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What Is SEO and Why Does It Matter for My Small Business?

Search engine optimization (SEO) plays an important role in modern marketing efforts, regardless of company size. If you run a worldwide mega-corporation, SEO is still important. If you own a small business, SEO matters.

Small business SEO undergirds your marketing and public relations efforts. It enables your content to rise in search results and to be found through people’s search queries. In addition, it can help you stand out among the competition.

What Is SEO?

If you Google “SEO,” you’ll see a couple of definitions.

  1. SEO is the umbrella term for all the methods you can use to ensure the visibility of your website and its content on search engine results pages (SERPs). (Search Engine Watch)
  2. Search engine optimization (SEO) is the practice of increasing the quantity and quality of traffic to your website through organic search engine results. (MOZ)
  3. SEO stands for “search engine optimization.” It is the process of getting traffic from the “free,” “organic,” “editorial” or “natural” search results on search engines. (Search Engine Land)

Each of those definitions contains some nuances, but they generally say the same thing. The importance of SEO for small business is that it draws a greater number of quality, organic leads to your website and other content.

Are There Different Types of SEO?

As an “umbrella term,” small business SEO encompasses many tactics. You can divide them into two categories, on-page SEO and off-page SEO. The former relates to your website and its content. It tends to build authority. The latter refers to search engine optimization techniques that get people to visit your website. As such, it focuses more on credibility and authenticity, factors that are determined through items like backlinks, social shares and locality.

Why Does SEO Matter?

The importance of SEO for small business rests in a few reasons. First, it helps your small business get found by the people who would like to purchase your products or services. Second, it allows you to track analytics, measure results and refine efforts. Third, small business SEO matters because it improves your search rankings.

How to Get Started With SEO for Your Small Business

Now that you know what SEO is and understand the importance of SEO for small business, you can start implementing techniques to improve content and search rankings. Many tips abound, but begin with these five.

  1. Conduct research. To find keywords that resonate with customers, do some research using tools like Google AnalyticsGoogle TrendsBuzzsumo and Keyword Tool.
  2. Go local. Before you try to compete for industry keywords and terms, establish your local presence. Start by registering with “Google My Business,” then take some time to work through your existing website copy.
  3. Think greenEvergreen content lasts longer than trendy articles, so create more of it. It not only pays off in multiple visits but also establishes authority with search engines.
  4. Build backlinks. To establish authority and trust — a double whammy — aim for more backlinks. You get these by authoring evergreen content and pursuing publicity through guest posts and replies to HARO queries.
  5. Refine your efforts. Small business SEO isn’t a one-and-done method. You will need to monitor and measure it on an ongoing basis to see true success.

These five tips aren’t the end-all, be-all, but they are solid best practices. No matter what SEO techniques you ultimately employ, always remember research and refinement.

Small business SEO is important. The strategy takes time and effort, but the results are worth the work. It helps you build an online presence, get found by customers and take the lead in the local or global marketplace.

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Category: SEO and Web Design

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