Five actionable SEO tips to skyrocket your small business website’s ranking

Love to climb higher up Google? Read five actionable SEO tips to skyrocket your small business website’s ranking.

As a small business, it can be difficult to find ways to get new customers. Most marketing channels that are designed to attract new customers involve either a huge investment of money, like advertising, or experience and know-how for something like PR.

SEO remains an effective way for small businesses to attract customers because anyone can leverage this channel to grow their business, and it doesn’t take a lot to make sure you’re taking the right steps.

Below are five SEO Tips that small businesses can follow to get some new customers from search engines, even if they’ve never done SEO before.

Tip 1: Leverage video for added SERP coverage

Many times, when you search Google, YouTube videos will show at the top of the Search Engine Results Pages (SERPs). According to recent video marketing statistics, this trend of showing videos in the SERPs is on the rise.

The benefit, however, is that if you’re already investing in video marketing, publishing it to YouTube and following YouTube SEO best practices on the video can bring more traffic to your website and diversify your marketing channels!

If you’re making videos and leveraging them as a marketing tool, here’s a quick checklist you can use to publish your videos on YouTube for better SEO results:

What to do before uploading

  1. Conduct keyword research to identify relevant keywords using tools like Google Keyword Planner, SEMrush, or TubeBuddy. Target keywords with high search volume and low competition.
  2. Write a good title:
    • Include the main keyword at the beginning of the title.
    • Keep it concise (around 60 characters) and engaging.
    • Make sure it accurately reflects the content of the video.
  3. Write a good description:
    • Write a detailed description (at least 250 words) including target keywords naturally.
    • Include timestamps for different sections of the video if applicable.
    • Add links to your website or social media profiles.
  4. Use relevant tags that describe your video content. Include variations of your main keywords. Use specific tags rather than broad ones.
  5. Design an eye-catching thumbnail that accurately represents the video content. Use high-resolution images and include text if necessary to highlight key points.
  6. Choose the most relevant category for your video.

What to do after uploading

  1. Upload a transcript or enable automatic captions for better accessibility and SEO.
  2. Encourage viewers to like, comment, and share your video.
  3. Respond to comments to boost engagement.
  4. Use YouTube annotations and cards to link to other relevant videos or external websites.
  5. Add end screens with links to encourage viewers to watch more of your content.
  6. Share your video on social media platforms and embed it on your website or blog (VERY important for SEO so your website’s page gets found with your video!)

Follow this checklist with your videos and you’ll maximize your SEO traffic with them. With 26% of search results showing a video thumbnail, this will increase your engagement and further improve your YouTube marketing results as a byproduct.

Tip 2: Find high-intent, low-competition keywords

If you’re trying to rank for keywords like “real estate agent near me”, you’re going to be fighting a tough battle. Especially, if you’re in a competitive market.

There are equally valuable keywords that you can go after that might be much easier to target. These are called long-tail keywords.

To continue with the real estate example, maybe something like “real estate agent for first time home buyers” would be more attainable. This is much more specific and likely not on the radar of marketing teams with larger budgets, so you don’t face as stiff competition.

For help with keyword research and selecting less competitive keywords that still have commercial intent, check out this keyword research guide.

Tip 3: Keep numbers out of your URLs and refresh old content

A quick tip I learned early in my SEO career is to not put numbers in your URLs. This is because the content might attract backlinks, and there may be an opportunity to update it later.

Some examples of this might include writing a list of five tips that you might later want to update to 10 because the keyword is more competitive. Or putting the year in the URL where the information changes regularly (like laws and regulations, for example).

This brings up the point of refreshing your content. Rather than focusing exclusively on publishing new content, it’s important that your old content is kept up to date.

So when you’re writing, focus on publishing evergreen content that can be refreshed later. Pages get more value as they age and gain backlinks, so it can be advantageous to update an old page to maybe target a more competitive keyword as it gains authority.

If you need a guide to follow for content refreshing, Ahrefs has a great one here.

Tip 4: Don’t buy backlinks

According to a link building survey by Authority Hacker, as many as 75% of SEOs pay for backlinks.

The thing is, paying for backlinks is against Google’s spam policies, and if they find out you’re doing it, you can either be penalized, or they just won’t count your links and won’t say anything so you’re effectively burning your money away.

Instead, invest in link building strategies that are focused on earning backlinks with quality content.

Guest blogging is a great example of this. With guest blogging, you reach out to bloggers in your industry, pitch article ideas that might be a fit for their site, and write the article for them with a link to your website in the article.

Links earned from guest blogging are considered earned backlinks because the website publishes your content because they like it, not because they were paid to do so.

This is one of the most time-consuming parts of SEO, and 41% of SEOs see link building as the most difficult part of SEO, according to the same survey above.

If you don’t want to do this yourself, you can always hire link building services that focus on white-hat tactics instead of buying links.

Tip 5: For the best keyword ideas, ask your customers

The best keyword ideas don’t always come from SEO tools, sometimes your customers can unlock keyword ideas that you may not have been able to find otherwise!

One example of this is that, on sales calls, customers are likely asking you some of the questions they aren’t able to find an answer to when they go to Google.

That means there’s an opportunity to create content that may not exist yet about your area of subject matter.

When you create something that doesn’t exist yet, you don’t have much competition in the SERPs and your content ranks faster. This can bring in traffic and customers very quickly if the keywords are commercial enough.

Even if the keywords don’t have a commercial focus, you can come up with content ideas that can add value to your website and convince visitors to convert to the next step. Even a good “how to” guide could persuade your audience that you know what you’re talking about, which will convince them to take the next step with your business.

This can also be a great way to improve customer engagement. They’d feel that you’re really listening if you post something they spoke with you about.

SEO can help small businesses attract new customers

In today’s competitive digital landscape, mastering SEO is essential for small businesses seeking to attract new customers. By following the tips above, businesses can enhance the visibility of their website in the SERPs and draw in organic traffic.

For any of this to work, it’s important to recognize that content quality and maintenance are essential. Regularly refreshing content and addressing search intent ensuring that your website remains competitive in the SEO world – and maybe even gets to the top of Google.