Affordable SEO For Small Businesses: How To Boost Your Website Traffic? Part I
It can be challenging to establish a new company and generate enough leads when you start a business. Whether you’re a B2B or B2C company, organic visitors are essential in producing revenue and growing your business. But one can only do so much. In order to attract quality organic leads, you must optimize your website and content to make it SEO-friendly and rank high on SERP.
Yet, it seems that many businesses, especially the new ones, struggle with SEO. It’s still common to believe that SEO starts with stuffing your content with keywords. And while keywords play a vital role in your ranking, you can’t just cramp your content with them and expect miracles.
Another thing that often scares away new entrepreneurs is price. They think that making your website and content SEO-friendly is a considerable investment. And while it can get expensive, you can learn and teach your team the basics to ensure that your website and content are created in the right way from the beginning.
So, let’s start from the beginning.
What is SEO, and how it works for small businesses?
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a way to rank on search engines like Google, Youtube, Bing, or wherever you want to appear. It stands for onsite and offsite optimization of your website, copy, code, images, URLs, you name it.
It’s important to pay attention to the best SEO practices for any size and kind of business because it’s one of the highest return of investment (ROI) tools a small business can use. You can rank among the leading companies on search engines and generate your organic traffic by optimizing your content and website.
Is SEO worth it for a small business?
SEO is the first thing a small business should focus on. There are many ways to increase your site’s visitors through social media, ads, but all that takes time and money. Without useful content and website optimization, you can’t expect high results.
SEO, on the other hand, doesn’t need to cost you a hand. In the beginning, you can do it yourself, use free tools, and see how your ranking and traffic change. Later on, it’s recommended to invest in a professional SEO expert to audit your website, help you define your situation in different markets, and so on.
But this time, I want to talk about basic SEO you can start doing today to boost your organic traffic, which wouldn’t cost you much.
Best SEO for small businesses
Use free SEO tools
The first and the most expensive step in your SEO journey is SEO tools. Right tools can give a comprehensive outlook of your website and content to show you the direction of where to go next.
In the beginning, you can use free tools like Google Search Console, Google Trends, or free versions of Ahrefs or SEMrush to check your site’s health, errors, find keywords. Later on, it’s worth investing in a premium version that comes with such functionality like:
Rank Tracker, to see where your site ranks;
Compare it with the competitors and see how they are ranking;
Track your keyword performance on different markets and regions;
And many more.
Why is an SEO tool important? It will help you get systemized and track all your SEO efforts.
Fix your site’s health
Sometimes your content might not rank because of poor site’s health. It means that your website has broken links, errors, 404 pages, outdated plugins and other common glitches. A good site’s health score is around 80%, but it can be different for every site. But the healthier it is, the better is the site’s reputation and ranking. If your site isn’t optimized, search engines won’t rank it because it has to be secure and optimized for users to visit.
If you analyze your domain on your SEO tool of choice, it will tell you which links are broken (lead nowhere), which sites show errors (a deleted but not redirected URL). You can redirect old URLs and fix website errors to improve your domain authority by knowing this information. Also, if you’re using WordPress, don’t forget to update your plugins.
Make sure your website is indexed
Search engines have so-called spider crawlers to crawl every URL on the web, yours included. When the site is indexed, only then it can rank on SERPs, but just because it exists doesn’t mean it will be indexed.
You can check if all your URLs are crawled with free SEO tools. If your site is large or you see that many pages aren’t indexed, you can upload your sitemap on Google Search Console so that it can crawl it again. You can ask your developers to generate a sitemap or use third-party tools like Yoast SEO. Some common issues that stop crawlers from indexing your site are:
Your meta tags have a “noindex” value, which automatically tells the crawlers not to index the page. You can delete it in your “robots.txt” file.
You have a “no follow” value on your links, which automatically stops crawlers from going further. You can find it in the same place.
Page errors, broken links.
The page is not linked anywhere else on the site, making it harder to find.
Long site’s loading speed.
And other more technical issues that might need the website developer’s attention.
Some website builder tools like Wix and Squarespace automatically upload your sitemap to Google, so you don’t need to do anything from the technical side. However, when you insert links in your texts, use the “to follow” value unless you don’t want that link to be indexed by search engines.
When you think about it, SEO isn’t that challenging. Of course, the further you go, the more new thing you need to keep in mind. But this time, that’s it. In the second part, I’ll talk more about finding the right keywords based on intention and how to optimize your content for success. Stay tuned!