As a small business owner, you have few chances to make an excellent first impression. However, a simple slip and people will not give you a second chance. Why? Well, they don’t have an incentive to. You’re not a renowned brand, and so many competitors exist. This is why you need to make sure the first impression that you make is a positive one.
The problem is that to make a good first impression; you must first meet with your customer base. With so many competitors (that we’ve already mentioned), your business will be a needle in a haystack.
In other words, your first objective is to make yourself discoverable. How do you do that? The easiest way is to invest in SEO.
While SEO can be expensive, it doesn’t have to be too costly. Here are some tricks that smaller enterprises (with limited digital marketing budgets) can use to compete with (and even outcompete) the top dogs of their industry.
1. Make quality content
First, you must understand that you’re not just writing for humans. You also have an algorithm for an audience, so use the form it understands and appreciates. First, you want to avoid using passive voice, keep your sections shorter than 300 words (between your H2 and H3 headings), and keep your sentences short.
Then, you need to understand the key principle that all content should be:
Too many marketers and content creators fixate on their agenda but fail to consider why the audience is there. Stop asking what people can do for you, and start thinking about what you have to offer.
Be careful when it comes to readability. Use the appropriate amount of whitespace, and keep your content readable. Some even give an estimated time to read. If it’s low enough, it might encourage people who would give it a pass actually to read it.
If you produce quality content, you’ll earn a ton of backlinks. However, you shouldn’t miss the opportunity to do internal linking.
Lastly, longer formats are quite popular nowadays. Ideally, you should go with 3,000 words or more. Still, at the very least, you need 1,000 to 1,500 words for an informal blog post.
2. Don’t focus exclusively on your SEO
Remember that while SEO is your primary focus, you can expand your reach and visibility without investing directly in your SEO. Indirectly, this also boosts your SEO efforts.
The first example that comes to mind is your social media marketing. Social network links do not count as standard backlinks. This means that they don’t directly increase your SEO rank. At the same time, they increase your brand awareness and drive traffic your way. Both of these metrics are beneficial to your SEO efforts.
You can also consider PPC advertising. The best thing about PPC marketing is that it drastically increases your value while always providing great worth for your investment. After all, you only pay for the clicks you get.
The effects are even greater if you look for PPC specialists with expertise in your field. For instance, as a business with a SaaS product, you want to look for PPC for SaaS. This way, you get the most value out of your campaign.
Perhaps the biggest way PPC helps your SEO is by clearly revealing which keywords work. Those that cost you more have the highest click-through rate.
Other than this, you should also focus on user reviews. While not a direct SEO project, it generates organic traffic and raises exposure to your business/products.
3. Improve your link building
One of the most important aspects of SEO is link building. This is a process where you use other platforms to funnel traffic your way. You guest post on other blogs (ideally with as high DA as possible) and insert the link to your site/blog.
So, how do you improve your link building?
First of all, we need to return to our content. Some formats are just natural backlinks. For instance, if you make more infographics and stat pages, people are more likely to use your link as a reference. Creating these is much work, and copywriters may not be enough. Hiring designers (or outsourcing to designers) is necessary for this scenario.
You can also promote your content via social media. Chances are that someone writing an article might remember you and use your link as a reference.
Internal linking is a practice that you should never overlook.
However, the most important trait for a link builder is the networking ability. Your outreach and relationship with bloggers/editors will determine the success of your campaign.
Finally, don’t be stingy. If your niche is controversial and their blog is reputable, they won’t publish it for free. So, prepare a budget and be ready to pay up. In the end, it will probably be worth it.
4. Make your website mobile-friendly
You need to acknowledge that most of your audience in 2023 is mobile. So, you need to ensure your site is optimized for these devices.
First, make sure that it loads fast enough. People are no longer as tolerant of slower loading speeds as they use mobile devices. If anything, about 12% of survey takers expect mobile loading to be faster.
Second, make sure that the site is scrollable. You can achieve this with a better use of whitespace. Readability is a huge factor, so except for partitioning text with whitespace, you also want to use an appropriate font (and font size).
Image optimization is always important, but it’s a priority for mobile optimization. Remember that you’re dealing with smaller screen sizes and different resolution ratios.
Lastly, remember that the term “mobile” can mean several things. Test your site on multiple devices to ensure it is covered.
5. Monitor and analyze
An algorithm is constantly changing. This means that practices that worked great so far may have limited success in the future.
Sure, you can read new guidelines and patch notes, but you cannot know how your online presence will respond to all these changes. The only way to do so is to monitor and analyze everything.
Also, you want to test every change you implement.
It’s also important to keep all the records. The thing is that data analysis requires you to monitor a timeline. By monitoring progression, you can make a world of difference. This is why you should never take data entry lightly. Ensure your data is structured, and looking for a decent, intelligent information management system might be a good idea.
This is one more reason why hiring specialists is such an amazing idea. They’re far more efficient at testing, storing data, and analyzing.
The road to success is simple. You need to make better content and do better link building. While both can be improved with modest investments, both are issues that money alone cannot resolve.
Just because a method is not part of your SEO strategy, it doesn’t mean your SEO strategy won’t benefit from it. Therefore, consider implementing social media marketing, PPC, and email marketing.
Finally, you need to keep track of your performance. This way, you can tell if you’re on the right track or need to make some tweaks.