Small Business SEO Strategy
If you have contracted a small business SEO service, you probably are thinking:
“Yes I’m happy with the traffic they are generating that is driving revenue for my business, but what are these SEO specialists actually doing?”
I personally have been working in search engine optimisation (SEO) for over 10 years. Firstly as a small business owner, and then as a inhouse SEO specialist in Brisbane southside. And in the later years working with businesses in Burpengary, Lawnton, North Lakes, Brendale, and Chermside. I have seen how the Google algorithm has changed and developed, which in turn made us change our tactics.
What does a search engine optimisation specialist do on a small business account?
Below is a quick breakdown to give you further insight as to where your money is going.
SEO Keyword Strategy
Keywords is a common way of saying the search term you want your website to appear for. For Brickfield Digital, website design North Lakes, is a search term we are optimising for.
An experienced SEO strategist should be able to work out the search terms that have high volume, the search terms that are easy for your business to rank for, the search terms that will generate you the most traffic, but most importantly the search terms that will generate you the most revenue.
However, they don’t really know until the website starts ranking, the traffic comes in, and whether that traffic converts or not.
Because this can take 3, 6 and sometimes 12 months to happen, some digital agencies test the search terms with Google Adwords first, before targeting the search terms with SEO.
Website Structure & Prioritise Internal Links to Key Pages
There will be key search terms for your main products and services that you want to focus on. To capture people searching in Google for these products and services, each will need its own webpage on your website.
These webpages needed to be linked to via the homepage, the menu bar, and have links from other pages pointing to them. All these elements tell the Google algorithm that these pages are the important pages to appear in the search results, and that this is what your business is about.
It is then important to write and design these pages to convert people looking for the service or product. This involves price, testimonials, case studies, technical information, what and who it is specially good for, and a clear call to action.
Website Speed Optimisation
If your website is slow to load and has large image files, it is a poor experience for people using the website. Google doesn’t want that for its users. So if your website loads slowly, it will give you negative points.
Basic steps for small businesses to take is to get a commercial grade web hosting solution that is local to your country, and reduce the size of your images. An SEO specialist should spend some of their time, reducing image sizes to improve load time.
We talked before about website structure and how we use elements to make certain pages more prominent. Content silos also plug into this.
People tend to like businesses and websites that specialise in a certain topic, product or service. So the Google algorithm determines that a website is a specialist on a topic when it has 10+ pages on that topic.
This gets a lot more weight if the pages are worth linking to from external websites that are also predominately about that topic.
Therefore, an SEO agency should create 10+ pages on your main products and services.
Internal Link Anchor Text Optimisation
We talked about linking to main product and service pages to make them the preferred choice for Google. These links will have text in them. It is important that that text contains some variation of the search term. I say variation, because the Google algorithm also will penalise a website that abuses this and uses the same search term too many times.
All images contain an information file about them that contains: the date image was created, the origin, the name. By making the origin of the picture your area, this helps localise your website to that area and increase your rankings in that area.
Standard website coding also attaches some additional tags to the image (image title tags and image alt tags). Including the search terms in these are important. But this can also be overdone, so be careful if you’re thinking of doing this yourself.
SEO agencies should be investing time updating your images with the geo data and tags.
Schema Markup Optimisation
There is coding that can be put on the website that tells Google that something is the address, something is a question and answer, something is a price, something is a review.
This tells Google rather than relying on the algorithm to hopefully work it out itself.
This improves your rankings for targeted search terms and can be a good boost to traffic.
Citations on Safe Business Listing Websites
When searching content and the relevance of your website to a search term, the Google algorithm is highly advanced. But when it comes to the algorithm that determines which business gets first listed in Google Maps, this is still rather primitive.
The algorithm goes by how many times your business name, address and phone number (aka NAP or citation) is listed on your website and in Google Maps, is mentioned on other websites. So, SEO advertising agencies invest time getting your NAP listed on as many websites as possible.
Social Media Posting of Content
We mentioned before that when pages in content silos get a link from another website, it increases the effect it has. By posting content silo pages on social media platforms, this is counted as a link, and gives an SEO boost. It is only a small boost, but it usually enough to beat competitors.
It also increases the chance that someone will find it and potentially link to it, creating a high-quality legitimate link.
Wow. What a lot of work. All this gets broken down into monthly deliverables and usually implemented over a 6-12 months, depending on the work involved. This is what your SEO company does.