backlink strategy that will get your site on Google’s radar in no time, propelling it in the rankings and getting your site to the top page.
Our backlinks are sourced from high-authority websites that are not only established but also relevant in your industry, which serves as a strong SEO signal to Google that your site is worth ranking. To ensure that the above steps are successful, we will also track each aspect of your campaign and monitor the performance. Our thorough process helps us focus on the most promising keywords and ranking opportunities, providing you with predictable and stable results you can count on month after month.
Intent-Driven SEO for Small Businesses
SEO for smaller companies can be significantly different from other types of SEO, as these types of businesses usually need to maximize their time and efforts to get the biggest ROI possible.
Because of that, Victorious takes a thorough approach in understanding your buyer personas and looks for intent indicators that are immensely helpful when choosing which keyword themes to pursue.
Only by understanding who your target audience is can you make educated decisions about what types of keywords they are likely to pursue and what they might be looking for. While there are many keywords that have a large search volume, at least part of them will probably not be very profitable, as the audience typically searching for that answer isn’t likely to be interested in buying.
Therefore, before we even begin implementing SEO strategy, we first sit down and get to know the very best customers that you deal with. We will also perform our own research and use our previous experience to determine how your audience is likely to behave when using Google.
The key reason for this thorough approach is that it provides us with a clear picture of who the person at the other side of the screen is, and what they are most likely to be looking for.
That will also provide us insights about the different types of searches they are likely performing. Some might be purely informational, while others are much more likely to be transactional and be searched by people who are ready to buy right now.
Once we have a good understanding of who your audience is, we can use that information to pick keyword themes that are used by your prospective customers to find businesses they want to buy from.
That way, all the effort we put in towards getting your site ranked has the best possible chance of paying off, as the traffic that you’ll eventually receive will be at the stage of wanting to purchase and will result in outcomes that you want.
Local SEO for Small Businesses
Although it’s not a hard rule, most small businesses are going to be locally-oriented, meaning that the vast majority of their target audience is going to be located around a city or a wider city area.
If you have local customers, your SEO efforts should revolve around local keywords as well.
Many inexperienced companies are quick to dismiss local keywords because of their comparatively low search volume, thinking that it’s better to pursue broader terms that are likely to result in more traffic. The problem with that approach is that while the broader terms can deliver more traffic, it might not be at all relevant to your business, especially if you’re offering local services.
If someone searches for “family law”, that might seem to be a good fit for a law firm, but there’s almost no chance for people searching that to become clients, as the search could be coming from anywhere in the world and could be used for purely informational purposes.
Meanwhile, if you target hyper-specific keywords such as “family law near me” or “family law brooklyn”, you will get your services in front of people who are looking for a specific solution that you offer, in a very specific location.
Sure, local SEO may have much lower search volume numbers, sometimes even to the point where there are just a few dozen searches per month. But if those few dozen people are all ready to buy what you can offer and will choose one of the top results on the first page, you may find that such a hyper-targeted keyword becomes one of your best sources of leads every single month.
Comparing SEO vs. PPC for Local Businesses
The perceived value of advertising on Facebook and Google is simple: the opportunity to drive quick, tangible dollars and cents by tailoring ads to target specific audiences. But there is more to paid acquisition than meets the eye.
Here are the 5 biggest strengths of digital ads as they pertain to marketing your local business:
Visibility. Paid search takes up lots of real estate at the top of Google results pages. With somewhere between two to four ads on desktop and one to three ads on mobile, a user will almost always see Google ads, even if they scroll past them.
Targeting. PPC provides a laser-targeted way to get in front of potential customers. Ads can be optimized based on target keywords, time, date, geography, language, device, and demographics of past visitors.
Speed. It’s self-explanatory – Google Ads can be created in minutes and adjusted on a daily basis. There is no faster way to make your business visible on search than to pay-per-click for advertisements.
Marketing intelligence. Since the most recent Safesearch update, Google has hidden vast amounts of keyword data from organic search traffic. One of the benefits of PPC is that no such restriction exists.
A/B testing. Using Google AdWords, small businesses can easily test ads, landing pages, and call-to-action buttons to determine which strategies perform the best and drive the highest ROI.
Meanwhile, just below those ads lies Google’s natural, organic search results, derived via an ever-changing algorithm that aims to provide searchers with the best possible result for his/her query. Organic search first came into view as a marketing channel nearly 20 years ago when marketers first identified that Google’s algorithm and the sheer reach of its search engine proved to offer a viable opportunity for businesses to drive quality traffic to their site.
Here are the 5 biggest benefits of engaging in SEO for small business websites:
Credibility. Ranking well in organic search drives a perceived credibility with the audience looking for your services. In fact, a recent study showed that 85% of all clicks on Google occur not on paid ads, but their organic non-paid counterparts below. Why? Because organic results convey credibility and ads are ads.
Cost Effective. On average, cost per click (CPC) for organic traffic is significantly lower than paid traffic because while instead of paying for each and every visitor to your site (as is the case with ads), organic visits are free once the site has been optimized.
Better ROI. Organic traffic offers significantly higher ROI than PPC, and any other form of paid media. For local businesses that utilize a sales process, tools like Call Rail’s call tracking and Google Analytics goal tracking can help to effectively track ROI.
Sustainability. Unlike paid traffic, organic traffic isn’t lost the moment you stop paying. As such, investing in a small business SEO company for your SEO needs is a long-term play that can help sustain a business during times of feast or famine.
Competitive advantage. How long does small business SEO take? Somewhere between 4-6 months for a local business looking to get on the map. But once a site has established itself firmly within organic results, competitors will have a hard time overcoming, which means a strategic advantage for businesses that prioritize small business search engine marketing now.
What are the major takeaways from a cost-benefit analysis of PPC versus SEO for small businesses? Search Engine Land summarizes the value of SEO versus PPC for tactics perfectly:
“A hyperlocal business… could likely develop good visibility in the local and organic search results with a little spend or some DIY SEO.”*
Does the quote above describe you? If so, keep reading for a list of how to get started on DIY SEO today. It might not make you a small business SEO consultant overnight, but it’s a good starting point.
ROI for Small Business SEO
SEO is different from most other marketing approaches because it can be more difficult to predict exact outcomes or to even calculate the exact return of investment to expect in different campaigns.
Because of that, business owners may be hesitant about hiring a small business SEO agency, as without understanding the types of results they can expect, they usually opt for more “straightforward” marketing approaches. But without SEO, establishing a presence online is much more challenging. Paid advertising can be effective, but it takes time for campaigns to become profitable, which means that they require substantial investment upfront. And the truth is, SEO actually can be measured in terms of a tangible return, especially if you work with an experienced small business SEO company that can help you establish realistic goals and track your progress.
Tracking the traffic that comes to your site and identifying which keywords are contributing the most helps you understand exactly how much exposure you’re getting, and also directly compare that traffic with the other marketing strategies you’re using.
Besides keeping track of the traffic increase, you can also look at how your organic search visitors are behaving, tracking activity on your site such as pages visited or newsletter subscriptions.
You can even look at the behavior of your visitors and calculate how much each one is worth, on average, eventually coming up with a specific number of how much each dollar invested in SEO has generated.
And since SEO has an accumulative effect that increases traffic as time goes by, over time, your ROI for SEO will only keep increasing.
So while it might take a couple of months to start generating results with SEO, once you start ranking for relevant keywords, you are likely to find that it will become your most profitable strategy.
And that doesn’t even take into account the potential for increasing your brand awareness, positioning your small business as a trustworthy provider of services and products, as well as the ability to leverage your website’s authority when venturing into new markets.